Honda Earth Dreams 2012 – new seven-speed Sport Hybrid Intelligent Dual Clutch Drive system unveiled

Honda Earth Dreams 2012 – new seven-speed Sport Hybrid Intelligent Dual Clutch Drive system unveiled

A bit of the tech on call at the 2012 Honda Meeting – Earth Dreams Technology showcase were extensions of that seen at the EDT event from last year, but there were plenty of fresh items, chief among these being the announcement of a brand new Sports Hybrid Intelligent Dual Clutch Drive (i-DCD) system, which is a lightweight and compact one-motor hybrid system optimised for small-sized vehicles.

The system, which slots in alongside the Sport Hybrid Intelligent Multi-Mode Drive (i-MMD) two-motor and Sport Hybrid SH-AWD three-motor hybrid systems to make it three in the family, features a newly-developed inline four-cylinder 1.5 litre twin-cam Atkinson cycle engine with VTEC and VTC.

Nothing was forthcoming from the Honda engineers with regards to the available output from the engine (or system, for that matter). What was revealed about the beltless unit was that it includes a cooled EGR, and the water pump and air conditioning are electrically driven.

The power output of the motor itself is around 20 kW. As for the battery, a lithium-ion unit – made by Blue Energy – replaces Ni-Mh in the grid, and is claimed to be able to offer up to five kilometres of operation on electric power alone.

Honda Earth Dreams 2012 – new seven-speed Sport Hybrid Intelligent Dual Clutch Drive system unveiled

The mill is paired to a seven-speed dual clutch transmission featuring a built-in high-output motor, with a wide ratio range and electric servo brakes part of the inventory. The clutch is engaged to the engine during acceleration and high-speed cruising, and disengaged during startup and low- to medium-speed cruising. The transmission is also disconnected from the engine during deceleration, to aid energy regeneration.

On the whole, system efficiency is claimed to be 30% better compared to a conventional one-motor hybrid system, and according to the engineers, the DCT alone yields a 10% improvement in efficiency over a CVT unit. It’s also quicker, with a 15% improvement in acceleration to be had.

It’s not the first DCT to be shown by Honda – the three-motor SH-AWD system (sampled by Danny last year) also wears a similar configuration, but the point is that it looks like the company is slowly opening up paths beyond the usual CVT and automatic avenues.

Honda Earth Dreams 2012 – new seven-speed Sport Hybrid Intelligent Dual Clutch Drive system unveiled

We were given the chance to preview the system alongside its larger two-motor and three-motor siblings, and though the drive was brief and limited to a single run up and down a straight, the system felt perky and willing, and moved the Fit it was installed in quite briskly when asked. The DCT didn’t announce itself, and you’d be forgiven if you mistook it for a CVT. Looks very promising, indeed.

No mention was made of when the i-DCD will make its debut, but presumably it’ll be on the Hybrid version of the new Fit when that one arrives next year. Also, this is a likely candidate system for the likes of the CR-Z and Insight, though it’ll probably be well down the road, on the next-gen versions.

The two-motor Sport Hybrid Intelligent Multi-Mode Drive / Plug-in was also showcased. The system mates a 2.0 litre Atkinson cycle mill with two built-in motors and a lock-up clutch, along with a lithium-ion battery, optimally switching the driving mode among three different profiles (EV Drive, Engine Drive and Hybrid Drive), depending on the driving situation.

Honda Earth Dreams 2012 – new seven-speed Sport Hybrid Intelligent Dual Clutch Drive system unveiled

It’s set to make its market premiere in the North American version of the 2014 Honda Accord Plug-in, scheduled to be introduced in January next year. Both the i-MMD and Plug-in Accord variants were on call at the event, again trialled on the short straight/return.

Of the two, the Plug-in felt the better pick, being the smoother of the duo, this despite being heavier (its battery pack is three times the weight of that on the i-MMD). Naturally, it also retained a far higher threshold of EV operation through load. On both variants, EV operation is possible up to speeds of 100 km/h.

As in the previous EDT showcase, the three-motor Sport Hybrid SH-AWD was also on call. The system wears a new direct-injected 3.5 litre V6 offering 310 hp and 360 Nm, and is combined with a seven-speed DCT system with a built-in motor offering 40 hp and 130 Nm; at the back are two electric motors with 27 hp and 70 Nm each to control torque distribution to the right and left rear wheels.

