High performance MINI D could get BMW diesel engines

Recently we heard that MINI was likely to develop a John Cooper Works version of its high-mileage MINI D. AutoCar is now reporting that the car is likely to eschew the Peugeot-sourced engine from the standard model in favor of one of BMW's own engines. The 2.0-liter diesel found in the BMW 120d could find its way under the hood of the JCW MINI D with 177 hp. According to AutoCar, MINI engineers have managed to install the normally longitudinally mounted engine into the transverse engine bay of the MINI. When the MINI launches, the engine is likely to be rated at 150 hp but it could eventually get the full 204 hp found in the 123d. In our reviews, the current MINI D averaged 47 mpg and the 123d got 37 mpg. A 2.0-liter MINI D should be able to get mid-40s without difficulty. The latter BMW gets to 60 mph in about 6.7 seconds, a number that the considerably lighter MINI should easily match. Pilot production of the hi-po MINI D should start in May with full production kicking in about this time next year.

Peugeot introduces 48 mpg (US) 407 1.6-litre HDi FAP

Peugeot has launched a new version of its mid-sized 407 sedan and wagon that get a CO2 emissions rating of just 129 g/km. The new 407 is powered by a 1.6-liter four cylinder diesel rated at 110 hp. A variety of efficiency enhancing features like low rolling resistance Michelin tires and electro-hydraulic power steering help bump up the mileage to 48 mpg (U.S.) on the EU combined cycle. The power steering is a blend of traditional hydraulic assist, which provides better feedback, with electric drive of the pump that can be optimized to only provide as much boost as needed.

The New 407: one step ahead of the times

Last July, the 407 Saloon and SW enhanced their powers of attraction. Still incredibly dynamic, the style was subtly updated to give them even greater elegance, robustness and perceived quality.

The specification was improved not only in terms of interior comfort and equipment (front park assistance, new WIP (World in Peugeot) Nav and WIP Com telematics systems, etc.) but also in terms of engines, with the arrival of a 2.0-litre HDi FAP engine immediately compatible with Euro 5 standards and even more economical (5.6 litres/100km (50.4mpg) or 150g/km of CO2) with power increased to 103kW (140bhp).

Benefiting from multiple technical developments (all enhancing overall driving pleasure), the new 407 models, in their 1.6-litre HDi FAP 80kW (110bhp) Saloon and SW versions, now offer a Combined fuel consumption
of only 4.9 litres/100 km (57.6mpg), or 129 g of CO2.

In France, where its price starts at €24,350 for the saloon and €25,350 for the SW, it is eligible for the €200 bonus.
A technical specification that reduces fuel consumption and enhances driving enjoyment

The adoption of electro-hydraulic power steering on the 407 1.6-litre HDi FAP plays a key part in improving its environmental efficiency. Its power steering is controlled by a hydraulic electro-pump unit in which assistance
varies according to the speed of the car, the speed of rotation of the steering wheel and the temperature of the steering fluid.

This steering system, already in place on other models in the 407 range (except for six-cylinder models), optimises fuel consumption compared to traditional hydraulic steering powered by the engine.

In addition, thanks to permanent adaptation of the force to be supplied, it offers the driver maximum steering accuracy as well as excellent feedback, while at the same time facilitating manoeuvres at low speed.

Another key factor: major engine recalibration work has been carried out on this 1.6-litre HDi unit to obtain a significant reduction of emissions.

Lastly, this 407 is now equipped with new Michelin Energy Saver 205/60R16 H tyres which significantly reduces rolling friction through its advanced tyre construction.

And because this adaptation to 129g/km of CO2 was obtained without any change to gear ratios, performance levels and acceleration are unaffected. With this improved specification, the latest 407 strengthens further its appeal to customer. In addition to its elegant and attractive appearance, still distinctive in its segment, the continuity of its residual value, its durability and its competitive overall operating costs, the 407 continues to be acclaimed for its excellent road holding and its undiminished ability to combine active safety, driving enjoyment with a high level of comfort and convenience.

The numerous strong points of the 407 have led to the production of more than 800,000 models, in all three body styles (Saloon, SW and Coupé), since 2004.

B&B Launches 500hp Kit for VW Eos

B&B is making a power statement with the Volkswagen Eos. Normally found sporting a 2.0-litre TFSI engine good for 147kW (200hp), the B&B engineers decided this was light stuff for the Eos. In keeping with this decision they turned the coupe cabriolet into a powerhouse of note with four different levels of power.

At the bottom of the pile is 360hp (265kW) followed by 400hp (294kW) and then 450hp (331kW) and finally 500hp (368kW). The 500hp (368kW) version makes 650Nm of torque and is said to run from 0 - 100km/h in 4.2 seconds. Naught to 200km/h is done in 13.5 seconds and the top speed is about 308km/h (191mph).

Components installed to achieve these supercar levels of performance include special intake and airflow pipes, a newly developed intercooler turbocharger, high-power injection elements and a more precise fuel pump.

Power like this poses certain engineering challenges as far as the daily use of the car is concerned. B&B made provision for this by installing a special slim line oil cooler, new gaskets, ledges and other parts. An adjustable suspension system has been fitted as well as a high-end braking system. The B&B Eos runs on either 18-inch or 19-inch tyres. Pictured here the B&B Eos is wearing a full body kit by Caractere.

Infiniti Planning new SUV, Flagship Sedan and Electric Vehicle in Next 5 Years

Well, it seems Infiniti is intent on making itself a major player in the premium segment with the development of several new models. So, let's see what Autocar has to say about them.

First up, the mag is reporting that Infiniti will be developing a new medium-sized luxury sedan to compete against the likes of the BMW 5-series. The model is slated to make its debut at the 2010 Geneva motor show and will be called the M(number to be announced at a later date). The model is supposed to come with the brand's 3.7 liter V6 gasoline/petrol powerplant, as well as a new 3.0 liter V6 turbocharged diesel.

Also in the works is a new QX flagship SUV to replace the current QX56. It will be very large and aimed at markets such as the US and Russia, with availability in Europe limited to special ordering. By 2015, there may be another 7-seat SUV too, one that sits lower and comes with a sleeker roof-line, but nothing is assured here.

Two new sedans are also in the pipeline for a 2012 release. A new Q-badged full-sized limousine, to be the brand's flagship model, and the next generation G37 which will likely carry a different name.

Lastly, is an electric car set to rival the BMW 1-series. It will likely be a rear or all-wheel drive and Infiniti wants to have it on the market by 2012.