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XL Hybrids, Inc., developer of hybrid electric powertrain technology for commercial fleets, introduced its new XL3 Hybrid Electric Drive System for cutaway and strip chassis vehicles, extending its patent-pending technology to a new vehicle platform. (Earlier post.)
The XL3 Hybrid Electric Drive System is now available for commercial vehicles up to 14,500 GVW including van body, refrigerated, utility, landscaper, walk-in vans, and shuttle buses.
The XL Hybrids’ charge-sustaining powertrain installs in just five hours, and has zero impact on fleet operations because there are no special plugs, charging or fueling infrastructure, driver training, or maintenance requirements.
The XL3 Hybrid Electric Drive System brings our success with class one and two vans to popular class three and four truck and shuttle bus configurations. This opens up opportunities for fleets operating cutaway and strip chassis vans to get a 25 percent increase in miles driven per-gallon, reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 20 percent, and see an attractive return on their investment.—Tod Hynes, president and founder of XL Hybrids
Coca-Cola, FedEx, and other fleets across North America have adopted XL Hybrids’ technology.
XL Hybrids is unveiling a Ford E-350 cutaway chassis with dry van body upfitted with the XL3 Hybrid Electric Drive system in the company’s booth (#4181) at the 2014 NTEA Work Truck Show, 5-7 March at the Indiana Convention Center in Indianapolis. The system is immediately available on the Ford E-350 cutaway and Ford E-450 cutaway, and is coming soon to the E-350 and E-450 stripped chassis and GMC 3500/4500 cutaway chassis.
In a new report, “Strategic Analysis of the European Market for V2V and V2I Communication Systems”, Frost & Sullivan finds that Daimler and Volvo are expected to lead the implementation of V2V (vehicle-to-vehicle) communication systems among vehicle original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) across Europe. V2I (vehicle-to-infrastructure) communication systems have also been finding significant traction in Europe, especially in the Netherlands, Denmark, Austria, Germany, and France.
The demand for V2V and V2I communication systems is on the rise due to the systems’ ability to improve traffic efficiency, mobility, safety, as well as driving conditions, while at the same time avert potentially dangerous situations. Frost & Sullivan expects more than 40% of vehicles to use V2V communication technologies by 2030.
One of the prominent enabling technologies in this market is the cooperative system, which uses wireless local area network (WLAN) or dedicated short-range communications (DSRC), to assist V2V, V2I or infrastructure-to-vehicle (I2V) communication.
Frost & Sullivan expects that global navigation satellite systems (GNSS) and infrared modes will augment DSRC solutions and mobile-based technologies such as long term evolution (LTE) to form the futuristic platform for cooperative-intelligent transportation systems (C-ITS) in the region.
Cooperative systems prove to be more useful than advanced driver assistance systems and telematics, particularly when situations such as construction site warnings and traffic congestion in highways caused by an accident or road damage are encountered.
Market participants plan to introduce Cooperative-ITS communication systems to take automotive safety to an even higher level. The Car 2 Car Communication Consortium has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with major vehicle manufacturers to facilitate the deployment of a standard pan-European C-ITS by 2015.
However, although projects such as the sim-TD, DriveC2X, eCoMove catalyse the pilot-launch of C-ITS in Europe, automotive OEMs and road users must coordinate with road operators for the success of the initial deployment.
Frost & Sullivan cautions that the European market also needs an effective business model that identifies the parties that will primarily benefit from these vehicle communication solutions; recognizes the team that will maintain the integrated system; and clarifies the methods of revenue generation.
The availability of reliable and robust products that cater to the vehicular communication requirements, the degree of market acceptance and interoperability of V2X devices, as well as product conformance and upgradability will also be key to market growth.
With market-ready products for V2X communication already made available by Tier I suppliers, new products embedded with V2X technology launched by automotive OEMs, and the strong backing extended by EU governments, the market for C-ITS is likely to witness considerable growth in the next two to three years. In fact, 15 OEMs and ten Tier I suppliers across Europe are expected to deploy V2X applications by 2015.
