The company effectively addresses pressing environmental issues and rising gasoline prices with its innovative solutions like TetraFuel®, and Freechoice® AMT. Its AUTOSAR technology allows OEMs to have their own intellectual property inside MM electronics.
"The TetraFuel® system is a green initiative that allows a vehicle to operate with four different types of fuels – gasoline, mix of alcohol and gasoline, pure alcohol or compressed natural gas (CNG)," notes Frost & Sullivan Research Analyst Aswin Kumar R. "The system promises to cut fuel expenses by up to 60 per cent when compared to an ordinary gasoline-powered car. The planned increase of bio-fuels and CNG penetration in the European Union will be the biggest market driver for the system when launched in Europe."
Magneti Marelli's Freechoice® is essentially an Automated Manual Transmission (AMT), where the traditional clutch pedal is removed and the H-pattern manual lever replaced either by an electronic joystick or by levers on the steering wheel. Thanks to the system flexibility, the driver can, at any moment, enjoy either a sporty or a comfort gear-shift and can choose between manual and full automatic mode.
"Freechoice® can ensure fuel savings of up to 10 per cent in real driving conditions in comparison with a traditional manual transmission," comments Kumar. "The fuel saving comes from both the availability, at any driving moment, of the optimum speed and from the total integrated control engine plus transmission (powertrain control)."
Lower fuel consumption translates to lower emissions. Freechoice® is, therefore, a mature choice for the driver looking both for driving pleasure and environment protection. Next year, 62 different car models for 27 OEMs will be on the road world wide powered by Freechoice®.
"Magneti Marelli has founded the MM X-PRO AUTOSAR, a sort of virtual factory that brings together the key competencies of Magneti Marelli's varied business lines," states Kumar. "This helps to realise new distinctive vehicle functions, developed with AUTOSAR technology with the synergistic use of the software services available on existing Magneti Marelli ECU (navigation systems, engine, transmission, body, lighting, and suspensions control).
The company has also forged strategic alliances to leverage untapped markets in India and China as well as cut down manufacturing costs. In India, Magneti Marelli has JVs with Suzuki Motor Corporation and Maruti Suzuki India to develop ECUs for diesel powertrains in India and with Motherson Sumi to develop integrated plastic air intake manifolds for gasoline and diesel applications for the Indian market. Magneti Marelli and an important Chinese OEM are considering a JV to develop hydraulic actuation for the popular AMT, Freechoice.®
"The numerous benefits offered by TetraFuel®, and Freechoice® in terms of social responsibility, enhanced comfort, lower fuel consumption and reduced emissions, will ensure its success in Europe," concludes Kumar. "Through these innovations, Magneti Marelli will strengthen its status as a technology leader in both engine and transmission in the European automotive market."
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About Magneti Marelli
Magneti Marelli, a company belonging to the Fiat Group, designs, produces and distributes advanced systems and components for the automotive industry. With its 46 production facilities (56 production units), 9 R&D centres and 27 application centres in 16 countries, 28,000 employees and a turnover of 5 billion Euros in 2007, the group supplies all the leading carmakers in Europe, North and South America and the Far East. The business areas include: Powertrain, Lighting, Electronic Systems, Suspensions and Shock absorber systems, Exhaust Systems, Aftermarket Parts & Services, Motorsport.
Magneti Marelli Powertrain is the division which produces engine components for cars, motorbikes and light vehicles. The headquarters of Powertrain is in Bologna. The 14 applied research centres and 8 production sites are spread over 4 continents: Europe (France, Italy and Germany), USA, (Farmington Hills and Sanford), Brazil (Hortolandia) and China (Shangai and Wuhu). The most important part of the product range is engine control systems for gasoline and diesel engines. Magneti Marelli Powertrain produces both hardware components, the electronic control units that pilot the engine, and their sophisticated software. The systems supplied to car manufacturers also include certain parts which are crucial for engine performance and emissions: injectors, air-gasoline and air-diesel manifolds, throttle bodies.
Magneti Marelli Marelli Powertrain produces also the AMT gearbox (Freechoice), an electro-hydraulic automation technology for manual transmissions, derived from Formula 1, that combines comfort of use with reduction in consumption.
Magneti Marelli Powertrain is the world leader in certain key areas regarding the environmental impact of automotive technology, such as gasoline direct injection (GDI) and Flexfuel technology.
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