Even high performance models like the ones from the AMG division of Mercedes have to obey the new emission and consumptions regulations and, in order to pass these regulations, Mercedes says it will include hybrid technology, as well as stop-start and energy recuperation devices, in the future high performance vehicles.
Our first reaction to this news was a collective shaking of our heads at the diminishing of vehicles with true power, but reading a little further, we discovered that Mercedes plans to go the hybrid route in a completely different direction than that of other auto brands. Mercedes’ main priority will be to improve fuel economy and lower CO2 emissions, but still offer true performance vehicles.
"In the future AMG will still offer high performance models, but there will be hybrids there. AMG needs to reduce fuel consumption," said Daimler’s head of future mobility and advanced engineering, Herbert Kohler in an interview with AutoCar.
He also said that AMG would not be following the same strategy Porsche did with the 918 Spyder: "Hybrids can boost, but AMGs will use stop-start and recuperation technology."
So how "hybrid" will these hybrid AMGs be? That’s a question will have to wait at least a year or two to answer.
We just don’t know what the world is coming to when automakers such as Porsche start making these crazy mediocre plans. Porsche has already planned on offering a hybrid version for every model in their line-up, and now they come out with this nonsense. As a next step on their path towards reducing fuelk consumption and CO2 emissions, the German company is saying they will down size their engines.
In a recent interview, Development Chief Wolfgang Duerheimer said: "If the CO2 guidelines require it, then our engines will become smaller and may have just four cylinders. The important thing is that the performance has to be right. The 911 must always be on the cutting edge."
The good news is that Porsche is trying to think of ways to keep up their performance all while pleasing the greenies out there. One of the ways they will be doing this is by adding turbochargers and direct injection to the smaller engines. And as with every new generation, Porsche also hopes to reduce weight by 10%.
"A constant weight is our minimum requirement in the change to a new generation, even with compliance with all the new safety and comfort requirements. You could hardly achieve much more than that with current technologies" Duerheimer said.
The company is already preparing carbon fiber bodies for road vehicles that will create an additional weight loss of about 50 kilograms. This new technology will be unveiled in the next five years.
We have to admit, we are a bit confused. If you remember, last month we reported that Ford would bring the new generation Focus ST to the Paris Motor Show in September. Now, Autocar reports that Ford will axe the ST version of their newest generation Focus.
And the reason for this decision is quite simple: Europe’s tightening emissions standards. The Focus ST will be the second model, after the Honda Civic Type R, who will have to be axed due to the new emissions standards. The same fate will attack the 3.2 V6 in the Alfa Brera, the Mazda RX-8, and the VW Group’s 5.0 V10 turbodiesel.
So, in this case, the car expected to debut in Paris will drop the usual 2.5-liter turbo five-cylinder engine and will get a new 2.0-liter direct-injection turbo engine that will deliver around 250bhp and 350Nm of torque. Derrick Kuzak said the new model will get "an EcoBoost turbocharged engine, be exciting to drive, great to look at and certainly worth waiting for”.
With the quest to increase the capacity of battery powered vehicles, a group of enthusiasts from Australia, Germany, and Switzerland have set off in their battery powered vehicles on what’s being billed as the "longest and greenest" round-the-world drive to promote emissions-free transport and November’s world climate conference.
The UN-supported "Zero Race" has been organized by a Swiss Louis Palmer, who made headlines with his 18-month pioneering world tour in a solar-powered "taxi" two years ago, picking up celebrities on the way.
Palmer said: "With this race we want to show that seven billion people on this planet need renewable energy and clean mobility. Petrol is running out and the climate crisis is coming, and we are all running against time."
A Korean vehicle failed to reach the start line at the United Nations in Geneva in time after it broke down with "a minor battery problem" about 60km up the road, Palmer said, but would join the other three teams later in the day.
The Zero Race team is set to stop off at the World Climate Conference in Cancun, Mexico, after touring through Europe, Russia, China, Canada, and the United States before heading back to Geneva in January 2011.
We know it’s Earth Day and, okay, we are all for the environment, but these guys in Arlington, VA are just plain crazy. Ross and Todd have just started the Car-Free Diet Skeptics Challenge where they will live car-free for 30 days. Whoever succeeds in traveling by foot, bike, or bus for the whole 30 days will receive a year’s worth of transportation for free. We assume that means free gas for a year or paid bus passes, but we’ve heard that one of the contestants has already decided to sell his car without as much as 24 hours of non-car commuting under his belt!
The contest is being run by Car-Free Diet.com. This is a website that encourages drivers to rid themselves of the mechanical, CO2 emitting, four-wheeled transportation devices and start relying on the old-fashioned way of commuting. They state that, “Each time you leave your car at home — choosing instead to ride ART or Metro, bike, walk or telework — you can save money, improve your health and clean our environment”. We cannot argue. This is, in fact, true. We applaud your efforts and the success of your followers, but we are a little too horsepower hungry to jump on this bandwagon.
Yesterday, we talked about Ford’s EcoBoost technology in their Start Concept. Now at the Beijing Auto Show, Ford has announced that they will also include their EcoBoost Technology in Europe’s Ford Mondeo. The Mondeo will receive the 2.0L I4 EcoBoost engine mated with the new Ford Powershift six speed automatic transmission. This single turbocharger with a direct fuel injection delivery system delivers torque comparable to a V6 engine while fuel economy is boosted by 10%.
