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Showing posts from December 10, 2010

Lamborghini Sesto Elemento to be produced

According to Automotive News Lamborghini will put the Sesto Elemento concept into limited production. There will be 5 to 10 units built, and like usual the exclusivity has a big price: 2,5 million Euro (almost $3,500,000 at the current exchange rates). Now that the Murcielago is out of production, Lamborghini’s sales will have to suffer, and this decision was made in an attempt to improve the company’s profit that has been hit hard by the global economic crisis.

Glossary: Z

ZERO-OFFSET STEERING Designed to minimize torque-steer on front-wheel drive cars during acceleration or braking with each wheel on a different surface, the zero-offset steering has a scrub radius of zero. In other words, the lateral forces that act upon the wheels during aforementioned situations are kept to a minimum and the vehicle's stability is improved.

Glossary: X

X-Drive all-wheel drive system
X-Drive X-Drive is BMW's trademarked name for the all-wheel drive system used on the X5, X6, X3, 3, 5 Series and other future series. Its latest generation employs a multi-plate clutch transfer box situated between the axes to direct the power split between front and rear wheels.

Not depending on the ABS sensors alone, like the previous generation, the X-Drive is now controlled by a central ECU which transformed the system from a reactive to an active one. In other words, if just one of the wheels starts slipping the ABS sensors detect it and send the gathered data to the ECU which in turn commands the wet multi-plate clutch trough a high speed electric servo-motor which turns an actuator shaped like a disc.

In normal driving mode, the system splits the torque with a 38% - 62% distribution ration between the front and rear axles, but depending on driving conditions it can send up to 100% to a single axle.

Glossary: W

WEIGHT-TO-HORSEPOWER RATIO The weight to power ratio is the result of a vehicle's weight divided by the power its engine develops, thus enabling a measurement of performance.

WHEELBASE Wheelbase is the distance between the front axle and the rear axle of a vehicle. Cars with a longer wheelbase are more stable at high speeds and provide better interior room, while cars with a shorter wheelbase have better city handling and are generally shorter.
WINCH A winch is an externally mounted mechanical device consisting of a cable spooled onto a drum. It is used to pull heavy or bulky objects or to retrieve a vehicle that is stuck in mud. The drum can be driven in a rotating motion by the engine itself, by hydraulic power or even electrically.

WINDOWBAGS Like any other airbag, windowbags are designed to protect a vehicle's occupants in case of an accident. They are called windowbags because in the event of a side collision the occupants&…

Glossary: V

VALVES A valve is a device that regulates the flow of gases in and out of the cylinders of an internal combustion engine. Intake valves allow the air and fuel to enter the combustion chamber, while exhaust valves allow the burned gases to exit after combustion.

Viscous Coupling
VCU Viscous Coupling (VCU) can act either as limited slip differential (LSD) or as a central differential in some all-wheel drive vehicles. The device itself consists of two sets of alternating and perforated metal plates mounted in a sealed drum, which are engulfed into a silicone or similar liquid.

Each set of plates is connected to a propshaft, and can transmit or limit the power between the two shafts depending on the speed of the plates, which heat up the aforementioned liquid, thus modifying its viscosity. In turn, more or less torque can be transmitted between two axles or two wheels according to the individual speed of the axles (or wheels.)

Vehicle Dynamic Control

Glossary: U

Universal Joint
U-JOINT Designed to transmit a rotary motion between an output shaft and an input shaft with a different angle between them, the U-joint (or Universal) is comprised of two rods (or shafts) connected via a pair of hinges.

Unified Chassis Control
UCC The Unified Chassis Control (UCC) is a Delphi technology which integrates different safety systems under the same umbrella in order to provide enhanced vehicle control. By integrating systems like the ABS, stability control, traction and even suspension control under a single ECU, the Unified Chassis Control can respond better to unforeseen driving situations.
UNITIZED CONSTRUCTION A unitized (also called unibody or monocoque) body integrates the chassis and other structural elements into the construction of the vehicle, and does not require a separate frame or chassis to provide rigidity to the body, thus reducing the total weight.

The New Twelve-Cylinder And The New ISR Transmission

Yesterday I posted that the new Lamborghini will feature a new V12 engine and some cutting edge touches. I ended the post by saying more news soon. (Lamborghini Aventador 700-4)
Today is soon.
We have the press release. First on GMI.

Glossary: T

TACHOMETER The tachometer is essentially a gauge that can display an engine's revolutions per minute (rpm or revs).

Traction Control System
TCS Developed to minimize wheel slippage through turns and low grip surfaces, Traction Control works by using the ABS wheel sensors to detect if any of the wheels is spinning uncontrollably and individually brake it or even reduce engine power until the grip is restored.

Turbo Diesel direct Injection
TDI TDI is Volkswagen's AG trademarked moniker for their Turbo Diesel direct Injection engines. While in the beginning they were all direct injection engines, now common rail ones also bear the same name in the VAG group.

