AutoGuide News Blog
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.
After showcasing the Concept Universe (above) at last year’s Shanghai Auto Show, Volvo will unveil an all-new concept at the Frankfurt Auto Show in just a few week’s time. This latest project will be used as a platform to promote the brand’s new 4-cylinder engine lineup that it claims won’t reduce driving pleasure or the luxury experience.
“It’s time to stop counting cylinders,” says Volvo R&D boss Peter Mertens. “At the Frankfurt Motor Show we will reveal a new concept car. It proves that downsized engines can go hand in hand with our customers’ expectations on luxury and driving pleasure.”
The new VEA (Volvo Environmental Architecture) engine range will include both gasoline and diesel engines with power equal to current six-cylinder engines, with efficiency beyond what today’s 4-cylinders offer. In addition, Volvo claims these new engines will use roughly 60% fewer parts than the current engines and will weigh as much as 200 lbs less.
At Frankfurt Volvo will also announce a new SPA (Scalable Platform Architecture) that will underpin a new line of future models. Weighing 220 to 440 lbs less than the current architectures used by Volvo it will also allow for all future models to receive some sort of electric drivetrain, be it hybrid or fully electric.
And on the topic of electrification, Volvo will also tout its new KERS (Kinetic Energy Recovery System) that it will test on a road-going vehicle this Fall. Storing brake energy in a flywheel, this system will allow the power to then be used to add power during acceleration or simply to keep the car moving at cruising speeds. Mertens says the Volvo KERS system will add 80 horsepower while improving fuel economy by 20 percent.
Finally, Volvo’s new concept car will also give a hint at the brand’s new styling direction. Often criticized for building boxes on wheels, Volvo promises “to give forthcoming Volvo models more exciting looks.”
GALLERY: Volvo Concept Universe
The Williams Formula 1 team has a long and somewhat checkered history at the pinnacle of motor sports, and like some of its competitors, have delved into the business of sports cars. Williams was full at hand with the development of the Renault Clio Williams from the early to mid ’90s, and had even developed a concept van called the Renault Espace F1, which was a minivan with a Renault engine taken from an F1 race car.
While on the motor sport side, Williams is still doing business with Renault (with whom they have just signed on with again for the 2012 season), however it is also working with Jaguar on a very special road car.
The car in question is the C-X75 supercar that Jaguar has decided to put into production. This hybrid supercar will use kinetic energy recovery system (KERS) similar to the ones used in Formula 1 racers, and Williams is responsible for perfecting this technology for use in this super Jaguar.
Williams chairman Adam Parr wants to take thing even further, saying; “We would like to become the competition and sporting side of Jaguar.” In other words, Williams could become the AMG of Jaguar road cars.
Williams has been on hand with the C-X75 from the very beginning. Parr said; “When the C-X75 was first envisaged it was powered by two turbines manufactured by Bladed Jets, which is part owned by Jaguar owner Tata Motors. But we have concentrated on adopting a path that will make the C-X75 the cleanest and more environmentally friendly supercar of all time. “So at the moment we are concentrating on a downsized internal combustion engine combined with some pretty amazing kinetic energy recovery systems.”
This partnership could lead to this technology trickling down to more Jaguar road cars, and could also spawn the return of Jaguar in competitive racing.
Time will tell what more this partnership will bring. For now, expect to see the production C-X75 to hit the showrooms in about two-years time.
GALLERY: Jaguar C-X75
Morgan Motor Company and British technology specialists have teamed up to build a new, high-performance electric sports car prototype. The development project is being partially funded by a £100,000 grant from the Niche Vehicle Network CR&D Programme that supports companies active in the niche vehicle sector.
The vehicle will use a new derivative of Zytek’s high power-density electric powertrain mated to a conventional manual gearbox. Zytek has an extensive experience with fast electric cars. Zytek’s first experience was back in 1997 when it converted a Lotus Elise to electric drive. Zytek was also the first company to race a hybrid at Le Mans and supplied technology for the first KERS-equipped Formula 1 car to win a Grand Prix.
