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back to article Citroën lifts lid on looming diesel hybrid

Citroën has stepped its green gears up a level with its first diesel hybrid vehicle, the DS5. The five-door hatchback was unveiled at the Shanghai motor show today and the first car to incorporate the company's HYbrid4 diesel technology. This will help keep CO2 emissions down to 99g/km, which means the DS5 qualifies for the …

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Anonymous Coward

Really RWD???

Is it really rear wheel drive from the engine? Given that citroen don't sell a RWD platform currently, surely re-engineering the engine and gearbox for RWD, plus the interior of the car (needed for the larger transmission tunnel and propshaft) would be so much more expensive that just getting the rear wheels to be the electric ones like most other manufacturers (that mainly have FWD models) do.

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Alert

Not first use of Hybrid4 powertrain...

The first Hybrid4 powered car will be Peugeot's 3008 Hybrid4 due for european launch very shortly.

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More sense

Some car manufacturers are coming out with engine powered front wheel drive / motor powered rear wheel drive. This makes more sense, because you get more regenerative braking energy out of the front wheels.

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Gold badge
WTF?

Four wheel drive?

"...batteries that power the front wheels, while the engine drives the rear."

Holy crap! I hope they've gone the extra mile on the electronics* running this system. The switching from front to back to both etc. could make the handling *very*, er, "interesting" to say the least if it picked the wrong moment to do it.

Example. You enter a fairly gentle bend on 'leccy drive. Partway through you accelerate, cueing the introduction of the conventional drive. Trouble is, changing the drive characteristics while cornering is bad. Add a patch of spilt diesel or a spot of black ice and we've just gone from "bad to "suicidally stupid".....

*It's French. Not holding my breath here....

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@TeeCee

No more or less difficult that some of the control boxes on Impreza's or GTR's which already deal with some quite sophisticated torque biasing.

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Silver badge

yes

but the servicing on those fluid transfer boxes are also quite expensive.

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From what I understand...

The diesel engine will be used to 'maintain momentum' and charge batteries.

It's the electric motors that's used for accelleration and braking.

This is because an electric motor has a lot of torque compared to its weight/size.

Internal combustion engines, though, only run 'efficiently' if they can maintain a set speed for longer periods. To be able to accellerate with a diesel engine you need a much larger one than to 'just' maintain the speed you already have.

Also, anyone driving FWD or Front-wheel biased 4WDs know that the best way to drive is to apply a gentle accelleration throughout the entire bend. (Brake a bit before the curve, though. Don't want to be caught speeding, do we?)

It's only RWD cars that need to wobble through bends without engine power to help maintain stability.

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Bronze badge

Hmmmm...

It may be economical, but it apparently it won't have the hydropneumatic suspension as standard.

I'll be sticking with my DS23 for a while yet.

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What the hell

is going on with the A-pillar. I think there might be an attractive car under all those nervous stying tics. And why is there an engine bay the size of an industrial waste-bin on a hybrid? If that's what it takes to fit in a Diesel I suspect they should be looking elsewhere for a powerplant.

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WTF?

That's not four wheel drive

Good luck trying to get out of a muddy field.

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@gritpants All wheels are driven

Therefor it's 4 wheel drive.

Plenty of 2 wheel drive tractors around here, they have no problem with muddy fields.

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dear god

30,000 POUNDS? Are they serious? Seems like a very expensive way to beat the congestion charge to me.

For that sort of money you can get 3-and-a-bit Citroen C1 1.4 HDi Rhythm, they are plain diesels that do 60mpg That will be 12 seats for the price of 4!

Include the lifetime carbon (build and recycle effects) and this is a very stupid idea indeed.

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Boffin

Pricey

Or get a secondhand 4 wheel drive motor and you've still got plenty of change for the petrol.

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indeed

A decent second hand land cruiser + £20k extra for diesel and tax will be a better option.

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dear ME

They know they are going sell bugger-all (=3 in reg units) to a few french companies/celebs who want to look green and don't have a prius

So if you aren't going to sell any there's no need to price it to sell.

The first smart car clone with batteries and a 50mi in town range would sell - but the safety regs introduced to suit 3tons SUVs doing 100mph mean it would be impossible.

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WTF?

Don't they realise..

...that this car looks far too much like an ordinary road-going car?

Haven't they seen that most electric and hybrid cars are just plain ugly? People who spend a lot of money to "go green" like to stand out from the crowd, not blend in with it?

That, surely, is the reason that cars like the Nissan Leaf and Toyota Prius are hideous?

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Stop

Real CO2 Emissions...

This is something people rarely recognise:

What is the extra CO2 expelled for the life-time of this car for use by, say, one person?

It's double the price of an equivelant car of similar size, what about fuel consumption, or lack thereof?

