Home' Horizons : April-May 2012 Contents Ultra-capacitors
An ultra-capacitor is an
that's able to store a large
amount of electrical energy for its
size, and discharge it at a high rate
over a short time.
While both conventional
capacitors and ultra-capacitors
can store large amounts of
energy, they can't deliver it
over a sustained period like
a conventional rechargeable
battery can. Ultra-capacitors
can, however, also be recharged
comparatively quickly, which is
still useful where regular short
bursts of high power are needed.
In the Peugeot e-HDi, the
ultra-capacitors are temporarily
connected in series with the
battery when the starting power
boost is needed. This power
goes to the car's reversible
alternator, which can operate
both as a starter motor and
a conventional alternator.
As well as supplying the extra
energy for restarting, Peugeot
says the ultra-capacitors also
support the electric system
by ensuring the driver and
passengers don't notice any
The Skoda Superb has a new engine in
its line-up and the big news is that it's
in the entry-level model. The engine
is the 103TDI diesel, which has been slotted
into the Superb to further raise its appeal as
an affordable large car.
As the name suggests, the engine is
VW's 103kW, 320Nm 2.0-litre turbo diesel
engine, which is teamed with the brand's
well-developed six-speed DSG twin
The driveaway price for the 103TDI
Ambition 4x4 we tested was $49,673.
Previously, the 4x4 V6 petrol was the
only 4x4 Superb available. It cost an extra
$14,500 but also had considerably more
equipment on board.
The Swedish-made Haldex four wheel
drive system sends varying amounts of
torque to individual wheels depending on
how much grip they have but in normal
on-road driving, most of that torque goes
to the front wheels.
Nine airbags are standard equipment
across the wagon range, as is a trip
computer, cruise control, front foglights
with corner function and even a parallel
park assist system. The Superb's strong
safety credentials add up to a five-star
safety rating from ANCAP.
Its handling is competent and tidy and
is a good match for the grunty diesel.
The quality of the interior fit and finish
is excellent and the leg room in the rear
Also tested this issue... Skoda Superb 103TDI Ambition 4x4
reduction in electric power when
the engine is starting.
Peugeot claims it's the first
car manufacturer to integrate an
energy storage function using
ultra-capacitors into its vehicles.
The French car-maker has also
seats is like that of a limousine. Continuing the limo
feel, there's even a spot in the inner panel of the left
rear door to store an umbrella.
The Superb was a finalist in the large cars under
$60,000 category of Australia's Best Cars last year, and
deservingly won the title the previous year. It remains
a clever and affordable alternative to the traditional
large car choices, and the inclusion of the 103TDI
engine in the line-up makes it even more so.
claimed its e-HDi technology
is the first in the world
to combine a reversible
alternator with a diesel
engine. Peugeot is planning
to sell one million cars with
e-HDi technology by 2013.
The Peugeot 508 uses a booster
module for the on-board electrical
system, developed by automotive
suppliers Continental and Valeo, to
make the vehicle's start-stop system
more convenient and efﬁcient.
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