Saturday, April 27, 2013

Ford and GM Together: Best of Both Worlds, or Sacrilege?

Courtesy of MotorTrend

I remember when I first heard that the new Dodges would be getting eight speed automatic transmissions, I took a step back.  Finally!  Someone is moving past the archaic five speed autos (or four speed with overdrive depending on how you look at it).  It has just been a recent move for the some cars in the Big Three to be getting a six speed.  Now Chrysler has an eight speed?

Ford and GM is a little behind in transmission fuel efficiency.  Ford’s EcoBoost engine is amazing, but those gears are everything.  Ford and GM have announced that they will be working on a nine speed and ten speed transmission, together.

"Engineering teams from GM and Ford have already started initial design work on these new transmissions," said Jim Lanzon, GM vice president of global transmission engineering in a statement.  "We expect these new transmissions to raise the standard of technology, performance and quality for our customers while helping drive fuel economy improvements into both companies' future product portfolios."

Ford and GM have done this before in the past though.  The Ford 6F and the GM 6T70 transmissions have been used in many cross brand vehicles including the Ford Fusion and Chevy Cruze.  All in all, it does not seem like a terrible idea.  I am a diehard Ford fan, but if everyone can win at fuel economy, perhaps it is not that bad.  After all, Ford still has the EcoBoost on its side!

Apparently the nine speed transmission will be used on front wheel drive cars, and the ten speed will be used on real wheel drive cars.  This is all fine and dandy, but there is one thing that I am unsure about…  Will the same transmission be used in next generation Mustangs and Camaros?  These cars are the center of most Ford vs. Chevy debates.  Will it be the smartest idea to put the same transmission in both pony cars?  I hope not, but only time will tell.

So I leave it to you: is this the best of both worlds, or sacrilege?

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Friday, April 5, 2013

The Brilliant Bus

Courtesy of the Palm Beach Post

Well this is something different.  We have a bus.  What’s so special about a bus?  This bus is a unique creation by retired Estella Pyfrom.  So a retired woman purchased a bus; what’s the big deal?  Well, how are you reading this: your phone, your computer, or a tablet, right?  This is something many people, especially children, do not have access to.  A simple desktop computer is something that a lot of us take for granted.

Estella Pyfrom realized this and with her retirement money spent an initial $450,000 on “Miss Estella’s Brilliant Bus”.  The bus was fitted with 17 computers loaded with educational software.  The bus tours around the Palm Beach area in Florida, allowing children without access to a computer get their hands on one.


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