Fuel injection

Fuel injection is the introduction of fuel in an internal combustion engine, most commonly automotive engines, by the means of an injector.

All diesel engines use fuel injection by design. Petrol engines can use gasoline direct injection, where the fuel is directly delivered into the combustion chamber, or indirect injection where the fuel is mixed with air before the intake stroke.

On petrol engines, fuel injection replaced carburetors from the 1980s onward.[1] The primary difference between carburetors and fuel injection is that fuel injection atomizes the fuel through a small nozzle under high pressure, while a carburetor relies on suction created by intake air accelerated through a Venturi tube to draw the fuel into the airstream.

Jeep 2.5 liter 4-cylinder engine chromed i
Fuel rail connected to the injectors that are mounted just above the intake manifold on a four-cylinder engine.


The functional objectives for fuel injection systems can vary. All share the central task of supplying fuel to the combustion process, but it is a design decision how a particular system is optimized. There are several competing objectives such as:

Modern digital electronic fuel injection systems optimize these competing objectives more effectively and consistently than earlier fuel delivery systems (such as carburetors). Carburetors have the potential to atomize fuel better (see Pogue and Allen Caggiano patents).


Benefits of fuel injection include smoother and more consistent transient throttle response, such as during quick throttle transitions, easier cold starting, more accurate adjustment to account for extremes of ambient temperatures and changes in air pressure, more stable idling, decreased maintenance needs, and better fuel efficiency.

Fuel injection also dispenses with the need for a separate mechanical choke, which on carburetor-equipped vehicles must be adjusted as the engine warms up to normal temperature. Furthermore, on spark ignition engines, (direct) fuel injection has the advantage of being able to facilitate stratified combustion which have not been possible with carburetors.

It is only with the advent of multi-point fuel injection certain engine configurations such as inline five cylinder gasoline engines have become more feasible for mass production, as traditional carburetor arrangement with single or twin carburetors could not provide even fuel distribution between cylinders, unless a more complicated individual carburetor per cylinder is used.

Fuel injection systems are also able to operate normally regardless of orientation, whereas carburetors with floats are not able to operate upside down or in microgravity, such as encountered on airplanes.

Environmental benefits

Fuel injection generally increases engine fuel efficiency. With the improved cylinder-to-cylinder fuel distribution of multi-point fuel injection, less fuel is needed for the same power output (when cylinder-to-cylinder distribution varies significantly, some cylinders receive excess fuel as a side effect of ensuring that all cylinders receive sufficient fuel).

Exhaust emissions are cleaner because the more precise and accurate fuel metering reduces the concentration of toxic combustion byproducts leaving the engine. The more consistent and predictable composition of the exhaust makes emissions control devices such as catalytic converters more effective and easier to design.

History and development

Herbert Akroyd Stuart developed the first device with a design similar to modern fuel injection, using a 'jerk pump' to meter out fuel oil at high pressure to an injector. This system was used on the hot-bulb engine and was adapted and improved by Bosch and Clessie Cummins for use on diesel engines (Rudolf Diesel's original system employed a cumbersome 'air-blast' system using highly compressed air). Fuel injection was in widespread commercial use in diesel engines by the mid-1920s.

An early use of indirect gasoline injection dates back to 1902, when French aviation engineer Leon Levavasseur installed it on his pioneering Antoinette 8V aircraft powerplant, the first V8 engine of any type ever produced in any quantity.[2]

Another early use of gasoline direct injection was on the Hesselman engine invented by Swedish engineer Jonas Hesselman in 1925.[3][4] Hesselman engines use the ultra lean-burn principle; fuel is injected toward the end of the compression stroke, then ignited with a spark plug. They are often started on gasoline and then switched to diesel or kerosene.[5]

Direct fuel injection was used in notable World War II aero-engines such as the Junkers Jumo 210, the Daimler-Benz DB 601, the BMW 801, the Shvetsov ASh-82FN (M-82FN). German direct injection petrol engines used injection systems developed by Bosch from their diesel injection systems. Later versions of the Rolls-Royce Merlin and Wright R-3350 used single point fuel injection, at the time called "Pressure Carburettor". Due to the wartime relationship between Germany and Japan, Mitsubishi also had two radial aircraft engines using fuel injection, the Mitsubishi Kinsei (kinsei means "venus") and the Mitsubishi Kasei (kasei means "mars").

Alfa Romeo tested one of the first electronic injection systems (Caproni-Fuscaldo) in Alfa Romeo 6C 2500 with "Ala spessa" body in 1940 Mille Miglia. The engine had six electrically operated injectors and were fed by a semi-high-pressure circulating fuel pump system.[6]

Development in diesel engines

All diesel engines (with the exception of some tractors and scale model engines) have fuel injected into the combustion chamber. See Diesel engine.

Development in gasoline/petrol engines

Mechanical injection

Moteur de l Antoinette VII Musee du Bourget P1010360
An Antoinette mechanically fuel-injected V8 aviation engine of 1909, mounted in a preserved Antoinette VII monoplane aircraft.

The invention of mechanical injection for gasoline-fueled aviation engines was by the French inventor of the V8 engine configuration, Leon Levavasseur in 1902.[2] Levavasseur designed the original Antoinette firm's series of V-form aircraft engines, starting with the Antoinette 8V to be used by the aircraft the Antoinette firm built that Levavasseur also designed, flown from 1906 to the firm's demise in 1910, with the world's first V16 engine, using Levavasseur's port injection and producing around 100 hp (75 kW; 101 PS) flying an Antoinette VII monoplane in 1907.

The first post-World War I example of direct gasoline injection was on the Hesselman engine invented by Swedish engineer Jonas Hesselman in 1925.[7][8] Hesselman engines used the ultra-lean-burn principle and injected the fuel in the end of the compression stroke and then ignited it with a spark plug, it was often started on gasoline and then switched over to run on diesel or kerosene. The Hesselman engine was a low compression design constructed to run on heavy fuel oils.

