[Due to the increasing size of the archives, each topic page now contains only the prior 365 days of content. Access to older stories is now solely through the Monthly Archive pages or the site search function.]
Westport unveils next-generation High Pressure Direct Injection (HPDI 2.0) natural gas system for HD trucks
December 10, 2013
Westport Innovations Inc. unveiled its next generation of high pressure direct injection natural gas technology platform, Westport HPDI 2.0. Westport is now working with seven OEM applications with engine sizes ranging from trucks to trains at various stages of development with the goal of vertically integrated Westport HPDI 2.0 OEM product lines. Westport anticipates first availability of customer products in late 2014 and 2015.
Westport HPDI uses natural gas as the primary fuel in a Diesel (compression ignition) cycle along with a small amount of diesel fuel as an ignition source. Core to the approach is a patented injector with a dual-concentric needle design. This allows small quantities of diesel fuel and large quantities of natural gas to be delivered at high pressure to the combustion chamber. (Earlier post.)
U Wisc.-Ford team develops more realistic multi-component surrogate diesel models for modeling of low temperature combustion
December 07, 2013
A team from the Engine Research Center at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Ford Motor, and Ford Forschungszentrum Aachen have developed new multi-component surrogate models for three different diesel fuels, and then examined their fidelity in capturing the characteristics of a diesel engine operated under various conditions, including conventional and low-temperature combustion (LTC) modes.
Fuel and EGR effects were also explored in the two different combustion modes using the developed surrogate models. In a paper published in the ACS journal Energy & Fuels, they reported that the results showed that the combustion trends in conventional combustion are less affected by fuel or EGR changes, while LTC conditions exhibit a much higher sensitivity, thus demanding more realistic fuel models precisely to describe advanced combustion modes.
Amyris and Total form joint venture to produce and market renewable diesel and jet fuel
December 05, 2013
Amyris, Inc. and Total have formed Total Amyris BioSolutions B.V., a 50-50 joint venture that now holds exclusive rights and a license under Amyris’s intellectual property to produce and market renewable diesel and jet fuel from Amyris’s renewable farnesene. (Earlier post.) Total is Amyris’ largest investor, holding approximately 18% of its outstanding common stock, and is committed to the development of next-generation renewable fuels from biomass.
Amyris’ synthetic biology platform enables the modification of the genetic pathways of microorganisms, primarily yeast, to turn them into living factories to produce target molecules via fermentation. The primary biological pathway within the microbe Amyris currently uses to produce target molecules is the isoprenoid pathway.
CRC ACES Phase 2 report finds emissions from modern heavy-duty diesels well below required levels
December 04, 2013
|2010 engines emissions reduction relative to 2010, 2007, and 2004 US emission standards. Source: CRC. Click to enlarge.|
A rigorous emissions testing of modern heavy-duty diesel engines in the US has demonstrated a greater than 94% reduction in the levels of nitrogen dioxide (NO2 - an important contributor to ozone smog), and substantial reductions in all other pollutants, even when compared to engines first marketed to meet 2007 standards, according to a study released today by the Coordinating Research Council (CRC).
For a number of the most important pollutants, levels were substantially lower than required by regulations. The study, the Phase 2 Report of the comprehensive Advanced Collaborative Emissions Study (ACES) (earlier post), found that emissions of NO2 and other nitrogen oxides—which can have direct health effects and contribute to the formation of smog—were approximately 61% below the 2010 EPA standard and 99% lower than in 2004 engines. These reductions came while emissions of fine particles were also 92% lower than the 2010 standard 99% lower than 2004 emissions.
Study estimates 6% of lung cancer deaths in US and UK attributable to diesel exhaust
November 28, 2013
In 2012, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), which is part of the World Health Organization (WHO), classified diesel engine exhaust (DEE) as carcinogenic to humans (Group 1). (Earlier post.)
Now, a study by researchers from the Netherlands, the US, and France estimates that approximately 6% of annual lung cancer deaths in the US and UK—combining both environmental and occupational exposures—may be due to DEE exposure. This translates to about 9,000 annual lung cancer deaths in the US and about 2,000 annual lung cancer deaths in the UK that may be attributable to DEE.
UC Berkeley study quantifies LD gasoline on-road emissions
November 27, 2013
Based on on-road measurements in their study, a team from the University of California Berkeley has estimated that, as of 2010, light-duty (LD) gasoline vehicles were responsible for 85% of CO; 18% of NOx; 18% of organic aerosol (OA); and 6% of black carbon (BC) emissions from on-road motor vehicles in the United States. Correspondingly, the study, reported in the ACS journal Environmental Science & Technology, also concluded that, as of 2010, diesel engines were the dominant on-road source of BC, OA, and NOx.
The researchers measured vehicle emissions of NOx, CO, fine particulate matter (PM2.5), OA and BC in bore 2 of the Caldecott tunnel in the San Francisco Bay Area. In bore 2, light-duty (LD) vehicles accounted for more than 99% of total traffic; heavy-duty trucks were not allowed.
Audi of America officially introduces the new A3 family; plug-in hybrid version coming in 2015
November 20, 2013
|The A3 e-tron plug-in hybrid. Click to enlarge.|
Audi of America officially announced plans today for the arrival in the US of the new A3 family of premium compact cars, with three body styles, five new engines and seven variants including its plug-in hybrid model. Audi first revealed the A3 Sportback e-tron at the 2013 Geneva Motor Show earlier this year. (Earlier post.)
This new A3 lineup begins with the A3 sedan, which goes on sale in the spring of 2014. The A3 sedan plays a pivotal role in the soon to be expanding Audi A3 family and will be priced from a base MSRP of $29,900. It will be joined later in the fall of 2014 by the Audi A3 Cabriolet; A3 TDI clean diesel sedan; the high-performance S3 sedan; and in early 2015, the A3 Sportback e-tron gasoline electric plug-in hybrid (PHEV).
Volkswagen combines XL1 powertrain with up! for the twin up! concept plug-in diesel hybrid; 214 mpg
|Introducing the twin up! Click to enlarge.|
Volkswagen presented the twin up! concept car at the Tokyo Motor Show. Equipped with a plug-in hybrid system from the super-efficient XL1 (earlier post), the four-seater based on the up! city car achieves combined fuel consumption of 1.1 liters per 100 km (214 mpgUS) (NEDC), with corresponding CO2 emissions of 27 g/km.
All new Volkswagen vehicles are configured to accept alternative drive systems as well as conventional ones, making installation of the compact XL1 plug-in hybrid system in the twin up! relatively easy. The only modification made in the production version was to lengthen the up!’s extremely short front overhang by 30 mm. The drive unit of the twin up! (system power: 55 kW) is mounted at the front of the car. It comprises a two-cylinder 0.8L TDI (35 kW); electric motor (35 kW); a 7-speed DSG (DQ200E) and the power electronics.
The new MINI makes its debut; new architecture, new fuel-efficient engines, including 3-cylinder diesel
November 18, 2013
|New MINI Cooper and MINI Cooper S. Click to enlarge.|
The BMW Group’s new MINI made its worldwide debut at MINI’s UK production plant in Oxford. The new MINI features an all-new vehicle architecture, an evolutionary design and a range of new fuel-efficient engines. The new MINI will make its auto show premiere in Los Angeles this week.
The biggest efficiency advance comes in the MINI Cooper with automatic transmission: the new model accelerates from 0 to 100 km/h 2.6 seconds faster, while average fuel consumption is 27% lower. The lowest fuel consumption and CO2 levels comes in the MINI Cooper D with a 3-cylinder diesel: 3.5 – 3.6 liters/100 km (67.2 to 65.3 mpgUS) and 92 – 95 g CO2/km (EU test cycle figures, dependent on tire format selected).
Researchers explore ethanol-diesel dual-fuel combustion for reduction in engine-out emissions
November 14, 2013
|Effect of ethanol energy fraction and PFI position on CO, NOx, HC, and opacity emissions. Credit: ACS, Padala et al. Click to enlarge.|
Researchers at the University of New South Wales (Australia) have demonstrated the potential for ethanol use in diesel engines with dual-fuel combustion, in which ethanol is injected into the intake manifold and diesel is directly injected into the engine cylinder. A paper on their work is published in the ACS journal Energy & Fuels.
The goal of such an approach is effectively to address some of the drawbacks of conventional diesel combustion, such as higher in-cylinder soot formation associated with locally rich mixtures and high flame temperatures and engine-out emissions of NOx.
Canada awards $30M to 10 automotive R&D projects; from electrified powertrains to hot stamping
October 28, 2013
The Government of Canada has awarded C$30 million (US$29 million) through the Automotive Partnership Canada (APC) initiative to 10 university-industry partnerships to advance innovative automotive technologies. With a total project value of more than C$52 million (US$50 million), the funding includes some $22 million from industry and other partners.
The largest award from APC is $8,928,200 to the McMaster University-Chrysler partnership (earlier post) for the development of next generation electrified powertrains. (Earlier post.) However, the selected projects include a range of technologies from hot stamping of parts to hydrogen fuel cell stacks.
Volvo Drive-E engines delivering NEDC fuel consumption in S60 sedan as low as 62 mpg US for diesel, 40 mpg for gasoline
October 25, 2013
|The new Drive-E diesel engine. Click to enlarge.|
Volvo is introducing the first engines—two gasoline and 1 diesel—in its new 2.0-liter, four-cylinder Drive-E powertrain family (earlier post) and has received official European NEDC certification on fuel consumption and CO2 emissions when applied in the S60 sedan.
Leading with the lowest fuel consumption is the Volvo S60 D4 diesel with 181 hp (135 kW) and manual gearbox, delivering class-leading CO2 emissions at 99 g/km, which translates into fuel consumption of 3.8 l/100 km (62 mpgUS). A Volvo V60 D4 with up to 17-inch tires also breaks the 100-gram barrier according to the NEDC certification with CO2 emissions at 99 g/km.
BMW introduces the 2 Series; power up, fuel consumption down by up to 21% over 1 Series, depending upon model
|New BMW 2 Series Coupe. Click to enlarge.|
BMW has introduced an entirely new model series in the form of the BMW 2 Series Coupe. Offering both gasoline and diesel engines at launch (depending upon market), output is up by as much as 10 kW over the new car’s 1 Series predecessor, yet average fuel consumption in the EU test cycle has dropped by up to 21%, depending on the model.
