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    William Maley

    Quick Drive: 2017 Chevrolet Malibu Hybrid

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      A big surprise in the midsize hybrid sedan class

    Chevrolet’s previous attempts at building a hybrid version of the Malibu are less than stellar. Their first attempt in the late-2000s was not well received due to mediocre performance and fuel economy figures that fell way behind the pack. The second attempt was the last-generation Malibu Eco. Chevrolet hoped to draw people in with a lower price and slightly better fuel economy figures due to the mild-hybrid system. But once again, it would prove to be a flop as the performance was meh and fuel wasn’t that noticeably better from the regular four-cylinder model.

    Chevrolet isn’t one to give up though. When the next-generation Malibu was revealed a couple of years ago, they announced a hybrid variant would be available. But this one was going to be different as the model would feature ideas and tech from the Volt. We spent over a week in a 2017 Malibu Hybrid to find out if Chevrolet has repeated the same mistakes as before or if they have learned from them.

    • The Malibu Hybrid powertrain is made up of a 1.8L DOHC four-cylinder paired up to the Volt’s electric drive unit - comprised of two electric motors. Power for the electric motors comes from an 80-cell, 1.5 kWh lithium-ion battery pack. Total output is rated at 182 horsepower.
    • This powertrain is quite surprising. The Malibu Hybrid leaves a stop effortlessly and quickly thanks to the instantaneous power available from the electric motors. If you keep a light throttle, you can get up to 55 mph on just electric power alone. If you need to make a pass or get up to speed somewhat quickly, the gas engine kicks on and delivers the extra shove. It needs to be noted that the gas engine will make a fair amount of noise when you have your foot to the floor. Otherwise, the engine is muted for the daily grind.
    • Transitions between electric and hybrid power is mostly smooth thanks to the gear-free transmission and a number of clutches from the Volt. There were a few times during our testing that we felt the gas engine kick on, but this mostly happened at times where we needed the extra power.
    • Fuel economy is rated at 49 City/43 Highway/46 Combined by the EPA. We saw an average of 45 MPG on a 50/50 mix of city and highway driving.
    • Brakes are the key weak point on most hybrid vehicles as they tend to feel very grabby due to the regenerative system. The Malibu Hybrid may have the best brakes we have ever driven on a hybrid vehicle. They feel linear and have the bite of a normal braking system. Thank the Volt for lending its braking system.
    • Despite being a few hundred pounds heavier than the last Malibu we drove, the Hybrid retains the balanced ride and handling characteristics we liked so much. The suspension keeps the vehicle composed over some of the roughest roads on offer in Detroit. On a winding road, the Malibu feels agile and stable. Some will be disappointed by the lack of feel offered by the steering, but most buyers won’t notice this.
    • Unlike most hybrid midsize sedans, the Malibu Hybrid doesn’t scream about it. Looking at it from all angles, you would find it to look like the standard Malibu. Only the ‘H’ badge on the trunk reveals its true identity.
    • One of the issues we had on the last Malibu was material choices. For the price, the fabric covering for the dash and a large amount of hard plastics felt like a huge misstep and put the Malibu way behind the pack. The Hybrid does show some improvements if you order the Leather package that replaces the fabric covering for leather on the dash. It not only makes the Malibu look more premium, it also feels much nicer. Now Chevrolet needs to work on adding more soft-touch materials around the dash, door panels, and center console to make the Malibu truly stand out.
    • Trunk space is slightly smaller in the Hybrid - 11.6 cubic feet vs. 15.8 - due to the battery pack. There is a trunk pass-through, albeit a small slot. It's better than nothing.
    • The Chevrolet Malibu Hybrid carries the most expensive base price of any midsize hybrid sedan of $27,875. But you do get a decent amount of equipment such as dual-zone climate control, push-button start, keyless entry, backup camera, automatic headlights, power driver’s seat, and a 7-inch touchscreen. Our tester came fully loaded with three packages - Leather, Driver Confidence, and Convenience & Technology - to bring the as-tested price to $32,730 with destination. For the money, it is quite the value.

     

    Disclaimer: Chevrolet Provided the Malibu Hybrid, Insurance, and One Tank of Gas

    Year: 2017
    Make: Chevrolet
    Model: Malibu
    Trim: Hybrid
    Engine: 1.8L DOHC VVT Four-Cylinder with Direct Injection, Two Electric Motors
    Driveline: Two-Motor Drive, Front-Wheel Drive
    Horsepower @ RPM: 122 @ 5,000 (Gas), 182 Total
    Torque @ RPM: 130 @ 4,750 (Gas), 277 @ 0 (Electric)
    Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 49/43/46
    Curb Weight: 3,366 lbs
    Location of Manufacture: Kansas City, Kansas
    Base Price: $27,875
    As Tested Price: $32,730 (Includes $875.00 Destination Charge and $745.00 Leather Package Discount)

    Options:
    Leather Package - $2,140.00
    Driver Confidence Package - $1,195.00
    Convenience & Technology Package - $895.00
    8-Inch MyLink System with Navigation - $495.00

    Edited by William Maley

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    1 hour ago, William Maley said:

    But once again, it would prove to be a flop as the performance was meh and fuel wasn’t that noticeably better from the regular four-cylinder model.

