Friday newsbriefs

September 9, 2011 § Leave a comment

Three Fisker ‘Project Nina’ midsize variants by 2014, probably with BMW-supplied engines and to be designed and built in the US, says Motor Trend, which has (some) lowdown on Fisker’s plans for expansion. First ‘Nina’ up is a  four-door saloon, coming next year. Fisker reveals the Karma-based Surf (pictured), a luxury-end station wagon/shooting brake, in Frankfurt next week.

  • Another LCV2011 story: the Technology Strategy Board-backed HyBoost project, led by Ricardo with partners including CPT, Ford, Imperial College London and Valeo, is exploring ‘intelligent electrification’. The demo car – a 2009 Ford Focus – showcases radical engine downsizing (a 1.0 three-cylinder EcoBoost engine in place of a 2.0-litre), electric supercharger, stop-start and energy recuperation technologies; its performance is the same as the standard 2.0-litre’s but fuel consumption and emissions are “significantly reduced.”  Ricardo’s claiming “improved transient response” and an avoidance of “the pitfalls of turbo-lag”, too, and says it’s “a practical mix of technologies” in a “more commercially attractive package than full hybridisation.”
  • The Scuderi Group’s achieving (in simulations) 88.3mpg and emissions of just 85g/km from its split-cycle, turbocharged, air-hybrid engine, offering a near 20% reduction in fuel consumption and emissions over a comparable four-stroke Otto-cycle engine typically used in small cars; more details to be announced in Frankfurt. The air hybrid bit’s a small air tank used to capture waste energy. More at Green Car Congress.
  • Opel/Vauxhall has improved the 2.0-litre diesel engine in the Insignia; 2012 versions of the 2.0 CDTi Ecoflex (160hp) give 65.7mpg and emit 115g/km; the standard non-Ecoflex 110hp version does 64.2mpg and  116g/km.
  • You thought you’d heard the last on the Peel P50? Fear not: there are (four stroke-engined) replicas on sale from Bamby Cars of Lincolnshire, priced from £7,500. And they also offer a series of other microcar replicas, scaled-down…
  • Teaser video for the Volvo Concept You (the one previewing Volvo’s new scalable architecture and downsized engine tech) on YouTube.
  • Detroit Electric – two new EV charging stations on Nine Mile in Ferndale, reports Detroit News. There’ll be 16 in the Metro area by mid-September.
  • Summary of six months with a Nissan Leaf from Edmunds Inside Line: two tow-homes, much range anxiety, mixed feelings. Team’s much happier at Car Magazine (UK), however, and The Charging Point’s Robert Llewellyn‘s even outdoing official range figures…
  • California’s Coda Automotive (yet to start production) has opened an Experience Centre in an LA mall. Lowdown at Auto Observer.
  • The Smart Fortwo Electric Drive’s going to Hong Kong for trials (Autoblog Green).
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