Direct gasoline injection was applied during the Second World War to almost all higher-output production aircraft powerplants made in Germany (the widely used BMW 801 radial, and the popular inverted inline V12 Daimler-Benz DB 601, DB 603, and DB 605, along with the similar Junkers Jumo 210G, Jumo 211, and Jumo 213, starting as early as 1937 for both the Jumo 210G and DB 601), the Soviet Union (Shvetsov ASh-82FN radial, 1943, Chemical Automatics Design Bureau - KB Khimavtomatika) and the USA (Wright R-3350 Duplex Cyclone radial, 1944).

Immediately following the war, hot rodder Stuart Hilborn started to offer mechanical injection for race cars, salt cars, and midget racers,[9] well-known and easily distinguishable because of their prominent velocity stacks projecting upwards from the engines on which they were used.

The first automotive direct injection system used to run on gasoline was developed by Bosch, and was introduced by Goliath for their Goliath GP700 automobile, and Gutbrod in 1952. This was basically a specially lubricated high-pressure diesel direct-injection pump of the type that is governed by the vacuum behind an intake throttle valve. (Modern diesels only change the amount of fuel injected to vary output; there is no throttle.) This system used a normal gasoline fuel pump, to provide fuel to a mechanically driven injection pump, which had separate plungers per injector to deliver a very high injection pressure directly into the combustion chamber. The 1954 Mercedes-Benz W196 Formula 1 racing car engine used Bosch direct injection derived from wartime aircraft engines. Following this racetrack success, the 1955 Mercedes-Benz 300SL, the first production sports car to use fuel injection, used direct injection. The 1955 Mercedes-Benz 300SLR, in which Stirling Moss drove to victory in the 1955 Mille Miglia and Pierre Levegh crashed and died in the 1955 Le Mans disaster, had an engine developed from the W196 engine. The Bosch fuel injectors were placed into the bores on the cylinder wall used by the spark plugs in other Mercedes-Benz six-cylinder engines (the spark plugs were relocated to the cylinder head). Later, more mainstream applications of fuel injection favored the less-expensive indirect injection methods.

1959 Chevrolet Corvette C1 V8 283 cui Fuel Injection
A 1959 Corvette small-block 4.6 litre V8 with Rochester mechanical fuel injection

Chevrolet introduced a mechanical fuel injection option, made by General Motors' Rochester Products Division, for its 283 V8 engine in 1956 (1957 U.S. model year). This system directed the inducted engine air across a "spoon shaped" plunger that moved in proportion to the air volume. The plunger connected to the fuel metering system that mechanically dispensed fuel to the cylinders via distribution tubes. This system was not a "pulse" or intermittent injection, but rather a constant flow system, metering fuel to all cylinders simultaneously from a central "spider" of injection lines. The fuel meter adjusted the amount of flow according to engine speed and load, and included a fuel reservoir, which was similar to a carburetor's float chamber. With its own high-pressure fuel pump driven by a cable from the distributor to the fuel meter, the system supplied the necessary pressure for injection. This was a "port" injection where the injectors are located in the intake manifold, very near the intake valve.

In 1956, Lucas developed its injection system, which was first used for Jaguar racing cars at Le Mans. The system was subsequently adopted very successfully in Formula One racing, securing championships by Cooper, BRM, Lotus, Brabham, Matra, and Tyrrell in the years 1959 through 1973.[10] While the racing systems used a simple fuel cam for metering, a more sophisticated Mk 2 vacuum based shuttle metering was developed for production cars. This mechanical system was used by some Maserati, Aston Martin, and Triumph models between 1963 and 1975.[11]

During the 1960s, other mechanical injection systems such as Hilborn were occasionally used on modified American V8 engines in various racing applications such as drag racing, oval racing, and road racing.[12] These racing-derived systems were not suitable for everyday street use, having no provisions for low speed metering, or often none even for starting (starting required that fuel be squirted into the injector tubes while cranking the engine). However, they were a favorite in the aforementioned competition trials in which essentially wide-open throttle operation was prevalent. Constant-flow injection systems continue to be used at the highest levels of drag racing, where full-throttle, high-RPM performance is key.[13]

In 1967, one of the first Japanese designed cars to use mechanical fuel injection was the Daihatsu Compagno.

Another mechanical system, made by Bosch called Jetronic, but injecting the fuel into the port above the intake valve, was used by several European car makers, particularly Porsche from 1969 until 1973 in the 911 production range and until 1975 on the Carrera 3.0 in Europe. Porsche continued using this system on its racing cars into the late seventies and early eighties. Porsche racing variants such as the 911 RSR 2.7 & 3.0, 904/6, 906, 907, 908, 910, 917 (in its regular normally aspirated or 5.5 Liter/1500 HP turbocharged form), and 935 all used Bosch or Kugelfischer built variants of injection. The early Bosch Jetronic systems were also used by Audi, Volvo, BMW, Volkswagen, and many others. The Kugelfischer system was also used by the BMW 2000/2002 Tii and some versions of the Peugeot 404/504 and Lancia Flavia.

A system similar to the Bosch inline mechanical pump was built by SPICA for Alfa Romeo, used on the Alfa Romeo Montreal and on U.S. market 1750 and 2000 models from 1969 to 1981. This was designed to meet the U.S. emission requirements with no loss in performance and it also reduced fuel consumption.

