Archive for January, 2011

Back on track with a Scania engine

Tuesday, January 11th, 2011

Back on track with a Scania engine

A Scania-powered train in the Entre Ríos province in northeastern Argentina is a social and economic boost to an area that has spent almost two decades without rail transport.

“The difference between this and a traditional locomotive is simply unbelievable,” says engineer Domingo Ava.“The difference between this and a traditional locomotive is simply unbelievable,” says engineer Domingo Ava.

During the 1990s, almost all of Argentina’s passenger transport rail lines were closed, causing numerous small villages to suffer crushing economic decline and high unemployment. As a result, the social fabric came apart, generating waves of migration towards larger cities.

The province of Entre Ríos was no exception to this trend. For years and years, inhabitants of the towns dotting the edges of the railroad that ran between Paraná and Concepción del Uruguay called for the service to be reinstated. In 2007, with some serious and coordinated effort, a group of residents repaired a locomotive engine and a few abandoned carriages. Their project had the makings of an inspirational film: locals and ex-railway employees travelled together on an abandoned train repaired by their own hands, riding past platforms packed full of cheering and waving villagers.

Today it seems that this popular demand for rail service will finally be fulfilled; the line connecting Paraná with Concepción del Uruguay will soon be up and running again. Bit by bit, things are going back to how they were, and Scania is one of the engines behind this change.

For power, the train uses a Scania 12-litre engine with 400 hp at 1,800 r/min, which allows it to reach speeds of up to 120 km/h.For power, the train uses a Scania 12-litre engine with 400 hp at 1,800 r/min, which allows it to reach speeds of up to 120 km/h.

The two cities lie almost 300 kilometres and 24 stops apart, according to the provincial government. The train which will serve the line comprises two coupled vehicles, one with an engine and the other without. Both of them have a driver’s cabin at the far end so that the train can go in either direction without having to be turned around at the end of the line. The engine car makes use of the latest technology, and it was built from start to finish in the workshops of Material ­Ferroviario SA (Materfer).

“The main aim was to develop a motor coach that is modern in every respect: the technology, the internal architecture, the aerodynamics and the design,” says engineer Roberto Fieg, manager of the company’s rail business unit.

For power, the train uses a Scania 12-litre engine with 400 hp at 1,800 r/min, which allows it to reach speeds of up to 120 km/h. However, the train’s top speed was limited to 80 km/h on account of the rails’ state of disrepair.
“In Scania we have a fantastic commercial and technical partner in every aspect. First, the engines that we received from them met all our requirements without any hitches. Second, their service support is superb. They are there to walk you through using the engine and tuning it up, as well as any tests you need to carry out. The way I see it, the service is wonderful, and the product is great,” says Fieg.

Tech file

  • Motor: Scania 12-litre six, 400 hp at 1,800 r/min
  • Weight of the motor coach: 40,350 kg
  • Weight of the carriage: 35,450 kg
  • Overall length: 45.46 m
  • Top speed: 120 km/h
  • Fuel capacity: 700 litres
  • Bogies: low-maintenance (owing to a lack of surface contact), designed for passenger services
  • Transmission: Allison ORS 4500 hydrodynamic

Scania on electromobility

Tuesday, January 11th, 2011

Highways where vehicles are powered by electricity from the roadway may sound like science fiction today. But for Scania, electromobility is one of various development paths that must be investigated, writes Nils-Gunnar Vågstedt, PhD in vehicle engineering and head of hybrid system development at Scania.

“Electrification of the road network seems a logical step in modernising our infrastructure,” writes Nils-Gunnar Vågstedt, PhD in vehicle engineering and head of hybrid system development at Scania.“Electrification of the road network seems a logical step in modernising our infrastructure,” writes Nils-Gunnar Vågstedt, PhD in vehicle engineering and head of hybrid system development at Scania.

Fossil fuels are a finite resource that adversely affects the environment, among other things by releasing climate-changing carbon dioxide during combustion. It will thus be necessary to find other energy sources for vehicle propulsion in the future. Another issue is achieving the most efficient possible energy utilisation.

One attractive alternative that Scania is investigating is vehicles powered by electricity, under the concept name “electromobility”. If this electricity is sustainably generated, it reduces environmental impact. Meanwhile it boosts energy efficiency, since an electric motor has more than twice the efficiency of a combustion engine.

Today electric-powered cars are already on the roads, often in the form of hybrid cars that combine electric propulsion with a combustion engine. Testing is also underway on hybrid propulsion for commercial vehicles. For short distances, this includes plug-in solutions where a vehicle is charged by being connected to the electric power grid. But when it comes to long-haul heavy vehicles, developments in electric propulsion have not progressed equally far.

The main reason is that both hybrid and plug-in solutions require batteries that − with today’s technology − are far too heavy, bulky and expensive. Due to the difference in energy density, every kilo of diesel fuel must be replaced by a hundred kilos of batteries. This dramatically reduces payload capacity.

One solution to the weight problem in heavy vehicles is to supply electri­city continuously during a journey by electrifying highways. If power can be transferred from the roadway, vehicles of different types and sizes − including cars − can utilise the same power supply infrastructure.

Perhaps electrically powered trucks like this will be a common sight on our roads in 2050. With electrified highways, induction could be used as a method for transferring electricity to the vehicle. The vehicle has electric motors loc­ated at the wheels, a combustion engine and a battery as back-up systems.Perhaps electrically powered trucks like this will be a common sight on our roads in 2050. With electrified highways, induction could be used as a method for transferring electricity to the vehicle. The vehicle has electric motors loc­ated at the wheels, a combustion engine and a battery as back-up systems.

