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Found 119 results

  1. SGCM_editorial

    Turbocharger Refresher

    For internal combustion to take place, fuel needs oxygen, the source of which is atmospheric air. During the intake stroke (as the piston descends within the cylinder), the mass of air inducted is strictly at ambient pressure. Cylinder volume is a physical constant, but the mass of air that fills any space is a function of pressure. Hence, the higher the pressure, the greater the mass of air that can occupy any given volume, simply because air is compressible. A device that “blows” air into the cylinder would enable more air-mass to be squeezed inside said cylinder than by natural aspiration alone. This concept of forcing air into the cylinder to achieve greater than 100 per cent volumetric efficiency at a given ambient pressure is termed “supercharging”. The device mentioned in the previous paragraph is called a compressor. It can be driven by an electric motor, or mechanically by a belt off the crankshaft. The turbocharger, however, relies neither on a motor nor a belt. Instead, a turbo compressor is driven by a shaft-connected turbine, which is made to spin by the hot, fast-fl owing exhaust gases of combustion. In theory, then, turbo-supercharging (to use the “correct” technical term) consumes no energy on its own since exhaust gases are waste products of the internal combustion process. HOT AND BOTHERED Turbocharging, though highly effective, isn’t as simple as it sounds. Heat is turbocharging’s biggest complication. Compressed air, especially if it flows from an exhaust gas-driven device, experiences a significant rise in temperature. Not only does this mean a drop in the density of said air, it also causes pre-ignition of the air-fuel mixture in the combustion chamber – a phenomenon that frequently leads to stress failure in the cylinder head (and sometimes even the engine block). It was essentially for this reason that the grand-daddies of turbo engines were designed with ridiculously low compression ratios – 6.5 to 1 in the case of Porsche’s 930 Turbo. This alleviated the pre-ignition problems, but the downside was lethargic pre-boost performance, better known as turbo lag. The turbo motor would be relatively lethargic till about 3000rpm, but the surge that came thereafter more than made up for lost time. Porsche later incorporated something called an intercooler into the 930’s engine plumbing. It is basically a heat exchanger, which works like a radiator to cool the compressed air as it flows into the intake manifold. This allows the engine to run a slightly higher compression ratio and increases the density of intake air. THE TURBO TODAY While performance continues to be a major incentive to force-feed engines using a turbocharger, tremendous progress in the capabilities of both hardware and software has realised huge gains in fuel consumption and exhaust emissions, too. Arguably the greatest effect the turbo has had on the automotive industry is “downsizing”, or the reduction of engine cubic capacity. Volkswagen’s 1.4-litre TSI engine is a perfect example of the modern, small capacity turbocharged engine. There’s no turbo lag or overheating, just plenty of smooth torquey performance that belies the quoted 122bhp, thanks to a full 200Nm of torque available between 1500rpm and 4000rpm. The 1.4L VW’s sprightly mid-range acceleration feels more like that of a 2-litre, but when it comes to average mileage, the figures are closer to those of a naturally aspirated 1.2-litre. It’s the proverbial best of both worlds, on wheels THE TURBO TOMORROW Today’s state-of-the-art turbo engines deliver performance, economy and driveability that their naturally aspirated cousins of a similar capacity cannot match. With turbo technology continuing to improve, future turbocharged engines are likely to be even better than the ones we have right now. This article was written by Shreejit Changaroth, freelance writer for Torque.
