June 11th, 2012 at 11:40am
BorgWarner, one of the largest supplier of turbochargers, says 80 percent of all passenger vehicles in the U.S. will have a turbo by 2020. Volkswagen is discussing whether to take a stake in commercial truck-maker Navistar to help it compete with Daimler in North America. The 2013 SRT Viper GTS-R racecar just completed its first on-track test. All that and more, plus a look at the all new 2013 Scion FR-S.
Welcome to the beginning of another week of Autoline Daily. I’m John McElroy and here’s the latest news.
TURBOS CHARGE AHEAD
Forget hybrids and electric cars. The fastest-growing technology in automotive powertrains is the turbocharger because sales of those small-displacement, boosted engines are growing like weeds. WardsAuto reports that turbocharger sales hit nearly 7 percent of the U.S. market last year. That’s up from less than 3 percent the year before. BorgWarner, one of the largest suppliers of turbos, says in five years 40 percent of all passenger vehicles in the U.S. will have a turbo. And that will jump to 80 percent in 2020. Honeywell, which owns Garret Turbochargers, and Continental, which is just getting into the turbo business, will also play a big role in the turbocharger market.
VW CONSIDERS NAVISTAR STAKE
Speaking of growing by leaps and bounds, Volkswagen could be about to get bigger. According to Reuters, VW is discussing whether to take a stake in Navistar to help it compete with Daimler in North America, which owns Freightliner. VW owns Swedish truck maker Scania, which is not that big in the U.S., and it owns German truck maker MAN, but competes mainly in Europe and other emerging markets.
CLICK AND CLACK RETIRE
“Click and Clack, The Tappet Brothers” are going to retire this fall. The radio program “Car Talk” has been a staple of National Public Radio for 25 years, hosted by the wisecracking Magliozzi brothers, Tom who is 75 years old, Ray who is 62. “Car Talk” is the highest-rated program on NPR with over 3 million listeners. But the program will continue in reruns, and with 25 year’s worth of material, it could go on for a long time.
HONDA INTRODUCES THE ELYSION IN CHINA
Honda introduced a new minivan in China called the Elysion. It’s powered by a 2.4-liter four-cylinder mated to a five-speed automatic transmission. It’s built on the same platform as the Accord and can seat up to seven people. At a starting price of about $45,000 the Elysion costs more than the Odyssey, which starts at $36,000 in China. The Elysion has only been sold in Japan since 2004 but now that it’s in China, could Honda be looking at selling it other markets as well?
SRT VIPER GTS-R TRACK TEST
The 2013 SRT Viper GTS-R racecar has just completed its first on-track test. Luckily for the entire SRT team everything appears to have gone according to plan. Look for the 2013 Viper GTS-R to compete in the GT class of the American Le Mans Series later this year.
NEW POTHOLE FIX
Potholes are the bane of every motorist. If you live in a northern climate, especially Michigan, you’re all too familiar with these wheel-cracking, tire-flattening, strut-bending divots. Autoblog reports students at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio have come up with a new temporary fix for chuck holes. They’ve figured out a way to fill them with liquid. Normally this would just make a puddle – and a big mess – but the students have created a special Kevlar bag that gets topped off with a non-Newtonian fluid. What’s that? Well, they’re materials that are liquid under normal conditions but behave like solids when force is suddenly applied to them. They can flow to conform to the shape of a pothole but they immediately stiffen up as a vehicle rolls over them. So far it appears the fix works quite well and the cost is similar to a conventional repair. More testing during different seasons is needed, but still, this is a brilliant idea!
2013 SCION FR-S
(Today’s Scion FR-S review is only available in the video version of today’s program.)
Sales of the FR-S, and its cousin, the Subaru BRZ are just getting going. But so far, Subaru is doing a better job of selling them. Last month the Subaru BRZ wracked up 271 sales in the American market, while Scion sold 86 FR-S’s.
And that wraps up today’s report, thanks for watching, we’ll see you tomorrow.