Interestingly, crowd-sourced V2X information from the connected car space is also gaining traction. A number of telematics service providers are looking to enable V2X through tethered and embedded connectivity interfaces that allow vehicles to send and receive data that could serve as the nascent stage of V2X, in the absence of DSRC or WLAN.—Neelam Barua, Frost & Sullivan Automotive & Transportation Industry Analyst
Researchers at MIT have devised a simple, soluble metal oxide system to capture and transform CO2 into useful organic compounds. More work is needed to understand and to optimize the reaction, but this approach could offer an easy and inexpensive way to recapture some of the carbon dioxide emitted by vehicles and power plants, says Christopher Cummins, an MIT professor of chemistry and leader of the research team.
The new reaction, described in an open access paper in the RSC journal Chemical Science, transforms carbon dioxide into a negatively charged carbonate ion, which can then react with a silicon compound to produce formate, a common starting material for manufacturing useful organic compounds. This process relies on the simple molecular ion molybdate: an atom of the metal molybdenum bound to four atoms of oxygen.
Metal oxide catalysts for CO2 transformations are advantageous based on considerations of cost, ease of re-use, and stability, but these advantages come at the expense of our ability to readily characterize such systems at a molecular level of detail. Intrigued by the paucity of soluble transition-metal oxide systems known to react with CO2 in a well-defined manner … we decided to investigate salts of the molybdate dianion in this respect, in order to determine the behavior and mode of reaction (if any) of a simple oxoanion with carbon dioxide as either the potential basis for a new homogeneous catalytic system or as a soluble model for known heterogeneous oxide catalysts.
Accordingly, herein we report the finding that molybdate absorbs not just one but two equivalents of CO2 (the second, reversibly) together with complete characterization including single-crystal X-ray diffraction studies of the resulting mono- and dicarbonate complexes.—Knopf et al.
Scientists have long sought ways to convert carbon dioxide to organic compounds. Noble metals such as ruthenium, palladium, and platinum, which are relatively rare, have proven effective catalysts, but their high price makes them less attractive for large-scale industrial use.“Ideally we’d like to develop carbon-neutral cycles for renewable energy, to get carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere and avoid pollution. In addition, since producers of oil have lots of carbon dioxide available to them, companies are interested in using that carbon dioxide as an inexpensive feedstock to make value-added chemicals, including things like polymers.”—Christopher Cummins
As an alternative, chemists have tried to make abundant metals, such as copper and iron, behave more like one of these powerful catalysts by decorating them with molecules that alter their electronic and spatial properties. These molecules—ligands—can be very elaborate and usually contain nonmetallic atoms such as sulfur, phosphorus, nitrogen, and oxygen.
With most of those catalysts, the carbon dioxide binds directly to the metal atoms. Cummins was curious to see if he could design a catalyst where the carbon dioxide would bind to the ligand instead.
After finding some success with metal complexes consisting of either niobium or titanium bound to ligands consisting of large organic molecules, Cummins decided to try something simpler, without unwieldy ligands.
Molybdate is relatively abundant and stable in air and water. A simple tetrahedron with four atoms of oxygen bound to a central molybdenum atom, molybdate is commonly used as a source of molybdenum, which can catalyze many types of reactions. Until now, no one had studied its interactions with carbon dioxide.
Working with molybdate dissolved in an organic solvent that also contained dissolved carbon dioxide, the researchers found that the ion could bind to to two molecules of carbon dioxide. The first carbon dioxide attaches irreversibly to one of the oxygen atoms bound to molybdenum, creating a carbonate ion.
A second molecule of carbon dioxide then binds to another oxygen atom, but this second binding is reversible, which could enable potential applications in carbon sequestration, Cummins says.
Tetrahedral [MoO4]2− readily binds CO2 at room temperature to produce a robust monocarbonate complex, [MoO3(κ2-CO3)]2−, that does not release CO2 even at modestly elevated temperatures (up to 56 °C in solution and 70 °C in the solid state). In the presence of excess carbon dioxide, a second molecule of CO2 binds to afford a pseudo-octahedral dioxo dicarbonate complex, [MoO2(κ2-CO3)2]2−, the first structurally characterized transition-metal dicarbonate complex derived from CO2.
