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October 2012 Power Bits Diesel Industry News

All The Torque That's Fit To Twist

Text By Tori Tellem

Volvo Racer
A four-cylinder, Volvo D5 diesel race engine was developed by HEICO SPORTIV and Volvo to power a Volvo C30 at the 40th ADAC 24 Hour Race at the Nürburgring. While the car had some issues during the race, the venture was still deemed a success, proving “the Green Racing diesel project has massive potential. We’re still only at a very early stage of development,” according to driver Patrick Brenndörfer.

Navistar, EPA, Federal Court, Fines, Diesel…More Drama than a Soap Opera
The EPA was letting Navistar pay fines for having sold diesel engines that didn’t meet its pollution regulations. However, the United States Court of Appeals ruled that the EPA couldn’t justify letting Navistar pay what amounts to about $2,000 per heavy-duty truck engine that failed to meet the standards versus playing by its established rules. As the Wall Street Journal explained, “Navistar’s engines have yet to be certified by the EPA as meeting the 2010 standard, prompting its rivals to argue that the agency’s fine of about $2,000 an engine provided unfair assistance to Navistar. Navistar had been relying on pollution credits acquired previously to offset its noncompliance with a nitrogen oxide emission standard. But as its supply of credits dwindled earlier this year, the EPA gave the company the option of paying a fine on each engine sold.” The EPA did what it did because fines versus suspension of sales would have prevented job and revenue loss for Navistar.

“Well, can you teach me to fix a truck? Can you make me a truck driver?”
—Shannon “Sputter” Smith, retelling her conversation with an Army recruiter to O, The Oprah Magazine. She currently drives an International 9400 Eagle with the 15.0L, 500hp Cummins ISX.

eHighway Concept
Featuring diesel-hybrid technology, the Siemens eHighway Concept’s concept is that the vehicle “takes the future of long-haul goods transport to the road.” We thought the present of long-haul goods was the road—but we’re always open to enlightenment. Power supply comes by way of overhead lines and the usual regenerative braking. There’s also an intelligently controllable pantograph for energy transmission; it operates by drawing energy from the catenary system via the pantography that can be raised or lowered to make, maintain, or interrupt contact with the overhead wire, says Siemens. Looking for English? On electrified sections of the route, an eHighway heavy-goods vehicle (HGV) would be powered by overhead lines. Areas without a catenary system? Diesel motor.

“Diesel power is the most efficient choice available today from a vehicle perspective. The question now is what further potential do we have with diesel if we add other technologies? The goal is to create and promote the most efficient and clean internal combustion system possible.”
— Andreas Hoyler, manager engine lab and emissions with Robert Bosch North America, to Fleet Owner

Jeep Diesel
Word on the street is the new Jeep Liberty due in Europe mid-2013 will have a 170hp 2.0L. Angry that it’s another score for Europe? Automotive News reports that around 95 percent of Jeeps sold in Europe have a diesel, so…priorities.

Rumor of the Moment:
Will Mercedes-Benz have the first crossover in its class to stick a diesel in it? Will it be a 2.1L four-cylinder worth 190 horses? Will it come next spring? Will they be lying about that North America part?

Top Auto Techs: Teen Edition
The Ford/AAA Auto Skills Competition is a wrap, and edging out 49 other states in the 63rd year of the event was Kansas. The two students from Newton High School were best at taking a work order and diagnosing and repairing “bugs” that ran the gamut from mechanical to digital. Once that was completed, the car had to be driven to the finish line. Scholarships and a week shadowing ’11 Daytona 500 winner Trevor Bayne were at stake.

GM Design Has Turned 85
GM can’t seem to escape the milestones recently, including its GM Design arm, which has turned 85 years old. And the pitch 85 years ago was simple: form a new department to “study the question of art and color combinations in General Motors products.” GM Design is located in the United States as well as Australia, China, Brazil, Korea, Germany, and India.

Why Do the FBI and EPA Care About Biodiesel?
To answer that, here’s the letter from the Committee on Energy and Commerce to the EPA: “The Committee on Energy and Commerce is investigating the Environmental Protection Agency’s administration of the Renewable Fuel Standards (RFS) Program. On February 3, 2012, Committee Chairman Fred Upton and Energy and Power Subcommittee Chairman Ed Whitfield wrote EPA seeking information relating to concerns about EPA’s handling of fraud in the program. In the system developed and administered by EPA to track compliance with RFS, the agency relies on Renewable Identification Numbers (RINs), created by EPA-registered renewable fuel producers. RINs serve as credits for specific amounts of renewable fuels produced and blended into the nation’s fuel supply, consistent with statutory requirements. RINs can be traded, much like currency, to allow producers and importers of gasoline and diesel to meet RFS blending obligations. Unfortunately, the production of, and trade in fraudulent or invalid RINs, has developed into a large and growing problem. And EPA’s efforts to address the problem so far appear ineffective, and in some respects have harmed the renewable fuels marketplace.”

Rumor of the Moment:
The Volkswagen Amarok may become available in Canada?

Le Mans Diesel Race Car
It’s McDiesely: Mazda will race a SKYACTIV-D diesel engine at the 2013 Le Mans as part of the Dempsey Racing team. The engine will participate in the Prototype 2 (LMP2) class. Mazda Motorsports is also developing a race-tuned version of its new 2.2L diesel. And, yes, the team is co-owned by actor/racer Patrick Dempsey.

Diesel Bits
Navistar has expanded to South Korea in the form of a Daewoo Bus partnership. The 3.2L inline-four MaxxForce engine will be popped into the new transit buses.

The new Volkswagen Beetle TDI will start at $23,295.

Ashton Kutcher’s production company is suing the California DMV for bailing on a reality show that would have been based on its employees. The breach-of-contract suit is for $1.44 million.

Saab has been purchased by National Electric Vehicle Sweden.

Look for more toll booths to start popping up across the United States.

By Tori Tellem
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