Transformers doesn’t seem like a car movie at first glance, but the franchise probably offers more chases than Bullitt and The Italian Job put together. The 4th installment is coming in 2014, and director Michael Bay want to keep out attention fixated until then. Optimus Prime truck will get the new style and retro-styled Bumblebee, and two newcomers in the form of a Corvette and Bugatti Veyron. Now it’s time to take a look at something a bit different.
Michael Bay has just released a single picture together with a thin slice of information for “Hound”. The always rugged and reliable Hound, one of the Family of Medium Tactical Vehicles from Oshkosh Defense,” the description reads. Usually, Hound takes the form of a Jeep, either a classic model or the Wrangler. The Medium Tactical Vehicle you see in the picture above is mainly used by the United States Army.
At the International exhibition of Armored Vehicles IAV 2013 American company IAG (International Armored Group) introduced a new light armored vehicle Jaws. IAG is a manufacturer of armored vehicles with more than 15 years of experience, it specializes in the design, prototyping and production of armored cars, trucks and other vehicles. IAG has grown substantially in recent years and is one of the most technologically advanced manufacturers of armored vehicles in the world.
In order to fulfill the requirements of the relatively high mobility of military and law enforcement agencies, IAG has developed armored vehicle Jaws. If the vehicle requires a more severe armor it can be supplied with extra armor kits, which can improve the survivability of the machine. JAWS 4x4 armored vehicle is based on the chassis of commercial vehicles Toyota Land Cruiser 200 and provides high mobility with an extra armor to further enhance the ballistic and mine protection. JAWS can also be used as a border patrol car.
In addition to the light armored car, IAG offers a wide range of armored personnel carriers (APCs) based on different chassis. APCs have fully integrated V-shaped hull design and are designed to bridge the gap between the more expensive and heavier MRAP (machines with protection from mines and ambushes) and a low-profile, lightweight armored trucks. Thousands of cars are made under IAG logo and operate in different environment in the world. Each machine is representative of the quality in its class, and that customers expect from IAG for many years. The list of clients include IAG U.S. military, NATO, as well as various government and non-government organizations.
A trend has clearly emerged where automakers who also sell vans design them to look like their most popular and widespread family vehicles. Ford's new Transit looks a lot like the Focus, Renault's Berlingo looks like a Clio, VW's Transporter is a Passat or Golf with a big body and now Mercedes has a Sprinter that looks just like the A-Class.
The new-look Sprinter is sexy enough to get any van man to fall in love with it, but still discrete enough to be considered a German product. Mercedes has officially revealed the refreshed Sprinter, which as we've established has a new look, but more importantly received a range of Euro VI compliant engines. The performance of the four- and six-cylinder BlueTEC diesel engines has remained unchanged, with outputs ranging from 95 hp (70 kW) to 190 hp (140 kW). But they produce less nitrogen oxides (NOx), total hydrocarbons (THC), and particulate mass. The vans are also available with a 1.8-liter supercharged four-cylinder natural gas engine featuring direct injection and producing 156 hp (115 kW). Depending on the model, you will motivate your Sprinter off the line using either an ECO-Gear six-speed manual gearbox or the 7G-TRONIC PLUS seven-speed automatic transmission.
That the new Econic has quite a number of important other innovations apart from the environmentally acceptable high performance Euro VI engines can be seen at first glance by the modern design of the low entry cab – the heart of the Econic concept. The spacious cab with its ergonomic entry and exit has been rigorously upgraded with a much more advanced design to make working a great deal more efficient. There are also innovations on the chassis – the wide range of chassis versions allow the Econic to be used for a very wide variety of applications. The new arrangement of the power units behind the cab as well as other alterations to the frame makes mounting bodies easier. Despite the increased weight or additional Euro VI components it has been possible to retain the payload as it was up to now by weight-saving measures on chassis and frame.
Altogether the Econic is a completely new vehicle with the exception of the time-tried bodyshell of the cab. At the very first glance it is quite clear that the new Econic is a member of the new Mercedes-Benz truck family. The new radiator grille, the stronger bumpers and standard LED daytime running lamps identify the modern design of the Econic cab. The new arrangement immediately catches the eye when getting into the low entry cab, which could be retained despite the required additional vehicle components needed to comply with the new Euro VI emission standards.