The monocarbonate [MoO3(κ2-CO3)]2− reacts with triethylsilane in acetonitrile under an atmosphere of CO2 to produce formate (69% isolated yield) together with silylated molybdate (quantitative conversion to [MoO3(OSiEt3)]−, 50% isolated yield) after 22 hours at 85 °C. This system thus illustrates both the reversible binding of CO2 by a simple transition-metal oxoanion and the ability of the latter molecular metal oxide to facilitate chemical CO2 reduction.—Knopf et al.
In theory, the system could allow researchers to create a cartridge that would temporarily store carbon dioxide emitted by vehicles. When the cartridge is full, the carbon dioxide could be removed and transferred to a permanent storage location.
Another possible application would be transforming the carbon dioxide to other useful compounds containing carbon. Cummins and his colleagues showed that the trapped carbon dioxide could be converted to formate by treating silicon-containing compounds called silanes with the molybdate complex.
More research is needed before the reaction can become industrially useful, Cummins says. In particular, his lab is investigating ways to perform the reaction so that molybdate is regenerated at the end, allowing it to catalyze another reaction.
This is a really elegant addition to the carbon dioxide fixation literature because it shows that some really beautiful transformations are achievable without an elaborate ligand system.—Christine Thomas, associate professor of chemistry at Brandeis University, who was not involved in the research
The paper’s lead author is graduate student Ioana Knopf; other authors are former visiting student Takashi Ono, former postdoc Manuel Temprado, and recent PhD recipient Daniel Tofan. The research was funded by the Saudi Basic Industries Corporation; the Spanish Ministry of Education, Culture and Sport; the Spanish Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness; and the National Science Foundation.
Ioana Knopf, Takashi Ono, Manuel Temprado, Daniel Tofan and Christopher C. Cummins (2014) “Uptake of one and two molecules of CO2 by the molybdate dianion: a soluble, molecular oxide model system for carbon dioxide fixation,” Chem. Sci. doi: 10.1039/C4SC00132J
Kia unveiled two prototype electric bikes today at the 2014 Geneva Motor Show—70 years on from the vehicle manufacturer’s inception as Korea’s first mass producer of bicycles and coinciding with the European debut of the firm’s first globally-available electric vehicle:the Soul EV. (Earlier post.) The Kia Electric Bicycle (KEB) is a ‘pedelec’ electric bike, shown in both ‘City’ and ‘MTB’ (Mountain Bike) versions.
The rear-wheel drive KEB is propelled by a 250 watt electric motor producing a 45 N·m (33 lb-ft) of torque, and powered by a 36 volt, 10 amp lithium-ion polymer battery pack which is easily detached for recharging. The City model has a range of around 40 km (25 miles) on a single charge and a recharging time of four hours.
Designed and engineered by Kia’s Namyang Research & Development Centre in Korea, the KEB features a monocoque metal frame which looks like a carbon fibre frame, but is produced by an advanced metal stamping technology and a robotic automated welding process, resulting in automotive-industry standards of quality control.
Advanced metal stamping technology is a new production method specially developed at the Namyang R&D Centre for manufacturing the KEB’s frame. After pressing a metal sheet each side of the frame, the frame undergoes a robotic automated welding process ensuring uniform quality. This is in contrast to the frame of a more conventional bicycle, which is often manufactured by hydroforming, increasing the complexity and cost of production.
Using these production methods has allowed Kia a greater degree of design freedom, with distinctive surfacing details and a unique structural design. A greater choice of metals can also be used during production, with metal stamping allowing the frame to be made up of aluminium, high-tensile steel and stainless steel.
Both the City and MTB models feature the same drivetrain and power pack, weigh around 20 kg (44 lbs) in total, and have a top speed of 25 km/h (15.5 mph) thus complying with EU regulations.
The City is intended as a universal design with its step-through frame, rear-mounted battery, 28-inch wheels and mud-flaps for the broadest appeal. The MTB has RockShox 100 mm front forks, a mid-mounted battery and 26-inch wheels fitted with all-terrain tires.
The two prototype KEB models were made using a frame, electric motor and power pack manufactured in Korea, together with brake and gear components from Shimano in Japan. Final assembly was carried out in Germany.
SsangYong unveiled its new XLV concept (eXciting smart Lifestyle Vehicle) diesel mild hybrid B-segment SUV at this year’s Geneva International Motor Show. (Earlier post.) The 48V hybrid system combines a 1.6-liter diesel engine and a 10kW electric motor powered by a high performance 500 Wh lithium-ion battery.
