Mike Stevens | Jun 14, 2009

FOR THE MOST PART, your garden-variety LPG system isn’t synonymous with tyre-smoking or track days. HSV would like to change all that; its engineers have been busily working on an integrated LPG system to add some environmental and 'hip-pocket' benefits to its high-performance catalogue.

The HSV system, dubbed LPi (liquid propane injection), takes an advanced approach to dual-fuel conversion. Forget what you know about traditional LPG, this is a world apart from the add-on systems commonly seen running Australia’s taxi fleet.

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The benefits of LPG are simply too good to ignore. The fuel itself is around half the price of regular unleaded and the octane rating is higher than even premium fuel.

CO2 emissions are also lower; all of which means HSV has a ball-tearing engine on its hands which is not only cheap to run but also kinder to the environment.

Conversely, the specific energy content of LPG is lower than petrol, which means fuel consumption is tipped to rise by about 10 to 15 percent. Lower running costs will make this a suitable compromise to live with (you'd expect).

The new LPi system is still under development, but essentially it adds eight additional injectors to the inlet manifold, which deliver fuel to the engine in its liquid form. Previously, LPG has been delivered to the engine as a gas, making it harder to precisely control the fuel-air mixture.

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The LPG injectors to be used in the system are still in the prototype stage and will be unique to HSV (with no other manufacturer, either factory or after-market LPG, offering such a system as yet).

To ensure that HSV owners still enjoy the performance potential from their V8 bruisers, the system is designed to seamlessly switch back to petrol power above 4800 rpm.

HSV’s LPi system also includes a separate fuel return line to send unburnt fuel back to the LPG tank, eradicating the gaseous smell often associated with an LPG conversion. Other traditional LPG issues like high running temperatures, burnt valves and poor cold-weather operation should also be but a distant memory with the LPi system.

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While HSV is developing the LPi system independently of Holden, much of the engineering should be adaptable to other GM engines and with growing concern over CO2 emissions the export potential for the technology is high.

For now though, HSV is focused on delivering the system to Australian consumers first.

HSV hasn’t yet hinted at an expected cost or arrival date for the new system but watch this space for more info as it comes to hand.

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