Company History

The history section charts the milestones of MAHLE Powertrain from the original founders, Mike Costin (right) and Keith Duckworth (left), to its present day place in the MAHLE Group.



  • Second climatic test chamber commissioned in Vehicle Development Centre (previously RDE Centre)
  • New Battery Development Centre (BDC) opened at Northampton
  • New Chassis Dyno facility approved for Plymouth, MI location


  • Work commences on new Battery Development Centre (BDC) at Northampton
  • ISO 17025 accreditation awarded for vehicle emissions testing to Euro 6 standards
  • Further £1.5m UK Government funding received towards Phase 2 of RDE Centre and work commences


  • Battery test facility opened in Northampton
  • IMechE Dugald Clark prize awarded to MPT USA for innovative pre-chamber ignition technology
  • eAxle test facility opened in Stuttgart (operated by MPT Germany)


  • MAHLE Modular Hybrid Powertrain unveiled at Aachen Colloquium
  • 48V Battery for mild hybrid applications unveiled
  • MAHLE Powertrain acquires the German transmission specialist ZG-Zahnräder und Getriebe GmbH to further strengthen MAHLE Powertrain’s expertise in transmission design and gear optimisation


  • RDE (Real Driving Emissions) Centre opens in Northampton
  • Work commences on running prototype version of 48V MEET city car


  • MAHLE Powertrain receives £2.1m Government funding for new RDE Center and work begins
  • eSuperchargedDI-3 demo car is updated to comply with WLTP / RDE regulations


  • 48V eSupercharged Downsizing demonstrator vehicle is presented
  • New MAHLE Powertrain office opens in Ingolstadt, Germany    
  • RDE test process and routes are the first in the UK to achieve full VCA approval   
  • Official unveiling of the new Vehicle Engineering Centre at MAHLE Powertrain’s Northampton headquarters 
  • MAHLE Powertrain LLC relocated from Farmington Hills to an ex-Westport facility in Plymouth, MI


  • PEMS (Portable Emissions Measurement System) testing service is introduced
  • ‘Through the Road’ Parallel Hybrid demonstrator vehicle is presented
  • New MAHLE Powertrain office opens in Aschheim, Germany 


  • 50kW Range Extender is presented as part of a new engine family
  • Major upgrade of the UK engine test facilities (6 test cells) at Northampton


  • New electric vehicle charging point installed at MAHLE Powertrain's Northampton headquarters
  • Grand opening of MAHLE'S new R&D technical centre in Farmington Hills, MI, USA
  • Two additional engine test cells commissioned at Shanghai technical centre (making 6 in total)


  • Development of MAHLE Jet Ignition®
  • Presentation of MAHLE Range Extender demonstrator vehicle
  • Successfully completed balanced high speed bottom end for single cylinder research engine
  • Grand opening of MAHLE's extended R&D technical centre in Shanghai, China


  • MAHLE Range Extender engine successfully developed and designed
  • MAHLE flexible ECU (MFE) successfully introduced
  • Stirling engine designed and tested


  • MAHLE downsizing engine installed into a mid-sized estate demonstrator vehicle
  • Detailed research into biofuels combustion in MAHLE Downsizing engine


  • New engine assembly facility commissioned at Northampton


  • Commenced UK government research project into parasitic loss reduction in engines
  • Collaboration with Ford and BP
  • Grand opening of the new MAHLE technical centre in Jundiai, near Sao Paulo, Brazil


  • MAHLE presents downsizing engine at the Frankfurt IAA Motor Show 1.2 litre, inline 3-cylinder engine produces 120 kW


  • Newly designed Optical Engine to study VVT systems and the combustion of alternative fuels for future direct injection gasoline engines. Ongoing research projects at University College London


  • Cosworth Technology acquired by MAHLE from Audi Group, changing name and trading as MAHLE Powertrain from 1st July

Audi era


  • New manufacturing site at Wellingborough for cast iron machining, officially opened by John Patterson, Chief Executive, J C Bamford Excavators Ltd.
  • Engineering site awarded Ford Q1 2003/4 certificate for 'Powertrain Development'


  • New logistics facility built at Wellingborough


  • Cosworth Technology receives Ford Q1 award
  • High performance SVT Focus engine developed together with Ford


  • Cosworth Technology delivers 1000th Aston Martin V12 engine
  • Cosworth Technology Inc. opens new customer facilities in Novi, MI, USA, following more than £1 million investment
  • New vehicle workshop built at Northampton

Vickers era


  • Cosworth Engineering, Novi, MI, USA becomes the first engineering service supplier to be awarded the Ford Q1 Award
  • Cosworth Engineering, Manufacture and Casting units are acquired by Audi AG from Vickers trading as Cosworth Technology
  • Racing unit, trading as Cosworth Racing, sold to Ford Motor Co


  • Aston Martin V12 engine programme commences


  • Cosworth Engineering acquires Intelligent Controls, Novi, MI, USA
  • Secretary of State for Transport, the Rt Hon Sir George Young, opens the Emissions and Driveability Centre at Northampton
  • New high volumes foundry opened to produce V8 cylinder head castings for Jaguar and later V6 block castings for both Rover and Audi


  • Sir Richard Lloyd, Chairman of Vickers, opens Product Development Centre, Worcester


  • Keith Duckworth retires; Mike Costin becomes Chairman of Cosworth Engineering
  • Jackie Stewart opens the new Engineering Development Centre in Northampton


  • Ford Sierra RS500 Cosworth engine produced


  • The Duke of Kent opens the Wellingborough plant
  • Ford Sierra RS Cosworth engine produced


  • Mercedes-Benz 190E 2.3-16 cylinder heads produced

Cosworth era


  • Mike Costin and Keith Duckworth found Cosworth Engineering; first sited in Shaftsbury Mews, London


  • Cosworth Engineering moves to St. James Mill Road, Northampton


  • Keith Duckworth signs the Ford-Cosworth contract for the DFV (Double Four Valve)


  • Lotus Cosworth-Ford DFV debuts at the Dutch Grand Prix Zandvoort: Jim Clark wins by
    27 seconds


  • Castings plant established in Worcester, England
  • Castings manufacture heads and blocks for F1 and Indy Car Series