Car of the future will bring 12 systems... not just to be in fashion!
Nine gears gearbox
Electric power steering
Engine disconnection of cylinders
The crisis will not leave soon, but cars begin to accumulate the inventions and take out of the closet ... 12 innovations that will give the note in 2012.
In 2012, driving a car with nine gears, capable of running on half the cylinders, equipped with lights that resemble a swarm of fireflies and able to stop by itself, it will be a reality. Is that a promising future?
1. Nine gears…
No, this is a continuously variable box which simply has been programmed to provide new speed.
It is, in fact, an automatic with a traditional torque converter and new gear, which has been designed to be mounted on transverse engine and its creator, ZF, expects to sell to a German group –Vw probably- and to everyone who is interested.
To get nine gears 'package' in a small space, uses four-axis versus the standard two. ZF claims that could reduce consumption by up to 16%, which is perfectly compatible with stop / start system and which can incorporate an electric motor instead of a torque converter for a 'parallel' hybrid car (as the Honda Insight
, the Porsche Panamera
Hybrid ...). Thanks to their ability to work with several gears meshed at the same time, it can change gears so quickly that the drivers hardly realize it.
2 . Steering and new features
The new generation of the Porsche 911
has proved possible to produce electric power steering able to offer a realistic feel so good, similar to the rival hydraulic systems... to the point of being unable to differentiate.
And with the advantage of offering a reduction in consumption, there is a whole universe of additional functions beyond the scope of their counterparts with hydraulic assistance.
Foremost among others, the windage that prevent highway-lateral-wind, the damping of uneven surfaces, potholes are not transmitted to the steering wheel, the elimination of torque steer when accelerating on front wheel drive vehicles -the driver did not notice that the wheel 'strip' to the sides at full throttle-, the automatic parking, the ability to select a mode with a lot of assistance to city or less attended a sport mode, the variable gear ratio - the direction is more directly at low speed and less at high speed, the assistant track maintenance -turn direction to prevent the driver leaves the lane unintentionally and the suggestion of a camera -direction determines the centerline of the lane and the driver's movements suggests appropriate wheel to match its information with camera information.
According to Paul Porel, chief engineer for next-third largest manufacturer of these components - ZF and TRW- from 2012 "we will see a gradual, inexorable loss of power for steering and electro-hydraulic, except in emerging markets, where its high cost will delay the process a few years."
3. Disconnect from eight cylinders to four and for four to two...
When we say roll off, come to our mind old legends about 8 and 12 cylinders engines Mercedes, as in the CL600, 1999 - that worked using only half of them to save fuel, or huge blocks with names like Chrysler, GM VORTEC 5.7 or 5.5 HEMI V8.
The manufacturers have always insisted that the driver never notice when the engine would work on all cylinders or only half ... but it was not true and the idea was forgotten ... until now.
And we're not talking about the new Audi S8
, which will also use this technique, but the imminent next generation four cylinder. Direct injection petrol 1.4 TSI Volkswagen thanks to this system, which is an increase in weight of 3 kilos and employs between 16 ms and 36 ms to deactivate or reactivate the cylinders (depending on engine speed, the system works between 1,400 rpm and 4,000 rpm), VW says it will reduce the average consumption with 0.4 l / 100 km. In addition to Audi and VW, Mercedes has also been re-enlisted to the disconnection of cylinders. And more to come ...
4. LED headlights as an option
All indications are that the lights based on LED's for all the equipment functions will star in the upper ranges of the premium manufacturers.
Offered as an option, will cost just over 2,000 euros and will stand by its spectacular design.
In addition, there is the promise of a whiter light, less electricity / fuel consumption and service life as long as the vehicle itself. We have tested -in the Audi A8
and the Mercedes CLS - and they are good, but not much better than the xenon.
5. Downsizing small but powerful
In 2012, the naturally aspirated engine shall definitely be in danger of extinction. At least in Europe, where the threat of the arrival of the Euro 6 urges all manufacturers to reduce average emissions of its model range below 120 g CO2/km.