    To be honest about it, really only the top 8 of the field of 35 EVs / PHEVs AREN'T "flops"... but the 20th century mindset that Chevrolet must build each model in the 100 thousands or it's a 'flop' obviously is dying hard.

    I struggle to recall the same judgement leveled against the BMW 330e or the hyundai sonata PHV or the Kia Optima PHV or the 2 dozen other hybrid 'flops' out there... but maybe I just missed those opinions...

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    20 minutes ago, balthazar said:

    To be honest about it, really only the top 8 of the field of 35 EVs / PHEVs AREN'T "flops"... but the 20th century mindset that Chevrolet must build each model in the 100 thousands or it's a 'flop' obviously is dying hard.

    I struggle to recall the same judgement leveled against the BMW 330e or the hyundai sonata PHV or the Kia Optima PHV or the 2 dozen other hybrid 'flops' out there... but maybe I just missed those opinions...

    I think he was referring to its crap performance as a hybrid, not its sales figures. 

    I cannot get into a hybrid that butchers the trunk so much the pass through is crap.

    2017-chevrolet-malibu-hybrid_trunk_14918

     

    When Hyundai figured out how to do this..

    2016-Hyundai-Sonata-Hybrid-Limited-JP-19

     

     

    http://www.autos.ca/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/2016-Hyundai-Sonata-Hybrid-Limited-JP-19.jpg

    Edited by frogger

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    so this larger vehicle with a decently loaded base model gets 49 City/43 Highway... and the cruze diesel exists, why?

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    2 minutes ago, FAPTurbo said:

    so this larger vehicle with a decently loaded base model gets 49 City/43 Highway... and the cruze diesel exists, why?

    Loss leader...

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    3 hours ago, FAPTurbo said:

    so this larger vehicle with a decently loaded base model gets 49 City/43 Highway... and the cruze diesel exists, why?

    ... to give the $5K cheaper, smaller Cruze buyers better mileage...?

    [I'm missing the trick in this question...]

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    10 minutes ago, Cubical-aka-Moltar said:

    Surprised they don't offer a Cruze Hybrid with this powertrain..

    Don't think they could get the price premium...besides...Volt...

    1 hour ago, balthazar said:

    ... to give the $5K cheaper, smaller Cruze buyers better mileage...?

    [I'm missing the trick in this question...]

    Except that Cruze diesel sells for a premium price.

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    I've had a hybrid twice as a loaner while mine was getting fixed.  The gas mileage is as advertised.  45 city is not a chore for mpg in this rig.

    He's right about the cloth interior.  It really feels downmarket.

    I disagree a bit about the handling.  The hybrid is like 400 pounds more than my 1.5 and it feels to me, different.  I feel like you feel the extra weight.  Maybe only by comparison.  I didn't think the ride was anything special on the hybrid.  So even though the powertrain was fairly smooth, the car didn't feel cushy.  to me anyways.

    It is faster noticeably than the 1.5 but the engine sound is a bit coarse when the gas is on.  And even though you have battery surge its not the same as turbo surge either.

    Trunk reduction didn't seem to be a huge deal but already some of the competition is able to almost eliminate the battery penalty so GM needs to repack this.

    GM's best bet here would be to basically upgrade this to a plug in and sell for the same price.  Then they would move these.  Even though plain hybrids make all the sense in the world, i think its a tough sell to the regular population unless the price comes down, and if they can continue to downsize the batteries.  I hear toyota is working on a capacitor to replace a battery.. If they get that to work then very well i could see them making hybrid a standard issue across all their cars.

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    3 hours ago, A Horse With No Name said:

    Except that Cruze diesel sells for a premium price.

    Not vs. the Malibu Hybrid.

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    11 hours ago, Cubical-aka-Moltar said:

    Surprised they don't offer a Cruze Hybrid with this powertrain..

    That is the question I have been asking since day one of the VOLT comin out, why is this power train not in all product lines as the actual Hybrid powertrain?

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    16 hours ago, balthazar said:

    ... to give the $5K cheaper, smaller Cruze buyers better mileage...?

    [I'm missing the trick in this question...]

    why bother with the higher cost diesel of a diesel engine, the higher cost of diesel fuel and, the associated stigma when this hybrid powertrain could be in the cruze?

