Archive for the ‘Transport’ Category

A Volvo FH12-460 truck called the Black Pearl

Saturday, January 21st, 2012

Mr Lucjan Irgas and his Volvo FH12-460 called The Black Pearl are the stars of Volvo Trucks online series Welcome to my cab.
Welcome to my cab invites viewers into the cabs of truck drivers from all around the world. In this episode Polish truck driver Lucjan Igras tells us how he came up with the idea to decorate his Volvo FH12-460 while watching Pirates of the Caribbean.

Black Pearl 1

Black Pearl - interior

Volvo Car Corporation tests flywheel technology – cuts fuel consumption with up to 20 percent

Wednesday, August 3rd, 2011

Volvo Car Corporation tests flywheel technology – cuts fuel consumption with up to 20 percent

A light, cost-efficient and very eco-efficient solution that makes a four-cylinder engine feel like a six-cylinder, at the same time as reducing fuel consumption by up to 20 percent. This autumn, Volvo Car Corporation will be one of the world’s first car makers to test the potential of flywheel technology on public roads. The company has received a grant of 6.57 million Swedish kronor from the Swedish Energy Agency for developing next-generation technology for kinetic recovery of braking energy in a joint project together with Volvo Powertrain and SKF.

“Our aim is to develop a complete system for kinetic energy recovery. Tests in a Volvo car will get under way in the second half of 2011. This technology has the potential for reducing fuel consumption by up to 20 percent. What is more, it gives the driver an extra horsepower boost, giving a four-cylinder engine acceleration like a six-cylinder unit,” relates Derek Crabb, Vice President VCC Powertrain Engineering.

60,000 revs per minute
The new system, known as Flywheel KERS (Kinetic Energy Recovery System), is fitted to the rear axle. During retardation, the braking energy causes the flywheel to spin at up to 60,000 revs per minute. When the car starts moving off again, the flywheel’s rotation is transferred to the rear wheels via a specially designed transmission.

The combustion engine that drives the front wheels is switched off as soon as the braking begins. The energy in the flywheel can be used to accelerate the vehicle when it is time to move off once again, or to power the vehicle once it reaches cruising speed.

“The flywheel’s stored energy is sufficient to power the car for short periods. However, this has a major impact on fuel consumption. Our calculations indicate that the combustion engine will be able to be turned off about half the time when driving according to the official New European Driving Cycle,” explains Derek Crabb.

Since the flywheel is activated by braking and the duration of the energy storage – that is to say the length of time the flywheel spins – is limited, the technology is at its most effective during driving featuring repeated stops and starts. In other words, the fuel savings will be greatest when driving in busy urban traffic as well as during active driving.

If the energy in the flywheel is combined with the combustion engine’s full capacity, it will give the car an extra boost of 80 horsepower, and thanks to the swift torque build-up this translates into rapid acceleration, cutting 0 to 62 mph figures significantly.

Carbon fibre for a lightweight and compact solution
Flywheel propulsion assistance was tested in a Volvo 240 back in the 1980s, and flywheels made of steel have been evaluated by various manufacturers in recent times. However, since a unit made of steel is large and heavy and has rather limited rotational capacity, this is not a viable alternative.

The flywheel that Volvo Car Corporation will use in its test car is made of carbon fibre. It weighs about six kilograms and has a diameter of 20 centimetres. The carbon fibre wheel spins in a vacuum to minimise frictional losses.

“We are not the first manufacturer to test flywheel technology. But nobody else has applied it to the rear axle of a car fitted with a combustion engine driving the front wheels. If the tests and technical development go as planned, we expect cars with flywheel technology to reach the showrooms within a few years,” says Derek Crabb. He concludes: “The flywheel technology is relatively cheap. It can be used in a much larger volume of our cars than top-of-the-line technology such as the plug-in hybrid. This means that it has potential to play a major role in our CO2-cutting DRIVe Towards Zero strategy.”

Flywheel KERS

Flywheel KERS 2

Flywheel KERS 3

Volvo Car Corporation starts production of the Volvo C30 Electric to leasing customers in Europe.

