Internal combustion engine
The internal combustion engine (ICE) is used mainly for conventional vehicles and IndustrialMechs. Its power output is less than a fusion engine of similar mass, meaning an ICE needs to be heavier in order to have the same engine rating as a comparable fusion engine. In fact, it has the greatest weight-to-rating ratio of all the engines available. Internal combustion engines cannot power energy weapons without power amplifiers, unlike fusion engines.
The saving grace of the ICE is its cost. Since they are considerably cheaper and easier to manufacture than fusion engines, the internal combustion engine is used in the many conventional vehicles that tend to form the backbone of a planetary militia.
The ICE is generally more robust than the typical fusion & fission engines, and if shot at in a combat capacity whilst mounted in a 'Mech, the engine class—while damaged—will not contribute to overheat of the 'Mech where this damage was taken. However, this comes at the risk that the engine, or fuel powering said engine, can explode when hit. A single strike to the engine of a common combat vehicle is usually enough to completely immobilize the unit, however.
Many internal combustion engines can use practically any combustible material as viable fuel. It is worth noting that, due to the nature of an ICE, they must be used in an environment with a suitable atmosphere, unlike a fuel cell or more expensive fusion or fission engine.
Internal combustion engines are manufactured on the following planets:
- As explained in the TechManual, turbine engines are also internal combustion engines.
- This article refers to a common object and addresses the object as a common noun. The preferred terms are "internal combustion engine" and "ICE" (except on section titles & table headings, where "Internal Combustion Engine" is favored).
- Total Warfare, p. 126, "Mech Critical Hits"