Sunday, October 28, 2012

Autocar Online - News

Autocar Online - News

Morgan suspension upgrades after Autocar test

Posted: 28 Oct 2012 01:00 AM PDT

Morgan will offer owners uprated wishbones after a failure during an Autocar test

Morgan has introduced strengthened components for its 3 Wheeler following a suspension failure during an Autocar track test.

In the incident, which took place during Autocar's annual Britain's Best Driver's Car test, the front wishbones were bent and a front wheel was detached.

Morgan's engineers believe the lower wishbone failed because it had been weakened during previous track use. They said the wishbones' failure under braking preceded the top and bottom ball joints detaching, which left the right front wheel loose. That grounded the chassis, which seriously damaged the car and made steering impossible.

Morgan says the wishbones are "suitably designed for their intended purpose", but that if "pushed beyond the limits of normal road/sport driving — ie, track days, off-road driving and accidental high impacts — the wishbones may get damaged". If they are not then replaced, a subsequent total failure similar to that of our test car's could occur.

Morgan has since increased the strength of production wishbones by 20 per cent "to allow a larger safety margin to cover people using their cars for experiences beyond normal road driving conditions".

Morgan has said it will supply new lower wishbones free to existing owners who want them. They will take an hour to fit, but Morgan insists it is not issuing a recall.

Big changes for Mercedes E-class

Posted: 27 Oct 2012 10:00 AM PDT

Comprehensive styling changes and revised engines to boost Mercedes' executive line-up

Mid-life revisions to the Mercedes-Benz E-class will be the most comprehensive in the firm's history, insiders have claimed. The changes are designed to boost showroom appeal against a backdrop of stiffer competition and flagging sales. The extensively restyled and re-engineered range will be revealed at the Detroit motor show in January. 

The chief styling change is a return to two headlights from the unloved four, while a new front bumper, grille and bonnet will give the E-class greater presence. The rear door skins, wings and tail lamps are also new. A design source described the theme as "less is more".

The new E-class retains the basic fascia architecture of the current car, while efforts have been made to improve perceived quality. Higher-grade materials, more supportive seats, new instrument graphics and switchgear, and an improved multimedia system have all been adopted.

New turbocharged petrol four-cylinder engines will be added to the line-up. The M274 units are essentially the same as the transversely mounted M270 units in the A-class range, but are re-engineered for longitudinal mounting and rear-wheel drive.

The engines will include a 156bhp 1.6 for the base E180 and a 2.0 with 181bhp, 208bhp and 248bhp in the E200, E250 and E350. A new twin-turbo 3.0 V6 with 335bhp will feature in the new E400 — 34bhp more than the normally aspirated E350 unit it replaces.

A twin-turbo 4.7 V8 with 429bhp will be used in the E500. The range-topper will again be the E63 AMG, with its twin-turbo 5.5 V8 producing 518bhp in standard tune.

The 2.1-litre turbodiesel will continue with 134bhp, 168bhp and 201bhp in the E200 CDI, E220 CDI and E250 CDI respectively. A 3.0 V6 diesel with 227bhp and 261bhp will power the E300 and E350 CDI.

Hybrid options will be a development of the diesel-electric E300 unit, which could use a nine-speed automatic gearbox, and a not-for-UK petrol-electric E400 hybrid.

Chassis tweaks could include Mercedes' advanced new Magic Ride adaptive damping, which uses a camera to scan road conditions ahead. 

New safety features are likely to include revised Distronic cruise control and Brake Assist, both with anti-collision systems.

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