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Next Generation Technology Review Part 1

Next Generation Technology Review Part 1

Mitsubishi sometime ago shared a portfolio of new technology they were looking to implement in the next wave of vehicles.   Given that they were in a time crunch to develop an entirely new engine platform, the offerings were decent not plentiful.   For those who do not know,  the world engine platform was terminated soon after it was released by Dodge, Mitsubishi, and Hyundai.  This is where the 4B11 and 4B12 engine came from.   Dodge more or less decided they were going their own way with Fiat and bought out the other two participates.  While Mitsubishi could still crank out 4B11 & 4B12 engines, design changes and refinements would likely cost more in the long run and may incur additional fees or royalties of some kind.

While extremely disruptive, Mitsubishi did reactive some projects that remained dormant since 2007.  Many should know that Mitsubishi made great inroads in the mid 2000 and even dabbled in Diesel Tech. before focusing on the World Engine Project.  Fast forward to today,  Mitsubishi is now in the best position it has ever been in since 2008-2009 when the global market went to hell in a hand basket.  Operations are lean,   The Japanese currency has offered a 30% swing to make Japanese Exports more economical, and their new technologies are ready.

I constantly get email messages from people who know me and those who just follow my blog posts about Mitsubishi staying in the game.  (In North America).  As many of you know, Suzuki made decision to pick up gun and pull the trigger on exiting the North American Car Market.  Some would say…. myself included… if they just waited another 3 months, they would have benefited from the currency slide.  but they didnt… and decided to only focus on the Motorcycle side of the business.

Mitsubishi on the other hand I am sure picked up the gun even earlier decided to see where things go.  While I think the gun is in hand…. The increasing favorable currency situation and on time technology development seems to be keeping things calm for now.  While exiting the North American market is on the table anything can happen.  But… I would gamble that Mitsubishi stays in the game until the new wave of vehicles are released.  Some may come as soon as next year.

Mitsubishi’s focus will be on fuel economy!  The last generation of vehicles has a significant focus on Power (TQ) and reliability.   Fuel economy was in there somewhere, but vs. its peers, this was lacking.  Mitsubishi’s has been working very diligently on battery technology and there should be no surprise that it will start to appear in all vehicles.  The question is for many… how prominent will it be in the vehicle configuration.  Will it be an invisible hand or something that hinders what Mitsubishi owners do… typically modify and make it more powerful.

Some years ago.  Honda released a new car called the CRZ.  It was amazing because it was reaching back to a classic and they included hybrid technology that seemed cool.  But…. sigh…. the cool technology ended up getting in the way of enthusiasts and made any aftermarket development for the car a “bloody nightmare” as some tuners frequently say.  Hybrid Regenerative brakes were not fun to deal with.  The CRZ hybrid was not a failure…. Honda’s footing of not creating a non Hybrid version is what killed the platform.  Even after years of further production, Honda did not create a simple non hybrid version.  Some argued that Honda painted themselves into a corner about going green with this vehicle, and didnt want to back pedal from the mandate. :(

Getting back to Mitsubishi, they are designing a new EVO and while the body styling has been left until the end. (no one knows what it looks like), the guts underneath does look impressive.  But, the final combo of technology has yet to be determined.  One of the things that are in play is a Stop and Start technology for fuel savings when driving in the city.   There is nothing new about this technology.  Mitsubishi has experimented with this in other cars over the years . (Europe) The Mitsubishi Colt for example. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q_z-lsxRG3w

The technology in 2014 will likely be in a passive state, meaning the driver will control when the engine turns off and resumes at stops.  (Not automatically) The simple logic is that an engine that isnt running doesnt consume fuel.  For an overview of past systems of Stop and Start.  Or as Mitsubishi calls it, Stop and GO.  Visit their technology page here. http://www.mitsubishi-motors.com/en/spirit/technology/library/idle_reduction.html

 

Another technology I have had the pleasure of testing is the new CVT7 and CVT8 technology which is the next generation of CVT transmissions coming on market.  The smaller engine vehicles like the Mitsubishi Mirage & Nissan Versa Note have been a pleasure to drive.  The low fuel consumption works to make these vehicles number 1 in their class.  I have logged about 6000km on a CVT7 transmission and when you fuel economy is 5.8L per 100 on a fuel tank of gas, you tend to realize that there is mega fuel cost savings.  So much so that I figure that if you jump from a Lancer into one of these small cars, the fuel savings alone will likely pay down half of your car payment…. maybe more if you drive as much as I do.

