New Honda hybrid system revealed

* New Honda hybrid system * Designed for small cars * Joins two- and three-motor systems...

New Honda hybrid system revealed

Honda has revealed a new one-motor hybrid system as part of its Earth Dreams Technology series.

The Sports Hybrid Intelligent Dual Clutch Drive system is designed to power small vehicles, and joins two other hybrid drivetrains that cater for vehicles of differing sizes. The new systems are expected to replace the company's ageing IMA hybrid technology.

Honda says that while its new single-motor sports system will offer high levels of fuel economy, it won't compromise performance.

The system consists of a 1.5-litre four-cylinder engine that's connected to a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission. Alongside this, Honda says that the integrated motor and lithium-ion battery help boost efficiency by more than 30%.

According to Honda, the one-motor hybrid system helps the engine achieve higher speeds while accelerating and cruising. At start-up and at low speeds the electric motor alone provides power, while the system also helps improve fuel economy and energy regeneration because it freewheels when you ease off the accelerator.

Honda has also announced details of its Sport Hybrid Intelligent Multi Mode Drive system, which combines a newly developed 2.0-litre petrol engine with two built-in motors and a lithium-ion battery. It optimises efficiency by automatically switching between three different driving modes EV Drive, Engine Drive, or Hybrid Drive depending on driving conditions.

Finally, there's the Sport Hybrid SH-AWD system, which uses a 3.5-litre V6 petrol engine, linked to a seven-speed dual clutch transmission with built-in electric motor. Two electric motors at the rear of the car control torque distribution to each wheel. Honda says it will deliver V8 performance, with fuel economy better than that of a four-cylinder engine.

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By Pete Barden