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Honda's Hybrid Powertrain – Click above to watch video after the jump

What a difference a few years make. It wasn't too long ago we were reporting on former Honda CEO Takeo Fukui claiming that plug-in hybrids were "unnecessary" and provided "no real advantages." Thankfully, Honda's thinking has changed since then and many green vehicles are in the pipeline in the hopes of bringing them back on a winning path. The folks over at Hybrid Cars got to sit down with William Walton, Honda's manager of product planning, to get more details on their roadmap.

First up is the Integrated Motor Assist (IMA) powertrain, which is in pretty much every hybrid Honda has on offer. Often criticized as the reason Honda's hybrids can't match Toyota's full-hybrid setup, IMA still has a place in their future lineup because, according to Walton, its low cost makes it a perfect match for small cars.

Anyone hoping for the Fit Hybrid to come to the States will be disappointed to learn Honda doesn't have any plans to bring it on over. Do not despair though, as America will be getting something arguably better – the Fit EV – sometime next year.

This brings us to their all-new hybrid system that will be first featured in a plug-in vehicle. Later, it could be put into a conventional hybrid. Walton didn't give any details about the platform of the new plug-in, but there is a quick video of the new system for you after the break.

[Source: Hybrid Cars]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 6 Months Ago
      It's interesting and worrying that the battery is just shown as a fat lump in the way, instead of distributed flat on the floor. It looks like Honda just like Ford have no intention of doing any redesign of their cars to provide for hybrids, but instead intend top shoe-horn them into inappropriate ICE-optimised bodies.
      • 6 Months Ago
      Does seem like they have doubled up on battery packs and enlarged the IMA motor and stuck two of them together. The two electric motors together should give good performance and a wider range of efficiency, but is it the cheapest way to do it?

      I agree with what Dave said about trying to fit the conversion and not using a new model, the batteries should fit between the wheels.

      Put that drive train in the Clarity!
        • 6 Months Ago
        I believe the car still has a conventional transmission somewhere. I thought one motor-generator is lashed to the engine, then there's a clutch and transmission, then there's the other motor-generator. That allows one to assist the engine or be an engine-driven generator (so the optimum Atkinson cycle more of the time), while the other one captures brake regen. However, Honda's videos show the motors so close together that this is unlikely to be the case; maybe it's engine+motor-generator -> clutch -> motor-brake-regenerator -> transmission.

        HSD eliminates the conventional transmission, using two motor-generators and the engine in a planetary gearset to form an e-CVT. It's clearly better than Honda's current IMA, letting a mid-size Prius get 20% better fuel economy than a compact Civic or Insight. But Honda says their new dual-motor system is for larger cars giving 2.5l-equivalent performance, and Toyota's larger HSD used in the Camry hybrid and Lexus HS250 is weak and long in the tooth, We'll see, Honda says this system is due in 2012! The UK's What Car think it might show up in the CR-V/FR-V , which would make them the first plug-in "utility vehicles" , http://www.whatcar.com/car-news/the-future-s-hybrid-say-honda-and-toyota/255718
        • 6 Months Ago
        Is there a patent issue with Toyota?
        The transmission might be a CVT like the IMA system.

        It does look like the IMA on Steroids.
        But, I like the IMA system, it was affordable.
        True, I'm aware that Toyota gets better mpg numbers, but, I've got an older home and need new efficient: boiler, air-conditioner and triple-pane windows.

      • 6 Months Ago
      Was that 2 electric motor's for a total of 120 kw output?
      That should provide a lot of torque.
      I'd like to see this in light weight platform, a super CRZ for example?
      Or, a slightly bigger Insight.

      Not the weight penalty of the Accord.

      • 6 Months Ago
      Maybe because it's crap. 4,5l/100km in the european fuel rating is something an average midsize diesel gets. A good subcompact diesel is below 3,5l and there are even two conventional gasoline engines announced with a better rating (by Lancia and Nissan).
      • 6 Months Ago
      Doesn't say too much?
        • 6 Months Ago
        It says too much. Longevity of the impotent IMA is evident of Honda's stubborness, arrogance, and refusal to admit that its IMA is inferior to Toytoa's Synergy Hybrid system.

        Over twenty years ago, the idiots at Infiniti suffered the same disease. Having advertised the Infiniti as unique with almost zen like mysticism and revolutionary, Infiniti showed the public the luxury Q, a car without a front grill. As sales lag below the lowest expectation while sales of Lexus accelerated, the idiots of Infiniti refused to admit their Q45 should have a front grill until Lexus ate their lunch.

        Honda should have abandoned IMA a decade ago when its hybrid sales succumb to Toyota's Synergy. It didn't and history repeats. The farce is on Honda.
      • 6 Months Ago
      Well, it’s really swell that the Fit EV is coming to the US of A, but that won’t get me 500 miles to OKC or even 325 miles to Chicago in one eight-hour day. Why won’t Honda give us the Fit Hybrid?
      • 6 Months Ago
      Looks to me like two of their current batteries stacked.
      Less expensive then a major redesign.
      If you buy enough, they'll design a better system.

      Anyone who's felt the torque of an electric motor could read the future.
      It's hybrid or EV.

      Honda just needs to sync their vehicle redesigns with the battery breakthru's coming real soon now.
      • 6 Months Ago
      “…mid-size platform, so it can hold families and their belongings...”

      Those families had better not expect to take many belongs along with them if the battery is going to take up a major chunk of the trunk space.

      • 6 Months Ago
      Yes - it is low cost and they can advertise it as 'hybrid'.
      Much like if I super-glued a model airplane propeller and a 9 volt battery to the hood of the family truckster.