There is a big difference between this and a railway, which runs on electri­city via overhead lines, requires central­ly controlled traffic and is limited to a certain type of vehicle. Electrification of the road network seems a logical step in modernising our infrastructure.

Electrifying the highway network in Europe will require close and extensive collaboration between countries in order to develop a common standard. One important element of this work will be to retain the flexibility of the network, so that all vehicles can use it at the same time as it is both robust and safe. Scania would like to see a free, open market but currently has no opinion on the matter except that this is worth further investigation. Together with Volvo Powertrain, Bombardier and other companies in the transport field, Scania has applied for project funding from the FFI programme − a partnership between the Swedish government and the automotive industry for research, innovation and development that focuses on climate, environment and safety − for a study concerning electric road transport vehicles.

If it proves to be a feasible alternative, induction looks like an interesting method for transferring electricity from roadway to vehicle. Induction is an electromagnetic phenomenon that makes it possible to transfer electric energy to a vehicle without direct electric contact with the road surface. Compared to fixed transfer, using a direct contact with the roadway, this will allow flexibility, safety and the potential to deal with snow and ice.

Another solution to the weight problem would be to develop lighter bat­teries, but this would require some sort of technological leap that is not currently foreseeable. Even if the use of batteries at present seems to be a dead end for long-haulage transport, it is still too early to commit ourselves to one given solution. No one can say whether any of today’s main development paths will be viable forty years from now.  This is why Scania will continue gathering knowledge about all possible forms of propulsion for heavy vehicles. Regardless of which technology that dominates for trucks, buses and coaches in 2050, Scania’s ambition is to remain a market-leading manufacturer.

Advantages of electrified highways

  • Reduces environmental impact
  • Energy-efficient: an electric motor has more than twice the thermal efficiency of a combustion engine
  • First green alternative for long-haulage transport
  • No need for heavy batteries onboard thanks to continuous supply of electricity


Tuesday, January 11th, 2011


From January 2011 Staffordshire-based construction equipment giant JCB is rebranding its Utility Terrain Vehicles with the new name JCB WORKMAX.

This covers both the current diesel-powered models; the 4×4 for rough terrain applications and the 6×4 for ‘fine turf’ applications such as golf courses and sports fields. Until now JCB has used the name ‘Groundhog’ for its UTVs.

JCB is focused on answering the demands of the professional equipment user and therefore the new Registered WORKMAX name has been adopted to reflect this. The ‘Groundhog’ name has been in use since JCB entered the UTV market in 2005.

These UTV machines are produced at the Staffordshire manufacturer’s Cheadle plant, which typically manufactures the smaller JCB machines aimed at the Utility equipment sectors. To grow market share it is aligning its dealer network across the UK, Europe and North America, to focus on customers in sectors as diverse as estates management, hill farming, and utility service contractors.

JCB Utility Products Sales Director Keith Hoskins said: “The old Groundhog name has served us well in establishing our products particularly in the UK. But we are on course for market share growth in several countries at the expense of ride-on quads which we believe can never offer the ride quality, safety, and load carrying performance of a Side-by-Side design. Our new WORKMAX name is also easily understood in other languages.”

Keith added: “We’re determined to take a slice of the huge business opportunity for Side-by-Sides in North America beginning Spring 2011.”

WORKMAX 1000 D (1)

WORKMAX  1000 D (2)

WORKMAX 6x4 (1)

WORKMAX 6x4 (2)


Tuesday, January 11th, 2011


JCB has won a multi-million pound order for its high-speed military backhoe from the Swedish Army.

The Swedish Defence Materiel Administration (“FMV”) is procuring on behalf of the Swedish Armed Forces 10 High Mobility Engineer Excavators (HMEEs), which will be delivered by the end of next year in readiness to go into service in 2012.

The deal signals another major success for the unique machine which went into production at JCB’s Savannah factory when, in 2005, the company won its largest ever military order  - worth a total of $230 million  - for up to 800 HMEEs from the United States military.

Tim Burnhope, JCB’s Managing Director of Product Development and Commercial Operations, said: “The HMEE is already in use for a number of armed forces around the world, including the those in the US and the UK, so we’re delighted to have won another substantial order for this unique machine, which is the first from Scandinavia. A number of other nations are also expressing strong interest in the HMEE so we are confident of winning more business in the future.”

In Sweden, JCB dealer Soderberg & Haak, based in Malmo, will provide training and product, service and parts support.

In 2008, the British Army placed a £7 million order for HMEEs, which are now in service in Afghanistan.

Full production of HMEEs began in 2007 at JCB Inc in Savannah, Georgia. The machine combines the capabilities of the world-renowned JCB backhoe loader and the innovative high-speed JCB Fastrac agricultural tractor, which is the only tractor to have full suspension and anti-lock brakes. The objective of the HMEE concept is to have a machine capable of travelling at military convoy speed without the need for transportation by a truck and low-loader trailer. The top speed of the HMEE is 57mph (88kph).

The 12 tonne machine has a 5.9 litre diesel engine, four-wheel drive, four-wheel steer, lift more than two tonnes and dig to a depth of almost four metres. It is designed to be air-transportable by Hercules C-130 aircraft. Added to this, a theatre proven crew protection package makes the HMEE a new force within military engineering.

Over almost 30 years, JCB has supplied 45 different military organisations across the world with more than 3400 JCB machines.


