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Mahle MJI technology sparking ignition advances

  • Magazine Article
  • 19AUTP08_07
Published January 01, 2019 by SAE International in United States
  • English

Engine-development supplier Mahle believes pre-chamber combustion technology for production gasoline engines has a promising future.

Any technology transfer between the racetrack and the road is usually a one-way street, with motor racing leading and humble production machinery way back on the innovative grid. But just occasionally, there is a role reversal-and Mahle Powertrain demonstrates it with its pre-chamber Jet Ignition (MJI) system.

Currently used in high-level motorsport engines, MJI is not yet being produced for volume vehicles, but Ben Hibberd, Mahle principal development engineer in the U.K., clarified the sequence of events: “Our first motorsport project-using a ‘passive’ pre-chamber technology to improve burn rates and reduce the likelihood of detonation-was about five years after Mahle in the U.S. started work on it as a development project. In essence, you could consider road and track applications were developed in parallel, because they share a lot of the technological features. But most of the advantages, which were so beneficial to motorsport, had already been demonstrated for regular road use applications.”