Ford’s Fiesta ECOnetic: They claim it’s now using less fuel than before.

image

Australia’s Most Fuel Efficient Car Now Even More Efficient

  • Fiesta ECOnetic, Australia’s most fuel efficient car – now even more fuel efficient
  • 3.6 litres per 100km1 combined fuel consumption
  • 95 grams per km CO2 emissions

Melbourne, Australia, 28 October, 2011

Australia’s most fuel efficient car, the Ford Fiesta ECOnetic, is now even more fuel efficient courtesy of the latest refinements to its unique package of fuel-saving ‘ECOnetic’ technologies.

With a new combined fuel consumption rating of just 3.6 litres per 100 kilometres1 – an improvement of 2.7 per cent – the fuel efficiency of Fiesta ECOnetic continues to surpass all other vehicles currently on sale in Australia, including petrol/electric hybrid models.

It also produces fewer CO2 emissions than any other conventional, internal combustion engine vehicle, with a new official CO2 emission rating of 95 grams per kilometre – an improvement of 3.1 per cent.

“Ford ECOnetic technology is a customer focused initiative bringing together a range of vehicle features and technologies specifically targeting better fuel economy, reduced emissions and overall lower cost-of-ownership – without compromise to great design or driving dynamics,” Ford Australia President & CEO Bob Graziano said.

To achieve its ultra-low CO2 emissions, the Fiesta ECOnetic has incorporated a range of simple modifications that include low rolling resistance tyres, improved aerodynamics and a modified engine calibration.

Crucially, the ECOnetic philosophy doesn’t rely upon different fuels, expensive batteries or ‘bolted on’ technology. It’s all thanks to the introduction of smart ideas and clever refinements, which together generate significant improvements in fuel consumption.

“Fiesta ECOnetic is another example of how Ford is looking at a portfolio of technology solutions to meet the sustainability challenge and how we are intent on delivering affordable and accessible vehicles to our customers,” Graziano said.

“The improvements we’ve made to Fiesta ECOnetic are a part of Ford’s continued investment in delivering sustainable innovations for Australian consumers, joining EcoLPi and EcoBoost in our comprehensive range of fuel efficient vehicles.

“Fiesta ECOnetic perfectly balances a stylish, affordable car that considers the environment and our future, without compromising the style or technology which has made the Fiesta one of the world’s most popular small cars.

“It brings together a whole range of clever thinking and technologies that are available right now, creating an environmentally conscious vehicle that delivers economy without compromise and genuine savings against the fuel cost of daily driving.”

A revised gear set, with new 3rd, 4th and 5th gear ratios, heads the list of refinements to Fiesta ECOnetic, which have all been engineered to further optimise fuel efficiency.

Other key developments, specifically targeted at reducing powertrain frictional losses, include:

  • new Variable Flow Oil Pump (VFOP) – which matches pump flow to the specific needs of the engine (whereas the previous oil pump was directly linked to engine revs) thereby reducing the energy required to drive the oil pump
  • new asymmetric crank sprocket – which reduces the load applied in tensioning the drive belt, thereby reducing the overall load on the belt
  • new “bi-directional” crank sensor – which reduces engine start times by improving synchronization between the camshaft and the crankshaft
  • a more accurate fuel temperature sensor – which enabled a reduction in injection tolerances
  • engine calibration re-tuning – revised calibration of the Powertrain Control Module (PCM)

Fiesta ECOnetic – new gear ratios:

 

New

Previous

Transmission

5-speed manual (IB5/E)

5-speed manual (IB5/B)

Gear ratios

1st
2nd
3rd
4th
5th
Reverse
Final Drive

3.58
1.93
1.21
0.88
0.69
3.62
3.05

3.58
1.93
1.28
0.95
0.76
3.62
3.05

1 Figures obtained from controlled tests conducted to Australian Design Rule 81/02 and are provided to assist in comparing the fuel consumption of Fiesta with other vehicles. Note that actual fuel consumption will depend on many factors including driving habits, the prevailing conditions and the vehicles equipment, condition and use.

Holden Welcomes New Member to the Cruze Family

image

Holden celebrated the start of production of the all-new Australian-made Cruze hatch today ahead of its launch in early November.

Designed and engineered for Australian conditions, the hatch joins Cruze sedan and local and export Commodore variants on the general assembly line at Holden Vehicle Operations in Elizabeth, South Australia.

Holden Chairman and Managing Director, Mike Devereux, said the new addition to the locally-made portfolio highlighted the flexibility of the Holden plant and workforce.

“It’s a challenging time for manufacturing, but Holden is one of the most flexible automotive manufacturing operations in the world and we’re incredibly proud of our capability,” he said.

“With Cruze hatch models going into production this month we’re now building 51 models across the global small car and Commodore short and long wheel base architectures, all on the same line.

“As global economic conditions changed we set ourselves a very clear goal to be profitable first and foremost on our domestic business. This means building in Australia the large and small cars that Australians really want to drive.

image

“This strategy is clearly paying off. Cruze has been a great success in the market and our locally-made vehicles account for nearly 60 per cent of Holden’s new car sales this year.”

Cruze Program Engineering Manager, Peter Siablis, who was present for the start of production this week, said the hatch had been specifically engineeredfor Australian driving styles and road conditions.

“We clocked up a further 140,000 kilometres testing the new Cruze hatch on local roads which helped us develop a number of enhancements for the hatch which we’ve also applied to the model year 2012 Cruze sedan,” he said.

“When customers get behind the wheel next month we think they’ll feel the suspension changes we’ve made which improve steering response, ride quality and add a sense of refinement to the overall driving experience.”

Cruze hatch line-up and pricing mirrors Cruze sedan, with two petrol engine choices including the 1.4iTi and 1.8 litre, as well as a 2.0 litre diesel. Cruze hatch will be launched on South Australian roads on 8 November.

The Cruze localisation program received co-investment from the Federal Government’s Green Car Innovation Fund and the South Australian Government.

Holden SSV Ute: The Big, Butch, Manly, Hairy Chested Aussie Muscle Car.

