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.
What engines and transmissions is GM purchasing? http://gmpowertrain.com/Libraries/Product_information/9FP_2012_95_Information_Guide_1011.sflb.ashx?download=true
Do you really believe that, or are you parroting something a salesman told you?
I’ll have to ponder that while I’m driving my 2009 Ford Escape Hybrid...I bought it because Lexus was the only other hybrid SUV at the time, and I didn’t want a Lexus.
True but not an even playing field.
Make that 98 Civic pass the current safety and emissions levels.
I googled both. It’s fascinating. The dual clutch uses one clutch for some gears and another for others. This allows the transmission to engage in third gear while you are in second, and then it releases the clutch attached to second gear while simultaneously engaging the clutch for third gear.
Regarding direct injection:
Normal fuel injection injects the fuel into the air on it’s way to the combustion chamber, so a “fuel/air mix” enters the chamber. In “direct injection”, only air enters the chamber and a fuel injector that is IN the combustion chamber adds fuel to the air right there, sometimes in multiple high pressure spurts for each combustion.
It is claimed to get 15% improved fuel economy but has some drawbacks.
and the downward spiral will continue as they ramp up production in china
The Japanese brands usually focus on reliability, the bleeding edge is the opposite of reliable, let the early adopters figure out the problems, add it to your cars when the kinks are worked out.
If you know how the system works, you should be able to deduce for yourself that is can’t be anything BUT far more efficient.
Why don’t you read up on it and figure out for yourself how it works? Then get back to me with your doubts. I can’t debate with you intelligently when you don’t know anything about what it is you wish to debate.
boy did you get suckered.
It’s not really debatable. There are drawbacks to direct injection, but one of its pluses is that it is more efficient. It’s why it is even being considered. It’s the whole point.
Here’s a side by side of a Ford (dct) and a similar Hyundai and Honda (automatics). Now if the dct was “much more efficient” wouldn’t it get better FE?
I have been looking at building a high end 67 Camaro but with modern engine and transmission. The 6l80 6 speed tranny has the dual clutching and there is supposed to be a 8l80 (that is, 8 speeds). first gear is hugely lower than anything available before, almost like having continuous variable transmission.
Thank all of you for the explanations. :-)
In the diagrams that I had seen of fuel injection, they showed that the injection happened in the cylinder. Diagrams must have been simplistic.
I can see where “direct injection” has advantages.
In the early days of entry into the auto market, the Japanese were cutting edge.
They would put cars in the field and then when they failed, do exhaustive research and took corrective action.
Back then, their efforts were driven by their engineers.
Now, they have become corporate copies of the American brands they once displaced. Guidance now often comes from the accounting and finance departments and therefore, the “let the other innovate” syndrome you accurately describe.
I saw this first hand when, during the 80’s, i worked for one of the top Japanese companies, which happened to be a leader in the area of international patents on technology and processes.
When I left the company in 1989, the preponderance of engineers who had been the Japanese presence here was being rapidly replaced by accountants, and close customer contact sales supplanted by mass marketing.
I think VW’s new Diesel technology is amazing. The new Touareg TDI gets 28 mpg with an almost amazing 406 foot pounds of torque. It can tow 7,700 lbs.
Better yet, it is essentially the same car as the Porsche Cayenne. The Cayenne will have the exact same TDI engine this year.
Having said that, I own a Toyota. And while my Toyota truck isn’t “leading” in new technology, the darn thing is reliable and tough.
The fact that Yatta had children.. or that they're all fruit loops.
Different strokes for different folks. I'd rather have $50 than every extraneous dash and cabin option known to the combined marketing departments of Toyota, Honda and BMW.
Nissan is putting CVTs (continuously variable transmissions) in its new cars. A good balance of power and fuel economy. I don’t buy UAW products out of principle, however I’ll admit they are starting to come around. Too little, too late, too many of my tax dollars already confiscated.
Gets me to work and back, but I am sure I paid too much. Meh. More important things going on in my life these days.
It wasn’t to long ago nobody would be caught dead in a japanese car. The american companies knew this and relaxed a bit thinking things would never change. When the oil crunch hit the american companies were caught flat footed. Better gas mileage was the key to the japanese making inroads in our country and they took full advantage. What goes around comes around. It now appears the japanese are resting on their reputations and the american companies are making the extra effort to excel.
Oh, remind me to not tell you chit about anything....
How is this different than fuel injection that has been around for years?
The Korean car companies are on a roll! While the current Sonata style is starting to look faddish...to me...I REALLY like the previous generation. Lots of greenhouse and easy access. The current generation looks too swoopy and hard to get in and out of, but that might just be me.
Mrs p6 aand I are very close to getting rid of our beloved 98 Durango in favor of a Kia Soul. The only problem is I like big V8’s with 4wd/AWD.
Actually since I have become VERY intimate with our 30k original miles 92 Saturn I am thinking of getting a Vue, or a 3 door coupe.
I like the pladtic, can work on the mechanicals and we get 30+ mpg in town.
Direct injection engineered into two-stroke motorcycles is what I’m keenly anticipating. KTM will probably be first with mass production (beyond the few thousand units Ossa is currently selling). This will allow 2T dual purpose bikes once again (dirt and street) . Certain snowmobile powerplants have been R&D’ing this technology for several years.
The biggest drawback with direct injection is carbon buildup on the manifold side of the intake valves, which aren’t “washed” by gasoline. Severe cases require removal of the manifold and cleaning with solvents and/or blasting with crushed walnut shells.
Some systems use injectors on both sides of the valve to lessen this problem.
Jeez, Ford Motor just think of what you could have done if you took the BAILOUT MONEY ZERO was going to give you for FREE... /s
FORD -- FIRST ON RACE DAY... (with GREG BIFFLE driving!!)
Carl Edwards fan
Well, I have purchased two Toyotas in the last several years, I got myself a Tundra with the awesome 5.7 and just bought the wife a Venza with the V6 and all the bells and whistles. The only other foreign maker I looked at was Honda and the only domestic maker I looked at was Ford. I looked at the Edge instead of the Venza but price, options, and reviews gave the Toyota the purchase.
I really wanted to buy the Ford because they didn’t take the bailout but couldn’t pull the trigger because of the options/price mix.
Say what you want about foreign but the Honda CRV I replaced with the Venza had 240k on it and still ran fine with A/C as cold as the day I bought it.
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