  2. SGCM_editorial

    Toying with motors

    Every year, during the late autumn weeks on the fringe of Oktoberfest, Audi and BMW hold technology workshops to introduce their latest engineering developments. Some of the most important are in the science of internal combustion, which has enjoyed renewed interest and continued investment from car companies in recent years – due to the emergence of electric vehicles (EVs), ironically. Over the last five years, it has become clear to carmakers and consumers alike that the slow progress in battery technology still plagues EVs, which therefore suffer a multitude of practical limitations. The battery pack’s size, weight, comparatively low driving range on a full charge and high manufacturing cost are the major challenges, but the most serious constraint is the battery’s inability to recharge in the same time it takes to refill a petrol or diesel car’s empty fuel tank. The few road going EVs currently available need to be plugged-in for several hours to get a complete “refill” and hit the road again. Compare that with the 10 to 15 minutes you spend at a service station – that includes paying at the cashier and, if it’s not too crowded, browsing a few magazines and buying some groceries. So, the battle between internal combustion and electric power is far from over. In fact, it hasn’t really begun, with petrol/diesel engines still dominating the automotive industry through and through. While motorists await the elusive breakthrough in EV battery performance, user convenience and cost-effectiveness, “old-school” mechanical engineers beaver away in their laboratories, testing hightech internal combustion engines that bank on forced induction to deliver the goods. At the heart of internal combustion is, well, combustion, and optimising this complex thermodynamic process is key to increasing efficiency. Supercharging (i.e. Forcing in more air than the pistons can otherwise “ingest”) has the most profound effect on torque output. This has given engineers a golden opportunity to resize cylinder volumes and even downsize cylinder count. A perfect example of this is BMW’snew-generation 1.5-litre 3-cylinder. It is essentially the automaker’s well-known3-litre inline 6-cylinder “cut” into half, with a single-scroll turbocharger boosting torque at all crankshaft speeds. Ready to be signed off, this prototype power plant has been fitted in a 1 Series hatchback for evaluation. Tuned to deliver 178bhp and about200Nm, the test mule accelerated strongly, revved smoothly and sounded uncannily like BMW’s famed straight-6. Production versions of the 1.5-litre turbo 3-pot will offer between 121bhp/180Nm and 221bhp/270Nm, compared to 170bhp/250Nm from the 1.6-litre turbo 4-pot in the current118i. The upcoming 3-cylinder also has fewer moving parts, which means lower frictional losses and consequently higher operating efficiency. It will no doubt boast sparkling fuel economy and CO2 figures. This interesting new engine will go into the 1 Series, 3 Series and the company’s transverse front-drive models, i.e. the next Mini, coming soon. Over in the Audi camp, there is another intriguing 3-cylinder in the works. Also displacing 1.5 litres, this experimental powertrain housed in an A1 supermini comprises two electric motors and a singlespeed transmission. An 116bhp/250Nmtraction motor is the default drive unit up to a speed of 130km/h. Thereafter, the petrol engine takes over, and because there is no conventional gearbox, the power delivery is perfectly seamless. So far, this setup sounds just like any hybrid today, but Audi calls it a Dual-Mode Hybrid for a reason. The smaller 68bhp/210Nm electric motor functions primarily as the starter generator, powered by the engine whenever the battery charge is depleted. Electrical energy thus produced is supplied to the battery (to replenish it) and the traction motor to drive the A1. But the smaller motor can also assist the engine to boost performance. On the road, the Dual-Mode Hybrid felt more like an EV than a typical hybrid, because the car runs on electricity most of the time. When the engine cut in, it did so without any noticeable change in driving behaviour, except for a slight increase in noise from the 3-cylinder. The whole system is rated at 174bhp, but the big news is the consumption and exhaust emissions claimed by Audi – 100 kilometres per litre and merely 23 grams per km. Audi’s engineers have something else up their (lab coat) sleeves – an electric compressor for supercharging. This neat little device, incorporated with the intake plumbing, works by building up pressure immediately at low speeds, particularly during the lag period between engine idle and full turbo boost. The thing looks like half a turbocharger, since there is no exhaust gasdriven turbine coupled to it, with its function taken over by an electric motor that spins to maximum speed the instant it is switched on by the engine control unit. It works remarkably well, at least in the prototype we drove. It’s a 3-litre turbo diesel, 313bhp/650Nm V6 A6, which is already a very quick saloon. A consolemounted switch allows the clever electric boost system to be deactivated, so we could experience the difference between “on “and “off”. In standing-start acceleration, the difference was significant, with the compressor totally eliminating initial lag and giving the A6 a clear advantage in the first few seconds of take-off. Apparently, within three seconds from a standstill, the electric-boosted A6 would be at least two car-lengths ahead of one without. “Closing up” the traditional turbo lag-zone in this manner makes plenty of sense. Less sensible perhaps is to call it an Electric Bi turbo (cutaway below), which is what Audi has decided even though it is actually a combination of a single turbocharger and a single electric compressor. In any case, the installation requires few additional parts and the assembly appears to be elegantly simple. The Electric Bi turbo could be easily applied to any turbocharged engine, for the purpose of boosting low-speed induction pressure and hence available torque just beyond idle speed. In fact, with the current generation of compact and reliable powertrains, the electric compressor could function on its own as a low-pressure, on-demand supercharger to raise the engine’s overall torque. And it would be far less costly than a belt driven “kompressor”. Toying with new-age motors might be enjoyable for the technically inclined, but as Audi and BMW have demonstrated, it is also serious business This article was written by Shreejit Changaroth, freelance writer for Torque.
