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  1. Today at a media briefing, General Motors unveiled their next-generation EcoTec engine family. The family will go into production later this year and promises to be more refined and efficient than before. The engine family is made up of eleven different three and four-cylinder engines ranging in displacement of 1.0 to 1.5 liters. Both naturally-aspirated and turbocharged engines will be on offer and the engines have been designed with hybrid and alternate fuel configurations in the future. Power will range from 75 to 165 horsepower and 70 to 184 pound-feet or torque. "The new Ecotec architecture represents the most advanced and efficient family of small-car gas engines in GM's history. Along with performance and efficiency targets, we've also aimed for segment-leading refinement with low noise and vibration - and we've hit the bulls-eye," said Tom Sutter, GM's global chief engineer. The first vehicles to get the latest EcoTec engines will be the Opel Adam and the Chinese-Market Chevrolet Cruze. The Adam will get a new turbocharged 1.0L three-cylinder that is 20 percent more efficient than the 1.6L four-cylinder it replaces. Meanwhile, the Chinese-Market Cruze replaces the 1.6L four-cylinder with a new turbocharged 1.4L four-cylinder with 148 horsepower and 173 lb-ft of torque, paired with a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission. GM plans to roll out the engine lineup to twenty-seven different vehicles globally. Oddly, GM hasn't announced any plans for the U.S. for the new EcoTec family. We'll likely hear about that later this year. Source: General Motors Press Release is on Page 2 New Modular Ecotec Engines are More Adaptable, Efficient Modular architecture streamlines powertrain portfolio, reduces manufacturing complexity Global design and manufacturing processes enhance adaptability, with 11 engine variants ranging from 1.0L to 1.5L Up to 2.5 million annual production at five global plants by 2017 DETROIT – A new generation of Ecotec small-displacement engines streamlines General Motors’ global powertrain portfolio with a modular architecture that broadens its adaptability to global markets and reduces manufacturing complexity – while offering customers leading-edge efficiency, refinement and durability. The new engines were developed for GM’s global vehicle portfolio and will power many of the company’s highest-volume small cars and compact crossovers – including the next-generation Chevrolet Cruze specifically tailored for China, which launches in 2014 as a 2015 model. By 2017, more than 2.5 million new Ecotec engines are projected to be built annually in at least five manufacturing locations around the globe: Flint, Mich. (U.S.); Shenyang, China; Szentgotthárd, Hungary; Toluca, Mexico; and Changwon, South Korea. The Flint facility alone represents an investment of more than $200 million in technology and tooling to support the engines’ production. “Transportation solutions vary around the world and GM is committed to developing engines matched to the needs of the regions where they’re sold,” said Steve Kiefer, GM vice president, Global Powertrain Engineering. “The new engine family is designed to achieve segment-leading refinement and efficiency, and will make its way into five GM brands and 27 models by the 2017 model year.” The new Ecotec portfolio will include 11 engines, with three- and four-cylinder variants ranging from 1.0L to 1.5L – including turbocharged versions – and power ratings ranging from 75 horsepower (56 kW) to 165 horsepower (123 kW), and torque ranging from 70 lb-ft (95 Nm) to 184 lb-ft (250 Nm). The architecture is also designed to support hybrid propulsion systems and alternative fuels. The first production applications include a 1.0L turbocharged three-cylinder for the Opel ADAM in Europe, and 1.4L turbocharged and 1.5L naturally aspirated four-cylinder engines for the 2015 next-generation Chevrolet Cruze in China. The turbocharged variants enable the engines to deliver the power and torque of larger-displacement engines with the efficiency of smaller engines. For example, the turbocharged 1.0L three-cylinder used in the Opel ADAM makes as much power as the naturally aspirated 1.6L four-cylinder it replaces – with an estimated 20-percent improvement in efficiency. In fact, the new Ecotec family is on the leading edge of efficiency, with the new 1.4L turbo up to five percent more efficient than the 1.4L turbo engine it will replace. The new Ecotec engines also deliver segment-challenging refinement. Noise intensity is up to 50-percent quieter than Volkswagen’s EA211 1.4L four-cylinder and up to 25-percent quieter than Ford’s 1.0L turbo three-cylinder. Clean-sheet design The new Ecotec engines represent a clean-sheet design and engineering process, leveraging the diverse experience of GM’s global resources. Technologies such as central direct fuel injection, continuously variable valve timing, turbocharging and variable intake manifold airflow help achieve efficiency goals with broad power bands, for an optimal balance of strong performance and lower fuel consumption. “The new Ecotec architecture represents the most advanced and efficient family of small-car gas engines in GM’s history,” said Tom Sutter, global chief engineer. “Along with performance and efficiency targets, we’ve also aimed for segment-leading refinement with low noise and vibration – and we’ve hit the bulls-eye.” Modularity in parts – such as four-cylinder and three-cylinder blocks – that share bore spacing, bore diameter, liners and other dimensions, reduces complexity while increasing the flexibility to quickly adapt the architecture for new applications. The new Ecotec engines are calibrated to run on regular unleaded gas – even the high-output turbo variants. The new 1.4L turbo for the 2015 next-generation Chevrolet Cruze in China is estimated at 148 horsepower (110 kW) and 173 lb-ft of torque (235 Nm). The 1.5L is rated at an estimated 113 horsepower (84 kW) and 108 lb-ft of torque (146 Nm). In China, Cruze models with the 1.4L turbo engine will also feature an all-new dual-clutch gearbox.
  2. William Maley Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com September 29, 2013 We're just a couple months away from MINI showing off the next-generation Cooper at MINI's factory in Oxford, Great Britain. To keep us interested, MINI has revealed the powertrain lineup and chassis for the Cooper. The standard Cooper will get a new 1.5L turbocharged three-cylinder with 134 horsepower and 162 pound-feet of torque (170 pound-feet for a few seconds with MINI's overboost function). The Cooper S gets a new 2.0L turbocharged four-cylinder with 189 horsepower and 207 pound-feet of torque (221 pound-feet with overboost). These power figures are thanks in part to TwinPower turbocharging and direct injection from BMW. Transmissions are a six-speed manual or automatic. The automatic has a clever trick where it can communicate with the optional navigation system to adapt gear selection to the current route. This sounds similar to what Rolls-Royce is using with the new Wraith. Chassis-wise, the Cooper will stick with the damper strut front suspension and a multi-link rear setup. New is a optional adjustable dampers that offer two settings; normal and sport. Steering is a revised electric system. Source: MINI William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.comor you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster. Press Release is on Page 2 Innovative technology for typical MINI MOTORING pleasure: New generation of three and four-cylinder engines All-new chassis technology Passive safety, protection for passengers and pedestrians Woodcliff Lake, NJ – September 29, 2013… The latest innovations in drivetrain, chassis and safety will see future MINI models build on their segment-leading position. Since 1959, the unmistakable go-kart feeling has been at the heart of the British marque’s DNA. Today, every member of the MINI family has the combination of agile handling, exemplary efficiency, contemporary comfort and uncompromising safety. With the typical innovative strength expected from a premium manufacturer, MINI seeks to set standards for the future in developing vehicles and technologies that transform driving into a unique motoring experience. A new generation of engines will once again optimize the balance between driving thrills and fuel consumption. Future MINI models will be the first to use both three and four-cylinder engines, not only covering a broader performance spectrum, but also setting new standards in terms of output, performance, comfort and reliability. The quality of the new engines is a direct result of the unique development expertise of the BMW Group in the area of drive technology. Thanks to the brand and model-specific design, they have performance characteristics synonymous with the MINI motoring experience. The advances achieved by MINI in the area of drivetrain technology are characterized by the consistent further development of tried-and-tested design principles and the integration of innovative technology. MINI developers will continue to emphasize sporty, agile handling for all chassis variants. In addition, MINI will introduce electrically adjustable dampers for the first time. The electric control of the damper valves will make it possible to vary the nature of responsiveness to uneven road surfaces. Two characteristic curves will be available for damper adjustment that can be activated at the flip of a switch. Depending on the driver's preferences, a sporty drivetrain setting or something more balanced and comfortable can be selected. The new generation of engines. Maximum motoring fun and the most economical fuel consumption – a two-fold victory in terms of performance and efficiency has helped the latest MINI models to score top marks over their rivals in comparative tests regarding engine technology and driving performance. This is made possible by a new generation of engines and MINIMALISM technologies which will be available in all models as standard. For the first time, the MINI models of the future will use both three and four-cylinder engines that not only cover an even broader range of performance, but also set new standards in terms of output, efficiency, comfort and reliability. Both brand and model-specific design ensures that they have performance characteristics typical of MINI. More power and lower CO2 emissions thanks to MINI TwinPower turbo technology. A common feature of the new drive units is the MINI TwinPower turbo technology, which optimizes both performance and efficiency. In the case of the petrol engines, this technology package includes turbocharging, direct fuel injection, variable camshaft control on the intake and outlet sides (dual VANOS) and, in the more powerful versions, fully variable valve control according to the model of the BMW Group's patented VALVETRONIC system. All-new engines were designed for the transverse configuration typical of the MINI and feature a compact and lightweight design. They also comply with exhaust standard EU6. The engines are equipped with an aluminum crankshaft in a closed-deck configuration. A forged steel crankshaft with integrated balancing shaft drive, weight-optimized piston and forged conrod contributes to the high level of performance within the engine through reduced frictional coefficients. The three-cylinder engines each have a countershaft to enhance smooth operation, while the four-cylinder model has two such shafts that counter-rotate. The cylinder head in all engine variants is made of aluminum. For the market launch of the new drive generation, MINI is presenting a three-cylinder combustion engine that generates an output of 100 kW/134 bhp from a cubic capacity of 1.5 liters and a 141 kW/189 bhp variant of the newly developed four-cylinder combustion engine that has a cubic capacity of 2.0 liters. A new generation of engines with typical MINI performance characteristics. All of the new petrol engines feature spontaneous responsiveness, high torque characteristics and supreme power delivery. The 1.5 litre three-cylinder engine reaches its maximum torque of 220 newton meters at an engine speed of 1,250 rpm; this can be increased briefly to 230 newton meters by means of the overboost function. The 141 kW/189 bhp four-cylinder model actually achieves a torque of 280 newton meters with the same engine speed (300 nm with overboost). The maximum speed of all new petrol engines