Next month, Chrysler is putting its Conner Avenue Assembly Plant on hiatus for a couple of months. Conner is where the SRT Viper is built. The Viper has a 640-hp V10 engine. Not that it matters, but the EPA fuel economy is 12 city, 19 highway. And because it does matter, it has a top speed of 206 mph.
Oh, and then there’s the starting price of $99,885. That’s sort of important. And may explain why the plant is being shut down for a while.
This came to mind in relation to an announcement made last week by Bentley Motors, which is based in Crewe, UK. Bentley, which is part of Volkswagen Group, is going to be the source for all VW W12 engines. Yes, “W” and “12.” The engine as used in the Bentley Continental GT speed produces 616 hp.
W12, Bentley application
About the designation of Bentley as the source of W12s, Dr. Wolfgang Schreiber, Chairman and Chief Executive of Bentley Motors, said: “This is an important step, not just for Bentley but also for the UK manufacturing sector. This W12 centre of excellence is recognition of the long standing engine manufacturing expertise we have that has resulted in performance improvements across the model ranges over recent years. The production of this advanced engine and its future generations will bring new technologies and skills to Crewe.”
Building the W12 in Crewe
The company plans to produce as many as 9,000 of the engines per year, which are not only used in Bentley models, but in applications like the Audi A8 and the VW Phaeton.
Presumably, there is the financial wherewithal for people to lease or buy lux cars with big engines, which is not, evidently, the case when it comes to two-seaters that go like bats out of. . . .
Here's an overview of the study of assembly plant productivity that gets the undivided attention of all automakers: "The Harbour Report." Although the Big Three companies are getting better, they still have a way to go. But given the levels of competition, better won't be good enough for some plants, it seems.
According to Kunihiro Hoshi, chief engineer for the GX 470: “Three of my top goals were to create a body-on-frame vehicle with sweeping off-road performance and unibody-like on-road capability, and, of course, it had to meet the Lexus quality standard.” He met his goals. But why would anyone want to bang this vehicle around on rocks?
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