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Hyundai has announced a recall impacting 128,948 vehicles in the United States.

According to the South Korean car manufacturer, 2015-2016 Veloster, 2012 Santa Fe, 2011-2013 Sonata Hybrid, and 2016 Sonata Hybrid vehicles have connecting rod bearings that can wear prematurely.

The recall notice reveals that a manufacturing issue is to blame for the potentially faulty connecting rod bearings. If the rod bearing fails, the connecting rod and piston could puncture the engine block and dump hot oil onto various components in the engine bay, increasing the risk of a fire. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) says the issue was caused by machining debris in the manufacturing process that may restrict oil flow.

Read Also: Hyundai Drops Pricing On Facelifted 2021 Santa Fe, Starts From $28,025

The issue affects the aforementioned vehicles fitted with 1.6-liter, 2.0-liter and 2.4-liter engines. Hyundai says owners of said vehicles may hear strange knocking sounds from the engine and see various warning lights on the dashboard.

Hyundai Velosters involved in the recall were produced from May 26, 2014 through to July 13, 2016 while Santa Fes were built between January 10, 2012 and July 3, 2012, Sonatas built between June 2, 2010 through December 17, 2013, and newer Sonatas manufactured February 25, 2015 through April 25, 2016.

Hyundai will notify owners of affected vehicles and conduct an engine inspection test to look for any bearing damage. If the bearing is damaged, an new engine will be fitted at no cost to the owner. All impacted vehicles will also receive an enhanced engine control software update with a Knock Sensor Detection System which continuously monitors engine vibrations for unusual patterns that could indicate an abnormal condition with the engine.


▲因結構複雜,成本高昂,Toyota並不打算將Hybrid動力普及至中小型車款,目前仍是以大型車款為主,如圖中的歐規Camry。

因疫情嚴重衝擊國際航空業與郵輪觀光,加上政策使然,歐洲電動車銷售量呈現突飛猛進的態勢,相較於2019年,2020年歐洲電動車銷售量大約成長了原有的一倍。但是當眾人歡呼之際,其實同樣被列為新潔淨動力車款的「PHEV」,即外部插電式Hybrid車款,銷售量比電動車更高!這意味PHEV的實用性與價格廣為消費者接受,沒有里程焦慮問題,只是台灣的政策遠遠跟不上歐美日,導致廠商導入的興趣缺缺,目前只有Volvo比較積極,但是在沒有任何優惠政策與環保補貼的情況下,價格則是Maserati的等級!

當然不能將目光放在窄小的台灣,未來政策說不定也會比照歐洲的情況,但更重點是~現階段PHEV的重要性不下於電動車,消費者接受度相對高,因此車廠在拼電動車之餘,無不積極經營PHEV市場。目前的PHEV幾乎都是從昔日的Hybrid動力演變而來,而Hybrid的鼻祖無疑就是Toyota。

不管是PHEV或是Hybrid還是入門的輕油電,未來台灣無法避免一場「Hybrid大戰」,問題只是時間的長短。依照目前充電樁的密度與成長等速度來看,台灣想要跳過Hybrid直接將電動車普及化,似乎沒有這麼簡單!於是先來搞清楚Toyota縱橫20年的Hybrid動力,到底神奇與神氣在哪裡?

【國王學苑】剖析《e-Power》一 期待《Nissan小改Kicks》WLTC平均油耗21.6km/L

【國王學苑】剖析《e-Power》二 預期《Nissan Sentra油電仙草》會先導入台灣

《CR-V Hybrid》油耗不輸《RAV4油電》(一)您所不知的《Honda黑科技》

《CR-V vs RAV4 油電爭霸戰》(二)縱橫20年的《Toyota Hybrid黑科技》

▲e-CVT發展至今已有多次改變,MG1與MG2有前後配置與左右擺放等不同設計,對應不同車型,此外還有縱置引擎專用的設計。

▲圖中可以明確看到單向離合器與雙馬達的相對位置。

▲行星齒輪組是e-CVT的關鍵機械設計,結構不複雜,但衍生的變化非常複雜。

硬體曾可貴  軟體價更高

上回提到Toyota e-CVT的關鍵性調節設計就是「行星齒輪組」,行星齒輪組從內到外分為「太陽齒輪、行星齒輪、環齒輪」三大部分,三者之間牽一髮而動全身,無法分離、處於恆常連結狀態,精確的連結設計如下:

