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Mystery Car

Kamil Kaluski May 11, 2018 Mystery Car 11 Comments

Another Friday, another Mystery Car! I figured that I have been inundating yous guys with new cars, so I decided to throw in something old. I’m gonna give ya tip and say that it’s wicked old. I’m looking for make and hopefully model name, perhaps a period of time when it was made. 

 was the first to correctly identify last week’s Mystery Button, and the fact that it came from a Kia Nero. But the real mystery was the actual function of the button. “12V BATT RESET” the button said. How does one actually reset a battery?

Despite the fancy propulsion system, hybrid vehicles still have a conventional 12v automotive battery. That battery has the same purpose as the battery in a conventional vehicle with just an internal combustion engine. It supplies energy to the starter motor and drives all the typical electronics. And just like on a conventional car, that battery can be drained.

But unlike a conventional car, a hybrid vehicle has another battery, a much bigger one, and a ton of electrical components associated with it. Kia has figured out that they can use the energy harnessed in the hybrid battery to quickly charge the 12v battery, thereby effectively having the Nero jump-start itself. Clever! 

Jump starting aside, the Kia Nero is neat hatchback-y wagon hybrid thing. The black trim on the lower body portions hints of CUV, but it a front wheel drive vehicle. It has a good amount of space and the hybrid function, along with the engine turning on and off, is very seamless and smooth. 

  • Alff

    Volvo Sugga airport bull

  • P161911

    Citroën Autochenille of some sort?

  • Rover 1

    It’s a Laffly V15T, French AWD light truck from WW2 and the French colonies afterward.

    I’ve seen one in a museum.

    They made a few.

    • Rover 1

    • It appears the Mystery Car is actually the W15T version instead of the V15:

      • Rover 1

        Isn’t it interesting to see another set of those small wheels tucked in behind the step for the cabin?

      • SlowJoeCrow

        that fit with my first guess of a French military vehicle.

  • ptschett

    I see that Kia Niro and I think “this is what a mainstream ‘car’ is going to be for the next while”. I don’t like that thought, I don’t have to like that thought, but I tend to think that mainstream non-sporty cars & especially sedans have been sacrificing too much day-to-day useful practicality in the pursuit of increasingly smaller improvements in aerodynamics and therefore MPG’s.

    On the mystery car: I wonder why the extra little tires… Just there to make it easier to use the full approach / breakover angles without having something dig into the ground?

    • SlowJoeCrow

      That’s exactly the purpose, quite a few vehicles from that era had some sort of wheel or roller at the front to help the approach angle, US half tracks had a roller. It was also common to use side mounted spare tires to help with clearance, by putting them on stub axles. Then you have armored cars with extra retractable wheels in the middle like the Panhard EBR and the BRDM.

      • Zentropy

        The half-track’s roller might have some benefit (to potentially leverage the front up to tackle a particularly steep incline or object), but the wheels on that Laffly look like a clumsy afterthought to compensate for a poorly-placed engine. Couldn’t the front (real) wheels just be pushed forward instead? It looks like a riding lawn mower grafted onto a giant Willys MB.

  • That battery has the same purpose as the battery in a conventional vehicle with just an internal combustion engine. It supplies energy to the starter motor and drives all the typical electronics.

    Not so, at least for my Prius. I believe that all the 12v battery does is boot the computers, the hybrid battery then energies the starter/generator when needed.

    Great idea to use the traction battery to jump the 12v battery. Since the 12v doesn’t drive the starter, when it’s failing you don’t get a slow crank as a warning. Just one day you push the button and nothing happens.