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    On 7/31/2017 at 4:13 PM, FAPTurbo said:

    so this larger vehicle with a decently loaded base model gets 49 City/43 Highway... and the cruze diesel exists, why?

    Probably.. and I'm gonna go out on a limb on this.. because some people.. Vegas odds.. don't want a larger car and would rather have a smaller one with an alternative drivetrain.:rolleyes:

    Some vehicles are literally being produced these days STILL.. because of consumer preference.. even in small bits. Go figure.. GM of all companies building cars that people want:wub:

    Personally.. I see zero reason for an EV infrastructure to not be put into place and EVs take over the entire realm of automotive in the next 20 years.. OH WAIT!!! 

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    On 7/31/2017 at 8:53 PM, Cubical-aka-Moltar said:

    Surprised they don't offer a Cruze Hybrid with this powertrain..

    Quiet as it's kept... they do. I'm actually surprised they didn't call the Camaro SS, the Chevy 378ci or something b8sths.jpg IMO.. its a prime reason why some of their cars suffer in sales numbers. The Trax should have never been called the Trax.. when it is a taller version of the Sonic. A Sonic TRX would have been more appropriate.. and would offer a better sales marketing boast to the Sonic overall. Shit.. I would have called the Spark the Sonic Mini.. 

    cruzevolt.jpg?00cfb7

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    30 minutes ago, Cmicasa the Great said:

    Quiet as it's kept... they do. I'm actually surprised they didn't call the Camaro SS, the Chevy 378ci or something b8sths.jpg IMO.. its a prime reason why some of their cars suffer in sales numbers. The Trax should have never been called the Trax.. when it is a taller version of the Sonic. A Sonic TRX would have been more appropriate.. and would offer a better sales marketing boast to the Sonic overall. Shit.. I would have called the Spark the Sonic Mini.. 

    cruzevolt.jpg?00cfb7

    I see the diesel listed, but no Hybrid version..

     

    http://www.chevrolet.com/byo-vc/client/en/US/chevrolet/cruze/2017/cruze/features/trims/select/1?styleOne=383399

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    12 minutes ago, Cubical-aka-Moltar said:

    My point was that the CHEVY VOLT is a CHEVY CRUZE with a different name. There is zero reason to offer a CHEVY CRUZE HYBRID as long as there is a CHEVY VOLT.. which should have been just called a CHEVY CRUZE HYBRID in the first place and marketed as heavy as the Volt was back in 2010 onward

     

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    3 minutes ago, Cmicasa the Great said:

    My point was that the CHEVY VOLT is a CHEVY CRUZE with a different name. There is zero reason to offer a CHEVY CRUZE HYBRID as long as there is a CHEVY VOLT.. which should have been just called a CHEVY CRUZE HYBRID in the first place and marketed as heavy as the Volt was back in 2010 onward

    They should have also put the VOLT powertrain into multiple auto's including CUV's. With version 2.0, that is when the VOLT powertrain should have been spread across product family offerings.

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    1 hour ago, Cubical-aka-Moltar said:

    Ah, didn't realize those were two different cars in those pics..the blue one and the black one. 

    EXACTLY!!! U get it.. They are virtually the SAME car. I THINK most body parts are interchangeable. 