One four-cylinder gasoline engine and one four-cylinder diesel unit are available from launch, putting 135 kW/184 hp at the disposal of the BMW 220i Coupe and BMW 220d Coupe. (The US will see the gasoline model as the 228i.) Also joining them, with a six-cylinder in-line engine developing 240 kW/326 hp, is the BMW M235i Coupe. Subsequently, BMW will introduce two more four-cylinder diesel models in the form of the BMW 218d Coupe (105 kW/143 hp) and BMW 225d Coupe (160 kW/218 hp).
Chevrolet introduces second-generation Duramax 4-cylinder diesels; global engine
October 11, 2013
|New Duramax 4-cylinder diesel. Click to enlarge.|
Chevrolet Sales Thailand introduced the new-generation MY14 Duramax four-cylinder turbo-diesel engine in 2.5- and 2.8-liter variants. The new Duramax engine was engineered in Europe and the US, with global application as one of its developmental objectives. Applications include powering the Colorado pickup truck and Trailblazer SUV for the Thailand and Southeast Asian markets.
The new Duramax 2.8-liter diesel delivers 11% more power and 6% more torque, while consuming 4.3% less fuel. The new Duramax engine is Euro-4 compliant and can be upgraded to meet Euro-5, -6 and US emission standards.
Study finds biodiesel blend reduces total particle mass in emissions but may have greater adverse health effect per mass than diesel
October 10, 2013
Findings from a study by researchers from the Department of Medicine and the School of Engineering at the University of Vermont suggest that the addition of biodiesel to diesel fuels will reduce the total particle mass of PM emissions—but that the biodiesel blend particles may contribute to greater biological effects per mass than B0, leading to potentially greater health risks.
As reported in a paper published in the ACS journal Environmental Science & Technology, the team first characterized exhaust particles produced by combustion of pure petrodiesel (B0) and B20 (20% soy biodiesel/ 80% B0) fuels using the same engine and running conditions, and then conducted experiments in two human cell lines representing bronchial epithelial cells and macrophages as well as in female mice. (Studies in cells alone do not necessarily reflect the integrated response of a whole animal, they noted.)
Opposed-piston engine company Achates Power raises $35.2M in Series C Financing; new industry advisory board
October 09, 2013
Achates Power, Inc., the developer of a family of two-stroke compression-ignition opposed-piston engines (earlier post), has finalized $35.2 million in Series C financing. The company also announced the formation of a new Industry Advisory Board, and its selection as a semi-finalist in the Securing America’s Future Energy (SAFE) Energy Security Prize.
All existing Achates Power investors participated in the fundraising round, including Sequoia Capital Partners, RockPort Capital Partners, Madrone Capital Partners, InterWest Partners and Triangle Peak Partners. The Series C financing follows a $19-million Series B round in 2009 and brings the total raised by Achates Power to nearly $90 million since its 2004 founding. Between the two funding rounds, Achates Power has also tripled its US patent portfolio and increased the number of issued and pending claims to more than 1,500 unique innovations.
Ricardo and Doosan DL06 diesel with TVCS achieves Tier 4f emissions without need for DPF
|Ricardo’sTwin Vortex Combustion System (TVCS) reduces soot by 45- 50% compared to a conventional approach. Source: Ricardo. Click to enlarge.|
The Doosan DL06 engine is a turbocharged and intercooled 5.9-liter, in-line 6-cylinder diesel engine used in both on-highway and off-highway applications. The new US Tier 4 Final (Tier 4f) version of the DL06 includes an ultra-low particulate combustion system featuring the Ricardo Twin Vortex Combustion System (TVCS) (earlier post); the engine achieves compliance with Tier 4 Final particulate emissions levels without requiring a DPF—thereby providing a cost-effective solution.
Pre-orders start for Mazda Axela in Japan; gasoline and hybrid models first, followed by diesel
|Axela Hybrid. Click to enlarge.|
Mazda Motor Corporation will begin taking pre-orders for the new Mazda Axela sports compact (known outside of Japan as Mazda3) on 10 October 10, 2013 at its dealers throughout Japan. (Earlier post.) The company expects to sell 3,000 units per month in Japan.
Sales will begin on 21 November, starting with the gasoline engine and a hybrid models, to be followed by a diesel version. This will make Mazda the first domestic automaker to offer gasoline, diesel and hybrid versions of a single model in Japan.
Exploring gasoline-range naphtha as a low-soot, low-NOx alternative compression ignition fuel
October 08, 2013
Dr. Gautam Kalghatgi and his colleagues at Saudi Aramco and other organization such as FEV, RWTH Aachen University, and Shell Global Solutions, have been investigating the potential use of naphtha as an alternative compression-ignition (CI) fuel that offers a number of benefits, including efficient combustion; low soot and NOx emissions resulting in a less complicated aftertreatment system to meet modern emissions standards; and a fuel that is simpler to make than current gasoline or diesel fuels.
A number of papers from Kalghatgi and his colleagues—and now other groups, including Tsinghua University in China and the Eindhoven University of Technology—have been published recently, exploring different aspects of this approach. At the SAE/KSAE 2013 International Powertrains, Fuels & Lubricants Meeting in Korea later this month, Kalghatgi and his colleagues will present two more, one exploring the fuel economy potential of partially premixed compression ignition (PPCI) combustion using naphtha, the other exploring the use of larger size nozzle holes and higher compression ratio in a diesel engine for combustion of such a “gasoline-type” fuel.
Fiat 500L Living diesels average about 70.6 mpg on Turin to Paris run
October 07, 2013
|Fiat 500L running in the Bosch Diesel Challenge. Click to enlarge.|
A small fleet of Fiat 500L Living models, equipped with the 1.6 MultiJet II 105 HP diesel with Start&Stop, covered the 800-kilometer (497-mile) route from Turin to Paris on an average of 27 liters (7.1 gallons US) of fuel, corresponding to approximately 30 km/l (70.6 mpgUS, 3.33 l/100km). The drive was part of a Bosch Diesel Challenge; the 500L features a Bosch common rail system.
Similar average results were registered by the teams who travelled back from Paris to Turin, again without stopping for fuel. A professional driver drove the same distance on only 20.9 liters (5.5 gallons US) of fuel, equal to more than 38 kilometers per liter (89 mpgUS, 2.6 l/100km).
Cummins introduces 5L V8 diesel for North American light- and medium-duty commercial vehicles
October 04, 2013
|The new ISV 5.0 diesel. Click to enlarge.|
Cummins Inc. introduced the ISV5.0, a new 5-liter V8 diesel engine designed to power pickup-and-delivery vehicles, other light- and medium-duty trucks, school buses and motorhomes. The ISV5.0 extends Cummins range of on-road diesel engines for North American vehicles. Like the new 5.0L V8 Turbo Diesel to be used in the Nissan Titan pick-up truck (earlier post), the ISV5.0 will be manufactured at the Columbus Engine Plant, with production to start during the fourth quarter of 2014.
Cummins ISV5.0 will serve customers in the United States and Canada, and will be certified to US EPA 2013 NOx and PM emissions levels. At launch, it will also meet greenhouse gas (GHG) requirements through 2016, and 2015 California Air Resources Board (ARB) standards, including on-board diagnostics.
Ford introduces second-generation 6.7L Power Stroke V8 Diesel for F-Series Super Duty; Gen 1 hits 500,000 mark
September 27, 2013
|Second-generation 6.7-liter Power Stroke V8 diesel. Click to enlarge.|
Ford introduced the 2015 F-Series Super Duty lineup at State Fair of Texas, featuring a second-generation 6.7-liter Power Stroke V8 turbo diesel engine and increased towing capabilities.
Ford introduced the 6.7-liter Power Stroke V8 turbo diesel in 2011. (Earlier post.) A key Ford innovation on the original 6.7-liter Power Stroke V8 turbo diesel was its reverse-flow layout. The advanced design places the exhaust inside the engine’s V-shape while the air intake is positioned on the outside of the V. This segment-exclusive design naturally improves a variety of attributes:
Georgia Tech study finds MD electric urban delivery trucks have cost advantages over diesel in some conditions; relative benefits depend on numerous factors
September 26, 2013
Researchers at Georgia Tech have compared medium-duty (MD) electric and diesel urban delivery trucks in terms of life-cycle energy consumption, greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, and total cost of ownership (TCO). One surprise among their findings was that the electric truck had cost advantages over the diesel vehicle under some conditions. The team had expected that electric truck costs would always be higher, especially since the purchase price of the electric truck studied was higher than that of the diesel truck.
In a paper published in the ACS journal Environmental Science & Technology, they report that the relative benefits of electric trucks depend heavily on vehicle efficiency associated with drive cycle; diesel fuel price; travel demand; electric drive battery replacement and price; electricity generation and transmission efficiency; electric truck recharging infrastructure; and purchase price.
ETH Zürich team developing light-duty natural gas-diesel hybrid electric powertrain; 43 g/km CO2
September 12, 2013
|Consumption measurements of the dual-fuel natural gas-diesel engine as a function of speed and load. Source: Ott et al. Click to enlarge.|
Researchers at ETH Zürich have developed a light-duty hybrid electric vehicle featuring a dual-fuel natural gas-diesel engine. In an open access paper in the journal Energies, they report that CO2 emissions can be reduced to as low as 43g/km in a subcompact car configuration using the dual-fuel hybrid electric powertrain on the New European Driving Cycle (NEDC). The dual-fuel engine can also serve in a non-hybrid application.
In the dual-fuel engine, the natural gas (usually a fuel for spark-ignited engines) is injected into the intake manifold of a compression-ignition diesel engine. Instead of using a spark plug for ignition, the premixed air-gas mixture is ignited with a small amount of directly injected diesel fuel. This approach—already being successfully commercialized in heavy-duty engines by Westport Innovations (e.g., earlier post) and Clean Air Power (e.g., earlier post)—delivers the high performance and efficiency of diesel with lower CO2 and tailpipe emissions.
PNNL team finds correlation between reaction mechanism for zeolite SCR catalyst for NOx aftertreatment and bacterial enzyme catalysis
September 11, 2013
|Computer model of Cu-SSZ-13 shows nitric oxide (ball-and-stick) interacting with a positively charged copper ion (copper ball) at an unexpected angle (red dotted lines). Photo courtesy of Kwak et al. Click to enlarge.|
A team of researchers in the Institute for Integrated Catalysis at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory led by chemist János Szanyi has proposed a reaction mechanism for a highly active zeolite catalyst (Cu-SSZ-13) used in selective catalytic reduction (SCR) NOx aftertreatment systems for diesel emissions. A paper on their work is published in the journal Angewandte Chemie International Edition.
