Monday, September 17, 2012

Scoop photos on new CR-Z MMC : Power Comparison

TOVA reader Alan posted some photos to our TOVA Facebook (thanks Alan), the same photos being also posted on our TOV forums. It is likely these photos are taken off a japanese magazine due to the quality of the photos, as well as the layout of the last photo which seems to be more of a montage of photos. Nevertheless, these photos gives us very interesting info on the new CR-Z MMC to be launched on the 27th, just 10 days away from the date of this posting.

The first photo, which I look at in this post, is the power comparison. From this comparison, we can see that the MMC will nett power increases for the CR-Z as follows:

Max Power - 100kW/136ps at 6,600rpm, up from 91kW/124ps at 6,000rpm
Max Torque - 19.4kgm/190Nm at 1,000-2,000rpm, up from 17.7kgm/174Nm at 1,000-1,750rpm

Max Power - 99kW/135ps at 6,600rpm, up from 90kW/123ps at 6,000rpm
Max Torque - 17.5km/172Nm at 1,000-3,000rpm, up from 17.0kgm/167Nm at 1,000-2,000rpm

The new redline seems to be set at 6,800rpm, up from 6,200rpm so the new rev-cut is likely to be at 7,000rpm.

This 12ps is definitely coming from improvements to both the petrol engine and the IMA electric motor, as confirmed in Honda's own press release for this CR-Z MMC in the Paris Motor Show. Bear in mind that Honda has also confirmed that this CR-Z MMC will be using the new Lithium-Ion (LiOn) IMA battery and the matching IMA electric motor is more powerful (running at a higher voltage than the old NiMH IMA motor).

It is not known if this CR-Z MMC will be using the same IMA electric motor as the new 9Gen Civic Hybrid but the Civic Hybrid's motor is rated at 23hp at 1,546-3,000rpm and a torque of 78lbft (approx 10.7kgm) at 500-1,546rpm. For comparison, the current (pre-MMC) CR-Z's IMA electric motor is rated at 13hp at 1,500rpm and 58lbft (approx 8.0kgm) at 1,000rpm, exactly the same as the Insight which uses the same motor. 

As it is likely the CR-Z MMC will now use the same IMA electric motor from the 9Gen HCH, it suggests that the power increase from the petrol engine alone should be very little, a few horses only which matches to info we have heard so far. There have been guesses that the engine will now be DOHC instead of SOHC but the quantum of the power increase does not support this guess. Also the max-torque rpm range, especially for the CVT variant, is now much wider. But the fuel consumption and emissions remains the same according to Honda's press release. So this suggests that the engine should remain largely the same except for some mods to improve air-flow, especially to cater for the slightly higher 6,800rpm redline.

The new CR-Z MMC's power chart shows some very desirable improvements to the driving performance. The 9G HCH for e.g. has surprisingly good overtaking power, with a mild 'push against the seat' when the throttle is opened to WOT for overtaking. So the new CR-Z MMC should offer an even better performance in this area especially the 6MT. Of intrigue is whether Honda will change the gear ratios for the 6MT, though history has shown that they are likely to do so. The extra 600rpm will allow a higher/shorter ratios to be used and Honda is likely to continue to spec 2nd gear to hit 99kph at redline.


CRV9 said...

What I'm confused is that they're keeping the same 1.5l engine or not. I thought they would change it to a newer ED 1.5l one that has 128hp-ish? 128-114=14hp. I hoped that was the 12hp increase. But I guess it's not ready yet.
Or maybe a ED 1.5l is going to be with their new next IMA. That will make it 10% more MPG with the Atkinson cycle on highway.
I'd prefer an Insight with a ED 1.5l with this new IMA. I'd feel closerforbic in a CRZ.

TOVA said...

I guess no ED engine for this MMC. I think the key is Honda's statement that the fuel consumption and emission has not been affected and this suggests that the engine remains largely the same with perhaps very mild mods for top-end power. But nothing is sure at this moment and we can only know definitely on Sept 27th. Does the description (in japanese) on the photo above says anything useful ?

Anonymous said...

I agree that more capacity in the battery would help overall performance even if the IMA motor didn't make more power (although it appears it does). Having assist available for longer DURATION would help a lot on long uphill climbs. -Colin

TOVA said...