XLV is the latest iteration in a series of multi-interface concepts which were first seen with the XIV-1 presented at the Frankfurt Motor Show in 2011. The XLV will become one of SsangYong’s core strategic models to underpin its future growth.
290mm longer than the XIV-1 concept, XLV provides accommodation for seven passengers in a 2+2+2+1 arrangement, where the seventh seat slides between the second and third rows for optimum flexibility.
XLV features an interactive communication system called 3S-Cube (Smart-Link, Safe-Way, Special-Sense).
Smart-Link updates various functions and control systems including the permanent connection to smart electronic devices, while also providing a situation awareness capability program that gives auto cruise control, lane-keeping assistance and an automatic emergency brake system. The Safe-Way system offers a number of features to ensure driving convenience, while Special-Sense enables the user to design their own instrument cluster information and presentation. All three are intended to make driving enjoyable, convenient and safe.
Subaru returned to the Geneva Motor Show with the VIZIV-2 plug-in hybrid concept. The automaker unveiled the first version of the VIZIV concept at the 2013 Geneva show (earlier post), followed by the VIZIV Evolution Concept at the 2013 Tokyo Motor Show.
The plug-in hybrid system combines a 1.6-liter diesel Horizontally-Opposed direct injection turbo (DIT) Boxer engine; high-torque-compatible Lineartronic (CVT) automatic transmission; one front electric motor; and two rear electric motors with vectoring. Subaru’s new independent rear motor-driven Symmetrical AWD system developed for VIZIV-2 points to a future generation of Subaru AWD technology.
While the diesel engine and front electric motor power the front wheels, at the rear two independent motors allow the same or different levels of torque to be applied to the left and right rear wheels, depending on driving conditions. The third motor powers the front wheels, with power provided by a lithium-ion battery pack.
The components for the hybrid system such as a high voltage battery are installed while maintaining the Subaru’s unique Symmetrical AWD (All-Wheel drive) layout. The layout delivers enhanced driveability based on its low center of gravity and superior weight balance.
Besides helping acceleration and performance in all conditions, this AWD system employs torque vectoring to improve stability and agility—minimizing understeer by reducing power to the inside wheel and increasing power to the outside wheel.
This system automatically selects the best time to use each power unit according to its strengths and the driving conditions, achieving greater fuel efficiency and maximum stability and safety. The generous torque generated by the diesel engine and the electric motors ensures strong, linear acceleration and responsive performance.
During low-speed or city driving, the front and rear motors supply much of the vehicle’s propulsion, while the diesel engine and high-efficiency Lineartronic take over at higher speeds. The VIZIV-2’s auto start/stop system and its multiple charging methods—engine power generation, regenerative braking and plug-in charging—further improve efficiency.
VIZIV-2 features a new variation of Subaru’s SI-DRIVE driving control system, Hybrid SI-DRIVE, which allows the driver to select different profiles for the engine and transmission.
To the original system’s ‘Intelligent’ and ‘Sports’ modes, this adds an ‘Eco-Cruise’ mode which works in conjunction with the EyeSight driver assist system. Travel conditions, monitored by the EyeSight’s stereo camera, are continuously assessed and the data is used to fine-tune the engine and motor outputs in order to reduce fuel consumption and minimize emissions.
The VIZIV 2 Concept features a next-generation EyeSight system with stereo cameras that can detect emerging traffic conditions. The system combines with 360-degree sensing for autonomous driving.
Maxwell Technologies, Inc. is expanding its ultracapacitor-based Engine Start Module (ESM) product line (earlier post) to provide the same benefits to class 3 through 6 medium-duty trucks that it has been offering previously to class 7 and 8 heavy-duty diesel trucks.
Maxwell’s ESM ULTRA 31/900 assumes the starting responsibility for the truck and effectively eliminates cranking problems that come from weak or discharged batteries. Consistent with Maxwell’s current award-winning ESM product, the ESM ULTRA 31/900 delivers the quick-burst power trucks need to crank their engines in extreme cold, down to -40°F.
The new ESM is rugged and lightweight (16 lbs, 7.3 kg). It delivers reliable starts and allows extensive use of lift-gates and buckets while the engine is off without fear of the truck not starting.
