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POWERTRAIN NEWS

All Press Releases are provided by MG - Rovers Press office unless stated otherwise!

 

 

13 April 2005 - Powertrain presents Camless engine technology at the Detroit SAE Congress!
POWERTRAIN LTD PRESENTS CAMLESS ENGINE TECHNOLOGY AT THE DETROIT SAE CONGRESS

Powertrain Ltd, today has given a presentation on Intelligent Valve Actuation (IVA), a technology critical to the development of its camless engine, at the 100 th SAE Congress in Detroit USA.

This follows on from an 18-month joint research and development programme with Camcon Technology, the UK inventor and developer of binary actuation technology. Since October 2004 Powertrain Ltd has had an exclusive licence agreement with Camcon to develop the technology in the automotive sector. The presentation of a technical paper at the global SAE Congress demonstrates the progress that has been made to develop a camless engine prototype.

Alan Warburton, Powertrain Ltd’s Engineering Director said, “IVA technology enables us to have precise control over combustion by allowing each valve of the engine to be independently controlled. Key achievements include providing a number of stable valve lift positions and high energy efficiency whilst also supporting improved durability and noise levels. We believe that we have provided an innovative system to overcome the critical objections to electromagnetic valve operation; namely, 12V system compatibility, low power consumption and variable lift control. We can now offer to OEM’s significantly improved engine combustion efficiency with enhanced engine performance and fuel economy, whilst at the same time reducing engine emissions”.

 

10 November 2004 - Camcon and Powertrain collaborate to use award winning binary actuator technology for Camless pre-production engine!

British development offers prospect of improved engine performance and significantly reduced engine emissions

Camcon Technology, the UK inventor and developer of the Camcon binary actuation technology, today announced that it has signed a license agreement with Powertrain Ltd for inclusion of its technology in a joint programme known as ’Intelligent Valve Actuation’ (IVA).

The licence will enable Powertrain Ltd, the Birmingham based engine and transmission manufacturer, to develop a camless pre-production engine prototype, based on Camcon’s digital actuator, and follows an 18 month research and development programme undertaken by Camcon and Powertrain Ltd, at Camcon laboratories in Harston, near Cambridge.

The introduction of Camcon’s digital actuator technology will allow each valve of the engine to be independently controlled; will support a number of lift positions; will allow for energy recovery to support low power consumption and provide low seating velocities to ensure durability and low noise. Intelligent Valve Actuation (IVA), as the product has been designated, will significantly improve the engine combustion efficiency, enhancing engine performance and fuel economy, whilst at the same time enabling reduced emissions from the engine.

Powertrain Ltd designs, manufactures and markets engine and transmission units for the automotive market. Its engines feature in a wide range of cars, 4x4’s, sports cars and even hovercraft. Powertrain Ltd will develop advanced combustion systems using Camcon technology for gasoline and diesel engines.

Precise control over combustion has become a key consideration in design and development of next generation engines. In conventional valvetrains the mechanical relationship between valve and camshaft limits the flexibility of the control of combustion events.

IVA, developed specifically with Powertrain Ltd, provides a compact, low cost, low power consumption mechanism providing full control over valve actuation. As such it offers significant opportunities for developing advanced combustion systems with improved engine performance, economy and emissions.

"We are very pleased to enter a partnership with Powertrain Ltd. As a prototype development company we offer expertise and technology to our partners for subsequent manufacture, support and market distribution. Camcon technology will help Powertrain Ltd to change the way car engines are manufactured today," said Ian Anderson, Chief Operating Officer, Camcon Technology Ltd.

"IVA is a valve technology that has the potential to make camless engines a viable product. We believe that a partnership with Camcon Technology Ltd will enable our customers to reap early benefits of this innovative technology," said Alan Warburton, Powertrain Ltd Engineering Director.

The high-speed, low energy consumption and long life characteristics of the Camcon binary technology is set to have a considerable impact in a number of industries.

In addition to the specific application being developed in conjunction with Powertrain Ltd, the technology is appropriate in other areas including gas and liquid flow control, remote location and sub-sea oil services, automotive engine control and noise pollution reduction in the aviation industry.