Electronic injection

Because mechanical injection systems have limited adjustments to develop the optimal amount of fuel into an engine that needs to operate under a variety of different conditions (such as when starting, the engine’s speed and load, atmospheric and engine temperatures, altitude, ignition timing, etc.) electronic fuel injection (EFI) systems were developed that relied on numerous sensors and controls. When working together, these electronic components can sense variations and the main system computes the appropriate amount of fuel needed to achieve better engine performance based on a stored "map" of optimal settings for given requirements.[14] in 1953, the Bendix Corporation began exploring the idea of an electronic fuel injection system as a way eliminate the well known problems of traditional carburetors.[15]

The first commercial EFI system was the "Electrojector" developed by Bendix and was offered by American Motors Corporation (AMC) in 1957.[16][17] The Rambler Rebel, showcased AMC's new 327 cu in (5.4 L) engine.[18] The Electrojector was an option and rated at 288 bhp (214.8 kW).[19] The EFI produced peak torque 500 rpm lower than the equivalent carburetored engine[12] The Rebel Owners Manual described the design and operation of the new system.[20] An electronic control control box located under the dashboard uses information from various sensors for engine starting, idling, and acceleration requirements to determine optimal timing of the fuel charge by electrically actuating the injectors.[20] The cost of the EFI option was US$395 and it was available on 15 June 1957.[21] According to AMC, the price would be significantly less than Chevrolet's mechanical fuel injection option.[22] Electrojector's teething problems meant only pre-production cars were so equipped: thus, very few cars so equipped were ever sold[23] and none were made available to the public.[24] The EFI system in the Rambler ran fine in warm weather, but suffered hard starting in cooler temperatures.[21]

Chrysler offered Electrojector on the 1958 Chrysler 300D, DeSoto Adventurer, Dodge D-500, and Plymouth Fury, arguably the first series-production cars equipped with an EFI system.[22] It was built Bendix.[22] The early electronic components were not equal to the rigors of underhood service, however, and were too slow to keep up with the demands of "on the fly" engine control. Most of the 35 vehicles originally so equipped were field-retrofitted with 4-barrel carburetors. The Electrojector patents were subsequently sold to Bosch.

Bosch developed an electronic fuel injection system, called D-Jetronic (D for Druck, German for "pressure"), which was first used on the VW 1600TL/E in 1967. This was a speed/density system, using engine speed and intake manifold air density to calculate "air mass" flow rate and thus fuel requirements. This system was adopted by VW, Mercedes-Benz, Porsche, Citroën, Saab, and Volvo. Lucas licensed the system for production in Jaguar cars, initially in D-Jetronic form before switching to L-Jetronic in 1978 on the XK6 engine.

Bosch superseded the D-Jetronic system with the K-Jetronic and L-Jetronic systems for 1974, though some cars (such as the Volvo 164) continued using D-Jetronic for the following several years. In 1970, the Isuzu 117 Coupé was introduced with a Bosch-supplied D-Jetronic fuel injected engine sold only in Japan. In 1984 Rover fitted Lucas electronic fuel injection, which was based on some L-Jetronic patents, to the S-Series engine as used in the 200 model.

1976 Cosworth Vega engine (Bendix Electronic Fuel Injection)
Chevrolet Cosworth Vega engine showing Bendix electronic fuel injection (in orange).

In Japan, the Toyota Celica used electronic, multi-port fuel injection in the optional 18R-E engine in January 1974.[25] Nissan offered electronic, multi-port fuel injection in 1975 with the Bosch L-Jetronic system used in the Nissan L28E engine and installed in the Nissan Fairlady Z, Nissan Cedric, and the Nissan Gloria. Nissan also installed multi-point fuel injection in the Nissan Y44 V8 engine in the Nissan President. Toyota soon followed with the same technology in 1978 on the 4M-E engine installed in the Toyota Crown, the Toyota Supra, and the Toyota Mark II. In the 1980s, the Isuzu Piazza and the Mitsubishi Starion added fuel injection as standard equipment, developed separately with both companies history of diesel powered engines. 1981 saw Mazda offer fuel injection in the Mazda Luce with the Mazda FE engine and, in 1983, Subaru offered fuel injection in the Subaru EA81 engine installed in the Subaru Leone. Honda followed in 1984 with their own system, called PGM-FI in the Honda Accord, and the Honda Vigor using the Honda ES3 engine.

The limited production Chevrolet Cosworth Vega was introduced in March 1975 using a Bendix EFI system with pulse-time manifold injection, four injector valves, an electronic control unit (ECU), five independent sensors, and two fuel pumps. The EFI system was developed to satisfy stringent emission control requirements and market demands for a technologically advanced responsive vehicle. 5000 hand-built Cosworth Vega engines were produced but only 3,508 cars were sold through 1976.[26]

The Cadillac Seville was introduced in 1975 with an EFI system made by Bendix and modelled very closely on Bosch's D-Jetronic. L-Jetronic first appeared on the 1974 Porsche 914, and uses a mechanical airflow meter (L for Luft, German for "air") that produces a signal that is proportional to "air volume". This approach required additional sensors to measure the atmospheric pressure and temperature, to ultimately calculate "air mass". L-Jetronic was widely adopted on European cars of that period, and a few Japanese models a short time later.

In 1980, Motorola (now NXP Semiconductors) introduced the first electronic engine control unit, the EEC-III.[27] Its integrated control of engine functions (such as fuel injection and spark timing) is now the standard approach for fuel injection systems. The Motorola technology was installed in Ford North American products.

Elimination of carburetors

In the 1970s and 1980s in the U.S. and Japan, the respective federal governments imposed increasingly strict exhaust emission regulations. During that time period, the vast majority of gasoline-fueled automobile and light truck engines did not use fuel injection. To comply with the new regulations, automobile manufacturers often made extensive and complex modifications to the engine carburetor(s). While a simple carburetor system is cheaper to manufacture than a fuel injection system, the more complex carburetor systems installed on many engines in the 1970s were much more costly than the earlier simple carburetors. To more easily comply with emissions regulations, automobile manufacturers began installing fuel injection systems in more gasoline engines during the late 1970s.

