2014 Paris Motor Show highlights

Diesel

Volkswagen's Golf Bluemotion, capable of returning over 52mpg.

September 4, 2007 Toyota needed two whole engines to get 46mpg from their famous Prius hybrid, but Volkswagen have achieved over 52mpg by simply tweaking a few characteristics of its popular Golf diesel compact in the latest addition to the company’s environmentally-focused BlueMotion initiative. The Golf BlueMotion makes over 1200km from a 55-liter tank, showing that there’s further room for development from the combustion engine.  Read More

MITSUBISHI Concept-cX 'Compact crossover' for Frankfurt debut

July 31, 2007 Mitsubishi will unveil the Concept-cX at the 62nd Internationale Automobil Ausstellung (IAA; commonly known as the Frankfurt Motor Show) in September. The MITSUBISHI Concept-cX represents a new-generation compact SUV, and uses a new high-output, high-efficiency 1.8-liter clean diesel engine, featuring a variable geometry (VG) turbocharger for optimum boost control and a diesel oxidation catalyst (DOC) with diesel particulate filter (DPF) for compliance with Europe's Euro 5 emission standards. The company's new Twin Clutch SST (Sport Shift Transmission) adds superior power transmission efficiency for a powertrain that delivers nimble performance alongside excellent fuel economy and low emissions. Among the number of new environmental technologies applied in the Concept-cX is the extensive use of interior trim materials made from Mitsubishi's own Green Plastic — made from bamboo and other plant-based resins.  Read More

smart set to roll out a full complement of Alternative Drive Systems

July 10, 2007 Mercedes-owned smart is set to become the first mainstream production vehicle with a full complement of alternative drive systems. It has begun touting four new versions of the smart fortwo, all of which can be expected in production form before the year is out. We’re not sure which is the most exciting as they all offer different solutions depending on your needs. The cleanest of the new smarts is the 30 kW plug-in electric version with a range of 115 kilometres (EUDC), but there’s also a 100 mpg 53 kW diesel hybrid drive, a slightly less economical petrol hybrid for those who don’t want diesel, a 52 kW micro hybrid petrol variant and a diesel-engined fortwo which will become the world’s most economical combustion-engined production car with 85 mpg (3.3 litres of fuel per 100 kilometres - NEDC) and the ability to travel 1000 kilometres without refuelling. The smart fortwo diesel is the world champion in low CO2 emissions at just 88 grams of CO2 per kilometre. This is huge news.  Read More

World’s most powerful production six-cylinder diesel introduced to BMW 6 Series

July 2, 2007 BMW has for the first time combined its twin-turbocharged, six-cylinder diesel with the marque’s flagship Grand Tourer in the form of the new 635d. Coinciding with the revamp of 6 Series model line-up to include Active Headrests, Brake Energy Regeneration and other fuel saving and emissions-cutting technology, the 635d Coupé and Convertible will hit showrooms in the UK in October with world’s most powerful production diesel under the bonnet.  Read More

InnovaTek's compact, microchannel reformer

May 8, 2007 Acumentrics, a leading developer of solid-oxide fuel cells and uninterruptible power supplies for the distributed generation market, announced today that they have proven 1300 hours of fuel cell operation on synthetic JP-8 fuel. The synthetic JP-8 (“S-8”) Fischer-Tropsch fuel was provided by the Air Force Research Laboratory, and was produced as part of the DoD Assured Fuels Initiative. According to the company, this accomplishment marks one of the first fuel cell successes with heavy hydrocarbons in an extended run. Because Acumentrics’ ceramic fuel cells operate at high temperature, they accept lighter hydrocarbons such as propane and natural gas directly, and disassociate the fuel inside the cell, via in-situ reformation. For fuel cells to be of most use to the military, they must operate on heavy fuels. The heavy hydrocarbons in diesel and JP-8 require catalytic reforming before they can enter a cell. For this test the company employed a separate InnovaTek reformer (pictured).  Read More

