Automotive Engineering International 2002-02-01

Automotive Engineering International 2002-02-01
    • Fuel cell AUTOnomy
      General Motors stunned the North American International Auto Show audience with a fuel-cell concept intended to revolutionize the way vehicles are designed, built, and operated.
    • Revving up for diesel
      With diesel engines having such a large automotive presence in Europe, and such a small one in the U.S., suppliers vie for the diesel of the future.
    • High time for hybrids
      With two already on the road and at least four others slated for launch within the next couple of years, hybrid vehicles are taking center stage in the automotive industry. Whether the technology becomes a mass-market phenomena or niche-filler is a matter of debate--one that will take place at the SAE 2002 World Congress.
    • Computer-altered minds at work
      As single-skill-set engineers become endangered professionals and as confirmation-only physical prototypes become an industry norm, the 21st century way of engineering a vehicle from idea through production resides in a virtual product development world teeming with simulation and analysis tools.
    • Searching for a successful Formula
      For the past three years, Toyota motorsports engineers have been hard at work developing a Formula One car for the 2002 season, which begins in March.
    • NAIAS Concepts
      The automotive industry covened in Detroit in early January for the annual North American International Auto Show to introduce a number of new production and concept vehicles. Many of the concepts drew on the past for inspiration, focused on sporty performance and lifestyles, or blurred even more the distinction between car, truck, and SUV.
    • Plastic and aggressive fuels
      Results of a 5000-h study by Ticona show that two materials--acetal copolymer and linear polyphenylene sulfide--performed better than the rest in interactions with modern fuels.
    • VW thinks ahead
      The company's head of corporate research gives his views on fuel cells, hydrogen, smart cars, CO2, and the linking of spark-ignition and diesel engine technologies.
    • Power semiconductors
      International Rectifier is addressing increased power consumption in vehicles as the industry moves to 42-V systems.
    • Variable-shift schedule control
      Visteon looks to improve IC engine efficiency in large hybrid vehicles.
    • Automatic merger
      Spun off, merged, and growing, JATCO TransTechnology is now the second biggest automatic transmission specialist in the world, producing just under two million units per year.