Category Archives: Technology

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BorgWarner’s award-winning regulated two-stage (R2S®) turbo-charging technology boosts performance while helping improve fuel efficiency and lower emissions for the first four-cylinder engine in the history of the Mercedes S-Class. The 2.2-liter diesel S 250 CDI Blue EFFICIENCY is the first car in the luxury segment to consume less than 6 liters of fuel per 100 km.

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Everybody wants more for less these days, and that premise is the key to the success of Drive’s Car of Year for 2011, the Mercedes-Benz C250 CDI.

The family-sized Benz has more torque, or pulling power, than a lot of petrol-guzzling V8s, yet it uses less fuel than the average city runabout.

The secret to this impressive balancing act is the diesel engine that lurks beneath its stately bonnet. 

So what makes diesel cars, and our Car of the Year, the Mercedes-Benz C250 CDI, a winning formula?

Well, for a start the C250CDI can accelerate from 0 to 100km/h in just a tick over seven seconds, which is similar performance to a big six-cylinder petrol engine. Take it out on the freeway and its rolling acceleration will be the equal of many V8s, which makes long-distance cruising and overtaking an effortless exercise.

That is impressive in itself, but when you add the fact that it uses a claimed average of 5.1 litres per 100km – less than the tiny Volkswagen Polo – it is outstanding. The figures help explain why 20 of the 46 vehicles in this year’s awards are diesel powered.

Fuel economy and reduced CO2 emissions have become a top priority for every car maker and modern common-rail diesel engines, matched to the latest fuel-saving techno-trickery, are one of the easiest paths to greener motoring.

The Mercedes, and nine other finalists, use stop-start technology to improve fuel consumption in congested cities. When the car is stopped at the lights, the engine switches off to save fuel.

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Volkswagen is fuming over the Obama Administration’s proposal to double auto fuel efficiency, saying the plan unfairly values hybrid and all-electric cars over clean diesel, a technology VW has pioneered.

Volkswagen is committed to continually making fuel efficient vehicles, such as the new mid-size, clean diesel Passat TDI, available to the U.S. market. Built in Chattanooga, TN, the Passat TDI achieves 43 mpg highway and can travel almost 800 miles on a single tank of fuel.

The Obama Administration unveiled a proposed rule that would require automakers to double the average fuel economy of their vehicles to 54.5 miles per gallon by 2025, estimating that the change would add $2,000 to the average price of a car.

The proposal brought howls of protest from automakers who warned the changes would price millions of Americans out of the new-car market, keeping older, less fuel-efficient cars on the road longer.

VW, Europe’s largest automaker and the fastest-growing automaker in the United States, already offers turbodiesel cars, station wagons and SUVs that routinely get nearly 50 miles per gallon on the highway.

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With looming fuel efficiency standards dictating future car products, major automakers are investing a lot of time and money into developing EV’s and hybrid cars. Well…except for Chrysler. Instead, the Pentastar brand has announced that the Jeep Grand Cherokee will offer a diesel engine option in 2013, with other models to follow.

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Denso, the Japanese fuel system supplier, says it will achieve common-rail system nozzle pressures as high as 3000bar in the foreseeable future. That implies an ability to start injection later in the cycle, closer to top-dead-centre, together with earlier cut-off, thereby achieving more complete combustion of the fuel, to the benefit of consumption and particulate emissions.

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The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has awarded $50 million for clean diesel projects. These efforts will replace, retrofit or repower more than 8,000 older school buses, trucks, locomotives, vessels, and other diesel-powered machines.

The Air Resources Board today is reminding owners of heavier diesel trucks that they need to act now in order to comply with California’s Truck and Bus regulation, which has its first diesel filter deadlines in January 2012.

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It is not too early for operators of refrigerated truck and trailer fleets to consider how Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Tier 4 Final emission standards will affect their operations and equipment budgets over the next several years. The new EPA standards will take effect Jan. 1, 2013.

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The EPA’s proposed increases in the 2012 percentage standards for advanced biofuels and renewable diesel fuel is another important step in helping the United States achieve a sustainable energy future, according to Allen Schaeffer, the executive director of the Diesel Technology Forum (DTF).