For diesel fans in the U.S., it must seem like Christmas. Audi has been heavily marketing its diesel engines, and other automakers have joined the bandwagon. The surge in diesel passenger car availability comes from customer interest in high mileage vehicles, and new technologies that clean diesel emissions. Diesels do particularly well on the highway, so if your commute involves a lot of medium- to high-speed driving over long distances, check out these cars to see if one fits your needs. … Read more
When Elon Musk outlined his moon-shot idea to transport humans via electromagnetically powered tubes, dubbed the Hyperloop, he was adamant in expressing that he did not have the time between his commitments at SpaceX and Telsa to make it a reality. Now a collaborative platform for would-be startup ideas has put Hyperloop on the table so it can be torn apart, refined, and eventually funded by the crowd.
The goal is to create a nexus for Hyperloop discussion and mobilization on the Web out of the dozens of disparate futurists, hobbyists, and engineers who have campaigned for support on Reddit, … Read more
Cadillac once again leads GM's technology efforts, this time with a new drivetrain for its 2014 CTS model. One of this new model's three engine choices will be a direct-injection 3.6-liter V-6, producing 420 horsepower.
The current CTS comes with either a 3-liter or 3.6-liter V-6, both featuring direct injection, outputting 270 horsepower and 318 horsepower respectively. The new CTS comes out with the twin turbo, a revised nonturbo 3.6-liter V-6, and a 2-liter four-cylinder using direct injection and a turbo to produce 272 horsepower.
The danger of using a turbocharger to boost power is … Read more
Ever since 2009, Audi has been showing off enticing electric cars under the E-tron name, its brand for any electrified power train. I finally got to drive one during a green industry conference in San Francisco, but it was a far cry from the original sporty-looking E-tron concept. However, the A3 E-tron looks a lot more like a car that Audi would put into production.… Read more
You may have read or heard one of your favorite Car Tech editors talking about gasoline direct injection and how it's one of the "big technologies" that's helping to keep the almost 200 year-old internal combustion engine alive well into the 21st century. In this week's issue of the ABCs of Car Tech, I'm going to explain just what the heck gasoline direct injection is and why you should care if it's in your next car's engine or not.
How did fuel injection work before direct injection?The modern gasoline internal combustion … Read more
Torque steer is a phenomenon that mostly affects front-wheel-drive cars where heavy acceleration causes the vehicle to veer to the left or right.
Take a front-wheel-drive car to a wide, open space where you can test acceleration from about 0 to 15 mph without hitting something or someone (perhaps a big empty parking lot). Take both hands off of the steering wheel and give the accelerator a brief but firm squeeze. What did you notice? For most FWD cars, you likely saw the steering wheel twisting to one side and the vehicle lurching to either the left or to the … Read more
Heightening speculation that BMW and Toyota are about to announce an expanded partnership involving fuel cell technology, the German automaker confirmed today that it is no longer talking with General Motors about a similar research arrangement, reported a Bloomberg article.
On Friday, BMW and Toyota will hold a press conference announcing the details of a closer working relationship. Last December the two companies penned an agreement that gave Toyota access to BMW's small diesel engines to sell in its European line up of vehicles, and in return, Toyota would help BMW play catch up in the hybrid market by … Read more
Toyota and BMW are expected to announce this week a closer working relationship that expands upon the one they struck last year.
In December 2011, the two companies announced that they'll be collaborating on fuel-efficient and alternative power-train vehicles, with BMW supplying small diesels to Toyota to power its cars sold in Europe. In return, the Japanese car manufacturer would help BMW with the development of next-generation lithium ion batteries.
My perception of Ford Motor is probably similar to most people's. The Mustang was the hallmark car in the '70s. The company suffered the same malaise as other automakers in the '80s, while the '90s saw bigger and bigger SUVs. And, of course, there was the ever-present F-150, either seen as beat-up work truck or shiny suburban boat hauler.
Somewhere along the way Ford's trajectory changed, though, to the point where it is now leading the technology charge in vehicles.
I found out how it all changed from the horse's mouth, as it were, at a speaking … Read more
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This year's International Engine of the Year Awards saw many repeats from 2011, but stealing the show was a new sub-1-liter engine from Ford. Using direct injection and a turbocharger, this 999cc engine manages to generate 123 horsepower, enough for most subcompact and compact cars. And in European test cycles, the engine manages well over 50 mpg.
Despite the economy of Ford's engine, the Green Engine Award went to GM for the range extended electric power train in the Chevy Volt and Opel Ampera.
Here are the various … Read more