The writing is on the wall for the good old combustion engine. In couple decades electric cars will outnumber fuel burners by order of magnitude. Eventually fossil fuel burning cars will face legal extinction and only mechanical engines left on the road will be grandfathered collectible classics.
There is, however, continued work in the area of combustion engines, and one particular German startup is making big promises for the sunset years of this no longer much loved technology.
According to a Bloomberg article, MWI Micro Wave Ignition AG, small startup from a small German town of Empfingen, is developing new kind of ignition system that doesn't use spark or high pressure, but ignites fuel with pulsed microwaves. This allows engine to run cooler and produce less heat. Company is citing efficiency increase by up to 30% and emissions reduction by up to 80%.
These are revolutionary figures that would extend useful lifespan of car engine by at least a decade, and would render all "pre-microwave" engines as obsolete as "clattering" pre-chamber diesel or "never-running-right" carburetted petrol engines.
It would also yield at least one new generation of high performance turbo engines for the likes of Porsche, BMW, Audi and Mercedes whose latest crop of twin turbo direct-injection V-eights are already producing incredible power and efficiency, and so far seemed like the last pinnacle of piston engines before the inevitable and already rapidly implementing electrification.