It doesn’t get much better than zipping along in the fast lane on a beautiful day with your favorite tunes pumping and no vehicles ahead of you. But as is often the case this little slice of automotive paradise can quickly turn into the ninth circle of Hell.
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Michigan, it’s more than just Great Lakes, the Big Three and the largest municipal bankruptcy in U.S. history. To the surprise of many, GM, Ford and Chrysler aren’t the only games in town. Practically every major OEM and supplier company has offices, technical centers or test facilities in the mitten state, and Toyota is making a major investment its facilities.
Automakers are always looking for an edge over the competition. Any spec-sheet advantage, no matter how insignificant, is fair game. Engine output is often something they brag about. One vehicle may have more horsepower but a competing car could offer more torque. What’s the difference between these two measurements? What do they mean? Surprisingly these terms are totally different but related.
Perhaps in response to comments labeled at Ford’s dual-clutch gearbox, particularly by Consumer Reports, which caused the Blue Oval to take a hit in CR‘s annual reliability survey, Chrysler has announced that it won’t be releasing its own twin disc unit until concerns over refinement have been addressed.
The dual-clutch gearbox, made by Fiat, was originally intended to be introduced on the 2012 Chrysler 200 and Dodge Avenger models but instead those mid-size cars will retain the 62TE six-speed automatic they sported last year.
Chrysler spokesman, Vince Muniga, said that despite the gearbox currently being offered in Europe, the company was “concerned about the refinement and how the American customers might perceive the transmission.”
Although it might be delayed there’s still every sign that the dual-clutch unit will make it to future,Chrysler, Dodge, possibly even Jeep products as the automaker looks to bolster fuel efficiency in order to meet tougher fuel economy standards.
In addition to the dual-clutch, Chrysler is also working on a 9-speed transaxle application with ZF, for use in front-drive vehicles. Could 10-speeds be on the way?
[Source: Automotive News]
If the decision becomes final, it means a big change considering the company has designed, engineered and built the Commodore on Australian shores for 64 years.
In an interview with OptusZoo News, the chief engineers behind the Commodore confirmed that 2014 may be the last year the line is made in Australia. The decision likely came from owner General Motors in an effort to increase cost efficiency.
Australian Senator Kim Carr couldn’t confirm to Left Lane News what will happen to the jobs that will dissolve as a result of the change, but said the Australian government is discussing possible investment by GM in the country.
[Source: Left Lane News]
Legendary design firm Pininfarina is ending its auto production business, but will retain its engineering and design divisions. Pininfarina said it will shed 127 jobs due to the division’s closing.
“Unfortunately we are having to stop our production activities, given the way the car market is. So we are focusing on design and engineering,” a Pininfarina spokesman told Reuters.
Pininfarina has a long and storied history, having designed most Ferrari and Alfa Romeo vehicles, as well as numerous other vehicles.
Porsche is going on a hiring blitz, looking to recruit 100 engineers for its Weissach research center, ostensibly to help shore up ranks for the expected hybrid car blitz that was alluded to at the Los Angeles Auto Show.
Porsche’s official press release (posted below the jump) directly mentions that engineers will be able to work on projects like the 918 Spyder, a hybrid supercar. With Porsche’s CEO stating that he is “confident hybrid technology will find its way into sports cars,” the hiring move is a logical next step, with fairly transparent motives.
Hit the jump to see the official press release