Camcon’s binary actuator fundamentally differs from the traditional valve designs. Using high power permanent magnets and a spring-loaded armature the configuration requires a very short electrical pulse to disrupt the magnetic field, causing the armature to switch from one stable position to another, thereby opening or closing the valve. No electric current needed to maintain the on or off position, creating a unique opportunity to drive even multiple valve systems from a local battery allowing precise and programmable delivery of any gas or fluid.

About Camcon

Based in Cambridge, UK, Camcon Technology is a small fast growing company focused on the research and development of the Camcon binary actuator. Camcon binary actuating technology has been 15 years in development and is the invention of Camcon founder Wladyslaw Wygnanski.

The high-speed, low energy consumption, low heat dissipation and long life characteristics of the Camcon binary actuator mean that it has applications in a whole new range of areas, as well as being a replacement for existing actuator and valve technologies.

Camcon Technology licenses its technology to customers, typically on a field-of-use basis. The company develops pre-production prototypes for customers on a consultancy basis and then hands over designs either to its customers to manufacture in volume, or to a manufacturing partner.

 

24 September 2004 - Antonov announces new product range and collaboration partner!

Antonov, the developer of new transmission technologies, today announces that Powertrain Ltd, the leading independent UK engine and transmission manufacturer, has taken out an exclusive licence to produce a new 6 speed electronic automatic transmission and a new dual clutch transmission. Since signing a wide-ranging "Heads of Agreement" in February 2004 the two companies have worked together to develop the Antonov technology from the prototype stage towards production readiness.

A running demonstrator of the 5th generation 6 speed planetary transmission has now been fitted to a Rover Streetwise car. Over the next few months it will be tested by OEM’s and be ready for production in 2006.

In addition the 2 companies will complete the design and development work on an all new dual clutch 6 and 7 speed transmission systems and a running demonstrator will be available for OEM appraisal within 6 months.

Rouben Antonov, Chairman, said, "Our relationship with Powertrain Ltd has developed well over the past 6 months and their decision to take out an exclusive licence is a great testimony to our new technologies and their confidence in their benefits"

Fraser Welford-Winton, Managing Director Powertrain Ltd, said, "We have been very impressed with the technical and consumer benefits of the Antonov technologies. Working together with Antonov I believe we can bring to market products with a real competitive advantage and can win new customers over the next 5 years"

15 June 2004 - Powertrain Ltd power Sir Richard Branson to another World Record.
On a perfect English summers day the English entrepreneur broke the world record for driving across the English Channel.  Driving the unique Gibbs Aquada amphibious car, Sir Richard Branson, smashed the record that has
been held by the French for over 40 years.

The Gibbs Aquada is the first product from Gibbs Technologies an English company with its engineering and manufacturing base in the heart of England.

To power this unique vehicle Gibbs selected the Birmingham based Powertrain Ltd's KV6 2.5 litre six-cylinder engine to complete a winning English team.

Fraser Welford-Winton managing director Powertrain Ltd, said "On the day after the England France football result it is great to see England win back another automobile World record.  Our KV6 engine has consistently demonstrated its power and reliability in on track motorsport and off road 4x4's but this time it has done it in even more extreme conditions".

Note:
Powertrain Ltd is a subsidiary of Phoenix Venture Holdings and employs 1300 people at its Birmingham Plant. The KV6 petrol engine is also used in off road vehicles, motorsport racing saloons and on road executive cars. The K4 petrol engine is used in off road vehicles, Lotus, MG and Caterham sports cars, and other road cars and even in small hovercraft.

 

22 March 2004 - Powertrain Ltd announces new supply collaboration agreement.
Powertrain Ltd announces the appointment of Sonalika Group as a new supply chain partner to its forward common rail diesel powertrain programmes currently under development.

The long-term collaboration supply contract signed today in New Delhi India provides for Sonalika to manufacture a range of powertrain components.

Powertrain Ltd will build complete engines for its current and future customer base and Sonalika has been granted a manufacturing licence to build the engine for their Indian markets. In addition the two companies will work together to develop further international business opportunities to sell the powertrain manufactured by Sonalika and Powertrain Ltd in international markets.

