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The AutoGuide News Blog is your source for breaking stories from the auto industry. Delivering news immediately, the AutoGuide Blog is constantly updated with the latest information, photos and video from manufacturers, auto shows, the aftermarket and professional racing.
Buick has just released a teaser image of a new entry-level luxury crossover that will slot in underneath the Enclave. Normally word of a new model is news enough, but GM has decided to increase our expectations of its new model by announcing that it will be offered with a version of the Volt’s Voltec plug-in hybrid system.
This will make the new crossover the first plug-in hybrid SUV on the market.
The new five-passenger crossover will go on sale next year with PHEV models on sale in 2011. The conventional gasoline models will be offered with a choice of two engines: a direct-injection 2.4-liter turbocharged Ecotec four-cylinder or a direct-injection 3.0-liter V6. The Ecotec motor is expected to deliver 30 mpg on the highway.
The Buick PHEV will use a battery pack roughly half the size and power of the one found in the Volt and be mated to a 3.6-liter V6 FexFuel engine, indicating that the Buick hybrids will follow the Lexus philosophy of using the hybrid powertrain to deliver high-performance with reduced fuel-consumption. Similarly, it appears, Chevy models like the Volt will follow the Toyota model of delivering maximum fuel-efficiency.
The Buick PHEV will be able to be recharged fully in 4 to 5 hours through a conventional 110V household outlet and will be ale to travel up to 10 miles on pure electric power (at low speeds).
“Buick has always been at the forefront of new technology, so it is only fitting that the brand should debut our new plug-in hybrid technology in a beautiful new crossover,” said Tom Stephens, GM vice chairman of product development. “This will firmly put Buick, and GM, front and center in the advanced technology game.”
Official release after the jump:
It’s really all just speculation at this point but there are reports the Bentley’s new supercar will make as much as 630hp and hit 62 mpg in just 4 seconds. And as ridiculous as that sounds, it might be an understatement.
Currently the Continental GT Speed makes 600hp from Bentley’s famous twin-turbo W12 and those Bentley engineers haven’t even begun to tap into the available power in that massive 6.0-liter engine.
According to a report on Gas2.0, it is quite likely that the Bentley Supercar will use a technology called Ethanol Boosted Direct Injection, or EBDI. Bentley has already announced that it will focus upcoming engineering efforts on biofuels (aka Ethanol) and considering the performance advantaged of EBDI, this isn’t a stretch.
EBDI technology allows, for the first time, for a FlexFuel vehicle to use direct injection optimally for either gas, ethanol or a blend of both.
EBDI is the invention of a company called Ricardo; and while that doesn’t mean much to most people, Ricardo has worked with VW and Audi in the past, helping to develop past direct injection technologies, as found on Audi’s Le Mans race cars and now in its street cars. And with Bentley being owned by VW/Audi, the connection almost becomes a no-brainer.
In fact, in the Ricado press release announcing the EBDI technology breakthrough, the company comments that it is currently doing testing on a VW VR6 engine – essentially a naturally aspirated half of the Bentley W12. Ricardo states that its technology works perfectly with high-boost turbocharging to achieve the higher compression required to optimize ethanol combustion. The company also said that a EBDI VR6 could replace a larger V8 engine – hence our belief that the Bentley Supercar will make more than 630hp.
“We’ve moved past theoretical discussion and are busy applying renewable energy technology to the real world,” said Ricardo Inc President Dean Harlow. “The EBDI engine project is a great example because it turns the gasoline-ethanol equation upside down. It has the performance of a diesel at the cost of a gasoline engine, and runs on ethanol, gasoline, or a blend of both.”
Note: Reports say that the Bentley Supercar may achieve its four-second 0-60 time by removing the rear seats. We’ll have to wait for Geneva to find out.
We already told you about the BioFuel (or FlexFuel) model that Bentley hinted at at the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) in Detroit. Now the British marque is calling it a supercar and says it will unveil the new vehicle at the Geneva Auto Show in March.
The company has also released this one picture.
A lot can be discerned from the one photo – namely, that the vehicle is likely to share the Continental GT platform and most of its body parts.
As for the engine, we expect it will be another twin-turbo W12 that makes close to 650hp and is capable of giving the new model a top speed of more than 210 mph. Bentley says it will be the most powerful and fastest production vehicle they have ever built.
In Detroit Bentley did announce plans for an all-new engine and while that is a possibility for this Bentley Supercar, it’s more likely that powerplant will arrive later in 2009.
For more information on Bentley and its commitment to renewable and sustainable fuels, visit www.BentleyFlexFuel.com
Bentley to make drastic fuel consumption and CO2 emissions changes by 2012
As well as debuting the Continental GTC Speed, the Bentley press conference focused on the company’s commitment to the environment. By 2012 Bentley aims to achieve a long list of green changes for its entire lineup.
For starters, Bentley aims to reduce CO2 emissions by 15 percent by applying new technologies to the current vehicles as well as using new transmissions and drivelines. Also, the company plans to begin reducing the weight of its cars – an area where Bentley certainly has a lot of room to work with.
Bentley also plans to bring an entirely new powertrain to the market, which will be 40 percent more fuel-efficient than the standard models. There is no word on if the new powertrain will be diesel, a hybrid-electric engine or some other type of system.
Finally, Bentley plans to have its entire lineup of vehicles able to run on either Biofuels (i.e. Ethanol) or gasoline. In other words, they will be flexfuel vehicles.
Mid-cycle, mid-year changes made to keep G6 Pontiac’s bestseller
Since its introduction in 2004, the G6 family has been a best seller for the Pontiac brand. In the hopes of keeping the car relevant, Pontiac has decided to give it a series of mid-cycle updates. Interestingly, the refresh also comes mid-year, so the updated G6’s will be classified as 2009.5 models.
The G6 Sedan, Coupe and Convertible will all get a redesigned front fascia inspired from the stunning G8. A new rear bumper is also a part of the package, as are redesigned headlights and taillights. An updated spoiler design will appear on all V-6 models and will continue to be an option on base models.
(The G6 GXP will remain unchanged).
NEW ENGINE OPTIONS
For 2009.5, the G6 Coupe will, for the first time, be available with the 2.4-liter Ecotec engine and a six-speed automatic transmission. This move will make the Coupe more fuel efficient, as it will match the Sedan with a 33-mpg rating. The transmission will feature Pontiac’s TAPshift manual shift system with steering wheel mounted paddles.
Pontiac will also offer a 219hp FlexFuel version of the 3.5-liter V-6 engine at no extra charge on all body styles starting in 2009.5. The 222hp 3.9-liter V-6 and 252hp 3.6-liter V-6 (GXP) remain unchanged.
2009.5 Pontiac G6 Sedan
2009.5 Pontiac G6 Coupe
2009.5 Pontiac G6 Convertibe
Official release after the jump: