Suzuki Motor Corp had a meeting to explain technologies developed for its light and compact vehicles in Tokyo April 16, 2014.
At the meeting, Suzuki introduced four items related to its green technologies. They were "next-generation light-weight platforms," "hybridization," "improvement of engine efficiency" and "development of transmission," which are the company's latest efforts.
Next-generation light-weight platforms
In regard to the next-generation light-weight platforms, Suzuki will integrate four existing platforms for its light and compact vehicles into three platforms. In addition, the company will reduce the number of kinds of functional parts such as suspensions, air conditioning systems and front seat frames and make them shared by various types of vehicles.
Then, Suzuki will review the main structures and part placement of the platforms, aiming to reduce vehicle weights by 15%. The next-generation platforms will be employed for new vehicles that the company will release.
Suzuki aims to commercialize mild hybrid vehicles at an early date by combining an ISG (integrated starter generator) and the "Ene Charge" braking energy regeneration technology using a lithium-ion (Li-ion) battery.
Braking energy is recovered by the ISG and stored in the battery. When the vehicle is accelerating, the ISG is used as a motor to contribute to driving the engine. Suzuki aims to employ the new system first for compact vehicles targeted at the Japanese market and, then, for light vehicles.
Improvement of engine efficiency
For the improvement of gasoline engine efficiency, Suzuki intends to focus on the development of a 0.66L engine for light vehicles and 1.4L or smaller-displacement engines for compact vehicles. It aims to improve average thermal efficiency from the current 33-34% to 40% (under the JC08 test mode) by early 2020.
For light vehicles, Suzuki will continue to improve the fuel-saving technology of the "Alto." And for compact vehicles, it will further improve the combustion technology of the "Dual Jet Engine."
On the other hand, the company has been developing a 0.8L two-cylinder diesel engine in house, aiming to use it for commercial and passenger vehicles targeted at emerging markets such as in India.
Development of transmission
For the development of transmission, Suzuki introduced the "AGS (Auto Gear Shift)," which is the company's latest AMT (automated manual transmission). Its basic structure is a manual transmission, but it eliminates the need to operate a clutch and gear shift lever. And it enables to realize a fuel consumption as low as that of a normal stick-shift vehicle. Furthermore, the AG features the "creeping" function like AT (automatic transmission) and CVT (continuously variable transmission).
Suzuki employed the AGS for its "Celerio" compact car, which the company announced in Feb 2014 for the Indian market. And it is considering using the AGS for compact cars targeted at the Japanese market.