Technology demonstrator vehicles

Technology demonstrator vehicles

Demonstration of new technology is most successful when it can show the benefit brought to the end user. Ricardos work with both Tier 1 and vehicle manufacturers to develop demonstrator vehicles displaying the benefits of single or a combination of multiple technologies at vehicle level. The combination of attribute and systems engineering across vehicle systems at Ricardo helps to show new technology at its best, encouraging early adoption.

HyBoost - intelligent electrification 

A combination of low-cost technologies used with a high degree of synergy to deliver micro-hybrid operation using a combination of gasoline engine downsizing and intelligent stop/start

Key facts

Downsized gasoline engine:

  • Downsized, highly boosted gasoline engine gives improved fuel economy at low cost
  • Downsizing results in operation at increased load factor improving engine efficiency
  • E-Charger gives improved transient response and increases full load torque capability at low engine speeds
  • "12V+X" floating voltage ultracapacitor for energy storage
  • Belt Starter Generator (BSG)

E-charger for improved transient response and potential to increase pressure ratio

High speed switched reluctance machine attached to second turbocharger allows for near instantaneous boost independent of engine speed. Extra boost pressure available at low engine speed to supplement conventional turbocharger.

Low-cost energy storage

12V AGM lead acid battery plus supercapacitors allow high current operation for e-charger, engine stop/start and supports micro-hybrid operating modes.

  • 12V to 24V DC/DC convertor allows split architecture system – 12V for conventional vehicle systems and 24V for Supercapacitors, BSG and e-charger
  • Compatible with existing 12V vehicle architecture

Micro-Hybrid - 12V or 12+X belt mounted electric machine, allowing:

  • Engine stop/start operation
  • Mild regenerative braking
  • Efficient electrical generation (smart charging)
  • Torque assist directly to engine crankshaft
  • Mounted in position of conventional alternator

Targets (C-segment car) <100g/km NEDC CO2; cost below diesel 

Target assumptions:

  • Base vehicle (2.0 litre gasoline): 169g/km
  • Aggressively downsized DI, low loss engine -25%
  • Add stop-start and 6kW re-generation -10%
  • Add cooled EGR and Miller cycle operation -6%
  • Taller gear ratios + gearshift indicator light -7%
  • HyBoost vehicle 99.7g/km


Integrated technologies for cost-effective CO2 reduction

Ricardo is the lead partner in the Syner-D research consortium. 

Achieving European fleet average CO2 targets relies on the mass-market adoption of low CO2 technologies which requires commercially viable cost effective solutions that are available within a 3–5 year timeframe. Analysis by Ricardo indicates that deploying low cost technologies across a large number of vehicles is the most cost-effective method in reducing fleet CO2, rather than deploying high-impact and costly technologies to a small fleet percentage. The Syner-D research consortium aims to demonstrate the CO2 benefits of these technologies, whilst reducing tailpipe emissions and maximising vehicle driveability.

Key objectives reference to the baseline 3.0l – V6 Vehicle

  • Achieve a 30% reduction in CO2
  • Achieve Euro 6 tailpipe emissions
  • To deliver equivalent driveability

Key achievements

  • More than 25% CO2 reduction achieved to date
  • 500 Nm peak torque target met
  • Turbocharged and supercharged diesel
  • Roller crank engine demonstrates technology and benefits

The technologies deployed

  • Downsized diesel engine (3.0 to 2.2 litres)
  • 8-speed automatic transmission
  • Stop-start
  • Intelligent thermal management including zero flow & high temperature control modes
  • Coolant heat storage system
  • Long and short route EGR
  • SCR aftertreatment and dosing system
  • Two-stage boosting (LP turbocharger and HP supercharger)
  • Two stage water charge air cooling circuit, including an integrated HP EGR rail
  • Prototype software and engine calibration to optimise with hardware fitted
  • Advanced lubricants
  • Roller bearing crankshaft (parallel activity to assess the benefits for reduced friction)

Air system architecture driven by WAVE™ analysis

Wave.The selected air path system utilises LP VGT turbocharger with HP supercharger, along with short and long route

EGR coupled to a DPF/SCR aftertreatment system to give the best design to achieve emissions, CO2 and performance requirements

Program power and torque targets have been achieved

500Nm target torque met by use of turbocharger and supercharger system coupled with engine calibration optimisation.

Supercharger control software written to utilise transient torque benefits of system for through gear acceleration and reduce periods of fuel limitation by increasing boost rise rates.


  • CO2 reductions of more than 25% have been realised, with further improvements expected
  • Engine performance targets have been achieved, with a peak torque of 500Nm
  • Using a high pressure supercharger solution delivers greater heat energy to after treatment components than would be possible with a twin turbocharged solution
  • Advanced thermal systems offer significant benefits to cold start fuel consumption and emissions
  • Realising the maximum benefit from a heat storage device over the NEDC cycle is constrained by present legislation. Emissions credits or a change in the regulations to reflect real world usage would be advantageous to maximise both real world and homologated benefits
  • Application of long route EGR in combination with SCR is a key enabler to achieve Euro 6 emissions without compromising CO2
  • The Ricardo Efficient Calibration process, with system level optimisation for SCR NOX conversion efficiency, has been used to capitalise on the application of an SCR system during engine calibration optimisation
  • A demonstrator vehicle incorporating a high number of additional components has been designed and built within the original production package space
  • Prototype software has enabled the integration of a diverse range of production components from multiple suppliers.


The ADEPT concept features Intelligent Electrification to deliver a very low CO2 mild-hybrid diesel C-segment vehicle.

Key facts

48V mild-hybridisation applied to 1.5L Euro 6.1 Diesel, comprising:

  • 12.5kW 48V belt starter generator:
    • Improved stop-start operation
    • Regenerative braking
    • Torque assist
    • Efficient electrical generation
  • 48V low-cost advanced lead-acid battery
  • High carbon battery to operate mild-hybrid duty-cycle without reduction in life
  • 48V electric ancillaries
    • 48V electric coolant pump
    • 48V electric oil pump
    • Efficiency improvements from optimised flow and pressure control
    • Use of regenerative braking energy for further fuel savings
  • 48V electric turbine
    • Located downstream of standard turbocharger
    • Capture exhaust waste heat for reapplication as torque on crankshaft
    • Aftertreatment thermal management

Program targets

  • 75g/km CO2 C-Segment demonstrator vehicle (NEDC)
  • Technology studies to show path to 70g/km
  • At a cost/CO2 ratio superior to full-hybrid solution

The Advanced Diesel Electric PowerTrain (ADEPT) combines low-cost technologies with a high degree of synergy to reduce current class-leading C-segment CO2 emissions by a further 15–20%.