Mercedes-Benz and Geely confirm hybrid engine R&D partnership – for next-gen Volvo and Proton models?


Daimler AG and Geely Holding, the parent companies of
Mercedes-Benz and Geely Auto respectively, have confirmed
their plans to collaborate
on developing “highly efficient
powertrain systems for next-generation hybrid vehicle
applications.” Simply put, the two giants are forming a hybrid
engine R&D partnership that will benefit both parties.

Already reported
as early as January this year
, the cooperation is set to
enhance both automakers’ global competitiveness while creating
true economies of scale, according to Daimler. Both groups will use
their global R&D networks to work together on next-gen petrol
hybrid engines, which will be produced in both Europe and China.
The export of the motors from China for use in other markets is
also an option.

Daimler goes on to detail that the new engines will be used on
future Mercedes-Benz models, as well as the wider Geely portfolio
of brands, including Volvo. The specific mention of “wider Geely
portfolio of brands,” of course, could mean that the new
Mercedes-Geely engines may one day be installed in future Proton
models.


It’s worth mentioning that the Geely-based Proton models, the

X50
and
X70
, do feature the Chinese company’s latest powertrain
systems. So when the next-gen engines are introduced in Geely’s
China models, it’s entirely possible that similarly-powered
Proton versions for the Malaysian market will follow suit.

For Volvo, it will mean that the premium carmaker will be
sharing the same engines with Mercedes-Benz, its direct competitor.
This, however, wouldn’t be a first for Volvo, having
used Ford’s 1.6 and 2.0 litre EcoBoost engines
in its line-up
for the better half of this decade, sharing powertrains with fellow
premium brands Jaguar and Land Rover. Both Volvo and JLR have since
introduced their own engine line-ups (Drive-E
and
Ingenium
, respectively).

“We have witnessed strong momentum in the development of the
Chinese automotive industry over the past years, and we believe
China will continue to offer great potential in terms of
innovation, efficiency and economies of scale,” said Hubertus
Troska, member of the board of management of Daimler AG. As China
is now the world’s largest car market, that’s a pretty safe bet
for Daimler.


Meanwhile, An Conghui, president of Geely Holding stated that
“this project reflects the need for economies of scale and
targeted R&D investment in clean and highly efficient
powertrains and hybrid drive systems. Together with our partner, we
will jointly develop the next generation of advanced technologies
in order to remain at the top in the industry in times of
wide-ranging change.”

Though not confirmed, it is reported that the new engine line-up
will eventually replace Mercedes’ current
Renault-sourced 1.33 litre turbo four
motor, badged as the M282
and which is fitted here in Malaysia on the
W177 A 200 hatch
,
V177 sedan
and
X247 GLB 200
models. It remains to be seen if Geely/Volvo can
manage to convince Mercedes-Benz to finally adopt three-cylinder
engines for its lower-end models, something the German brand

has vehemently avoided
so far.

It’s also possible that the Mercedes-Geely engine line-up will
include larger 2.0 litre four-cylinder versions, potentially with a
500 cc-a cylinder modular design (1.5 litre three-pot and 2.0 litre
four pot) that has already been put to good use by both
Volvo
and
BMW
. Mercedes too has been using a similar strategy further up
the range, with its
latest 3.0 litre inline-six engines
being heavily related to
its 2.0 litre inline-four units.


For the record, Daimler AG and Geely working together isn’t a
brand new thing. They already have a working joint venture to

develop the smart brand globally
, and both are also
collaborating on a
premium ride-hailing service in China
. Geely’s owner, Li
Shufu, also
holds a near 10% stake in Daimler
, reportedly worth 7.3 billion
euros (RM35.4 billion) in early 2018.

So, what do you think of this development, especially with our
own Proton possibly benefiting from this in the long run? Do
discuss in the comments section below.

The post
Mercedes-Benz and Geely confirm hybrid engine R&D partnership
– for next-gen Volvo and Proton models?
appeared first on
Paul Tan’s Automotive News.

Source: FS – Cars 1
Mercedes-Benz and Geely confirm hybrid engine R&D
partnership – for next-gen Volvo and Proton models?