John Deere’s flagship sprayer improved for 2011

Tuesday, January 11th, 2011

John Deere’s flagship sprayer improved for 2011

A new John Deere 5430i self-propelled sprayer with 36m boom will be seen for the first time in the UK on the company’s stand (G30, Avenue B) at the LAMMA ’11 show in January.

Over 100 5430i sprayers are now at work in the UK and Ireland, providing high levels of spraying performance and productivity. The company’s European sprayer factory at Horst in The Netherlands has now started production of an enhanced machine for 2011, featuring new developments in spray boom suspension and application rate control.

A unique control system known as Boom Charge automatically increases pressure in the spraying system to optimise the application rate as the sprayer is switched on and accelerates away from the headland. This system minimises any under application that may occur, thus increasing overall spray accuracy, especially in areas where forward speed is changing rapidly, and providing much more even spray coverage.

Further design changes include an all-new boom centre frame and suspension, incorporating revised geometry for the folding cylinders, hinge points and anti-yaw system. This new arrangement increases the preloading on the anti-yaw dampers, while simultaneously reducing boom yaw travel.

In addition, new software for the BoomTrac automatic boom levelling and height control system has been introduced to take advantage of this new suspension geometry. Together, these developments have provided a further increase in boom ride performance, allowing the minimum height above the target to be consistently maintained even with wider booms and at speeds of up to 20kph.

Further details of the John Deere sprayer range are available from local dealers or by visiting the company’s website at

5430i self-propelled sprayer


Tuesday, January 11th, 2011


  • The all-new Volvo V60 sports wagon launches with coupé-like design combined with dynamic driving characteristics
  • The load area has a capacity of 430 litres with the rear seats in place
  • The award-winning City Safety technology is standard with the new Pedestrian Detection with Full Auto Brake available as an option
  • Approximately 90 per cent of the annual V60 production of 50,000 cars will find European buyers

“The typical sports wagon customer is an S60 buyer who would like some extra space and flexibility, but without the slightest compromise on sporty design and exciting driving properties,” says Volvo Cars President and CEO Stephen Odell.

During its first year of production, the all-new Volvo V60 will be available with a variety of diesel and petrol engines spanning an economical 115 horsepower DRIVe version to an eager high-performance turbocharged D5 model producing 205 horsepower.

Further specifications and prices will be announced at a later date.


The pronounced wedge shape and the slim coupe-like roof line of the new Volvo V60 are accompanied by the high shoulder profile along the car’s sides, creating a gentle yet powerful double wave from the headlamps at the front to the tail lamps at the rear.

“From the design viewpoint, the focus was on making the car as close to a coupé as possible, while retaining that handy extra space at the rear. Our sports wagon does not aim to compete with the traditional estate car. For the customer who wants a lot of load space, there is our V70 or XC70,” says Örjan Sterner, head of exterior design for the new Volvo V60. He adds: “The dip in the middle of the double wave visually pushes the car down. This enhances the stance and makes the car look sleeker and lower. The sculpted bonnet and the short overhangs front and rear also emphasise the sports car feel.”

Dynamism is further enhanced by what Volvo’s design team calls the “racetrack” design. The car’s lines do not end abruptly but instead continue to flow organically, continually, echoing the smooth shapes of the racetrack.

Volvo’s designers have integrated LED (Light Emitting Diode) technology to create distinctive light patterns both front and rear. The vertical position lights at the front, the side-marker lights, the turn indicators integrated into the door mirrors and the tail lamps at the rear all give the new V60 an unmistakable profile even in the dark.

Exciting styling pack

A styling pack gives the V60 buyer the opportunity to boost the sporty attitude. The styling pack includes front and rear skid plates, a front decor trim, side scuff plates, special exhaust tailpipes and 18-inch wheels.


Volvo Cars’ chassis experts worked on the driving experience in the new Volvo V60 with the same passion given to the development of the all-new S60. The result is a sports wagon with driving properties that do the sporting appearance full justice.

During the development process, the chassis team worked on the new Volvo V60 in parallel with the all-new Volvo S60. The result is a solution that features changes and refinements to virtually every single detail that effects the car’s load carrying capabilities.

Volvo’s new sports wagon is available with a choice of two chassis. In the European market, the newly developed dynamic chassis is standard, while other markets will have the touring chassis as standard with the dynamic variant available as an option. The difference between the two chassis alternatives is to be found in the dampers and the front and rear subframes. Here the touring variant has softer settings to give a smooth ride on poorer road surfaces.

In addition to the two standard chassis, all variants of the V60 can be specified with the optional FOUR-C (Continuously Controlled Chassis Concept) active chassis, which has been modified and refined for better control and comfort compared with previous Volvos.

The first sports wagon with Advanced Stability Control

The dynamic chassis is backed up by a range of electronic systems that sharpen the sporty driving experience further. Like the all-new S60, the new V60 is fitted with Advanced Stability Control. With a new roll angle sensor, it is possible to identify any skidding tendency at a very early stage. This means that the stability control system can step in earlier and with greater precision.

New Corner Traction Control for smoother cornering

Corner Traction Control is a new feature that uses torque vectoring so the car corners more smoothly. This technology is a further refinement of the Dynamic Stability and Traction Control (DSTC) system. When cornering, the car’s inner driven wheel is braked, causing more power to be transmitted to the outer driven wheel. This allows the driver to corner more tightly while reducing any tendency to understeer.


