DETROIT and HERZOGENAURACH, Germany, Jan. 14, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- During its press conference at the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) in Detroit, Schaeffler presented a new concept vehicle. The Efficient Future Mobility North America vehicle is based on a mid-size SUV and shows the range of Schaeffler solutions for optimizing North American internal combustion engine drive trains. All of the showcased solutions are cost-effective, close to volume production and, when integrated into an all-wheel drive (AWD) vehicle, make a valuable contribution to reducing fuel consumption. The overall potential for savings is up to 15 percent, bringing North American vehicles closer to fulfilling the increasingly stringent Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards.
"Schaeffler's meticulously detailed work on drive trains based on internal combustion engines offers significant potential for reducing fuel consumption and emissions," summarizes Prof. Peter Gutzmer, CTO of Schaeffler AG. "In keeping with Schaeffler's established concept vehicles, the Efficient Future Mobility North America vehicle plays a key role in development and serves as a demonstration vehicle for the components and systems that are bundled within it. Even with the efficient platform we selected, we still see further potential for optimization. Here the solutions on display take the market-specific demands and customer requirements in North America into account."
Accordingly, the concept vehicle is based on the current version of a mid-size SUV that is popular in North America and - as is the case with the majority of North American vehicles - features an automatic transmission with a torque converter. Overall, the detailed solutions displayed in the Efficient Future Mobility North America vehicle make it possible to achieve additional fuel savings of up to 14 to 15 percent, depending on the utilization profile. Schaeffler solutions such as the thermal management module and AWD separating clutch play a role as do Schaeffler's engine start-stop innovations, such as the permanently engaged starter with a wrap spring one-way clutch. The fuel savings improvements are the result of friction optimization work being carried out on belt drives and valve trains, as well as advancements to balancer shafts and wheel bearings – a mechanism for aerodynamically optimized closing of radiator grills – and the optimization of the torque converter.
The new AWD separating clutch, which decouples the unused drive axle from the drive train depending on the driving situation to provide a savings contribution of up to six percent (on the highway), is an example of the of drive train optimization potential achievable with Schaeffler's advanced technologies. The savings that can be achieved in city traffic are approximately two percent. However, the permanently engaged starter generator with a wrap spring one-way clutch can offer additional city driving improvements. In addition to a considerable increase in comfort, due to the smooth engine start-stop function, and a significant improvement in so-called "change of mind" situations (in which the engine is already switched off, but the driver quickly decides to drive on), this innovation helps to achieve fuel savings of up to six percent in city traffic.