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  • February 2011 Power Bits

February 2011 Power Bits

New Jeep Diesels, Audi Concept Diesel and More

Tori Tellem
Feb 1, 2011
Transformer Concept Gets Diesel Engine
DARPA has handed a contract worth $1 million to Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne to design an engine for the new Transformer (TX) concept vehicle. The TX is a study in vertical takeoff and landing and road-worthiness, with the ability to travel 250 nautical miles before refueling. The engine will be based on the EnduroCORE high-performance diesel, which the company describes as "a full-compression, full-expansion, diesel-cycle engine, which makes fuel consumption comparable to diesel piston engines." The hope is that the engine will be available by 2015.
Photo 2/12   |   1102dp February 2011 Power Bits darpa Transformer Concept
An Audi First
Hmmm, the name is kinda dorky-Eureka! Diesel Drives the Future-but the outcome we can get behind. Two Audi A3 TDIs took a 1,000-mile tour that stretched the length of California, with a goal of raising the state's politicians' awareness of clean diesels. RenDiesel synthetic fuel helped the cars average 40 and 43 mpg. And that Eureka part? It's the California city in which the tour started.
Photo 3/12   |   1102dp February 2011 Power Bits audi Tdis
Formerly Known As...
Madza's Sky-D diesel engine will now be called SkyActiv-D. The engine is expected in the United States in 2012.
Photo 4/12   |   1102dp February 2011 Power Bits mazda Skyactiv D Diesel
New Piston From Federal-Mogul
The Monosteel piston from F-M has been around since 2003, and 3.5 million of them have been produced as of this writing for use in heavy-duty diesel apps. So, no time like the present to meet the next-gen Monosteel, the Magnum Monosteel. It has a double-band piston skirt-a new feature for modern-day diesel pistons. This design helps reduce frictional drag and the skirt area by 40 percent. Better fuel economy and lower emissions are the side effects.
Rumor of the Moment: VW to enter NASCAR
Special-Edition Ford Transit
Two things you should know: First, the Ford Transit has reached its 45th anniversary in Britain. Second, only 100 Transit SportVans will be released looking like this. The SportVan first appeared in 2006 and was an instant hit. It's based on the short-wheelbase Transit 260-also a popular model-with the 2.2L TDCi engine and six-speed transmission.
Photo 5/12   |   1102dp February 2011 Power Bits ford Transit Special Edition
Ram Country Music Hub
Yeehawhooo? Yahoo! and Ram Truck are the names behind the first-ever dedicated country music site on Yahoo! Music. Called Ram Country, its purpose is to guide country music fans toward the Ram brand. OK, maybe that's only part of it, but it is the first time Yahoo! has built a music channel around one advertiser. The hub will have music (duh), as well as blogs, news, and videos, including reality-based programming, acoustic performances, and a documentary-style series.
Photo 6/12   |   1102dp February 2011 Power Bits ram Truck Seat
Rumor of the Moment:
You know, we're starting to think all this talk about a Mahindra pickup for North America is really only the entire first episode of the Justin Bieber-hosted Punk'd.
Photo 7/12   |   1102dp February 2011 Power Bits mahindra Truck
Denmark To Go Fossil Fuel-Free?
Is Denmark planning to dump oil, gas, and coal by 2050? Scientific American says that's the word. The country figures increasing wind production and putting an insane tax on fossil fuels will make the change happen.
New Diesels For Jeeps
A new-and-improved 200hp 2.8L turbodiesel with stop/ start technology will be available in the Wrangler and Wrangler Unlimited. But ugh, say it with us: "Only outside of North America." With the six-speed stick, the engine makes 302 lb-ft of twist, and with the five-speed auto, it's 339 lb-ft. The Liberty (or as it's called elsewhere, Cherokee) also gets the new 2.8L. Meanwhile, the Compass and Patriot will lose their 2.0L for a new 2.2L turbodiesel. Numbers are 163 hp and 236 lb-ft of torque, a 16-percent power increase and 3-percent bump in torque over the 2.0L.
Photo 8/12   |   1102dp February 2011 Power Bits jeep Stage
E-Tron Spyder
New concept car from Audi: e-tron Spyder. It's a two-seater that weighs only 3,196 pounds and has a mid-mount twin-turbo 3.0L V-6 TDI for 300 horses at the rear axle (50 more than the Audi A8's) mated to two electric motors for 85 hp at the front.
Photo 9/12   |   1102dp February 2011 Power Bits audi Etron Front
And talk about bringing the fun back to accelerating: The torque monster makes 479 lb-ft from the diesel engine and 259 lb-ft from the two electric motors. The car is 13 feet long, nearly 6 feet wide, and more than 3 feet tall. Fuel economy looks to be 106 mpg. The 0 to 60 time is 4.4 seconds.
Photo 10/12   |   1102dp February 2011 Power Bits audi Etron Rear
Book 'Em
Clearly, magazines are not dead, and neither are books. Case in point? There's a new one out. Life is a Highway ( is proof-positive that it's not just the people at Diesel Power who are, ahem, first-class writers when it comes to all things automotive. This collection of some of the best automotive writing includes tons of big-namers, like Hunter S. Thompson, Jay Leno, Stephen King, P.J. O'Rourke, Jeremy Clarkson, and Jack Kerouac. And did we mention J. Edgar Hoover? Yup, he wrote a piece for our sister magazine, Motor Trend, back in 1952 about auto theft.
Photo 11/12   |   1102dp February 2011 Power Bits life Is A Highway Book
Owning a vehicle, road trips, technology, safety, The Man, and racing are all covered. We're still chuckling about the angry-powered-car chapter, featuring the Plymouth Violent and a road test on the Dodge Rammit pickup in The Onion's contribution to the book, which complained, "the rearview mirror found my bald spot every time."
Diesel Bits
• '10 Jetta TDI Cup winner: JD Mobley, a 19-year old, has grabbed the title, following two wins, two poles, and seven Top 5 appearances.
Photo 12/12   |   1102dp February 2011 Power Bits jd Mobley
• Speaking of Volkswagen, it gave the city of Chattanooga and Hamilton County's law-enforcement departments two custom-made Jetta SportWagen TDIs.
• Remember when Chrysler launched Flo TV, like, yesterday? Yeah, Flo is gone, like, today.
• has inked a deal to buy Kelley Blue Book.
• UPS has bought 130 next-gen hybrids for its alternative-fuel fleet. Right now, there are 250 UPS HEV delivery vehicles in the United States.
• SAFCell, in a development contract with Nordic Power Systems, has delivered solid-acid fuel cell stacks for NPS' diesel auxiliary power units. It was integrated with the NPS cool flame diesel reformer system, and combining these two is said to "result in lighter, and less costly, diesel fuel cell systems that NPS plans to market for both mobile and stationary auxiliary power applications."
• The Union of Concerned Scientists named Honda the greenest and Chrysler the dirtiest automakers.



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