Tokyo Motor Show 2013: Next-generation powertrains and commercial vehicles

Lexus/Subaru show downsized DI turbo engine; Hino presents light-duty commercial EV platform

2013/12/27

Summary

Toyota/Lexus 2.0-liter turbo charged engine
Toyota/Lexus 2.0-liter turbo charged engine

 This report provides an overview of the exhibition of Japanese automakers chiefly on next-generation powertrains and commercial vehicles at the 43rd Tokyo Motor Show. Toyota /Lexus and Fuji Heavy Industries (hereafter Subaru) exhibited downsized-direct injection turbo engines and Mazda displayed a hybrid system. Daihatsu unveiled its next-generation powertrain technologies. Suzuki also provided as reference an exhibit of its 1.0L dual jet engine with two injectors per cylinder which is under development. Nissan exhibited its autonomous driving technology which the company aims to install on production models by 2020. Among Japanese commercial vehicle makers, Isuzu Motors provided as reference an exhibit of the mu-X SUV that is produced in Thailand for overseas markets. Hino also unveiled the company's first light-duty commercial Electric Vehicle (EV) platform. Various non-Japanese automakers and their affiliates also exhibited commercial vehicles. These non-Japanese automakers include Volvo/UD Trucks brands, Mitsubishi Fuso from the Daimler Group, and Hyundai.


Related Reports:
Tokyo Motor Show 2013

Japanese Maker part 1 Japanese Maker part 2 Non-Japanese OEMs
Supplier Part 1 Supplier Part 2 EV/FCV/CNG

 



New engines from Toyota Lexus, Subaru, and Mazda

 Toyota Lexus and Subaru both unveiled new downsized direct-injection turbo engines. The automakers plan to launch the engines in the market in 2014. Mazda exhibited a new 1.5-liter gasoline engine based on its proprietary Skyactiv-G technology and a hybrid system which was developed under the technical license from Toyota.

 

Toyota/Lexus 2.0-liter turbo charged engine
Toyota/Lexus 2.0-liter turbo charged engine
Subaru 1.6-liter DTI turbo charged engine
Subaru 1.6-liter DTI turbo charged engine

 

Toyota/Lexus 2.0-liter turbo charged engine The Lexus brand model to be launched in 2014 (likely to be a production model of the LF-NX) is mounted with a 2.0 liter, 4-cylinder, downsized direct injection turbo engine. The engine is equipped with a D-4S system combining port injection and cylinder direct injection. The engine uses a twin scroll turbocharger with enhanced responsiveness. A part of the exhaust manifold (integrating four cylinders into two) is integrated with the cylinder head. This enables exhaust cooling with the engine coolant and heat load reduction on the turbocharger. This engine will be used on Toyota brand models too.
Subaru 1.6-liter DTI turbo charged engine This is a downsized horizontally-opposed direct injection turbo engine developed by Subaru for LEVORG. The engine is mounted with the company's first start/stop system by Subaru. The engine boasts a maximum output of 125 kW and a maximum torque of 250 N・m. The fuel economy of the LEVORG featuring this engine is 17.4 km/L (measured by Subaru).
Mazda Skyactiv-G 1.5 The all-new Mazda Axela features a newly developed direct injection gasoline engine Skyactiv-G 1.5 with a displacement of 1.5 L (with maximum output of 82 kW). Mazda's Skyactiv-G gasoline engine had been already available in 1.3L, 2.0L, and 2.5L. The 1.5L engine was newly developed based on the 2.0L engine. The Skyactiv-G 1.5-liter gasoline engine has a compression ratio of 13:0, which is the same ratio as the 2.0L engine. The new engine features the 4-2-1 exhaust system to enhance the exhaust efficiency from the cylinders.
Skyactiv Hybrid This hybrid system was developed under the license from Toyota's hybrid system technologies including motor, transmission, and battery. The hybrid system is combined with the Skyactiv-G gasoline engine with a displacement of 2.0L. The gasoline engine features a 4-1 exhaust system and the cooled EGR system to increase the compression ratio to 14:0.and
The maximum output of the engine is set at 73kW which is the same as the output of the 1.8L engine of Toyota Prius. The engine output is controlled down to a considerably lower level compared with the maximum output of the 2.0L engine of gasoline engine models at 114kW. The maximum output is lower than that of the above-mentioned Skyactiv-G 1.5. The maximum output of the motor is 60kW, giving the system a total output of 100kW, which is again equivalent to that of the Prius.

 

Mazda Skyactiv-G 1.5
Mazda Skyactiv-G 1.5
Mazda Skyactiv Hybrid
Mazda Skyactiv Hybrid

 

 



Next-generation powertrain technologies by Daihatsu and Suzuki

 Daihatsu exhibited five next-generation powertrain technologies. Of them, the technology to enlarge engine plug sparks and the large capacity capacitor are expected to be commercialized in the near future. Suzuki exhibited new engines with two injectors per cylinder with a displacement of 1.0L (under development) and of 1.2L (now on sale).

