Even as electric cars become more common, automakers are still trying to squeeze more efficiency out of internal-combustion engines. That’s led to more complex solutions to the age old task of mixing air and fuel, including this new effort from Hyundai. The Korean automaker claims its continuously variable valve duration (CVVD) system will improve both fuel economy and performance. It should start to appear in production cars later this year. Hyundai claims CVVD can achieve a 4% increase in performance over a conventional gasoline engine, while boosting fuel economy by 5%. The system also reduces emissions by 12%, the automaker claims. CVVD works by manipulating the engine’s valves. These valves admit fuel and air into the combustion chambers; changing their operation changes that fuel-air mixture. Many engines have variable valve timing systems that automatically adjust when the valves open and close. Hyundai’s CVVD system takes things a step further by adjusting … [Read more...] about Hyundai claims its new CVVD engine will boost gas mileage and performance
Electric performance cars
Car parts of the future could be made out of a surprising material. Wood. Researchers in Japan are working to create a strong material out of wood pulp that could replace steel parts in vehicles within a decade. Work is also charging ahead in the country to develop plastics that can withstand high temperatures, to replace metal for parts near the engine. These innovations are part of a wider industry push to make cars lighter. "There is a rush to try and cut as much weight as possible, especially on cars which will pollute more, like SUVs [sports utility vehicles] or pick-up trucks," says Paolo Martino, principal automotive components analyst at IHS Markit. Slimmer cars consume less fuel. The US Department of Energy says a 10% reduction in vehicle weight can improve fuel economy by up to 8%. Manufacturers also want to make electric models as light as possible so they can travel further on a single charge, and help resolve the battery "range anxiety" faced by car owners, Mr Martino … [Read more...] about Could wood pulp make cars lighter and more efficient?
By Hannah Elliot When driving the 2020 Porsche Taycan Turbo S, there is a direct connection between aggression and battery life. The ride up Highway 2 to Newcombs Ranch restaurant, high above Los Angeles, loops you through hills until you’re 5,600 feet above sea level. It’s a thrilling location to test the Taycan, the perfect place to revel in its whopping strength and inexorable speed. It also sucked almost 40% of the total battery life. As I climbed past the signs to Wrightwood and the hairpin curve carved next to the lonely ranger station halfway up, I watched the charge seep out of the car like I was watching my fate unfold in an old-fashioned hourglass. Upon arriving at the top, as I parked next to the big white sign out front, I fretted: I may have cut it too close. Would this newfangled electric Porsche have enough juice to make the 40 miles all the way back down? Naturally, the Taycan used only 2% of battery on the way back down. The regenerative brakes, I must … [Read more...] about 2020 Porsche Taycan Turbo S: A stunning e-car with best-ever regenerative brakes at $185,000
LOS ANGELES - Elizabeth Dickson recently decided to skip a luxury gas-guzzling vehicle, instead purchasing a Tesla Model 3. While the Tesla carried a more expensive monthly payment, the 25-year-old from Raleigh, North Carolina, said the gas savings and anticipated lack of maintenance offset the added cost. Plus, she wanted to be surrounded by cutting-edge technology. "There's things that Tesla is doing that other brands aren't even considering right now," said Dickson, an operations manager for a large airline. "It just makes more sense." The rapid embrace of upscale electric cars by aspirational consumers like Dickson shows how battery-powered vehicles are primed to become a major force in the auto industry, with broad implications for mechanics, autoworkers, oil companies and environmentalists. While many have long predicted an electric car revolution, Tesla's quick success in the luxury market - which often sets the direction for the entire automotive industry - shows that the … [Read more...] about OK Beemer: Why European luxury sedans are becoming relics and electric SUVs are on the rise
By David Welch Why would General Motors Co. get rid of the manual stick shift in the much-anticipated overhaul of the iconic Corvette? Drivers need a free hand for the touchscreen, of course. With the all-new Corvette, which GM’s Chevrolet division showed off outside Los Angeles late Thursday, the sports car born in the 1950s is getting a radical makeover to shove it into the modern era. The engine is transplanted to the middle of the car, making for better handling, and the manual transmission is gone, at least in the base model. Perhaps it’s too hard to shift, steer and search for music on an 8-inch touchscreen, all at once. It’s a sign of the times for the new Corvette, which GM hopes will find more younger buyers with the entry-level Stingray and lure the wealthy sports-car buffs who currently drive Ferraris and Lamborghinis. The risk is that older, core buyers are turned off. While few cars even offer a manual transmission in the U.S. market, 15% of Corvette … [Read more...] about Bye Corvette, hello Stingray: GM’s iconic car packs more punch