Wednesday, May 27, 2009

2009 Renault Laguna Full Range Launched In Australia

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RENAULT HAS TODAY announced the launch of the full Laguna range in Australia, lowering the recommended retail price across the range and offering a revised warranty, upgraded from three-years/150,000km to three-years/unlimited kilometres.

This move coincides with the launch of the new Laguna Estate and petrol models.

The price of the entry-level Laguna Express Hatch has been reduced by $4000, while the Dynamique Estate and the range-topping 2.0 diesel, six-speed automatic Privilege Hatch have been reduced by $3500 and $1500 respectively.

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“In addition to extremely high standards of safety and excellent equipment levels the Laguna range now offers even more value for money,” Renault Managing Director, Rudi Koenig said.

“The increase in warranty to include unlimited kilometers, over a three year period, shows just how robust the car is.”

Engine And Transmission

The 2.0 litre dCi engine forms the main power offering for the Laguna range, developing 110kW at 4000rpm and maximum torque of 340Nm as low as 2000rpm.

Fuel consumption for the six-speed manual version of the Laguna hatch 2.0 dCi is 6.0 l/100km on the combined cycle, with 158g/km of CO2 emission.

The ‘Pro-Active’ six-speed automatic model will return 7.0 l/100km with 185g/km of CO2 emissions.

The 2.0 dCi engine also complies with the Euro V pollutant thresholds, two years before the regulations are due to come into force.

The 2.0 litre turbo-charged petrol engine produces 125kW at 5000rpm and 270Nm of torque at 3250rpm, and is available with the Pro-Active six-speed automatic transmission.

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The petrol engine returns a combined cycle fuel economy of 8.9 l/100km, with 210g/km of CO2 emissions.

To further assist environmentally-minded drivers, manual diesel versions are fitted with a dash-mounted gearshift indicator called ‘Eco-Shift’, which advises the driver of the best gear to select to optimise fuel consumption.

The Laguna hatch range now consists of an Expression and Privilege diesel-auto combination, an Expression diesel-manual model and automatic-petrol Expression and Privilege models.

The Laguna Estate is an ‘auto only’ model in Expression petrol and diesel variants along with a diesel-powered Dynamique model.

Eight model variants in total are available.

Driving

Renault claims a responsive chassis with high-precision steering, with a lower steering ratio and stiffer driving column to give the Laguna enhanced handing in the bends.

Renault put over 120 Laguna prototypes through six million kilometres of durability testing in extreme conditions across Europe, Argentina and Malaysia, with more than 30,000 kilometres clocked up in various Australian regions.

Click here to read TMR’s review of the 2008 Renault Laguna Privilege dCi Hatch.

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Design And Dimensions

Renault describes the Laguna as a dynamic, elegant design, with streamlined optical headlights, a long sloping bonnet, and plunging shoulder lines.

The Laguna hatch is 4.69 metres long and 1.81 metres wide, making it 36mm wider and 10mm longer than its predecessor. Despite its larger dimensions, the Laguna hatch is also 15kg lighter than the previous model.

The new Laguna can be had with either 16 or 18-inch alloy wheels, depending on the model and options package.

Interior Features

Inside, the Laguna offers Renault’s ‘Soft-Auto-Fast’ programmed air-conditioning controls, allowing climate control settings to be customised to suit your preferences.

Standard features of the Expression Hatch and Estate include cruise control with speed limiter, automatic parking brake, leather steering wheel and gear knob, integrated rear side door sunblind, dual-zone climate control with carbon and odour filter, ‘carbon’ cloth upholstery, and a 4×30W single CD, AM/FM radio with MP3 CD reader with satellite audio controls.

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Additional features (over Expression) for the Privilege Hatch interior include beige leather-trimmed upholstery with electrically adjustable heated front seats, electrochrome rear view mirror and a 4×50W dash-mounted 6 stack CD AM/FM radio with MP3 CD reader.

In addition to the Laguna Expression’s features, the Dynamique Estate has a dark-carbon, part-leather/part-Alcantara® interior with a 4×50W dash mounted 6-CD changer, AM/FM radio with MP3 CD reader and a electrochrome rear-view mirror.

Exterior Features

The Laguna Expression hatch and Estate includes 16-inch alloy wheels, body-coloured door mirrors (heated) and door handles, while the Dynamique Estate offers 17-inch alloy wheels, rear parking proximity sensors, chrome window surrounds and auto-folding door mirrors.