is 6,500 rpm. The engine's sporty character is favored by the position of the turbocharger integrated in the exhaust manifold. The short path of the exhaust stream enables the charging system to be activated promptly and effectively. In addition, the emissions pattern of the engines is optimized by the positioning of the catalytic converter and an electronically regulated waste gate. An efficient and precisely dosed fuel supply system facilitates direct injection with centrally positioned injectors between the valves and directly next to the spark plugs. The electronic control for camshaft positioning and the stroke of the intake valves are further technological elements that optimize the responsiveness and the consumption and emissions readings of the new petrol engines for MINI. Newly developed manual and automatic gearboxes will further contribute to the intense motoring pleasure that MINI has to offer, and will enhance the efficiency of the drive technology. The new manual gearboxes feature an innovative gear sensor which adapts the engine speed when shifting gears. This permits fast and sporty shifting with always the right engine speed available during gear shifts. The automatic start-stop function can also be used in future MINI models in conjunction with the automatic gearbox, avoiding unnecessary fuel consumption when stopped at junctions or when caught in heavy traffic. For cars equipped with a navigation system, gear selection can be adapted to the current route. This way, the suitable gear is selected before reaching junctions or before cornering. Chassis Technology. Thanks to the continued optimization in the areas of wheel suspension, spring system, damping, steering and braking, motoring is set to become even more enjoyable in future MINI models. In combination with the features so characteristic of any MINI, such as the vehicle's low centre of gravity, wide track gauge, short overhangs, transverse engine, rigid bodywork and intelligent lightweight design, innovative solutions in the chassis area make for even more precise and sporty handling. The agility that characterizes all MINIs is also combined with further advances in the area of driving comfort. This is the first time that MINI is to offer electrically adjustable dampers that can be used to optimize sportiness and driving comfort. Tried-and-tested construction principle, completely redeveloped components. The complete redesign of the chassis for future MINI models continues to focus on the tried-and-tested structure of the single-link spring strut axle at the front, and the multi-link rear axle - unique among MINI's competitors. It also includes component optimizations in terms of material choice and geometry. The dampers on the front and rear axles are uncoupled from the bodywork by means of complex struts. In combination with the reduction of the unsprung inertial masses, this makes it possible to increase both agility and driving comfort. Newly developed and aerodynamically optimised light alloy wheels are manufactured in a forging process requiring the use of less material. In its latest incarnation, the front single-link spring strut axle features increased component rigidity. In combination with a modified axial kinematic movement, this creates ideal conditions for particularly agile manoeuvrability and steering control that is largely freed from the influence of the drive mechanism. The wider track gauge also makes a further contribution to optimizing sporty characteristics. Consistency in lightweight design also influenced driving performance. The use of aluminum in the pivot bearing and high tensile steels in the front axle bearing and in the transverse rocker arms reduces the unsprung inertial masses. The innovative torque roll axial bearing enables both agility and comfort to be tangibly increased. This component consists of an engine and a transmission bearing that together absorb the weight of the engine and also support the torque in conjunction with the engine swivel support. The engine block is hydraulically attenuated, further enhancing the increase in comfort because this design prevents the engine from surging under the influence of uneven road surfaces. By further developing the multi-link rear axle, MINI is building on its unique position in the competitive field. Key changes – wider track gauge, the use of high-strength steels and greater rigidity in the wheel suspension – take place in tandem with the modifications to the front axle. The spatial design of the rear axle also leads to improved entry comfort and to more space in the rear as well as a larger luggage compartment volume which is also easier to load. More precise, more comfortable: electromechanical power steering. The next generation of the EPS (Electronic Power Steering) used for MINI models offers speed-dependent support for the steering force. In the future it will take less steering force to operate this, while the system will also meet the requirements for the use of a parking assist function. The further development of the steering system will promote agility, driving safety and comfort in equal measure. Thanks to the complex wheel suspension system, the steering ratio can be implemented very directly. Likewise, the optimization of the front axle has a direct impact on the steering, as it facilitates a sensitive steering style when negotiating bends in a sporty style. This effect is further enhanced by the use of so-called torque steer compensation. This torque steering compensation counteracts a tendency towards self-steering in powerful front-wheel drive vehicles due to differences in torque between the right and left front wheels. In the future, active rotational damping will provide for gentler and therefore more precisely controllable vehicle reactions in rapid evasion manoeuvres and when negotiating particularly sporty bends. Advanced brake system for more comfort and security. Another important contribution to motoring pleasure is derived from the improvements in the function and weight of the brake system, which is more closely tailored to the specific models. The new system impresses with its excellent durability with low unsprung inertial masses. This results in greater comfort, more precise dosability and a longer service life. The efficiency of the MINI can also be increased through targeted innovations in the brake system. Thus, optimized coatings help to reduce the residual braking momentum, thereby enhancing the vehicle's rolling friction. Excellent long-lasting properties are achieved through improved surface protection on the disc brake chamber and brake callipers. Another plus point is the optimization of the brake cooling system through refined brake protection plates and a redesigned brake cooling shaft. A first for MINI: adjustable dampers. In an effort to emphasize the MINI character even more, the spring and damper adjustment will be optimized. On the front axle, spring struts made of aluminum and steel and two-pipe compression dampers with coated pistons and a degressive damper characteristic curve are used. The support bearings on the front and rear axles will have three paths in future. The characteristic curves of the support bearing and additional springs have also been optimized on a functional basis, as have the helical springs installed on both axes. The stabilisers on the front and rear axles have holdings bearings and will have a tubular design, helping to reduce weight in the chassis area. In addition, MINI will be introducing adjustable dampers for the first time. The electric control of the damper valves allows the characteristic response to uneven road surface to be varied. Two characteristic curves are available for adjusting the damper and these can be activated at the flip of a switch. The traction and compression level in the shock absorber can be adjusted by selecting the appropriate setting. Depending on the driver's preferences, it is possible to choose either a sporty or a balanced, comfortable chassis. This means that it is possible to enjoy greater driving comfort in poor road conditions or a sporty driving style on an even road surface. Passive safety, protection for passengers and pedestrians. Premium vehicles by MINI hold an excellent position within their vehicle class not just in terms of motoring pleasure, but also in the area of passenger protection. In the event of a collision, precisely defined support structures and generously proportioned crumple zones help to protect the passenger cell while highly efficient restraint systems offer MINI passengers optimum protection in all types of crashes. Top scores in international crash tests confirm the effectiveness of the overall concept for maximum passive safety, which is under continuous development for new models to ensure that the latest standards are met. In addition, innovative solutions in the area of pedestrian protection are also being developed for future MINI models, helping to reduce the risk of injury for other road users. Reduced weight and increased safety thanks to intelligent lightweight construction. The focus of developments in the body area is on structural improvements that have a positive influence on both driving features and crash performance. Intelligent lightweight construction enables MINI to combine the reduction of weight with an increase in rigidity and this promotes both agility and passenger protection. The use of second generation high-strength multi-phase steels plays a key role. Their excellent forming properties allow for much more complex structures than would be possible with conventional materials, while still permitting no compromise on strength. Parts that are of particular relevance to structural rigidity are made from micro-alloyed steels. In addition, hot-formed steels are used in the safety-related zones. So-called tailored welded blanks and tailored rolled blanks also contribute to the optimization of weight. Welded and rolled sheet metal joints are widely used for the first time in cars from the small vehicle segment. The reinforcement of the B pillars with a coating of galvanised, hot-formed steel, which acts as a cathodic anti-corrosion finish, means that additional, weight-increasing measures could be dropped. Despite the reduced weight, the intelligent mix of materials for the highly resilient support structures in the front and rear and in the roof and side frame. In the event of the vehicle rolling over, the reinforced pillars and roof supports secure the survival space of the passengers even more intensively than ever. Reinforced structures in the B pillar and sill area, high-strength side impact bars in the doors and stable seat braces will further minimize the degree of deformation and the speed of intrusion in the event of a side impact. This concept establishes the right conditions for maintaining the passenger cell as a survival space in a wide variety of accident scenarios and forms the basis for the high level of effectiveness of the restraint systems. The integrated safety electronics ensure that the triggering of the airbag and belt systems is adapted to the type and severity of the accident. The coordinated interaction of all components ensures the best possible protection, irrespective of the position of the passengers at the time of impact. Crumple elements on the front for extensive pedestrian protection. The front section of future MINI models will have extra crumple elements. In addition to the yielding sections of the engine cover, a shock absorber between the bumper bracket and the cladding is intended to reduce the risk of injury. The pedestrian protection system will also be part of the standard equipment supplied with new MINI models.
  3. William Maley Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com September 27, 2013 Before too long, the current-generation VR6 motor that currently powers the CC will be retired. But a new report says Volkswagen is working on a successor. According to Autoweek, Volkswagen is developing a new VR6 motor with forced induction. The engine is likely to be a 3.0L, feature twin-turbos, and developed for transverse mounting. Sources say the new engine can produce somewhere in the range of 340 to 450 horsepower, dependent on the tune. There is no word on when this engine will be revealed, but the report says certain vehicles like the CC, Passat, and a production version of the CrossBlue concept are likely candidates. Source: Autoweek William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.
