Monday, 12 January 2015
Ford’s Lion set to roar in the US
Production of Ford’s Dagenham-built 3-litre V6 diesel, the Lion, could be boosted with the arrival in the US market this year of the 2016 Ranger Rover Diesel and the Ranger Rover Sport Diesel.
Arrival of the 2016 Range Rover Diesel and 2016 Range Rover Sport Diesel in the US is good news for North American consumers as JaguarLandRover’s (JLR) V6 diesel engines have received wide praise.
Both vehicles come equipped with a 3-litre Td6 turbocharged V6 diesel engine that delivers 254 bhp and 440 lbft torque at 1,750 rev/min
JLR engineers have teamed the diesel, which is noteworthy as being Ford’s first production application of a compacted graphite iron (CGI) vee cylinder block, with the ZF eight-speed electronically-controlled automatic transmission. This will be the only available transmission which will be good news for the German transmission maker.
The transmission will be connected to the CommandShift system which will allow for normal, manual and sport shifting modes. It also has a locking torque converter.
Estimates from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) suggest the two vehicles will be able to offer customers 22 mile/gal in city driving and 28 mile/gal on highway to give a combined fuel economy of 25 mile/gal.mpg combined. With a 23.5 gallon fuel tank the 2016 Range Rover Diesel and 2016 Range Rover Sport Diesel could have a maximum range of 658 miles.
According to Land Rover, acceleration from 0 to 60 mile/h time for the Range Rover is 7.4s and the 7.1s for the Range Rover Sport Diesel. Top Speed is limited at 130 mph.
The two vehicles (which go on sale in the autumn) arrive at a period of falling oil prices, which might lead potential customers from ‘green’ vehicles and even diesels.
Even so, there are claims the benefits of both vehicles seem to outweigh the detractors of diesel power. Despite diesel’s additional expense in the US, the 32 per cent improvement in consumption, the additional range coupled with the torque numbers suggest these diesel options look attractive for consumers.
Use of a CGI vee cylinder block offers higher tensile strength than standard grey cast iron, better fatigue strength than aluminium, and added stiffness. Its overall advantages in weight and strength mean the block can be lighter and smaller which make it compact in size. The deep-skirted, cross-bolted design and one-piece structural aluminium oil sump allow the engine to absorb combustion noise effectively which improves refinement.
Technically speaking, Ford’s first CGI vee diesel was the Dagenham-built 2.7-litre Lion but this was expanded later to 3 litres. Ford makes a 4.4-litre V8 diesel at its Chihuahua Engine Plant and this too has a CGI vee cylinder block.
Prior to its introduction in the US, improvements have been made to achieve an additional eight percent increase in overall fuel efficiency. These include the addition of a water-cooled turbocharger for maximum performance and durability at high operating temperatures; and new ball bearings, vanes and nozzles to improve efficiency.
A selective catalytic reduction (SCR) system uses diesel exhaust fluid (DEF) to reduce NOx emissions, ensuring the engine achieves US LEV 3 status.
The under-bonnet DEF reservoir sufficient fluid for 10,000 miles driving.
In addition SCR, to V6 diesel has the new low pressure EGR system. Unlike traditional high pressure EGR systems, which recirculate gases directly from the exhaust manifold to inlet manifold at high pressure, the revised design takes gases at low pressure – after the DPF filter in the exhaust pipe – and feeds them back to the turbocharger inlet. From here they pass through an intercooler, resulting in a lower peak combustion temperature. The low pressure EGR system has the effect of reducing the level of NOx produced, by lowering the peak combustion temperature and improving efficiency.