26. February 2018

FEV and Hilite Partnering on Series Production of Two-Stage, VCR Connecting Rod

VCR connecting rods optimize internal combustion engine compression ratios.

Aachen, February 2018 – The FEV Group and automotive parts supplier, Hilite International, are partnering to develop and manufacture a two-stage, variable compression ratio (VCR) connecting rod. The goal of this partnership is to leverage synergies in the development of the product and devise a cost efficient solution for serial production.

This collaboration is mutually beneficial for both parties. FEV will provide the development and systems expertise, while Hilite, a systems supplier with vast experience in production, has the know-how to produce large quantities of components. 

According to Professor Stefan Pischinger, President and CEO of the FEV Group, “we have found Hilite to be a strong partner for the final phase of development for the VCR connecting rod, as they have established themselves as a systems supplier within the market.” On the subject of the cooperation, he adds, “VCR connecting rods are an important technology for the future of the internal combustion engine to considerably reduce CO2 and exhaust emissions in real operation. FEV’s solution has the advantage that it can be incorporated into nearly any engine without an entire redesign.”  

David Wei, CEO of Hilite, based in Marktheidenfeld, Germany, gives a positive assessment of the partnership, which initially is scheduled for a period of two years. 

“We supply our customers with advanced and efficient solutions,” said Wei. “By collaborating with FEV and combining our expertise, we will now be able to offer our customers this value proposition in the area of VCR.” 

The VCR technology meets the challenges of downsizing and the associated increase in combustion pressure by enabling optimal adjustment of the compression ratio at any time. This innovative approach is a reasonable complement to the wide variety of future powertrain solutions for affordable, personal mobility. The optimized internal combustion engine will continue to play a major role alongside purely electric drives – in particular, for long-distance travel – and in hybrid vehicles. That claim is even more valid when considering that the properties of future, renewable fuels (referred to as “e-fuels”), encounter favorable conditions within a VCR engine.

The two-stage VCR connecting rod developed by FEV is already being used in multiple demonstration vehicles. The company also has prototypes for heavy-duty and large engines, which have already proven their performance in a comprehensive series of tests.

About Hilite
Since it was founded in June 1999, Hilite International has grown into a global automobile parts supplier. The focus is on the development and production of systems and components for improving fuel consumption and reducing emissions. The company demonstrates its comprehensive experience and vast expertise with advanced products for engines and powertrains.


Hilite has just under 1,600 employees at eight locations in Europe, North America, and Asia.

About FEV
The FEV Group is a leading international service provider for turnkey vehicle development. Its range of engineering competencies includes consulting, development and testing of innovative vehicles and their powertrains from concept to series production. The range of services for propulsion systems include modern, highly efficient gasoline and diesel engines, transmissions, hybrid and fully electric drive systems and fuel cell systems as well as their integration, calibration and homologation into the vehicle. Further core topics at FEV are alternative fuels, the development of electronic control systems, vehicle connectivity and the automation of vehicles through hardware and software development. The service portfolio is fulfilled by customized test bench and measurement equipment including software solutions that allow essential work stages to be efficiently transferred from the road to the test bench or simulation.

The FEV Group employs more than 6700 highly qualified specialists in customer-oriented development centers at more than 40 locations on 5 continents.