 

Daihatsu e:S Green Thermoelectrics
Daihatsu e:S Green Thermoelectrics
Daihatsu's Fuel cell stack
Daihatsu's Fuel cell stack

 

Daihatsu

e:S Green Ignition This technology enlarges the size of sparks which is generated from the engine plug. Sparks will be enlarged by converting the inside of the combustion chamber into a plasma state, and by being shaken with high-frequency waves applied to them. This technology solves the issue of the reduction of fuel combustibility resulting from an increase in the amount of EGR (Exhaust Gas Recirculation). This technology is expected to be commercialized in the near future.
e:S Green Capacitor This capacitor has the increased charging capacity by applying a higher voltage. While conventional capacitors have a voltage of 3.8V, this Daihatsu capacitor is at 4.4V. This technology is expected to be commercialized in the near future.
e:S Green  Combustion This technology monitors the ion levels inside the engine combustion chamber to control the timely ignition time. Then the technology cleans the exhaust gas by warming the catalyst quickly, which lead to the improvement of the fuel economy. This technology has been already used on existing model. Daihatsu aims to monitor the ion level more precisely in a three-dimensional manner. It will take more time to commercialize the technology.
e:S Green Thermoelectrics This technology generates electricity by using a thermoelectric element and thermal inconsistency (temperature difference) of the exhaust gas which passes through the exhaust pipe. This technology was conceived as the engine of a mini vehicle generates significant thermal inconsistency in exhaust resulting from the high rotations of the engine. It will take more time to commercialize the technology.
Fuel cell stack This fuel-cell stack generates electricity by using an ammonia-based liquid fuel (CleaN2 Fuel). This technology is low cost because it does not use expensive platinum. It is still insufficient in durability. Daihatsu aims to achieve a durability of 100,000km in 10 years.

 

Suzuki

1.2L Dual jet engine This is a 1.2L four-cylinder engine with the enhanced output/torque and fuel performance by increasing the compression ratio to 12. This engine is the company's first engine to uses a liquid-cooled EGR system in order to suppress knockings (abnormal combustion) resulting from the increased compression ratio. The engine also uses two injectors per cylinder to improve combustion efficiency by atomizing an injected fuel mixture (to two-thirds). In July 2013, Suzuki installed this engine to an added new grade of the Swift, Suzuki's compact car(with maximum output of 67kW, maximum torque of 118N・m, fuel economy of26.4 km/Lon JC08 mode).
1.0L Dual jet engine This is a 1.0L three- cylinder dual jet engine which is under development. This engine uses a new roller locker arm to reduce friction resistance. The wall thickness of the resin head cover was reduced to 1.5 mm from 2.0 mm compared with that of the above-mentioned 1.2L engine. This engine is used on the compact crossover concept car, Crosshiker, which was exhibited at the motor show.

 

1.2L Dual jet engine
1.2L Dual jet engine
1.0L Dual jet engine
1.0L Dual jet engine

 

 



Nissan's autonomous driving technology and steer-by-wire

 Nissan aims to mount the autonomous driving technology on multiple vehicles by the year 2020. The company exhibited an autonomous driving experimental vehicle and the new SKYLINE featuring the steer-by-wire function (Direct Adaptive Steering), which is one of the important technologies toward achieving autonomous driving.

 

Autonomous driving experimental vehicle Nissan developed an autonomous driving vehicle based on the Leaf, an electric vehicle (EV). The vehicle is under experiment on public roads in Nevada, U.S., and in Kanagawa Prefecture, Japan. Nissan aims to mount the autonomous driving technology on multiple vehicles by 2020.
There are two types of autonomous driving vehicles: one vehicle is under development by Nissan's Research Center for autonomous driving on public roads. The other vehicle is under development by the Advanced Technology Development Division for autonomous driving on expressways. The autonomous driving vehicle for expressways (exhibited vehicle) uses radar , and sensors with six laser scanners, three cameras for forward monitoring and four cameras for around view monitoring. The production model is expected to feature the combined technologies of both vehicles.
The remaining issues for commercialization include improvements to the recognition capacity of the artificial intelligence (particularly at merging, ramps and intersections), regulations, and the understanding of societal norms.
Direct adaptive steering
(steer-by-wire)
Nissan mounted the steer-by-wire function, which is positioned as an important technology toward autonomous driving, on the SKYLINE and Infiniti Q50. These models are the first production models in the world to feature the function (according to Nissan). This function transmits the handling movement to the steering wheels bypassing the steering shaft. The vehicle will be steered by transmitting the handling movement to the steering actuator via three ECUs. Nissan offers three benefits to the steer-by-wire function: 1. it gives the driver a sense of security, 2. it reduces the fatigue of the driver because it prevents transmitting unnecessary vibrations to the driver, and 3. it enables active lane control functions (as mentioned below).
The three ECUs monitor each other and activate the steering force actuator which detects handling rotation, and two actuators which rotate the steering wheel. When the Direct Adaptive Steering stops, the normal steering via the steering shaft will be enabled through connecting a clutch.
Active lane control This system fine-tunes the tire angles and the steering reaction force by detecting the white markers on the road and the direction of the vehicle via the camera installed on the rear-view mirror when traveling at a speed of 70 km/h or more. When the vehicle is affected by side winds or running on an inclined road, this system mitigates the fatigue of the driver because the system automatically corrects steering angles to enable the direct course driving.

