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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? 


VW Group reveals Modular Transverse Matrix

Volkswagen Group has unveiled a new architecture that will allow the German OEM and its mainstream brands to develop a raft of new models that feature transverse-mounted engines.

Known as the Modular Transverse Matrix, which in German translates to Modularer Querbaukasten (MQB), the architecture promises to optimize production costs and processes by allowing Volkswagen, Audi, Skoda and Seat to share more components, subsystems and technologies.

The company says MQB represents a turning point in the design and production of future automobiles with transverse-mounted engines. It extends from the A0 car segment range through to the B segment. Within the VW brand, that segment range will currently includes the Polo, Beetle, Golf, Scirocco, Jetta, Tiguan, Touran, Sharan, Passat and Passat CC. VW says that in the future, all of these models could theoretically be produced on the same assembly line – despite their different wheelbases and track widths, and this will also apply to A0 and B segment vehicles from Audi, Skoda and Seat. The first new vehicles to be produced based on the MQB will be the successor to the Audi A3 and the next-generation Golf.

One of the most prominent characteristics of the Modular Transverse Matrix is the uniform mounting position of all engines. Two systems integrated in the MQB strategy that play a key role within this architecture are the modular petrol engine system (MOB) with the new EA211 engine series (60 to 150PS) – this range includes the world’s first four-cylinder engine with cylinder deactivation – and the modular diesel engine system (MDB) with the new EA288 engine series (90 to 190PS). VW claims that in one swoop, the new engine series will reduce the Group’s engine and gearbox variants in the MQB system by approximately 90% without a detrimental effect. And in addition to standardizing conventional IC engine production, the MQB also enables an identical mounting position for all current alternative drive concepts without limitations – from natural gas and hybrid versions to the pure electric drive. Volkswagen has already announced the launch of the latter within the MQB in 2013 in the new Golf Blue-e-Motion.

As well as optimizing production processes, MQB also promises to spawn new technologies that can be applied to mass-market models, and this will include the new multicollision brake system that helps to reduce the intensity of secondary collisions after an initial collision by automatically initiated braking. The multicollision brake will be standard equipment in the next-generations of the Audi A3 and the Golf.

Within the Group, the MQB developed under the auspices of the Volkswagen brand is supplemented by the Modular Longitudinal System (MLB) from Audi, the Modular Standard System (MSB) with Porsche as the competence centre and finally the ‘New Small Family’ – the most compact vehicle model series with the Volkswagen up!, SEAT Mii and Skoda Citigo.



6 February 2012


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