It would take me double the time to earn £30,000, compared to spending £15,000 on a vehicle; so how much CO2 would I have used working to earn that extra money? Yeah, double the expenditure, if I were to do the same job day, day out.

Are the CO2 emmisions of traditional cars less or more than these newly designed vehicles?

CO2 is a large circle, and people only seem to be looking at the running source of it, as well as the other pollutants.

Until this changes, the media have it wrong.

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Citroen

Well it is certainly interesting to see Citroen trying to be reasonably innovative again, after years of churning out badge engineered Peugeots. Certainly looks fairly distinctive, not an Audi (haccckk-phuut) aping C5, though not as cool as the C6.

I would be happier though if it used an XUD lump instead of the HDi with the FAP filter. Unfortunately basic reliability = poor emissions.

And no doubt it wont have the Hydropneumatic suspension that big Citroens should have by default. This will have Peugeot 3008 steel springs so as not to scare off the buyers (if a hybrid hadn't done that already).

It's like selling a Mac that runs Windows on a bog standard Intel chip.

Oh wait......

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FAIL

Engine is at the front..

The Reg got the engine configuration wrong as well.. Hybrid4 uses a conventional 163hp turbodiesel up front where you'd expect to find it and the 37hp electric gubbins take up the space normally reserved for the spare wheel in the boot.

So.. you still get the same boot space, just with a can of gunk instead of a spare wheel. If it's a bad puncture, you're stuffed. That said 200hp and 99g/km is nice combination even if I doubt it would get anywhere near the quoted mpg. The 163 diesel alone with the auto box manages only just over 40 mpg.

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40mpg

163bhp autobox with 40mpg is very good.

My petrol 150bhp autobox gets half that.

Although it never shows an "Anti-Pollution Fault".....

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Silver badge

French design

Why is it the famous French flair for design seems to elude them when it comes to building cars? The tech is nice, the body is horrid.

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Bronze badge

Blame PSA

Since their acquisition of Citroën in the 1970s, they seem to have tried to stamp out all the signs of originality that made some of the earlier cars design classics. It's only in the last few years they seem to even have been willing to acknowledge the heritage of the brand, though I'm not the only Citroënaut to be a little suspicious of their usage of 'DS' to label some of the new cars.

The CX and SM were pretty decent designs (and the series 1 CX cockpit was delightfully bonkers, too; barely a flat surface anywhere), and the DS still turns heads whenever you take one out on the road.

Some of the old Panhards were pretty stunning, like the Dyna Z, and I think the 1959 Facel Vega was pretty striking, and the Delage D8 from the 1930s was stunning. Others have a soft spot for some of the Renaults, like the Floride and Caravelle.

So, it's not that the French can't design good cars - a wander round the annual Retromobile exhibition (usually February in Paris) will soon dispel that idea. But it seems the accountants won't let any manufacturer that aspires to the mass market do anything interesting any more.

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Shows up Hybrid's most worthless idea

The point of having the elec motor on one axle and the gearbox on the other shows the stupidity of a hybrid: You get the worst of both worlds, a huge gearbox to sort out the ancient ICE and a huge bunch of batteries to make the E-motor go, and then just for fun you need to synchronize these 2.

Why in all that's holy do these manufacturers waste their time with something so incredibly complex and wasteful? Why not use simplicity itself: A Diesel-Electric (or go with Petrol-Electric if you hate diesel) - makes for NO GEARBOX, VERY SMALL BATTERY and nearly no synchronization, but gives all the benefits toted for the hybrid: i.e. no power used during standstill, allows regenerative breaking, and added to that doesn't need the ICE to rev up and down when it's used (it can simply turn at its most efficient RPM).

So, let me see: (1) much easier to produce (even easier than a current ICE), (2) much lighter since the gearbox is thrown out and the batteries are less - which also helps on (3) maintenance, it's been (4) tested for decades already in trains & large trucks so no unproven record, and using the same ICE & E-motors would by definition make for (5) more efficient use as the ICE would run at its best performance always .... Uhhmm, so why does every manufacturer jump to this "fashionable", complex, difficult, breakage-prone, heavy and less efficient hybrid system?

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Black Helicopters

Stealer Servicing

That's why.

Look at the Chevvy/Opal/Vauxhaull Volt/Ampera.

This WAS going to be exactly as you describe - Dino-Drive Generator which generated electricity to charge the batteries and/or feed the leccy motors. It would have been wonderful.

However they recently announced that the engine *WOULD* infact also be coupled directly to the drive system, which means gearboxes, clutches, planetary gears or some other method of applying physical force from the engine, plus all the synchronising hardware / software that would have not been necessary before.

I'm sure they had their reasons, but to me it was fekkin stupid (or was done to protect their Vehicle Servicing income / spare parts sales)

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What's "road tax" when it's at home?

Road tax was abolished over 70 years ago. I think you mean Vehicle Excise Duty, or car tax if you must.

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