  3. Renault has unveiled their new 1.6-litre F1 engine at the 2013 Paris Air Show. The direct-injected V6 unit is equipped with an exhaust-driven turbocharger, two motor generator units (MGUs) with an Energy Recovery System (ERS). For reader's information, come 2014, the current 2.4-litre V8 engines which rev to a maximum of 18,000rpm will be replaced by 1.6-litre V6 turbocharged power units revving to a maximum of 15,000rpm. The MGUs are capable of producing 160bhp while the turbocharged 1.6-litre V6 churns out approximately 600bhp, bringing the combined output to roughly 760bhp. Although the output is higher than the current V8, fuel efficiency is claimed to improve vastly by about 35 percent. On the new engine, Renault's Deputy Managing Director (Technical), Rob White, explained, "The engines remain high-revving, ultra-high output competition engines. Fundamentally the engine noise will still be loud. The engine noise is just a turbocharged noise rather than a normally-aspirated noise: you can just hear the turbo when the driver lifts off the throttle and the engine speed drops. The sound of the new generation power units is just different (from the preceding V8)". Renault has released a video alongside with the launch and interestingly, it seemed like a video promoting Adidas products at certain points.
  4. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jm90__azVSo Mercedes has revealed the 2014 S 63 AMG ahead of its public debut in September's Frankfurt Motor Show. The high performance Mercedes flagship sedan is powered by a direct-injected, twin-turbocharged 5.5-litres V8 engine which delivers 585 bhp and 900Nm of torque. The engine is mated to a seven-speed AMG SPEEDSHIFT MCT sports transmission with three selections, namely "C" (Controlled Efficiency), "S" (Sport) and "M" (Manual). Both the SWB and LWB S 63 AMG take only 4.4 seconds to reach 100km/h from standstill. The AWD 4MATIC model even manages to shave off 0.4 seconds from the century sprint performance. All models have an electronically limited top speed of 250km/h. The new S 63 AMG is up to 100kg lighter than its predecessor due to several weight saving measures. These include the usage of light alloy rims, aluminum construction for the roof and front panels, usage of carbon fibre for the spare wheel recess, among others. The lithium-ion battery itself already contributed to 20kg of weight savings. The S 63 AMG is equipped with Mercedes' AIRMATIC suspension which offers continuous damping adjustment. This enables the performance sedan to adjust better to driving styles and road conditions. The suspension offers two settings, namely "Comfort" and "Sport". A torque vectoring system helps to improve handling. High performance AMG ceramic composite brake, which weighs 20 percent lighter than stock ones, is on the option list.
  5. Both cars are built on the same platform. Both are powered by the most powerful series-production four-cylinder turbo engine in the world. Not only that, both are equipped with the AMG SPEEDSHIFT DCT seven-speed sports transmission and performance-oriented AMG 4MATIC all-wheel drive. These two cars could not be more similar. We are taking about the Mercedes A 45 AMG and CLA 45 AMG. Auto Express has put up a comparison test involving the two AMG vehicles. These cars are the first four-cylinder models from the tuning company. So, which model will emerge victorious ? The CLA 45 AMG The A 45 AMG
  6. The BMW 3 Series has gone the force-fed way, leaving the Lexus IS perhaps as the only model in the premium compact segment that still uses naturally-aspirated propulsion. As the saying goes, it is better to be late than never. Toyota is said to offer its first turbocharged 2.0-litre, four-cylinder engine in Lexus vehicles beginning late 2014 or early 2015. The new engine will debut in a new compact crossover called the NX 200t. The engine could possibly replace the 2.5-litre V6 as the entry level engine in the Lexus IS sedan lineup. It could also appear in other products such as the Toyota RAV4. The 2.0-litre turbo unit will likely surpass the 208bhp and 250Nm torque output of the naturally-aspirated 2.5-litre. By directing exhaust gas to rotate a turbine, which drives another turbine to pump fresh air into the combustion chambers at high pressure, a small capacity engine can deliver power comparable to an engine of much larger capacity.
