Friday, 22 August 2014
European Union regulators are preparing draft legislation that will require vehicle fuel use to be tested on roads rather than in laboratories, looking to close loopholes that allow carmakers to exaggerate fuel-saving and emissions credentials.
Already starting Sept. 1, slightly tougher EU testing standards will be enforced, in line with a global push for accuracy. More stringent standards are likely to be opposed by automakers.
EU research published last year showed that lab techniques, such as taping up car doors and windows and driving on an unrealistically smooth surface, explained around a third of a recorded drop in average EU CO2 emissions, linked to reduced fuel consumption.
An EU official, talking on condition of anonymity because he is not authorized to speak to journalists, said a proposal on "a new real-world testing method" was expected by the year-end. This would need to be endorsed by EU member states.
Other officials also said a proposal was expected over the coming months.
The Commission, the EU executive, says nitrogen oxide (NOX) emissions, linked to lung disease and hundreds of thousands of early deaths, have been miscalculated to a still-greater extent than CO2 levels.
"In the real world we have seen that NOX emissions are higher than indicated by the test, up to a factor 4 or 5 and exceptionally more," one EU official said.
No one from the European Commission was available for official comment, although the Commission has previously made clear its wish to tighten the testing regime.
A policy document published last year said "real-world" NOX emissions were roughly five times the EU limit, adding that had a major impact on pollution and generated "negative publicity and reputational damage for vehicle manufacturers."
Under the testing regime from Sept. 1, diesel models, which have been particularly blamed for NOX emissions, should emit no more than 0.08 gram (80 milligrams) of NOX per kilometer.
Environmental groups, independent researchers and the Commission say even in the new regime, loopholes mean such emissions will be higher.
The old tests, obsolete at the end of August, are based on a 0.180 g/km limit as part of a reduction from 0.5 g/km over 15 years.
The car industry has acknowledged the tests are flawed, but argues the Commission needs to be realistic. VDA, the lobby for the German car industry, said it was working on its own real-world testing proposal, which it would put before the Commission.
Already, the industry says, it has a major challenge to adapt to a law that the European Union agreed earlier this year, which enforces the world's toughest limits on carbon dioxide.
And it says it is too soon to set a 2025 standard on car CO2 emissions, which the Commission has also said it is working on, with a view to a policy announcement this year.
"Further targets should not be set prematurely for the period after 2021," VDA said in a statement. It said it was vital "industrial policy and climate protection targets have equal priority".
If the carmakers have reservations, some testers embrace change. Vehicle tester TUV Nord said it has been involved in Commission debate on the real-world tests, which will need member state approval under a fast-track EU process to become law.
Johnannes Berg, head of TUV Nord's Brussels office, told Reuters "real driving emission" tests would provide valuable data on fuel use and emissions.
General Motors Co. said it will reduce production at its plant near St. Petersburg, Russia, citing a continued slowdown of the country's auto market.
The plant, which makes Chevrolet Cruze, Opel Astra, and Chevrolet Trailblazer models, will only work four days in August and four in September, extending to eight in October, a company spokesman said today.
Car sales have faltered in Russia this year as economic growth has slowed, causing people to put off large purchases. Consumer sentiment has come under further pressure because of Western sanctions over the crisis in Ukraine.
The downturn in Russia's car market gathered pace in July, with sales sliding 23 percent year-on-year after a 17 percent fall in the previous month, according to the Association of European Businesses (AEB) lobby group.
AEB data showed that sales of Chevrolet cars fell 45 percent to 8,457 units in July, year-on-year, while Opel sales tumbled 25 percent to 4,927 vehicles, according to AEB data.
Thursday, 21 August 2014
Automobili Lamborghini presents its new generation racecar developed by its Motorsport department: the new Huracán LP 620-2 Super Trofeo. Unveiled in a world preview a few days ago during the prestigious Monterey Car Week (California, USA), the car will debut in all three series (Europe, Asia and North America) of the 2015 Lamborghini Blancpain Super Trofeo.
The Huracán Super Trofeo marks a new benchmark for the race series. According to Maurizio Reggiani, in charge of Lamborghini’s Research and Development Department and motorsport activities, “The Huracán LP 620-2 Super Trofeo is an all-new car built from scratch with a clear racing concept. Every feature is engineered for sophisticated high performance, complying with the strictest motorsport safety standards.”
The chassis features an exceptionally light roll cage at just 43 Kg that extends to the rear axle, and impressive torsional stiffness that represents a massive 45% improvement compared to the previous model. The frame is a hybrid carbon/aluminum construction with modified geometries to house an improved radiator up front and better accommodate the racing gearbox at the rear, which also provides better aerodynamics. The dry weight of the Huracán Super Trofeo is 1,270 Kg, with a weight distribution of 42/58%.
The bodywork is in composite materials and, along with the aerodynamics, has been developed in collaboration with Dallara Engineering with the direct involvement of the founder Gian Paolo Dallara. Refinements to the Huracán Super Trofeo include new bodywork ‘fast fittings’, and a new oil radiator providing even more performance than that found on the Gallardo.
