Engine improvements 'saving fuel'

Experts have hailed new technologies that have resulted in more efficient engines, saying they bring much-needed relief to drivers hit by soaring fuel prices.

Motorists faced with ever increasingcar insurance and petrol costs are able to make crucial savings thanks to engines with high fuel efficiency and low emissions, says car price expert CAP.

A study by the group has found that over the past eight years the average engine in a small family car has shrunk 4% in size, but its power output has increased 12%.

The combined cycle fuel consumption has reduced 16% over the period and average CO2 emissions have gone down by 18%.

Smaller petrol engines are delivering more power and torque due to improvements such as addition of superchargers or turbochargers or a combination of both, said David Saville, head of CAP's new vehicle data unit.

New types of materials and lubricants are also helping to boost engine performance by lowering internal friction, the end result of which is improved fuel consumption and CO2 figures, he said.

"The automotive industry has made massive strides in improving the efficiency of engines and this is paying dividends for hard-pressed motorists who need more than ever to keep spiralling fuel costs in check," Mr Saville added.

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