Sonalika has been selected as part of Powertrain Ltd’s global sourcing strategy based on securing the best cost and quality levels for its products.

Fraser Welford-Winton, managing director of Powertrain Ltd, said, "Sonalika are experienced in working with European companies and operating to global quality and cost targets. In addition the cultures and size of the two companies are very compatible making this a win win situation."

Note:

Powertrain Ltd is a leading UK engine manufacturer supplying MG, Rover, Land Rover, Lotus, Caterham, Gibbs and other customers with petrol and diesel engines. Turnover in 2002 was £245m and it spends £175m with its supply base

Sonalika Group has a turnover of £135m with manufacturing activities in engines, transmissions, castings, forgings, powertrain components and tractors. It has international trading experience and ISO 9001 and ISO 14001 certification

 

29 November 2003 - K series celebrates a very succesful 2003!
The K Series engine is equally at home powering rally cars to class victories in Wales or thrilling Caterham enthusiasts at Brands Hatch thanks to its high power output, lightweight all-aluminium construction and legendary in-built reliability.

Today, Powertrain Ltd celebrated its 2003 achievements with champion racing drivers from all areas of motorsport.

National Tarmacadam Rally Championship
Following a gruelling seven round series in this popular championship, the group N1 MGZR105 of Tim Seipel emerged victorious as class Champion for 2003. The K Series 1.4 engine, unmodified in this class, provided Tim with the performance required to beat his rivals and the reliability required to win a rally championship.

“The K1.4 powered MGZR proved to be the most competitive package in its class enabling us to set some quick stage times throughout the season. Its reliability ensured the championship was ours,” commented Tim.

MG XPower Clubmans
The long established Clubmans series switched to K Series power in 1995. Using the K Series in 1.6 litre format developing 125 PS, Clubmans drivers have enjoyed trouble free racing over many seasons – some engines have completed as many as seven seasons without a major rebuild.

2003 Champion Matthew Slinn said: “Having driven a K1.6 engined Mallock race car for over 5 years, I’ve been amazed by the engine’s reliability and power delivery. Testament to my two championship wins and countless lap records.”

This season saw the formula compete in France with local temperatures exceeding 100º F.

“Mallock Sports have been extremely impressed by the K engine’s performance and reliability – Matthew is known to drive hard and with little mechanical sympathy,” commented Mallock Director, Richard Mallock.

Mayflower MG Trophy
The Mayflower MG Trophy Championship caters exclusively for current MG models in three classes: purpose built MG ZR race cars running on slick tyres and powered by Powertrain Ltd’s own K Series Motorsport engine putting out 190bhp; MGTF class for the former MGF Cup Cars with updated bodywork to bring them up to current MGTF outline, running with a 2002 K Series 1.8 motorsport engine; and the MGF class for road going K Series 1.8 and VVC models.

2003 saw close racing, as you might expect, from a one make race series. Barry Benham, however, dominated the season winning seven races to secure the championship.

“As well as successfully completing the 11 round Mayflower MG Trophy season, I also entered my car in the Willhire 9 hour race in June. The engine just motored on, much of it on the red line, giving me a 2nd place in class and 5th overall,” said Barry.

Powertrain Caterham R400 Challenge
The R400 Challenge is the pinnacle of Caterham's varied and exciting motor sport activities in the UK. Under the R400 bonnet is a naturally aspirated K Series 1.8-litre engine, which develops 200bhp at 7900rpm, delivered to the rear wheels via a six-speed manual gearbox.

With a minimum weight set at just 500kg – less than half that of a new Mini – it's easy to see why the R400 flies.

This year R400 pilots have stunned British race crowds throughout the season, with the title going down to the wire.

Dan Stilp eventually gained the edge over his nearest rival Dillon Battistini, taking the championship at Brands Hatch last month, with his season's tally for the Tracsport team comprising three race wins and a further six visits to the podium.

“The K Series is bomb proof. At Thruxton I was flat-out in 5th gear and went for 6th but got 4th by accident, over speeding the engine – I carried on without a hitch! Last season Barry Horne won both the UK and European titles with a single K Series engine.”

