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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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New BMW 7 Series to feature new turbocharged six-cylinder engine

BMW has unveiled the all-new BMW 7 Series, the brand’s flagship in its sixth generation. The 2016 BMW 7 Series will be introduced in the
USA as a 740i and a 750i xDrive model – featuring a new TwinPower turbo in-line six-cylinder engine in the 740i, from the BMW Group’s new generation of modular engines. The use of BMW eDrive technology in the BMW 740e xDrive plug-in hybrid model constitutes yet another highlight.

The engine line-up available at the launch of the new 7 Series range is spearheaded by the BMW 750i xDrive and its powerful V8 engine. This engine features a 4.4-liter displacement and BMW TwinPower Turbo technology with the turbochargers located within the V-shaped space between the banks of cylinders. This redesigned V8 engine now comes equipped with TwinScroll turbochargers featuring flow-separated, bank-specific exhaust manifolds made from thin-wall castings. Engine efficiency was increased with a change in the compression ratio from 10.0:1 to 10.5:1 and the latest generation of Valvetronic and Double-Vanos technology. The optimized engine-cooling concept with separate flows through the cylinder heads and cylinder liners includes a map-controlled coolant pump. Throughput can be restricted to 10% to warm up the engine faster, reducing energy consumption. For the first time in a production car, the intake manifold has been partially integrated into the cylinder head allowing airflow resistance to be decreased, maximizing airflow volume, while reducing the exterior packaging dimensions. Overall, the efficiency factor of the 451ps engine has been greatly improved.

The new V8 engine is teamed up with the latest version of the intelligent all-wheel-drive system in the all-new BMW 750i xDrive. The fully variable, electronically controlled power split between front and rear wheels enhances traction and stability as well as the handling dynamics in corners. As part of the xDrive system’s ongoing development, the transfer case has been made more efficient, thanks in part to an optimized oil supply.
The new in-line six-cylinder engine with BMW TwinPower Turbo technology fitted in the new 740i comes from the Group’s latest generation of engines. The 3-liter gasoline unit produces an output of 324ps. The new engine’s crankcase, cylinder head and oil sump are all made from aluminum. The TwinScroll turbocharger features an indirect system of charge air-cooling that is incorporated into the intake manifold and works in unison with High Precision Direct Injection, the very latest version of Valvetronic and Double-Vanos variable camshaft timing. Efficiency in the new in-line 6-cylinder engine been increased, and response is more spontaneous.

The 740e xDrive joins the BMW PHEV model line-up, and will be available in 2016. Intelligently controlled interaction between a 2-liter gasoline engine with BMW TwinPower Turbo technology and an electric drive unit integrated into the 8-speed Steptronic transmission, endows the 740e xDrive with dynamic acceleration on the one hand and noticeably higher fuel efficiency, with lower emissions figures in everyday driving. The energy for the electric motor is drawn from a lithium-ion high-voltage battery housed underneath the rear seat where it is particularly well protected in the event of a crash. It can be recharged by connecting to any standard domestic power socket, a BMW i Wallbox or a public charging station. The eDrive button on the center console enables the driver to adjust the hybrid drive’s operating mode. In the AUTO eDrive basic setting, the engine’s power is boosted to notable effect by the electric drive when accelerating. With the MAX eDrive mode engaged, the BMW 740e xDrive is able to run purely on electric power, meaning zero local emissions at speeds of up to 120km/h for a maximum range of 37km. The driver is also able to select the Battery Control mode, which raises or maintains the high-voltage battery’s state of charge so that electrical power can be deliberately conserved. Whenever route guidance is active in the navigation system, the predictive power management function calculates a trip-specific strategy for electric driving through to the entered destination.


The standard-equipment 8-speed Sport Automatic Steptronic transmission serves to boost efficiency with its wider ratio spread, reduced weight and optimized efficiency. A new transmission control system makes for more comfortable shifting and allows the transmission to be linked up with the standard navigation system. The navigation-data-based shift strategy means that the gear selection can be adapted to the driving situation and the route profile even if route guidance has not been set. The shift characteristics are adjusted in accordance with the selected driving mode, so that the emphasis can be placed on both driving comfort and sportiness. The transmission also includes paddle shifters on the steering wheel and a Launch Control function that allows acceleration runs from standstill with maximum power and optimum traction.

Features such as Brake Energy Regeneration and the Auto Start Stop function ensure highly efficient energy management. Activating the ECO PRO mode with the Driving Dynamics Control switch allows use of the coasting function, which decouples the powertrain in coasting phases while traveling at speeds between 50km/h and 160km/h. This mode’s range of functions, which are now individually programmable for the first time, additionally include efficiency oriented operation of comfort functions, efficiency tips, as well as the Route-ahead Assistant, which gives recommendations for an efficient driving style based on the navigation data.

The new Active Kidney Grille optimizes engine cooling and aerodynamics. Whenever additional cooling air is required, the Active Kidney Grille bars and flaps in the lower air intake automatically swing open. This feature tailors the amount of air for cooling the engine and brakes in a total of five stages as demands dictate. This system activates depending on several temperature thresholds as well as the speed of the vehicle. For instance, during the warming-up phase and when operating at low loads, the BMW Active Kidney Grille is closed completely to maximize the aerodynamic efficiency of the vehicle.

11 June 2015


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