The prototype being built will use a new derivative of Zytek’s proven 70kW (94-hp) 300 Nm electric powertrain. The compact, lightweight unit will be installed in the transmission tunnel and will require three additional connections for cooling water, high/low voltage electrics. Power will come from a Li-Ion battery pack integrated into the vehicle’s aluminium structure. The technology can be integrated with a rear-wheel drive platform, which is great news for auto enthusiasts. Morgan is expecting the prototype to be ready in early 2012.
“This is an exciting investigation into the potential for a zero-emissions Morgan with near supercar performance,” says Morgan’s Operations Director, Steve Morris. “By working closely with Zytek and Radshape, who already have considerable expertise in this field, we aim to make this a realistic concept that could lead to further developments if demand and other factors prove favourable.”
Formula 1 has decided to implement the 1.6-liter V6 for the 2014 race year. Teams have been grumbling over the 1.6-liter turbo four-cylinder plants but are more eager to compromise with the V6.
The difference in size between the two engines may seem very small, but the idea is to get all of the current teams to agree on a standard so the series doesn’t lose any of its relatively few participants. A Kinetic Energy Recovery System hybrid has also been part of the new proposal. With the 1.6-liter V6 already approved, the next step is for the World Motor Sport Council to vote.
Stay tuned for more info!
[Source: Motor Authority]
Volvo has announced plans to develop and test a new flywheel kinetic energy recovery system. Volvo says the KERS system (or FKERS as Volvo calls it) is “a light, cheap and very eco-efficient solution that makes a four-cylinder engine feel like a six at the same time as fuel consumption drops with up to 20 percent.”
The KERS system is fitted to the rear axle of the car (displayed in video). When braking, the energy causes the flywheel to spin at up to 60,000 revs per minute. When the car starts moving again, the flywheel’s rotation is transferred to the rear wheels via a specially designed transmission. This will allow fuel efficiency to improve by 20%. Horsepower and acceleration are also improved under this system.
Volvo is planning to begin testing the system later this year with the hopes of launching it ”within a few years.”
Check out the video after the jump!
Infiniti might not have their own F1 team, but that little detail isn’t stopping them from helping the Red Bull team with an energy-recovery system for their F1 team. Consider it Infiniti’s foot in the grand prix door.
Infiniti’s and Nissan’s electric car expertise are what drew Red Bull to them in the first place, and Infiniti is helping them develop their Kinetic Energy Recovery System (KERS) for their Renault-powered F1 cars, which will help F1 cars recapture energy lost from heavy braking. “There are long-term goals for the partnership to go beyond that of a straight sponsorship deal and enter a sharing of engineering information,” said an anonymous source at Infiniti.
Red Bull is already using the Infiniti badge on their Renault-sourced engines, in order to promote the Infiniti brand in Europe. Of course, the fact that Renault, Nissan, and Infiniti are all under the big happy Ghosn-raised family is making this possible.
[Source: What Car?]
The next-generation Porsche 911 is set to make a significant departure from past models, including the use of a Kinetic Energy Recovery System (KERS) on all models.
The system will be similar in principle to that introduced in Formula 1 cars back in 2009, storing energy from braking and then transmitting that energy as an acceleration force. Unlike those KERS systems, however, the Porsche design uses a mechanical flywheel design rather than a complex system of electronics and heavy batteries.
According to a report by Autoblog, Porsche’s KERS system is suggested to be the reason why the next-gen 911 gains roughly 4-inches in wheelbase, as it will sit between the engine and transmission. Previous reports have suggested the added length will also be used to transform the 911 from a rear-engine car into more of a mid-engine one.
The new Porsche 911 could debut as early as this Fall’s Frankfurt Motor Show.
Formula 1 will revert back to its craziest era in 2013, when it adopts a 1.6L 4-cylinder turbo engine for its series. The last time the turbo 4-banger was offered, it made in excess of 1,300 horsepower, but the new rules will be focused more on efficiency rather than outright power.
With a maximum redline of 12,000 rpm and an onboard KERS mild hybrid system, the new cars will also have to make engines and gearboxes last longer, as their allotted replacements are reduced after 2013.
