Peugeot Citroen shows new petrol-air hybrid tech

PSA Peugeot Citroen has revealed a new platform and hybrid drivetrain

PSA Peugeot Citroen has revealed details of its new petrol-compressed air hybrid drivetrain alongside a new modular platform.

The hybrid system - which is called Hybrid Air - combines a conventional petrol engine and automatic gearbox with a hydraulic pump and motor that are powered by compressed air.

In the setup shown in a current Citroen C3, the engine, transmission, pump and motor are located in the engine bay, while the compressed air is stored in a tank that runs between the front seats.

The Hybrid Air system can operate in zero emissions air mode, where compressed air is used to drive the hydraulic motor, which then turns the transmission and thus the front wheels. It can also operate in petrol-engine-only mode, or petrol and air in combination.

Like a current petrol-electric hybrid, the drivetrain is electronically controlled and automatically selects the power source most appropriate to the driving conditions. The compressed air tank is refilled by the hydraulic pump under deceleration or braking.

The petrol-compressed air hybrid system will make its debut in a B-segment car in 2016 and, if used in the current Peugeot 208 or Citroen C3, the powertrain returns 97.4mpg and CO2 emissions of 69g/km.

PSA Peugeot Citroen claims that the Hybrid Air drivetrain offers a 45 per cent improvement in fuel economy in urban driving over a conventional petrol engine, thanks to the fact that the air system powers the car between 60 and 80 per cent of the time at speeds below 43mph.

The firm also claims that the Hybrid Air system can extend a car’s range by up to 90 per cent, and gives overall fuel savings of around 35 per cent.

PSA is looking to use the Hybrid Air technology in B-segment cars like the Peugeot 208 and Citroen C3 with an 82bhp petrol engine; and C-segment cars like the Peugoet 308 and Citroen C4 with a 110bhp petrol engine. The arrival of the new tech marks a step forward in the firm's goal of developing and marketing a 2l/100km (141.2mpg) car by 2020.

PSA Peugeot Citroen also showed its new EMP2 platform. Short for Efficient Modular Platform 2 and similar in concept to the VW Group’s new MQB setup, the new underpinnings can be used for hatchback, saloon, coupe, convertible, estate, MPV and SUV bodystyles. The C and D-segment platform is set to be used for around 50 per cent of PSA’s cars, but will be used first for the new Citroen C4 Picasso and Peugeot 308.

PSA claims that the new EMP2 is up to 70kg lighter than the platforms it replaces, and will help to cut CO2 emissions by up to 22 per cent.

Recommended

Best tax-free cars 2022
Best tax-free cars - header
Best cars & vans

Best tax-free cars 2022

Want to pay nothing in VED road tax? These days that means buying an electric car so here are our top tax-free cars to buy
5 Apr 2022
Citroen C3 review
Citroen C3 - front action
Citroen C3

Citroen C3 review

If you’re looking for a supermini that prioritises comfort and efficiency, then the Citroen C3 is the one to have
23 Feb 2022
Used Citroen C3 (Mk3, 2017-date) review
Citroen C3
Citroen C3 Hatchback

Used Citroen C3 (Mk3, 2017-date) review

There's more to the Citroen C3 Mk3 than funky styling, the French supermini offers practicality, comfort and a decent amount of technology
7 Jan 2022
Used Peugeot 208 (Mk1, 2012-2019) review
Used Peugeot 208 Mk1 - front static
Peugeot 208 Hatchback

Used Peugeot 208 (Mk1, 2012-2019) review

The Peugeot 208 Mk1 is a stylish supermini with good equipment levels and efficient engines, but some alternatives are nicer to drive
7 Dec 2021

Most Popular

Best motorhomes 2022: the top 5 picks for all budgets
Chausson motorhome
Tips & advice

Best motorhomes 2022: the top 5 picks for all budgets

In the market for a new motorhome? Here are our top-five recommendations...
18 May 2022
New all-electric Volkswagen Aero B saloon to rival Tesla Model 3
Volkswagen Aero B exclusive image - front
Volkswagen

New all-electric Volkswagen Aero B saloon to rival Tesla Model 3

The new four-door VW Aero B EV could come with up to 435 miles of range and our exclusive images preview how it could look
20 May 2022
New all-electric Alfa Romeo Duetto Spider shapes up
Alfa Romeo Duetto Spider - watermarked front
Alfa Romeo

New all-electric Alfa Romeo Duetto Spider shapes up

Alfa Romeo bosses have confirmed that a new two-seat electric roadster is in the company’s rejuvenation plans and our exclusive images preview how it …
19 May 2022