Blogs on new products

The race to find the perfect aluminum alloy

Posted 12:00 pm U.S. ET, Aug. 4
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GM will use advanced mixed-material manufacturing techniques to build the Cadillac CT6 sedan. Techniques include material joining processes such as aluminum laser welding. (GM)
KENNESAW, Ga. -- Tom Boney, who runs the automotive business for aluminum giant Novelis, sees a steady migration to the lightweight metal as fuel economy standards get tougher in the years ahead. If he’s disappointed that Jeep didn’t choose aluminum for the entire body of the next-generation Wrangler, he doesn’t show it. If he is concerned that Chevrolet ...
     Continue reading "The race to find the perfect aluminum alloy" » Aug 4, 2015 12:00 pm U.S. ET
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Is a 400-hp, quad-turbo diesel engine in BMW's future?

Posted 12:15 pm U.S. ET, Aug. 4
Tri-turbos are sooo last season. Aiming to keep up with fashion BMW is reportedly working on quad-turbo engines, according to Autocar. The company already fielded a tri-turbo design in the X5 xDrive50d M Performance and the M550d, adding an electrically driven turbocharger for extra low-end boost pressure. The quad-turbo design could follow that with another electrically ...
     Continue reading "Is a 400-hp, quad-turbo diesel engine in BMW's future? " » Aug 4, 2015 12:15 pm U.S. ET
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GM's new powertrain boss, with bases covered, aims for high batting average

Posted 12:00 pm U.S. ET, July 28
DETROIT -- Fast is a good word to describe Dan Nicholson, who was promoted late last year to head General Motors’ powertrain operations worldwide. He drives a fast car, a Camaro convertible. He walks fast and he talks fast. As vice president of GM global powertrain, Nicholson oversees one of the most complex aspects of the company’s business. Not only does h ...
     Continue reading "GM's new powertrain boss, with bases covered, aims for high batting average" » Jul 28, 2015 12:00 pm U.S. ET
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Cadillac's product onslaught: Hurry up and wait

Posted 12:15 pm U.S. ET, July 21
We have been told to expect big things for Cadillac’s vehicle portfolio -- eight all-new models by 2020. But a glance at its product-planning timeline shows that dealers and consumers will be waiting quite a while for much of that fresh sheet metal. This year is a fun one productwise for Cadillac, with the arrival of three new, screamin’-fast V-series cars, a ...
     Continue reading "Cadillac's product onslaught: Hurry up and wait" » Jul 21, 2015 12:15 pm U.S. ET
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Sustained lower fuel prices upend product plans

Posted 12:30 pm U.S. ET, July 14
With oil gurgling at around $52 per barrel and the average national price of a gallon of gasoline at $2.78, we are starting to see the effects of sustained lower fuel prices on product plans. Buyers are migrating to bigger, heavier, fuel-thirstier vehicles. In the first half of the year, trucks captured 54 percent of the new-vehicle market, up from 51 percent during the ...
     Continue reading "Sustained lower fuel prices upend product plans" » Jul 14, 2015 12:30 pm U.S. ET
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So far, F-150's rivals are mostly sticking with steel

Posted 11:45 am U.S. ET, July 7
Nearly everyone thought there would be a rush to aluminum after Ford last year switched the skin and bones of the venerable F-150 pickup from steel to the lightweight material. It didn’t happen. Fiat Chrysler is sticking with steel for the next-gen Jeep Wrangler due out in 2017 as a 2018 model. Nissan stayed with steel for the redesigned Titan pickup arriving this ...
     Continue reading "So far, F-150's rivals are mostly sticking with steel" » Jul 7, 2015 11:45 am U.S. ET
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The (technology) pluses and minuses of a GM-FCA deal

Posted 11:15 am U.S. ET, June 30
Technology -- or the expensive lack of it -- is, I believe, at the heart of all this merger talk coming from Fiat Chrysler Automobiles. Except for the battery-powered Fiat 500e, available in just two states, and the stop-start system offered in certain versions of the Ram 1500 pickup, FCA’s electrification efforts are years behind most competitors’. The compa ...
     Continue reading "The (technology) pluses and minuses of a GM-FCA deal" » Jun 30, 2015 11:15 am U.S. ET
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Why Toyota can set the car-tech agenda

