Delphi is pitching automakers on a fuel-saving technology that it reckons could solve a brewing crisis for European manufacturers' diesel-heavy product portfolios.
The powertrain and electronics giant believes combining two emerging technologies can boost the efficiency of traditional gasoline-engine vehicles by as much as 19 percent.
If so, the solution could help some automakers disentangle themselves from relying on diesel engines to meet global fuel economy regulations.
Some European automakers have banked on diesels to meet environmental standards because they offer better fuel efficiency than gasoline engines. But diesel engines are now in doubt because of tightening global CO2 standards.
Delphi officials say they can make gasoline engines hit comparable numbers while still preserving the low-end torque that diesel drivers are accustomed to.
Delphi's proposal combines its 48-volt mild hybrid system with a new type of cylinder deactivation it calls Dynamic Skip Fire. When paired, the technologies can increase fuel economy by as much as 19 percent on the EPA's city cycle test and 14 percent on the highway, said Harry Husted, Delphi's director of powertrain engineering.
Both systems are ready for production, Delphi says, though neither is likely to arrive before 2020.
The 48-volt system and Dynamic Skip Fire can be used separately but complement each other by increasing engine efficiency at both low and high speeds.