UK tech giant Delphi believes it has the technology to wean Europe (and China) off its diesel addiction, in light of ever-tightening global CO2 standards.
Actually, it’s two technologies: a 48-volt mild hybrid system, and a new type of cylinder deactivation that Delphi is calling Dynamic Skip Fire.
Combined, they can provide up to a 19 per cent boost in fuel economy with a traditional petrol engine. Better still, Delphi officials say the systems can not only make the engines hit similar mileage numbers as comparable diesels, but will also deliver the kind of low-end torque that diesel drivers are so accustomed to.
That said, either system can be adopted independently, although Delphi says the two complement each other through powertrain efficiency across a broader rev range.
Industry journal Autonews.com reports that General Motors is likely to offer Dynamic Skip Fire with its next-generation Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra when they launch late in 2018.
The system would replace GM’s existing cylinder-deactivation tech, which effectively reduces fuel consumption by shutting down four cylinders of a V8 engine and two cylinders on a V6.
The software was developed by Silicon Valley company Tula Technology, which both Delphi and GM have invested in, while Delphi manufactures the engine parts.
It might seem like too little, too late, but Delphi believes electric vehicles will be introduced gradually over a lengthy period, instead of immediately replacing the internal combustion engine.
According to Mary Gustanski, Delphi Vice President of Engineering, who spoke with Autonews.com, it will come down to costs.
"You can spend $2000 for the diesel system, with the appropriate after-treatment, or you can spend $1500 and you can have a 4-volt mild hybrid with Dynamic Skip Fire, " Gustanski said.
"When you do that, your CO2 performance is equal, but you get enhanced performance," she added.