In Caterham’s Roadsport championship, gridfulls of drivers have battled for the title, and the right to compete in the R400 series for 2004.

Using K Series 1.6 engines, tuned to 138PS, this series provides excitement and experience to would-be R400 drivers, whilst keeping costs to a minimum. David Dyson took the 2003 crown and now swaps his Roadsport for an R400 in next year’s championship.

As well as the UK, Caterhams are raced extensively across Europe and recently Caterham Motorsport crowned its second female champion - Melanie Cazzani, who clinched the French Caterham championship with victory in the final round at Dijon-Prenois. She crossed the line just two-hundredths of a second ahead of her title rival, Frederic Real, in another close run series.

Melanie's success in the 2003 Coupe de France Caterham comes just 12 months after the UK's Rachel Green won the Caterham Graduates Championship crown.

Rachel Green is planning to step up to the top rung of Caterham Motorsport's ladder of excellence in 2004 – she is intending to campaign the R400 in the Caterham Eurocup, competing in Germany, France, Holland and the UK.

European Endurance Racing Championship
2003 has brought huge success for John Hammersley and Andrew Dunlop racing an MG ZR 160 in the European Endurance Racing Championship, under the Britcar Series banner.

Powered by a standard specification K Series 1.8 VVC engine developing 160PS, the car has displayed total reliability and efficiency coupled with speed; essential ingredients in endurance racing.

With one race remaining this weekend, John and Andrew have already won their class championship, and can go on to win the championship outright, beating more powerful cars from Mercedes, BMW and Honda.

Commenting on their success so far: “We’re determined to put a No.1 on the car for next season. The car’s reliability so far is testimony to the strength of K Series, especially in an endurance racing environment.”

WRC Wales Rally GB
They don’t come any bigger or tougher than a World Rally Championship event so Gwyndaf Evans and Claire Mole’s group N3 win in a K1.8 VVC MG ZR in the Wales Rally GB earlier in the month was simply outstanding.

Coming home 1st in class and 27th place overall was a fantastic achievement considering half the cars in the field probably cost £500,000 or more. Where many dropped out because of the conditions, mechanical failure or driver error, the K Series powered ZRs ran faultlessly to the finish, with an identical car driven by Tony Jardine finishing 2nd in class, and 10 places behind overall.

“The car came straight out the showroom. We had the safety systems fitted then took it to Wales. The engine never missed a beat during the entire rally, even though it was on the rev limiter for much of it,” commented Gwyndaf.

British Touring Car Championship
Powertrain Ltd’s K Series 2 litre V6 engine made its mark in arguably the toughest race series in the UK in the form of the British Touring Car Championship.

Powering MG’s race proven ZS, the 270PS motorsport version of Powertrain Ltd’s flagship engine managed to collect three race wins and eight further podiums during 2003.

Experienced BTCC campaigner and winner of round 12 at Croft, Anthony Reid, was also present to share in the celebrations.

 

3 October 2003 - Powertrain Ltd powers the new Gibbs Aquada
Powertrain Ltd, the Birmingham based engine and transmission manufacturer, today announced that it has won the contract to supply engines to the recently announced Gibbs Aquada, the world’s first high speed sports amphibian.

The KV6 24 valve 2.5 litre engine was selected by Gibbs Technologies, the British based engineering technology company, who were responsible for the development and market introduction of the Gibbs Aquada.

Neil Jenkins, managing director Gibbs Technologies said, “Powertrain Ltd’s engine has the optimum combination of weight, performance and power to ideally suit our new product”

Fraser Welford-Winton, managing director Powertrain Ltd said, “We are delighted to be supplying KV6 to such a unique and mould breaking product. Our product portfolio of 4 and 6 cylinder petrol engines and 4 cylinder diesel are capable of competing in many segments and markets”.


Note: Powertrain Ltd is a subsidiary of Phoenix Venture Holdings and employs 1300 people at its Birmingham Plant. The KV6 petrol engine is also used in off road vehicles, motorsport racing saloons and on road executive cars. The K4 petrol engine is used in off road vehicles, Lotus, MG and Caterham sports cars, and other road cars and even in small hovercraft.

