JSAE Automotive Engineering Exposition 2013: OEMs

Toyota, Nissan, Honda, and Subaru exhibit new hybrid vehicles and a variety of safety features



 The report below is a summary of exhibits by Japanese OEMs at the 2013 Automotive Engineering Exposition held in Yokohama on May 22-24, 2013. A record of 475 companies including OEMs and suppliers (up 39 companies year-on-year) participated in this exposition. The number of visitors also marked a record high to about 78,000 (announced by the organizer, up 6,000 year-on-year), making it a huge success.

 Many exhibits by OEM were related to, electrification technologies for hybrid and electric vehicles: a prototype of Subaru XV HYBRID launched this summer, Honda 2-motor hybrid system, a cutaway model of Toyota Crown HV, and the new powertrain of Nissan Leaf EV. In addition, as a special event, Nissan and Honda exhibited ultra compact EVs.

 This year, there were many exhibits concerning weight reduction technology that uses steel and safety technology. Concerning weight reduction, Nissan unveiled the white body that uses 1.2GPa ultra high tensile strength sheet of the Infiniti Q50. Honda exhibited a front sub-frame that welds steel and aluminum through Friction Stir Welding.

 As for safety technology, exhibits included Toyota's Pop-up hood mounted on Toyota New Crown, Daihatsu's first crash-avoidance system, the "Smart Assist" for mini vehicles, and Mazda's "i-ACTIVSENSE," which is equipped in more than 60% of the new Mazda6.

 Subaru (Fuji Heavy Industries) improved fuel economy of the Subaru XV Hybrid, combining its hybrid system with a cruise control system of driving assist system, the "Eyesight."

Related Reports:  JSAE Automotive Engineering Exposition 2013: Parts Suppliers
Several EV/HV and start/stop technologies exhibited (Jun. 2013)
Various equipment and technologies improve fuel efficiency (Jun. 2013)

Hybrid technology: Honda and Subaru


Engine room of a plug-in hybrid vehicle
     Engine room of a plug-in hybrid vehicle (an 
    experimental vehicle) with Honda's "Sport Hybrid
Electric CVT of Sport Hybrid i-MMD
Electric CVT of Sport Hybrid i-MMD: The engine is on the left. The rightmost component is the motor for power generation and the component on its left is the drive motor. The gear on the far left connects the engine and the motor for power generation. On the right side of the gear is the clutch connecting the engine and the drive wheel. The small gear on top is connected to the output shaft of the drive motor.


Honda 2-motor HV system  Sport hybrid i-MMD  The Sport hybrid i-MMD is a hybrid system that is used in Accord Hybrid which was released in Japan in June 2013. The fuel economy of the model is announced to be 30.0km/L (in JC08 mode). The system is also used in the Accord plug-in hybrid (PHV) launched in the US in January 2013. The differences between the two systems are the capacity of a lithium-ion battery (1.3kWh for HV and 6.7kWh for PHV) and whether a charging port is equipped or not.
 The Sport hybrid i-MMD consists of a 2.0-liter Atkinson cycle engine and an electric CVT equipped with a drive motor and a motor for power generation. The maximum output of the system is 146 kW. The maximum output of the drive motor is 124 kW. The system basically operates as a series hybrid system and, during medium-speed and high-speed cruising, the engine is connected to the drive wheel through the clutch to power the vehicle by the engine.
 The XV HYBRID is Subaru's first HV model that was launched in Japan in June 2013 and is scheduled to be launched in North America in the autumn. The base model, the XV compact SUV, was developed from the beginning with the assumption that it will feature a HV system later The fuel economy is 20.0km/L, which is about 30% better (but is 120kg heavier) than the base model. The battery (capacity: 0.6kWh) made by Panasonic is housed in the sub-luggage room in the rear part of the vehicle.
 The XV HYBRID features a 2.0-liter FB20 engine that is upgraded for a hybrid vehicle with a higher compression ratio and that employs a cooled EGR. A motor (maximum output: 10kW) is built in the CVT. The motor is directly connected to the pulley hooked up to the engine through the clutch to support the engine drive. All-wheel-drive with the motor is also made possible.
 In addition to a regular starter, the XV HYBRID features Integrated Starter Generator (ISG), which has an exclusive lead cell for restarting the engine while driving. The model also has another lead cell for electric components, which is recharged from the motor in the CVT. The ISG plus two lead cell system is the same system employed in Nissan's S-HYBRID.
Toyota New Crown HV
cutaway model
 The cutaway model of the New Crown hybrid (launched in December 2012) was exhibited. The model comes with a system that combines an inline 4-cylinder 2.5-liter engine for FR sedans with a hybrid transmission. This newly-developed engine features a new D-4S system (direct-injection/port injection combination system), intake and exhaust VVT, and Atkinson cycle to achieve heat efficiency of 38.5%. The fuel economy is 23.2km/L (in JC08 mode). The same hybrid system is equipped in LEXUS IS300h and GS300h.
Nissan HV system for FF vehicle  The HV system is a 1-motor, 2-clutch hybrid system for midsize or larger FF vehicles to be used in the Pathfinder, which will be launched in North America in the summer of 2013. In the system, the engine, the clutch, the motor, and the CVT (with clutch) are arranged in this order. The engine is a 2.5-liter engine with supercharger. Nissan plans to develop a hybrid system for smaller class vehicles by evolving its simplified HV system, S-HYBRID.


