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December 2012 Power Bits

All The Torque That's Fit To Twist

Text By By Tori Tellem

Transit System
Here is the first official look at Ford’s E-Series replacement, the Transit. The Ford Transit is an all-new unibody design that will be sold around the world. Production for the U.S. market will start next year in Kansas City, and engine options will include a standard gasoline V-6, the popular twin-turbo EcoBoost V-6, and a yet-to-be-revealed diesel engine. As Ford transitions from Econoline to Transit production, both vehicles will be sold side by side for a period of time in 2014.

GMC: A 100th Anniversary History Test
1. In its early days, GMC was made up of truck builders Randolph and Rapid. Which was the third company?
a) Reputable
b) Reliance
c) Reliable

2. GMC has manufactured trucks since when?
a) 1901
b) 1902
c) 1903

3. The name Sierra became a full-fledged model versus a trim package for pickups in which year?
a) 1979
b) 1989
c) 1999

4. In what year did GMC begin its number-naming designation, as in 1500, 2500, and 3500?
a) 1966
b) 1967
c) 1968

Answers: 1. b, 2. b, 3. b, 4. b

“The economy is being dieselised. People are using it to run their private generators, telecom towers, cars. It is no longer the poor man’s fuel.”
—An anonymous senior Ministry of Finance official in India to Reuters

New Range Rover
As usual, Europe gets to sample a new offering before the United States, but the new-gen (specifically, fourth-gen) Range Rover will make it to the States with a weight reduction of more than 700 pounds by way of a body shell that’s made up primarily of aluminum. So the question remains: Is a U.S.-spec diesel Range Rover in our future?

Nissan Black Cab, Guv’ner
Nissan’s hoping to take over London—or has it already? The new “Hackney Carriage” translates to “Nissan NV200 London Taxi.” The NV200 already appears on the streets of New York and Tokyo. Says the General Secretary of the Licensed Taxi Drivers’ Association (and read this with an accent): “Nissan already has a great footing in the London taxi market—the 2.7L diesel featured in some of the early taxis was one of the greatest engines ever put in a cab.” This one has a 1.5L four-banger. Not to be confused with bangers and mash.

Rumor of the Moment:
VW Tiguan diesel for the U.S.: getting closer.

Who Wants a Diesel? Everyone, Apparently
Hybridcars.com and Baum and Associates did some calculating and spotted a cool trend: In the first six months of 2012, diesel sales in the U.S. were up 27.5 percent. The sale of Mercedes-Benz BlueTEC models was on the rise 50 percent compared to June of last year, while the Audi Q7 TDI accounted for 37 percent of overall Q7 sales. Pike Research also weighed in, predicting that in North America, diesel sales would go from 282,000 in 2012 to 928,000 by 2018.

More VW Diesels
Looks like these are coming to the U.S.: GTD and Up. Soon. The Up in Europe is available in three models, with the smallest featuring a 1.0L three-cylinder making upward of 75 horses. The GTD is a relative of the GTI, if you know VWs. If you don’t, basically, neither is a truck, which is probably why you don’t know and don’t care. But care about more diesel models for the U.S. Clean diesel is the new black.

First Look: New Chevy Silverado
Here’s what we know for certain about the next-gen Chevy Silverado based on this pic of GM engineers running it through water at the automaker’s Arizona proving grounds: It can drive through water. The ’14 pickup is due in 2013.

Wrangler Diesel? Wrangler Pickup?
Word on the dirt is the next-generation Jeep Wrangler may end up with a pickup version—and likely, a diesel.

$20 Mil Toward Diesel Technology Testing
Union Pacific Railroad: It’s in the business of locomotives, and it’s also in the business of reducing diesel emissions, to the tune of throwing $20 million toward new technology to reduce emissions from its freight trains in California. There will be 25 “experimental” locomotives used for the testing, which will include combined use of EGR, diesel oxidation catalyst, and diesel particulate filtering. The aim is Tier 4 standards.

What Do Goodyear Tires and Soybean Oil Have in Common?
Goodyear is looking into using soybean oil to replace some of the petroleum oil used to make tires. Benefits? For starters, longer tread life. The tiremaker is estimating a reduction of around 7 gallons of petroleum-based oil each year. (It seems the rubber compounds made with soybean oil actually blend more easily with the silica used in making tires.) You can probably guess other benefits, like less energy consumption and fewer emissions. The United Soybean Board has given Goodyear a grant of $500K over two years to help with the project.

Fact of the Moment:
A Honda 1.6L diesel for the U.S.?

Diesel Bits
15-plus new diesel models are expected in the U.S. during the next two years.

The Audi Q7’s 3.0L V-6 is getting tweaked.

Volvo has its eyes on the prize: a new four-cylinder diesel due out next fall.

Is Isuzu thinking about quitting GM? It makes diesel mills for GM’s Opel brand as part of a joint venture, so is that aspect dunzo?

Cummins Power Generation has put out four new diesel generator sets based on the QSB7 and QSL9 engines.

By By Tori Tellem
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