4 years ago

MOTOREX Magazine 2010 91 EN

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REPORT The SWISSAUTO POLO REX engine compartment with electric motor, power electronics and range extender – this Swiss technology is drawing lively interest from auto manufacturers. SWISS HIGH TECH FOR the automotive world of tomorrow Switzerland, land of mountains, watches, chocolates… and cars! Automobiles may not be mass-produced here, but few if any new cars in the world roll off the assembly line these days without parts from Swiss suppliers. And highly innovative Swiss companies are taking a leading role in shaping the future of the industry as technology suppliers. Over 300 companies in Switzerland, mostly small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), are involved in production for the international automotive industry. They “New technologies in the automotive industry” manufacture parts out of various metals and plastics as well as electronic components in large series. But Swiss companies also supply production equipment as well as molds and tools for automotive manufacturing. AUTOMAKERS AS PRODUCTION PROS Automakers purchase most of the 20,000 or so parts that go into a typical car from suppliers, manufacturing only a few key components such as the engine and body themselves. Practically everything else is purchased on the global market, enabling the automakers to focus on optimizing production costs. Nowadays all leading manufacturers offer outstanding quality at competitive prices. Total production volume in 2010 is again expected to reach some 70 million vehicles. 10

Photo: Swissauto Wenko AG The battery pack is installed space-efficiently beneath the trunk cover. No trunk room is sacrificed. Successful research and development depends not only on brilliant ideas, but also on quality resources and specialized staff. KNOWLEDGE CHANGES HANDS Research and development continue to play a very special role in auto manufacturing. Without the requisite technologies, automakers can’t set new trends or keep up with the evolving market. For this reason, innovation and know-how in the following areas is often acquired from outside the company: • Alternative propulsion systems (hybrid, electric, fuel cell, etc.) • Smaller internal combustion engines optimized for fuel efficiency and performance • General reduction in weight and rolling resistance • Aerodynamic optimization • Emission reduction concepts with the ultimate goal of “zero emissions” In their efforts to integrate as many of the components that embody the hottest new trends into production vehicles at the lowest cost, many automakers turn to engineering studios in Switzerland. SWISSAUTO COMBINES TECHNOLOGIES For years, SWISSAUTO WENKO AG in Burgdorf has been seen by many international automakers as one of the leading engineering studios for combustion engines and turbochargers. The company’s technological background was developed through many years of working with reduced-displacement and highly turbocharged gasoline engines and involvement in various aspects of auto and motorcycle racing. So it is no surprise that SWISSAUTO has repeatedly supplied new technologies to major corporations in the automotive industry, many of which are now used in series production. “The team has gathered a number of innovations into one winning technology package!” In the SWISSAUTO POLO REX (REX = range extender), the team from Burgdorf has gathered a number of innovations into one winning technology package. This “electrified” vehicle based on a VW Polo is equipped with a Brusa hybrid synchronous electric motor deli v- ering 85 kW (115 hp) of output and 220 Nm of torque. The REX is powered by electricity in all operating modes. A one-cylinder, 0.3-liter four-stroke engine developed by SWISSAUTO, along with energy recovered from the braking system, charges the lithium ion polymer battery (14 kWh). MOTOREX MAGAZINE I DECEMBER 2010 11



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