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21Jul/100

Honda will bring plug-in hybrids, full EVs in 2012

Honda to launch plug-in hybrid, EV in U.S. and Japan in 2012

Honda plans new advanced environmental technology vehicles by the end of 2012.

As part of its commitment to develop advanced environmental technologies for application across all of its global operations, Honda has announced the plans to introduce more-efficient and green vehicles. Honda will launch a battery-electric vehicle and a new plug-in hybrid vehicle or mid-size to larger vehicles, to the U.S. and Japanese market by the end of 2012.

In addition, the company announced application of a lithium-ion battery in the next-generation Civic Hybrid in 2011. Before the end of this year, Honda will begin demonstration testing of next-generation electric personal mobility products like electric vehicles, plug-in hybrid vehicles, electric scooters and electric carts.

Scheduled to be conducted in the Kumamoto and Saitama regions in Japan, the tests will confirm the effectiveness of next-generation personal mobility products with electromotive technologies and information and communication technologies to realize a low-carbon mobility society. Honda is planning to conduct this demonstration first in Japan and then in the U.S.

4Jun/100

Bajaj Kawasaki Ninja 250R In India

Bajaj Kawasaki Ninja 250R Bike will Launch ( coming soon in India )

More Kawasaki bikes will be launched in India under the dealership of Bajaj. The decision has been taken by Bajaj Auto high-command who are basking on the success of its first superbike in India, the Kawasaki Ninja 250R. It has done exceptionally well, considering its price (Rs. 2.69 Lac, which is more than the Maruti Suzuki Alto car).

Bajaj Auto,has decided to launch a whole new range of super bikes in India. Some of them will be assembled in India itself while some will be imported. Currently, Kawasaki Ninja 250R is assembled in India itself at the Chakan manufacturing plant near Pune, Maharashtra. Rahul Bajaj, MD, Bajaj Auto India Ltd., said more bikes from Kawasaki of similar design and performance will be launched in India in the same segment. Kawasaki Ninja 250R is presently marketed through Probiking, available only in select outlets.

The Kawasaki Ninja is sure to do good business with its beginner friendly low-end grunt and a lively top-end rush. The compact size, outstanding pose value and low price tag are the enticing factors of the all new Kawasaki Ninja 250R.

4Jun/100

Upcoming New Nissan Leaf Electric Car

Upcoming new Nissan Leaf electric car in 2011 - Nissan

The world's first mass-market electric car, the Nissan Leaf, will cost nearly £10,000 more than its equivalent petrol and diesel rivals. Nissan, which announced the European pricing for the fully electric Leaf today, said that the five-door car would set consumers back £28,350, dropping to £23,350 when a UK government grant is included.

The Leaf hopes to change the eccentric image of electric cars, which have been dogged by safety fears and a lack of recharging points. Similar-sized conventional cars such as the Ford Focus cost just under £19,000, and the Leaf's obvious direct rival, the Prius electric-petrol hybrid, costs £19,500-22,500.

"This is the first proper electric car on the market, and 100 miles is the minimum that serious drivers will be looking for,"

With a range of 100 miles, the Leaf will be able to go without the plug socket for more than double what first generations of the iconic G-Wiz electric car managed and should avoid drivers being worried they will become stranded after running out of power.

26May/100

Ford’s Inside look – Virtual Reality Design Tools

An insider’s look at Ford’s virtual reality design tools

Ford, like most modern manufacturing companies, is utilizing virtual reality tools at all levels of development. Gone are the days of designers and engineers hunching over drafting tables in a smoke-filled room, working on blueprints for what will next be molded out of clay.

These days development is done on 20-foot ultra-high resolution displays with real world testing done in a virtual world. Designers can experience nearly every aspect of a future vehicle before any physical piece is constructed. Ford even employs virtual tools for the manufacturing phase to maximize efficiency there as well.

I recently got a close look at a bunch of these tools and processes. I was granted access to everything from Ford’s gigantic full vehicle motion simulator to the gigantic video wall. These are some impressive toys.

It’s a simple concept with Sony 4k projector connected to just a single high-end workstation, but the results are spectacular. Designers are no longer tied down to their cubicles and can explore their work in larger-than-life dimensions using AutoDesk & AutoStudio CAD programs to creating spectacular animations in Maya.

The Powerwall rooms are also equipped for worldwide collaboration and any one of them can host virtual meetings with the other seven Ford Powerwall studios found across the globe.

Much of a vehicle’s testing is now done virtually, a processes that helps streamline development while keeping cost down. Ford utilizes numerous tools for virtual testing with the PVM at the heart of the process. It immerses the tester in a virtual world assisted by the physical presence of a configurable vehicle sled.

This testing sled is a complex platform that’s able to match the physical dimensions of nearly any vehicle. Once the physical properties are set, a tester sits in the sled wearing a head-mounted virtual reality display equipped with reflective spheres to enable 1-1 movement mapping. A pair of gloves with the same IR-visible balls helps complete the illusion.