Both rear motors are independent, which enables positive torque to be applied to the outside wheel and negative torque to the inside wheel, making separate control of torque distribution to the rear wheels possible without relying on engine output. Depending on the radius of the curve, the energy generated by the inside wheel is recovered electrically and applied to the outside wheel to self-generate torque necessary for the vehicle to make the turn.

Honda Earth Dreams 2012 – new seven-speed Sport Hybrid Intelligent Dual Clutch Drive system unveiled

The SH-AWD was sampled on an Accord at Tochigi in the handling part of the event, alongside another Accord highlighting the Precision All Wheel Steering system, which features independent left/right rear toe control. Here, dedicated actuators – with an electric extending and retracting arm – are placed on the left and right toe control links in the rear suspension.

The system, which adds only 3.5 kg in weight to the car and works cooperatively with the engine, EPS and VSA, offers independent, optimum amount of left/right steering control in a corner.

During low speed corners, the system provides a smaller turn radius as well as smaller difference in tracking between the inside wheels, and during high speed lane changes, the rear wheels steer with the front to reduce response delays and offer tighter tracking aspects. Also, when braking, both rear wheels are toed-in slightly for improved stability.

In use, the PAWS feels more agile, even though it is the SH-AWD that offers more in the way of mechanical grip. The latter is heavier, and it translates in use; I much preferred the liveliness in dynamics coming off the all-wheel steering – everything felt faster and that bit more dramatic, even though it wasn’t really the case in terms of actual speed.

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Anthony Lim

Anthony Lim believes that nothing is better than a good smoke and a car with character, with good handling aspects being top of the prize heap. Having spent more than a decade and a half with an English tabloid daily never being able to grasp the meaning of brevity or being succinct, he wags his tail furiously at the idea of waffling - in greater detail - about cars and all their intrinsic peculiarities here.

 

Comments

  • Enthu on Nov 14, 2012 at 8:58 pm

    finally took the same route as Toyota…

    Atkinson cycle engine
    Electric power source for air conditioning & water pump
    Beltless operation

    nothing new from Honda after all… =(

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 21 Thumb down 65
    • Congratulation for finally escaping that hole you’ve been stuck in for years, I’m sure you know what’s the Internet, explore it. You’ve been out of touch from the world for too long????

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 13 Thumb down 7
  • Michael Ammott on Nov 14, 2012 at 9:37 pm

    nothing new?
    1.what about Direct injection?
    2.DCT with built motor?
    3.Single motor which is in serial configuration but behave like dual parallel motor as per prius?
    4.Dual motor that control the rear wheel that contribute to the SH-AWD?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 45 Thumb down 10
  • Kalun on Nov 14, 2012 at 10:21 pm

    Like I say earlier in the Toyota article previously.

    Sorry Malaysians, we can’t enjoy these kind of tech that the global market have due to our “Euro 2” fuel quality.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 23 Thumb down 7
  • Past: Honda is reliable, VW got DSG problem.
    Now: Honda is going to get the same problem as VW. Wonder what the fanboys will say?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 16 Thumb down 12
    • Sam 2 on Nov 16, 2012 at 2:04 am

      DSG problem? What DSG problem? cooler for the oil for DSG 6 spd–problem solved. Change of mechatronic and clutch assembly and settings for DSG 7 spd—-problem solved….now PLEASE tell me what other pertinent problems remain…AND please tell me you drive one before making further comments based on hearsay…..

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 15 Thumb down 13
    • Sam Loo on Nov 16, 2012 at 7:16 pm

      Hidden due to lowcomment rating. Click here to see.

      Poorly-rated. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 189
      • Fair Comment on Dec 10, 2012 at 12:29 pm

        Hey Sam Loo…Huh? Japs dual clutch WAY more advance and RELIABLE than DSG? huh? huh? How did you know that? Did u come back fr the future and u have seen it all in the future? Coz at the present there is no mass produced japs dual clutch on mass produce japs cars…Or u just keyboard bragger? Too much “back to the future movies” me thinks…

        Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 125 Thumb down 2
  • shaun kwong on Nov 14, 2012 at 10:47 pm

    I am fascinated by the ever changing technology in the car industry. Malaysia is way behind in car technology design. We have Proton, Lotus and the soon-to-be launched Renault. Unlike cars, Malaysian buildings have amongst the fastest elevator cars in the world. Shaun Kwong. Malaysia Elevator.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 14 Thumb down 3
  • Sooner or later the names will get so ridiculous like this:
    Super Sports iHybrid Hyper Intelligent Dual Clutch Quadruple Turbo Motor Drive.