The ESM ULTRA 31/900 is basically the same product as the heavy-duty version, but with half of the ultracap content taken out, according to Jeff Brakley, Senior Product Manager, Engine Starting Group, Maxwell. The heavy-duty product has 12 3000F ultracapacitors; the medium-duty version has 6—“more than sufficient power” to crank a medium-duty diesel, Brakley said.
The ESM ULTRA 31/900 is a no-acid, lead-free energy storage solution that weighs less than one-fourth of the Group 31 lead-acid battery it replaces in the battery bay of the truck. It stays fully charged even when the truck’s lead-acid battery is as low as 9.5V; the ESM charges off the lead-acid batteries in the truck.
Unlike the batteries, the ESM has three terminals. A positive and negative terminal for connection to the remaining batteries, and a third that connects to the starter solenoid of the engine. The ESM unit also has a controller inside, along with a voltage convertor and temperature monitor.
Basically, the existing batteries minus 1 power all other vehicle loads and the the alternator will continue to recharge the batteries, but the ESM controls all power to the starter solenoid.
Consistent with the current ESM product, the new ESM ULTRA 31/900 provides the following features and benefits:
900 cold cranking amperes (CCA), or a three-second crank;
Reliable starting for diesel engines up to 9.9 liters at temperatures -40°C to 65°C (-40°F to 149°F);
Low maintenance operation and life-of-the-vehicle reliability;
Industry standard Group 31 battery form factor for easy integration with battery systems;
Built-in quick charging system (15 minutes or less);
Extended battery life, full compatibility with existing battery systems; and
Four year unlimited warranty.
Maxwell is showing the new ultracapacitor-based ESM ULTRA 31/900 at the Work Truck Show, 5-7 March in Indianapolis.
General Motors and its joint ventures sold 257,770 vehicles in China during February, setting a new record for the month. Sales increased 19.9% from 215,070 vehicles sold in the same month last year.
In February, Shanghai GM’s domestic sales were up 8.8% year on year to 109,889 units, SAIC-GM-Wuling’s domestic sales were up 29.4% to 142,620 units and FAW-GM’s domestic sales were up 38.7% to 5,092 units.
Buick sales in the domestic market increased 13.0% on an annual basis in February to 59,164 units. Its best-selling model remained the original Excelle family, which had sales of 21,820 units—a rise of 49.4%. It was followed by the Excelle XT and GT, which had combined sales growth of 13.8% to 16,260 units.
Chevrolet sales in China dropped 0.1% on an annual basis to 46,347 units. The brand’s most popular model was the Cruze, which sold 19,960 units—an increase of 52.1%. Sales of the Sail family were 13,173 units.
Cadillac sales in China were a February record 4,378 units. Demand for the luxury brand jumped 90.8% on an annual basis, as sales of the popular XTS luxury sedan totaled 2,042 units.
Wuling sales across China increased 31.6% from February 2013 to 137,018 units. Sales of the Hong Guang family rose 103.2% to 65,129 units. Baojun, GM’s entry-level passenger car brand in China, had sales of 5,602 units.
With all-time monthly record sales in January, GM’s domestic sales during the first two months of 2014 totaled 605,831 units—an increase of 15.2% from the year-ago period and also a new record.
Between January and February, Shanghai GM sold 281,745 units in China, which was up 10.4% on an annual basis. SAIC-GM-Wuling sold 315,472 units in China, which was up 20.4%. Both were new highs for the period. FAW-GM sold 8,411 vehicles in China, which was up 3.1%.
In addition, during the first two months of 2014, Buick sales rose 14.7% year on year to 159,291 units, Chevrolet sales were down 0.2% to 112,335 units, Cadillac sales jumped 161.8% to 10,119 units, Wuling sales were up 20.9% to 300,904 units and Baojun sales grew 11.4% to 14,568 units.
Mazda unveiled the HAZUMI next-generation subcompact at the Geneva Motor Show. Mazda is focusing on four key areas with its new generation models: KODO—Soul of Motion design language; SKYACTIV technology; Mazda Proactive Safety; and a new car connectivity system called Mazda Connect. (The name Mazda Connect is used in Japan, US, Canada and Mexico. The system is referred to as MZD Connect in other markets.) The MAZDA HAZUMI brings together all four of these elements and foreshadows Mazda upcoming next-generation subcompact car.
