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Engine Technologies

Kawasaki preparing revolutionary new engine

August 28, 2008 Just when you figured that the incremental development of the Universal Japanese Motorcycle was all you’d ever see comes news that Kawasaki is about to release a bombshell on the motorcycling world with the release of a radically different engine. Spanish Motorcycle Magazine SoloMoto has details of the new motor revealed in an exclusive interview with a Kawasaki executive and plans to print the details in its September 16 issue. Most significantly, the preview interview, (here in Spanish), indicates that it will feature similar technologies to those employed in the KTM-owned Husaberg 450 we wrote about earlier this year. The radical Husaberg engine has been reconfigured to put the crankshaft near the motorcycle’s center-of-mass and results in a significant improvement in handling. Kawasaki’s patents predate the Husaberg design by several years and the technologies will be applied to motors with different numbers of cylinders and extending to KHI’s four-wheelers as well.  Read More

The Lotus Exige 270E Tri-fuel (petrol, ethanol, methanol) was one of Lotus’ first research...

World-renowned Lotus Engineering has entered into a collaboration with Queen’s University Belfast and Jaguar Cars to develop an engine which maximizes fuel efficiency when running on renewable fuels. The OMNIVORE concept will employ novel engine architecture to achieve a high thermal efficiency when fuelled on any alcohols or gasoline. ideally suited to flex-fuel operation, the design features an innovative variable compression ratio system and uses a two-stroke operating cycle with direct fuel injection.  Read More

The unnamed 110cc prototype

August 8, 2008 Fuel injection arrived on two wheels with the release of Honda’s CX500 Turbo a quarter of a century ago, and Honda has been developing smarter and more intricate computer controlled fuel injection systems for its two wheelers ever since. These days its advanced PGM-FI (Programmed Fuel Injection) technology is fitted across the range from 50cc scooters through its MotoGP race machinery, offering broader and smoother power, better throttle response and vastly reduced fuel consumption and emissions. A prototype being quietly shown around Asia suggests that it might also lead to some lightning fast scooters in the near future.  Read More

Moller International's M200G volantor

July 20, 2008 As the rate of technological advances continues at an astonishing pace there’s probably one question that gets asked more than any other by the average person in the street – or the average person stuck in traffic anyway - why don’t we have flying cars yet? Well the simple answer is that developing a flying car is hard. But the long wait for the solution to car clogged streets could be coming to an end with Moller International announcing that it is in the process of completing its fourth M200 “Jetson” volantor airframe and it expects to complete forty of these fly-by-wire, multi-engine flying vehicles in 2009.  Read More

Geared Turbofan engine cuts emissions and running costs

July 6, 2008 Pratt & Whitney’s Geared Turbofan demonstrator engine has been cleared for flight-testing. By incorporating a gearbox system into the engine, aircraft can achieve a 12% reduction in fuel burn and CO2 emissions, a 50% reduction in NOx emissions, and a 50% reduction in engine noise. The GTF engine has been chosen by Mitsubishi to power the company’s Regional Jet (scheduled to enter service in 2013), and the upcoming Bombardier CSeries.  Read More

Scorpion: hydrogen on demand system

Texas based Ronn Motor Company has lifted the wraps on a new environmentally friendly hybrid vehicle that features an in-built hydrogen on demand system. Currently in pre-production and due for release before the end of the year, the sporty “Scorpion” runs on a 30-40 ratio blend of hydrogen and gasoline, promising reduced emissions and 40 mpg plus efficiency.  Read More

Major auto manufacturers commit to eco-friendly development

Two separate announcements from the automotive world this week have given further impetus to the growth of energy efficient vehicles. Volkswagen has teamed up with Sanyo to develop high-performance lithium-ion based storage systems for use in its hybrid diesel and electric-drive systems and the ongoing Renault-Nissan Alliance has resulted in the Scenic ZEV H2 - a prototype based on a Renault Grand Scenic which features Nissan’s in-house developed fuel cell stack, high-pressure hydrogen storage tank and compact lithium-ion batteries that will be shown in Barcelona in June.  Read More

Tata Motors joins race for auto X PRIZE

Making headlines earlier this year for its creation of the world’s cheapest new car, Tata Motors from India is the latest car maker to join the race for the multimillion dollar automotive X PRIZE.  Read More

A London black cab

May 23, 2008 While improvements in engine technology have led to a marked improvement in fuel efficiency and carbon emissions in vehicles running on internal combustion engines in recent years, even greater cuts in emissions need to be made to tackle the global environmental problems associated with them. We’ve seen commercial airlines turning to biofuels, trucks running on liquefied natural gas and buses using ethanol engines. One of the most promising solutions for the humble car of the future could is hydrogen fuel cell systems, with a number of car manufacturers investing heavily in development.  Read More

Corvette ZR1 - 638 hp and 200mph+

April 30, 2008 When the preliminary performance specs for the new 2009 Corvette ZR1 appeared on the radar late last year ahead of its debut at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, predictions were for a supercar producing 620 horses and topping 200mph, making it the most powerful and fastest automobile ever produced by General Motors. Now with the release of the certified power ratings there's no cause for disappointment, in fact it seems that initial predictions were a little underdone. According to Chevrolet, the ZR1's hand-built, supercharged LS9 V-8 engine will produce 638 horsepower (476 kW) and 604 lb.-ft. of torque (819 Nm) - an output of almost 103 horses per liter - and will achieve a top speed of 205 mph (330 km/h). On top of that, although fuel economy testing has not yet been completed, engineers remain confident that the ZR1 will be the most fuel-efficient 600-plus-horsepower car on the market.  Read More

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