    Can’t you just call it the Hybrid+ and begone?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 25 Thumb down 6
    • Anon Kneemas on Nov 15, 2012 at 1:38 am

      I agree…how about we call it Sports Hybrid Intelligent Technology or (SHIT) to cover all the subsystems :)

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 43 Thumb down 3
    • kouper on Nov 15, 2012 at 9:22 am

      But nobody wants to buy something with simple Hybrid+ name, especially when the market is flooded with things like “dual VVTI-e TRD sports Super ECT Elite Limited Edition”

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 15 Thumb down 5
    • Rakyat on Nov 16, 2012 at 12:33 am

      How about Dugong Hybrid TRD?

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 2
  • Carl Wong on Nov 14, 2012 at 11:18 pm

    AMAZING piece of Engineering once again from Honda. Even higher efficiency compared to the current Power Assist Hybrid IMA System, and higher performance and speed since Dual Clutch shifts faster than the blink of an eye? I cannot wait to see them release one of these :]…!!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 9
  • Wanabe on Nov 14, 2012 at 11:54 pm

    Seems too much electronics technology incorporates into one car. Sounds good on paper and hope in production reality it really meet up to expectation rather than losing all to conventional Dual Clutch Transmission and Force Induction Engine. Lets see about the pricing

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 3
  • saladin on Nov 15, 2012 at 12:03 am

    Good inovation. Taking advantages of the hbyrid atkinson engine to get better efficency on low and medium range speed and also best efficency on high speed crusing when it enganged to twin clutch gear box. Most hybrid cars like prius (electric motor driven) are not effeicent on high speed crusing but good for low and medium speed. What honda did was good but atkinson cycle engine is not best to be engaged with twin clutch during high crusing. Maybe they did some tweaking on the engine im not sure.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1
  • lollipop on Nov 15, 2012 at 12:44 am

    New Technology always a great Thing, just like smart phone..but it also make your Old car look hideous with old tech, from opinion technology hybrid will keep evaluate improve. EV will be future

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 2
  • hello on Nov 15, 2012 at 1:23 am

    The rims on the old accord suits its body very well. By far the best looking stock rime for that car.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 3
  • hello on Nov 15, 2012 at 1:23 am

    The rims on the old accord suits its body very well. By far the best looking stock rim for that car.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 3
  • Where are the sushi fanboys that critic VW’s DSG problem? Now that Honda also using dual clutch, what you have to say?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 9
    • Espresso! Quick! on Nov 15, 2012 at 9:58 am

      the thing with the japanese is, once they introduce a new technology, more often than not, it WILL be reliable. they may be slow into introducing new tech but they probably do more thorough testing than the europeans.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 16
      • So you mean that when the europeans introduced DCT to the market, the Japanese already secretly testing their own DCT and nobody knew about it?!!

        LMFAO…

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 5
        • Corolla on Nov 16, 2012 at 1:48 am

          Let the time tell. In U.S.A, car reviewers praise the quality and reliability of so called leather wrapped Toyota over M and B or A

          Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 3
          • Ok la I wait. Maybe when hyper drive is introduced by the europeans already then the Japanese DCT will be super reliable.

            Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 2
      • the japanese are slower because they copy the europeans, especially back in the 70-90s. dont believe me ask your father. The number one reason why they dont update their tech regularly, is because the tech they develop is planned for a longer time frame. The europeans spend more R&D on their cars so they can update their tech every 5 years. While japs spend less hence they can only update every 10 years. This inturn means that you can buy jap cars at a lower price comprende? for your information the first dual clutch gbox was used in porsche 962 in 1980s. so yea i dont think the japs were even testing or developing the now outdated 4-5 speed gbox you see in all the jap cars.

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 2
      • Sam 2 on Nov 16, 2012 at 2:12 am

        Quote “Espresso! Quick!” the thing with the japanese is, once they introduce a new technology, more often than not, it WILL be reliable. they may be slow into introducing new tech but they probably do more thorough testing than the europeans. Unquote….. ->Which part of the universe did you come from? I am sorry BUT you are VERY mistaken about the workings of the car industry in Japan AND Europe…..

