/ electric hybrid
The Renault Next concept from 1996 wasn't much to look
at. But underneath the uninspiring bodywork was an advanced
hybrid drivetrain which was a surprisingly accurate taste
of what was - and is - to come from mainstream manufacturers.
The lightweight carbon fiber bodywork of the Next was
built around an aluminium space frame chassis. Overall
weight for the car was just 1074 kgs (2368 lbs).
The hybrid drivetrain of the Renault Next was the car's
most interesting feature. It consisted of a small displacement
750cc (0.75 litre), three cylinder engine and two 21 horsepower
electric motors - one for each rear wheel. The engine
drove the front wheels through a 5-speed gearbox meaning
the Next was essentially AWD. A clever computer system
was used to regulate power delivery and switch between
petrol power, electric power, or a combination of both.
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