Tag Archive | "Hybrid"

The All New Toyota Yaris HSD

The All New Toyota Yaris HSD

The Toyota Yaris HSD  (Hybrid Synergy Drive)  is the third Toyota hybrid to be introduced into the South African market following the successful introduction of the Toyota Prius and the Toyota Auris Hybrid. The Yaris HSD will be built by Toyota Motor Manufacturing France (TMMF).

According to Toyota, the introduction of the Toyota Yaris HSD is a first for the B segment, in that the full hybrid technology offers Yaris HSD customers outstanding value for money through an unparalleled combination of competitive price, low maintenance and running costs, and Toyota’s traditional high residual values. This according to Toyota is especially true when comparing the Yaris Hybrid to other diesel powered vehicles in the B segment.

The effective packaging of the HSD propulsion system on the Toyota Yaris allows for an extremely efficient use of space, without detriment to performance, passenger accommodation and load space.

The downsized full hybrid system combines a 1.5 litre 16-valve DOHC Atkinson Cycle petrol engine unit with a lighter, more compact electric motor, transaxle, inverter and battery pack. The total system weight is 201 kg, 20% (42 kg) less than that of an Auris Hybrid.

Combining the power of a 55 kW petrol engine and battery powering the electrical motor, the Yaris HSD’s highly efficient powertrain generates a maximum 74 kW system output. It offers the best balance of performance and fuel consumption/CO2 emissions in the B segment.

The Yaris HSD will accelerate seamlessly from 0-100 km/h in 11.8 seconds, and on to a maximum speed of 165 km/h. Conversely, it delivers an average fuel consumption of just 3.8 l/100 km and segment-best CO2 emissions of only 88 g/km.

Toyota claims the exceptional fuel efficiency of the Toyota Yaris HSD provides a driving range potential of close to 1,000 km on a single tank of fuel.

Other than improvements on the powertrain system, the battery pack has also been downsized. The battery pack features a 144V nickel-metal hydride battery with a more efficient vehicle electric power management system. The number of cells has been reduced from the 168 of the current, Auris Hybrid battery to only 120, composed of 20 modules connected in series. This effects a decrease in volume of 20% and a weight saving of 11 kg, allowing for the installation of the new battery entirely under the rear passenger seats, with no intrusion into the cargo load space.

The Yaris HSD differentiates itself from it Yaris siblings by means of an exclusive, aerodynamically-efficient exterior design which instantly identifies it as the flagship of the Yaris model range.  The main exterior styling differences being the revised front bumper design sized to optimise powertrain cooling, the projector-type headlamp unit which features standard chrome-plated ‘eyebrows’ lipped with an LED ‘lightguide’, and LED Daytime Running Lights (DRL), whilst at the rear the LED-type high mounted stop light, and clear lens combination lights incorporate a LED tail and stop lamp signature unique to the new Yaris HSD.

A number of other change have also been incorporated to help bring down the drag coefficient to 0.286 compared to a normal Toyota Yaris which has a drag coefficient of 0.287. We have to say that it seems like an awful lot of trouble to go through to reduce the drag coefficient by 0.001.

The Yaris HSD is available in two trim grades – mid-spec XS and high-grade XR – both of which feature a generous list of standard kit. The only external differentiators between the two being the inclusion of front fog lights, privacy glass for the rear side windows and a rear spoiler for the flagship XR model.

 On the safety front, the 5-star EuroNCAP rated Yaris gets ABS (with EBD and BAS) as well as Vehicle Stability Control (VSC). In XS guise, the Yaris comes standard with four airbags (driver, passenger and side airbag system) while the XR grade gets a total of seven thanks to the additional curtain shield and driver knee airbags

In the interior, the Toyota Yaris HSD benefits from a driver-focused cockpit with hybrid-exclusive details and trim finishes. Silver ring-trimmed, three dimensional instrument dials incorporate a hybrid system indicator and feature a combination of white and blue backlighting. The centre console-mounted “Toyota Touch” system incorporates a hybrid energy monitor illuminated in blue as well as the dual zone air-conditioning. The Toyota Touch system incorporates a Hybrid Energy Monitor which displays the real-time energy flow within the Hybrid Synergy Drive system. Vehicle information displays include remaining fuel range, instant fuel consumption, average fuel consumption per minute over the last 15 minutes, time elapsed since last engine start as well as a record of past consumption results.

Other features on the Toyota Yaris HSD include; Electronic Brakeforce distribution (EBD) and Brake Assist, Traction Control (TRC) and Vehicle Stability Control (VSC), as well as an Electronically Controlled Braking (ECB) system which coordinates the control of both hydraulic and regenerative braking. Coordinated control of the hydraulic and regenerative braking systems maximises the regeneration of energy by the electric motor during deceleration and under braking.

The recommended retail price for the Yaris HSD XS is R223 800 (incl. VAT) whilst that of the Yaris HSD VR is R245 900 (incl. VAT).

View the video below on the Yaris Hybrid powertain.

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Porsche 918 Spyder Testing Progressing Well

Porsche 918 Spyder Testing Progressing Well


Earlier this year in March members of the press were given the opportunity to drive the Porsche 918 Spyder in Nardo Italy. Two months later and Porsche has started testing of the prototype vehicles.