Although the catalyst is in use, exactly how it converts NOx to nitrogen and water with the help of ammonia (urea) hasn’t been entirely clear. The new research finds that the catalyst works much the same way that similar bacterial enzymes do: by coming at the target from the side rather than head on. The finding provides insight into how to make better catalytic converters.
3.0L I-4 EcoDiesel to make North American debut in 2014 Ram ProMaster van
September 09, 2013
|Fred Diaz, President and CEO - Ram Truck Brand and Chrysler de Mexico, introduces the 2014 Ram ProMaster at the Chicago Auto Show. Click to enlarge.|
The Chrysler Group’s 2014 Ram ProMaster van, developed from the Fiat Ducato, will mark the the North American introduction of the 174 hp (130 kW) 3.0-liter inline 4-cylinder EcoDiesel engine that generates peak torque of 295 lb-ft (400 N·m) as early as 1,400 rpm. The engine is paired with the new M40 electronically controlled six-speed automated manual transmission—exclusive to the EcoDiesel.
Designed by Fiat, which employs the engine in numerous applications including Class 2, 3 and 4 commercial vehicles, the 16-valve, dual-overhead cam I-4 has been adapted for the North American market with a wide range of modifications that enable regulatory compliance, while also enhancing performance. The 2014 Ram ProMaster also offers a 280 hp 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6 gasoline engine option.
ADEPT project to apply gasoline engine HyBoost system to diesel; 48V architecture; full hybrid fuel economy at much lower cost
September 04, 2013
The developers of the successful gasoline-engine HyBoost project (earlier post)—Ricardo, Ford Motor Company, Control Power Technologies (CPT) and the European Advanced Lead Acid Battery Consortium (EALABC)—will be joined by Faurecia Emissions Control Technologies UK Ltd and University of Nottingham to apply the intelligent electrification concept for the first time to a diesel vehicle (a Ford Focus).
The Ricardo-led Advanced Diesel Electric Powertrain (ADEPT) project will apply 48V “intelligent electrification” concepts, mild hybridization and waste heat recovery in a Ford Focus diesel demonstrator. The project aims to deliver full hybrid equivalent fuel economy and performance with less than 70 g/km CO2 emissions as measured over the European Drive Cycle, but at a significantly lower cost.
Ricardo advancing with two novel heavy-duty vehicle technologies: cryogenic split-cycle engine and microwave fuel reforming
|The concept of the Ricardo Split-Cycle engine. The recuperated engine uses isothermal compression via cryogenic injection to enable significant exhaust to compressed gas heat transfer. Source: Neville Jackson. Click to enlarge.|
Ricardo is advancing its work with two novel technologies to improve the efficiency of heavy-duty goods vehicles: a cryogenic split-cycle engine “CryoPower” (earlier post), and a low-carbon waste-heat powered microwave fuel reformer “HeatWave II”.
Heavy duty vehicles, such as long haul trucks, represent a significant challenge in terms of the reduction of carbon dioxide emissions. An essential element of the transportation mix of modern industrialized society, they are inherently less amenable to the type of electrification and hybridization strategies that are already contributing to reduced carbon emissions and potential long-term sustainability for the light vehicle sector.
DSM and KACO develop crankshaft cover made in bio-based EcoPaXX polyamide 410 for next-gen VW diesels
September 02, 2013
|Crankshaft cover. Click to enlarge.|
Royal DSM, together with its automotive component specialist partner KACO, has developed a lightweight multi-functional crankshaft cover in EcoPaXX, DSM’s bio-based polyamide 410, for the latest generation of diesel engines developed by the Volkswagen Group. EcoPaXX, a bio-based, high-performance long-chain polyamide, is made mainly from tropical castor beans.
This EcoPaXX cover incorporates integral seals in PTFE and liquid silicon rubber (LSR), as well as various metal inserts. It will be used on Volkswagen’s new MDB modular diesel engine platform, implemented across its Audi, Seat, Škoda and VW brands.
New 300 hp 3.0L V6 diesel for Porsche Panamera boosts power by 20%, small improvement in fuel consumption
|New Panamera diesel. Click to enlarge.|
Porsche is introducing a new 300 bhp (221 kW) 3.0L diesel in its Panamera Diesel. The six-cylinder V-engine increases power output by 50 bhp—equivalent to a 20% increase in performance—compared to the predecessor model. The Gran Turismo with the new engine offers NEDC fuel consumption of 6.4 liters/100 km (36.8 mpgUS)—equivalent to 169 CO2/km—a small improvement on the 6.5 l/100 km (36 mpg US) of the standard earlier 250 hp model. That model delivered 6.3 l/100 km (37.3 mpgUS) with optional low rolling resistance tires. (Earlier post.)
Acceleration time for the new Panamera diesel has been reduced by eight-tenths of a second—the new model moves from 0 to 100 km/h in 6.0 seconds, while the top speed has increased to 259 km/h (161 mph) compared to the 244 km/h (152 mph) achieved by the previous model.
Neste Oil and Raisioagro to research the potential of straw as a renewable diesel feedstock via microbial oil
Neste Oil, developer of the NExBTL process for renewable diesel, and agritrader Raisioagro have launched a research project to investigate the potential of straw as a raw material for producing NExBTL renewable diesel via Neste’s microbial oil technology. (Earlier post.)
Large quantities of waste straw are produced as agricultural residue in Finland and elsewhere, and only a small proportion of this is currently used. The project will study whether a logistically effective and efficient, large-scale straw harvesting chain could be created in Finland. The researchers will also look at the storability of straw for use as an industrial input year-round. The project will be carried out by TTS, a research, development, and training organization.
VW introducing 1.8L EA888 Gen 3 engine in 2014 Jetta, Passat and Beetle; driving impressions
August 29, 2013
Volkswagen of America is introducing the Group’s third-generation EA888 1.8-liter TSI four-cylinder engine in the 2014 Jetta and Passat, followed by the 2014 Beetle. The 1.8-liter unit produces 170 hp (127 kW) and 184 lb-ft (250 N·m) of torque as early as 1,500 rpm. The horsepower is the same as the outgoing 5-cylinder 2.5-liter engine, but it delivers 7 lb-ft more torque at 2,750 fewer revs (see chart at right).
Mated to an automatic or a manual transmission, the new EA888 offers up to a 17% decrease in fuel consumption while providing even better acceleration. In a presentation at Volkswagen of America’s 2014 line drive in St. Helena, California, Hubertus Lemke, Head of Technical Project Management for Volkswagen AG, described the advances in the new third-generation engines. (The 2.0-liter version of this engine has already made its debut in the 2013 Beetle and Jetta GLI, delivering a 10 hp improvement.)
Audi banking on Gen 2 3.0L TDI diesel for US sales; calls for a “fair shot” for diesel (update w/ rally results)
August 23, 2013
|Audi's Gen 2 3.0L TDI. Click to enlarge.|
Audi of America introduced four new TDI clean diesel models for the US market this year—the Audi A8, A7, A6, Q5—along with an updated Q7 TDI, all equipped with a second-generation 3.0L V6 TDI diesel engine. (Earlier post.) This week in Washington, the company held a series of media drives (“TDI Efficiency Rally”) for the Q5, A6 and A7 diesel models to highlight their efficiency and performance, and also offered up its—as well as several other experts’—perspectives on the potential for diesel in the US market.
“If we are going to reward efficiency, and that’s the goal,” said Joe Jacuzzi, Chief Communications Officer, Audi of America in opening remarks, “then diesel really needs a fair shot. Not only is it more powerful and contains up to 30% better efficiency than traditional gasoline, etc. The fact of the matter is [it requires] very little infrastructure change and secondly, its a very simple driving behavior change. You move from one pump to the other.”
Land Rover launching diesel hybrids: Range Rover Hybrid and Range Rover Sport Hybrid
August 21, 2013
|Hybrid Range Rover. Click to enlarge.|
Land Rover is launching its first hybrid models—Range Rover Hybrid and Range Rover Sport Hybrid. The two all-aluminum diesel-electric hybrids are based on Land Rover’s Premium Lightweight Architecture and share an identical powertrain. First deliveries will be in early 2014.
The new Range Rover Hybrid powertrain features three driver-selectable modes and combines Land Rover’s popular 3-liter SDV6 diesel engine with a 35kW electric motor integrated with the 8-speed ZF automatic transmission. The hybrid system, including lithium ion battery pack, inverter and electric motor weighs less than 120 kg (282 lbs). Fuel consumption is 6.4 l/100 km (36.7 mpgUS) on the combined cycle, with CO2 emissions of 169 g/km.
Volvo Car to introduce first three Drive-E engines this fall
August 16, 2013
The first three engines from the Volvo Car Group’s new two-liter, four-cylinder Drive-E powertrain family will launch this fall. The diesel version features i-Art (intelligent-Accuracy Refinement Technology) injection technology (earlier post), and the most powerful gasoline version comes with a combination of a supercharger and a turbocharger.
The whole Drive-E engine range, which, during the development phase, was called Volvo Engine Architecture (VEA) (earlier post), basically consists of two four-cylinder engine architectures, one common rail diesel and one direct-injected gasoline. They replace eight engine architectures on three platforms. Drive-E diesels will range from 120 to 230 hp (89 to 172 kW). Gasoline versions will start at 140 hp (104 kW) and go all the way up to 300-plus hp (224-plus kW).
New Opel Insignia to debut with three new engine options; diesel as low as 99 gCO2/km
August 15, 2013
|The new 2.0-liter turbo diesel engine with 88 kW/120 hp or 103 kW/140 hp enables CO2 emissions as low as 99 g/km. Click to enlarge.|
The new Opel Insignia, which makes its public debut at the 65th Frankfurt International Motor Show (IAA) next month, will offer two new turbo gasoline direct injection units and a new turbo diesel enabling 99 g/km CO2 in its powertrain lineup.
In four and five-door models with a six-speed manual gearbox and Start/Stop, both output variants of the diesel (88 kW/120 hp and 103 kW/140 hp) consume just 3.7 liters of fuel per 100 km (63.6 mpgUS) over the combined cycle (according to Regulation [EC] No 715/2007), while the Sports Tourer achieves 3.9 l/100 km (60.3 mpgUS). As a result, the Opel Insignia 2.0 CDTI is the most fuel efficient diesel car in its class which earns it the German A+ energy efficiency label.
