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Hyundai and Kia have filed a patent with the United States Patent and Trademark Office for a high-compression, twin-supercharged four-cylinder engine.

The patent, which was first filed on June 19th, 2017 and published this week, is for an engine “including one or more cylinders for generating a driving torque, a plurality of intake lines for supplying external air to one or more cylinders and one or more electric superchargers disposed on, or in, the plurality of intake lines.”

The description of the engine goes on to explain the drawbacks of a traditional turbocharger, such as turbo lag, weight and limited compression ratio. By comparison, the twin electric supercharger setup is lighter and allows for increased responsiveness and higher compression, it says. The patent also explains how the output of the electric superchargers is limited to the “low and middle-speed region” and how they can help provide strong low-end torque.

Hyundai also says it is “possible to increase design freedom of a vehicle and reduce manufacturing costs of the vehicle by removing a mechanical turbocharger having a relatively high volume and weight.” The engine described and shown here incorporates cylinder deactivation as well, which would operate in low-speed and low-load conditions in order to save fuel.

It sounds as though Hyundai is looking to achieve a similar goal to what Mazda is with its supercharged spark compression ignition SkyactivX engine – providing a fuel efficient four-cylinder with a lean burn and high compression ratio that is fun to drive. There’s no guarantee this engine will ever see the light of day, but it’s interesting to see Hyundai taking an interest in internal combustion engine technology as the rest of the automotive industry focuses intently on hybrids, plug-ins and pure EVs.

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