Tag Archives: cylinder engines

Coolest, Classiest Electric? Mercedes SLS AMG eDrive

While at the Nurburgring for a first-ever drive of the coming 2010 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Gullwing, I also had the opportunity to sit down with Volker Mornhinweg as the AMG CEO showed-off some highlights of his next new vehicular baby: an all-electric version of the Gullwing.

The eDrive version, says Mornhinweg, “will use exactly the same white body as the gasoline-powered car. There’s plenty of room in the existing structure to put electric motors at each wheel and batteries on the floor, ahead of the firewall, and just aft of the seats. The only change is up front, where we’ll have to change the front axle to a pushrod suspension to accommodate the motors.”

Mornhinweg is clearly excited about the eDrive project. “This is not a concept car. The SLS eDrive will be on the road perhaps as early as 2013—certainly by 2015 at the latest.” As such, it’ll be a continuation of AMG’s goal to reduce fleet-average C02 emissions by 30 percent by 2012. “The challenge for the future is to deliver superb performance, but also social acceptance,” says Mornhinweg. “The internal-combustion engine is going to be around for a long, long time, but to improve its efficiency we’ll be using more and more direct injection, downsizing displacement while adding turbocharging, incorporating stop/start systems, and more. You’ll see more four-cylinder engines in the future, too.”

The AMG boss sees myriad benefits to the SLS eDrive. “The SLS’s lightweight aluminum body and structure will help to offset the heavy batteries we’ll need for maximum performance.” Zero to 60 mph, Mornhinweg adds, will take around 4 seconds flat, with a top speed of about 125 mph. Because each wheel will be driven by its own motor, electric four-wheel drive is inherently part of the design. “By tailoring the software that guides the motors, we can also do exciting things like torque vectoring and dynamic stability control,” Mornhinweg says.

The three modular high-voltage batteries in the SLS eDrive will be lithium ion—powering the four electric motors through two transmissions (one per axle). Peak output is equivalent to 526 horsepower (392 kW) and nearly 650 pound-feet of torque—the eDrive should be a formidable player in stoplight Grands Prix. Range won’t be outstanding—only about 95 to 110 miles—but the batteries will recharge to 80 percent of capacity in around five to six hours (plug in when you reach work if you have a long commute home). Plugging-in overnight will deliver a full charge. (Regen brakes, of course, will help to freshen the batteries when driving.)

Mornhinweg is confident that no major hurdles exist in bringing the eDrive to market. And he emphasizes that the eDrive will not replace the SLS’s 6.2-liter gasoline V-8; the two versions will coexist. “Our biggest challenge,” he notes, ”will be adding the emotion that’s so crucial to the enjoyment of a sports car. For instance, with electric drive there’s no vroom vroom during downshifts, which is a sound every enthusiast driver enjoys. So we’re experimenting with various ways simulate the experience using the two transmissions and the electric motors. I’m confident, though, that when we’re finished we’ll have what many enthusiasts will find a very desirable car.”

Which is to say, with its speed, those show-stopping gullwing doors, and that zero-emissions powertrain underneath, the SLS AMG eDrive promises to offer driving sex without the guilt.

Source : blogs.motortrend.com/6563064/editorial/coolest-classiest-electric-mercedes-sls-amg-edrive/index.html

Ferdinand Piech and the New Porsche 914

So Porsche says it can’t make a business case for small cars. The new millennium 914 is off, Porsche AG board member Klaus Berning told Automotive News. Coincidentally, this news comes after Volkswagen AG had offered to help Porsche out of its $13 billion in debt in exchange for 49 percent of the company. VW gave Porsche to Monday to decide on the offer. Scion and Chairman Wolfgang Porsche told his cousin, VW Chairman Ferdinand Piech what to do with the offer.

“Ultimatums don’t belong in the 21st Century,” Porsche told The Financial Times. “We won’t be blackmailed.”

The biggest of Machievellian twists is this: much of Porsche’s $13-billion in debt comes from buying up majority interest — 51 percent — of Volkswagen.

