Wednesday, December 22


Source: BRP Press


December 20, 2010 – The BRP / Université de Sherbrooke Advanced Technology Centre
(CTA), a research and development facility in partnership with the University of Sherbrooke, has received $11.3 million in financial support to develop new hybrid engine technology for BRP's Can-Am Spyder roadster. The injection of $6.2 million from the Automotive Partnership Canada program and $5.1 million from BRP will see the project extend over a four-year period. The development project based on the unique roadster platform will break new ground and is the only electric hybrid development project of its kind in the world.

The announcement of the second-generation roadster using gasoline-electric hybrid
technology was held on the 21/12/2010. Attending the announcement were key Canadian
dignitaries including Steven Blaney (MP for Lévis-Bellechasse), Suzanne Fortier (president)of the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada) and Guy Lévesque (program director of the Canada Foundation for Innovation), along with Université de Sherbrooke's principal, Luce Samoisette, and BRP's president and CEO, José Boisjoli.

First launched in 2007, the Can-Am Spyder roadster is a totally unique way to experience the freedom of open-air riding. Its distinctive Y-architecture – two wheels in front, one in back – creates challenges that push the limits of electric hybrid vehicle technology. “Our mandate is ambitious and complex,” explained Mihai Rasidescu, president and general manager of the CTA. “Our goal is to develop completely new electric hybrid technology for a three-wheel vehicle that uses 50% less fuel and reduces CO2 emissions by 50% while maintaining its speed, power and performance.”

“By deciding to establish R&D centres, BRP confirmed its commitment to accelerate
the development of cleaner and more efficient new technologies,” stated José Boisjoli, BRP's president and CEO. “The powertrain technologies used in our snowmobiles, side-by-side vehicles, and outboard engines are already the best in the industry in terms of fuel consumption, and are milestones towards our goal of providing consumers with increasingly eco-performing technology.”

The CTA is at the heart of innovation, and the cooperation between the Université de
Sherbrooke and BRP is an unparalleled asset in research and development projects. “As
included in our strategic plan, Réussir 2010-2015, the University is reviving its distinctive approach to research and pursuing its commitment to socio-economic development in the Estrie region and the province,” said principal Luce Samoisette. “Without a doubt this applied research project will produce a skilled new generation of engineers and have a significant impact on several levels.” Through this initiative, 20 post-graduate students will become highly trained.

Original design challenges

The project’s research team is led by Professor Alain Desrochers from the Université de Sherbrooke’s Mechanical Engineering Department and includes about 30 people from the University and BRP. The team will need to use original and creative engineering solutions during the development of the components. The roadster’s compact size alone poses major challenges. Rather than modifying existing hybrid technology, the researchers will have to design an entirely new propulsion system.
“Creating a three-wheel vehicle as opposed to a hybrid car poses significant design
challenges that require a very high degree of innovation,” said professor Desrochers. “These challenges include the lack of space to accommodate hybrid motorization, cooling problems, aerodynamics, vehicle weight, and noise. Everything must be studied and modified.”

Over the next four years the CTA will produce three generations of prototypes and their components. The final product will need to pass several tests covering performance, reliability, durability, and economic mass production viability. Any technological innovations will be potentially transferable to other types of vehicles and products.

About the CTA:
The BRP / Université de Sherbrooke Advanced Technology Centre (CTA) is the result of a partnership between BRP and the Université de Sherbrooke. Its mandate is to develop new cutting-edge technologies in the field of motorized recreational vehicles. Since it opened in 2006, the CTA has developed two technologies that have been integrated into BRP products: a technology used in manufacturing the hulls of the new generation of Sea-Doo watercraft, and the five-speed semi-automatic transmission available on Can-Am Spyder roadsters. The CTA currently employs more than 70 researchers and students, and expects to become self-financing as of 2011.

About BRP:
Bombardier Recreational Products Inc. (BRP), a privately-held company, is a world leader in the design, development, manufacturing, distribution and marketing of motorized recreational vehicles. Its portfolio of brands and products includes: Ski-Doo and Lynx snowmobiles, Sea-Doo watercraft and sport boats, Evinrude and Johnson outboard engines, direct injection technologies such as Evinrude E-TEC, Can-Am all-terrain vehicles and roadsters, and Rotax engines and karts.

Ski-Doo, Lynx, Sea-Doo, Evinrude, Johnson, Can-Am, Rotax, E-TEC, RXPx, GTI and the BRP logo are