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GM Electra -- Performance Hybrid Module

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GM Electra – Performance Hybrid Module

The Electra module is a hybrid drive train system that can be added to existing GM RWD drive trains. It consists of a drop in rear differential replacement which includes a pair of highly compact 30hp permanent magnet motor/generators and a 1.5 kWh Lithium-Ion battery pack which fits in place of the spare tire well.

More than just fuel economy

While “green” buyers and individuals who subscribe to the global warming hypothesis may find buying a hybrid a worthwhile investment, anyone who does the math can see that at $4 a gallon it’ll take an average driver 6 to 12 years to just break even on an investment in a hybrid drive train. However, even a performance enthusiast who does not give an iota about fuel economy should consider the Electra package because it is designed, first and foremost, to improve the handling and performance of the car, with a healthy dose of fuel economy benefits being incidental to that.

The Electra differential is actually a pretty simple device – a traditional open differential with one 30hp coaxial electric motor coupled to each of the output half-shafts. In straight line acceleration, up to 60hp can be metered to help accelerate the vehicle and during braking up to about 40kW can be recovered in regenerative differential braking. But more importantly the Electra differential transforms to the differential into an active device with the ability to add or subtract up to 30 hp from each of the two driving wheels. This is used to smoothly and continuously reign in under or over steer to significantly improve handling in a manner which ABS based stability control systems cannot. And, because the system can be additive instead of merely subtractive or biasing like purely mechanical systems it actually adds performance instead of dampening it when it does its work.

Any motor, any vehicle, at a reasonable price

The Electra package is designed to be applicable to just about any GM RWD vehicle without significant modifications. Initially it will be offered with the Pontiac Solstice, Pontiac G8 and the Cadillac CTS. But it can theoretically be used on RWD truck and SUV models as well. The package costs about $4000 at a retail level about on par with the hybrid packages available on the Camry or Altima.

On the Solstice is mated to 240hp version of the highly acclaimed 2.0 liter DI turbo engine (LNF) which is modified to use lower boost (13.3 psi vs 18 psi) and higher static compression (10.2:1 vs 9.2:1) for better cruising economy. The Solstice Electra is also the first Solstice model to receive the 6L50E 6-speed automatic transmission giving it a 1 cog advantage over the 5L40E 5-speed unit in the GXP. The Solstice Electra produces a total of 300hp can out accelerates the conventionally powered GXP model to 60mph by 0.3 seconds and more importantly it out handles the GXP with sharper turn-ins, superior stability and greater exit speeds out of apexes. On the CTS Electra and G8 Electra the system is mated to a 292hp version of the 3.6 liter DI V6 engine with cylinder deactivation. Again, the transmission of choice is the 6L50E 6-speed automatic. A total of 348 hp is available and, likewise, handling is improved through the active power application and subtraction functionality of the Electra differential system. In either system, utilizing the differential’s handling enhancement capability does not deplete the battery tangibly because 90% of the power added to one half-shaft can be generated through regeneratively braking the other.

-- This is a work of fiction, no such product or plan is known to exist or is implied to exist.

Edited by dwightlooi
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