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
FEV is a leading independent international service provider of vehicle and powertrain development for hardware and software. The range of competencies includes the development and testing of innovative solutions up to series production and all related consulting services.The range of services for vehicle development includes the design of body and chassis, including the fine tuning of overall vehicle attributes such as driving behaviour and NVH. FEV also develops innovative lighting systems and solutions for autonomous driving and connectivity. The electrification activities of powertrains cover powerful battery systems, e-machines and inverters. Additionally FEV develops highly efficient gasoline and diesel engines, transmissions, EDUs as well as fuel cell systems and facilitates their integration into vehicles suitable for homologation. Alternative fuels are a further area of development.

The service portfolio is completed by tailor-made test benches and measurement technology, as well as software solutions that allow efficient transfer of the essential development steps of the above-mentioned developments, from the road to the test bench or simulation.

The FEV Group is growing continuously and currently employs 6700 highly qualified specialists in customer-oriented development centers at more than 40 locations on five continents.