The Latest News And Reviews
Throughout The Car Industry
Tesla’s on fire again! And not in the positive way. Poor Tesla. Almost on the heels of Model S engine fires and then a fire at a factory, Tesla is now recalling 29,222 vehicle chargers for the 2013 Model S because they may overheat and catch fire.
Last week, all eyes were on the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. One of the biggest themes at this year's show was wearable technology—computing-power gadgets that you can wear on your wrist, over your eyes, and on your body. While automakers did not figure out a way to make cars wearable, they still got in on the craze. Several auto companies made announcements about integration with wearable gadgets. It's news that's both intriguing and terrifying.
Posted In: Concept Cars, Technology
Tags: Google Glass, technology, infotainment, navigation, CES 2014, Hyundai, Harman
When Tesla Motors emerged as America’s fourth domestic auto manufacturer, the Detroit three felt the pressure bearing down. Tesla not only threatened the big brands in this country, it threatened the whole mind-set of the industry. Instead of trying to discredit the technology, the top three Detroit automakers are responding with fierce competition—and GM could be taking the lead.
GM’s really gone and done it this time: they’re offering the new Corvette Z06 with an…automatic gearbox. Now, before you get all up in arms about it, remember that it’s just an option, you are by no means required to have 8 gears and a torque converter. According to project chief engineer Tadge Juecther (I don’t know, either), the new auto ‘box was found to be a pleasing and eminently practical alternative to developing a Dual-Clutch transmission, and was benchmarked against just about every other performance DCT on the market; they were all found wanting. So there you have it, from the horse’s mouth, so to speak.
Posted In: Auto Shows, Car News, Special / Limited Edition
Tags: corvette, z06, chevy, stingray, detroit, auto, show, GM, General, Motors, 2015
When you think of “sinister”-looking vehicles, does a Dodge Dart cross your mind? No? Not surprising; but the 2014 Dart SXT Blacktop is being described using that very word by its maker. It will be shown at the Detroit Auto Show next week and will be available at dealerships in the spring.
I’m all for technology. We live in an age when cool new gadgets appear almost daily. Everything from our home appliances to our vehicles are connected with each other, can be controlled from almost anywhere, and most of them will respond to voice commands. The theory is that all this technology makes life easier and, in the case of driving, safer. But does it really solve the problem?
Did you ever watch the TV show Eureka on Syfy? If you didn’t you missed a fun geeky show and you might want to pick it up on Netflix. One of the characters in the show was a house named SARAH (Self Actuated Residential Automated Habitat). She could do all the things your current security system does along with lots of other things, including having conversations and occasionally throwing fits. She was entirely voice-activated and knew all inhabitants and visitors through advanced voice recognition. At one point, she was put into a car (not the house, just the operating system) and she began to suggest places to go since she had never had the ability to “go” before.
Here in the States most of us take the ability to buy and drive a vehicle for granted. Having transportation is essential and even if you drive an old clunker you have to have a way to get around. We complain that we don’t have enough money to buy the car of our dreams and we settle for something dependable, but most of us have a car of some kind. Take a look in your driveway and be thankful for whatever is there. You could live in Cuba.
With gas prices ever on the rise, new car buyers are more and more aware of how far they can go on a tank full of the precious liquid. If you’ve been interested in switching to a diesel-powered vehicle, Volkswagen has just made it easy for you. The car maker already produces the cheapest and smallest diesel sedan on the market in the United States, but it will slash the price of the 2014 Jetta TDI Value Edition by an additional $2,000, making it possible to own one for $22,115.
Purveyors of cars, big and small, I want to have a word with you about your business models. In reading through the often lyrical and always entertaining Doug DeMuro’s back catalogue of posts (see www.playswithcars.com), I found a similar entreaty to car manufacturers from a likeminded enthusiast driver: sell us more manuals.
Posted In: Car News, Technology
Tags: manual, gearbox, standard, transmission, m3, m5, m4, BMW, stickshift
Automakers in the U.S. are using navigation and infotainment systems in millions of cars to track the habits and locations of the driver. Through these systems, the people who make your car can track your location, and monitor how long you’ve stayed at a place. According to a new government investigation, as your car’s owner there’s nothing you can do about it either.