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Motoring latest: Fiat TwinAir voted engine of the year

Published 25/05/2011 | 09:45

Fiat's tiny but innovative 875cc two-cylinder TwinAir engine has been voted the world's best.

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It was chosen by a jury of the 2011 International Engine of the Year Awards.

The turbocharged engine impressed judges with its low emissions, high fuel economy and impressive power of 85bhp. It is predominately in Fiat's '500' model.

It also won Best New Engine, Best sub-one-litre, and Best Green Engine categories, even beating zero-emission pure electric vehicle engines from Nissan and Mitsubishi in the latter category.

Volkswagen unveils new Jetta

Volkswagen last week introduced its latest Jetta.

Engines range from a 1.2TSI (105bhp) petrol to a 2-litre TDI (140bhp) diesel -- both fall into VRT band B. The 1.6-litre TDI (105hp) is a Band A member.

There are three trim levels, Trendline, Comfortline and Highline.

Ex-works prices start at €21,985 for the 1.2-litre TSi with the diesel range starting from €23,725.

Health monitors in Ford's future

Ford has developed a car seat which could one day lead to an onboard health-monitoring system that would warn the driver of impending heart problems.

The prototype ECG seat has six built-in sensors capable of reading someone's heartbeat through clothing. Even in development the chair is already said to be accurate 98pc of the time.

"The system will be able to detect if someone is having a cardiovascular issue, for example a heart attack, and could also be used to detect the symptoms of other conditions such as high blood pressure or electrolyte imbalances," said Dr Achim Lindner, Ford Research Centre medical officer.

"This not only benefits the driver; but also could make the roads safer for all users."

'Everyday' car in Lamborghini line

Lamborghini has announced that it will build an 'everyday' model to sell alongside its extravagant supercars.

The move, which is thought to hint at a four-door saloon, was confirmed by the manufacturer's CEO at the Reuters Global Luxury and Fashion Summit.

Women drivers 'less stressed'

Women cope with driving stress better than men, according to new research.

A survey shows that women recorded an 8.7pc increase in stress (how do they measure that?) while men endured a whopping increase of 60pc.

However, there is a snag. In the same tests 67pc of women and 50pc of men said they felt no stress after driving in traffic for 20 minutes -- but physiologically they were.

Health psychologist David Moxon who headed up the research said: Men, in particular, show a strong acute physiological 'fight or flight' response. The fact that they are not always aware of this could indicate that driving regularly in dense traffic could have a profound effect on their health.

A recent survey of 10,000 drivers carried out for TomTom2 around the world revealed that 72pc of people aged 18 to 64 drive on a daily basis.

With an estimated one billion cars on the world's roads and some truly horrific congestion it is little wonder drivers are stressed.

The survey reveals that to keep stress levels down, 82pc of drivers listen to music and 21pc talk to other passengers.

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