Open-loop fuel injection systems had already improved cylinder-to-cylinder fuel distribution and engine operation over a wide temperature range, but did not offer further scope to sufficiently control fuel/air mixtures, in order to further reduce exhaust emissions. Later closed-loop fuel injection systems improved the air–fuel mixture control with an exhaust gas oxygen sensor. Although not part of the injection control, a catalytic converter further reduces exhaust emissions.

Fuel injection was phased in through the latter 1970s and 80s at an accelerating rate, with the German, French, and U.S. markets leading and the UK and Commonwealth markets lagging somewhat. Since the early 1990s, almost all gasoline passenger cars sold in first world markets are equipped with electronic fuel injection (EFI). In Brazil, carburetors were entirely replaced by fuel injection during the 1990s, with the first EFI equipped model built in 1987 (the Volkswagen Fox). The carburetor remains in use in developing countries where vehicle emissions are unregulated and diagnostic and repair infrastructure is sparse. Fuel injection is gradually replacing carburetors in these nations too as they adopt emission regulations conceptually similar to those in force in Europe, Japan, Australia, and North America.

Many motorcycles still use carburetored engines, though all current high-performance designs have switched to EFI.

NASCAR finally replaced carburetors with fuel-injection, starting at the beginning of the 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season.[28][29][30]

System components

System overview

The process of determining the necessary amount of fuel, and its delivery into the engine, are known as fuel metering. Early injection systems used mechanical methods to meter fuel, while nearly all modern systems use electronic metering.

Determining how much fuel to supply

The primary factor used in determining the amount of fuel required by the engine is the amount (by weight) of air that is being taken in by the engine for use in combustion. Modern systems use a mass airflow sensor to send this information to the engine control unit.

Data representing the amount of power output desired by the driver (sometimes known as "engine load") is also used by the engine control unit in calculating the amount of fuel required. A throttle position sensor (TPS) provides this information. Other engine sensors used in EFI systems include a coolant temperature sensor, a camshaft or crankshaft position sensor (some systems get the position information from the distributor), and an oxygen sensor which is installed in the exhaust system so that it can be used to determine how well the fuel has been combusted, therefore allowing closed loop operation.

Supplying the fuel to the engine

Fuel is transported from the fuel tank (via fuel lines) and pressurised using fuel pump(s). Maintaining the correct fuel pressure is done by a fuel pressure regulator. Often a fuel rail is used to divide the fuel supply into the required number of cylinders. The fuel injector injects liquid fuel into the intake air (the location of the fuel injector varies between systems).

Unlike carburetor-based systems, where the float chamber provides a reservoir, fuel injected systems depend on an uninterrupted flow of fuel. To avoid fuel starvation when subject to lateral G-forces, vehicles are often provided with an anti-surge vessel, usually integrated in the fuel tank, but sometimes as a separate, small anti-surge tank.

EFI gasoline engine components

These examples specifically apply to a modern EFI gasoline engine. Parallels to fuels other than gasoline can be made, but only conceptually.

Animated cut through diagram of a typical fuel injector. Click to see animation.
  • Injectors
  • Fuel Pump
  • Fuel Pressure Regulator
  • Engine control unit
  • Wiring Harness
  • Various Sensors (Some of the sensors required are listed here.)

Engine control unit

The engine control unit is central to an EFI system. The ECU interprets data from input sensors to, among other tasks, calculate the appropriate amount of fuel to inject.

Fuel injector

When signaled by the engine control unit the fuel injector opens and sprays the pressurised fuel into the engine. The duration that the injector is open (called the pulse width) is proportional to the amount of fuel delivered. Depending on the system design, the timing of when injector opens is either relative each individual cylinder (for a sequential fuel injection (SFI) system), or injectors for multiple cylinders may be signalled to open at the same time (in a batch fire system).

Target air–fuel ratios

The relative proportions of air and fuel vary according to the type of fuel used and the performance requirements (i.e. power, fuel economy, or exhaust emissions).

See Air–fuel ratio, Stoichiometry, and Combustion.

Various injection schemes

Single-point injection

Single-point injection (SPI) uses a single injector at the throttle body (the same location as was used by carburetors).

It was introduced in the 1940s in large aircraft engines (then called the pressure carburetor) and in the 1980s in the automotive world (called Throttle-body Injection by General Motors, Central Fuel Injection by Ford, PGM-CARB by Honda, and EGI by Mazda). Since the fuel passes through the intake runners (like a carburetor system), it is called a "wet manifold system".

The justification for single-point injection was low cost. Many of the carburetor's supporting components - such as the air cleaner, intake manifold, and fuel line routing - could be reused. This postponed the redesign and tooling costs of these components. Single-point injection was used extensively on American-made passenger cars and light trucks during 1980-1995, and in some European cars in the early and mid-1990s.

Continuous injection

In a continuous injection system, fuel flows at all times from the fuel injectors, but at a variable flow rate. This is in contrast to most fuel injection systems, which provide fuel during short pulses of varying duration, with a constant rate of flow during each pulse. Continuous injection systems can be multi-point or single-point, but not direct.

The most common automotive continuous injection system is Bosch's K-Jetronic, introduced in 1974. K-Jetronic was used for many years between 1974 and the mid-1990s by BMW, Lamborghini, Ferrari, Mercedes-Benz, Volkswagen, Ford, Porsche, Audi, Saab, DeLorean, and Volvo. Chrysler used a continuous fuel injection system on the 1981-1983 Imperial.

