Just Car Blog
|Formula 1 introduces new engine||
Formula 1 has recently introduced the new engine that will be used this year. And boy, it is really quite jaw-dropping!
The all new, turbocharged 1.6 liter V6 engine is also a hybrid-electric engine. This comes after the immense pressure that Formula 1 and all of it’s affiliates have been under recently to make the competition (including the cars, obviously) more ‘green’ and environmentally friendly.
However, this doesn’t mean that the new engine is wimpy. No ways, it is still one hell of a engine.
Even though F1 drivers had to downsize their engines from 2.4 liters to 1.6, this engine produces a mammoth 760 horsepower. In order to be more green, the engine also features a pair of energy recovery systems that pull form exhaust pressure and braking.
This, of course, is the green component that has been the topic of much debate (and praise) as of late.
Another thing to take into consideration, is that fact that the new engine will have to power Formula 1 cars. Now, these cars can weigh up to 500kilograms +. This means that it will power round about 1250horsepower per ton. Quite impressive.
So, who is looking forward to the 2014 season?!
|The Mercedes ‘Vision’ Golf Cart||
Mercedes-Benz has come up with their rendition of a (very) futuristic looking new age golf cart.
This plug-in electric golf cart is electrically driven and powered by a solar panel charged battery. So it is not only a sleek, modernised version of a traditional golf cart, but a greener, eco-friendly option too.
The concept of this golf cart, being called ‘The Vision Golf Cart’ was developed by the Mercedes Advanced Design Centre in California. The design and the idea of the car is based on ideas that were submitted by golf and car fans for a competition. The winners would then be invited to the Open Championship.
The interior of this golf cart is definitely a far cry from today’s ‘simple’ golf carts. Firstly, both the ‘passenger’ and the ‘driver’ can drive the cart; there is a console mounted joystick in the center.
The cart also features a multimedia panel which includes a docking station for Apple products (iPad’s, iPod’s, iPhone’s). From this dock, various features can be controlled: the air-conditioning, and the head-up display.
The head-up display truly looks like something straight out of a movie. It can be integrated into the windscreen to show the course layout and an updated leader board.
Gallery: A futuristic golf cart –
If you have missed a shot or gone a bit skew, the ‘force-button’ will enable you to warn other players if they are within a danger zone – instead of embarrassing yourself and yelling “FOUR!”
Other features, that are typically Mercedes, include heated, electronically adjustable seats, optional click-in lightweight doors, a retractable lightning rod and cup holders that will keep your drinks either hot or cold.
This space-age golf cart might make you feel like you’re going for a game on Mars, but it sure makes the (sometimes tedious) game a whole lot smarter!
|2014 Mazda6 to launch in Moscow||
Mazda will be revealing its mid-sized sedan 2014 Mazda6 Atenza at the Moscow Motor Show next week.
The new model will be powered by the aut0 manufacturer’s Skyactiv technology and draws its design from the Kodo “Soul of Motion” language. The Mazda6 is the second of a new generation of vehicles to adopt this following the CX-5.
The powertrain has also been incorporated with Mazda’s regenerative breaking “i-Eloop” system which includes stop/start technology, contributing to an improvement in fuel efficiency.
Auto Blog reports that, “The 2014 Mazda6 gets the new range of Skyactiv engines, including the 2.0-liter Skyactiv-G (gas) engine that makes 110 kW (148 horsepower), sending power to the front wheels through either a six-speed Skyactiv-Drive automatic, or a six-speed Skyactiv-MT manual gearbox. The uprated engine is a Skyactiv-G 2.5-liter unit, developing 141 kW.”
As for the exterior, in the front view, Mazda incorporated the ‘signature wing,’ into a deeply sculpted face. The hood creases extend from the tips of the signature wing and flow into the body character lines. The rear of the car features a wedged body, prominent rear fender and compact cabin.
According to chief designer Akira Tamatani, “We have created a design in which the wild and dynamic expressions of motion artistically realize a powerful presence.”
