Cummins Inc. supplies the 5.9L inline-six turbodiesel that powers the Dodge Ram Heavy Duty 2500 and 3500-series trucks, and has recently signed a long-term contract to supply DaimlerChrysler with diesel engines However, the contract does not prevent Cummins from selling a diesel engine to another automaker, according to Cummins spokesman Jason Rawlings. Cummins is "actively and aggressively" looking for new customers, he stated. Making a Ford/Cummins light-duty truck engine deal more attractive is the fact that Cummins already has a variety of engines that could be used in the F-150. Cummins already supplies diesel engines to Ford for heavy-duty applications, but DaimlerChrysler might discourage Cummins from selling diesels to Ford for trucks that would compete with the Ram.
So, will we see an F-150 powered by a diesel engine in model year '06? Yes. Which manufacturer will supply the engine? We don't know; stay tuned.
New Headlamps Adapt To Driving Conditions
Ford is demonstrating the most advanced headlamp system in the world in its Smart Safe Research Vehicle (S2RV), a modified Ford Explorer that combines the largest array of advanced intelligent vehicle technology ever seen. The adaptive headlamp technology uses digitally controlled beams to dynamically adjust the light pattern according to driving conditions, safety requirements, or driver preferences. It uses feedback from vehicle onboard systems, such as steering wheel angle and vehicle speed, to optimize illumination for any given situation. The headlamp unit is controlled electronically to create beam patterns that vary in angular extent or shape, intensity, time, or any combination. At an intersection, for example, broader coverage is needed than when a vehicle is going straight at a constant speed, when a narrower but more distant area needs to be covered. Adaptive lighting also improves hazard illumination while turning corners, reduces glare for oncoming traffic, and enhances visibility in adverse weather conditions.
Team Hummer H2 Tackles Baja
Building on solid experience gained last year, Team Hummer and the all-new H2 race vehicle are ready for the rigors of the prestigious Baja 1000 off-road race.
Team Hummer announced its commitment to field the H2 in the 2003 Tecate SCORE Baja 1000, as well as a schedule of Best in the Desert (BITD) 2003 and 2004 races, and the 2004 Baja 1000. Team Hummer will also field an H1 truck in the 2003 Baja 1000.
Driven by off-road racing legend Rod Hall, the Team Hummer H2 competes in the Full Stock class and benefits from integrated support of GM's development engineering group based at the Desert Proving Ground in Arizona. It is the only known H2 competing in the Full Stock class.
"The H2 has already proven itself to be a competitive vehicle, and the Baja 1000 is the toughest way to spotlight its considerable capabilities," said Hall.
Although Team Hummer and GM development engineers have enjoyed a supportive relationship during the past decade, the H2 marks the first time the engineering group has become involved in an active racing program.
The close-to-stock configuration of the race vehicle provides engineers an additional method of observing the H2 in "worst case" driving situations. Evaluations of the vehicle's performance provide valuable feedback that can be used in the continual refinement of current products and the development of future Hummer vehicles.
"Races like the Baja 1000 reinforce Hummer's position as the ultimate off-road vehicle," said Hall. "That the H2 could be competitive so quickly says a lot about the vehicle and the people who designed it."
To conform to Full Stock class requirements, the H2 racing vehicle has a stock frame and suspension design - including the stock springs - but racing shocks are used. The H2's standard full-time four-wheel-drive system is used, with its "open" center differential locked for racing. Gearing in the front and rear differentials has been changed to improve acceleration with the vehicle's taller racing tires. Also, the stock 6.0L V-8 engine is slightly modified to produce more power for improved high-rpm sustainability.
The H2 racing vehicle's bodywork is stock, but auxiliary exterior lighting is added, along with substantial underbody shielding. The vehicle's interior is transformed into a racing cockpit, featuring a safety 'cage, fuel cell, spare tire, tools, and other necessary equipment.
New Fomoco Catalytic Converters: Cleaner Emissions, Less Cost
Ford research has produced exhaust catalysts with greater thermal durability for a longer life; has led to the development of new catalyst formulations using less-costly materials; and was instrumental in helping introduce low-thermal-inertia substrates into Ford products, providing greater performance. This past year, Dr. Haren Gandhi of Ford Research and Advanced Engineering was awarded the National Medal of Technology by President George W. Bush for breakthrough development of automotive exhaust catalyst technology. Among Gandhi's many scientific contributions is the development of the monolithic three-way catalyst, which revolutionized the way the automotive industry approaches emissions control. Gandhi's also had a major contribution to the efficient and wise use of the precious metals - platinum, palladium, and rhodium - that are the key active components of automotive exhaust catalysts. These strategic and expensive metals convert pollutants - hydrocarbons, carbon monoxide, and nitrogen oxides - into harmless carbon dioxide, water vapor, and nitrogen gas.