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The Laguna Privilege features include rear parking proximity sensors, 18″ alloy wheels, chrome window surrounds, xenon directional headlamps with headlamp washers and auto-folding mirrors.

Safety

The 2009 Renault Laguna range features a twin-sensor, twin-chamber side-impact airbag, designed to protect the occupants’ thorax and pelvis.

Standard across the range are ESP, ABS, and Electronic Brake Assist.

Optional bi-xenon directional headlights (standard on the Privilege Hatch) adjust according to the speed of the car and the steering angle, providing up to 90 percent more light through corners than regular halogen lamps.

The Dynamique Estate and Privilege Hatch also feature a tyre pressure warning system.

The Expression Hatch and Estate include ESP, ABS and Electronic Brake Distribution with ASR traction control, dual front and rear side airbags and curtain airbags.


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As for pricing, a recent ruling by the ACCC that requires manufacturers to provide a full ‘drive away’ price for vehicles has resulted in many manufacturers choosing not to list prices for their vehicles, instead asking buyers to contact their local dealer for a quote. TMR will report more on this development shortly.

Volvo - The Game Released, Hours Of Swedish Sideways-ness To Be Had

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WE TOLD YOU about it last month, but now it’s finally here. Volvo - The Game launched yesterday , and we decided to kill some time research it further by downloading a copy, dusting off the gaming wheel and donning our e-helmet.

Produced by renowned racing game studio SimBin, Volvo - The Game had the right pedigree to begin with. SimBin has made a name for itself as one of the premier racing sim companies, and the attention to detail really shows in this effort.

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The physics model rivals that of Gran Turismo, the two tracks - Gothenburg and Chayaka - are highly detailed, the vehicle models are a pleasure to look at and the sounds are exemplary. Exhaust pipes spit flames on the overrun, the brakes squeal during deceleration and there’s an abundance of transmission noise within the cabin, all of which conspire to create a rather nice race car ambience.

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Players can choose to drive the iconic Volvo 850 Estate BTCC touring car, the current STCC C30, the old S40 and S60 touring cars from a few years back and, of course, the legendary Volvo 240 Turbo Group A. The game also gives players to drive the Volvo S60 concept, which comes in road-going (or should that be show-going) guise, or all stickered-up in race car trim.

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As quick as the later touring cars are, the real fun lies in that boxy 240 Turbo. The only rear-wheel-drive car on offer in Volvo - The Game, the 240 is a challenge to drive quickly thanks to that force-fed motor. Get the hang of drifting the thing, however, and you’ll be enthralled for hours.

Like most racing sims, Volvo - The Game is best played with a wheel and pedals - particularly if you intend to get that 240 sideways. It’s not too resource-heavy by contemporary standards though, and most reasonably up to date computers should have little issue running it.

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There are a few downsides, however. There’s no damage model or scope for mechanical tweaking, which is a tad disappointing, and there’s an abundance of advertisment-laden splash screens to wade through in the user interface. However, considering the entire game is a freebie, we can forgive the rather blatant ads.

That’s right chaps, Volvo - The Game won’t cost you a cent. Head over to Volvo’s global website to get your mitts on a copy of your own, but you’d better set aside a couple of hours before you install it - that 240 Turbo is a bitch to master.

Volkswagen And BYD Considering Hybrid Partnership

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IN A MOVE that could see Volkswagen close the hybrid gap on Toyota, Wang Chuanfu of BYD (Build Your Dreams) and Dr Martin Winterkorn of Volkswagen recently signed a ‘memorandum of understanding’ during a visit by the Chinese manufacturer.

Member of the Board for Technical Development at Volkswagen, Dr. Ulrich Hackenberg, reportedly shared considerable technical information with a Chinese delegation from BYD during their visit to the Elektrotraktion Technology Centre in Isenb├╝ttel.

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The theme continued at Volkswagen’s test tracks in Wolfsburg, which featured technical discussions and test drives of some upcoming VW models and technologies.

Volkswagen’s Golf TwinDrive and the prototype for an electric vehicle were reportedly among those sampled.

BYD, a fledgling Chinese carmaker and - more importantly in this case - a battery specialist, will count Volkswagen as its first major industrial partner.

“Volkswagen will consistently expand its successful ‘BlueMotionTechnologies’. Hybrids and electric vehicles will play an increasingly important role, of course.

