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.

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.

Light Rider

By: Gary S. Vasilash - September 30, 2016 at 5:36 AM

When you think of the forthcoming LA Auto Show and Los Angeles in general, you may think of (1) very expensive, very large vehicles being piloted by very egotistical stars and (2) very jammed freeways full of the aforementioned, as well as numerous other vehicles of a less ostentatious variety.