With the 82nd Geneva Motor Show
just weeks away, the world's automakers are gearing up to display their wares. As usual, many companies have already teased us with previews of what they'll have on display, including new small cars from the likes of Peugeot
, plus concepts from Rinspeed
. With the number of teasers multiplying by the minute, it's time for a quick round up of some of the other notable vehicles headed for the floor of the Geneva Palexpo convention center.
Due to the number of stairs that needed to be climbed to reach the top, buildings of over six storys were a rarity until the 19th century when the development of passenger elevators - along with advances in building materials and techniques - enabled the construction of taller and taller buildings. As skyscrapers continue to reach ever higher, elevators are required to carry more people further, faster. Mitsubishi already has the first problem licked with the development of elevators able to carry 80 people at once
. Now it has tackled speed with technologies that enable ultra-high-speed elevators to travel at more than 60 km/h (37 mph or 1,000 meters a minute).
In February last year, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) and transport company Nippon Yusen Kaisha (NYK) announced plans to investigate the effectiveness of a system intended to reduce the frictional resistance between a vessel’s bottom and the seawater using a layer of air bubbles. Now MHI has coupled the Mitsubishi Air Lubrication System (MALS) with a high-efficiency ship hull in the conceptual design for a container ship that the company claims would offer a reduction in CO2 emissions of 35 percent compared to conventional container carrier designs.
New names dominated the Dakar Rally from start-to-finish this year - MINI being the most obvious with a 1-2, but also Iveco broke the Eastern Block stranglehold on the truck section. Frenchman Stéphane Peterhansel won his tenth Dakar (six on motorcycles, four in cars) ahead of MINI teammate Nani Roma (a prior motorcycle winner). MINI's new owner BMW must be delighted to add the world's toughest race to its illustrious heritage, even if that MINI looks a tad bigger than your average Countryman.
Sneak peeks at future technology often come with a curious mixture of excitement (it's new!) and frustration (you have to wait ten years) and so it is with Mitsubishi's innovative EMIRAI automotive interface concept. While the system steers clear of the hands-free personal transportation envisioned in futuristic films such as Minority Report
, it does explore interacting with your ride in some very compelling ways. From the looks of it, getting around by car will be a lot more interesting in a decade or so ... to say the least.
With its Concept PX-MiEV II making its world premier at the 2011 Tokyo Motor Show
, Mitsubishi is breaking away from electric mini-cars and applying its MiEV electric vehicle technology to the oft-derided SUV. But Mitsubishi hopes to convince the SUV-naysayers with its concept plug-in hybrid vehicle (PHEV), which it describes as having "high environmental performance and fuel efficiency." To the technology borrowed from the i-MiEV
, the PX-MiEV II adds a conventional engine, with the result that the hybrid matches the range of a conventional car, but with significantly improved fuel efficiency. Thus, claims Mitsubishi, its hybrid SUV will happily cruise at 60 km to the liter (141 mpg), to a range of more than 800 km (or 500 miles).
Mitsubishi has kicked-off production of the North American version of its i-MiEV
electric vehicle (EV). Slightly larger than Japanese and European models, the North American i-Miev will be launched in Hawaii, California, Washington and Oregon from late November before being rolled-out in other parts of the United States and Canada next year.
With the 2011 Tokyo Motor Show just a month away, commercial vehicle manufacturer Mitsubishi Fuso has provided a preview of its new heavy-duty hybrid truck concept that will be on display. With the recognizably Japanese moniker of the "Super Great HEV" (Hybrid Electric Vehicle), the truck features a conventional diesel engine, an electric motor/generator, lithium-ion battery and related control software that come together to provide what Fuso claims is an increase in fuel efficiency of as much as 10 percent over conventional diesel-only powered vehicles.
Mitsubishi Electric will unveil a huge, 19.7 foot (6 m) wide OLED
globe at Tokyo's National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation on June 11. Billed as the world’s first large-scale spherical OLED screen, "Geo-Cosmos" is made up of an aluminum frame covered with 10,362 tiny OLED panels, each measuring 3.7 x 3.7 inches. The sphere will display images of clouds and other views of the Earth coming from a meteorological satellite as it hangs almost 60 feet (18 m) above the museum floor.
Ask someone in the street to name an electric vehicle
right now and top-of-mind brands would probably include Tesla, Chevrolet Volt and Mitsubishi’s iMiev. Twelve months from now, there may be another name amongst that list you’ve not yet heard. Tata is best known for its US$2500 Tata Nano
and recent acquisition of Jaguar and Range Rover but another of its wares appears set to make a huge impact in the EV field. The Tata Indica Vista EV hits the market early in 2011, carries four people, has excellent performance and can run 150 miles on a charge. Most importantly, the EV is based on a best-selling, mass-market car from the Indian market where it sells for less than US$9000 and its performance in the recent Future Car Challenge verifies its extreme energy efficiency.