In piston aircraft engines, continuous-flow fuel injection is the most common type. In contrast to automotive fuel injection systems, aircraft continuous flow fuel injection is all mechanical, requiring no electricity to operate. Two common types exist: the Bendix RSA system, and the TCM system. The Bendix system is a direct descendant of the pressure carburetor. However, instead of having a discharge valve in the barrel, it uses a flow divider mounted on top of the engine, which controls the discharge rate and evenly distributes the fuel to stainless steel injection lines to the intake ports of each cylinder. The TCM system is even more simple. It has no venturi, no pressure chambers, no diaphragms, and no discharge valve. The control unit is fed by a constant-pressure fuel pump. The control unit simply uses a butterfly valve for the air, which is linked by a mechanical linkage to a rotary valve for the fuel. Inside the control unit is another restriction, which controls the fuel mixture. The pressure drop across the restrictions in the control unit controls the amount of fuel flow, so that fuel flow is directly proportional to the pressure at the flow divider. In fact, most aircraft that use the TCM fuel injection system feature a fuel flow gauge that is actually a pressure gauge calibrated in gallons per hour or pounds per hour of fuel.

Central port injection

From 1992 to 1996 General Motors implemented a system called Central Port Injection or Central Port Fuel Injection. The system uses tubes with poppet valves from a central injector to spray fuel at each intake port rather than the central throttle-body. Fuel pressure is similar to a single-point injection system. CPFI (used from 1992 to 1995) is a batch-fire system, while CSFI (from 1996) is a sequential system.[31]

Multipoint fuel injection

Multipoint fuel injection (MPI), also called port fuel injection (PFI), injects fuel into the intake ports just upstream of each cylinder's intake valve, rather than at a central point within an intake manifold. MPI systems can be sequential, in which injection is timed to coincide with each cylinder's intake stroke; batched, in which fuel is injected to the cylinders in groups, without precise synchronization to any particular cylinder's intake stroke; or simultaneous, in which fuel is injected at the same time to all the cylinders. The intake is only slightly wet, and typical fuel pressure runs between 40-60 psi.

Many modern EFI systems use sequential MPI; however, in newer gasoline engines, direct injection systems are beginning to replace sequential ones.

Direct injection

In a direct injection engine, fuel is injected into the combustion chamber as opposed to injection before the intake valve (petrol engine) or a separate pre-combustion chamber (diesel engine).[32]

In a common rail system, the fuel from the fuel tank is supplied to the common header (called the accumulator). This fuel is then sent through tubing to the injectors, which inject it into the combustion chamber. The header has a high pressure relief valve to maintain the pressure in the header and return the excess fuel to the fuel tank. The fuel is sprayed with the help of a nozzle that is opened and closed with a needle valve, operated with a solenoid. When the solenoid is not activated, the spring forces the needle valve into the nozzle passage and prevents the injection of fuel into the cylinder. The solenoid lifts the needle valve from the valve seat, and fuel under pressure is sent in the engine cylinder. Third-generation common rail diesels use piezoelectric injectors for increased precision, with fuel pressures up to 1,800 bar or 26,000 psi.

Direct fuel injection costs more than indirect injection systems: the injectors are exposed to more heat and pressure, so more costly materials and higher-precision electronic management systems are required.

Diesel engines

Most diesel engines (with the exception of some tractors and scale model engines) have fuel injected into the combustion chamber.

Earlier systems, relying on simpler injectors, often injected into a sub-chamber shaped to swirl the compressed air and improve combustion; this was known as indirect injection. However, this was less efficient than the now common direct injection in which initiation of combustion takes place in a depression (often toroidal) in the crown of the piston.

Throughout the early history of diesels, they were always fed by a mechanical pump with a small separate chamber for each cylinder, feeding separate fuel lines and individual injectors. Most such pumps were in-line, though some were rotary.

Most modern diesel engines use common rail or unit injector direct injection systems.

Gasoline engines

Modern gasoline engines also use direct injection, which is referred to as gasoline direct injection. This is the next step in evolution from multi-point fuel injection, and offers another magnitude of emission control by eliminating the "wet" portion of the induction system along the inlet tract.

By virtue of better dispersion and homogeneity of the directly injected fuel, the cylinder and piston are cooled, thereby permitting higher compression ratios and earlier ignition timing, with resultant enhanced power output. More precise management of the fuel injection event also enables better control of emissions. Finally, the homogeneity of the fuel mixture allows for leaner air–fuel ratios, which together with more precise ignition timing can improve fuel efficiency. Along with this, the engine can operate with stratified (lean-burn) mixtures, and hence avoid throttling losses at low and part engine load. Some direct-injection systems incorporate piezoelectronic fuel injectors. With their extremely fast response time, multiple injection events can occur during each cycle of each cylinder of the engine.

Swirl injection

Swirl injectors are used in liquid rocket, gas turbine, and diesel engines to improve atomization and mixing efficiency.

The circumferential velocity component is first generated as the propellant enters through helical or tangential inlets producing a thin, swirling liquid sheet. A gas-filled hollow core is then formed along the centerline inside the injector due to centrifugal force of the liquid sheet. Because of the presence of the gas core, the discharge coefficient is generally low. In swirl injector, the spray cone angle is controlled by the ratio of the circumferential velocity to the axial velocity and is generally wide compared with nonswirl injectors.[33]

Maintenance hazards

Fuel injection introduces potential hazards in engine maintenance due to the high fuel pressures used. Residual pressure can remain in the fuel lines long after an injection-equipped engine has been shut down. This residual pressure must be relieved, and if it is done so by external bleed-off, the fuel must be safely contained. If a high-pressure diesel fuel injector is removed from its seat and operated in open air, there is a risk to the operator of injury by hypodermic jet-injection, even with only 100 psi (6.9 bar) pressure.[34] The first known such injury occurred in 1937 during a diesel engine maintenance operation.[35]


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Further reading


External links

Common rail

Common-rail direct fuel injection is a direct fuel injection system for diesel engines.

On diesel engines, it features a high-pressure (over 100 bar or 10 MPa or 1,500 psi) fuel rail feeding solenoid valves, as opposed to a low-pressure fuel pump feeding unit injectors (or pump nozzles). Third-generation common-rail diesels now feature piezoelectric injectors for increased precision, with fuel pressures up to 2,500 bar (250 MPa; 36,000 psi).High pressure injection delivers power and fuel consumption benefits over earlier lower pressure fuel injection, by injecting fuel as a larger number of smaller droplets, giving a much higher ratio of surface area to volume. This provides improved vaporization from the surface of the fuel droplets, and so more efficient combining of atmospheric oxygen with vaporized fuel delivering more complete and cleaner combustion.

