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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.

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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? 


Engine Expo revs-up

Engine Expo 2011, which took place 17-19 May at the Stuttgart Messe, provided visitors from around the globe with a the perfect opportunity to get their hands on the very latest electrical powertrain components, as well as inspect advanced new subsystems that further optimize IC engine efficiency levels.

Having made its debut at last year’s Engine Expo, the Electric & Hybrid Pavilion returned for 2011 following much demand. A dedicated area for businesses displaying next-generation electric battery, hybrid and fuel-cell powertrain systems, the pavilion this year featured the likes of Evo Electric, LifeBatt and Remy Motors, displaying high-tech Axial Flux motors, new lithium-iron phosphate battery systems and tried and tested electric motors. Summing up all three days on the pavilion, Neville Javeri, senior project manager at Evo Electric, said, “It’s been a very, very good show. We’ve had existing customers come by, we’ve had people that we’ve been in contact with come by and we’ve had potential future customers as well.

“We are using Engine Expo to show our two major product lines: two different-size motors. The first is a 400mm product motor that can be either a motor or generator and comes in a single or double stage; when it is in double, it literally doubles the amount of power available.

“In addition to this, we are showing our new 300mm-diameter machines that can also act as a motor or a generator. They offer around two-thirds the power of the 400mm products, but they are better for packaging.”

There was also plenty of technology to inspect away from the Electric & Hybrid Pavilion. Surface engineering specialist HEF Group showcased PVD and CVD breakthrough coatings. “The show has been really good and we’ve had a lot of contact. These contacts will now be used over the next few months to generate new partnerships,” said Emmanuel Batt, technology sales manager for HEF. Surface treatment competitor Ionbond also had a good three days at the Expo: “The show has become mature and international too – there are visitors and exhibitors from around the globe,” commented Marc Van DerSommen, sales director, automotive, Ionbond.

One of the most interesting stands at Engine Expo was DSM Plastics, which featured new solutions for air inlet manifolds as well as Stanyl PA46, which helps reduce friction and CO2 emissions for chain tensioners. The company has recently rebranded its colours and logo, and its plastic-based solutions attracted much interest at the show, with account manager Andreas Weinmann saying that the company recovered its initial outlay to attend the event on the first day! “I am so happy that we are at Engine Expo – we’ve had so many leads,” he added.

With so much on display, visitors from around the globe said the trip to the Stuttgart Messe was worthwhile. “There are many interesting components and subsystems to look at,” commented Jae-Yanh Shim, general manager, Hyundai. Meanwhile Carl Bohman, engineering systems engineer, Bosch, said, “It’s a really good show. In fact the first booth I stopped at I got some great feedback.” And coming from Italy was Iveco’s business development product director, Pier Francesco Pennestri: “This is not my first time at this Expo, and as usual I’m very impressed.”

2 June 2011


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