2011 Holden Commodore VE Series II SSV Ute

 

The Ute is a peculiarly Australian invention. A farmer’s wife wanted a vehicle to take her to church on Sundays and the pigs to market during the week. And lo, the Ute came. Think about it, they don’t exist in any other market. Sure there are the Hi-luxes and F series Fords but no sedans with tray backs.

It means a bear –chested tradie can have his tools in the back all nice and safe and look sexy as hell while he is doing it. Mind you the gorgeous SSV ute may have a hard time getting onto a building site, or off it, should it fluke negotiating the mud and rubble in the first instance. It rides so low that the front air dam wouldn’t last five minutes so as a useful conveyance for builders bits and bobs, the SSV ute might not be too flash, but as a sexy-as-hell 2 seater coupe with the added advantage of a huge cargo capacity, it can’t be bettered. Just look at it, it’s stunning. From the back of the front door forward it is pure SSV saloon but from the door backwards is 100%tradie.

The metal is pretty much the same as the humble Omega ute but the SS body kit includes some mighty impressive wheels, 19” of course, and other assorted bits of plastic glued on for good measure. The effect of this and the lowered suspension means the SSV looks more stealth bomber than plumbers van. Since the photos were taken of our test car, Holden bunged on some rolls bars with high mounted brake light and the new 3 piece tonneau cover. The clever cover unlocks with the central locking and at least gives the impression of securing your expensive knick knacks in the rear. The roll bars are purely decorative. I loved the metallic Kermit green which harked clear back to the 70’s, the heyday for muscle cars the world over and an era upon which I look back with great fondness. The pictures tell the story outside.

You can see the difference inside between the SV6 (V6) and SSV (V8) ute is minimal. The blue ute is the Thunder which we hope to take for a thrash later in the year. You’ll notice the IQ, which is standard in all VE II’s is present and accounted for. I love this system. It’s one of the few infotainment setups which doesn’t require a degree in advanced electrical engineering and computer science. I’ve driven a few of these now and can Bluetooth my phone and tune my favourite radio stations in a thrice. While I’m ginning around I also adjust the arrival and departure lighting and the door security. It probably sounds rather OCD but if the thoughtful people at GMH put customisable features in I feel obliged to try them out. I love a jolly good fiddle. Naturally you get the MP3/Ipod input and audio streaming and for some reason a CD player via which you store 15 CDs although I’m not sure who actually still owns CDs. If you don’t fancy plonking your shopping in the tray you might like the bins behind the seats. All in all the cabin is simple yet tasteful.

Amusingly, I tried starting the beast but, nothing happened, zilch, nil, nada because I had completely failed to notice the extra pedal on the floor. Imagine the kafuffle if Holden allowed their cars to start without your foot on the clutch, and I had bunny hopped across the carpark and into the newly refurbished service department! In a blonde moment I had assumed my conveyance was automatic and did not have shift-em-yourself gears. The manual feels clunky to begin with.

Driving automatics, DSGs and the frankly awful CVTs has an air of sameness about it so shifting my own gears is a joy. The first few changes can be a bit hairy but stick with it because a few kilometres bring reborn confidence to you shifts. There were a few “bum-clenching” moments as I pulled onto the street a little too enthusiastically. When y6ou have 270 willing kilowatts at your disposal, you just can’t mash your foot mindlessly with the floor regardless of how much traffic is bearing down on you. The electronics sort out your misdemeanours leaving you to the pleasure of that glorious visceral growl from under the bonnet.

You don’t get the level of advanced features that the Euro makers throw at their products and it’s this level of simplicity is, in a way, the Holden’s biggest charm. You feel like you’re actually driving the car. There is no need of the nannies which tell if a drunk yobbo has wobbled out in front of you or if you have drifted over a lane marking because Holdens have windscreens which seem to work much better anyway.

The best thing apart from the looks is the superb handling which keeps the rear end nailed to the road in all but the most extreme mistreatment. The engine is loud, very loud, and the temptation is to sink the boot just to hear that fabulous Wagnerian crescendo but beware, you might find yourself having more than your fair share of serious conversations with a little man in a blue uniform. Track days aside, you’ll need to keep a watchful eye on that errant speedo.

As you would expect, the fuel consumption goes stratospheric at the merest hint of enthusiasm but Holden claims 12L/100 k’s of combined highway/city driving. The best we could manage was 10.5 on the Sydney ring-road even with the engine management shutting down un-needed cylinders. Still, you don’t buy a V8 of any description and expect to get Prius fuel figures.

The week was marred only very slightly by the 3 piece tonneau cover. It looks brilliant and functions very well but it almost completely blocks the rear window. The ute comes sans rear-view camera and parking sensors. Perhaps they think those who buy and drive Holden utes never look back!

The last few things worth mentioning are the rear tray liner with built in stubby holders on the rear tailgate and the interior of the tray has tied owns should you need to secure that big load.

With the sad demise of the much loved Monaro, the SSV Ute might just the be the best alternative for the man who wants a muscle car. After all what other 2 door, 2 seat 6.0L V8 can you get for under 60k?

 

*** NOTE ALL COMMODORE, UTE AND CAPRICE V6 AND V8 ENGINES ARE E 85 (85%ETHENOL) COMPATIBLE

Engine

Power

Torque

Fuel

Co2

Consumpt

0-100

price

6.0 GEN IV V8 270kw 530NM petrol 291g 12.3 comb

6 sec

$44,990

 

2011 Holden Commodore VE Series II SSV Ute2011 Holden Commodore VE Series II SSV Ute2011 Holden Commodore VE Series II SV6 Ute interior2011 VE Series II Thunder Ute.2011 VE Series II Thunder Ute.

When Cars Talk to Each Other. Car-to-x – The Communication Platform of the Future

image

 

 

 

The key to intelligent driving, which is synonymous with energy-efficient and safe driving, is forward thinking. To help drivers plan ahead, vehicles from the BMW Group are already fitted with a large number of sensors designed to improve safety, comfort and efficiency. Often, however, these sensors have only a limited predictive capability or “horizon”. “Car-to-x” communication extends this horizon significantly, and will in future allow drivers to “see” long distances ahead, into areas currently hidden from view, and even around not just one but many corners.