The new Huracán Super Trofeo adopts the V10 direct injection engine mounted on the road car, managed by a Motec control unit that delivers a maximum output of 620 hp and an astonishing weight/power ratio of 2.05 Kg/hp.
A significant feature of the Lamborghini Blancpain Super Trofeo is the rear-wheel drive choice as already adopted in the GT classes. This will allow Super Trofeo drivers to gain important experience of this traction system to facilitate their motorsport careers.
Further technical features on the Huracán Super Trofeo include new engine supports, a new three-disc clutch and an XTrac sequential gearbox developed specifically for the Huracán Super Trofeo with an electric actuator designed by the Magneti Marelli Motorsport division.
Electronics represent a significant leap forward in development, and now include new lightweight cables and connections specifically for racing. The control unit is the MOTEC M182 that controls data, gear changes and the new TFT display mounted on the dashboard. Special features are the traction control and the Bosch Motorsport ABS. This system features 12 different settings that can be actioned directly on the steering wheel for ideal set-up in any weather/track conditions. Front and rear lights are now LED only as on the road going version. A new, race-oriented steering wheel has been developed jointly with OMP.
Aerodynamics have been refined for better drag efficiency and maximum traction and downforce in any track conditions. More balanced than before, the aerodynamics now benefit from a rear wing with ten different settings, front and rear diffusers, and adjustable front air intake ducts.
The new Lamborghini Huracán Super Trofeo will be exclusively equipped with Pirelli tyres. Pirelli has followed every phase of the new car’s development - from the first drawings to final road tests - in order to create tyres that are perfectly matched to the Lamborghini’s specific characteristics. In particular, the decision to go with two-wheel drive for the new Huracan Super Trofeo has led to new tyre sizes: 305/660-18 at the front, and 315/680-18 at the back.
The Huracán Super Trofeo is mounted with fully adjustable anti-roll bars and two-way adjustable Ohlins dampers. The hydraulic power steering enhances steering sensitivity and adopts an electric power pump.
In the racing-specific interiors the Alcantara® in Nero Ade colour is used throughout the car, on the dashboard and central tunnel and also on fundamental driving parts, such as the steering wheel, gear selector and ergonomic seats.
Lamborghini’s newest raging bull supercar already made its track debut last month in development tests. For the occasion, under the supervision of the Chief Test Driver Giorgio Sanna and along with the two official Automobili Lamborghini test drivers Fabio Babini and Adrian Zaugg, all the Young Drivers Program pilots were involved and provided their feedback.
With the new Huracán LP 620-2 Super Trofeo the historic partnership between the brand founded by Ferruccio Lamborghini back in 1963 and Gian Paolo Dallara, now becomes even closer. The same Dallara was among the first engineers who worked on Lamborghini cars and had a key role in the development of the legendary Miura.
"For Dallara Engineering, it has been very rewarding to be involved in the aerodynamic and body development of a high performance car such as the Huracán Super Trofeo. From my personal point of view it has been for me a kind of ‘homecoming’," said Giampaolo Dallara.
"50 years ago, Lamborghini gave me the opportunity to challenge myself in ambitious and successful projects, and this new collaboration allows me to feel part of a company in which I have experienced moments of intense personal and professional achievement."
Engine Power 620 CV
Weight 1270 Kg
Weight/Power Ratio 2.05
Trasmission 2WD Racing Gearbox by XTRAC
Gearbox Actuator Electric Actuator by MMarelli
Chassis 39870 Nm/deg (+45%) Increased safety structure
Aerodynamics Drag: -15%, Downforce: +43%, Efficiency: +69%
Electrics/Electronics Racing Loom/Electronics
Engine Longitudinal – V10
IDS (NO MPI)
Air Intake by BMC
Power 620 CV @ 8250 rpm
Torque 570 Nm @ 6500 rpm
ABS Racing ABS (12 positions)
Traction control 9 positions TC
Trasmission 2 WD, Six gear sequential gearbox by Xtrac
Clutch 3 discs racing clutch, Light weight flywheel
Size and weight
Front track 1695 mm
Rear track 1660 mm
Wheelbase 2620 mm
Fuel Tank 118 L
Weight w/out fuel 1270 kg
Suspension Double wishbones with rigid bushing
Wheel fixing Monolock System
Anti Roll Bar Front: 6 positions
Rear: 2 positons
Dampers Ohlins TTX 36 2 ways
Rear: piggy back type
Brembo Racing Front: Steel 380x35 mm, Rear: Steel 355x32 mm
Brembo Racing Front: 6 pot monoblock, Rear: 4 pot monoblock
Rims and wheels
Rims Front: 11x18” ET 28.8
Rear: 12x18” ET 32
Tires (Pirelli) Front: 305/660-18 DH, Rear: 315/680-18 DH
ECU M182 by MOTEC
TCU M182 by MOTEC
Power Box PDM 30 by MOTEC
Car Loom Motorsport Loom
Dashboard TFT Dashboard by MOTEC
Steering wheel Racing and multifunctional steering wheel
Aero kit Complete aero kit with quick fixing (DZUST)
Speed Limiter Yes, adjustable speed
Safety Equipment Seat 8855 FIA Spec or Seat 8866 FIA Spec (OPT)
6 pts safety belt
7 pts Fire Extinquisher