Machine Design

Subaru B9SC

The B9SC hybrid-drive sports roadster works with Subaru's existing symmetrical all-wheel-drive system.

But, the hybrid-drive technology is different than conventional hybrid vehicles. In most hybrids, an electric motor assists an internal-combustion engine. The Sequential Series Hybrid Electric Vehicle (SSHEV) propulsion system in the B9SC works just the opposite. The SSHEV mates an electric motor with a 2.0-liter Boxer four-cylinder gasoline engine. At low and midrange speeds, the concept runs solely on the electric motor and the gasoline engine charges the laminated manganese-lithium ion batteries.

At speeds over 50 mph, the B9SC runs only on the gasoline engine. For quick acceleration, the SSHEV combines output from the electric motor and gasoline engine via a special two-way clutch. The clutch, electric motor, and AWD transfer gearing are housed in the transmission case. The SSHEV system places a generator between the Boxer engine and transmission.

All-wheel drive, a height-adjustable suspension, and large wheels with run-flat tires let the B9SC go off-road. Protective paint on the lower body limits potential damage somewhat.

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TAGS: Automotive
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