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Flex Fuel

Kia's Soul Flex on show in Brazil

The major announcement of last week's Brazilian Motor Show in São Paulo was Kia's Soul Flex. Though it's the first Flexible Fuel Vehicle (FFV) from Korea, ethanol derived from sugar cane is 40% cheaper than gas in Brazil, so flex fuel vehicles make up 85% of new car sales. On top of the cheaper fuel, the Soul Flex gets a 44% improvement in fuel efficiency, with power and torque figures also a slight improvement compared with the existing petrol model. Scheduled to go on sale in Brazil early next year, the Soul Flex is able to run on 100% ethanol, 100% gasoline or an ethanol-petrol mixture.  Read More

GM expects the Chevrolet Volt to get 230 mpg

We’ve been following the Chevrolet Volt since it was a gleam in GM’s eye and, with the anticipated production date of 2010 rapidly approaching, GM has announced that its extended-range electric vehicle is expected to achieve city fuel economy of at least 230 miles per gallon.  Read More

The Honda TITAN MIX – the world's first flex fuel motorcycle

Brazilian Honda subsidiary Moto Honda da Amazonia Ltda.(HDA) has begun sales of the , the first motorcycle in the world to be equipped with flexible-fuel technology. The 150cc motorcycle is equipped with a Mix Fuel Injection System, a newly developed fuel supply and fuel injection control system that enables consumers to use a flexible mixture of environmentally-responsible bio-ethanol and gasoline fuels, hence reducing CO2 emissions and fuel costs.  Read More

Ricardo's combination two and four stroke motor

Automotive technology specialist Ricardo has revealed the development of technology that optimizes ethanol-fuelled engines to a level of performance that exceeds gasoline engine efficiency and approaches levels previously reached only by diesel engines. The technology, called Ethanol Boosted Direct Injection (EBDI), takes full advantage of ethanol’s best properties – higher octane and higher heat of vaporization – to create a renewable fuel scenario that is independent of the cost of oil.  Read More

Saab reinvents the convertible with the 9-X AIR CONCEPT

Just over a quarter century ago, Saab showed the first four-seater convertible to the world, creating a new class of luxury automobile. Now it’s set to do it all over again with the 9-X Air concept car and a visually-distinctive newly-designed Canopy Top designed to aerodynamically cocoon the passenger cell. The design incorporates prominent raked rear pillars that curve upwards to mount a flat folding roof – essentially a development of the Targo roof principle – with a separate rear screen located between them. Instead of having a manually detachable roof section, the Saab Canopy top is fully powered in operation and folds away in the storage trunk. With the top down motorists can enjoy open-top motoring free from buffeting, and with the top up the 9-X Air assumes the appearance of a true coupe. Saab has filed a patent on the convertible roof design and hence the 9-X Air provides a glimpse of what a future convertible from Saab could look like.  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

Efficiency gains: Mazda's hydrogen hybrids

June 25, 2008 Mazda has committed to cutting the fuel consumption of its vehicles by an average of 30% by 2015. The company is exploring a combination of fuel-cutting initiatives, including the development of lighter-weight technologies aimed at reducing vehicle weight by 100 kilograms from 2011, carbon neutral bioplastics, an Idle Stop system and an advanced version of the emissions-reducing Three Layer Wet Paint System fist introduced in 2005. Integral to the plan is the renewal of its entire powertrain lineup by 2015, with tests of its hydrogen hybrid system continuing ahead of plans for release in Japan in the coming fiscal year, as well as plans for a new gasoline rotary engine and new diesel engines.  Read More

Toyota's 1X Concept

October 17, 2007 Toyota has revealed a raft of new concept vehicles based around cutting-edge sustainability technology that the company will showcase at the upcoming Tokyo Motor Show. Among them is the 1/X (pronounced "one-Xth"), a light-weight (420kg) hybrid vehicle pitched as “redefining what it means to be environmentally considerate”. The 1/X matches the interior space of the Prius, but is only one-third the weight and aims to double its fuel efficiency. Gizmag will be on the ground to bring you the latest from the Show when it gets underway on October 26th. In the meantime visit our highlights page for more previews of what’s in store.  Read More

E-Flight Electric-Powered Waiex Prototype

July 30, 2007 With rising oil prices threatening to put sports aviation out of reach of the average enthusiast, innovators are looking at how the sport might be preserved for the next generation. Sonex and Aeroconversions are two such innovators and in partnership the two companies unveiled their three-prong e-Flight strategy at the recent AirVenture OshKosh trade show. An ethanol conversion of Aeroconversions’ AeroVee powerplant and efficiency enhancements for the engine took a back seat to the prototype electric Waiex aircraft introduced to an appreciative crowd. With lithium and lithium-polymer-based battery technologies advancing by the day - gaining power, reliability, endurance and efficiency while constantly shedding size and weight - the partners believe the time is ripe to adapt the brushless electric engine for sports aviation use. The AeroConversions electric motor and battery boxes should end up roughly the size of the petrol engine currently installed in the Waiex with a 130mph top speed and 1 hour flight duration expected for the production model.  Read More

Mitsubishi launches flex-fuel vehicle (FFV) Pajero TR4 in Brazil

June 26, 2007 Mitsubishi is to launch the first full-feature four-wheel drive flex-fuel vehicle (FFV), onto the Brazilian market. The Pajero TR4 Flex will be launched in July and is derived from the Pajero TR4 currently assembled and sold in Brazil. The Pajero TR4 Flex features several modifications including the use of different materials, modifications to the engine, and changes to the fuel system that allow the vehicle to run on any combination of gasoline and ethanol. Modifications to the engine control unit allow for optimum combustion with any fuel mixture, and the 2.0-liter 16-valve engine delivers similar levels of performance on ethanol-heavy or gasoline-heavy fuel mixes.  Read More

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