“Particularly for the Chinese market, potential partners such as BYD could support us in quickly expanding our activities,” Dr Hackenberg said.

After the presentation, the Chairman of the Board of Management of BYD, Wang Chuanfu, and the Chairman of the Board of Management of Volkswagen AG, Dr Martin Winterkorn, sat down to discuss and sign the memorandum of understanding.

The objective of the document is to explore the possibility of partnerships in the areas of hybrid and electric vehicles in the future.

Volkswagen already offers the popular BlueMotion range in Europe, which couples diesel engines with aerodynamic and technical improvements to gain hybrid-like fuel savings.

TMR recently spoke to Volkswagen Group Australia’s Karl Gehring about the BlueMotion range coming to Australia. We were told then that until the technology is available with DSG transmissions (an unlikely event, according to Volkswagen’s European heads), we won’t be likely to see it here.

Mercedes-Benz Delaying 2010 E-Class Wagon And Convertible?

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STRAIGHT FROM the rumour bin comes reports that Mercedes-Benz has decided, due to the global financial crisis, to delay the introduction of the E-Class convertible and wagon.

The move is reportedly aimed at reducing development and marketing costs as Mercedes, not unlike other manufacturers in responding to the current market, works at keeping its ledgers healthy.

The E-Class drop-top was set for debut at the Frankfurt Motor Show this year but, according to German car mag Auto Motor und Sport, will not be seen now until the Geneva Show in 2010.

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The news is worse for wagon fans of the ‘three-pointed star’, with nothing expected until 2012. The apparently aggressively-styled E-Class Estate will reportedly be something to watch for, indicative of MB’s new styling direction.

The cash saved from delaying both models should allow Mercedes to continue work on other projects.

The new CLS, the V6 Bluetec hybrid, and possibly a four-cylinder diesel replacement for the S-Class all stand as potential beneficiaries of the carmaker’s freed-up development funds.

2009 Mitsubishi Evolution X FQ-400 Heading For UK Roads

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IF YOU WERE FEELING a bit shirty at the news that the red hot Mitsubishi Evolution X FQ-330 and FQ-360 won’t be coming to Australia, you’ll be seeing red over the even more ballistic Mitsubishi Evolution X FQ-400, announced this week for launch in the UK.

While the FQ-330 offers 242kW and 437Nm of torque, with an appropriately quick 4.4 second sprint to 100km/h, the FQ-400 weighs in at an even 300kW and 524Nm of torque.

Courtesy of those ridiculous figures, the FQ-400 delivers a blisteringly quick 3.8 second run to the ton. Top speed? An electronically-limited 250km/h.

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That extra power is found thanks to some fiddling beneath the bonnet, with high-flow fuel injectors, a new turbo with low-friction bearings, strengthened thrust bearing and a high temperature turbine for increased response and reduced turbo lag.

An upgraded intercooler feeds the turbo, and a new exhaust system with 3-inch piping evacuates gasses more efficiently, while the ECU receives extensive remapping as well, courtesy of over 500 development hours.

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With a wider track and lowered suspension, the FQ-400 sits on light-weight 18-inch alloy rims shod with Toyo Proxes R1R tyres, resulting, Mitsubishi says, in greater cornering response and more incisive steering.

With great power comes great braking, and the FQ-400 is no exception, utilising aerospace-grade aluminium alloys and floating sealed discs with high performance pads.

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The heavily vented bonnet is joined by composite side skirts, a re-styled rear bumper with a carbon-fibre diffuser, a rear wing incorporating a gurney strip and the obligatory roof-mounted vortex generator, all managing airflow around the slippery FQ-400.

Inside, the occupants are held in place with Recaro bucket sports seats, while a FQ-400 liveried handbrake handle and carbon-fibre gear knob feature in the centre.

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The depressing news, as mentioned, is that Mitsubishi Australia has no plans to bring the UK’s faster Evo range to Australia.

2010 Mitsubishi Triton To Get Longer Bed And A New Diesel?

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MITSUBISHI’S TRITON/L200 workhorse has won itself many a fan thanks to its versatility and capability, both attributes that we can attest to having spent a few days out in the bush with the GLX-R dual-cab.

Recent rumours have suggested that Mitsubishi is preparing to address the one major criticism of the Triton dual-cab, its small (compared to the opposition) rear tray area.

Those rumours have now gained serious traction with a Long Bed variant of the L200 (Triton) dual-cab ute being released in the UK.

