For 2017, we embarked on a new challenge to build the i20 Coupe WRC engine entirely in-house. Through learning and consolidation years, we expanded our knowledge in every area. With the addition of Customer Racing, the ability to develop high-performance engines in Alzenau has become a crucial part of our sustain growth. One of the cornerstones of this work was to establish the Engine Dyno Department.
Purposefully, there are no specialisations in this dedicated team. Whether it is the service, maintenance, build or running, everyone can perform every task and works together to get the job done. At the end of the day, the Engine Dyno team says with confidence that everyone has brought their own part to the success of our powerful engines.
It is not possible to learn the traits required for dyno testing from a textbook. Experience is what matters because every engine is different. Our meticulous technicians must be able to report whether a change or new part will deliver enough performance to justify the subsequent steps to implement it.
Much of what makes the Engine Dyno a powerful tool is the ability to recreate real-world conditions in a controlled environment. The dyno uses the same settings for a car such as water, oil and other running aspects. But that is also a double-edged sword. A test can be invalidated if the controls are not the same as the comparison data.
This is why the team works closely with the Engine Workshop on the details of the construction as well as the Electronics Department. It takes around two hours to set up the engine and perform a short test to match the previous conditions. Basic tuning for a new motor is then another two hours while some programs are longer.
Even in the development stage of the i20 Coupe WRC, our resourceful colleagues were involved with the Design team, Engineers and connected areas such as Transmission Design. By taking care to spend extra time in the dyno, engine testing is more efficient.
As an engine matures it can become harder to find big performance gains, however our coworkers are patient. Improvements of 10-15 horsepower (HP) are possible in the early stages of production, while after a year of rallies even small gains for a competitive unit keeps morale high. The Engine Dyno team’s resilience is as strong as the engine itself!