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      All new plug-in-hybrids by Audi use a turbo-charged gasoline engine with direct injection that works together with an electric motor that is integrated in the transmission. A lithium-ion battery beneath the luggage compartment floor supplies the electrical energy. As a result, the electric motor can support the combustion engine during acceleration. The result: high start-off performance and powerful acceleration.
      At the same time, with regard to recuperation, the drive system resembles that of the new purely electrically driven Audi e-tron*. It is designed for high efficiency and maximum recuperation performance. When breaking, the new Audi PHEV models recover up to 80 kW of energy. The electric motor handles slight decelerations, i.e. the majority in everyday traffic. For medium brake applications, the task is divided between the hydraulic wheel brakes, which perform this task alone only with a deceleration of more than 0.4 g.
      The lithium-ion battery for the A6, A7 and A8 is made up of 104 pouch cells, which are combined in eight modules. It stores 14.1 kWh of energy at a voltage of 385 V. The lithium-ion battery in the Q5 comprises prismatic cells and has the same capacity. In each case, the cooling circuit of the battery is integrated in the low-temperature circuit, which supplies the electric motor and the power electronics. The power electronics transform the direct current of the high voltage-battery into a three-phase current for the electric motor; when recuperating, it does the opposite. The standard heat pump ensures efficient vehicle climate control and can generate up to 3 kW of heat energy from 1 kW of electrical energy with the waste heat occurring in the vehicle.
      The powertrain: efficient combustion engine, high-performance electric motor and large lithium-ion battery capacity
      The A8 with plug-in hybrid drive has a combustion engine and a permanently excited synchronous motor as an electric motor. It is integrated together with the clutch in the eight-gear tiptronic, which passes the torques to the quattro permanent all-wheel drive. The luxury liner drives as a 5.3-meter long A8 L variant with an extended wheelbase.
      The Audi A7 and A6 models with plug-in hybrid drive use the same powertrain. The battery capacity is identical to that of the Audi A8 PHEV. Together with the electric motor that is integrated in the dual clutch transmission, a gasoline engine ensures that there is ample output and torque. Both models are available in two output levels with different boost performance.
      The powertrain in the Audi Q5 PHEV follows the same concept as the Audi A6 and A7.
      Drive modes and drive control: Maximum comfort and high electric range
      The hybrid management of the plug-in-models is designed for maximum efficiency and customer comfort and automatically selects the optimum operation strategy. Start takes place electrically in “EV” mode as standard; the combustion engine is switched on depending on the situation.
      The plug-in hybrid models have the following drive modes: “EV,” “Auto,” and “Hold.” With the operating mode button, the driver can select from these three basic settings: Priority for the electric drive, fully automatic hybrid mode or save power for a later phase of the journey. In “Auto” mode, the PHEVs use the intelligent interaction of the electric motor and the combustion engine for maximum efficiency. In “Hold” mode, the drive management controls the powertrain so that the current charge status of the battery is maintained, e.g. for driving later in electric-only mode in urban areas.
      The predictive efficiency assist makes an essential contribution to increasing the electric range and ensuring maximum customer comfort. For this purpose, the intelligent drive management integrates the route profile into the control of the powertrain. The predictive operation strategy assesses both the navigation data during active route guidance and the information of the predictive efficiency assist as well as of the vehicle sensor system. Using this information, it creates rough planning for the entire route and fine planning for the upcoming kilometers. As a result, situations are recognized in which the driver should take their foot off the right pedal. The driver receives a corresponding visual indication on the display and haptic feedback via the active accelerator pedal. At the same time, anticipatory recuperation is initiated.
      Moreover, the driver can select between the “comfort,” “efficiency,” “auto” and “dynamic” drive modes via the familiar switches in the Audi drive select dynamic handling system and thus influence the setup of the drive, suspension and steering. Depending on the setting, the thresholds from which both drives work together or the electric motor supplies the boost and thus the maximum torque change when accelerating. In “dynamic” mode, the electric motor supports the combustion engine more intensively with its electric boost performance for maximum dynamic handling.
      The active accelerator pedal with variable pressure point for driving in electric-only mode supports the drive with haptic feedback for operation that is as efficient as possible. When the driver removes their foot from the accelerator, the vehicle glides freely in the automatic gear D and in the Audi drive select profiles “auto” and “efficiency” (under 160 km/h), where both the combustion engine and the electric motor are decoupled and switched off. On the other hand, in the S gear and in the “dynamic” profile, the electric motor remains active in deceleration mode and recuperates, i.e. it converts the kinetic energy into electrical energy.
      The optional Audi virtual cockpit and the MMI display present all important notifications concerning electric driving: a power meter, the range and all energy flows.
      Versatile – not only with regard to the drive: Model strategy and equipment lines
      Audi offers the A6, A7, and Q5 each as comfort models and sporty and dynamic variants. The latter are being launched with particularly sporty equipment: Apart from the increased boost of the electric motor, they have an S line exterior package as standard. In addition, the A6 and A7 have a black styling package with darkened trims, brake calipers painted in red, and privacy window glazing in the rear compartment. The performance hybrids also place sporty touches in the interior. The A6 and A7 have a sport suspension as standard.
      Convenient: Charging with the e-tron Charging Service
      The compact charging system is also part of the standard equipment of the new Audi plug-in hybrids. It comprises cables for the domestic and industrial sockets and a control panel. 
      As an option, Audi supplies the wall-holder clip and a mode 3 cable for public charging stations. At a charge connector with an output of 7.2 kW, a full charge of the battery takes a good two hours.
      While on the go, customers can charge the new plug-in hybrid models conveniently. A charging service owned by Audi, the e-tron Charging Service, grants access to a large number of public charging stations in 16 European countries on request. Preparations are being made to introduce this in other countries. Just one card is sufficient to begin charging with numerous providers. Customers have to register one time on the myAudi portal and conclude a charging contract that is subject to a fee. Invoicing always takes place at the end of the month using the stored method of payment.
      At the market launch of the Audi e-tron*, Audi customers can supply their house and their garage with eco-electricity, generated free of CO2 emissions, from the “Volkswagen Naturstrom” brand. It is generated 100% from renewable sources, such as hydroelectric power plants, and its origin is certified by TÜV every year. In addition, if necessary, Audi supports customers in getting them in contact with an electrician for implementing a suitable charging solution in their own garage.
      Charge Management from the Couch: The myAudi app
      The myAudi app is also a practical tool for dealing with the vehicle. The app brings services from the Audi connect portfolio to the customer’s smartphone. Using the app, the customer can remotely check the battery and range status, start the charging process, program the charge timer and view the charge and consumption statistics.
      Another function of the myAudi app is the pre-entry climate control even before setting off. It is made possible because the compressor of the air conditioning and the auxiliary heater in the vehicle work on a high-voltage basis. The customer can determine exactly how the interior should be heated or cooled while the vehicle is parked or the battery is being charged. Depending on the respective vehicle equipment, heating of the steering wheel, seats, mirror, windshield and rear window as well as the seat ventilation can be activated via the pre-entry climate control. Rapid start of the climate components is also possible when unlocking the vehicle with the key.