This story is the very definition of incest. In addition to being VW’s chairman, Piech is a Porsche board member. Ferdinand Piech and his cousin, Wolfgang Porsche, have been engaged in a rather public feud for several years.

Some say Piech fell out of favor with Porsche AG when, anticipating a change in Can-Am series rules, he built 16-cylinder engines for the 917. They were costly and never used, and Piech left for Audi in 1972. In the ensuing years, his passion for odd engine configurations, from five-bangers to W-12s, thrived.

Porsche had already turned to VW for the 914, which was sold in Europe as the “VW-Porsche 914.” And the 2.0-liter 924 was originally designed to be an Audi.

Porsche worked on a new entry-level car, the front-wheel-drive 976, in 1992-93, using at least part of the VW Golf’s platform. The project was scuttled after Piech unveiled the Golf-based Audi TT, a car now available with a five-cylinder engine.

And until right about now, Porsche was looking at a rear-mid-engine, four-cylinder sub-Boxster, based on the Concept Bluemotion that VW has just officially approved for production (our European correspondent, Paul Horrell, reported in the April issue that Audi already is working on its version).

No doubt, a Porsche based on the concept would cost way more than the Audi, let alone the VW, version. And yet, the mid-engine, four-cylinder Porsche would have to come in substantially below the Boxster’s $47,395 price.

“There is no business case,” to repeat Klaus Berning’s words, “for Porsche in small cars.”

There would be no business case, or at least no reason for Porsche in luxury sedans and sport/utility vehicles, if it was part of VW, or if VW was part of it. And that’s where the two automakers were heading even after decades of Piech-Porsche family feuds.

While I generally worry about what happens to a brand’s equity and identity when it’s absorbed into a larger automaker, Porsche and VW are clear exceptions, since they have the same founder and have worked closely together for some 60 years. Porsche needs a relatively high-volume fuel-efficient model or two to meet stringent new Corporate Average Fuel Economy, and especially, European Union CO2 emissions standards. So far, it has just two models on the way to handle the problem, the hybrid Panamera and hybrid Cayenne. Ending the Piech-Porsche family feud and absorbing Porsche into VW Group’s CAFE and CO2 numbers is a better solution for the integrity of the Porsche brand.

If only the families could get along, it wouldn’t matter who owned whom.

Source : blogs.motortrend.com/6554346/corporate/ferdinand-piech-and-the-new-porsche-914/index.html

TVR History

Trevor Wilkinson (14 May 1923 – 6 June 2008) was born in Blackpool and left school at 14 to start an engineering apprenticeship at a local garage. In 1946 he bought a wheelwright’s business in Blackpool, renaming it Trevcar Motors in 1947, for the purpose of selling and repairing cars and light engineering.

In 1947, Wilkinson built his first car, a special two-seater body on an Alvis Firebird chassis for himself. As a result, Wilkinson with partner Jack Pickard then started a separate company, TVR Engineering, with a name derived from Wilkinson’s name – TreVoR. Their first car was an alloy-bodied two seat body on a tubular chassis, which appeared in 1949.

In 1953 the concept of glass-reinforced plastic bodywork over a tubular steel backbone chassis was accepted, and continued throughout TVR’s current production history. In 1954, TVR Engineering was renamed TVR, in light of the launch of the first “production” car called the Mk1, later name Grantura. The glass fibre body design and layout remained, in modified form, until replaced by the angular wedge design Tasmin in 1980.

At launch in the 1950s, TVRs were powered by 4-cylinder engines from Coventry Climax, BMC or Ford, the performance models having Shorrock superchargers. As with many other British sports cars, engine sizes remained under two litres, and all produced less than 100 bhp (75 kW). As most TVRs were sold in the domestic British market, to avoid a British tax on assembled cars many of the early cars were sold in kit form – a practice which continued until the 1970s, when the tax loophole was closed and the kit-form option removed.

In April 1962 Wilkinson and Pickard left the company to set up a specialist fibre-glass engineering business. On retirement, Wilkinson moved to Minorca, Spain, where he died aged 85, on 6 June 2008.