For more about what to expect from the Mazda6 click here.
|2013 Mazda 6: What to expect||
Since its introduction in 2002, the Mazda 6 its all its incarnations has shifted over a million units. Whilst this may come as no surprise to those who’ve seen it first-hand (or indeed those who voted it ‘best family car’ in 2012 in What Car? Magazine), it seems a quietly sensible car, albeit one with a stylish and mega-modern design. The result of the Japanese company creating a new visual language of sorts (codenamed Kodo) for its designs, sees the 2013 Mazda 6 looking positively ferocious with its headlights-cum-hawk eyes and sleek, aerodynamic chassis.
The buzz around it is making car enthusiasts desperate to catch more than a fleeting glance! Charging ahead with the Takeri concept the company unveiled last year, the newest model will champion the futuristic appeal we’ve come to expect of Mazda.
The soon-to-be-released model will only further whet the appetites of Mazda aficionados with its incorporation of several novel features in an attempt to render its competitors obsolete. It seems Mazda don’t need thrilling high-budget ads when their cars speak for themselves. The company is leading the way as far as CO2 emissions go, using its Skyactiv technology to lower fuel consumption and in turn reducing the amount its customers have to dish out on petrol. This has been shown before in earlier models, but in tough economic times, Mazda seems to know exactly what its customers are craving.
Their new i-Eloop system, silly name aside, is a bafflingly futuristic feature that captures energy released when braking the car, transferring it to be used in the car’s electronics. A real game-changer as far as energy consumption is concerned, the system means the car releases a minuscule 105g/km. It’s anticipated that the new Mazda 6 will use the same engines as its brother model, the CX-5 SUV. If so, consumers will be able to choose between a 162bhp 2.0-litre petrol or 2.2-litre diesel engine (148- or 173bhp, accordingly).
With no pricing details yet released, we can only hope it retails in a similarly affordable range as its forebears. The company have released a mere handful of photos, making us wait with bated breath for its official unveiling at Moscow.
About the author: Carl English is currently writing for carhoots.com. Having graduated from The University of Glasgow with an MA in English Language in 2011, he has been working with several publication companies in France and the UK. His interests lie primarily in digital content and online magazine production.
|Audi pulls the plug on A2 EV project||
First shown in 2011 and originally expected to go into production in 2015, the A2 featured an 85kW, 199lb ft electric motor and 125-mile range. The electric vehicle was timed to go into production in order to compete with BMW’s i3 hatchback.
When the company executives became uneasy about the small EV, measuring less than 4m in length, with the large price tag they began to doubt whether it in fact was a worthwhile project to undertake.
With the demand for mass-market EVs having shown low demand by the public that includes the Nissan Leaf and Mitsubishi i-MiEV, even with governments in Europe offering a discount, Audi no longer considers the manufacturing and marketing of the electric A2 a priority or any other EV for that matter at this time.
|Fisker Atlantic hybrid sedan revealed in NYC||
Fisker recently revealed its new Atlantic at the New York auto show, a plug-in hybrid sedan that with its good looks sets a new high for hybrids.
Although Fisker hasn’t been very vocal about all-electric range, cost or an estimated delivery date, for now the car speaks for itself. It’s a ‘mid-sized sports sedan’, about the size of an Audi A5 Sportback, with a long bonnet that’s slightly uptilted in classic American style, an ultra-short rear deck and hidden rear door handles.
One thing executive chairman Henrik Fisker was very happy to talk about was that the Atlantic is a car that will be built and will go into production. It is “a promise we are going to deliver,” he said.
When it does eventually arrive, the Atlantic is likely to look very similar to the vehicle revealed with Fisker stating in his presentation that the company does not do concepts making reference to the little change seen in the Karma from auto show reveal to showroom.
However, the Karma has received some bad press recently with the first 239 units being recalled in December 2011, and a later unit braking down during a Consumer Report test. So, Fisker would do well to bring out a more reliable car to the market as soon as possible.