  7. The radical Jaguar C-X75 unfortunately did not make it to production due to the ongoing global economic crisis. However, a few working prototypes were built. Up to three of these will be auctioned off, while one will go into a future Jaguar museum and the other will be kept by Jaguar for running demonstrations. Autocar U.K. was fortunate enough to get behind the wheel of one of these and did a review of the supercar that suffered from stillborn. The review was very positive and the reviewer commented that it is a shame that nobody will really get a chance to own one. The hybrid drivetrain consists of a turbocharged/supercharged 1.6-litre petrol engine with two electric motors mounted at either end of the car, driving transaxles and powered by a liquid/air-cooled battery pack. The hybrid drivetrain is rated at 888bhp with a combined torque of 800Nm. The C-X75 could travel from 0 to 100km/h in 2.8 seconds. The C-X75's carbon fibre chassis was developed with the Williams F1 team.
  8. Autocar UK has taken the hot new CLA 45 AMG for a spin a few days after reviewing its cousin, the A 45 AMG. Both cars share the same all-wheel drive platform, engine and transmission. The CLA 45 AMG measures 4,630mm long, which is a significant 338mm longer than the A 45 AMG. It also carries an extra 30kg of mass as compared to the hatchback. Despite all these, Mercedes claims that the CLA 45 AMG shares the same century sprint timing and top speed as the A 45 AMG. On paper, the four-door coupe seemed as fun to drive as the A 45 AMG. So, let's hear what reviewer Steve Sutcliffe has to say from his driving experience. The CLA 45 AMG is powered by a 2.0-litre turbocharged engine which is good for 360bhp and 450Nm of max torque, making it the most powerful turbocharged four-cylinder engine in production in the world. The engine is mated to a SPEEDSHIFT DCT seven-speed dual-clutch transmission. The sprint from 0 to 100km/h takes a mere 4.6 seconds.
  9. SYF77

    New BMW 4 Series Coupe revealed!

    For BMW fans, the highly anticipated BMW 4 Series Coupe has been revealed. The 4 Series is the successor to the current 3 Series Coupe. In the U.S.A, the 4 Series is available with two variants, namely the 428i and the 435i. Both models have an all wheel drive setup. The 420d will be available only in Europe at the moment. The 428i is powered by a 2.0-litre turbocharged inline-four that churns out 245bhp. With an eight-speed automatic transmission, it takes 5.8 seconds to go from 0 to 100km/h before hitting an electronically-limited top speed of 250km/h. The higher-spec 435i comes with the 306bhp N55 3.0-litre engine and reaches 100 km/h in 5.1 seconds with the eight-speed automatic gearbox. The 420d will be fitted with the 184bhp four-cylinder diesel and is paired exclusively with a six-speed manual gearbox as standard. The century sprint takes around 7.3 to 7.5 seconds. BMW offers three different styling packages which includes a sport package with gloss black accents, sport-tuned suspension and 18-inch twin-spoke alloy wheels; a luxury package with chrome accents, leather seats and high-gloss wood trim; an M Sport package with an aerodynamic body kit, 18-inch M-style wheels, sports suspension, high-performance brakes and M-spec interior. Before we get to see the handsome coupe live in Singapore, here are a couple of photos for your viewing pleasure.
  10. SYF77

    2014 Alfa Romeo MiTo refreshed

    Believe it or not, this is the refreshed 2014 MY Alfa Romeo MiTo. The little Italian hatchback is said to have an updated grille and headlights. However, I can't seem to spot any difference with the current model. Well, perhaps it is time for me to go for an eye checkup. What is more obvious is that the Impression variants get a new set of 15-inch alloys. There is also a new colour, Anthracite Grey, added to the range, bringing the exterior colour choices to ten. Interestingly, the 0.9-litre Turbo TwinAir engine has found its way under the hood of the facelifted MiTO. The sub one litre engine churns out 105bhp with an accompanying 145Nm of torque. Such figures match those of a 1.5-litre naturally-aspirated unit. The 0.9-litre MiTO is said to go from 0 to 100km/h in 11.4 seconds before hitting a top speed of 184 km/h. The engine is pretty environmentally friendly as well. It returns an average fuel consumption of 23.8km/L while emitting CO2 at a rate of 99g/km. The TwinAir engine is a multiple award winner as well. It bagged the "Best New Engine 2011", "Best Green Engine 2011", "Best Sub 1-Litre Engine" and the "International Engine of the Year 2011" overall award. More recently, it won the "Best Green Engine 2013" award.
