Automotive technical news, views, tests and information
Sunday 20 April 2014 • 18:23 GMT • Last update 16:46

Troubled by terminology? Annoyed by acronyms? The Cartechnical Jargonbuster has all the answers.

In this glossary you will find hundreds of automotive terms, buzzwords, abbreviations and jargon explained in English. If you're confused by automotive jargon, you'll find all the help you need here.

Start by choosing the first letter of the term you want to find:

Atkinson cycle
Andrew Noakes   
Sunday, 29 January 2012 16:03

The Atkinson cycle is a variation of the conventional (Otto) cycle which most engines use. It is used in some naturally aspirated engines, and is similar to the Miller cycle, used in some forced induction engines.

Atkinson cycle engines are designed with a high geometric compression ratio, but the intake valve timing is altered so that the valves are left open after the piston starts to rise on the compression stroke. This allows some intake charge to flow back into the induction system, effectively reducing the compression ratio and pumping losses. But the geometry of the engine means that the expansion ratio is high, leading to high thermal efficiency.

Because the full cylinder capacity is not being used by the Atkinson cycle, its maximum power is less than the Otto cycle.

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