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The Latest News And Reviews
Throughout The Car Industry



Categories: Technology

Ford Employees To Begin Beta Testing MyFord Touch Updates

On: Thu, Dec 15, 2011 at 1:37PM | By: Chris Weiss


Ford Employees To Begin Beta Testing MyFord Touch Updates test 2

Ford is taking complaints about its MyFord Touch system pretty seriously. We don't blame them since the advanced infotainment system was a great headline when it first debuted, but has proven less attractive in actual everyday use. 

Ford announced last month that it will soon release MyFord Touch updates that it believes addresses the main consumer complaints and makes the system more user friendly. Before releasing those updates to consumers, Ford is sending a group of 1,000 employees out to test them.


Toy Car Hits 60 MPH Faster Than Bugatti Veyron

On: Wed, Dec 14, 2011 at 11:00AM | By: Chris Weiss


Toy Car Hits 60 MPH Faster Than Bugatti Veyron test 2

Looking for a unique gift for that special car lover in your life? You probably can't afford to buy him a car that hits 60 mph in under three seconds, but maybe you can get him a toy car that boasts those credentials. While the Traxxas XO-1 is still an expensive gift, it's gotta be the cheapest way to get to 60 mph in 2.3 seconds.

We'd have to call the X0-1 the first 'RC supercar' that we've ever seen. It beats nearly every actual car on the planet to 60 mph, getting there in just 2.3 seconds. For comparison, the Bugatti Veyron hits 60 mph in about 2.5 seconds. So you get a radio controlled car that's quicker than the quickest production car on the planet. Not a bad start.


Honda Details Possible-NSX Hybrid And Electric Powertrains Of The Future

On: Fri, Dec 9, 2011 at 10:55AM | By: Chris Weiss


Honda Details Possible-NSX Hybrid And Electric Powertrains Of The Future test 2

Honda came to this year's Tokyo Motor Show with a clear focus on green technology. In addition to its electric Small Sports EV Concept and Advanced Cruiser-X plug-in hybrid concept, Honda detailed a raft of new green powertrains that it calls Earth Dreams Technology. Though a somewhat spacey, new age-y name, the technologies promise to deliver superior electric and hybrid driving and may preview the upcoming NSX successor's motivation.

The Earth Dreams platform will be integral to Honda's ambitious plans for the next few years. Honda aims to offer industry-leading fuel economy within every vehicle class within three years' time. It also plans to cut fleet emissions by 30 percent by 2020.


Toyota Presents Fun-Vii Concept

On: Tue, Dec 6, 2011 at 1:26PM | By: Chris Weiss


Toyota Presents Fun-Vii Concept test 2

Toyota unveiled the Fun-Vii concept at last week's Tokyo Motor Show. The concept creates a seamless bridge between consumer and commercial vehicle, providing an intriguing feature set.

The most obvious and notable aspect of the Fun-Vii is its smartphone integration functions. A lot of current vehicles use smartphones for things like music streaming and Internet connectivity, but the futuristic Fun-Vii takes it a few steps further. Toyota's version of smartphone integration includes an app that drivers can use to customize the exterior of the Fun-Vii--anything from different colors and designs to virtual billboards for small businesses.


 

Amidst Growing Concerns, GM Offers Volt Refunds

On: Fri, Dec 2, 2011 at 2:26PM | By: Chris Salamone


Chevrolet Volts on Woodward Ave. test 2

This last month has not been kind to GM’s latest EV innovation, the Chevy Volt. From fire risks, to government probes, to competitor advancements, and an unexpected sales slump – a mere 60% of the company’s sales target for 2011 – GM will have to face some difficult hurdles in order to raise the Volt to the vehicle’s full market potential. But have no fear, the good General is always ready for decisive action. On Thursday the automaker said it would buy back any Chevrolet Volts from customers nervous about fire risks.

This is exactly the type of product ownership that consumers need to see. People must believe that Chevy will stand by the Volt, through thick and thin, stalwartly accepting responsibility. But, the true beauty of GM’s buy-back plan is that the company expects few, if any, of the 6,000 current Volt owners to ask for a refund.


Toyota Shows Off Volt-Killing Prius Plug-in

On: Thu, Dec 1, 2011 at 11:04AM | By: Chris Salamone


2012 Prius PHV test 2

Since September we’ve had a good idea of what the 2012 Prius Plug-in would look like. Toyota plans to start selling Prius PHVs in the US next spring, but just recently chose the National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation in Japan as an ideal spot for a pre-Tokyo Motor Show release party featuring the company’s latest plug-in/hybrid vehicle. During the press conference, Toyota was quick to reinforce the Prius PHVs competitive advantages while jabbing at other, less practical EV brands – noting that green vehicles are only good for the environment if they are commonly used.