While in 2007 only 18% of the gasoline engines used a turbo ... in 2015 that percentage is expected to reach 54%. And 85% of the diesel will have a variable geometry turbo. Thus, manufacturers usually follow the steps given by the premium – example: the 1.6 Ecoboost from Ford, offering up 182 horsepower and is mounted on the Focus or Volvo S60
And the more 'affluent', led by BMW , bet for the three cylinders: BMW N37 engine have 1.5-liter, deliver up to 160 hp and propel the next generation of Mini Series and a future front-wheel drive cars in BMW range.
During the presentation of the next generation of the flagship Mercedes S-Class, we come into contact with many new features.
The most promising is the second-generation Active Body Control suspension, which Mercedes named “Magic Carpet”.
It combines a 3D camera capable of analyzing the asphalt on which the car is going to run with a hydraulic system which varies the height of each of the four corners of the vehicle so that each wheel pass over bumps without them affecting the interior.
7. Standard connectors
If all goes well and the manufacturers shake hand, it is possible that, in 2012, to unify the terminals for recharging electric cars. Meanwhile, the current supply of strange-looking plugs gives us enough to talk.
And, today, Yazaki (also known as SAE J1772) -connector in Northern America, Mennekes- connector in Europe and CHAdeMO- connector in Japan, compete to become the universal standard. Along the waythere is also French “Framatome”, Italian “CEEplug” and Swiss “Scame”.
Thus, today we can find a SAE J1772 and a CHAdeMO connector for Nissan Leaf
, the Volt also uses one of these. However, Audi, BMW, Daimler, Ford, GM, VW and Porsche have opted for the Combined Charging System as a fast charge connector instead of the standard CHAdeMO.
8. Multimedia computer systems with all
Meego, AutoLinQ or SYNC? In what will be the best multimedia system for the car. Meego is the Linux-based operating system for which is betting more than 100 manufacturers, led by BMW.
AutoLinQ is the alternative proposed by Continental, and is based on the Android operating system from Google. Finally, SYNC is the name of Ford's multimedia interface based on Windows.
We do not know what is best because it has not sold any SYNC -except in the U.S. The current BMW iDrive or Audi's MMI work very well, and hopefully their successors, based on Meego, are even better.
9. The rare neodymium element
Neodymium, praesmodio, promised ... The elements of the periodic table known as 'lanthanides' are the main raw material of super powerful permanent magnets used in speakers, superconducting generators, lasers, magnetic resonance and ... permanent magnet motors used by the Nissan Leaf
or the Mitsubishi i-MiEV
Until recently, the extraction was a complicated process. But with each new electric model, starts to become a strategic issue. China has already clarified that does not think selflessly to give their products to developed countries, or sell the mineral, very abundant in that area of the planet. What it will do is to wait for prices soar ...
10. Self-parking systems -more convenient
It took over two years since Volkswagen showed the first prototypes able to park autonomously -that is, without a driver on board, to overcome all the legal edges, but it's almost officially confirmed that, in early 2012, Audi will present the next Audi Q7
that will be able to park as you look from the outside, just hold down a button on the remote control.
11. 'Prebrake' Systems
The recent introduction in the Ford Focus
system for driver assistance based on a Continental radar-laser-range represents the launchpadfor the implementation on mid-range models. This gadget is designed to prevent, or at least, soften rear-end collisions.
marketed first by Volvo under the name City-Safety (Ford calls it Active City Safety) this system is capable of stopping the vehicle alone if the car in front stops and the driver does not react, being able to avoid the collision if we are driving below 30 km / h and the speed differential between vehicles is less than 15 km / h.
12. Car 2 car systems
Cars 'talking' to each other and with the road. This ambitious fable is the purpose of the Consortium Car2Car that, little by little, taking shape in Europe and is expected to spread throughout the world.
Daimler, Opel, Volkswagen, Renault and Fiat have already opted for NEC as the provider of hardware technology that will allow a car to 'report' to those around him on the traffic, the weather, a possible accident ...
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