MAHLE has developed a new, fully integrated and modular hybrid drive that can be tailored to suit a wide range of vehicle applications. The MAHLE Modular Hybrid Powertrain (MMHP) is a fully integrated, plug-in hybrid drive that incorporates a highly efficient 2- or 3-cylinder, turbocharged gasoline engine featuring the latest technologies from MAHLE.
In comparison with established hybrid technologies it is more cost-efficient, more compact, and lighter, MAHLE says.
MAHLE’s new modular hybrid powertrain can be tailored to suit a wide range of applications.
The performance of the electric powertrain used in MMHP reduces the requirements for the combustion engine, enabling the development of a cost-optimized “Dedicated Hybrid Engine (DHE).” The engine concept was designed exclusively for hybrid applications and benefits from the latest innovations made with the passive MAHLE Jet Ignition (MJI) system.
The passive MJI system consists of a small prechamber, which houses a conventional spark plug fitted within the engine’s combustion chamber. It generates hot radical jets, which create a very short combustion event within the engine’s cylinder, thus enabling a high compression ratio and a high exhaust gas recirculation rate, which combined yield reduced fuel consumption.
The use of port fuel injection (PFI), a single overhead camshaft (SOHC) without variable valve timing control, and simple two-valve per-cylinder technology serves to minimize the costs.
The dual-mode hybrid arrangement has been selected for the MMHP, as it combines the best features of both series and parallel hybrid architectures. It allows for flexible vehicle operation, while providing optimal NVH behavior.
When battery SOC is high, the vehicle can operate as a pure EV, whereas when SOC is low and at slow driving speeds it can switch to series hybrid mode. At higher vehicle speeds, however, the combustion engine can be connected directly to the wheels, in a parallel hybrid arrangement.
Mated to a gearbox with customizable transmission ratios, the engine can run flexibly at any given vehicle speed. Options for 1-, 2-, and 4-speed transmissions are available, depending on application requirements. As a result, the fully integrated, electric traction motor is directly connected to the wheels at all times, facilitating uniform performance and a dynamic driving experience with uninterrupted torque delivery.
The motor can also be designed with different power/torque outputs. Coupled with optimized battery sizing, this allows full scalability of the hybrid powertrain for all applications.
The hybrid drive is suitable for a variety of applications—from B-segment through to large J-segment SUVs. The engine itself has achieved ultralow specific fuel consumption figures of 207 grams per kilowatt hour in early stage testing. In the future, fuel consumption of around 195 grams per kilowatt hour in lean operation is realistic by using an active MJI system.
When applied to a compact crossover SUV, WLTP-weighted CO2 emissions are calculated at 18 grams per kilometer. The weight of the hybrid powertrain is similar to a current 4-cylinder gasoline engine with 6-speed manual transmission. The specially designed combustion engine offers potential cost savings of up to 30%.