One of VWâ€™s most, if not the most, popular petrol engines in its European range, the 115Hp 1.6-liter FSI, is soon to be replaced by the companyâ€™s new 122Hp 1.4-litre TSI. Based on the 1.4-litre TSI that combines a supercharger and a turbocharger (available in 140Hp and 170Hp guises), the new unit uses just a turbocharger. The new engine is planned to be fitted to the Golf, Golf Plus, Golf Estate,
Month: May 2007
These pictures were shot by an Audi fan in a parking lot somewhere in Spain and from the looks of it, we could be looking at the upcoming RS6. Just to set things straight, we have no official or unofficial confirmation that Audiâ€™s readying a top-notch A6, only rumours and various spy pics like these. The differences we spotted between the current S6 and the RS6 pictured here include wider flares,
Kia came out with an official release and more images of its updated Picanto mini thatâ€™ll premiere at the Barcelona Auto Show on June 7, 2007, In a nutshell, the 2008 Picanto received a new front end, different rear light clusters and an updated interior inspired from the Ceeâ€™d. There are no changes in the engine range. The Koreans believe that the facelift will help boost annual oversees sales
I’ve been a subscriber to the Miramar Volkswagen/Audi newsletter for the past year, so I keep up with the latest happenings over at this dealership here in San Diego. I do have to commend them for the service that they’ve given me so far. Here are a couple examples:
- I requested a brochure for the Audi A8 and a few days later I got a follow-up email and phone call to make sure I received the brochure ok and if I had any questions. It’s a small gesture, but I always preach over at my customer service blog that follow-up is a key element in the customer experience.
- They’ve just started offering Wi-Fi inside the dealership, so while you’re waiting for your car to be serviced, you can still do work or just kill time…
So far, Miramar Audi is on my good side! If you’re a customer and have had some experience with this dealership, leave a comment!
It’s amazing the difference good design can make. Yeah, those stupid little lawn lights we see all around nowadays are solar powered. But they’re not very attractive or versatile.
Which is why we love The Corona. The Corona is very attractive and can do pretty much anything. They can be staked into a lawn, hung from a wall or placed on a table. They’re water-proof, use high-efficiency LEDs and look as if they belong in the natural environment.
The materials, design, and idea of the Corona are all completely conscious of the environment. And that environmental consciousness has resulted in a stunningly attractive design. Solar lighting looks to be ready for the big leagues. Who could argue against these gorgeous little things.
The developing world is leapfrogging us again! First they skipped the land-line step, opting for inexpensive and less infrastructure-dependent mobile phones, now it looks like they’re eschewing cables completely and opting for distributed sources of electricity.
Motorola has created a pilot project in Nambia that will power cell towers using solar and wind energy. This, the first project of it’s kind, could be the start of a system that would bring global communications to small and rural communities.
This independence from the electric grid could become a significant empowering force for rural communities across the world. While we don’t have technical details on the project (kilowatts generated, battery backup systems, etc,) we have confidence in Motorola’s ability to create this kind of distributed power and communications network. The question is, can they make it financially viable.
This $100 Kenyan bike engine quickly converts any bicycle to a 100 mpg motorbike. It might not be the most efficient engine, or the cleanest. But as the world develops, simple solutions like these are necessary to make the world a better place for people, without upsetting the balance of the environment.
Based on the Ariel Atom and utilizing next-generation battery materials (of course meaning: no further details available), the Wrightspeed X1 plug-in hybrid will set you back $120,000. The batteries alone cost more than double that used Prius you’ve had your eye on. But a 0-60 time better than any other production street car under $1,000,000 – 3.07 seconds – suddenly makes this supercar look like a bargain.
It’s creator, Ian Wright, created the X1 full-electric prototype in his Silicon Valley garage. It gets 170 MPG equivalent, and even with an electronically limited top speed of 112 MPH it still runs low 11’s in the quarter mile. An obvious EcoGeek, Ian did some math and figured out that we’ll save more fuel by bringing efficiency to the "high-end, big-margin gas guzzlers that garner big profit margins" than by improving already efficient passenger cars.
From the WrightSpeed website:
If reduction in fuel consumption is the goal, it would be better to replace 10mpg cars with 20mpg cars, than to replace 50 mpg cars with 100mpg cars. 5 times better.
Counter-intuitive? HereÂ’s the arithmetic. The 10mpg car uses 10 gallons to go 100 miles. The 20 mpg car uses 5: a saving of 5 gallons. The 50 mpg car uses only 2 gallons for 100 miles, so replacing it with a 100mpg car only saves one gallon.