In petrol engines, it is used in gasoline direct injection engine technology.

Digifant engine management system

The Digifant engine management system is an electronic engine control unit (ECU), which monitors and controls the fuel injection and ignition systems in petrol engines, designed by Volkswagen Group, in cooperation with Robert Bosch GmbH.

Digifant is the outgrowth of the Digijet fuel injection system first used on water-cooled Volkswagen A2 platform-based models.

Electronic control unit

An Electronic Control Unit (ECU) is any embedded system in automotive electronics that controls one or more of the electrical systems or subsystems in a vehicle.

Types of ECU include Electronic Control Unit, Engine Control Module (ECM), Powertrain Control Module (PCM), Transmission Control Module (TCM), Brake Control Module (BCM or EBCM), Central Control Module (CCM), Central Timing Module (CTM), General Electronic Module (GEM), Body Control Module (BCM), Suspension Control Module (SCM), control unit, or control module. Taken together, these systems are sometimes referred to as the car's computer (Technically there is no single computer but multiple ones.) Sometimes one assembly incorporates several of the individual control modules (PCM is often both engine and transmission).Some modern motor vehicles have up to 80 ECUs. Embedded software in ECUs continues to increase in line count, complexity, and sophistication. Managing the increasing complexity and number of ECUs in a vehicle has become a key challenge for original equipment manufacturers (OEMs).

Engine control unit

An engine control unit (ECU), also commonly called an engine control module (ECM), is a type of electronic control unit that controls a series of actuators on an internal combustion engine to ensure optimal engine performance. It does this by reading values from a multitude of sensors within the engine bay, interpreting the data using multidimensional performance maps (called lookup tables), and adjusting the engine actuators. Before ECUs, air-fuel mixture, ignition timing, and idle speed were mechanically set and dynamically controlled by mechanical and pneumatic means.

If the ECU has control over the fuel lines, then it is referred to as an electronic engine management system (EEMS). The fuel injection system has the major role to control the engine's fuel supply. The whole mechanism of the EEMS is controlled by a stack of sensors and actuators.

Fiat Ducato

The Fiat Ducato is a light commercial vehicle developed by the Sevel joint venture between Fiat and PSA Peugeot Citroën, produced since 1981. It was also sold as the Citroën C25, Peugeot J5, Alfa Romeo AR6 and Talbot Express for the first generation, while the second and third generations are marketed as the Fiat Ducato, Citroën Jumper, and Peugeot Boxer. It entered the Canada and United States markets as the Ram ProMaster for the 2014 model year.

In Europe, it is produced at the Sevel Sud factory, in Atessa, Italy. It has also been produced at the Iveco factory in Sete Lagoas, Brazil, at the Karsan factory in Akçalar, Turkey, at the Lotus factory in Iran, at the Fiat Chrysler Automobiles Saltillo Truck Assembly Plant in Saltillo, Mexico, and at the Fiat-Sollers factory in Elabuga, Russia. Since 1981, more than 2.6 million Fiat Ducatos have been produced. The Ducato is the most common motorhome base used in Europe; with around two thirds of motorhomes using the Ducato base.

Fuel injection in NASCAR

Fuel injection in NASCAR reflects the technology used by production Toyota, Chevrolet, and Ford vehicles on the road today. Currently, no production automobile manufacturers use carburetors as a part of the fuel delivery system.

Fuel injection technology has been found to be one of the most important technical advances in stock automobiles since NASCAR was founded in 1947. Some find it more significant than the transition from rear-wheel drive vehicles to front-wheel drive vehicles during the late 1980s; which ultimately failed and caused NASCAR to revert to using a cast-iron eight-cylinder rear-wheel drive engines. People who like contemporary NASCAR racing are avid fans of technology; they are curious about how fuel injection affects the outcome of a typical NASCAR race. However, they must also placate the "traditional" NASCAR fan who has been watching NASCAR before the 1980s. While the sale of manual transmission vehicles would start to decline in the 1970s and plummet in the 1980s, NASCAR continued to hold a strict policy of only allowing manual transmission vehicles in the Sprint Cup Series to this very day.

Cars that compete in the NASCAR Xfinity Series (previously known as Nationwide Series) cars are powered by carburetors; in addition to trucks that compete in NASCAR's Camping World Truck Series.

Gasoline direct injection

Gasoline direct injection (GDI) (also known as petrol direct injection, direct petrol injection, spark-ignited direct injection (SIDI) and fuel-stratified injection (FSI)), is a form of fuel injection employed in modern two-stroke and four-stroke gasoline engines. The gasoline is highly pressurized, and injected via a common rail fuel line directly into the combustion chamber of each cylinder, as opposed to conventional multipoint fuel injection that injects fuel into the intake tract or cylinder port. Directly injecting fuel into the combustion chamber requires high-pressure injection, whereas low pressure is used injecting into the intake tract or cylinder port.

In some applications, gasoline direct injection enables a stratified fuel charge (ultra lean burn) combustion for improved fuel efficiency, and reduced emission levels at low load.

GDI has seen rapid adoption by the automotive industry over the past years, from 2.3% of production for model year 2008 vehicles to just over 45% expected production for model year 2015.


Gutbrod was a German manufacturer of cars, motorcycles and small agricultural machinery. The firm was founded in Ludwigsburg by Wilhelm Gutbrod in 1926. It originally built "Standard" branded motorcycles. In 1933 the company relocated to the nearby Stuttgart suburb of Feuerbach, and from 1933 to 1935, Standard Superior cars were built with rear-mounted engines.An updated version of the Gutbrod Superior introduced in 1953 benefited from developments towards fuel injection undertaken by Mercedes-Benz dating initially from 1935: this Gutbrod was the first car in the world to be offered with fuel injection, some three years before fuel injection appeared in a production engine offered by Mercedes themselves.