With regard to the engine, It’ll also sport Fisker’s second-generation EVer (Electric Vehicle with extended range) powertrain with the official press release stateing that “Its four-cylinder gasoline engine, which acts as a generator and is not mechanically connected to the wheels, is tuned to offer maximum economy and high torque. The standard powertrain will be configured for rear-wheel drive and an all-wheel drive version will be offered as an option.”
Source: Auto Blog
|2012 BMW i8 Spyder Concept||
BMW, that will be chopping the top off its i8 hybrid for the upcoming Beijing Auto Show, has recently revealed some images of the new convertible i8 Spyder supercar a few weeks ahead of the official unveiling in China.
It’s a sign that Munich will offer a convertible i8 alongside the tin-top coupe when BMW i8 sales kick off in 2014. The convertible will sport a two-section folding back roof, converting the coupe into the roadster in just a few seconds.
The i8 cabrio gives a few pointers to the likely format of the production cars. The Spyder has a slightly shorter wheelbase and overall length, suggesting that showroom i8s will be more compact than the concepts seen so far.
Despite its cabriolet silhouette, the vehicle will be keeping its swan doors that fold upwards. This is enabled by the carbon rich structure of the i8 which makes for a very stiff structure. The passenger ‘Life’ cell is made from carbon fibre reinforced plastic (CFRP) while the ‘Drive’ platform underneath is made from aluminium. The ithium battery can be found in the car’s spine assisting with providing a low sense of gravity and BMW’s 50:50 weight distribution.
Like the i8 coupe, this car has a plug-in hybrid powertrain to produce supercar performance, the emissions from which BMW claims are very low.
A 129bhp electric motor drives the front wheels, while a three-cylinder turbo petrol engine sends 220bhp to the back axle. Total output is 349bhp and 406lb ft of torque. This results in the vehicle reaching 0-62mph in just 5 seconds reaching a maximum speed of 155mph.
A domestic socket will charge up the lithium-ion battery in ‘less than two hours’, giving a 19-mile range on EV power. On cold days, the battery and cabin can be set up to be warmed up to operating temperature in advance.
In early March, BMW announced that its i3 electric hatchback production version would be ready for 2013.
Source: Car Magazine
|Porsche Panamera Plug-in Hybrid||
While Porsche‘s first plug-in hybrid will be the exclusive and expensive 918 Spyder due next year the sports car manufacturer will be introducing even more plug-ins in the future.
While a plug-on hybrid version of Porsche’s Cayenne SUV would likely make the most sense as a hybrid with the size to carry a heavy battery and electric motor setup, insiders have revealed that a plug-in hybrid Panamera could be launched in the next two years, ready for 2014.
Speaking to Automotive News, the sources commented that the production of the vehicle will commence in 2014 and is likely to then be sold in the U.S.
The technology will be based on a modular plug-in hybrid setup being developed for the entire Volkswagen Group, with brands such as Audi, Bentley, and Volkswagen all set to benefit as well. Rupert Stadler, Audi CEO has already confirmed that the auto manufacturer has launched plug-in hybrid versions of the A3, A4 and Q7 also for 2014. That’t not all. In addition, sources have revealed that a plug-in version of the next-generation European Passat will be launched in 2015.
The plug-in hybrid setup to be utilized by Porsche, as well as its Volkswagen Group siblings, is likely to be similar to the one currently featured in the Toyota Prius Plug-In Hybrid where both the internal combustion engine and electric drive systems can send power to the wheels directly. As a result, when travelling short distances with low load situations, electronic driving can be used and when the driver requires sports car performance, as one would from a Porsche, an internal combustion engine kicks into gear.
Source: Motor Authority
|BMW i3 electric hatchback for 2013||
The production version of BMW’s i3 electric hatchback will be ready for 2013.
