An improved flex-fuel engine will allow vehicles to get better fuel efficiency from a mix of ethanol and gasoline. The pressure within the engine changes to adapt to different fuel blends. This, together with the use of turbochargers, makes it almost as efficient as a diesel engine, according to its developers. So-called flex-fuel engines use a mixture of fuels, the most common combination being around 15 percent gasoline and 85 percent ethanol. But these engines tend to pay a 30 percent efficiency penalty because they are optimized to use gasoline, says Rod Beazley, product group director for gasoline at the engineering-research firm Ricardo, based in Detroit. Therefore, even though commercial ethanol-fuel mixes such as E85 cost less than gas at the pump, it still works out cheaper to operate a regular gasoline engine, he says. Ricardo’s new Ethanol Boosted Direct Injection (EBDI) engine is designed to take full advantage of the favorable properties of ethanol to improve … [Read more...] about A More Efficient Ethanol Engine
Reduced engine power gmc sierra
The new Chevy Colorado and GMC Canyon have moved the goalpost for midsize trucks. But it hasn’t taken long for the Toyota, the company that basically defined this segment, to strike back. The newly unveiled 2016 Tacoma threatens not just to claw ground back from GM, but once again move the Tacoma nameplate firmly out of reach as the midsize truck.The headline news isn’t just what has been announced, but also what we still don’t know. The new Tacoma will be powered by what is likely to be a carryover four-cylinder as well as an all new V6. This new six-cylinder will use the Atkinson cycle, a highly efficient combustion cycle that allows engines to complete all four cylinder strokes in a single revolution.This new engine was badly needed, as the powerplant it is replacing is outdated to say the least. Just how much of an improvement this new six-cylinder will be remains a mystery; Toyota may have unveiled the Tacoma but they haven’t coughed up any numbers. Of … [Read more...] about Tacoma vs. Colorado: Toyota fires back at GM with 2016 Toyota Tacoma
Ram Trucks’ striking Rebel off-roader may be getting all the headlines at the 2015 Detroit Auto Show, but the brand’s 1500 EcoDiesel HFE has some charm of its own.The American brand announced the fuel-efficient HFE model at the event on Tuesday, which adds a bevy of aerodynamic aids to reduce strain at the gas pump.The full-size truck comes equipped with stop-start technology, wheel-to-wheel side steps, and a tri-fold bed cover. These may seem like minor changes over the standard model, but the truck now returns class-leading economy ratings of 21 mpg city, 29 mpg highway, and 24 mpg combined.This is only possible with the 3.0-liter EcoDiesel engine, mind you, but for a vehicle of this size, those numbers are very impressive. The light-duty powerplant generates 240 horsepower and 420 pound-feet of torque.For comparison’s sake, the 2015 Ford F-150 boasts 19 mpg in the city, 26 mpg on the highway, and 22 mpg combined with the 2.7-liter EcoBoost V6, its most … [Read more...] about Ram Trucks reveals 1500 EcoDiesel HFE with 29-mpg highway rating
The all-new 2017 Infiniti Q60 has landed at this year’s Detroit Auto Show.The Q60 was previewed by a thinly-veiled concept presented at last year’s edition of the event. As expected, the coupe has changed little in its transition from a concept to a production car. Aimed directly at the BMW 4 Series and the Mercedes-Benz C-Class Coupe, the Q60 adopts a muscular look that blends head-turning styling cues including a wide, double-arched grille positioned low on the front fascia with discreet aerodynamic features such as a hood sculpted to reduce drag and active grille shutters. Interestingly, Infiniti points out the headlights are designed to mimic the look of human eyelids.The Japanese car maker went to great lengths to reduce noise, vibration, and harshness (NVH) in the cabin. All Q60 models regardless of trim level come standard with active noise cancellation technology, wheel spokes that dampen vibrations, and stiff cross-members. Noise is further covered … [Read more...] about Can the 400-hp Infiniti Q60 lure buyers away from BMW and Mercedes-Benz showrooms?
