Tom Murphy

Tom
Murphy
Senior Editor,
WardsAuto

Tom writes about suppliers, automotive technology and other wide-ranging topics.

Articles
2018 Wards 10 Best Engines: Mainstream Brands Triumph
This year’s list sees the return of the fuel cell, as well as the V-8. Jaguar and Kia win their first trophies. Half the winners are turbocharged. Toyota wins for a hybrid that’s not a Prius.
2018 Wards 10 Best Engines Winners
WardsAuto editors chose the winners after spending October and November evaluating 32 engines and electric propulsion systems during routine commutes in metro Detroit. It’s the 24th year for Wards 10 Best Engines.
Honda Civic Type R Satisfies a Primal Urge
The 5-door Civic Type R hatchback comes with a red-hot interior, a boy-racer wing that adds 66 lbs. of downforce, an aggressively tuned suspension, sticky tires and a throaty 3-way exhaust. With 306 hp, it’s the most powerful Honda ever sold in the U.S.
Honda Leads November Sales Growth, Up 8.3%
The Japanese automaker recorded 133,156 deliveries in November and a year-to-date tally of 1,492,112 vehicles. Driving the increase were the CR-V, Pilot and Civic. Honda says it set a monthly sales record for its trucks, utility vehicles and minivans.
Utes Drive Audi Growth, Maintain VW Sales
The 5-passenger Q5 was Audi’s best U.S. seller in November, notching 5,467 deliveries, while the 3-row Q7 was a distant second, with 3,292. VW’s two new CUVs, the 3-row Atlas and 5-passenger Tiguan posted 5,154 and 5,221 deliveries, respectively.
Mahindra Roxor Nearing Metro Detroit Launch 1
The Indian automaker dedicates its new North American headquarters, where heavy-duty off-road utility vehicles will be kit assembled. Meanwhile, the company is bidding to build next-generation U.S. Postal trucks, has an alliance with Ford and continues making gains in the U.S. tractor market.
Lectra Reaches Out to Mexican Customer Base
In Mexico, Lectra has hundreds of cutting machines deployed for customers working in the auto industry. “We have more machines in Mexico than any other place in the world, with the exception of China,” Vice President Dan Wilson says.
Infiniti Lone Bright Spot Among Japanese Lux Brands
Year-to-date sales so far in 2017 essentially are flat for Toyota and Honda, while Nissan showed a 1.8% gain. The Lexus and Acura luxury brands continue to struggle, but Infiniti is exhibiting growth for the year.
Hyundai’s First Twin-Turbo V-6 Arrives in G80, Stinger
The automaker’s direct-injected V-6, also bound for the smaller Genesis G70 sedan, features a sodium-filled stem and head on each exhaust valve, which the automaker says is an industry first among V-6s. The powertrain is one of more than 30 contenders in the 2018 Wards 10 Best Engines competition.
Jaguar, Land Rover Embrace Electrified Future
For now, a 48V electric system isn’t in the plan, but JLR engineers are pursuing electrical components that can be shared between Jaguar and Land Rover, yet are capable of being tuned to reinforce each brand’s identity, Larsen says.
Don’t Count on Smartphones for Car UX, Panelist Says 3
“If I smash my $1,000 (Apple) iPhone X in the parking lot and can’t drive my car, that’s a big problem,” says Jacek Spiewla of Mitsubishi Electric. “I can’t get in my car because the smartphone acts as a key, and I can’t use my interface because… now it’s smashed to bits.”
Atlas Provides Brilliant UX Roadmap for VW
The new 3-row CUV does many things well, from its reconfigurable Digital Cockpit and excellent driver-assistance systems to its fast phone pairing, competent voice controls and information-rich central touchscreen.
VW’s U.S. Dealers Prevail in Atlas Naming
U.S. dealers balked at the Teramont name for the 3-row CUV. Also, VW announces new extended warranty, and Hinrich Woebcken says the automaker is moving beyond Dieselgate, is growing U.S. sales and is unconcerned with presidential tweets.
New 540i Steps Up BMW’s User Experience
James Bond didn’t have massaging seats in his 7-Series 20 years ago, and even he would be blown away by all the gadgets and gizmos that make the new 540i so special.
Mainstream Brands Rule Wards 10 Best UX List
“We started this competition one year ago, and in that short time we’ve seen tremendous progress on the part of automakers. These are small steps toward the world of autonomous vehicles,” says Drew Winter, senior content director at WardsAuto.
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