Anhui Jianghuai Automobile Group (JAC) and Ricardo are collaborating on a project to develop the Ricardo HyBoost concept – a combination of low cost technologies to deliver improved performance and fuel economy which featured recently in the Ricardo Centenary celebrations – into volume production on a JAC vehicle.

The Ricardo HyBoost concept is based on a downsized, highly boosted turbocharged direct injection gasoline (TDGI) engine giving improved fuel economy at low cost, linked to 48V electrical architecture including a belt starter generator (BSG), DC-DC converter and a lithium-ion battery for energy storage. The BSG provides highly efficient generation of electricity for vehicle on-board use, including short-duration absorption of mechanical power during vehicle deceleration in the form of regenerative braking. It also enables re-starting of the engine after stopping, as part of an intelligent in-gear engine start/stop strategy. Finally the BSG also provides torque assistance to the engine to improve overall fuel economy. In addition, a 48V electric supercharger has also been evaluated during the concept phase, demonstrating beneficial low-speed torque augmentation and improved response.

The HyBoost collaboration between JAC and Ricardo commenced mid-2014 and has already successfully passed its 'mule' vehicle development gateway, a major decision event for the programme. The project team is now working to productionise the HyBoost concept for a JAC vehicle intended for launch in the Chinese market. This launch vehicle, in which the 2.0L MPFI engine is replaced with a downsized gasoline 1.5L TGDI unit and coupled with the 48V electrical system. 

With this combination of technologies, JAC and Ricardo are aiming for a fuel economy improvement of in the region of 30% in comparison with current technology but with zero degradation of vehicle performance. Extensive NEDC testing undertaken on the JAC mule vehicle during the concept phase of the programme has served to verify the fuel economy targets are achievable without compromising driveability. NVH has been an area of focus in the development of engine mounting strategies. Finally the collaboration is also extending to the detailed development of control strategies and software as part of the necessary powertrain systems validation.

"We are extremely pleased to be able to reveal our collaboration with JAC on the production implementation of the Ricardo HyBoost concept," said Ricardo Asia president Gary Tan. "This advanced fuel saving technology was one of those displayed during the recent Ricardo Centenary celebrations, and our project aims to bring it to market in China in a JAC vehicle. HyBoost technology is highly attractive as it offers a pathway for automakers to provide a very significant step forward in fuel economy without compromising performance in comparison with current products. As a result of this work, our aim is that JAC will be able to offer its customers an internationally competitive product offering class-leading levels of performance and fuel economy."