 

Car industry venom towards E15 Ethanol Fuel

Car industry venom towards E15 Ethanol Fuel

Again I was reading something the other day that made me fall out of the chair and laugh.  Now I am not the most educated guy on the planet but I have a hunger to expand my knowledge and find out the truth on topics of interest.  In this case, Ethanol in fuel.   Now I have had a great deal of feedback from professionals and tuning jar heads who play with anything that burns.  And what I have been hearing in the past 2 years about E15 (15% Ethanol + 85% Gasoline)  is nothing but speculation and worry that something might happen to an engine.  In recent months looks as if E15 was going to be passed and mandated into law.  There had been several studies conducted that showed encouraging results in the use of E15 in cars made in 2001 or newer.  Even the EPA which is not a governmental agency of progressive change, has said it’s fine.  Some of my old stock market trading friends have speculated that E15 is going to happen, and it will likely take effect sometime between July & August giving blenders, ethanol producers and oil companies time to adjust winter fuel formulation.  So whats the problem?

Well, its very clear that the Oil industry and the Automotive Manufacturers Globally do not want fuel formulations to change from the current E10 (10% ethanol + 90 % gasoline).  A few days ago this press release posted below came out from “The Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers”.  Below you will hear them outline things from a report that stated that E15 causes can cause substantial harm to an engine made between 2001 – 2009.  They listed

1. Problems included damaged valves and valve seats  which can lead to loss of compression and power,
2. diminished vehicle performance
3. misfires
4. engine damage
5. as well as poor fuel economy and increased emissions.

I mean doesn’t that make your skin crawl, that sound awfully bad.  I mean they make it sound as if Ethanol is actually Maiming and Raping your car. But lets read what the entire press release says and you will see what might be wrong with this picture.

May 16, 2012

For release:
May 16, 2012                              

Contact:         
Annemarie Pender, Global Automakers
(202) 650-5548
Gloria Bergquist, Auto Alliance
(202) 326-5596

15% Ethanol Fuel Raises Consumer Concerns;
New Study Demonstrates Vehicle Failures in Popular Models

Washington, DC — Consumers could be paying more to repair their cars due to the adverse effects of fuel containing 15 percent ethanol (E15), according to new results from a two-year study on engine durability.  The study was conducted by FEV, a longtime consultant to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, on behalf of the Coordinating Research Council (CRC).

The CRC study released today showed adverse results from E15 use in certain popular, high-volume models of cars.  Problems included damaged valves and valve seats, which can lead to loss of compression and power, diminished vehicle performance, misfires, engine damage, as well as poor fuel economy and increased emissions.

“Clearly many vehicles on the road today are at risk of harm from E15.  The unknowns concern us greatly, since only a fraction of vehicles have been tested to determine their tolerance to E15,” said Mitch Bainwol, president & CEO, Auto Alliance.  “Automakers did not build these vehicles to handle the more corrosive E15 fuel.  That’s why we urged EPA to wait for the results of further testing.”
The potential costs to consumers are significant.  The most likely repair would be cylinder head replacement, which costs from $2000-4000 for single cylinder head engines and twice as much for V-type engines. 

“Our goal is to ensure that new alternative fuels are not placed into retail until it has been proven they are safe and do not cause harm to vehicles, consumers, or the environment,” said Mike Stanton, president and CEO, Global Automakers. “The EPA should have waited until all the studies on the potential impacts of E15 on the current fleet were completed.”

“Automakers believe that renewable fuels are an important component of our national energy security, but it is not in the longer term interest of the government, vehicle manufacturers, fuel distributors or the ethanol industry itself, to find out after the fact that equipment or performance problems are occurring from rushing a new fuel into the national marketplace,” said Bainwol.