  4. William Maley Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com August 8, 2013 Volkswagen announced this week that the 2015 Beetle, Golf, Jetta, and Passat will come with a new turbodiesel engine. The aptly named EA288 TDI Clean Diesel will take the place of the current 2.0L TDI engine. Performance specs are 150 horsepower (up ten horsepower from the current engine) and 236 pound-feet of torque. Volkswagen made a number of changes to the engine that improves throttle response and lower emissions thanks to a complex exhaust-gas recirculation system and integrating the intercooler and the EGR valve with the intake manifold. The engine will arrive in the second half of 2014. Source: Volkswagen William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.comor you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster. Press Release is on Page 2 08.06.2013 VOLKSWAGEN GROUP OF AMERICA UNDERLINES DIESEL STRATEGY WITH NEW ENGINE LINE Fuel efficient EA288 engine will debut second half of 2014 in the 2015 Golf, Jetta, Passat and Beetle Herndon, VA - Oliver Schmidt, General Manager, Energy and Environmental Office, Volkswagen Group of America confirmed the timing of the company’s newest, most fuel-efficient, TDI Clean Diesel engine, designated EA288. During a speech delivered at the Management Briefing Seminars in Traverse City, Mich., Schmidt announced that the new engine will power the 2015 Golf, Beetle, Passat, Jetta, which are set to hit dealer showrooms in the second half of 2014. The announcement underscores Volkswagen Group of America’s continued success with diesel technology: Year-to-date the Volkswagen Group of America has sold more than 47,000 clean diesel vehicles, including more than 10,000 in the month of July alone. This represents nearly 78 percent of the diesel sales for passenger cars in the United States this year. “The Volkswagen Group is a leader in clean diesel technology,” said Schmidt. “With the introduction of the new EA288 engine, we are excited that our family of TDI Clean Diesel vehicles is continuing to improve and will be even more clean, fuel efficient and powerful. “ The new EA288 will eventually replace all the 2.0-liter TDI Clean Diesel engines fitted in Audi and Volkswagen TDI Clean Diesel models. The engine is a turbocharged, common-rail, direct-injection four-cylinder engine that makes 150 horsepower—an increase of 10 hp over the current engine—and 236 pound-feet of torque. This powerplant shares only the bore spacing with the previous diesel engine that shared the same designation. A number of changes have been made to help reduce emissions, such as: use of a complex exhaust gas recirculation system (with high pressure EGR and a cooled low-pressure EGR); integration of the water-cooled intercooler and the EGR valve with the intake manifold, which also improves throttle response; and packaging the exhaust after-treatment components close to the engine by combining the DPF with the SCR Catalyst. The engine also has a number of modifications to help minimize friction and optimize fuel economy: there are low-friction bearings for the camshaft and balancer shafts, piston rings that have less pre-tension, and the oil pump is a two-stage device with volumetric flow regulation.
  5. By William Maley Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com April 4, 2013 Dodge President and CEO, Reid Bigland said to Automotive News that he believes the new 2.4L four-cylinder engine will boost sales and become the dominant choice for the Dart. The new 2.4L four-cylinder will be appearing in the Dart GT, due out this spring. "I can see it as a very popular engine at this time next year," Bigland said. The reason? Bigland says the 2.4L with six-speed automatic provides the "sweet spot" for the nameplate and will spread to other Dart models. Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required) William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.
  6. By William Maley Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com March 12, 2013 The next Lincoln Navigator will lose its a V8 and go with EcoBoost V6. This news comes from Lincoln Global Director Matt VanDyke via Motor Trend. The EcoBoost in question will the 3.5L that currently is in the F-150. With 365 hp and 410 lb-ft of torque, this is a very respectable increase from the Navigator's current 310 horsepower and 365 pound-feet. There is also talk of the 3.7L V6 with 302 horsepower and 278 pound-feet of torque appearing as the base engine. Is there any chance of a V8 appearing in the next Navigator? Probably not as VanDyke said that Lincoln is going all EcoBoost. Meanwhile at Ford, the next Expedition will likely get the 5.0L V8 with 360 horsepower and 380 pound-feet of torque. The Expedition might also get the 3.7L V6 and 3.5L EcoBoost, though the EcoBoost might be a Lincoln thing only. Source: Motor Trend William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.
  7. By William Maley Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com March 8, 2013 If you have been keeping track on the whole pile of rumors concerning the next-generation Focus RS, you would know that the engine being talked about would possibly be shared with the next-generation Mustang. The engine in question is a turbocharged 2.3L unit that will be based on the Focus ST's 2.0L and produce somewhere in the range of 300+ horsepower. Now for some bad news for those who were hoping for a return of the Mustang SVO in the states. Edmunds is reporting that that the four-cylinder will only be available for European customers when introduced. The reason for this is that the V8 Mustang would be taxed higher due to high emissions. The four-cylinder option allows Ford to offer a lower-emissions model which means less tax. Source: Edmunds UPDATE: So the U.S. will be getting the four-cylinder turbocharged Mustang, at least that is what Road & Track is reporting. R&T is also saying the turbo-four will not be the base engine, most likely sitting between the V6 and V8 engines. Our thoughts? We're going to be on the wait and see if this happens or not. Source: Road & Track William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.
  8. So we know that the Mazda MX-5 Miata will either use a 2.0L Skyactiv-G for markets outside of North America or a 2.5L Skyactiv-G for North America. But a report from Motoring.com.au says there is a more powerful Miata in the cards. "We will have this ND-series model for maybe ten years, which gives us plenty of time to make many variants. And yes, a turbocharged or MPS variant is one of the options we will definitely consider," said Kudo Hidetoshi, Mazda's head of global public relations. Why turbocharging and not using a larger displacement Skyactiv engine? It would allow Mazda to keep some of the weight loss and 50:50 weight distribution. "[Generally speaking] turbocharging is preferable, even to a V6 now. We can use a lighter engine with the same or more power, and achieve [the] emissions and fuel consumption we need," said Hidetoshi. Source: Motoring.com.au
  9. Has it really been seven months since Ford unveiled the 2015 F-150 at the Detroit Auto Show? Yes it has. Since that time, the blue oval has been keeping its lips shut on the power and towing numbers for the F-150. Well today, Ford has decided to reveal some of those numbers. We'll begin with the new base engine, the 3.5L V6. Not be confused with the 3.5 EcoBoost, the new 3.5 V6 makes 283 horsepower and 255 pound-feet of torque. Compared to the outgoing 3.7 V6, the 3.5 is down 19 horsepower and 23 pound-feet. That shouldn't be as noticeable you might think as the new F-150 is about 700 pounds lighter than the current model. Towing and payload numbers for the 3.5 4x2 model stand at 7,600 and 1,910 pounds respectively. Next up is the new 2.7 EcoBoost V6. Horsepower stands at 325, while torque is rated at 375 pound-feet. In the 4x2 guise, the 2.7 can carry 2,250 pounds in its bed and tow up to 8,500 pounds. Ford hasn't released information on the 3.5 EcoBoost V6 or 5.0L V8 at this time. Source: Ford William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached atwilliam.maley@cheersandgears.comor you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster. Press Release is on Page 2 ALL-NEW FORD F-150 2.7-LITER ECOBOOST V6 ENGINE DELIVERS V8 CAPABILITY AND PERFORMANCE Tougher, lighter 2015 Ford F-150 welcomes two new engines to its four-engine lineup, providing choices to meet almost any customer need – from hauling tools to towing trailers High-output 2.7-liter EcoBoost® with standard Auto Start-Stop broadens engine lineup by providing mid-range V8-like towing capability of 8,500 pounds, payload of 2,250 pounds, 325 horsepower, 375 lb.-ft. of torque Standard 3.5-liter V6 engine with twin independent variable camshaft timing delivers impressive power and efficiency with towing of 7,600 pounds that can't be beat, 1,910 pounds of payload, 283 horsepower and 255 lb.-ft. of torque Use of high-strength steel and high-strength, military-grade, aluminum alloy plus smart engineering saves up to 700 pounds, improving power-to-weight ratio and allowing for gains in towing, performance and efficiency With its new 2.7-liter EcoBoost® with standard Auto Start-Stop and new 3.5-liter V6 with twin independent variable camshaft timing, the 2015 Ford F-150 resets the bar in light-duty pickup truck performance, capability and efficiency. "The 2015 F-150 is the most capable F-150 yet, while shedding up to 700 pounds," said Bob Fascetti, vice president, Powertrain Engineering. "These two new V6 engines – the 2.7-liter turbocharged EcoBoost and normally aspirated 3.5-liter Ti-VCT – set a new standard for Ford for capability and efficiency." 2.7-liter EcoBoost power The high-output, twin-turbo 2.7-liter EcoBoost V6 features an entirely new design that delivers power and performance in a strong, smart package. The engine produces 325 horsepower and 375 lb.-ft. of torque – improving the power-to-weight ratio of the 2015 truck by 15 percent over the 2014 5.0-liter V8-equipped F-150 with similar torque output, thanks to vehicle light-weighting. The 2.7-liter EcoBoost 4x2 has a maximum payload rating of 2,250 pounds and maximum tow rating of 8,500 pounds, ideal for meeting mid-range capability needs. Boosting 2.7-liter EcoBoost fuel efficiency is the debut of standard Auto Start-Stop technology for F-150. This technology, specially tuned for truck customers, shuts off the engine when the vehicle is at a stop. When the brake is released, the engine restarts quickly. Auto Start-Stop helps reduce fuel consumption and emissions when the truck is stopped and the engine is off. The technology is off when towing or in four-wheel-drive mode. The 2.7-liter EcoBoost engine also features Ford's first use of a compacted graphite iron cylinder block in a gasoline engine, the same material used in Ford's 6.7-liter Power Stroke® turbo diesel V8 in Super Duty trucks. The composite CGI/aluminum cylinder block saves weight while providing strength where it's needed most for durability. Advanced technology, power and efficiency combine to create an engine for F-150 that boasts more than twice the horsepower, torque and towing capability of the Toyota Tacoma midsize pickup truck with identical displacement 2.7-liter four-cylinder engine. Ford testing shows the 2.7-liter EcoBoost also outperforming Ram 1500 3.0-liter V6 EcoDiesel and Chevrolet Silverado 1500 5.3-liter V8 while towing a 7,000-pound enclosed trailer up Davis Dam in Arizona. This is the same grade the Society of Automotive Engineers uses for its J2807 towing testing standards, which the 2015 Ford F-150 will follow. 3.5-liter V6 tuned for responsive power Thanks to vehicle weight savings, the standard 3.5-liter V6 with Ti-VCT offers a 5 percent improvement in power-to-weight ratio over the larger 3.7-liter V6 in the 2014 F-150, with better fuel efficiency and performance. The 3.5-liter V6 produces 283 horsepower and 255 lb.-ft. of torque. The engine has a maximum payload of 1,910 pounds and a maximum tow rating of 7,600 pounds – unsurpassed for standard V6 light-duty pickup trucks. Designed for impressive power and durability, the 24-valve 3.5-liter V6 features a valvetrain with direct-acting polished mechanical buckets with twin independent variable camshaft timing for impressive torque across a wide rpm range. Six-bolt main bearing caps, a fully counterweighted forged steel crankshaft and cast exhaust manifolds are designed for heavy-duty operation. Both the upper and lower intake manifolds of the 3.5-liter V6 are tuned for responsive power, and both the intake manifolds and cam covers are composite-formed to reduce weight. The die-cast aluminum cylinder block features bay-to-bay breathing to reduce internal pumping losses, while a deep-sump oil pan contributes to extended oil-change intervals. Advanced materials save weight Extensive research by Ford engineers led to the use of more advanced materials on the 2015 F-150 than found in previous trucks. Military-grade aluminum alloys make the new truck's body lighter, stronger and more resistant to dents. Overall, F-150 is up to 700 pounds lighter – helping the truck tow and haul more, accelerate and stop faster, and operate more efficiently than the previous F-150. High-strength steel in the frame and high-strength aluminum alloy throughout the body produce an inherently stiffer truck with greater dent and ding resistance. The aluminum upper body sits on a fully boxed ladder frame with more high-strength steel than ever to make it stronger yet lighter. In addition to the new V6 engines, the all-new 2015 F-150 offers the proven 3.5-liter EcoBoost and the 5.0-liter V8 with Ti-VCT, providing a comprehensive, capable and efficient engine lineup to meet the specific needs of Ford truck customers.
