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high intensity ignition systems

This is somewhat of a general question... Just how effective are those 
"high intensity ignition systems"?

By the way, while browsing some old mags (well, one month old), I saw an 
article in C&D (Car & Passenger) by Csaba Csere regarding the spark plug. 
FOr people who don't give a damn about C&D, here's what it says (without 
regard to copyright law):

"The most unusual was a novel new spark plug revealed on a turbocharged 
four-cylinder engine. Imagine a spark plug with a beefy center electrode 
and no side electrode of any kind. Then imagine a piston with a conical 
projection i the middle of the piston crown. When energized by Sabb's 
40,000 volt direct-ignition system, the spark leaps from the spark plug 
to the tip of this mini-Matterhorn on the piston.

"This approach puts a large and unobstructed spark in the very center of 
the combustion chamger. Also, as the ignition timing advances, the spark 
gap grows from 1.5mm to as much as 8.0mm because the piston has not risen 
as far on its compression stroke. This longer spark is exactly what is 
needed to reliably ignite the air/fuel mixture during high-rpm or 
light-load running. The more reliable combustion allows more exhaust-gas 
recirculation without danger of misfire, improving both emissions and 
fuel consumption."

Now, this is one heck of idea -- even by Saab standard (well, this IS 
Audi list (: ). Why doesn't anyone (er... Audi?) use it?

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