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These days, most Toyota models are about as likely to get your pulse up as the latest hardware from Frigidaire. But it wasn't always so. There was a time when Toyota counted itself among the world's sports car manufacturers with vehicles like the Supra, Celica All Trac and MR-2. Those two-doors helped forge generations of enthusiasts before the company shuttered its go-fast ambitions, a door that is only now starting to open again thanks to the new GT 86/Scion FR-S codeveloped with Subaru. Now,

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Hyundai Motor Group, the parent of both South Korean automakers Hyundai Motor Group and Kia International, will boost investment in facilities, research and development by 16 percent this year largely on its efforts to develop more fuel efficient engines for the two automakers.

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Time. Patience. Grit. Determination. It will take all of these and more if Volkswagen is to succeed in its quest to become the world's largest and most profitable automaker. But there's one more thing it's going to require: money. Lots and lots of spending money.

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Larry Burns has served as General Motors Vice president of research and development for 11 years, a tenure longer than anyone else since the original holder of that office, Charles Kettering. This fall however, Burns will be strolling off into the sunset as he has opted for retirement. Before he exits the building for the last time, he will sit down at the computer for a web chat with the online masses. Burns has been been one of the major advocates at General Motors of taking personal transport

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In an all-too-rare win for Detroit's automaker base, the state of Michigan and Daimler have reportedly reached a deal to see a new Mercedes-Benz hybrid and electric car research and development facility built in neighboring Ann Arbor. Among other things, the facility will develop hybrid transmissions, electric motors, and powertrain management software.

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