  10. William Maley Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com December 3, 2012 BMW could be cutting the V12 engine from the next-generation 7-Series. CarAdvice.com.au sat down with Christoph Priemelm, BMW Australia product and pricing manager. Preiemelm said that decision on whether a V12 is in the next 7-Series or not is up in the air. “There’s certainly some focuses where [the car’s planners] set targets in the sense of where emissions should go or what technology should be introduced, but whether it [the 7 Series V12] will be continued or not, the final call has not been made,” said Preiemelm. The V12 was introduced back in 1987 in the second-generation 7-Series. One of six 7-Series sold during the late eighties and early nineties were equipped with a V12. Since then, the V12 has become a niche model. Source: CarAdvice.com.au William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.
  11. William Maley Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com October 3, 2012 Besides hybrid powertrains, Toyota's powertrain line has been lacking some key features that competitors are now offering. Those features include direct-injection, Continuously Variable Transmissions (CVT), and turbochargers to balance performance and fuel economy. According to Autoweek, Toyota will be adding those features to their lineup over the next few weeks. At the moment, Toyota employs direct-injection in the Scion FR-S, Lexus GS, and LS: But in the next two years, Toyota will introduce two new engines, 2.5L Atkinson cycle engine for hybrids (Next Year) 2.0L turbocharged (2014) Toyota will also add direct-injection to certain number of vehicles including the Camry and Venza. Also coming to Toyota vehicles will be more CVTs, and six- and eight-speed transmissions for its bigger cars. Source: Autoweek William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.
  12. William Maley Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com July 19, 2012 With the advent of ever-tightening fuel economy and emission standards, no automaker is safe, not even boutique luxury automakers like Aston Martin. Consider this, besides the Aston Martin Cygnet which is a Scion iQ in drag, the rest of the Aston Martin lineup comes with either a V8 or V12 engines. Aston Martin has reduced the emissions of its engines by 25% over the past six years, but that might not be enough. Aston Martin head Ulrich Bez recently revealed to Autocar the company is open to downsizing their engines. “The job is not complete. Four or even three cylinders are possible. If the spirit of the times demands six cylinders, then it has to be looked at.” However, if a move like that was done, Bez said it would “never undermine exclusivity. We must stay special”. Source: Autocar William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.
  13. William Maley Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com July 16, 2012 If you wanted something besides a V8 in Jaguar in the U.S., you would have to go Europe to go for a six-cylinder. This has caused sales of Jaguar vehicles to drop. "We have only V8s in a market that has moved to six-cylinder," said Andy Goss, CEO of Jaguar Land Rover North America. To stop the slide, Jaguar will introduce four and six-cylinder engines for the XF and XJ lines. The four-cylinder is the 240 HP 2.0L turbo-four from the Range Rover Evoque and will be placed into the XF. The six-cylinder will be a 3.0L supercharged V6 producing either 340 HP (XF) and 380 HP (XJ). Both the four and six will come with an eight-speed automatic. Goss says the V6 will be a game changer for Jaguar, since about 70% of the XF competitors come with a V6. The turbo-four and supercharged V6 come out later this year. Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required) William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.
  14. William Maley Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com June 26, 2012 Toyota has revealed the powertrain details on the new 2013 Avalon. As expected, the new Avalon will still use the 3.5L V6 from the previous Avalon. The V6 is rated at 268 HP and 248 lb-ft. of torque and will go through a six-speed automatic. EPA rates the V6 at 21 City/31 Highway/25 Combined. Toyota has equipped the Avalon V6 with three different power modes (Eco, Normal, Sport) and certain models get paddle-shifters for a more “sporty” experience. The new Avalon will also come in a hybrid model. The hybrid comes equipped with a 2.5L four-cylinder engine and electric motor producing a combined 200 HP. EPA rates the Avalon Hybrid at 40 City/39 Highway/40 Combined. The new Avalon goes on sale later this year. William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster. Press Release is on Page 2 All-New 2013 Toyota Avalon Features Both Gasoline and Hybrid Powertrains TORRANCE, Calif. (June 26, 2012) – When the all-new, North American designed and engineered 2013 Avalon goes on sale later this year, consumers can choose between a powerful V6 gasoline powertrain and Toyota’s proven Hybrid Synergy Drive. The efficiency offered by the new hybrid model will help the all-new premium mid-size sedan achieve excellent fuel economy with an EPA-rating of 40 mpg combined. In addition to offering a hybrid powertrain, the new Avalon features a stunning design, improved dynamic performance, a greater degree of refinement, and a highly spacious, comfortable interior experience with an abundance of outstanding convenience technologies. Powerful, Efficient V6 Engine The 2013 Avalon will feature a proven 3.5-liter, DOHC V6 engine coupled with a six-speed automatic transaxle, which has been enhanced to offer more responsive and efficient performance. The all-aluminum six-cylinder engine will produce 268 horsepower and 248 lbs. ft. of torque, which will propel the new sedan to 60 mph in under seven seconds. Compared to the previous-generation Avalon, this 2013 powertrain combination offers improved fuel economy, performance, superior shift feel and response, with upgraded drivability and quietness. This enhanced powertrain’s programming has been updated to offer ECO, NORMAL, and SPORT Modes. The ECO mode prioritizes fuel efficiency by reducing power application at lower speeds and reducing energy consumed by the air-conditioning system. The SPORT Mode provides increased acceleration responses though altered engine control unit (ECU) programming, and it offers a more direct and responsive EPS programming to enhance steering feel. In addition, the new transaxle is equipped with a numerically lower differential gear drive ratio (3.23), designed to help improve fuel economy. The V6-powered 2013 Avalon achieves an EPA-rated 25 mpg combined (21 city/ 31 hwy). The transmission operation has been made more efficient and responsive with the adoption of a flex-start control feature lock-up clutch. With lock-up control, the transmission’s torque converter fully engages at a lower RPM during standing starts to improve acceleration response and help suppress unnecessary engine revolutions. The new transmission is also kept at an optimal temperature with an automatic-transmission fluid warmer, helping enhance efficiency. The multi-mode automatic transmission console shifter offers a D range and can be moved into an S-mode gate, which allows manually operated sequential shifting using the console shifter or available (Touring and Limited models) steering-wheel-mounted paddle shifters. The gear can be selected by moving the shifter up to (+) position or lower using the (-) position to experience highly responsive shifts. By using the paddles or in S-range, the transmission uses a quick responding shift-logic that includes throttle blipping for downshifts. The gear changes and range-of-gear selections are displayed in the color multi-information display. Avalon Adds Toyota Hybrid Synergy Drive For consumers seeking a premium mid-size sedan with excellent fuel economy ratings and an environmental message, the new Avalon features a full power-split hybrid system. Coupled with reductions in vehicle weight and improvements in aerodynamics, the Avalon Hybrid is expects to achieve impressive fuel economy ratings. The 2013 Avalon incorporates the latest advances in Toyota Hybrid Synergy Drive technology, building upon Toyota’s 14 years of hybrid-development experience. The Avalon Hybrid features a 2.5-liter, Atkinson-cycle, four-cylinder engine, a 244.8-volt nickel-metal hydride battery pack, and a pair of electric motor/generators within the transaxle. A power-control unit located in the engine compartment houses an inverter, a DC-DC converter, a step-up converter (raises voltage to a maximum of 650 volts) and the hybrid-drive ECU, which governs the seamless operation of electric-motor power application and regenerative braking. The power control unit relies on liquid cooling to maintain an efficient temperature. The Avalon Hybrid achieves a total system output of 200 horsepower and offers three unique modes of operation: EV, ECO and SPORT. The Avalon Hybrid models achieve an EPA-rated 40 mpg in the city, and a 39 mpg on the highway for a combined 40 mpg EPA-rating. The 2013 Avalon Hybrid offers an EV mode that, under certain conditions, allows the vehicle to operate solely on electric propulsion. EV mode can be engaged, provided other conditions are correct, for up to one mile at speeds up to 25 mph, providing an all-electric option that is convenient in residential areas or parking garages. The ECO drive mode engages the gasoline motor, but reduces throttle response and HVAC output to help improve overall efficiency. The SPORT Mode takes full advantage of the new Avalon’s dynamic character, improved chassis, and enhanced suspension by altering the engine’s throttle response and enhancing steering feel. The Avalon’s hybrid’s battery pack is comprised of 204 cells and is located in the vehicle trunk behind the rear seats, while still providing ample trunk space. The scroll casing for the battery cooling system’s blower fan has been designed to produce extremely quiet and efficient airflow, helping reduce interior noise and elevating refinement. The power-control unit, located in the engine bay, houses the inverter, DC-DC converter. The efficient hybrid transaxle in the new Avalon contains two high-output electric motor/generators, a power-split device, an open differential and the final drive ratio. Motor/Generator 1 (MG1) is used to start the gasoline engine and generate the energy that is returned to the battery to power the system. Motor/Generator 2 (MG2) is primarily responsible for electric drivetrain propulsion and regenerative braking. The hybrid vehicle transaxle also incorporates a flywheel-damper design that helps reduce noise and vibration during engine engagement. Captivating Styling with a Spacious, Luxurious Interior Experience The new 2013 Avalon is the product of a North American-focused design and engineering effort. The new sedan’s striking exterior and luxurious interior design was conceived by a youthful, talented team at the Calty Design Research Inc., facilities in Southern California and Michigan. The car’s engineering development was led by a passionate and dedicated group based at Toyota Technical Center in Ann Arbor, Mich. Continuing a North American focus, the 2013 Avalon will be assembled at the award-winning Toyota Motor Manufacturing Kentucky (TMMK) facility in Georgetown, Ky. True to the future product mission set forth by Toyota Motor Corporation President Akio Toyoda, the new Avalon’s more stylish, bold, sporty exterior design and luxurious interior styling are matched by an enhanced dynamic package, a combination that foreshadows the more compelling and passionate nature of future Toyota products. Powertrain Specs Avalon V6 Avalon Hybrid Gasoline Engine Type/Displacement 2GR-FE / 3.5L 2AR-FXE / 2.5L Max Horsepower 268 hp 154 hp Max Torque 248 lbs.-ft. 153 lbs.-ft. Transaxle Type 6-speed AT E-CVT Electric Motor Max Output - 140 hp Max Torque - 200 ft. lbs. Battery Type - Nickel-Metal Hydride Nominal Voltage - 245 volts Number of Cells - 204 Cells Max Output - 34 kw or 45.6 hp Total System Output - 149 kw 200hp Key Dimensional Comparison 2013 Avalon 2012 Avalon Overall Length 195.3 in. 197.6 in. Overall Width 72.2 in. 72.8 in. Overall Height 57.5 in. 58.5 in. Wheelbase 111 in. 111 in. Front Tread 62.6 in. 62.2 in. Rear Tread 62.2 in. 61.6 in. Front Overhang 38.8 in. 39.4 in. Rear Overhang 45.5 in. 47.2 in. Curb Weight 3,497 lbs. (V6), 3594 lbs. (Hybrid XLE) 3,616 lbs.