Car-to-x communication means electronic networking of vehicles and roadside infrastructure, with the aim of exchanging information directly both between road users and between road users and roadside infrastructure such as traffic lights. Car-to-x communication is a comprehensive communication network which any road user can take part in.

Car-to-x communication usually operates via WLAN or mobile phone connections. For standard automotive application, car-to-x communication at present uses high-speed WLAN networking based on the high-frequency WLAN IEEE802.11p/ G5A standard, which is designed to allow real-time communication. The protocol allows large numbers of participants to communicate simultaneously without interference. At the same time the performance of mobile phone networks is improving steadily, with an increase in bandwidth and a reduction in data lag – the so-called latency times. Therefore, this type of medium, too, is becoming increasingly important for car-to-car communication, for example as a complement to direct communication via WLAN.

Connectivity brings added value.
Integrated and connected vehicle functions are nothing new within the BMW Group. Connectivity for infotainment applications already made its debut in the 1990s with BMW ConnectedDrive. For some years, the focus of development work in the BMW Group has been shifting increasingly towards integrated and connected comfort and, in particular, safety functions. Here, car-to-x communication opens up completely new potential. In the event of a hazard, extensive connectivity between vehicles allows oncoming and following traffic to be given advance warning of potential dangers, and therefore to react appropriately and in good time. But warnings are only one possible use of this communication platform. Since infrastructure data, too – for example about traffic light phases – can be integrated into this communication system, information is available which allows drivers to easily adapt their driving style for even greater efficiency, thereby significantly reducing vehicle emissions. This technology therefore offers new solutions not only for proactive safety and accident prevention but also for intelligent energy management.

“The more information I have about the rest of my journey – for example, if I know in advance when traffic lights will change, or if I know that an accident has just happened further along the route – the more promptly I can react, which means I have less stress and can either avoid hazardous situations altogether or at least reduce the risk.” (Karl-Ernst Steinberg, Head of Information and Communication Technologies at BMW Group Research and Technology).

In combination with existing vehicle sensors, car-to-x communication provides a valuable starting point or enhancement for a wide range of BMW ConnectedDrive driver assistance and information systems of the future. These technologies, combined with the driver’s own input, create an extremely high-performance macrosystem capable of ensuring a safe and efficient journey from start to finish.

BMW Motorrad ConnectedRide: active protection for motorcyclists as well.
The BMW Group’s ongoing efforts to achieve greater road safety take all road user groups into account. In addition to applications for vehicles of the BMW Group and for protection of pedestrians or cyclists, motorcyclists are a further group whose integration into the car-to-x communication platform is an important priority for BMW. BMW Motorrad ConnectedRide – the motorcycle equivalent of BMW ConnectedDrive – is looking to use car-to-x communication, in addition to handling control systems, driver assistance systems and a motorcycle emergency call function, in order to improve safety for motorcyclists. Motorcyclists face different dangers on the road from car drivers. Certain situations, such as fog, slippery roads or heavy precipitation, are much more of a challenge for these road users than for car drivers. What’s more, “single-track” vehicles like motorcycles, with their narrower silhouette, are unfortunately often more easily overlooked.

There are therefore big benefits for motorcyclists in having advance information about special situations. Often, cars play a pivotal role in this system as the original source of the warnings. For example, activation of car fog lamps or the highest wiper setting, or DSC intervention in an otherwise normal driving situation, may indicate adverse conditions in a certain area. This information is then supplied to the motorcycle, keeping the rider promptly and fully informed.

Car-to-x research of value only with industry collaboration.
Car-to-x communication has been an important topic within the BMW Group for almost ten years. But the BMW Group’s research is not carried out in isolation. After all, this is a field where teamwork between as many vehicle manufacturers as possible is vital. For example, the BMW Group was one of the first carmakers to join the “Car-2-Car Communication Consortium”. Founded in 2003 by a number of European car manufacturers, this consortium is researching potential applications and looking into a harmonised standard for transnational vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-infrastructure communication. That’s because this technology can only develop its full potential with a critical mass of participants: the greater the number of vehicles integrated into the system, the greater the amount of data that can be made available and used, and the greater the safety benefits.

The BMW Group is also participating in many other joint research projects in this field, such as “simTD” (Safe Intelligent Mobility – the German Test). The aim of this project is to test the functionality, everyday practicality and effectiveness of car-to-x communication for the first time under real-world conditions. The simTD project is putting into practice findings obtained in earlier research projects. Realistic traffic scenarios are being addressed in a large-scale test environment based on the infrastructure around the city of Frankfurt, Germany. The project is also intended to provide the necessary political, economic and technological foundation for successful implementation of vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-infrastructure communication. Various companies in the automotive and telecommunication sectors, the government of the German State of Hesse and a number of leading universities and research institutes are partnering in this project and are committed to the above objectives. The project is sponsored and supported by the Federal Ministries of Economics and Technology, Education and Research, and Transport, Construction and Urban Development.

Following three years of intensive research, the groundwork has now been completed for the world’s largest car-to-x field trial, which will take place on German roads. On 11 October 2011, the simTD project consortium delivered a current status report at a project presentation in Friedberg, Hesse, at which it summed up the initial results of the first three years’ work on this car-to-x project, which began in September 2008.

Car-to-x functions from the BMW Group. Research into car and motorcycle applications.

The Intersection Assistant: greater safety at road junctions.
In Germany alone, a third of all accidents involving personal injury occur at intersections, due to failure to see, or to spot in time, another road user; poor visibility due to buildings or trees; or because drivers are not being sufficiently attentive. If we take a typical everyday driving situation as an example, the system functions as follows: the driver approaches an intersection and prepares to cross. On the road he wants to cross, which has priority, there is a continuous stream of traffic in both directions. At the same time, visibility into the priority road is impaired due to roadside parking. This is a situation for the Intersection Assistant, which detects the data emitted by other road users in the area of the intersection and can reduce the potential risks of the manoeuvre by communicating with other vehicles approaching the junction.