During its first year of production, the new Volvo V60 will be available with a variety of diesel and petrol engines. The focused drive to cut CO2 emissions has lowered fuel consumption throughout the engine range.

New 1.6-litre GTDi petrol engines

There will be a new 1.6-litre GTDi engine with 180 horsepower called the T4.  It will offer maximum torque of 240 Nm from just 1500 rpm all the way up to 5000 rpm. During short-term overboost, it provides an impressive 270 Nm of torque. This gives excellent flexibility throughout the speed range.

The T4 is available in combination with Volvo’s automatic six-speed Powershift transmission or a six-speed manual gearbox.

Two five-cylinder turbodiesels

The engine range also includes two five-cylinder turbodiesels. The D5 high-performance engine with twin turbos produces 205 horsepower and 420 Nm of torque. Acceleration from 0-100 km/h takes 7.9 seconds (manual and automatic). Top speed is 230 km/h (limited) with the manual and automatic gearbox.

In the most recent D5 version, which was introduced in spring 2009, performance and driveability requirements have been met by fitting two turbochargers of different sizes, one taking over from the other and providing added power across a broader rev range. The complementary properties of the two turbos are utilised optimally for a combination of high performance and low fuel consumption of 5.4l/100km (52.5 mpg) (EU Combined).

In addition there is the newly developed two-litre D3 producing 163 bhp and 400 Nm of torque. Acceleration from 0-100 km/h takes 9.4 seconds (manual and automatic). Top speed is 220 km/h (manual) and 215 km/h (automatic). The new five-cylinder 2.0D is, in principle, the same engine as the present 2.4D, but cylinder capacity has been reduced with a shorter stroke to optimise fuel consumption. Both turbodiesels are available with a six-speed Geartronic transmission or six-speed manual gearbox.

DRIVe diesel

During the course of the first year of production, a DRIVe version of the new V60 will also be introduced, featuring a 1.6-litre diesel engine. The engine produces 115 bhp and 270 Nm of torque, and will only be available with a six-speed manual gearbox.

Later during the first year of production, the new V60 will also become available in a T5 petrol variant producing 240 bhp and 320 Nm of torque.

Engine range

Petrol engines Displacement Configuration Output Torque

T5 2.0 4-cyl in-line 240 bhp 320 Nm

T4 1.6 4 cyl in-line 180 bhp 240 Nm

Diesel engines Displacement Configuration Output Torque

D5 2.4 5-cyl in-line 205 bhp 420 Nm

D3 2.0 5-cyl in-line 163 bhp 400 Nm

1.6 D DRIVe 1.6 4-cyl in-line 115 bhp 270 Nm


The all-new Volvo V60 is packed with high-tech solutions that actively help the driver avoid accidents – and help protect the occupants if an accident is unavoidable.

Pedestrian Detection with full auto brake

Pedestrian Detection with full auto brake can detect if a pedestrian steps out into the road in front of the car. If the driver does not respond in time, the car can automatically activate the brakes.

In an emergency situation the driver first receives an audible warning combined with a flashing light in the windscreen’s head-up display. In order to prompt an immediate, intuitive reaction, this warning resembles a brake light. At the same time, the car’s brakes are pre-charged. If the driver does not react to the warning and an accident is imminent, full braking power is automatically applied.

Pedestrian Detection with full auto brake can avoid a collision with a pedestrian at speeds up to 35 km/h if the driver does not react in time. At higher speeds, the focus is on reducing the car’s speed as much as possible prior to impact. Speed can be reduced by up to 25 km/h.  Statistics reveal that the car’s speed has considerable importance for the outcome of the accident. A lower speed of impact means that the risk of serious injury is significantly reduced.

City Safety as standard

The new Volvo V60 also features City Safety as standard. With City Safety, the car automatically brakes if the driver fails to react in time when the vehicle in front slows down or stops – or if he or she is driving too fast towards a stationary object. The system can lessen or even entirely avoid low-speed rear-end impacts at speeds up to 30 km/h.

Volvo’s new sports wagon can naturally also be equipped with a range of additional solutions that help the driver to drive more safely, such as:

  • Driver Alert Control (DAC). A unique technology to alert tired and distracted drivers. This function monitors the car’s progress between the lane markers and warns the driver if his or her driving pattern changes in a random or uncontrolled way.
  • Lane Departure Warning (LDW) alerts the driver if the car runs across the lane markers without the turn indicator being used.
  • Blind Spot Information System (BLIS) helps detect vehicles in the offset rear blind spot on both sides of the car. A warning lamp beside the relevant door mirror comes on to alert the driver to the danger.
  • Active Xenon Lights are articulated headlights that follow the curve of the road. For best possibility illumination when driving in the dark on twisting roads

Rollover Protection System (ROPS)

The new Volvo V60 is equipped with the Roll Over Protection System (ROPS) as standard.

Advanced sensor technology ensures that the belt pre-tensioners and the inflatable curtains deploy in the event of a rollover. This, combined with the safety cage, helps reduce the risk of occupant injury in such situations.

Collision safety including improved Inflatable Curtains

In a collision situation, the well-balanced combination of high-strength steel of various grades interacts to help prevent intrusion into the passenger compartment. The front body structure of the new V60 is divided into four zones, each of which has a different task in the event of deformation. The transverse engine installation creates more space for deformation and helps reduce the risk of intrusion into the passenger compartment in a frontal collision.

The new V60 has safety belt pre-tensioners in all the seats. The Pre-Prepared Restraints (PRS) regulate the airbags and the safety belt load limiters to optimise protection depending on the force of the impact.

