This VW diesel scandal is going to take a heavy toll on that fuel as a means of propulsion. For some companies it is a great opportunity.
In the same week the good people at Car and Driver have offered some insight on the upcoming Volvo S90 and Automobile have some news on the electric Jaguar E-Pace. Before getting around the to main points of those articles, I note with some pleasure that there will be a Volvo S90. Having had a chance to visit Volvo’s museum (all of Sweden, apparently), I have seen at first hand Volvo’s unique contribution to the art of the quite large car. Rather I was reminded of this. From the 240 to 760 to the magnificent 960 estate, Volvo have made robust and practical cars that manage to
look grand without looking ostentatious. The S90 is another in this line and there seems to be every chance it will look as good as the previous S80s, both of which I can call, without irony, beautiful saloons.
And still before getting around to the second point, about the Jaguar, I need to draw your attention to the fact Jaguar is planning new straight six engines. These are three-litre, direct injection units derived from the Ingenium family. Automobile describes the old V6s as inefficient (now) and thus the difference between them and the new straight-six will have to be marked. This article
presents the pros and cons of both. In a nutshell, the V6 is a response to a packaging requirement of smaller cars with front wheel drive. This makes me wonder about why Peugeot ever fitted a V6 to the 604. Was this the price they paid to get Renault on board? Of the three cars that used it in 1975, only the Renault was FWD.
The straight six is cheaper to make and easier to keep in tune but not suited to FWD cars. And then comes the exception, our old friend the Chevrolet Epica. This is not a full list of the pros and cons and really, which engine is preferred depends entirely on the application as the article cited above reminds us.
That aside, it is a pleasant surprise to hear Jaguar are returning with a straight six; I thought these were soon to go the way of the V8 and the manual type-writer. I wondered why Jaguar might want to do this and this article here gives a clue. If you have a straight four then adding two more cylinders is a comparatively cheap. So Mercedes are going to be bringing their straight sixes back too, despite the absolute cost of the units themselves. Apparently Mercedes turn to V6s in the 90s was simply a cost-cutting exercise. Why am I not surprised. That’s another reason to despise the 1995 W210.
I have digressed a bit without actually getting to the main point of the article. I will have to get back to this as soon as the digression has worn off.