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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? 


Minis set for three- and four-cylinder engines

BMW has announced that the Mini models of the future will use both three- and four- cylinder gasoline and diesel engines for the first time.
The two new drive units utilize the Mini TwinPower turbo technology, which, in the case of the gasoline engines, includes turbocharging, direct fuel injection, variable camshaft control on the intake and outlet sides and, in the more powerful versions, fully variable valve control according to the model of BMW’s Valvetronic system. The diesel engines also have a turbocharger and the latest generation common rail direct injection system that operates with a maximum pressure of up to 2,000 bar.
For the market launch of the new drive generation, Mini is presenting a three- cylinder combustion engine that generates an output of 138ps from a cubic capacity of 1.5 liters. At the same time, a 194ps variant of the newly developed four-cylinder combustion engine is to be presented with a cubic capacity of 2 liters. In terms of torque, the 1.5-liter three-cylinder engine reaches 220Nm at 1,250rpm, however, this can be increased briefly to 230Nm by means of an overboost function. Furthermore, the 194ps four-cylinder model achieves 280Nm with the same engine speed, and 300Nm with overboost. The maximum speed of the all-new gasoline engines is 6,500rpm. Meanwhile, the three-cylinder diesel model has a capacity of 1.5 liters and generates a maximum output of 117ps and a maximum torque of 270Nm.
All new engines were designed for the Mini’s transverse configuration and comply with exhaust standard EU6. Both the gasoline and diesel versions of the engine are equipped with an aluminum crankshaft housing in a closed-deck configuration. A forged steel crankshaft with integrated balancing shaft drive, weight-optimized piston and forged conrod contributes to the performance within the engine through reduced frictional coefficients. The three-cylinder engines each have a countershaft to enhance operation, while the four-cylinder model has two such shafts that counter-rotate. The cylinder head in all engine variants is made of aluminum and there are further similarities in terms of the layout of the ancillary units and the design of the map-regulated oil pump and the mechanically activated coolant pump.
The turbocharger is integrated in the exhaust manifold, enabling the charging system to be activated quickly, while the positioning of the catalytic converter and an electronically regulated waste gate optimizes the emissions pattern of the engines. A dosed fuel supply system facilitates direct injection with centrally positioned injectors between the valves and directly next to the spark plugs, and the electronic control for camshaft positioning and the stroke of the intake valves help optimize responsiveness, consumption and emissions readings of the new gasoline engines.
Finally, the new manual gearboxes feature a sensor that adapts the engine speed when gear-shifting and permits the right engine speed available during gearshifts. The automatic start-stop function can also be used in future Mini models in conjunction with a new automatic gearbox. In addition for cars equipped with a navigation system, gear selection can be adapted to the current route, ensuring the suitable gear is selected before reaching junctions or before cornering.

2 October 2013


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