Among its various other safety systems the V60 also has an advanced Side Impact Protection System, seat-mounted side airbags, Inflatable Curtains and the Whiplash Protection System – one of the market’s most effective systems for avoiding neck injuries.

The SIPS (Side Impact Protection System) has been further developed in the new V60 to cover a wider range of collision scenarios, for instance if the car is hit from the side ahead of, or behind, the passenger compartment. This has been made possible through the unique use of a gyro to control activation of the inflatable curtains, side-impact airbags and safety belt pre-tensioners. This is possible by combining information from sensors in the car with data from the gyro that is part of the Dynamic Stability and Traction Control (DSTC) system.

“The new Volvo V60 is a worthy representative of our aim to build the world’s safest cars – and it marks yet another step towards our goal of no fatalities or serious injuries in a new Volvo car by the year 2020,” says Thomas Broberg, Senior Safety Advisor at Volvo Cars.


The interior of the V60 sports wagon is a clear example of how Volvo Cars’ designers have added excitement and contrast to the Scandinavian design tradition’s rational simplicity and functionality. The V60 is a five-seater car offering comfortable space for all its occupants.

  • The 40/20/40-split rear seat and the fold-flat front passenger seat make it possible to combine passengers and load in a very flexible way. Each backrest in the three-piece rear seat is folded with exceptional ease to create an entirely flat load floor. The rear seat headrests can be folded electrically.
  • The load area has been designed for maximum utilisation of each available millimetre. The 1095 millimetre wide tailgate in combination with extra space behind the wheel housings and under the load floor is an example of the systematic approach adopted to ensure generous load capacity. The load area has a capacity of 430 litres with the rear seats in place.
  • The rear seat can be specified with integrated child booster cushions in the two outer seats.

“Load-carrying ability is not just about volume. It is equally about the load space’s shape and flexibility. We have worked hard to free-up load-carrying area and to provide capacity that truly makes a difference to the car owner. We have created the extra centimetres you need to bring with you those items that give life that added spice,” says Jonathan Disley, head of interior design in the new V60.

Easily accessible storage space is an important part of interior comfort and convenience. For instance, the new V60 has a storage compartment behind the centre stack and another in the centre console armrest, while in the door pockets there is space for books, maps and soft-drink bottles and cans. Both the front and rear seat occupants have seat pockets within easy reach.

In the field of comfort, there are features such as the optional Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC), which automatically maintains a set gap to the vehicle in front. What is new is that the Adaptive Cruise Control operates at speeds below 30 km/h, all the way down to standstill in a car with automatic transmission.

The new V60 can be equipped with parking sensors front and rear and a Park Assist camera at the rear. A camera in the front grille with a 180° field of vision is a new Volvo feature that is available as an accessory. The camera is a great asset when manoeuvring in crossings with limited view or when driving out from a tight and narrow exit such as a parking garage. The image from the camera is displayed on the 7-inch screen in the centre stack.

Entirely new Infotainment system

The new V60, like the all-new S60, gets an all-new Infotainment system where information is presented on a five-inch or seven-inch colour screen in the instrument panel. The screen has a high position to make it easy for the driver to keep his or her eyes on the road.

The Volvo V60 is one of the first car models in the world to use the Audyssey Laboratories MultEQ technology. MultEQ eliminates the distortion caused by the car cabin’s acoustics, providing crisp, clear sound with improved soundstage for everyone in the car.

In addition to the top-of-the line Premium Sound, which comes with a 7-inch screen, there are another three audio systems, all of which have been tailored for the V60 by Volvo Cars’ own experts.

Dolby Digital gives perfect concert quality

The new Volvo V60 can be specified with Dolby Digital which provides a more distinct surround-sound audio experience from Dolby Digital soundtracks. The result is perfect concert quality when listening to live-recorded music. The system also features Dolby Pro Logic II Surround that transforms ordinary stereo content into rich, full-range surround sound.

Clean Zone Interior gives enhanced comfort

The Electronic Climate Control system, ECC, offers automatic control of both temperature and ventilation. The car can be equipped with IAQS (Interior Air Quality System) which prevents particles and unpleasant odours from entering the cabin.

To offer highly sensitive passengers even better climate comfort, the system has also been equipped with Clean Zone Interior, a system based on ECC and IAQS. When the car is unlocked using the remote control, the passenger compartment is automatically ventilated if the outdoor temperature exceeds 10 degrees Celsius.

“The interior of the new V60 is all about innovative design in two areas: form and technology. The design is characterised by sporty freshness down to the smallest detail. The technological aspect includes all those smart solutions that contribute to a driving experience unlike that of any other Volvo – from collision avoidance safety and comfort systems to infotainment and audio excellence of absolute world class,” concluded Tomas Ahlborg.

European target group

The initial annual target for the new Volvo V60 is 50,000 cars, 90 per cent of which will go to European buyers. The five largest markets are Sweden, United Kingdom, Netherlands, Italy and Germany. The new V60 will be built at the Volvo Cars production plant in Torslanda, Sweden and first cars will be delivered to customers in Ireland in January 2011.

Volvo V60 Front Quarter

V60 Rear Quarter2

Volvo V60 Side Driving2

The new BMW 1 Series M Coupé

Tuesday, January 11th, 2011

The new BMW 1 Series M Coupé

Nearly 70hp more powerful than the iconic BMW M1 and similar output to last generation E46 BMW M3 +++ Outstanding power to weight ratio of 227hp/tonne ensures unsurpassed performance, agility and efficiency within its segment +++ Motor racing expertise used as a basis for drivetrain, chassis and aerodynamics technology

Every new BMW M car forms part of a very special family tree that can trace a lineage of iconic performance road cars that stretches back to the legendary BMW M1 from the 1970s. The latest to join the brood, the BMW 1 Series M Coupé, continues that tradition.

