• Ford to build its carbon-fiber GT in Canada

    February 17, 2015
    Ford has confirmed that its flagship GT coupe will be built in Canada, rather than rolling out of a US factory.
    The automaker has tasked Canadian supplier Multimatic with building the carbon-fiber body and finishing the assembly process at its factory in Markham, Ontario, in the Greater Toronto Area.

    “We chose to partner with them because they have specialized equipment for carbon fibre production and expertise in carbon fibre assembly,” Ford’s marketing manager for Canada, Marc Vejgman, told CBC.

    Multimatic boasts extensive work for Aston Martin, including engineering of the One-77 occupant cell, design and production of the CC100′s carbon-fiber exterior and exterior, and production of V12 Zagato components. The supplier’s components can also be found on the Camaro Z/28 and Dodge Viper, among other vehicles.

    Ford separately announced a new collaborative effort with DowAksa, a joint venture between Dow and Turkish material specialist AKSA, to develop manufacturing processes for automotive-grade carbo fiber. The companies will be part of the US government-founded Institute for Advanced Composites Manufacturing Innovation.

    The companies will be working to overcome the high costs and limited supply volumes associated with carbon fiber, while refining high-volume manufacturing processes.

    The GT is expected to begin production sometime in 2016.

  • Radical RXC Turbo 500 aims to set a new ‘Ring record

    February 17, 2015
    British automaker Radical is set to reveal an extreme version of its street-legal RXC track car.
    The RXC Turbo 500 is powered by Ford’s 3.5-liter EcoBoot V6 engine, outfitted with two Garrett GT28 turbochargers capable of bringing output up to 537 horsepower and 481 lb-ft of torque. The car weighs just 2,072 lbs, resulting in a power-to-weight ratio of 518 ponies per ton.

    Drivers can expect to get up to 100 mph in 6.8 seconds, jumping from 40 mph to 80 mph in three seconds flat, according to Autocar. Radical claims the upgrades have “resulted in a road car with performance capabilities that exceed those of dedicated racing cars.”

    The company expects the acceleration figures, along with aerodynamic and suspension upgrades, to be good enough to beat its own Nurburgring record of 6min 48sec in an SR8 LM — controversially claimed to be the fastest lap from a production vehicle.

    The RXC 500 won’t be attempting the ‘Ring record until the summer, but the car will make its formal debut next month in Geneva.

  • GM chief Mary Barra gets $3M stock award

    February 17, 2015
    General Motors CEO Mary Barra has reportedly received stock compensation worth nearly $3 million for 2015.
    Several top executives have received sizable stock awards, consistent with GM’s latest long-term incentive program. Highlights from the first distributions have been outlined in a Reuters report.

    The value of Barra’s 79,639 restricted shares will likely change before they become transferrable, beginning in 2016. She is expected to receive approximately $14.4 million in total compensation for 2014, which would represent a 60-percent jump over her predecessor, Dan Akerson.

    Other executives to receive incentive packages include president Dan Amman and development chief Mark Reuss, each receiving stock bundles worth around $1 million.

    The company is expected to fully detail executives’ 2014 compensation in its April proxy statement.

  • Leaked images reveal 2016 Nissan Maxima interior design

    February 17, 2015
    New leaked images have revealed the interior design of Nissan’s next-generation Maxima sedan. The 2016 Nissan Maxima is set to make its world debut at the New York Auto Show in early April.
    The new images, which were leaked by Almuraba, reveal interior styling that is far sportier than we’ve come to expect from the Maxima. Looking like a proper cockpit, the 2016 Maxima features a high center console with a stubby shift lever adding to its sporting aura. The center console also looks to be slightly angled toward the driver, creating a wrap-around sensation.

    Although paddle shifters appear to be absent, the Maxima’s steering wheel does feature a motor sports-inspired D=shaped rim. Behind resides two analog gauges with a larger LCD screen positioned in between.

    Nissan has already unveiled the exterior styling of the new Maxima, which resembles the Nissan Sports Sedan Concept shown in Detroit last year. The 2016 Maxima wears Nissan’s “V-motion” front end and shares the Nissan Murano concept’s “floating” roof design.

    Under hood we’re expecting a 3.5L V6 with at least 300 horsepower on tap. Like the Ford Taurus and Chevrolet Impala, the 2016 Maxima will employ front-wheel drive rather than the sportier rear-wheel drive setup found in the Dodge Charger.

    Be sure to check back for more details on the all-new 2016 Nissan Maxima in the coming weeks.

  • Report: Jeep’s next Wrangler will keep its solid axles

    February 17, 2015
    Rumors surrounding the next-generation Jeep Wrangler have raised concerns among some die-hard fans, however a fresh report suggests the off-roader’s solid floating axles are not among the items that could be dropped in the spirit of weight savings.
    Engineers are expected to make a few suspension tweaks to enhance the ride, but the company allegedly will not make any changes that compromise the Wrangler’s off-road prowess, unnamed sources have told Automotive News. Leaving the solid axles intact will also continue to support aftermarket modifications, such as lift kits, that can become more expensive and complex with an independent suspension setup.

    Previous reports have pointed to an aluminum-unibody structure, smaller turbocharged engines or a hybrid powertrain as potential changes to help reduce fuel consumption.

    Jeep brand chief Michael Manley has insisted that, despite any of the drastic design shifts, the Wrangler will be “more capable” than the current edition. The iconic styling is also expected to remain mostly unchanged.

    The next-generation Wrangler is believed to be on track for a debut sometime in 2017.