the engine room of the XV Hybrid
Two lead batteries on the left and right mounted in the engine room of the XV Hybrid.
Cutaway model of Toyota Crown Hybrid
Cutaway model of Toyota Crown Hybrid
(Photo: engine room)
Nissan HV system for FF vehicles
Nissan HV system for FF vehicles: 2.5-liter engine with supercharger Engine and CVT8 Hybrid made by JATCO



EV: Nissan's new powertrain of the Leaf, Hino's small EV bus, and SIM-Drive's prototype


New E-Powertrain mounted on the face-lifted Leaf
New E-Powertrain mounted on the face-lifted Leaf: The weight and volume of the motor and the inverter is reduced by 11.7kg and 5.1L to 69.4kg and 29.3L, respectively.


Nissan E-Powertrain  Nissan exhibited the new powertrain of the face-lifted EV Leaf in November 2012, two years after its launch. The maximum torque is 254 Nm (before the facelift: 280Nm). The maximum output is 80kW (no change). The final gear ratio is 8.194 (before the facelift: 7.938).
 The E-Powertrain integrates a motor, a reducer, an inverter, and PDM (Power Delivery Module) to reduce weight by 10% and volume by 30% from previous powertrain. The charger, which was placed on the back of the rear seat before a facelift, is integrated with the DC-DC converter and is dubbed PDM. Nissan says that, since EVs are a new type of vehicle and technologies for them are rapidly changing, the automaker is currently making further improvement for full remodeling.
Hino Poncho EV  The Poncho EV is a limited edition EV - remodeled from a small bus, the Poncho. The price is about JPY 80 million including a charger (the price of the base model is JPY 16.5 million). Hino receives many inquires from local governments and is considering positive promotion from now.
 The drive battery is a lithium-ion battery made by IHI (The battery cell is made by A123 Systems). The capacity of the battery is 30kWh. The drive motor is a permanent magnet synchronous motor made by US-based UQM Technologies (maximum output: 200kW, maximum torque: 900Nm).
SIM-Drive SIM-CEL  SIM-Drive exhibited the SIM-CEL, a third prototype model which was made public in March 2013. As did the former models, the SIM-CEL features an in-wheel motor for four wheels. The maximum toque of each motor is increased from 700Nm to 850Nm to achieve 4.2 seconds of 0 km/h to 100 km/h acceleration time. The cruising range (in JC08 mode) is 324km. When the vehicle stops, the output from the inverter is terminated. By featuring such system equivalent to a start/stop system, the cruising range is increased by 20km.


Hino Poncho EV
Hino Poncho EV
SIM-Drive 's third prototype model: SIM-CEL


Toyota and Mitsubishi: external electricity supply system

Toyota PHV external power supply system  An external power supply system (optional price: JPY 94,500 (consumption tax included)) of the Prius PHV is a system in which a connecter for power supply is put into a charging port. It can supply electricity for appliances with output up to 1.5kW. With a full tank of gas, the system can supply electricity required by a standard household for four days (about 10kWh per day).
Mitsubishi MiEV power box  The MiEV power box is a system in which Mitsubishi EV, i-MiEV/MINICAB-MiEV, supplies electricity. The maximum output is 1500W. The manufacturer's suggested retail price is JPY 149,800 (consumption tax included).


connector for power supply
Toyota: connector for power supply, which is put into a charging port.
MiEV power box
Mitsubishi: MiEV power box



Weight reduction technology: Nissan and Honda


The white body made of ultra high tensile strength steel of the Infiniti Q50 The white body made of ultra high tensile strength steel of the Infiniti Q50
The white body made of ultra high tensile strength steel of the Infiniti Q50:red: ultra high tensile strength steel (1.2GPa), orange: ultra high tensile strength steel (780-980MPa), blue: high tensile steel (440-590MPa), and grey: mild steel


