The transmission achieves a 6 percent improvement in fuel economy over ZF's current six-speed automatic.
The Chrysler Group plans to spend $300 million to build a new eight-speed automatic transmission licensed from ZF Group, a transmission maker headquartered in Friedrichshafen, Germany.
The investment will pay for installation of special tooling and equipment at Chrysler's Transmission Plant 1 and Kokomo Casting Plant in Indiana and help retain 1,200 jobs there, Chrysler said Wednesday. Production will start in 2013.
Meanwhile, Chrysler said it plans to import the transmissions from Germany before production ramps up in Kokomo. Spokesman Nick Cappa said he could not say when the imports would begin.
The nation's most notorious stretches of asphalt revealed.
Summer's here and you're itching to fill that old jalopy in the driveway to the headliner and hit the open road. While we think that’s a good idea, you should know that summertime is the deadliest time of the year on our nation's highways.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, a total of 50,765 fatal accidents occurred in June, July and August from 2004 to 2008. And while fatalities have been steadily decreasing since 2005, 37,261 people lost their lives in an automobile during the summer of 2008. (Figures are not yet available for 2009.)
That’s not to say that every stretch of asphalt is hazard, only that some are more dangerous than others.
And delivers a stellar performance
In 18 years of testing the famed Nürburgring, no Subaru has done better. None has gone faster. And none has exuded more confidence under extreme conditions.
That’s how Subaru is billing its April 16 blitzing of the arduous Green Hell in a fleet 7 minutes, 55 seconds in a 2011 WRX STI sedan. New video of this test is an enthusiast’s dream, offering the view from the cockpit as this lithe Subie strains and streaks through the forests of Germany. In the right-hand-drive car, the acceleration, gear shifting and odometer are all present. It’s punctuated by imposing engine sounds and break and tire squealing.
The point of this is to demonstrate the intense chassis upgrades of the 2011 STI, which helped the car best the previous Subaru ’Ring record by four seconds. The vehicle height was lowered 5 millimeters for maximum lateral g. Power was drawn from the turbocharged boxer four-cylinder that works in tandem with a six-speed manual transmission.
To achieve this blistering time, the test vehicle was augmented with a larger turbocharger, six-piston brakes, flexible tower bar and front lip spoiler. It also received a roll cage, a five-point safety harnesses and aluminum fenders.
Installing a child safety seat properly is any car isn't an easy task. But Consumer Reports says these machines make it easier.
It’s every young parent’s nightmare. You’re driving down the road with your newborn or toddler strapped into the child safety seat in the backseat. Suddenly, some idiot cuts you off and your vehicles collide. During the impact, the child seat comes loose, flies through the air and slams hard into the back of the seat in front of it.
By far the most common types of injury accident involving children are those that also involve motor vehicle collisions. According to the National Center for Statistics and Analysis, nearly 250,000 children are injured every year in car accidents. This means that on any given day, nearly 700 children are harmed due to accidents on our roadways. Of the 250,000 kids injured each year, approximately 2,000 die from their injuries. In fact, for children between 2 and 14, motor vehicle accidents are the leading cause of death.
This is why every state requires the use of approved child safety seats for children under 5. Child safety seats reduce the risk of death in passenger cars by 71 percent for infants (under 1 year) and by 54 percent for toddlers (ages 1 to 4 years).
Unfortunately, there is only a 90 percent compliance rate with respect to using approved safety seats for children under this age, according to the NCSA. In addition, child restraint systems are often used incorrectly. One study found that 72 percent of nearly 3,500 observed car and booster seats were misused in a way that could be expected to increase a child’s risk of injury during a crash.
So how can injuries to children in motor vehicles be prevented? You can start by buying a car that makes it easy to securely install a child seat.
Ford adds 'Send to Sync' feature for Google Maps.
Using Send to Sync, Ford drivers can take directions from Google Maps, found on their Bluetooth-enabled phone, and send them directly to the in-car system via the cloud-based Sync Traffic, Directions & Information app. On the way, the directions are processed into audible turn-by-turn directions, eliminating the need to print maps and keeping the driver's eyes on the road.
More Dodge, Jeep and Chrysler brand recalls.
"Chrysler told [the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration] on June 1 that 'an improperly routed wiring harness' can be rubbed by a sliding door. That would wear through the insulation and possibly cause a fire inside the door. Chrysler said it has 57 reports of vehicles having 'thermal damage' but knows of no accidents or injuries."
Dodge customizes Vipers for select stores and enthusiasts
We’ve seen many special-edition Dodge Vipers for the car's final year--the ACR-X, the Vooodoo Viper, the 1:33. It's almost as if every Viper is a special edition.
With that in mind, Chrysler is now letting dealerships get into the act. Just 50 total Vipers will be made under a program that allows dealers to make the dreams of their best customers reality. The dealer and the customer essentially come up with their own limited-edition-model Viper.
The first three are a black and race yellow Viper heading to a Nebraska dealer, a snakeskin green and black model going to Texas and a black and plum crazy purple Viper going to Illinois.
Whatever color scheme they choose, enthusiasts will get a 600-hp V10 underhood.
America to get an extra 21 supercars.
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Clifford Atiyeh has spent his entire life driving cars he doesn't own. Raised in Volvos, he has grown to love fast, irresponsible vehicles of all kinds. He is the senior news editor at MSN Autos and also reports for Car and Driver, Road & Track, The Boston Globe and other publications.
In the garage: 21-speed Iron Horse, 2002 Jeep Wrangler X (not his)
Doug Newcomb has covered car technology for over 20 years for outlets ranging from Rolling Stone to Edmunds.com. In 2008, he published his first book, "Car Audio for Dummies" (Wiley). He lives and drives in Hood River, Ore., with his wife and two kids, who share his passion for cars and technology.
In the garage: 1996 Chevrolet Impala SS, two 1984 Chevrolet Blazers, 2008 Honda CR-V
James Tate learned to drive stick at age 13 in a 1988 Land Cruiser - in La Paz, Bolivia. He's since been a mechanic, on a pit crew and has wrenched on every car he's owned since his first 1989 Honda CRX Si (and won't stop until the car is a 1973 Porsche 911 RS). His work has appeared in Car and Driver, Popular Mechanics, Automobile and others.
In the garage: 1995 Porsche 911 Carrera, 1988 BMW M5
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