Automotive Materials

Whether it is steel, aluminum, glass, plastic, magnesium , or something else, you’re going to find it in a car or truck and you’re going to find it here. Even wood. Really.

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.

First Look at the 2018 Honda Accord

By: Gary S. Vasilash - July 14, 2017 at 12:00 PM

“We are redefining the Honda Accord for a new generation of buyers by bringing something unexpected that challenges the idea of what a mainstream sedan can be.” That’s Jeff Conrad, senior vice president of the Automobile Div. of American Honda Motor Co., Inc., talking about the 10th generation, 2018 Accord that was unveiled today in Detroit and which will launch this fall.

Polycarbonate Is Clearly Lighter

By: Gary S. Vasilash - July 05, 2017 at 8:29 AM

Mass reduction is an absolute must when it comes to electric vehicles for the simple reason that if there is less mass to be moved, then the motor doesn’t have to work as hard as it otherwise might, which means less energy is consumed.

Winning Parts from Powder (Metal)

By: Gary S. Vasilash - June 30, 2017 at 6:33 AM

Although 3D printing is getting lots of buzz in both the technical and consumer arenas, there is another process that’s been around longer (as in about 100 years) that cleverly creates production parts: powder metallurgy (PM). As the name implies, metal powders, placed in a die, are transformed into parts through the application of pressure and heat.

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.

Bentley Takes Flight (Sort Of)

By: Gary S. Vasilash - May 26, 2017 at 6:25 AM

In 2016 Bentley Motor delivered 11,023 vehicles globally, which was a nine percent increase over its sales in 2015.

Back to Two Wheels for Mobility

By: Gary S. Vasilash - May 25, 2017 at 6:23 AM

Although the amount of attention on the development of autonomous vehicles is staggering given that there probably isn’t an outlet that hasn’t devoted time or space to the prospect of robotic vehicles, what people seem to have lost sight of are the facts that (1) initial applications are going to be in geo-fenced areas and (2) the autonomous vehicles are likely to be shared vehicles, which will also have a consequence on where they travel.

Kia Creates a Crossover—Hybrid

By: Gary S. Vasilash - May 22, 2017 at 6:06 AM

Steve Kosowski, manager, Long Range Planning & Strategy at Kia Motors America says that back in 2011-2012, the executives at Kia in Korea—as well as their opposite numbers at Hyundai—decided that they needed to develop an all-new platform for an “eco vehicle.” This vehicle could come in different flavors, conceivably, as in hybrid, plug-in hybrid, and full EV.