Tom Murphy

Senior Editor,

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

Mercedes Sprinter Van-tastic Off-Road
Potential customers for 4x4 Sprinters include ski resorts needing to shuttle people through heavy snow; emergency crews needing to battle inclement weather; railroad workers coping with steep grades; and oil crews working in muddy conditions.
Challenger SRT Hellcat Fine Daily Driver
Chrysler did a terrific job making this car perfectly acceptable for daily driving, which begs the question: Why does a daily driver need 707 hp?
Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat 6.2L V-8
As the horsepower war rages on, it’s Chrysler’s turn this year to claim victory with a massively re-engineered Hemi “Hellcat” 6.2L pushrod V-8 said to corral the cumulative force of 707 ponies. Editors recently evaluated the Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat for Ward's 10 Best Engines.
SAE 2014 Convergence Detroit
Automotive engineers gathered recently at Detroit's Cobo Center for SAE 2014 Convergence to map the future of electronics as it enables autonomous vehicles, electric drivetrains, new human-machine interfaces, greater connectivity and faster computing speeds. The conference featured several panel sessions, and 70 companies exhibited on the show floor. IAV also demonstrated its highly automated concept vehicle on Detroit highways.
Why $3 Gasoline Problematic 2
In the U.S., Mercedes is offering an electric B-Class, and California customers can lease a B-Class powered by hydrogen fuel cells as part of a pilot lease program.
Cars Growing Increasingly Intelligent
With NFC, “we can now add things like unpairing, which is something that we really, really want to promote people to do, especially if you’re driving rental cars and so on,” says Ford's Jim Buczkowski. “You don’t want to leave any of your identity in the vehicle. Often today, we’re so quick to get out of the vehicle, we don’t do that.”
Car-Share Programs Growing in Popularity
Kroeger describes himself as a “frequent user” of the service where he lives in Stuttgart. “In that city, you have free parking with that vehicle everywhere in downtown. That’s a big advantage, so the city promotes that as well,” he says.
Motoring in Santorini, Greece
Many of the roads leading to scenic vistas on the Greek island of Santorini are treacherous, partly because there are few guardrails protecting drivers from the loose gravel and imminent death that awaits those not paying close attention.
Industry, Experts Converge on 2020 Vision
Underwood's research suggests the first two types will be in the market by 2020, but that the era of fully automated vehicles will not begin until about 2030. In 2025, Underwood says highly automated cars that drive themselves on urban highways and surface streets should be available.
Hyundai Sonata Eco Delivers 32.5 MPG
So the question is, does this version feature enough new technology to merit a close second look compared with the Veloster Turbo reviewed two years ago?
'15 Hyundai Sonata Eco 1.6L Turbo
On paper, one might expect this engine to feel underpowered and sluggish in a midsize cars such as the Sonata. But a number of WardsAuto editors have driven it, and their reviews are favorable. To date, the car has delivered 31.2 mpg (7.5 L/100 km).
BMW Tracking for California Growth
The automaker will open its Performance Center West driving school in Thermal, CA, at a new private race track that intends to be an exclusive country club for gearheads rather than golfers.
BMW at Thermal Club
Peter Miles, BMW of North America’s vice president-Sales Channel Development and Customer Relations, says the Performance Center is an ideal way to connect with car enthusiasts who may end up as loyal customers (See related story: BMW Tracking for California Growth).
Hemi Hellcat Engine Fully Loaded
“If you see any of this crap in the press that it’s not a 707-hp engine, it’s absolutely untrue,” says Chrysler's Chris Cowland. “SAE were here; they witnessed it. No one should be doubting that’s the real number.”
Hemi Hellcat Deep Dive
At just about every turn, Chrysler engineers developing the 6.2L supercharged Hemi Hellcat V-8 – the most powerful U.S. muscle-car engine ever produced – encountered forces that required unique solutions.
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