Tom Murphy

Senior Editor
WardsAuto

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

Articles by Tom Murphy
Taiwan Keeps Plugging In EV Market
Without homegrown automakers that compete on a world stage, how can a nation barely larger than Rhode Island become a world leader in a sector that is struggling to gain a foothold in other mature vehicle markets, such as the U.S.?
From Kia to Rolls-Royce, Interiors Honored 2
Culled from a pool of 41 new or redesigned vehicles, the 2014 Ward’s 10 Best Interiors represent a broad swath of cars and utility vehicles available in the U.S.
Luxury Entries Overwhelming Ward’s 10 Best Interiors Field
More than half of the 41 vehicles being evaluated in this year’s competition are from premium brands or those aspiring to be. Winners will be announced next week.
BMW Expanding Spartanburg for X7 Production 
BMW is expanding annual capacity in South Carolina 50% to 450,000 vehicles to produce the all-new X7 3-row utility vehicle. Plus, the plant has begun building the new X4, which will go on sale this summer.
SAE Sticks With ‘Back to Basics’ Congress 
SAE International expects 1,500 technical papers to be presented at the World Congress April 8-10 and 170 companies to exhibit. Attendance once again should be about 10,000.
Volvo Drive-E Strategy Drives Forward
The Swedish automaker wanted to develop its own engines but had to wait until the 2010 sale to Geely was complete. Today, the Drive-E launch of two new gasoline engines for the U.S. is under way.
Audi RS 7 4.0L Turbo V-8 Busts Out of Corral
This bucking bronco requires a steady hand on the reins, because he will run hard – well past the stated 174 mph top speed, according to some independent tests. From a standstill, the RS 7 can giddyup to 60 mph in 3.7 seconds, or less.
Mazda Hazumi Concept to Bow in Geneva
The Hazumi hints at the next-generation Mazda2. The current-generation subcompact has been a bit player in WardsAuto’s Lower Small car segment.
i3: A BMW Like No Other
The i3 electric vehicle feels like a BMW, but the appearance – inside and out – will take some getting used to. BMW is banking that its customers agree that form follows function.
KSPG Steeling Piston Market
The move toward turbocharged GDI engines has raised operating temperatures to the point that aluminum pistons expand, causing excess friction within the combustion chamber. Steel is more rigid and can resist expansion.
BMW Exec Sees Little Need for Public Charging
As European customers take ownership of the new i3 electric vehicle, Herbert Diess says establishing a public infrastructure “is not really very important because most people are charging their cars at home.”
Faurecia’s Ammonia-Based SCR Suited for Deep Freeze
The exhaust supplier expects its system to become the new global standard for NOx reduction in diesel engines as regulations will focus more heavily on real-world conditions at low temperatures.
Denso Growth Plans Still Growing
In Southfield, MI, Denso is spending $10 million to purchase a neighboring 3-story building to join the current campus of four facilities, creating 176 new jobs. The supplier also announces a consortium to study how drivers interact with vehicles.
BMW ‘M’ Showcase for Power, Lightweight Materials
Going on sale this summer, the all-new ’15 M3 and M4 reflect BMW’s eager embrace of carbon fiber as a lightweight material that can be decorative as well as structural.
Schaeffler Opening New Plant in Mexico
The supplier has a Puebla plant already supplying dry clutches for DCTs to Ford. The new facility will manufacture torque converters for North America. “It’s a good problem that we have to increase capacity,” an executive says.
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