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Ricardo and Piaggio develop twin-cylinder turbodiesel engine family for light commercial vehicles

Piaggio has designed and developed a new twin-cylinder turbodiesel engine—the first engine of this type to be certified Euro 5 emissions compliant—in partnership with Ricardo. The engine is part of a family of new engines spanning Piaggio light commercial vehicles across international markets.

The engine family includes at the premium end a full Euro 5 compliant and diesel particulate filter (DPF) equipped 1.2-liter twin cylinder turbocharged, common-rail-equipped engine targeted at European customers. This product delivers 47 kW with low fuel consumption and quoted CO2 emissions in the Piaggio Porter light van of 127 g/km.

The new Piaggio engine family is intended for application across the Piaggio light commercial vehicle range of products in European and Asian markets. The new diesel engines will enable the Piaggio Group to offer customers in Europe and Asia an even broader choice of modern commercial vehicles delivering performance combined with low fuel consumption and emissions.

For more cost-sensitive markets such as India, the same engine family will be offered in a naturally aspirated form compliant with Bharat stage 4 regulations (the Indian Euro 4 equivalent standard) in the Piaggio Ape Truk Plus vehicle range.

Ricardo is a long-standing partner to the Italian manufacturer in both the supply of engineering software as well as support for product development programs.



I suppose a light van does not need to be as quiet as a car, but once the engine gets established, you can bet someone will try it, perhaps as a range extender for a PHEV.

Also, people may figure out how to make twin cylinder engines quieter, and their use could spread.


These tiny sized commercial vehicles are common all over the world but are little known in the US and Canada. The Ford Transit Connect introduced in the US market about a year ago is perhaps 50% larger. Most US and Canadian businesses deploying a light business vehicle use a vehicle far larger than needed for the task, wasting fuel and resources.


We could see more innovative engines for the EREV market in the coming years. The function is well defined, it needs to turn a large alternator with controllable loads.

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