  11. Recently, Auto Express setup a quarter mile drag race between two AMG models. They are the CLS 63 AMG Shooting Brake and the 'entry level' AMG, the A 45 AMG. The competition feels like David vs Goliath as the CLS 63 AMG has a twin-turbo 5.5-litre V8 engine that generates 518bhp while the 45 AMG makes do with a turbocharged 2.0-litre that makes 355bhp. In terms of engine capacity, the CLS63 is more than two times that of the A45. Is the A45 destined to lose the drag race to its much more powerful sibling? Or will the lighter AWD hot hatch with dual-clutch transmission reign supreme? I shall leave the conclusion for you to find out! A 45 AMG CLS 63 AMG Shooting Brake
  12. Opel has removed the wraps off the 2013 Insignia facelift. The revised German mid-sized sedan will be making its world premiere at the Frankfurt Motor Show in September. Exterior updates include revised headlamps, front and rear bumpers, taillight combination and front grille. On the inside, the center console is now less cluttered with buttons, which Opel claims improved intuitive operation of common functions such as air conditioning and infotainment. The instrument cluster also has a new set of dials. A new flat-bottomed steering wheel completes the interior update. For the petrol power trains, the 2013 Insignia gets a choice of 1.6-litre SIDI engine with 170bhp or a 2.0-litre version with 250bhp. The 2.0 SIDI engine produces 30bhp more than the existing 2.0-litre turbocharged unit. Diesel options include a 2.0-litre CDTI with either 120bhp/320Nm or 140bhp/370Nm. A 2.0-litre BiTurbo CDTI with 195bhp and 400Nm of torque is also available. Depending on the engine choice, the Insignia is offered with a choice of six-speed manual gearbox or a six-speed automatic transmission.
  13. Brawn and brains will finally meet at the Goodwood Festival of Speed when Peugeot reveals the production version of the RCZ R coupe. The event will be held in England from 11th to 14th July. The RCZ R is previewed by the RCZ R concept (above) which debuted at the 2012 Paris Motor Show. Powered by a 260bhp 1.6-litre THP engine, the RCZ R takes the honour of being the most powerful production model in the French brand's history. This puts the car among the most powerful production cars based on a power-per-litre basis, surpassing even the Bugatti Veyron Super Sport. Despite of its raw power, the engine produces CO2 at a rate of 155g/km which is lower than a 1.6-litre Corolla Altis. The RCZ R will benefit from a sport-tuned suspension, lightweight alloy wheels and a Torsen limited-slip differential. Before we get to see the production version of the RCZ R, here's the concept version for your viewing pleasure.
  14. Ford launched the 2014 Mondeo (Fusion) at the Shanghai Motor Show in April with a brand new 1.5-litre EcoBoost engine. The 1.5-litre engine benefits from the signature EcoBoost turbocharging, direct fuel injection and variable valve timing. Now, Ford has officially announced the output of the new power plant. It produces 178bhp with an accompanying 240Nm of torque available between 1500rpm to 4500rpm. Fuel consumption figures are not available at the moment. Power is similar to the existing 1.6-litre EcoBoost but torque figure is 9Nm lower. The 1.6-litre EcoBoost in the six-speed automatic Fusion will be replaced by the new 1.5-litre EcoBoost. However, the six-speed manual version will still continue to use the existing 1.6-litre engine. But in time to come, it is likely that the 1.6-litre will be phased out eventually as it does not make sense to produce two engines that are so similar in specifications concurrently. The new 1.5-litre EcoBoost engine will be built at Ford's plant in Craiova, Romania.
