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The engine, which can be compared to the heart in a human body, is the most critical part in a car that converts energy into technological movement. The gearbox connected to the engine plays the role of delivering the technological movement to the wheels. These two together are called a power train.
The power train shall be swift but quiet, powerful but eco-friendly. Hyundai Motor is oriented towards developing a power train that has improved fuel consumption efficiency, improved performance, the best output and reduction in gas emissions, which implies the company’s desire for fulfilling all three areas – fuel consumption, environment aspect and performance.
The only car producer that has an exclusive powertrain system
Hyundai Motor has opened the first chapter of the exclusive development era via the development of the first generation alpha engine and the manual gearbox in 1991. Then in 2008, it produced a 6-speed automatic transmission and a 7-speed double-clutch transmission (DCT) in 2014. This signified the one and only car producer in the world to own an exclusive powertrain system. The third generation engine, which will be introduced after 2018, is assumed to have a huge technological leap that is likely to lead the relevant industry.
A latecomer in the global automotive industry, Hyundai Motor has been proving itself through the most stringent and toughest tests in the development process. Among them, its WOW (Worst of Worst) test for durability has earned the nickname of the “door to hell”; that is because the test is held in extreme areas including the rough roads, hilly sections and moist areas in China, extremely hot areas in the Middle East, extreme cold areas in Russia and highways, mountainous areas and slanted hills in Germany. This is where Hyundai Motor’s confidence in its powertrain’s high performance and strong durability lies.
A highly efficient, highly performing and economical diesel engine
The diesel engine was highly acclaimed since it is more powerful and has better performance than a gasoline engine; its shortcoming, though, was that it vibrated more, caused more noise and had more exhaust gas. However, such diesel engines are showing improvements. Hyundai Motor is continuously studying the turbo charger technology, which is in line with the diesel engine, in order to enhance the combustion efficiency of the fuel. The high performing turbo charger is a device that leverages the high temperature and high pressure exhaust gas energy, which is emitted from the engine, to operate the turbine to compress the absorption air and induce it to the combustor. With this, Hyundai Motor was able to support engine performance while fulfilling the economical efficiency and eco-friendly aspect. In particular, in order to satisfy the enhanced exhaust gas of EURO 6, which has been legislated since September 2014, Hyundai Motor has been putting efforts into developing pollution-reduction devices and its own exclusive material cost reduction technology. The result was proven through the exclusive development of SCR on DPF (SDPF) which converges Selective Catalyst Reduction (SCR) technology and Diesel Particulate Filter (DPF) technology; Hyundai Motor went beyond the stringent exhaust gas standards.
The transmission, the communicator between the engine and wheels, enhances interaction with the driver
The power of a car starts from an excellent engine, but for the power of engine to be delivered to the wheels, a transmission is critical. The transmission is mainly divided into a manual transmission and an automatic transmission. The manual transmission is the one where the driver cuts the power and singles out the gear to re-connect the power. While it is advantageous in that it has high efficiency, durability and comparatively simple structure, it is quite inconvenient since the driver needs to operate it him or herself and the outcome may differ depending on the driver. On the other hand, the automatic transmission is convenient and is smooth to drive since the transmission automatically detects the engine rotation and driving speed for the gear shift; yet, it has more parts and is more complicated in structure.
DCT, An idealistic transmission that combines only the advantages of the automatic and manual transmissions
The role that a transmission should undertake is to shift the gears promptly and accurately in line with the engine movement. The operation should be simple, the time taken for shift should be short and the engine output should be delivered to the wheel without loss. DCT is an alternative device to an automatic transmission, which naturally is short of efficiency when compared to manual transmission.
Hyundai Motor’s DCT is structured in a way that the two rotation poles connect the two clutches in turn. While the odd number speed is delivering the power to the wheel, the even number speed is remained connected to the clutch; the time needed to cut out the power and reconnect it is actually close to “0” seconds. This implies that the soft gear change touch, efficient power delivery and the joy in driving are granted. Such features are the reason Hyundai Motor confidently says its DCT is both equipped with economical aspects of a manual transmission and the convenience feature of an automatic transmission.
DCT surpasses its limit to be equipped in every model
DCT is the transmission of this era with the most excellent technology; however, there are shortcomings to it. Structure-wise, it could have noise and its durability can be damaged. In addition, the starting of the engine and low speed gear sometimes felt could be unnatural. However, Hyundai Motor has surpassed such limits of DCT. It readjusted the DCT more sophisticatedly by prioritizing then noise and driving emotion felt by the consumers and has gone through stringent quality tests. The company has attempted to fulfill domestic consumers’ preferences. This was possible because DCT was a device that has been developed with its exclusive technology, not with imported parts, which made repeated experiments possible.
In addition, Hyundai Motor’s DCT is appropriate for its downsizing trend since it has been reduced in weight and volume enabled by the company’s exclusive technology. DCT has less energy loss compared to the automatic transmission, which makes it possible to extremely reduce fuel consumption and CO2 emissions. However, the volume and weight are still issues, and Hyundai Motor is coming up with strategic solutions for it. Hyundai Motor, with the increasing consumer demand for economical and eco-friendly cars, is aggressively working on equipping DCT in all of its cars.
The emotional powertrain that lets you enjoy the sole driving emotion
Hyundai Motor was once considered a carmaker that learned from the advanced car producers and oriented towards value for money. However, it is now growing from a follower to a leader. In particular, it has established an exclusive position in the engine line up and transmission areas. This is not it; its development of a hybrid-engine and eco-friendly car exclusive power train, turbo variable valve device, diesel post-treatment device, verifying transmission and development of new conceptual transmission have made the company advance towards a position closer to the world class position in the relevant field. However, Hyundai Motor’s does not challenge here but will move along.
Hyundai Motor is already concerned about the next step – enhanced performance, improved fuel consumption and environmental improvements. Surpassing the high performance, high fuel consumption and high efficiency aspects, the company is studying an emotional powertrain for the driver that makes them forget about such features to only feel the joy of driving. In near future, Hyundai Motor will showcase a car that is totally different from the previous generation cars. Hyundai Motor, in a bid to come up with a powertrain that puts the existing insight upside down, has its labs still lightened up.
Discover more about Hyundai’s engine development history and engine line-ups across all model rangeGO >