22.2.2012 HyMod concept allows auto engine swap
SCI hyMod is a highly innovative modular hybrid concept envisioned by a Romanian team of designers and engineers. hyMod proposes a modular structure that allows the user to select a drive-train depending on what is required.
The car buyer can choose between an electric only model which uses a 68 kW electric-drive, and a hybrid alternative, which adds an internal combustion engine offering an additional 62 kW of power.
The new concept car works alongside a logistics centre called 'hyMod Station', which allows an automated transformation between power-trains, replacing the interchangeable modules. One module contains a 17 kWh battery pack, the other includes a combustion engine, along with the CVT type gear box, the fuel tank and all the necessary adjacent components.
The drive-train exchange is mediated using sensors that communicate with the dashboard to tell the driver when the vehicle is in exactly the correct position in the hyMod Station for the transformation to begin. Once alignment is correct the exchange is conducted automatically.
The driver's interaction with the car is designed to be almost identical, regardless of the driving module chosen. Gear box commands are the same, comprising of standard P, R, N, and, D positions. As with a normal automatic, there are two pedals – one brake and one accelerator.
With the hybrid module installed, there are three driving modes – 'Auto', '4X4' and 'City Smart'. Auto is the preset option, suited for driving on faster roads, and mainly uses the combustion engine. In 4X4, driving is safer in precarious driving conditions, but can only be used under 40 mph. City Smart mode generally involves the batteries being recharged by the combustion engine – the car will run purely on electric when the car enters urban traffic.
In all-electric mode, the hyMod would have a range of around 110 miles and a top speed in the region of 80 mph. In hybrid configuration, the range could reach 385 miles, with a top speed of around 105 mph. 0 to 60 mph takers around 18 seconds without the module, and less than 10 seconds with the hybrid module in place.
SCI hyMod is designed as a family vehicle that can accommodate up to six passengers, or five plus luggage. There are two separate rows with three seats on each. The main luggage compartment is situated at the front of the car, with a 250 litre capacity. The body is made from reinforced plastic materials making it extremely light-weight yet strong.
Should this futuristic model ever make the production line, the price of the base model is estimated to be in the region of £20,000.
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