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Reno’s performance diesel


With a background in Formula 1 and indeed a very solid engine manufacturing reputation, Renault is certainly on a bit of a roll when it comes to the mechanical side of things. One type of engine that it is not renowned for,is diesel powertrains.

With the aim of changing this perception, the French manufacturer has taken a crack at producing a high-performance oil-burner.

The engine is called the Energy dCi 160 and is the first 1.6-litre diesel to feature twin turbocharging. The results are impressive, with 119kW and a massive 380Nm along with an estimated 25% efficiency improvement when compared with a 2.0-litre unit.

The two turbos perform different functions in the vehicle. The first is a low-inertia turbo that provides high low-end torque and mid-range acceleration.The second turbo takes over at the higher end of the rev range and produces the bulk of the power at faster engine speeds to ensure linear acceleration right up to the red line.

Some of the technology seen in the engine has been taken from Renault’s F1 experience, especially in terms of cooling and friction reduction. The transverse water-flow system permits faster and more efficient cooling of the combustion chamber.U-Flex piston rings adapt to changes in the form of the cylinder walls resulting from fluctuations in temperature and pressure to yield the optimum compromise between efficiency and friction. There is also what is called DLC or Diamond-Like Carbonsuperfinishing of the cam followers, which also reduces friction.

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