In light of all of the V4 discussion surrounding Motus, here’s some interesting engine news from Swissauto and Polaris. Richard, one of The Kneeslider’s readers, pointed me to this press release I missed from back in February. Polaris Industries acquired the powersports portion of Swissauto, a company that designs and develops high-performance and high-efficiency engines and some pretty interesting vehicles. Polaris has been using engines from Swissauto in their snowmobiles and previously in personal watercraft. Looking over their engine lineup, it’s a little hard to say what engines would be included or excluded from the powersports segment sold to Polaris and whether it goes beyond the engines Polaris already uses since the engines seem to have a lot of different applications depending on configuration.
Swissauto works closely with Weber Motor, a German company that develops many interesting engines. It’s fascinating to compare their MPE (MultiPurpose Engine) V4 to the Motus KMV4, the MPE V4 is a 70 degree dual overhead cam 4 valve, the engine’s displacement can vary from 1.8 to 2.2 liter with an output from 150 to 300 HP. The base engine is 75 kilograms or 165 pounds. It’s 20.2 inches wide. They also promote their “Unique V8-like sound.” Looks like there’s some activity in the compact V4 engine arena, though Weber didn’t go the pushrod route, this V4 is actually based on their OHC parallel twin engine used by Polaris. Although the MPE V4 is considered an automotive, marine or recreational vehicle engine, after all, their test vehicle was a Chrysler Crossfire, why not repurpose the 4 banger for motorcycle use? There is absolutely no indication of any efforts to do that but with Polaris already owning a portion of Swissauto, perhaps they could find a use for that V4 in a 2 wheeler.
From the MPE V4 spec sheet:
TheWeber Motor V-4 takes advantage of commonality with the new MPE-850 design by sharing the cylinder head, twin mono-block aluminium cylinders and combining them with a new 70 degree V-4 aluminium crankcase and a stroked crankshaft for an increase in displacement to two liters. This provides for an incredibly compact and lightweight solution providing 200hp. Marine, automotive and recreational powersport versions will be available with series delivery planned in 2010.
Recreational powersports? Like I said, is this part of the package Polaris picked up?
From the Polaris press release:
In addition to recreational vehicle engines, swissauto also has a strong tradition of developing top-tier racing engines for World Motorcycle GP. The company’s V4 2-stroke 500 cc engine drove 29 wins, 41 Poles and 3 World Championships during the 1990s. A completely new racing bike was also developed by swissauto and competed aggressively against larger Japanese OEMs during the late 1990s. This bike achieved the pole position twice during its first season of racing and ranked in the top ten several times.
“Swissauto has industry leading powertrain design and development capabilities and a strong understanding of turbo-charging and high-performance engines,” said Polaris Chief Executive Officer, Scott Wine. “This acquisition directly supports our stated objectives to be the best in powersports and a global market leader.”
Polaris acquired the powersports portion of swissauto and will continue to operate in the current swissauto facility located in Burgdorf, Switzerland. The automotive division of swissauto was not involved in this acquisition and will continue to operate autonomously.