Gibbs Technologies is a British based engineering company specialising in the design of High Speed Amphibian (HSA) technology. Located in Nuneaton, Warwickshire, Gibbs Technologies was established by New Zealand entrepreneur Alan Gibbs and Englishman Neil Jenkins. Since its formation in the UK in 1999, Gibbs Technologies has led the world in researching and developing the concept of HSA Technology, and have patented over 60 inventions relating to the technology.

Enabling a vehicle to reach speeds of 100mph on land and in excess of 30mph on water, HSA technology is demonstrated by the Gibbs Aquada, the world’s first High Speed Sports Amphibian manufactured by the Aquada Corporation. Gibbs Technologies expects to license HSA technology to other manufacturers for use in a diverse range of applications, both private and commercial, and believes that High Speed Amphibians will revolutionise the automotive industry.

 

17 April 2003 - Powertrain provides the motive force for many competition cars!
Powertrain Ltd, the Midlands based manufacturer of engines and transmissions and sister company to MG Rover Group, has a record number of its engines on motorsport grids this weekend.

With the start of the 2003 British Touring Car Championship at Mondello Park there will be three MG ZS works cars powered by Powertrain Ltd’s K-Series V6 engine challenging for the title. Over the winter, in conjunction with MG Sport and Racing Ltd and AER (Advanced Engine Research), the K-Series V6 engine has been further developed. Improvements to the cylinder head, pistons, valves and bottom end have led to significant improvements to power and performance. The end result is a power unit that delivers c270Ps at 8500rpm.

Another Powertrain Ltd customer, Caterham Cars, will have over 700 owners / drivers competing in various forms of motorsport this weekend, all powered by the award winning K-Series engine. From Japan to Germany Caterhams will be competing in hill climbs and sprints through to endurance racing again demonstrating the lightweight construction, reliability and durability of the engine. Most attention will be at the German Grand Prix circuit of Nurburgring where an opening Easter double- header will consist of two packed grids of R400 Caterhams that will provide exciting racing.

Elsewhere this weekend K-Series racing action continues with the opening round of the MG XPOWER Clubman Series, sponsored by Powertrain Ltd. Powertrain Ltd will also see its K-Series engines featured in MGZR and MGTF racing under the auspices of the MG Car Club throughout the season.

Commenting on the start of an exciting motorsport season for Powertrain Ltd, Fraser Winton, managing director said: "K-Series is clearly a leading engine in motorsport because of its lightweight construction, flexibility and proven reliability. Such a prolific use of our engines on the track gives us excellent technical feedback into our current and future engineering activities."

 
22 October 2002 - Powertrain starts production of the Diesel L-series

Powertrain Limited, a subsidiary of Phoenix Venture Holdings based at Longbridge, Birmingham, today announced that production of a turbo diesel engine had commenced at its East Works facility.

The L Series turbo diesel assets and facilities have been purchased from Ford / Land Rover and transferred to the Longbridge site.  The removal and re-siting of the crankshaft line and final assembly facilities took place, on time, in just 8 weeks.

MG Rover Group, one of Powertrain's customers, has recently announced that the L Series turbo
diesel will now be used in the popular MG ZS range in addition to its continued use in Rover 25, Rover 45 and MG ZR.  With the diesel engine share of the UK car market growing rapidly, and with an established diesel market in Europe, then Powertrain Ltd is well placed to meet its customer's needs.

Fraser Winton, Managing Director, said "Powertrain Limited is a strategic business unit in the Holding Company structure and the investment in the L Series diesel demonstrates the confidence there is in the future of the business".

 

18 June 2002 - Longbridge Provides a Cleanser Black Cab for Birmingham
Powertrain Ltd, part of Phoenix Venture Holdings and supplier of engines and gearboxes to MG Rover Group, today announced a pilot programme to encourage Birmingham’s taxi drivers to clean up their act by reducing their vehicles emissions.