The goal here is to allow designers and engineers the ability to test out their designs without building a full-scale working model. Nearly everything from seating position to steering wheel position to blind spots can be evaluated and worked out.

The same lab also houses the so-called CAVE — Cave Automated Virtual Environment. This 3D environment is designed not so much for the ergonomics like in the PVM, but rather for style and craftsmanship. Four rear projectors generate 3D images on three sides and above the tester. The 3D glasses are equipped with motion-tracking sensors to further complete the environment.

It really has a WOW-factor. Once you don the glasses and sit in the single elevated seat, it really gives the feeling of being in the vehicle.

Ford’s virtual tools even extends to the manufacturing arm of the company. Motion-capturing technology allows a team of developers to test-build vehicles early on. This allows the company to ensure that manufacturing line workers will not run into any issues.

Full-body motion capture suits are used to generator baseline manufacturing tolerances. The end result is that many manufacturing tasks are now designed so both a 6-foot male and a 5.2-foot female will be able to do preform the same task. If the man’s big hands can install a tiny plug deep in an engine compartment than so can the female’s smaller hands.

This drives down the high-cost of manufacturing later on. The company can plan out a line workers exact tasks before the vehicle ever hits the assembly line.

On Ford’s openness

The more interesting story, at least to me, is Ford’s open access to all these tools. Our access wasn’t something I sought out. We were invited along with other outlets to view all these tools. That’s something many companies would never do and when some actually open their doors, everything but the specific subject matter is covered by a conveniently-placed white sheet.

Of course we had to sign a confidentiality agreement just in case we saw any unannounced vehicles, but that’s normal and fine by me. Ford basically opened their door and said to a bunch of curious journalists, “Come on in, take a bunch of pictures of our design tools, and ask our engineers any questions you have.” Apple could learn a thing or two from this type of access and transparency. It’s refreshing.

Filed under: Automobile, NEWS No Comments
25May/100

HMK 561 Electric Bike

HMK 561

Most of the conceptual electric bike is hardly so much innovation devaysa - think of it, the battery compartment so the system produce energy during braking. But HMK 561 - no match for them. Cyclists HMK 561 is made of carbon fiber, which not only is an excellent conductor of electricity, but also acts as a capacitor that can store energy. This energy is obtained by converting the mechanical energy into electrical energy in each mobile connection mechanism. The resulting current is fed to the engine and headlamps. Above all, there is already a working prototype.

Filed under: Automobile No Comments
22May/100

Two Bikes Become One Car

It is a car that can split into two motorcycles. Consider this a “buy one get one free deal”. I suppose you get the frame with the deal, and you’ll have to put it somewhere when you and your friend are riding on the cycles. I suppose you can head for home, link the cycles together, and then go on a drive. Well, this is still a concept project sponsored by Renault Design, and the designer got his idea form his diploma project at the National Institute of Design.

This is the real deal in modern wild design. This is the “Plug-In” affordable youth mobility project by Ramesh Gound. According to Gound, there is a big “buy 1 get 1 free” shopping attitude in the market around the Ahmedabad area of India. This simple concept gave Gound the idea to take two motorcycles and attach them in the middle. Each motorcycle is owned by its respective party, a young person with a big appetite for sports vehicles but a small pocketbook, then they attach. Once two motos attach in the middle, they become that fantastic sports car from heaven.

Two drive-by-wire bikes are owned by separate people. They wanna attach them for a longer drive or some sort of trip that’s not great for motorcycle, or hey, if they just wanna cruuuze… they attach in the center of the two. The hood is made of D3O, which when the bikes are not attached, stows away in the bike configuration. This whole concept is aimed to take on congested cities such as Mumbai.

Well, this is still a concept project sponsored by Renault Design, and the designer got his idea form his diploma project at the National Institute of Design.
Filed under: Automobile No Comments
15Apr/100

Yamaha is back with new bike YBR 110

Yamaha in lieu of the current market trend has just launched the YBR 110. The new bike is a more stylized version of the current selling Alba. The Bike comes with a stylish and brighter multi-reflector headlight and all new graphics while the instrument console now also features a fuel gauge. The YBR also features a sporty looking grab rail which adds to utility as well as styling. Between the legs, lies an air cooled 4-stroke SOHC engine equipped with an electric start. The engine makes 7.6 PS and 7.85 Nm of torque which is pretty much on par with the competition. The gearbox is a 4-speed unit with pretty well spaced gear ratios making punting around town a relaxed affair. The YBR 110 is priced at Rs. 41,000/- (Ex-Showroom, Delhi) and will be available in ¬¬¬¬¬3 colors, Black, Red and Black & Red combination

