Skip to comments.ARE THE JAPANESE BRANDS SLIPPING?
Posted on 08/29/2012 12:37:17 PM PDT by mamelukesabre
I've been closely following recent technology advances in automobiles for the last 2-3 years. Some very interesting technologies are beginning to make it into regular production vehicles that ordinary people can buy. The first is direct injection for gasoline engines. The second "big deal" is the dual-clutch transmission. These are cutting edge technologies for cars right now.
Guess what? There is no Japanese brand car available with both of these technologies. In fact, both Honda and Toyota seem to be ignoring dual clutch transmission entirely. It appears to me Toyota is coasting on its reputation right now and isn't doing anything. Honda appears to be doing the same thing.
Ford has been doing some amazing things with engines lately. They really made people take notice with their latest diesel truck engine which uses a multi-stage turbo designed by Honeywell. They are also using GETRAG designed dual clutch transmissions in passenger cars now, along with direct injection.
VW/Audi is (naturally) right up there in front with cutting edge technologies.
GM appears to be selling out. It looks like they are content to end up being a name only and hiring other companies to do all their manufacturing for them. I don't expect to see them go away anytime soon. But it looks like they are going to end up like Sears or Walmart and just be a brand name only which is built AND DESIGNED by the lowest bidder.
It didn’t occur to me until after I posted...but is it a coincidence that the 3 companies most heavily invested in hybrid and electric cars(toyota, Honda, GM) are the very 3 that appear to be slipping? Did they bet on the wrong technology?
Elf Girls Ping!
I bought a Hyundia Sonata (Korean company) in 2006 and loved it until I just bought a new 2013 Sonata. Gave the old one to my son as his first car. I would definitely recommend one.
YES. I know the Honda Civic I had built in 1998 was not nearly as a good of a car, reliability wise, as my 1993 Honda Accord. I have a 2004 Nissan Frontier truck that I dislike more than about any other vehicle I own, terrible fuel mileage for it’s class, underpowered, etc.
I don’t know about VW, but I would say Ford is trend setting right now.
They bet on the government being able to force products on a public that the public doesn't want.
My wife’s toyota is falling apart, my evil chevy runs like new. They both are about 7 years old...
“ordinary people”? You need to get over yourself!
I’ve been looking for a high MPG car for my long commute. I started with the Ford Focus but if I were to pull the trigger today it would be for a Kia Rio.
what do you mean?
ordinary people? You need to get over yourself!
I’m assuming he is including himself in that group.
Because of price?
You know, one thing about my “lesser quality” Civic is it did get excellent fuel mileage. It was a 1.6L 4 banger with a 5 speed manual, and it typically got 38mpg on the interstate and nothing less than 33/34 around town.
A few times during temperate weather when I could run with just the vent, no a/c, and the windows up, I got 42mpg on two different occassions driving a 300 mile round trip on the interestate. That’s a bit better than some hybrids.
What is “direct injection” as opposed to regular ol’ “fuel injection”?
What is the advantage of “dual-clutch”?
Good question. The only dual clutch vehicle I’ve ever heard of was in a Ferrari Testerosa, for high end performance.
In DI, the injector shoots directly into the combustion chamber above the piston. Previous injection designs shoot into the manifold or cylinder runner.
Dual clutch is a transmission that combines elements of a two shaft manual trans layout with clutches in place of synchos.
It’s an attempt to combine the best of both systems.
We just purchased a new Camry for my hubby. It has all the bells and whistles. GPS, arlarm, backup camera, Sirus radio,etc. I especially love what I call the owner identification system. When you approach the vehicle it unlocks the door closest to you, turns on the overhead light, then locks the door when you start the engine. When you leave the vehicle you touch a small area on the handle to lock the car, which will not work if the keys are inside the car or if a door is not shut.
I am driving it full time since my van is down. Even after the van get repaired I may not be willing to give back the Camry. hehehe
So far, I have had great expeiences with he Toyota/Lexus cars. I have a Tacoma (1999) with 165,000 on it with no repairs and still on the original clutch. Our RX330 just turned 100,000 with no repairs either. I bought it a year old, thank God, and the price wasn’t so bad.
I am one of those nuts that keeps their cars forever, so longevity and good mechanical durability is important.
I like the newer Tacomas, but it sems like their mileage has dropped a bit.
Ford sems to be doing well and they would be the only U.S. car that I would consider buying.
The Hundai’s look very good - not sure how they are mechanicaly.
Price and gas mileage. I’ve not test driven either yet, though. So far I’ve just read reviews, specs, etc. It’s the way I bought my Scion xB, a car I’ve loved the entire time I’ve had it. When I did test drive it my expectations were actually exceeded.
But I’m now looking at the Hyundai Accent. Hated the older ones. The new one, like the Kia, has styling I would not be ashamed to be sitting in.
I looked at the Suzuki, but the gas mileage would kill me. I have a 190 mile daily round trip commute.
direct injection gives the computer better control over the fuel usage and results in more efficient combustion. That means better mileage. More horsepower too.
A dual clutch transmission is basically a pair of 3 speed stick shifts mounted in the same case with the clutches operated via electric servos and are controlled by the computer. The gears are changed by the computer also. Basically it ends up being like an automatic transmission except it is far far more efficient. it is actually even superior to a manual transmission for efficiency.
Combine both technologies into one car and you get a phenomenal boost in power, efficiency, and acceleration. The hybrid cars are getting all the recognition right now but that’s only because the media is a bunch of ignoramuses. These two technologies are very impressive. In fact I’d say they are so impressive there will be no more regular transmissions or regular fuel injection in 5 years time.
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