The Intersection Assistant analyses the incoming information about the speed, distance from the intersection and direction of travel of other road users, along with information generated by the driver’s own vehicle. If a collision risk is detected, the driver receives a warning in the form of visual and audible signals and gentle deceleration. The warning results in a reduction in vehicle speed so that either a crash can be prevented or at least, if this is not possible, the consequences are mitigated. If driver reactions alone will not be sufficient to eliminate or reduce the risk, the Assistant can intervene by priming the brakes and assisting with braking.

The BMW Motorrad ConnectedRide Intersection Assistant.
To improve intersection safety for motorcyclists as well, the BMW Group engineers have also incorporated Intersection Assistant functionality into the BMW Motorrad ConnectedRide technology for motorcycles, for the first time integrating motorcyclists into vehicle-to-vehicle communication. Car-motorcycle collisions are particularly dangerous for motorcyclists, who are roughly three times more likely to be seriously injured in such a collision than car drivers.

Like the Intersection Assistant for cars, the Intersection Assistant in BMW Motorrad ConnectedRide is a forward-looking active safety system which aims as far as possible to prevent, or at least to mitigate, critical situations at intersections. Based on road data and data about the position and speed of road users approaching the intersection, the system assesses which vehicles have priority in this situation and calculates the likelihood of a collision. It also evaluates the behaviour of the waiting car driver on the non-priority road.

If the Intersection Assistant calculates that there will be a collision if both car and motorcycle continue on their present course, it gives the car driver a graduated series of warnings about the collision risk, starting with visual and continuing with tactile and audible signals. An increasing collision risk also prompts a series of actions at the motorcycle: the headlight is gradually modulated, its intensity increased, and additional LED warning lights are activated at the side of the motorcycle to widen its silhouette. If the collision risk becomes acute, the motorcycle horn is sounded too. The aim is to draw the car driver’s attention to a potentially critical impending situation at the intersection. On the one hand the warning is issued early enough for the driver still to be able to halt the vehicle before the stop line. On the other hand, the warning is nevertheless issued late enough to avoid alerting the car driver unless there is a very real risk of a collision. It is assumed that emergency braking by the car driver will be able to prevent a collision.

The Traffic Light Phase Assistant – green lights all the way.
The Traffic Light Phase Assistant allows a vehicle to communicate with traffic lights. For example, traffic lights can supply information about their phasing, so that drivers can choose an optimal speed for catching lights on green, or are warned in sufficient time to avoid any risk of going through a light on red.

On board the vehicle, the Traffic Light Phase Assistant analyses a range of incoming data – for example information about current traffic light status and length of the individual green, amber and red phases, along with intersection- and vehicle-specific information. If the traffic light would be red by the time the car driver or motorcyclist reached the intersection if he did not change his current speed, the driver or motorcyclist receives this information early enough to be able to brake gently to a halt. On approaching the light the driver or rider may also, however, be given a recommended speed for reaching the traffic light on green – subject to compliance with traffic regulations, of course.

The Intersection Assistant allows the driver to see a short way “into the future” and to adapt his driving style effortlessly to the traffic light phasing. The result is increased safety and convenience, avoiding any need for sudden acceleration or abrupt braking. The driving style becomes calmer, safer and more fuel-efficient.

Local hazard warnings keep motorcyclists fully informed about fog, congestion etc.

The bad-weather warning informs motorcyclists in good time about adverse conditions such as fog, rain, snow or ice on upcoming sections of the route via a visual display in the instrument cluster – and optionally also by a voice message from the BMW Motorrad Communication System. The Assistant also tells the rider approximately where to expect these conditions. The engineers have in mind that the input for this warning would be provided, for example, by a given number of vehicles activating their fog lamps or windscreen wipers. This input, combined with information about the outside temperature in the vicinity of the vehicles affected, could be used to evaluate the likelihood of snow or hail in the affected area. In the event of ice, a warning or bad-weather alert could be triggered by the intervention of systems such as Dynamic Stability Control on vehicles in the affected area. Looking at this information in conjunction with outside temperature information and data from other sensors such as the rain sensor or video camera, or from weather reports, the algorithm can generate appropriate alerts in the instrument cluster and a voice message in the BMW Motorrad Communication System.

The obstacle warning function warns the motorcyclist – again via a visual display in the instrument cluster and optionally also by a voice message – to expect an obstacle on the road ahead. This could be anything from a stranded vehicle, an accident or roadworks to the end of a tailback. The warning comes with information about approximately how far ahead the obstacle is situated. The warning can be generated in a variety of different ways and by a variety of different systems. For example, it may be generated by a stranded vehicle or by a number of vehicles activating their hazard warning lights or braking at the end of a tailback and so transmitting a warning, and indicating their location, to approaching vehicles.

The emergency vehicle warning provides early warning of an emergency vehicle approaching from behind. The warning, which is provided by means of a visual display in the instrument cluster, allows the rider to make way for the emergency vehicle in good time and so avoid a critical situation. A clearly identifiable symbol – for example a blue light – provides an instantly recognisable warning and is combined with an approximate indication of where the emergency vehicle is currently situated. The displayed distance decreases in 50-metre increments, allowing the motorcyclist to adapt his driving accordingly, and if necessary to pull over to the side of the road. In addition to the visual information in the instrument panel, a warning can also be given via a voice message in the BMW Motorrad Communication System. The warning is automatically deactivated as soon as the emergency vehicle has passed. The development team are also looking into ways of integrating the planned route of the emergency vehicle into the warning strategy, so that the system could warn the rider when the emergency vehicle is about to change direction.