The MAZDA HAZUMI marks the world premiere of the SKYACTIV-D 1.5. This compact and lightweight clean diesel engine is designed for combustion efficiency, just like the larger displacement SKYACTIV-D 2.2. (Earlier post.) It offers ample torque and dynamic performance which is linear right up to the top of the revolution range, and below 90 g/km CO2 with the Mazda HAZUMI. It will also fulfill stringent Euro 6 requirements without aftertreatment systems such as a NOx trap or selective catalytic reduction.
The 5-door HAZUMI hatchback is also equipped with the SKYACTIV-DRIVE (6AT) transmission; the i-stop idling stop system; and the i-ELOOP regenerative braking system.
Conventional diesel engines generally have a high compression ratio; hence, the compression temperature and pressure at piston top dead center (TDC) are extremely high. When fuel is injected under these conditions, ignition takes places before an adequate air-fuel mixture forms, causing localized heterogeneous combustion, resulting in the formation of NOx and soot, Mazda says.
The advent of stricter emissions regulations leads to a delay in combustion until after TDC (with a lower cylinder pressure and temperature), although this causes fuel economy to worsen.
The SKYACTIV diesels feature a low compression ratio of 14.0:1 (low for a diesel); reducing the compression ratio in the diesel decreases the compression temperature and pressure at TDC. Consequently, ignition takes longer even when fuel is injected near TDC, enabling a better mixture of air and fuel.
To realize ideal combustion timing and duration as well as clean emissions at the same time, Mazda uses this premixed compression ignition combustion by controlling ignition timing based on model-based prediction of ignition delay in the low compression ratio engine.
The formation of NOx and soot is alleviated since combustion becomes more uniform without localized high-temperature areas and oxygen insufficiencies, Mazda says. Furthermore, injection and combustion close to TDC make a diesel engine highly efficient. The expansion ratio (or amount of actual work done) is greater than in a high-compression diesel engine.
Also due to the low compression ratio, the SKYACTIV-D diesel engine also burns cleaner, discharging far fewer nitrous oxides while producing virtually no soot. It can thus do without NOx aftertreatment and still meet emissions standards globally.
Furthermore, the lower compression ratio enables a reduction in weight through structural optimization and in mechanical friction in the engine.
Two main problems have limited the spread of low-compression-ratio diesels: the first is starting during cold operation, and the second is misfiring during warm-up due to the lack of compression temperature and pressure.
To address these issues, Mazda uses new 12-hole piezo injectors which allow for a wide variety of injection patterns; precise injection amounts and timing increases the accuracy of mixture concentration control, providing cold start capability. The SKYACTIV-D injectors are capable of a maximum of 9 injections per combustion.
Along with three basic injections—pre-injection, main injection, and post-injection—different injection patterns will be set according to driving conditions.
Misfiring is avoided by adopting a variable valve lift (VVL) system for the exhaust valves. The exhaust valves are opened slightly during the intake stroke to recycle host exhaust gas back into the cylinder, increasing the air temperature. The elevated temperature stabilizes ignition.
SKYACTIV-D also uses a two-stage turbo in which one small and one large turbo are selectively operated according to driving conditions. This is intended to achieve high torque and response at low speeds, and high power and high speeds.
However, Mazda North American Operations is delaying the introduction of the SKYACTIV-D 2.2 in North America from the original targeted Spring 2014. Mazda said that the although the SKYACTIV-D can meet emission regulation requirements without the use of a NOx after-treatment system, it decided that further development is required to deliver the right balance between fuel economy and “Mazda-appropriate” driving performance. (Earlier post.)
The average fuel economy (window-sticker value) of new vehicles sold in the US in February hit 25.2 mpg (9.3 l/100 km)—up 0.1 mpg from the revised value for January, and up 5.1 mpg from the value for October 2007, according to the latest monthly report from Dr. Michael Sivak and Brendan Schoettle at the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute (UMTRI).
The University of Michigan Eco-Driving Index (EDI)—an index that estimates the average monthly emissions of greenhouse gases generated by an individual US driver—stood at 0.78 in December (the lower the value the better).