TELEAID The TELEAID is a Mercedes-Benz optional feature based on a built-in telephone. Essentially, it can emit an automatic distress call to alert emergency services in the case of an accident. Depending on the type of accident or vehicle, the system can be triggered by the cras…

Glossary: S

SEDAN The sedan is the most common configuration of a modern automobile. Sedans usually have four doors, although the term can be used to describe a two-door body also. Most of them have a three-box configuration, but two-box bodies are also common, mostly in Europe.

Usually found on trucks and sport utility vehicles, this type of springs consists of arched steel leafs that are stacked together horizontally to form the foundation of the rear suspension.

Sequential turbochargers were created from the need to decrease spooling lag. Two or sometimes more turbochargers are put to work in sequence. Usually, a smaller one begins working at low rpms and the other(s) at higher rpms, thus improving the power delivery throughout the power curve, not only above a certain number of revs.

SHIFT-ON-THE-FLY Most part-time four-wheel drive systems in the past required their drivers to stop the vehi…

Glossary: R

RACK-AND-PINION STEERING Delivering a more precise feel than recirculating ball systems, rack-and-pinion steering is a common type of steering mechanism on modern automobiles. In simple terms, it consists of two gears that convert rotational movement into a linear one.

One of the gears meshes with a rack (a toothed metal bar), which in turn is directly linked to the wheels via tire rods. By rotating the gear with the steering shaft, the circular motion converts into a linear one and moving the rack from side to side, therefore turning the wheels into the desired direction.

The ramp break-over angle measures a vehicle's ability to safely pass over a ramp without touching its underside. For the best break-over angle possible, a high ground clearance together with a short wheelbase are necessary.

REBOUND Rebound is the opposite of jounce, so it's still a vertical motion of the wheel. In other words, when the suspensio…

Glossary: K

Kompressor Kompressor is the marketing name given by Mercedes-Benz to its supercharged engines and is also the German word for supercharger (or compressor).

Viper Confirmed!

Chrysler Group LLC plans to bring the iconic Dodge Viper back to its lineup in the summer of 2012. The all-new Viper will be a 2013 model. The Auburn Hills automaker ceased production of the all-American sports car last summer after 18 years. There has been speculation since then that the hiatus would be short-lived and Chrysler would bring the car back.

De Tomaso SLC teasers

Porsche, supercar, Detroit

After a four-year absence, Porsche will be making a comeback to the 2011 Detroit Auto Show with a "spectacular new concept that points towards a future road going model." This new concept car is closely related to the 918 Spyder concept from which it takes key components, including elements of its platform.

"Porsche’s return demonstrates the relevancy of the Detroit show for luxury manufacturers," said Rebecca Lindland, an analyst at IHS Automotive in Lexington, Mass. "They target a very specific audience with their cars and the U.S. market is incredibly important for Porsche."

The German publication, AutoZeitung, suggests that this new model is known as the 929 and that it will be revealed sometime in 2013. A hybrid drivetrain that will combine a 4.8 liter V8 Biturbo engine with three electric motors, something similar to the 918 Spyder, is expected to be found under the hood.

"We’ll have something spectacular to show there," Hans-G…

2012 Chevrolet Cruze Hatchback.

Hyundai Weighs Adding Luxury Models, Separate Brand


Hyundai Motor Co. may add two luxury models and create a luxury brand that would likely be called Genesis to compete directly with Toyota Motor Corp.'s Lexus and other upscale makes, Hyundai's top U.S. executive said.

Illustrated: 2012 Ford Coupe

Volvo R Super Coupe?

New Mitsubishi Colt?

Geneva 2011 Preview:

Motor Trend: The C7 Corvette Body is Done!

by Keith Cornett on December 2, 2010 As the C7 Corvette project moves along, gird your loins for many of these prognostications about the status of the new car, including new features and options that are being considered. Today’s rumor about the next generation Corvette is a two-fer from the MT Confidential column on page 17 of Motor Trend’s December 2010 issue.

Glossary: H

A half-shaft is an articulated, rotating shaft used in independent suspension systems to transmit power from a differential to a drive wheel. Hardtop
HARDTOP Hardtop is an automotive term which usually describes a rigid (sometimes detachable or even retractable) vehicle roof.
HATCHBACK A hatchback is a type of automobile layout, consisting of a passenger cabin which includes an integrated cargo space, accessed from behind by a hatch or a flip-up window - which is usually counted as a 3rd or 5th door. Hatchbacks are also often called three-doors (two entry doors and the hatch) or five-doors (four entry doors and the hatch) cars.

