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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? 


Renault expands EV base

Renault is pursuing its proactive electric vehicle strategy with the inauguration of an electric test center in Lardy, France.

The center is seen as the cornerstone of the French car maker’s development of new electric technologies, and houses most of its test facilities for electric motors and batteries. Operational since 2009, it has been gradually expanded to cover 3,300m2 and some 100-test benches.

Over the past three years, the center has run a comprehensive test program for the development and validation of the performance, reliability and safety of the electric powerplants fitted to vehicles in the Z.E. range. As a result, Lardy’s technicians and engineers have acquired extensive testing expertise in the field of electric motor technology.

Renault has set up dedicated EV test facilities that are housed at Lardy in an electric mobility test center that has been gradually expanded since 2009. The center spans two buildings and includes eight test benches for electric motors, six test benches for the power electronics unit (charger, controller and transformer), 41 benches associated with environmental chambers to test lithium-ion batteries and 58 other test benches devoted to improving the performance of 12V starter batteries and researching second-life applications for lithium-ion batteries.

“The Lardy test center is supporting Renault’s move into the electric vehicle market – now a concrete reality after the launch of our first electric vehicle, Kangoo Z.E,” said Jacques Prost, Renault’s senior vice president of powertrain engineering. “Our goal was to sell vehicles that are reliable, powerful and 100% safe. Lardy has helped us to achieve that goal thanks to 170,000 hours of testing in 2011. Investing in this center will enable us to pursue and support new developments in electric powerplant technology and make Renault the leading manufacturer of electric vehicles in Europe.”


17 November 2011


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