This week, we look at VW integration with a Droid X, figure out how to add iPod integration to a Lexus, and find out what you can plug into your OBD2 port.Subscribe with iTunes (audio) Subscribe with iTunes (video) Subscribe with RSS (audio) Subscribe with RSS (video) EPISODE 028 SHOW NOTES
Mazda Motor Corp. has canceled production of its RX-8 rotary engine sports car, citing falling sales and stringent global emissions standards.
Production in Hiroshima, Japan, ended in early July and global sales of the car will conclude later this year.
The RX-8 and the three generations of the RX-7 that preceded it have long been the foundation the brand's fun-to-drive aura. The car's high-revving 1.3-liter, twin-rotor rotary engine produces 232 hp at 8,500 rpm -- a big punch in a relatively small package.
But Mazda sold just 1,134 RX-8s last year, a 49 percent decline … Read more
A planned community best known for golf-cart commuting could become the testing ground for connected cars. Panasonic Automotive and AT&T have teamed up to turn Peachtree City, Georgia, into a "model connected community" that they and other companies will use to develop and test new car communication products.
The announcement made earlier this month is an effort to formalize the relationship between the two companies. To develop the connected model community, Atlanta-based AT&T will provide the 4G mobile broadband infrastructure, and Panasonic Automotive, which is headquartered in the suburb, will supply the hardware and … Read more
The latest telescoping steering wheels extend and retract to make it more comfortable for people of all sizes to drive, but that doesn't help much if you have trouble getting behind the wheel in the first place. To make it easier to enter and exit vehicles, TRW Automotive is developing a collapsible steering wheel that retracts entirely into the dashboard.
Renderings of the new dashboard technology show a steering wheel with two handles attached to the steering column. When not in use, the handles collapse around the column, which retracts into the dashboard. By opening up more space in the cockpit, the retractable steering wheel should make it easier for people to get in and out of automobiles. The steering wheel automatically deploys into driving position when the driver starts the car, and like adjustable seats with memory options, the steering wheel position preference can be saved. … Read more
TOKYO--It has been a tough run for U.S.-Japan joint automaking ventures in North America.
They once were hailed as learning labs where ailing Detroit manufacturers could assimilate the wisdom of the East. But in recent years they have crumbled under financial stress and shifting alliances.
In 2009, General Motors walked out on its 25-year-old joint venture with Toyota, New United Motor Manufacturing, in Fremont, Calif. Later that year, Suzuki bailed on its CAMI joint plant with GM in Canada.
Now Mazda Motor seems poised to pull out of its longtime manufacturing partnership with Ford.
At issue is the … Read more
Raising federal fuel economy standards to as high as 56 mpg in the 2025 model year would yield fuel savings to consumers that more than offset higher vehicle prices, a new study found.
But lifting corporate average fuel economy to 62 mpg would result in vehicle price increases that exceed fuel savings over a five-year period, according to the nonprofit Center for Automotive Research.
The report highlights room for compromise on the Obama administration's preliminary proposal to raise CAFE to between 47 mpg and 62 mpg from the 2017 to 2025 model years.
Environmental groups have pushed for 62 … Read more
According to the DOE, the collaborative effort formerly known as FreedomCAR and Fuel Partnership, is now U.S. DRIVE--Driving Research and Innovation for Vehicle efficiency and Energy sustainability. The goal is to beef up research and development of not only new vehicle technologies, but to also work on a broad range of energy infrastructure technologies.
"Government-industry partnerships like U.… Read more
Since emerging from bankruptcy reorganization in mid-2009, General Motors has invested $3.4 billion and has added or saved more than 9,000 jobs. The U.S. automaker today announced an additional investment of $2 billion; an additional 4,000 jobs have been saved or created.
The announcement was made by GM Chairman and CEO Dan Akerson during an event at the 54-year-old Toledo Transmission Plant in Toledo, Ohio.
"We are doing this because we are confident about demand for our vehicles and the economy," Akerson said. The company also released an animated clip (after the jump) about … Read more
Despite rising prices at the pump, many consumers are still reluctant to purchase vehicles with alternative power trains because of cost and misunderstandings about the new technologies available.
That's according to the J.D. Power and Associates "2011 U.S. Green Automotive Study," whose primary findings were released today.
The J.D. Power and Associates study was conducted in February and included interviews with over 4,000 U.S. consumers planning to buy a new vehicle within one to five years. It estimates that alternative vehicles will make up less than 10 percent of the market by … Read more
The German automakers' battle to dominate China's luxury market is about to spread to a new product segment: small cars and crossovers.
Mercedes-Benz and Audi have chosen the Shanghai auto show for the world debut of two models: a small hatchback dubbed the Mercedes Concept A-Class and the Audi Q3 crossover.
The four-seat Concept A-Class, which is positioned as a sporty rival to the BMW 1-series and Audi A3, is powered by a turbocharged, direct-injection 2-liter gasoline engine that generates 210 horsepower.
The front-wheel-drive car's four-cylinder engine is mated to a dual-clutch transmission.
Other features include a radar-based … Read more