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Mercedes-Benz unveils its revamped G-Class

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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

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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? 

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Continental celebrates production of 8,888,888 Transmission Control Units in China

In China, Continental is recording steep production increases for transmission control units (TCU). Launched in Changchun in 1998, the company’s TCU production expanded significantly in 2008 with the opening of a new plant in Tianjin, near Beijing. In 2010, Continental celebrated the millionth TCU made in China. Only three-and-a-half years later, total volume has now climbed to nearly nine million units. The exact figure of 8,888,888 units was a special reason to celebrate in China, given the number eight’s status as a traditionally lucky number.


Continental's Tianjin location, operated by the Transmission Business Unit (part of the Powertrain Division), has become the largest plant anywhere in the world. The facility mainly produces T76 (for stepped automatic transmission) and DQ200 (for double clutch transmission) systems. "The TCUs are highly successful in China,” said Rudolf Stark, executive vice president of the Transmission Business Unit. “We laid the groundwork for this growth very early on and have invested a lot over the last few years. This also includes setting up an entire supplier network. The short supply chain and the high local vertical integration enable us to react quickly and flexibly to changes in the market."
The trend towards automatic transmission, as already seen in Europe and America, is clearly making inroads in China as well. Chinese drivers don't often cover long distances on the freeway. Instead, they mainly drive in urban areas, where traffic is often stop-and-go, forcing them to switch back and forth between average and low speeds. Automatic transmission makes for easier, less stressful driving. And this trend looks set to increase in the future. Like many countries and regions around the world, China is also tightening its environmental laws and is likely to impose a CAFC (corporate average fuel consumption) of 5l/100km as of 2020. The only way to attain this value in many cases is to make greater use of hybrid drives. These, in turn, require automatic transmission.

28 May 2014


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