The small Gutbrod Superior model was produced from 1950 to 1954 using the company's own, front-mounted twin-cylinder two-stroke engines initially of 593cc. In April 1953 the engine size was increased to 663 cc for more expensive 'Luxus 700' versions of the car, while the standard model continued to be offered with the original smaller engine. Claimed power output was 20 hp (15 kW) for the base version, while for the larger engine 26 hp (19 kW) or 30 hp (22 kW) was claimed according to whether fuel feed came via a carburettor or a form of fuel injection. Press reports commended the speed and secure handling of the cars but indicated that the sporty handling came in return for sacrificing some comfort. It was also noted that normal conversation became impossible at speeds above about 80 km/h (50 mph) due to the noise.7726 cars were produced before the factory was forced to close. The car was developed at the company's small factory at Plochingen am Neckar by Technical Director Dr. Hans Scherenberg during the time of Walter Gutbrod who had taken over the firm in 1948 on the death of his father, Wilhelm Gutbrod (26 February 1890 - 9 August 1948). Scherenberg arrived at Gutbrod from Mercedes where the victorious war-time allies had enforced a pause in engine fuel-injection development, and in 1952 he would return to that firm.

A Gutbrod injection engine can still be seen in the Deutsches Museum in Munich.

It was a small two seater car, the overall length was 3.5 m (11 ft), width 1.4 m (4.6 ft) and the total weight 650 kg (1,433 lb), max speed 90 km/h (56 mph). The car was offered as standard version for a price of DM 3990, and as Superior Luxus for DM 4380. Recently, a restoration project of an injection model was sold in Geneva for CHF 3000.

In 1956, the Norwegian Troll car was built on a Gutbrod chassis. pioneering the use of fibreglass in automobile coachwork along with the Chevrolet Corvette as well as some other small scale car manufacturers.

Honda J engine

The J-series is Honda's fourth production V6 engine family introduced in 1996, after the C-series, which consisted of three dissimilar versions. The J-series engine was designed in the United States by Honda engineers. It is built at Honda's Anna, Ohio and Lincoln, Alabama engine plants.

It is a 60° V6 – Honda's existing C-series were 90° engines. The J-series was designed for transverse mounting. It has a shorter bore spacing (98 mm or 3.86 in), shorter connecting rods and a special smaller crankshaft than the C-series to reduce its size. All J-series engines are gasoline-powered SOHC 4-valve designs with VTEC variable valve timing.

One unique feature of some J-family engine models is Honda's Variable Cylinder Management (VCM) system. The system uses VCM to turn off one bank of cylinders under light loads, turning the V6 into a straight-3. Some versions were able to turn off one bank of cylinders or one cylinder on opposing banks, allowing for three-cylinder use under light loads and four-cylinder use under medium loads.

Indirect injection

Indirect injection in an internal combustion engine is fuel injection where fuel is not directly injected into the combustion chamber. In the last decade, gasoline engines equipped with indirect injection systems, wherein a fuel injector delivers the fuel at some point before the intake valve, have mostly fallen out of favor to direct injection. However, certain manufacturers such as Volkswagen and Toyota have developed a 'dual injection' system, combining direct injectors with port (indirect) injectors, combining the benefits of both types of fuel injection. Direct injection allows the fuel to be precisely metered into the combustion chamber under high pressure which can lead to greater power, fuel efficiency. The issue with direct injection is that it typically leads to greater amounts of particulate matter and with the fuel no longer contacting the intake valves, carbon can accumulate on the intake valves over time. Adding indirect injection keeps fuel spraying on the intake valves, reducing or eliminating the carbon accumulation on intake valves and in low load conditions, indirect injection allows for better fuel-air mixing. This system is mainly used in higher cost models due to the added expense and complexity.

Port injection refers to the spraying of the fuel onto the back of the intake port, which speeds up its evaporation.An indirect injection diesel engine delivers fuel into a chamber off the combustion chamber, called a prechamber, where combustion begins and then spreads into the main combustion chamber. The prechamber is carefully designed to ensure adequate mixing of the atomized fuel with the compression-heated air.

Injection pump

An Injection Pump is the device that pumps diesel (as the fuel) into the cylinders of a diesel engine. Traditionally, the injection pump is driven indirectly from the crankshaft by gears, chains or a toothed belt (often the timing belt) that also drives the camshaft. It rotates at half crankshaft speed in a conventional four-stroke diesel engine. Its timing is such that the fuel is injected only very slightly before top dead centre of that cylinder's compression stroke. It is also common for the pump belt on gasoline engines to be driven directly from the camshaft. In some systems injection pressures can be as high as 220 bar (3190PSI).


Jetronic is a trade name of a fuel injection technology for automotive petrol engines, developed and marketed by Robert Bosch GmbH from the 1960s onwards. Bosch licensed the concept to many automobile manufacturers. There are several variations of the technology offering technological development and refinement.

Kawasaki GPZ750 Turbo

The Kawasaki GPz750 Turbo was a sportbike manufactured from late 1983 to 1985, with two model years – the 1984 E1 and the 1985 E2. Differences were minor, a twin "push/pull" throttle cable for the E2 and different brake caliper stickers. The bike was manufactured in Japan, with parts also shipped to the US and assembled in Kawasaki's Nebraska plant for the US/Canada market to bypass the import tax levied on bikes over 700cc at the time by the US government, a protectionist move designed to save Harley-Davidson which was having financial problems at the time.

