Starting the week

September 27, 2010 § 1 Comment

  • Nissan’s Infiniti brand is to make a compact, five-seater all-electric model, and has released a sketch (pictured). This will be launched in Europe and the US in 2013; it’s thought to share its platform and powertrain with the Nissan Leaf.
  • Fiat has axed its two-seater, two-cylinder Topolino, reports Autocar, and instead will focus on a new-generation, more accessible and mainstream, Seicento.
  • BMW is to start field trials of the ActiveE – a 1-Series Coupe-based EV – in the USA. Drivers in New York, Los Angeles, San Diego, San Francisco, Sacramento, Boston and areas of Connecticut will participate in a full shake-down of the technology, which will later feature in the Megacity. The ActiveE trials follow those of the Mini E in BMW’s Project i programme, and are an advance in that this car’s a four-seater with a 100-mile range.
  • Toyota has confirmed production of a new small hybrid – Yaris-based – in Valenciennes, France, from 2012. And it’s also to supply the hybrid powertrain for the Lotus Elite, reports Automotive News Europe.
  • Saab is to start making electric all-wheel-drive systems and components for electric/hybrid powertrains in Trollhatten from 1st October. It has formed a partnership with American Axle & Manufacturing Holdings Inc., named e-AAM Driveline Systems, and will supply components to other manufacturers as well.
  • Subaru has improved the efficiency of its famous flat-four ‘boxer’ engine by 10%. Revisions to the cylinder bore, lengthening of the piston stroke, a new active valve control system and intake port configuration, plus lighter pistons and con rods and a smaller oil pump have all contributed to the improvement; internal engine friction is down 30%. The engine will be built at Subaru’s new factory north of Tokyo, and will first feature in the US/Japanese-market Forester from this autumn.
  • Rumour of the day: Honda is preparing a successor to the S2000 – and it’ll be a hybrid based on the CR-Z’s underpinnings/powertrain, claims Road & Track.
  • Meet VIPER and TIGERS: the first stands for Vehicle Integrated Powertrain Energy Recovery, a project underway involving Jaguar Land Rover, Ford, Imperial College, BP, University of London, IAV and Controlled Powertrain Technologies (CPT). CPT is to contribute TIGERS: Turbo-generator Integrated Gas Energy Recovery System, to help reduce heat energy losses in an exhaust system.
  • Heard the one about the road as smooth as glass? Glazed solar panels in road surfaces could provide all the power for an ‘intelligent highway’, reports Wired.com.
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