MAHLE gives a boost to small engines

When MAHLE Powertrain’s test Golf drives around the circuit at the former Bruntingthorpe airfield, it turns heads: after all, the small 1.2 liter engine sounds like a really big one. And that is not all. It also has more than 260 hp! The reason is simple and complex at the same time: in Northampton, MAHLE Powertrain’s experts are working on extremely powerful powertrain solutions and have already achieved a great deal.

Development in the fast lane

Mark Underwood, an engineer at MAHLE Powertrain, is proud of the power of the “MAHLE Golf.” But he is not driving it on the test track for pleasure alone. The data from each lap is meticulously recorded on a laptop and later evaluated by MAHLE Powertrain in Northampton, 40 kilometers away. Here, on a total of 12 test cells, engines are tested and analyzed—from mechanical inspections to complex optimizations for drivability. This enables the experts to fine-tune the engines for further improvements or to develop completely new ones. Thanks not least to these facilities and specialists, MAHLE Powertrain is able to meet customer demands from all over Europe, the USA, China, and the Near East at an ever faster pace.

The legend lives on!

Legendary powertrains have already been produced in Northampton. Before MAHLE took over in 2005, the engineering company was known as Cosworth Technology. In the 1970s, nearly all of the engines for Formula 1 race cars were developed here. MAHLE Powertrain continues to drive development in the automotive industry of Northampton today. Simon Reader, Head of Development at MAHLE Powertrain, explains the direction of future development: “With the hybridization of vehicles, we are no longer just talking about engines. We are now tackling more and more cross-system projects.”

New impetus for the powertrains of tomorrow

MAHLE Powertrain offers an extensive range of services. In Bruntingthorpe, the team is not only investigating how the small Golf can be adjusted to attain the performance profile of a sports car. Here on the former airfield, Mark Underwood’s colleagues are also testing British racers that contain a wealth of technology and know-how from MAHLE Powertrain too! And in the courtyard in Northampton—well-shielded from prying eyes—are vehicles that would make any racing fan’s heart beat faster.



We regularly provide technical tips relating to the powertrain, thermal management, and mechatronics in automobiles.


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