Honda Motor Co. has developed a one-motor hybrid system for small cars that is both lightweight and compact, called the SPORT HYBRID Intelligent Dual Clutch Drive system.
The new powertrains are the latest development of the Earth Dreams Technology series, which focuses on creating new Honda powertrains that enhance driving performance and improve fuel efficiency.
Along with the SPORT HYBRID Intelligent Multi Mode Drive and the SPORT HYBRID SH-AWD, the SPORT HYRBRID Intelligent Dual Clutch Drive comprises Honda’s SPORT HYBRID systems that focuses on accommodating vehicles with different characteristics. Honda expects the Multi Mode Drive to be the most efficient two-motor hybrid system in the world, and will be included aimed at mid-sized cars. The SH-AWD (Super Handling - All Wheel Drive) engine is a three-motor hybrid system geared for larger vehicles. It allows independent control of the distribution of torque between the two rear wheels.
Here is a breakdown of each of the SPORT HYBRID systems:
- The One-Motor Intelligent Dual Clutch Drive is at the top of its class in terms of fuel efficiency and is aimed at creating a more dynamic driving experience. Combining an advanced inline 4-cylinder 1.5-liter Atkinson cycle engine with a 7- speed Dual Clutch Transmission with a high-output motor and a Lithium-Ion battery, Honda increased the engine’s efficiency 30 percent more than a regular one-motor hybrid system. This combination uses the clutches to engage the engine, enabling sporty driving while accelerating and cruising at high speeds. It also uses the clutches to disengage the engine during deceleration, which helps improve efficiency.
- Intended for mid-sized vehicles, the Intelligent Multi Mode Drive/Plug-in combines recently developed engine specialized for hybrid vehicles with two built-in motors and a lock-up clutch, as well as a lithium-ion battery. This driving system is also suitable as a plug-in, and will appear in the 2014 Honda Accord Plug-In. The driving modes consist of EV Drive, which exclusively runs the electric motor, Engine Drive, which optimizes efficiency at medium to high speed cruising by connecting the engine and axle directly through the use of the lock-up clutch, and Hybrid Drive, which is directed at urban driving and powerful acceleration.
- The Super Handling - All Wheel Drive is the final driving system, directed at larger vehicles. It combines a V-6 engine with a high-output three-motor system, which is able to produce acceleration equal to that of a V-8 engine while maintaining the fuel efficiency of an inline 4-cylinder engine. The direct-injected V-6 3.5-liter engine is installed in the very front of the vehicle and works with a 7-speed Dual Clutch transmission. Two electric motors are installed in the back to control torque distribution amongst the wheels.
These new hybrid power trains mark a huge improvement in the car industry. With larger cars that have the power of similarly sized cars but the efficiency of a small 4-cylinder engine, Honda can really take the lead in the race for the most fuel efficient car in every vehicle class.