Text: Marcus De Guzman / Photos: Renault Press | posted December 12, 2014 11:46
A prototype two-stroke, two-cylinder engine is being tested for light-duty vehicles
Renault recently displayed an array of new powertrain technologies and components that will be used for its vehicle lineup for 2015 and beyond. The new engines were presented at an 'Innovations@Renault' event in Paris by the company's Co-operative Innovations Laboratory (LCI), a think tank that is comprised of engineers, designers and customer survey specialists.
First to be showcased by Renault are production-ready powerplants, the first of which is a new compact electric motor. It is around 10% smaller than other electric motors but is able to deliver the same performance as it is able to produce 88 PS and 220 Nm of torque. It was made possible as Renault switched the construction from macro-module stacking to fully integrated modules which allowed it to be built closer together, removing the need of external power cables.
The motor is now air-cooled as the Power Electric Controller (houses the junction and charging system) was the only system that needed water cooling according to Renault. It also has a reduced charging time thanks to the use of either a 3kw or 11kw flexi-cable and a refined inverter improved its efficiency and power consumption.
The last of the production-ready engines is the Dual-Fuel Petrol/LPG turbocharged three-cylinder engine which according to Renault is capable of reducing fuel bills by up to 25%, emits less CO2 emissions by up to 10% and reduce fuel consumption by up to 20%. The Dual-Fuel three-cylinder engine is comprised of multiple technologies that include an engine Stop/Start system, brake-energy recovery and eco-mode.
Renault has also unveiled 2 new engines that are still in their prototype stages.
The 'HYDIVU', short for Hybrid Diesel for LCVs, is a mild diesel-hybrid system that aims to reduce fuel consumption and running costs for high-mileage business users. Based on Renault's ENERGY dci 165 twin-turbo diesel engine, the system uses a 48-volt starter motor and alternator-type electric motor that sits on top of the gearbox which delivers additional torque while also reducing engine load. Its close proximity to the wheel allows greater delivery of power and better efficiency by allowing maximum recovery when decelerating or braking. The energy is stored in the 48-volt battery and will only be used as extra torque when needed. So far, Renault has recored a 10% decrease in fuel consumption over long distance driving.
A two-stroke, two-cylinder diesel engine called the 'POWERFUL' (Powertrain for Future Light-duty vehicles) is the French automaker's attempt in creating a robust engine for a small vehicle platform. It has a displacement of 730cc and it is both turbocharged and supercharged, allowing it to generate power between 48 PS – 68 PS and 112 – 145 Nm of torque at 1,500 rpm. Renault stated that further improvements have to be conducted before they consider introducing it to their vehicles.