• 14.04.2024

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Changan Qiyuan: Winter Performance of Hybrid Models in Extreme Conditions

Feb 4, 2024

Changan Qiyuan: Winter Performance of Hybrid Models in Extreme Conditions

Compared to gasoline and pure electric vehicles, today’s hybrid models can definitely not be considered a non-mainstream “transitional” power form. In the past few years, these models have experienced a complete outbreak in the Chinese market. The Changan Qiyuan, which was launched in 2023, is definitely worth mentioning as a brand that specializes in new energy and does a good job with hybrids. In less than half a year, this brand has already launched four models, including the A05, A06, A07, and Q05, all of which focus on extended-range hybrid power and have a good reputation in the market. However, strength needs to be tempered. As the saying goes, practice in the summer heat and winter cold, cars also need to experience the extreme heat of summer and the severe cold of winter. In the extreme cold of the Northeast, the one-year-old Changan Qiyuan has also embarked on its first year of long-distance “winter training.” How will it perform? This year’s “Ice and Snow Challenge” for Changan Qiyuan started in Harbin and headed west, passing through Qiqihar and Hailar, and finally reaching Manzhouli. We participated in the segment from Hailar to Manzhouli, which is the “comb” of China’s territory. Here, our main experiences included test driving on the ice and snow in Hailar, as well as the long-distance drive from Hailar to Manzhouli. Ice and snow test driving experience in Hailar The test driving took place at the Canglang Bailu Ice and Snow Test Driving Base in Hailar. This area is usually a lake, but after November, it freezes into a thick layer of ice due to the cold wave moving south. On the day of the test drive, the temperature reached minus 27 degrees Celsius, making the climate and frozen lake surface perfect for car brands to conduct extreme cold tests or ice and snow test drives.

Changan Qiyuan: Winter Performance of Hybrid Models in Extreme Conditions

In terms of vehicles, the models provided by the manufacturer are the Changan Qiyuan A05, Q05, and A07. Many people may feel that four-wheel drive is necessary on icy roads, but the official still insists on completing the ice and snow challenge with two-wheel drive vehicles, which also shows Changan Qiyuan’s confidence in these models.

Changan Qiyuan: Winter Performance of Hybrid Models in Extreme Conditions

In terms of power system, the three models we are experiencing today all use extended-range hybrid systems, which include intelligent electric drive, blue whale hybrid engine, safety battery, AC/DC charging system, and a smart control system that integrates vehicle cloud and user-end data applications. Changan says it has high integration, high efficiency, and high intelligence, so it is named “Intelligent AI Electric Drive”.

Changan Qiyuan: Winter Performance of Hybrid Models in Extreme Conditions

Changan Qiyuan’s intelligent AI electric drive is equipped with 10-layer Hairpin flat wire oil-cooled motor technology, achieving an efficiency of 97.8%. Its “intelligence” comes from a four-core high computing power chip, and the innovative iEM intelligent driving management mode enables all products of the Changan Qiyuan family to have four scene modes: long-distance, emergency, mountain and parking charging.

Changan Qiyuan: Winter Performance of Hybrid Models in Extreme Conditions

The 1.5L Blue Whale engine efficiently covers over 90% of the vehicle’s operating conditions. Technically, it adopts Blue Whale AGILE agile combustion technology, with a high cylinder diameter stroke ratio, high compression ratio Atkinson cycle, and 350bar direct injection technology, all designed specifically for hybrid use, to be a “full-time nanny” for electric drive. In icy and snowy conditions, we are unlikely to worry about battery overheating, but rather be more concerned about the performance of the power system at low temperatures. Changan Qiyuan’s electric drive has a constant temperature system, achieving internal and external circulation through intelligent temperature control valves, keeping the oil temperature in the efficient zone at 60℃. As for the battery, Changan Qiyuan has introduced micro-core high-frequency pulse heating technology, which can achieve the fastest temperature rise of 4℃ per minute in extreme cold weather at -30℃, effectively supporting the efficient operation of charging and discharging as well as the air conditioning system.

Changan Qiyuan: Winter Performance of Hybrid Models in Extreme Conditions

Arriving at the ice and snow test drive site, the first challenge is actually the low temperature. In fact, in the evolution of cars to the present, it is still not a sure thing to start a vehicle that has been left overnight in low-end low temperature conditions of minus tens of degrees. However, such extreme conditions obviously do not trouble A07. After pressing the start button, the power system is immediately awakened, and various electronic devices are also started. The time for the air conditioning to blow hot air is less than half a minute, and the whole process is very smooth.