The team, headed by Ulrich Kranz is already well into prototyping with both i3 and i8 undergoing early on-road trials in Miramas, BMW‘s own proving ground near Marseilles, and near the Arctic Circle. First spy shots taken of the car, show a heavily camouflaged vehicle that still fails to disguise its radical proportions, large-diameter skinny wheels and the extrovert aerodynamics
The BMW i programme has been a huge undertaking for BMW, not only because of the revolutionary engineering and design concept, but also because of the scale of the whole operation which will include the production of about 100, 000 vehicles per year.
The i3 will also be joined by the i1, i5 and i8 to round up the model range that will have a significant impact on the emerging green car market. The proposed i range features: The i3 four-door hatchback in late 2013, the i8 two-door 2+2-seater coupe in early 2014, The i5 high-roof long-wheelbase five-seater wagon/MPV hybrid potentially in 2015 and the i1 2+2-seater short-wheelbase city car potentially in 2016.
The relation between i1, i3 and i5 is said to resemble that between Polo, Golf and Golf plus/Touran.
In terms of competition, the i3 will face the even more prudent Audi A2 expected in 2014.
“Common to all BMW i vehicles are the so-called Life and Drive modules, denoting the carbon fibre body and the rolling chassis made of aluminium.” Unlike BMW’s front-engined products, i1, i3 and i5 are rear-engined which the engineers claim that the cleverly packaged battery kit dubbed energy wedge, will warrant a perfect 50:50 weight distribution. Other benefits include a low centre of gravity, the tight turning circle and a clear traction and grip advantage.
“All three rear-engined models sport a spring strut front axle and a multilink rear suspension. Supported by innovative kinematics and state-of-the-art electronics, BMW promises entertaining yet totally failsafe handling qualities.”
The i1, i3 and i5 will be available in BEV and PHEV form. The BEV relies solely on its 170bhp electric motor which propels the 1250 kilo i3 from 0-62mph in 7.9 seconds. As a range-protecting measure, the top speed is limited to about 95mph or 150kph. Sources sat that while the i1 is slightly quicker off the mark but slower overall, the i5 needs three tenths longer to get going.
Source: Car Magazine
|Pininfarina Cambiano Concept Leaked||
Named for the city that Pininfarina calls home, its Cambiano concept may just be the sexiest plug-in diesel hybrid ever created. While the vehicle will make its official debut at the upcoming Geneva Motor Show, Pininfarina chose to release some of its concept shots in advance.
The Cambiano is powered by batteries, a diesel-fueled turbine or both and propelled by an electric motor at each wheel. The car gives a maximum output equivalent to 816 horsepower and can sprint from 0-100 km/h in just 4.2 seconds, on its way to a top speed of 155 mph.
While showing-off a supercar performance, the Cambiano was primarily designed to be environmentally friendly and so emits just 45 grams of CO2 per km which should be clean enough for the car to be compliant with future Euro 7 emissions standards.
The turbo-diesel powered supercar is the first to be designed by Pininfarina’s new CEO Fabio Filippini, who came to the design firm from Renault. Filippini admits that the inspiration for the Cambiano’s design came from the 1957 Lancia Florida II, and that the design attempts to create a pure form with a strong impact, evident by its minimalist and clean exterior.
The interior completes the car’s environmentally friendly design with recycled oak used on the floor, lower door panels and center console.
Source: Motor Authority
|Tesla Unveils Model X Electric SUV||
Tesla Motors has recently unveiled its third electric car, an all electric vehicle, the Model X. Built on the same chassis as the four-door Model S, the Model X is a hybrid, a cross between an SUV and minivan.
In terms of the exterior the model has “falcon wing” doors that are similar to the gullwing doors often seen on concept cars but rarely on actual production vehicles. Tesla Motors CEO, Elon Musk, says that the advantage of the doors that lift upward make it easier to get in and out of the car especially in tight parking spots.
