Additional involvement in motorsport
In addition to Formula 1 and the 24 Hours of Le Mans, MAHLE is involved in many other major racing series. The wide variety within motorsport leads to new insight that can be utilized in many different forms. For example, the FIA World Rally Championship (WRC) presents its own unique challenges for vehicles and engines. Switching between gravel, snow, and asphalt during the race, along with transfer stages that must also be traveled “under power,” the load profile is extremely varied. Thermally and mechanically, the components must be designed for long trips under low loads as well as constant full speed.
In the German Touring Car Masters (DTM, Deutsche Tourenwagen-Masters), the technical regulation for V8 engines has been frozen for a long time. During this time, the primary focus of component development has been the aspects of friction reduction—e.g., using DLC-coated pistons—and knock resistance. A transition phase in development from V8 engines to four-cylinder engines has recently been announced for the future. The fundamental effect on component design is comparable to the latest developments in Formula 1.
Another extreme is the MotoGP, the highest class in motorcycle racing. At engine speeds of up to 18,000 rpm, surfaces with ultrahigh specifications must be used in order to withstand the loads. Here, MAHLE uses nanocoatings on the piston skirt, and the groove surface on the second piston ring must be specially designed for the extremely abrasive conditions, for example.
In addition to other racing series, such as NASCAR and Formula 3, MAHLE deals with not only current developments but also historical race cars. Based on customer demands, for example, earlier engine components are replicated.
All of these racing series are won with MAHLE pistons. For success in international motorsport, MAHLE is always the first partner of choice.