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Diesel

It has been estimated that over 8 billion US gallons (30.3 billion liters) of used motor oil are produced every year by the world’s cars and trucks. While some of that is re-refined into new oil or burned in furnaces for heat, neither of those processes are entirely environmentally-innocuous. In other cases, it is simply discarded. Today, however, researchers from the University of Cambridge announced the development of a process that uses microwaves to convert waste oil into vehicle fuel. Read More
Plug-in diesel hybrids seem like such a no-brainer that it’s surprising that we haven’t seen a production model prior to now. Peugeot and Mercedes Benz announced the first production diesel hybrids last year in the form of the Peugeot 3008 Hybrid 4 and E 300 BlueTEC HYBRID which should both see showrooms this year. Volvo today announced the first diesel plug-in hybrid – the incredibly frugal V60 Plug-in Hybrid uses a 215 bhp five-cylinder 2.4-litre D5 turbo diesel coupled with a 70 bhp electric motor to offer sporting acceleration (0-100 km/h in 6.9 secs thanks to a whopping combined 640 Nm of torque) and just 49 gm/km of CO2. Its electric-only range of nearly 60 km (32 miles), means most folk will be able to use it as an electric only vehicle. Read More
The MINI Cooper S name first graced the classic Mini back in 1963 and during the ensuing half century it has represented the ultimate performance Mini, having won the Monte Carlo rally three times plus countless other races and rallies around the globe. Now for the first time there’s a diesel version too – though not as fire-breathing as the petrol Cooper S, the SD’s 2.0-litre turbodiesel four produces 143 bhp at 4,000 rpm, and an almighty torque figure of 305 Nm (225 lb-ft) from 1,750 to 2,700 rpm endowing it with rapid acceleration all the way to its top speed of 215 km/h (134 mph). It’s the ecologically balanced nature of the pocket rocket which appeals most though, as despite this performance, it’ll return EU test cycle figures of 4.3 litres per 100 kilometres (65.7 mpg imp) with CO2 emissions of 114 grams per kilometre. The Cooper SD will debut in Geneva in March and hit showrooms in Q2. Read More
Volvo will introduce a "virtually production-ready" plug-in hybrid version of it's V60 sports wagon at the upcoming Geneva Motor Show. Expected to hit showroom floors in 2012, the hybrid V60 splices together a 2.4-liter D5 turbodiesel driving the front wheels with a 70 horsepower electric motor at the rear axle. According to Volvo this configuration delivers incredibly miserly fuel consumption of 124 mpg (1.9 l/100 km) along with the ability to cover 31 miles (50 km) using only the electric drive. Read More
It has been an exciting year for hybrid power train development in major racing series, with the teams deciding that KERS will return to Formula One in 2011, the growing success of the Porsche 911 GT3 R Hybrid in the Intercontinental Le Mans Cup and now the news that Oshkosh Corporation will be fielding a 400 bhp hybrid diesel-electric Light Concept Vehicle in the Baja 1000 desert race which begins later this week in Mexico. Perhaps even more interesting than the hybrid powertrain is its TAK-4 suspension which offers 20 inches of independent wheel travel. Read More
Back in 1984, Craig Henderson and Bill Green built a one-of-a-kind super fuel-efficient car called the Avion. In 1986, it set the Guinness world record for fuel economy by averaging 103.7USmpg (2.27L/100km) while driving from the Mexican to Canadian borders. Unlike most autos from that era, the Avion is still on the road... and breaking its own records. In October 2008, Henderson and Green achieved 113.1mpg (2.08 L/100km) on a 263-mile (423 km) trip in the US Pacific Northwest. Then, this August 29th, they departed from Blaine, Washington (adjacent to the Canadian border) and drove 1,478 miles (2,379 km) to the Mexican border. They used just 12.4 US gallons (46.94 L) of diesel and set a new record of 119.1mpg (1.97L/100km). Read More
Looking to claim the environmental high ground at the next megayacht owners potluck get together? Sauter Carbon Offset Design has unveiled what it calls “the world’s first carbon neutral megayacht,” and it could be just what you’re looking for. Harnessing energy from sustainable sources such as photovoltaic (PV) cells, power sailing kinetic energy regeneration and wingsails, the Super Nova 60 is capable of generating enough surplus energy to allow it to cruise carbon neutral for 7,000 nautical miles a year... and it can feed energy back into the grid while docked. Now you can enjoy cruising around the Mediterranean in luxury with an environmentally clear conscience. Read More
Despite ongoing efforts to wean itself off the teat of foreign oil, the U.S. car market is still almost twice as polluting as Europe and Japan. This new finding from automotive data provider, JATO Dynamics, comes despite the Car Allowance Rebate System (CARS) – better known as “cash for clunkers” – program that replaced over 690,000 vehicles on the roads with more fuel-efficient models and the fact that American consumers are significantly more inclined to adopt Hybrid technology than Europeans. Then why is it so? Read More
Not all that long ago, the mere thought of running a diesel in any form of motorsport would have had you laughed at. Diesel victories are now commonplace in long distance races thanks to the excellent power characteristics, reliability, the low fuel consumption of diesel engines and a battle between the two main TDI-engined cars in the form of the Peugeot 908 and Audi's R15. Audi Sport Team Joest added to the diesel legend on the weekend with a 1-2-3 victory using newly developed Variable Turbine Geometry (VTG) turbo-chargers on the R15's 440 kW V10 engine. The Peugeot 908s locked out the first two rows in qualifying and led the race until the 16 hour mark, but one by one, they suffered engine failure, and after 24 hours, Audi took all three steps on the podium. It wasn't exactly a rerun of the hare and the tortoise though, as the winning R15 racked up more 5,410 kilometers - more distance than has ever been achieved in 78 prior runnings of the French endurance classic. This was all the more remarkable in that it eclipsed a record set in 1971 by a Porsche 917 when the Hunaudières straight had no speed-slowing chicanes. Well done Audi! Read More
Mercedes-Benz is now equipping its popular C-Class 180 CGI, 200 CGI and 220 CDI models with BlueEFFICIENCY. Featuring six-speed manual transmissions and ECO start/stop functionality, the company says this technology will reduce the vehicles’ fuel consumption and CO2 emissions by 10 percent . The newly-configured C 220 CDI will now consume only 4.4L/100km and CO2 emissions drop to 117g/km. Also added to the line-up for the first time is the C 250 CDI 4MATIC Blue EFFICIENCY four-cylinder 4WD diesel. Read More
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