      View full article
    • By Drew Dowdell
      Audi is showing its expanded range of plug-in hybrids at the Geneva Auto Show next month in Switzerland.  The models gaining the new plug-in variant are the A6, A7, A8, and Q5. 
      The heart of the new Plug-In hybrids is a new 14.1 kWh lithium-ion battery that offers up to 40 KM (25 miles) of electric only range. When battery power is exhausted, the turbo direct-injected gasoline engine kicks on.  Energy recuperation is split into 3 modes. Light deceleration is managed by the electric motor, medium deceleration is a combination of electric motor and the hydraulic brake system, heavy deceleration over 0.4 g is handled entirely by the brakes. The hybrid side of the braking system can recover up to 80 kw of electricity.
      Charging one of these new Audi Plug-Ins is done via a compact charging system.  At a 7.2 kW charger, a full battery charge happens in about 2 hours.  Audi's e-tron charging service grants drivers access to charging stations in 16 European countries, and Audi will support customers in getting an electrician to install a power station in their garage.  
      The myAudi app will allow owners to manage their car charging from their phone. The app will show charge status, range status, program a charging timer, and view consumption statistics.  A further convenience function is being able to remotely control the heating and air conditioning system to pre-heat or pre-cool the cabin before departure while the vehicle is being charged.  The vehicle's HVAC system runs off the high voltage battery pack. 
      The A6, A7, and Q5 will be available in two power output levels depending on trim line.  No specs have been released yet.
      The Audi A6, A7, A8, and Q5 Plug-In hybrids will be available for ordering in Europe later in 2019.  No word yet if they will be released in the U.S.
      Audi Press Release on Page 2
      Related: Audi Unveils SQ5 TDI for Europe


