Dudder: Global Cooling Warming

The politically correct “debate” concerning climate change is about as insightful, useful, and benign as a Soviet show trial.

Objects of Interest - March 2007

Inert Atmosphere FurnaceThe No. 989 from Grieve Corp. (Round Lake, IL; can be used to process fabricated parts measuring 30 x 48 x 30 in.

Marginal: Land of the Lost?

Is the country that landed a man on the moon now incapable of making technological advances?

EuroAuto: Engineering Better Steel Barriers

Protecting drivers and passengers is not just a function of making safer cars. Engineering safer road barriers matters, too.

On Strategy: Taking the Lead

Understanding how best to procure and engineer a product creates synergies that go straight to the bottom line.

Insider: Give Private Equity a Chance

Wall Street has had more than enough time to help influence the supplier turnaround. Now it’s time to give someone else a chance.

Competitive Challenges: Does Detroit Matter? (Yes.)

The domestic OEMs may have caused some of their problems, but shouldn’t the rest of the country care?

Insight: The Resurrection of Saturn

What it learned here should help GM as it tries to revive its other divisions.


Designing Audis

Stefan Sielaff and his staff of designers at Audi are working to fulfill the company’s credo, “Vorsprung durch Technik” (“Progress Through Technology”) both inside and out.

STEEL Improves C-Class Structure

Mercedes engineers turned to new steel alloys to make the 2008 C-Class safer, stronger and lightweight.

Designing A Masterpiece

The Rolls-Royce Phantom Drophead Coupé isn’t just a car. It is, in chief designer Ian Cameron’s words, “The best-possible car.”

Getting Nissan Quality Right From The Start

Nissan’s chief product planner talks about infusing quality into the product before it’s made, the importance of a consistent “feel” and the limits of platform sharing.

Steel: Safety & Sourcing Small But Strong

According to Giancarlo Bertoldi, director for Body Engineering and Design at Fiat, “Improved safety is our principal driving force, although lower weight also plays a very important role.”

Cosma Cuts Weight & Cost & Improves The Ride

Cosma thinks it has a new, less expensive way to manufacture body, chassis and suspension components, along with new thinking on how to configure truck suspensions.

Torque Vectoring Goes Modular

Ricardo builds a lighter, smaller, less costly torque vectoring differential unit.

Metaldyne: Engineering A Better Suspension

Metaldyne is seeking to change the world of front vehicle suspensions with the advent of a system that reduces weight, improves ride and requires fewer parts to manufacture.

Ford: The Way Beyond 2000

Ford is changing—again. But this time, things are different.


Viewing the North American International Auto Show: Sheet Metal for Today & Tomorrow

2007 Hyundai Veracruz SUVAlthough Hyundai may be considered to be something of an economical brand, that doesn’t stop the company from benchmarking the Lexus RX 350 (the Veracruz is claimed to have a quieter cabin) and Mercedes GL (the cargo capacity behind the front seats is 86.8-ft3, bigger than the full-sized Merc’s 83.3-ft3). It’s powered by the 3.8-liter V6 installed in the Azera sedan (see: 2006 Hyundai Azera SE). Seating is for seven (three rows of seats). And, yes, this is a crossover.—GSV Lexus LF-A ConceptTypically, vehicle manufacturers roll out a concept car one year and if it is ever seen again, it is in production form.

GM Quiets Direct Injection

GM’s new 3.6-liter direct-injection V6 engine, debuting in the 2008 Cadillac CTS, features a unique patent-pending injection system that is isolated from the cylinder head, resulting in improved noise, vibration and harshness characteristics that reduce overall noise levels to those compared to a port-fuel injected engine.

Zero Gaps for IPs

Check the quality of the covering on that instrument panel.

A Four-Letter Word

How important are top ratings from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS,, an insurance industry supported safety organization?

Replacing Petroleum...With Citrus

It’s called “Super Nanopower Rubber,” and according to the people at Yokohama Tire (; Fullerton, CA), the material reduces the use of petroleum products in tires by 80%. To make it, citrus oil is combined with natural rubber.

Corn-based Gas Tanks?

Corn farmers must be getting a real kick out of all of the attention that’s being paid to their produce by vehicle manufacturers and researchers nowadays.

Super Duty: Ford Designs and Builds 'Em Tough

According to the chief engineer, Pete Reyes, the Ford F-Series Super Duty has had a separate platform from the F-150 since 1999 in order to provide this lineup of vehicles—the F-250, 350, 450, and 550—in the over 8,500-lb. segment with the capabilities required to meet demanding towing, hauling, and associated tasks.

On the Horizon

AudiThe A5 coupe is based on the next-generation A4 platform, and will spawn a convertible.

GM Aims for Safety Leadership

How important are top ratings from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS,, an insurance industry supported safety organization?

Are You Leaving the Vault Door Open?

“Technical rights management” sounds like something that would be primarily of interest to lawyers, as does “Intellectual property rights.” Put those terms aside for a moment and ask yourself this question: If you had piles of cash and jewelry and gems and placed it in a vault, would you leave the vault door open?Essentially, that’s what occurs when many companies send CAD files to prospective suppliers.

Surprise! It's a Crossover

With the definition of what constitutes a crossover vehicle as clear as mud, it’s no surprise that Kia calls its Rondo a crossover utility vehicle (CUV). This despite the fact that the vehicle does not offer all-wheel-drive, and is not something you’d willingly take very far off road.

Shocking Concept

Lotus Engineering (Hethel, England) has found a buyer for its Variable Vehicle Architecture ( Lotus' Versatile Venture ), though it's not who you might expect.

Objects of Interest

Objects of Interest - March 2007

Inert Atmosphere FurnaceThe No. 989 from Grieve Corp. (Round Lake, IL; can be used to process fabricated parts measuring 30 x 48 x 30 in.