The larger capacity -plus- an ability to manual override and switch out assist or switch in forced charging would make it quite complete. Sometimes when we know we will need all the IMA assist we need further up the journey, it will help tremendously to be able to switch off IMA assist for the earlier part of the journey. With careful driving, the economy won't be affected that much and the IMA assist from a full battery will be extremely useful if it is available when we need it the most. At the moment, the ECU 'flies blind' and works with whatever is the current situation. It can't do anything else because it is 'dumb' while the human who is driving, only he/she has knowledge of what is to come.

CRV9 said...

Not much really. It says that they've broaden the Assist output and made its top end better(smoother, stretched out, sportier feel)
Again, I'd prefer an Insight with a newer ED 1.5l + IMA, and CRZ suspenssion.

human668 said...

Most likely there won't be a complete new engine. It seems like Honda has switched to 16V mild-hot cam from 12V/16V. (As Spoon did with their CR-Z.) Same peak rpm as 1.5L Fit.
The current IMA motor performance is limited by battery heat. The new battery has addressed that problem. Hence, Honda can unleash more performance from IMA motor.
However, the more IMA contributes to total output, the more disappointment when it runs out of juice.

human668 said...

New info:
The engine alone 120 PS at 6,600 for 6MT 118PS for CVT
IMA motor 20PS

Mugen RZ Horsepower (Engine+Motor): 156+20ps
Which means the Mugen supercharger only adds 36PS and it's kinda low. Somehow I think the current 114PS engine responses better to force induction.

CRV9 said...

human, "However, the more IMA contributes to total output, the more disappointment when it runs out of juice."

That is very true. It essecially is a 120ps car. It's a 136ps car when the battery is charged. I think they will eventually fine tune the e-assist management so that you won't lose the assist too much of time.
It is alson true to the RLX. It is essencially a 310hp car. It is a 380(?)ph car when the battery is charged up. Having said so though, there ia a IMA type generator that should constantly charging the battery, I'd guess. So I'd think you'd see less of running out juice on the RLX.

I've read somewhere that Mazda is using a capacitor to capture re-generative energy from its brakes. I wonder Honda's new IMA system would incorporate a (super)capacitor.

TOVA said...

Hi guys, thanks for continuing to keep this discussion alive and interesting. Yes, I have read about the surprise debut of the CR-Z MMC in Indonesia, all the more surprising since Honda officially announced that it's world debut in the Paris show. This is what I mean by Honda's press release are often not the final definitive facts.

So it seems confirmed that the CR-Z MMC has inherited the current generation L15A from the current Jazz and City. It makes sense as well and of course those of us here will say that Honda should have done this right from the beginning. Better late than never ? Or Honda just doesn't learn ?

I am surprised that the IMA electric motor is rated at 20ps because I was expecting the one from the 9G HCH which is rated at 23ps. Perhaps the motor has been re-specified in favour of less demanding on the battery but greater 'stamina'. Is there any info on the battery capacity, i.e. how much larger it is compared to the current/outgoing NiMH one ?

136ps is really really not bad. Don't forget we are talking about a 1.5l here. The biggest equalizer here will be the new generation 6MT. This latest generation MTs seems to have extremely low power loss and if the current 124ps powerplant is anything to go by, I suspect this 'new' CR-Z MMC might well dyno at around 130ps at the wheels. This kind of power level is actually very very close to what the 1G (160ps) B16A 5MT used to deliver on the same type of dyno - they deliver around 136ps 'only'. So with the IMA battery's superior low and mid-range torque, the 'new' CR-Z MMC should deliver some nice surprises on the road.

PeterScott said...

Another concern I have with IMA in a performance car, is battery durability. Honda doesn't have the best track record with proper battery management, now they are introducing Lithiums, and here they are planning to increase the "boost" from the battery and AFAIK, their warranty is down to 5 years on the IMA battery.

This doesn't sound like a recipe for a happy ending.

CRV9 said...

I'm sure Honda will fine tune IMA management better as time goes by.
Thing is that Hybrid is the one techno gizmo that can give 10-15% better MPG. No other single technology today can give that much better MPG. ICE is pretty much a matured technology. This is not the solution but one of better ones we have. Of course, places like North America or Australia where they drive long on highways this wouldn't matter much, though.

As long as global warming is real we will start to see more floodings and more draughts around the world the pressure on CO2 amounts. This is the future automaker like Honda has to face, I guess.

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