Engineering

Fiat plans Abarth variant of 124 Spider

12:30 pm U.S. ET | July 21, 2015

The upcoming Fiat 124 Spider, based on the Mazda MX-5 Miata, will spawn a high-performance model, Alfredo Altavilla, COO of Fiat Chrysler’s Europe, Africa and Middle East region, told England’s Auto Express in an interview....
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Buick adds turbo, touring model, stop-start to 2016 Encore

5:45 pm U.S. ET | July 20, 2015

Buick will look to keep sales of the Encore small crossover hot with a new top trim level featuring a more powerful engine.The Encore Sport Touring model will go on sale this fall with a new 1.4-liter, four-cylinder turbocharged engine under the hood....
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Volvo seeks power boost with Polestar tuning unit

12:01 am U.S. ET | July 20, 2015

Volvo Cars has acquired Swedish race car maker Polestar's tuning division and will use the name for an expanded high-performance line to challenge Mercedes-AMG and BMW's M models....
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Tesla Model S option offers 'Ludicrous' 0-to-60 time of 2.8 seconds

3:04 pm U.S. ET | July 17, 2015

Tesla Motors, channeling a moment from the Mel Brooks comedy “Spaceballs,” announced a $10,000 option on its newest Model S variant that runs zero to 60 in a face-stretching 2.8 seconds -- a feature Tesla calls "Ludicrous Mode." That compares with 3.2 seconds for the "Insane Mode" setting on its previous high-end model....
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GMC updates Sierra pickup's face for 2016

9:00 am U.S. ET | July 15, 2015

GMC is refreshing the Sierra pickup for the 2016 model year with a redesigned front end in a bid to keep the sales momentum going for one of GM's most profitable vehicles....
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RICHARD TRUETT

BLOG: Sustained lower fuel prices upend product plans

12:30 pm U.S. ET | July 14, 2015

Lower gasoline prices are starting to impact the product plans of leading automakers as consumers migrate back to larger vehicles....
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Volvo buys racecar maker's tuning arm to challenge BMW, Mercedes

July 14, 2015 10:58 CET

Volvo bought Swedish racecar maker Polestar's tuning division and will use the name for an expanded high-performance line to challenge Mercedes-AMG and BMW's M models....
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Renault-Nissan savings boosted by new platform

July 10, 2015 14:45 CET

Renault and affiliate Nissan increased annual savings by almost one-third to 3.8 billion euros ($4.2 billion) in part through the shared use of the new CMF platform. The technology underpins models from both carmakers including the latest Qashqai compact SUV from Nissan and Renault's equivalent Kadjar, as well as Renault's updated Espace minivan....
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RICHARD TRUETT

BLOG: So far, F-150's rivals are mostly sticking with steel

11:45 am U.S. ET | July 7, 2015

The big switch from steel to aluminum may not happen. So far, other than Ford, automakers have shunned complete aluminum bodies for their pickups....
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RICHARD TRUETT

BLOG: The (technology) pluses and minuses of a GM-FCA deal

11:15 am U.S. ET | June 30, 2015

GM and FCA could benefit from each other's technology. Instead of a full-blown merger, maybe some small side-deals is all Sergio needs....
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2016 Chevy Cruze: What people are saying

12:01 am U.S. ET | June 28, 2015

It's shaping up to be a big year for Chevrolet's car lineup with redesigns planned for the Volt, Spark, Malibu, Camaro and now Cruze. A look at what journalists and analysts are saying about the revamped Cruze compact for 2016....
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Chevy makes next Cruze longer, lower, lighter

7:00 pm U.S. ET | June 24, 2015

The next-generation Chevrolet Cruze will be lighter, larger and packed with connected-car technology and safety features, a bid by Chevy to solidify its status as a top small-car contender....
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RICHARD TRUETT

BLOG: 'Multiphysics': Engineering's new frontier

11:30 am U.S. ET | June 23, 2015

The creation process that was once fairly simple -- design blueprints to prototypes to testing to validation to production -- now is often extremely complex, involving engineers from several disciplines who must think in areas outside of their training....
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Alfa's new sport sedan to get Ferrari V-6 power, report says