      Efficient and Powerful: The New Plug-In Hybrid Models Audi Q5, A6, A7 and A8
       
      Audi A8, A7 Sportback, A6 and Q5 as plug-in hybrids with a strong electric motor, high battery capacity and a new drive strategy An electric range of more than 40 km according to WLTP Convenient and networked charging with myAudi app In electric-only mode not just free of local emissions but also efficient and sporty – Audi is consistently pursuing its electrification strategy with its comprehensive plug-in hybrid offensive. Audi is presenting the hybrid variants of the models A8, A7 Sportback, A6 and Q5 with an electric range of more than 40 kilometers in the WLTP cycle at the Geneva Motor Show. Thanks to different output levels, the customer has the choice between a comfort variant and a performance variant with a sporty design, depending on the model series. The new plug-in hybrid models will be available for order during the course of the year 2019.
        Wide selection of models: The plug-in hybrid strategy of Audi
      Plug-in hybrids from medium-size SUV to luxury sedan – with Q5, A6, A7 and A8 TFSI e, Audi is expanding its range of plug-in-hybrids for sustainable mobility. Depending on the model series, there is a choice of two variants with different performance and equipment: A comfort model and a variant with a sporty configuration with S line scopes, a more tightly tuned suspension and drive setup with higher boost performance of the electric motor for more dynamic handling. From now on, the new plug-in hybrid models carry the “TFSI e” signet. In the future, the “e-tron” label will remain reserved exclusively for electrically driven cars.
      Power from two hearts: the versatile drive concept
      The plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEV) create enthusiasm thanks to their versatile character. In electric-only mode, for example, free of local emissions in the city, no range anxiety when driving long distances, sporty and dynamic with the with the power of two hearts from the combustion engine and electric motor: The drive concept offers a wide range.
      The electric-only range of the PHEVs will account for more than 40 kilometers in the WLTP cycle for every model. The hybrid drive concept is designed so that customers can travel on around a third of their usual routes in electric-only mode during day-to-day driving.
      All new plug-in-hybrids by Audi use a turbo-charged gasoline engine with direct injection that works together with an electric motor that is integrated in the transmission. A lithium-ion battery beneath the luggage compartment floor supplies the electrical energy. As a result, the electric motor can support the combustion engine during acceleration. The result: high start-off performance and powerful acceleration.
      At the same time, with regard to recuperation, the drive system resembles that of the new purely electrically driven Audi e-tron*. It is designed for high efficiency and maximum recuperation performance. When breaking, the new Audi PHEV models recover up to 80 kW of energy. The electric motor handles slight decelerations, i.e. the majority in everyday traffic. For medium brake applications, the task is divided between the hydraulic wheel brakes, which perform this task alone only with a deceleration of more than 0.4 g.
      The lithium-ion battery for the A6, A7 and A8 is made up of 104 pouch cells, which are combined in eight modules. It stores 14.1 kWh of energy at a voltage of 385 V. The lithium-ion battery in the Q5 comprises prismatic cells and has the same capacity. In each case, the cooling circuit of the battery is integrated in the low-temperature circuit, which supplies the electric motor and the power electronics. The power electronics transform the direct current of the high voltage-battery into a three-phase current for the electric motor; when recuperating, it does the opposite. The standard heat pump ensures efficient vehicle climate control and can generate up to 3 kW of heat energy from 1 kW of electrical energy with the waste heat occurring in the vehicle.
      The powertrain: efficient combustion engine, high-performance electric motor and large lithium-ion battery capacity
      The A8 with plug-in hybrid drive has a combustion engine and a permanently excited synchronous motor as an electric motor. It is integrated together with the clutch in the eight-gear tiptronic, which passes the torques to the quattro permanent all-wheel drive. The luxury liner drives as a 5.3-meter long A8 L variant with an extended wheelbase.
      The Audi A7 and A6 models with plug-in hybrid drive use the same powertrain. The battery capacity is identical to that of the Audi A8 PHEV. Together with the electric motor that is integrated in the dual clutch transmission, a gasoline engine ensures that there is ample output and torque. Both models are available in two output levels with different boost performance.
      The powertrain in the Audi Q5 PHEV follows the same concept as the Audi A6 and A7.
      Drive modes and drive control: Maximum comfort and high electric range
      The hybrid management of the plug-in-models is designed for maximum efficiency and customer comfort and automatically selects the optimum operation strategy. Start takes place electrically in “EV” mode as standard; the combustion engine is switched on depending on the situation.
      The plug-in hybrid models have the following drive modes: “EV,” “Auto,” and “Hold.” With the operating mode button, the driver can select from these three basic settings: Priority for the electric drive, fully automatic hybrid mode or save power for a later phase of the journey. In “Auto” mode, the PHEVs use the intelligent interaction of the electric motor and the combustion engine for maximum efficiency. In “Hold” mode, the drive management controls the powertrain so that the current charge status of the battery is maintained, e.g. for driving later in electric-only mode in urban areas.
      The predictive efficiency assist makes an essential contribution to increasing the electric range and ensuring maximum customer comfort. For this purpose, the intelligent drive management integrates the route profile into the control of the powertrain. The predictive operation strategy assesses both the navigation data during active route guidance and the information of the predictive efficiency assist as well as of the vehicle sensor system. Using this information, it creates rough planning for the entire route and fine planning for the upcoming kilometers. As a result, situations are recognized in which the driver should take their foot off the right pedal. The driver receives a corresponding visual indication on the display and haptic feedback via the active accelerator pedal. At the same time, anticipatory recuperation is initiated.