  15. Ford's 1.0-litre EcoBoost engine has won the "International Engine of the Year" award for the second consecutive year. Not only that, the turbocharged, direct-injection three-cylinder engine achieved the highest score in the 15 year history of the awards. "With a technology as mature as the internal combustion engine, it's very rare to achieve a true breakthrough, but that is exactly what the team accomplished with this engine," said Joe Bakaj, Ford Vice President, Global Powertrain. "You have to drive it to believe a small three-cylinder engine can deliver such performance and fuel economy." A panel of 87 automotive journalists from 35 countries around the world judged the awardees based on drivability, performance, economy, refinement and the successful application of advanced engine technology. The 1.0-litre EcoBoost engine is currently offered in cars such as Fiesta, B-MAX and the Focus. In the near future, it will also power larger cars including the new Ford Mondeo. The rest of the award winners are as follows: New Engine Ford three-cylinder turbo (Focus) Green Engine General Motors 1.4-litre range extender (Chevrolet Volt, Opel Ampera) Performance Engine Ferrari 4.5-litre V8 (458 Italia) Sub 1.0-litre Ford three-cylinder turbo (Focus) 1.0-litre to 1.4-litre Volkswagen 1.4-litre TSI Twincharger 1.4-litre to 1.8-litre BMW-PSA 1.6-litre turbo gasoline 1.8-litre to 2.0-litre BMW 2.0-litre twin-turbo four-cylinder gasoline 2.0-litre to 2.5-litre Audi 2.5-litre five-cylinder turbo (TT RS, RS3 Sportback) 2.5-litre to 3.0-litre BMW 3.0-litre bi-turbo six-cylinder (1 Series M Coupe, 335is, Z4 35is) 3.0-litre to 4.0-litre BMW M 4.0-litre V8 (BMW M3) Above 4.0-litre Ferrari 4.5-litre V8 (458 Italia)
  16. Skoda has officially unveiled the top-of-the-range vRS version of the all new Octavia, which is planned for a public debut on 10th July at the Goodwood Festival of Speed held in England. The 2013 Octavia vRS will be available in both sedan and combi body styles. Engine options include the 220bhp 2.0-litre TSI gasoline engine and the 184bhp 2.0-litre TDI. Skoda offers a six-speed DSG transmission as an option for both engines. For the standard six-speed manual version, the petrol vRS does the century sprint in 6.8 seconds while the TDI needs 8.1 seconds. The 2013 Skoda Octavia vRS lineup comes with a sports suspension and sits nearer to the ground. Other goodies include an electronic XDS differential, start/stop function and Brake Energy Regeneration. There is a choice of four alloy rims with sizes ranging from 17 to 19 inches. Behind the rims are red brake calipers. The new vRS has a blackened grille, revised front and rear bumpers, chromed dual exhaust pipes, rear spoiler and bi-xenon head lights. On the inside, the sports sedan comes with a leather-stitched sports steering wheel, stainless steel pedals, sport seats and a redesigned instrument panel.
  17. Edmunds.com, an American online resource for automotive information, pitted the fresh-from-the oven 2013 Lexus IS250 against the Cadillac ATS 2.0 and the compact luxury segment leader, the BMW 328i. The IS250 is powered by a naturally-aspirated 2.5-litre V6 which is good for 204bhp. The 328i and ATS are both propelled by their respective 2.0-litre direct-injected, turbocharged four cylinder which produces 240bhp and 272bhp respectively. This is the third generation of the Lexus IS. However, will it be third time lucky against the BMW 3 Series?
  18. Like the ninth generation Honda Civic, the Chevrolet Malibu mid-sized sedan has received a facelift barely a year after its launch during the second half of 2012. This would generally indicate that the new model is not well received by the public. "The 2014 Chevrolet Malibu builds on the strengths established by the all new 2013 Malibu to make it a stronger choice for customers," said Mark Reuss, President, General Motors North America. "The midsize sedan segment is the most contested in the industry and we
  19. Recently, I blogged on two reviews involving the Ford Fiesta ST and Peugeot 208 GTI. Now, Auto Express U.K. made a triple-threat match by pitting the Fiesta ST and 208 GTI against Renault Clio RS. In the previous reviews, the Fiesta ST was clearly preferred over its French rival. Can the American pocket rocket do it again? Like the other two members in this group test, the Clio RS is powered by a 1.6-litre turbocharged engine which is good for 200bhp and 240Nm of torque. However, it is the only car here with a twin-clutch six-speed automatic transmission. The Clio RS also takes the podium for being the priciest among the trio. Auto Express drives the cars through hundreds of miles over a range of routes ranging from motorways to towns to pick a winner. The Clio is the best in the drag race while the Fiesta is the fastest round the track.
