French Car Company Renault is on a downsizing mission, but before you get all stroppy, it isn’t all that bad.

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It’s called the Energy dCi 130 and it’s a highly efficient package featuring Renault’s ‘square’ architecture from their experience in Formula One, in addition to over 30 patents for this size engine displacement.

It’s also the world’s most powerful engine of its size, combining performance and fuel efficiency with ultra low CO2 emissions.

Some of those advanced technologies include:

•Stop/Start system with deceleration/regenerative braking

•Cold-loop, low-pressure exhaust gas recirculation (EGR). Renault is the first car manufacturer in Europe to use this technology

•Thermal management technology

•Variable displacement oil pump

•Variable swirl technology

•A multi-injection system designed to optimise particulate filter regeneration.

The 1.6-litre dCi 130 powerplant develops just on 97 kW (130hp) and 320 Nm of torque from 1750 rpm. Up to 80 percent of peak torque is available from 1500 rpm.

Fuel consumption has been measured at 4.4L/100km and emissions of 115g/km in the Scenic and Grand Scenic, which makes those vehicles the segment’s most fuel efficient MPVs.

Reliability too is said to be impeccable with the timing chain and particulate filter being maintenance free.

The key figures of this project are as interesting as the engine itself.

•Investment - €230 million

•Project duration – 32 months

•Number of components – 246 (75 percent new)

•Staff – 160 engineers and technicians

•Bench testing – 15,000 hours (simulated a whole engine life cycle of 300,000 hours/20 years)

•Track testing – 700,000 km

The technology transfer from F1 to the Energy dCi includes the so-called ‘square’ architecture, which essentially means that larger diameter valves can be used in the cylinder head, which of course favours performance.

Transverse water flow is a cooling technique that is common in Formula One, but Renault has combined this technique with a double water jacket design for the cylinder head. The system cools the cylinder head effectively without the need for water to flow around the combustion chambers. This feature allows the engine’s power output to be raised.

The Energy dCi engine also takes advantage of Super-finishing and special surface treatments to reduce internal friction. It’s called UFLEX oil control ring technology, and Formula One have been using it for years to achieve the best compromise between efficiency and friction.

With the downsizing of powertrains becoming a necessary evil for the future of automotive design and development, Renault gives hope to the countless millions who still enjoy their time behind the wheel.