 

Nissan's autonomous driving experimental vehicle
Nissan's autonomous driving experimental vehicle

 

 



mu-X SUV by Isuzu; a light-duty commercial EV platform by Hino

 Isuzu Motors provided a reference exhibit of an SUV, the mu-X, which is produced in Thailand for overseas market. The company also displayed a medium-duty six-wheel drive truck and a light-duty CNG truck. Hino exhibited a light-duty commercial EV platform and presented its vision of sharing the platform among buses and trucks.

 

Isuzu mu-X
Isuzu mu-X
Isuzu Forward 6WD
Isuzu Forward 6WD
Isuzu Elf CNG-MPI
Isuzu Elf CNG-MPI

 

Isuzu

mu-X Isuzu unveiled the three-row SUV, the PPV (Passenger Pickup Vehicle) in Japan. The model had been announced on October 31, 2013. The mu-X is produced in Thailand and exported to Australia, New Zealand, and the Philippines (it is not sold in Japan). The vehicle was developed in Thailand and its engine was developed in Japan.
The wheelbase is 2,845mm, which is 250mm shorter than that of its base model, the Pickup D-MAX. The vehicle combines a 2.5L or 3.0L diesel engine with a five-speed AT. It is a sibling of GM's Chevrolet Trailblazer.
Forward 6WD This is a six-wheel drive model of Isuzu's medium-duty truck, the Forward. This vehicle was developed based on the all-wheel drive (AWD) model of the Forward, in response to the requests from the Tokyo Fire Department for a vehicle which is capable of traveling under poor road conditions after the East Japan Great Earthquake in 2011 (The model was delivered in February 2012.). Isuzu applied its 6WD technology of six-wheel drive vehicles which had been delivered for the Japanese Ministry of Defense.
Elf CNG-MPI This vehicle is a light-duty truck powered by Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) (now on sale). The model features a 4.6L engine with a maximum output of 96 kw/3200 rmp (net). It boasts the Multi Point Injection (MPI)which is capable of precise fuel injection with injectors allocated for each cylinder. The standard model is mounted with a 186L CNG tank and the long model with a 300L tank.
Isuzu Motors is the only automaker in Japan that produces light and medium-duty trucks and buses powered by CNG, with cumulative sales of 15,000 vehicles up to 2012in nine nations of the world. The company plans to introduce a heavy-duty CNG truck with a vehicle weight of 25t in 2015, and to conduct test-runs by monitors for LNG vehicles. The company's future success in the sales of CNG vehicles reportedly depends on an increase in CNG fueling stations and the decrease in CNG price.

 

Hino

Poncho Mini This is a small-sized EV community concept bus. The floor surface of the passenger compartment was made flat and low (with floor height of 400mm) by accommodating motors under the driver's seat and by using front-wheel drive (FWD) layout. The Poncho Mini is 4,915 mm in length, 1,890 mm in width, and 2,245 mm in height. The model is shorter than the ongoing Poncho by 1,375 mm in length, by 190 mm in width, and by 855 mm in height.
The batteries are spread out under the floor. Several types of batteries are currently being evaluated. The minimum ground clearance varies depending on the batteries adopted. Hino expects to develop the model if there is a purchases request from customers. The selling price depends on the price of the batteries.
Light-duty commercial EV platform Hino exhibited a real-size model of the light-duty commercial EV platform which is used on the Poncho Mini. By using the same platform for both buses and trucks, the company can reduce production cost significantly. It will allow a truck to use front-wheel drive (FWD) layout by optimizing the allocation of front and rear vehicle weights.
Melpha PHV This is a demonstration PHV based on the Melpha, a medium-duty bus. It features a 6.4L diesel engine, a motor with a maximum output of 175 kW, and a lithium ion battery with a capacity of 40kWh. The model has maximum electric-mode driving range of 20 km in normal use. With a full fuel tank (100L) the vehicle can supply external power up to 248kWh. The exhibited model is a clinic specification model with the cabin modified into a clinic (conventional bus specification model is also available).
The motor is mounted on a transfer (a system connecting the engine and AMT with the rear wheel). In motor-traveling mode, the clutch between the engine and the AMT will be disconnected.

