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#4606753 - 12/17/17 10:10 PM Hybrid "Simple" SUVs, why no one done it yet ?
Shannow Online   content


Registered: 12/12/02
Posts: 39838
Loc: 'Stralia
Don't get me wrong, Toyota's hybrid drive train with planetary gear sets is a work of art to this mechanical engineer (although I've found a 100 year old mecahnical hydraulic equivalent).

One of the things that I dislike about the modern crop of ues (like my colorado) is that we are spinning the front diff and driveline continuously...no lock in hubs like my old Nissan.

Got me thinking that the Tx Case, front Diff and dirveshaft adds a few hundred pounds to the equation, and is being spun up/down continuously...sooo.

Why not replace the front drive train with an electric motor/diff assembly ?

Need 4WD, and it's there for on average a half battery's worth.

Need to recharge battery, then it's circulating power mode, spinning the front wheels to generate.

Regenerative braking, no probs, the fronts do most of the braking anyway.

Bit of "thrust vectoring" to help the front end in slippery situations.

Nothing REALLY says that you have to have the electric and mechanical drivelines connected. It's all pretty agricultural anyway, and the engines are now all DBW, so could be programmed to do whatever you want...the 6L50 isn't going to know or care what it's loaded with.

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#4606762 - 12/17/17 10:24 PM Re: Hybrid "Simple" SUVs, why no one done it yet ? [Re: Shannow]
PimTac Online   content


Registered: 03/04/17
Posts: 4228
Loc: Soviet State of Washington
This could work with the current type of crossovers as well as they have a clutch that controls the rear diff. It would be just reversed from how your Colorado works.

Someone must have thought of this idea. I canít imagine all the brains in the auto world skipped over it.
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#4606775 - 12/17/17 10:31 PM Re: Hybrid "Simple" SUVs, why no one done it yet ? [Re: Shannow]
Danno Offline


Registered: 10/07/12
Posts: 1987
Loc: Northern Ontario, Canada
They are doing it with the launch of the 2016 Hybrid RAV4.

Key quote.
"The hybrid doesnít have a driveshaft linking its front and rear axles, so it depends on electronics to balance the power distribution."

https://www.caranddriver.com/reviews/2016-toyota-rav4-hybrid-awd-test-review
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#4606779 - 12/17/17 10:33 PM Re: Hybrid "Simple" SUVs, why no one done it yet ? [Re: Shannow]
DoubleWasp Offline


Registered: 05/21/12
Posts: 5236
Loc: Fort Lauderdale, FL
The NSX and 918 have their front wheels driven exclusively by electric motors for AWD.

Why not do it in a hybrid SUV? Space. A whole drivetrain takes up more space than a simple diff.

It is worth noting that some Nissan Cubes had the rear wheels driven entirely electrically in concert with the fronts.
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#4606781 - 12/17/17 10:34 PM Re: Hybrid "Simple" SUVs, why no one done it yet ? [Re: Shannow]
JHZR2 Offline



Registered: 12/14/02
Posts: 41764
Loc: New Jersey
I thought that was how the Lexus RX was done - motor/generators on one axle (rear?) and then essentially a fwd hybrid setup.

Electronic and makes worlds of sense to me... and then do drivetrains in whatever configuration is sensible to the automaker. High density motor generators and compact SiC/GaN power electronics should make it small and efficient.

And then as batteries get better, lose the mechanical drivetrain all together. Either do 2 or 4wd all electric with the engine truly becoming nothing more than a variable speed generator that serves as a foolproof range extended and battery keeper. The BMW i3 has this genius but is messed up at least in NA implementation.

Not sure true working vehicles would work this way, some may keep mechanical diffs, etc, but they too would benefit from at least the 0RPM torque and braking recovery in some sort of hybrid setup.

Given the almost silly torque ratings on diesel pickups these days (and cost), I'm sort of surprised nobody has tried to do a torque-biased hybrid gasoline pickup that does nearly all the torque and MPGs with 3/4 of the price of a diesel truck, and runs on RUG.

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#4606794 - 12/17/17 10:50 PM Re: Hybrid "Simple" SUVs, why no one done it yet ? [Re: Shannow]
Silk Offline


Registered: 07/26/03
Posts: 4549
Loc: New Zealand
Originally Posted By: Shannow

One of the things that I dislike about the modern crop of ues (like my colorado) is that we are spinning the front diff and driveline continuously...no lock in hubs like my old Nissan.


It seems a backward step - first (well, 2nd really) we had locking hubs, manual or auto, then they went to a solenoid/vacuum actuator on the front diff that disconnected the axles, the axles still turned, but not the diff. These did give a few problems, on Tritons they get smacked off, and I had a Big Horn in last week playing up...vacuum leaks to the solenoids. Now they have gone to the whole front end spinning like some 4x4 from the '50's. I'm sure the boffins have a compeling explanation, but it seems like cost cutting at the manufacturing end while the customer pays the fuel bill.
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#4606813 - 12/17/17 11:10 PM Re: Hybrid "Simple" SUVs, why no one done it yet ? [Re: Shannow]
DoubleWasp Offline


Registered: 05/21/12
Posts: 5236
Loc: Fort Lauderdale, FL
Locking hubs went away mostly because of shift-on-the-fly 4WD. What's the point of having it, if you still have to get out of the truck and get into whatever mess you're trying to get out of?

The vacuum systems were nothing but problematic.

I'd rather just leave the axle spinning.
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#4606815 - 12/17/17 11:11 PM Re: Hybrid "Simple" SUVs, why no one done it yet ? [Re: Shannow]
Shannow Online   content


Registered: 12/12/02
Posts: 39838
Loc: 'Stralia
Silk, eggzackerly my point...ran the Navara a few tanks with the front hubs locked, and the difference is remarkable.

JHZR2, could additions to the discussion.

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#4606824 - 12/17/17 11:19 PM Re: Hybrid "Simple" SUVs, why no one done it yet ? [Re: Shannow]
PimTac Online   content


Registered: 03/04/17
Posts: 4228
Loc: Soviet State of Washington
The Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV has a intricate system of gasoline/electric/battery to run the system. I understand they are fairly common in Australia and New Zealand? For some reason they havenít been able to import them to the US but that is the past as Mitsubishi is a waning brand here.
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