The Aston Martin DB5 is the traditional James Bond movie car, but as we focus on tech cars, we stepped into the present with a look at the Aston Martin DB9 Volante, which includes navigation, Bluetooth cell phone support, and even iPod integration. Still a fabulous-looking car, the DB9 also provides the handling JB would need while outrunning Spectre agents.
Too often, the only virtues cheap cars bring to the market are low price and decent fuel economy, and that latter feature is only a byproduct of a small, inexpensive engine. But Kia's Soul manages to add tech, usable space, and a little bit of fun to the usual features. We realize that the Scion xB did all of this first, but it doesn't necessarily do it better.
We spent a little time driving the Kia Soul, in its Sport trim, at a recent driving event, and had our tech sensibilities thoroughly pleased. The top-of-the-line Sport trim Soul … Read more
The 2010 Hyundai Genesis Coupe is finally available on North American roads. However, this is not just any old stretch of asphalt down which we find ourselves piloting the bright red Genesis Coupe 2.0T. This is legendary Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca and on this road, there are no speed limits.
We were given access to both the 2.0T Track and the more powerful 3.8 Track model. Both vehicles featured a good list of standard cabin tech such as Bluetooth hands-free, a 10-speaker Infinity audio system, and keyless entry with push-button start. USB and auxiliary ports are also … Read more
What could be better than driving topless through California's Napa Valley wine country? How about diving the 2010 Bentley Continental GTC Speed model, topless.
A reviewer from ARtv Live takes the powerful convertible on a glorious backcountry ride.
Check out the latest edition of this legendary car.
We spend a lot of time evaluating the electronics in new cars, digging through navigation system menus, hooking up phones and iPods, and listening to audio systems. But occasionally we get to put these very same cars on the track, to find out how their performance technologies work under stress.
This year, we drove a wide variety of cars on the track at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. There was the new Hyundai Genesis Coupe and Chevrolet Camaro. We had familiar rides such as the BMW M3 and Acura TL SH-AWD. Then there were the race-bred cars, the Audi R8 and … Read more
After seeing the Fusion Hybrid at the 2008 Los Angeles Auto Show, we've wanted to find out how it drives. This week we finally got the chance, and found it one of the best cars coming out this year. In fact, we find it far better than the 2010 Honda Insight or 2010 Toyota Prius. Although it might come up a little short for fuel economy, the driving experience is so much better, while the cabin technology is unparalleled.
The car's 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine is aided by a full hybrid system, giving it a net 191 horsepower. … Read more
The standard Mini Cooper S is a quirky and fun little coupe, but what happens when you add more power and upgrade nearly every performance part, from the brakes to the clutch? What you get is the high-performing 2009 MINI John Cooper Works hardtop.
Starting under the hood, the Cooper S's 1.6-liter turbocharged engine is massaged for an additional 32-horsepower with a combination of tuning and the addition of a John Cooper Works sport exhaust. This brings the John Cooper Works' (JCW) final tally to 208 ponies and 192 pound-feet of twist. Not bad for a tiny coupe, … Read more
Mitsubishi left a large gap between its latest Lancer economy car and the Lancer Evo X, a street-legal professional-grade rally car based on the Lancer platform, both in terms of tech and price. For people who don't want to pay the 40 grand for an Evo X, but want something more fun than the base Lancer, Mitsubishi offers the Ralliart version.
The Lancer Ralliart uses a 2-liter turbocharged four cylinder engine, like the Evo X, but only produces 237 horsepower, 54 less than the Evo. Likewise, torque is at 253 foot-pounds, 47 less than the Evo. Although not as high-stepping as the Evo, we found the Lancer Ralliart delivered thoroughly satisfying performance on the road. The small displacement engine and performance programming make the power come on quickly, while turbo-lag is kept to a minimum by the transmission.
One of the big tech bonuses in the Lancer Ralliart is the standard dual clutch transmission, called Sport Shift Transmission (SST) by Mitsubishi. Essentially a manual transmission, it uses computer-controlled clutches to shift gears, eliminating the clutch pedal. This high tech transmission allows for two shift programs in the Lancer Ralliart (there are three programs in the Evo X), standard automatic shifting and sport shifting. In Sport mode, it holds low gears to keep the engine speed up, so the turbo is almost continuously engaged, meaning no spool-up time.
You can also choose manual mode for gear selection. Unlike the manual modes on most automatic transmissions, gear engagement feels hard and precise, as if you were shifting gears with a manually operated clutch. Another bonus of the SST is better fuel economy over an automatic transmission. … Read more