According to Porsche the initial results of the driving trials are in line with the high expectations placed on the Porsche 918 Spyder.

According to the specification sheet the plug-in hybrid Porsche 918 Spyder is stated to have a combined power output in excess of 500 kW and fuel consumption in the region of three litres per 100 kilometres. The assumption is here is that if testing is progressing well, then that means they are meeting or exceeding their targets.

The Porsche 918 Spyder is planned for production at the end of September 2013.

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The BMW i8 Concept Goes Topless

The BMW i8 Concept Goes Topless

The BMW i3 and BMW i8 concept have caused a stir over the last couple of months but recently BMW added the BMW i8 Concept Spyder to the mix.

The styling may not be to everyone’s taste but there are certain elements both exterior and interior which are visually appealing. Some of the notable features of the i8 Spyder include the upward-swivelling windowless doors, headlights with laser light technology and a range of purpose-oriented on-board equipment including electric kickboards stowed under a transparent tailgate and 3D screens.

 The i8 Concept Spyder is a plug-in hybrid powered by an eDrive drivetrain combining a high-performance electric motor and petrol combustion engine. The power for the electric motor comes from a lithium-ion battery which can be fully charged from a domestic power socket in less than two hours. The 96 kW (131 hp) electric motor on the front axle works in tandem with a turbocharged three-cylinder petrol engine sending 164 kW (223 hp) through the rear wheels. The combined system output being rated at up to 260 kW and a peak torque of 550 Nm.

The acceleration from from 0 to 100 kph is claimed to be five seconds on the way to an electronically governed top speed of 250 kph. Despite this performance, the two-seater burns just three litres of petrol per 100 kilometres in the European test cycle.

With its battery fully charged, the BMW i8 Concept Spyder can cover up to 30 kilometres (19 miles) on electric power alone.

If required, a high-voltage alternator hooked up to the combustion engine generates extra power, which is then stored in the hybrid battery. This range-extending function during the course of a journey allows the two-seater to travel further.

Compared with the Coupe variant of the BMW i8 Concept, the BMW i8 Concept Spyder has a slightly shorter wheelbase and overall length which help to give it a more dynamic feeling according to the BMW press release.

The two videos below showing the BMW i8 Concepy Spyder being driven during the day and at night provide a better idea of what to expect.

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Porsche 918 Spyder

Porsche 918 Spyder

Built as a technology demonstrator and as a successor of the Carrera GT, the 918 Spyder plug-in hybrid vehicle combines a high-performance combustion engine with cutting-edge electric motors to deliver performance that is beyond extraordinary.

Recently a fortunate few members of the press were given the opportunity of driving what appears to be a cosmetically rough 918 prototype at the Nardo Test Track in Italy.

Some of the technology demonstrated on the 918 Spyder includes the full carbon fibre reinforced plastic (CFRP) body, fully adaptive aerodynamics, adaptive rear-axle steering and the upward-venting “top pipes” exhaust system.

The 918 Spyder will have a zero to 100 kph sprint time of less than three seconds with a top speed estimated at over 325 kph and a less than 7:22 minute lap time round the Nürburgring Nordschleife. This will all be accomplished by a car packing more than 566 kW of power accompanied by an efficient or improved fuel consumption figure of approximately three liters per 100 kilometres. In all electric mode the vehicle will have a maximum speed of over 150 kph.

The Porsche developers defined a total of five operating modes that can be activated via a “map switch” in the steering wheel, just like in motor sports cars, these five modes being; E-Power, Hybrid, Sport Hybrid, Race Hybrid and Hot Lap. These range from the E-Power mode which can cover more than 25 kilometeres in pure electric mode to the Hot Lap Option which is a hybrid option in which the combustion engine is used under high load with the electric motor and the traction battery providing additional boost at their maximum power output limits.

The main source of power is the 4.6 litre V8 engine which delivers 419 kW. One of the key points being the so called top pipes (which happen to be the short tailpipes which are located in the upper part of the rear end immediately above the engine) which also help to produce the awesome sound of the 918 Spyder.

Essentially, the hybrid module comprises a 90 kW electric motor and a decoupler acting as the connection with the combustion engine. As a result of the parallel hybrid configuration, the 918 Spyder can be powered at the rear axle both individually by the combustion engine or electric motor or via both drives jointly.

A seven-speed Doppelkupplungsgetriebe (PDK) transmission channels power to the rear axle. If no propulsive power is required on the rear axle, the two motors can be decoupled by opening the decoupler and PDK clutches.

On the front axle there is another, independent electric motor with an output of approximately 80 kW. The front electric drive unit drives the wheels via a fixed ratio. A decoupler ensures that the electric motor can be decoupled at high speeds to prevent the motor from over-revving. The drive torque is independently controlled for each axle. This makes for a very responsive all-wheel function, offering great potential for traction and driving dynamics.

The electric energy for the electric motors is stored by a liquid-cooled lithium-ion battery with its own independent cooling circuit comprising 312 individual cells with an energy content of approximately seven kilowatt hours (6.8 kWh). The charge plug is mounted on the B-Pillar of the 918 Spyder.

Check the video below by Evo magazines Editorial Director and Founder Harry Metcalfe as he does a walk around the 918 Spyder.

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