Changan Qiyuan: Winter Performance of Hybrid Models in Extreme Conditions

Next is the tires. Unlike paved roads, the grip on the ice surface covered with snow will be so low that you cannot control where you are going. To drive normally on the ice surface, you need stronger traction. Studded tires have become regulars here, but the models we test drove only had regular snow tires. Of course, the softer compound of these tires performs much better on snow than regular all-season tires.

Changan Qiyuan: Winter Performance of Hybrid Models in Extreme Conditions

To experience the typical “joy” of skating on ice, it is necessary to challenge the A07 to perform a circular drift. It is the only rear-wheel drive car among the three cars we experienced. To challenge the drift, you must first turn off the body stability system in the car, and less electronic stability program intervention will be more favorable for you to make more elegant and longer drift movements.

Changan Qiyuan: Winter Performance of Hybrid Models in Extreme Conditions

Drifting on the ice is similar to driving on regular pavement. Accelerate smoothly, steer in the direction of travel, and when the front of the car is aligned with the center of the circle, quickly counter-steer while increasing the throttle. Use inertia to make the rear of the car slide, then control the throttle based on the car’s posture. Feel the changes in load with your butt and firmly control the car’s center of gravity.

Changan Qiyuan: Winter Performance of Hybrid Models in Extreme Conditions

After the car starts to slide, the correct method is to maintain the throttle and lightly steer in the direction of the drift, allowing the vehicle to slide along the direction of the front wheels. As you accumulate experience, even a typical A07 can perform beautiful drift maneuvers that were previously only possible with a “big rear super” traditional drift.

Changan Qiyuan: Winter Performance of Hybrid Models in Extreme Conditions

However, drifting on the ice is actually quite easy, but the difficult part is how long and how good the drift can be. The power system allows for a very narrow comfort zone for drifting. If the speed is too fast or the road is too slippery, causing the loss of steering drive, then the embarrassment of a failed drift due to excessive steering will make your car do a difficult U-turn. So, on the ice, the core secret is actually “slow”, this is also reflected in the subsequent small track. On the frozen lake, the manufacturer has designated a small ice track for the A05 and Q05 vehicles to demonstrate the performance of two cars under low friction road conditions and the driving skills of the test drivers themselves.

Changan Qiyuan: Winter Performance of Hybrid Models in Extreme Conditions

Even with snow tires, vehicles can still slip in the snow when accelerating. Some icy surfaces have even more reduced friction, and even with electronic assistance, the driver should not apply too much force to the accelerator. The vehicle stability system will not be turned off, as it will adjust power based on tire grip to ensure a smooth start.

Changan Qiyuan: Winter Performance of Hybrid Models in Extreme Conditions

Just like on a asphalt track, on the ice track you also need to follow the principle of slow in and fast out, but you need to judge the entry time earlier than usual. When the car is not responsive, you can solve the problem of high-speed turns by gently steering, but when facing low-speed turns, you must slow down the speed in advance to prevent hitting the frozen snow wall.

Changan Qiyuan: Winter Performance of Hybrid Models in Extreme Conditions

The layout of the motor and battery makes the front and rear axle load ratio of the double car more scientific, especially the A05. Throughout the entire driving process, you can clearly feel a very balanced handling experience between the front and rear of the car. In bumpy and slippery high-speed corners, the car is not easily disturbed by the rapid transfer of the center of gravity, which causes a Brownian motion-style sway. The performance in elbow bends is also excellent, with a stable chassis and very good body follow-up.

Changan Qiyuan: Winter Performance of Hybrid Models in Extreme Conditions

Compared to sedans, the Q05 SUV has a higher overall center of gravity, and its handling and controllability are not as good as sedans. However, when you actually drive it, you will find that the stability of the Q05 is not a concern. Skilled drivers can even use the change in the center of gravity of the car body, similar to a pendulum, to initiate the movement of the rear of the car, and a front-wheel drive SUV can also replicate a stylish drifting posture.

Changan Qiyuan: Winter Performance of Hybrid Models in Extreme Conditions

For first-time drivers in the snow, driving A05 and Q05 is as easy as driving on the road. Just determine the tire’s braking limit. On the icy track, as long as you maintain the appropriate speed, even if your hand movements are a bit big, you can still feel the stability control system working hard to pull the car back from the edge of losing control.

