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Conventional Gas-Powered Cars Will Be in Minority by 2017

“No single technology will dominate,” says new study.

by on Dec.23, 2014

Even Cadillac may opt for an alternate approach when it launches its Gen-4 CTS-V.

With gas prices down to less than $2.00 at a growing number of pumps around the country, a growing number of American motorists have been flocking back to showrooms for pickups, SUVs and muscle cars. Yet, despite that sudden surge, the days of the classic V-8 and V-6 may be coming to an end.

In fact, a new study suggests that less than half of the vehicles that will be sold around the world by 2017 will be powered by conventional gasoline engines. Alternative fuels, electrified vehicles and more advanced internal combustion systems will make up the majority of the global mix, according to a new report from Navigant Research.

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And the pace of that transition will only accelerate in the years ahead. Even in the U.S., tough new fuel economy standards set to go into effect by 2025 will force major changes under the hood, industry insiders concur.

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F1 – From Track to Street

As the racing series evolves, your car soon could share parts with a Formula One racer.

by on Nov.06, 2014

Formula One teams virtually redesign their cars "every two weeks," creating significant opportunities to develop tech breakthroughs.

While Formula One remains the world’s most popular motorsport series, it’s come in for sharp criticism this year as a result of rules changes that, among other things, have tamed the traditionally ear-shattering screech of an F1 racer’s engine.

Ironically, the changes may have a positive payoff for the automakers who sponsor many of the series’ teams – and the consumers who buy their products. If anything, the result is that it’s becoming more likely that the technology used by the latest Formula One cars will help improve tomorrow’s street vehicles.

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If anything, “For the first time, Formula One is following” what’s happening on public roads, suggested Tommaso Volpe, Global Director of Formula One at Infiniti Motor Co. Ltd., the maker’s F1 operation which several years ago partnered with the championship-winning Red Bull team.

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Global Turbo Sales Set to Jump 80%

Technology will be available on 40% of global vehicles, forecasts new study.

by on Oct.02, 2012

Ford is betting heavily on turbos -- which are at the heart of the maker's popular EcoBoost technology.

Once largely reserved for high-performance sports cars and specialty vehicles, turbocharging is becoming an increasingly common solution used on a variety of mainstream products – and should see an 80% global increase in usage over the next five years, according to a new forecast by one of the leading turbo suppliers.

By 2017, turbos will be used on an 36 million new passenger vehicles annually, forecasts Honeywell Transportation Systems. That would represent about 40% of the projected automotive market.  Last year, turbos were used on just 20 million vehicles – about 25% of global automotive volume.

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“Turbocharged engines are expected to continue to grow globally because they meet the needs of consumers in a wide range of vehicle segments and geographic markets,” said Honeywell Transportation Systems Vice President of Marketing and Product Management Peter Hill.

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Toyota Ready to Fight Back With Downsized Turbo Engines

Some help from the Great Gazoo.

by on Jan.19, 2012

The turbocharged, GRMN-tuned Toyota Yaris (sold as the Vitz in Japan).

Toyota is hoping to take a giant leap into the future with the help of the Great Gazoo.  That’s Gazoo Racing Masters of Nurburgring, or GRMN, which partnered with the giant automaker to pull together a turbocharged version of the Toyota Vitz for the recent Tokyo Auto Salon.

The 178-horsepower subcompact – known in much of the rest of the world as the Yaris – is more than a one-off show car, however.  Industry sources say it’s a sign of things to come from Toyota, which has been focusing the major portion of its engineering resources on gas-electric hybrids while most of its key competitors are racing to market with downsized, direct injection turbo engines.

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Turbos may not yield quite the urban fuel economy of a hybrid but they deliver more customer-pleasing performance than the typically anemic hybrid, along with improved highway mileage.  They’re also, typically, a lot cheaper than hybrid systems that depend on more complex driveline components, including expensive battery packs.

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