  15. William Maley Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com September 29, 2013 We're just a couple months away from MINI showing off the next-generation Cooper at MINI's factory in Oxford, Great Britain. To keep us interested, MINI has revealed the powertrain lineup and chassis for the Cooper. The standard Cooper will get a new 1.5L turbocharged three-cylinder with 134 horsepower and 162 pound-feet of torque (170 pound-feet for a few seconds with MINI's overboost function). The Cooper S gets a new 2.0L turbocharged four-cylinder with 189 horsepower and 207 pound-feet of torque (221 pound-feet with overboost). These power figures are thanks in part to TwinPower turbocharging and direct injection from BMW. Transmissions are a six-speed manual or automatic. The automatic has a clever trick where it can communicate with the optional navigation system to adapt gear selection to the current route. This sounds similar to what Rolls-Royce is using with the new Wraith. Chassis-wise, the Cooper will stick with the damper strut front suspension and a multi-link rear setup. New is a optional adjustable dampers that offer two settings; normal and sport. Steering is a revised electric system. Source: MINI William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.comor you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster. Press Release is on Page 2 Innovative technology for typical MINI MOTORING pleasure: New generation of three and four-cylinder engines All-new chassis technology Passive safety, protection for passengers and pedestrians Woodcliff Lake, NJ – September 29, 2013… The latest innovations in drivetrain, chassis and safety will see future MINI models build on their segment-leading position. Since 1959, the unmistakable go-kart feeling has been at the heart of the British marque’s DNA. Today, every member of the MINI family has the combination of agile handling, exemplary efficiency, contemporary comfort and uncompromising safety. With the typical innovative strength expected from a premium manufacturer, MINI seeks to set standards for the future in developing vehicles and technologies that transform driving into a unique motoring experience. A new generation of engines will once again optimize the balance between driving thrills and fuel consumption. Future MINI models will be the first to use both three and four-cylinder engines, not only covering a broader performance spectrum, but also setting new standards in terms of output, performance, comfort and reliability. The quality of the new engines is a direct result of the unique development expertise of the BMW Group in the area of drive technology. Thanks to the brand and model-specific design, they have performance characteristics synonymous with the MINI motoring experience. The advances achieved by MINI in the area of drivetrain technology are characterized by the consistent further development of tried-and-tested design principles and the integration of innovative technology. MINI developers will continue to emphasize sporty, agile handling for all chassis variants. In addition, MINI will introduce electrically adjustable dampers for the first time. The electric control of the damper valves will make it possible to vary the nature of responsiveness to uneven road surfaces. Two characteristic curves will be available for damper adjustment that can be activated at the flip of a switch. Depending on the driver's preferences, a sporty drivetrain setting or something more balanced and comfortable can be selected. The new generation of engines. Maximum motoring fun and the most economical fuel consumption – a two-fold victory in terms of performance and efficiency has helped the latest MINI models to score top marks over their rivals in comparative tests regarding engine technology and driving performance. This is made possible by a new generation of engines and MINIMALISM technologies which will be available in all models as standard. For the first time, the MINI models of the future will use both three and four-cylinder engines that not only cover an even broader range of performance, but also set new standards in terms of output, efficiency, comfort and reliability. Both brand and model-specific design ensures that they have performance characteristics typical of MINI. More power and lower CO2 emissions thanks to MINI TwinPower turbo technology. A common feature of the new drive units is the MINI TwinPower turbo technology, which optimizes both performance and efficiency. In the case of the petrol engines, this technology package includes turbocharging, direct fuel injection, variable camshaft control on the intake and outlet sides (dual VANOS) and, in the more powerful versions, fully variable valve control according to the model of the BMW Group's patented VALVETRONIC system. All-new engines were designed for the transverse configuration typical of the MINI and feature a compact and lightweight design. They also comply with exhaust standard EU6. The engines are equipped with an aluminum crankshaft in a closed-deck configuration. A forged steel crankshaft with integrated balancing shaft drive, weight-optimized piston and forged conrod contributes to the high level of performance within the engine through reduced frictional coefficients. The three-cylinder engines each have a countershaft to enhance smooth operation, while the four-cylinder model has two such shafts that counter-rotate. The cylinder head in all engine variants is made of aluminum. For the market launch of the new drive generation, MINI is presenting a three-cylinder combustion engine that generates an output of 100 kW/134 bhp from a cubic capacity of 1.5 liters and a 141 kW/189 bhp variant of the newly developed four-cylinder combustion engine that has a cubic capacity of 2.0 liters. A new generation of engines with typical MINI performance characteristics. All of the new petrol engines feature spontaneous responsiveness, high torque characteristics and supreme power delivery. The 1.5 litre three-cylinder engine reaches its maximum torque of 220 newton meters at an engine speed of 1,250 rpm; this can be increased briefly to 230 newton meters by means of the overboost function. The 141 kW/189 bhp four-cylinder model actually achieves a torque of 280 newton meters with the same engine speed (300 nm with overboost). The maximum speed of all new petrol engines is 6,500 rpm. The engine's sporty character is favored by the position of the turbocharger integrated in the exhaust manifold. The short path of the exhaust stream enables the charging system to be activated promptly and effectively. In addition, the emissions pattern of the engines is optimized by the positioning of the catalytic converter and an electronically regulated waste gate. An efficient and precisely dosed fuel supply system facilitates direct injection with centrally positioned injectors between the valves and directly next to the spark plugs. The electronic control for camshaft positioning and the stroke of the intake valves are further technological elements that optimize the responsiveness and the consumption and emissions readings of the new petrol engines for MINI. Newly developed manual and automatic gearboxes will further contribute to the intense motoring pleasure that MINI has to offer, and will enhance the efficiency of the drive technology. The new manual gearboxes feature an innovative gear sensor which adapts the engine speed when shifting gears. This permits fast and sporty shifting with always the right engine speed available during gear shifts. The automatic start-stop function can also be used in future MINI models in conjunction with the automatic gearbox, avoiding unnecessary fuel consumption when stopped at junctions or when caught in heavy traffic. For cars equipped with a navigation system, gear selection can be adapted to the current route. This way, the suitable gear is selected before reaching junctions or before cornering. Chassis Technology. Thanks to the continued optimization in the areas of wheel suspension, spring system, damping, steering and braking, motoring is set to become even more enjoyable in future MINI models. In combination with the features so characteristic of any MINI, such as the vehicle's low centre of gravity, wide track gauge, short overhangs, transverse engine, rigid bodywork and intelligent lightweight design, innovative solutions in the chassis area make for even more precise and sporty handling. The agility that characterizes all MINIs is also combined with further advances in the area of driving comfort. This is the first time that MINI is to offer electrically adjustable dampers that can be used to optimize sportiness and driving comfort. Tried-and-tested construction principle, completely redeveloped components. The complete redesign of the chassis for future MINI models continues to focus on the tried-and-tested structure of the single-link spring strut axle at the front, and the multi-link rear axle - unique among MINI's competitors. It also includes component optimizations in terms of material choice and geometry. The dampers on the front and rear axles are uncoupled from the bodywork by means of complex struts. In combination with the reduction of the unsprung inertial masses, this makes it possible to increase both agility and driving comfort. Newly developed and aerodynamically optimised light alloy wheels are manufactured in a forging process requiring the use of less material. In its latest incarnation, the front single-link spring strut axle features increased component rigidity. In combination with a modified axial kinematic movement, this creates ideal conditions for particularly agile manoeuvrability and steering control that is largely freed from the influence of the drive mechanism. The wider track gauge also makes a further contribution to optimizing sporty characteristics. Consistency in lightweight design also influenced driving performance. The use of aluminum in the pivot bearing and high tensile steels in the front axle bearing and in the transverse rocker arms reduces the unsprung inertial masses. The innovative torque roll axial bearing enables both agility and comfort to be tangibly increased. This component consists of an engine and a transmission bearing that together absorb the weight of the engine and also support the torque in conjunction with the engine swivel support. The engine block is hydraulically attenuated, further enhancing the increase in comfort because this design prevents the engine from surging under the influence of uneven road surfaces. By further developing the multi-link rear axle, MINI is building on its unique position in the competitive field. Key changes – wider track gauge, the use of high-strength steels and greater rigidity in the wheel suspension – take place in tandem with the modifications to the front axle. The spatial design of the rear axle also leads to improved entry comfort and to more space in the rear as well as a larger luggage compartment volume which is also easier to load. More precise, more comfortable: electromechanical power steering. The next generation of the EPS (Electronic Power Steering) used for MINI models offers speed-dependent support for the steering force. In the future it will take less steering force to operate this, while the system will also meet the requirements for the use of a parking assist function. The further development of the steering system will promote agility, driving safety and comfort in equal measure. Thanks to the complex wheel suspension system, the steering ratio can be implemented very directly. Likewise, the optimization of the front axle has a direct impact on the steering, as it facilitates a sensitive steering style when negotiating bends in a sporty style. This effect is further enhanced by the use of so-called torque steer compensation. This torque steering compensation counteracts a tendency towards self-steering in powerful front-wheel drive vehicles due to differences in torque between the right and left front wheels. In the future, active rotational damping will provide for gentler and therefore more precisely controllable vehicle reactions in rapid evasion manoeuvres and when negotiating particularly sporty bends. Advanced brake system for more comfort and security. Another important contribution to motoring pleasure is derived from the improvements in the function and weight of the brake system, which is more closely tailored to the specific models. The new system impresses with its excellent durability with low unsprung inertial masses. This results in greater comfort, more precise dosability and a longer service life. The efficiency of the MINI can also be increased through targeted innovations in the brake system. Thus, optimized coatings help to reduce the residual braking momentum, thereby enhancing the vehicle's rolling friction. Excellent long-lasting properties are achieved through improved surface protection on the disc brake chamber and brake callipers. Another plus point is the optimization of the brake cooling system through refined brake protection plates and a redesigned