The hauling capacity is the maximum amount of weight - including driver, passengers, options, accessories and luggage - that can be carried by a vehicle, according to the manufacturer. Hight Pressure Diesel direct Injection
HDi HDi is PS…

Never born: 2008 Alfa Romeo Brezza Concept

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Glossary: M

MANUAL STICK SHIFT Manual stick shift is just another term to describe a manual transmission in the United States. Besides a clutch pedal, drivers of such equipped cars use a stick shaped gear lever to manually change gears. Microcar
MICROCAR Called "bubble cars" in the past, modern microcars are very small vehicles designed purely for city driving. Most of them have engines borrowed from scooters or use electric power, can only sit one or two passengers and are generally found in crowded cities.
Multi-Plate Transfer
MPT A multi-plate transfer (or multi-plate clutch) is a set of several hydraulic clutches that are progressively engaged and disengaged to limit slip at the drive wheels. They can act either as a normal differential or a limited slip one (LSD). Most multi-plate clutches are microprocessor-controlled, using various speed sensors to determine when to engage or disengage the clutches. Some SUVs for example use…

Glossary: L

LADDER FRAME Ladder frames are used in vehicles with body-on-frame layouts, and is usually shapped like a large metallic ladder. In recent years, only pickup trucks and certain SUVs are still using this chassis solution, while other types of cars have switched to unibody constructions.
Lower Anchors and Tethers for Children
LATCH Lower Anchors and Tethers for Children (LATCH) refer to a standardized system for child seat attachment, required by US and Canada legislation to be used in new vehicles. in other parts of the world it is known as ISOFIX. Lane Departure Warning system
LDW The lane departure warning system is a newly introduced safety technology in use by various manufacturers. Most LDW assistance features can identify a vehicle's position in relation to the road's lane boundary markings using cameras or laser sensors integrated into the vehicle. If the vehicle should deviate from between the lane on which is t…

Glossary: I

Integrated Chassis Control System
ICCS The Integrated Chassis System (ICCS) is a General Motors technology that integrates brakes, steering, suspension and traction control, using electronic sensors for more precise handling. It is currently used in some Cadillac models.
Independent Suspension
INDEPENDENT SUSPENSION The independent suspension is a system where each wheel can be moved on a vertical axis without influencing the other, and can react independently to bumps on the road.

INLINE 6 An inline-six (or straight six) is an engine configuration where all cylinders sit in a straight line across the crankcase, while all the pistons are driving the same crankshaft. Along the V12 and other similar layouts, it is the best naturally balanced engine configuration.
Instant Traction
INSTA TRAC Insta Trac is a GM marketing name for a 4WD system that gives a vehicle the ability to shift from four to two-wheel drive and vice-versa without …

Glossary: Q

QUATTRO quattro is Audi's trademarked name for their four-wheel drive system. Now at its fifth generation since it was introduced in 1980 (on the Quattro model, or Ur-Quattro as it is known), the quattro all-wheel drive system is a permanent one, without the possibility of switching from four to two wheel drive.

Since on most of Audi's vehicles since the '80's it was designed around a Torsen (torque-sensing) central differential, in case of grip loss on certain road surfaces it can distribute torque between front and rear axles depending on the grip level.

Glossary: P

PART-TIME FOUR-WHEEL DRIVE Part-time four-wheel drive is the most common type of all wheel drive. It usually operates only in two-wheel drive mode and it can be switched to all-wheel drive whenever the situation requires.

By employing a center differential or a transfer box, these types of all-wheel drive systems can transfer power to either the front only, rear or to all the drive wheels, depending on the driver's wishes.

On older designs, the all-wheel drive mode had to be manually engaged and the vehicle had to be stopped in order for the (usually front) wheel hubs to be locked, but it can now be done from the inside of the vehicle and on some vehicles even while they're moving.
Permanent Four-Wheel drive
PERMANENT FOUR-WHEEL DRIVE Permanent four-wheel drive systems send power to all four wheels in a continuous manner. There is no need for the driver to engage two or four-wheels drive mode, since all of the wheels are always powered.����������…

Glossary: O

Occupant Position Detection System
OPDS The Occupant Position Detection System (OPDS) uses sensors to calculate passenger height and position. If a child should lean into the airbag deployment path, the sensor will prevent the side airbag from deploying and subsequently injuring the passenger.
OVERDRIVE Overdrive is a term which describes a transmission gear that reduces the power output needed to maintain the driving speed, therefore improving fuel economy.

Glossary: 0-9

4 wheel Electronic Traction System
4ETS Working with the vehicle's full-time four-wheel drive, 4-ETS uses individual wheel-speed sensors to detect the onset of wheel slip. Then it individually brakes the slipping wheels as needed, providing the effect of locking the front, center and/or rear differentials. The 4-ETS system continually balances the torque split to direct power to the wheel or wheels with grip.

