Highlights from the 2014 LA Auto Show

Diesel

The A1 Sportback has been updated for 2015

Audi has sold over half a million of its A1 hatchbacks since the model's launch in 2010, so when it came to updating the small hatch, the German manufacturer hasn't messed with its winning formula. The updated A1 and A1 Sportback take their predecessors' sharp styling and add a pair of new three-cylinder engines into the mix.  Read More

An aluminum piston (left) and one of the new steel pistons (right)

In 1936, Mercedes-Benz became the first company in the world to launch a diesel passenger car – the 260D. Over the years, diesel automobiles became renowned for their efficiency and fuel economy. Now, the manufacturer is building on that success with the introduction of high-tech steel pistons.  Read More

Proportionally the car is similarly sized to the Mini

Unlike BMW’s 2 series coupes, which are basically rebadged 1-series, the new 2 Series Active Tourer (2SAT) is not only the firm’s first front wheel drive model, but also the first to feature a three cylinder engine. Designed to set the groundwork for future front-wheel drive models, the 2 Series Active Tourer is set to shake up the crossover market in Europe and China.  Read More

Audi's A7 3.0 TDI competition is more powerful than the standard car

Do you like the look of the diesel Audi A7, but think it isn't quick enough? Audi may just have the car for you. The A7 Sportback 3.0 TDI competition is a more powerful version of the standard A7 3.0 TDI, with special styling cues to celebrate 25 years of Audi's TDI technology.  Read More

Prof. Rolf Reitz (center) and members of his student team with the RCCI-powered Saturn

Five years ago we first heard about a Caterpillar diesel engine located at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, that had been modified to run on an unlikely-sounding mixture of diesel and gasoline. Not only did the one-cylinder engine work, but it was more efficient than pure-diesel or pure-gas engines at converting the chemical energy of fuel into motion. Sitting in a basement lab, however, isn't the same as experiencing use in the real world. That's why students at UW-Madison, led by Prof. Rolf Reitz, have now put another diesel/gas engine into a 2009 Saturn.  Read More

Audi's RS 5 TDI concept

Audi has been developing an electric turbocharger for several years and seems close to launching it on a production car. The new RS 5 TDI concept adds an e-turbo to its biturbo V6 to provide an immediate boost in power that doesn't wait around for exhaust gas.  Read More

The Hazumi concept points towards the new Mazda 2, which will be the first car to feature ...

In spite of the saying "ain't no replacement for displacement," manufacturers are making their engines smaller by the day. Ford has its 1.0-liter EcoBoost, and Mini a 1.5-liter three cylinder motor. Renault's next Twingo will feature not only a 1.0-liter engine, but a 900cc motor making 90hp. Now, Mazda has joined the global trend for downsizing engines with its new turbocharged 1.5-liter SKYACTIV diesel. After teasing us at the Geneva Motor Show, the Japanese car company has finally released details of its new motor.  Read More

The Mini Cooper SD twin-turbo diesel

The new Mini Cooper SD twin-turbo diesel has just been revealed. With 170 hp (125 kW) and a 0 - 62 mph (100 km/h) time of just 7.2 seconds with the optional 6-speed Steptronic transmission, the SD promises to be the fastest and most powerful diesel-powered Mini ever produced.  Read More

The all-new T4 is ready for rough rides

In 2012, Brazilian 4x4 manufacturer Troller, which was purchased by Ford Brazil in 2007, provided a sneak preview of what its next T4 utility vehicle would look like with its TR-X concept. It has now folded the look and feel of that concept into the new production T4, a 4x4 that is making other parts of the world beg Ford for a rebadged export.  Read More

CAMI's new US$60,000 Hydra Gator is a diesel-electric hybrid amphibious vehicle

Amphibious Vehicle manufacturer CAMI has added yet another amphibious vehicle to its range: the hybrid-diesel-electric Hydra Gator. Unlike the existing amphibians already established in the range, the cheapest of which starts at US$275,000, the Gator will sell for just US$60,000 and though it cannot be used on-road, the tiny 4X4 can take four people just about anywhere else you wish – silently in electric mode, or for long distances using the diesel engine as a generator for the electric drives.  Read More

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