Wednesday, August 3rd, 2011

Volvo Car Corporation starts production of the Volvo C30 Electric to leasing customers in Europe.

The Volvo C30 Electric has now left the product development stage. Initial deliveries to leasing customers, mainly companies, authorities and governmental bodies, will take place immediately after the summer.

The Volvo C30 Electric will be manufactured and delivered to leasing customers throughout Europe, including in Sweden, Belgium, the Netherlands and Norway, although not Ireland at this initial stage. Tests on a fleet of about 50 cars have been conducted since autumn 2010, mainly internally at the Volvo Car Corporation. A Volvo C30 Electric was also part of the “One Tonne Life” project in which a family was given the task of living as climate-smart as possible for a period of six months. About 250 cars will be built by end 2012, possibly more if market interest takes off.

The Volvo C30 Electric is built on the regular assembly line in the Ghent factory and then transported to Göteborg for installation of the motor, batteries and other model-specific electronics. The batteries are installed where the fuel tank normally sits and also in a special compartment in the car’s central tunnel. As a result, the luggage compartment is unchanged. The car is recharged from a regular household power socket. A full recharge takes about 7 hours. The operating range is up to 150 kilometres per full charge. Top speed is 130 km/h and acceleration from 0-50 km/h takes four seconds.

The Volvo C30 Electric project is part of the Volvo Car Corporation’s highly ambitious electrification strategy for the forthcoming years. The electric car has attracted considerable international attention.

C30 Electric Production 1

C30 Electric Production 2

C30 Electric Production 3


Wednesday, August 3rd, 2011


A new van purchase finance scheme which opens up a line of funding that would assist small businesses planning to upgrade their transport fleet has been introduced by Mercedes-Benz in Ireland.

Designed to unblock the lending logjam that has prevented many owners from acquiring or replacing their van fleet, the scheme provides finance over periods from 3 to 5 years, upon payment of a ‘modest’ deposit.

Confined to the purchase of new vehicles only, the scope of the plan can also be extended to include maintenance costs. Moreover, dealers can facilitate buyers by agreeing a residual value that would be placed on each vehicle after the finance term has expired.

Describing the plan as one ‘mutually advantageous’ to both sides, Mercedes-Benz commercial vehicles sales manager Fergus Conheady said that it will “stimulate and assist the small business sector whose progress has been blocked on all fronts by the current restrictions on lending”.

Newly Launched Peugeot 508 is Best New Car of 2011

Wednesday, August 3rd, 2011

Newly Launched Peugeot 508 is Best New Car of 2011

Peugeot’s just-launched 508 has won its first award after being crowned ‘Best New Car of 2011’ in the Fleet World Honours. Dubbed by Irish motoring journalists as Peugeot’s best saloon yet, the new flagship stole the limelight during an awards ceremony at the Royal Automobile Club, London.

Fleet World Editor, Steve Moody, said: “The 508 changes the game for Peugeot. A massive leap forward from the 407, it offers a premium brand level quality cabin, a range of frugal, refined and powerful engines all wrapped in a stylish bodyshell, taking the firm right back into the upper echelons of this vital fleet sector.”

Des Cannon, Sales & Marketing Director at Peugeot Ireland, said: “The 508 is an incredible car and what better way to open up our awards account than winning Fleet World’s Best New Car of 2011.  We’re confident this will be the first of many.”

The Fleet World Honours are presented annually to those motor manufacturers, service companies and individuals who have, in the opinion of the judges, achieved the highest possible level of excellence in their respective sectors.

The Peugeot 508 is now available at Peugeot Dealerships across Ireland. Prices start from €24,850 plus delivery related charges for the 1.6 HDi 112bhp Access model and rise to €35,150 for the top of the range, 2.0 HDi 163bhp Automatic Allure model.


Wednesday, May 25th, 2011


Mercedes-Benz has announced plans to introduce their new revamped C-Class range, saloon and estate versions of which will go on sale here in early-April at prices that remain relatively unchanged despite the higher level of specifications being offered.

