With the introduction of the new Nissan Micra/March minicar comes an all-new engine for the brand. The HR12DE is the first of many similar engines from various automakers expected to debut in the next several years. This is a 1.2-liter inline-three with direct injection and a supercharger.
In Europe, where Mercedes-Benz still sells cars with four-cylinder engines, the C-Class has just received an efficiency update for 2011. The direct-inject gasoline C180 and C200 CGI BlueEfficiency models are now available with six-speed manual gearboxes and automatic start-stop systems. The C180 and C200 produce 156 and 184 horsepower, respectively, while cutting fuel consumption compared to previous port injected models by 10 percent. That puts them at 35.1 miles per gallon (U.S.) and 34.6 mpg,
It sounds like executives from the Volkswagen Group are speaking with one voice on the subject of plug in vehicles. While both Volkswagen and its premium brand Audi are working on various combinations of hybrid, plug-in and even fuel cell technology, it doesn't necessarily follow that these technologies will be readily available anytime soon. VW of America CEO Stefan Jacoby spoke to a group of media in Seattle last week where he told the gathering that its unlikely that plug-in vehicles will go
Kia's compact cee'd hatchback will be getting a new automatic start-stop system starting this spring in Europe. The system which switches off the engine when the car comes to a stop and restarts it when the clutch pedal is pressed down should give about a fuel efficiency boost of about six percent overall. However, in urban stop and go driving the difference can be up to 15 percent. Such systems will be increasingly common in the next few years (see: Ford) as a low cost way of reducing idle emis
Automatic start-stop systems are becoming increasingly common in Europe where many non-hybrid cars are equipped with the relatively inexpensive systems that shut down the engine to prevent idling. However, here in the US, only hybrids have that capability. At an event with some Ford executives during Detroit Auto Show, Barb Samardzich, VP of Global Powertrain engineering stated that over the next several years all Ford vehicles will get the auto-stop capability. Currently, only the Escape, Marin