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Ricardo

Ricardo’s new Cross-axle Torque Vectoring Audi A6 4.2l V8 Quattro Avant demonstrator

December 8, 2006 Delegates at Berlin’s prestigious 5th International CTI-Symposium, “Innovative Automotive Transmissions”, were this week given the opportunity to be the first to experience Ricardo’s new Cross-axle Torque Vectoring demonstrator. Based on an Audi A6 4.2l V8 Quattro Avant, the vehicle is fitted with the very latest generation of Ricardo’s Torque Vectoring technology that enables moment-by-moment redistribution of drive-torque in response to driver demand, vehicle speed and road conditions. In doing so it enables the vehicle to follow more faithfully the driver's intended path, ultimately leading to a potentially safer, more enjoyable and rewarding driving experience.  Read More

JCB DIESELMAX pushes diesel record to 529 km/h … then 563km/h

August 25, 2006 Last Friday (August 18) , the JCB DIESELMAX broke the Bonneville record speed for diesel engines, setting a time of 317 mph. On Tuesday (August 22), the vehicle broke the FIA international land speed record for a diesel vehicle with 328.767 mph (529.099 kph) and beat the existing record by more than 100 mph. Returning to the Bonneville Salt Flats with its FIA sealed engines on Wednesday, things went even better. Running soon after daybreak driver Andy Green recorded 365.779mph (588.664kph) on his first run and 335.695mph (540.248kph) on his return, giving an average of 350.092mph (563.418kph). It was the third speed record achieved by the JCB DIESELMAX in only six days, and demonstrates the power and reliability of its Ricardo-developed engines. There’s a fascinating rundown on the technical development of the engines in PDF format available here.  Read More

JCB DIESELMAX takes Bonneville Diesel Speed Record to 317mph

August 22, 2006 The international diesel land-speed record for diesel-powered vehicles moved a step closer last week as the JCB DIESELMAX broke the Bonneville Salt Flats course record with a measured-mile speed of 317mph. Having already achieved a recorded average speed over a measured mile of 308mph in the late afternoon of Thursday 17 August, the JCB DIESELMAX needed to complete a second run within a twenty four hour period at least matching this speed in order to take the record. On Friday, the second run was completed successfully achieving a speed of 325mph. The average speed of the two runs was thus recorded as 317.021mph, thus establishing the JCB DIESELMAX as the fastest-ever diesel over the Bonneville course.  Read More

Research project delivers ultra-low carbon emission powertrain

June 4, 2006 In the race to provide more fuel-efficient, emmission-friendly automotive technologies, diesel-electric hybrids are showing some very promising form. Ricardo, QinetiQ and PSA Peugeot Citroen have announced the results of their Efficient-C collaborative research project which has successfully met the UK Department for Transport’s Ultra Low Carbon Car Challenge. The two year Efficient-C programme has culminated in the delivery of a full-hybrid diesel demonstrator vehicle emitting just 99 g/km CO2 (equivalent to 3.75 litres per 100km or over 75mpg) based on a fully featured Citroen Berlingo Multispace family car. This is a significant leap forward of 30 per cent improvement in fuel economy and CO2 emissions when compared to the equivalent diesel production vehicle. Furthermore the same diesel hybrid powertrain fitted in a C-segment 5 door saloon would only emit 90g tank-to-wheel CO2.  Read More

Plug-in Hybrid Technology Kits released

February 24, 2006 Hymotion has unveiled a PHEV (Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle) kit for a range of existing hybrid vehicles. Hymotion currently has systems available for Toyota Prius, Ford Escape Hybrid and Mercury Mariner Hybrid with systems under development for Lexus RX400h, Toyota Highlander Hybrid and Toyota Camry Hybrid.Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles are more fossil-fuel-efficient than existing hybrids as they can be recharged by plugging into a regular household electrical outlet and can hence travel for a greater percentage of each journey on solely electrical power. The Hymotion PHEV kit includes up to seven times more battery capacity enabling the vehicles to be used as electric zero-emission cars for short journeys. According to the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI), half the cars in the U.S. are driven just 25 miles a day or less so a plug-in vehicle with even a 20-mile range could reduce petroleum fuel consumption by about 60 percent. Though the Hymotion PHEV kit will initially cost US$9500 and will be sold only to Government and fleet owners, a target price of US$5000 is expected by the time the kit becomes available to the public 12 months from now. The advantages of PHEV include better fuel economy, fewer visits to gas station, lower fuel costs, less pollution and longer range in all-electric mode - the solution for spiking gas prices, CO2 emissions and dependence on imported oil.  Read More

Rotating Cylinder Valve (RCV) engine unveiled

UK-based RCV Engines is best known globally for its range of model aircraft engines but the unveiling yesterday of a prototype 125cc Rotating Cylinder Valve (RCV) scooter engine could put it on the map in a far more significant way. The RCV engine is ideally suited to sub-250cc applications such as motorcycles, scooters and power tools where it offers 100PS/litre performance and manufacturing costs akin to those of a two-stroke, with the emission levels and fuel consumption of a four-stroke. International demand for small motorcycle engines is massive with the Chinese, Indian and Indonesian markets accounting for 22 million small capacity engines annually – traditionally, these have been two-stroke engines but with the advent of exhaust emission regulations the bulk of production is now represented by larger, more expensive and less powerful 4-strokes. The RCV engine offers a particularly attractive solution for this large and growing market sector and also has application in chain saws, leaf blowers, strimmers and the emerging Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) market. Better still, RCV engines run well on alternative fuels such as kerosene and bio-fuels and significant further potential remains for this engine concept in areas such as variable valve timing, variable compression ratio and supercharging which could improve already impressive performance to new heights.  Read More

Bugatti Veyron transmission technologies revealed by Ricardo at Berlin’s CTI-Symposium

December 6, 2005 The 7-speed Dual Clutch Transmission (DCT) system developed for the 406km/h, 987 bhp Bugatti Veyron sportscar will be shown for the first time by Ricardo at the 4th International CTI-Symposium held in Berlin this week. The twin-clutch gearbox of the Bugatti Veyron combines the dynamic advantages of a manual gearbox with the convenience of an automatic to an as yet unparalleled level of perfection. One significant differentiation criteria compared to the classic automatic gearbox is that no torque converter is used as a moving-off element. Instead, the gearbox has a twin clutch that is composed of two wet-running multi-disc clutches.  Read More

Combination 2-stroke  and 4-stroke engine

November 21, 2005 The 2/4SIGHT engine concept is based on an innovative combustion system combined with advanced valve train and control technologies, enabling automatic switching between two- and four- stroke operation. By matching the control strategy to make best use of the 2/4SIGHT engine’s capabilities, simulation studies have shown that the concept has the potential to deliver up to 30 per cent better fuel consumption and reduced CO2 emissions, compliance with Euro 4 and future emissions standards and attractive driving characteristics, with class leading torque delivery. A detailed 2.0 litre V6 gasoline engine design has now been completed which is intended to deliver levels of performance and driveability more usually associated with 3-4 litre V8. Ricardo and its partners intend to build and test the first concept demonstrator engine in mid 2006.  Read More

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