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Magneti Marelli at Auto China Beijing 2014 Focus on environmentally friendly technologies

- 22.04.2014

The thirteenth edition of Auto China – a Motor Show that takes place every two years – started on April 23. This year Magneti Marelli also took place in that event, and presented the newest technologies related to lighting, engine control, electric systems, suspension and shock absorbers, plastic modules and exhaustion systems. It showed its achievement in motor sport as well.



At the Auto China exhibition Magneti Marelli presented itself as a provider that had the turnover of EUR 358 million last year, which constitutes 24.5% increase compared to 287.4 million in 2012 (the turnover in 2011 was 240.7 million, in 2010 – 232 million, and in 2009 – 162 million). The provider, whose presence in strategic areas of Chinese automotive industry (Shangai, Jiading, Guangzhou, Wuhu, Hangzhou, Changchun, Changsha, Hefei, Foshan and Xiaogan) became very significant in the last years, with 9 industrial areas (direct presence and mixed-capital companies) that employ about 3000 people (including the mixed-capital companies), 10% of whom carry out research and development work.


The dominant theme of the Beijing fair were, once again, “green” technologies, which are being developed due to legal standards, which will soon be also imposed on car manufacturers in China, and which concern limits with regard to pollution and fume emission.


Among many technological trends that offer environmentally friendly solutions, those concerning hybrid electric engines will gain special significance. The average annual increase in the number of hybrid or electric vehicles in China is estimated at +96% in 2016 (source: IHS – data for April 2014), starting with production capacity, which amounted to 31,500 units in 2013.


Magneti Marelli displayed their achievements with regard to methods and technological solutions tested in motor sports, such as KERS and other methods of electric energy recovery system implemented via HY-KERS hybrid system from “La Ferrari”.


Magneti Marelli refers especially to the market with the highest development potential for hybrid electric engines, i.e. to the low and medium voltage market. At the booth two solutions were presented: 350 V and 60 kW medium voltage hybrid and compact – 48 V (low voltage solution) with power rating below 16 kW, extremely flexible and easy to be applied in an internal combustion engine with low invasiveness in the system.


What is more, a formula that ideally encompasses the process of technology transfer between racing and traditional driving was presented. It combines two innovations that were developed separately by Magneti Marelli – electric automatic transmission and KERS. Magneti Marelli implemented a combination of electric motor-generator and automatic transmission into serial car production: the electric engine provides momentum during gear shift and contributes to decreased fuel consumption. This prototype is the most significant Magneti Marelli's technology in the field of Automated Manual Transmission (AMT), which has combined the comfort of use and reduction of fuel consumption and fume emission for almost two decades. In addition, it may be used in conjunction with every manual gearbox, and its production cost is lower than that of traditional automatic models.


At the fair, the company will also display the newest AMT technology for the Chinese market.


As a continuation of combining racing and everyday technologies in the field of powertrain, Gasoline Direct Injection (GDI) systems were presented at Auto China fair. Fuel injection with pressure increased to 600 bar, recently introduced in Formula 1, became even more effective in reducing particulate matter emission, and, in conjunction with turbocharger, in reducing the engine size.


Technologies related to car lighting systems will also contribute to environmental friendliness, as well as to safety and appearance. Magneti Marelli brought E-Light, a project recently acclaimed as an “Eco-Innovation” by the European Union, to Beijing. E-Light is an LED passing beam system that saves energy, and at the same time provides higher intensity of light, using about 1/6 less energy than a usual halogen lamp (11 W compared to 68 W). The European Community recognised E-Light as the Eco-Innovation that allows car manufacturers to save up to 1 g of CO2/km with a view to new European standards that are to enter into force in 2020, thus limiting fume emission to 95 g of CO2/km.


Apart from the E-Light module, Automotive Lighting proposes also other achievements in the field of lighting systems. Presented solutions included the Matrix Beam module – LED passing beam with adaptive system that enables directing light beam via selective activation of 6 LEDs. The Full-LED adaptive headlight has been applied in the new Mercedes-Benz C-Class, and the full-LED headlight in the new Peugeot 308 – the European Car of the Year 2014.


Just like at the previous editions, Magneti Marelli booth included a dark room that allowed the visitors to see various automotive lighting configurations in night time conditions with the help of a simulator and 3d video. The lighting configurations show the nature of the Matrix Beam module.


Two simulators with “Electronic Horizon” and “Fuel Economy Assistant”, both created with reducing fuel consumption in mind, were also available to the visitors. Electronic Horizon is a technology that facilitates driving and functions similarly to cruise control by optimising engine and transmission operation at various speeds. The simulator displayed in Beijing illustrates the functioning of Electronic Horizon in relation to safety and reduced fuel consumption. The simulator dedicated to “Fuel Economy Assistant” depicts the complete set of strategies related to powertrain in the course of real driving, which aim at significant energy conservation.


The remaining Magneti Marelli technologies presented in Beijing included also a full range of on-board instruments – analogue as well as digital, individually adjusted to the requirements of cutting edge technologies in every car – from the cheapest to the most expensive types.


Moreover, there were also two multimedia stands dedicated to infotainment systems produced by Magneti Marelli for BMW and Peugeot, which may be adjusted depending on the manufacturer's needs. There was a booth with systems that enable connecting the car with the vast world of communicative, computer and web service networks.


In the field of suspension, Magneti Marelli brought experience in using composite fibre to Beijing, and presented examples of ultra light materials used in suspension components, such as application of Hybrid FRP (Fibre Reinforced Plastic) in the production of front suspension systems. As far as shock absorbers are concerned, the 35 mm system used in Maserati Ghibli was displayed. It enables greater flexibility in determining the proper shock absorption curve. The Dual Stage Valve Piston Rod Assembly was also shown. It is a shock absorption system with an electronically controlled valve that aims at stiffening the shock absorber reaction depending on driver preferences.


Reducing fume emission might be facilitated by the SCR (Selective Catalytic Reducer) injection and fume mixing system and solutions with regard to personalising sounds based on manufacturer's requirements.


At the same time as Formula 1 Grand Prix in Shanghai, Magneti Marelli presented its attainments related to motor sports, the possibilities provided by passing from the appearance of a technology, its development to its application in mass production. The company displayed powertrain-related novelties, KERs (Kinetic Energy Recovery System)and HERS (Heat Energy Recovery System), high-pressure GDI (Gasoline Direct Injection) modules and communication management systems that utilise telemetric solutions with data transmission via Wi-Fi.


Auto China exhibition also included parts used in CTCC (China Touring Car Championship) race, whose organiser chose Magneti Marelli as the sole provider of the information collection system utilised in all cars that took part in the race. The data collection set consists of an electronic control unit and a number of sensors installed in engines and car chassis that enable gathering information for analysis and checking whether technical rules are followed.


Milan - Beijing, 23 April 2014.

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