Mercedes-Benz previews new GLA compact SUV; fuel economy as high as 54.7 mpg in diesel version
|2015 GLA-Class. Click to enlarge.|
Mercedes-Benz previewed the new 2015 GLA-Class compact SUV prior to its global debut at the International Motor Show (IAA) in Frankfurt next month. The GLA, which will go on sale in 2014, is Mercedes-Benz’ first entry into the fast-growing compact SUV segment. It is also the first Mercedes-Benz SUV to be optionally available with the new-generation permanent all-wheel drive system 4MATIC, with fully variable torque distribution. (Earlier post.) ECO stop/start is standard.
Initially the power range of the 1.6 and 2.0-liter gasoline engines will extend from 115 kW (156 hp) in the GLA 200 to 155 kW (211 hp) in the GLA 250. The GLA will also offer two 2.2-liter diesel variants. The GLA 200 CDI develops 100 kW (136 hp) and maximum torque of 300 N·m (221 lb-ft), with fuel consumption of 4.3 l/100 km (54.7 mpgUS) and 114 g CO2 per kilometer (provisional figure). The GLA 220 CDI develops 125 kW (170 hp) and 350 N·m (258 lb-ft).
Sandia team proposes models for partially premixed low-temperature direct-injection diesel combustion
August 14, 2013
|The Sandia team has proposed extensions to John Dec’s 1997 model for diesel combustion, represented above. Credit: Musculus et al.; Dec. Click to enlarge.|
A team at Sandia National Laboratories recently proposed conceptual models for a specific subset of low-temperature combustion regimes: low-load, single-injection, partially premixed compression ignition (PPCI LTC) conditions that are diluted by exhaust-gas recirculation (EGR) to oxygen concentrations in the range of 10–15%.
Their paper, which provides a detailed review and synthesis of various current experimental and modeling studies—and which extends Sandia scientist John Dec’s seminal 1997 model for diesel combustion—is published in the journal Progress in Energy and Combustion Science.
Honda unveils new Civic Tourer with 1.6L i-DTEC diesel
August 12, 2013
|New Civic Tourer. Click to enlarge.|
Honda unveiled the new UK-built Civic Tourer wagon ahead of its official debut at the Frankfurt Motor Show next month. The Civic Tourer will be available with the choice of two engines: the new 1.6 i-DTEC diesel engine from the Earth Dreams Technology series (earlier post) and the 1.8 i-VTEC gasoline engine with manual or automatic transmission. Applied in the Honda Civic (available since January 2013), the i-DTEC engine delivers combined cycle fuel economy of 65.3 mpgUS (3.6 l/100 km).
The new Civic Tourer will be launched in Europe in early 2014. It will be built at Honda’s UK manufacturing facility in Swindon alongside the hatchback variant and the CR-V and Jazz.
Mercedes-Benz introduces latest E 200 Natural Gas Drive and E 220 BlueTEC BlueEFFICIENCY Edition
August 09, 2013
|E 200 Natural Gas Drive. Click to enlarge.|
Mercedes-Benz is introducing the latest version of the bivalent drive E 200 Natural Gas Drive (NGD) variant to the E‑Class family in Europe. The E200 NGD can run on either gasoline or natural gas; benefits of running the car on natural gas include a 20% reduction in CO2 emissions compared with comparable operation using gasoline, and much lower fuel costs. Mercedes-Benz also introduced the new diesel E 220 BlueTEC BlueEFFICIENCY Edition, with CO2 emissions of 114 grams/km.
The E 200 Natural Gas Drive uses 4.3 kg of natural gas per 100 kilometers (NEDC combined), which corresponds to CO2 emissions of 116 g/km. If the new E 200 NGD automatically switches to running on gasoline because the gas tank is empty, the new four-cylinder engine needs requires 6.3 liters of unleaded gasoline (NEDC combined) for every 100 kilometers (37.3 mpg US), with CO2 emission of 147 g/km.
Volkswagen of America bringing new EA288 diesel to MY2015 Golf, Jetta, Passat and Beetle; debuts in 2H 2014
August 06, 2013
|Main modules of development for the EA288 diesel engine. Source: Volkswagen Group of America. Click to enlarge.|
Oliver Schmidt, General Manager, Energy and Environmental Office, Volkswagen Group of America confirmed that the new EA288 diesel engine will power the 2015 Golf, Beetle, Passat, Jetta, which are due in dealer showrooms in the second half of 2014. The new EA288 will eventually replace all the 2.0-liter TDI Clean Diesel engines fitted in Audi and Volkswagen TDI Clean Diesel models. Schmidt made the announcement during a speech delivered at the Management Briefing Seminars in Traverse City, Mich.
The EA288 is part of Volkswagen’s MQB transverse assembly toolkit, and is also applied in the Golf GTD heading for the US (earlier post). In the MQB set, the new EA288 four-cylinder covers engine displacements ranging from 1.6 to 2.0 liters.
Audi unveils first “ultra” production model: fuel efficient A3 1.6 TDI ultra with 73.5 mpg US
August 05, 2013
|Audi A3 1.6 TDI ultra. Click to enlarge.|
Audi unveiled its most fuel-efficient production model, the A3 1.6 TDI ultra. With 81 kW (110 hp) of power output, the Audi A3 1.6 TDI ultra consumes 3.2 liters of diesel per 100 kilometers (73.50 US mpg). This equates to 85 grams of CO2 emissions per kilometer (137 g/mile).
This latest A3 is not only the most efficient Audi, it is also the brand’s first model designated as “ultra”. The ultra designation expresses Audi’s commitment to systematic sustainability concerning production and products. Along with Audi’s e-tron plug-in hybrid models and g-tron models powered by natural gas, ultra vehicles will constitute a third category in the brand’s portfolio of cars offering sustainable, everyday mobility.
U Wisc. study explores effects of biodiesel-gasoline blend in diesel engine
August 01, 2013
One high-efficiency combustion concept under investigation is gasoline compression ignition (GCI)—the use of gasoline-like fuels to deliver very low NOx and PM emissions as well as high efficiency in a diesel compression ignition engine. (Earlier post.) A challenge to be overcome with this approach is the higher resistance to autoignition of gasoline fuels.
A team from the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Engine Research Center now reports in a paper in the journal Fuel on the effects of biodiesel-gasoline blends compared to neat gasoline using a partially premixed, split-injection GCI combustion strategy.
Neste Oil in renewable diesel blend demonstration project aimed at commercialization; Diesel R33
|Test bus for the Diesel R33 project. Click to enlarge.|
Neste Oil is part of a fleet demonstration program of a new blend of diesel fuel in Coburg, Germany. The aim of the program is to introduce to the market a fuel with a significantly higher proportion of renewable content than current diesel blends. The German Minister of Transport, Peter Ramsauer, kicked off the project today in Coburg.
The new blend—Diesel R33—contains 26% NExBTL renewable diesel, an hydrogenated vegetable oil (HVO)-type renewable diesel fuel produced by Neste Oil; 7% conventional biodiesel (FAME) produced from used cooking oil; and 67% fossil diesel. With the 26% share of NExBTL, the new blend offers the highest biofuel content of any diesel blend that fulfills and exceeds the requirements for diesel fuels used in the European Union.
Chevy Cruze diesel’s variable-swirl mechanism
July 31, 2013
|The basic concept of GM’s variable swirl mechanism. Click to enlarge.|
The 2014 Chevrolet Cruze Clean Turbo Diesel’s (earlier post) 2.0L engine uses a variable-swirl intake mechanism to enhance performance while reducing emissions. The variable-swirl intake manifold design optimizes air charge mixture motion in the cylinders for a more efficient combustion.
In Cruze’s variable-swirl intake manifold, each cylinder has two separate intake ports, with one of them controlled by a valve. During variable swirl, each throttle valve varies how much it opens to create mixture-motion of air and fuel within each cylinder. The effectiveness of any such variable mechanism is linked to the quality of its controls; GM’s engineering team spent a great deal of effort calibrating the actuator precisely to open and close the valves for optimal performance.
Study investigates impact of operating conditions and load on soot particle number distribution for diesel and biodiesel
July 27, 2013
A team led by researchers from Brunel University (UK) has investigated the exhaust soot particle number size distributions obtained from the combustion of diesel and biodiesel (rapeseed methyl ester, RME) in a high speed direct injection (HSDI) diesel engine under different engine operating conditions: fuel injection pressure, injection timing, exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) and engine load.
Among the findings they reported in their paper in the journal Fuel was that under most of the engine operating conditions examined, RME emitted lower soot particle concentration than diesel under both nucleation and accumulation modes. The presence of oxygen in the fuel has the potential to lower the exhaust particle number concentration in diesel engines, they concluded.
New diesel Volkswagen Golf GTD heading for the US; first driving impressions
July 16, 2013
|New Golf GTD. Click to enlarge.|
Volkswagen has introduced a new version of the Golf GTD (“Gran Turismo Diesel”) in Europe, and plans to bring it to the US market, reportedly likely for the 2016 model year. The latest GTD is based on the seventh-generation Golf (earlier post), and thus, on the strategic MQB (modular transverse matrix) platform. (Earlier post.) It thus becomes the first GTD built off of the MQB components set.
With a new 2.0L diesel delivering 184 horsepower (137 kW), 280 lb-ft (380 N·m) of torque, CO2 emissions of 109 g/km, and a NEDC combined fuel economy figure of 56 mpg US (4.2 l/100 km) when equipped with the six-speed manual transmission), the new A7 GTD is improved all around, with 14 more horsepower; an additional 22 pound-feet of torque; a 25 g/km improvement in CO2 emissions, and 10 mpg better fuel economy than its predecessor.
Renault makes public its lifecycle study of Fluence ICE vs Fluence EV
July 11, 2013
|Renault’s comparison of the carbon footprint of EV and ICE vehicles over production, operation and end of life. The EV footprint (Fluence Z.E.) is shown with both UK and French grid mixes. Click to enlarge.|
Renault recently made public the findings of an internal study, published first in October 2011, detailing and comparing the lifecycle assessments (LCAs) of the battery-electric and two internal combustion engined versions (gasoline and diesel) of the Renault Fluence. The study used the series production versions launched in 2011, with the assumption of operation for 150,000 km (93,205 miles). (Since the BEV version has a shorter range, Renault noted, the way in which the miles are accumulated could differ from that of the ICE vehicles.)
