Peugeot-Citroen plans to produce an auto that will get an average fuel economy of 69 miles per gallon. The company says this is 25 percent higher than a comparable gasoline-engined hybrid, with a boost of up to 17 mpg on a combination of urban and freeway driving.
The power unit is a 1.6-liter four-cylinder diesel, with direct injection and a system that scrubs particulates from the exhaust. The power goes into an electronically-controlled transmission.
The combination of an electric motor, inverter, high-voltage battery and special electronic controls is said to be a breakthrough. In normal driving, the electric motor can deliver a 35-percent boost in power for extra acceleration.
Peugeot-Citroen says it could possibly sell the Hybride HDi vehicles as soon as 2010.