Following what they term ‘a comprehensive modernisation’ the range has been given a bright, new, more athletic appearance and fitted with a number of new features that Mercedes-Benz believes will give it a significantly more competitive edge.

Amongst the most visually striking improvements is an imposing new fascia that brings the C-Class more into harmony with the brand’s new design idiom. Bumpers have a more dynamic contour while a more pronounced V-shape grille gives it a more sporty look – an impression enhanced by new headlights, LED indicators and front daytime running lights.  Front side air inlets positioned low down in the bumper give the car a road-hugging appearance while rear modifications create an even greater impression of width. A lightweight aluminium bonnet, front wings and door sections reduce weight and increase fuel efficiency.

The interior has been completely revamped. An enhanced level of trim now includes Artico leather upholstery as standard. Other features include a restyled dashboard with elegant grained surface and decorative inlays, a redesigned instrument cluster and updated controls, new three and four-spoke leather steering wheels and new telematics.
Internationally, the new C-Class range consists of eleven models. In Ireland, attention will focus on three diesels and one petrol unit of which the 200 CDI version will be the most popular. Others models going on sale here are a 220 CDI and 250 CDI diesel and a C180 petrol.

New engines that deliver increased performance, improved fuel economy and lower emission all come equipped with emissions-reducing BlueEFFICIENCY package as standard – a feature that positions them solidly within the lower road tax bands. This is reflected in the 200 CDI BE manual version whose CO2 rating of 138 qualifies it for Band B road tax of just EUR156.

The estimated 31% reduction in fuel consumption that the new C-Class is expected to deliver is another feature that should add to its appeal. This outcome is helped by a CD rating of 0.26 (which the manufacturers claim is a benchmark in its category), an ECO start/stop function which is fitted as standard on manual and automatic versions and fuel-efficient 7G-Tronic automatic transmission.

Safety is also to the fore with features that include drowsiness detection, adaptive headlight beam adjustment, active lane keeping and blind spot assist, park assist and proximity and speed control systems depending on model choice.

Despite its many improvements and higher level of standard specifications, the new C-Class enters the Irish market at prices that are exactly the same as its predecessor. Entry level models are the C180 BE petrol at EUR35,055 (ex works) and C200 CDI SE Blue EFFICIENCY at EUR36,350. Across the range, customers have a wide choice of models and specifications in Standard, Elegance and Avantgarde with lots of additional options available in each case.

In a comment, Mercedes-Benz sales manager Ciaran Allen said that ‘thanks to its more attractive appearance and a very competitive position in terms of price and specifications, we expect that sales of the new C-Class will grow from one-fifth to one-third of total Mercedes-Benz sales in Ireland and thereby help us to retain our strong position within the luxury segment.’

Mercedes-Benz 2011 C-Class

Mercedes-Benz 2011 C-Class - Front


Wednesday, May 25th, 2011

The new Mercedes-Benz CLS coupé– which has been the subject of much positive comment since its debut at last year’s Paris Motor Show – has arrived in Ireland.

Successor to the version first released in 2003, this new edition CLS continues the pioneering design that made its predecessor one of the most iconic models ever produced by Mercedes-Benz

Built on an E-Class platform, the four-door CLS combines executive-class comfort with the sporty appeal of a coupé. These qualities are reflected in an elongated bonnet, frameless low-slung narrow windows, muscular shoulders and dynamic roofline that sweeps elegantly towards the rear.

Two models make up the range that will be marketed here – both diesel powered and both equipped with Blue EFFICIENCY technology that delivers reduced fuel consumption, reduced emissions and lower road tax.

First of the two is a four-cylinder CLS 250 CDI automatic which comes on the market at EUR65,750 ex works, a figure some 23% lower than the model it replaces. Delivering a C02 figure of 134g, it will have road tax of EUR156 per annum.

Second is a V6 CLS 350 CDI automatic. With a C02 figure of 159g, this version will have annual road tax of EUR447. Selling at EUR71,700, it is priced significantly lower than the previous 320 CDI which sold at EUR84,850.