      Moreover, the driver can select between the “comfort,” “efficiency,” “auto” and “dynamic” drive modes via the familiar switches in the Audi drive select dynamic handling system and thus influence the setup of the drive, suspension and steering. Depending on the setting, the thresholds from which both drives work together or the electric motor supplies the boost and thus the maximum torque change when accelerating. In “dynamic” mode, the electric motor supports the combustion engine more intensively with its electric boost performance for maximum dynamic handling.
      The active accelerator pedal with variable pressure point for driving in electric-only mode supports the drive with haptic feedback for operation that is as efficient as possible. When the driver removes their foot from the accelerator, the vehicle glides freely in the automatic gear D and in the Audi drive select profiles “auto” and “efficiency” (under 160 km/h), where both the combustion engine and the electric motor are decoupled and switched off. On the other hand, in the S gear and in the “dynamic” profile, the electric motor remains active in deceleration mode and recuperates, i.e. it converts the kinetic energy into electrical energy.
      The optional Audi virtual cockpit and the MMI display present all important notifications concerning electric driving: a power meter, the range and all energy flows.
      Versatile – not only with regard to the drive: Model strategy and equipment lines
      Audi offers the A6, A7, and Q5 each as comfort models and sporty and dynamic variants. The latter are being launched with particularly sporty equipment: Apart from the increased boost of the electric motor, they have an S line exterior package as standard. In addition, the A6 and A7 have a black styling package with darkened trims, brake calipers painted in red, and privacy window glazing in the rear compartment. The performance hybrids also place sporty touches in the interior. The A6 and A7 have a sport suspension as standard.
      Convenient: Charging with the e-tron Charging Service
      The compact charging system is also part of the standard equipment of the new Audi plug-in hybrids. It comprises cables for the domestic and industrial sockets and a control panel. 
      As an option, Audi supplies the wall-holder clip and a mode 3 cable for public charging stations. At a charge connector with an output of 7.2 kW, a full charge of the battery takes a good two hours.
      While on the go, customers can charge the new plug-in hybrid models conveniently. A charging service owned by Audi, the e-tron Charging Service, grants access to a large number of public charging stations in 16 European countries on request. Preparations are being made to introduce this in other countries. Just one card is sufficient to begin charging with numerous providers. Customers have to register one time on the myAudi portal and conclude a charging contract that is subject to a fee. Invoicing always takes place at the end of the month using the stored method of payment.
      At the market launch of the Audi e-tron*, Audi customers can supply their house and their garage with eco-electricity, generated free of CO2 emissions, from the “Volkswagen Naturstrom” brand. It is generated 100% from renewable sources, such as hydroelectric power plants, and its origin is certified by TÜV every year. In addition, if necessary, Audi supports customers in getting them in contact with an electrician for implementing a suitable charging solution in their own garage.
      Charge Management from the Couch: The myAudi app
      The myAudi app is also a practical tool for dealing with the vehicle. The app brings services from the Audi connect portfolio to the customer’s smartphone. Using the app, the customer can remotely check the battery and range status, start the charging process, program the charge timer and view the charge and consumption statistics.
      Another function of the myAudi app is the pre-entry climate control even before setting off. It is made possible because the compressor of the air conditioning and the auxiliary heater in the vehicle work on a high-voltage basis. The customer can determine exactly how the interior should be heated or cooled while the vehicle is parked or the battery is being charged. Depending on the respective vehicle equipment, heating of the steering wheel, seats, mirror, windshield and rear window as well as the seat ventilation can be activated via the pre-entry climate control. Rapid start of the climate components is also possible when unlocking the vehicle with the key.
    • By Drew Dowdell
      Volvo introduced the mildest of mild refreshes today on the XC90 while simultaneously announcing refreshes on their T8 and T6 Twin Engine lines. 
      The new powertrain is said to offer up to 15% fuel saving and emissions reduction in real-world driving. The new system offers brake-by-wire energy recovery to recover kinetic energy while driving.  The T8 Plug-in hybrid comes with up to 420 horsepower and a 15% increase in range. The T6 gets a similar 15% range boost. 
      In addition to the T8 and T6, Volvo will be introducing a range of mild-hybrid engines, now indicated with a new B5 badge. The B-badged cars are expected to become Volvo's new standard powertrain over time as part of the company's goal to have all of its vehicles electrified by 2025.  The mile hybrid will be available on gasoline vehicles in the US and on both gasoline and diesel vehicles in other markets.  Gasoline B5 vehicles will be available with all-wheel drive. 
      Volvo further announced that the XC40 crossover will gain a T5 Twin Engine Plug-In hybrid option as well as a T4 Twin Engine Plug-In hybrid option to follow later. 
      XC90 Mild Refresh
      The XC90 gets a mild refresh for 2020 with an updated grille, new wheels, new colors, and an attractive new wool blend upholstery. While Apple Car Play has been offered for a few years, the 2020 XC90 will now also offer Android Auto.

