Chery has just announced the launch of its first fourth-generation powertrain framework, a mere 23 years after it revealed the first proprietary internal combustion engine in a Chery passenger vehicle.
Dubbed the 4.0 Era All-Domain Power Architecture, the new powertrain design promises world-leading levels of energy and thermal efficiency, low fuel consumption and low emissions. It also allows complete scope for a series of internal combustion engines, hybrid, electric and hydrogen powertrains under the same design principles.
“From a small manufacturer for the domestic Chinese market to a global powerhouse and the largest Chinese vehicle exporter, Chery has been accelerating non-stop into the future,” says Toni Liu, Executive Deputy General Manager of Chery South Africa.
“Chery’s rapid acceleration is perhaps best seen in its powertrain technology. Since launching its first engine in 1999, Chery has created three generations of engines, won the China Heart Award for Chinese-designed and -built powertrains with nine different engines and built more than 10 million engines for vehicles across the world.
At present, Chery has three fourth-generation engines being developed. These engines are already in their bench calibration phase and will soon make their way to certain production models.
Chery has also finalised the design of its first fifth-generation engine and plans on finalising testing by 2024. This engine, a 1.5 litre turbocharged petrol engine with hybrid power and direct injection, is being developed in partnership with AVL, one of the world’s largest engine development specialists.
The newest generation of Chery engines includes new technologies such as high efficiency combustion, low pressure adaptive turbochargers and so-called infinite friction reduction to create the best thermal efficiency possible.
Preliminary laboratory testing on these engines shows that they have already met their target of an industry-leading 45% thermal efficiency.
Integrated Powertrain Planning
One of the core tenets of Chery’s rapid engine development and success is the focus on incorporating all major drivetrain technologies in different, but simultaneous development programmes.
These technologies – petrol, diesel, hybrid, electric and hydrogen – not only ensure that Chery vehicles are future proof, but they enable the company to cross-pollinate each type of drivetrain with the technologies and developments from the other drivetrain lines.
One example of the benefit of co-developing different drivetrains is seen in the new DHT Dedicated Hybrid Transmission system.
The new DHT system incorporates dual electric motors, 11 gear combinations, dual driveshafts and 9 independently controlled driving modes to create the most efficient, smoothest and most immediate power delivery system.
The DHT hybrid project was first unveiled in May 2021, and by February 2022 the first version, the 3DHT125 hybrid powertrain, made its public debut in the new Chery Tiggo 8 Pro e+.
Shortly after the launch of the Tiggo 8 Pro e+, Chery announced that it had passed the appraisal stage of the Ministry of Science and Technology for the development of a hybrid engine that uses a deep Miller cycle high combustion process.
This additional powertrain will be used in mass production models, and the insights from this development process will be used to improve other drivetrains as well.
In March 2022, Chery announced a new three-gear hybrid transmission for Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles. This new system, and an upcoming single-gear transmission, will be used in future Hybrid and Plug-in Hybrid Vehicles and will be ideal for compact and subcompact vehicles in this category.
Lastly, Chery is rapidly developing its pure hydrogen powertrain systems.
As far back as the World Manufacturing Convention 2019, Chery exhibited its third-generation hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles with 30kW fuel-cell stacks, which can be topped up with hydrogen in three minutes and run for more than 700 kilometers.
“Chery 4.0 Era All-Domain Power Architecture covers fuel, hybrid, electric and hydrogen energy, and basically every possible roadmap known for automobile power technologies in the next 30 years has been included. Next, we will follow a step-by-step strategy and gradually realise complete self-development of electric products,” said a Chery powertrain expert