During the 2005 Detroit Auto Show, General Motors unveiled a prototype for a hydrogen fuel-cell vehicle, dubbed the Sequel. At the time, the concept flew under the GM banner, today, the General's vice president of R&D, Larry Burns, announced that the next version will bear the Chevrolet moniker.
The move to badge the fuel-cell vehicle a Chevy is an effort to bring hydrogen power to the masses via its Everyman brand. If GM had decided to place the crossover in one of its luxury divisions, it would give an air of exclusivity that the automaker feels may be detrimental to the future of mass-market fuel-cell vehicles.
The new Sequel is equipped with all-wheel-drive and power is provided by the aforementioned hydrogen fuel-cell system, along with electric motors feeding off of a bank of lithium-ion batteries. Approximately 97 hp will come from the hydrogen fuel cell and 87 hp from the electric motors.
Our friends over at Winding Road have been graciously afforded the first test drive of two fully functional versions of the Chevy Sequel and will be reporting on their experiences in a future issue.
The full press release, along with a few more photos is available after the jump.
[Source: GM via Winding Road]
GM REINVENTS THE AUTOMOBILE: CHEVROLET SEQUEL IS A BETTER, CLEANER, PETROLEUM-FREE SOLUTION
SAN DIEGO – General Motors today allowed journalists to drive the most technologically advanced automobile ever built – the Chevrolet Sequel, GM's solution to provide the world with a cleaner, petroleum-free vehicle that is better in nearly every way.
"General Motors is proving that advanced technology can remove the automobile from the environmental debate and reduce our dependence on petroleum," said Larry Burns, GM vice president, research & development and strategic planning. "Chevy Sequel clearly shows that our vision for the future of the automobile is real and sustainable."
Sequel was introduced in 2005 at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit. It is the first vehicle in the world to successfully integrate a hydrogen fuel cell propulsion system with a broad menu of advanced technologies such as steer-and brake-by-wire controls, wheel hub motors, lithium-ion batteries and a lightweight aluminum structure. It uses clean, renewable hydrogen as a fuel and emits only water vapor.
"Sequel fundamentally changes the DNA of today's automobiles ... exchanging an internal combustion engine, petroleum and mechanical systems for fuel cell propulsion, hydrogen and electrical systems," Burns said. "In Sequel, GM has created a real vehicle that promises to excite customers and lead to long-term, sustainable automotive transportation."
Compared to other fuel cell vehicles, Sequel has an unprecedented range of 300 miles between fill-ups and spirited acceleration, attaining 60 mph in just 10 seconds. Sequel also has all the amenities one would expect in a premium, five-passenger crossover SUV, including impressive styling, a spacious interior and an all-aluminum body and structure designed to meet all applicable Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards. It has a low-profile, skateboard-like chassis that houses all of its main propulsion, braking and chassis components.
"Sequel is a vehicle that is better in nearly every way – quicker, more sure-footed, easier to handle, easier to build and better looking, while being safe and emitting only water vapor," said Burns.
Other benefits include:
- Unequaled control on snow and ice, or uneven terrain
- 70-percent more torque for unparalleled acceleration
- Shorter braking distances
- Ability to "talk" to other vehicles about traffic congestion or road conditions
"Four years ago, our chairman and CEO, Rick Wagoner, challenged us to completely rethink the automobile," Burns said. "With the Chevy Sequel, we have now met Rick's challenge by reinventing the automobile and making it real. We've proven a new DNA for vehicles that is viable for the future."
Specifications: GM Chevrolet Sequel
Vehicle type: all-wheel-drive crossover vehicle with fuel cell and by-wire technology
Chassis: aluminum substructures
Body: aluminum body / frame integral structure with aluminum panels and aluminum closures
Seating capacity: 4 or 5
Wheelbase (in / mm): 119.7 / 3040
Length (in / mm): 196.6 / 4994
Width (in / mm): 77.4 / 1966
Height (in / mm): 66.8 / 1697
Curb weight (lb / kg): 4774 / 2170
Fuel storage system
Type: 3 carbon composite high-pressure tanks for hydrogen mounted in the sandwich chassis
Service pressure (psi / bar): 10,000 / 700
Storage capacity (lb / kg): 17.6 / 8
Fuel cell power module
Power (kW): 73
Type: lithium-ion high-power battery pack
Power (kW): 65
Electric traction system
Front system: 3-phase asynchronous electric motor with integrated power electronics and planetary gear
Power (kW): 65
Torque (lb-ft / Nm): 1740 / 2350
Gear ratio: 10.95:1
Rear system: 2 3-phase permanent magnet synchronous, direct drive, electric wheel hub motors
Power (kW): 2 times 25
Torque (lb-ft / Nm): 2 times 590/800
Gear ratio: 1:1
Total traction power (kW): 115
Total torque at wheels (lb-ft/Nm): 2920 / 3950
Acceleration 0-60 mph (sec): < 10
Top speed (mph / km/h): 90 / 145
Operating range (miles / km): 300 / 480