In cooperation with Birmingham City Council and as part of the Don’t Choke Britain Events’ the company handed over the keys of the first cab to Ruth Watts, Secretary of the Birmingham Taxi Cooperative, and one of Birmingham’s female cab drivers.

The cab is the first officially licensed cab in Birmingham to run on Liquefied Petroleum Gas fuel. The award wining K Series engine with LPG conversion is 50% quieter than current taxi diesel engines and reduces CO2 by 29%, NOx levels by 95% and particulate emissions by 92% compared to the current diesel taxis in Birmingham. Conversions will be supported by the Energy Savings Trust, a government agency established to approve and provide grants for such conversions. LPG taxis provide benefits to pedestrians, taxi passengers and taxi operators and the environment in general.

Gordon Poynter, Commercial Director of Powertrain Ltd said: "We are delighted to support this important initiative by Birmingham City Council and look forward to the prospect of many more taxi conversions with the K Series engine in LPG form in the coming months. In due course we hope to see the initiative spread to London and other cities where the famous British black cab is well established."

Ruth Watts, who shares her taxi, which is on the road up to 16 hours a day, with her husband, said: "In trials over the last month I have seen incredible savings in total running costs and at the same time I have been able to reduce the emission and noise levels – so everyone is a winner."

Councillor Bryan Nott, Chair of City Councils Licensing Committee commented: "There are approximately 1,100 Hackney carriage vehicles licensed in Birmingham and we would like to encourage as many as possible to convert to alternative fuels as it would have a positive impact on reducing air pollution as well as being cheaper to operate the vehicle."

Powertrain Ltd will be shortly inviting all drivers of black cabs in Birmingham to a presentation on the economic and environmental benefits of the K Series LPG conversion.

6 June 2002 - K- Series Engine Performance & Reliability
The high performing XPOWER K Series engines proved once again, at the start of an important month for British motorsport, their immense capability to deliver both performance and reliability. At the world famous Nurburgring 24 Hours on June 2, K Series powered cars finished in the top 5 places in their class.

The Caterham Superlight was a class winner and commenting on its win, Simon Nearn, managing director, Caterham Cars said: "The K Series 1.8-litre XPOWER engine was convincingly reliable around the world’s most demanding motor racing circuit."

The following day, June 3, four MG ZS’s competed in the British Touring Car Championships at Silverstone. Powered by the K Series V6 power units, the MG’s of Warren Hughes and Anthony Reid won the sprint race and came second in the feature race respectively.

Gordon Poynter, commercial director, Powertrain Ltd, commented: "It was a great weekend for British motorsport and the award-winning K Series engines that are manufactured at Longbridge. The British motorsport industry can look forward to another great weekend at the Le Mans 24 Hour where the MG Lola EX257 races in a few days time."

 
9 April 2002 - MG Rover Group announces partnership with Caterham Cars

The above pictures are re-produced by the permission of ©Kelvin Fagan

MG Rover Group today confirms that it has signed a business and marketing partnership with Caterham Cars, the specialist British sportscar manufacturer.

The agreement includes an exclusive contract for Powertrain Ltd, its engine and gearbox subsidiary, to supply all power unit requirements for Caterham Cars. Additionally, Caterham will also be able to access MG Rover's powertrain technology and benefits related to the investment in K-series engines.

Commenting on the award of this contract, Gordon Poynter, commercial director, Powertrain Ltd, said: "Caterham has been using K-series for over 10 years in extreme performance conditions. We are delighted that as a result of proven reliability, technology and cost, they have decided to appoint us as their exclusive supplier."

However, this ground-breaking partnership is much greater than the supply of powertrain and technology. The arrangement also allows Caterham to use MG Rover's XPOWER branding on its racing and high performance road cars. Speaking at a joint press conference, John Sanders, group marketing director, MG Rover Group said: "Our contract as the exclusive powertrain supplier to Caterham opens up the potential for a much deeper relationship. Fundamentally, we are both in the racing business and our products share the same engines. We can therefore both exploit the strength of the XPOWER brand to our mutual benefit. This is going to be a true partnership and we will work hard on initiatives that benefit us both."

