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  • Power Bits - January 2014

Power Bits - January 2014

All The Torque That's Fit To Twist

Tori Tellem
Dec 25, 2013
Photographers: Manufacturers
New Army Concept Vehicle
The U.S. Army has a new research prototype: a ULV (ultra light vehicle). The money to fund this came from the Office of the Secretary of Defense, and the team behind it made three of ’em. Two will be for testing mobility, mine blast, and ballistic survivability; the other will be for studying mobility and fuel efficiency. Powering the ULVs is a diesel engine and two electric motors. There’s a stealth drive and high torque at even a near-zero speed, for starters. They’re $250,000 each, in case you were wondering.
Photo 2/11   |   Army Ulv Concept Vehicle
Diesel Sales on the Rise—Again
What a difference a year makes: According to a report from Diesel Technology Forum, August 2013 saw sales of vehicles with diesels increase 41 percent compared to August 2012. July 2013 wasn’t too shabby, either, with a 38 percent bump from July 2012 to 2013.
Photo 3/11   |   Cummins High Output Diesel Badge
“We have done our homework on the next-generation Titan. Truck owners told us there’s a demand for the performance and torque of a diesel in a capable truck that doesn’t require the jump up to a heavy-duty commercial pickup. There is no question that the new Titan will turn heads, and with the available Cummins 5.0L V-8 turbodiesel, we expect to win new fans and attract buyers looking for this unique configuration.”
— Fred Diaz, divisional vice president, Nissan Sales & Marketing, Service & Parts, Nissan North America
Photo 4/11   |   Nissan Tailgate Camera
Rumor of the Moment:
There could be 40 nameplates with diesels by next year? Is that math right?
Ford Offering Custom Vehicle Graphics For Your Biz
Ford has redesigned and simplified (is the company saying dumbed-down?) its commercial graphics tool that gives business owners the ability to design, quote, share, and buy custom vehicle wraps. In other words, a rolling billboard on wheels. The redesign of fordcommercialgraphics.com is actually pretty nifty—you can look through more than 5 million images or even upload your own stuff. Production is done in-house, and the install is through your certified Ford dealer. You’ll also be able to use the site to share the design through Facebook and other social media outlets.
Photo 5/11   |   Wrapped Ford Transit Vans
Most Embarrassing Vehicles
What do you think are the most embarrassing vehicles ever made? While you’re thinking, here are the picks from carinsurance.com, based on a survey of 1,500 drivers:
Vehicle/Cringe Score
1. Smart ForTwo
2. Nissan Cube
3. Hummer H2
4. Chevrolet SSR
5. Volkswagen New Beetle
6. Subaru Baja
7. Lincoln Town Car
8. Pontiac Aztek
9. Plymouth PT Cruiser
10. Honda Element
11. Chevrolet HHR
12. Nissan Murano Cabriolet
Photo 6/11   |   Hummer H2 Wheeling
Diesel ’14 Mercedes-Benz Gets 45 MPG
The ’14 Mercedes-Benz E250 stuffed with the inline-four BlueTec diesel has received an estimated EPA rating of 45 mpg highway and 28 in town. That’s without the 4MATIC; with the 4MATIC, the numbers change to 42 mpg/ 27 mpg. The E250 is worth 195 hp and 369 lb-ft of torque.
Photo 7/11   |   2014 Mercedes Benz E250 Diesel
Are You a Jerk?
Insurance.com asked drivers to fess up about their habits…the bad ones. Turns out men honk more often than women at slow drivers, while women are leaders at cursing in front of their child passengers. Women also flip someone off and brake-check the driver behind them more often, although men go when it’s not their turn at a four-way stop and swoop into a parking space someone is waiting for. And men key vehicles more than women, so blame accordingly.
Photo 8/11   |   Driving In Traffic
$5 Jeep
It’s not a diesel, but who cares—it’s $5. And come February 24, you could be the person winning this $5-but-worth-a-zillion-dollars ’13 Jeep Wrangler via a sweepstakes through the California Association of 4WD Clubs. The Jeep has been modified by Poison Spyder Customs in all areas—suspension, tires and wheels, driveline, performance, and off-road readiness. To get a ticket, go to cal4wheel.com/sweepstakes-vehicle.
Photo 9/11   |   2013 Jeep Wrangler
Diesel Bits
BDS Suspension and Zone Offroad allowed their suspension kits to be tested for compliance to the newest government standards related to electronic stability control system compatibility. Yeah, that’s the fancy way of saying the suspension kits don’t mess with the ESC’s functionality when installed on your truck.
The fifth-annual, nationwide Collector Car Appreciation Day will be July 11, 2014.
Speaking of July, but of the 2013 variety, autotrader.com discovered it had its most hits ever that month in its entire history via visitors using a smartphone.
Frito-Lay gave a special nod to 94 over-the-road drivers in both the U.S. and Canada who have driven one-, two, or three-million miles accident-free. Frito-Lay said it takes on average 12 years for one of its drivers to reach the one-million number.
The Volkswagen Amarok, which needs to come to the U.S., ran the Simpson Desert in Australia on one tank of fuel. It has more than 1,100 dunes.
Photo 10/11   |   Volkswagen Amarok
India is getting stoked about the various diesel models coming its way, according to cartrade.com. The Nissan Terrano and Mercedes-Benz CLA rank among the highest in want. Locally, the Terrano is the Pathfinder.
Detroit Diesel has added Detroit Connect to its umbrella, a telematics division. It’s factory-installed with the ability to diagnose remotely—a new thing for the trucking world.
Ford has a new dirt-detection technology to find and remove even the smallest of dirt particles on a vehicle’s paint surface. High-resolution cameras inspect and a 3-D model is created so that operators know what to buff and polish. The F-series trucks are taking advantage of this new science.
Yourmechanic.com is a service that puts mechanics and consumers together through a community of reviewed/approved mechanics who come to the consumer and do the work right in front of them. The site has also launched Used Car Inspection service, helping consumers check out a used vehicle to make sure it’s of sound mind and body before buying.
“We’re not feeling the love.” — Anna Schneider, VP of Industry and Government Relations at VW Group of America during a forum on diesel vehicles, according to The Detroit News; VW wants a strong push for government tax incentives for diesel buyers
Photo 11/11   |   Your Mechanic Website

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