|The Renault Espace.|
Renault has coupled its newest 2.0-liter dCi 150hp and 175hp engines to the AJ0 flick-shift, six-speed, proactive transmission developed jointly by Renault and Nissan in its Espace van family.
The engines, also recently applied to the Scénic range, have been optimized for Espace with a new torque converter and shorter ratios for enhanced performance. The six-speed automatic Espace 2.0 dCi is equipped with a particulate filter and offers combined cycle fuel consumption of 8.2 litres/100km (28.7 mpg US), equivalent to 217 gCO2/km.
The 150hp (110kW) version of the engine offers 340Nm (251 lb-ft) of torque from as low as 2,000rpm, while the 175hp (127kW) version delivers torque of 360Nm (266 lb-ft) from 1,750rpm. The engines use 1,600 bar fuel injection and piezo-electric injectors, and feature a variable geometry turbo.
|The compact AJ0 six-speed automatic transmission.|
The six-speed transmission offers two principal advantages over four- and five-speed transmissions: the shorter first gear improves pull-away performance, while the longer sixth gear ensures lower fuel consumption and less noise when travelling on highways.
The AJ0 transmission constantly monitors and analyzes a variety of parameters (vehicle speed, engine speed and torque, position of pedals, etc.) with a view to selecting the ideal gear. It also communicates constantly with the engine control unit to ensure optimal torque during gearshifts.
The AJ0 transmission has auto-adaptive settings which are based on three parameters: driving style, type of road—uphill, downhill or flat—and the driver’s reactions in real-time. The control unit is programmed to instantly downshift whenever the driver presses hard on the accelerator pedal (“kick down” function) to deliver extra power when overtaking.
In manual mode, the driver dictates his or her own driving style by activating the flick-shift lever. It also incorporates a number of automatic functions designed to facilitate driving (for example, it automatically engages first gear when the vehicle comes to a standstill) or to protect the gearbox (protection against over-revving).
When at standstill, the system releases the cinematic chain when the vehicle is at a standstill to minimize residual vibrations and fuel consumption at idle.
With a pressure-cast aluminium alloy casing, the AJ0 weighs a low 93 kg (without fluids) and its compact dimensions (length: 385mm) permit the powertrain to be located transversely in the engine compartment.