Peugeot looks to be getting serious about its 3WD hybrid design which we first saw last year at the 2008 Paris Motorcycle Show with the HYbrid3 compressor. Debuting at the Milan Motorcycle Show will be a roofless version named the HYbrid3 Evolution which replaces the 21bhp 125 cm3 supercharged motor with a 41bhp 300 cm3 supercharged engine giving it a total of 49bhp when combined with the two 3 kW (4.1bhp) front wheel motors. The Evolution comes with stop-start engine technology and returns 2.0 liters/100 km (117 U.S. mpg or 141 Imperial mpg) and just 48 g/km of CO2!
The 300 cm3 compressor engine is a beneficiary of PSA Peugeot Citroën Group’s ‘downsizing’ strategy, providing the performance of a 500 cm3 engine whilst delivering the CO2 emissions of a much smaller engine.
The two front wheel electric motors offer several benefits in that they can capture energy under braking, they offer an electric-only mode of 10 km and they form part of an advanced 3WD dynamic stability system which makes the vehicle much safer than a motorcycle in adverse road conditions. The narrow width of the Evolution, at just 82 cm, allows it to slip through holes in urban traffic, retaining the efficiency of a two-wheeler.
The front suspension, consisting of deformable parallelograms (i.e. wheels that incline) has at its centre a transverse damper for optimal driveability and stability. The suspension assemblies are positioned on the wheel hub. Like a low-slung tubular chassis, reducing the height of the vehicle’s centre of gravity.
The braking system is particularly interesting in that it incorporates ABS (anti-lock), regenerative braking on the front wheels and links the rear wheel and the two front wheels, offering what Peugeot claims is a reduction in braking distance of around 30 % compared to a two-wheel scooter equipped with traditional brakes.
Visibility, always a problem for smaller road users, is addressed via panels of highly efficient light emitting diodes located on either side of the base of the front windscreen.
The HYbrid3 Evolution can be driven in a number of modes:
- in electric only mode (start-up, low speed and deceleration, offering a range of up to 10 km);
- in petrol only mode, at stable speed on the open road, when the petrol engine offers optimal efficiency;
- petrol engine/electric motor combined, with the three-wheel drive offering enhanced safety and stability
The STOP & START system places the petrol engine on standby when the vehicle is at a standstill (at traffic lights, a stop sign or in traffic jams) or when the vehicle is being driven in electric mode. The system offers significant gains in terms of fuel consumption and emissions, in heavy traffic and also means that the petrol engine can be restarted instantly it is needed.