Tom Murphy

Senior Editor,

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

Urus Will Double Lamborghini Sales, Exec Says 1
With a base price of $200,000 – well below that of the Huracán and Aventador – and newfound versatility for the brand, Farmeschi tells WardsAuto he is convinced the Urus will at least double Lamborghini’s sales globally.
2018 Winner: Jaguar Ingenium 2.0L Turbocharged 4-Cyl.
The variable-geometry turbocharger spools up quickly, helping deliver peak torque at an astonishing 1,200 rpm – barely faster than idle speed. “The torque gushes in like a firehose right after idle and doesn’t stop,” editor Drew Winter writes on his scoresheet.
VW Stages Return of the Jetta at NAIAS
The seventh-generation compact sedan goes on sale in the second quarter with more room, an upscale interior and a lower base price. But there’s no diesel. “We definitely pulled the plug for diesel in this country,” Hinrich Woebcken says.
Rinspeed Snap All About POD-sibilities
Besides Toyota and others, Rinspeed sees a future of skateboard-like chassis carrying any number of pods for personal or commercial uses. Some 30 companies joined in developing the Snap concept. A prototype is on display at CES in Las Vegas.
Shots From the Floor: CES 2018 Las Vegas
Automakers and suppliers continue to identify CES as an important venue for displaying new technologies, catching up on the latest trends and checking up on rivals, especially in the areas of autonomous driving, artificial intelligence and connected vehicles.
2018 Winner: Honda Civic Type R 2.0L VTEC Turbo 4-Cyl. 1
High-rpm flogging is not required but makes for storming good fun as the 2.0L turbo 4-cyl. pounds out 306 hp before reaching the 7,000-rpm redline. With a specific output of 153 hp/L, this VTEC engine is the most powerful street-legal Honda ever to reach America.
Toyota Paints New Mobility Picture With e-Palette
The automaker says several e-Palettes could be clustered in one place, allowing businesses or communities to quickly create mobile hubs for services, entertainment and festivals. “I mean, just think of how great e-Palette would be at Burning Man!” Akio Toyoda says.
2018 Winner: Ford F-150 2.7L EcoBoost Twin Turbo V-6
Take a step down Ford’s product hierarchy, and it’s the F-150 with the heavily revised 2.7L twin-turbo EcoBoost V-6 that now makes specific output a relevant spec among pickups. It weighs in at an unheard of 121 hp/L.
Buick, GMC Sales Up; Cadillac’s Woes Intensify
GM says its average transaction price was more than $35,400 for the year and surpassed $38,000 in December. Both are records and above the industry average of $31,600 for the calendar year, the automaker says.
2018 Wards 10 Best Engines Quick Hits
A pro-and-con summation of all 32 powertrains evaluated in the 2018 competition. Many comments come directly from editor scoresheets.
2018 Wards 10 Best Engines: Mainstream Brands Triumph 11
This year’s list sees the return of the fuel cell, as well as the V-8. Jaguar and Kia win their first trophies. Half the winners are turbocharged. Toyota wins for a hybrid that’s not a Prius.
2018 Wards 10 Best Engines Winners
WardsAuto editors chose the winners after spending October and November evaluating 32 engines and electric propulsion systems during routine commutes in metro Detroit. It’s the 24th year for Wards 10 Best Engines.
Honda Civic Type R Satisfies a Primal Urge
The 5-door Civic Type R hatchback comes with a red-hot interior, a boy-racer wing that adds 66 lbs. of downforce, an aggressively tuned suspension, sticky tires and a throaty 3-way exhaust. With 306 hp, it’s the most powerful Honda ever sold in the U.S.
Honda Leads November Sales Growth, Up 8.3%
The Japanese automaker recorded 133,156 deliveries in November and a year-to-date tally of 1,492,112 vehicles. Driving the increase were the CR-V, Pilot and Civic. Honda says it set a monthly sales record for its trucks, utility vehicles and minivans.
Utes Drive Audi Growth, Maintain VW Sales
The 5-passenger Q5 was Audi’s best U.S. seller in November, notching 5,467 deliveries, while the 3-row Q7 was a distant second, with 3,292. VW’s two new CUVs, the 3-row Atlas and 5-passenger Tiguan posted 5,154 and 5,221 deliveries, respectively.


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