In appearance, the CLS has a striking grille design distinctly reminiscent of the new SLS AMG in which the dominant element is a large star that underlines its family link to other Mercedes-Benz coupés. Flared wheel arches and large air inlets with black grilles add to its athletic appearance.

Inside, a wrap-around cockpit design is the prominent feature. A downward sweeping door trim echoes the exterior line. Five colours, five trim designs and three qualities of leather are available so that each CLS can be configured according to taste. High-quality trim elements also include a choice of three wood finishes.

Amongst its many technical advances is the innovative use of LED technology to light up indicators, sidelights and low and main beam functions that give a vastly enhanced night view compared to traditional systems.

The CLS is the first of six new Mercedes-Benz models arriving here this year, others being a C-Class facelift and coupé (April), SLK (April), B-Class and M-Class (November/December).
Commenting, Mercedes-Benz passenger sales manager Ciaran Allen described the CLS as a model ‘fully in harmony’ with current thinking. ‘The availability of BlueEFFICIENCY across the range enhances its appeal and underpins its market position at a time when green issues and planet-saving technologies are to the fore’ he said.

New Mercedes- Benz CLS

New Mercedes- Benz CLS

Range Rover Evoque Personalisation Options

Wednesday, May 25th, 2011

§       Personalisation options revealed: comprehensive choice of stylish options

§       Three design themes: Pure, Prestige and Dynamic

§       Bespoke accessories: new items available, many designed specifically for the Evoque

Land Rover has produced an exceptional range of personalisation options for the new Range Rover Evoque. Both the 5-Door and coupé can be specified to suit individual tastes and lifestyles through a range of colour and feature combinations.

In place of the traditional trim hierarchy are three design themes: Pure (cool and contemporary), Prestige (luxurious) and Dynamic (bold and sporting). Beyond these themes, customers can add their own personal stamp, inside and out. Designer exterior packs provide contrasting colours for the roof and front and rear spoilers, and there are eight alloy wheel designs (from 17 to 20in). A panoramic glass roof is available, together with roof rails (in black or chrome finish) and illuminated chrome and aluminium tread plates.

Similarly, individual expression is possible in the cabin with a choice of 16 tailored designer interiors, together with a selection of metal finishes, wood veneers and contrasting headlining colours. To heighten the hand-crafted feel, a full soft leather interior can be specified with twin-needle stitching.

The new Range Rover Evoque can also be specified with an impressive array of premium on-board entertainment features, including an 825W Meridian surround system, Dual-View touch-screen display, television and rear seat monitor for DVD playback and computer gaming. An advanced Park Assist system allows for simpler and safer parking manoeuvres and a powered tailgate can help take the strain out of loading.

Gerry McGovern, Land Rover Design Director said: “Customers like to make their own unique statement with a vehicle and we have provided them with plenty of opportunities to personalise their new Range Rover Evoque, whilst maintaining the essence of the design.

To help customers navigate the choices or options, we have developed a guide called ‘designer’s choice’, with carefully co-ordinated colour and material combinations that have their own distinctive character.”

Many new accessories have been designed for the new Range Rover Evoque, too, which are both useful and eminently stylish. These include bright-finish tubular side sill bars, sports pedals, a roof-mounted carrier system and full towing kit, plus a dedicated mountain bicycle carrier.

Range Rover_Evoque_Coupe_Prestige


Wednesday, May 25th, 2011


§       Range_e: Land Rover advanced plug-in hybrid diesel technology debuts at Geneva Motor Show

§       Low emissions and exceptional fuel efficiency: Range_e capable of delivering 89g/km CO2 emissions and a fuel economy of 85mpg (3.36 l/100km)

§       Electric range: over 20 mile (32km) range in all-electric EV mode

§       Hybrid programme: Land Rover announces intention to launch first diesel-electric hybrid in 2013

§       Land Rover 4WD capability: First fully capable 4WD plug-in hybrid diesel

Land Rover’s on-going commitment to building vehicles that are more fuel and emissions-efficient reaches another milestone at the 2011 Geneva Motor Show with the first presentation of Range_e. This development model is equipped with an advanced plug-in hybrid diesel-electric powertrain that Land Rover expects to make available in future production models, following the scheduled launch of its diesel-electric hybrid in 2013.

