SAE 2016 World Congress: OEM exhibits

Both standard and alternative powertrains featured as a point of emphasis for OEMs

2016/04/28

Summary

SAE 2016 World Congress
Toyota-Aisin exhibit at SAE 2016 World Congress

 The SAE 2016 World Congress was held from April 12 through April 14, 2016 in Detroit, Michigan, U.S. The theme of the SAE 2016 World Congress was "Powering Possibilities". While the phrase represents the idea of exploring the potential of new discoveries in the automotive industry, it also acknowledges the need for such innovation to drive the industry forward. Perhaps as an acknowledgement to the system which drives the automobile, OEMs at the SAE World Congress showcased a variety of powertrains and powertrain technologies. All five OEMs attending the exhibition had at least one green vehicle on display, while Toyota, Honda, Ford, and Hyundai-Kia all displayed various engines at their exhibits, highlighting improvements in performance and efficiency.


 This report will focus on the exhibits showcased by OEMs at the SAE 2016 World Congress. The five OEMs which had exhibits at the SAE 2016 World Congress were Toyota, Honda, Ford, Hyundai-Kia, and FCA.



Toyota features Prius and Mirai cutaways, shows new engine lineup

2016 Toyota Prius

Toyota Prius
Toyota Prius
Toyota Prius cutaway
Toyota Prius cutaway


 Having unveiled the fourth-generation Prius at a press event in September 2015 in Las Vegas, Toyota dedicated a large portion of its booth to the model. In addition to a standard display model, the automaker had cutaways of the Prius and its lithium-ion and nickel-metal hydride battery packs. The volume of the nickel-metal hydride and lithium-ion batteries for the fourth-generation Prius have been reduced by approximately 10% and 6%, respectively, allowing them to fit underneath the rear seat. This allows the Prius to expand its trunk space by approximately 10% from 502 liters to 558 liters. Also, while the lithium-ion battery provides the same performance as the nickel-metal hydride battery, it is approximately 35 pounds lighter. The weight savings provided by the lithium-ion battery allows more equipment to be added on higher-end Prius models without sacrificing fuel economy.

 

Nickel-metal hydride battery
Nickel-metal hydride battery
Lithium-ion battery
Lithium-ion battery


 Other Prius-related displays included the improved 1.8-liter inline four-cylinder engine, and the new power control unit (PCU). The new engine features a maximum thermal efficiency of 40%, due to improvements made in the intake port geometry, the EGR distribution passage geometry, and additions of water jacket spacers in the cylinder bore walls. The new PCU is 4.2 liters smaller than the previous version due to a double-sided cooling structure, 2-in-1 power cards, and a compact control board. Additionally, the PCU features low-loss power semiconductor components, which reduces electrical loss by approximately 20% compared to the previous version.

 

1.8-liter inline four-cylinder engine for Prius
1.8-liter inline four-cylinder engine for Prius
Prius power control unit
Prius power control unit


Links to previously published teardown reports for the fourth-generation Prius are listed below:

4th-Generation Toyota Prius Teardown (Part 1), (Part 2), (Part 3)

 

2016 Toyota Mirai

 Toyota displayed a cutaway Mirai along with a cutaway hydrogen fuel tank and fuel cell stack, detailing the changes and advancements achieved since the start of fuel cell vehicle development. For example, the Toyota Mirai can be refueled in approximately three minutes, compared to much longer refuel times for the 2008 FCHV-adv. The hydrogen tank is lighter and uses 40% less carbon fiber from changes in the plastic liner configuration and layering patterns. The Mirai's fuel cell stack has a volume power density 2.2 times greater than the FCHV-adv and provides a maximum output of 155 hp. The Mirai is currently available across Japan and in specific locations in the U.S. and Europe.