4 Wheel Drive and Automatic4MATIC 4MATIC is the name of a complex electronically controlled all wheel drive system developed and used by Mercedes-Benz on some of its models. All Mercedes cars featuring this system also have an automatic transmission in standard equipment and that's where its name is derived from (4-wheel drive and automatic transmission).

Originally developed together by Mercedes and Steyr-Daimler-Puch engineers, the system is now at its third generation but it's still based on a rear wheel drive chassis on most of the mode…

Glossary: N

Nitrous Oxide
N2O N2O (Nitrous Oxide, sometimes called laughing gas) is a non-flammable gas usually used in surgery and dentistry for its anesthetic and analgesic effects. The main reason for which is so famous though is because it was used in early motor racing and also the modern tuning and street racing scene for its properties as an oxidizer to increase the power output of engines.

Glossary: G

Gross Axle Weight Rating
GAWR The Gross Axle Weight Rating is the maximum amount of weight that can be supported by each axle, as prescribed by the manufacturer.
Gross Combined Weight Rating
GCWR Gross Combined Weight Rating (GCWR) is the maximum weight of a completely loaded vehicle and its trailer, as designated by the manufacturer.
Gear Ratio
GEAR RATIO This is a numerical ratio of a series of gears in relation to each other, based on the number of turns of the input shaft, compared to turns of the output shaft. Gear ratios are determined by the number of teeth on each gear (and therefore the size of each gear). Ground Clearance
GROUND CLEARANCE Ground clearance is the measurement from the lowest-hanging point under a vehicle (usually a differential, part of the suspension or the exhaust system) towards the ground. A high ground clearance allows a vehicle to drive more easily off-road or through heavy snow without dama…

Glossary: F

Four valves per cylinder are mostly used on DOHC (Double Overhead Camshaft) engines. Two of the valves are for the air-fuel mixture intake while the other two open to allow the exhaust gases out of each cylinder. Fire Prevention System
FPS The Fire Prevention System (FPS) is designed to interrupt fuel delivery in the event of a collision, thus minimizing the risk of fire.
Fuel cutoff
FUEL CUTOFF A computer-controlled shutoff to the fuel system designed to prevent drivers from over-revving the engine, since over-revving is a primary cause of engine failure.
Fuel Injection
FUEL INJECTION Fuel injection is a mechanical or electronic system designed to inject atomized fuel directly into the cylinders of an internal-combustion engine. Essentially, it replaces the carburetor by being much more efficient, since the injection process is much better controlled.
Front-wheel Drive
FWD Front-wheel driv…

Glossary: E

Electronic Air Suspension
EAS The Electronic Air Suspension System (EAS) automatically adapts damping and spring characteristics, along with the vehicle's body level to driving conditions and load changes. Emergency Brake Assistance
EBA The EBA system from Mercedes-Benz is designed to make use of the best capabilities the ABS (Anti-lock Braking System) has to offer in the event of an emergency braking. Electronic Brake Assistance achieves this by detecting if a faster or harder than usual application of the brake pedal - such as under a panic situation - has happened and acts accordingly by providing the maximum amount of pressure into the brake cylinders, thus making the car enter the ABS zone faster and shortening the stopping distance by a very high margin. Electronic brake force distribution
EBD Electronic Brake force Distribution (EBD). It actually senses the weight in the rear of the car (trunk, rear sea…

Glossary: D

DAMPING Damping is the motion of cushioning the vehicle's body movements in order to smooth the ride over bumpy roads and eliminate uncomfortable vibrations coming from the surface of the road.
Dynamic Brake Control
DBC Dynamic Brake Control (DBC) is a BMW developed active safety system which improves brake effectiveness during emergency braking. Vehicles equipped with the system use sensors to detect the speed and force with which the driver applies the brakes and then send this data to an ECU. If the ECU calculates that the driver intends to do an emergency stop using the criteria gathered from the sensors it will provide the maximum amount of pressure in the brake cylinders, in order for the car to stop in the shortest distance possible.

DIFFERENTIAL A differential is a device that can be used to do two mainly different things: either it can be used to transfer power from the transmission (or transfer gearbox in case of a 4WD vehicle) t…

Glossary: C

C-PILLAR The pillar situated between the rear side windows and the rear window, that supports the roof. It's the last roof supportive pillar on normal four door sedans.
Cab forward
CAB FORWARD A vehicle design that moves the front wheels out farther on a front-wheel drive vehicle, which in turn results in a longer distance between the front and rear wheels. This creates more passenger area up front, therefore increasing interior leg-room room and comfort.
Computer Active Technology Suspension
CATS A Jaguar developed system, the Computer Active Technology System (CATS) uses a network of sensors to monitor the driver's driving style and road conditions. The adaptive shock absorber on each wheel is constantly tuned by a microprocessor that calculates what to do by gathering data from all the sensors. Cornering Brake Control
CBC Developed by BMW engineers, CBC (Cornering Brake Control) regulates the pressure individu…