Range_e is based on the Range Rover Sport and uses the current 245PS 3.0-litre TDV6 diesel engine, working with an eight-speed ZF automatic transmission and a 69kW electric motor. Using a parallel hybrid system, with a 14.2kW/h lithium-ion battery that can be recharged from an external 240V power source, Range_e can be driven on electric power alone for more than 20 miles (32km), with zero harmful tailpipe emissions.

A full recharge from a standard domestic power supply can be accomplished in around four hours. Typically the majority of European car drivers cover less than 25 miles (40km) a day and therefore the EV range offered by this technology will support the majority of short urban journeys, where fuel economy and emissions are of prime concern. However, for longer journeys the diesel hybrid drivetrain will engage and continually optimise CO2 emissions.

Overall CO2 emissions are just 89g/km, yet Range_e has a maximum system output of 339PS and a top speed of around 120mph (193kph), delivering a fuel economy of 85mpg (3.36 l/100km). Improved fuel efficiency from the hybrid system makes 690 miles (1,112km) possible on a full tank of fuel.

Range_e is also engineered with the same full 4WD capability as the standard Range Rover Sport, with high and low range in the transmission, front and rear differentials and a mechanical locking centre differential. Dependant on the driver demand, the car’s intelligent system decides the most efficient method to deliver the power required, whether this is by electric, diesel or both. The Range_e also features regenerative braking to capture energy usually wasted in heat energy via the brakes. This energy can then be redeployed to drive the vehicle, further reducing fossil fuel consumption.

John Edwards, Land Rover Global Brand Director, said: “This system is the first example of a premium plug-in hybrid that also provides the full four-wheel-drive capability that you would expect from a Land Rover.  It is an evolution of the production intent diesel-electric hybrid technology which will be launched in our next generation of SUVs and will be available for customers within the next two years.”

Land Rover in Partnership with CABLED

The Range_e is one of a number of Land Rover projects supported by the UK Government’s Technology Strategy Board and five prototype models are currently engaged in a test programme with Land Rover’s fellow members of the CABLED – Coventry and Birmingham Low Emissions Demonstrators – consortium. Land Rover anticipates its plug-in hybrid system will be brought to market in the near future, following on from the debut of its first standard diesel-electric hybrid models from 2013.

Pete Richings, Chief Engineer Hybrids, said: “We started the Range_e fleet trial in December 2010 and we have so far covered 12,000 miles on the trial between the five test vehicles. We are gathering invaluable real world data that will enable us to refine the technology ahead of introducing a production vehicle.”

Land Rover continues to recognise the need to work on all aspects of our CO2 footprint such as reducing weight, reducing mechanical losses and increasing powertrain efficiency and our hybrid technology represents one part of the research and development journey.

Jaguar Land Rover is committed to spending £800 million on environmental technologies and has targeted a 25 per cent reduction in its fleet average CO2 emissions between 2008 and 2012.


Sean O’Brien – New Brand Ambassador for Kia Motors Ireland

Tuesday, April 19th, 2011

Sean O’Brien – New Brand Ambassador for Kia Motors Ireland

Kia Motors Ireland  have teamed up with one of Ireland’s most exciting young rugby  talents , Leinster and Ireland player Sean O’Brien who will promote the Kia brand and  drive a new Kia Sportage over the coming two years .

“Kia Motor is a young challenger brand and we are delighted that an exciting young player like Sean has chosen Kia as a brand he is happy to promote and drive. We hope that like the Kia brand he goes from strength to strength and we wish him every success in his playing career “commented James Brooks Managing Director of Kia Motors Ireland .

Sean joins other famous Ambassadors for the Kia brand including tennis stars Rafael Nadal and Kim Clijsters and US Golfer Michelle Wie .

Kia Motors Corporation is the major sponsor of the Australian Open and an official automotive partner of FIFA and UEFA .

Sean O'Brien & Kia