The electronic brake light is designed with the following hazard in mind: in very dense traffic, the brake lights of a vehicle that is braking sharply may not be visible to vehicles further behind on the road, leading to delayed reactions on the part of these drivers and potentially to rear-end collisions. The electronic brake light provides a way of informing motorcyclists at the earliest possible opportunity that a vehicle further ahead is decelerating sharply, so that they can react in good time. The warning takes the form of a display in the instrument cluster or an audible warning. The motorcyclist therefore knows in good time that he may soon need to brake, and so can react faster if the need arises.

The Left Turn Assistant: anticipation and good planning, for safe turning across traffic.
With the Left Turn Assistant (for left-hand-drive vehicles), BMW Group Research and Technology has developed a system to help drivers making a left turn at intersections by warning them if they have failed to spot another road user and preventing a collision by autonomous braking. The Left Turn Assistant takes into account the special hazards of this manoeuvre both for cars and for motorcyclists.

The Left Turn Assistant, which is currently being tested in the BMW 5 Series, is automatically activated when the vehicle’s sensors detect that the vehicle is entering the left-turn lane and the car registers that the driver wishes to turn off. The system detects the left-turn lane in two ways. Firstly, it uses the vehicle positioning function of the navigation system, which allows the location of the vehicle at intersections to be determined to within a metre. And secondly, a mono camera, similar to standard cameras already in use today, detects the turn-off lane markings on the road and also the lane boundaries.

As soon as the Left Turn Assistant has been activated, three laser scanners at the front of the test vehicle scan the area in front of the vehicle over a distance of up to 100 metres. The laser scanners are capable of detecting not only cars and trucks but also motorcycles. If the sensors detect that oncoming traffic is approaching yet the vehicle is still continuing into the intersection, the Left Turn Assistant automatically brakes the vehicle, provided it is not travelling faster than 10 km/h, in order to prevent a collision. At the same time, an audible warning and appropriate warning symbols in the instrument cluster and in the Head-Up Display advise the driver of the reason for the intervention. This automated braking is intentionally performed without prior warning, since fast response is vital in this situation to prevent the vehicle proceeding into the intersection and presenting an obstacle to oncoming traffic. By the time the driver received and reacted to a warning, the vehicle would already be in the collision zone and an accident would be unavoidable.

The Left Turn Assistant is designed to operate at speeds up to 10 km/h. In other words, the Assistant does not slam the brakes on when the vehicle is travelling at speed, but instead should be viewed as a system that prevents the vehicle from starting off, or from continuing to edge forwards. As soon as the driver himself steps on the brake pedal, the vehicle is “authorised” to move forward again and the Left Turn Assistant braking function is released. To maximise safety, the Left Turn Assistant can also be overridden at any time. For example, if the driver needs to clear the way for an emergency vehicle coming through the intersection, he can do so with a further brief press of the accelerator.

Left Turn Assistant: car-to-x communication further enhances safety
The functionality of the Left Turn Assistant can be extended by combining it with vehicle-to-vehicle communication. As well as the laser scanners and camera, the BMW 5 Series Sedan test car is therefore also equipped with a WLAN car-to-x communication system. This specification not only increases the range over which the vehicle is able to detect other vehicles – to 250 metres – but also allows similarly equipped road users to be detected even when they are not visible to the turning vehicle.

The additional potential offered by a car-to-x system is illustrated by a second test scenario involving the Left Turn Assistant, on the test car, and a motorcycle equipped with car-to-x communication. The BMW Motorrad test motorcycle is currently a BMW R 1200 GS. Again, fused sensor data from a camera-based image recognition system and laser scanners detects the lane markings and the left-turn arrow, along with the distance from the centre line and stop line – if these markings are present. As soon as the direction indicator is operated, the vehicle registers the driver’s wish to turn left and the assistance system is activated. “As the motorcycle approaches, the car and motorcycle communicate with each other via their car-to-x systems. They exchange information about vehicle type, position and speed, as well as dynamic data such as the current steering angle and whether the direction indicator is activated,” explains Udo Rietschel, development engineer in BMW Group Research and Technology’s Left Turn Assistant project.

From this information, the motorcycle is aware that the car wishes to turn left. Based on the data communicated between car and motorcycle, an algorithm projects the future trajectories of both vehicles and identifies any risk of collision. If a critical situation is detected, the motorcycle draws attention to itself in order to warn the car driver, in the same way as with the Intersection Assistant. These warnings are progressively extended as the collision risk increases – the motorcycle’s headlight is gradually modulated, its intensity increased, and side- and mirror-mounted flashing lights and LEDs are activated to give the motorcycle a broader silhouette. If the collision risk becomes acute, the motorcycle horn is sounded too. If the car continues to move forward into the intersection regardless, the Left Turn Assistant automatically brakes it to a standstill. Again, during and after the automatic braking, the system also generates an audible warning and appropriate warning symbols are displayed in the instrument cluster and in the Head-Up Display, to inform the driver of the reason for the intervention.

“Ko-FAS” research initiative – successor to the “AMULETT” project.
The aim of the “Ko-FAS – Cooperative Vehicle Safety” research initiative is to significantly increase traffic safety through efficient and reliable sensing of the traffic environment using cooperative sensory and perception systems, and through comprehensive scenario assessment to precisely evaluate collision risks, with subsequent activation of appropriate advance protection systems where necessary.

Ko-FAS comprises three joint projects: Ko-TAG, Ko-PER and Ko-KOMP. The Ko-TAG and Ko-PER projects are being managed by BMW Group Research and Technology.
The focus of the joint project Ko-TAG is on transponder systems for precise object location-sensing and classification using cooperative sensory systems (car-to-TAG communication). In the future, this technology will be used to help protect vulnerable road users (pedestrians and cyclists) and to enhance vehicle-vehicle safety. Engineers from BMW Group Research and Technology already developed a first pedestrian protection system based on car-to-TAG communication as part of the earlier project “AMULETT”. This system was used in a test vehicle which wirelessly exchanged data with an active RFID-type tag, at a frequency of 2.4 GHz. This tag would be capable of being fitted in such everyday articles as school satchels or walking sticks. Cooperative sensor technology makes it possible even to detect people who are not visible to the car driver at the time of the hazard, and to classify them as vulnerable road users. The results of the AMULETT project are now feeding into the Ko-TAG project and the work is continuing – now with the accent on enhancing car-to-x communication with transponder-based location-sensing functions. The researchers are particularly interested in how this technology can be extended to more complex scenarios involving large numbers of participants. “In future applications, this location-sensing technology will provide data from which we can draw very precise and very reliable conclusions. This will allow us to achieve a further substantial improvement in road safety,” says Daniel Schwarz, Ko-TAG project spokesman for BMW Group Research and Technology.

