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.
Sometimes it seems that other industries are in some ways more progressive than auto.
The recent Buick TV ads—the one with the creepy neighbors with high-powered binoculars (!) looking at the new Enclave (yeah, like you want the Peeping Tom community to be admiring your new wheels); the clueless friend and the remarkably clueless parking valet each trying to find the Buick in question (would you trust your car to a valet who doesn’t have the sense to hit the fob before running back and forth like a proverbial headless chicken?)—miss the point about Buick.
The internationally renowned iF Design Awards were presented last Friday in Munich, and the eighth-generation Volkswagen Passat took the gold in the “Automobile/Vehicles/Bikes” category.