The publication gives the opportunity for an “apples-to-apples” comparison between the environmental impacts of the two types of powertrains: same manufacturer, same model, same boundary conditions. Nevertheless, Renault noted, the study is contrasting a new technology (EVs) with a well-developed one; “environmental progresses are expected in a short term thank to key process improvement and massification of the production.”
ARB researchers evaluate in-use heavy-duty NOx aftertreatment systems, find elevated levels during certain lower-temperature operations
July 09, 2013
A team from the California Air Resources Board (ARB) reports on their evaluation of the in-use emissions performance of four different heavy-duty diesel engines certified to the MY 2010 or interim MY 2010 NOx standards over a wide range of driving conditions in California in a paper published in the ACS journal Environmental Science & Technology.
One of the trucks was equipped with exhaust gas recirculation (EGR); three were equipped with EGR and a selective catalytic reduction (SCR) device. The results indicated that brake-specific NOx emissions for the truck equipped only with an EGR were independent of the driving conditions—and exceeded the certification value over each segment of the entire test route. Results also showed that for typical highway driving conditions, the SCR technology is proving to be effective in controlling NOx emissions. However, they also found that under operations where the SCR systems do not reach minimum operating temperature—e.g., cold starts and some low-load/slow-speed driving conditions—NOx emissions are still elevated.
Georgia Tech life-cycle study finds TCO of medium-duty electric and diesel delivery trucks similar; electric life-cycle energy use and GHG lower than diesel
July 06, 2013
|Life-cycle energy use and GHG emissions normalized with NYCC diesel case (8.06 MJ/t·km and 0.63 kgCO2e/t·km) at 100%. Numbers in red are net total including recycling effect. Credit: ACS, Lee et al. Click to enlarge.|
Comparing life-cycle energy consumption, greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, and total cost of ownership (TCO) of medium-duty electric and diesel urban delivery trucks for a range of drive cycles and electricity generation scenarios, a team from Georgia Tech found that all in all, the life-cycle energy use and GHG emissions of the electric truck are lower than that of the diesel truck, particularly for the frequent stop and low average speed (NYCC- and OCTA-type) drive cycles.
They also found that the total costs of ownership (TCO) of the electric and diesel trucks are similar. Over an array of possible conditions, the median TCO of electric trucks is 22% less than that of diesel trucks on the NYCC. However, the cost-competitiveness of the electric truck diminishes in drive cycles with higher average speed. Battery replacement along with EVSE will also greatly affect the relative TCO of the electric truck. The study is published in the ACS journal Environmental Science & Technology.
Chrysler introducing 2014 Ram 1500 pickup with new 3.0L diesel
June 28, 2013
|3.0L EcoDiesel. Click to enlarge.|
Chrysler’s 2014 Ram 1500 will offer a new, 3.0-liter EcoDiesel engine, mated with the TorqueFlite eight-speed automatic transmission. Ram is now the only brand to offer a small-displacement diesel for its half-ton line of trucks.
Branded EcoDiesel, the new 3.0-liter powerplant is a turbocharged 60-degree, dual overhead camshaft (DOHC) 24-valve V-6 that produces 240 hp (179 kW) at 3600 rpm and 420 lb-ft (569 N·m) of torque at 2000 rpm. Equipped with a diesel oxidation catalyst, diesel particulate filter, and selective catalytic reduction, it will be emissions-compliant in all 50 states.
UMTRI study finds US diesel vehicles generally have lower total cost of ownership than gasoline vehicles
|TCO for selected gas and diesel vehicles over a 3 year timeframe. Source: UMTRI. Click to enlarge.|
Diesel vehicles generally saved owners between $2,000 to $6,000 in total ownership costs during a three to five year period when compared to similar gasoline vehicles, according to data compiled by the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute (UMTRI). The study—Total Cost of Ownership: A Gas Versus Diesel Comparison—was conducted for Robert Bosch LLC; the results were released at the 2013 Alternative Clean Transportation Expo in Washington DC.
The report reviewed the role diesel vehicles play in the current vehicle fleet by analyzing the Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) for clean diesel vehicles and comparing their TCO to their gas vehicle counterparts. The UMTRI researchers—Bruce M. Belzowski and Paul Green—built the TCO model by developing three and five year cost estimates of depreciation by modeling used vehicle auction data and fuel costs by modeling government data.
DENSO develops new 2500-bar diesel common rail system; reductions in fuel consumption and emissions
June 27, 2013
|Components of the new 2500-bar DCR system. Click to enlarge.|
Global automotive supplier DENSO Corporation has developed a new 2500-bar diesel common rail (DCR) fuel injection system; DENSO says this is the currently the world’s highest injection pressure for a diesel common rail fuel injection systems comprising injector, fuel pump and common rail.
Based on DENSO’s research, the new system can help increase fuel efficiency by up to 3% while also reducing particulate matter (PM) by up to 50% and NOx by up to 8%. This is compared to DENSO’s previous generation system. The new DCR system will launch later this year on passenger, commercial, agricultural and construction vehicles worldwide.
Volkswagen’s 3rd-gen Golf TDI BlueMotion rated at 73.5 mpg US; 15% better than predecessor
June 26, 2013
|New Golf TDI BlueMotion. Click to enlarge.|
Volkswagen’s third-generation Golf TDI BlueMotion, introduced as a concept at the Mondial de l’Automobile in Paris last September(earlier post), is rated with fuel consumption of 3.2 l/100 km (73.5 mpg US) on the NEDC—equivalent to 85 g/km CO2. This represents a 15% improvement in fuel consumption compared to the previous model.
Volkswagen launched the first generation of the Golf BlueMotion in 2007.At that time, the Volkswagen set a new benchmark for sustainability with a fuel consumption value of 4.5 l/100 km (52.3 mpg US), or 119 g/km CO2. The second generation of the Golf BlueMotion—with fuel consumption of 3.8 l/100 km (61.9 mpg US), or 99 g/km CO2—made its debut in autumn 2009.
XL1 dive and drive: Volkswagen aggressively optimizes for efficiency in its sleek diesel plug-in hybrid
June 24, 2013
|XL1s ready to roll. Click to enlarge.|
During a media event in Wolfsburg, Germany, Volkswagen provided a medium dive into details of its two-seater XL1 Super Efficient Vehicle diesel plug-in hybrid (earlier post) as well as some driving time on local roads and highways.
The XL1 is aggressively optimized for efficiency in all areas of its design and technology—from materials (carbon fiber reinforced polymer monocoque); to powertrain (0.8L two-cylinder diesel, 20 kW electric motor and 5.5 kWh Li-ion pack with efficiency-optimized control and brake regeneration strategies); to lightweighting (little baffling to shield the driver from engine, chassis and road noises); to aerodynamics (with a Cd of 0.189, the XL1 bests the only other production vehicle that has come close, the GM EV1’s 0.19; the original Honda Insight hybrid had a Cd of 0.25). It reflects, the Volkswagen team members said, an effort by the company to deliver the most efficient vehicle they could—but one that could still be series-produced, homologated and sold—with current technologies.
Bosch sees future requiring multiple powertrain technologies; the larger the vehicle, the more the electrification
June 18, 2013
|Powertrain technologies outlook up to 2020. Click to enlarge.|
At the company’s 61st Automotive Press Briefing in Boxberg, Germany, Bosch senior executives outlined the company’s view on the general future of automotive technology—“efficient and increasingly electrical”, and provided a thumbnail of the way they see—and thus are developing products for—sector-specific technology trends.
In general, said Dr. Bernd Bohr, Chairman of the Bosch Automotive Group, the pace of development continues to pick up, in the form of powertrain electrification and the automation of driving. Bosch does not believe there is just one powertrain solution for the future; most of the cars on the world’s roads are still running on diesel and gasoline, and things will stay that way for the rest of the decade, Bohr noted. However, “slowly but surely”, the number of alternatives is growing.
Study finds that California clean diesel programs have slashed black carbon, a powerful short-term contributor to global warming
June 14, 2013
|California’s air quality programs have forced a reduction in black carbon despite a significant increase in diesel fuel consumption. Click to enlarge.|
In California, reductions in emissions of black carbon since the late 1980s—mostly from diesel engines as a result of air quality programs—have resulted in a measurable reduction of concentrations of global warming pollutants in the atmosphere, according to a study examining the impact of black carbon on California’s climate.
The study’s results support a growing body of scientific evidence that suggests it is possible relatively quickly to slow the pace of climate change regionally by reducing emissions of short-lived climate pollutants, like black carbon.
Nissan introduces new 1.5L diesel in Juke in Europe; 56 mpg US
June 11, 2013
|Nissan Juke n-tec. Click to enlarge.|
Nissan is introducing a new 1.5-liter dCi diesel engine in the Juke in Europe. The new 1.5L engine brings CO2 emissions down to 109 g/km from 124 g/km, with fuel consumption on the combined cycle of 4.2 l/100 km (56 mpg US)—an 11% reduction in consumption from the 4.72 l/100 km (49.8 mpg US) of the outgoing 1.5L unit.
The 108 hp (81 kW) diesel boosts maximum torque from 240 N·m to 260 N·m (192 lb-ft) at 1,750rpm, with 80% of this figure available from just 1,500 rpm to improve driveability. The new unit is now the most efficient engine in the Juke line-up, Nissan says.
Audi announces pricing and fuel economy for 2014 Audi A6, A7 and Q5 TDI diesels
June 10, 2013
At the 2012 Los Angeles Motor Show in December, Audi of America announced the significant expansion of its diesel model line-up with the addition of A8, A7, A6, and Q5 TDI diesel models to the Q7 and A3 TDI already on sale in the US. (Earlier post.)
Audi has now announced pricing and fuel economy figures for the 2014 A6, A7 and Q5 TDI models, expected to begin arriving at US dealers in late Summer 2013. The 2014 Audi A8 L was already recently introduced. EPA estimated fuel economy figures for the clean diesel introductions are as follows:
3rd generation BMW X5 to offer 5 diesel variants by end of year; more power, less fuel consumption
May 30, 2013
|BMW X5 xDrive30d. Click to enlarge.|
BMW’s newly introduced third-generation BMW X5 Sports Activity Vehicle will launch with two diesel engine model options, to be joined by three more in December. BMW has sold more than 1.3 million units of the X5 since the launch of the first generation model in 1999.
