21 Sep 2014 at 1:35am
San Francisco ? With its vision for a future where cars drive themselves, Google is putting itself at odds with an auto industry that shares its desire for safer, less-congested roads - yet won?t abide the ?driverless? part.
In an attempt to prod some good-news reporting out of us automedia types, Chrysler LLC held a unique technology press event at its Auburn Hills Tech Center attended by not only the product development EVP Frank Klegon and several of his direct-report veeps, but also president Tom LaSorda, vice chairman Jim Press, and his boss Bob Nardelli. The hourly value of the gathered talent on this one afternoon probably would've paid for a 30-second spot on "Late Night" with Letterman, but it would've just been TiVo'd out anyway. We were introduced to and allowed to experience several announced and pending product innovations the brass assert will help keep Chrysler operating on the industry's leading edge even as the company's headcount shrinks.
Today's C6 Corvette is arguably one of the better designs the brand has ever worn-aggressive, raked, and scientifically sculpted to cheat and exploit the wind. But no matter how successful GM Design Staff's final shape is, there will always be those who feel the need to tamper with it. One of the better firms currently filling that need is Troy, Michigan-based Specter Werkes/Sports. The company provides engineering, design, and prototyping services to the auto industry, but founder Jeff Nowicki's first love is racing and tuning Corvettes. His last magnum opus was the C5 GTR, some 30 copies of which were produced starting in 1998, powered by a 424-horse Katech-modified LS1 V-8 stroked to 6.3 liters.