Growth Energy, an ethanol industry trade group, petitioned the EPA in March 2009 to raise the limit on ethanol in gasoline from 10 to 15 percent.  In June 2008, EPA outlined testing needed for the agency to approve a waiver, and EPA requirements were consistent with test plans developed by the auto and oil industries.  The CRC, composed of engineers from the auto and oil industries, was working with EPA and U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) on a multi-year suite of tests on the effects of higher blends of ethanol.  This testing included more than $14.5 million of research sponsored by the auto and oil industries, and $40 million of testing sponsored by the federal government.

Before those tests were completed — in October 2010 and January 2011– EPA granted “partial” waivers to allow the introduction of E15 into the marketplace for use in model year 2001 and later vehicles.  EPA’s decision was based largely on a DOE study of the effects of E15 on durability of catalytic converters, the primary pollution control system in a vehicle.  EPA did not undertake or wait to consider the results of this engine durability test, or for other E15 related research still underway.

The CRC Engine Durability study took duplicates of eight different vehicle model engines spanning 2001-2009 model years.  All 16 vehicles were tested over a 500-hour durability cycle corresponding to about 100,000 miles of vehicle usage.  A range of engine operating parameters was monitored during the test, including cylinder compression, valve wear, valve leakage, emissions and emissions control system diagnostics.  Two of the engines tested on E15 had mechanical damage.  Another engine showed increased tailpipe emissions beyond the allowable limit.

This study adds to the body of knowledge on the effects of higher blends of ethanol.  Ten research papers have been published on the effects of increasing the ethanol blend ratio to E15 from the current E10.  In a study by the Oak Ridge National Laboratory on the impact on fuel dispensers, all gaskets, seals and O-rings swelled and showed effects that can result in leaks.  The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) tested samples of service station equipment, and found that, on average, about half of the equipment failed the compatibility tests.  Another NREL study found severe damage to marine engines run on E15. 

Automakers advise consumers to continue to follow the guidance on fuel selection in their vehicle owner’s manuals.  While automakers do market certain vehicles called Flex Fuel Vehicles (FFV) that can use up to 85 percent ethanol, these vehicles have been designed to tolerate the more corrosive ethanol, including changes to fuel pumps, fuel tanks, fuel injectors, engines, control systems, various calibration capacities, emissions systems and materials used. 

# # #

The Association of Global Automakers represents international motor vehicle manufacturers, original equipment suppliers, and other automotive-related trade associations. Our members’ market share of both U.S. sales and production is nearly 40 percent. We work with industry leaders, legislators, and regulators to create the kind of public policy that improves vehicle safety, encourages technological innovation, and protects our planet. Our goal is to foster a competitive environment in which more vehicles are designed and built to enhance Americans’ quality of life. For more information, visit www.globalautomakers.org.

The Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers is a trade association of 12 car and light truck manufacturers including BMW Group, Chrysler Group LLC, Ford Motor Company, General Motors, Jaguar Land Rover, Mazda, Mercedes-Benz USA, Mitsubishi Motors, Porsche, Toyota, Volkswagen and Volvo.  For more information, visitwww.autoalliance.org.

Source: http://www.globalautomakers.org/media/press-release/15-ethanol-fuel-raises-consumer-concerns-new-study-demonstrates-vehicle-failures

 

Wow ….. some pretty deep stuff there.  But… did you actually click on that link about the E15 2-year study that yielded these terrible predictions.  Let me help you… click here, but to save time, I might want you to look how many times the term E15 comes up.  What you may find is a whole lot of E20’s.  Which is a lot higher in Ethanol content than E15.  Its possible maybe they linked to the wrong report…. entirely possible.  But I honestly believe based on all the information I have gathered over the past 5 years, is that Ethanol isnt as evil as everything thinks it is.   There are guy that have killer EVO and DSM cars running on Corn fed E85 ethanol and produce amazing HP numbers.  The negative stuff thrown around a few years ago was that E85 was going to kill engines.  But time and time again, I have come across few Evo’s that encountered problems with their engine after doing a E85 conversion / prep.

So whats the beef?  

I don’t know. I wouldn’t say I am pro Ethanol, I am for anything that diversifies energy on the market and keeps things affordable. I have heard a lot of opinions on the matter.  Some hold water some done, on both sides.  But I think my long term prediction on this is, in 2 or 3 years all the negative hype will turn out to be bunk.