Stunning performance from a race-bred powertrain, a controllable, agile and exploitable chassis, the finest materials and components and an attractive, sporty design ensures that the BMW 1 Series M Coupé takes its place among the icons.

An M car has to have sublime driving characteristics first and foremost, but it must look stunning too, and the BMW 1 Series Coupé does not deviate from this formula. The shortest and the lowest model in the BMW M car range, the BMW 1 Series Coupé’s dynamic looks also have a role to play in the model’s stunning performance.

The sporty character of the BMW 1 Series M Coupé is expressed by the aggressive exterior design, with widened wheel arches, exclusive 19-inch Y-spoke M alloy wheels, dual chrome tailpipes and rear spoiler. Widened wheel arches front and rear, standard 19-inch M light Y-spoke alloy wheels, a discreet spoiler lip generating additional downforce and a rear apron with side openings echoing the look of the front air intakes ensure the look of sporting intent matches the model’s sporting ability. Chrome twin tailpipes, L-shaped rear light clusters with two light banks fed by LED units complete the M car look. Exterior paint finishes include Alpine White non-metallic, Sapphire Black metallic and the exclusive Valencia Orange.

The BMW 1 Series M Coupé is fitted as standard with twin circular bi-xenon headlamps, and LED-fed positioning lights. A hallmark M-branded feature is the elongated chrome gill element on the front wheel arch, while the door mirrors are basically the same shape as those of the BMW M3, albeit tuned for the specific aerodynamic characteristics of the BMW 1 Series M Coupé.

The standard sports seats in Boston leather offer both driver and front passenger excellent lateral hold. The interior is exclusively modelled for the BMW 1 Series M Coupé, with M leather steering wheel, orange contrast stitching on the black surfaces of the seats, backrests, gearshift and handbrake lever gaiter as well as the M logo embossed in the front of the headrests.

An anthracite-coloured BMW Individual roof liner, exclusive design of the interior trim strips and door panels in dark Alcantara complete the focused look.


The new BMW 1 Series M Coupé has at its heart a high revving, in-line six-cylinder engine with twin turbocharger, direct injection technology and double VANOS variable valve timing to develop a maximum output of 340hp. Such performance equates to a highly desirable car that takes just 4.9 seconds to accelerate from zero to 100km/h. The M-derived twin-turbocharger technology used consists of two relatively small turbos which, because of their low inertia characteristics, are active even at low engine speeds, ensuring no turbo lag, yet a peak power output which is achieved at 5,980rpm.



Torque   Nm

0 – 100km/h Seconds

0 – 62

Top Speed km/h


CO2 Emissions g/km

BMW 1 Series M Coupé








The great flexibility of the 2,979cc engine means that maximum torque of 450Nm is produced from as little as 1,500rpm. A flat torque curve for swift in gear acceleration sees peak torque maintained up to 4,500 rpm. This figure can be increased by another 50Nm when the car is under full throttle by means of an overboost function. With this performance the BMW 1 Series M Coupé will blast to 100km/h from standstill to an electronically-limited top speed of 250 km/h. In fact, such is its stunning performance and handling, it is expected to be significantly faster around the Nürburgring Nordschleife than the previous generation E46 BMW M3.

The engine control system of the car allows two differing performance curves: in standard mode the BMW 1 Series M Coupé offers a more torque-orientated, flexible character to the engine’s performance delivery, while in M Dynamic Mode (MDM), activated by a button on the steering wheel, engine speeds rocket instantly, accessing the highest power levels as quickly as possible.

The cooling system of the BMW 1 Series M Coupé has been designed for constant high load, high speed track driving, through the use of an additional separate radiator and a specific air duct to deal with the increased thermal stress which can occur when driving in a particularly sporty style on the race track.

The efforts made in optimising performance and efficiency are also reflected in a newly developed dual-mass flywheel. Its lightweight construction benefits the engine’s efficiency and it also has an increased solidity which is able to cope with the six-cylinder engine’s high level of torque.

In addition, EfficientDynamics measures such as brake energy regeneration and needs-based control of auxiliary units ensure that recorded combined fuel consumption is 9.6 l/100km and CO2 emissions are 224g/km.

The BMW 1 Series M Coupé is only offered with a six-speed manual transmission, specially designed to work with high-torque engines. This newly developed transmission is operated using a very short-shift M gearshift lever.


The chassis of the BMW 1 Series M Coupé has been tested using BMW M GmbH’s racing-oriented development process, and uses numerous key components, originally conceived for the BMW M3, have been modified for use in this car.

Light weight is of course vital and the latest M car tips the scales at 1,495kgs courtesy of the extensive use of aluminium. The double pivot front axle and the five-link rear axle are made almost entirely of aluminium. Tubular stabilisers, axle links made of forged aluminium and aluminium shock absorbers round off the lightweight construction concept. With chassis technology derived directly from motor racing, a power-to-weight ratio of 227hp/tonne has been achieved. The footprint of the car is bigger than a standard BMW 1 Series Coupé with it being 55mm wider than the BMW 135i Coupé. The width of 1,803 mm is the result of optimisation of the front and rear axle to enhance driving dynamics.