Yamaha YBR 110 technical specifications

Overall Length × Width × Height
2,000mm x 730mm × 1,050mm

Wheelbase??    1,290mm
Minimum ground clearance??    173mm
Kerb Weight    123kg

Engine type? ?    Air-cooled, 4-stroke, SOHC
Cylinder layout? ?    Single cylinder
Displacement??    106cc
Bore × stroke??    49.0mm × 56.0mm
Compression ratio??    9.0:1
Maximum output??    7.6PS / 7,500rpm
Maximum torque??    7.85N.m / 6,000rpm

Starting method? ?    Self
Lubrication type? ?    wet sump
Engine oil volume??    1.1 liters
Fuel tank volume??    13 liters

Ignition type? ?    C.D.I
Battery    12V-5Ah (Self)
Head light    12V 35/35W Halogen bulb(HS1)
Indicator/ Flasher    12V 10W

Clutch type? ?    Multiplate wet type
Gear box    4-Speed Constant Mesh
Gear ratios??    1st=3.000, 2nd?1.687, 3rd:=1.200, 4th=0.875

Frame type??    Double cradle type-Tubular
Tyre size (front/rear)??    2.75 X 18″ 4PR / 3.00 X 18″ 6PR
Brake type (front/rear)? ?    Drum / Drum (130mm Dia)
Suspension (front/rear)? ?    Telescopic Hydraulic / Ajustable, Hydraulic Shock Absorber

Filed under: Automobile No Comments
6Apr/100

Mahindra Renault Sandero

Ucoming car in the market by the MAHINDRA.

Mahindra Renault Sandero

Mahindra Renault is planning to launch its new hatchback Renault Sandero in India by 2010. The Nashik plant of the company will be used to assemble the vehicle. Sandero has five doors and is very spacious compared to other cars in the small car category. The car is 4.02 meters in length and has a storage capacity of 320 litres. Sandero is likely to be launched in both petrol and diesel versions. The petrol engine is below 1200cc category and diesel below 1500cc with an overall length below 4 meters. Mahindra Renault Sandero will come with Anti Lock Braking system, a rail direct injection 1.5 dCi engine, and padded doors. The rear doors of the Mahindra Renault Sandero will open up to an angle of 67�.
Earlier, the Mahindra Renault Sandero was to be built in Renault-Nissan�s new manufacturing facility near Chennai, but now it has been decided that Renault will build Sandero at the Nashik facility.

Filed under: Automobile No Comments
6Apr/100

Maruti Suzuki Kizashi

In 2010 - The all new upcoming latest car of MARUTI SUZUKI that is KIZASHI.

Maruti is now planning to enter the D segment of cars with its new offering Kizashi. Expected to be launched in the early 2010. The Maruti Kizashi concept car was showcased at the Frankfurt Motor Show in 2007 and at the Auto Expo in New Delhi in 2008. Expected to be priced around Rs. 10 lakh, it will have many innovative features, and is likely to be powered by a 2 litre turbo diesel engine. Kizashi is also likely to have a six speed transmission and large 21 inch alloys.

Kizashi will be positioned in the Rs 10 lakh-plus price band and will compete with the Honda Civic, Toyota Corolla, Hyundai Sonata, Skoda Octavia and Volkswagen Jetta besides other cars that will debut in the next three years. A crossover sports sedan, Kizashi, which depicts an athlete in motion, is likely to sport 21� wheels. Maruti Kizashi is expected to roll out from its Manesar plant.

Filed under: Automobile No Comments
3Apr/100

All new TVS Apache RTR-250

Although the speculations of a big engined performance TVS bike has been on the internet for a while now, we now have concrete details on the new bike, if our friends at motorbeam are to be believed.

Name: Apache RTR 250

The timing is pretty good we say since the company was a little left out as far as performance biking scene in India is concerned. Bajaj has the fastest India in the form of Pulsar 220 DTSi while Hero Honda has the Karizma ZMR but now they will have stiff competition from TVS’s new bike which will be launched in the market soon.

The new bike will be called Apache RTR 250 which as the name suggests will come with a 250cc single cylinder engine, outstripping both the Pulsar 220 and the Karizma as far as cubic capacity is concerned but the engine cc isnt the best news about the new bike.

The new Apache RTR is expected to be priced @ Rs 1,20,000/-. We will have all the details for you once the bike is officially launched next month.
Type:            Sports
Top Speed:            150kph
Maximum Power:      30 Bhp @ 9500 rpm (Expected)
Maximum Torque:     22 Nm @ 8000 rpm (Expected)
Gears:            6 Speed
No.of Cylinders:        1
Valve Per Cylinder:        2
Cooling Type:        Air Cooling
Weight:            140.00 kg
Ground Clearance:        180.00 mm
Fuel Tank:            16.00 ltrs
Colors:            White, Gray, Yellow & Black (Expected).

Filed under: Automobile No Comments