Columns

Dudder: Gas from Washington?

If there was any intelligence in Washington, D.C. (ahem!), there would be a moratorium on new emission and safety standards coupled with carrots to improve the efficiency of plants and power-trains.

Marginal: Help Wanted?

Right now, the auto industry, from top to bottom, from side to side, is in a situation where, for the most part, it is all about shedding jobs and closing facilities.

Competitive Challenges: Summertime, But the Living Isn't Easy

As we enter into the last month of summer, savoring both time with the kids and the PGA Championship Tour-albeit disappointed that Tiger Woods won't be joining us-Michiganders hardly have less on their plate.

EuroAuto: F1 Enviro Tech for Production Cars?

As the motorsport world, especially Formula One, struggles to rid itself of its profligate image and show the world that it has something useful to offer, it has turned to energy recovery devices as a shining beacon.

Insider: China: Enormous Threat or Tremendous Opportunity?

U.S. OEMs and suppliers must pay close attention to what's happening on the other side of the Pacific if they want to survive in this ever-changing world.

Insight: The Raw Materials Roller Coaster

Although things looked good for the prices of raw materials at the start of 2008, things have changed both rapidly and significantly.

Profiles: Opening Doors to the Future

As the head of the Art Center College of Design's Transportation school, Stewart Reed is having a profound effect on designs that have yet to be realized.

Feature

Electronics

In-vehicle Internet.

'Yes, It Does Have A Hemi' He Answered Greenly.

While some people might equate 'HEMI-powered' with 'environmental catastrophe,' Chrysler engineers have proven to be cleverer than the cadre of activists.

On the Audi A4

While the Audi R8 has head-snapping gorgeous looks, the A4 is the company's biggest selling vehicle, which might make it less-than notable. But there's little pedestrian about A4.

China: A Field Guide

China is becoming an increasingly adept competitor on the global scene-but with 1.3-billion potential consumers, it is also an emerging market.

Where Tech Is It: IMTS 2008

This is what it is about:Automated systems and cells for assembly or forming or joining or material removal or testingBroaching and shapingBusiness servicesControl hardware and software (e.g., CAD/CAM)Cutting and forming toolsEDM and ECM and lasers and welding and plasma cutting and water jet cuttingForming equipmentGear generating equipmentGrinding and abrasive machining and finishingInspection and measurement equipmentMachine tool components, attachments and accessoriesMaintenance, environmental and cleaning equipmentMaterial handling and feeding equipmentMilling and boring and drilling and tappingNon-metalworking equipmentSawingTurning machines and system, screw machines, thread generating productWorkholding"It" is actually IMTS.

Field Guide: GE Fanuc Intelligent Platforms

In its 20 years, GE Fanuc Intelligent Platforms has proven to be very much in control-of its automation and control technologies and services.

The Hyundai Genesis: Efficiency & Upscale Engineering

The Hyundai Genesis-code name, 'BH'-is the result of a $500-million investment that the company made in development. And then there was that $260-million for the new V8. These guys are nothing if not serious.

Notable

BMW’s New 7-Series Breaks Cover

The fifth-generation of BMW’s flagship 7 Series sedan arrives on U.S. shores in spring 2009, but the German automaker has already lifted the veil of secrecy surrounding its design and technology.

Why Feeling Anxious Is Good for Your Career

Right now, there are people in this industry who feel about as settled as someone who has been continuously downing triple Caffè Americanos and is sitting in one of the rooms the people from the TV show “Most Haunted” would visit.

Better Speech Recog: Qui. Ja. Si. Yes.

Microsoft is joining forces with SVOX (www.svox.com) to develop improved text-to-speech capabilities for in-vehicle communication, entertainment, information, and navigation systems.

Lancia Sets New Design Course with Delta

The 2009 Delta marks a milestone in design for Fiat’s Lancia brand.

Mercedes Is Still Committed to Diesel

Even as diesel prices rise faster than gasoline, Mercedes-Benz remains committed to diesel in the U.S. market (the automaker notes that diesel vehicle sales have risen 40% in the U.S. in the past five years), predicting consumers will appreciate the improved engine performance—torque output is 30% to 50% higher on a V6 diesel compared to a V8 gasoline engine—and a fuel tank range of up to 600 miles (depending on application). Mercedes is expanding its diesel offerings in the U.S. with the introduction of its next-generation BlueTEC diesel engines technology.

Shaping Lincoln’s Latest Flagship

Tasked with taking the Ford Five Hundred/Taurus platform and transforming it into a flagship for the struggling Lincoln brand took a lot of finessing, says MKS chief engineer Michael Celentino. “We redesigned the rear suspension, moving to a fully independent design, and went with stamped steel lower control arms and cast aluminum uppers to improve the ride.” Though they left the wheelbase at 112.9-in., the team stretched overall length 2.3-in., and increased the width 0.4-in. when compared to the Taurus.

Virgil Exner Unfulfilled

Sadly, most people in the industry have no idea of who Virgil M.