This is what - Pistonheads say about it:

New partnership announced by MG X Power and Caterham

In Longbridge today, MG X Power and Caterham Cars announced a new business and marketing partnership that will see a much closer alliance between the two companies.Powertrain Ltd - the engine and gearbox subsidiary of MG Rover Group - will supply all engines for the Caterham range. Caterham will also be granted exclusive access to the research and development groups which should breed some exciting products in the years to come.

On a commercial level Caterham will also be carrying X Power branding on their cars and the two companies will share marketing efforts at motorsport and motoring events. Caterham are also intending to simplify their product range with just four basic models - the Classic, the Roadshport, the SV and the Superlight. Engines will be available in 140bhp, 160bhp, 200bhp and 230bhp forms.

New for 2002 will be the Superlight R300 with 300bhp per tonne. R400 and R500 models will also be available with 200bhp and 230bhp extracted from the 1.8 litre K series. The alliance will no doubt serve both parties well with Caterham benefiting from the greater marketing clout of MG Rover, whilst MG will further polish its image as a sporty, exciting brand attracting a younger audience than in previous years. Sound sense from two all British companies.
 

What The Birmingham Post reporter JAMES O'BRIEN says:

Sports car builder Caterham Cars has chosen Xpower K-series engines built by MG Rover Powertrain in a confidence-boosting deal announced by the companies yesterday.

The contract gives the engines more exposure on the world's racing circuits and MG Rover believes it is another way of winning sales from rival manufacturers.  This is the first in a number of specialised deals Powertrain is expected to announce in the future.

Caterham, a privately-owned company which builds its cars in Surrey, chose MG Rover Powertrain as its sole supplier because the engines delivered power and were lightweight. The Caterham is the world's most widely-raced car, with 500 registered Caterhams competing every weekend.Gordon Poynter, commercial director of Powertrain, said the contract was won against strong competition.

'In addition to its power and light weight, the K series engine has reliability and cost in its favour,' he said.'Powertrain has a clear business future as part of Britishowned MG Rover and Caterham is showing its confidence in the business. 'It will use our engines and gearboxes exclusively and the company will work with our designer and engineers at Powertrain.'

Mr Poynter said Caterham had been a customer for more than ten years but not on a exclusive basis. Previously the company had bought engines from General Motors. MG Rover bought Powertrain from BMW 11 months ago, but the German company had not developed the engine.

Looking at the marketing potential, Mr Poynter said people who owned three or four cars often had a Caterham and if they saw MG Rover's association it could lead to the owner buying an MG Rover and deserting another manufacturer. John Sanders, group marketing director of MG Rover Group, said the link with Caterham was not a first step towards buying the company.

Caterham makes only a small number of cars each year, but is now planning to build about 1,000 annually. Its range starts at pounds 12,950 and rises to pounds 20,700 for the 125mph Superlight, which costs pounds 22,200 factory built.

With the announcement of its model range for 2002, Caterham is starting out on its most ambitious sales drive since it took over the Seven production rights from Lotus in 1973. The programme will see Caterham expand in Germany, which has big potential for the cars.

Simon Nearn, managing director of Caterham, said the MG Rover and Xpower brands could be taken into global markets. The Caterham Seven will be 45 years old next year and our job with that car is to take the new model forward with the Xpower K series engine and deliver it to as many people as we can,' said Mr Nearn.

The deal was announced at a presentation hosted by radio DJ and Caterham enthusiast David 'Kid' Jensen at MG Rover's Longbridge plant.

 

24 January 2002 - MGR & Powertrain are first to announce new QUALITY award!

MG Rover Holdings announces that two of its subsidiaries, MG Rover Group and its engine and transmission company, Powertrain Ltd are the first automotive businesses in the UK to receive certification to the new quality standard, ISO 9001:2000.

Both companies have developed their quality systems to reduce the bureaucracy that was inherent in the previous system and to focus more on exceeding customer expectations.

 

The ISO quality management system documents technical specifications or other precise criteria to be used consistently as rules, guidelines, or definitions of characteristics. This ensures materials, products, processes and services are fit for their purpose. It also enables staff to be fully involved in achieving quality standards and company objectives.