10:07 am U.S. ET | June 19, 2015

The new Alfa Romeo sport sedan, which is set to be introduced next week in Italy, is expected to feature a Ferrari-derived V-6 engine under the hood, according to a report....
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Mercedes GLC crossover moves up in size, features from GLK

1:00 pm U.S. ET | June 17, 2015

Mercedes-Benz has renamed the up-sized second generation of its compact crossover and will offer coupe, performance and plug-in hybrid variants. The 2016 GLC, which goes on sale in mid-November, replaces the GLK....
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Steelmaker ArcelorMittal shifts strategy in response to Ford's use of aluminum

7:08 am U.S. ET | June 17, 2015

When Ford confirmed last year it would build its most popular pickup using aluminum, the automaker's steel supplier was caught flat-footed. Now ArcelorMittal, the top worldwide supplier of steel for autos, has built a two-pronged response to try to head off defections by other customers....
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RICHARD TRUETT

BLOG: The dark side of electronics

11:30 am U.S. ET | June 16, 2015

As automobiles age and the quality of replacement parts for the electronics diminish, repairs become difficult, frustrating and expensive....
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Jaguar XJ adds tech, trim lines for 2016

11:30 am U.S. ET | June 16, 2015

Jaguar, hot on the heels of BMW's redesigned 7-series sedan, is prepping a freshened XJ sport sedan for 2016. The exterior features a larger, more upright grille, new LED head- and taillamps, and a new R-Sport model. But there's quite a bit new and improved inside and under the skin....
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A Ford r&d center for this century

12:01 am U.S. ET | June 15, 2015

As Ford tries to instill some Silicon Valley attitude into its ranks, the automaker is planning a major overhaul to bring its aging research and engineering campus out of the 1960s....
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Porsche defeats Audi at 83rd Le Mans endurance race

June 15, 2015 12:32 CET

Porsche won the Le Mans 24-hour endurance race for the first time since 1998, defeating Audi, which triumphed in 10 of the 11 prior contests. Porsche's 919 Hybrid car took first and second places, while Audi's R18 e-tron came in third....
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Need a prototype part? Send an email to the 3-D printer

12:01 am U.S. ET | June 15, 2015

3-D printing, which uses a type of plastic powder and technology similar to an inkjet printer, has made it possible for FCA engineers to get a prototype part made within 24 hours. That kind of speed - never before consistently possible in the auto industry - dramatically reduces development costs....
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GABE NELSON

BLOG: Tesla sours on swappable batteries

4:03 pm U.S. ET | June 10, 2015

When it unveiled the Model S, Tesla Motors Inc. crowed about its fast-swapping technology, demonstrating in 2013 that a depleted battery could be swapped for a fresh one in minutes. Later, it built a swap station in Harris Ranch, Calif., halfway between Los Angeles and San Francisco, to test the technology....
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LARRY P. VELLEQUETTE

BLOG: Lifting the curtain on the Jeep Grand Wagoneer

11:30 am U.S. ET | June 9, 2015

When it returns for the first time since 1991, the Jeep Grand Wagoneer will be a unibody vehicle, and not a body-on-frame, truck-based SUV like the Chevrolet Suburban or Cadillac Escalade....
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Nissan banks on racier Maxima to draw younger buyers

11:16 am U.S. ET | June 4, 2015

The redesigned Nissan Maxima, positioned to intercept younger premium-segment consumers, will re-emphasize the “4-door sports car” marketing tagline of years past....
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Many consumers nonplussed, confused with latest tech, survey finds

4:15 pm U.S. ET | June 3, 2015

A recent Nielsen-SBD survey of some 14,000 automobile owners found that manufactures generally are jamming features into cars that most owners don't use and often are not even aware of. “It's sort of an arms race -- who can have the most technology in the vehicle -- and consumers are confused,” said Nielsen Vice President Mike Chadsey....
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