At launch, the diesel line-up will include the BMW X5 xDrive30d with revised six-cylinder in-line diesel unit (190 kW/258 hp) and the BMW X5 M50d M Performance Automobile with tri-turbo six-cylinder in-line diesel (280 kW/381 hp). (The xDrive30d will be badged as the X5 xDrive35d in the US, with a slightly different power rating but the same base engine.) By December 2013, these will be joined by the BMW X5 xDrive40d; the BMW X5 xDrive25d; and the BMW X5 sDrive25d.
Ricardo-led technology demonstrator delivers 72% improved fuel economy over regular Humvee
May 23, 2013
|Ricardo-TARDEC FED. Click to enlarge.|
Ricardo released an analysis of two years of on-the-ground testing of the Ricardo-engineered Fuel-Efficient Ground Vehicle Demonstrator (FED) showing that, when compared to the US military’s regularly outfitted M1151 HMMWV (“Humvee”), the FED experienced a 72% improvement in fuel economy. (Earlier post.) The FED’s performance was assessed using a number of realistic duty cycles including highway, off-road and idle conditions.
The FED powertrain features include a supercharged Cummins I4 diesel engine; a high efficiency 28V permanent magnet integrated starter-generator from Kollmorgen that enables electric accessories and 20 kW of power for on-board equipment; a 6-speed automatic transmission from Aisin; and an accelerator feedback pedal and fuel economy display to inform drivers how to operate the vehicle to produce the best fuel economy.
Univ. of Oklahoma study suggests that biocorrosion associated with ULSD not related to level of sulfur in the fuel
May 22, 2013
Findings from a study by a team at the University of Oklahoma suggest that the stability of diesel fuel—i.e., either the biodegradation of diesel hydrocarbons or, by inference, the degree of biocorrosion—is independent of the concentration of organosulfur species in the fuel. In other words, accelerated biocorrosion associated with the use of ultra-low sulfur diesel (ULSD) likely does not result from the lower level of sulfur in the fuel.
The study is published in the ACS journal Environmental Science & Technology.
Mercedes-Benz launches new S-Class with hybrid, diesel, gasoline models; 59 mpg PHEV model to come
May 16, 2013
|New S 400 HYBRID. Click to enlarge.|
Mercedes-Benz’s new generation flagship S-Class, introduced at an elaborate event at Airbus in Finkenwerder, marks a number of technology firsts in numerous areas from comfort, to driver control, to efficiency. As one example of the last, the new S-Class is the first car in the world to completely dispense with conventional electric bulbs, making exclusive use of energy-saving LED technology both inside and outside.
On a larger efficiency scale, the new S-Class in its first year will offer two hybrid versions, a gasoline model and a diesel variant: the S 400 HYBRID, S 300 BlueTEC HYBRID, S 500, and S 350 BlueTEC. The models offer up to 20% lower fuel consumption than the outgoing model series. These soon will be followed by the S 500 Plug-In HYBRID—the first S-Class with a fuel consumption lower than 4l/100 km (59 mpg US). All the engines already meet the requirements of the Euro-6 emissions standard.
Volvo Car Group begins production of new VEA 4-cylinder engine family
May 13, 2013
Volvo Car Group is now starting production of the first engine variants in the new, high-efficiency four-cylinder Volvo Engine Architecture (VEA) family. (Earlier post.) The development and production take place in-house at Volvo Car Group.
VEA consists of four-cylinder gasoline and diesel engines. Together with driveline electrification, VEA replaces the previous eight engine architectures on three different platforms. The new engines will be introduced between 2013 and 2015. Almost 20,000 engines will be produced in 2013, and by the end of the year the production pace will be 2000 units a week.
Cummins progressing toward ATLAS Tier 2 Bin 2 fuel-efficient diesel for light-duty pickups
May 10, 2013
In a US Department of Energy (DOE)-sponsored project, engineers at Cummins are developing a Tier 2 Bin 2 emissions compliant diesel for application in a light duty pickup (ATLAS, Advanced Technology Light Automotive Systems, earlier post). Tier 2 Bin 2 requirements are only slightly less stringent than the CARB LEVIII-SULEV20 requirements. (Earlier post.) Fuel economy targets for the vehicle are 22.4 mpg US (10.5 l/100km) city and 34.3 mpg US (6.9 l/100 km) highway.
At the recent 2103 SAE World Congress, Cummins discussed key engine technology enablers—including air-handling, fuel system, and base engine design— and development of the combustion system that will help in achieving the target emission levels and fuel economy.
2014 Sprinter van for US standard with new 2.1L diesel; new driver assistance features
May 06, 2013
|2014 Sprinter. Click to enlarge.|
The new MY2014 Mercedes-Benz Sprinter van for the US now features a 2.1L, 4-cylinder diesel with a t-speed automatic transmission as standard. The familiar V6 diesel is available as an option.
Since 2010, all Sprinters in the US have been powered by BlueTEC diesel engines, marking the first use of BlueTEC technology, with its selective catalytic reduction (SCR) exhaust aftertreatment system, in the commercial van market here. The 2.1-liter four-cylinder diesel engine produces 161 hp (120 kW) and 265 lb-ft (359 N·m) of torque at 1,400-2,400 rpm.
UPM and VTT begin fleet tests of BioVerno wood-based renewable diesel in Golf 1.6 TDIs
April 29, 2013
Finland-based forestry-industry company UPM, VTT and VV-Auto Group will start fleet tests of renewable diesel produced mainly from crude tall oil, which is a residue of chemical pulp production, UPM BioVerno. (Earlier post.) The biofuel will be produced by UPM, fleet tests will be coordinated by VTT, and cars will be supplied by VV-Auto Group, an importer and marketer of Volkswagen Group cars in Finland. Fleet tests with UPM BioVerno will start in May, lasting several months.
UPM BioVerno diesel has previously been studied in engine and vehicle tests conducted by VTT and others. The fleet tests will focus on investigating UPM renewable diesel in terms of fuel functionality in engine, emissions and fuel consumption.
Winterkorn says Volkswagen developing 10-speed DCT and high-performance diesel; plug-in hybrids offer great potential
April 26, 2013
|Volkswagen’s view of powertrain technologies to minimize greenhouse gas emissions. Source: Prof. Dr. Jürgen Leohold, Executive Director Volkswagen Group Research. Click to enlarge.|
At the International Vienna Motor Symposium Prof. Dr. Martin Winterkorn, Chairman of the Board of Management of Volkswagen AG, gave a forecast of future drive system technologies. Areas of work being focused on by Volkswagen include the development of a high-performance diesel engine delivering 100 kW (134 hp) per liter of displacement and a new 10-speed dual clutch gearbox that reduces fuel consumption.
The high performance diesel engine features a variable valve-train assembly, a high-pressure injection system at up to 3,000 bar and combined charging with an innovative e-booster. Among alternative drive systems, plug-in hybrids in particular offer great potential, Winterkorn said. (The Volkswagen Group intends to launch at least 6 new plug-in hybrid models starting in 2014 and beyond. Earlier post.)
US DOE to award nearly $18M to 4 biorefinery projects for mil-spec renewable hydrocarbon fuels
April 22, 2013
The US Department of Energy (DOE) will award nearly $18 million to four innovative pilot-scale biorefineries in California, Iowa and Washington that will produce and test drop-in renewable biofuels that meet military specifications for jet fuel and shipboard diesel.
The pilot-scale biorefinery projects selected today will use a variety of non-food biomass feedstocks, waste-based materials, and algae in innovative conversion processes. The projects will demonstrate technologies to cost-effectively convert biomass into advanced drop-in biofuels and assist these organizations to scale up the processes to commercial levels. Recipients are required to contribute a minimum of 50% matching funds for these projects.
Achates Power developing light-duty two-stroke opposed-piston diesel engine: the OP4
April 17, 2013
|The OP4 light-duty opposed-piston diesel. Click to enlarge.|
Achates Power, which is developing a family of two-stroke, compression-ignition (CI) opposed-piston (OP) engines, has designed and is developing a light-duty diesel concept engine, the OP4. The OP4 is a two-stroke, inline two-cylinder, four-piston diesel with a swept volume of 1.5 liters.
With nominal power of 96 kW (129 hp) @ 4000 rpm and maximum torque of 325 N·m (240 lb-ft) @ 1750-2250 rpm (achieved at 14 bar BMEP), the engine will meet Euro 6 and LEV 3 emissions requirements and shows modeled best point fuel consumption of 189 g/kWh. Benchmarked against the Mercedes-Benz 1.8-liter OM651 Euro 5 engine, said Fabien Redon VP, Technology Development at Achates Power, the OP4 design shows a modeled 13.5% cycle-average fuel consumption advantage. Redon presented the basics of the OP4 engine concept at the SAE High Efficiency IC Engine Symposium in Detroit.
Zhongding Power to invest more than $200M to build EcoMotors opoc plant in China
April 09, 2013
p> Zhongding Power and EcoMotors have entered an agreement for the production of the opoc (opposed-piston, opposed cylinder) engine (earlier post). One of the largest automotive component conglomerates in China, Zhongding will finance and construct the first opoc plant in the Anhui Province.
The plant represents an investment by Zhongding of more than US $200 million and will have a capacity of about 150,000 engines per year—or more than US $1 billion in revenue potential. High-volume production is expected to begin in 2014.
Volvo Car Group’s new VEA diesels will use i-ART injection systems for improved fuel consumption
April 08, 2013
Volvo Car Group’s new engine family VEA (Volvo Engine Architecture) (earlier post) will be launched this autumn with i-ART injection technology that helps to cut fuel consumption in the new diesel engines. i-ART (intelligent-Accuracy Refinement Technology) was developed by Denso and introduced at the IAA 2011. (Toyota is also using i-ART systems in upcoming 3.0L commercial diesel engines. Earlier post.)
i-ART features a closed-loop control system—the system autonomously adjusts the fuel injection quantity and timing to their optimal targets based on feedback from injectors. To do this, each injector is equipped with a pressure sensor that communicates its fuel pressure to the engine ECU.
Audi introduces 2015 Audi A3 and S3 sedans; A3 Sportback e-tron PHEV confirmed for US
March 27, 2013
|A3 Sedan. Click to enlarge.|
Audi of America, Inc. announced that the all-new 2015 Audi A3 sedan will arrive in US showrooms in the first quarter of 2014. Audi of America also confirmed that it will offer the A3 Sportback e-tron plug-in gasoline electric hybrid (PHEV) model in the US market later in 2014. Audi recently revealed the A3 Sportback e-tron at the 2013 Geneva Motor Show. (Earlier post.)
