Mahle Unveils New Modular Hybrid Powertrain

Automotive supplier Mahle Powertrain has unveiled a compact, integrated modular hybrid drive it claims will suit a wide range of vehicles.

The system incorporates a choice of two- or three-cylinder, turbocharged gasoline engines coupled to the electrified powertrain claiming low cost, lightweight compact dimensions compared to current offerings. The unit’s gasoline engine employs Mahle’s passive jet ignition system designed to increase ignition energy available in the main combustion chamber through use of a small pre-chamber.

This generates hot ignition jets, which claims a more efficient, stable combustion within the cylinder, enabling a safe increase in compression ratio and a lean mixture using air or exhaust gas recirculation. The company claims testing has shown a 10%-20% increase in thermal efficiency with compared to baseline modern engines.

Mahle says its new powertrain operates a dual-mode hybrid arrangement, combining the best features of both series and parallel hybrid architectures. When battery charge is high, the vehicle can operate as a pure EV, whereas when low and at slow driving speeds it can switch to series hybrid mode. At higher vehicle speeds, the combustion engine can be connected directly to the wheels, in a parallel hybrid arrangement.

Dr Martin Berger, Mahle Powertrain’s engineering director, said: “The need for vehicle manufacturers to comply with the EU’s legislative target of fleet average CO2 emissions of 59.4 g/km by 2030 requires dynamic technology development and implementation. Electrification is leading the way as the industry’s chosen technology to achieve this and MMHP could provide a timely head-start for manufacturers on the brink of new vehicle development.”

— Paul Myles is a seasoned automotive journalist based in London. Follow him on Twitter @Paulmyles_

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