Automotive Design

This zone includes interviews with top designers, information on software and design tools as well as design strategies used by automakers and automotive suppliers.

McLaren Senna: No Need to Say More

By: Gary S. Vasilash - February 15, 2018 at 6:42 AM

At the front of the McLaren Senna there are four aero surfaces: the front splitter, active aero blades, fixed aero blades, and slot-gaps positioned between the headlights and the daytime running lights.

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Rolls Names SUV: Cullinan

By: Gary S. Vasilash - February 13, 2018 at 9:02 AM

As you can undoubtedly tell by looking at (a) the Spirit of Ecstasy hood ornament and (b) the configuration of the grille, this is obviously a Rolls-Royce: And you are probably wondering about two things as well: (a) given that paisley paint scheme, it seems as though this is some sort of John Lennon edition Rolls, and (b) why is it in the dirt and not on Bond Street or somewhere else more fitting?

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Tailoring SEAT Seats

By: Gary S. Vasilash - February 13, 2018 at 6:52 AM

Last year SEAT sold nearly 470,000 vehicles, which is a solid number for the Spain-based member of the Volkswagen Group that exports approximately 80 percent of its production to some 80 countries around the world.

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Ford Invests $25-million More at Kentucky Truck

By: Gary S. Vasilash - February 12, 2018 at 8:50 AM

To prepare the Ford Kentucky Truck Plant to launch the Lincoln Navigator and the Ford Expedition last fall, Ford invested approximately $900-million in the facility, putting in more than 400 new robots (mainly in the body shop), creating a robot lab to support all of that automation, installing a data analytics hub that allows supervisors and workers to be more efficient, and even a 3D printer to quickly and cost-effectively create tooling. “The response from customers regarding our new full-size SUVs has been exceptional,” said Joe Hinrichs, president, Global Operations, so Ford is investing an additional $25-million in the plant to help amp up the production of the vehicles.

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Fiat 500: A Reason Why

By: Gary S. Vasilash - February 10, 2018 at 6:32 AM

Yesterday at the Chicago Auto Show Fiat announced that for 2018, all 500 models in the U.S. will be turbocharged.

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Lincoln Navigator’s Digital Direction

By: Gary S. Vasilash - February 08, 2018 at 6:21 AM

The 2018 Lincoln Navigator—the 2018 North American International Truck of the Year—features a 12-inch configurable gauge cluster.

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2017 Mazda6 I Grand Touring

By: Gary S. Vasilash - February 07, 2018 at 6:21 AM

Admittedly, people are now buying more vehicles in the crossover category than in the car class.

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Kona, Powertrains and Autonomous Vehicles

By: Gary S. Vasilash - February 05, 2018 at 6:49 AM

Hyundai Motor America is launching a B-segment crossover in the U.S., and John Juriga, Director of Powertrain, Hyundai-Kia Technical Center, talks about it on this edition of “Autoline After Hours.” Juriga points out that the Kona is based on an all-new platform and slots in the company’s CUV lineup below the Tucson, Santa Fe and Santa Fe Sport.

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Nissan Goes Snow Patrol for Chicago

By: Gary S. Vasilash - February 04, 2018 at 12:16 PM

According to the National Weather Service, in 2013-14 the seasonal snowfall in Chicago was 82 inches, an amount of precipitation that would probably make those who had to endure it wish they’d had the Armada Snow Patrol concept that Nissan is introducing this week at the 2018 Chicago Auto Show.

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VW Amarok and Serious Sport

By: Gary S. Vasilash - February 02, 2018 at 6:31 AM

As Sunday will be the Super Bowl, there will undoubtedly be plenty of automotive commercials before, during and after the game, many of which focus on pickup trucks, because the ad agencies who work for the various OEMs have done deep demographic research that indicates that people who like football like trucks and vice versa. (We’ve always been a fan of the 1998 Nissan Frontier commercial that told us “Dogs like trucks.”) Anyway. . .there is one tough pickup truck that won’t be part of the festival of ads on Sunday because it is for a product that isn’t available in the U.S., the Volkswagen Amarok.

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2018 Genesis G80 AWD 3.3T Sport

By: Gary S. Vasilash - February 01, 2018 at 6:05 AM

The thing about the 2018 Genesis G80 AWD 3.3T Sport: The head of a valet service at a restaurant on New Year’s Eve said to me as his associate handed me back the key fob (a hefty object, speaking to the fact that this is a substantial vehicle), “We don’t see many of these.” A couple days later, a locksmith in downtown Plymouth, who was making some keys for autofieldblog HQ (yes, there are still independent locksmiths that make keys for doors) looked out his window and said to me, “What’s that?” Neither of these probably make the people at Genesis all that happy, but in both cases the tone of voice indicated admiration, if not full-on interest.

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ZR1 @ VIR

By: Gary S. Vasilash - January 31, 2018 at 2:44 PM

According to Mark Reuss, GM executive vice president, Global Product Development, Purchasing and Supply Chain, and a man who knows more than a little something about (1) production cars and (2) performance cars, calls the Grand Course West at the Virginia International Raceway “America’s most challenging road course.” Which is pertinent because a 2019 Corvette ZR1 set a production-car lap record on the 4.1-mile course earlier this month with Jim Mero, a vehicle dynamics engineer who was at VIR doing routine validation testing, at the wheel.

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