◎ 引擎→行星齒輪 恆常連結

◎「MG1」一號馬達→太陽齒輪 恆常連結

◎「MG2」二號碼達→環齒輪 恆常連結

為何要用「MG1」與「MG2」來命名?因為這2顆馬達(Motor)都可以輸出扭力,也可以充當發電機使用(Generator)。但是就結構設計來說,MG1主要功能是發電機,兼具低功率輸出與引擎啟動功用,可直接省去配置在引擎旁邊的啟動馬達,簡單來說MG1就是「發電效率好、做工效率差」。至於MG2正好相反,主要結構就是高功率馬達,發電功能僅有「回收減速動能」之際才會用到。MG2體積雖然比MG1大得多,但強項就是高功率輸出,發電效能反而不及MG1。

在此釐清幾個重要觀念,那就是「功率馬達結構≠發電機結構」,並非將功率馬達「逆轉」就能當發電機使用,其實正轉也能發電,但終究都是低效率的作法。此外,也不是將電極接線位置調整一下,馬達與發電機的功能就能相互轉換,事實上,二者設計不一樣就是不一樣!雖然說馬達可以充當發電機使用,但效率就是差,反過來亦是如此。

再者,交流電馬達適合高功率、高轉速、高溫度等「三高」車用環境,相較下直流馬達體質嬌嫩、維護成本高,僅有「轉速容易控制」這項優點。此外,交流電發電機的效率同樣高於直流電發電機,所以Hybrid動力都是使用「交流電」馬達與發電機。

但聰明的讀者應該很快就看出問題所在:Hybrid的電池模組不都是高壓直流電嗎?那Toyota Hybrid整個系統要在「電池模組、放電、充電、MG1、MG2、功率、發電、交流、直流、高壓、低壓…」等複雜狀況不停地運作,而且每個單元都必須要能「雙向運行」,電能管理系統的硬體與軟體設計,豈不是非常複雜嗎?

沒錯!Hybrid最難搞定的部分其實是「電能管理」,專利設計更是不在話下,不只要會跑、而且還要很省電,所以各種Hybrid系統最精華的部分,幾乎都不是硬體設計,即便將Toyota e-CVT設計整個拷貝+複製,也沒有任何一家車廠有把握調校得比RAV4 Hybrid更優異,基本上想追平都很難!

因此Honda e:HEV與Nissan e-Power的節能功效能迎頭趕上Toyota的Hybrid科技,都是很不容易的事!結構設計是一回事、調校則是更困難的事,畢竟Toyota最早起步,調校功力早已如火純青…

▲e-CVT系統配置圖,這已經算是「清晰易懂」的繪製版本,但相信多數讀者看起來還是很吃力。

▲Toyota Hybrid關鍵技術其實不是e-CVT,而是「電能管理系統」!

▲可以對應各種車速實踐「油+電」複合動力輸出,這就是Toyota最「黑」的科技精髓!

回過頭再來看Toyota e-CVT結構,結構雖然沒有8AT、10AT變速箱那麼難,體積也不算大,但是比Honda、Nissan更複雜絕對是肯定的,不只具備「純電行駛、引擎行駛、油電複合」三種單一與交叉式的做功狀態,而且可以對應極廣的行車速度隨意切換。

◎  MG2做功  純電行駛模式

用於起步、中低速、低負荷狀態,高速雖然也可以使用,但是馬達在高轉速狀態的效率相對低,耗電量大,難以長時間運行,所以出現時機當然就是電池電量充裕狀態,該說不用白不用嗎?

