There are many articles and papers published about the developments in engine downsizing as an effective means in reducing vehicle fuel consumption while improving engine performance. The increase in performance of gasoline turbo charged direct injected (GTDI) engines, in conjunction with diverse vehicle platform performance targets (i.e. towing capability) and higher gear transmissions pushes the engine to operate with higher torques at lower engine speeds. This operating condition has increased the propensity of an abnormal combustion event, known as Low Speed Pre-Ignition (LSPI) or Stochastic Pre-Ignition (SPI). The power cylinder unit (PCU) components exposed to this pre-ignition event can experience failure. The engine manufacturers, as well as MAHLE, continue to ensure engine and PCU component survivability against LSPI by performing life cycle robustness testing. MAHLE’s research of LSPI continues to focus on the robustness of PCU components in the presence of LSPI events, as well as investigating design developments that have the potential to minimize the propensity of LSPI to occur. The test procedure development for evaluating natural LSPI events will be presented. Various test results and parameter sensitivities that were documented during this procedure development, along with the many challenges associated with engine performance repeatability will be discussed. Parameters that were found to influence LSPI propensity, as well as parameters that were found not to influence LSPI propensity will be discussed.

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