Robert Lutz is to joint the board of Transonic Combustion, the company has said. Having worked for Ford, Chrysler and BMW, Lutz recently retired after nine years as vice chairman (and unoffical 'car czar') of General Motors.

"For the foreseeable future, the internal combustion engine will remain the dominant propulsion system for automobiles," Lutz said, "and there is still a lot of room to improve its efficiency. Customers and manufacturers want better fuel economy, lower emissions and a great vehicle experience all at an attractive price. Transonic's new supercritical fuel injection technology can greatly improve engine efficiency and potentially become the new industry standard."

"Bob brings to Transonic's board of directors a lifetime of automotive experience and a passion for personal transportation," said Brian Ahlborn, president and CEO, Transonic Combustion. "He joins our board at just the right time, as our technology development and customer traction are progressing rapidly. As our mission is to bring significantly improved efficiency to internal combustion engines, Bob will clearly insist that this is done with the same excellence that has characterised his career."

Lutz was CEO of Exide from 1998 to 2001, before returning to GM. Previously with Chrysler Corp for 12 years, he was vice chairman, president, chief operations officer and executive vice president. Previously, he served for 12 years with Ford, three years with BMW and eight years with GM.