Aeronautical and Automotive Engineering

Working with business

Lotus Group

Loughborough University has a long-term collaborative research partnership with Lotus Engineering which has recently been extended to develop engine combustion technologies with funding for the Group Lotus Senior Research Fellowship. This means that Lotus has now committed to over 14 years of continuous research with Loughborough.

The partnership enables Lotus and Loughborough to work together along with key players in the sector to address the very real issues facing global vehicle manufacturers: how to achieve increased fuel economy and reduced emissions with acceptable system cost.

State-of-the-art experimental diagnostics and a high speed optical engine with variable valve timing have been established for studying the in-cylinder air-fuel mixing and combustion for advanced gasoline engine technologies.

Project Hotfire

‘Hotfire’, a joint project between Loughborough University and University College London (UCL), together with Lotus Engineering and Continental Powertrain, won The Engineer Technology and Innovation Automotive Award for 2008.

This exciting project developed an advanced gasoline direct injection combustion concept with variable valve timing that cut fuel consumption by 15%, reduced emissions without sacrificing power and performance.

The same combustion concept engine was adopted by Lotus Engineering and Continental Powertrain in a joint venture – the Low CO2 Project – to deliver a three cylinder, turbo-charged, mild-hybrid engine. When installed in an Opel Astra demonstrator vehicle this system resulted in significant improvements in real world performance, fuel economy and CO2 emissions.