Hydro is supplying DaimlerChrysler with a benchmark-setting engine block from aluminium for its new Mercedes V-6 diesel engine. This very first aluminium V-block for a high-performance passenger diesel in large scale production proves that aluminium withstands the extreme pressures in this kind of engine.
Deliveries are agreed for the complete lifetime of this recently launched engine which is announced to be used in almost all Mercedes models.
Customer requests already exceed 200,000 items a year, starting from 2005 on. The manufacturing site, Hydro Aluminium Alucast in Dillingen, Germany, prepared for this project with investments totalling EUR 76 million.
“With this first high-volume order, we are fulfilling our promise of two years ago: that aluminium is able to build the core of high-performing diesels and, at increased performance, is helping to save weight and space in yet another application,” says Dieter J. Braun, President Hydro Aluminium Automotive.
This is not the first time that the Hydro casting unit has played its part in creating automotive history. It launched the first-ever diesel engine block made from aluminium: for Volkswagen´s “3-litre” Lupo, a record-breaking fuel saver.
Previously, aluminium engine blocks for private cars were best suited to gasoline engines only, as engine blocks for high performance diesel engines have to withstand high temperatures and up to three times the pressure of traditional gasoline engines. This latest Hydro product opens up the huge diesel market for aluminium. And further orders have already been secured.
Hydro is the leading supplier of lightweight aluminium applications to the automotive industry in the fields of powertrain, crash management, heat exchange tubing and suspension parts; and a major supplier of magnesium and aluminium foundry alloys, sheet, plates, welded tubes and extrusions for further processing. The company’s total automotive industry turnover exceeds EUR 2 billion.