◎  MG2+MG1做功  純電行駛模式

雙馬達的優勢就是一起做功囉!純電行駛模式下如果MG2功率輸出吃緊時,MG1可以助一臂之力,MG1主要功能雖然是發電,但功率輸出仍有MG2的3~5成(各Hybrid車型設計不同),換句話說加上MG1的加持,純電模式最大輸出功率可以增加1.3~1.5倍左右。當然這並非常態,因為MG1的使力過程,必須通過行星齒輪組來傳遞,摩擦與慣性耗損較大,不適合長時間使用。

◎ MG2+引擎做功  油電複合狀態

油+電一起做功絕對是最理想的高功率狀態,但不需要MG1插手,怎說?因為先前提到MG1結構設計就是發電機,當功率馬達使用效能偏低(耗電),所以最佳節能狀態乃就是「MG2+引擎做功」,再加上MG1並不會破功,而是不會更好!

不過e-CVT並沒有傳統變速箱設計(相信讀者們沒有忘記),所以引擎只是藉由一組行星齒輪組做減速動作,相當於6AT的3檔齒比,在此情況下雖然省油,但是「MG2+引擎做功」所能對應的車速真的不大,總不能將引擎一路催到4000~6000rpm吧!那鐵定是又吵又不省油!所以「MG2+引擎做功」大概只能對應20~60km/h都會行駛狀態,引擎轉速大概就是1000~3000rpm,別以為這樣的引擎轉速偏低、輸出功率會不足,畢竟有大扭力的MG2馬達輔助,OK的啦!

◎ MG2+MG1+引擎做功  油電複合狀態

因為MG2+引擎做功難以應付低速與高速需求,此時就需要MG1引擎加入戰局,然而此時MG1最大功用並非動力的加成,而是「無段減速的達成」,藉由MG1馬達的正轉以及逆轉,可以擴大行星齒輪組的減速範圍,而且減速過程屬於沒有固定檔位的「無段」變化。因此這套系統為何稱之為「e-CVT」就是這個道理,雖然沒有傳統變速箱設計,但是藉由MG1馬達帶動太陽齒輪後,即可達成等同於CVT變速箱的功用,這絕對是高招!

因此Toyota e-CVT的「油+電」複合動力輸出狀態,可以從起步加速一直對應到極速狀態!而且可以隨時切掉電力輸出,改為純油行駛狀態,但先決條件乃是MG1仍需適時做功,方能達成相對應的齒輪減速比,調配引擎轉速。如果是外部插電式的RAV4 PHV,因電池電力充沛,只要是在中度負荷以下,可以隨時切掉引擎動力輸出,自由度可說是極大化、隨心所欲!

至於Nissan e-Power只有單純的電力輸出模式,Honda e:HEV只能在80km/h以上進行油+電動力輸出與切換,由此不難想像Toyota e-CVT有多麼犀利!不過e-CVT仍有更多的變化與奧秘,之後再做進一步分析。

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The all-new 2022 Mitsubishi Outlander isn’t exactly the world’s best kept secret. We’ve known for some time that it will debut next year, featuring a brand new design language as shown on the Engelberg Concept in 2019.

Then came the prototypes, which were fully camouflaged. However, the tape was on there pretty tight and we could still make out most of the crossover’s lines and creases.

Back in February, we even brought you a rendering that, as it turns out, was pretty accurate – as per these recently leaked images, courtesy of Allcarnews. Even though the resolution is not great, the images paint a “clear picture” as far as design language and overall styling.

Read Also: Next-Gen Mitsubishi Outlander Will Debut In Early 2021, Go On Sale Shortly Thereafter

It’s a good look for what has so far been an inconspicuous nameplate. The split LEDs and bold grille give it a strong presence, while the overall design is modern and somewhat rugged. Also note the floating A and rear pillars, which we anticipated (with a little help from that concept).

The interior should represent a considerable upgrade compared to previous generations, if only because the Outlander will utilize the same underpinnings as the next-gen Nissan X-Trail / Rogue, so a boost in interior quality is certainly not out of the question.

Compared to the Engerberg Concept, the production Outlander will likely tone things down as far as the cabin is concerned, although it will probably stick with the landscape styled infotainment display, on top of a raised center console. A fully-digital gauge cluster could make the cut too, just like on the 2021 Rogue.

As for power units, there have been talks of a 2.4-liter inline-4 hybrid system, plus a plug-in hybrid variant with around 43 miles (70 km) of EV range. The Rogue’s 2.4-liter four-pot / CVT combo is also a possibility, with available FWD and AWD.