MAHLE pistons: not just for Formula 1

Intensive research and development, top quality, and a wide variety of piston type for every kind of engine have convinced all of the famous engine manufacturers to use MAHLE pistons. Of course we also make our pistons available in original equipment quality for the aftermarket.

The demands on our pistons are pretty tough

Up to 2,600°C in the combustion chamber and 250 bar ignition pressure: the working conditions for a piston are tough. And they are getting even tougher, with rising engine speeds and longer piston strokes. At the same time, pistons need to be lighter, seal better, consume less oil, and run absolutely reliably in extremely cold and hot conditions. For commercial vehicle applications, they even need to last over a million kilometres. In short, there are easier jobs.

The materials assemblies (pistons and cylinder liners) are made of

The optimal piston for each engine

ECOFORM® pistons with pivoted side core

Weight-optimised pistons for passenger car petrol engines: low weight and high structural strength thanks to special casting technology.


Single-piece forged steel pistons for pressures of 200 bar and more. The variant with a short piston pin and connected skirt is only slightly heavier than an aluminium piston.


The steel piston crown is movably connected to the aluminium skirt via the piston pin. Extremely strong, with low wear, perfect for low emissions in highly stressed diesel engines.

Two-stroke pistons

Pistons made of special aluminium alloys. These are resistant to the high mechanical and thermal loads of two-stroke engines.

Cast solid-skirt pistons

The piston crown, ring belt, and skirt form a robust unit for long service life in petrol and diesel engines of all sizes.

Forged solid-skirt pistons

Greater strength than the cast variant, resulting in thinner walls and lower weight. Ideal for highly stressed series production and racing engines.


With cast-in steel strips and slots at the transition between the ring belt and the skirt. Very quiet pistons for passenger car engines.


With cast-in steel strips, but no slots, they form a single body with greater strength. They are used primarily in highly stressed petrol and diesel engines for passenger cars.

Ring carrier pistons with pin bore bushings

The special cast-iron ring carrier is securely connected to the piston material, thus increasing wear resistance in the first groove of diesel engines. Bores have high load capacity due to bushings made of special materials.

Ring carrier pistons with cooling channel

For particularly high operating temperatures: the piston crown and ring belt are cooled by means of oil flowing through a channel.

Ring carrier pistons with cooling channel and crown reinforcement

A special hard-anodised coating (HA coating) on the piston crown protects against cracks in the bowl rim or crown. For highly stressed diesel engines.

Pistons with cooled ring carriers

The ring carrier and cooling channel are combined into one system using a special manufacturing process. This improves the heat dissipation at the first ring groove.

Evotec pistons

Pistons with asymmetrical walls for lower weight and greater stability.

Research and development for the repair shop: so that you can continue to install safe products in the future

Innovative developments: FERROTHERM, EVOTEC, EVOLITE, MONOTHERM, and MonoGuide


The two-piece FERROTHERM® piston, with its highly temperature-resistant forged steel head and aluminium skirt, has been on the market for 25 years now. Nevertheless it remains a modern piston design that is used primarily in commercial vehicles.

Evotec SC pistons

The EVOTEC 2 piston, with its weight-optimised design, is currently a very good basis for prevailing power densities of around 100 kW/L. In comparison with the EVOTEC 2 piston, the EVOTEC SC has an additional cooling channel, which is created by inserting a salt core during casting. The integrated cooling channel causes temperatures at the piston crown and around the first ring land to drop by up to 25 K. The load capacity at these locations is significantly increased, which makes power densities of considerably more than 100 kW/L possible. In addition, such pistons reach operating temperatures more quickly, which has a favourable effect on exhaust gas emissions.

EVOLITE pistons

With the development of EVOLITE—the latest generation of petrol engine pistons—MAHLE demonstrates that the limits of lightweight design can still be extended. The new piston design for modern, highly loaded petrol engines that are optimised for frictional loss represents the next step in the ongoing development of the EVOTEC 2 design, which has been tried and tested in series production. The goal of development was to update the EVOTEC principle and to use ultramodern simulation tools to tap additional potential for mass savings and incorporate them in a manufacturable product. A numerical 3D topology optimisation of the EVOTEC 2 piston concept was performed in order to develop the EVOLITE.

Steel pistons for diesel engines

The single-piece MONOTHERM steel piston for diesel engines has been tried and tested for some time in commercial vehicle engines. Since 2014 it has also been used in high-speed passenger car engines. It has substantial advantages in terms of friction and combustion, minimizing both fuel consumption and emissions. The next step in its ongoing development is MonoGuide—this two-piece piston separates the piston crown from an extended skirt and seems to be especially well-suited for use in aluminium engine blocks. A good alternative for ignition pressures of about 200 bar is the latest MonoWeld®. For diesel commercial vehicles with substantially higher stresses, there is the bolted three-piece MonoXcomp®, which can handle even the toughest requirements.

MonoXcomp® pistons

Three-piece bolted piston made of different materials. For the highest thermal and mechanical stresses in commercial vehicle engines.

MonoWeld® pistons

A robust, low-cost steel piston made using the new friction welding process. For commercial vehicle engines with over 200 bar ignition pressure.

MAHLE is improving the lightweight aluminium piston with advanced technologies: cast-in cooled ring carriers, remelts or aluminium oxide fibres on the combustion chamber bowl, ADC cast iron on the bowl rim, and high-quality alloy bushings in the pin boss.