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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 reveals new turbocharger supplier

Continental will be supplying Ford with innovative turbochargers for the carmaker’s new engine platform, which will spawn three-cylinder DI gasoline engines generating 74kW and 88kW from a displacement of just 1-liter. The engines are slated for installation initially in the 2012 Ford Focus and later, in the Ford C-Max and in the completely new Ford B-Max.

"Thanks to its fully automated assembly, enhanced thermodynamic efficiency and completely new design, our turbocharger provides a tailor-made and inexpensive solution for environmentally friendly driving," explained Gerhard Böhm, head of the engine systems business unit in Continental's powertrain division. “Continental’s cutting-edge turbocharger technology will make it possible for modern combustion engines to remain competitive with alternative engines over the long term with respect to efficiency, environmental friendliness and performance,” he said.

The successful collaboration with Ford has resulted in a turbocharger design that meets the particular technical challenges posed by small, downsized engines. Conti says that the thermodynamics of the turbocharger system have been optimized to achieve the best possible coordination and balance between the compressor and turbine stages. The geometry of the blades has been specifically developed to suit the engine requirements.

"By minimizing rotating masses and thus reducing inertia, and by optimizing thermo-dynamics, we have invested our turbocharger with excellent response characteristics," said Udo Schwerdel, head of Continental's turbocharger product line. The turbocharger's 38mm diameter turbine rotates at up to 240,000 revolutions per minute (4,000 revolutions per second) in the exhaust flow, which can reach 1,050 degrees.

In order to prevent pressure from rising too steeply at high engine output, a waste-gate valve conducts the exhaust gases past the turbine. On the compressor side, a compressor bypass valve prevents air, which has already been compressed, from forcing its way back into the compressor housing when the throttle closes. This safeguard prevents compressor surge, which could damage the turbocharger.

Continental first began developing turbochargers for gasoline engines in 2006. The new Continental turbochargers will be manufactured by Schaeffler, Continental's partner in the venture, at its production plant in Lahr, Germany. The site will have sufficient production capacity for up to two million turbochargers a year.


13 October 2011


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