Tom Murphy

Senior Editor,

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

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.
2017 Winner: Volvo V60 Polestar 2.0L Turbo/Supercharged DOHC 4-Cyl.
The Volvo powertrain team ratchets up the excitement with another stupendous version of the 2.0L turbo/supercharged I-4 that delivers the highest specific output this competition has ever seen: 184 hp per liter.
2017 Winner: Mercedes-Benz C300 2.0L Turbocharged DOHC 4-Cyl.
The BlueDirect 2.0L turbo-4 first appeared on our radar during a test drive last spring of the larger E-Class, a highly intelligent sedan with autonomous capabilities but whose most impressive feature might be the unassuming but exceedingly capable 4-cyl.
Audi Expanding Ute Lineup with New Q5, Q8
The Q8, displayed as a concept at the 2017 NAIAS, represents Audi’s fourth utility vehicle, following the Q3, Q5 and Q7. The Q5 is Audi’s best-selling vehicle in the U.S. in 2016 (43,272 units), accounting for a quarter of all sales.
2017 Winner: Infiniti Q50 3.0L Twin Turbo DOHC V-6
By strapping a turbocharger to each cylinder bank of an engine nearly half the size of the Hemi V-8 – and incorporating lots of compelling technologies – Infiniti has displaced displacement while compromising nothing.
New Tiguan Much Needed in VW Lineup
The second-generation Tiguan arrives after its larger sibling, the 3-row Atlas CUV, which also shares VW’s MQB modular architecture. With both vehicles arriving as CUV demand remains robust, the automaker is proclaiming 2017 the “year of the #SUVW.”
Fastest Bentley Ever Rated at 700 hp
The 6.0L W-12 in the Continental Supersports was significantly redesigned, incorporating larger turbochargers and larger charge-air cooling and exhaust systems, both for better breathing. Brake-based torque vectoring is standard.
Conti Launching More-Reliable LiDAR in 2020
Intended to be placed at each corner of an autonomous vehicle, the supplier says its High Resolution 3D Flash LiDAR has no moving parts, works well in bad weather and should be less expensive than current cumbersome LiDAR scanners.


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