Pontiac History

Pre-war years: 1926-1942

1928 Pontiac

1936 Pontiac Master Six Coupe

The Pontiac brand was introduced by General Motors in 1926 as the ‘companion’ marque to GM’s Oakland Motor Car line. The Pontiac name was first used in 1906 by the Pontiac Spring & Wagon Works and linked to Chief Pontiac who led an unsuccessful uprising against the British shortly after the French and Indian War. The Oakland Motor Company and Pontiac Spring & Wagon Works Company merged in November 1908 under the name of the Oakland Motor Car Company. The operations of both companies were joined together in Pontiac, Michigan (in Oakland County) to build the Cartercar. Oakland was purchased by General Motors in 1909. The first General Motors Pontiac was conceived as an affordable six cylinder that was intended to compete with more inexpensive four cylinder models. Within months of its introduction, Pontiac outsold Oakland. As Pontiac’s sales rose and Oakland’s sales began to decline, Pontiac became the only ‘companion’ marque to survive its ‘parent’, when Oakland ceased production in 1932.

Pontiac began selling cars with straight 6-cylinder engines with the 40 hp (30 kW) 186 ci (3.1 liter) (3.25×3.75 in, 82.5x95mm) L-head six in the Pontiac Chief of 1927; its stroke was the shortest in the American car industry at the time. The Chief sold 39,000 units within six months of its appearance at the 1926 New York Auto Salon, hitting 76,742 within twelve months. The next year, it becoming the top-selling six in the U.S., ranking seventh in overall sales. In 1933, it moved up to producing the cheapest cars with straight eight-cylinder (inline eight) engines. This was done by using many components from the 6-cylinder Chevrolet, such as the body. In the late 1930s, Pontiac used the so-called torpedo body of the Buick for one of its models just prior to its being used by Chevrolet as well. This body brought some attention to the marque.

For an extended period of time, prewar through the early 1950s, the Pontiac was a quiet and solid car, but not especially powerful. With a flathead (side-valve) straight eight. These combinations proved attractive to the vehicle’s target market – a reserved lower middle class not especially interested in performance or handling but seeking good value and a roomy vehicle in a step up from the entry-level Chevrolet. This fit well within parent GM’s strategy of passing an increasingly prosperous customer up through the various divisions. Straight 8s are slightly less expensive to produce than the increasingly popular V8s, but they were also heavier and longer. Also, the long crankshaft suffered from excessive flex, which restricted straight 8s to relatively low compression and modest revs. In this application, inexpensive (but poor-breathing) flatheads were not a liability.


The origins of Audi

The origins of Audi

Audi Type E

The company traces its origins back to 1899 and August Horch. The first Horch automobile was produced in 1901 in Zwickau. In 1909, Horch was forced out of the company he had founded. He then started a new company in Zwickau and continued using the Horch brand. His former partners sued him for trademark infringement and a German court determined that the Horch brand belonged to his former company. August Horch was forced to refrain from using his own family name in his new car business. Horch immediately called a meeting at the apartment of Franz Fikentscher to come up with a new name for his company. During this meeting Franz’s son was quietly studying Latin in a corner of the room. Several times he looked like he was on the verge of saying something but would just swallow his words and continue working, until he finally blurted out, “Father?? audiatur et altera pars… wouldn’t it be a good idea to call it audi instead of horch?”. “Horch!” in German means “Hark!” or “listen”, which is “Audi” in Latin (compare audible). The idea was enthusiastically accepted by everyone attending the meeting. It is sometimes (incorrectly) believed that AUDI is a backronym (a reversed acronym) which stands for “Auto Union Deutschland Ingolstadt”.

Audi started with a 2,612 cc (2.6 litre) four cylinder model followed by a 3564?cc (3.6 L) model, as well as 4680?cc (4.7 L) and 5720?cc (5.7L) models. These cars were successful even in sporting events. August Horch left the Audi company in 1920. The first six cylinder model, 4655?cc (4.7 L) appeared in 1924. In 1928, the company was acquired by J?rgen Rasmussen, owner of DKW. In the same year, Rasmussen bought the remains of the US automobile manufacturer, Rickenbacker, including the manufacturing equipment for eight cylinder engines. These engines were used in Audi Zwickau and Audi Dresden models that were launched in 1929. At the same time, six cylinder and four cylinder (licensed from Peugeot) models were manufactured. Audi cars of that era were luxurious cars equipped with special bodywork.

