Audi is developing a new form of hybrid that uses a high-power starter motor to enable the car’s engine to be turned on and off frequently during trips.
According to Autocar Magazine, the „coasting hybrid” would have its engine switched off during a car’s journey, exploiting momentum and gravity to keep a car going without using fuel.
The Intelligent Hybrid Vehicle concept (iHEV) is based on an Audi A7 and uses a 48V electrical system, powered by a 48V lithium-ion battery placed in the boot, to drive an electric belt-drive starter motor. The starter motor spins an idled engine quickly and seamlessly back into life.
The iHEV is conceived to work with Audi’s Predictive Efficiency Assistant, which will use information from the navigation system and information from road signs to predict what is around the next corner and make driving suggestions in order to reduce fuel consumption.
According to Audi engineering sources, at motorway speeds on the level, the iHEV could coast for over a kilometre with the engine idled. Audi says that in tests with a iHEV A7 prototype on 38 miles of winding country lanes the engine was off 28 percent of the time with just the engine idling and coasting function enabled. When PEA was activated, the engine was off 43 percent of the time, while fuel consumption 10 percent lower and the journey time was increased by just two minutes, (3 percent).