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Honda F1-inspired hybrid tech for Jazz. Image by Honda.

Honda F1-inspired hybrid tech for Jazz
Learnings from the RA620H taken and applied to Honda Jazz’s 1.5-litre, dual-e-motor e:HEV set-up.
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Newer articles featuring 2020 Honda Jazz

2020-06-30: First drive: Honda Jazz e:HEV

What's all this about?

There's a new Honda Jazz inbound and this sparkly fourth-generation version, complete with its Crosstar crossover derivative, will enjoy technology from Formula 1.

F1 tech?! In a Honda Jazz?!

Don't sound so incredulous. Although don't get your hopes up; it's not as if Honda has brought the 675hp RA109E V10 back to life and slotted it into the B-segment challenger, creating a supermini which revs to 13,000rpm. More's the pity. No, instead, the e:HEV system on the Mk4 Jazzes takes it inspiration from the Hybrid Power Unit (HPU) you'd find in Honda's RA620H powertrain. And there's plenty of prestige in that association, because last year the RA620H - installed in 2019's Aston Martin Red Bull Racing and Scuderia Toro Rosso (which, this year, will be renamed Scuderia AlphaTauri, if the 2020 F1 season ever gets off the ground post-Covid) cars - powered its way to three race wins and six podium finishes.

In what way does the e:HEV match the F1? Is it a turbocharged 1.6-litre V6 engine in there?

Umm, no. It's a 1.5-litre DOHC i-VTEC, mated to a pair of electric motors (one propulsion, one generator), a lithium-ion battery pack, an Electronically Controlled Continuously Variable Transmission (eCVT) and an intelligent power-control unit. It operates much like the system seen in the existing CR-V Hybrid, although Honda would rather say that in operation, the Jazz's e:HEV set-up mimics that of the RA620H, recycling energy and harnessing it to charge the battery - which in turn supports the hatchback's engine output for better performance, seamless switching between drive modes and maximum efficiency.

Yasuaki Asaki, head of PU Development for Honda, said: "During a Formula 1 race weekend, teams have to manage very carefully how much fuel they use to comply with the sport's regulations. In a race we can divide the total fuel allowance over the number of laps, but there are going to be situations where a team might wish to use more fuel in order to get higher performance and in other parts of the race they will want to save fuel for later, while behind a safety car for example. In a race, the communication between the race engineer and the driver is key to achieving that best balance. However, in our road-going e:HEV hybrids we apply our expertise to ensure the powertrain control units deliver the best possible power to efficiency ratio for the driver, in any required driving mode."

Matt Robinson - 14 May 2020

Earlier articles featuring 2020 Honda Jazz

2020-04-30: Honda Jazz to gain front-centre airbag
2020-03-04: Honda announces e:Technology holistic charging

2020 Honda Jazz e:HEV F1 Technology. Image by Honda.2020 Honda Jazz e:HEV F1 Technology. Image by Honda.      - Honda road tests
- Honda news
- Jazz images

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