While we continue to anxiously await a possible NSX successor for the street, Honda has been out at Twin Ring Motegi in Japan testing an NSX Hybrid for the upcoming 2012 Super GT season. The 2012 season will allow teams to equip and utilize a hybrid system on their race cars in the series.
Made by Zytech (the company that handled McLaren’s Formula 1 KERS system), the hybrid drive has 40kw of output power and can be used to power the car in pit lane (full electric).
The battery can be fully charged in just one lap on a course and has about 20 seconds of use when the driver opts to turn on the overtake button. The system adds another 220 lbs or so to the race car and to determine just how big of a difference it makes Honda enlisted the driving expertise of Katsutomo Kaneishi.
Kaneishi was able to lap Twin Ring Motegi in 1 minute, 49.468 seconds. It was 4.453 seconds behind the fastest lap time recorded in that session. Development of these hybrid systems for Super GT will continue for the next year and change, so we’ll anxiously await the results and how it’ll impact the Super GT race series.
Now if Honda could pair a powerful KERS system with a high-output version of one of its V6 engines and drop it in the HSV-010 GT race car chassis and make it street legal … now we’re talking!
Check out more pics of the NSX Hybrid in action after the jump:
Ferrari has announced that it will run a Kinetic Energy Recovery System (KERS) in its Formula 1 cars next season. The team had tested a KERS system in 2009 but scrapped the plans for 2010 when all the competing manufacturers collectively agreed to avoid the system in a bid to cut costs.
Ferrari has been pushing for a return to using KERS, asking for rule changes to make the systems more effective. The reason behind the resumed interest is that Ferrari is pushing to bring to market a street car using the KERS system in the next few years and, as always, Ferrari sees the race track as the best place to test its upcoming road car technology. At the Geneva Auto Show earlier this year, Ferrari unveiled the HY-KERS concept, a bright green Ferrari 599 which uses the hybrid system to deliver extra bursts of power, while also improving fuel economy iduring low speed driving.
As for the F1 system, Ferari had been pushing for regulations that would permit a more powerful electric boost but that has been scrapped in favor of a higher minimum weight for all vehicles, allowing Ferrari to make use of that extra weight allowance for the KERS system.
Ferrari team boss Stefano Domenicali has said the current plan is to run the KERS system in every race next season. Mercedes is expected to announce if it will use a similar setup in the coming weeks.
The latest nugget of information surrounding Volkswagen‘s often-rumored foray into Formula 1 came at last weekend’s 24 Hours of Nurburgring race, with a VW executive claiming that the Volkswagen Group’s premium brands, like Audi or Porsche would be the best fit for the company’s shot at the world’s most prestigious motorsport.
“Within the group, for sure, it could be Audi, it could be Porsche and might also be Volkswagen,” said Kris Nissen, who is in charge for Volkswagen’s motorsports efforts, in an interview with the Brisbane Times. ”I think it would not suit so well Skoda or Seat or Bentley.”
Volkswagen is looking to enter Formula 1 as a possible supplier for the “world-engine” the FIA wants to implement in 2013. The engine would be shared across all motorsports, not just Formula 1, and take on a direct-injection four-cylinder turbocharged form. The move is unpopular with many constructors, but ironically, the four-cylinder format was last used around the same time that Porsche supplied engines to McLaren under a partnership with the TAG Group.
Nissen’s comments come shortly after Toyota’s own motorsports head derided Formula 1 as an “elitist” motorsport and claimed that the company would never return to the sport.
[Source: World Car Fans]
We still don’t know much about it, but we do know its name… sort of. The 599 hybrid, sitting on display at the Geneva Auto Show, is accompanied by the title Vettura Laboratorio HY Kers. Details of the matte-green hybrid Ferrari (ever thought you’d heard those words in the same sentence?) are still scarce, but the name says a lot about the car.
Derived from Formula One, the Kinetic Energy Recovery System (KERS), converts the power generated under braking and transforms it into usable energy to help give an extra bit of boost to the engine, likely via a button on the steering wheel. Ferrari won’t announce more details on the car until tomorrow so until then we won’t know if the 599 Hybrid Concept (or Vettura Laboratorio HY Kers), is able to operate on just electric power or if it is capable of using the electric energy generated to assist the vehicle at low speeds, helping to improve fuel economy and improve emissions. An auto start/stop system could be a also a part of the package.