The quality system was audited by the Vehicle Certification Agency (VCA). The results illustrate the significant strides both businesses have made.

 

Stuart Adam, Group Quality Director said: "For both companies, quality means satisfying customer requirements. It is and will always be the top priority. To be the first in the UK is a tremendous accolade for workers at MG Rover Group and Powertrain Ltd."

A photograph will be available to view on our media website.

 

Note:

The Vehicle Certification Agency (VCA) is the UK’s national approval authority for new road vehicles, agricultural tractors and off road vehicles. As an Executive Agency of the DTLR, it contributes to UK Government and European policy formulation and enforcement of vehicle safety and environmental standards. With offices in the UK, North America and Japan, VCA satisfies the needs of vehicle manufacturers world-wide in selling their products in Europe.

 
31 October 2001 - Powertrain builds its 100,000th KV6.

Powertrain Ltd, a MG Rover Holdings Ltd company, has today (31 October 2001) produced the 100,000th specialist KV6 engine at its plant in Longbridge, Birmingham.  Demand for the engine continues to grow and this year over 35,000 units will be produced.

The KV6 is an all-alloy 24-valve 6-cylinder quad cam unit, of 2.0- and 2.5-litre capacities, developed from the award-winning K Series 4-cylinder engine.  Major brand customers include Rover, where it powers the award-winning 75 and 45, MG in the new ZT and ZS and Land Rover for their all-terrain Freelander.  This year Powertrain Ltd engineers have developed new performance derivatives for the engine range with maximum power output reaching 190Ps, with 245Nm of torque.

The K Series lightweight modular construction has recognised motorsport credentials, and made the KV6 the natural choice to power the MG ZS EX259 Touring Cars.  The engine was developed for the British Touring Car Championship (BTCC) by racing specialists Advanced Engine Research (AER) helping the MG ZS to victory at Brands Hatch earlier this month, in only its third outing.

The recent successful launches of the KV6 engine into the new MG cars range and Rover 75 Tourer plus increased third party sales, has resulted in KV6 production being increased from 900 to 1400 units per week.  The next milestone for K Series and Powertrain Ltd will be total output exceeding 2.5 million later in 2002.


Note: Powertrain Ltd is an MG Rover Holdings company which employs 1300 people at Longbridge, Birmingham producing 4 and 6-cylinder K Series engines and PG1 gearboxes.  The company has an annual turnover in excess of £300 million and customers currently include MG, Rover, Land Rover, Lotus and Caterham.

 

19 May 2001 - Commercial partnership with PTP announced
Following swiftly from its acquisition from BMW of the engine and transmission business at Longbridge (Powertrain Ltd) earlier this summer, today MG Rover Holdings announced a new commercial partnership with PTP Ltd.

To strengthen its ability to identify and support an increasing range of customers, Powertrain Ltd – the MG Rover Holdings subsidiary – has appointed PTP (Power Train Projects Ltd) as its exclusive distribution sales agency for its K Series engines and major units.

PTP, based in Hinckley, have an enviable record of working with original equipment and sports car specialists and have now established an international sales and technical evaluation unit for MG Rover’s award winning K Series engine family.

Gordon Poynter Commercial Director at Powertrain Ltd, an MG Rover Holdings Company, said: "I am delighted we have been able to secure the services of PTP Ltd as an integral part of our team to increase sales of the K Series engine family worldwide. With its lightweight construction, high torque and power to weight ratio, the K Series is a competitive engine package."

Note: Powertrain Ltd is a MG Rover Holdings Company, which employs 1300 people at Longbridge (Birmingham), producing 4 and 6 cylinder K Series engines and PG1 Gearboxes. The company has an annual turnover in excess of £300 million and customers currently include MG, Rover, Land Rover, Lotus, and Caterham. The KV6 2.5 litre engine will make its debut in the USA later this year as the exclusive power unit to be used by the Land Rover Freelander in its first entry to the USA market. In 2002 Powertrain Ltd will produce over 200,000 K Series engines and 76,000 gearboxes.




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