 

Toyota Mirai cutaway
Toyota Mirai cutaway
Fuel cell stack
Fuel cell stack

 

Engine lineup

 In addition to the 1.8-liter engine on the fourth-generation Prius, Toyota's exhibit highlighted several of its newer engines, emphasizing technologies that improve thermal efficiency. Similar to the engine in the Prius, the 1.5-liter inline four-cylinder engine in the Sienta uses water jacket spacers in the cylinder bore walls to optimize the temperature in the combustion chamber and prevent engine knocking. Toyota's new 2.8-liter direct injection turbo diesel engine in the Prado features a proprietary high-dispersion urea system which eliminates up to 99% of NOx emissions. The diesel engine also uses an in-house developed variable geometry turbocharger that is 30% smaller than other current turbochargers.

 

1.5-liter gasoline engine
1.5-liter gasoline engine
2.8-liter turbo diesel engine
2.8-liter turbo diesel engine

 

Engine 1.2-liter turbocharged
direct inject engine
8NR-FTS
2.8-liter direct inject
turbo diesel engine
1GD-FTV
2.0-liter turbocharged
direct inject engine
8AR-FTS
1.5-liter gasoline engine
2NR-FKE
Maximum power 114 hp 174 hp 235 hp 107 hp
Maximum torque 136 lb-ft 332 lb-ft 258 lb-ft 100 lb-ft
Compression ratio 10.0 15.6 10.0 13.5
Equipped vehicle Toyota Auris Toyota Prado (Land Cruiser) Lexus NX Toyota Sienta

 

uBox concept and i-Road personal mobility vehicle

 Demonstrating possible future mobility options, Toyota unveiled the uBox concept which was developed in collaboration with graduate students from Clemson University. The uBox concept vehicle was designed to appeal Generation Z car buyers, with an aggressive, muscular exterior combined with a versatile interior which can be arranged into a variety of configurations. The uBox also features a curved glass roof supported by composite carbon fiber rails bonded with aluminum, an industry-first manufacturing process. Another vehicle representing the future of mobility, the Toyota i-Road was available for test drives at a sectioned-off area of the exhibition hall. The vehicle is powered by a lithium-ion battery and has a range of 31 miles and a top speed of 28 mph. Notably, the i-Road uses "Active Lean" technology to vertically shift the front wheels in opposing directions both for turning purposes and to keep the body level across gradient changes.

 

Toyota uBox concept vehicle
Toyota uBox concept vehicle
Toyota i-Road
Toyota i-Road


Hyundai-Kia displays hybrid engines, Ioniq electric model and connectivity technology

Hybrid engines

Nu 2.0-liter GDI PHEV engine
Nu 2.0-liter GDI PHEV engine

 With stricter regulations creating a need for increased fuel efficiency, Hyundai-Kia showcased a pair of hybrid engines. One of the engines displayed was the Nu 2.0-liter GDI PHEV engine, which is combined with a 67 hp electric motor to form the drivetrain for the 2016 Hyundai Sonata Plug-in Hybrid. The engine utilizes the Atkinson cycle and features a compression ratio of 13.5:1 for improved efficiency and performance. The dual continuously variable valve timing system also contributes to the improved fuel economy and performance. Compared to its predecessor, the Nu 2.0-liter GDI PHEV engine is 6.5% more fuel efficient.

 

Kappa 1.6-liter GDI engine
Kappa 1.6-liter GDI engine

 The other hybrid engine on display, the Kappa 1.6-liter GDI engine, debuted at Hyundai-Kia's annual International Powertrain Conference in October 2015. The new engine was designed for the growing mid-class hybrid and plug-in hybrid electric vehicle segments, and combines use of the Atkinson cycle, a cooled exhaust gas recirculation system, and a long stroke specification to enhance thermal efficiency. Another feature of the Kappa engine is the use of two thermostats to apply split cooling temperatures to the cylinder head and cylinder block, thus improving fuel economy and reducing knock. The new engine can produce 104 hp and 199 lb-ft of torque.

 

2017 Hyundai Ioniq Electric

 Hyundai-Kia's featured model at its exhibit was the 2017 Ioniq Electric, which debuted at the 2016 Geneva Motor Show. The Ioniq Electric is one of three different electrified powertrains that can be used in a single, dedicated vehicle platform, a first in the automotive industry. The model's electric motor produces 120 hp and 215 lb-ft of torque and is mated to a single-speed reduction gear transmission. A 28 kWh lithium-ion polymer battery powers the Ioniq Electric, providing a driving range of approximately 110 miles. The lithium-ion polymer battery is lighter than non-polymer batteries and has a more flexible shape to optimize its packaging within the vehicle's interior.

