Lincoln and THX representatives brought a new MKS by our offices to give us a demonstration of the technology. This car not only features a hard drive-based navigation system, but it also offers Sirius Travel Link, which integrates traffic, fuel prices, and weather with the navigation system. Better yet, the THX audio system gets music from Sync, which lets you hook up just about any MP3 player. Using this system, you can tell the car which bands you want to hear. We subjected it to some of our standard testing tracks and found the listening experience to be very impressive. … Read more
Porsche Cars North America has just released details about the new 911 Targa 4 and 4S, completing the update of the full line of 911 models. Like their 911 brethren, the Targa 4 and the sportier 4S will receive horsepower bumps to 345hp and 385hp respectively, thanks in part to a new direct injected fuel system that also promises increased fuel efficiency.
The Targa 4 and 4S will also receive Porsche's new 7-speed double-clutch gearbox, Porsche-Doppelkupplung. As indicated by the "4" in its moniker, the Targa 4 and 4S will only be available with the Porsche Traction … Read more
The first Honda FCX Clarity customers Ron Yerxa, center, and wife Annette Ballester received a ceremonial key to their Honda hydrogen fuel cell-powered vehicle at Honda of Santa Monica on Friday.
Honda announced that the zero-emissions vehicle would be available for 36-month leases only, beginning in late summer. Initial availability is limited to the Southern California and Japanese markets. Availability is expected to expand as hydrogen fueling stations become more widespread.
The 2008 Audi A8 L W12 rests in a premier echelon of cars that combines extreme luxury with exceptional driving performance; these cars make it difficult to decide whether you'd rather be reclining in the back seat while a chauffeur drives, or up there where the action is, with your hands on the wheel. The back seats tempt with a DVD-entertainment system, power adjustment, and a refrigerator. The driver's seat offers control over the 6-liter 12-cylinder engine and superb all-wheel-drive handling for such a large car. All seats get treated to stellar sound from the Bang & Olufsen … Read more
In a major update, the 2009 Subaru Forester features a longer wheelbase and a modernized exterior design. And, for the first time, a navigation system is available. Unfortunately, our test vehicle was the low trim 2.5X Premium model, and navigation is only in the top trim 2.5XT Limited model. Likewise, the audio system in the 2.5X Premium is pretty lackluster, with only four speakers. Go up to the 2.5XT trim and you get a six speaker system with a six-disc CD changer.
Although unimpressive on the cabin tech front, the car offers a good amount of … Read more
BMW released details and photos of its new 3-series, purportedly a mid-cycle face-lift. However, we found some impressive changes and new options. BMW will offer a twin-turbo diesel version available in all 50 states. The dashboard electronics get updated with a new iDrive interface, and the navigation system gets a hard drive, with space left over for music storage.
What gets 35 miles per gallon and goes from 0 to 60 miles per hour in 4.5 seconds? You might suggest a motorcycle, but you would only be 66 percent right.
BRP's Can-Am Spyder uses three wheels, two in front and one in back. The Spyder isn't exactly a motorcycle, a trike, or a three-wheeled car. BRP suggests calling it a roadster, but that designation is a stretch as well.
We got our first chance to ride the Spyder this week, when BRP brought a few of them to our offices.
The learning curve was fairly quick--the … Read more
Although Honda claims a major update for its 2008 Honda Odyssey minivan, the results look to us like a minor face-lift, with just a little work around the eyes and mouth but the same old body. The front of the car exhibits some modern touches around the headlights and grille, but the bulk of the car looks at home in the '90s. For the real updates, we have to look in the cabin electronics and under the hood. This new Odyssey gets Honda's Bluetooth hands-free cell phone system and a new rear-seat DVD screen. Likewise, the engine gets added … Read more
Even after driving the 2008 BMW X6 for a week, we're still not sure what to make of it. BMW's marketing campaign calls it the coupe's evil twin, but with the 3-liter twin-turbo inline six-cylinder in our xDrive35i model, it doesn't feel particularly diabolical. It seems more like the coupe's fatter twin, although it might refer to itself as merely big-boned. But it does handle like a BMW, which is to say, excellently, and certainly doesn't look like an SUV, so you don't have to live with that stigma. The front seats are … Read more
With a 6-liter V-8 and brawny styling, the 2008 Pontiac G8 GT looks like the return of American muscle, only, it's not. The new G8, an example of International brand engineering, actually comes from Australia, where it's called a Holden VE Commodore. These origins explain some odd styling around the cockpit, such as window and mirror controls mounted on the console and a big red display showing battery charge and oil pressure.
The central point of the G8 seems to be the big engine, not really the best peg to hang your hat on these days. The car … Read more