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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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Volkswagen reveals fuel cell SportWagen HyMotion

At the Los Angeles Auto Show, Volkswagen presented the world premiere of the Golf SportWagen HyMotion – a progressive research vehicle with a fuel cell drive.

 

Hydrogen and oxygen are combined in the fuel cell to form pure water. Energy is released in this cold combustion process – drive energy for an electric motor that turns with zero emissions. The front-wheel drive Golf SportWagen HyMotion accelerates to 100km/h in 10.0 seconds. The hydrogen is stored safely in four high-tech carbon-fiber tanks, which are located in the underbody. Their fuel capacity enables a driving range of almost 500km. Refilling of the fuel tank of the concept car takes just three minutes.

The key drive components of the Golf SportWagen HyMotion were developed by Volkswagen Group Research in Germany. The fuel cell system, which has a driving power of 100kW, was conceptualized at the Volkswagen Technology Center for Electric Traction. In addition, the concept car has a high-voltage lithium-ion battery, which stores the kinetic energy recovered from regenerative braking, assists in the starting phase of the fuel cell and adds a dynamic boost to the maximum acceleration of the Golf SportWagen. The fuel cell and battery drive an electric motor adapted from the e-Golf.

 

The mechanical design for the car build is based on the modular transverse matrix (MQB), which was developed by Volkswagen and is used throughout the group. Thanks to use of the MQB, the current Golf hatchback versions and the new Golf SportWagen have advanced to become the world's first vehicle model series that can host all conceivable drive types. Today, the Golf is already offered with gasoline engines (TSI), diesel engines (TDI), a natural gas drive (TGI), an electric drive (e-Golf) and a plug-in hybrid drive (Golf GTE). No other car offers such a variety of drive types.

Volkswagen is showing the Golf SportWagen HyMotion to demonstrate for the first time how a hydrogen fuel cell could be implemented based on the MQB as soon as research and development work has been completed and a solution could be developed whose price would be acceptable to new car buyers. Before the market launch, a hydrogen infrastructure must first be created. This means not only a broad network of hydrogen fuel stations, but also the production of the hydrogen itself – hydrogen only makes sense as a source of drive energy if the primary energy used to produce it comes from renewable energy sources.

Volkswagen is following a strategy of implementing its alternative drives in high-volume production vehicles. That is, precisely as the all-electric e-Golf and the Golf GTE that is equipped with a plug-in hybrid drive, future fuel cell drives would also be integrated into a production model that has everyday practicality, has been optimally engineered and is offered at an attractive price. It was with this objective in mind that several research vehicles were built based on the American Passat, in which the same drive components are used as in the Golf SportWagen HyMotion. The fleet of Passat HyMotion vehicles is currently being tested on the streets of California.

20 November 2014


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