 

Mitsubishi (Finally) formally adopts a 0w20 oil weight for the Lancer

Mitsubishi (Finally) formally adopts a 0w20 oil weight for the Lancer

While the decision was made last year, it wasnt until the need platform vehicle production got underway earlier this year.  Mitsubishi is finally allowing 0w20 oil weights to be used in their 4b11 platform on both sides of the border.   Mitsubishi has been conflicted over the past two years over the subject.  Partly because of long term engine oil contracts and dealership logistics for supply of the 0w20 oil.  Also cost is another factor, 0w weight oils costs more.  While I am not the biggest tree hugger on the planet, a 0w20 oil makes sense and is inline with Mitsubishi’s Green direction.  As seen here on the Mitsubishi webpage http://www.mitsubishicars.com/MMNA/jsp/lancer/11/specs.do#engineering

While I spoke with Mitsubishi Japan over a year ago about this.  They admitted that the adoption of such a program would take sometime to filter down.  But they did have their eye on this change for sometime.  Here in Canada a 0w20 oil makes sense.  Its simply the best oil for your daily driver car in the winter or summer.  Unfortunately if you were the average customer and went to your average Canadian dealership and had a jug of 0w20 oil in your hand to put into your car.  You would have likely been met with a fair bit of resistance from service.   While I often visit all Mitsubishi dealerships in local area to get a vibe their staff.  In one situation about 2 years ago, I had a dealer tell me that the use of my 0w20 oil would potentially void my warranty.  I stroked my beard for about 5 seconds and played along. “You don’t say…..” I went back to my car and  brought in my 5w20 Jug of Mobil 1,  Something they had no problem with.   The strange part of the story is that the 0w20 oil I had was from Mobil 1 as well.

Now to be completely honest with you.  0w20 oil wasnt widely available in Canada for a while.  Very limited supply!  And they have only become popular recently because of all the hybrid engines out there.  The growing demand has pushed the 0w20 into the spot light.   The local dealership and service adviser I went to that pulled the warranty card on me isnt around anymore and most other dealerships had no opposition to my demand of putting this oil in my car.

0w20 oil is what I have been using in my car since the beginning for my winter driving.  The benefits of running this oil are real and equally as safe as the standard 5w20 oil.  Mobil1 is very clear with the benefits and if you pick up the jug, they spell out the fact that you are not compromising anything by making the switch.  Its equally as safe.

Low viscosity, advanced full synthetic formula
  • Helps increase engine efficiency and improve fuel economy up to 2 percent, based on a comparison versus those grades most commonly used. Actual savings are dependent upon vehicle/engine type, outside temperature, driving conditions, and your current motor oil viscosity.
Outstanding thermal and oxidation stability
  • Helps reduce oil aging resulting in long lasting protection.
Outstanding low-temperature capabilities
  • Quick cold-weather starting and fast protection helps extend engine life.
Precisely balanced additive component system
  • Excellent overall lubrication and wear protection performance for many driving styles and conditions, from mild to severe, where a 5W-20 or 0W-20 is recommended.

Source: http://www.mobiloil.com/USA-English/MotorOil/Oils/Mobil_1_0W-20.aspx

I run with Mobil 1 0w20 oil in my Mitsubishi Lancer 2008 year round.  If I know I will be subjecting my car to some more serious levels of stress, I would consider switching to a heavier weight.  But let me be clear, even if you an aggressive daily driver, this oil is perfect for you.    You will achieve better fuel economy and the same amount of projection.   I make this repeated speech on here because I get that one email asking.  “I drive my car hard….  Are you sure its safe”  Simple Answer is yes.

Where to buy Mobil 1 0w20 and 0w30 oil?

Just about anywhere.  Large big box stores will have this oil available and on the shelves in stock.   Will your Mitsubishi dealership have the oil in stock and available on demand.  Likely not until the end of this year.  I will interview Mitsubishi North America to get the official stance on 0w20 and 0w30oil weights.

In the mean time I would consider making the switch and save yourself fuel and make the switch to a better oil if you are still using conventional oil.

-EVOSOUL
evosoul.com@gmail.com