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Long live internal combustion!

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Long live internal combustion!

admin 2 years ago
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We chat to Audi engine development engineer Matthias Honzen about the future of internal combustion engines and we have some good news to report…

At the 2017 Audi Summit held in Barcelona recently, Motormouth Arabia stumbled around the massive 100,000 square-foot show surrounded by robots, self-driving cars, digital displays and virtual reality thrills…

Amidst all that geeking out we spotted a man next to something we could recognise – an engine! The man turned out to be Audi’s engine development engineer Matthias Honzen, and at this show that was all about connectivity and electrification he spoke in a language we could understand…

Motormouth: Put the petrolheads’ minds at ease a little Matthias – internal combustion engines (ICE) have been around for 130 years, but how long do we have left?

Matthias Honzen: I think we have a lot more potential left – I don’t think internal combustion engines are on the way out.

You have different use cases – if you only cover short distances perhaps electricity is the way to go, for urban environments and so on. But if you want to go long distances, actually internal combustion engines are really efficient.

M: So they’ll remain on the market for a long time coming?

MH: I think so, yes. But I think the time frame question is difficult to answer. I mean we can talk about how long will human beings survive? I don’t know. It’s a bit difficult…

M: But for now petrol engines are safe on the marketplace?

MH: Yes, definitely. We are developing our engines further, with more fuel efficiency and combined electrification. Alternative fuels also make ICE viable in the long-term. Stuff like e-gas, or e-diesel, give us a possibility of clean and efficient carbon-neutral combustion engines.

M: Are synthetic fuels the future – could they replace fossil fuels?

MH: I don’t know. The discussion right now is that synthetic fuels are not so easy to scale. The production of synthetic fuels is difficult. I am no expert, but I read last week that a company in Norway plans to scale the production of synthetic fuels, so I think we have to pursue these ideas.

M: So you reckon your job is safe, then?

MH: As ICE engineers, I think we will have plenty of things to do. And in the future, going beyond 2030, we will still have plenty of internal combustion engines around.

M: Phew…

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