The Kia Rio - Why Gasoline Direct Injection makes it both efficient and peppy
Well, for anyone that’s been following the Kia brand you should be well-aware that direct injection is the name of the game. The speed factor received from the 1.6-litre gasoline direct injection engine equipped on the standard Rio offers an impressive 137 horsepower from this highly-effective 4-cylinder piece of technological mastery.
The effectiveness of the engine is further complemented by the ECO efficiency button which turns on the Active ECO system and adjusts the engine and transmission for optimal efficiency – a fact backed up by Stop & Go technology that automatically deactivates the engine when the vehicle has come to a stop – even when using the brakes – which, when released, will automatically restart.
Still, let’s get back to direct injection shall we?
While you may be thinking that the concept is relatively new you would be mistaken – with the invention of gasoline direct injection being credited to Leon Levavasseur in 1902, who, as it happens, was also the inventor of the V8 engine configuration.
The technology was designed to be used in the original Antoinette Company’s V-form aero engines, beginning its life in use on the Antoinette 8V which went on to fly from 1906 through to the bankruptcy of the firm in 1910 – but not before releasing the world’s first V16 engine, which, using Levavasseur’s direct injection technology was capable of producing 100 horsepower and flew on the Antoinette VII monoplane in 1907.
Over the years that followed there would be a number of advancements in direct injection technology, including the Hesselman engine, conceived and developed by Jonas Hesselman in 1925, which used ultra-lean burn principles to inject fuel towards the end of the compression stroke and ignite it with a spark plug.
The first example of direct injection technology applied in the automotive sector arrived under the guidance of Hans Scherenber, who introduced it in 1952 in the form of a two-stroke car. This system had been designed by Bosch and was, essentially, a high-pressure diesel direct-injection pump with an intake throttle valve. Showing a great success in application other manufacturers followed shortly thereafter and continued to be distributed lightly across platforms.
That is, until the late ‘90s and early ‘00s when there was a sudden resurgence of direct injection vehicles, including, surprise, surprise, the outstanding Kia Rio. Thanks to an improved burst of energy, the latest generation of GDI engines offer more flexibility during the combustion cycle when fuel is added – improving, generally, both efficiency and acceleration potential.