Category Archives: engineering

Peugeot-Citroen Hybrid Air Most Significant Intro at Geneva?

Struggling PSA Peugeot Citroën showed a light duty version of so-called hybrid-air technology that will be in production by 2016 using the group’s new EMP2 platform that will make its debut on the new Citroen Picasso. It potentially a breakthrough that will help PSA sell more cars globally, reviving its sagging reputation in the process. Continue reading

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Land Rover Shows a 9-Speed Automatic Trans at Geneva

Land Rover showed the world’s first 9-speed automatic transmission for a light duty vehicle at the 2013 Geneva Motor Show. The ZF 9HP transmission is said to be specifically designed for transverse applications, and is claimed to be one of the most efficient and technically advanced transmissions ever used in a production vehicle. The first volume production will come later this year in the Range Rover with the 9HP manufactured at ZF’s Gray Court facility in South Carolina. Continue reading

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GM Cuts Powertrain Locations in Efficiency Move

General Motors will close three leased facilities in Wixom, Michigan; Castleton, Indiana, and Torrance, California and consolidate their powertrain engineering activities into a Global Powertrain Engineering center in Pontiac, Michigan. GM R&D’s Propulsion Systems Research lab in Warren, Michigan will also relocate to the Pontiac campus, including its electric motor engineering . Continue reading

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Toyota Recalls More than 1 Million Corolla and Lexus IS Cars

Bad airbags and windshield wipers are forcing the recalls of 752,000 Corolla and Corolla Matrix models and 270,000 Lexus IS cars by Toyota Motor Sales, U.S. The two separate safety recalls are the result of a defective airbag control module … Continue reading

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FAA to Review Boeing 787 Design and Production

A series of mishaps on the Boeing 787 including, engine oil leaks, cracked windshields and a fire has prompted the FAA to promise a comprehensive review of the design, manufacture and assembly of the so-called Dreamliner. The 787 designation was the date of an elaborate unveiling during July of 2007, with the first flights planned for that August. The twin-engine composite aircraft had several production delays before finally entering service years late. Continue reading

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Subaru Recalls 634,000 Legacy, Outback and Tribeca Models for Fires

Subaru is recalling 634,000 Legacy, Outback and Tribeca models because the “puddle lights” in the running boards of the crossover SUVs can short, melt and possibly start a fire. Continue reading

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Toyota Settles Lawsuits for $1.1 Billion and Will Modify Millions of Vehicles with Electronically Controlled Gas Pedals to Stop Runaways

In an engineering lapse of monumental consequences that included several deaths, the computer programming on affected vehicles when confronted with both brake and accelerator inputs did not favor the brake input for its electronic engine controls. Such over-ride software is in widespread use at other automakers. Continue reading

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Less Expensive Chevrolet Cruze Airbag Earns 5 Stars from NHTSA

The 2013 Chevrolet Cruze using a groundbreaking single inflator airbag has been rated by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration at a maximum 5-Star Overall Vehicle Score. The development is potentially significant for car buyers because the 2013 Cruze model switched to a less expensive, more compact and lighter airbag design from Takata. Continue reading

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Car Spy Jim Dunne Catches a Revised 2015 Ford Mustang

Jim Dunne caught a look at what Ford Motor is working on for the 2015 model year Mustang, which he opines will have an independent rear suspension. At least that’s the impression he got from viewing this rear view of a Ford Mustang test vehicle. Taillights, upper panels and the license plate mount are the same as current Mustangs, so why cut out the lowest panel? Continue reading

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Exhaust Gas Regen and 48-Volt Cars – Next Efficiency Breakthrough?

European automakers are rethinking the need for 12-volt cars. This move toward 48 volts, little noted in the U.S. media, has significant implications for a new generation of potentially cost-effective mild or semi-mild hybrid vehicles. A 48-volt standard could be a major factor for enabling the required motor-generator efficiency and power levels to make a practical hybrid at a lower cost. Continue reading

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GM China Expands Advanced Technical Center in Shanghai

Increasingly, sophisticated engineering and development work once done in the U.S. is being shifted to China. Last August, GM began fabricating and testing prototype battery cells and complete systems at the ATC. At the same time, SAIC and Shanghai GM and the Automotive Technical Center opened China’s largest proving grounds. Continue reading

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Volkswagen Recalls Mexican Built Beetles for Defective Airbags

Volkswagen is recalling model year 2012-2013 Beetles equipped with leather seats because the airbags may not deploy properly in an accident. Continue reading

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54.5 in 2025 Subject of Critical CAR CAFE Seminar

The Center for Automotive Research will examine the implications for product development of the 54.5 mpg CAFE fuel mandate that is now a federal regulation. Currently, estimates for the cost of compliance range from zero to $10,000 per vehicle for what is a difficult engineering task that has become – once again and as always – an ideological battleground, with posturing from automakers, regulators and pressure groups. The ability of product development engineers and their auto companies to meet the new standards and/or garner credits to offset some vehicle shortfalls will determine the type of vehicle you can buy, and how much you will pay for it. With safety regulations already on the books potentially adding thousands to the cost of a new vehicle, the social implications for automobility are serious; Moreover, if the implementation of CAFE regulations goes badly it could damage one of the U.S.’s best wealth and job creating industries at a time when growth is desperately needed. Continue reading

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Chinese Auto Industry Initial Quality at All Time High

Chinese automakers made large improvements in initial quality during 2012, narrowing the gap between domestic and international brands. As a result, the auto industry in the world’s largest auto market set a record low in overall average problems per vehicle. Continue reading

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2014 Corvette Sticks with A Revised LT1 V8 Engine

When Chevrolet Corvette arrives late next year, most of the sports car will be all new, but not the 6.2L V8 engine. The latest Corvette LT1 engine, the first of the so-called Gen 5 family of Small Block engines, combines several advanced technologies, including direct injection for the first time, cylinder fuel shut off and continuously variable valve timing to support an advanced combustion system. Zero-to-60 mph times of less than four seconds are predicted for the base car. The new LT1 is the third engine in the Corvette’s history to be so-named, with previous versions introduced in 1970 (Gen 1) and 1992 (Gen 2). Continue reading

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