Tom Murphy

Senior Editor,

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

2017 Wards 10 Best Interiors: Editors in Evaluation Mode
WardsAuto editors spent February and March combing through 31 eligible vehicles in selecting the 2017 Wards 10 Best Interiors.
Hybrid DCT, Torque-Vectoring EV In Magna Product Plan
Getrag brought several compelling new technologies to the Magna fold in last year’s acquisition, but Magna’s powertrain engineers have been busy on many fronts. For instance, the eTelligentDrive system makes EVs a whole lot more fun to drive.
VW Maps Out Proper CUV, At Last 1
Late to the party, the new 3-row Volkswagen Atlas arrives next month with a $30,500 starting price and styling inside and out that leans toward simple and straightforward. Finally, VW has a proper ute, made by Americans for Americans.
’18 Volkswagen Atlas
Designed and engineered in Wolfsburg with input from U.S. staff, the Atlas evolved from VW’s 2013 CrossBlue concept and is starting to roll off the line in Chattanooga, TN. The automaker invested $900 million at the plant for the Atlas launch.
From Subaru to Bentley, Wards 10 Best Interiors Honored
Alfa Romeo, Bentley, Buick, Lincoln, Maserati, Mini and Subaru win their first Wards 10 Best Interiors trophies, while Honda, Lexus and Mazda return to the winners’ circle. Thirty-one nominees were evaluated.
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.


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