PARIS - PSA will launch versions of the Peugeot 406 and Citroen Xantia later this year with a new direct injection diesel engine.
The engines use Robert Bosch's new common-rail, direct-injection technology, known as HDI.
Another 20 PSA models will be equipped with 2.0- and 2.2-liter HDI engines during 1999.
PSA will follow by a few months the introduction of the Bosch diesel on the Alfa Romeo 156 and Mercedes C-class.
'It's a true revolution that underlines the new ambition of PSA in diesel engines,' said Daniel Marteau, HDI project manager at PSA.
Marteau said the new HDI diesel offers very high torque at low engine speeds (250Nm at 1500rpm) and a 3dB decrease in noise.
Emissions have also been reduced - 20 percent of CO2, 40 percent of carbon monoxide, 50 percent of unburned hydrocarbons; and 60 percent of particulates have been cut.
The program is critical for PSA, the leading producer of diesel engines in Europe with one million units in 1997. The HDI will be available first in supercharged, 2-liter and 2.2-liter versions, equipped with two or four valves per cylinder. The 2-liter will make 110hp. It will be available first on the Xantia and 406 this autumn. Prices have not been announced but are expected to be higher than current diesels.
The HDI will replace PSA's XUD diesel family. The XUD is available in 1.8-, 1.9, and 2.1-liter versions. It is used on all PSA models, except the 106 and Saxo superminis. They use the TUD engine family.
PSA also makes the D, J, and DK5/DJ5 diesel families. The DJ5, a 2.5-liter, 110hp engine, was the first direct-injection diesel built by PSA, but it uses an earlier technology. It was introduced in 1996 on the Citroen Jumper/Peugeot Boxer commercial vans.
PSA plans a fast ramp-up of the HDI. Daily production in Tremery will start at 400 units in October 1998 and rise to 700 in December, 1,700 in March 1999 and more than 2,000 in June 1999. Last year, Tremery's daily output was 4,730 engines, including 3,600 XUD diesels.
PSA spent FF3 billion ($500 million) on the HDI project. FF2 billion went to the Tremery plant in eastern France, the company's biggest engine facility, and FF1 billion for design and development.
The new engine was developed in 36 months. The project team was based at PSA's Velizy technical center near Paris. The La Garenne and Sochaux technical centers also contributed to the project.