The L200 Long Bed boasts an extra 180mm of tray length and a higher, more commodious cargo area. Rear overhang suffers as a result, but tradies will no doubt welcome the extra capacity.

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The L200 Animal and Warrior variants will also benefit from a more powerful version of Mitsubishi’s 2.5 litre turbodiesel, which now spits out 131kW - 31kW more than the outgoing engine.

The Long Bed variants add £750 to the price of a Standard Bed L200, while the gruntier donk in the Animal and Warrior attracts an extra £250 premium.

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As for when we can expect to see the stretched Triton hit Australian roads, Mitsubishi Motors Australia’s Head of Corporate Communications Lenore Fletcher says it may land here before the year is out.

“Mitsubishi here in Australia is very interested in the updates to our popular Triton utility line-up and we are currently working on a program to introduce this vehicle,” Ms Fletcher said.

“Timing has not been confirmed yet; however, we are certainly keen to see it here this year.”

Word has it that the Triton update may also see the grunty 3.2-litre DiD diesel engine currently powering the ML Triton replaced by a new smaller unit that will become the standard diesel for the higher spec models.

However, at this stage that’s just unconfirmed rumour and Mitsubishi declined to comment on when, or if, we’ll see a replacement for the range-topping diesel. Our gut tells us its coming, we just don’t know when.

2009 Tata Nano Top-End Models Proving More Popular

INTERESTING AND UNEXPECTED news from Tata that around 80 percent of Tata Nano orders are for the top-end model.

With 203,000 orders on the books so far, the majority of buyers have opted for the top-end model’s features, such as air conditioning, central locking and front power windows, despite the 40 percent premium they’ll pay on top of the base model’s AU$3305 price tag.

The numbers will no doubt be pleasing to Tata Motors, with greater sales of the top-spec model meaning bigger margins and less chance of a price war between the new carmaker and its more established rivals, such as Maruti Suzuki India.

According to Mahantesh Sabarad, an analyst for Centrum Broking in Mumbai, there is less demand in India for a bare-bones car than expected, with the average income in the booming Indian economy doubling in the last eight years.

“Based on this experience, it does give other automakers room for pricing their products higher. They don’t have to be drawn down to a pricing war,” Sabarad told Bloomberg.

Unlike the Chinese market where price wars and discounts have restricted profits, the Indian market offers manufacturers such as Toyota and Renault the opportunity to charge more for their low-cost models, thanks to the high demand for feature-rich cars.

Chairman of the Tata Group, Ratan Tata comes out of the new Tata "Nano" car in New Delhi, 10 January 2008.  India's giant Tata Group unveiled a USD 2,500 car it bills as the world's cheapest amid predictions the compact, no-frills vehicle could revolutionise how the nation of 1.1 billion people travels.  AFP PHOTO/ MANAN VATSYAYANA (Photo credit should read MANAN VATSYAYANA/AFP/Getty Images)

The cheapest Nano sells for 123,360 Indian rupees, while the top-end model model goes for 172,360 rupees, or about $4624 Australian dollars.

“Higher versions of all cars have better margins,” said Debasis Ray, a Tata Motors spokesman.

“It isn’t that the cheapest car sells the largest,” Mr. Pareek said. “There is a clear shift, and customers are not just buying the cheapest car. They are willing to spend a bit more.”

The Tata Nano may have even more company next year, with Toyota planning to introduce a small car into the Indian market, possibly based on the diminutive IQ. No details have been made available yet, but according to outgoing Toyota president Katsuaki Watanabe, the company has an early prototype in development.

Renault and Nissan are getting in on the game as well, with the two partners working together Indian motorcycle manufacturer Bajaj Auto on a small car.

Honda, Volkswagen, GM and Ford are all taking up their own places in the Indian market as well, ensuring an intense battle for sales in the future.

The Tata Nano is due for delivery to owners in July, with a lottery set to determine just who those first owners will be.

F1: Toyota Claims Quit Speculation Is Untrue

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TOYOTA MOTORSPORT BOSS John Howett has rubbished suggestions his team will withdraw from Formula 1 regardless of the outcome of the budget cap dispute.

After Toyota issued its quit threat earlier in the month, rumours began to emerge from the Formula 1 paddock hinting the Japanese manufacturer was simply using the controversy as a means to withdraw from the sport.

