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July 2012 Power Bits Diesel Industry News

All The Torque That's Fit To Twist

Text By By Tori Tellem

Top of the line
The Super Duty just got platinum-y—a new addition to its lineup is the top-o’-the-heap Platinum, which will have as standard features things like navigation, rearview camera, and power-telescoping mirrors. One kinda cool thing is the Super Duty’s SYNC features a truck-specific MyFord Touch, which features larger knobs and buttons for those in work gloves. Oh, and as you probably guessed, chrome. Lots of chrome.

As Expected, a Diesel Jeep Grand Cherokee
It’s coming to the United States sooner rather than later, but the Geneva Motor Show was where the diesel-equipped Jeep Grand Cherokee made its booth-babeness known, thanks to a new VM Motori 3.0L V-6 turbodiesel. Our point is, reality is nearly upon us. Commence slobbering.

GM and NASA Make a Glove
The dynamic duo that brought you the Robonaut 2 (human-ish robot that went into space) is at it again. GM and NASA are jointly developing a robotic glove to help auto workers and astronauts with their jobs (and, maybe, preventing repetitive stress injuries). If you had money on the name Robo-Glove, collect.

Goodyear and NASA Make a Tire
The Spring Tire…sounds like seasonal rubber, but it’s actually a future tire concept with 800 load-bearing springs, making it capable of transporting heavy vehicles and navigating crazy terrain. The airless tire from Goodyear and NASA hints at exploration on the moon but also getting around on terrain here on Earth that existing tires can’t traverse without getting punctured.

Rumor of the Moment:
“This is a real kick in the gut.”
—Mahindra franchisee, Joseph Yergeau of a New Hampshire dealership, to Automotive News, following a British ruling that leaves the contract between Mahindra & Mahindra and Global Vehicles U.S.A. seemingly dead

Diesel-vehicle demand is so high in India, there’s a pushback on automakers to build more, and faster. Will they? Or will they wait to see whether gasoline prices continue to rise there?

Rumor of the Moment:
Porsche Panamera; we’ve rumored a diesel, but will it be a diesel- electric hybrid? And will it be the same as what VW and Audi will run?

Diesel Power Fuel Finder
It’s hard to believe it’s 2012 and that finding diesel fuel can still be a bit of a bangaroo headache. But there’s a cure for that dull ache—the Diesel Power Fuel Finder app is available from the Apple App store and will help you find diesel fuel near you (wherever you are at any given moment), offer a route planner with diesel stations, show maps with available diesel, and even send you alerts about a station within a certain distance having fuel. There are other cool features, too, that we’re sworn to secrecy about, so you’ll have to download the app to learn about them…

Buy a Famous Person’s Car
If you’re at all fluent in celebrity diesel things, then actress Daryl Hannah’s ’83 El Camino is probably familiar. As we went to press, it had gone on the online chopping block with McLemore Auction Company. It can run on diesel or biodiesel.

Next-Gen M-B Engines
New medium-duty engines have arrived from Mercedes-Benz under the OM 93x designation. They’ve gone the uber-economical route, and there’s also variable valve timing. The 5.1L OM 934 and 7.7L 936 are in four- and six-cylinder configurations and range in horsepower from 156 hp to 260 hp. These will ultimately replace the 900 series engines from 1996.

Which Has Worse Air Pollution, Gas or Diesel?
A new study by scientists from the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Studies (CIRES), NOAA’s Earth System Research Laboratory, and others have stated that exhaust fumes from gasoline-powered vehicles contribute more to the production of a specific type of air pollution than do those of diesel vehicles. “This was contrary to what the scientific community expected,” said Roya Bahreini, a research scientist with CIRES.

Cambiano Concept
Heard of Pininfarina? Then you probably haven’t heard of the Cambiano. Pininfarina has collaborated with a few little companies, like GM, Fiat, and Ferrari. Cambiano is the town where the company has its HQ, but it’s also the name of its new concept car, featuring diesel-electric technology (although it may be calibrated to run on various fuels). Are you excited it may get produced? Are you excited it will likely cost mid-six figures?

What is Happening with Diesel Cop Cars?
Carbon Motors—planning to be in the business of making the E7 diesel- powered law-man car—has announced that the Department of Energy isn’t going to proceed with the company’s $310 million application for a direct loan under the Advanced Technology Vehicle Manufacturing program. Carbon is looking into plan B.

Volkswagen Cross Coupe Concept
Mating a turbodiesel to two electric motors is what the Wikipedia entry will mention pretty early on when it comes to describing the VW Cross Coupe concept. Talk on the street is 157 mpg.

Detect a Pedestrian? Maybe Don’t Hit the Accelerator. Maybe.
New safety technology alert: Volvo has introduced a pedestrian detection system on its S60 model. Using radar and cameras, it will “automatically activate the S60’s full braking power if the driver fails to respond in time.”

Fun Stuff to Check Out
Volant Performance is behind volantstories.com, which allows you to talk Volant products and upload pics or tubey videos about said Volant products on your truck. You can also win things. Meanwhile, Nitto Tire is behind the free Race Results app from the Apple App Store, which allows you to get news, race results, driver standings, and more, including stats for SCORE and the Lucas Oil Off-Road Series.

A Maritime First
According to World Maritime News, we’re about to see the world’s first sea-going diesel-electric hybrid ferries that will be built by Ferguson Shipbuilders in Scotland to carry passengers and vehicles. They should be able to handle 150 bodies and 23 vehicles.

Was Ford Hiding a Fuel Tank Defect?
It’s lawsuit time again—this round is regarding a lawsuit filed in New Jersey, alleging that Ford sold F- and E-series trucks between 1999 and 2008 with defective fuel tank linings. According to Reuters, the complaint claimed that in 2007, Ford issued a clandestine service bulletin advising dealers of the problem, but there was no recall or fix offered.

Diesel Bits
Mercedes-Benz of Long Beach in Southern California has revealed that its diesel sales jumped 81.9 percent over February 2011.

That’s the good news. The bad is that the R-Class wagon will not be sold in the United States anymore. No one seemed to want it.

Jeep has hooked up with Jalen Rose Leadership Academy in Detroit to offer a program that will allow students to get involved in mentoring with Jeep, which includes field trips to Chrysler facilities, such as the Jefferson North Assembly Plant and Jeep Design Studio.

Volkswagen has partnered with Solazyme and Amyris to evaluate emissions reductions and clean diesel tech when it comes to biodiesl and renewable diesel.

Bosch Automotive Diesel Systems will build a second diesel injector plant in Qingdao, China.

The California Air Resources Board is going to offer a lease-to-own scenario to entice small business owners to replace older diesel trucks with new stuff.

Totalcarscore.com is a site that allows you to compare vehicles that interest you in a way so comprehensive, it ought to be illegal. It includes an overall rating based on a compilation of reviews from various industry sources.

Summit Racing (summitracing.com) will now do same-day shipping for orders placed as late as 10 p.m. EST (if the goods are in stock, of course).

By By Tori Tellem
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