Leading American television host and comedian, Jay Leno, test drives a Ricardo demonstrator vehicle that showcases a combination of low cost technologies to deliver improved performance and fuel economy.
The Ricardo led HyBoost demonstrator vehicle is featured in a web video posted on “Jay Leno’s Garage.” During the segment, the comedian takes a test drive of the HyBoost, and is able to see and feel the effects of the engineered changes by turning the system on and off, comparing the baseline vehicle to the HyBoost upgrades. The demonstrator incorporates Ricardo’s mild hybrid ‘intelligent electrification’ concept comprising smart regeneration, optimized torque assist, and extreme engine downsizing with electric supercharging and intelligent stop/start. These technologies have been incorporated into a Ford Focus, resulting in improved fuel economy and improved performance at minimal cost.
The HyBoost visited Jay Leno’s garage in Burbank, California in February 2014 to film the segment. The vehicle was accompanied by Thomas Apostolos, president of Ricardo’s US subsidiary, and Paul Rivera, global product group director for hybrid and electric vehicles, who both provided insights into Ricardo and the engineering that went into the vehicle's development.
"We are excited that Jay Leno has selected the HyBoost to feature on his show. The HyBoost is just one example of Ricardo's engineering expertise," said Tom Apostolos. "We have the deepest respect for Jay Leno, and it is an honour to include a Ricardo story amongst the others from his garage."
The project was led by Ricardo plc in partnership with Controlled Power Technologies, the European Advanced Lead Acid Battery Consortium, Ford Motor Company, Imperial College London, and Valeo, with co-funding from the UK government-backed Technology Strategy Board.
Some of the features of the vehicle that are highlighted in the video include: a downsized, highly boosted gasoline engine which gives improved fuel economy at low cost; an electric supercharger for improved response; low cost energy storage comprised of 12V lead acid battery plus supercapacitors, and; 12+X, 6 kW mild hybridization. This allows intelligent in-gear engine start / stop operation with some sailing mode capability, adaptive mild regenerative braking, optimized torque assist for both increased fuel economy and enhanced driving feel, and more efficient electrical generation at 12+X volts.