Hybrids dominate at Peugeot in Paris

  • 13-Oct-2008 09:41 EDT
Paris Show 1008 - 36.jpg

A rear-mounted gasoline engine with front electric drive in the Peugeot RC HYmotion4 departs from the more usual hybrid practice. (John Kendall)

In common with its Citroën subsidiary, it was hybrid technology that dominated the displays at the Peugeot booth at the Paris Show. Although it is some two and a half years since Robert Peugeot, Vice President, Innovation and Quality at Peugeot, stated, “There is no case for the petrol hybrid car in Europe,” a gasoline hybrid was one of the concepts the company displayed at its booth in the shape of the RC HYmotion4.

The mechanical layout is a reversal of usual hybrid powertrain practice in that the turbocharged gasoline engine is fitted transversely at the rear, driving the rear wheels. Maximum power is 218 PS (160 kW), while the synchronous electric motor is rated at a continuous 40 kW, with peak output of 70 kW. The electric motor is mounted at the front under the hood, driving the front wheels. There is no mechanical connection between the two drive systems, and the car can be powered by the gasoline engine or for short distances by the electric motor, or by harnessing their combined peak power of 313 PS (230 kW) for rapid acceleration.

Conventional hybrid functions include regenerative braking and a stop/start system. A lithium-ion 200/400-V battery pack stores the braking energy. The car is said to return 4.5 L/100 km on the European combined cycle, with carbon dioxide emissions of 109 g/km.

The RC HYmotion4 is constructed from an aluminum space frame body, with bodywork components manufactured from composite material. The sleek body provides a Cx value of 0.24.

Suspension is by double aluminum wishbones front and rear. This features hydraulically linked left- and right-hand shock absorbers designed to combat body roll without the use of antiroll bars.

A different approach to parallel hybrid power was taken by the Prologue HYmotion4. This concept uses a front-mounted, turbocharged diesel engine driving the front wheels through a six-speed automated transmission and a rear-mounted electric motor driving the rear wheels. As such, the hybrid platform is similar to that in the Citroën Hypnos concept also shown at Paris. Like the Hypnos, the car draws on elements of SUV and MPV designs but in a more conventional body shell.

The diesel engine can provide 163 PS (120 kW) at 3750 rpm, with 221 lb·ft (300 N·m) at 1580 rpm. At the rear, the electric motor can provide 20 kW of continuous power with 100 N·m (74 lb·ft) or 27 kW of peak power with 200 N·m (148 lb·ft) for brief periods. The electric motor will give a range of 4.5 km (2.8 mi) on a fully charged battery. A European combined cycle figure of 4.1 L/100 km, with carbon dioxide emissions of 109 g/km is quoted by Peugeot.

The battery consists of a 200-V nickel/metal-hydride pack located under the trunk floor close to the electric motor. In conventional hybrid fashion, the key elements include a power inverter for the battery pack, automatic stop/start system, and regenerative braking. During gear changes, the electric drive motor is activated to help provide smoother gearshifts.

Further down the scale, the HYmotion3 Compressor concept draws on Peugeot’s experience as a producer of cycles and scooters to provide a three-wheeled, two-seater commuter vehicle with the potential for very low fuel consumption and emissions.

Structurally, the HYmotion3 Compressor is based on a frame by Peugeot motorcycles. Two polished aluminum rollover bars support the roof section and sweep down to provide a handhold for the rear passenger. In place of rearview mirrors, there are two display screens on the instrument panel.

Powering the rear wheel is a supercharged 20-PS (15-kW) 125-cm³ gasoline engine from the Peugeot Satelis scooter. In addition, both front wheels contain a 3-kW electric motor powered by lithium-ion batteries charged by regenerative braking. Propulsion possibilities follow the usual hybrid norms: gasoline only, electric only at speeds up to 10 km/h (6 mph), or a combination of the two, with peak power or 29 PS (21 kW).

The HYmotion3 Compressor uses parallelogram-type front suspension, with wheels that tilt from the hubs and a transverse damper. ABS brakes are standard with discs at each wheel.

Peugeot quotes a combined fuel consumption figure of 2.0 L/100 km, with carbon dioxide emissions of 47 g/km.

Peugeot reinforced its commitment to stop/start technology by displaying the 308 Stop and Start, powered by the company’s joint venture 112-PS (82-kW) 1.6-L common-rail diesel. The company plans to begin serial production in 2011. With automatic stop and start and regenerative braking, the car will deliver combined fuel consumption of 4.1 L/100 km and carbon dioxide emissions of 109 g/km.

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