 

Hyundai Ioniq Electric Hyundai Ioniq Electric engine compartment
Hyundai Ioniq Electric Hyundai Ioniq Electric engine compartment

 

Connectivity and infotainment technologies

 Hyundai displayed its Connectivity Cockpit Concept in Detroit, highlighting a variety of advanced technologies that improve driver comfort and convenience. Gesture controls can be used to select between navigation, infotainment, audio, and HVAC features on the center display, and to control entertainment options on the screens attached to the backs of the front seats. Another feature of the central display screen is its capability to slide upwards and segment itself into two displays separated by the interior trim, providing more flexibility in the data that can be displayed. For example, the bottom part of the display can be used to control car audio while the top part displays navigation data transferred from the passenger side display.

 

Connectivity Cockpit Concept
Connectivity Cockpit Concept
Connectivity Cockpit Concept sliding central display
Connectivity Cockpit Concept sliding central display 

 

Display Audio infotainment system
Display Audio infotainment system

 The Display Audio infotainment system was shown again this year, featuring options to utilize both the Apple CarPlay and Android Auto system. The system allows users to connect a smartphone to the vehicle and use the vehicle's head unit to access the phone's systems and applications. Android Auto is currently available on the Sonata, Elantra, Santa Fe, and Santa Fe Sport, while CarPlay is currently only available on the 2017 Elantra.












Ford showcases C-MAX Hybrid model, GT350 and Focus RS engines

2016 Ford C-MAX Hybrid

Ford C-MAX Hybrid
Ford C-MAX Hybrid

 While the C-MAX Hybrid debuted at the 2011 North American International Auto Show, the compact multi-purpose vehicle still highlights certain considerations for hybrid vehicles. As Ford's first dedicated hybrid vehicle for North America, the C-MAX Hybrid pairs a lithium-ion battery and electric traction motor with an Atkinson-cycle gasoline engine. Combined, the system is capable of producing 188 hp and 121 lb-ft of torque. The C-MAX features a power-split architecture to maximize power efficiency. The power-split architecture allows the engine to operate independently of vehicle speed, giving it the freedom to charge the vehicle's batteries or provide power to the wheels as needed. The C-MAX Hybrid for North American customers is assembled at the Michigan Assembly Plant in Wayne, Michigan, U.S.

 

Performance engines

 Ford also displayed two performance engines, the 2.3-liter Ecoboost engine for the 2016 Ford Focus RS, and the 5.2-liter V8 engine for the 2016 Ford Shelby GT350. The 2.3-liter Ecoboost engine provides 350 hp and 350 lb-ft of torque. In order to reach these power figures, the engine uses a low-inertia twin-scroll turbocharger, which features a larger compressor wheel to deliver more airflow and power. The intake manifold and turbocharger housing are both optimally shaped to further improve output. The 5.2-liter engine on the Ford Shelby GT350 provides 526 hp and 429 lb-ft of torque, and is the first production engine from Ford that uses a flat-plane crankshaft. The flat-plane crankshaft spaces crank pins at 180-degree intervals, allowing an alternating cylinder firing order, which in turn, creates better cylinder breathing and improved performance in the engine. It is also Ford's most powerful naturally aspirated engine, and its highest revving V8 engine.

 

2.3-liter Ecoboost engine 5.2-liter V8 engine
2.3-liter Ecoboost engine 5.2-liter V8 engine

 

Other technologies

Desktop vehicle NVH simulator
Desktop vehicle NVH simulator

 Two other technologies that Ford had on display was a desktop vehicle NVH simulator and a powertrain active noise control system. The desktop vehicle NVH simulator is a development tool used to test and evaluate NVH data in virtual driving conditions under a variety of scenarios. Alterable variables within the simulator include engines, mounts, intakes, exhaust components, and road surfaces. The powertrain active noise control system is a technology used to adjust engine sound levels within a vehicle's cabin. A control module uses the vehicle's audio systems to generate out-of-phase sound waves to negate unwanted engine noise, creating a quieter interior. As an alternative, the control system can enhance the exhaust note generated from the engine, giving the vehicle a sportier tone.






