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.
One of the features offered on the forthcoming 2016 Chevy Malibu is called “Teen Driver.” The system is being positioned as something that “provides parents with a tool to help encourage safe driving habits for their kids, even when they are not in the car with them.” Or put more plainly: It keeps an eye on the kid behind the wheel.
“Gen 1 or better!” That, says Andrew Farah, vehicle chief engineer for the 2016 Chevrolet Volt, was the motto he and his team lived by as they developed the second-generation car.
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.