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.
While there is great anticipation for the forthcoming Ford GT, the previous generation car, which was produced in model years 2005 and 2006, is still among the best designed vehicles ever. [Not Karl’s car.] On “Autoline After Hours” we’ve interviewed Camilo Pardo, who is credited with that car’s design. (We also interviewed Craig Metros, who worked on the next-gen GT.) The new Ford GT setup for racing On this edition of “After Hours” we have a 2005 Ford GT in the studio along with its one-and-only owner, Karl Brauer, who picked up his car in Santa Monica on August 23, 2005, with seven miles clocked on the odometer.
Mazda—as we’ve said in this space many times—is the mainstream manufacturer that has consistently had the best design for its products across the board.
While the drive to reduce emissions from cars and trucks is on-going, the automakers are faced with adding technology to vehicles that cost consumers money, but which can’t be appreciated the same way, say, LED headlamps or satellite radio can.