This value indicates that the average new-vehicle buyer produced 22% lower emissions in December 2013 than in October 2007. The EDI takes into account both vehicle fuel economy and distance driven (the latter relying on data that are published with a two-month lag).
Ford’s MY 2015 F-Series Super Duty heavy-duty pickup trucks feature engine and chassis upgrades that together deliver best-in-class horsepower, torque and towing capacity. Ford’s second-generation 6.7-liter Power Stroke V8 turbo diesel now offers 440 horsepower (328 kW), up from 400 horsepower (298 kW), and 860 lb-ft (1,166 N·m) of torque, up from 800 lb-ft (1,085 N·m), across all Super Duty models from F-250 to F-450.
The new engine will also be featured on the MY 2016 F-650 and F-750 medium-duty trucks, available in spring 2015. The current F-650/F-750 models offer the Cummins ISB 6.7L turbo diesel in addition to Ford’s 6.8L V-10 gasoline engine. “The 6.7-liter Power Stroke was already a stout engine. The improvements we’ve made essentially give Super Duty customers an engine designed for our larger F-650 and F-750 trucks, said Robert Fascetti, Ford vice president powertrain engineering.
The 2015 F-450 tops the F-Series Super Duty pickup truck lineup with maximum towing capacity increasing to a class-leading 31,200 pounds, a gain of 6,500 pounds. The truck’s gross combined weight rating increases to a class-leading 40,000 pounds, a gain of 7,000 pounds.
F-350 increases maximum towing capacity as well, to 26,500 pounds, from 23,200 pounds, and the gross combined weight rating goes up 5,000 pounds to 35,000 pounds.
The improved ratings are a result of designing and engineering the truck as an integrated system. The approach enabled Ford engineers to optimize performance across the full Super Duty lineup.
Power Stroke engine improvements. The 2015 Super Duty achieves towing performance with a second-generation 6.7-liter Power Stroke V8 turbo diesel engine that was further developed to provide more power, torque and efficiency.
Key innovations on the 6.7-liter Power Stroke V8 turbo diesel are its compacted graphite iron engine block and reverse-flow layout. This segment-exclusive design places the exhaust inside the engine’s V-shape, with while the air intake positioned on the outside resulting in a variety of advancements:
Shorter airflow from the exhaust system to the new, larger turbocharger sitting between the engine’s cylinder banks improves turbo responsiveness.
Positioning the turbo inside the engine’s valley helps isolate the engine’s hottest temperatures, improving performance and efficiency, while also reducing noise, vibration and harshness to improve driver comfort,
Enhancements include a larger turbocharger for faster air displacement resulting in more power. The engine block is made of compacted graphite iron, which is stronger yet lighter than cast iron, is more wear-resistant and has enhanced sealing properties.
New injector tips spray a finer mist of fuel into the cylinders which provides a more complete burn and helps reduce noise, vibration and harshness. Other benefits include lower emissions and less fuel deposit buildup on the intake valves over time.
F-650/F-750.The new F-650/F-750 features the second-generation 6.7-liter Power Stroke V8 diesel paired with a commercial-grade six-speed 6R140 automatic transmission with available power takeoff provision to run accessories in the field, a dump body, crane or other vocational equipment.
Ford is the only medium-duty truck manufacturer that designs and builds its own diesel engine and transmission combination.
Power Stroke drivability is enhanced with tow/haul mode that includes a switchable integrated engine brake. The driver can regenerate the diesel particulate filter on-demand to clear out trapped soot from the exhaust system to help maximize performance. Intelligent Oil Change Monitoring is standard so oil changes are based on driving patterns and load demands instead of fixed distance intervals.
The fuel-efficient transmission features a low first gear ratio for optimized takeoffs under load and optimized gear ratio span across all gears for optimized fuel economy. It’s also strengthened with new materials and extra pinion gears for medium-duty service.
Ford remains the segment-exclusive automaker to offer a gasoline-powered engine for a medium duty truck. The 6.8-liter V10 is now available for both F-650 and F-750 models with the 6R140 six-speed automatic transmission. The 6.8-liter V10 can be factory-prepped for converting to compressed natural gas or liquid propane gas as cost-effective alternatives to unleaded gasoline.