Porsche 918 Spyder Technology To Trickle Down To Standard C-Segment PHEV Cars

MAR 20 2016 BY MARK KANE 9

Porsche 918 Spyder

Porsche 918 Spyder

GKN Driveline announced that developed an eAxle module for C-segment plug-in hybrids, using its experience with previous eAxle for Porsche 918 Spyder, BMW i8 and Volvo XC90 T8 Twin Engine.

The new eAxle is being prepared for the mass market so between the lines we read that there must be a new plug-in hybrid in the works.

GKN Driveline said that we could expect 65 kW of power from the electric part (on top of around 100 kW from the engine).

GKN Driveline eAxle module:

  • 65 kW (pure-electric mode)
  • up to 2000 Nm torque (wheels)
  • gear ratio of 12.5
  • weight 20.9 kg

“The new eAxle is an evolution of the system GKN designed for the Porsche 918 Spyder. The single-speed design minimises weight to just 20.9kg while optimising efficiency, installation space and costs for mass-market vehicle applications. A two-staged geartrain with a gear ratio of 12.5 provides up to 2000Nm torque and 65kW power for a dynamic pure-electric mode and balanced wheel torques for all-wheel drive mode. An electromechanically actuated dog clutch disconnects the electric motor at higher vehicle speeds and an open coupling minimises rotating losses when disengaged. Precision engineering of the gear teeth and other acoustic measures ensure noise emissions are minimal.

BMW i8

BMW i8

Development by GKN is helping move the balance of power in vehicles from internal combustion towards electric drives. A typical C-segment plug-in hybrid could now have an engine output of around 100kW, with a GKN eAxle supplying an additional 65kW of electrical power. The eAxle can improve 0-100kph acceleration times by several seconds, provide a useable pure electric range and reduce a vehicle’s CO2 emission rating to less than 50g/km.

Front-wheel drive vehicle platforms can integrate GKN’s compact, lightweight single-speed eAxle modules into the vehicle’s rear assembly to provide a combination of plug-in hybrid and electric all-wheel drive functionalities.”

GKN Automotive President of Engineering Peter Moelgg said:

“GKN leads the industry in eAxle technology and we want to make plug-in hybrids a simple upgrade for consumers and manufacturers. With our systems now proven in halo hybrid sports car programmes and premium SUVs, automakers are working with us to launch eAxle technology in a much broader range of vehicles. Innovations by our hardware and software engineers will place the performance and efficiency benefits of plug-ins within the reach of many more motorists.”

Rainer Link, GKN Driveline Managing Director of eDrive Systems, said:

“GKN’s position as the only hybrid technology supplier that can also deliver complete all-wheel drive systems makes us an ideal partner on these programmes. Our vehicle integration teams can support automakers in the tuning of their vehicle’s eAWD mode, ensuring that the torque delivery results in the right front-rear balance and delivers the brand’s trademark driving characteristics.”

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9 Comments on "Porsche 918 Spyder Technology To Trickle Down To Standard C-Segment PHEV Cars"

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This is great news as it will lower the R&D costs for automakers to convert more of their bread and butter ICE models into PHEVs.

A gear box!

Do we really need that?

Siemens had a high torque low and high speed motor without gearbox more then a decade ago.

Yes, a gear box is necessary for high performance. Even Rimac now decided to use a 2 speed gearbox for their Concept S. EV racers have known this for a long time.

That high torque only lasts until mid rpms, after which the torque drops quickly. That’s despite high rpms of AC motors, the HP does _not_ increase.

High torque low speed motors suitable for direct drive tend to be heavier and more expensive than lower torque higher speed motors with same power. That’s why Tesla and others use 1-speed gearbox.

Anyone grab the drive train and batteries from a Smart ED or Mitsubishi iMiEV and add it as an add-in to make a car a quick homebuilt PHEV?

918 front has about the same 111kw electric motor, as the Volt. I don’t think it uses this part. The back of the 918 is primarily motivated by 8-cylinders of ICE, where this part is attached to another electric motor and likely comes into play for an extra 65kw of extra output.

People are measuring 456kw from their Tesla P85D/P90D’s, with Ludicrous. That’s ~391 more kilowatts, for perspective. If that doesn’t tell you what this part is doing, perhaps this line will:

“..and reduce a vehicle’s CO2 emission rating to less than 50g/km.” The compliance strategy marches on.

As much as I hate the massive SUV’s that have space for 20 kWh battery packs being produced with tiny 10 kWh packs I really don’t think it is fair to compare compliance cars in the US to what is happening in the EU. Even these little battery packs are still going to reduce CO2 and other emissions by more than 30% (probably more like 50%) in real world driving. That has got to be worth having especially since the manufacturers in the EU will be converting 30% of their cars to this type of drive train in the next 5 years.

I wasn’t pooh pooh’ing the CO2 benefits, as much as the idea this is trickle down racing technology. At higher speeds, they describe this gearset as not even being connected, which means no regen.

As far as comparing US and EU, I am not sure the difference (from a CO2 perspective) of CAFE standards vs. Europe’s CO2 cerficitations? High mpg achieves low CO2. From an economic consumer perspective, gas is more expensive, in Europe, which creates the same motivation we have to replace it with watts. But the Euros saved do not amount to much, with the range these PHEVs put out.

EU emission calculation method exaggerates the benefit of PHEVs. This creates artificial incentive to build PHEV models with small battery stuffed to any suitable space found in ICE model. This way the manufacturer gets very low rated CO2 emission with bare minimum investment in design.

But the bottom line is, all PHEVs have potential to significant gas saving. Even a tiny 10 mile range equals about 5000 electric miles per year if you can charge at work.