Nike single-handedly popularized the term "swoosh." If a new and unexpected project works out as planned, PSA Peugeot Citroen might do the same with "whoosh."

PSA Peugeot Citroen is working on a drivetrain that would hybridize a conventional engine with compressed air in one of the automaker's B-segment compact hatchbacks. The vehicle, which could go into production as soon as 2016, would include a hydraulic pump that allows the car to run in all-gasoline, all-air or combined (aka "hybrid air") modes. The system, which is being developed with Bosch, could offer more than 80 miles per gallon (on the more lenient European driving cycle) without the need for a big hybrid battery. PSA Peugeot Citroen is ultimately looking to develop an air hybrid that would get 118 miles per gallon.

Additionally, a PSA Peugeot Citroen spokesman tells Automotive News that General Motors may use the air hybrid system as well. Early last year, GM acquired a seven-percent stake in PSA Peugeot Citroen as part of an agreement in which the two companies plan to share vehicle platforms and components. PSA Peugeot Citroen's press release is available below.

Other air cars (not hybrids like this one) have been tried before, but the promises we heard about those didn't always turn out.
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Hybrid Air, an innovative full hybrid gasoline system

To cope with the challenge of creating an environment-friendly vehicle, PSA Peugeot Citroën is developing an all-new technology combining Gasoline internal combustion engine and compressed air storage. "Hybrid Air" is a key step in the path toward fuel consumption of 2 l/100 km. The major innovation lies in the way the powertrain adapts to driving styles, adjusting independently to one of three modes: Air, Gasoline, Combined. Hybrid Air technology will be fitted on B-segment models starting in 2016.

The reason behind this innovation?
  • To answer the worldwide challenges of greenhouse gas and the pollutants reduction
  • To propose to our customers cars equipped with a new full hybrid technology affordable to the great majority in terms of price and performance
  • An innovative full-hybrid gasoline solution. An important step towards the 2l/100 km car by 2020
What is it exactly?
  • A new type of full hybrid powertrain that uses petrol and compressed air:
  • - An innovative combination of tried and tested technologies: a petrol engine, a unit to store energy in the form of compressed air, a hydraulic motor-pump assembly and an automatic transmission working with an epicyclic gear train.
  • - The smart control system adapts the operating mode to the driver's commands and optimises energy efficiency in three different modes: ZEV (Zero Emission Vehicle), petrol internal combustion and combined.
  • An offer that fits closely with the Hybrid4 electric hybrid for more powerful vehicles in segments C and D
  • A more competitive total cost of ownership (residual value, cost in use)
  • A worldwide response to the need for energy-efficient vehicles. A technology that is suited to any climate and driving conditions and to any after-sales service network
What are the benefits for users?

  • 69g CO2/km homologated performance, i.e. 2.9 l/100 km (internal combustion, manual gearbox, benchmark of 104g CO2/km) for a conventional body style, such as the Citroën C3 or Peugeot 208, without any specific adaptations
  • Savings of 45 increase in range in comparison with conventional engines
A comfortable and pleasant drive
  • 60 in ZEV mode in city driving, depending on the traffic
  • An automatic transmission that offers a top-quality, smooth and pleasant drive
No compromise
  • Vehicle space maintained (boot, cabin, modular design)
  • Reliable and robust: an essentially mechanical system, for easier and more economical maintenance
  • Small environmental footprint. Easily recyclable materials
A technology for all customers

  • Global.
  • Can be industrialised on numerous markets
  • Applicable to every passenger car and LCV segments, and intended for the B (82 bhp internal combustion engines), C (110 bhp internal combustion engines) and LCV segments
Patents & Partners
  • 80 patents filed by PSA Peugeot Citroën
  • Technology developed in partnership with the French State
  • Strategic partners in this technology: Bosch and Faurecia

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