Niagara Gazette

Columns

October 31, 2013

TOM'S CORNER: Automotive news from the desk at 'America's Car Show'

(Continued)

Niagara Gazette — The airbag system is designed to shutoff when a child is detected in the front seat in order to prevent injuries from the force of the bag going off.

Rover diesel hybrid bound for US

A senior Land Rover official has confirmed rumors that the brand will offer its new diesel-hybrid powertrain in the United States.

“It’s not a matter of ‘if,’ but ‘when,’ “ Andy Goss, the current CEO of Jaguar Land Rover USA and soon-to-be company marketing chief, told The Detroit Bureau.

Originally announced only for the European market, the hybrid system teams a 3.0-liter turbo-diesel V6 with a 47-horsepower electric motor for a combined output of 355 horsepower and 516 lb-ft of torque.

With the help of an eight-speed automatic gearbox that sends power to all four wheels, the setup enables the hefty Range Rover to return 44 mpg combined in the somewhat optimistic test cycle. Despite that efficiency – and the hybrid system’s additional 264 pounds – the SUV is still capable of sprinting from zero-to-62 mph in 6.9 seconds.

Land Rover plans to offer the system on the Range Rover Sport in addition to the standard Range Rover.

It isn’t yet clear what price premium the diesel-hybrids will carry over their conventionally powered siblings, but given the extra thousands that typical diesel and hybrid powertrains command by themselves, a model with both could be an expensive proposition.

Also unknown is exactly when the hybridized Rovers will launch. Given the looming U.S. mileage regulations, Land Rover will likely have an incentive to bring the SUVs to showrooms sooner rather than later.

Ford offering a turbo-charged 4-cylinder police car

Ford Motor Company says it is responding to police department demands by offering up a version of its Ford Taurus-based Police Interceptor with a 2.0-liter four-cylinder turbocharged engine.

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