Hyundai has unveiled their future powertrain development strategy at the International Powertrain Conference in Korea recently. Over 1,200 engineers and academics from leading drivetrain makers took part in the two-day event that was based around the theme ‘Knock the Limit of Powertrain Technologies: To Enhance Value for Customers’.
The conference saw Hyundai showcasing four engines and two transmissions from its upcoming range of new ‘Smart Stream’ powertrains, which incorporates many new technologies that will help the Korean brand meet its long-term emission aims. In eefect, the new engine and transmissions are expected to better the current line-ups fuel efficiency while reducing exhaust emissions.
The new tech will be introduced throughout Hyundai’s global model range after being first used on the new Smart Stream 1.6-litre petrol and 1.6-litre diesel engines. The development of the new powertrains will progress alongside the development of new plug-in hybrid and electric drivetrains, including Hyundai’s next-gen Fuel Cell Electric Vehicle (FCEV).
Smart Stream: Next generation powertrain
The new engines made their debut at the 2017 Frankfurt motor show. They are meant to meet customer demand for fun-to-drive models while meeting the ever more stringent norms for emissions. Hyundai claims that ‘Smart’ refers to being smart in control, design, and operation, while the ‘Stream' bit is meant to imply the dynamic movement of mobility.
The Smart Stream tech is used to optimise existing powertrains and to reduce the size and weight of engine and transmission components. The Korean brand plans to maximise thermal efficiency by up to 50 percent in future models through the use of this tech.
A part of the new technology is the Continuously Variable Valve Duration (CVVD) technology used on the Smart Stream G 1.6 turbo engine that regulates the opening and closing of valves to suit the driving style. A new eight-speed wet dual-clutch transmission is also part of the Smart Stream tech being developed.
The Hyundai Group has plans to introduce an all-new range of Smart Stream powertrains, comprising of 10 petrol engines, six diesel motors and six transmissions by 2022.
Strategy for 2025
Even though plug-in hybrid and electric powertrains have begun to gain wider acceptance, Hyundai claims that the internal combustion engine will continue to have a strong presence. In order to capitalise on the shift towards electrification, the Korean manufacturer is expected to launch a larger proportion of electric, fuel cell, and plug-in hybrid powertrains, sold alongside the new Smart Stream-enhanced drivetrains. Hyundai also aims to improve battery capacity and increase electric-only ranges.
Fuel Cell Electric Vehicle
The Korean brand has also planned to invest in advanced propulsion technology such as the development of its next-gen hydrogen-powered engines.
Hyundai’s next FCEV is expected to have an engine rated at 163hp with a range of 800km. It will also have the largest hydrogen storage density of any fuel cell vehicle on the market.
The ix35 Fuel Cell (displayed in 2013), the Ioniq plug-in hybrid and electric drivetrains found in the 2016 Ioniq and Sonata, all represent major advances in alternative-fuel technology. By taking advantage of this experience, Hyundai aims to introduce 31 eco-friendly models to the global market by 2020.
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