The BMW Group and DaimlerChrysler AG are expanding their collaboration in hybrid drive systems and will participate as equal partners in the development of a mild hybrid module for rear-wheel-drive premium segment cars.
Both carmakers plan to commercialize the new module within the next three years. This new collaboration between BMW and DaimlerChrysler extends the cooperation at the Hybrid Development Center in Troy, Michigan—which also includes GM—on the development of the two-mode full hybrid systems.
In July 2006, Dr. Weber said that DaimlerChrysler would commercialize an S-class mild hybrid in 2008, and that further mild-hybrid models are in development for subsequent years. (Earlier post.)
Earlier, at the 2005 Frankfurt auto show, DaimlerChrysler introduced gasoline and diesel Mercedes mild-hybrid concept cars based on the S-Class. The “Direct Hybrid” was a V6 gasoline hybrid that uses spray-guided direct injection (GDI) to optimize efficiency of the engine (related post). The “Bluetec Hybrid” used a Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) system to meet future diesel emissions requirements. Both use the same mild hybrid transmission.
The core of that mild hybrid system was a 6-kW electric motor installed between the engine and the 7G-TRONIC automatic transmission’s converter. Depending on the driving situation, it functions as a starter or a generator, and provides a tractive boost on startup—up to 250 Nm—and at other points during operation.(Earlier post.)
The decision to jointly develop hybrid drive components will allow DaimlerChrysler and BMW to extend their range of drive systems for rear-wheel-drive premium segment cars. Both manufacturers will benefit from the pooling of development capacity, which will make for faster commercialization, and from improved cost efficiencies due to higher unit volumes. The components will be individually adapted by the two companies to the different character of the two brands.
Cooperation in the field of innovative drive systems makes good sense not only from a technical but also from an economic standpoint. It will help to strengthen the competitiveness of two German manufacturers whose requirements in the premium segment are very similar. This is a segment where rapid commercialization of drive technologies offering high efficiency, performance and comfort is particularly important.—Dr Thomas Weber, Member of the Board of Management of DaimlerChrysler
This collaboration will allow us to broaden our technological base in the area of future hybrid drive systems for the premium class and will allow the two companies to pool their innovative resources. The distinct identities of the different brands will not be affected, since the relevant technologies will be tailored to fit the specific character of the different vehicles.—Dr Klaus Draeger, Member of the Board of Management of BMW AG
Both technically and geographically, the core development work on the proposed mild hybrid module will take place in Germany, at the relevant engine and drivetrain development sites. A common project framework will ensure close integration of the development teams and will harness the combined knowledge base of both manufacturers.