Volkswagen Golf SportWagen HyMotion Concept - a one-off with a future
Making its world debut in Los Angeles, the Volkswagen Golf SportWagen HyMotion Concept brings the automaker's cleanest propulsion technology to its latest platform architecture. This fuel-cell-powered research vehicle is the first VW vehicle to be based on the new MQB modular transverse matrix structure and is intended to show how this technology could be cost-effectively adapted for use in a high-volume production model.
The Golf SportWagen HyMotion is fitted with a VW-developed system that's also being evaluated in a test fleet of Passat models here in the U.S. The package consists of an electric motor - adapted from the one in the new e-Golf -- a fuel cell stack with supplemental turbo compressor, a lithium-ion battery pack, hydrogen storage tanks and the requisite electronic converter/controller elements. The motor drives the SportWagen HyMotion's front wheels via a two-stage/single-speed transmission.
Main system components in this ultra-clean VW hauler are positioned to optimize packaging and balance. Additional underhood hardware includes the fuel cell stack, an electric turbo compressor that channels hydrogen and oxygen into the stack, a cooling system and a converter that regulates voltage between the motor, the fuel cell and a high-voltage lithium-ion battery -- which is positioned near the rear axle along with the conventional 12V unit. The power electronics components for the SportWagen HyMotion are located in its center tunnel while four carbon fiber hydrogen storage tanks are housed under the rear seat and luggage compartment.
The VW system allows the SportWagen HyMotion to operate on its fuel cell alone or by using supplemental energy stored in the Li-ion battery. The latter, which is replenished on the fly using regenerative braking, is called into play on initial acceleration when the fuel cell hasn't yet generated enough electricity to power the motor as well as under hard acceleration when it acts like a virtual turbo unit. With a collective output of 134 horsepower, the Volkswagen SportWagen HyMotion Concept can hit 60 mph in just under 10 seconds and travel up to 310 miles before needing a hydrogen refill which will take about three minutes.
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