The U.S. automotive sector is valued at just under $680 billion. It represents about 3.5 percent of the U.S. GDP and employs over 950,000 manufacturing workers.
Due to its size and scope it’s not surprising to see automotive engineering stories at the top of our most viewed list. So, with that in mind here’s a look at the top 5 automotive engineering videos from the past year.
At number five is a story about Toyota’s efforts to shed their reputation for dependable, yet somewhat boring vehicles via the introduction of their hypercar. The $3 - $7 million vehicles combines a 2.4-liter, V6 with electric assist to pump out 986 horsepower.
Next on the list was coverage of leaked photos potentially showcasing what the new Ford Broncos could look like. The images offered a four-door SUV with a much softer look than those last produced in 1996.
These were later confirmed as pictures of a smaller “Baby Bronco.” While there’s still debate on the roof design, ground clearance and motor choice, what we do know is that the Bronco is slated to start production in time for the 2021 model year.
Numbers three and two on the list share a Mustang theme. First there’s our coverage of the fastest factory-made Pony of all time - the 2018 Mustang Cobra Jet. It features a supercharged 5.2-liter Coyote V8 that Ford says will run a quarter-mile in the mid-8-second range, and hit a top speed of 150 mph.
A race-engineered suspension, specially designed wheels, and an NHRA-certified roll cage complete the package. Only 68 of the vehicles will be made, and they’ll retail at about $100,000.
Next is a story on Ford’s 2019 special edition Mustang GT Fastback commemorating the 50th anniversary of Steve McQueen’s amazing ride in the movie Bullitt. The new Bullitt features a 5.0-liter V8 with 475 horsepower (about 150 more than the original) that tops out at 163 mph.
After production wrapped on the film, the car eventually made its way to Robert Kiernan, who bought it for $6,000. His son restored the car, bringing its value up to about $4 million. According to a Mustang Chief Designer, "the new Bullitt is, as Steve McQueen was, effortlessly cool."
Finally, our top automotive engineering story of 2018 was dubbed the Most Politically Incorrect Car. It featured the work of New York-based American Racing Headers and their Prius SRT8. Basically, their engineers cut all the sheet metal beyond the windshield out of a Prius and dropped in a 6.2-liter V8 Dodge Hellcat engine with a supercharger capable of pumping out 1,000 horsepower.
The company also redesigned the frame and customized the suspension system to handle the extra power. The Prius SRT8 covered a quarter-mile in 9.38 seconds, reaching a top speed of 147 mph.
Those were some of our top stories in 2018. For David Mantey, Anna Wells, Andy Szal, Eric Sorensen and Alex Shanahan, I’m Jeff Reinke. Thanks for watching IEN Now this year, and we’ll look forward to bringing you more of the top stories impacting the industrial marketplace in 2019.