Mahindra might beat all comers in bringing a diesel-electric hybrid bakkie and SUV to market by 2010, thanks to German engineering giant FEV.
The large Indian auto concern, which retails the Bolero and Scorpio range of bakkies and SUVs locally, has teamed up with Aachen based engineering concern FEV, to integrate a parallel hybrid drive system to its range of utility vehicles.
Torque turbodiesel four
A 2.2-litre, four-cylinder turbodiesel engine is used as a base, producing 85kW of power and 270Nm of torque. The internal combustion power is augmented by an electric motor which benefits from regenerative braking capability, adding 40kW and 270Nm of its own.
Drawing its power form a nickel metal hydride battery pack, and utilising intelligent drive technologies such as stop/start functionality, its operation it seamlessly integrated to fuse with the six-speed automatic gearbox, providing additional power on demand.
Obviously nickel metal hydride technology is not as contemporary a storage solution as higher density Lithium Ion batteries, yet it's comparably cheaper.
The cost benefit analysis was a key issue pertaining to development, which was done by Mahindra partner FEV, a leading German engineering concern, specialising in engine design and testing.
Plans are to introduce the Scorpio diesel hybrid in Mahindra's home market, India, initially, as well as other Asian markets during 2009.
The hybrid engine will be used in both Scorpio and Appalachian pickup ranges in the North America market by 2010, according to distributor Global Vehicles USA - essentially meaning a developing market auto manufacturer will beat all other global contenders to introducing a hybrid bakkie.