Tom Murphy

Senior Editor,

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

Nissan VQ Among Crowded V-6 Field
Nissan’s 3.5L “VQ” will be among several new or improved naturally aspirated V-6s in this fall’s Ward’s 10 Best Engines competition. In this Under the Hood installment, we look at the VQ after its most significant redesign since its launch in 1995.
New Technologies Flourish in ’16 1
The arrival of a new model year represents the promise and possibility that comes with freshly stamped sheet metal, form-fitting seats, aesthetics that speak directly to one’s desires and, simply, stuff that works better.
Marysville Gets New Coat of Paint 
Honda’s new paint line, ready in 2017, will use waterborne primer (replacing a solvent-based coating) and requires no sanding or baking of the primer coat. The new “Line 1” incorporates two baking processes in between coats, instead of three previously.
Embattled VW Refreshes Passat Sedan
VW is intent on turning the tide for the slow-selling Passat, jazzing up its appearance with a new hood, front fenders, grille, front and rear bumpers and trunklid and taillights, although sheet metal carries over on the roof, doors and bodyside panels.
Galpin, Fisker Offer Rocket Speedster Concept
Galpin and designer Henrik Fisker recently unveiled the Rocket Speedster Concept, a 2-seat version of the $109,100 Rocket coupe, derived from the ’15 Ford Mustang GT. The Speedster has not yet been confirmed for production.
Bentley Seeks New Terrain With Bentayga
Bentley’s new SUV carries over some of the 2012 concept’s themes, namely the prominent haunches and steeply raked backlight. But there the similarities end.
’16 Grand Cherokee First With Upgraded Pentastar V-6
Without 2-step variable valve lift, the ’15 version of the Pentastar always operated in high-lift mode, consuming more fuel. FCA says the new system results in less overall pumping work, singlehandedly accounting for a fuel-economy gain of up to 2.7%.
Cummins Diesel Carves Niche for Nissan Titan
The Nissan Titan XD’s new 5.0L V-8, supplied by Cummins, is intended to “fill the diesel white space” between heavy-duty and light-duty pickups.
Cummins Engine Plant Tour
The Cummins engine plant in Columbus, IN, is in pilot production of the 5.0L turbodiesel V-8 soon to be delivered to Nissan for the all-new Titan XD fullsize pickup truck. Sales are set to begin by year's end.
Lexus Targets German Rivals With 4-Cyl. GS
Both Audi and BMW have reached 4-cyl. penetration rates as high as 40% in their A6 and 5-Series sedans, so Lexus hopes to gain ground in the segment by offering a 241-hp 2.0L turbo-4 in the midsize sedan in ’16.
2015 Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion
Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca hosted the Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion this past weekend, paying homage to a century of auto racing.
2015 Concorso Italiano
Monterey Car Week was crawling with car events, including Concorso Italiano, held Saturday on the fairways of Bayonet Black Horse Golf Course in Seaside, CA, to celebrate the contributions of Italian automakers.
Pebble Beach Close Up
A closer look at some of the vehicles on display this past weekend in Carmel, CA, at the 65th annual Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance.
2015 Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance
Carmel, CA, hosted the 65th annual Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance this past weekend, showcasing 200 exceptional vehicles dating from 1902 to 1966.
Lexus Refreshes LX SUV, GS Sedan
The brand is hoping LX sales can reach 5,000 units in its first full year in the U.S. and that the new model can gain ground on the Cadillac Escalade and other large luxury SUVs.
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