At launch, the engine line-up will consist of four four-cylinder engines: 170 hp (127 kW) 1.8 TFSI; low- and high-output versions of the 2.0 TFSI; and 150 hp (112 kW) 2.0 TDI clean diesel. Completely redesigned, the engines bring together direct fuel injection, turbocharging, innovative thermal management and the start-stop-system. The line-up of engines and transmissions will grow further, and will include two new basic engines.
Tsinghua study compares two diesel-gasoline combustion modes; both deliver high efficiencies and low emissions
March 18, 2013
|The effects of gasoline ratio on indicated thermal efficiency of HCII and GDBF modes. Yu et al. Click to enlarge.|
Researchers at Tsinghua University have compared the combustion and emissions characteristics of two dual-fuel (diesel-gasoline) modes intended to integrate the advantages of both fuels to achieve high thermal efficiency and low emission targets. A paper on their results is published in the journal Fuel.
Gasoline Homogeneous Charge Induced Ignition (HCII) by diesel combines the port fuel injection of gasoline to form a homogeneous charge with the direct injection of diesel fuel as an ignition source. (E.g., RCCI, earlier post.) Gasoline/Diesel Blend Fuels (GDBFs) use a premixed blend of diesel and gasoline which is directly injected into the cylinder for combustion. (E.g., dieseline, earlier post.)
Cummins/Peterbilt SuperTruck shows 54% improvement in fuel economy, 61% improvement in freight efficiency
March 14, 2013
|The new SuperTruck achieved a 54% increase in fuel economy. Click to enlarge.|
Cummins Inc. and Peterbilt Motors Company, a division of PACCAR, released test results showing their demonstration SuperTruck tractor-trailer achieved a 54% increase in fuel economy, averaging nearly 10 mpg US (23.5 l/100 km) under real world driving conditions. In addition, the truck also demonstrated a 61% improvement in freight efficiency during testing compared to a baseline truck driving the same route. Freight efficiency is based on payload weight and fuel efficiency expressed in ton-miles per gallon.
Cummins is a prime contractor leading one of four vertical teams under the Department of Energy’s SuperTruck project, one of several initiatives under the 21st Century Truck Partnership. (Earlier post.) Objectives for the program, which runs from April 2010 through April 2014, include:
Petrobras joining DIBANET biofuels consortium; diesel miscible biofuels from biomass
March 12, 2013
|DIBANET aimes to advance the art in several key areas in diesel miscible diesel production. Source: DIBANET. Click to enlarge.|
Petrobras is joining the DIBANET (Development of Integrated Biomass Approaches Network) consortium—a 45-month, €3.73-million (US$4.9-million) research project that is funded by the EU’s Seventh Framework Program. (Earlier post.) DIBANET is coordinated by the Carbolea Research Group at the University of Limerick in Ireland.
DIBANET focuses on the conversion, by non-biological means, of the lignocellulosic biomass residues and wastes of Europe and Latin America to platform chemicals, such as levulinic acid and furfural, and biofuels. More specifically, DIBANET is advancing the art in the production of ethyl-levulinate from organic wastes and residues. Ethyl levulinate (EL) is a novel diesel miscible biofuel (DMB) produced by esterifying ethanol with levulinic acid.
ExxonMobil: diesel will surpass gasoline as the number one global transportation fuel by 2020
March 09, 2013
|Transportation fuel mix in millions of oil-equivalent barrels through 2020. Source: ExxonMobil Outlook. Click to enlarge.|
Diesel will surpass gasoline as the number one transportation fuel worldwide by 2020 and continue to increase its share through 2040, according to ExxonMobil’s recently published Outlook For Energy: A View To 2040. The relative shift away from motor gasoline to diesel is driven by improving light-duty vehicle fuel economy and the growth in commercial transportation activity. Diesel demand accounts for 70% of the growth in demand for all transportation fuels through the forecast period to 2040.
Fuel demand for heavy-duty vehicles, the largest subsector, sees the greatest growth, up 65%, and accounts for 40% of all transportation demand by 2040. About 80% of the growth in commercial transport demand will come from developing nations, according to the forecast. Fuel for aviation and marine will increase about 75% and 90%, respectively, over the Outlook period, with their combined share growing from about 20% today to more than 25% by 2040.
Peugeot 2008 crossover delivers CO2 emissions as low as 99g/km for gasoline, 98 g/km for diesel
March 06, 2013
|The 2008 on display in Geneva. Click to enlarge.|
Peugeot’s new 2008 B-Segment urban crossover, introduced at the Geneva Motor Show, leverages its light-weight design, aerodynamic silhouette and a wide range of gasoline and diesel engines equipped with Stop&Start—including a new generation of 3-cylinder gasoline engines—to offer fuel consumption and CO2 emissions as low as 3.8 l/100km (62 mpg US) and 98g/km for diesel, and 99g/km for gasoline.
New generation of 3-cylinder gasoline engines. The PSA Peugeot Citroën Group designed the new generation of 3-cylinder gasoline engines, which, while maintaining comparable output to 4-cylinder engines, are more compact and lightweight (a 21 kg reduction of the 1.2-liter VTi over a 4-cylinder counterpart). (Earlier post.)
Mitsubishi reveals diesel-electric hybrid and battery-electric concepts at Geneva: GR-HEV and CA-MiEV
March 05, 2013
|Concept GR-HEV. Click to enlarge.|
Mitsubishi Motors Corporation (MMC) unveiled the MITSUBISHI Concept GR-HEV (Grand Runner-HEV) diesel-electric hybrid pickup truck and the MITSUBISHI Concept CA-MiEV (Compact and Advanced-MiEV) concept models at the 83rd Geneva International Motor Show. The company also showcased the production Outlander PHEV (plug-in hybrid electric vehicle), which is scheduled for release starting this July.
The Concept GR-HEV is a Sport Utility Truck (SUT) concept is equipped with an FR (front-engine, rear-wheel drive)-based diesel-hybrid system comprising a 2.5-liter diesel, automatic gearbox, electric motor and battery (which is located and protected within the ladder frame). The GR-HEV delivers CO2 emissions levels of 149 g/km or below. The drivetrain is a next-generation 4WD system that combines the Super Select 4WD (SS4) system and the S-AWC system.
Axion Power and ePower Engine Systems enter 5-year agreement for use of PbC batteries in diesel-electric drivetrains for Class 8 trucks; tests suggest up to 35% improvement in fuel economy
March 04, 2013
Axion Power International, Inc, the developer of advanced lead-carbon PbC batteries and energy storage systems (earlier post), has entered a strategic relationship with ePower Engine Systems LLC. ePower Engine Systems specializes in the retrofit and conversion of diesel-powered Class 8 trucks into series hybrid-powered units inspired by the diesel-electric drives in locomotives—i.e., the diesel engine powers a generator that in turn provides power directly to the traction motors.
ePower Engine Systems has consented to a five-year initial term with Axion Power that includes the exclusive use of Axion’s PbC batteries, and battery management systems in all ePower retrofits and conversions.
Volkswagen to produce XL1 diesel plug-in hybrid at Osnabrück; 261 mpg US
February 21, 2013
|The XL1. Click to enlarge.|
Volkswagen has confirmed that its XL1 Super Efficient Vehicle, featuring fuel consumption of 0.9 l/100 km (approx. 261 mpg US), will go into limited production at the company’s Osnabrück factory in Germany. The plug-in diesel-electric hybrid, which Volkswagen will showcase at the Geneva show, can cover a distance of up to 50 km (31 miles) in all-electric mode.
The XL1 is low weight (795 kg), aerodynamic (Cd 0.189) and with a low center of gravity (1,153 mm high). This gives it the ability to cruise on the road at a constant speed of 100 km/h (61 mph) using just 6.2 kW / 8.3 hp, Volkswagen says. In all-electric mode, the XL1 requires less than 0.1 kWh to cover a driving distance of more than one kilometer.
Opel to introduce new Euro 6 1.6 CDTI diesel in Geneva; 57 mpg US in the Zafira Tourer
February 14, 2013
|The new 1.6 CDTI diesel delivers 100 kW/136 hp and 320 N·m of torque for fuel consumption in the Zafira Tourer of 4.1 l/100 km and 109 g/km CO2. Click to enlarge.|
At the Geneva Motorshow (7-17 March, 2013) Opel will introduce a new generation diesel engine, the 1.6 CDTI ECOTEC—its cleanest diesel yet—in the seven-seater Zafira Tourer. Equipped with Opel’s “BlueInjection” SCR (selective catalytic reduction) technology, the engine already meets Euro 6 emissions limits. (The coming Euro 6 specs target 0.08 g/km NOx for passenger car diesels, compared to 0.18 g/km for Euro 5. Euro 6 levels are still higher than the US Tier 2 Bin 5 NOx standard.)
The new generation 1.6 CDTI ECOTEC unit delivers 100 kW/136 hp and 320 N·m (236 lb-ft) of torque, with fuel consumption of 4.1 l/100 km (57 mpg US) and 109 g/km CO2 in the Zafira Tourer. The new advanced Opel four-cylinder 1.6-liter diesel engine not only sets benchmarks for performance with its high power and torque density but also for refinement with an very low level of noise, vibration and harshness, Opel says.
Mitsubishi Motors to showcase “electro-mobility engineering palette” at Geneva show: diesel hybrid pickup and new EV concepts, European spec Outlander PHEV
February 13, 2013
At the upcoming 83rd Geneva International Motor Show in March, Mitsubishi Motors Corporation (MMC) will showcase its full electro-mobility engineering palette—Pure Electric (EV), Hybrid Electric (HEV), and Plug-in Hybrid Electric (PHEV)—through two world-premiere concept cars next to the New Outlander PHEV. MMC has set an objective of 20% of EV-based cars by 2020.
The Concept GR (Grand Runner)-HEV Concept and the CA (Compact and Advanced technology)-MiEV models will share the stand with the European spec Outlander PHEV (earlier post), which recently went on sale in Japan.
Chevrolet debuts 2014 Cruze Clean Turbo Diesel for US and Canada
February 07, 2013
|2014 Cruze Clean Turbo Diesel engine. Click to enlarge.|
Chevrolet is entering the US and Canadian diesel car markets this summer with a 2.0L turbo-diesel version of the Cruze. Assembled in Lordstown, Ohio, the 2014 Cruze Clean Turbo Diesel has demonstrated an estimated 42 mpg (5.6 l/100km) on the highway. Final fuel economy ratings and power specs will be released closer to the on-sale date.