Nissan Ultra high tensile strength steel with high formability  Nissan exhibited the white body of the Infiniti Q50, for which it used ultra high tensile strength steel (1.2GPa) with high formability applicable to complex forms. The 1.2GPa ultra high tensile strength steel, which is jointly developed with Nippon Steel, Sumitomo Metal Corporation, and Kobe Steel, is used for A pillar, the upper half of B pillar, and side sill. The most distinctive feature of the new ultra high tensile strength steel is the material and the forming technology for allowing the ultra high tensile strength steel to be stamped with a standard stamping machine (Hot press material (1.5GPa) is partially used for the floor of the Q50).
 In March 2013, Nissan announced the plan to increase the rate of use (mass ratio) of ultra high tensile strength steel (780MPa or higher) from 9% in 2013 to 25% in 2017 or later.
Honda Steel and aluminum Fiction Stir Welding technology  Honda uses a front sub frame that welds steel and aluminum for the North American Accord. Conventionally, steel and aluminum were fixed with bolts. With this technology, iron and aluminum are continually welded using Fiction Stir Welding (FSW). With this, Honda reduced weight by 25% (6kg), improved stiffness by 20%, and cut energy for manufacturing by 50%. The Accord PHV uses a sub frame entirely made of aluminum for weight reduction.


Front sub-frame
Front sub-frame in which steel and aluminum are welded by FSW. The red arrow on the top indicates the welded part (Enlarge)
Cross section of the welded steel and aluminum
Cross section of the welded steel and aluminum. 1-micron film is said to be formed.



Safety technologies


The elevated Pop-up hood
The elevated Pop-up hood, which is installed in Toyota New Crown. The actuator is seen through the cut section of the front fender.
The pressure chamber and the pressure sensor
The pressure chamber and the pressure sensor placed at the front bumper of the Crown.


Toyota Pop-up hood  When a vehicle collides with a pedestrian, the pop-up hood helps reduce the impact on the pedestrian's head by elevating the rear part of the hood with an actuator to make larger space under the hood. The collision is detected with a pressure chamber and a sensor (made by Denso). The pressure chamber is placed throughout the front bumper, making it possible to detect the collision without being influenced by the position of the collision.
Daihatsu Smart Assist  The Smart Assist is a crash avoidance assist system which was mounted on the face-lifted Move in December 2012. The vehicle became Daihatsu's first mini vehicle to feature the Smart Assist. The system consists of four functions: 1: Brakes that assist low-speed crash avoidance at low speeds (20km/h or slower), 2: Gas pedal misoperation control, 3: Detecting a start of a vehicle in front, and 4: VSC and TRC. The range of irradiation by the radar is 20 meter.
Subaru(FHI) EyeSight exclusive for hybrid vehicles  Subaru added a new cruise control system for improving fuel economy to the EyeSight, a driving assist system with a stereo camera. When the cruise control is activated, the system controls the vehicle to use an EV mode and a regenerative braking as much as possible to improve practical fuel economy at high speeds. The system is dubbed as ECO Cruise Control.
safety system
 The i-ACTIVSENSE is a safety system featuring collision avoidance assist/mitigation reduction/hazard recognition technology including cruise control. The system is used in more than 60% of the Mazda6. Mazda introduces the i-ACTIVSENSE in Japan, and the US, Europe, and Australia. Millimeter-wave radar is supplied by Denso, an infrared radar/camera is by Continental, and quasi-millimeter radar is by Hella.
UD Trucks Safety technology road map  In Europe, the featuring of Advanced Emergency Brake System (AEBS) will become mandatory for new heavy-duty trucks starting in November 2013. In Japan, it will also become mandatory starting in November 2014. UD Trucks, which is under the umbrella of the Volvo Group, plans to develop AEBS independently. This is partly because of the cost, and partly because the road condition varies between Europe and Japan and the system developed by Volvo is not easy to operate in Japan. After AEBS, UD Trucks will develop a lane keeping system.



New models and new engines


Suzuki mini height wagon, Spacia, launched in March 2013.The Spacia is about 90kg lighter than the former model, the Palette.
The generator of Suzuki regenerative braking system, ene-Charge. Lead battery for a start/stop system on the front, Lithium-ion battery under the front passenger seat.