“Customers have embraced EcoBoost technology because of its ability to deliver power and performance with uncompromised fuel economy,” said Derrick Kuzak, Ford group vice president for global product development. “We’re committed to bringing this technology to multiple vehicles so that more customers can take advantage of the no-compromise Ford EcoBoost combination of power, performance and fuel economy. Ford EcoBoost works in any gasoline engine, so adding a 4-cylinder engine to complement our V6 line-up was a logical development.”
Along with that announcement, Ford also announced that the 2.0L I4 EcoBoost will be the first EcoBoost engine to go global with the 1.6L and the 4 cylinder following shortly thereafter. They have already revealed the Europen lineup featuring the 2.0L engine: Ford S-Max, Galaxy, and Mondeo will start off the transition. The Ford Edge will receive the engine later this year while Australia’s Ford Falcon will inherit the 4 cylinder engine in 2011.
This announcement comes as no surprise to us. We figured Ford would be running full steam ahead with this technology that cuts CO2 emissions by 15% compared to larger displacement engines with similar power. Cutting CO2 emissions seems to be an important trend and we are sure Ford will be taking advantage of that as any other automaker would.
The price for fuel, along with the concern for overuse of fuel and its effect on the environment, has been increasing dramatically over time. Evidence of this would be the growing trend that is the hybrid and electric automobiles, but, even with the technological advancement of these types of vehicle, the abolishment of gasoline-powered engines is far from becoming a reality. We believe this is the reason Ford has developed their MyFord Touch system with the ECO-Route option. The MyFord Touch system enables drivers to get better gas mileage by “coaching” them on their fuel economy performance and the Eco-Route option provides the most fuel efficient route a driver could take based on calculating historical and real-time traffic data in conjunction with the posted speed limits. Ford even adds a cute little picture of growing leaves and flowers to “promote” fuel efficient driving (really?). Yes, really, unfortunately that is what it takes to save money and the environment.
Hit the jump for the full story plus some fuel-saving tips.
On one hand, these diesel stacks are widely considered as a trucker’s best friend. On the other hand, though, it’s an environmentalist’s worst nightmare.
Not content with eight-inch diesel stacks, which are already pretty huge as far as diesel stacks are concerned, Pypes Performance Exhaust decided that eight inches aren’t big enough stacks anymore so they did what any motivated exhaust company would do: raise the ante.
And this is what happens when Pypes Performance Exhaust plays the role of mad scientists. Behold the twelve-inch diesel stacks.
Watching this video, you can immediately conjure up what people are thinking as soon as they see it. On one end, you have those truck drivers salivating at the thought of having one – or two – of these exhausts installed in their semi. On the other end, you have those environmentalists that must have already fainted after seeing that black plume of smoke released by 12-inch stacks.
The question is: which side of the fence are you on?
After the luxury car builders from Germany Audi and Mercedes Benz unveiled their electric super car concepts at the Frankfurt Motor show, it looks like the luxury super car builder Rolls Royce is planning a shocking ride of their own. Apparently back at the Goodwood revival a spokesman for the classic English brand turned German owned coachbuilder has been toying around with the idea of a battery powered Rolls Royce Phantom. The Phantom is one of the unique cars that could actually see some weight savings by replacing the rather large gas burning V12 power plant with a lithium ion battery pack, not that the bulky electric motors would make much of a difference to the current luxury sedan’s nearly three ton curb weight.
The obvious benefits of an electric car that would fit in perfectly with Rolls Royce’s perfect passenger experience like an almost silent ride, zero emission operation and loads of torque that will be instantaneously available starting at 0 RPM, perfectly suiting the luxury brand’s wafting acceleration. The only problem that we foresee with an all electric Phantom, and is the same for any battery powered vehicle, is how will the German engineers be able to give the large luxury sedan a suitable range due to the weight of the components that are driven by the flow of electrons.
Perhaps Rolls Royce’s parent company, BMW can figure out how to fit the working parts of the new Vision EfficientDynamics Concept underneath the coach built bodywork of a next generation Phantom. Perhaps the answer to an all electric super car is a small displacement diesel engine with its incredible range and efficiency is the ideal solution to keeping the ultra low emissions hybrid luxury vehicle running long after any lithium ion battery would run out.
Along with the rest of the automotive industry, the German luxury car builder BMW announced that they are planning to follow a recipe of downsizing and turbo charging their vehicle’s power plants in an attempt to meet the stringent Corporate Average Fuel Economy regulations that have been set forth by the U.S. Government stating that every automaker’s lineup must have an average fuel economy of 35 MPG by 2015. It was at last week’s Frankfurt Motor show that BMW North America CEO, Jim O’Donnell spoke with Automotive News about the automaker’s plans to sell four cylinder equipped vehicles in the U.S. by 2012.
The innovative German automaker sees the use of BMW’s next generation turbocharger technology along with smaller displacement engines as a way of generating output levels on par with today’s engines but with much greater fuel mileage and much less emissions. The CAFE regulations state that automakers must improve the fuel economy of their fleets by 5 percent every year leading up to the national standard of 35.5 MPG for the 2016 model year.
Across the pond, BMW already sells a European 3 Series with a four cylinder power plant under the hood, the automaker’s hope is that America will be just as accepting because they are planning on downsizing the drive trains of the next generation 3 Series as well as the X1 and X3 compact sports activity vehicles. O’Donnell sounds hopeful, saying “we see potentially a significant market that could get to 100,000 four cylinder engines” in the U.S. of course. If everything goes according to the automaker’s plans, then the Germans should be good by the year 2012, three years before the deadline set by Congress. Hopefully that will leave them some time to come up with a true 2002 tii successor.