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GM plans hi-tech hybrids

GM plans hi-tech hybrids

Vehicle is developing a variety of diesel-electric hybrid drivetrains that may come in production Vauxhalls and Opels within 5 years.

Engineers at GM Europe’s powertrain HQ in Turin are staring at the practicality of integrating their existing hybrid components – motor-generators, batteries and control electronics – with diesel engines.

From mild hybrids to some diesel form of the Voltec powertrain architecture from the Volt/Ampera is up for grabs, based on GM Europe’s advanced technology chief engineer, Maurizio Cisternino.

“If you would like the very best fuel consumption, you need to opt for the diesel-electric hybrid,” he stated. Hybrids are most effective around town, while diesels are perfect for motorways Cisternino stated these theories happen to be demonstrated through simulations.

Cisternino believes that C and D-segment models such as the Astra and Insignia are the most useful candidates for “more substantial electrification”, meaning probably the most technically advanced hybrid systems. Cisternino’s team is targeting a thousand euro (£880) premium over gas-electric hybrids, like the distinction between conventional gas and diesel cars. But he accepted, “This doesn’t work right now.Inches

GM’s first diesel-electric hybrids will probably utilise an exciting-new 1.6-litre turbocharged four-cylinder diesel being coded in Turin (the place to find GM’s global diesel engine development center) in addition to a special unit focused on diesel hybridisation. It’ll begin replacing existing 1.7 to two.-litre engines from 2012, and early prototypes happen to be running in laboratory conditions.

Programme manager and chief engineer Gianmarco Boretto stated the brand new engine is another key factor in GM Powertrain’s diesel ‘downsizing and downspeeding’ strategy. With increased power and torque compared to current 2.-litre unit, the brand new engine works effectively with taller, more fuel-efficient final drive ratios. And crucially, the brand new engine’s electronic controller works with hybrid systems.

John Carey

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