brake cooling shaft. A first for MINI: adjustable dampers. In an effort to emphasize the MINI character even more, the spring and damper adjustment will be optimized. On the front axle, spring struts made of aluminum and steel and two-pipe compression dampers with coated pistons and a degressive damper characteristic curve are used. The support bearings on the front and rear axles will have three paths in future. The characteristic curves of the support bearing and additional springs have also been optimized on a functional basis, as have the helical springs installed on both axes. The stabilisers on the front and rear axles have holdings bearings and will have a tubular design, helping to reduce weight in the chassis area. In addition, MINI will be introducing adjustable dampers for the first time. The electric control of the damper valves allows the characteristic response to uneven road surface to be varied. Two characteristic curves are available for adjusting the damper and these can be activated at the flip of a switch. The traction and compression level in the shock absorber can be adjusted by selecting the appropriate setting. Depending on the driver's preferences, it is possible to choose either a sporty or a balanced, comfortable chassis. This means that it is possible to enjoy greater driving comfort in poor road conditions or a sporty driving style on an even road surface. Passive safety, protection for passengers and pedestrians. Premium vehicles by MINI hold an excellent position within their vehicle class not just in terms of motoring pleasure, but also in the area of passenger protection. In the event of a collision, precisely defined support structures and generously proportioned crumple zones help to protect the passenger cell while highly efficient restraint systems offer MINI passengers optimum protection in all types of crashes. Top scores in international crash tests confirm the effectiveness of the overall concept for maximum passive safety, which is under continuous development for new models to ensure that the latest standards are met. In addition, innovative solutions in the area of pedestrian protection are also being developed for future MINI models, helping to reduce the risk of injury for other road users. Reduced weight and increased safety thanks to intelligent lightweight construction. The focus of developments in the body area is on structural improvements that have a positive influence on both driving features and crash performance. Intelligent lightweight construction enables MINI to combine the reduction of weight with an increase in rigidity and this promotes both agility and passenger protection. The use of second generation high-strength multi-phase steels plays a key role. Their excellent forming properties allow for much more complex structures than would be possible with conventional materials, while still permitting no compromise on strength. Parts that are of particular relevance to structural rigidity are made from micro-alloyed steels. In addition, hot-formed steels are used in the safety-related zones. So-called tailored welded blanks and tailored rolled blanks also contribute to the optimization of weight. Welded and rolled sheet metal joints are widely used for the first time in cars from the small vehicle segment. The reinforcement of the B pillars with a coating of galvanised, hot-formed steel, which acts as a cathodic anti-corrosion finish, means that additional, weight-increasing measures could be dropped. Despite the reduced weight, the intelligent mix of materials for the highly resilient support structures in the front and rear and in the roof and side frame. In the event of the vehicle rolling over, the reinforced pillars and roof supports secure the survival space of the passengers even more intensively than ever. Reinforced structures in the B pillar and sill area, high-strength side impact bars in the doors and stable seat braces will further minimize the degree of deformation and the speed of intrusion in the event of a side impact. This concept establishes the right conditions for maintaining the passenger cell as a survival space in a wide variety of accident scenarios and forms the basis for the high level of effectiveness of the restraint systems. The integrated safety electronics ensure that the triggering of the airbag and belt systems is adapted to the type and severity of the accident. The coordinated interaction of all components ensures the best possible protection, irrespective of the position of the passengers at the time of impact. Crumple elements on the front for extensive pedestrian protection. The front section of future MINI models will have extra crumple elements. In addition to the yielding sections of the engine cover, a shock absorber between the bumper bracket and the cladding is intended to reduce the risk of injury. The pedestrian protection system will also be part of the standard equipment supplied with new MINI models. View full article
  16. So we know that the Mazda MX-5 Miata will either use a 2.0L Skyactiv-G for markets outside of North America or a 2.5L Skyactiv-G for North America. But a report from Motoring.com.au says there is a more powerful Miata in the cards. "We will have this ND-series model for maybe ten years, which gives us plenty of time to make many variants. And yes, a turbocharged or MPS variant is one of the options we will definitely consider," said Kudo Hidetoshi, Mazda's head of global public relations. Why turbocharging and not using a larger displacement Skyactiv engine? It would allow Mazda to keep some of the weight loss and 50:50 weight distribution. "[Generally speaking] turbocharging is preferable, even to a V6 now. We can use a lighter engine with the same or more power, and achieve [the] emissions and fuel consumption we need," said Hidetoshi. Source: Motoring.com.au View full article
  17. Today at a media briefing, General Motors unveiled their next-generation EcoTec engine family. The family will go into production later this year and promises to be more refined and efficient than before. The engine family is made up of eleven different three and four-cylinder engines ranging in displacement of 1.0 to 1.5 liters. Both naturally-aspirated and turbocharged engines will be on offer and the engines have been designed with hybrid and alternate fuel configurations in the future. Power will range from 75 to 165 horsepower and 70 to 184 pound-feet or torque. "The new Ecotec architecture represents the most advanced and efficient family of small-car gas engines in GM's history. Along with performance and efficiency targets, we've also aimed for segment-leading refinement with low noise and vibration - and we've hit the bulls-eye," said Tom Sutter, GM's global chief engineer. The first vehicles to get the latest EcoTec engines will be the Opel Adam and the Chinese-Market Chevrolet Cruze. The Adam will get a new turbocharged 1.0L three-cylinder that is 20 percent more efficient than the 1.6L four-cylinder it replaces. Meanwhile, the Chinese-Market Cruze replaces the 1.6L four-cylinder with a new turbocharged 1.4L four-cylinder with 148 horsepower and 173 lb-ft of torque, paired with a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission. GM plans to roll out the engine lineup to twenty-seven different vehicles globally. Oddly, GM hasn't announced any plans for the U.S. for the new EcoTec family. We'll likely hear about that later this year. Source: General Motors Press Release is on Page 2 New Modular Ecotec Engines are More Adaptable, Efficient Modular architecture streamlines powertrain portfolio, reduces manufacturing complexity Global design and manufacturing processes enhance adaptability, with 11 engine variants ranging from 1.0L to 1.5L Up to 2.5 million annual production at five global plants by 2017 DETROIT – A new generation of Ecotec small-displacement engines streamlines General Motors’ global powertrain portfolio with a modular architecture that broadens its adaptability to global markets and reduces manufacturing complexity – while offering customers leading-edge efficiency, refinement and durability. The new engines were developed for GM’s global vehicle portfolio and will power many of the company’s highest-volume small cars and compact crossovers – including the next-generation Chevrolet Cruze specifically tailored for China, which launches in 2014 as a 2015 model. By 2017, more than 2.5 million new Ecotec engines are projected to be built annually in at least five manufacturing locations around the globe: Flint, Mich. (U.S.); Shenyang, China; Szentgotthárd, Hungary; Toluca, Mexico; and Changwon, South Korea. The Flint facility alone represents an investment of more than $200 million in technology and tooling to support the engines’ production. “Transportation solutions vary around the world and GM is committed to developing engines matched to the needs of the regions where they’re sold,” said Steve Kiefer, GM vice president, Global Powertrain Engineering. “The new engine family is designed to achieve segment-leading refinement and efficiency, and will make its way into five GM brands and 27 models by the 2017 model year.” The new Ecotec portfolio will include 11 engines, with three- and four-cylinder variants ranging from 1.0L to 1.5L – including turbocharged versions – and power ratings ranging from 75 horsepower (56 kW) to 165 horsepower (123 kW), and torque ranging from 70 lb-ft (95 Nm) to 184 lb-ft (250 Nm). The architecture is also designed to support hybrid propulsion systems and alternative fuels. The first production applications include a 1.0L turbocharged three-cylinder for the Opel ADAM in Europe, and 1.4L turbocharged and 1.5L naturally aspirated four-cylinder engines for the 2015 next-generation Chevrolet Cruze in China. The turbocharged variants enable the engines to deliver the power and torque of larger-displacement engines with the efficiency of smaller engines. For example, the turbocharged 1.0L three-cylinder used in the Opel ADAM makes as much power as the naturally aspirated 1.6L four-cylinder it replaces – with an estimated 20-percent improvement in efficiency. In fact, the new Ecotec family is on the leading edge of efficiency, with the new 1.4L turbo up to five percent more efficient than the 1.4L turbo engine it will replace. The new Ecotec engines also deliver segment-challenging refinement. Noise intensity is up to 50-percent quieter than Volkswagen’s EA211 1.4L four-cylinder and up to 25-percent quieter than Ford’s 1.0L turbo three-cylinder. Clean-sheet design The new Ecotec engines represent a clean-sheet design and engineering process, leveraging the diverse experience of GM’s global resources. Technologies such as central direct fuel injection, continuously variable valve timing, turbocharging and variable intake manifold airflow help achieve efficiency goals with broad power bands, for an optimal balance of strong performance and lower fuel consumption. “The new Ecotec architecture represents the most advanced and efficient family of small-car gas engines in GM’s history,” said Tom Sutter, global chief engineer. “Along with performance and efficiency targets, we’ve also aimed for segment-leading refinement with low noise and vibration – and we’ve hit the bulls-eye.” Modularity in parts – such as four-cylinder and three-cylinder blocks – that share bore spacing, bore diameter, liners and other dimensions, reduces complexity while increasing the flexibility to quickly adapt the architecture for new applications. The new Ecotec engines are calibrated to run on regular unleaded gas – even the high-output turbo variants. The new 1.4L turbo for the 2015 next-generation Chevrolet Cruze in China is estimated at 148 horsepower (110 kW) and 173 lb-ft of torque (235 Nm). The 1.5L is rated at an estimated 113 horsepower (84 kW) and 108 lb-ft of torque (146 Nm). In China, Cruze models with the 1.4L turbo engine will also feature an all-new dual-clutch gearbox. View full article
  18. So with all the discussions that we have had about various engines and how the auto companies are pushing to standardize engine families across the world to address the tax's imposed on size, this made me wonder about why GM has never built a complete family of V engines based on the tough durable Corvette Push Rod V8. I admit I do not have the engineering chops to dig into the fine details and invite those here that do to share with us what they think the HP, Torque and Efficiency would be like on a family of Push rod V engines. This would include my desire to know if a V2 could work as a efficient engine for the Subcompact market? My thoughts Base line Corvette DI V8 Push rod Engine with VVT as the Foundation. Engine variations: DI V6 standard DI V6 Turbo DI V6 Twin Turbo DI V4 standard DI V4 Turbo DI V4 Twin Turbo DI V2 standard DI V2 Turbo DI V2 Twin Turbo Thoughts on this engine family? I figure the use of 6, 8 and 10 speed Transmissions as you have to address the marketing needs even if the difference is very small between the gains of an 8 versus 10 speed transmission. So what would the HP and Torque figures be like?
