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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? 


SARTRE autonomous road train hits the public highway

The autonomous road train, SARTRE, developed between Ricardo UK Ltd, Applus+ Idiada, Tecnalia Research & Innovation, Institut für Kraftfahrzeuge Aachen (IKA), SP Technical Research Institute, Volvo Technology and Volvo Car Corporation has hit public roads. As we reported back in February, the road train had completed its final test runs in controlled environments, but this is the first time that SARTRE has been used in close proximity with other road users.

This latest milestone in the three-year development story has seen the five-car trail, comprising two small HGV’s as well as Volvo S60, V60 and XC60 models, take to motorways outside of Barcelona, Spain, travelling over 200km. The cars maintained a speed of around 85kph over the distance, keeping six meters apart at all times.

“We covered 200km in one day and the test turned out well,” said Linda Wahlström, project manager for the SARTRE project at Volvo Car Corporation. “During our trials on the test circuit we tried out gaps from five to fifteen meters. We’ve learnt a whole lot during this period. People think that autonomous driving is science fiction, but the fact is that the technology is already here. From the purely conceptual viewpoint, it works fine and road trains will be around in one form or another in the future.”

“Once the fuel consumption measurements are completed we will be drawing on the learning we have gained developing the platoon system,” added Tom Robinson of Ricardo. “We will also try and understand the various human factors, assessing the likely roadmap and mechanisms for platoons and platoon technology to be operational on public highways - at which point we believe there will be a really positive impact on highway utilization”.

11 June 2012


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