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Engine Technologies

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
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
April 23, 2008 A three year collaborative research project by PSA Peugeot Citroën and fuel cell specialist Intelligent Energy has born fruit in the form of the H2Origin demonstrator vehicle, a battery-electric vehicle that uses a specially designed hydrogen fuel cell to triple its range to an impressive 300km (186 miles). The hydrogen storage system developed for the zero-emission demonstrator vehicle, which is based on the Peugeot Partner Origin van, is compact enough to squeeze under the bonnet and utilizes a swappable storage rack of compressed hydrogen tanks that slide out the rear, by-passing the need for a conventional fuel station and therefore simplifying the infrastructure needed to make hydrogen-powered vehicles a commercial reality. Read More
April 8, 2008 Volvo has announced that Swedish refuse collection firms Renova and Ragn-Sells will begin regular daily testing of two of the company's hybrid refuse trucks ahead of a market launch in 2009. Using a 7 liter diesel engine and an electric motor that utilizes regenerative braking, the trucks are capable of delivery fuel (and therefore emissions) savings of 20 percent. Read More
April 8, 2008 Chrysler's latest battery-electric concept is an absolute ripper. The Dodge Zeo concept is an all-American muscle car with a heart of green. Sitting a tier below the all-out performance figures of the Tesla Roadster and Lightning GT, the Zeo makes around 268 horses for a 0-60mph time just under 6 seconds, and its lithium-based battery pack gets a range of up to 250 miles. It looks a million dollars, oozing sexiness and performance potential, and more importantly it's one of the first serious sports-focused battery-electric concepts we've seen from any of the major auto manufacturers. Are the big car makers catching on to battery cars as the way of the future? Read More
April 1, 2008 Concept cars tend to fall into two categories - there's the blue-sky, "probably wont happen" variety that push the boundaries of automotive design and thinking, then there's the more conservative, practical flavor that provide a firm indication of the advancements we are likely to see on the showroom floor in the not too distant future. Kia Motors Corporation's KOUP is the latter, and by the looks of the car, the company's future design direction appears pretty slick. Out of the Kia Motors America Design Center in Irvine, California, and debuted at the 2008 New York International Auto Show (NYIAS), the Kia KOUP's aggressive exterior lines are backed by a 2.0-liter Theta II turbocharged engine equipped with a GDI (Gasoline Direct Injection) twin scroll turbocharger that puts out 290 horsepower and 289 lb-ft of torque between 2,000 rpm and 4,000 rpm. Read More
March 31, 2008 Aston Martin Racing has revealed the first official pictures of the Vantage GT2. Based on the V8 engined Aston Martin Vantage and designed to run on both standard and E85 bio-ethanol fuel, the new race car will make its debut at the Le Mans Series at Barcelona on 5 April 2008. The addition of the Vantage GT2 gives Aston Martin Racing a full complement of cars covering each of the four categories in the FIA GT Championship: GT1 – DBR9; GT2 – Vantage GT2; GT3 – DBRS9; GT4 – Vantage N24. See the gallery for more pics. Read More
March 18, 2008 A very significant milestone in zero-emissions motoring has just occurred as Tesla Motors announced yesterday that its groundbreaking electric sportscar has commenced regular production. The 130mph Tesla Roadster is the first production electric car to boast genuine sports performance coupled with a 210+ mile range between battery charges, which make it both exciting and viable for the vast majority of driving purposes. The fact that it's utterly gorgeous, with hints of the Lotus Elise, doesn't hurt either. All of the 2008 models scheduled for production have already been snapped up for just under US$100,000 each - and reservations are now being taken on the 2009 model. Read More
Like a number of vehicle concepts we've encountered in recent years such as the NARO Tilting Car and the VentureOne plug-in hybrid, the Lumeneo Smera aims to create a "best of both worlds" blend of car and motorcycle by combining the protection of an enclosed driver capsule with the small-footprint and maneuverability of two-wheeled transport. On debut at the 2008 Geneva Motor Show, the four-wheel, fully-electric Smera concept boasts a top speed of 80mph (130kmh), a 93 mile (150km) range on a single charge and can achieve 0-60 mph in around 8 seconds with an on-board computer automatically controlling the vehicle's tilting function to an angle of up to 25 degrees by taking into account on the turning angle, speed and road conditions. Read More
March 7, 2008 It's a trend that's been underway for some time, but if you need evidence of the snowballing progress of the alternative powered vehicle market look no further than the array of electric and hybrid cars on show at the 2008 Geneva Motor Show. Among them are two offerings from Norwegian auto designer and manufacturer TH!NK - the fully electric five seater crossover concept known as the TH!NK Ox and the new TH!NK city concept, a plug-in electric urban commuter that boasts advanced telematics, a range of over 100 miles and is 95% recyclable. Read More