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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? 


GM announces new generation of Ecotec engines

GM has announced that a raft of new Ecotec small-displacement engines will power many of the company’s high-volume small cars and compact crossovers, including the next-generation Chevrolet Cruze for China, which launches in 2014 as a 2015 model.
According to the American OEM, by 2017, more than 2.5 million new Ecotec engines, which feature technologies such as central direct fuel injection, continuously variable valve timing, turbocharging and variable intake manifold airflow, are to be built annually in at least five manufacturing locations around the globe. These include Flint, Michigan in the US; Shenyang, China; Szentgotthárd, Hungary; Toluca, Mexico; and Changwon, South Korea. The Flint facility alone represents an investment of more than US$200 million in technology and tooling to support the engines’ production.
The new Ecotec portfolio will include 11 engines, with three- and four-cylinder variants ranging from 1-liter to 1.5-liter – including turbocharged versions – and power ratings ranging from 76ps to 167ps, and torque ranging from 95Nm to 250Nm. The architecture is also designed to support hybrid propulsion systems and alternative fuels.

The first production applications include a 1-liter turbocharged three-cylinder for the Opel Adam in Europe, and 1.4-liter turbocharged and 1.5-liter naturally aspirated four-cylinder engines for the aforementioned Chevrolet Cruze in China. According to GM, the turbocharged 1-liter three-cylinder used in the Opel Adam makes as much power as the naturally aspirated 1.6-liter four-cylinder it replaces – with an estimated 20% improvement in efficiency, while the new 1.4-liter turbo is up to 5% more efficient than the 1.4-liter turbo engine it will replace. Also, GM claims that the new Ecotec engines are up to 50% quieter than VW’s EA211 1.4-liter four-cylinder and up to 25% quieter than Ford’s 1-liter turbo three-cylinder.

“Transportation solutions vary around the world and GM is committed to developing engines matched to the needs of the regions where they’re sold,” said Steve Kiefer, GM vice president of Global Powertrain Engineering. “The new engine family is designed to achieve segment-leading refinement and efficiency, and will make its way into five GM brands and 27 models by the 2017 model year.”
The new Ecotec engines are calibrated to run on regular unleaded gas. The new 1.4-liter turbo for the 2015 next-generation Chevrolet Cruze in China is estimated at 150ps and 235Nm of torque, while the 1.5-liter is rated at an estimated 114ps and 146Nm of torque. In China, Cruze models with the 1.4-liter turbo engine will also feature an all-new dual-clutch gearbox.

21 March 2014


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