Although carrying GPz badges on the engine covers, it was only referred to by Kawasaki as the "750 Turbo"——the GPz tag was not mentioned. It is also referred to as the ZX750E. Development started in January 1981 as a turbocharged 650, then as a 750 from November 1981. When finally released, the stock bike made a claimed 112 hp (84 kW), had sports bike handling (for the day) and looked good – especially next to the other factory turbo bikes which were already on the market such as the Suzuki XN85, Honda CX500 and CX650 turbos, and the Yamaha Seca Turbo. Performance was on a par with the GPz1100, at around 11.2 seconds at 125 mph (201 km/h) for the quarter mile and 148 mph (238 km/h) flat out. One magazine even branded it the fastest bike they had ever tested, and Kawasaki ran some ads claiming it to be "The Fastest Production Motorcycle in the World". Jay "PeeWee" Gleason also recorded a 10.71 second quarter mile for Kawasaki to show that the turbo had genuine performance and was ahead of the other factory turbos.

It is widely considered to be the "best" factory turbo produced by the Japanese manufacturers.

To build the turbo, Kawasaki did not simply add fuel injection and a turbocharger to a standard GPz750 motorcycle engine. Some parts are exclusive to the "turbo", such as low-compression (7.8:1) pistons, stronger gearbox internals, a modified oil pan with an extra oil scavenge pump, a boost indicator, the characteristic aluminium "turbo"-spoiler, and a different Unitrak linkage (which gave it a firmer ride). The exhaust system and turbo (except silencers) were strengthened with different tube material, and some dimensions and frame geometry differed (28° rake instead of 26°). The rest came from conventionally aspirated 750 and the 1100 (front fork, brakes and some injection parts) and the entire cylinder head assembly from the KZ 650. The GPz Turbo used a Hitachi HT-10B turbocharger, positioned close to the headers, and electronic fuel injection.

List of Maserati vehicles

The following lists contains all Maserati production car, racing car and concept car models.

The total number of cars built of a certain model prior 2001 often is difficult to determine. Figures vary with the source and even Maserati states different numbers for the same model. This information therefore has been kept off the list.

List of Nissan engines

Nissan Motors uses a straightforward method of naming their automobile engines. letters identify the engine family. The next digits are the displacement in deciliters. The following letters identify features added and are order specific based on the type of feature.

The features/letters follow a specific order and not all features are necessarily listed all of the time.

The basic, common features follow this general order:

[Engine family character(s)] [two-digit engine displacement in deciliters] [1] [2] [3] [4] [5]

1 = Camshaft

2 = Fuel delivery

3 = Power adder

4 = 2nd power adder

5 = Special

A good example to start with is the Nissan VG30DETT engine. It belongs to the VG engine family, displaces 30 deciliters (3.0 liters), and the feature letters describe an engine with dual overhead camshafts, electronic port fuel injection and two turbo chargers.

The next example is the Nissan VQ35DE engine. It belongs to the VQ engine family and displaces 35 deciliters (3.5 liters). The feature letters describe an engine with dual overhead camshafts and electronic port fuel injection but leaves off any power adder descriptors because it is a naturally aspirated engine. The (single) turbocharged version of the VQ displaces 30 deciliters (3.0 liters) and is logically called the VQ30DET.

Not all features are necessarily described in the name. For example, the SR20VE engine has dual overhead camshafts but the variable valve lift design of the camshafts takes precedence in the naming scheme even though the "V" feature designation doesn't necessarily describe a DOHC arrangement. Many standard DOHC Nissan engines featured Variable Valve Timing, such as the VG30DETT, and as such do not use the "V" designation. "V" designation is only if the engine has variable valve lift.

A good example of an engine where not all of the feature designation spots are used is the L28ET engine. The two features listed being electronic port fuel injection designated with the "E" and the presence of a turbocharger designed with the letter "T". The engine has a single overhead camshaft so there is no "D" listed in the name; the camshaft type designation place being left out completely. Nissan does not have a letter designation for the SOHC configuration so the camshaft configuration type is assumed as SOHC if no letter is present.

Lastly, the MR16DDT engine has feature designations that describe an engine with dual overhead camshafts, direct cylinder fuel injection and a single turbocharger.

Maserati Biturbo

The Maserati Biturbo was a family of executive grand tourers produced by Italian automobile manufacturer Maserati between 1981 and 1994. The original Biturbo was a two-door, four-seater notchback coupé (of somewhat smaller dimensions than the BMW 3 Series of the time) featuring, as the name implies, a two-litre V6 engine with two turbochargers and a luxurious interior.

The car was designed by Pierangelo Andreani, Chief of Centro Stile Maserati up to 1981, somewhat influenced by the design of the then recent Quattroporte III (penned by Italdesign Giugiaro).

All Maserati models introduced from the Biturbo's inception in 1981 until 1997 were based on the original Biturbo architecture.

Programmed fuel injection

Programmed Fuel Injection, or PGMFI/PGM-FI, is the name given by Honda to a proprietary digital electronic fuel injection system for internal combustion engines which injects the right amount of fuel per cylinder based on specific engine data, available since the early 1980s. This system has been implemented on motorcycles, automobiles, and outboard motors.

Renault Laguna

The Renault Laguna is a large family car by European standards, and was produced by the French manufacturer Renault from 1993 to 2015. The first Laguna was launched in 1994, the second generation was launched in 2000, and the third generation was launched in October 2007.

The regular production Renault passenger models are unrelated to the concept car of the same name, the Laguna, a two seater roadster presented by the automaker during the 1990 Paris Motor Show. The name was also previously used from 1973 to 1976 by Chevrolet, for a top of the line Chevelle model, the Chevrolet Chevelle Laguna.

In February 2012, Renault discontinued the Laguna, Espace, Kangoo, Modus, and Wind lines in the United Kingdom. In 2015, the Laguna was replaced by the Talisman.


SPICA S.p.A. (Società Pompe Iniezione Cassani & Affini) was an Italian manufacturer of fuel injection systems.

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