So until tomorrow, browse through our new gallery of 599 Hybrid photos.
GALLERY: Ferrari 599 Hybrid Vettura Laboratorio HY Kers
While Ferrari has claimed hybrid F-Cars are several years off, a recent report suggests that a hybrid version of the company’s 599 GTB flagship will debut at the Geneva Auto Show in March. This hybrid will likely be performance based and use a kinetic energy recovery system (KERS) setup similar to the ones designed for Formula One.
The 599 Hybrid will use a lithium-ion battery pack with electric motors built into the rear transaxle. This setup would allow for regenerative braking, a start-stop function and an electric boost capability to add even more acceleration to the 599′s already impressive 620-hp V12 engine. Under city driving it would also help improve mileage by 30 percent. That will be particularly noticeable on such a gas-hungry beast as the 599, which currently only gets 8.7 mpg, bringing it up to 13.8 mpg.
See our review of the old school gasoline-powered 599 GTB below:
With the launch of the new 2011 5-Series, the debut of the M version of that car is fast approaching. There have been numerous rumors about the new model and the folks at Bimmerfile have attempted to separate fact from fiction to give us an idea at just what to expect.
First, we can all but guarantee that the V10 has been eliminated in favor of a twin-turbo V8 setup similar to that found in the both the X5 M and X6 M. With well over 500-hp and more than 500 ft-lbs of torque, this new engine will deliver usable power at almost any rpm, as compared to the old V10 that needed to be strung out to 8000 rpm.
Along with cutting out weight from the engine, the F10 M5 is likely to get an all aluminum chassis, as well as carbon fiber body panels to help keep it light on its toes. A carbon fiber roof will be optional.
Finally, the M5 is expected to get a state-of-the-art Formula One-derived KERS regenerative braking system. The KERS setup will reportedly store electric energy created under braking and then allow the driver to access that power via an F1-style button. This momentary thrust is expected to be quite noticeable and should help the twin-turbo V8 deliver close to 600-hp for short bursts of time.
The next BMW M5 will get a version of BMW’s Formula 1-developed KERS system. KERS, which stands for Kinetic Energy Recovery System, is a technology whereby the energy generated from braking is reused to help “power” the vehicle.
The regenerative braking system will use the electricity to help power electrical aspects of the car (and thereby reduce the strain that alternator and accessory belts would have on the engine). The stored energy will also be harnessed and made accessible to the diver for enhanced acceleration through a “boost” button. The next M5 is also expected to feature cylinder deactivation for city driving.
Word of a regenerative braking system comes from a BMW insider Scott27 on The German Car Zone.
As for the powertrain of the next M5, code named F10, there are two current speculations. The first is that it will get a version of the 550hp, 4.4-liter V8 used in the BMW X5 and X6 M, but there have also been several rumors that a V10 powerplant based on that same architecture is a possibility. Based on BMW’s Efficient Dynamics approach we expect to see a smaller engine than the current 5.0-liter V10, with turbochargers.
Spy photos of Ferrari’s F430 successor have almost become common-place over the past six months and now word comes that the Italian car maker may show a concept version of the exotic at the Frankfurt Auto Show this Fall.
Known internally as the F142, the F430′s successor is more commonly called the F450, as it is expected the V8 engine will gain a slight increase in displacement for at least 550hp – although as much a 585hp is possible.
The new benchmark for exotics will be wider, longer (with a longer wheelbase) and slightly taller than the 430. There is also the potential that it will use the Formula 1-derived KERS (Kinetic Energy Recovery) system, turning energy from both braking and deceleration into electrical energy to help power the on-board electronics. This would help improve fuel-economy slightly.
Direct-injection technology may also be used to not only add performance, but also increase fuel-economy.
The F450 could mark a significant engineering change for Ferrari if it uses a double-clutch gearbox like that found in the more civilized California instead of the F1-style box it first brought to market in the 355.
[Source: Auto Motor und Sport via WorldCarFans]