  19. Has it really been seven months since Ford unveiled the 2015 F-150 at the Detroit Auto Show? Yes it has. Since that time, the blue oval has been keeping its lips shut on the power and towing numbers for the F-150. Well today, Ford has decided to reveal some of those numbers. We'll begin with the new base engine, the 3.5L V6. Not be confused with the 3.5 EcoBoost, the new 3.5 V6 makes 283 horsepower and 255 pound-feet of torque. Compared to the outgoing 3.7 V6, the 3.5 is down 19 horsepower and 23 pound-feet. That shouldn't be as noticeable you might think as the new F-150 is about 700 pounds lighter than the current model. Towing and payload numbers for the 3.5 4x2 model stand at 7,600 and 1,910 pounds respectively. Next up is the new 2.7 EcoBoost V6. Horsepower stands at 325, while torque is rated at 375 pound-feet. In the 4x2 guise, the 2.7 can carry 2,250 pounds in its bed and tow up to 8,500 pounds. Ford hasn't released information on the 3.5 EcoBoost V6 or 5.0L V8 at this time. Source: Ford William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached atwilliam.maley@cheersandgears.comor you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster. Press Release is on Page 2 ALL-NEW FORD F-150 2.7-LITER ECOBOOST V6 ENGINE DELIVERS V8 CAPABILITY AND PERFORMANCE Tougher, lighter 2015 Ford F-150 welcomes two new engines to its four-engine lineup, providing choices to meet almost any customer need – from hauling tools to towing trailers High-output 2.7-liter EcoBoost® with standard Auto Start-Stop broadens engine lineup by providing mid-range V8-like towing capability of 8,500 pounds, payload of 2,250 pounds, 325 horsepower, 375 lb.-ft. of torque Standard 3.5-liter V6 engine with twin independent variable camshaft timing delivers impressive power and efficiency with towing of 7,600 pounds that can't be beat, 1,910 pounds of payload, 283 horsepower and 255 lb.-ft. of torque Use of high-strength steel and high-strength, military-grade, aluminum alloy plus smart engineering saves up to 700 pounds, improving power-to-weight ratio and allowing for gains in towing, performance and efficiency With its new 2.7-liter EcoBoost® with standard Auto Start-Stop and new 3.5-liter V6 with twin independent variable camshaft timing, the 2015 Ford F-150 resets the bar in light-duty pickup truck performance, capability and efficiency. "The 2015 F-150 is the most capable F-150 yet, while shedding up to 700 pounds," said Bob Fascetti, vice president, Powertrain Engineering. "These two new V6 engines – the 2.7-liter turbocharged EcoBoost and normally aspirated 3.5-liter Ti-VCT – set a new standard for Ford for capability and efficiency." 2.7-liter EcoBoost power The high-output, twin-turbo 2.7-liter EcoBoost V6 features an entirely new design that delivers power and performance in a strong, smart package. The engine produces 325 horsepower and 375 lb.-ft. of torque – improving the power-to-weight ratio of the 2015 truck by 15 percent over the 2014 5.0-liter V8-equipped F-150 with similar torque output, thanks to vehicle light-weighting. The 2.7-liter EcoBoost 4x2 has a maximum payload rating of 2,250 pounds and maximum tow rating of 8,500 pounds, ideal for meeting mid-range capability needs. Boosting 2.7-liter EcoBoost fuel efficiency is the debut of standard Auto Start-Stop technology for F-150. This technology, specially tuned for truck customers, shuts off the engine when the vehicle is at a stop. When the brake is released, the engine restarts quickly. Auto Start-Stop helps reduce fuel consumption and emissions when the truck is stopped and the engine is off. The technology is off when towing or in four-wheel-drive mode. The 2.7-liter EcoBoost engine also features Ford's first use of a compacted graphite iron cylinder block in a gasoline engine, the same material used in Ford's 6.7-liter Power Stroke® turbo diesel V8 in Super Duty trucks. The composite CGI/aluminum cylinder block saves weight while providing strength where it's needed most for durability. Advanced technology, power and efficiency combine to create an engine for F-150 that boasts more than twice the horsepower, torque and towing capability of the Toyota Tacoma midsize pickup truck with identical displacement 2.7-liter four-cylinder engine. Ford testing shows the 2.7-liter EcoBoost also outperforming Ram 1500 3.0-liter V6 EcoDiesel and Chevrolet Silverado 1500 5.3-liter V8 while towing a 7,000-pound enclosed trailer up Davis Dam in Arizona. This is the same grade the Society of Automotive Engineers uses for its J2807 towing testing standards, which the 2015 Ford F-150 will follow. 3.5-liter V6 tuned for responsive power Thanks to vehicle weight savings, the standard 3.5-liter V6 with Ti-VCT offers a 5 percent improvement in power-to-weight ratio over the larger 3.7-liter V6 in the 2014 F-150, with better fuel efficiency and performance. The 3.5-liter V6 produces 283 horsepower and 255 lb.-ft. of torque. The engine has a maximum payload of 1,910 pounds and a maximum tow rating of 7,600 pounds – unsurpassed for standard V6 light-duty pickup trucks. Designed for impressive power and durability, the 24-valve 3.5-liter V6 features a valvetrain with direct-acting polished mechanical buckets with twin independent variable camshaft timing for impressive torque across a wide rpm range. Six-bolt main bearing caps, a fully counterweighted forged steel crankshaft and cast exhaust manifolds are designed for heavy-duty operation. Both the upper and lower intake manifolds of the 3.5-liter V6 are tuned for responsive power, and both the intake manifolds and cam covers are composite-formed to reduce weight. The die-cast aluminum cylinder block features bay-to-bay breathing to reduce internal pumping losses, while a deep-sump oil pan contributes to extended oil-change intervals. Advanced materials save weight Extensive research by Ford engineers led to the use of more advanced materials on the 2015 F-150 than found in previous trucks. Military-grade aluminum alloys make the new truck's body lighter, stronger and more resistant to dents. Overall, F-150 is up to 700 pounds lighter – helping the truck tow and haul more, accelerate and stop faster, and operate more efficiently than the previous F-150. High-strength steel in the frame and high-strength aluminum alloy throughout the body produce an inherently stiffer truck with greater dent and ding resistance. The aluminum upper body sits on a fully boxed ladder frame with more high-strength steel than ever to make it stronger yet lighter. In addition to the new V6 engines, the all-new 2015 F-150 offers the proven 3.5-liter EcoBoost and the 5.0-liter V8 with Ti-VCT, providing a comprehensive, capable and efficient engine lineup to meet the specific needs of Ford truck customers. View full article
  20. By William Maley Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com April 4, 2013 Dodge President and CEO, Reid Bigland said to Automotive News that he believes the new 2.4L four-cylinder engine will boost sales and become the dominant choice for the Dart. The new 2.4L four-cylinder will be appearing in the Dart GT, due out this spring. "I can see it as a very popular engine at this time next year," Bigland said. The reason? Bigland says the 2.4L with six-speed automatic provides the "sweet spot" for the nameplate and will spread to other Dart models. Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required) William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster. View full article
  21. William Maley Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com August 8, 2013 Volkswagen announced this week that the 2015 Beetle, Golf, Jetta, and Passat will come with a new turbodiesel engine. The aptly named EA288 TDI Clean Diesel will take the place of the current 2.0L TDI engine. Performance specs are 150 horsepower (up ten horsepower from the current engine) and 236 pound-feet of torque. Volkswagen made a number of changes to the engine that improves throttle response and lower emissions thanks to a complex exhaust-gas recirculation system and integrating the intercooler and the EGR valve with the intake manifold. The engine will arrive in the second half of 2014. Source: Volkswagen William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.comor you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster. Press Release is on Page 2 08.06.2013 VOLKSWAGEN GROUP OF AMERICA UNDERLINES DIESEL STRATEGY WITH NEW ENGINE LINE Fuel efficient EA288 engine will debut second half of 2014 in the 2015 Golf, Jetta, Passat and Beetle Herndon, VA - Oliver Schmidt, General Manager, Energy and Environmental Office, Volkswagen Group of America confirmed the timing of the company’s newest, most fuel-efficient, TDI Clean Diesel engine, designated EA288. During a speech delivered at the Management Briefing Seminars in Traverse City, Mich., Schmidt announced that the new engine will power the 2015 Golf, Beetle, Passat, Jetta, which are set to hit dealer showrooms in the second half of 2014. The announcement underscores Volkswagen Group of America’s continued success with diesel technology: Year-to-date the Volkswagen Group of America has sold more than 47,000 clean diesel vehicles, including more than 10,000 in the month of July alone. This represents nearly 78 percent of the diesel sales for passenger cars in the United States this year. “The Volkswagen Group is a leader in clean diesel technology,” said Schmidt. “With the introduction of the new EA288 engine, we are excited that our family of TDI Clean Diesel vehicles is continuing to improve and will be even more clean, fuel efficient and powerful. “ The new EA288 will eventually replace all the 2.0-liter TDI Clean Diesel engines fitted in Audi and Volkswagen TDI Clean Diesel models. The engine is a turbocharged, common-rail, direct-injection four-cylinder engine that makes 150 horsepower—an increase of 10 hp over the current engine—and 236 pound-feet of torque. This powerplant shares only the bore spacing with the previous diesel engine that shared the same designation. A number of changes have been made to help reduce emissions, such as: use of a complex exhaust gas recirculation system (with high pressure EGR and a cooled low-pressure EGR); integration of the water-cooled intercooler and the EGR valve with the intake manifold, which also improves throttle response; and packaging the exhaust after-treatment components close to the engine by combining the DPF with the SCR Catalyst. The engine also has a number of modifications to help minimize friction and optimize fuel economy: there are low-friction bearings for the camshaft and balancer shafts, piston rings that have less pre-tension, and the oil pump is a two-stage device with volumetric flow regulation. View full article
