Yet another hybrid is set to take a bow in Geneva, but this one walks a slightly different path. The LC Super Hybrid, as it’s called, shows what can be achieved through electric hybridisation at low voltages (12-48 volts) using the latest lead-carbon batteries.

Conceived by Controlled Power Technologies (CPT) and the Advanced Lead-Acid Battery Consortium (ALABC), the production-ready micro-mild technology offers the potential of a mass market, petrol-powered, large family car with superb drivability, impressive performance and excellent fuel economy achieved at substantially lower cost than an equivalent diesel model.

Based on a series production 1.4 litre turbocharged VW Passat TSI model, the LC Super Hybrid is set to provide carmakers with real world validation of the pioneering technology. The tech comprises a Valeo electric supercharger (powered by the battery), next generation belt-integrated starter generator with an advanced belt tensioning system, carbon enhanced valve regulated lead–acid (VRLA) batteries which avoid the need for super-capacitors, and higher gear ratios to reduce engine speed.

Recalibration of the engine has increased power from 122 to 142 PS and torque from 200 Nm to 275 Nm. This output is comparable with VW’s bigger 160 PS and 250 Nm 1.8 litre TSI gasoline engine. Despite the enhanced gasoline engine performance, the vehicle achieves near diesel levels of fuel economy, but with substantially lower production costs.

The Passat demonstrator weighs in at approximately 1,530 kg, with its upgraded battery pack and on-board test equipment adding about 79 kg to the kerb weight of the baseline vehicle. However, much of this additional mass, including the test equipment, would be eliminated in a production vehicle as well as the existing starter motor, which is made redundant by the belt-integrated starter generator.

Figures provide the necessary validity – the LC Super Hybrid delivers CO2 emissions of less than 130 g/km compared with 140 g/km for the baseline Passat 1.4 litre TSI, which is already best in class.

Similarly, fuel economy is a claimed 5.6 litres per 100 km, an improvement over the 6.2L/100 km for the 1.4 TSI, measured over the standard European drive cycle. Performance-wise, the LC Super Hybrid gets to 100 km/h from standstill in 8.7 seconds, an improvement of 2.5 seconds over the 1.4 TSI’s 11.1 seconds.