Considering the Nissan Leaf is a pure plug-in with limited range and Chevy’s Volt costs at least $41,000, the Prius PHV appears poised to reestablish Toyota as the preeminent maker of eco-friendly autos.


Navigon Offers Driving Maps A La Carte

On: Wed, Nov 30, 2011 at 1:36PM | By: Chris Weiss


Navigon Offers Driving Maps A La Carte test 2

Just in time for the busy holiday travel season, Navigon has updated its iPhone/iPad navigation app with a feature that should prove quite popular: a la carte US maps. The update eliminates the need to download a bunch of maps that you don't need and lets you focus only on those that you'll actually put to use.

Navigon's iOS-based app used to entail downloading a full set of US maps that took 1.7 GB of memory captive. Unless you happened to be a trucker or a frequent road-tripper that meant eating up memory with a pile of maps that you'd never use. How often do you travel through all 50 states?


Toyota Bringing Trio of Eco-Friendly Concepts to Tokyo

On: Tue, Nov 29, 2011 at 1:45PM | By: Chris Weiss


Toyota Bringing Trio of Eco-Friendly Concepts to Tokyo test 2

While Honda plans to use the Tokyo Motor Show to show us the sporty side of green vehicles, Toyota will let its GT-86 handle the sporty end while a trio of concept cars showcases the practicality of green design. Toyota will debut fuel cell, electric and commercial vehicle concepts at the show.

Perhaps the most interesting of the three concepts is the FCV-R or "Fuel Cell Vehicle--Reality and Revolution." While the full name sounds about as overdramatic and conceptual as we've seen, Toyota is hoping to bring an actual fuel cell vehicle to market within the next four years, and the FCV-R is its latest step. The small sedan features a high-pressure hydrogen tank that delivers up to 430 miles of fuel-cell-powered driving.


Mercedes-Benz Leaks 2012 SL Images

On: Fri, Nov 25, 2011 at 9:34AM | By: Chris Salamone


2012 Mercedes-Benz SL test 2

 

At the upcoming North American International Auto Show, spectators will be treated to an array of sights and sounds from automakers around the world. The Mercedes-Benz exhibit, however, won’t have flashy color schemes, techno musaque, or gimmicky advertising signs. Instead, this particular automaker will showcase a sophisticated fleet of new vehicles – beyond the need for marketing puffery. A centerpiece of the Mercedes-Benz lineup will almost certainly be the company’s newly-redesigned 2012 SL.

For 2012, consumers will be delighted to hear about three main improvements (in addition to scores of already magnificent features). Other than aesthetic changes, the most significant change will be a 20% more rigid chassis and reduction in nearly 310 pounds of weight over the outgoing model. Weight and rigidity improvements stem from the vehicle’s use of aluminum-focused construction and hydro formed, chilled cast longitudinal members.

The company claims these changes will amount to a 30 percent increase in fuel efficiency.


Press Release: New 2013 Cadillac XTS Control And Alert Strategy Assists Drivers

On: Fri, Nov 18, 2011 at 9:59AM | By: Peter C Sessler


2013 Cadillac XTS test 2

On the all-new XTS, Cadillac will debut a network of cameras, radar and ultrasonic sensors to bolster driver vision and awareness of road hazards and intervene to help avert potential crashes. This is the strategy Cadillac calls control and alert.

In some cases, Cadillac’s enhanced vision and sensing systems will act without the driver, such as though automatic braking based on information indicating potential obstacles.

The new XTS contains several features using visual and audible alerts designed to identify potential threats with sufficient warning for the driver to react and make changes. One example is the Safety Alert Seat feature, which vibrates either the left or right side of the driver’s seat cushion depending on the location of the impending concern. Intervening features, such as automatic braking, take action automatically if the driver is slow to initially react.


Countrymen, Lend Me Your Gears! (Video)

On: Tue, Nov 15, 2011 at 11:37AM | By: Chris Salamone


Mini Countryman X-raid test 2

Much has been said about Prodrive-enhanced Minis as the latest and greatest Mini modification. Step aside, Prodrive, X-raid has entered the arena. Sponsored by Monster, the German-based Baja racing team X-raid plans to enter five excruciatingly excellent Minis in a high-stakes South American desert rally race starting January 1, 2012 and concluding two weeks later across the continent.

In addition to five brightly-colored Minis, X-raid also intends to throw in three BMW X3s in the 2012 Dakar rally which spans from Mar del Plata, Argentina to Lima, Peru.