Posted 1:28 pm U.S. ET, June 29
Alix Partners, the turnaround firm, last week assessed the ability of automakers to pay for the cool but expensive technology about to flood into vehicles. You know, stuff like autonomous driving, connectivity, rearview video screens, lightweight materials and electrified powertrains. One chart was particularly noteworthy. It ranked automakers by their EBITDA margins and ...
     Continue reading "Why Toyota can set the car-tech agenda" » Jun 29, 2015 1:28 pm U.S. ET
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Removing the fear when passing a big rig

Posted 11:45 am U.S. ET, June 23
Overtaking a large truck on a two-lane road is easily one of the most harrowing maneuvers drivers face, especially if they are accustomed to roads where passing isn't allowed. Samsung has created a system that could take the guesswork out of passing large trucks that one cannot see around. The company's prototype Safety Truck features a large screen on the rear door that ...
     Continue reading "Removing the fear when passing a big rig" » Jun 23, 2015 11:45 am U.S. ET
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'Multiphysics': Engineering's new frontier

Posted 11:30 am U.S. ET, June 23
Okay, so now it is rocket science. I spent two days recently with the engineers and software developers who write and use the simulation programs that virtually all automakers use in product development. The creation process that was once fairly simple -- design blueprints to prototypes to testing to validation to production -- now is often extremely complex, involving e ...
     Continue reading "'Multiphysics': Engineering's new frontier " » Jun 23, 2015 11:30 am U.S. ET
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The dark side of electronics

Posted 11:30 am U.S. ET, June 16
There’s no doubt that advanced electronics have transformed every aspect of today’s cars. They are cleaner, faster, more efficient, safer, more connected and more capable than ever. Well, here’s the downside: As cars and light trucks get older, they could be more difficult and expensive to repair -- especially as high-quality electronic replacement parts ...
     Continue reading "The dark side of electronics" » Jun 16, 2015 11:30 am U.S. ET
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Lifting the curtain on the Jeep Grand Wagoneer

Posted 11:30 am U.S. ET, June 9
Fiat Chrysler is inviting thousands of its dealers and their top managers to Las Vegas in August for a very special peep show. For dealers, it promises to be special because the star of the show won’t be a “who” but a “what”: the resurrected Jeep Grand Wagoneer. According to dealers on the invite list, Jeep’s three-row luxury SUV will ...
     Continue reading "Lifting the curtain on the Jeep Grand Wagoneer" » Jun 9, 2015 11:30 am U.S. ET
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The steep road ahead for Alfa in U.S.

Posted 11:15 am U.S. ET, June 2
A 44-year-old Alfa Romeo Montreal sports coupe that sold new for $6,000 brought $176,000 at a classic car auction in Arizona. Some older Alfas are commanding auction prices more than 10 times higher than just five years ago. There is no doubt that Alfa Romeo fans -- the Alfisti -- are passionate. But there is enough doubt that there are enough of them to bring the brand b ...
     Continue reading "The steep road ahead for Alfa in U.S." » Jun 2, 2015 11:15 am U.S. ET
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VW preps gesture controls for Golf

Posted 11:00 am U.S. ET, June 2
Touch screens are soooo 20th century. The updated Volkswagen Golf, due in 2016, will add gesture controls to its "Star Trek"-style touch screens, AutoExpress reports. VW presented the new in-car technology in the Golf R Touch concept last week at CES Asia in Shanghai. It previews the production version of interior tech that the face-lifted Golf will receive whe ...
     Continue reading "VW preps gesture controls for Golf" » Jun 2, 2015 11:00 am U.S. ET
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Saab turbo engines to power Chinese Jeep Wrangler clone

Posted 11:00 am U.S. ET, June 2
As Korean automaker Ssangyong considers a Jeep Wrangler rival as a launching point for gaining a foothold in the U.S., Chinese automaker BAIC already has a Wrangler competitor in its lineup, and perhaps unsurprisingly, it looks pretty close in design to the real thing. The Beijing Auto BJ40, as it is called, is saddled with a 2.4-liter gasoline engine making just 143 hp a ...
     Continue reading "Saab turbo engines to power Chinese Jeep Wrangler clone" » Jun 2, 2015 11:00 am U.S. ET
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With sports cars, hit reset (often) for success