 

 

Hino Poncho Mini
Hino Poncho Mini
Hino Poncho Mini's cabin
Hino Poncho Mini's cabin
Hino light-duty commercial EV platform
Hino light-duty commercial EV platform
Motor and lithium-ion battery used on Hino's EV platform
Motor and lithium-ion battery used on Hino's EV platform
Hino Melpha PHV
Hino Melpha PHV
Outline of powertrain of MELPHA PHV
Outline of powertrain of MELPHA PHV

 

 



Commercial vehicles by Volvo Group, Mitsubishi Fuso, and Hyundai

 Various non-Japanese automakers and their affiliates also exhibited commercial vehicles. These non-Japanese automakers include Volvo/UD Trucks brands, Mitsubishi Fuso from the Daimler Group, and Hyundai.

 

Quon Fuel Demonstrator
Quon Fuel Demonstrator
Quester GWE 6x4 Tractor
Quester GWE 6x4 Tractor

 

Volvo Group

UD Trucks

Quon Fuel Demonstrator This more fuel-efficient experimental vehicle was unveiled to the world. A fuel efficiency improvement of more than 10% was achieved based on the Quon CD with the weight of 25t. The performance of the 8L engine was made equivalent to that of the 11L engine of the base model, by reducing the mechanical resistance and increasing the quantity of air intake by supercharging. The maximum load capacity was increased by reducing the vehicle weight.
The air drag was reduced by correcting the joint between the upper part and the side of the cab and installing wheel covers. The model also features the Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) that provides driver support for fuel-efficient driving by utilizing a GPS and road data to predict slopes and curves on the road.
Quester Quester is a model which was designed for the emerging markets. The model was unveiled in Bangkok in August 2013to the world and at the Tokyo Motor Show to Japan. The parts are locally procured, chiefly from Asia, and the engine is supplied from Japan. The model is currently produced at the plant in Bangkok and will be produced in China and India as well in and after 2014. In China, the vehicle will be produced in the name of "KuTeng" at the Hangzhou Plant of Dongvo Truck, a joint venture with Dongfeng Motor.
Quester was designed based on the common platform of the Volvo Group, with a cabin size of 2,229 mm in length, 2,470 mm in width, and 2,000 mm in height. The model uses a frame with a relatively higher minimum ground clearance aimed at use in developing countries with poorly-paved roads. It has also been strengthened to accommodate any heavy modifications and loads.
8L and 11L engines are available. The recently exhibited Quester GWE 6x4 Tractor combines an 11L in-line six-cylinder engine with a maximum output of 309kW (420ps) and a maximum torque of 2,000Nm, with a 9-speed MT. The vehicle complies with the Euro 3 emissions standard.

 

Volvo

Volvo FH Volvo FH is the main model of Volvo Trucks. This model has been designed for long-distance driving with a flat floor allowing easy mobility within the cabin. It also features seat air suspension which reduces the load on the driver. The exhibited Volvo FH4x2 trailer head is 7,450 kg in overall weight and features a 12.8L in-line six-cylinder engine with a maximum output of 324 kW (440ps) and a maximum torque of 2,220 Nm.

 

Volvo FH 4x2 Globetrotter
Volvo FH 4x2 Globetrotter

 

Mitsubishi Fuso, Hyundai

Fuso FI The FI is a medium-duty truck unveiled in Japan. It has been designed for growth markets in Asia and Africa. The automaker developed the model jointly with Daimler India Commercial Vehicles (DICV) based on the suspension of its small-sized truck, the Canter, and a medium-sized truck, the Fighter. The interior and exterior costs of the model were reduced. The vehicle is mounted with the 4D37 3.9Ldiesel engine with a 6-speed MT. The model has been produced at the DICV's Oragadam plant in India since April 2013 and has been sold in Kenya, Sri Lanka, and Zambia.
Hyundai Xcient This model was unveiled in April 2013 at the Seoul Motor Show and was uncovered to Japan at the Tokyo Motor Show. This is a new heavy duty model for the commercial vehicle markets in advanced countries. The vehicle is will be launched in the Japanese, European and North American markets. The vehicle aims to achieve cumulative sales of 60,000 units by 2017. The size of the trailer head is 7,040 mm in length, 2,490 mm in width, and 3,980 mm in height. The cabin height is 1,895 mm. Thus a spacious cabin has been secured for long-distance driving. The model features a 12.7L in-line six-cylinder turbo engine with a maximum output of 520 ps and a maximum torque of 225 kgf・m.

 

Fuso FI
Fuso FI
Hyundai Xcient
Hyundai Xcient

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