Vauxhall Gearbox: new & used Tigra car gearboxes, Astra, Zafira models

Published by Carl Wilson on

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Hybrid System gearboxes used in some Vauxhall Cars.

Global Hybrid Cooperation (formerly called Advanced Hybrid System 2 or AHS2) is a set of hybrid vehicle technologies jointly developed by General Motors and DaimlerChrysler, with BMW joining in 2005.

It uses two sets of gears in an automatic transmission: One for the internal combustion engine and another to multiply the power of a pair of electric motors. General Motors has stopped using the “AHS2” name as of 2006, preferring to call it simply a “two-mode hybrid system”.

Technology used for some Vauxhall gearboxes

Cutaway of the longitudinal GHC transmission
Exploded view of the Two-Mode transmissionThe group touts its technology as “two-mode” to differentiate it from the “single-mode” systems. The two modes of operation are:

1) Input-split mode — At low speeds, the vehicle can move with either the electric motor/generators, the internal combustion engine, or both, making it a so-called full hybrid.

All accessories will still remain functioning on electric power, and the engine can restart instantly if needed. In this mode, one of the motor/generators acts as a generator, while the other operates as a motor.

This mode is operational using the first and second gear ratios of the transmission.

2) Compound-split mode — At higher speeds or heavier loads, the internal combustion engine always runs, and the system uses advanced technologies like Active Fuel Management and late intake valve closing to optimize fuel efficiency.

This mode begins at the point where one of the motor/generators reaches zero speed; at this point some clutches within the system engage while others disengage to alter the physical configuration of the transmission, and the velocity is Vshift. 

Immediately after the shift, both electric machines operate as motors and the first gear ratio is employed. At a given velocity above Vshift, the second gear ratio is employed, and M/G 2 begins to operate as a generator, while also slowing down its angular speed.

When the angular speed of M/G 2 is zero, the third gear ratio is employed, and M/G 1 begins to operate again as a generator. As the vehicle velocity increases, the fourth gear ratio is employed, and M/G 1 begin to operate as a generator and M/G 2 as a motor again.

Although the transmission mechanically has only four conventional gear ratios, the electric motors allow it to function as a continuously variable transmission.

This variable ratio functions in addition to the torque multiplication of the planetary gears.

Despite the “two-mode” marketing pitch, however, it is the packaging of the first application of the system which is unique. A special automatic transmission incorporates two 100 kW (133 hp) three phase induction motors, two planetary gearsets, and two selectively-engaging friction clutches.

This system amplifies the output of the electric motors similarly to the way in which a conventional transmission amplifies the torque of an internal combustion engine.

It also transfers more of the engine’s torque to the wheels, making the transmission more efficient even without the electric motors in use. Finally, the whole system fits into the space of, and indeed appears as, a conventional 4L60-E automatic transmission.

A 300 volt battery pack is housed elsewhere in the vehicle to store energy. Most applications will also include 120 volt AC power outlets.

The two-mode transmission seems to resemble at least some, if not most, aspects of the SEL Transmission, researched and documented by TU Chemnitz under a public research grant, in July 2000.

Vauxhall vehicles on the market today 2007.
Agila, Corsa, Meriva, Tigra, Astra, Zafira, Vectra, Signum, VXR8, Antara.

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Carl Wilson

You won't believe it, I'm native Scotsman. Enthusiast. Car lovers. Almost finished rebuilding my Reliant Saber 🔥

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