Musk mentioned on Thursday that the Model X will be priced similarly to the Model S, costing between $50,000 and $70,000. However, even though it shares a chassis and drive train with the Model S, the X will have a 10% shorter range because of its extra weight.
|BMW Unveils 2012 Olympic Pavilion||
Just months before the 2012 Olympic Games kicks off in London, BMW has unveiled its new pavilion that will be constructed in the host city.
The winning design came from the British architectural firm Serie after bids from six different companies. As the sole automotive sponsor of the international event, BMW has been given permission to build its pavilion at the Olympic Park where it will remain for the duration of the Paralympic Games as well. It is expected to attract about 8000 visitors per day.
Built for the purposes of entertaining VIPs, the pavilion is also available for anyone who enters into the Olympic Park. The top floor of the double-story constructions will showcase the latest models and the lower floor will have future mobility exhibitions and events with BMW-sponsored athletes.
The 800sq m site of the pavilion will be situated above the Waterworks River, between the Olympic stadium and Aquatics Centre. As seen in the image above, river water will be used to cool the building before cascading down in a ‘water curtain’ back into the river. Unsurprisingly for a brand like BMW, sustainability is at the heart of this project.
BMW is providing 4000 vehicles throughout the event to transport athletes and Olympic officials to and from various locations. Although the exact makeup of the fleet, that includes Minis, BMWs and Rolls Royces, has not been officially announced, the use of electric, hybrid and clean diesel technology will ensure that it produces an average of less than 120g/km of CO2.
The image below shows the pavilion by night.
Source: Car Magazine
|Toyota Launches Prius C in Japan||
Toyota Motor Company has recently launched the Aqua hatchback, known as the Prius C in international markets, in Japan.
The entry level hybrid prides itself on a fuel efficiency of 35.4 km/L (83.3 mpg US; 2.8L/ 100km). Powered by a 1.5-litre Toyota Hybrid System II (THS II), the Aqua produces a combined motor and engine output of 100 PS (98 bhp / 73 kW). For improved engine efficieny, the vehicle features a cooled Exhaust-Gas Recirculation system and a battery powered water pump. The water pump, unlike other traditional designs, reduces friction on the engine and allows precise control of coolant flow.
The Aqua has a starting price of 1.69 million yen ($21,700) and Toyota Motor Company has plans to sell 12,000 units per month.
In addition, Toyota as also announced that it will be launching additional TRD and Modellista versions of the new hybrid. For the TRD there is a new front bumper lower apron with integrated LED lights and side skirts. Also available are a new set of wheels, firmer shock absorbers and springs plus a stainless cat-back exhaust system with dual tips. While the Modellista package offering is similar to that of the TRD, there are two versions available each offering a 5-piece body kits containing front and rear aprons, side skirts and roof spoiler.
Source: World Car Fans
|Mitsubishi Concept PX-MiEV II||
Mitsubishi has showcased its PX-MiEV II concept for 2013 at the 2011 Tokyo Motor Show. The vehicle is a plug-in hybrid version of the Mitsubishi Outlander and will be available to own sometime in 2012.
Power comes from an internal combustion engine and two electric motors. Using two 60kW electric motors individually powering the front and rear wheels, the hybrid can drive exclusively in electric mode for up to 50km and a further 800km when combined with its petrol engine.
The vehicles also offers three driving modes that combines electric and pedal power. In the case of an emergency the PX-MiEV can act as an outdoor power supply through a socket that supplies the stored power in the battery.
source: Car Advice
|New Volvo XC90 – first sketches||
Volvo has revealed the first sketches of the new Volvo XC90 that have been etched out by the designers. Showcased in California at Volvo’s forward-thinking Concept Centre, the sketches provide a rough idea of what the all new model will look like.
The all-new model could be launched in 2014 and will feature an ultra-low CO2 diesel-electric hybrid version as part of its line-up. Volvo has confirmed that the new Volvo XC90 will be the first production car to be built on the firm’s upcoming scalable platform architecture with a new four-cylinder-only engine range as part of the plan as well as the use of hybrid and electric powertrains.