Cars such as Ferraris and Maseratis look beautiful, but unless you live in Monaco you rarely see them on the road. However, there are everyday cars, much more affordable than the exotics, that still offer striking design. These are the cars you are more likely to see -- and notice -- in your local grocery market parking lot. They also illustrate the fact that nice design does not have to be expensive.… Read more
I distrust convertible cars. A thin covering of cloth over my head when driving down the freeway in a rainstorm does not inspire confidence. Driving with the top down on a sunny day seems like a recipe for skin cancer. Those concerns, however, mysteriously disappear whenever I get behind the wheel of a convertible, put the top down, and go for a cruise in the country. The open top experience engenders a carefree feeling, an enjoyment of the surroundings impossible with a metal roof overhead. The envious looks of other drivers and pedestrians as I cruise by confirm the wonder that is driving a convertible.
With the end of winter, we have rounded up five convertibles to consider for your driving pleasure. … Read more
The 2013 North American International Auto Show -- simply, the Detroit auto show for those familiar -- was the stage for quite a few debuts that ran the gamut of vehicle types, classes, and feasibility. Chevrolet pulled the wraps off of the next great American supercar, a dueling pair of luxury sedans were debuted by Infiniti and Lexus, Ford showed off a very thinly veiled look at the future of one of the best selling vehicles in the world, and glossy concept sedans and crossovers could be found around every corner.
Among this wide range of vehicles, one theme was shared: fuel efficiency. Of course, it's no surprise that the next generation of vehicles will need to sip less fuel than the last, but we found the variety of fuel-saving techniques for these concepts and production cars to be almost as interesting as the cars themselves. We've rounded up a few highlights below:… Read more
DETROIT--Volkswagen has been much better known for its high-mileage diesel models than hybrids. Yet here at the 2013 North American International Auto Show, VW showed a concept car featuring a new transmission that will let it turn almost any car in its lineup into a hybrid. The company also showed a new, more efficient direct-injection 1.8-liter engine making 250 horsepower.
The CrossBlue concept, a diesel hybrid, relies on what VW board member Ulrich Hackenberg referred to as an eDSG in an interview with CNET. The eDSG is a new version of VW's Dual Shift Gearbox (DSG), a transmission … Read more
Automakers, recognizing some buyers' need for speed, oblige by tuning up their inexpensive compact models, delivering more power and better handling. At the same time, most of these cars retain their basic practicality, whether it is the stylish and easily parked Fiat 500 Abarth or the cargo-friendly hatchback design of the Focus ST.
Not only do these cars cost less than top performance models, they can also work as your only car, good for the daily commute, a road trip, and maybe even a track day.
Here are five cars designed to perform. … Read more
When Apple announced the iPhone 5's new Lightning connector, a replacement for the 30-pin connector of past iPhones, iPads, and iPods, it also announced an adapter to maintain compatibility with 30-pin accessories and docks. I tested the iPhone 5 with its biggest 30-pin accessory, a Volkswagen.
Volkswagen uses the same iPod integration system as Audi, which it calls the Media Device Interface. This system consists of a proprietary port in the car with adapter cables for 30-pin iPod connector, USB, Mini-USB, and auxiliary input. As Volkswagen has not come out with a Lightning cable for its Media Device Interface, you have to get Apple's 30-pin-to-Lightning adapter, and connect it to the car's adapter cable. Not exactly an elegant solution.… Read more
When shopping for a sports car, safety is often not high on the list of priorities. In many cases, it falls far behind handling, acceleration, and overall driving enjoyment. Thankfully, for those interested in either the Subaru BRZ or the Scion FR-S, safety is not something to sacrifice. The twin Japanese rear-drive sports coupes earned the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety's 2012 Top Safety Pick award, the highest rating available.
Each passed all three categories -- front, side, and roof strength tests -- easily, and are the only sports coupes in the $30,000 price range to do so. … Read more
The Beetle may be an older nameplate, but for many drivers the world over the Volkswagen Golf (and its performance variant, the GTI) is the quintessential VW model. The Golf's combination of style, performance, and flexibility have helped the hatchback to remain a constant favorite. So, it's no surprise that the seventh-generation Golf -- which makes its debut later this month at the 2012 Paris Motor Show -- doesn't deviate too far from the established formula of its six predecessors.
The photos and details released by Volkswagen today detail what will be the European-spec 2013 Golf, but … Read more
Click through for the full photo gallery and more details.
This year's International Engine of the Year Awards saw many repeats from 2011, but stealing the show was a new sub-1-liter engine from Ford. Using direct injection and a turbocharger, this 999cc engine manages to generate 123 horsepower, enough for most subcompact and compact cars. And in European test cycles, the engine manages well over 50 mpg.
Despite the economy of Ford's engine, the Green Engine Award went to GM for the range extended electric power train in the Chevy Volt and Opel Ampera.
Here are the various … Read more
It's a completely new way to capture pictures that moves the process of focus, composition, and even interpretation from the photographer to the viewer. Ren Ng is the founder of startup Lytro in Silicon Valley, where they are building this new kind of camera and new kind of mindset to go with it.
The things Lytro exposes in consumer photography have always been just a little out of the grasp of the mainstream photographer. By making them simple, this company's technology could popularize some of the finer points of photography like depth of field and perspective control. Biggest challenges? Definitely the smartphone and the flight to convenience, social connectivity and low commitment that it represents. … Read more