Infiniti has made a handful of major upgrades to the Q50 for the 2016 model year in a bid to lure buyers away from BMW and Mercedes-Benz showrooms.The big news is that the Nissan-owned car maker is finally taking performance seriously. It has expanded the Q50 lineup with a range-topping model called Red Sport that’s powered by a brand new twin-turbocharged 3.0-liter V6 engine tuned to develop 400 horsepower at 6,400 rpm and 350 pound-feet of torque from 1,600 to 5,200 rpm. The six spins the rear wheels via a seven-speed automatic transmission, but performance figures haven’t been announced yet.Don’t need 400 ponies? Infiniti has you covered with a detuned version of the 3.0-liter V6 that sends 300 ponies and 295 lb-ft. of twist to the rear wheels via a seven-speed automatic transmission. The 3.0-liter replaces the Nissan-sourced 3.7-liter six currently offered in the Q50, and in a long list of other Infiniti models.Base cars gain a 2.0-liter turbo four that … [Read more...] about Infiniti turns up the heat with a twin-turbocharged, 400hp version of the Q50
Out of the troublesome mix of emissions-cheating diesels, climate change fears, and ever-higher government fuel economy demands, an alternative technology called mild hybrids may tick all the boxes for car manufacturers, according to Ars Technica. An efficient, small diesel engine with a mild hybrid power assist could be the best of both worlds. Automotive supplier Delphi is testing a mild hybrid system that it claims can provide most of the benefits of a full-power hybrid at a fraction of the cost.Mild hybrids aren’t a brand new solution. General Motors showed a mild hybrid concept car in 2000 and has introduced different versions since then. Also referred to as BAS or Belt-Assisted-Starters, GM offered mild hybrid options for a 2007 Saturn and then for Buick models starting in 2013. The 2016 Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra full-sized pickups offer a mild hybrid system called “eAssist.” One reason for the “mild” is the electrical system … [Read more...] about Turbodiesel engines assisted by mild hybrid tech are an answer to dirty diesels
General Motors and its subsidiary OnStar have demonstrated a new prototype technology called Stolen Vehicle Slowdown that is designed to gradually reduce available engine power in a vehicle if it is reported stolen. The idea is not only to increase the recoverability of stolen vehicles, but also to reduce property damage, injuries, and fatalities which sometimes result from high speed police chases. “From its inception, the motivation behind OnStar has been the safety and security of our subscribers and others on the road,” said OnStar president Chet Huber, in a release. “Every service we add builds on this original promise. The Stolen Vehicle Slowdown service will allow our subscribers added peace of mind by possibly preventing their vehicle from being used as an instrument of harm if it happens to be stolen.” GM plans to introduce the technology on Generation 8 OnStar units in about 1.7 million 2009 model year vehicles; the service will be included with … [Read more...] about OnStar to Tap The Brakes on Stolen Cars
Two of the best-selling vehicles in the world could be getting a whole lot greener.Automotive News is reporting that General Motors and Ford are weighing the options for the development of electric pickup trucks, however there are a lot of challenges standing in their way.Tony Earley, CEO of Pacific Gas and Electric and Board Member at Ford, recently said “light-duty pickups are the key, so the [Chevrolet] Silverado and the [Ford] F-150” are the main candidates for electric conversion at this time.“But there’s a lot of engineering that has to go from changing a traditional vehicle into an electric vehicle,” he added, “and it costs a lot of money.”To navigate financial obstacles, Earley proposed that the Department of Energy could subsidize the endeavor, or perhaps third-party companies could build kits to transfer pickup trucks over to electric power.“Maybe they’ll turn them over to their converters, so like a lot of the racing … [Read more...] about Insider’s view: Utility provider reveals GM and Ford considering electric pickups
When people talk about alternative fuels, electricity and hydrogen usually dominate the discussion. Yet there is an alternative to those alternatives that doesn’t require exotic technology and is available right now. Compressed natural gas (CNG) can power an internal combustion-engined car with relatively minor modifications, with almost no difference in fuel economy or performance.Don’t jump the CNG fence just yet, though. Its green benefits could be offset by a dirty drilling process, and finding a CNG filling station, or a CNG-compatible car, could take some doing.What is CNG?Compressed Natural Gas is stored under pressure (which can vary depending on the application) while remaining in a gaseous state. It’s different from Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG), which is pressurized (and cooled) until it changes from a gas to a liquid.The natural gas used as fuel is mostly methane, although smaller amounts of other compounds can be present. Like gasoline or diesel, it falls … [Read more...] about The invisible fuel: Is a natural gas car a good way to go green?
Chrysler’s Ram truck division was looking to make its vehicles more fuel-efficient, but it didn’t try to use batteries to accomplish this goal. Instead, Chrysler used compressed natural gas (CNG) to power a version of its Ram 2500 Heavy Duty pickup. This green truck was unveiled at the 2012 Work Truck Show in Indianapolis.Natural gas is popular with fleet customers because it burns cleaner than gasoline and is often cheaper when bought in large quantities. Since natural gas filling stations are virtually nonexistent, it is not really a viable choice for individual consumers, although Honda does make a CNG-powered Civic.The modifications to the Ram’s 5.7-liter Hemi V8 were minor; it can still run on gasoline when needed. Changes include: new cylinder heads with redesigned valves and valve seat material, a new fuel rail and injectors for the natural gas, different spark plugs, and a reprogrammed engine management computer. The main difference between natural gas and … [Read more...] about Ram cleans up its act with natural gas