  22. William Maley Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com September 27, 2013 Before too long, the current-generation VR6 motor that currently powers the CC will be retired. But a new report says Volkswagen is working on a successor. According to Autoweek, Volkswagen is developing a new VR6 motor with forced induction. The engine is likely to be a 3.0L, feature twin-turbos, and developed for transverse mounting. Sources say the new engine can produce somewhere in the range of 340 to 450 horsepower, dependent on the tune. There is no word on when this engine will be revealed, but the report says certain vehicles like the CC, Passat, and a production version of the CrossBlue concept are likely candidates. Source: Autoweek William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster. View full article
  23. William Maley Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com October 3, 2012 Besides hybrid powertrains, Toyota's powertrain line has been lacking some key features that competitors are now offering. Those features include direct-injection, Continuously Variable Transmissions (CVT), and turbochargers to balance performance and fuel economy. According to Autoweek, Toyota will be adding those features to their lineup over the next few weeks. At the moment, Toyota employs direct-injection in the Scion FR-S, Lexus GS, and LS: But in the next two years, Toyota will introduce two new engines, 2.5L Atkinson cycle engine for hybrids (Next Year) 2.0L turbocharged (2014) Toyota will also add direct-injection to certain number of vehicles including the Camry and Venza. Also coming to Toyota vehicles will be more CVTs, and six- and eight-speed transmissions for its bigger cars. Source: Autoweek William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster. View full article
  24. William Maley Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com June 26, 2012 Toyota has revealed the powertrain details on the new 2013 Avalon. As expected, the new Avalon will still use the 3.5L V6 from the previous Avalon. The V6 is rated at 268 HP and 248 lb-ft. of torque and will go through a six-speed automatic. EPA rates the V6 at 21 City/31 Highway/25 Combined. Toyota has equipped the Avalon V6 with three different power modes (Eco, Normal, Sport) and certain models get paddle-shifters for a more “sporty” experience. The new Avalon will also come in a hybrid model. The hybrid comes equipped with a 2.5L four-cylinder engine and electric motor producing a combined 200 HP. EPA rates the Avalon Hybrid at 40 City/39 Highway/40 Combined. The new Avalon goes on sale later this year. William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster. Press Release is on Page 2 All-New 2013 Toyota Avalon Features Both Gasoline and Hybrid Powertrains TORRANCE, Calif. (June 26, 2012) – When the all-new, North American designed and engineered 2013 Avalon goes on sale later this year, consumers can choose between a powerful V6 gasoline powertrain and Toyota’s proven Hybrid Synergy Drive. The efficiency offered by the new hybrid model will help the all-new premium mid-size sedan achieve excellent fuel economy with an EPA-rating of 40 mpg combined. In addition to offering a hybrid powertrain, the new Avalon features a stunning design, improved dynamic performance, a greater degree of refinement, and a highly spacious, comfortable interior experience with an abundance of outstanding convenience technologies. Powerful, Efficient V6 Engine The 2013 Avalon will feature a proven 3.5-liter, DOHC V6 engine coupled with a six-speed automatic transaxle, which has been enhanced to offer more responsive and efficient performance. The all-aluminum six-cylinder engine will produce 268 horsepower and 248 lbs. ft. of torque, which will propel the new sedan to 60 mph in under seven seconds. Compared to the previous-generation Avalon, this 2013 powertrain combination offers improved fuel economy, performance, superior shift feel and response, with upgraded drivability and quietness. This enhanced powertrain’s programming has been updated to offer ECO, NORMAL, and SPORT Modes. The ECO mode prioritizes fuel efficiency by reducing power application at lower speeds and reducing energy consumed by the air-conditioning system. The SPORT Mode provides increased acceleration responses though altered engine control unit (ECU) programming, and it offers a more direct and responsive EPS programming to enhance steering feel. In addition, the new transaxle is equipped with a numerically lower differential gear drive ratio (3.23), designed to help improve fuel economy. The V6-powered 2013 Avalon achieves an EPA-rated 25 mpg combined (21 city/ 31 hwy). The transmission operation has been made more efficient and responsive with the adoption of a flex-start control feature lock-up clutch. With lock-up control, the transmission’s torque converter fully engages at a lower RPM during standing starts to improve acceleration response and help suppress unnecessary engine revolutions. The new transmission is also kept at an optimal temperature with an automatic-transmission fluid warmer, helping enhance efficiency. The multi-mode automatic transmission console shifter offers a D range and can be moved into an S-mode gate, which allows manually operated sequential shifting using the console shifter or available (Touring and Limited models) steering-wheel-mounted paddle shifters. The gear can be selected by moving the shifter up to (+) position or lower using the (-) position to experience highly responsive shifts. By using the paddles or in S-range, the transmission uses a quick responding shift-logic that includes throttle blipping for downshifts. The gear changes and range-of-gear selections are displayed in the color multi-information display. Avalon Adds Toyota Hybrid Synergy Drive For consumers seeking a premium mid-size sedan with excellent fuel economy ratings and an environmental message, the new Avalon features a full power-split hybrid system. Coupled with reductions in vehicle weight and improvements in aerodynamics, the Avalon Hybrid is expects to achieve impressive fuel economy ratings. The 2013 Avalon incorporates the latest advances in Toyota Hybrid Synergy Drive technology, building upon Toyota’s 14 years of hybrid-development experience. The Avalon Hybrid features a 2.5-liter, Atkinson-cycle, four-cylinder engine, a 244.8-volt nickel-metal hydride battery pack, and a pair of electric motor/generators within the transaxle. A power-control unit located in the engine compartment houses an inverter, a DC-DC converter, a step-up converter (raises voltage to a maximum of 650 volts) and the hybrid-drive ECU, which governs the seamless operation of electric-motor power application and regenerative braking. The power control unit relies on liquid cooling to maintain an efficient temperature. The Avalon Hybrid achieves a total system output of 200 horsepower and offers three unique modes of operation: EV, ECO and SPORT. The Avalon Hybrid models achieve an EPA-rated 40 mpg in the city, and a 39 mpg on the highway for a combined 40 mpg EPA-rating. The 2013 Avalon Hybrid offers an EV mode that, under certain conditions, allows the vehicle to operate solely on electric propulsion. EV mode can be engaged, provided other conditions are correct, for up to one mile at speeds up to 25 mph, providing an all-electric option that is convenient in residential areas or parking garages. The ECO drive mode engages the gasoline motor, but reduces throttle response and HVAC output to help improve overall efficiency. The SPORT Mode takes full advantage of the new Avalon’s dynamic character, improved chassis, and enhanced suspension by altering the engine’s throttle response and enhancing steering feel. The Avalon’s hybrid’s battery pack is comprised of 204 cells and is located in the vehicle trunk behind the rear seats, while still providing ample trunk space. The scroll casing for the battery cooling system’s blower fan has been designed to produce extremely quiet and efficient airflow, helping reduce interior noise and elevating refinement. The power-control unit, located in the engine bay, houses the inverter, DC-DC converter. The efficient hybrid transaxle in the new Avalon contains two high-output electric motor/generators, a power-split device, an open differential and the final drive ratio. Motor/Generator 1 (MG1) is used to start the gasoline engine and generate the energy that is returned to the battery to power the system. Motor/Generator 2 (MG2) is primarily responsible for electric drivetrain propulsion and regenerative braking. The hybrid vehicle transaxle also incorporates a flywheel-damper design that helps reduce noise and vibration during engine engagement. Captivating Styling with a Spacious, Luxurious Interior Experience The new 2013 Avalon is the product of a North American-focused design and engineering effort. The new sedan’s striking exterior and luxurious interior design was conceived by a youthful, talented team at the Calty Design Research Inc., facilities in Southern California and Michigan. The car’s engineering development was led by a passionate and dedicated group based at Toyota Technical Center in Ann Arbor, Mich. Continuing a North American focus, the 2013 Avalon will be assembled at the award-winning Toyota Motor Manufacturing Kentucky (TMMK) facility in Georgetown, Ky. True to the future product mission set forth by Toyota Motor Corporation President Akio Toyoda, the new Avalon’s more stylish, bold, sporty exterior design and luxurious interior styling are matched by an enhanced dynamic package, a combination that foreshadows the more compelling and passionate nature of future Toyota products. Powertrain Specs Avalon V6 Avalon Hybrid Gasoline Engine Type/Displacement 2GR-FE / 3.5L 2AR-FXE / 2.5L Max Horsepower 268 hp 154 hp Max Torque 248 lbs.-ft. 153 lbs.-ft. Transaxle Type 6-speed AT E-CVT Electric Motor Max Output - 140 hp Max Torque - 200 ft. lbs. Battery Type - Nickel-Metal Hydride Nominal Voltage - 245 volts Number of Cells - 204 Cells Max Output - 34 kw or 45.6 hp Total System Output - 149 kw 200hp Key Dimensional Comparison 2013 Avalon 2012 Avalon Overall Length 195.3 in. 197.6 in. Overall Width 72.2 in. 72.8 in. Overall Height 57.5 in. 58.5 in. Wheelbase 111 in. 111 in. Front Tread 62.6 in. 62.2 in. Rear Tread 62.2 in. 61.6 in. Front Overhang 38.8 in. 39.4 in. Rear Overhang 45.5 in. 47.2 in. Curb Weight 3,497 lbs. (V6), 3594 lbs. (Hybrid XLE) 3,616 lbs. View full article

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