Howett however has denied those claims, declaring the whispers untrue and providing reassurance that his team remains committed to its F1 program, pending the final result of negotiations between the teams and the FIA.

“I believe it is spin. It has been put there deliberately to create some more tension in the situation. I think that is going now wider than Toyota, onto one or more manufacturer teams,” he said to Autosport.

“I don’t know the source, but I can only say in our case that there is a clear wish to enter next year’s championship.

“That is easier to say than do, though, because to some extent there is now a very short deadline - earlier than I believe has been in recent years. And at the moment until things are clarified it is very difficult to place an entry.”

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Since joining the F1 circus amid much fanfare in 2002, Toyota has been largely deprived of success, struggling for consistency despite boasting one of the sport’s largest budgets.

The team appeared headed for success following a solid start to the 2005 season, where Jarno Trulli secured consecutive runner-up finishes in the opening races of the year, but were unable to capitalise on their early pace and only finished on the podium a further three times.

Toyota has since appeared in the top three on a mere five occasions in the subsequent four seasons, a paltry total for a team boasting such lofty expectations, prompting many to believe the automaker would pull the pin on its F1 operations.

However, Howett believes Toyota management is prepared to continue its investment in F1 until 2012 if it is satisfied with the terms of a new Concorde Agreement.

“For 18 months we have been confirming (Toyota is ready to commit until 2012) without any hesitation.” he said. “I don’t believe, from the drafts I’ve seen, that have been agreed with all the FOTA teams’ lawyers, that it is anything other than a totally professional and reasonable document.

“I think in the case of the Commercial Rights Holder, we are very, very close to actually managing to conclude the issues.

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Meanwhile, McLaren team principal Martin Whitmarsh says his team has acted as a “peacemaker” in negotiations between FOTA and the FIA.

The Woking-based outfit opposes a two-tier championship, but Whitmarsh believes it has a responsibility to take a leadership role in reaching a solution.

“Formula 1 is our core business and I’d hope if you talked to any team in F1 they would say that McLaren is being very constructive and conciliatory, sought for compromise and we’ve seen it as our role,” he told Autosport.

“We are right in the middle in terms of budgets, we’ve got large teams and large continental corporations that are wrestling with the concept of becoming smaller and we’ve got small teams that are trying to survive and I think we can have an affinity from our position with both of those.”

BMW 5 Series GT To Get Turbo, But Just The One

THE 3.0 LITRE TWIN-TURBO inline-six N54 engine used in more than a few BMW models over the past four years has been a source of spine-tingling pleasure for Bimmer fans the world over, winning International Engine of the Year in 2008.

Now news has come down that BMW will offer the engine in the upcoming 5 Series GT - minus one turbo.

Referred to as the N55, the engine variant will be based on the N54, utilising the same direct-injection system, but adding BMW’s Valvetronic technology and gaining forced induction from a single turbo rather than the previous twin-turbo setup.

Power for the N55 engine is rated at 225kW and 400Nm, short of the N54’s 243kW and 450Nm, but that peak torque is available at 1200rpm - 300rpm lower than its twin-turbo cousin, an important point for the large GT.

The N55 is believed to be more fuel-efficient than its forebear, with figures rumoured to show the N55-powered 535i GT achieving around 11 l/100km (there is no official word on that score though).

Air-Powered Cars On US Roads By 2011?

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ENVIRONMENTALLY-CONSCIOUS CAR company, Zero Pollution Motors (ZPM) is hoping that, come 2011, it will have introduced a new breed of car, powered by a combination of compressed air and a small conventional engine.

ZPM claims the car will be priced between $23,000 and $28,000, and will be partly powered by a conventional engine, that, together with the air component, will be good for 55kW, and expected to be capable of achieving a remarkably frugal 2.2 l/100km.

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At speeds less than 56km/h, the car relies entirely on the air tank and emits only cold air. At faster speeds, the small conventionally-fuelled engine kicks in to run a heater that warms the air and speeds its release.

When no option exists to plug the car into a wall outlet, the engine also refills the air tank on the go, extending the range and speed.

ZPM Chief Executive Shiva Vencat said, “The air car works by plugging into a wall outlet, allowing an on-board compressor to pressurize the car’s air tank to 4,500 pounds per square inch.”

“It takes about four hours to get the tank to full pressure, and then the air is then released gradually to power the car’s pistons”.

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However, engineering experts are sceptical of the technology, saying it is clouded by the caveat that compressing air is notoriously energy intensive.

