1. Wow! Being able to tap the IMA for full assist or regen is pretty impressive. Reminds me of the time I drove Willie's little Red Rocket and felt the turbo kick in. It definitely adds to the fun to drive factor. I used full regen on several hills instead of the brakes and it does a pretty good stopping job. The assist or regen response is immediate with no delay or lag. This mode of operation is called the MIMA on demand Mode. It allows temporary manual joystick control of Assist/Regeneration. This mode is activated by moving the joystick. After three seconds with no joystick activity (joystick back in the center), the system reverts back to standard Insight IMA mode, with background charging if needed. You can think of it as the manual override to the IMA logic. It allows you to do stuff like get full assist from the electric side even though you are not pressing the gas at all. In other words you are crusing along at 150 mpg in 5th gear and want to pass a car. No need to change the throttle position or downshift. Just hit the joystick and stay at 150 mpg and let the electric side provide the needed extra power. I think this is the mode I will use the most but only time will tell.
2. The next mode is MIMA Active Mode. Its essentially the same as the above allowing joystick control but the car does not return to the Insight IMA mode until you disable the Active MIMA mode using a push button switch. I can see using this mode when you don't want the parasitic background charging. I havn't really spent much time with this mode but intend to get some experience with it in the future.
3. The next mode is called PIMA (Programmable IMA) Mode. Its kind of like an electric cruise control based upon the MAP signal. Basically if the mpg reading falls below a threshold that you set the IMA kicks in to meet the demand instead of the engine. If the MAP signal goes above the point that you set then the Regen kicks in to charge the battery. Its amazing to see what this can do for fuel economy. Mike and I went out on a test run and got 120+ mpg for over 10 miles but note that we had too high of an assist point so the battery was not staying completely charged. I plan to experiment with various set points but so far have only used the really high ones. This really has a lot of potential when working with a cruise control. I have a Roseta cruise control and when using both,they complement each other beautifully. For instance when the car slows to the min speed set on the cruise control the cruise control will increase the throttle position causing the vacuum to drop. Normally this would continue until the engine provided enough power to maintain the speed set. However with MIMA-C the dropping vacuum triggers MIMA which reacts much quicker than the engine and causes the IMA to start providing the additional power needed to maintain speed. As the speed increases the cruise control reduces throttle pressure causing the vacuum to increase thus dropping the need for assist. In other words this is a cruise control that combines both the speed and mpg set points!!!!!! (First time I ever tried one of those smile faces.
Wow, I have been away for the last 2 weeks and it looks like this thread has grown a good deal. Anyway just wanted to pass along a new MIMA observation. First my last tank was 104.3 mpg. Quite a number for November. Anyway the bigest gain came from drafting. I followed a slow moving Previa van hauling a 22 ft boat. The van was only doing 50 or less most of the time and I used MIMA to follow the boat. MIMA allowed me to regen when I got too close or pick up speed rapidly to stay close. It worked great for fine tunning my speed. Interestingly enough I was doing the drafting on the way to my training course. One of the events in the course was driving at 1 to 6 inches clearance on all sides (Front, back, sides) of the vehicle. I wonder what my mpg would be if I applied this to Insight drafting. We also spent a lot of time raming and pitting vehicles. I asked about the size differential and the instructors insured me that even the Insight could take out a Surburban. Have fun, Rick