The Hyundai Motor Group (which includes Kia Motors) will introduce ‘Smart Stream’ powertrains as part of its future powertrain development strategy. Revealing this as its International Powertrain Conference in Korea to more than 1,200 engineers and academics from global powertrain companies, the company said that its new Smart Stream technology incorporates number of advanced technologies that will help Hyundai Motor Group meet its long-term global emissions goals.

At the event, which had the core theme of ‘Knock the Limit of Powertrain Technologies: To Enhance Value for Customers’, the Hyundai Motor Group displayed the first four engines and two transmissions from its forthcoming line-up of ‘Smart Stream’ powertrains. Developed by Hyundai Motor Group’s award-winning engineers, the Smart Stream powertrains deliver improved fuel economy and reduced exhaust emissions.

Beginning with the introduction of 1.6-litre petrol and diesel Smart Stream engines, the technology will eventually be available for all Hyundai Motor Group vehicles. The improvements will enhance petrol and diesel engine efficiency, alongside the development of new plug-in hybrid and electric powertrains, plus the company’s next-generation Fuel Cell Electric Vehicle (FCEV).

First introduced at the 2017 Frankfurt International Motor Show, the Smart Stream powertrains will allow the group companies to respond to global changes in environmental regulation and meet customer demand for fun-to-drive cars. The word ‘Smart’ implies being smart in design, control, and operation, while ‘Stream’ refers to dynamic movement of mobility.

The next-generation technology optimizes the existing powertrain structure, with engine components reduced in size and weight to enhance fuel efficiency. With the advanced combustion techniques of Smart Stream engines, maximize thermal efficiency is expected to increase by up to 50% in the future.

Going beyond just varying the opening and closing of valves in the cylinder head, the new Smart Stream engines will have first commercial application of Continuously Variable Valve Duration (CVVD) technology. In the Smart Stream G 1.6 turbo engine, the opening and closing of the cylinder valve will be timed to best respond to various driving modes, such as eco-driving or dynamic driving.

Other new technology includes an 8-speed wet-type Dual-Clutch Transmission (DCT). Unlike conventional automatic transmissions, the dual-clutch system enables optimal shift response, with the eight-speed gearing and high-efficient hydraulic system delivering both faster acceleration performance and excellent fuel economy at the same time.

By 2022, Hyundai Motor Group will offer an all-new Smart Stream powertrain line-up composed of 10 petrol engines, 6 diesel engines, and six transmissions.

At the International Powertrain Conference, Hyundai Motor Group also underlined its belief that the internal combustion engine will maintain a strong presence in the market until 2025, as plug-in hybrid and electric powertrains start to receive wider acceptance. To respond to diversifying market needs, the Hyundai Motor Group will produce a greater proportion of electric, fuel cell, and plug-in hybrid powertrains – all alongside its highly efficient new Smart Stream internal combustion engines.

This shift to produce more alternative powertrains is coupled with plans to enhance battery capacity and increase the electric-only range capabilities of its electric models, delivering greater value to customers.

While maintaining focus on improving the efficiency of its internal combustion engines, the Hyundai Motor Group will also continue development of Fuel Cell Electric Vehicles (FCEV) with a next-generation hydrogen powertrain. The next FCEV from the group will have a driving range of 800 kms, a maximum power output of 163 ps, and the largest hydrogen storage density of any FCEV on the market.

The next FCEV from the Hyundai Motor Group will look like this prototype
The next FCEV from the Hyundai Motor Group will look like this prototype

As a pioneer in the development of low-emission powertrains, the group’s engineers can draw on past experiences as it shapes its future strategy for sustainable mobility. The 1.6 Gamma engine, first introduced in 2006, the Tau V8 and the 1.4 Kappa powertrains – both first used in 2008 – each represented a significant leap in powertrain engineering in the automotive industry.

More recently, the ix35 Fuel Cell (2013), IONIQ Plug-in Hybrid and Electric powertrains used in the 2016 IONIQ and Sonata models represented key advances in alternative-fuel engineering. Drawing on this extensive experience, the Hyundai Motor Group will introduce 31 eco-friendly models to the global market by 2020.

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