New information regarding the new Honda Jazz is surfacing with each passing day. Honda Europe recently revealed that the new Jazz will drive advanced Honda hybrid innovation from the race track to the road. Using engineering expertise from its motorsport team, Honda is drawing knowledge from its Formula 1 Hybrid Power Unit (PU) programme to improve the energy efficiency of the brand’s e:HEV hybrid system. So it won’t just come with a regular IC engine, they will also be bringing hybrid tech with the updated hatchback. Whether the hybrid powertrain will make it to India or not, remains a question.
The latest Honda Formula 1 Hybrid Power Unit, named RA620H, uses a highly efficient 1600cc six-cylinder internal combustion engine, combined with an Energy Recovery System. The advanced hybrid electrical systems ingeniously recycle energy produced by the brakes and exhaust gases to generate extra boost power for acceleration and to reduce turbo lag. The expertise they have developed in running hybrid power units at optimum efficiency and power output inspires Honda’s range of advanced e:HEV powertrains in its passenger cars. The same technology will drip down into the new Jazz.
Yasuaki Asaki, Head of PU Development explains: “During a Formula 1 race weekend teams have to manage very carefully how much fuel they use to comply with the sport’s regulations. In a race, we can divide the total fuel allowance over the number of laps, but there are going to be situations where a team might wish to use more fuel in order to get higher performance and in other parts of the race they will want to save fuel for later, while behind a safety car for example. In a race, the communication between the race engineer and the driver is key to achieving that best balance. However, in our road-going e:HEV hybrids we apply our expertise to ensure the Powertrain control units deliver the best possible power to efficiency ratio for the driver, in any required driving mode.”
How Does It Work?
The e:HEV system is newly developed for Jazz and it consists of two compact, powerful electric motors connected to a 1.5-litre DOHC i-VTEC petrol engine, a lithium-ion battery and an innovative fixed-gear transmission via an intelligent power control unit, all working harmoniously to provide a smooth and direct response. Three interchangeable drive modes are on offer:
- EV Drive: the lithium-ion battery supplies power to the electric propulsion motor directly
- Hybrid Drive: the engine supplies power to the electric generator motor, which in turn supplies it to the electric propulsion motor
- Engine Drive: the petrol engine is connected directly to the wheels via a lock-up clutch and drive force is transmitted directly from the engine to the wheels
For driving at highway speeds, Engine Drive is used, supplemented by an on-demand peak power ‘boost’ from the electric propulsion motor for fast acceleration. In Hybrid Drive, excess power from the petrol engine can also be diverted to recharge the battery via the generator motor. EV Drive is also engaged when the car is decelerating, harvesting energy through regenerative braking to recharge the battery.