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driving pleasure, coupled with extremely low fuel consumption
Stuttgart, Nov 15, 2005 The smart
show car crosstown, presented at the IAA 2005, goes to show once
again that smart has the potential to offer environmentally-friendly
drives not just today, but in the future as well. And it shows
that it is possible to have the best of both worlds: low fuel
consumption and a high degree of driving pleasure.
The smart crosstown show car thus
highlights the smart brands commitment to the environment.
The vehicles innovative concept is unique for a car of this
class, yet it is the logical response to a growing demand among
consumers: is considered absolutely standard among larger cars in
the USA is increasingly becoming accepted in Europe, too.
The smart crosstown show car:
electrically assisted, for greater economy and dynamism
Thanks to its combination of an
electric motor (with an output of up to 23 kW) with the 45 kW/61
bhp petrol engine from the smart fortwo, the smart crosstown
consumes considerably less fuel again - despite weighing 85
kilograms more. Even when compared with the extremely economical
standard drive, it allows a reduction in fuel consumption of some
15 percent (4.7 litres of petrol per 100 kilometres) in the new
European driving cycle (NEDC). Like the smart fortwo, the vehicles
maximum speed is electronically limited to 135 km/h.
The smart crosstown furthermore
offers even more ride comfort, and approximately ten percent
better acceleration (the production car requires 15.5 seconds to
accelerate from 0 to 100 km/h). At a red light, for example, the
combustion engine is automatically shut off with the start-stop
function. Yet starting up again at a moments notice is not
a problem: while the petrol engine is starting and building up
torque, the electric motor takes over the job of driving the
vehicle. And that's not all: the electric motor also takes over
when the tractive power is interrupted during gear changes.
Automatic start-stop system
helps to save fuel
The idle phases of the combustion
engine offer a fuel saving potential of between five and six
percent. Therefore it stands to reason to switch the engine off
when the car is not moving, in overrun and when driving slowly. A
disadvantage of this method in conventional drive concepts has
proved to be the inevitable pauses which occur when the engine is
restarted. Even with the latest technological developments it
takes around a second for a combustion engine to get running and
build up sufficient drive torque.
The smart crosstown, on the other
hand, immediately converts pressure to the accelerator pedal into
adequate drive. Its electric motor supplies energy through the
rear-wheel drive, and it can supply power of up to 23 kilowatts
for a short time. By this time the combustion engine has started
up, and can gradually take over the drive from its electric
counterpart. At most, the driver perceives the transition from
one drive unit to the other acoustically.
Electric drive during shifting
The vehicles six-speed
automated transmission gives the driver a great deal of added
comfort. To change forward gears in the sequential mechanism the
gearshift lever simply needs to be moved forwards or backwards.
The clutch is also opened and closed electrically. This means
that the smart crosstown just like the smart fortwo
does not need a clutch pedal.
A central electronic control unit
manages the shifting and clutch processes. Instead of a
conventional automatic transmission and torque converter, the
smart crosstown works with a manual transmission mechanism
including friction-disc clutch. The advantages of this compared
with a fully automatic transmission lie in the much higher
efficiency, lower weight, more compact dimensions and lower
However, unlike an automatic
transmission, this principle causes traction interruptions
between opening and closing the clutch for gear shifting. In the
smart crosstown these are bridged by the electric motor. For a
few tenths of a second it supplies the propulsion power needed,
enabling harmonious, steady acceleration over the whole gear
spectrum. So the smart crosstown is not only more lively, it also
offers added shifting comfort.
Brake power is converted to
The partial recuperation of
braking energy makes a major contribution to energy savings.
During braking, the electric motor of the smart crosstown is
operated as a generator. This enables dynamic energy to be
converted to electrical energy and stored in the cars
battery to be used later for acceleration.
The higher the braking power that
the axle drive feeds into the generator, the higher the charge
current for the battery. The generator is regulated roughly in
proportion to the pedal pressure. The hydraulic brake system does
not intervene and slow down the car some more until the braking
power demanded by the driver exceeds that of the generator. The
hydraulic brake only takes over the whole deceleration when the
battery is fully charged. This process of recuperating braking
energy enables a fuel saving of around five to six percent to be
To achieve this result, the
control unit causes the engine to be switched off and the clutch
to be opened when the accelerator pedal position is zero. This
strategy is pursued up to a driving speed of 70 km/h. At speeds
above this the electronics merely open the clutch when the engine
is idling. Because of its operating principle, the electric motor
delivers less drive torque at higher speeds. This is why the
combustion engine has to be ready for operation in order to be
able to spontaneously comply with the drivers request for
Optimum operating conditions
The cooperation of the electric
motor and the combustion engine also presents an opportunity to
operate both the drive units at optimum effectiveness. The
electric motor thus drives the car on its own at low speeds, for
example in traffic-calmed zones. The battery must be sufficiently
charged for this. The combustion engine produces a certain amount
of power which is not required by the driver in the range of
minimum specific consumption in order to charge the battery. This
operating mode permits a fuel saving of up to five percent.
High operational reliability
guarantees the parallel use of both driving engines. Unlike a
serial concept, where the electric drive motor is fed by the
combustion engine, the petrol engine of the smart crosstown is
able to drive the vehicle even when the battery is empty. In this
special case all of its functions correspond to those of the
smart fortwo with a petrol engine. There is no regenerative
braking through the generator in such a situation, but the engines
drag torque (engine braking effect) is ready to
Hybrid drive has everything
The only way that the close
cooperation between the combustion engine and the electric motor
manifests itself to the smart crosstown driver is in the improved
comfort and lower running costs. The drive type is determined by
the system itself depending on the situation in
order to ensure the best possible performance. For this, the
drivers wishes, which are interpreted via the accelerator
pedal, gearshift lever or brake pedal, are just as important as
the engine speed, driving speed and driving dynamics, the road
condition and topography, and the charge state and temperature of
the electrical system.