Suzuki Spacia  The Spacia is a light height wagon that Suzuki launched in March 2013. The model is a fully-redesigned and renamed Palette. It is developed targeting families with small children, having spacious interior. By using technologies including ene-Charge in which a braking energy is used to generate electricity, a start/stop system in which the engine is stopped at speeds of 13km/h or slower, and an eco-cool that provides cold air even when the engine stopped, the model has improved fuel economy to 29.0km/L (inJC08 mode, 2WD vehicle).
 In addition, compared to the former model, the Spacia reduced its weight by 90kg to 840kg (2WD model). High-tensile steel plate (up to 1180MPa) is used in 42% of the body to reduce weight by about 22kg. The weight of the seat is reduced by 13kg through the use of high-tensile steel plate, and integration of parts/miniaturization/thinning. The suspension is also made 18 kg lighter.
Daihatsu Move  The model is the Move which was face-lifted in December 2012. The most distinct feature is the availability of a crash avoidance assist system with radar for the first time as a mini vehicle. The fuel economy (naturally-aspirated 2WD model) is also improved from 27.0km/L to 29.0km/L by enhancing a temperature control technology for the powertrain.
Mazda Mazda6  The Mazda6 is a flagship sedan that Mazda launched in November 2012. The model comes with all features of SKYACTIV technologies for its engine and the body. The fuel economy of the model with diesel engine/6-speed MT is 22.4km/L. The model features a regenerative braking system, i-ELOOP, which uses a capacitor and a variable voltage generator, as standard equipment. It also employs i-ACTIVSENSE safety system.


The Move
The Move, which features a crash avoidance assist system for the first time as Daihatsu mini vehicle.
Mazda Atenza
Mazda6 features a regenerative braking system, i-ELOOP, and i-ACTIVSENSE safety system


Nissan's downsized supercharged engine and Mitsubishi's diesel engine

Nissan 1.2-liter engine with supercharger  The 1.2-liter engine is a downsized, supercharged engine installed on the Note which was launched in Japan in September 2012. This HR12DDR engine combines a 1.2-liter, direct-injection, mirror-cycle engine having a compression rate of 12 with a supercharger to achieve fuel economy of 25.2km/L on JC08 mode. The supercharger with the excellent responsiveness is used. In addition, an electric clutch is provided to disengage the supercharger from the engine when supercharging is unnecessary for avoiding drive loss. Before its launch in Japan, the engine was mounted on the Micra (March) for European market in 2011.
Mitsubishi 4N14 diesel engine  The 4N14 diesel engine is a 2.2-liter clean diesel engine that meets Euro5/post new long-term regulation. The engine mounted on the Outlander for Europe is installed on the D:5 (fuel economy:13.6km/L in JC08 mode), which was launched in January 2013. To install the new diesel engine on the D:5, Mitsubishi faced a major challenge including quietness because the engine room was small. Mitsubishi solved the issue by using many acoustic insulators.


Nissan 1.2-liter engine with supercharger
Nissan 1.2-liter engine with supercharger
4N14 diesel engine used in Mitsubishi D:5
4N14 diesel engine used in Mitsubishi D:5



Special exhibit 1: Ultra-compact EVs


Nissan New Mobility Concept Honda MICOR COMMUTER PROTOTYPE
Nissan New Mobility Concept
A front/rear 2-seater compact EV. The face-lifted model of the Renault Twizy sold in Europe, with a new exterior. A test ride was available at the Show.
An experimental model of compact EV for one adult and two children. Honda plans to conduct a practical experiment using an upgraded PROTOTYPE β starting in Japan in the autumn of 2013.
Toyota Auto Body COMS ElecTrike Japan eTrike
Toyota Auto Body COMS
1-seater compact EV. Individual use/ commercial use (photo) model are available. The price is JPY     798,000 (for individual use).
ElecTrike Japan eTrike
1-seater EV, which is an upgraded model of three-wheel motorcycle made by India-based BAJAJ. A roll over is prevented by controlling the two rear wheels independently. The price is JPY 2 million.
Gunma University μ-TT2
Gunma University μ-TT2
1-seater compact EV developed by Gunma University's next-generation EV research group. It will be designed as two-seaters in the future.



Special exhibit 2: Nissan GT-R, LEXUS LFE, Subaru BRX/Toyota 86 chassis models


Nissan GT-R
Premium Midship Package, in which the transmission of Nissan sports car, GT-R, is placed between the rear wheels.
LEXUS LFA bare chassis. Carbon fiber reinforced plastics is widely used for weight reduction.
Subaru BRZ/Toyota 86
Subaru BRZ/Toyota 86
Ultra low gravity center package of Subaru BRZ/Toyota 86 (height of gravitational center: 460mm).

<Automotive Industry Portal MarkLines>