VW says leave the driving to us, Scion upgrades its aftermarket cabin tech, and a Honda Insight goes too fast for the competition.Subscribe with iTunes (audio) Subscribe with iTunes (video) Subscribe with RSS (audio) Subscribe with RSS (video) EPISODE 222 SHOW NOTES
DETROIT--As smartphones, tablets, and other sophisticated electronic devices become ubiquitous, automakers worry that young people may be more interested in the newest gadget than in owning a new car.
In a panel discussion last week at the Automotive News Green Car Conference, several players on the front lines of developing new cars and light trucks said vehicle connectivity is important in making vehicles more attractive to young drivers.
Bill Reinert, national alternative fuel vehicle manager at Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A., said the number of people aged 16 to 21 who are eligible for a driver's license, but … Read more
The secret to avoiding range anxiety while driving the Mini E may have less to do with how or where you drive, but in deciding which car to take in the first place.
BMW and the University of California, Davis, released a study of 120 families who leased the Mini E in California, New York, and New Jersey from June 2009 to June 2010. A majority of drivers reported that the Mini E met their daily driving needs, but they also said a second gas-powered car was key to avoiding the EV's shortcomings.
When asked to agree or disagree … Read more
MUNICH, Germany--They all shared a medium: Andy Warhol, Jeff Koons, Alexander Calder, David Hockney, Robert Rauschenberg, Frank Stella, and 12 others. But it wasn't canvas. In fact, it was the metal surfaces of a group of BMW cars, and together, for more than 35 years, they created one of the most unusual and unlikely collections of all time.
These are the BMW art cars, a group of 17 works by those world-famous artists and other leaders in the pop art movement. While most of the great works by these geniuses hang stationary on walls or stands around the world, … Read more
BMW's 5-series Gran Turismo was meant to be a stylish alternative to minivans and crossovers when it debuted in November 2009. But sales of the tall, quirky five-door have been disappointing.
Now, BMW of North America CEO Jim O'Donnell says he wishes the company hadn't stopped selling the 5-series wagon in the United States last year. BMW had expected the 5-series GT to attract those wagon buyers, but the GT is luring owners of the more-expensive 7-series sedan instead.
"The disappointment I have is that I thought a lot of our 5-series station wagon customers would … Read more
BMW may be the only current manufacturer to offer an infotainment system that reads your BlackBerry e-mails to you, but an aftermarket device offers that same capability without the $50,000 investment.
The Bury CC 9060 IQ is a voice-activated touch-screen device that you attach to your car's dashboard. The CC 9060 IQ works with several smartphones, offering hands-free calling and memo recording functionality.
With some phones, the device offers text-to-speech capability, reading text messages back to you. And if you're using a BlackBerry, the Bury CC 9060 IQ can read your e-mails out loud.
Drivers juggling more … Read more
Neat trick: Wireless laptop dock Samsung's Central Station senses your computer is nearby and--without any silly, tangled cords--connects to it wirelessly. Ain't that cool? Seriously, it's the little things in life that bring CNET editors joy. Read the full review
WritePad 5 buddies up with Evernote for app marriage New WritePad 5 app for iPad, Android adds ability to sync with another popular app, Evernote. Marriage points to future where unrelated apps from diverse … Read more
At the 2011 International Engine awards, Fiat's little 875cc TwinAir engine won three categories and took home the overall 2011 International Engine of the Year award. BMW took four categories with four different engines, while Audi, Ferrari, and Volkswagen each made good showings.
Fiat's engine ekes 85 horsepower from two cylinders using a turbocharger, and only produces 95 grams per kilometer of CO2. Fiat uses the engine in its 500 model, but U.S. versions of that car are likely to get the 1.4-liter Multiair engine.
Here are the various categories, with their respective winners:
2011 International … Read more
To power its upcoming test fleet of electric vehicles, BMW announced AeroVironment as the preferred supplier and installer for the ActiveE's 240-volt home charging dock.
Based on the 1-Series, the BMW ActiveE has a 32-kWh lithium ion battery pack that provides a 100-mile range. The AeroVironment EVSE-RS charging station uses the industry standard SAE J1772 connector to deliver approximately 25 miles of driving range per hour of charging time. Using the EVSE-RS charger, a completely drained battery can be fully recharged in 4 to 5 hours.
BMWs aren't the only electric cars the EVSE-RS can charge--AeroVironment's weather-proof … Read more
BMW is developing new technology to make left turns safer. The German Federal Statistical Office cites left and U-turns as the leading cause of accidents on German roads.
The Left Turn Assistant uses GPS and a camera to determine if the driver is about to make a left turn. BMW says its GPS system can pinpoint the car to within a meter of its actual location, and so determine if it is in a left turn lane. A camera on the car is also set to identify left turn markings in the road.
The fact that the system does not … Read more