      Safety technology has been updated to where the XC90 can now help with steering tied in both with the City Safety and Blind Spot Information system. XC90 now also ads Oncoming Lane Mitigation and Cross Traffic Alert works with autobrake. 
      The 2020 XC90 starts production in Torslanda, Sweden in May of this year. 

       
      Volvo Press Releases on Page 2 and 3


      Volvo Cars takes major step towards its electrified future with a range of new hybrid powertrains
      Volvo Cars has today taken a significant step towards its electrification goals with the release of upgraded and newly-developed electrified powertrain options, to be made available across its entire model range going forward.
      The company has upgraded its existing T8 and T6 Twin Engine plug-in hybrid powertrains, while at the same time confirming that plug-in options will now be available on every model it produces.
      Moreover, Volvo Cars will introduce a range of mild hybrids in the coming months, starting with diesel and petrol versions on the XC90 and XC60 SUV models.
      These mild hybrids for the first time offer customers Volvo’s advanced kinetic energy recovery braking system, which is coupled with its existing internal combustion engines to create a new integrated electrified powertrain, under its new ‘B’ badge.  
      This new powertrain, electrified via brake-by-wire energy recovery, offers drivers up to 15 per cent fuel savings and emission reductions in real world driving.
      The new brake-by-wire system interacts with the energy recovery system and reduces fuel consumption and emissions by recovering kinetic energy under braking.
      In line with our strategy and supported by extremely strong demand, Volvo Cars has upgraded its production capacity so that up to 25 per cent of total production can be Twin Engine plug-in hybrid cars. In addition, it expects its new ‘B’ badged powertrains to gradually become the new standard, moving it closer to its goal that by the middle of the next decade all of its cars will be electrified.
      There will be new and upgraded powertrains introduced on Volvo’s larger Scalable Product Architecture (SPA)-based cars.
      The upgraded T8 Twin Engine plug-in hybrid with up to 420 horsepower features a new battery and brake-by-wire advanced battery charging. The range of the T8 powertrain has increased by around 15 per cent and this powertrain is available on all 90 and 60 Series cars.
      An upgraded version of the smaller capacity T6 Twin Engine plug-in hybrid is also combined with the new battery and brake-by wire-technology. This powertrain also offers an approximate 15 per cent range increase and is available on the V60 estate and S60 sedan.
      The XC90 will be available with a B5-badged mild hybrid petrol or diesel variant, as well as a B6-badged petrol mild hybrid.
      On the XC60, customers will be able to choose between a B5 mild hybrid petrol or diesel variant, a B4 diesel mild hybrid as well as a B6 petrol mild hybrid. The B5 petrol will be available with front wheel drive or all-wheel drive.
      The company’s smaller Compact Modular Architecture-based XC40 SUV will also receive a new electrified option, in the form of a T5 Twin Engine petrol-plug-in hybrid. A second, T4 Twin Engine plug-in hybrid option will follow later.


      Volvo Cars introduces refreshed Volvo XC90 SUV
      Volvo Cars has today unveiled a refreshed version of its best-selling XC90 large SUV, the company’s top-of-the-line flagship, adding a newly-developed fuel-saving engine option that marks the next step in the company’s ambitious electrification strategy.
      The refreshed XC90 for the first time offers customers Volvo’s advanced kinetic energy recovery braking system, which is coupled with its existing internal combustion engines to create a new integrated electrified powertrain, under its new ‘B’ badge.  
      This new electrified powertrain offers drivers up to 15 per cent fuel savings and emission reductions in real world driving.
      The new brake-by-wire system interacts with the energy recovery system and reduces fuel consumption and emissions by recovering kinetic energy under braking.
      The introduction of the new XC90 ‘B’-badged cars represents a major step for Volvo Cars towards its electrification ambitions.
      The new ‘B’-badged cars complement Volvo’s existing T8 Twin Engine plug-in hybrid electrified option on the new XC90.
      On the outside, the refreshed XC90 offers subtle upgrades to the original award-winning exterior design, such as new wheels, exterior colours and a modern new grill, among other details.               
      On the inside, the superlative and award-winning interior design remains in place, but perhaps the most noticeable addition is the fact that it can be ordered with a range of different seating configurations.
      From the four-seat Excellence variant and the seven-seat family SUV to the brand new six-seat configuration, the XC90 is available with any number of seats that best fits people’s preferences and lifestyles. New interior materials including a wool blend offer further options for personalisation.
      Based on Volvo’s own, in-house developed platform, powertrain and safety technology, the 2015 XC90 marked the start of Volvo Cars’ transformation. It introduced the new face of the Volvo brand characterised by the Thor’s Hammer headlights, while introducing its new Scalable Product Architecture.
      The world-first technologies and innovations that were launched on Volvo’s other 90 and 60 Series models between 2015 and 2019 have also found their way into the XC90 over the intervening years.
      As a result, Volvo’s top-of-the-line SUV has become more advanced since its introduction, clocking up over 320,000 units sold worldwide - and counting.
      In terms of active safety technology, the XC90 now offers drivers help with steering on both the City Safety and the Blind Spot Information System. City Safety with Autobrake is still the only system on the market to recognise pedestrians, cyclists and large animals.
      The Oncoming Lane Mitigation system first introduced on the XC60 is now also available on XC90, while the Cross Traffic Alert technology now also offers autobrake.
      All this, together with the safety cage that forms the core of the passive safety technology, makes the XC90 one of the safest cars on the road and underlines Volvo Cars’ unwavering commitment to developing the safest cars possible.
      While the XC90 was the first Volvo to offer Apple Carplay integration, it is now also compatible with Android Auto. The Sensus infotainment system has gone through multiple updates in recent years, all of which have been adopted into the XC90. Where available, the Spotify music streaming service is integrated in the XC90.
      The model year 2020 version of the XC90 will go in production in May at the Torslanda plant in Sweden and is now available to order in all Volvo markets around the globe.
       

      View full article
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