Detroit auto show had a lot going for it;Ford steals the show with its new cabin tech; GM has gone seriously toward small cars; and Toyota deploys a new technology across the board to squash rumors its cars aren't safe.Subscribe with iTunes (audio) Subscribe with iTunes (video) Subscribe with RSS (audio) Subscribe with RSS (video) Episode 151 Show notes
The last few days I've given air time to the vehicle that won the North American Truck of the Year award this week at the Detroit auto show: the Ford Transit Connect. But apparently Ford doubled its pleasure in the Motor City by winning the other award for North American Car of the Year, and the recipient was Ford's hot new Fusion hybrid sedan.
This road test video examines both the six-cylinder edition of the Fusion as well as the four-cylinder hybrid version of this award winner. If you're expecting flash and excitement, then this video isn'… Read more
DETROIT--The 2011 Ford Mustang GT and the 2011 Cadillac CTS-V Coupe may be an unlikely pair, but they were two great examples of American muscle at the 2010 Detroit auto show. The Mustang borrows looks from the past, but the CTS-V Coupe is something completely new.
Both are bruisers, the Mustang GT's new 5-liter V-8 making 412 horsepower, while the CTS-V Coupe's supercharged 6.2-liter V-8 puts out 556 horsepower. The Mustang GT looks blue collar, while the CTS-V Coupe has a hint of European sophistication. And each delivers blistering performance.
Each car can also hold its own … Read more
DETROIT--We've seen a growing number of electric cars at auto shows over the last few years, but the 2010 Detroit show has more electrics from major brands than ever before. It is true that most are concepts, but it points to the fact that automakers are preparing for the future.
Nissan and Mitsubishi both had production-ready cars on display, models slated to launch later this year. Tesla also had a significant display at the show, with its Model S sedan showing the company can produce practical electric car with space for family and friends. Audi showed a new version … Read more
DETROIT--At CES 2010, Ford announced a whole new cabin tech interface for its cars, dubbed MyFord, MyMercury, and MyLincoln, depending on which model brand it is installed. At the 2010 Detroit auto show, we got a hands-on look at the MyLincoln interface in the updated 2011 Lincoln MKX, and a voice-on demonstration of Sync's new smartphone application integration.
In Ford models, MyFord is divided into two variants, MyFord and MyFord Touch, the latter featuring two 4.2-inch LCDs and one 8-inch touch-screen LCD. In Lincoln models, starting with the launch of the 2011 MKX, MyLincoln Touch is standard, with the two 4.2-inch LCDs flanking the speedometer and the 8-inch touch screen mounted in the center stack.
We started our demonstration by trying out the user configurable screens in the instrument cluster. Lincoln mounted five-way button clusters on each steering wheel spoke, which let you manipulate the look of the screens and make selections. These buttons are patterned after those found on cell phones and MP3 players, and we found them immediately intuitive to use.
On the left side screen, we went through menu options, changing the look of the engine speed gauge and opting for which kind of trip information we wanted to view. The system responded quickly, and seemed no more distracting than choosing trip information from current vehicles. … Read more
DETROIT--When Bentley parted ways with Rolls-Royce in 1998, it still had some co-developed models in its line-up. The last of those, the Arnage sedan, has finally been replaced with a new flagship sedan, the Mulsanne, representing Bentley's new beginning under Volkswagen ownership.
Designed for absolute luxury, the Mulsanne gets a cabin filled with detailed coachwork, a powerful and sophisticated power train, Volkswagen's latest navigation system, and an outstanding audio system from Naim.
We spent some time looking over the Muslanne's details at the 2010 Detroit auto show and found a cabin that is covered in impeccable materials. … Read more
I'm sure I've baffled a few readers after several days of Web video on Ferraris and then totally switch gears and start showing videos of minivans, showing moms and their little kids. But variety is the spice of life, my friends, and besides, the thing won a prestigious award at the International Auto Show in Detroit this week for being "Truck of the Year" (interesting, seeing as this is a cargo van, but anyway...). Tuesday's Web video demonstrated the Ford TC's usefulness as a family vehicle, but today's clip basically serves as a … Read more
DETROIT--With Europe clamping down on CO2 emissions and Americans wanting to pay less at the pump, it would seem that big, luxury sedans would lose popularity. But BMW offers a couple of choices to keep its flagship 7-series sedan in favor. The company showed two new versions at the 2010 Detroit auto show, one with reduced engine size and a mild hybrid.
The new 740i marks a return to when the 7-series was powered by a mere 6 cylinders, rather than the 8 and 12 of recent years. But this car is no slouch, as its engine is a similar … Read more
DETROIT--The Buick Regal and Chevy Aveo may not sound like cars for the racetrack, but GM decided to show how it can turn a turtle into a rabbit. The company launched two show cars, the Buick Regal GS and the Chevy Aveo RS, at the 2010 Detroit auto show. As show cars, neither is meant for production.
The Chevy Aveo RS precedes the launch of the next generation of this little car, and serves to build excitement about a model that could really use some. GM won't reveal yet how much of the body work of the RS will … Read more
DETROIT--In search of what it calls a MegaCity vehicle, BMW launched a concept electric car at the 2010 Detroit auto show. The Concept ActiveE, an electric car built on the 1-series platform, will serve as the basis for a test fleet of electric cars that will further BMW's research toward its ultimate goal.
Currently, BMW is running a test fleet of 600 electric Minis, the MiniE, with vehicles in the hands of private users. The Concept ActiveE is the next car BMW intends to test, planning an even larger fleet.
Starting with the 1-series chassis and body, BMW fitted … Read more