Monday newsbriefs

July 4, 2011 § Leave a comment

Nissan’s posh-line Infiniti brand has confirmed production of its Audi A3/BMW  1-Series rival. This small family-sized exec-hatch is scheduled for 2013, with an all-electric version following a year later; the Etherea concept (pictured; this featured a hybrid petrol-electric powertrain) gives a fair few clues as to its styling. Underpinnings largely shared with the Nissan Leaf. More at Autoweek.

  • Some BMW updates for the new model-year in September. The 520d EfficientDynamics arrives – 184hp, 62.8mpg and 119g/km, aided by stop-start, brake energy regeneration and active aerodynamics, plus a gearchange indicator to help the driver maximise efficiency, a high final-drive ratio and low rolling-resistance tyres, and an eco mode for the auto gearbox, throttle response and electrical systems. From £30,435. Two new 2.0-litre, four-cylinder engines for the Z4, giving a 20% improvement in emissions and economy over the models they replace, and a 163hp version of the 2.0-litre diesel engine goes in the X1 (62.8mpg, 119g/km) along with stop-start and the EfficientDynamics tech.
  • Toyota has confirmed production of the iQ EV for the US, where it will be sold as a Scion. Launch next year; no word on a Euro-market iQ EV as yet.
  • Detailed feature on Quantum Fuel Systems Technologies, makers of the Fisker Karma’s plug-in hybrid powertrain, various military vehicle/truck plug-in hybrid conversions, and developers of an all-electric powertrain for the US Postal Service fleet, at Edmunds AutoObserver. Companies/supplier firms like this are going to play an ever-more important role in the mainstream consumer vehicle market, I reckon.
  • BMW has unveiled an E-Scooter concept – a two-seater electricbike with accleration equivalent to a 600cc, a 100km range and motorway-speed ability. Interesting thing is that, as it’s a ground-up design purpose-built to be an EV and not a conversion, it is structurally innovative; instead of a conventional mainframe, its battery casing doubles as a frame element. Detailed tech description at Green Car Congress.
  • The Charging Point has the lowdown on this K1 Evelio concept, unveiled at the Goodwood Festival of Speed. It’s based on a Slovakian sportster, the K1 Attack Roadster, and is claimed to have a 150-mile range; it has a tubular steel spaceframe, fibreglass body and could potentially develop around 200bhp. Currently just a running prototype, its creators are looking for investors to help get it into production.
  • Spy shots of the next-generation Mercedes-Benz B-Class at Autocar: besides conventional petrol and diesel models, there’ll be an all-electric model, a natural gas version, a hydrogen fuel cell model and one with a range-extender powertrain. To be unveiled at Frankfurt Motor Show this autumn, on sale December.



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