All the compact plug-in hybrids at the 2021 Caradisiac Electric / Hybrid Show
Until a few months ago, the compact plug-in hybrid category boiled down to two offers: the Toyota Prius PHEV and the Hyundai Ioniq Plug-In, both released in 2017. It must be said that, for one like for the other, it was a logical and inexpensive maneuver, the two models already existing in non-rechargeable hybrid with each an Atkinson cycle thermal engine specially developed to work with an electric counterpart to achieve optimal efficiency. The Japanese therefore takes the 1.8 l of 98 hp and adds a 72 hp electric motor for a total power of 122 hp, the latter being now powered by an 8.8 kWh battery that can collect up to 3.7 kW for a full in two hours. Figures announced according to the WLTP cycle: 1.3 l / 100 km, 29 g / km of CO2 and 50 km of electric autonomy, all for steep prices starting at € 40,000. For its part, the Korean reuses the 1.6 of 105 hp which rises to 141 hp with the help of its electric colleague, the latter relying on an 8.9 kWh battery to feed itself. Conclusion: 1.1 l / 100 km, 26 g / km of CO2 and the possibility of driving 52 km without emissions before being able to recharge up to a power of 3.3 kW in 2 h 45, with prices starting at 32 900 €. Admittedly, it is surely more complicated than putting a bigger battery and a plug but still simpler than starting from scratch.
What the many newcomers had to do. Among them, one model stands out following the model of the Japanese and the Korean: the Renault Mégane E-Tech Plug-In. The diamond brand may be a newcomer to the hybrid world, rechargeable or not, it has done its homework correctly without taking any short cuts by starting by developing a new thermal engine. Okay, “new” is perhaps a bit strong word since the 1.6 used original Nissan is not very early days but it has been specifically modified for the assigned task, including a conversion to the. essential Atkinson cycle, which allows it to continue to be particularly fuel efficient even when the battery reaches its minimum capacity and the car then adopts a “simple” hybrid operation. Developing 91 hp, it receives the help of a 66 hp electric motor and a 31 hp alternator starter to recharge the 9.8 kWh battery. The latter can collect up to 3 kW for a charge in 3 hours. The result according to the WLTP cycle? 1.3 l / 100 km, 28 g / km of CO2 and 50 km of electric autonomy, to be exchanged for a minimum of € 38,500.
For the rest of the segment, the manufacturers have chosen to use an already existing thermal part and to electrify it without any major mechanical modification. A choice that is both simpler and more economical for development, but which then pays for itself with significant consumption once the rechargeable hybrid system’s battery is at its minimum level. Let’s start with the members of the Volkswagen group that are the Golf GTE, the Audi A3 40 TFSie and the Seat Leon e-Hybrid with an identical technical sheet: a 1.4 TSI of 150 hp, an electric motor of 110 hp and a battery of 13 kWh that can be recharged in 3 h 40 on a terminal delivering 3.6 kW. The only difference is that the first of the three achieves a power of 245 hp while the following two must be satisfied with 204 hp but the three are placed as excellent students in the face of the WLTP cycle, with consumption and CO2 emissions. as low as 1.0 l / 100 km and 24 g / km of CO2 and up to 67 km of electric range. The fares differ widely, starting at € 45,665 for the Golf, € 38,680 for the A3 and € 35,990 for the Leon.
For its part, Mercedes may still have a technical partnership with Renault for its gasoline engines, the German has chosen to shun the E-Tech system of the diamond to develop its own recipe called A250e. The first ingredient is precisely the 4-cylinder 1.3 turbo that the two manufacturers have in common and here developing 160 hp, without any real mechanical arrangement for hybridization. It receives the help of a 102 hp electric motor to reach a total of 218 hp and the latter is connected to a huge 15.6 kWh battery allowing it to announce up to 74 km of electric autonomy! Consumption and CO2 according to the WLTP cycle are equally flattering, at 1.0 l / 100 km and 22 g / km respectively, but the price is up to the task, with a check to be signed for a minimum amount of € 39,750 and the minimum charge time of 5 hours is important because of a power limited to 3.7 kW.
Finally, let’s finish with the DS4 E-Tense and Peugeot 308 Hybrid 225 which are among the biggest novelties of the year in all categories. If it will be necessary to wait a few more weeks for the final characteristics and the price list, we already know that both will take over the powertrain already seen in particular in the 3008 and DS7: a four-cylinder 1.6 Puretech from 180 hp and a 110 hp electric motor for a total power of 225 hp, as well as a 12.4 kWh battery that can be recharged in 1 hour 30 minutes on a terminal delivering 7.4 kW.
The nine compact plug-in hybrids at the Salon Caradisiac
The preferences of Caradisiac journalists
Alexandre Bataille: “The Leon without a shadow of a doubt”
The Volkswagen Golf, Audi A3 and Seat Leon have the same technology under the hood and show, with just a few details, the same performance. I find the Leon more elegant and more affordable. The Ioniq is very interesting for its performance and prices but its look is too consensual in my eyes.
Manuel Cailliot: “A Seat Leon, at a good price”
While the Ioniq plug-in hybrid is even cheaper and more efficient, it lacks a bit of horsepower in the category. So the Seat Leon represents a good compromise. We have 204 hp, very good performance, a quality of presentation not so far removed from the Golf, for a lower price. Of all the plug-in hybrids of the VW group, this is in my opinion the most interesting.
Pierre Desjardins: “La Ioniq, the best price / service ratio”
Starting at € 32,900, the Hyundai Ioniq Plug-In is by far the cheapest in the compact plug-in hybrid category, which is already a huge quality in itself. But that’s not all since it is also one of the most efficient even once the battery is empty and the energy recovery adjustable via paddles on the steering wheel is a treat to use, as playful as it is effective. .
Olivier Pagès: “The Leon but watch out for the 308 and DS4”
Sharing the same mechanics as the Audi A3 and Volkswagen Golf, the Seat Leon is less expensive and above all it displays more attractive and dynamic lines. This is also found in the passenger compartment but also behind the wheel with a behavior that makes you smile. But this choice could be called into question after the tests of the all new Peugeot 308 and DS 4, also available in plug-in hybrid.
A thousand times thank you to the whole family Micheletty who welcomed us in his cirque located in Villeneuve-la Garenne, very close to Paris. Their professionalism and availability made it possible for the first time to organize an auto show in a circus! Hats off to the artists!
Partner of the 1st Caradisiac show, last year, the Prévost Group is by our side again in 2021 to manage the logistics of transporting the 120 cars exhibited during the Caradisiac Electric / Hybride 2021 Show. A decisive support for the success of the event.