  20. [extract] Three Ford vehicle owners in the US have filed lawsuits against the company for alleged defects in the automaker
  21. For those who intend to buy an Opel Astra 1.6 Turbo, you may want to hold off your purchase for a while. This is because the brand's latest 1.6-litre SIDI turbo petrol engine is now available on the five-door hatchback, four-door sedan and Sports Tourer versions of the Astra. The new engine will replace the existing 1.6-litre Ecotec turbocharged unit. The new range topper makes 168bhp and 280Nm of torque, which is 10bhp less but 50Nm more than its predecessor. In addition, torque availability has dropped from 2,200rpm to just 1,650rpm. The engine is available with either a new six-speed manual gearbox or a low-friction six-speed automatic transmission. The fuel consumption of the new engine is and improved 14 percent over its predecessor and is rated at 5.9L/100km (according to the New European Driving Cycle) for the hatchback and sedan. The five-door Astra 1.6 SIDI Turbo sprints from 0 to 100 km/h in 8.7 seconds, which is 0.3 seconds faster than the current 1.6 Turbo. However, it is still 0.3 seconds slower than its arch rival, the Golf Sport.
  22. SYF77

    MG developing new drivetrains

    MG is developing a range of turbocharged, direct-injected gasoline engines which will be launched in China at the end of 2014, and arriving in Europe a year later. These engines include 1.4-litre and 1.5-litre force-fed units as well as a 1.0-litre three-cylinder unit that claims to rival Ford's Ecoboost unit. Given that Ford's 1.0-litre EcoBoost engine has been named the 2012 'International Engine of the Year' - MG has got some very serious work to do. "Our benchmark for the 1.0-litre has to be the Ford Ecoboost engine," commented MG's Head of Powertrain, Paul McNamara. "Ford has got the technology to market first and changed perceptions. Our goal is to be competitive with their figures and attain the best real-world results possible," McNamara added. The larger 1.4-litre and 1.5-litre turbocharged engines will be available in the MG3, MG5, MG6 and a production version of the CS Concept (above) displayed at the 2013 Shanghai Motor Show. In addition to new power plants, MG is also working on two dual-clutch transmissions, namely a wet version that can handle 359Nm of torque and a dry version that can take up to 223Nm of torque. The wet dual-clutch transmission will go on sale in China this year while the dry one will likely go into production in 2015. The MG Car Company Limited was a former British sports car manufacturer founded in the 1920s. On 22nd July 2005, the Nanjing Automobile Group purchased the rights to the MG brand and the assets of the MG Rover Group, creating a new company called MG Motor.
  23. After much anticipation, the all new Audi A3 sedan has made its world premiere at the 2013 Shanghai Motor Show. The A3 sedan replaces the A4 as the new entry level sedan for the German brand. The A3 sedan is designed to ward off competition from the Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class and the upcoming BMW 1 Series sedan. The styling is very typical of Audi and one would not mistake it for any other makes. The baby Audi sedan measures 4,460mm long and 1,800mm wide with a wheelbase of 2,640mm. This makes the car shorter but wider than class competitor, the CLA. Base engine is a 1.4-litre TFSI petrol with 140bhp and 250Nm of torque. 0-100km/h is performed in a brisk 8.4 seconds while it sips fuel at 4.7L/100km. Range topper for the petrol version at the moment is a 1.8-litre TFSI with 180bhp and 250Nm of torque that allows the car to complete a century sprint in a timing of 7.3 seconds. Transmission options include a six-speed manual or seven-speed S-Tronic gearbox. A high performance S3 version that runs a turbocharged 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine with 296bhp is said to be in the pipeline. Although the spiritual successor of the Audi 80 is the A4, the A4 has grown so much that it is close to the size of the last Audi 100 that we have. Customers looking for a true compact, well built German sedan can now rejoice with the arrival of the A3 sedan.
  24. You may have seen the studio photos of the all new Maserati Ghibli. In this blog entry, you will see some images of the BMW 5 Series basher, which were taken during its launch at the 2013 Shanghai Motor Show. Personally, I prefer such photos as they are not taken in a controlled environment and hence a better representation of the final product. To recap, the new Ghibli will be available with the choice of two 3.0-litre turbocharged petrol engines that produces 330bhp or 410bhp. The lower powered version is good for a century sprint timing of 5.6 seconds while the higher powered model does it in 5 seconds flat. A 3.0-litre V6 diesel engine is also available. It produces 275bhp and allows the car to go from 0 to 100km/h in an impressive 6.3 seconds. Enjoy the photos!
  25. Ford has announced that it will introduce a new 1.5-litre four-cylinder EcoBoost engine for the China-bound Mondeo, which will debut at the upcoming Shanghai Motor Show. The engine will also propel the Fusion (a rebadged Mondeo) in North America and subsequently the Europe market Mondeo. The announcement may come as a surprise as it is contrary to earlier reports which expect the 2013 Mondeo to be equipped with Ford