The outstanding fuel economy comes from a unique hybrid powertrain that uses air instead of electricity. The technology combines a 3-cyl. PureTech gasoline engine with a compressed-air energy-storage unit that powers the automatic transmission.
Without solid backing on Wall Street, FCA may have trouble securing favorable credit for the estimated €50 billion needed to reach aggressive volume targets set last May for the Chrysler, Jeep and Alfa Romeo brands.
BMW reportedly is leading the development of the cars’ chassis, banking on its experience with aluminum, carbon fiber and high-strength steel to create a lighter and stiffer composite body structure, while Toyota is focusing on high-performance hybrid technology.
Following the concept of Daimler’s Smart minicar, Daihatsu rejects the notion it is difficult to alter a car’s design after it is bought, and instead is enabling customers to make post-purchase changes in line with their preferences.
“Logically, Cadillac is not disconnected from GM,” the longtime luxury executive says. “The way we want to organize the business in the future is that Cadillac will own the entire process, all the things that touch Cadillac.”...More
Engineers and designers from ZF and the former TRW have been sharing notes, exchanging ideas and identifying best practices, and some of the resulting technologies will be ready for market in the near future....More