For about 100 years, internal combustion engines—spark- and compression-ignition types—have been dominant. But now, they’re joined by—or with—electric motors. And the ways and means to improve the performance of all types of engines are being driven like never before.
Larry Nitz, executive director of GM Global Transmissions and Electrification, says that owners of the first-generation Chevrolet Volt are “probably one of the most studied groups of vehicle owners” ever. Some 60% of Volt owners are anonymously providing data to GM via OnStar. And thanks to what GM engineers have learned, they are transforming Volt for the next generation.
Clearly, there is a whole lot of activity in the powertrain space at General Motors. These two developments are certainly impressive as to what creativity and dedication can achieve.
Global sales and tough competition push the Mustang to adopt technology that formerly was unaffordable, but now is indispensable.
As the industry is in the midst of what can only be described as a “Materials Revolution,” the concentration is mainly on advanced high-strength steel and aluminum, with some making consideration of carbon fiber composites, although this is still an outlier.
While it is still early going, at this point in 2015 I have to say that of all of the vehicles that I have had the opportunity to drive, the Mercedes GLA250 4MATIC is quite simply the most enjoyable of all.
One might think that a concept motorcycle named the “BULLDOG” would have had as its design theme something along the lines of “Tough and tenacious.” Yet as is often the case with design programs, the development theme was rather, um, non-tough-and-tenacious.