The Auto Union era

Cover of the 1937 English motor sport magazine with an Auto Union racing car on a banked track

In 1932, Audi merged with Horch, DKW and Wanderer, to form Auto Union.

Before World War II, Auto Union used the four interlinked rings that make up the Audi badge today, representing these four brands. This badge was used, however, only on Auto Union racing cars in that period while the member companies used their own names and emblems. The technological development became more and more concentrated and some Audi models were propelled by Horch or Wanderer built engines. During World War II, the Horch/Auto Union produced the Sd-Kfz 222 armored car, which was used in the German army during the war. It was powered by an 81?hp (60?kW) Horch/Auto Union V8 engine which had a top speed of 50 miles per hour.

Another vehicle which was used in World War II to shuttle German military officials safely was known as the Kraftfahrzeug (KFZ 11) or the Horch Type 80. The military used it as a light transport vehicle.

The four-ring logo
The Audi emblem is four overlapping rings that represent the four marques of Auto Union. The Audi emblem symbolizes the amalgamation of Audi with DKW, Horch and Wanderer: the first ring represents Audi, the second represents DKW, third is Horch, and the fourth and last ring Wanderer.

Toyota Aurion

The Toyota Aurion (pronounced or-ree-on) is a mid-size car produced by Toyota in Australia and parts of Asia since 2006. The Aurion is essentially a seventh generation Toyota Camry with revised front- and rear-end treatment, along with changes to the interior. The Camry-based Aurion is also sold in the majority of East and Southeast Asia as the Toyota Camry, with the original version of the Camry sold alongside the Aurion in the Middle East and Australasia. In the previous two markets, the car replaces the Avalon model, which can trace its roots back to the early 1990s.

In the Middle Eastern and Australasian regions, to further differentiate the Aurion from its Camry sibling, Toyota equips the former exclusively with a 3.5?litre V6 engine. With the Toyota Camry however, only the 2.4?litre four-cylinder model is offered. Previously in these markets, prior to the introduction of the seventh generation Camry, Toyota had offered both four- and a six-cylinder powerplants. Along with the naturally-aspirated version, Toyota also produces an Australia-only supercharged TRD variant, claimed to be the world’s most powerful front-wheel drive car.

The powertrains used in the Asian specification Camry vary slightly from those of the Aurion. As well as the 3.5?litre V6, two four-cylinder engines are offered in either 2.0?litre or a 2.4?litre form. These engines are mated with a six-, four- and five-speed automatic transmissions respectively.


Also called
Toyota Camry


Altona, Victoria, Australia
Chachoengsao, Thailand
Guangzhou, China
Santa Rosa, Philippines
Shah Alam, Malaysia
Taipei, Taiwan
Cikarang, Indonesia

Toyota Avalon

Mid-size car

Body style(s)
4-door sedan

FF layout

2.0?L 1AZ-FE I4
2.4?L 2AZ-FE I4
3.5?L 2GR-FE V6

4-speed U241E automatic
5-speed U250E automatic
6-speed U660E automatic

2775?mm (109.3?in)

4825?mm (190?in)

1820?mm (71.7?in)

1470?mm (57.9?in)

Curb weight
1590?kg (3505?lb)?1630?kg (3594?lb)

Toyota Camry

Nick Hogios

Rolls-Royce 30 hp

The Rolls-Royce 30 hp is an early car model produced by Rolls-Royce at their Manchester works and made in 1905 and 1906. The engine was exhibited at the 1904 Paris Motor Salon along with the 10hp, 15hp and 20hp cars. Claude Johnson was keen that a six cylinder model was included in the Rolls-Royce line-up as other “quality” makers, especially Napier, were adding them to their ranges. The 30 hp was discontinued when the company changed to a single model policy and launched the 40/50 (Silver Ghost).

