No gearbox, but why are there paddle shifters in the Honda City RS e:HEV? We explain

Sanjay · Nov 13, 2021 09:00 AM

No gearbox, but why are there paddle shifters in the Honda City RS e:HEV? We explain 01

Comments on social media will tell you that paddle shifters are very important to Malaysians. So important, that Honda sees fit to put a pair in the Honda City RS e:HEV, which doesn't even have a conventional gearbox.

Then what are they for?

No gearbox, but why are there paddle shifters in the Honda City RS e:HEV? We explain 02

Contrary to smartypants comments that they're for 'changing gears' or 'volume adjustment', the Deceleration Selector Paddles in the City RS are there to control the rate of regenerative braking.

Also read: Paddle shift in automatic cars, pretty useful or practically useless?

No gearbox, but why are there paddle shifters in the Honda City RS e:HEV? We explain 01

The range-topping City has a two-motor hybrid powertrain (Intelligent Multi-Mode Drive, i-MMD), which takes an electric vehicle (EV)-like direct drive approach to powering the car.

No gearbox, but why are there paddle shifters in the Honda City RS e:HEV? We explain 02

Illustration on how the system works in the City RS

For most of the time, it's the City's electric traction motor that drives it, offering instantaneous 253 Nm torque generated by the 80 kW (109 PS) traction motor, available from 0.1 rpm, up to 13,300 rpm.

There's also the Atkinson-cycle 1.5-litre naturally-aspirated petrol engine too, but that's there to provide additional power to the traction motor or to drive the wheels directly during high-speed cruising.

No gearbox, but why are there paddle shifters in the Honda City RS e:HEV? We explain 03

The traction motor also works as a generator, reversing the flow of current when the car is coasting or braking, to charge the lithium-ion (Li-ion) traction battery at the rear.

Also read: Review: Driving the world's first 2020 Honda City RS with i-MMD in Malaysia

No gearbox, but why are there paddle shifters in the Honda City RS e:HEV? We explain 04

This infographic shows the effect, and recommended places to use the function

And this is exactly where the Deceleration Selector Paddles come in, which offers three levels of regenerative braking intensity.

In essence it's engine braking, and the paddles allow one to adjust the rate of deceleration. Pulling the left 'minus' paddle increases the effect, and vice versa for the right 'plus' flappy paddle. And it's palpable too; the car bogs down harder on each step up.

No gearbox, but why are there paddle shifters in the Honda City RS e:HEV? We explain 05

Note the highlighted square - the two downward-pointing arrows denote the levels of regenerative braking selected

Of course, on more intense levels of regenerative braking, the (small) Li-ion battery is charged faster as well. Used correctly, this theoretically reduces one's reliance on the regular brakes.

No gearbox, but why are there paddle shifters in the Honda City RS e:HEV? We explain 06

However, that's not to say that this solution takes over the role of the second pedal entirely. A battery's lifespan is heavily dependent on the intensity of its charge and discharge cycles (and temperature too), so take that into account when using the feature.

After all, replacing brake pads are much easier and cheaper than replacing a battery.

Also read: Here’s why the all-new 2020 Honda City RS with i-MMD doesn’t need a gearbox

Sanjay

Senior Writer

With humble beginnings collecting diecast models and spending hours virtually tuning dream cars on the computer, his love of cars has delightfully transformed into a career. Sanjay enjoys how the same passion for cars transcends boundaries and brings people together.

window._taboola = window._taboola || []; _taboola.push({ mode: 'thumbnails-a-2x2-stream', container: 'taboola-below-article-thumbnails', placement: 'Below Article Thumbnails', target_type: 'mix' });

Comments

Hassle-free purchasing, get your next car fast!

2022 Honda City 1.5V Sensing

Upgrade

Add your car

Not trading-in?   Sell your car

Latest Cars