Posted 11:00 am U.S. ET, May 26
The newly redesigned Mustang is barely a year old, and Ford is already unfurling a series of updates and upgrades for the 2016 model year. Some of the motivation for these quick changes is, of course, aimed at blunting an expected strong challenge from the revamped (read: leaner, meaner) 2016 Chevrolet Camaro due this fall. But there’s more to it than that. Ford, ...
     Continue reading "With sports cars, hit reset (often) for success" » May 26, 2015 11:00 am U.S. ET
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A new golden age for high performance

Posted 11:30 am U.S. ET, May 19
Sometimes you can’t really see something for what it is when you are in the middle of it. Right now, we are truly in the golden age of high-performance cars, be they gasoline, electric or hybrid. Who knows how long it will last? The original muscle car era spanned from 1964 -- when Pontiac dumped a big engine in a midsize car (a V-8 in the Tempest) and created the ...
     Continue reading "A new golden age for high performance" » May 19, 2015 11:30 am U.S. ET
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The science, psychology and secrecy behind the Ford GT

Posted 11:00 am U.S. ET, May 19
The Ford GT was introduced five months ago at the Detroit auto show. We can’t remember any car that received more attention in the following weeks. Ford is trying to keep that momentum strong until the GT goes sale next year, lest we have an Acura NSX situation where we see the car dozens of times before getting behind the wheel. To keep our attentio ...
     Continue reading "The science, psychology and secrecy behind the Ford GT" » May 19, 2015 11:00 am U.S. ET
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Celebrating David Letterman's top 10 automotive moments

Posted 12:01 am U.S. ET, May 18
David Letterman’s professed passion for cars may not be on a par with that of his former late-night TV rival, Jay Leno. But Letterman, whose final “Late Show” airs Wednesday night, is quite a car buff, keeping his collection hidden away, a CBS spokesman says. And Letterman -- whose Top Ten List is a nightly segment -- featured plenty of automotive follie ...
     Continue reading "Celebrating David Letterman's top 10 automotive moments" » May 18, 2015 12:01 am U.S. ET
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Revamped Camaro gains power, agility to battle Mustang

Posted 1:00 pm U.S. ET, May 17
DETROIT -- In an unusual move, Chevrolet on Sunday allowed auto writers to test drive one pre-production version of the redesigned 2016 Camaro before the final calibrations are made. With the revamped 2015 Ford Mustang handily outselling the outgoing 2015 Camaro, Chevrolet is trying to build buzz around the new car, which, like the Mustang, will be offered with a choice o ...
     Continue reading "Revamped Camaro gains power, agility to battle Mustang" » May 17, 2015 1:00 pm U.S. ET
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Why Ford's Blue Oval is missing from the 2016 Explorer

Posted 3:51 pm U.S. ET, May 15
SAN DIEGO, Calif. -- The F-150 isn’t the only Ford Motor Co. icon that’s been changed to aluminum this year. Get behind the wheel of the 2016 Ford Explorer Platinum, which goes on sale in a few months, and you’ll notice that something familiar is missing: the Ford Blue Oval. For the most expensive Explorer series ever, with a starting price of more than ...
     Continue reading "Why Ford's Blue Oval is missing from the 2016 Explorer" » May 15, 2015 3:51 pm U.S. ET
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Is the Ford Shelby GT350 the most extreme track Mustang ever?

Posted 11:00 am U.S. ET, May 12
Nearly every part of the Ford Shelby GT350’s suspension is purpose-built for the sports car: It has the most powerful brakes ever fitted to a Ford, the lightest wheels and probably the most aggressive tires anywhere south of a V-8 supercar. Ford invited journalists to Allen Park, Mich., near Detroit recently for a deeper dive into its latest high-performance pony ca ...
     Continue reading "Is the Ford Shelby GT350 the most extreme track Mustang ever?" » May 12, 2015 11:00 am U.S. ET
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The secrets behind all that camouflage

Posted 11:45 am U.S. ET, May 12
This is a story about what you see and what you can’t see; what you’d like to see and what they don’t want you to see. And mostly, it’s a story about the lengths people go to make sure you can’t see what they don’t want you to see. Yet. See? The Detroit 3 all operate test tracks in southeast Michigan. All have high-speed ovals, paveme ...
     Continue reading "The secrets behind all that camouflage" » May 12, 2015 11:45 am U.S. ET
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The evolution of the Hellcat logo