Changan Qiyuan: Winter Performance of Hybrid Models in Extreme Conditions

Whether it’s A05 or Q05, the smooth power is impressive. Although the speed is not high, the car mostly uses pure electric drive, but the occasional quality of the oil-electric connection is also excellent. In addition, the E-CVT infinite efficient transmission makes the throttle very responsive and linear. Just step on it and you can feel the sufficient power feedback and maintain linear output.

Changan Qiyuan: Winter Performance of Hybrid Models in Extreme Conditions

As for the steering feel, both cars performed as expected. The steering is light and moderate, delicate and linear. The return force is just right, and the handling in narrow corners also meets their respective positioning. However, for the A05, the unique up-and-down flat-shaped steering wheel takes some getting used to when turning at large angles. Hailar – Manzhouli paved road test drive From Hailar to Manzhouli, we have to travel a long stretch of G10 Suiman Expressway. Even on urban expressways or national highways, the roads are quite flat and empty. And because the road authorities cleared the snow early, there was no snow on the entire road, so we didn’t need to pay extra attention while driving. On this long road, we can fully experience the A07’s cruising performance on paved roads.

Changan Qiyuan: Winter Performance of Hybrid Models in Extreme Conditions

On the flat pavement, the A07 in pure electric priority and hybrid priority mode is basically driven by pure electric power. Because of this, it feels like a pure electric vehicle. Acceleration in the beginning and middle is exceptionally quick and responsive with the assistance of the electric motor. Overtaking doesn’t require leaving too much room, and the car always ends up going faster without realizing it.

Changan Qiyuan: Winter Performance of Hybrid Models in Extreme Conditions

The hybrid system’s switching logic is very clear, and there are no flaws due to extremely low temperatures. Its high balance ability is impressive. However, its pure electric nature is obviously more suitable for urban and suburban areas. On the highway, you will find that despite pressing the accelerator pedal a lot, the driving force of the car does not seem to increase much. The electric motor is no longer able to meet your needs well, and the engine is ready to intervene at any time, so switching to fuel priority at this time would be a good choice.

Changan Qiyuan: Winter Performance of Hybrid Models in Extreme Conditions

As the vehicle speed approaches the speed limit of the highway, the engine will almost fully engage in the power system, causing a natural decrease in the overall NVH compared to the previous pure electric driving state. However, as long as the acceleration pedal is not operated too quickly, the presence of the engine running will be minimal, and the NVH performance will be much better than that of a typical gasoline vehicle.

Changan Qiyuan: Winter Performance of Hybrid Models in Extreme Conditions

Because of the flat terrain, driving for a long time on a high-speed road with little change in scenery can easily make people feel tired. At this time, if you turn on the intelligent driving assistance system, its integrated adaptive cruise control can greatly reduce the intensity of your driving. And if you also turn on the seat massage, long-distance driving will be very easy.

Changan Qiyuan: Winter Performance of Hybrid Models in Extreme Conditions

The car’s suspension tuning is impressive, giving a strong sense of luxury with a soft and comfortable feel, but also a slight floating sensation. It handles large bumps and jumps just right, staying close to the ground.

Changan Qiyuan: Winter Performance of Hybrid Models in Extreme Conditions

In terms of filtering shock, the suspension can effectively filter occasional cracks and broken ice on the road, even when facing continuous speed bumps, the vibration handling is in place. The suspension also performs well in providing support during rapid lane changes and turns, with little to no loose or excessive swaying, meeting the mainstream needs of most users.

Changan Qiyuan: Winter Performance of Hybrid Models in Extreme Conditions

For the A07 extended range power, the most important thing is endurance. With a hybrid system equipped with a large battery and a large fuel tank, you don’t have to worry about recharging on the road, unlike an electric car where you have to plan your trip in advance. On the highway, in fuel priority mode, the car’s average fuel consumption is only 6.1L per 100 kilometers. At this time, the vehicle also accumulates a lot of energy for the upcoming city driving, preparing for energy saving. In summary, the significance of the winter long-distance challenge in the ice and snow lies in verifying the reliability, stability, and quality of the vehicle in extreme cold conditions. Even the seemingly delicate hybrid system can face all of this without compromise.