The engine was made of three separately cast two cylinder unit which were common with the two cylinder 10 hp and four cylinder 20 hp types sharing their bore of 4?in (102?mm) and stroke of 5?in (127?mm). It is water-cooled and of 6000?cc capacity with overhead inlet and side exhaust valves. The crankshaft was carried in seven main bearings in an attempt to keep vibration to a minimum, a problem on many early six cylinder engines as the dynamics of the layout were still not fully understood. Early cars had a high tension ignition system using pre-charged accumulators, a trembler and a coil ignition system; on later cars this was supplemented by a magneto which could be used as an alternative. As the lighting supplied uses oil for the side and tail and acetylene for the headlights, there is no other drain on the accumulators which need to be recharged between outings. The power output is 30?bhp (22?kW) at 1000 rpm.? The engine speed is controlled by a governor that can be over-ridden by the pedal controlled accelerator. A three speed gearbox was fitted at first, later changed to four speed, connected to the engine via a short shaft and a leather cone clutch is used. On the four speed type, third gear is direct and fourth speed an overdrive ratio.

The car has a top speed of 55?mph (89?km/h). There is a transmission brake operating on a drum fitted behind the gearbox operated by foot pedal and internal expanding drum brakes on the back axle operated by the handbrake lever. Suspension is by semi-elliptic leaf springs on both front and rear axles with an additional crossways helper spring on the rear. Artillery type wheels with wooden spokes were fitted.

Two chassis lengths were made, the short was 112?in (2845?mm) long and the long 118?in (2997?mm). the track was the same on both lengths at 56?in (1422?mm). Rolls-Royce did not provide the coachwork. Instead, the cars were sold in chassis form for the customer to arrange their own body supplier. Both closed and open cars were made.

The car in chassis only form cost ?890. Only one car, chassis number 26355 is known to survive.

Rolls-Royce Ltd

37 made

40/50 (Silver Ghost)

6000cc 6 cylinder.

three or four speed

112?in (2845?mm) or 118?in (2997?mm)

157?in (3988?mm) or 158.75?in (4032?mm)

Sir Henry Royce

Rolls-Royce 15 hp

The Rolls-Royce 15 hp is an early car model produced by Rolls-Royce at their Manchester works and made only in 1905. It was exhibited at the 1904 Paris Motor Salon along with the 10hp, 20hp and engine for the 30hp models but as the new three cylinder engine was not ready the chassis was incomplete.

Three cylinder engines were quite popular in the early years of motoring and one was part of the ambitious programme of the new company. The layout produced less vibration than 2 cylinder engines and was much simpler to make than a six cylinder with its long crankshaft. However, Royce was making his range of engines using a standard two cylinder block, putting two together for the four cylinder and three for the six. The three cylinder engine did not fit in with this production having each of its cylinders cast separately and this is thought to be the reason why only six were made. The engine, which has a bore of 4 in (102 mm) and stroke of 5 in (127 mm) is water-cooled and of 3000 cc capacity with overhead inlet and side exhaust valves. A high tension ignition system using pre-charged accumulators, a trembler and a coil provides the ignition spark. As the lighting supplied uses oil, there is no other drain on the accumulators.The power output is 15 bhp (11 kW) at 1000 rpm. The engine speed is controlled by a governor that can be over-ridden by the pedal controlled accelerator. A three speed gearbox is used, connected to the engine via a short shaft and a leather cone clutch is used.

The car has a top speed of 39 mph (63 km/h). There is a transmission brake fitted behind the gearbox operated by foot pedal and internal expanding drum brakes on the back axle operated by the handbrake lever. Springing is by semi-elliptic leaf springs on both front and rear axles with an additional crossways helper spring on the rear of some of the cars. Artillery type wheels were fitted.

Rolls-Royce did not provide the coachwork. Instead, the cars were sold in chassis form for the customer to arrange his own body supplier, with Barker recommended.

The car, in chassis only form, was priced at GBP500.

Only one car, registered SD 661 is known to survive.

Rolls-Royce Ltd

6 made

3000cc 3 cylinder.

three speed

103 in (2616 mm)

Sir Henry Royce