Upcoming Honda Jazz borrows F1 hybrid engine tech

Honda Jazz. Image: Newspress
Honda Jazz. Image: Newspress

Did you know that rear-view mirror was first used in Formula 1 before it eventually made its way into civilian vehicles? Yep, introduced in the 1950s, the rear-view mirror helped drivers see their rivals and know which direction to head in order to block them. 

And still to this day, we see technology (perhaps now more advanced) filter into road cars.

Honda says it 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.

Honda supplies engines to Red Bull and Alphatauri. 


Alpahtauri. Image: Newspress

The latest hybrid system will power the upcoming Honda Jazz which uses a electronically continuous variable transmission to 'change' gears. 

The hybrid model is powered by two electric motors connected to a 1.5-litre petrol engine, a lithium-ion battery and an innovative fixed-gear transmission via an intelligent power control unit. 

The system allows for EV drive which supplies power via the battery to the electric motors, the Hybrid drive mode sees the 1.5-litre petrol supply power to the electric motor which passes it on to the electric propulsion motor. 

Finally, Engine drive is when the 1.5-litre DOHC petrol engine is connected directly to the wheels via a lock-up clutch and 'driveforce is transmitted directly from engine to the wheels'.

Yasuaki Asaki, Head of power unit development explains: "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", Asaki says. 

"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", Asaki says. 

Honda SA is yet to confirm if the new model will reach local shores.

Compiled by Sean Parker

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