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.

Breaking Down the Chevy Bolt

By: Gary S. Vasilash - July 17, 2017 at 6:31 AM

Sandy Munro and his team of engineers and costing analysts at Munro & Associates were contacted by UBS Research—an arm of the giant banking and investment firm—and asked whether it was possible to do a teardown and cost assessment of the Chevrolet Bolt EV.

INFINITI, F1 and Your Garage

By: Gary S. Vasilash - June 23, 2017 at 6:10 AM

There is a phrase that’s often used to justify manufacturer participation in motor sports that has it, “Win on Sunday, Sell on Monday.” This was particularly the case when NASCAR ran what were “stock cars,” as in cars that were almost like those held in stock at dealerships.

The Audi R8 Spyder V10 plus

By: Gary S. Vasilash - June 21, 2017 at 6:57 AM

As we looked at one convertible yesterday and as today is the official start of summer, here’s another, the Audi R8 Spyder V10 plus.

The McLaren 570S Spider

By: Gary S. Vasilash - June 20, 2017 at 6:59 AM

Issues associated with convertible versions of existing vehicles—and we don’t mean mussed-up hair—are that there tends to be a reduction in structural rigidity (after all, in effect, you’re cutting off the top of a unibody) and there is often an addition of a sizable amount of mass to handle the convertible mechanism.

Pressing Composites

By: Gary S. Vasilash - May 31, 2017 at 8:11 AM

When we think 4,000-ton hydraulic presses, making sheet metal body panels comes to mind.

Economy Comes to Carbon Fiber Parts (?)

By: Gary S. Vasilash - May 05, 2017 at 6:35 AM

Have economies of scale come to the production of automotive parts with carbon fiber materials?

McLaren Meets LEGO

By: Gary S. Vasilash - April 12, 2017 at 6:00 AM

There is a growing concern that young people are becoming increasingly disinterested in automobiles, that they’ll avail themselves of Lyft or Uber when they reach the Age of Visiting the DMV, not of a driver’s license and a beater.

Tech Watch - 4/17

By: Scott Anderson - April 05, 2017 at 1:52 PM

Tech Watch/April 2017

By: Scott Anderson - April 04, 2017 at 3:28 PM

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.