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Mercedes-Benz unveils its revamped G-Class


The all-new G-Class makes its public debut at the Detroit auto show in G550 form. Completely redeveloped and fitted with a 4.0-liter V8 biturbo gasoline engine offering 427ps and 450 lb-ft of torque at 2,000rpm to 4,750rpm, despite near-identical looks to its predecessor plenty has changed for the Mercedes-Benz SUV.

Ford’s F150 pickup gets its first diesel motor


Developed by the powertrain team behind the 6.7-liter Power Stroke engine for super duty trucks, the all-new 3.0-liter V6 Power Stroke unit promises 250ps, 440 lb-ft of torque, and an anticipated 5175kg of towing capacity.

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In light of Fisker's solid-state battery breakthrough and claims of a one minute charge time, will this electric vehicle technology development kick-start mass BEV uptake? 


Millbrook invests in new test facilities

Millbrook has continued to invest in its commitment to deliver global excellence in automotive testing advancements with the introduction of three new facilities at the Bedfordshire, UK, site. Additions to Millbrook’s offering span its laboratories and test tracks and include electromagnetic shaker technology, increased off-road gradient and advanced tilt table capabilities.

Increasing its testing portfolio, Millbrook’s new electromagnetic shaker technology, installed within a semi-anechoic chamber has been developed to offer advanced capability for performing noise assessment testing. Typically, to prevent results being distorted, testing must be conducted with minimal ambient noise. The chamber absorbs and excludes unrelated sound enabling more precise identification of small amounts of sound from the testing than is possible with other shakers.

Andy Beach, head of business development at Millbrook comments: “With customer needs becoming increasingly sophisticated and advancements in motor technology, the average moving vehicle is quieter and drivers are less tolerant of ‘squeaks and rattles’ which are well known in the industry for being a costly and problematic warranty issue.

“Our electromagnetic shaker and anechoic chamber will produce cost-saving benefits, through vigorous and objective testing, achieved with digital recording and post processing, rather than the previous way of subjective assessment. Indeed, the new testing technology will benefit our customers in the automotive, aerospace, rail and military sectors.”

Millbrook has also added a 30 degree off-road gradient slope, developed to replicate environments that robust military vehicles are increasingly subjected to. The hill is the first of its kind that offers repeatability off-road, despite the pressure of heavy duty vehicles.

Beach continues: “The 30 degree gradient slope is the latest development in our purpose-built off-road test facilities, which can simulate almost any usage condition world-wide. As home to the UK MOD's Battlefield Mission, working closely with the military allows us to understand how their needs are changing and develop facilities that are focussed on solving the vehicle engineering problems that are faced today, and in the future.”

Millbrook’s much utilised tilt table testing facility has been increased in width and added weighbridge capacity to accommodate vehicles of up to 42 tonnes. This now allows vehicles from sectors including the military, ambulance, bus and fire service to be tested to determine measurements including roll stability, vehicle roll over angle, the height of centre of gravity as well as vehicle function and performance while operating on a side slope.

2 September 2010


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