Tag Archives | Powertrain

…It’s Tuner Tuesday: RENNtech Pikes Peak Rally Racer GLK?

RENNtech Pikes Peak Rally Racer

Every year, SEMA serves as the debut for some of the most outrageous cars and stunning concepts from tuners around the world, and this year, Mercedes-Benz decided to get in on the action with the debut of their new GLK.

One of those GLKs that stormed the SEMA show is this Pikes Peak Rally Racer from RENNtech, and with its inspiration coming from the winged, unlimited-class rally cars of the famed Pikes Peak Hill Climb, it’s no surprise that the styling needed to be kicked up a few notches.

However, beneath the menacing exterior lies a powertrain that might surprise a few people: a hybrid, designed to make the GLK a formidable performer while at work and at play.

By combining an electric motor in parallel with the 3.5 liter V6 petrol engine, RENNtech has been able to capture the impressive torque that characterizes electric motor drives, adding 54 Nm to enhance the GLK’s performance off-the-line and out of corners.

In addition, internal combustion engines can start to wheeze as the ambient air thins at the higher altitudes that a hill climb takes place in, but with a hybrid drive, thrust is maintained at any altitude with help from the electric motor, allowing the GLK to remain strong during every part of the race.

The 3.5-liter V6 engine that comes stock in the GLK received a special intake manifold, cams and cylinder heads directly from MB, and then RENNtech added their own long-tube headers, composite air intake, and RENNtech ECU software to make the engine put out approximately 350 horsepower on gas power alone.

RENNtech Pikes Peak Rally Racer Detail

To help with speed, RENNtech cut weight by removing most of the sound insulation and replacing the Mercedes-Benz seats with lightweight carbon-fiber buckets. With the addition of a full roll cage and the movement of several components towards the rear of the GLK, weight distribution almost reached the perfect 50/50, which helps handling on tight, demanding rally stages.

Custom coil-over suspension was created by KW for RENNtech, allowing for adjustments in height, rake, damping rate, camber and toe-in, and 412mm, 2-piece rotors with 8-piston callipers from RENNtech handle stopping power in the front, while 4-pot callipers grab 356mm discs in the rear.

Not so subtle exterior modifications include a front splitter, rear diffuser, and lower side skirts all designed to help direct airflow underneath the GLK to reduce drag and produce added downforce, while improving high speed stability at the rear. The rear wing elements also serve an important aerodynamic purpose, and flared wheel arches and other bodyshell modifications “create a powerful side line that highlights the dynamic thrust of the Rally Racer”.

It’s definitely not the subtlest Mercedes-Benz on the road, but if you want cutting edge, rally ready technology that’s designed to get you where you want to go at a very high rate of speed, then look no further than the RENNtech Pikes Peak Rally Racer.

[RENNtech]

[Via: Serious Wheels]

…It’s Tuner Tuesday: Fisker Karma?

Fisker Karma

Fisker Automotive wants to bring the sexy back to green sport car design.

With Tesla taking a sad and slow turn towards the automotive afterlife, there’s now a gaping hole in the car world for people who want to drive green, but don’t want to drive slow to do so.

Enter: Fisker

The Karma (clever) will be a four-door plug-in hybrid sports sedan, and will start at just $80,000. (I say just because technology like this doesn’t come cheap when you’re trying to debut a whole new type of transportation.)

With initial delivery scheduled for late 2009, and an estimated production run of at least 15,000, there’s definitely some hope of this thing seeing the light of day.

And if it does, what will drivers see?

Fisker Karma Interior

A sexy exterior wrapped around an even sexier interior powered by a Q DRIVE powertrain. (Q DRIVE is Fisker’s name for their plug-in hybrid technology.) Basically, a small gas engine turns a generator which charges the lithium ion battery pack which then powers the electric motor.

With this configuration, the car can be driven for up to 50 miles per day, as long as the car is then plugged in each night. By following this routine, the car then also only needs one fuel fill-up. Per year.

Will this change the face of green automotive design?

As with the Tesla, only time will tell; though I do hope that this one at least makes it into production, since we’re at going to need baby steps if there’s ever going to be hope of running towards a cleaner type of automobile.

[Fisker Automotive]

[Via: Serious Wheels]