The street-legal hybrid version, probably available in 2009 or 2010, is slated to be even more powerful.
via Wired News
Remember when the military was on the fore-front of innovation? When what we did at war pulled the world into the future? I’m not saying that war was ever good…I’m just saying that it used to be a lot smarter.
Which is why it’s nice to see the US Army actually considering energy efficiency when building a vehicle. The Aggressor is a diesel-electric hybrid two seater designed for reconnaissance and light transport. While it can easily hit 80 mph and has a zero to forty time of just four seconds, the coolest feature is probably its stealth mode.
The Aggressor can switch to an all-battery mode that makes the vehicle virtually silent. The military initially looked to fuel cells to provide this feature. But then the impracticality of shipping hydrogen around a battlefield hit them, so they paid some attention to the rest of the world and went with batteries.
The Aggressor could be ready for operations within the next couple years. And while it’s kinda sad that these could be the first hybrids Iraq will ever see, it is at least better than the alternative: More Hummers.
In Eastern Kenya the four Ututu brothers inherited a large area of fertile farmland, which had been terraced by their father in the late 1950s. Despite this resource, they were experiencing problems because they lacked water both for drinking (meaning wasted time, fetching water from 9 miles away in the dry season) and for irrigation.
The Ututu brothers drilled their first successful well in 1997 where water was found at a depth of 30 feet. One of the brothers, Joseph Ututu, designed a working wind-pump to try on one of the wells. He and his brothers constructed the moving parts mainly from spare bicycle tires, and made the sails from corrugated steel roofing sheets. Joseph is particularly proud of the enclosed pulley mechanism, which has so far worked for six years without maintenance. The wind-pump is fixed in position and faces the prevailing wind. At night, when the wind picks up, the sails turn very fast, clanking and creaking as they turn. Every night, the turbine pumps over 1,000 liters of water.
While it may seem extraordinary that wells had not be Â“discoveredÂ” in this part of Kenya until the last decade or so, the Ututu brothers have certainly capitalized on their initiative. There is a good market for water, and from the income earned they have managed to educate all their children. They have also raised vegetables for food and for sale on a small horticultural plot close to the wells. Since they began, more than 30 wells have been dug by neighbors.
Wells and wind-pumps are hardly revolutionary technologies; nevertheless their development by the Ututus has revolutionized the local water supply. With improved technical knowledge, people gain the tools to make the most of their own imaginative design capability to solve local problems in the most relevant way. We should therefore recognize and encourage initiative where it occurs, and support such creativity with Â“scientificÂ” knowledge.
A 43-foot hydrogen behemoth will take to the streets of Belgium early next month. Rolling in with three axles, a tank of hydrogen and plenty Sodium Nickel Chloride batteries, the new zero-emissions passenger bus will be the largest of its kind. Built as a joint venture between bus manufacturer Van Hool and United Technologies Corp., the mega hybrid will join Europe’s "HyFleet" project. HyFleet is an international panel on a mission to pollinate the European countryside with transit buses powered by H2.
The queen of HyFleet’s fleet will cart over 100 passengers distances of over 217 miles before an H2 fill-up is required. The bus has a 40kg tank on board and the numerous batteries on board can keep 53 kWh of electricity on board to zap the monstrous electric motor. Despite all these impressive techno-stats, the bus’s greatest asset is just being so frikin’ big. The last H2 bus that came along only held 70 riders, so the Van Hool/UTC bus is a money tree in cost-per-rider category.
Solar Power is cropping up in some weird places. While it’ll take some time for sunlight to become the fuel of the future, already solar power is being adopted by individuals and communities you might not expect.
The city of Rizhao, for example, is a poor coastal city in China. While the per-capita income is significantly lower than surrounding cities, almost every flat surface is covered in solar panels. Of course, these aren’t the electricity-creating kind, they’re the hot-water-creating kind. 99% of the hot water in the city comes from roof-top solar, and all the streetlights are powered by photovoltaics. Though it’s a poor city, Rizhao has turned solar power into an economic engine while becomming one of the ten cleanest cities in China.
And then there’s the Amish. You wouldn’t think that the Amish would be early adopters of anything (as many of them aren’t ready to embrace innovations such as buttons on pants) but solar seems to be right up their alley. Amish families are the leading per-capita adopters of solar in Pennsylvania. Their values of self-sufficiency and moderation are served perfectly by the panels.
So, as it turns out, poor people in China and the Amish are leading the way into the future. It’s about time we caught up.