As standard, BMW 1 Series M Coupé comes with Variable M differential lock, compound brakes, DSC with MDM and M Servotronic. The Variable M differential lock responds to differences in rotational speeds in the rear wheels, redirecting torque within a fraction of a second for optimum traction and maximum thrust on slippery surfaces and when accelerating out of bends.

The M-specific compound high-performance brake system of the BMW 1 Series M

Coupé uses inner-vented and perforated cast iron discs with a diameter of 360mm at the front and 350mm at the rear, providing impressive stability even under extreme stress, as well as being extremely light.

Rack-and-pinion steering is fitted with Servotronic hydraulic power steering while the Dynamic Stability Control system that includes elements such as an anti-slip control function (ASC), the brake assistant Dynamic Brake Control (DBC), a drive-off assistant, Cornering Brake Control (CBC), an anti-fading function and a dry brake function is also standard. The driver can activate M Dynamic Mode (MDM) on the instrument panel, raising the point at which the driving stability control system intervenes.

The BMW 1 Series M Coupé comes with an extensive range of standard equipment, including air-conditioning, cruise control, BMW Radio Business with MP3-capable CD player and six speakers. It also has a Boston leather interior with Anthracite headlining and Alcantara trim.

Optional extras include two-zone automatic air-conditioning, Comfort Access, Harman Kardon Surround Sound System, Professional Navigation system with hard drive storage, Adaptive Headlights and High beam Assistant.

The BMW 1 Series M Coupé goes on sale in March 2011 priced at €68,100 OTR.

Market launch will be in May 2011.



BMW M1 Coupe



Tuesday, January 11th, 2011


Construction equipment manufacturer, JCB, has ploughed £20m into developing a new range of diggers to help improve driver comfort and increase productivity.

Following research with customers across the UK into working practices, JCB discovered having the ability to make hot drinks easily on freezing cold days was of importance to operators. This led to the new range of fuel efficient diggers being designed complete with an in-cab hot water dispenser.

Diggers from the range are now starting to go into the field – particularly timely as forecasters are predicting we are in for the coldest winter Britain has seen in the last 100 years.

JCB’s Tim Burnhope, group managing director for product development and commercial operations, said: “Driver comfort is paramount and we are always looking at new, innovative ways to improve things. We have a proud tradition of product innovation and being first to introduce the latest technology and this is just another example, in fact, we believe this product is a world first.”

He continues: “We continually challenge ourselves to raise the bar to provide operators with a comfortable working environment. In preparation for a cold winter, our team of engineers looked for innovation inside the cab, the place where operators spend the majority of their time.

“We all know that a happy operator is a more productive operator and so we felt everyone wins with our new innovation.”

All JCB 3CX and 4CX Eco backhoe loader models are now available with an optional hot water dispenser, capable of producing tea, coffee or soup, which locks securely into an area at the side of the cab. The machine uses the 12V supply directly from the machine and has been designed to fit into the existing cab layout.

However, in addition to the hot water dispenser, the new backhoe range also features a whole host of environmental and performance-enhancing benefits.

The new JCB EcoDig hydraulic system, which utilises three hydraulic pumps, can help cut fuel costs by up to 16 per cent, saving customers up to £3,536 over three years, and also boasts enhanced performance to further boost productivity. The models also come with JCB EcoRoad options of Smooth Ride System (SRS) and TorqueLock which can reduce fuel consumption by up to 25 per cent whilst increasing speed by up to ten per cent. Power brakes provide proportional braking, resulting in reduced effort, and the redesigned pedal box, with improved ergonomics, helps operators maintain roading speeds, contributing to a further one per cent saving in fuel consumption.

Tim concludes: “The new backhoe loader range is our most efficient. It has been designed with the environment, and productivity, in mind and ultimately the machines work harder, yet require less fuel and driver effort.”




Tuesday, January 11th, 2011


Volvo Trucks’ impact test is a 50-year veteran in the world of safety testing. It is still the toughest yardstick in the truck industry and is stricter and more comprehensive than the latest EU legislative requirements. “We will continue to test our cabs according to the previous Swedish impact test norms,” comments Carl Johan Almqvist, Traffic and Product Safety Director, Volvo Trucks.

The most common truck accident scenario is where the truck either rolls over or is hit from the front. Volvo’s impact test focuses on simulating the forces that the cab is subjected to under such circumstances.

“It is important that the impact test reflects the sequences and forces to which the truck is subjected in a real-life accident. Our road accident research offers a clear picture of the impact test’s importance. Our investigations of Volvo trucks involved in accidents have shown time and again that a strong cab saves lives,” says Almqvist.

From wood to steel; Volvo test becomes legal standard in Sweden

Once upon a time, all cab trucks had a wooden structure. Volvo Trucks has always focused on safety, and in 1948 the company was the first truck maker to launch series production of steel cabs. The self-supporting steel cab with its three-point suspension system revolutionised both the truck market and on-board safety for truck drivers. In 1959, the first tests were carried out in which a solid pendulum weighing one tonne struck the cab to test its strength. The following year, this impact test was adopted as the legal standard in Sweden, which remained in force until April 2009. It has now been replaced by an EU law (ECR 29). The new law differs from the Swedish impact test both with regard to structure and the forces to which the cab is subjected in the test.

“What was previously a Swedish requirement is now a unique Volvo requirement. As leaders in the field of safety, we don’t want to compromise on our aim of making the toughest cabs on the market.

That’s why we’ve decided to maintain our tougher standards in the future too,” explains Almqvist.

