Saturday, 21 December 2013

Ricardo to power McLaren to 2020

Ricardo plc of Shoreham-by-Sea, West Sussex, has won a contract to supply engines for its supercars in a contract worth £40 million a year.

The deal will allow Ricardo to continue building the engines for the P1 and the 12C spider as well as the McLaren GT.

Mike Flewitt, chief executive of McLaren Automotive said “Ricardo is a leading name in the development and assembly of world-beating engines, pushing the boundaries of performance and efficiency, and sharing the core values and objectives of McLaren.”

Wednesday, 18 December 2013

Bentley confirms SUV

Bentley Motors has confirmed it will build the world's fastest and most luxurious SUV at its Crewe headquarters, creating a further 1,000 jobs at the company and its suppliers, as well as taking Bentley drivers ‘off-road' for the first time in the marque's history.
This marks the start of an £800 million investment programme.

Monday, 16 December 2013

Post BRIC market growth identified

Ricardo has assessed 150-plus nations and picked out the elite 15-strong nations with the best qualifications to power the growth of the automotive industry post 2020, once BRIC nations – Brazil, Russia, India and China – level off.

Ricardo has identified three rising market regions: Promising, Up-and-coming, and Top flight. Promising markets are assigned a low Ricardo personal mobility index (and a low Ricardo commercial transport index) while those at the other end have a high mobility index – three times higher – and a higher commercial transport index (twice as high).

In the first flight (promising) are: Vietnam, the Philippines and South Africa and Nigeria. In the second flight, (Up-and-coming) are Morocco, Egypt, Peru, Argentina and Ukraine. In the last flight (top flight) are Thailand, Indonesia, Mexico, Malaysia and Turkey.

Hotfire gets a boost from Ricardo

Ricardo’s Syner-D programme gives a pointer to how JaguarLandRover’s next-generation Hotfire engine could progress towards meeting Euro 6 emissions requirements and CO2 reductions of over 30 per cent.

The Syner-D project, partly funded by the Technology Strategy Board, the UK’s innovation agency, had as its main aim: to deliver a premium vehicle demonstration vehicle offering a CO2 reduction of 30 per cent, Euro 6 tailpipe emissions and suffering no compromise in transient variability and overall performance.

The three-year programme included input from JLR, Valeo, SKF, Shell and Lontra.

Sunday, 15 December 2013

Holset plans new turbo facility

Plans for an all-new purpose-built multi-million pound manufacturing facility and technical centre in Huddersfield, West Yorkshire,  UK have been revealed by Cummins Inc.

The plant will be operated by Cummins Turbo Technologies which is part of the engine maker’s components group.

The company began life over 60 years ago and became known as Holset Ltd. Cummins acquired the company in 1973 and changed its name to Cummins Turbo Technologies in 2006.

Friday, 13 December 2013

Will Ford respond before Ram wins 3 times?

How will Ford Motor Company respond to the mounting accolades being heaped upon Chrysler’s Ram 1500 pick-up truck in the US?

One has to think the Dearborn, Michigan based automaker will not take too long before it making an important announcement. Most likely this will come in 2014.

Ford has made plain in the past that it will vigorously defend its position as Number One pick-up truck builder in North America – a position it has held for 37 straight years.

Flybrid set to launch refuse truck KERS

As forecast here on 8 December, Torotrak plc is to buy the remaining shares of Flybrid Automotive, but the purchase requires a share issue.

Torotrak plc, of Leyland Lancashire, a leading developer and supplier of emissions reduction and fuel efficiency technology for vehicles, has announced formally today that it has entered into an acquisition agreement to acquire the remaining 80 per cent of the issued ordinary shares in Flybrid Automotive for a maximum consideration of up to £23 million, of which £15 million is subject to performance targets.

The deal is subject to shareholder approval but is a foregone formality.

Sunday, 8 December 2013

Torotrak to acquire Flybrid

Expect to read that Torotrak plc has taken up its option to purchase the outstanding share stock of Flybrid Automotive Ltd.
Flybrid Automotive Limited is a privately-owned award winning, innovative engineering company at the forefront of low carbon vehicle technology. Based in Silverstone, the company's core product is a high-speed flywheel based Kinetic Energy Recovery System (KERS), which is described as a superior alternative to electric hybrid systems for cars.
The move secures Flybrid range of patents, protecting them from predatory competitors. It also puts a halt on any other company making a bid for the shares. This is particularly important as Torotrak and Flybrid have built up a close working relationship, both in terms of technology and from a personnel point of view.
The link-up has further importance. The directors of Flybrid Automotive are now assured of further long-term funding to develop the range of technologies they initiated. This not only includes the flywheel-based KERS but also the cogged clutch technology which could be a cheaper alternative for some applications to the toroidal continuously variable transmissions (CVT) that Torotrak has been working on for some many years.
Torotrak’s funding could help to speed up the process of bringing Flybrid’s technology to the market-place. Flybrid could also benefit from Torotrak's extensive patenting know-how and its plans for further extending its manufacturing base. As to whether there is a merger of facilities remains to be seen. Flybrid, however, is based adjacent to Silverstone and the local area of active F1 motor racing fraternity; motor sport is an area which has shown keen interest in Flybrid's technology.

It was only in March of this year that Torotrak acquired a 20% stake in Flybrid Automotive Ltd (formerly Flybrid Systems LLP) with an option to acquire the remaining shares before the end of the calendar year.

At the time, Torotrak said the transaction strengthened Torotrak’s ability to provide turnkey development and manufacture of complete flywheel hybrid systems for buses, trucks, passenger cars, commercial and off-highway vehicles. The company expected the deal would accelerate the adoption of its technology, which it said would be in fleet trials with bus operators “later this year” through an agreement with bus constructor Wrightbus.

It is known that Flybrid Automotive has been working closely with JaguarLandRover and Volvo, as well as a number of other un-named companies.

Flybrid Automotive, a UK company owned by its founders Jon Hilton and Doug Cross, already has a successful long-term relationship with Torotrak, which uses Flybrid’s proven flywheel module in its Mechanical Kinetic Energy Recovery System (M-KERS).

Widely considered to be the world-leader in flywheel hybrid technologies, which can recover up to 70% of braking energy for around a third the cost of battery electric hybrids, Flybrid has evaluation or development programmes with a wide range of vehicle manufacturers worldwide.

Through the purchase of the remaining 80 per cent shareholding, Torotrak is also assured that, as part of the deal, it has the full-hearted support of the founders of Flybrid Automotive for a number of years to come; the two founders will be keen to see their technologies given much wider acceptance. Torotrak has already built up a rapport with a number of international companies and these could prove a valuable opportunity for Flybrid technologies.

Thursday, 5 December 2013

JLR to build vehicles in Brazil

JaguarLandRover (JLR) is to open a manufacturing facility in Brazil following a landmark agreement between the company and state authorities to build a plant in the State of Rio de Janeiro.

An agreement paving the way for construction of the plant, the first by a British company, has been signed by Phil Hodgkinson, JLR’s global business expansion director, and Sergio Cabral, state governor of Rio de Janeiro.

Based in the City of Itatiaia, the new facility requires an investment of £240 million by 2020.

Tuesday, 3 December 2013

Audi to launch Q1 in 2016

Audi is to launch a new compact sport utility vehicle (SUV) in 2016 to slot in below Q3. It will be produced at Audi’s plant in Ingolstadt.

"The Q1 is a key component of our growth strategy," claimed Rupert Stadler, Audi’s chief executive officer.

"It is designed on the basis of the modular transverse engine concept and will round off our Q series at the bottom end," said Stadler who is also chairman of the board of management of Audi AG.