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 6
    • Sam 2 on Nov 16, 2012 at 2:26 am

      And FYI lots of the ‘favourite’ performance and some ‘regular’ cars come with dual clutch in one form or another..Audi,BMW,BYD,Chrysler, Fiat,Ford,Ferrari, General Motors,Honda, Hyundai,Lotus,McLaren,Mercedes-Benz,Mitsubishi, Nissan,PSA Peugeot, Citroën,Porsche, Renault and Volkswagen…..LOL

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 3
  • Hmmm tak kisah la mcm mana pun, apa nama pun. Proton nanti rebadge dpt murah sikit. Yang penting dah tau konfem2 honda punya.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 6
    • jangan mimpi! kalau mau ni skrg, beli honda, kalau nak proton perlahan perlahan tunngu.
      proton tak ada engineering dulu kini dan selamanya! baik bungkus aje, tanah tu buat tanam ubi kayu lagi berhasil!

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 8
    • Rebadge civic becomes previc lol.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 2
  • Anon Kneemas on Nov 15, 2012 at 1:41 am

    I’m quite excited with Honda engineering’s direction (especially SH-AWD and Precision All Wheel Steering). Good to see Honda going back to their ‘engineering-first’ roots.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 6
  • Honda is coming back great! Lets see the price! May be we wont be getting this in Msia for a while…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 3
    • Honda? They long lost the power of dream. Now, they only care about money. Hopefully, they’ll be back…dreaming.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 4
  • I’m impressed they are able to produce a gearbox more efficient than the CVT…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 7
  • Fair Comment on Nov 15, 2012 at 10:57 am

    Lets hope this will stop VW DSG bashers from bashing DSG tech

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 8
  • Digir on Nov 15, 2012 at 11:18 am

    Is that the New HONDA ACCORD?
    NICE..!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 7
    • MalayanTapir on Nov 15, 2012 at 10:56 pm

      That’s what I thought too! I know it’s based on the outgoing model, but it looks pretty darn good in that photo. At last, after almost 20 years, a GOOD LOOKING Accord for our market :D

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 2
  • Expatriate VN on Nov 15, 2012 at 4:11 pm

    Not only our Jaguh Kampung No. 2 not up to mark! Our Euro 2 diesel also crap – forever we can’t enjoy best engine in the world so far as current Gov is still exist!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 4
  • Enthu on Nov 15, 2012 at 4:31 pm

    what they have to offer (which is even yet to commercialise) is already in the market for some time.

    My respond?
    meh~

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1
  • Sounds high tech with so many electronic gadgets. But my dear Malaysians, if any problem pop out, your wallet for sure will slim a lot.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0
    • Rakyat on Nov 16, 2012 at 12:30 am

      Honda RV drop?

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0
    • No worries, Malaysian suckers for T&H badge.. Anything with that badge they’ll buy, even if that’s a rubber eraser or pencil.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 2
  • james on Nov 15, 2012 at 10:42 pm

    So, bila boleh beli kereta murah?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 2
  • Anti Expatriate VN on Nov 16, 2012 at 4:13 pm

    How do you know the new government will introduce new diesel? You’re only dreaming man… Same like those people who’re still dreaming for cheaper car price when the new gov takeover this country.. Better wake up lah… Do you think they will lower the price? That’s all political promises that will never be fulfilled..

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 5
  • Anthony,any idea wether the headlight in the current accord in the pic above is available for the market?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0
  • Whynot on Dec 29, 2012 at 8:26 pm

    Once the next generations of sodium batteries kicks in, it will all be a plug in or extended plug in type. This kind of car is the worst as it involves two type the costs in repair works. Both old fashion petrol engine repair and high tech rechargeable maintain cost. Get this right guys!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0
  • Kangkung on Jul 14, 2014 at 11:48 am

    New tech stuff takes time to improve.
    it’s regardless Jap or European.

    IMHO, nowadays, Japs car aren’t superb reliable as last 10years model.

    Though, I appreciate Honda and Mazda keep investment on innovation.

    Give Honda a chance, it’s the first n well foreseen maker to use dual clutch.

    They will improve this tech in 3-5 years , make it becomes invulnerable. Previous CVT implementation is good example. They improved it successfully.

    High tech, good design sometimes not equal to reliability.

    Reliability 100 % equal to old tech.
    Give some time for DCD becomes old tech.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0
 

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