April 29, 2013
Could Parallel Parking Become Obsolete In The Near Future?
Remember when you took your driving test and the one thing that most everyone was nervous about was parallel parking? You pull up beside another car look over your right shoulder, put the car in reverse and hope you do it correctly. Trying to get the car into a space that most of the time its smaller then you would like it to be. Keep it off the curb and so on is racing through your mind.
Well, in the near future, this might all change with a new drive train design set to be for sale in the Ford Fiesta called eWheelDrive. Ford, in partnership with Schaeffler, a German-based automotive component manufacturer and supplier, is hoping to have two drivable vehicles by 2015. This could lead to other vehicle manufactures implementing it into their own vehicles.
This interesting information is courtesy of our friends at Top Speed.
This prototype Fiesta has an eWheelDrive system that has two electric motors attached directly to the rear wheels, one motor for each wheel. With the new system the car will also offer the possibility to maneuver sideways into a parking spot, that’s right sideways. City parking just took on a whole new meaning.
The horsepower of these two electric motors is only 110, but the torque is an immediate head jerking 516 pound-feet the instant the accelerator is pressed. Top speed is around 100 mph and the 0 – 60 time is sure to be impressive, but the actual times have not been released.
On to the 2013 standard model Ford Fiesta. The Fiesta’s live began in 1976 in Europe, and US availability in the 1980’s and 1990’s, with a rebirth of it in 2010. The 2013 model has some improvements in design that was inspired by global concept vehicles.
It has a new trapezoidal front grill, laser-cut headlamps with daytime running LED lamps and a new hood design.
The standard engine is a 1.6-liter DOHC four cylinder that pushes out 119 hp and 109 pound-feet of torque. An ST model has a turbocharged 1.6-liter four cylinder that has 197 hp and 214 pound-feet of torque.
This compact car has a compact price. The standard model starts at $13,200 and the ST model’s base price is $21,400.
During a press event for the new eWheelDrive Fiesta, Pim Van Der Jagt, Ford’s director of Research & Advanced Engineering in Europe said, “this is an exciting project to work on with Schaeffler because it potentially opens new options for the development of Zero Emission Vehicles with very efficient packaging and exceptional maneuverability. Looking forward, we have the opportunity to scope out the vehicle’s capabilities and how we might overcome some of the challenges presented by implementing the technology.
Chief technical officer for Schaeffler Peter Gutzmer said, “this highly integrated wheel-hub drive makes it possible to rethink the city car without restrictions; and could be a key factor in new vehicle concepts and automobile platforms in the future.”
Ford’s global trends and futuring manager Sheryl Connelly said, “we face challenges that will have to be addressed through time, thought and investment. It is by starting to look at how we might meet those challenges through research projects such as eWheelDrive, that we ensure that we embrace a future of choice and not a future of constraint.”
Featured Image Credit: TopSpeed.com