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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? 


Ford engine lines to become super efficient

Practical know-how from the Ford Dagenham manufacturing team and detailed computer analysis from an American academic has transformed the efficiency of a Ford engine machining line in the UK.

New changes will allow Ford Dagenham's cylinder head machining operation – one of the biggest machining facilities and the CNC lines in Ford of Europe – to run at optimum efficiency, an improvement of 25%.

Ford has confirmed that US$6 million will be invested into manufacturing facilities at Ford Dagenham later this year, enabling the car maker to meet annual customer demand for 575,000 1.4-liter and 1.6-liter TDCi diesel engines, which go into Mondeo, C-Max, Focus, Fiesta and Fusion models across Europe.

Dagenham machining production manager, Dave Black, worked alongside American academic, Dr Tom Weber, to provide a detailed analysis of the Ford Dagenham production line. Using cutting-edge computer technology, Dr Weber studied Ford's latest manufacturing processes over an 18-month period to find areas where efficiency could be improved. The outcome of the study has meant that Ford's engine-machining line is now running up to 25% faster, with fewer stoppages and with optimum levels of quality.

Dave Black said: “This successful collaboration is a tribute to the flexibility and innovation shown by everyone who contributed. Ford is at the forefront of automotive CNC machining, and has taken significant steps to advance this technology. The lessons we have learned here can be rolled out to current and future CNC facilities in Asia Pacific, Romania and Cologne."





30 March 2011


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