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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? 


Volkswagen Group to heavily invest in innovation and technology

Volkswagen Group will invest a total of US$113.8 billion in its automotive division over the coming five years, with more than two-thirds of the total investment amount to flow into increasingly efficient vehicles, drives and technologies, and environmentally friendly production.
This is the result of VW Group’s investment planning for 2014 to 2018 discussed by the supervisory board of Volkswagen Aktiengesellschaft. “We will continue to invest strongly in our innovation and technology leadership, despite the uncertain economic environment,” said Dr Martin Winterkorn, chairman of the board of management of Volkswagen Aktiengesellschaft. “I am convinced that this will give us extra power on our way to the top,”
Of the total investment, US$85.6 billion will be spent in property, plant and equipment, of which US$55.6 billion (roughly 65%) will be allocated towards modernizing and extending the product range for all VW Group’s brands.
The main focus will be on new vehicles and successor models in almost all vehicle classes, which will be based on the modular toolkit technology and related components. According to VW Group, the high level is due, among other things, to upfront investments relating to the changeover to Euro 6, which means completely revamping the Group’s range of vehicles and engines.In the area of powertrain production, new generations of engines will be launched offering additional enhancements to performance, fuel consumption and emission levels. In particular, VW Group said it would continue to press ahead with the development of hybrid and electric motors.
More than half of the investments in property, plant and equipment (almost 60%) will be made in Germany, while the average annual investments in this area will be around US$675.5 million less than in the planning approved in 2012 for the period from 2013 to 2015 due to the postponement of construction projects and capacity optimization. However, investments in products and technologies will remain unaffected by the decline.
The plans also include capitalized development costs of US$26.3 billion and other investments including for financial assets to the tune of US$1.7 billion. In addition, the company will make cross-product investments of US$30 billion over the next five years.
The Group’s joint ventures in China are not consolidated and are therefore not included in the above figures. As such, VW Group will invest a total of US$24.5 billion in new production facilities and products in the period from 2014 to 2018.

25 November 2013


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