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Auto blogThu, 01 Aug 2013 17:45:00 EST
Key to production of any kind is efficiency - the ability to achieve maximum productivity with minimal effort or waste. Toyota has become a master of efficiency, with streamlined manufacturing operations around the world. In fact, the Japanese brand has become so well known for efficient operations that it now offers consulting services for organizations and companies outside the auto industry.
It also offers the same consulting for non-profits, free of charge. The New York Times took an in-depth look at the transformative impact that Toyota's engineers had on the city's charities, including The Food Bank, the country's largest anti-hunger charity. The auto manufacturer helped revolutionize the way these organizations served the community, showing that there's more to corporate philanthropy than just donating money.
Head on over to the Times' website and give the story a read.
Cosworth stands on the list of the most famous engine tuners in the world with its DFV engine engine dominating Formula One for a time in the '70s. So when it teases plans to take on the FA20 engine from Subaru and Toyota found in the BRZ, Scion FR-S and Toyota GT86 abroad, our interest is indeed piqued. Cosworth is promising to take the 2.0-liter, four-cylinder boxer engine from its current 200 horsepower all the way to 325 hp and even 380 hp in a future track version through a series of staged Power Packages. At the moment, only the first stage is available that takes the mill to a potent 230 hp.
Cosworth says that its new strategy is to offer its upgrades in kits rather than individually so that it can be sure that everything works and fits when owners receive it. The Stage 1 Power Package emphasizes helping the FA20 breathe better and includes a nearly complete replacement for the stock exhaust system. There is a sports exhaust with four-inch, diagonally cut, polished tips and Y-shaped muffler, an overpipe front pipe with a spherical resonator and a new manifold header that is 22 percent lighter the standard unit. In addition to that, the kit comes with a software reflash, low temperature thermostat, Cosworth badge and plaque.
The stage one kit is available now, and stages two and three go on sale later this summer, according to its website. Autoblog contacted Cosworth for pricing information for the kits. We will update this story, if we hear back. The company also released a video showing off the exhaust upgrades. Scroll down to watch it and read the full release, below.
For the first time since 1998, J.D. Power and Associates says its data shows that the average number of problems per 100 cars has increased. The finding is the result of the firm's much-touted annual Vehicle Dependability Study, which charts incidents of problems in new vehicle purchases over three years from 41,000 respondents.
Looking at first-owner cars from the 2011 model year, the study found an average of 133 problems per 100 cars (PP100, for short), up 6 percent from 126 PP100 in last year's study, which covered 2010 model-year vehicles. Disturbingly, the bulk of the increase is being attributed to engine and transmission problems, with a 6 PP100 boost.
Interestingly, JDP notes that "the decline in quality is particularly acute for vehicles with four-cylinder engines, where problem levels increase by nearly 10 PP100." Its findings also noticed that large diesel engines also tended to be more problematic than most five- and six-cylinder engines.