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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? 


Lightweight engine uses carbon fiber composite

Composite Castings has announced the launch of its new, lightweight, carbon fiber composite, four-cylinder engine blocks.

Designed was developed by Matti Holtzberg, president of Composite Castings, which is based in Florida, USA, the new blocks make use of Toho Tenax America’s Tenax brand carbon fiber as the reinforcement for the base epoxy resin. The resulting high performance compound is molded into the finished engine block profile using CC’s proprietary molding process that features low cost tooling and provides for faster cycle times compared to conventional CFRP molding methods. The new engine blocks are up to 50% lighter in weight than a comparable aluminum block. Holtzberg says that such a weight saving is a significant competitive advantage in the performance engine business and will attract a lot of interest from the worldwide automotive industry where weight is so critical, particularly in hybrid cars.

The design is such that a composite block is cast to a net shape, which eliminates secondary machining, significantly reduces NVH due to the relationship between fiber and resin, does not corrode, and represents a huge reduction in its carbon footprint because there is no metal to melt. Also, in comparison to die casting, the tool cost is 50% less and the tool life is 5-10 times greater. The first block that CC is casting for the performance engine market is an aftermarket specialty engine, which can be an alternate to the popular Ford Duratec/Mazda MZR inline 4 unit. The carbon fiber composite block weighs 9.1kgs less than the stock alloy block. Looking further forward, an entire range of four- and eight- cylinder engine blocks is planned for motorsports as well as OEM automotive, truck and marine applications. 

14 July 2011


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