BMW's hardcore, track-focused M4 GTS makes almost 500 horsepower thanks to a water-injection technology co-developed with Bosch. And compared to the 425 horsepower you get in the regular M4, that's a pretty big increase. Now, , Bosch is offering that same technology to other automakers.
Water injection works by spritzing the intake manifold with water vapor. This lowers the temperature and reduces the likelihood of engine knock, resulting in both better fuel economy and more power. And while BMW was clearly focused on the extra horses, Bosch sees it more as a way to reduce fuel consumption.
The company claims its water injection system can increase fuel efficiency by as much as 13 percent, as well as reduce carbon emissions by four percent. But as Bosch's global products manager Fabiana Piazza told Autocar, those gains are only really seen in forced-induction engines with a high specific output—at least 107 horsepower per liter.
. It was first used in airplanes and later found its way into race cars. Oldsmobile then used it on the 1962 Jetfire, and Saab later offered it on the1978 99 Turbo S.
It will be interesting to see which companies decide to license the tech and how popular it eventually becomes. After all, even though water-injection isn't necessarily a new concept, who wouldn't want an engine with more power and better gas mileage?