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Vencat said that he often gets such criticism. He counters that the car is cleaner than any internal combustion engine and remarkably simpler, cheaper and more advanced than power-trains currently under development.

Vencatt compares the air-powered car to the Chevrolet Volt, which will be released as in the US in 2011.

“The big difference is that the Volt needs a massive lithium-ion battery, and it’s a big part of the reason why it is expected to cost about US$40,000 when it goes on sale late next year”.

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A new ZPM air-powered car was unveiled at the Geneva Auto Show in March, with the concept being originally developed by the French race car engineer, Guy Negre.

Airlines KLM and Air France are testing the bubble-shaped ZPM AirPods this month for use as transportation around airports.

F1: Red Bull Boss Says Championship Fight Not Over

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RED BULL RACING boss Christian Horner has warned championship leader Jenson Button the title race is far from over, and his drivers can still challenge for ultimate honours this season.

Button boasts a comfortable 16-point lead over team mate Rubens Barrichello, with Red Bull’s Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber a further 12 and 15.5 points behind respectively.

Horner though refused to concede the battle for both the driver’s and constructor’s championships, stating a mid-season form slump from Brawn GP would reignite Red Bull’s fast evaporating title chances.

“We’re still reasonably early in the season. They’ve got a very good lead in the constructors’, the drivers’ … but a couple of bad races for Jenson, a couple of wins for Sebastian or Mark, can bring them right back into contention,” he said.

Despite the long-awaited arrival of the double diffuser, the chasm in performance between Red Bull and Brawn GP appeared to grow significantly at Monaco, with Vettel struggling in the race and qualifying while Webber finished fifth, albeit mere seconds away from a podium position.

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However, Horner believes the team will witness the full effects of the new diffuser during the coming rounds in Turkey and Britain, with their high-speed corners likely to favour his team.

“I think that we always expected that (Monaco) was not going to feature as our strongest circuit. The Brawn has always been good at this type of track, and Ferrari has definitely made progress over the last couple of races,” he said.

“So it will be interesting when we go to Istanbul and Silverstone. Theoretically they are tracks that should come to the characteristics of our car.

“Well, it was a lot of hard work, and a big effort from all the boys in the garage - they’ve not seen their beds for too many hours this weekend. And also back at Milton Keynes. But we can see that it has put aero performance on the car.”

General Motors Developing Compression-Ignition Petrol Engine

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COMPRESSION IGNITION is, by convention, strictly the domain of diesels. The sparkplug-less ignition of a fuel-air mixture does however hold some promise when applied to petrol engines, and General Motors is moving forward with its development of a workable compression-ignited petrol powertrain.

Dubbed the HCCI (or Homogenous Charge Compression Ignition) engine, GM’s experimental powerplant works on a phenomenon which normally spells mechanical doom for conventional petrol motors.

Compression ignition, or ‘dieseling’ can wreak havoc on the pistons, rings, rods and bearings of a regular petrol-powered engine, but in GM’s HCCI mill it’s the gateway to fewer emissions and greater fuel economy.

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The American automaker recently demonstrated a prototype version of the HCCI engine, and the technology certainly is promising. Think 15 percent more fuel economy, less energy wasted in pumping losses, lower combustion temperatures and less carbon-dioxide emissions than a spark-ignition engine.

“HCCI delivers enhanced fuel savings without sacrificing the performance consumers have come to expect,” said Prof. Dr. Uwe Grebe, executive director for GM Powertrain Advanced Engineering.

“It is a great example of how GM is developing advanced engine technology for consumers that squeezes more miles per gallon of gas and reduces emissions.”

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There are some inherent challenges, however. Because compression ignition is affected by air density, GM has yet to perfect the HCCI’s operation in extreme temperatures and at high altitudes. The system won’t self-ignite when the engine is cold either, so a conventional sparkplug is used to keep it running until it reaches operating temperature.

“GM’s global HCCI team is working to refine the technology in the wide range of driving conditions experienced around the globe,” said Dr. Grebe.

“By combining HCCI with other advanced gasoline engine and control technologies, we can deliver a good fuel savings value for consumers.”

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The prototype is an inline four-cylinder motor, but the HCCI concept will work just as well on a six or eight-cylinder engine. The technology is still some distance from the production line, but it’s good to see that despite being neck-deep in all sorts of financial strife, GM is still continuing to innovate.