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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? 


Porsche opens sales book for plug-in hybrid

One year after its debut at the Geneva Motor Show, Porsche has announced that the 918 Spyder featuring an innovative plug-in hybrid drive is available to order. 

Production of the 918, which takes place in Porsche’s factory in Stuttgart, Germany, will be limited to just 918 units and left hand drive only. Customer deliveries begin in November next year.

The plug-in hybrid drivetrain features a V8 petrol engine that boasts over 500bhp and two electric motors that deliver 218bhp, helping the two-seater super sportscar to realize a 0-62mph sprint of just 3.2 seconds. The mid-engine power unit is based on the racing powertrain of the successful Porsche RS Spyder, meaning that a top speed of 199mph can easily be realized. Maximum speed on pure electric power is 94 mph. The 918 channels its huge power to its rear wheels via a compact, seven-speed PDK. Such a setup means that Porsche is confident that the 918 will emit only 70g/km of CO2 while being good for over 90mpg.

The 918’s energy storage unit is a liquid-cooled lithium-ion battery that can be charged from a conventional domestic power socket. The unit delivers a range in excess 16 miles on pure electric power.

Priced at Euro 645,000 (around US$922,000), the 918 production car is very closely based on the concept shown at Geneva last year. However, unlike the concept car, the production version of the two-seater, based on a carbon fiber-reinforced plastic monocoque, features a manual roof system with removable roof panels that can be stowed in the front luggage compartment.


23 March 2011


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