Honda highlights Civic with engine and cutaway display

2016 Honda Civic

 Honda's exhibit focused primarily on the 2016 Honda Civic, which was unveiled at the 2015 New York International Auto Show. Both a display model and a partial body-in-white cutaway were shown, as well as the Civic's new 1.5-liter turbo engine. The direct inject gasoline engine uses a dual overhead cam system, a dual variable timing control system, and has a high response mono-scroll turbocharger with an electric wastegate. It generates a maximum power of 174 hp and maximum torque of 162 lb-ft and achieves a fuel economy of 35 combined mpg.

 

Honda Civic BIW cutaway
Honda Civic BIW cutaway
1.5-liter turbo engine
1.5-liter turbo engine

 

Honda Civic BIW cutaway interior
Honda Civic BIW cutaway interior

 The body-in-white cutaway model on display demonstrated the extensive use of different materials in the Civic's body, specifically high strength steel. 58% of the 2016 Honda Civic's body uses high-strength steel, compared to 55% in the previous Civic model. Various construction techniques were used in combination with the new materials to increase size and improve stiffness, while reducing weight. For example, the use of hot-stamped ultra-high strength steel increased from 1% to 14% in the new Civic, resulting in weight savings of over 15 pounds. The bending and torsional stiffness of the 2016 Civic increased by 19% and 25%, respectively, over the older model.

 

2016 Acura NSX

Acura NSX
Acura NSX

 While more acclaimed for its performance capabilities, the Acura NSX qualifies as a hybrid vehicle, due to its Sport Hybrid Super Handling All-Wheel-Drive (SH-AWD) system. The system features two electric motors for the front wheels and a direct drive motor for the rear wheels. Combined with the twin-turbocharged V6 engine, the powertrain provides 573 hp and 476 lb-ft of torque. The SH-AWD system enhances the handling and capability of the NSX in providing direct yaw control through torque vectoring. Another performance benefit generated by the SH-AWD system is its ability to provide instant acceleration due to the electric motors, generating a "sustained G-feeling" for the driver.












FCA focuses on hybrid capabilities of new Chrysler Pacifica

2017 Chrysler Pacifica

 At the SAE World Congress, FCA displayed a hybrid version of the Chrysler Pacifica which debuted earlier in 2016 at the North American International Auto Show. As the first minivan to feature a hybrid powertrain, the Pacifica Hybrid is a plug-in hybrid model with an electric-only range of 30 miles, an expected total range of 530 miles, and an 80 MPGe fuel efficiency rating. The Pacifica Hybrid uses an Atkinson-cycle variant of the 3.6-liter Pentastar V6 engine found on the standard Pacifica for improved efficiency. The hybrid engine provides 248 hp and 230 lb-ft of torque. The pistons in the engine are unique-handed in order to achieve a compression ratio of 12.5:1, further improving thermal efficiency.

 

Chrysler Pacifica
Chrysler Pacifica
Chrysler Pacifica engine compartment
Chrysler Pacifica engine compartment


 Another system key to the hybrid powertrain is FCA's electrically variable transmission (EVT). The EVT features two electric motors, capable of delivering torque to the wheels while in electric-drive mode thanks to a one-way clutch. Combined with the Pentastar V6 engine, the powertrain provides an estimated total system power of 260 hp. A 16 kWh lithium-ion battery pack is located under the second-row seats in the Pacifica Hybrid, capitalizing on the additional space in the minivan while maintaining Stow 'n Go capabilities in the third row. The battery pack can be fully recharged in two hours using a 240-volt plug-in system. The Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid is built at the Windsor Assembly Plant in Windsor, Ontario, Canada, and will be available in the second half of 2016.

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