What is a mild-hybrid?

The hybrid performance car is no longer an oxymoron. Here’s how manufacturers are using this new tech to make them better, not just greener

Mild-hybrid is certainly a buzzword in 2020 automotive development, being quickly integrated into all levels of combustion powertrains to lower emissions relatively cheaply and without need of any major packaging redesign. Performance versions of normal saloons and estates, such as the Mercedes-AMG E53 and Audi S4 TDI, are two examples of manufacturers applying this technology to both petrol and diesel powertrains.

The hardware usually consists of a small electric motor, mounted directly on the combustion engine, that assists drive as well as takes the place of a traditional starter motor. This starter motor and generator is generally powered by a small battery pack via a supplementary 48V electrical system that works alongside the normal 12V circuit. The battery itself is recharged by regenerative braking, negating the need for any roadside charging.

Subscribe to evo magazine

Subscribe today to have every issue of evo delivered straight to you. You'll SAVE 39% on the shop price, and get evo for its original cover price for a whole year!

Some cars, such as the E53 and S4, also feature small electrically powered compressors that work in conjunction with the gas-powered turbos, improving response by spinning up the turbines before the exhaust gases have the chance to reach them. These systems also power energy-heavy chassis hardware such as active anti-roll bars that a normal 12V system wouldn’t otherwise be able to support.

Mild-hybrid performance cars:

Most Popular

Visit/best-cars/203098/the-worlds-10-best-gt-cars-6-4
Best cars

The world's 10 best GT cars - 6-4

These cars have the ability to make long-distance journeys relaxing while still being able to thrill on a twisting road
16 Sep 2020
Visit/porsche/911/203110/porsche-911-rsr-v-gt3-r-v-gt3-cup-track-only-911s-driven
Porsche 911

Porsche 911 RSR v GT3 R v GT3 Cup - track-only 911s driven

They’re aimed at different levels of motorsport, but what exactly separates Porsche’s 911 RSR, GT3 R and GT3 Cup models, and what are they like to dri…
20 Sep 2020
Visit/best-cars/203099/the-worlds-10-best-gt-cars-3-1
Best cars

The world's 10 best GT cars - 3-1

These cars have the ability to make long-distance journeys relaxing while still being able to thrill on a twisting road
16 Sep 2020
Visit/toyota/20522/986bhp-toyota-gr-super-sports-hybrid-hypercar-teased-in-new-video
Toyota

Toyota GR Super Sports revealed at 2020 Le Mans 24hr

Toyota is gearing up for the 2022 WEC Hypercar class, showing off it’s contender for the 2020/21 season
21 Sep 2020