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Hyundai Motor Group outlines new powertrain strategy: Smart Stream targeting 50% thermal efficiency

Hyundai Motor Group outlined its future powertrain development strategy at its International Powertrain Conference in Korea. More than 1,200 engineers and academics are participating in the two-day event, which features presentations exploring the core theme “Knock the Limit of Powertrain Technologies: To Enhance Value for Customers.”

At the conference, Hyundai Motor Group is displaying the first four engines and two transmissions from its forthcoming line-up of new Smart Stream powertrains. The Smart Stream powertrains deliver improved fuel economy and reduced exhaust emissions. With the advanced combustion techniques of Smart Stream engines, Hyundai Motor Group aims to maximize thermal efficiency by up to 50% in the future.


Beginning with the introduction of 1.6-liter gasoline and diesel Smart Stream engines, the technology will eventually be available for all Hyundai Motor Group vehicles. The improvements will enhance gasoline 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 Hyundai Motor Group to respond to global changes in environmental regulation and meet customer demand for fun-to-drive cars. The next-generation Smart Stream technology optimizes the existing powertrain structure, with engine components reduced in size and weight to enhance fuel efficiency.

Among the Smart Stream technology presented at the International Powertrain Conference is the first commercial application of Continuously Variable Valve Duration (CVVD) technology, which continuously adjusts the valve duration, and hence optimizes the valve timing of opening and closing independently to maximize performance and fuel economy as well as to reduce emissions.

In the Smart Stream G 1.6 turbo engine, the opening and closing of the cylinder valve is timed to best respond to various driving modes, such as eco-driving or dynamic driving.

Other new technology includes the Smart Stream eight-speed wet 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 aims to develop an all-new Smart Stream powertrain line-up comprising 10 gasoline engines, six diesel engines, and six transmissions.

At the International Powertrain Conference, Hyundai Motor Group 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, 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.

Fuel Cell Electric Vehicle. With its new Smart Stream powertrains, Hyundai Motor Group also aims to build on its leadership position in advanced propulsion technology. While maintaining focus on improving the efficiency of its internal combustion engines is important, Hyundai Motor Group will continue to lead the industry in Fuel Cell Electric Vehicles (FCEV), by investing in the development of its next-generation hydrogen powertrain.

The next FCEV from Hyundai Motor Group will have a driving range of 800 km (497 miles), a maximum power output of 163PS, and the largest hydrogen storage density of any Fuel Cell vehicle on the market. (Earlier post.)



Higher power Hyundai's next generation FCEVs with 800 Km driving range and ultra quick refils will no doubt be very competitive and probably be cheaper to buy than equivalent range BEVs.

The 3-minutes refil (instead of 30+ minutes for extended range BEVs) + free heat for passengers comfort remain valuabale advantages.

Lower cost H2 availability remains a challenge.


A kg of H2 is made from $1 of natural gas.


It's one or the other.
Which is it? Either way the statement is meaningless.

Hyundai Motor Group aims to maximize thermal efficiency ***by** up to 50% in the future.


Hyundai Motor Group outlines new powertrain strategy: Smart Stream ****targeting 50% thermal efficiency****

They should use consistent correct English for a start if they wish to be coherent - and then use real world meaningful metrics if they wish to impress.

We won't be going anywhere with this engine wearing a lab coat in a test chamber.

Now that real world emissions reporting is being introduced to the industry can we expect to see obfuscation such as this "My paper glider reaches 100mph" to become more common?

I bewail that ridiculous claims such as this are so common that even semi informed people accept them as normal the uninformed 90% are left to their own imagination

Gasoline or diesel engines may be tweaked to ***attain*** across the tiniest operating parameters at close to 50% but the same best attempts will fall back to typical average figures in real world driving.
We see the use of lab test results being used for cynical promotion of a gullible public as standard industry practice.

The multitude of statements such as this announcement that set out to mislead should be treated with the contempt they deserve.
In case my comment were taken as vitriol towards ICE or the fossil fuel industry more generally, Let me assure you that the same can be said for the misleading statements we see from electrified vehicle industry claims. We should despair at claims of I.E. plug in hybrids giving 156 mpge. etc.

Fuel cells ( when 99% of H comes from fossil fuel sources) achieving 80-100 mpg equivalents when the same fuel is say near four times as expensive to produce we can be confident that the cost is best understood when in the terms of our ubiquitous global currency - Petro Dollar$ that becomes 25.

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