With the sound of wailing engines still ringing in our ears, we just got back from the first day's racing at the 2007 San Jose Grand Prix. CNET Car Tech spent the morning getting an exclusive pit-side look at the workings of the CDW/RSPORTS Champ Car team, whose car finished second fastest in the first round of qualifying for Sunday's race. Check out our slide show of some of the tech behind the track times.
I should write more here about cars. I certainly talk about cars more than enough with friends and coworkers. I've written for the BMW Car Club of America's Roundel Magazine, but somehow my dream job in automotive journalism never materialized...
Good cars are safe, fast, affordable to purchase, economical to operate, reliable, capacious, comfortable, and attractive.
No, of course you can't get all of those characteristics in one car; each conflicts with one or more of the others. Safe and fast, for example... obviously incompatible, right? Well, no. Not at all. The only thing that makes a … Read more
The likes of Lindsay Lohan and Paris Hilton might soon find themselves restricted to driving Nissans as part of their parole. The Japanese automaker this week announced that it had started testing an in-car Breathalyzer system that disables a car's ignition if it senses that the would-be driver is over the legal limit.
In a press release that looks suspiciously like it was translated by a software program, Nissan says that the system will be installed on "daily-operating vehicles where the drivers will monitor various factors such as functionality and alcohol-detection reliability." According to Edmunds, Nissan intends … Read more
It may be a sad commentary on modern society, but we fully understand why people would want to install cameras in their cars specifically to document what exactly might happen in an accident. We just don't think the ideal solution is a model so big that it could obstruct a driver's view and possibly cause the very accident it's trying to monitor--no matter what Paris Hilton's parents have to say about it.
Tesla Motors, the guys with the all-electric sports car, have set a goal of manufacturing 800 cars in their first production year.
The company has already taken deposits for more than 560 2008 Tesla Roadsters, according to a spokesman. The cars sell for $98,000 after a recent price hike from $92,000. If they sell all 800, that will lead to revenue of around $76 million, by my math (average price of 95K x 800).
The company has raised more than $40 million in venture funding.
The Roadster runs on lithium ion batteries and can go from zero to … Read more
Toyota announced Wednesday that a hybrid car you can recharge from household outlets has been approved for public road testing in Japan.
The Toyota Plug-in HV was formally approved by Japan's transportation, and infrastructure agency and the company said that it also plans to conduct public-road tests (video) in the United States and Europe.
The Plug-in HV has a gas-powered engine with an electric motor similar to the Prius and has a maximum speed of about 62 miles per hour (100 kilometers per hour) while in electric vehicle mode. But unlike the Prius, which recharges its battery from an … Read more
I got my hands on XtremeMac's latest in-car iPhone power adapter, the InCharge Auto. As luck would have it, CNET car tech writer Kevin Massy loaned me his trusty desktop car lighter power supply to see if the adapter was worth its salt.
The result? It works! In fact, the adapter's standard USB connection will likely work on other USB-chargeable products as well.
For just $20, this seems like a good solution for charging you iPhone between destinations.
We can remember a time when many car owners had removable radios, stereo receivers and tape decks that they'd stow in the trunk to thwart potential smash-and-grab thieves. And in our neighborhood, if you left a Blaupunkt system in the dash while parked outside overnight, you might as well have put a sign on the windshield announcing your stupidity.
So it seemed perfectly natural that the German musik meisters would come up with an in-car subwoofer that could easily be removed to take with you. The "Velocity 2Go" functions as a speaker while docked in the back … Read more
The options are looking even better for digitally minded chauffeur-driven tykes. After they have caught up on their e-mail and watched a movie or two, they might soon be able tap into a just-for-kids navigation system being developed by Volkswagen.
The prototype child navigation system comes complete with GPS data and a time worm that eats away the hours until arrival. Kids can also use the screen to play games and in-seat exercises.
The system is one of six ideas that Volkswagen is kicking around at its German test facilities. Others include an electronic sun visor, which uses an eye … Read more
Norway's Think Global has received $60 million more in advance of the launch of its electric town car later this fall.
The company hopes to resurrect an electric town car created and later abandoned by Ford. Ford spent over $50 million designing and testing the car. The company will release the car in Norway and England in the fall and perhaps bring it to the states in 2008.
Think already raised $25 million. New investors include Rockport Capital Partners and DFJ Element.
Think's car won't be for everyone. Although it can be driven at freeway speeds, it … Read more