10. March 2014
At the Geneva Motor Show, Jeep introduced the Renegade—a small SUV that, unlike many other small SUVs, has a 4x4 system that is said to provide off-road capability (there is Jeep Active Drive, a full-time 4x4 system, and Jeep Active drive low, a 4x4 system that offers a 20:1 crawl ratio; there is a disconnecting real axle and power-take-off-unit to provide fuel efficiency when 4x4 isn’t required), a vehicle based off the “small-wide architecture” that’s used for the Fiat 500L, but engineered so that there is the aforementioned off-road capability (which also includes fully independent suspension and the ability to have up to 8.1 in. of wheel articulation and 8.7 in. of ground clearance); a vehicle that Jeep plans to sell in multiple global markets, so it is offering it with 16 different powertrain options, gasoline and diesel, manual and dual dry-clutch automatic, as well as the segment’s first nine-speed automatic; a Jeep that is being built in a Fiat plant in Melfi, Italy—it brought over a group of journalists, including Frank Marcus, technical director at Motor Trend.
And shortly after Marcus returned from Geneva, he was on “Autoline After Hours” to talk with host John McElroy and me about the Renegade, as well as other vehicles that caught his eye, including the Maserati Alfieri, the Lamborghini Huracan, and the EDAG Genesis—a concept car that the Germany-based engineering company produced using 3D printing, fused deposition modeling (FDM), to create what they describe as a “bionic” design.
In addition to which, the three discussed other subjects, ranging from sales (are the Polar Vortices responsible for the rise in CUV sales?) to the controversial Cadillac commercial that essentially says Europeans are lazy and Americans work hard, so they deserve a Cadillac (who knew that the Germans were lazy, and why is it that they can afford BMWs, Audis, and Mercs?).
Then they are joined by Calvin R. Visser, COO of Fierce Fuel Systems. They produce a system for diesel fuel emulsification for Class 8 trucks. They put water into diesel. Deliberately. But they do so in a way such that through the use of a surfactant, there are drops on the size range of about 300 nm suspended in the fuel. They help the combustion process by bursting into steam which, as a result, helps shatter the oil into tinier drops, which facilitates burning. While Visser says that there have been other systems available, they have been systems that treat the fuel in bulk, and the FFS system is on-board the truck, so the fuel is processed only when the conditions are right. Better combustion means more fuel efficiency (on average, about 20% improvement), which means nontrivial savings for fleet owners.
All of this can be found here: