MG TF '200 HPD' hybrid at MIA conference

MG Rover Group and MIRA released details of their petrol/electric, 4WD MG TF '200 HPD' hybrid joint project during the 'Clean Racing' conference organised this week by the Motorsport Industry Association. The specification offers functional and environmental benefits with performance capability potential for motorsport. MIRA's MD John Wood said: "The technology offers motorsport the opportunity both to increase consumer excitement and accelerate technical progress."

MG TF '200 HPD' hybrid at MIA conference

The MG TF 200 HPD offers a combined output from the gasoline engine and electric motor of 200PS, deployed through all four road wheels via a continuously variable transmission. Wood, who presented the project to conference delegates with MG Rover Group product development director Rob Oldaker, continued: "Motorsport has a renowned capacity for efficient development of components and systems while stimulating the public's interest. This is a new opportunity for the industry to accelerate these hybrid technologies that are capable of giving a competitive edge with green credentials."

Enhancing the performance of an existing MG TF without increasing the environmental impact was the aim of the project, which combines electric traction with aerodynamic advances to drive forward the perception of hybrid cars. The first development prototype reduces the 0-60mph time of the standard car from 6.9sec to under 6sec without increasing tailpipe emissions or fuel consumption.

Working in consultation with MG Rover Group, engineers at MIRA designed and developed a parallel hybrid drivetrain to supplement the rear-drive, 160PS MG TF, using an electric motor to drive the front wheels. The additional power of the electric motor results in a 25 percent increase to 200PS. The motor, innovatively combined with the CVT, extends opportunities for advanced all-wheel-drive active torque distribution.

The application of hybrid technologies has been holistic, with implications beyond the motive power. New approaches have been required for aerodynamics, styling, cooling efficiency and weight distribution as a consequence of the hybrid specification. The team took advantage of the revised package to eliminate front and rear aerodynamic lift and to reduce drag by 7 percent. The addition of the front electric drivetrain and Hawker battery pack produces a 50-50 weight distribution. MIRA's advanced design, control and simulation techniques have configured the system so that the hybrid system recharges during part-throttle cruising.

One potential motorsport application could use the battery pack to provide a finite number of boosted acceleration cycles, allowing evenly matched drivers to overtake and stimulate spectator appeal.

The development partnership, which also includes Powertrain Ltd, has been awarded a contract by the UK government's Energy Saving Trust to develop these technologies into production-viable passenger cars.

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