Lancia smoking exhaust
Car - about the word
The word "car" is believed to originate from the Latin word carrus or carrum ("wheeled vehicle"), or the Middle English word carre (meaning cart, from Old North French). In turn, these originated from the Gaulish word karros (a Gallic chariot). The Gaulish language was a branch of the Brythoic language which also used the word Karr; the Brythonig language evolved into Welsh (and Gaelic) where 'Car llusg' (a drag cart or sledge) and 'car rhyfel' (war chariot) still survive.1112 It originally referred to any wheeled horse-drawn vehicle, such as a cart, carriage, or wagon.1314 "Motor car" is attested from 1895, and is the usual formal name for cars in British English.3 "Autocar" is a variant that is also attested from 1895, but that is now considered archaic. It literally means "self-propelled car".15 The term "horseless carriage" was used by some to refer to the first cars at the time that they were being built, and is attested from 1895.16
The word "automobile" is a classical compound derived from the Ancient Greek word autós (?????), meaning "self", and the Latin word mobilis, meaning "movable". It entered the English language from French, and was first adopted by the Automobile Club of Great Britain in 1897.17 Over time, the word "automobile" fell out of favour in Britain, and was replaced by "motor car". It remains a chiefly North American usage.18 An abbreviated form, "auto", was formerly a common way to refer to cars in English, but is now considered old-fashioned. The word is still used in some compound formations in American English, like "auto industry" and "auto mechanic".
The very first internal combustion engines
The very first internal combustion engines did not compress the mixture. The first part of the piston downstroke drew in a fuel-air mixture, then the inlet valve closed and, in the remainder of the down-stroke, the fuel-air mixture fired. The exhaust valve opened for the piston upstroke. These attempts at imitating the principle of a steam engine were very inefficient. There are a number of variations of these cycles, most notably the Atkinson and Miller cycles. The diesel cycle is somewhat different.
Split-cycle engines separate the four strokes of intake, compression, combustion and exhaust into two separate but paired cylinders. The first cylinder is used for intake and compression. The compressed air is then transferred through a crossover passage from the compression cylinder into the second cylinder, where combustion and exhaust occur. A split-cycle engine is really an air compressor on one side with a combustion chamber on the other.
Previous split-cycle engines have had two major problems?poor breathing (volumetric efficiency) and low thermal efficiency. However, new designs are being introduced that seek to address these problems.
The Scuderi Engine addresses the breathing problem by reducing the clearance between the piston and the cylinder head through various turbo charging techniques. The Scuderi design requires the use of outwardly opening valves that enable the piston to move very close to the cylinder head without the interference of the valves. Scuderi addresses the low thermal efficiency via firing after top dead centre (ATDC).
Firing ATDC can be accomplished by using high-pressure air in the transfer passage to create sonic flow and high turbulence in the power cylinder.
Economics of car use
The costs of car usage, which may include the cost of: acquiring the vehicle, repairs and auto maintenance, fuel, depreciation, driving time, parking fees, taxes, and insurance,5 are weighed against the cost of the alternatives, and the value of the benefits ? perceived and real ? of vehicle usage. The benefits may include on-demand transportation, mobility, independence and convenience.7 During the 1920s, cars had another benefit: "couples finally had a way to head off on unchaperoned dates, plus they had a private space to snuggle up close at the end of the night."48
Similarly the costs to society of encompassing car use, which may include those of: maintaining roads, land use, air pollution, road congestion, public health, health care, and of disposing of the vehicle at the end of its life, can be balanced against the value of the benefits to society that car use generates. The societal benefits may include: economy benefits, such as job and wealth creation, of car production and maintenance, transportation provision, society wellbeing derived from leisure and travel opportunities, and revenue generation from the tax opportunities. The ability for humans to move flexibly from place to place has far-reaching implications for the nature of societies.8