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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? 


Toyota sets 10% fuel efficiency improvement target for hybrid vehicles

Toyota will introduce new power semiconductor technology to improve fuel efficiency in its hybrid and electric vehicles. The manufacturer has set itself a target of a 10% improvement in efficiency – as calculated according to the JC08 test cycle.

With semiconductors playing an important role in hybrid systems – governing the flow of electricity from the battery to the motor, and sending electricity generated under braking and deceleration to the battery for storage – any electrical loss is keenly felt. Semiconductors account for around 20% of the energy loss in hybrid vehicles – the power control unit (PCU), which houses the semiconductors, makes up 25% of total loss.
Using a new silicon carbide compound for the power semiconductors not only curbs energy loss, but also allows for the PCU to be reduced in size by approximately 80%.


The technology, developed in-house by Toyota in partnership with Denso, is scheduled for public road trials within the year. Toyota is conducting research in a dedicated clean room facility in its Hirose plant, with initial results from prototype models suggest an improvement of greater than 5%. Toyota will be showcasing the technology at the 2014 Automotive Engineering Exposition in Yokohama this week.

21 May 2014


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