Officially called Hybrid Air, this powertrain, co-developed with Bosch, pairs a gasoline engine with compressed air hybraulic power. In other words, Hybrid Air takes the battery out of the traditional hybrid set-up while gaining similar fuel economy benefits. In the C3 concept, that means "record-breaking" fuel economy of just 2.9 liters per 100 km (roughly 81 miles per gallon, on the lenient European test cycle). Citroen says this is 45 percent less, in urban settings, than a similar ICE vehicle because the car moves using a hydraulic compressed air system that is "recharged" using regenerative brakes. An air hybrid car should also be cheaper than a similar vehice with a standard hybrid powertrain. Citroen says an air hybrid system doesn't impact on cargo space, making it all the more appealing in smaller vehicles. We'll learn more in Geneva.
After pioneering the particulate filter and Stop&Start, leading the way in diesel hybrid technology with the Hybrid 4, and being the first to market an electric car, CITROËN is continuing the offensive at the Geneva Motor Show with another high-tech breakthrough: the Hybrid Air system.
A full-hybrid solution combining compressed air and hydraulic power, Hybrid Air draws upon expertise that is written into the Marque's DNA.
It is an innovation that reflects CITROËN's consistent aim of developing technologies available to everybody and for all types of use.
Hybrid Air delivers breakthrough performance with fuel consumption of less than 3 litres/100 km and no additional battery, for:
- an even smaller environmental footprint,
- a more affordable price
- and no impact on onboard space.
This revolutionary technology is particularly well suited to models in the B and C segments as well as LCVs. On the Marque's stand at the Geneva Motor Show, it can be seen on a CITROËN C3 prototype that boasts record-breaking fuel consumption of 2.9 l/100 km (69 g of CO2/km). It also cuts fuel consumption and CO2 emissions by 45% in urban driving, compared with an ICE vehicle fitted with the same engine.
Karim Mokaddem, Hybrid Air project manager, will be present during the press days. He will respond to requests for interviews and explain how Hybrid Air technology works, with details on operation and performance figures. Several events will be organised in front of the C3 Hybrid Air prototype, on 5 March at 2:00 pm, 3:00 pm and 4:00pm and on 6 March at 10:00 am, 11:00 am and midday.
AN INNOVATION WRITTEN INTO THE MARQUE'S DNA
At Geneva, CITROËN is presenting Hybrid Air technology, a unique system developed by PSA Peugeot Citroën in cooperation with the Bosch® group and drawing upon the historic expertise of brand engineers in hydraulic systems for cars.
In 1955, with the DS, CITROËN launched a spectacular innovation: a system combining pressurised air with high-pressure hydraulics to control and manage the suspension, steering braking and semi-automatic gearbox.
In 1958, CITROËN engineers developed a prototype 2CV, a hybrid vehicle using pressurised air and hydraulics to boost the combustion engine. However, as there was no real market for the car, and technologies were lacking for its mass production, the project never became a reality.
In 2013, Hybrid Air technology is revolutionising the car industry.
HYBRID AIR: COMBINING A PETROL ENGINE WITH COMPRESSED AIR THROUGH THE USE OF HYDRAULIC POWER
Hybrid Air relies on proven sub-systems and technologies: a PureTech petrol engine, a compressed air energy storage unit, a hydraulic pump/motor unit and an automatic transmission with an epicyclic gear train. Eighty patents were filed by the PSA Peugeot Citroën Group during the development process An intelligent electronic management system manages input from the driver to optimise energy efficiency. Three operating modes are available:
• Air power, with zero emissions,
• Petrol power, using only the combustion engine,
• Combined power, with the combustion engine and hydraulic motor working together.
TECHNOLOGY FOR ALL CUSTOMERS
Adapted for a CITROËN C3 VTi 82, the Hybrid Air system slashes fuel consumption by one- third to achieve a record-breaking 2.9 l/100 km over a combined cycle, with CO2 emissions of 69 g/km. In urban driving conditions, the reduction in fuel consumption is around 45%.
Affordable technology with global reach
Hybrid Air technology uses no additional batteries, so could be sold at an attractive price on both European and international markets. The technology operates at a constant level of efficiency, regardless of weather or driving conditions. It could be developed not only in Europe, but also on all the other markets where the CITROËN brand is present. Easily adaptable for both passenger cars and LCVs, it is particularly efficient on B and C segment vehicles.
A technology that makes no comprises
The presence of the Hybrid Air system has no influence on interior space or boot capacity. The decision to opt for a system that is essentially mechanical simplifies servicing operations and makes for easier recycling at the end of vehicle life.
Real driving pleasure
Lower fuel consumption and CO2 emissions go hand-in-hand with significant improvements in driveability, thanks to:
• an automatic gearbox and epicyclic gear train with no break in torque,
• improved performance, with the additional torque and power available in Combined mode,
• a Stop&Start system using an alternator-starter.
System operation is smooth and completely transparent for customers,
HYBRID AIR TECHNOLOGY IN DETAIL
Three operating modes for optimised efficiency
Hybrid Air is a coherent combination of several technologies. In operation, it relies on an intelligent electronic management unit to switch continuously between three driving modes. Optimizing energy efficiency in this way cuts fuel consumption and contributes to recharging the energy storage unit with compressed air.
When Air mode is active, it works in the same way as ZEV mode on hybrid vehicles. The combustion engine is not used. The energy stored (compressed air) is transmitted to the wheels via the hydraulic motors and gearbox. Depending on traffic, this mode will concern between 60 and 80% of urban driving time. Maximum use of deceleration and braking energy will ensure efficient recharging of the compressed air unit. This mode is active up to 70 kph.
Petrol mode transmits energy to the wheels without input from the compressed air unit. This mode is used primarily outside urban areas. Here again, the energy from deceleration and braking is recovered for the rapid benefit of ZEV mode or the boost function in combined mode.
In Combined mode, the combustion engine and hydraulic motor work together. This mode is used particularly during pick-up and strong acceleration, with a significant boost effect (total power of up to 90 kW) delivering a performance comparable to that of an engine in the next segment up.
A C3 HYBRID AIR PROTOTYPE ON SHOW ON THE CITROËN STAND IN GENEVA
The Geneva Motor Show will be an opportunity for visitors to discover the C3 Hybrid Air, a new step forwards in Créative Technologie. The prototype on show features a number of specific characteristics including:
• new Michelin® tyres with specific sizing (165/50 R 18) that cuts fuel consumption by
almost 0.2l/100km. This tyre has a particularly large diameter and reduced width for
lower rolling resistance, weight and noise,
• specific colours and materials, with anis-tinted wheels, exterior door mirror housings and
This prototype is swept from front to rear by a "car scan" function, showing the workings of Hybrid Air technology. A tool reflecting the spirit of the brand's Créative Technologie.
TECHNOLOGIES ACCESSIBLE TO EVERYBODY AND FOR ALL TYPES OF USE
CITROËN already markets a range of advanced technologies for all types of use:
• Hybrid4 diesel hybrid technology available on the DS5 (25% of versions sold in Europe in
• full electric with the C-ZERO city car and Berlingo LCV, available during the second quarter
• e-HDi micro-hybrid technology, the most well-rounded system on the market, combining
comfort and efficiency, and available on most brand models, for example: the e-HDi 70
engine on the CITROËN C3, which emits just 87g of CO2,
• and PureTech, a new family of cleaner, more powerful petrol engines, increasing power by
15% and cutting fuel consumption/CO2 emissions by 25% compared with the previous generation of petrol engines.