Posted 2:53 pm U.S. ET, May 11
The Hellcat was never meant to be a tame kitty. Judging by the early sketches of the logo that now adorns the Dodge Challenger and Charger SRT Hellcats, the attitude was there from the start. While most of the logos show aggressive, roaring Hellcats that are befitting of the beastly 707-hp engine, one took on a more playful theme. The sketch in the upper right-hand corn ...
     Continue reading "The evolution of the Hellcat logo" » May 11, 2015 2:53 pm U.S. ET
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Why Dodge should make the next Dart look like a baby Charger

Posted 4:12 pm U.S. ET, May 8
The Dodge Dart set an all-time sales record in April, and so far this year, the compact sedan is moving off dealer lots 52 percent faster than it was the year before. So, if you’re Dodge, do you need to fix a car that’s doing those things three years after its launch? Why, yes. Yes, you do. According to Dodge’s five-year product plan that it presented ...
     Continue reading "Why Dodge should make the next Dart look like a baby Charger" » May 8, 2015 4:12 pm U.S. ET
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Marchionne is so right and so wrong about consolidation

Posted 11:30 am U.S. ET, May 5
Fiat Chrysler chief Sergio Marchionne is absolutely right in his call for industry consolidation. But he is absolutely wrong about what needs consolidating. In a call with analysts last week to discuss Fiat Chrysler Automobiles’ first quarter earnings, Marchionne went rogue and launched into a discussion further pressing his case for automaker megamergers. Car comp ...
     Continue reading "Marchionne is so right and so wrong about consolidation" » May 5, 2015 11:30 am U.S. ET
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Mercedes G class latest victim in China's clone wars

Posted 12:01 am U.S. ET, May 1
Last week at the Shanghai auto show, Land Rover was coming to terms with selling the Range Rover Evoque alongside its half-priced Chinese clone, the Land Wind X7. Not to be outdone, Beijing Automotive Industry Holding unveiled its own version of a western SUV, opting for the classic Mercedes-Benz G class. The relationship between Daimler, Mercedes' parent, and BAIC& ...
     Continue reading "Mercedes G class latest victim in China's clone wars" » May 1, 2015 12:01 am U.S. ET
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The knock on higher octane

Posted 11:30 am U.S. ET, April 28
Look for the debate over raising the octane levels at U.S. gasoline pumps -- perhaps making 93 octane the new regular -- to get a lot louder between now and 2017. Here’s why: Automakers and suppliers are spending record amounts of money on product development to meet the government-mandated 54.5 mpg fleet fuel economy average in the 2025 model year. They very likel ...
     Continue reading "The knock on higher octane" » Apr 28, 2015 11:30 am U.S. ET
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Mercedes G-Wagen latest victim in China's clone wars

Posted 11:00 am U.S. ET, April 28
Last week at the Shanghai auto show, Land Rover was coming to terms with selling the Range Rover Evoque alongside its half-priced Chinese clone, the Land Wind X7. Not to be outdone, Beijing Automotive Industry Holding Co. unveiled its own version of a western SUV, opting for the classic Mercedes-Benz G class. The relationship between Daimler AG and BAIC differs ...
     Continue reading "Mercedes G-Wagen latest victim in China's clone wars" » Apr 28, 2015 11:00 am U.S. ET
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Buick chief says new China duties won't distract from 'a lot more to do' in U.S.

Posted 6:00 am U.S. ET, April 24
SHANGHAI -- In the year since he took over the Buick and GMC brands in the U.S., Duncan Aldred has made a lot of fans among dealers. He's earned a reputation as a sales and marketing exec willing to try new things, such as a 16 percent cash-back offer tied to the 'Sweet Sixteen' during the NCAA men's basketball tournament last month. He also successfully pushed for a 50 ...
     Continue reading "Buick chief says new China duties won't distract from 'a lot more to do' in U.S." » Apr 24, 2015 6:00 am U.S. ET
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Automotive News Cover
Special Video Report
CAR's David Cole on suppliers, Sergio, 'a wild and crazy time'

CAR's David Cole on suppliers, Sergio, 'a wild and crazy time'

'Fast and furious.' That's how Center for Automotive Research chairman emeritus David Cole describes an auto industry that may never see stability again.
» Watch the Video
     
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