Archive for December, 2012

Audi boss talks about possible diesel-electric LeMans-inspired supercar

Word has it Audi is hard at work on a new diesel-electric supercar. Auto Express reports Wolfgang Durheimer, head of technical development for the company, is planning a road vehicle that will make the most of the lessons learned from the automaker’s 24 Hours of Le Mans efforts. Durheimer says the supercar will be very different from the current R8 and will offer buyers state-of-the-art technology. Specifically, the as-yet-unnamed model will be able to best the current McLaren P1 around a race track. Details are, of course, scarce, though the company’s recent past could point to what we can expect to see from such a machine.

The Audi R8 TDI LeMans Concept from the 2008 Detroit Auto Show promised the world an R8 with a V12 TDI diesel behind the front seats. With 500 horsepower and 738 pound-feet of torque, the machine would undoubtedly have been a blast to drive, but Audi shuttered any thought of a production model a year later. Odds are a modern interpretation of that machine would feature a smaller displacement diesel engine paired with a hybrid system for additional thrust.

from autoblog

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Less rare earth metals in the Nissan Leaf

Long story short, 99% of rare earth metals are mined in China so automakers are trying to use less of it in their electric motors. Here are some previous posts about rare earth metals and why they’re important to hybrid cars: http://www.evwaudi.com/2011/06/how-a-diplomatic-spat-between-china-and-japan-is-shaping-electric-cars-and-hybrids/ and http://www.evwaudi.com/2012/03/case-against-china-over-control-of-rare-earth-element-vital-hybrid-car-ev/

Nissan just started a new motor for their Nissan Leaf that uses 40% less dysprosium (used in the magnet) but has made something called grain boundary diffusion to replace it. Below is a video showing more:

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