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Let’s Try To Understand Honda’s New i-MMD Hybrid System


Let’s Try To Understand Honda’s New i-MMD Hybrid System

As time progresses, technology and innovations also evolve, constantly making things better and more convenient for us, the end users. 

Even in the automotive sector, vehicles and all the technology that go into them are constantly being updated in an effort to give us a more enjoyable, safe, and a more eco-friendly driving and ownership experience.

What once started humbly with steam engines has now evolved to self-driving electric-powered vehicles, as well as hybrids and plug-in hybrid vehicles.  

As complicated as they may sound, electric and hybrid vehicles are very straight-forward these days, and are just as easy to live with as conventional fuel-burners.

Take Honda’s hybrid vehicles for instance – What we have now in Malaysia, in the City Hybrid, Jazz Hybrid, as well as the HR-V Hybrid is the Intelligent Dual Clutch Drive (i-DCD) system, which works like any other traditional hybrid vehicle.

What happens is that the system uses an electric motor to propel the vehicle before the petrol engine starts up, and to boost acceleration when the vehicle is on the move. However, the i-DCD system still has the engine doing about 80% of the work.

Even with the engine doing most of the work, our Jazz Hybrid, City Hybrid, and HR-V Hybrid are able to cover between 24 and 26 km with a litre of fuel. That is like driving from Subang Jaya to Bangsar bro.

As impressive as it is, the i-DCD system is already old news, as Honda has a new hybrid system - called the i-MMD (Intelligent Multi Mode Drive), which can be found in the hybrid versions of the current CR-V, the upcoming Accord, the upcoming Jazz, and of course, the new Insight.

The main difference between the outgoing i-DCD system and the new i-MMD system is that the latter has two electric motors versus the i-DCD’s one motor. Besides that, the i-MMD system actually has no gearbox.

Even though the folks at Honda call the i-MMD’s transmission system an “e-CVT”, it is more of a direct-drive system with virtual gear ratios which replicates the feeling of the gear upshifting and downshifting.

While the outgoing i-DCD system has the engine supplying the power 80% of the time, it is the complete opposite with the i-MMD system, where the motors do most of the work.

This explains why large vehicles with the i-MMD system like the CR-V Hybrid and the new Insight, are able to record similar fuel consumption figures as smaller i-DCD-powered cars like our Jazz Hybrid, City Hybrid, and the HR-V Hybrid. So, imagine how fuel efficient and more powerful the smaller models will be with the i-MMD system.

That being said, we had the opportunity to experience the i-MMD system first hand during our recent visit to Japan in the current-gen CR-V Hybrid, where we managed to experience how the system worked.

The new hybrid drivetrain in the CR-V Hybrid uses a 2.0-litre 4-cylinder inline-four petrol engine and two electric motors, which produces a combined power output of 212 hp, which is quite powerful. Complementing the powertrain is the all-wheel-drive system which comes as standard.

To know more about how the new i-MMD system worked and how different it is from our current i-DCD  system, watch the video above in which we tried our best to understand and simplify everything for your viewing pleasure.

Meanwhile, for the Malaysian market, we are quite sure that cars like the CR-V Hybrid and the Insight are highly unlikely to come, but there is hope with the Jazz, as we already have a Jazz Hybrid. If it does, it will be the first Honda model with the i-MMD system. Our fingers are crossed.

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