Xtrac develops hybrid transmission for luxury sportscars

Posted on 4 Dec 2012

Transmission designer and manufacturer Xtrac has launched a hybridised automated manual transmission that will allow luxury supercars to meet European CO2 emissions in 2020.

The sportscar and racecar transmission specialist designed the hybridised transmission – designated name “1010 H-AMT” – to allow sportscars to meet the 95g/km CO2 emission requirement being introduced by European legislators in 2020.

The transmission will mean supercars’ powertrains can be partly electrified to reduce fuel consumption.

Senior engineering executives Clive Woolmer and Chris Cholmeley will present details of the new transmission this week at the 11th International CTi Symposium and Exhibition in Berlin.

The prototype-ready gearbox is aimed at vehicle manufacturers competing in the high growth sector of premium luxury road cars, which includes limousines as well as supercars. The 1010 H-AMT fits the same compact transmission envelope as the company’s 1007 gearbox which has a high torque carrying capability and innovative transverse gear cluster orientation, which is supplied to Pagani for the mid-engine Huayra supercar.

The Thatcham-based engineering firm believes the new product’s distinctive transverse transmission configuration will be highly suitable for hybridisation and that it offers a compelling solution to the supercar sector’s preference for retaining high power, multi cylinder engines while meeting 2020 emission targets.

The transmission can handle engine torque capacities ranging from 800 to 1,000Nm dependent on vehicle gross weight and the particular application. The electric vehicle speed range has been set just below 95mph (150km/h), covering most European maximum speed limits except for unrestricted German Autobahns.

Developed as an alternative to heavier and more complex dual clutch transmissions (DCTs) the Xtrac 1010 H-AMT has a lower total parts count and overall mass when compared to a hybrid DCT by focusing on optimised packaging, weight reduction and cost efficiency. It also offers increased functionality over other single electric motor hybrid systems and the modular design satisfies a number of sportscar driveline architectures including front engine longitudinal powertrain layouts.

“Xtrac sits in the enviable position of being able to work with leading race teams as well as high performance supercar manufacturers, so we can ensure that the technology transfer potential between the automotive and motorsport industries is fully exploited,” says Woolmer.

“The premium luxury car sector is predominately filled with high performance mid-engine sports cars, coupes, roadsters and luxury limousine derivatives.

Chris Cholmeley, technical director of the project, said: “The product life cycles of premium luxury supercars are typically longer than mainstream cars due to significantly lower production volumes and the need to amortise high development costs. With the 2020 CO2 requirement now very much on the horizon, the next generation of supercars must respond to the emissions challenge, but at the same time not lose any of their brand and product appeal.