The compact sedan’s new Tier 2 Bin 5 2.0L turbo-diesel engine is based on a proven 2.0L architecture already used in European models, where approximately 40% of all Cruze models sold feature a diesel engine. The GM engineering team—comprising engineers from the US, Germany and Italy—altered the base engine to address four main areas: emissions; on-board diagnostics; operation in more difficult environmental conditions; and operation at higher altitudes. The engine is manufactured in Kaiserslautern in Germany.
Achates Power opposed-piston diesel for TARDEC will demonstrate multi-cylinder configuration
February 04, 2013
|Achates Power says that its 2-stroke OP engine offers higher best point brake thermal efficiency than diesel or gasoline engines. Source: Achates Power. Click to enlarge.|
In December 2012, the US Army Tank Automotive Research, Development and Engineering Center (TARDEC) awarded Achates Power, Inc., developer of a two-stroke, compression-ignition (CI) opposed-piston (OP) engine, and AVL Powertrain Engineering, Inc. a $4.9-million contract for design and construction of the Next-Generation Combat Engine. (Earlier post.)
TARDEC, commented David Johnson, Achates President & CEO, in general has used COTS (Commercial Off-The-Shelf) engines, but is now looking for better fuel efficiency and is funding its own development activity; the solicitation won by Achates and AVL is a big departure for them, Johnson said. “We won on our data. The proposal we submitted with AVL had a substantial set of data [for the engine].” Achates Power has accumulated more than 3,600 hours of dynamometer testing and achieved 47.5% brake thermal efficiency with its OP engine. (The Achates/AVL project was the sole award from the solicitation.)
Volkswagen introduces new 4WD Golf 4MOTION with 5th generation Haldex coupling; 15% reduction in fuel consumption over current model
January 29, 2013
|Fifth-generation Haldex coupling in the Golf 4MOTION. Click to enlarge.|
Volkswagen is expanding the new Golf range with versions with 4MOTION all-wheel drive. In this latest version of the Golf 4MOTION, Volkswagen is using a four-wheel drive system with an enhanced, fifth-generation Haldex coupling.
Volkswagen is offering the new Golf 4MOTION in Europe in three levels (Trendline, Comfortline, Highline) and with two turbo diesel engines. The Golf 1.6 TDI 4MOTION BlueMotion Technology delivers 77 kW/105 PS and consumes 4.5 liters per 100km (52.3 mpg US). The Golf 2.0 TDI 4MOTION BlueMotion Technology delivers 110 kW / 150 PS with fuel consumption of 4.7 liters per 100km (50 mpg US). The new model consumes 0.8 liters or 15% less fuel than the current Golf 4MOTION delivering 150 PS.
Cox Powertrain and Ricardo receive MoD development contract for advanced engine concept; supercharged, opposed-piston diesel
January 28, 2013
|Single-module Cox powerhead unit. Click to enlarge.|
The UK Ministry of Defense (MoD) has confirmed its order for the next prototype stage of development of a new high-performance, lightweight diesel engine intended for marine outboard applications on the fast, rigid inflatable boats used by the Royal Navy. The Cox Powertrain engine concept—with many patents pending—is based on a supercharged, two-stroke diesel opposed piston architecture with Scotch Yoke crankshaft and a central injector position.
This engine topology promises a power to weight ratio comparable with high performance gasoline engines, whilst delivering diesel fuel consumption and a package volume around half that of a state-of-the-art diesel engine. The engine is being developed towards the demanding operating conditions of a military application in which extreme diesel performance, light weight and small package size are critical to mission performance, and must be delivered alongside robustness and high reliability of operation.
Opel introducing new 1.6L diesel engine family; fuel consumption reduced by up to 10%, Euro 6 compliant
January 16, 2013
|The 1.6-liter CDTI Ecotec diesels will replace existing 1.7-liter engines and certain lower powered versions of the 2.0-liter range. Click to enlarge.|
Opel is introducing a new four-cylinder, 1.6-liter turbo-diesel engine as part of the fundamental renewal of its powertrain portfolio. The second family of new downsized power units to be introduced after the gasoline 1.6-liter SIDI Ecotec (earlier post), the 1.6-liter CDTI Ecotec diesels will replace existing 1.7-liter engines and certain lower powered versions of the 2.0-liter range.
Featuring closed-loop combustion control and an aluminum block, the new 1.6 CDTI Ecotec is the first diesel from Opel to comply with future Euro 6 emissions requirements. The engine will be available in a variety of power outputs across several carlines.
ETI, Loughborough University, Johnson Matthey & Caterpillar launch £4.5M project to improve effectiveness of SCR aftertreatment systems for heavy-duty vehicles
January 15, 2013
The UK public-private partnership Energy Technologies Institute (ETI), Loughborough University, Johnson Matthey and Caterpillar have launched a new £4.5-million (US$7.2-million) technology project to improve the effectiveness of Selective Catalytic Reaction (SCR) aftertreatment systems for NOx reduction in heavy duty vehicles (HDVs).
The project aims to help HDV fuel efficiency by developing a more efficient exhaust aftertreatment system. Often diesel engine fuel efficiency is reduced by having to comply with exhaust emission standards. It is hoped that the new exhaust system developed by this project will effectively remove this constraint. The project aims to deliver fuel efficiency and CO2 benefits of between 3%-4%.
Volkswagen unveils mid-size SUV plug-in diesel-electric hybrid concept at Detroit Show
January 14, 2013
|Powertrain of the CrossBlue SUV PHEV concept. Click to enlarge.|
Volkswagen unveiled the CrossBlue SUV concept at the North American International Auto Show. Developed specifically for US and Canada, the six- to seven-seat midsize crossover CrossBlue is targeted at the rapidly growing mid-size SUV segment, and would sit in the Volkswagen SUV lineup above the Tiguan and below the premium Touareg.
Built off of the MQB Modular Transverse Matrix components set (earlier post), the CrossBlue offers a manufacturer-estimated 35 mpg (6.72 l/100km) combined (37 mpg highway and 33 mpg city), 89 mpge (2.64 l/100km equivalent) in electric mode, and an all-electric range of up to 14 miles (22.5 km).
2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee offers new 3.0L EcoDiesel V-6 and 8-speed for 30 mpg highway
|3.0L EcoDiesel. Click to enlarge.|
Among the many features of the new 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee—introduced at the Detroit Auto Show—two in particular contribute to significantly improved fuel economy and driving performance: an optional new 3.0-liter EcoDiesel V-6 engine and a new eight-speed automatic transmission. That powertrain delivers 30 mpg (7.8 L/100km) highway for the SUV (4x2) and a range of more than 730 miles (1,175 km).
The new eight-speed transmission also is paired with Grand Cherokee’s 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6 engine—now achieving up to 25 mpg highway and more than 600-miles driving range—and its 5.7-liter V-8, now achieving up to 21 mpg highway.
New Ford Fiesta ECOnetic van offers 71 mpg US
December 27, 2012
|New Fiesta Van. Click to enlarge.|
Ford is introducing a new version of its Fiesta Van in Europe. All diesel engines in the new Fiesta Van achieve sub-100 g/km CO2 emissions and 3.7 l/100 km (63.6 mpg US) or better (measured according to the technical requirements and specifications of the European Regulation (EC) 715/2007 as last amended).
The 1.6L diesel Fiesta ECOnetic Van variant, featuring enhanced fuel-saving technologies, delivers fuel consumption of 3.3 l/100 km (71 mpg US), equivalent to 87 gCO2/km.
2014 Mercedes-Benz E-Class in the US will offer new 4-cylinder diesel; new 4-cylinder gasoline direct injection engine in other markets
December 17, 2012
Mercedes-Benz has introduced the updated 2014 E-Class Sedan and Wagon, featuring an array of new driver assistance systems in addition to new fuel efficient engines. Eleven new or optimized assistance systems from the future S-Class make their world premiere in both the sedan and wagon models. (Earlier post.)
Both the E-Class sedan and wagon offer a range of gasoline and diesel engines, all coming with the ECO start/stop system as standard equipment. The gasoline engines offered in the MY14 E-Class in the US are the V6 and V8 units in the E350 and E550, which will go on sale in Spring 2013. New in the MY14 E-Class sedan is the 2.1-liter, four-cylinder diesel engine powering the E250 BlueTEC with 4MATIC all-wheel drive, available Fall 2013. The E250 BlueTEC, emissions compliant in all 50 states, generates 190 hp (142 kW) and 369 lb-ft (500 N·m) of torque, replacing the V6-powered E350 BlueTEC engine that only was available with rear-wheel drive.
German automotive companies launch “clean-diesel” marketing campaign in US
December 12, 2012
Six German automotive companies—passenger car manufacturers Audi, BMW, Daimler, Porsche and Volkswagen, and the supplier Bosch—launched their first joint campaign for diesels in the US. Under the slogan “Clean Diesel. Clearly Better.” they will argue for the advantages of modern diesel passenger car technology over gasoline engines in terms of cleanliness, consumption and performance.
The new vehicle market share of light-duty diesels in the US is quite low (2.6%) compared with a diesel share of 55% in Western Europe. However, sales of diesel passenger cars by German manufacturers—representing 100% of the market in diesel passenger cars in the US—have more than doubled over the last three years. In the first nine months of the current year, around 69,600 diesel cars were sold in the USA, compared to 30,600 for the same period in 2009.
SpeedSource used ANSYS simulation software to speed design of motorsports version of Mazda SKYACTIV-D engine
December 11, 2012
|Static pressure. In-cylinder pressure contour after injection. Credit: SpeedSource Race Engineering. Click to enlarge.|
Earlier this year, Mazda Motorsports announced it would supply racing versions of the new SKYACTIV-D diesel engines (earlier post) to customer teams competing in GRAND-AM’s newly announced GX Class for advanced/clean technologies, beginning with the 2013 season. (Earlier post.) The racing SKYACTIV-D will make its official racing debut in the Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona on 28 January.
The motorsports version of the engine was designed by motorsports research and development company SpeedSource Race Engineering using ANSYS simulation software quickly to design the engine—in about one-third the time of the industry average—without compromising essential reliability standards for the engine’s use in a competitive racing environment. The motorsports SKYACTIV-D clean-diesel engine is the first production-based, four-cylinder racing diesel engine to be used in a major racing series.