A group of Toyota engineers clearly had time to kill this summer, but at least they spent it with one of their products.
For whatever reason, members of the automaker’s Michigan research and design team took a stock Corolla iM (formerly the Scion iM) and entered it into a rally, possibly just to see what would happen. Then they entered it into another. (Read More…)
The search for better fuel economy takes engineers down weird paths, and the latest plan to wring out extra mileage is no different. It involves an unlikely part of the vehicle — the suspension.
Audi just announced a new suspension system that harvests wasted energy and turns it into electricity, capable of adding juice to a vehicle’s 48-volt electrical subsystem. (Read More…)
The Ford F-150 Raptor grows longer legs for 2017, and it knows how to use them. (Apologies to ZZ Top.)
For the next generation model, due out this fall, the automaker teamed up with FOX to give the beastly all-terrain pickup better on- and off-road manners. That means beefier shocker for better cushioning and greater suspension travel. (Read More…)
Elon Musk is declaring the controversy that erupted over reports of Tesla Model S suspension failures to be over, done, finished, finito.
The Tesla founder and CEO fired off a string of tweets late Friday, saying that the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration was done looking into the matter, and added that the majority of complaints were found to be fraudulent.
Yesterday, TTAC examined the details of the case that sparked accusations of a serious Model S safety issue and a cover-up on the part of the automaker. The firestorm of controversy, ignited by a Daily Kanban blog post by ex-TTAC editor Edward Neidermeyer, centered on a Pennsylvania man whose 2013 Model S experienced an unusual upper ball joint failure. (Read More…)
Ford Motor Company issued three recall notices today, but top billing goes to a sensor problem linked to the sudden downshifting (to first gear!) of certain vehicles.
That safety recall involves 202,000 2011-2012 Ford F-150, 2012 Expedition, Ford Mustang and Lincoln Navigator vehicles. (Read More…)
Over the last few years, I’ve had work done on my ’99 Ford F-150 at various places near my work. It seems that when a wear item goes (like ball joints), the mechanic wants to replace absolutely everything in the system — tie rods, pitman arm, trailing arm, etc. Or when the left side brake caliper goes bad, they want to replace the right one, too. Or give me all new hoses when I replace my radiator.
The reason the mechanic gives is always, “Well they are the same age, and if the left one is bad, the right one is not far behind.”
This gets really expensive really quick. Is this worth it? Why do mechanics always want to replace everything in the system, if only one part is bad? Is this strategy only to boost profit? Or is there some truth in their reasoning? (Read More…)
If 1958 wasn’t the peak of automotive glitz and excess, it was damn close to it.
American automakers, emboldened by a never-ending postwar buying spree, heaped more chrome and new technology onto their models that year than ever before. Uplevel models — Lincoln, Buick and Olds, especially — were the worst offenders, somehow managing to make themselves look 1,000 pounds heavier than their tasteful ’57 predecessors. (Read More…)
My daily driver is a 2004 Volkswagen Passat Wagon 1.8T M/T, purchased new, now with 147,000 miles on the clock. Despite the legends about the poor reliability of this vehicle, it’s been good to me. (By this point, they had worked out both the sludge and coil pack problems.)
My concern is its handling: when this vehicle was released, it pretty much took all the COTY awards … Car and Driver, Edmunds, even Consumer Reports had it as their top pick for years until the coil pack problems became clear. The reviews for the thing all talked about how great it handled.
There are longer minivan jumps you could watch, even some with explosions, but no flying family hauler can match the poise and grace of this 1980s Toyota Tarago.
Somewhere in rural Australia — possibly near a dingo — this sturdy conveyance not only survived its flight seemingly unscathed, it probably stopped off for a case of Fosters after the jump before driving a pack of blonde teens home.
Audi has suspended two engineers for their involvement in helping Volkswagen’s larger 3-liter diesel engine pass emissions, according to Audi’s CEO. (Or you know, Volkswagen’s other, other emissions scandal.) The engine is used in the Porsche Cayenne and Audi’s range of sedans and crossovers.
Audi CEO Rupert Stadler told German newspaper Donaukurier that two engineers were suspended Wednesday and that the company was learning about its engines along with the rest of us.