Tom Murphy

Senior Editor,

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

2017 Wards 10 Best Interiors Winners
The Wards 10 Best Interiors list recognizes outstanding achievement in aesthetics, comfort, ergonomics, materials usage, fit-and-finish and user-friendly electronics.
Around the World With Range Anxiety
Eleven EVs traveled around the world in 80 days last year. It was a harrowing journey: cable fires, car-sized potholes, overheated batteries in the Gobi Desert, painfully slow 120V charging from U.S. wall sockets and border agents seeking “pistols.”
Reach Beyond Career Comfort Zone, Ford Exec Says
A 32-year veteran engineer at Ford, Kimberly Pittel is urging young women to consider careers in the auto industry. “It’s been my experience you can actually have five careers underneath the roof of one company,” she says.
Wards 10 Best Interiors Nominees: Feel the Churn
Automakers are updating their vehicle interiors with unprecedented speed, eager to integrate new technologies, softer leather, better sound systems and richer colors. WardsAuto will announce winners April 17.
2017 Wards 10 Best Interiors Nominees
WardsAuto editors are evaluating 31 vehicles as part of the 2017 Wards 10 Best Interiors competition, which began in early February and will conclude early next week. Winners will be announced April 17 and will be recognized at the WardsAuto Interiors Conference May 9 in Detroit.
Magna Connects With Disconnecting Axles
The Canadian supplier recognizes most drivers only need torque to two wheels even if AWD systems routinely drive four wheels all the time. Disconnecting two of the wheels from the drivetrain when possible can significantly improve fuel economy.
Detroit Diesel Makes Most of $1.2 Billion Investment 3
The 80-year-old plant’s owner, Daimler, has boosted efficiency and productivity while growing the product portfolio to include new engines, transmissions and turbochargers, with new medium-duty engine production starting later this year.
Detroit Diesel Redford Plant
The success of Detroit Diesel's heavy-duty engine program that launched in 2008 led to securing a new cylinder-head machining line in 2012, followed by production of turbochargers in 2014, DT12 transmissions in 2015 and final-drive gearsets in 2016.
GM’s New Duramax Diesel Whisper Quiet
The re-engineered 6.6L pushrod diesel V-8, now available in ’17 GMC and Chevrolet HD pickups, is nearly vibration-free at idle and during steady-state cruising. It tows big loads with aplomb, even on treacherously steep, narrow winding roads.
The Big Story: Diesel Market Facing Compression 2
Is the engine with no sparkplugs losing its spark? The diesel engine faces stiff headwinds by way of emissions compliance, vehicle electrification and a devastating Volkswagen cheating scandal. But automakers say they continue investing in new diesels.
Lexus LC Loaded With Bad-Boy Mojo 1
The hot as Hades road hugger, with hybrid efficiency, V-8 power and a seductive bright orange, blue and white interior, sets a new course for Lexus. If the LC can’t redefine what makes a great Lexus – and what makes Lexus great – then nothing will.
Achates: Opposed-Piston Engine Makers Tooling Up  8
Inexpensive to manufacture, compatible with all fuels, cleaner burning and up to 50% more fuel efficient, the opposed-piston engine is finding traction with manufacturers, Achates says. The first demonstration vehicle will be ready for driving next year.
BMW’s Robertson on Trump, Utes, Diesels, Self-Drivers
The board member says BMW “will work with the new administration in the same way we’ve worked with administrations before.” That includes trying to educate the Trump team about BMW’s massive U.S. manufacturing operations.
New 5-Series Arrives as BMW U.S. Sales Fall
Globally, all BMW Group brands did well in 2016, but the U.S. market has been challenging, with sales of most BMW-brand vehicles falling from the prior year.
2017 Wards 10 Best Engines Quick Hits
A pro-and-con summation of all 40 powertrains evaluated in the 2017 competition. Many comments come directly from editor score sheets.


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