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Audi‘s future hybrid drivetrain plans became much clearer today when it debuted the A6 L e-tron concept at the Beijing Auto Show.
Based on the A6 platform, but with a longer wheelbase (designated by the “L”), we’re getting a taste of what Audi’s advanced e-tron drivetrain system will look like as it is fitted to cars starting with the 2014 model year.
Mercedes-Benz unveiled its second-generation B-Class at the 2011 Frankfurt Auto Show along with a concept for an E-Cell version of the front-wheel drive compact sport tourer.
The new B-Class is almost two inches shorter than the previous version yet has more leg room thanks to a lowered floor. The seats are also more upright but still offer a lot of head room.
European customers will have the choice of two new gasoline and two diesel options, all with ECO start/stop. The turbocharged 1.6 liter B 180 offers 122 hp while the B 200 version offers 156 hp. The 1.8 liter diesel options include the B 180 CDI with 109 hp and the B 200 CDI with 136 hp. B-class models will come with either a 6-speed manual transmission or a new 7-speed dual clutch transmission.
Hyundai is continuing to enter new product segments, including upscale niche markets, but will continue to update lower priced models over the next three years. Three vehicles the Korean automaker wants to launch sometime soon include a dedicated plug-in hybrid sedan (a Prius rival), a sporty sedan to compete with the BMW 3-Series and more luxurious Veracruz SUV.
The Veracruz has become long-in-the-tooth and its sales are lacking. The mid-sized SUV will disappear after the 2012 model year but will return soon after in more luxurious and upscale form for 2014 model year, and will launch in early 2013.
Work is already underway on a sporty sedan to compete with the BMW 3-Series. Hyundai plans to use the rear-wheel drive platform seen in the Genesis and exterior styling is also expected to employ aggressive lines similar to the Gensis Coupe. Hyundai will likely launch this vehicle after 2013.
The plug-in sedan is expected to arrive either in the 2013 or 2014 model year but unfortunately details on this vehicle are insufficient. What is known, is that the hybrid will be an entirely new vehicle all together and will not be a variant of an existing model.
Recently, Formula One has take a greener turn, becoming more environmental by exchanging high-revving V8 engines for 1.6-liter turbo sixes in 2014.
In addition, changes to the 2012 regulations now make it mandatory that F1 cars run entirely on electric power for the entire time they’re in the pit lane. Rule 5.19 of the revised technical regulations states that, “The car must be run in electric mode (no ignition and no fuel supply to the engine) at all times when being driven in the pit lane.” To accommodate electric-only propulsion in and out of the pit lane, the new Energy Recovery Systems have been increased in capacity to 120 kW, and the system will also be allowed to recapture energy from exhaust fumes as well.
While a victory for technology in once respect, unfortunately it also means we will no longer be able to enjoy the high-pitched whine of the engine revving as the car leaves its pit stall. And with no sound to notify surrounding pit crews that a car is leaving, there’s certainly a level of danger involved too.
General Motors has recently revealed plans of a shift in production for the next-generation Chevrolet Impala. The new Impala will soon be produced in the Detroit-Hamtramck plant, rather than the Oshawa, Canada facility that currently builds the car.
The next Impala will be based on Cadillac’s upcoming XTS sedan meaning the Impala will grow in size compared to the current model. The XTS will receive the GM 3.6-liter direct-injected V6 likely to appear in the Impala. The XTS was shown with available all-wheel-drive meaing there is a possibility the Impala may receive a similar system, as well as a hybrid drivetrain.
The next Impala will likely see production in late 2012, with sales beginning in early 2013 featured as a 2014 model.
[Source: Left Lane News]