DETROIT – According to a recent poll of major North American automakers and tier suppliers, 64 percent of respondents do not feel confident that their teams will develop technology fast enough to meet the coming CAFE targets at a price and complexity that U.S. consumers can bear. Doing its part to meet CAFE challenges and continuing its “Mobility for Tomorrow” strategy, Schaeffler Group North America unveiled the second phase of its North American concept SUV that targets a 35-mpg combined city/highway rating. The concept was presented at its press conference this morning at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit.
“During the second phase, our engineers added powertrain electrification to augment the mechanical optimization efforts that were completed in the first phase,” said Philip George, director of advanced development, Schaeffler Group North America. “Today, we’re excited to announce that as a result of our phase two efforts, the vehicle is well on its way to achieving a 35-mpg combined city/highway rating that targets the 2025 CAFE requirements for this vehicle size and class, while utilizing technologies that are both cost-effective and will be production ready within this decade.”
Schaeffler’s concept vehicle, named “Efficient Future Mobility North America,” is based on a 2013 Ford Escape with AWD, a 2.0-L EcoBoost engine and a 6-speed automatic transaxle.
Focused on developing technologies that cost-effectively meet industry requirements, the phase two improvements were carefully selected to minimize the otherwise expensive task of electrifying the powertrain, Schaeffler said. In addition, the company said the novel architecture that was selected allows components, such as auxiliary transmission pumps and individual, electrically driven engine accessories, to be eliminated, thereby offsetting overall system on costs.
“With the need to implement electrification of the powertrain in high volumes in order to reach the CAFE standards of tomorrow, it is increasingly important to find a solution that offers a high degree of function while minimizing implementation costs,” said George. “Investigating concepts that alter the paradigm of today’s hybrid vehicle is a step that is required in order to successfully reach these challenging targets. Via the completion of phase two, Schaeffler will have both the proven fuel-reduction solution and system integration expertise to help automakers most efficiency meet 2025 CAFE requirements.”