Automotive LIghtweighting

The auto industry has made gains via engine downsizing, charging technology, multi-speed transmissions, variable valve and stop/start installations. The “less is more” philosophy evident over the past five years was in some respects the easy route compared to what lies ahead. Ongoing efforts to improve fuel economy/lower emissions need to emanate from extensive mass reduction efforts—all the while ensuring that safety capabilities are maintained and the constant shift toward global platforms continues.

Less Is More at Lotus

By: Gary S. Vasilash - March 29, 2017 at 6:37 AM

If you want to get a sense of just how obsessed they are with reducing mass at Group Lotus for the cars that they hand-craft, just take a look at this, which is found on the interior of the new Elise Sprint: Yes, that’s the open-gate manual gearbox.

Ford Copies Nature

By: Gary S. Vasilash - February 24, 2017 at 6:35 AM

As Nature (yes, capital N Nature) has done a pretty good job of designing things, it is somewhat surprising that Man (ditto) doesn’t follow Nature’s lead more often when it comes to designing objects.

Hybrid—Not What You Think

By: Gary S. Vasilash - February 23, 2017 at 6:23 AM

When you think “hybrid,” you probably think something like this: But that’s not what equipment supplier KraussMaffei thinks.

Mercedes, Ahoy!

By: Gary S. Vasilash - February 17, 2017 at 5:48 AM

This, of course, is a boat: But it is not just any boat, it is the Cigarette Racing Team 50' Marauder AMG, introduced this week at the Miami International Boat Show.

Hyperloop in Central Europe

By: Gary S. Vasilash - January 31, 2017 at 6:21 AM

While looking into Hyperloop Transportation Technologies, it came to our attention that last May the company announced that a “base technology” for its system--which will have a capsule containing people that will be propelled through a pylon mounted tube--is “Vibranium,” which it describes as a “smart material specifically developed for the Hyperloop application.” We thought that it was a material that was specifically developed for the Marvel Universe, though we may be wrong. (For an interesting look at vibranium vs. adamantium, we’d like to call your attention to a piece that appeared in Machine Design last year, as well, which you can see here.) But the Hyperloop Vibranium was created with help from a company with carbon-fiber composite capability, C2i of Slovakia.

Lexus on Land and at Sea

By: Gary S. Vasilash - January 17, 2017 at 6:06 AM

Last week in Detroit at the North American International Auto Show, Lexus debuted the 2018 Lexus LS 500, the fifth-generation of company’s flagship sedan: This is an all-new car, based on the Lexus GA-L architecture, which, according to the company, is the stiffest in its history, providing a basis for handling, smoothness and quietness.

Lutz Live

By: Gary S. Vasilash - November 07, 2016 at 4:26 AM

Bob Lutz says that a few years ago, his partner Gilbert Villarreal was interested in the Fisker Karma but not particularly taken with the hybrid powertrain.

Beyond Aluminum

By: Gary S. Vasilash - November 04, 2016 at 6:58 AM

If you want to get a sense of why this is a multi-material industry going forward, an industry that is making a transition from (almost) strictly ferrous materials to various others, including ferrous materials, just as it is making a transition from strictly internal combustion engines to electrification, including internal combustion engines, then know that on Tuesday, November 1, a new company was launched, Arconic Inc. 3D printed polymer prototype patterns—not aluminum Which is notable because Arconic used to be part of Alcoa Inc.

McLaren: Dashing Through the Snow

By: Gary S. Vasilash - October 21, 2016 at 5:18 AM

The McLaren 570S coupe features a 3.8-liter, mid-engine V8 and carbon fiber chassis construction.

Lightweighting Special Coverage: Software for Lightweighting Composite Parts

By: Lawrence S. Gould - October 04, 2016 at 3:27 PM

Atlhough this software has its genesis at NASA, a new version of HyperSizer helps automotive engineers create lightweight composite part designs.

Lightweighting Special Coverage: Light, Strong and Printed

By: Gary S. Vasilash - October 04, 2016 at 3:19 PM

Advances in additive manufacturing technology can potentially result in the proliferation of more lightweight, printed parts.

Lightweighting Special Coverage: Optimized Mass Reduction

By: Gary S. Vasilash - October 04, 2016 at 3:10 PM

The use of simulation and smart engineering can lead to better products. Here’s how.