Thanks to a technology partnership announced in 1999, Delphi Automotive Systems and French auto maker PSA Peugeot Citroen unveil a Peugeot 206 concept car equipped with seven advanced technologies from Delphi, most of which are ready for production.

The 206 Environmental Technologies Demonstrator has Delphi's Energen 5 start-stop system, E-Steer electric power steering, non-thermal plasma exhaust after treatment, electro-mechanical “brake-by-wire” at all four corners, electronically controlled variable compressor, oil quality sensor and Delphi's common-rail diesel system.

The Energen 5 “E-Start” system automatically shuts off the engine when the car is not in gear and the clutch is let out. The alternator acts as an electric motor that starts the engine, making for fast and noise-free starting. In Paris driving experiments, the engine sat idle for 33% of the time, PSA reports. Fuel consumption and CO2 emissions improve by up to 15% in urban driving. E-Start is production ready.

Non-thermal plasma aftertreatment uses an electric field in the exhaust stream to break apart gas molecules so they can react more easily with the catalyst. It acts in conjunction with the PSA-developed filter to trap diesel particulate emissions.

The variable compressor has an electronic control unit that regulates the pressure in the refrigeration circuit regardless of variations of engine speed. The system can be managed to deliver the required cabin comfort level with minimum energy consumption.

Delphi already supplies E-Steer, which eliminates the hydraulic pump and operates on the battery, for the Fiat Punto in Europe. Delphi is preparing to produce E-Steer in Saginaw, MI, for a high-volume General Motors Corp. vehicle in 2004 for the U.S.

The oil-quality sensor monitors the viscosity of the engine oil and can expand intervals in between oil changes by up to 70%. Delphi says the feature is production-ready for gasoline engines.

Due to inclement weather, the companies could offer the demo vehicle for only short rides in an underground parking deck at Delphi's Troy, MI, headquarters. Still, driving it was impressive. Energen 5 made for extremely quiet starting, even in a turbodiesel.

The electro-mechanical brakes were firm and responsive, without feeling over-assisted. A driver would struggle to tell the difference between a conventional braking system and this one, even though the 206 has no hydraulic brake lines, fluid, master cylinder or vacuum booster.

The system uses four electro-mechanical calipers, an integrated electric parking brake and a pedal feel emulator, as well as lightweight aluminum metal matrix composite brake discs. The first system to reach production is not likely to be full brake-by-wire but a hybrid due to regulatory issues, Delphi officials say.