Three-stage impact test

Volvo Trucks’ impact test has been developed and refined over the decades. However, the test still consists of three stages as it has done for the past 50 years:

First, the cab’s roof is subjected to a weight of 15 tonnes. After this, a cylindrical pendulum strikes the cab’s front left supporting pillar. Finally, the pendulum strikes the rear wall of the cab. This pendulum weighs one tonne and is released from a height of three metres.

“These three stages correspond to an accident sequence in which the truck drives off the road, rolls over and hits a tree or other hard object. The impact at the rear simulates the truck’s cargo sliding forward and hitting the cab from behind,” says Volvo Trucks’ safety expert Ulf Torgilsman.

In order for the cab to pass the test, the resultant deformation may not compromise the driver’s or other occupants’ survival space. The cab has to retain its original structure, without any large holes or protruding sharp edges. The doors must remain shut, yet must be able to be opened without tools after the impact test.

“The doors must be able to be opened no matter how badly the cab is damaged. Being able to evacuate the driver immediately after an accident is crucial,” explains Torgilsman.

Constant structural improvements

During the impact test’s 50-year history, truck cab structure has been improved in areas such as design, steel strength, attachment security and welding techniques.

Each improvement has been subjected to new impact tests to verify that the new solutions meet Volvo’s stringent demands.

“It’s important to stress that the cab is part of our systematic dedication to protecting the driver and passengers in the event of an accident. This approach also includes features such as the three-point safety belt, airbags and an interior that deforms in accordance with the occupants’ body weight,” says Torgilsman.

“The safety belt is still the truck driver’s best life insurance policy. If you are strapped securely into your seat, you significantly reduce the risk of being injured or killed if the truck crashes or rolls over. Incidentally, the three-point safety belt is a Volvo invention,” he adds.

1959 crash test

Crash test

Volvo Tests within the development of safe road train technology soon ready for takeoff

Tuesday, January 4th, 2011

Tests within the development of safe road train technology soon ready for takeoff

The exciting EU SARTRE project has now been running for a year. Its purpose is to develop, test and validate technology for vehicles that can drive themselves in long road trains on motorways. The SARTRE team is currently aiming to carry out the first development tests of a single lead and following vehicle before the end of 2010. A documentary film describing the first year’s work of this multi-partner research initiative is now available.

One year into its three year programme of work, the SARTRE project aims to develop and demonstrate road train technologies that will enable improvements in traffic flow and faster journey times, offering greater comfort to drivers, reducing accidents and improving fuel consumption, hence lowering CO2 emissions.
Most of the first year has been busy with the concept phase, which has involved the seven partner consortium investigating the basic principles of a feasible platooning system. Issues investigated have included usage cases, human factors and behaviours associated with platooning, core system parameters, and specification of prototype architecture and applications. In addition to providing some highly thought-provoking and useful results in its own right, this essential groundwork has enabled the team to move onto the start of the implementation phase which will see the start of vehicle testing.

The SARTRE team is currently aiming to carry out the first development tests of a single lead and following vehicle before the end of 2010. This first iteration of the SARTRE architecture will involve installation of the necessary hardware into the two vehicles, implementation of vehicle-to-vehicle communications, incorporation and integration of sensors, and low level actuator and lateral and longitudinal control of the following vehicle. The crucial software integration needed for driving automation has already commenced, and the first tests of a two vehicle train are expected to take place before the end of December. Subsequent phases of the work to be carried out in 2011 and early 2012 will see the concept demonstrated on a five-vehicle road train with strategies handling interaction with other road users.

In the eight minute long documentary, available via the SARTRE web site ( and a range of interviews are provided by key participants and stakeholders in the project.

In addition to describing the SARTRE concept in detail, the film shows some of the simulator-based testing at Tecnalia, Bilbao, Spain, in which human factors in the implementation of road train technology have been investigated. A sample group of men and women of varying ages and driving experience were tested in the simulator, which provides a 120 degree forward field of view via two LCD screens through which a total length of 18km of virtual motorway can be driven. The simulator incorporates a steering wheel with force feedback, realistic manual/automatic transmission controls and a haptic seat installation which, together, provides a highly realistic virtual driving environment.

This simulation work has enabled the team to assess in detail the response of drivers both while participating in road trains and while driving independently in an environment in which road trains are operating. Further coverage is shown of some of the sensor and actuator development work and of the control architecture design that will support the implementation phase over the coming months.

The partners have also published three technical papers, covering specific details of the work of the concept phase, at the ITS World Congress held in October at Busan, Korea. These papers – which are also available on the SARTRE web site ( – have respectively covered the subjects of the challenges of platooning on public highways, an overview of the approach to the development of platooning being taken by the SARTRE project, and the human factor challenges of implementing such a dual mode transportation system.

“The SARTRE documentary film and the technical papers delivered at the ITS World Congress provide an extremely useful insight into the project for those interested in the potential for road train technology,” explains Tom Robinson, SARTRE project coordinator of Ricardo UK Ltd. “SARTRE is really pushing the boundaries in this aspect of ITS technology and is already providing some extremely useful and actionable results. We now look forward to the next stage of the work of the project which will see vehicle tests, initially of just of a single vehicle for sensor, actuator and control system validation, then of a two vehicle platoon later this year and subsequently through the remainder of the project, a multiple vehicle platoon in order to test, develop, validate and identify remaining implementation issues forthe entire SARTRE system.”

Volvo Road Train 1

Volvo Road Train 2