Having won various races from NASCAR to Indy to Formula One in the '60s, American racer Dan Gurney is certainly no stranger to the internal combustion engine.
Known for ingenious solutions for building race cars (such as the Gurney Flap), Gurney has set his eyes on reinventing the four stroke engine we've all come to know. Understanding the fact that conventional internal combustion engines dissipate energy in various ways such as heat and vibration, he aims to create an engine layout that makes the four-stroke cycle much more efficient.
That said, Gurney has now patented the 'Moment Canceling Four-stroke' (MC4S) engine. It mainly features a modular design with a two cylinder configuration that does away with a conventional crankshaft. Yes, instead of the crankshaft linking all the pistons together, the MC4S will have two counter-rotating crankshafts mounted in a parallel manner. The idea here is to have both crankshafts balance each other instead of having one shaft with counterweights on each end. With the crankshafts self-balancing each other, vibration is greatly reduced and thus wear and stress on the motor should be reduced as well.
Another innovation of the MC4S is its cylinder head, where a unique valve head with twin intakes per cylinder is used. These intake ports were placed in such a way that optimizes the 'Squish Effect'. The term “Squish” pertains to the inward motion of the air-fuel mixture going to the center of the combustion chamber.
Its pistons also see unique design in the form of having an over-square layout with the piston bore being larger than the stroke. Having a 5.0 inch bore and a 2.8 inch stroke, the motor will displace 1.8 liters in total.
Given its vibration-eliminating characteristics, the two cylinder prototype may find its home in a motorbike for further testing. Eventually however, Gurney plans to develop 4, 6, and 8 cylinder variants of his unique engine and hopefully be able to sell it to a car manufacturer for mass production.