Internal combustion cars dominated the last century, but led to pollution and unpleasant foreign entanglements due to oil imports. Electric cars solve both of these problems through much greater efficiency and the multitude of means by which electricity is generated. The cars reviewed here look to be the first generation of the kind of vehicle that will dominate the new century. All of them are pricey compared with gasoline-fueled equivalents, but they cost considerably less for both electricity and maintenance. … Read more
As Americans downsize their vehicles to get better fuel economy and fit on increasingly congested urban streets, automakers have met the demand with a range of small SUVs. Unlike the lumbering beasts of the '90s, these little SUVs use independent suspensions to improve ride comfort and new technologies to aggressively pursue better fuel economy. Versatile seating means these vehicles can seat five or haul large amounts of cargo.… Read more
BMW started the trend in 2004, offering native integration between car and iPod. Now almost every new car sold has some method of plugging in an iPhone or iPod. This integration is very convenient for drivers, as they can select music from the device through a car's own stereo controls.
However, reports of a smaller, 19-pin connector for the iPhone 5, replacing the current 30-pin connector, may bork iPhone integration with car stereos. Short of getting a new car to match your shiny new iPhone, what is a driver to do?
The good news is that many cars, such as those from Ford, BMW, and Honda, use a standard USB port to connect to the existing white iPhone cable. The new 19-pin connector is likely to use the same sort of adapter cable as current iPhones and iPods, so should plug right in. However, those existing cars may not be able to decode the signal from the iPhone 5 and its connector, depending on how much Apple reengineers its interface.… Read more
Steve Jurvetson says electric vehicles are undoubtedly the cars of the future. Not too surprising, given that his VC firm, Draper Fisher Jurvetson, was an early investor in electric vehicle company Tesla Motors. But to really get an idea of how passionate he is about EVs, you have to hear the story about how he wound up getting the keys to the new Model S -- beating out even Tesla CEO Elon Musk.
Musk had been dodging Jurvetson's numerous requests to put down a deposit on the car, saying that reservations for the vehicle couldn't be taken until … Read more
Some compact cars offer Eco buttons and fewer have Sport modes. The Juke not only has both, but makes these settings more comprehensive than any other car in its class.
The car's D-Mode (which does a very techie-cool swap with the climate controls) includes a color display that shows the different features for each setting. For example, Eco mode not only detunes the throttle, but runs the air conditioning on lower power. Sport mode affects not only the engine and transmission, but also the power steering.
These D-Mode settings are made possible in part by the Juke's advanced … Read more
I can't wait for the era of self-driving cars. I can't believe it's 2012 and we still have to turn a steering wheel and push pedals to get around while we could be doing better things like sleeping, reading, or actually watching the scenery roll by instead of the road.
The Japanese government has started talks on the goal of getting self-driving cars on public roads by the early 2020s.
The Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport, and Tourism has said it's the first in the world to seriously consider robot cars for the masses, according to Nikkei Automotive News. … Read more
Ricky Bobby said "If you ain't first, you're last", but the driver of Audi's No. 2 R18 e-tron quattro probably did not feel particularly crushed to come in second, behind Audi's No. 1 R18 e-tron quattro, at this weekend's 24 hours of Le Mans endurance race. Both cars not only used Audi diesel engines, which have dominated at previous Le Mans runnings, but also an electric boost system.
The wins not only prove the efficiency of these drive systems, which helped the drivers to victory through the need for fewer fueling stops, but … Read more
Your car's bass may set off car alarms and wake babies, but compared to Nissan's Juke Box, it is no more than the sound of a pin dropped onto a carpeted floor. The Nissan Juke Box project boasts sound louder than a 747 taking off.
Nissan's exhibition audio system features not one but two Jukes, each fitted with two 18-inch subwoofers topped by arrays of mid- and high-frequency speakers. Nissan rates the system at 150 decibels from 18,900 watts.
Summer is upon us, which means that it's officially open-air motoring season. However, not all cabriolets are created equal; there are actually many different types of convertibles to choose from. We've rounded up seven of the most obvious convertible classes and the best examples of each. … Read more
A kernel of truth lies at the core of most stereotypes. Certainly mothers across the country trawl suburban streets in minivans, picking up kids from school and delivering them to various extracurricular activities, including the art of kicking a ball into a net. But the moms we know encompass a much greater variety, too much for one simple stereotype. So we considered nine other mom stereotypes, matching the cars most appropriate for them. … Read more