• Three new Sport-Hybrid systems unveiled
• They improve both economy and performance
• Sneak preview into the tech behind the next NSX supercar

Honda has announced the development of three new hybrid drivetrains which, Honda says, will offer both exemplary performance and outstanding economy. There will be a one-motor system, a twin motor design and a four-wheel drive super-sports system that is likely to provide the propulsion for the next NSX supercar.

The first, single motor, system will use a newly developed 1.5-litre petrol engine combined with an electric motor within the gearbox. This new system is said to improve efficiency by more than 30 per cent, without compromising on performance. One of the major contributors to this new found efficiency is the fact that the car disengages the engine when braking. This improves the efficiency of the energy recovery system which thus means that the battery and electric motor can provide more power. Auto Trader expects that this system will find its way into the upcoming CRZ 133 GT.

The second system to be announced is a two-motor hybrid drivetrain which Honda says is the most efficient two-motor system in the world. It comes with three driving modes – ‘EV Drive’ for pure electric driving, ‘Engine Drive’ which couples the  driven wheels directly to the engine and ‘Hybrid Drive’ which is best for urban driving. This mode uses the petrol engine to generate electricity for the electric motors, which then powers the wheels. The electric motors’ strong low-down torque make this system perfect for stop-start city traffic. There are strong rumours circulating that this system will be found in the next major refresh of the Honda Accord, which is due in the next couple of years.

The third and final system will be dubbed Sport Hybrid SH-AWD (Sport Hybrid Super Handling-All Wheel Drive) and will combine three electric motors, a lithium ion battery and a 3.5-litre V6 which will drive all four wheels. Honda says that this arrangement of petrol and electric motors will give the car in which it is installed the performance of a V8 engine, with the fuel economy of a diminutive four-cylinder. This technology is likely to be the propulsion for the next Honda NSX supercar.

By James Richardson

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