The world’s first horizontally-opposed turbo diesel engine

February 8, 2007 In 1896, when Karl Benz patented the first internal combustion engine, it had horizontally opposed pistons, and the flat boxermotor (the German term for flat engine) has been powering some of the world’s best known automobiles (Porsche, Volkswagen’s Beetle and Kombi f’rinstance), motorcycles (Honda’s Goldwing and BMW’s mainstay Boxer range) and aircraft (Lycoming and Continental) ever since. Japanese automotive company Subaru has used the boxer design almost exclusively and is now pioneering a new phase for horizontally opposed piston engines with the release of the world’s first horizontally-opposed turbo diesel engine. The Japanese all-wheel drive specialist will be displaying an entire drivetrain at the 77th Geneva International Motor Show next month.  Read More

World’s first affordable diesel hybrid powertrain

December 14, 2006 Zytek has already proven its knowledge of powertrains and electric vehicle many times over, on and off the racetrack. Now, in collaboration with a UK Government initiative, the British engineering consultancy has developed a novel diesel hybrid powertrain that will be affordable in the most popular market segments. The new technology will allow vehicle owners to drive across London’s extended congestion charge zone for just four pence. The low-cost, high-efficiency hybrid-electric drivetrain offers a realistic alternative to expensive proprietary systems and can be quickly implemented within the packaging constraints of compact European passenger cars. A demonstration vehicle, built within the UK Government’s Ultra Low Carbon Car Challenge (ULCCC), has exceeded all targets set for the programme, delivering an exceptional 85g of CO2 per km compared with 121g/km for the already exceptionally efficient standard vehicle.  Read More

The first commercially-available diesel motorcycle

November 20, 2006 The sudden realization after several decades of evidence that the world is drowning in burned fossil fuels has catalyzed a lot of initiatives to reduce consumption and emissions, but few are as tantalizing as the prospect of diesel motorcycles which further enhance the already economical motorcycle to new levels of fuel efficiency and offer astounding torque and drivability. Though we have written about several production motorcycles such as the HDT military-only JP/8 and the Dutch-built Star Twin ThunderStar 1200 TDI diesel motorcycle, none have been available to the public in any quantity until this week’s news that a new diesel motorcycle from Holland has achieved production status and 500 will be built over the next two years. The Track T-800CDI is being produced by E.V.A. Products BV Holland and uses the 800cc three cylinder Daimler Chrysler diesel engine used in the smart fortwo diesel, military UAVs and marine applications, matching it with a CVT, frame, driveshaft, running gear and ECU produced in-house. The engine uses a turbocharged intercooled Commonrail direct injection engine and produces a whopping 150Nm of torque. It comes with three pre-programmed ECU settings enabling it to be switched to run on 100% Pure Plant Oil (such as sunflower oil) or into a highly efficient but lower power diesel economy mode. E.V.A. CEO Erik Vegt describes the bike as a “BMW GS killer with KTM LC8 drivability and Suzuki Hayabusa-like torque.” “It’s the ultimate long distance and long life motorcycle that can run on diesel fuel or 100% pure plant oil,” says Vegt.  Read More

Honda shows next-generation diesel engine

October 2, 2006 Honda has developed a next-generation diesel engine that reduces exhaust gas emissions to a level equal to a petrol engine and expects to have the engine available in its U.S. market cars within three years. The engine employs an NOx catalytic converter that enables a reduction in NOx emissions sufficient to meet stringent U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Tier II Bin 5 emission requirements. This catalytic converter uses the reductive reaction of ammonia generated within the catalytic converter to “detoxify” nitrogen oxide (NOx) by turning it into harmless nitrogen (N2).  Read More

Subaru develops horizontally opposed Turbo Diesel engine

September 29, 2006 Subaru Europe President Hiroyuki Ikeda dropped an unexpected announcement in his Paris motor show speech when he mentioned that the company was working on a SubaruBoxer Turbo Diesel and that development is nearly complete. The horizontally opposed engine layout made famous by Volkswagen has long been favoured by Subaru and has been the mainstay of its fleet for more than three decades with its latest effort winning first place in the 2.5-liter class of the International Engine of the Year Awards. Though it’s logical that the company would develop the world’s first horizontally opposed diesel engine, there are many technical difficulties to overcome, so it was by no means regarded as a given. Anyway, we have the drawings in high res and we suspect it’ll be a beauty.  Read More

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