The Subaru BRZ is great and it might catch you by surprise that Mississippi State University turned it into a plug-in hybrid. Say what!? But what matters more is the performance figures it gives. It took two yeas for the MSU’s Center of Advanced Vehicular Systems to create the BRZ plug-in hybrid, which ultimately resembles a lot Chevrolet Volt and is geared with 850cc two-cylinder snowmobile engine and dual electric motors. The twin acts as a range extender for the two rear-mounted electric motors and was placed in front of the car.

The 13 kWh lithium-ion battery pack from 123 Systems takes the place of the transmission, and enables the petit BRZ to drive 50 miles in fully electric mode. Prior to installing the disparate parts in the car, they packaged their components via CAD similarly to the OEMs. The two wheel motors that were placed in the back below the car made it essential for the students to work on a new cast magnesium rear sub frame, with the trailing arms remaining as the only stock suspension components.

Each motor has also received its own gear reduction, while there is no transmission or rear differential. That, however, facilitates the computerized torque vectoring, while there is further no shifter as a fancy little knob is responsible for all park-reverse-drive duties. We have no official information regarding the power figures of the car, but rumour has it that is does 0-60 for 5.7 seconds, which is with one second faster than a conventional BRZ. And if you think that these motors are pretty damn powerful think twice, as the weight of the vehicle is 2,904 pounds, or merely 80 pounds over the gas version.

That’s extraordinary, having in mind that the interior is almost the same, in addition to the fact that the trunk volume wasn’t at all influenced by the rear motors. We can only assume that the low weight is a result of the smaller engine and its lower cooling demands, but this doesn’t change the fact that there are also battery cells, which we expect to carry a lot of weight. A low-temperature radiator mounted in the front is used to cool the batteries by sending coolant to proprietary heat exchangers in the battery pack.

While the MPGe numbers are still being calculated, the MSU suggests that the fuel economy figures are close to 100 MPGe - pretty awesome taking into account the acceleration-weight ratio. Peculiarly, the project wasn’t intended to beat any other of such kind, but simply to showcase what the Center for Advanced Vehicular Systems is capable to do. And they managed to surprise us a lot!

sources :  Jalopnik
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