Econic drivers and crew will really appreciate the new cab with its time-tried low entry and the unusually spacious working area it provides. The completely revised cockpit with its new multifunction steering wheel allowing the instrument cluster display and the radio to be reached even more easily, as well as the switches which can be individually assigned and placed, give the driver the best working conditions. Other highlights in the cab are the new arrangement of the air vents and the electric sunblind which give the cab a much better working atmosphere in combination with the better insulation of the cab and engine tunnel, and of course, obviously, the low entry with the fully-glazed bi fold door on the side away from the traffic.
The European emission standards Euro VI really mean no less than a reduction of emissions and particulate matter by a total of 90 percent in comparison with Euro V. An important role on the way there has been played by the design of the greatly improved cooling system which deals efficiently with the additional cooling needed by the exhaust gas recirculation. In addition to the exhaust gas recirculation within the engine, the exhaust gas is cleaned by the closed particulate matter filter, AdBlue injection and the SCR catalytic converter. The BlueTec 6 filter systems are integrated in an exhaust gas aftertreatment unit with automatic electronic controls which regulate the cleaning of the exhaust gas with a multitude of engine and work parameters as required.
Two six-cylinder, 7.7 l OM 936 LA engines are used in the Econic with a basic output of 220 kW (299 hp) and a peak performance of 260 kW (354 hp). The new in-line engines deserve best marks in their class straightaway for all aspects. Construction features such as the cam shaft with shrunk on cam, forged and bolted conrod as well as a crankshaft designed for the greatest rigidity make it quite clear: these engines have been designed for a long, successful and efficient working life.
One great challenge to engine and transmission during the day-to-day work of the Econic is the stop-and-go traffic encountered in inner cities. That is why the Econic drivetrain also includes the six-gear automatic Allison transmission used up to now – and there could hardly be a more pleasant way of winding one’s way through dense city traffic. The automatic transmission also proves its ability for instance during the frequent stops and starts, e.g. for waste collection.
Initially the Econic will be supplied with 4x2, 6x4 and 6x2/4 axle configurations, with electro hydraulically progressive steered leading and trailed axles in the permitted gross vehicle weights 18 and 26 tonnes. As an option, it is possible to order specially customised vehicles tailored to the customer’s requirements. The two and three-axle versions are also available with various wheelbases – from compact and manoeuvrable with a length of 3450 mm up to 5700 mm. The cab is also available with two different heights: high (1745 mm interior height) and low (1295 mm).
The outstandingly mobile off-road Unimog with its new reference numbers U 4023 and U 5023 as the follow-up models for the U 4000 and U 5000 is now more environmentally acceptable and efficient, but still just as mobile off the road as its predecessors and even stronger – that means better all round. It is fitted with the new four-cylinder BlueEfficiency Power BlueTec 6 engine with an output of 170 kW (230 hp) and a strong torque of 900 Nm. The Unimog transmission has been improved and uprated so that the gear changing times are shorter with an increased life span. In future the gears will be changed using the pitman arm on the steering column and this also includes the electronic quick reverse function (EQR). As up to now, there are eight forward and six reverse gears available as well as the optional crawler gears for off-road use with a speed range between 2.5-35 km/h. The main difference between the two big Unimog vehicles lies in their axles and frames i.e. their axle loads and the gross vehicle weights which is a maximum of 10.3 tonnes for the U 4023 and 14.5 tonnes for the U 5023.
This cab is first class – it has left its mark on the appearance of the outstandingly mobile off-road Unimog since 1974. The designing engineers were confronted with the challenging task of installing technology complying with Euro VI and they succeeded by repositioning the engine one metre further back under the cab and this is now the core of the new concept. In comparison with its predecessor, the new cab has been lengthened by 120 mm and is slightly higher – and by moving the transmission controls from the central console to the pitman arm on the steering column there is much more space in the interior of the cab.
This cab has also been upgraded with its new fittings: The multifunction steering wheel, adjustable steering column, pitman arm control, multifunction touch-keys and instrument cluster with a large display as well as a new stronger heating and ventilation system provide the very best conditions for the driver. The central tire inflation system "Tirecontrol Plus" has been redesigned so that the correct tire pressure for the prevailing conditions can be chosen simply and easily in the display with the pre-programmed modes "road", "sand" and "bad surface". From the outside the dynamic design of the radiator and the new bumpers with modern headlamps show at the first glance that here there is a new generation of the Unimog on the job. Also the access to the cab is completely new with easy to master and safe steps, two or three depending on what the customer requires.