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EVPlus - October 2015 News

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Resurrected NSX supercar injects massive dose of excitement into Honda brand

Added by admin 28/10/15

27 October 2015

HONDA’S reborn NSX supercar is charged with resuscitating the company’s brand image across the globe, and after a lengthy gestation period the hybrid hero will touch down in Australia late next year.
After a couple of all-too-brief laps around the test track at Honda’s research and development facility in Tochigi, Japan, this week in the lead up to the Tokyo motor show, we think the NSX has what it takes to give Honda back its mojo.
GoAuto, along with a throng of journalists from around the world, were among the first people given the chance to briefly sample the all-new petrol-electric supercar.
Speaking at the drive event, Honda NSX chief engineer Ted Klaus said the NSX would compete on pricing – in the United States at least – with the Porsche 911 Turbo and Audi’s R8 V10 Plus, but added that the “emotional competitor” was the Ferrari 458 Italia.
Mr Klaus said that while he understands people will naturally compare the NSX with BMW’s plug-in hybrid i8, the two are entirely different vehicles.
“What’s neat about our vehicle and i8 is that they both take people into the future so that comparison I think is fair,” he said. “(But) I think from a fundamental standpoint it is unfair because our vehicle is very focused on driving dynamics. We have spent a lot of time and energy and cost to get the centre of mass low and close to the driver. The i8 is a different animal.
The petrol-electric powertrain consists of a twin-turbocharged 3.5-litre DOHC V6 petrol engine, matched with a hybrid system that includes three electric motors – a rear direct-drive electric motor, housed between the engine and gearbox, and an independent electric motor in each front wheel.
The engine drives through an all-new Honda-developed nine-speed dual-clutch transmission and a new ‘Sport Hybrid’ version of the Super Handling All-Wheel-Drive (SH-AWD) system, which was a feature of the 2007 NSX concept before the development program was officially cancelled a year later due to the global financial crisis.
Honda says the total system output for the NSX is 573hp – or about 427kW – and while the electric motors offer up 73Nm on each wheel, the overall torque figure for the 1725kg sportscar is a whopping 646Nm.
Peak power is developed at 6500-7500rpm while maximum torque is on tap from 2000rpm right through to 6000rpm.
The NSX’s figures are well above the output of the 266kW/320Nm BMW i8 and more in line with exotic fare such as the Ferrari 488 GTB that punches out 492kW/760Nm from its 3.9-litre turbo V8, McLaren’s 650S that delivers 478kW/680Nm from its 3.8-litre twin-turbo V8 and the 448kW/560Nm of the 5.2-litre V10-powered Lamborghini Huracan.


                                                   Story and image courtesy: GoAuto.com.au


VW announces diesel changes and EV plans

Added by admin 24/10/15

The Volkswagen board has announced a revised diesel strategy and plans for a new modular electric platform following a special meeting of its revised membership.
The company remains under intense pressure across the world, with investigations into alleged fraud continuing. French police last week raided Volkswagen’s regional headquarters in Paris and seized documents and computer equipment.
The VW board said that all diesel engines sold in Europe and North America would soon be equipped with SCR and AdBlue technology, stating also that it intended to make sure that in the future its diesel engines would be fitted with “the best environmental technology”.
The German company also announced that the creation of a modular electric platform for compact segments that would feature an electric range 250-500km. The MQB platform will also continue to be developed further to accommodate 48V mild hybrids and high-volume EVs with ranges of up to 300km.
The final headline announcement was that the next generation of the Phaeton full-size luxury sedan will be all-electric. A number of other measures were revealed, including the acceleration of the company’s efficiency program and a cut in the annual R&D budget of a billion euros.
VW chairman Herbert Diess said: “Time and again, the Volkswagen team has proved it stands united and is fully focused on shaping the future, particularly when times are tough. We have now laid the further foundations for that.”

                                                   Story and image courtesy: Engine Technology International


2016 Prius appears to be 19% ultra-high-strength steel; ‘liberal’ use of the metal...

Added by admin 15/10/15

2016 Prius appears to be 19% ultra-high-strength steel; ‘liberal’ use of the metal...

Toyota offered the public a taste of its next generation of vehicles with last month’s announcement of the 2016 Lexus RX and Toyota Prius, both of which employ more high-strength steel and advanced joining methods and offer inexpensive driver safety packages.
Toyota didn’t respond to requests for greater detail into the bodies of the two vehicles, but its public statements offer some idea into what collision repairers might expect.
On Tuesday, the automaker revealed body-in-white diagrams of the 2016 Prius, the fourth-generation version of the hybrid unveiled in a Sept. 8 Las Vegas event streamed live on YouTube. (For a lighter take on that party, check out this fun Yahoo Autos column.)
Unfortunately, there was no diagram key to tell the public and press what they were actually looking at Tuesday.
However, it seems that the red (and possibly some of the blue) Prius sections depicted might indicate the “high-tensile strength steel” referenced in Toyota’s Tuesday news release. About 19 percent of the car’s body is the light, strong metal, Toyota said — up from 3 percent in the 2015 Prius.
A Japanese edition of the news release describes that alloy as “strong, lightweight hot-stamp materials” of at least 980 megapascals, and it seems as though this applies in the U.S. as well.
The vehicle is the first to use Toyota’s TNGA modular concept, which uses structural adhesive, “Laser Screw Welding” and more weld points, and new frame shapes in addition to the high-strength steel. Toyota says the Prius has 60 percent more torsional rigidity because of these factors, delivering a stiffer, sportier ride.
It’ll be interesting to see how much these new joining techniques affect collision repair SOP, particularly combined with the tougher but more heat- and sectioning-sensitive higher-megapascal steels.
Another design choice worth noting by collision repairers — as it’ll be likely banged up in a frontal impact — is a Prius “active grille shutter” which opens and closes the grille depending on the external temperature. Also likely damaged in a collision are the standard bi-LED lights, which emit high and low beams from one lens.
Besides the affordable driver-safety and crash-reducing Safety Sense P package, the Prius has other high-tech electronics potentially needing calibration after a collision. They include a color HUD which projects data on the windshield (it’s unclear if this is an option or standard), and an air conditioning system which can tell whether passengers are sitting in the other seats.
Toyota sold more than 207,000 of the hybrids last year, so it behooves you to check with the OEM and make sure you’re prepared to fix it according to manufacturer recommendations.

                                                   Story and image courtesy: RDN - Repairer Driven News


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