The Ko-PER project – which is again based on car-to-x communication – is researching cooperative perception systems for use in both “parallel” traffic and at intersections. “We are incorporating into this project the results of the successfully concluded EU research project ‘PReVENT’, and are also seeking an active exchange of information with the national research project ‘simTD – Safe Intelligent Mobility – the German Test’. The various research activities all have a common goal: greater safety on our roads,” says Dr Felix Klanner, Ko-PER Project Manager at BMW Group Research and Technology. In the Ko-PER project, the BMW Group researchers are studying ways of using cooperative sensor networks to scan the traffic environment. The aim is to use vehicle-to-vehicle communication, and fusion of data from a variety of vehicle environment and roadside infrastructure sensors, in order to generate a complete picture of this environment. A particular focus is on detecting currently concealed road users and on tracking traffic dynamics over time. This will provide a basis for continuous and comprehensive evaluation of collision risks.

The focus of the joint project Ko-KOMP is on researching vehicle protection systems that can be activated when a collision risk arises and that are intended to help prevent an accident or at least mitigate its consequences. In particular, the systems being investigated include expanding the vehicle’s external shell or timely automatic activation of autonomous emergency braking functions. Also planned is the development of a virtual test environment for simulating communication interactions in a wide variety of traffic scenarios.

Initial findings from the Ko-FAS research initiative were presented to the public in late September at presentations in Alzenau and Aschaffenburg.

 

imageimageimageimageimageimageimage

Mitsubishi’s i-MiEV Electric Vehicle Sparks Public Interest

image

 

Mitsubishi’s all-electric i-MiEV city car is now on sale to the Australian public. The model year 2012 i-MiEV combines performance and comfort with the latest electric vehicle technology to provide a sustainable transport solution now and in the future.

The i-MiEV, which stands for Mitsubishi Innovative Electric Vehicle, first arrived in Australia in July last year, when 110 were leased to local, state and federal governments and selected innovative organisations.

The i-MiEV went on sale to individuals in September this year, making it the first volume-produced, fully electric vehicle for sale in Australia. MMAL’s president and CEO, Genichiro Nishina, said the recommended retail price of $48,800 gives Australian consumers the opportunity to own the latest EV technology while reducing their carbon footprint at an affordable price.

The MY12 i-MiEV includes additional features over the previous model, boosting the vehicle’s occupant safety and comfort levels. 

image

With a four-star ANCAP safety rating, the i-MiEV offers comprehensive safety features including driver, front passenger, side and curtain SRS airbags. The addition of Electronic Stability Control to the previous model’s Active Stability and Traction Control and braking system helps the i-MiEV maintain traction on slippery or rugged surfaces and ensures stability and prevents loss of control when cornering.

The In-Cable Charging Circuit Interrupt Device provides an extra safety precaution when recharging and the vehicle is secured by the MiEV OS (MiEV Operating System), an advanced integrated vehicle management system that will instantly shut down all high voltage electric system should an impact occur.

The European-styled MY12 i-MiEV’s exterior features a large rear bumper which adds a stylish finish and complements the vehicle’s smooth lines. Rear passenger privacy glass provides enhanced occupant comfort and the heated driver’s seat is the ultimate luxury in cooler climates. Auto lighting control, multimode keyless entry and front and rear power windows complete the overall i-MiEV experience.

The i-MiEV’s spacious interior comfortably seats four and offers a host of features including leather wrapped steering wheel, air-conditioning, AM/FM radio and CD tuner, MP3 compatibility and Bluetooth hands-free phone operation.

image

Customers looking for extra convenience can choose to add the optional AVN package which includes DVD-Video, a seven inch wide-screen monitor, navigation, GPS traffic updates and built-in Bluetooth wireless technology. The optional AVN package has a recommended retail price of $2000.

Mr Nishina said there had been strong interest from the public since the i-MiEV officially went on sale.

“Considering that about 95 per cent of commuters in urban Australia travel less than 100 kilometres per day, the i-MiEV is perfect for environmentally-aware city commuters, who want a stylish, zippy vehicle. We are pleased with the level of enquires we have received from customers wanting to test drive or find out more about the i-MiEV,” Nishina said.

The i-MiEV is available in six colours; White, Black, Cool Silver, Ocean Blue, Raspberry Red and Titanium Grey. The Mitsubishi i-MiEV is available from selected Mitsubishi dealers in all capital cities.

Mitsubishi Motors Australia Limited recommends that the i-MiEV electric vehicle always be charged using renewable or green energy.

The New C 63 AMG Coupé – Emotion and High Performance at its Most Attractive

image

imageimage

Mercedes-Benz presents the new C 63 AMG Coupé, a stand-alone, highperformance car that appeals to all the senses: unmistakable design is teamed up with a high-performance drive system and dynamic handling. The new Coupé rounds off the successful C-Class AMG model range, which includes the classic Saloon as well as the practical Estate models. The C 63 AMG Coupé also enhances the AMG family of Coupés: in addition to the CLS 63 AMG and the CL 63 AMG, Mercedes-AMG GmbH is now able to offer another dream car featuring a high-performance eightcylinder engine. The market launch commences in October 2011.

The AMG 6.3-litre V8 engine in the C 63 AMG Coupé has a maximum output of 336 kW and peak torque of 600 Nm, delivering powerful traction and firstclass performance figures: the Coupé accelerates from 0 to 100 km/h in 4.4 seconds and the top speed is 250 km/h (electronically limited).

