Tom Murphy

Senior Editor,

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

BMW Sees M2 as New ‘Benchmark’
Standard with a manual transmission, the 365-hp M2 coupe will be available with an optional 7-speed M Double Clutch automatic. Also unveiled in Detroit is the X4 M40i utility vehicle, using the same N55 3.0L turbocharged inline-6.
ZF Moving Regional HQ to Livonia, MI
As TRW, with its electronics, chassis, safety and steering systems, comes together with driveline specialist ZF, engineers from both sides are collaborating on ideas for more than 400 products that might be possible from the new organization.
Shots From the Floor: CES 2016 Las Vegas
Some 170,000 consumers of electronics have converged on Las Vegas this week for CES 2016. Automakers and suppliers once again have a strong presence at the event.
2016 Wards 10 Best Engines Quick Hits
A concise pro-and-con summation of all 31 powertrains evaluated in the 2016 competition. Many of these comments come directly from editor score sheets.
Toyota: Autonomous Cars Need Trillion-Mile Reliability 4
As the Toyota Research Institute steps up its work in autonomous vehicles, the automaker realizes people can tolerate human error but are less forgiving of machines. Cars must become incapable of causing accidents.
2016 Winner: Subaru 2.0L Turbocharged DOHC H-4 1
With the arrival of high-efficiency hybrids, there’s something comforting and nostalgic in an engine mated to a 6-speed manual transmission that needs a giant hood scoop to pull in enough air to let the intercooler do its job. That’s kickin’ it old-school.
2016 Winner: FCA 3.0L Turbodiesel DOHC V-6
Two diesels, the Nissan/Cummins 5.0L V-8 and General Motors’ 2.8L Duramax 4-cyl., were in the running for Wards 10 Best Engines but could not keep up with the Ram 1500’s 3.0L EcoDiesel V-6, which completes a three-peat of fairy-tale proportions.
Ford Tying SYNC With Amazon Echo
By 2020, Ford CEO Mark Fields says the number of Internet-connected devices could reach up to 50 billion, and he wants to make sure vehicles are among them.
2016 Winner: Nissan 3.5L DOHC V-6
For more than 20 years, the Nissan VQ’s calling card has been its unmistakably creamy midrange. But the new version displays a lot more composure when pushed hard, even to the brink of the 6,600-rpm redline.
2016 Winner: Hyundai 2.0L I-4/50-kW Drive Motor
The Sonata PHEV is a sizable and stylish car that looks a lot more expensive than its $34,600 base price. To experience this world-class drivetrain brings quick realization that it’s a bargain.
Bosch Maps Electronics Future at CES
In 2020, the supplier expects massive savings at its 250 manufacturing plants worldwide because “Industry 4.0” hardware and software will allow assessing data in real time, ensuring unprecedented gains in production flexibility, logistics and safety.
2016 Winner: Ford 5.2L DOHC V-8 1
Ford dismantled a perfectly good 5.0L V-8 and put it back together with more displacement, less friction, a volumetric efficiency of 110%, higher compression, 100 more horsepower and the ability to spin at a jaw-dropping 8,250 rpm without forced induction.
2016 Winner: General Motors 3.6L DOHC V-6
GM’s new 335-hp 3.6L direct-injection V-6 muscles its way onto this year’s list because it so powerfully completes the Chevy Camaro tandem. It’s the right hand to the V-8’s left. It’s so good that certain editors prefer it to the V-8.
2016 Winner: BMW 3.0L Turbocharged DOHC I-6
BMW’s B58 I-6, springing from a new EfficientDynamics modular family of 3-, 4- and 6-cyl. engines, has a larger turbocharger, all-new water-to-air intercooler, longer stroke, more horsepower and torque and several fuel-saving technologies.
Very Good Year for Powertrains
When an editor lobbies for the powertrain that scores dead last in our competition (and shall remain nameless), it speaks volumes about the progressive leaps being achieved in noise attenuation, power delivery and drivability.

Apr 29, 2016

Chrysler Pacifica: Judging for 2016 Wards 10 Best Interiors

The Chrysler Pacifica, evaluated by editor Bob Gritzinger, is a 2016 Wards 10 Best Interiors winner....More


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