Wednesday newsbriefs

September 7, 2011 § Leave a comment

Ford Fiesta and Focus ECOnetic Technology models, to debut in Frankfurt next week, deliver 85.6mpg and 83.1mpg respectively (and emit just 87g/km and 89g/km) – without hybrid systems. These 1.6 diesels feature stop-start, active grille shutters to improve aerodynamics, nitrous oxide traps, regenerative charging, an ‘eco’ mode and gearshift indicators, plus low rolling-resistance tyres, low-friction oils and electric power steering. Ford’s also showing a Focus with the 1.0-litre, three-cylinder EcoBoost engine (direct injection, turbocharged), the Focus Electric, the C-Max Hybrid and C-Max Energi (plug-in hybrid), and says that half of all Fords sold in Europe by late 2012 will be ECOnetic Technology models, and two-thirds by 2013.

  • Fisker’s Frankfurt debut is called Surf. It shares the Karma saloon’s underpinnings and extended-range EV powertrain, and is a ‘active lifestyle’ kinda thing – looks like a CUV-style ‘shooting brake’ estate from the sketch released so far (not worth posting).
  • FondTech, an Italian aerodynamics consultancy, has unveiled a single-seat electric race for the Formula E. It’s said to be as fast as an F3 vehicle (for 20 minutes, anyway) and has a four-wheel drive set-up; it’s the work of former Ferrari F1 team aerodynamicist Jean-Claude Migeot, reports Autoblog Green. Track shakedowns start next January, Formula E races in 2013.
  • Another neat proposal for electromagnetic roads: no generator required. More on the Magneter system at
  • Consumer organisation Which? has tested the Nissan Leaf and Peugeot iOn: neither matched their manufacturers’ claims for range in real-life driving (just like petrol/diesel cars, then) and they’re claiming some high CO2 figures from electricity generation (run ’em on renewable-source electricity, then). Mind you, Which? does appear to have quite a downer on EVs…
  • Granted, cost is an issue. And EVs aren’t going to be able to compete in cost terms till 2030, according to a new report.

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