The new Coupé variant benefits from all the technology updates that have served the C 63 AMG Saloon and Estate models so well. Fuel consumption is reduced through the AMG SPEEDSHIFT MCT 7-speed sports transmission with its “Controlled Efficiency” mode as standard and a new power steering pump: overall combined consumption figures for the C 63 AMG Coupé are 12.1 l/100 km.

AMG Performance package for a maximum output of 358 kW

This fuel consumption figure also applies to the performance version generating 358 kW, courtesy of the AMG Performance package. Available as an option, this package improves acceleration from 0 to 100 km/h to 4.3 seconds, with technology transferred from the SLS AMG responsible for the 22 kW increase in output. The forged pistons, connecting rods and lightweight crankshaft adopted from the gull-wing model’s high-tech drive system save three kilograms in weight. This reduces inertia and enhances the agility and responsiveness of the high-revving, eight-cylinder naturally-aspirated engine.Visually, the AMG Performance package can be identified by the variable intake manifold in titanium grey under the bonnet, the AMG high-performance braking system with composite front discs and red painted brake callipers all round, the carbon-fibre spoiler lip on the boot lid and the AMG Performance steering wheel in nappa leather with an Alcantara® grip area.

Key data at a glance:

 

C 63 AMG Coupé

Displacement

6208 cc

Bore x stroke

102.2 x 94.6 mm

Compression ratio

11.3 : 1

Output

336 kW at 6800 rpm

358 kW at 6800 rpm*

Max. torque

600 Nm at 5000 rpm

Engine weight (dry)

195 kg

192* kg

Fuel consumption NEDC

12.0 l/100 km

CO2 emissions

280 g/km

Fuel consumption NEDC 12.0 l/100 km

4.4 s

4.3 s*

Top speed

250 km/h**

* with the AMG Performance package; ** electronically limited

AMG SPEEDSHIFT MCT 7-speed sports transmission as standard

The AMG SPEEDSHIFT MCT 7-speed sports transmission provides direct and dynamic power delivery. Rather than using a torque converter, it has a compact, wet start-off clutch which reduces the losses associated with conventional automatic transmission and thereby significantly lowers fuel consumption. The Controlled Efficiency “C” mode also plays a significant part in this. By providing earlier and more comfortable upshifts while maintaining the lowest possible engine speed and “soft” accelerator characteristics, the AMG SPEEDSHIFT MCT 7-speed sports transmission helps the driver achieve better fuel economy figures.

At the same time, the power transmission, which is exclusive to Mercedes AMG, excites with its high level of variability and scintillating dynamism: the “S”, “S+” and “M” transmission modes make the vehicle even more responsive and can be selected using the new rotary transmission switch familiar to many from the SLS AMG. Shorter gear shift intervals and higher engine revs assure the ultimate in emotional appeal. The double-declutching function is also activated in the “S”, “S+” and “M” modes, thereby further increasing driving enjoyment. The gear shifts take just 100 milliseconds in “S+” and “M” transmission modes. Using the RACE START function the driver can explore the vehicle’s full acceleration capability.

Specific AMG sports suspension for great dynamism and ride comfort

It is not just the engine and power transmission which characterise the C 63 AMG Coupé’s dynamic quality – the AMG sports suspension and AMG high-performance braking system are also key here. In contrast to the series production suspension system, the top-of-the-range AMG model has a specially designed three-link front suspension, reinforced multi-link independent rear suspension and a wider track all round. The stiffer elastokinematics, the autonomous axle kinematics with more negative all-round camber and stabilisers with a larger cross-section all give greater responsiveness and greater lateral acceleration. Selective damping with specially modified spring and damper rates optimises both the response characteristics of the springs as well as the ride comfort.

The AMG sports speed-sensitive power steering with direct steering ratio (13.5 : 1) gives excellent road surface contact and makes a significant contribution to the vehicle’s direct, responsive handling. This is complemented perfectly by 3-stage ESP® : the Electronic Stability Program gives three individual control strategies at the touch of a button: the ESP® button in the centre console allows the driver to choose between “ESP ON”, “ESP SPORT HANDLING MODE” and “ESP OFF”. The AMG high-performance brake system has internally ventilated and perforated brake discs on all wheels: it is characterised by outstanding responsiveness, short stopping distances and excellent fatigue strength.

Confident and athletic: the design of the C 63 AMG coupé

The Coupé version of the C 63 AMG is compelling in visual terms as well, with an assured, athletic presence that is reminiscent of the high-performance SL 63 AMG Roadster. All AMG-specific design features have been skilfully combined with classic coupé proportions. This compact two-door Coupé excites with its low profile, powerful-looking shoulder line and slimline C-pillar. The short overhang, long engine cover, steeply sloping windscreen and long, stretched-out roof are also striking elements of its overall style.

The distinctive, strikingly arrow-shaped front section is characterised by features typical of AMG: a new AMG front apron including lower cross-struts finished in high-gloss black, LED daytime driving lamps specifically created for AMG and side air outlets. The large Mercedes star is positioned on a wing-shaped horizontal grille slat in the new radiator grille and, together with the newly-designed aluminium engine cover which has powerdomes, underlines the masculine feel of the vehicle. The new clear glass headlamps, in particular in combination with the Intelligent Light System (ILS) as an optional extra, are further eye-catching features.

When viewed from the side, the wide front wing bearing the “6.3 AMG” legend, the AMG side sill panels and the new, high-sheen AMG 5-twin-spoke light alloy wheels in titanium grey finish all stand out. Good contact with the road is provided by the wide 235/40 R 18 (front) and 255/35 R 18 (rear) tyres. Attention is drawn at the rear to the distinctive AMG rear apron with a striking black diffuser and three diffuser fins as well as the two chrome twin tailpipes of the AMG sports exhaust system.

