By Matthew Henry
SYDNEY: Victa today unveiled its next-generation two-stroke lawnmower engine, the Eco Torque, which the company claims delivers greatly reduced exhaust emissions, better fuel economy and more power than the current two-stroke.
According to Victa, the Eco Torque motor, which was developed over four years in partnership with the University of Technology Sydney (UTS), uses 20 per cent less fuel, reduces harmful emissions by 30 per cent and delivers five per cent more power than the current two-stroke.
Despite continuing hardship for lawnmower manufacturers with the drought showing no sign of relenting, Victa unfortunately managed to pick a rare rainy Sydney day for the debut of its new motor.
The irony was not lost on Victa’s CEO, Andrew King.
“If I could make it rain every time I launched a product I would launch one every day,” said King at this morning’s product unveiling at the PowerHouse Museum in Ultimo, Sydney.
Victa donated the first Eco Torque-equipped lawn mower to the PowerHouse – a keen collector of Victa mowers with over 30 in its collection including one of the original “Peach Tin” models built in the 1950s by Mervyn Victa Richardson in his backyard workshop.
Victa hopes that the Eco Torque will put the company one step closer to resuming exports to the European market, which has been off-limits for most of the company’s models due to restrictive emission standards.
King also noted the growing competition from Chinese manufacturing as a driver for developing an efficient, environmentally friendly and powerful motor to offer a point of difference.
“The challenge was to create a two-stroke engine with lower emissions without sacrificing toque or the inherent simplicity of the two-stroke engine design,” said King.
“Changes to the carburettor, muffler and cast iron block have resulted in a greener two-stroke engine with lower fuel consumption, substantially lower emissions and slightly improved torque, which was an unexpected bonus.”
The Eco Torque will initially be fitted to the premium Mustang mower from next month, and will be rolled out to the rest of Victa’s two-stroke range in the lead up to Spring 2007.
Richardson developed Victa’s first two-stroke motor in 1955, and today the Australian made Victa two-stroke is the only motor produced specifically for lawnmowers.