High-quality, dynamic interior

On opening the door of the C 63 AMG Coupé passengers enter a specially designed, dynamic interior of quality. The instrument panel with integrated screen immediately recalls the new CLS 63 AMG. Three sporty, separate round instruments provide information on speed, engine rpm, fuel level and coolant temperature. Other display options are incorporated into the AMG main menu. This can be accessed via the multifunctional buttons on the steering wheel. Located in the middle of the speedometer, the three-dimensional, colour TFT display welcomes the driver by showing an AMG logo when the vehicle is unlocked.

The specially shaped AMG Performance steering wheel is familiar from the CLS 63 AMG: amongst its special features are the steering wheel rim, flattened at both the top and bottom; the metallic trim, the grip areas which are covered in perforated leather; and the aluminium shift paddles. Trim elements in highgloss, black piano lacquer look on the instrument panel and doors emphasise the high quality of the interior. Situated on the centre console is the rotary control for selecting the C, S, S+, M and RACE START drive programs.

The new AMG sports seats with integral head restraints, EASY ENTRY system and high-quality AMG badges have sporty, horizontal seamlines. The ARTICO/ DINAMICA black upholstery combination comes as standard. DINAMICA is an innovative, breathable man-made fibre which is easy to grip and skin-friendly and distinguishes itself through its low emissions and high degree of lightfastness. While the side seat bolsters of the AMG sports seats are upholstered in ARTICO, the DINAMICA can be seen in the centre panels. The C 63 AMG Coupé is a fully fledged four-seater with the rear seats featuring the same style of horizontal seamlines as the AMG sports seats. To enlarge the luggage compartment, the backrests in the rear can each be folded down as standard.

Available as an option, designo leather appointments give the interior an even more exclusive character: four single-tone colours and three two-tone combinations are available. These can also be complemented with “extended black designo leather appointments” for the top section of the instrument panel.

Other attractive optional appointments are also exclusively available for the C 63 AMG Coupé from the AMG Performance Studio:

AMG five-spoke light-alloy wheels, painted in titanium grey with a high-gloss finish, with 235/40 R 18 (front) and 255/35 R 18 (rear) tyres

AMG multi-spoke light-alloy wheels, painted in titanium grey with a high-gloss finish, with 235/35 R 19 (front) and 255/30 R 19 (rear) tyres

AMG multi-spoke light-alloy wheels, painted in matt black with a high-gloss finish on the rim flange, with 235/35 R 19 (front) and 255/30 R 19 (rear) tyres

AMG Exterior Carbon Fibre package

AMG rear axle differential lock

AMG trim elements in carbon fibre/high-gloss black piano lacquer

AMG door sill illuminated in white using LED technology

High level of safety and new assistance systems

With seven airbags as standard, belt tensioners and belt-force limiters for all seats, the C 63 AMG Coupé has extensive safety features. The airbags, which can deploy in milliseconds in the event of an accident, include front airbags for the driver and front passenger, a kneebag on the driver’s side, sidebags, pelvisbags and windowbags for the driver, front passenger and rear

passengers. The side protection system – comprising headbag and sidebag – optimises the level of protection afforded to individual parts of the body.

With numerous driving assistance systems ranging from ATTENTION ASSIST drowsiness detection to DISTRONIC PLUS proximity control, the C 63 AMG Coupé provides a comprehensive level of driver support and protection. The assistance systems are familiar from the flagship S-Class and the trendsetting CLS, and are based on the latest radar, camera and sensor technology. They cover frequent accident causes such as driving too closely, fatigue and darkness.

An overview of the assistance systems:

ABS anti-lock braking system (standard)

Adaptive Highbeam Assist (optional)

Active Lane Keeping Assist (optional)

Active Blind Spot Assist (optional)

ATTENTION ASSIST (standard)

DISTRONIC PLUS including BAS PLUS (optional)

Electronic Stability Program ESP® (standard)

Headlamp Assist (standard)

Intelligent Light Systems ILS (optional)

PARKTRONIC including Parking Guidance (standard)

PRE-SAFE® system (standard)

PRE-SAFE® Brake (standard)

Lane Keeping Assist (optional)

Cruise control with SPEEDTRONIC variable speed limiter (standard)

Blind Spot Assist (optional)

The new telematics generation featuring enhanced ease of operation

The C 63 AMG coupé also features a new telematics generation which received its global premiere on the Saloon and Estate models. Major new features include greater operating convenience, larger displays, phone book transfer, display of SMS messages, wireless music reproduction via Bluetooth and a USB interface now accommodated in the centre armrest.

The multimedia system COMAND Online now provides internet access for the first time. When the car is stationary, customers are able to browse freely or surf to a Mercedes-Benz Online service whose pages load particularly rapidly and are also easy to use while on the move. The integral services include weather information and a special destination search via Google, as well as the option of downloading a route that has been previously configured on a PC using Google Maps and sent to the car. The navigation system of COMAND Online also has added functions. New features include routes covered can be recorded and repeated later, specific personal destinations can be imported via an SD card and four alternative routes can be displayed on the navigation map, one of them a particularly economical variation.

The market launch of the new C 63 AMG coupé starts in October 2011.

C 63 AMG – Manufacturers List Pricing (MLP)

C 63 AMG Saloon: $152,800

C 63 AMG Coupé: $154,800

C 63 AMG Estate: $154,800

AMG Performance package: $14,900

Important note to editors – The price detailed in this document is the current Manufacturer’s Recommended List Price (MRLP) for the C 63 AMG range range. As you may be aware, the MRLP includes GST and any LCT applicable to the base / standard specification model but EXCLUDES DEALER DELIVERY AND ALL ON ROAD COSTS such as, for example, registration fees, stamp duty, CTP and the like. Accordingly, please ensure that when you publish the details contained in this document, your publication makes it clear to its readers that:

The attached pricing is an MRLP

That the MRLP excludes on-road costs and dealer delivery, and

For drive away price information, consumers should contact dealers

Whilst we are unable to provide you with drive away pricing due to the wide variation in on-road costs between states and territories, and the different ranges of dealer delivery imposed by dealers, we encourage you to contact one of our authorised Mercedes-Benz passenger car dealers in order to obtain relevant and accurate drive away information for your specific audience.