Eyeball a car magazine or two on a newsstand and there's a good chance you'll spot a 200-mile-per-hour dream machine gracing the cover. Why not? They're gorgeous weapons of speed, and they all sell for more than the price of your house. Supercar MSRP inflation shows no signs of letting up, all (three) of the $3.9 million, 750-horsepower Lamborghini Venenos are spoken for. Ferraris are priced somewhat more competitively; the legendary Italian maker will soon offer 499 editions of their $1.15 million carbon-fiber-bodied, hybrid V-12/electric LaFerrari, which has 963 horsepower and can reach 217 … Read more
I distrust convertible cars. A thin covering of cloth over my head when driving down the freeway in a rainstorm does not inspire confidence. Driving with the top down on a sunny day seems like a recipe for skin cancer. Those concerns, however, mysteriously disappear whenever I get behind the wheel of a convertible, put the top down, and go for a cruise in the country. The open top experience engenders a carefree feeling, an enjoyment of the surroundings impossible with a metal roof overhead. The envious looks of other drivers and pedestrians as I cruise by confirm the wonder that is driving a convertible.
With the end of winter, we have rounded up five convertibles to consider for your driving pleasure. … Read more
LAS VEGAS--A bright-red Cayenne GTS parked at CES 2013 showcased Porsche's newly announced integration with Aha, an online service combining channels for radio stations, Slacker, audiobooks, podcasts, and other Internet-based content. And in a first for both Aha and Porsche, the system adds Google local search.
Drivers will need to load the Aha app on their smartphones and create an account, after which they can browse through Aha's collection of 30,000 channels, adding them to a favorites list. Hooking the phone up to a Porsche equipped with the Aha Online Services option, drivers will be able to … Read more
LAS VEGAS--One of the most successful services at CES 2013 would seem to be Aha, which added Porsche, Ford, and Chrysler as partners. Harman, Aha's parent company, boasts the service will be available in cars from more than 10 automakers.
Aha offers 30,000 Internet-based stations in its lineup, from music to podcasts to news. It includes audio-based location search services for restaurants and coffee shops. Users can listen to Facebook and Twitter updates from their personal accounts. Aha is also available through the Aha Radio app for iOS and Android.
Ford has added Aha to its roster of … Read more
PARIS--These may be trying times for the European economy, but that automakers rallied at the 2012 Paris Motor Show, bringing out a variety of new concepts and some model updates relevant to the U.S. buyer. As has become a theme given European interest in CO2 reduction, many of the cars we saw featured hybrid or electric drive trains. And many new models and updates were what we in the U.S. consider premium cars boasting fine coachwork.
If you want to know where the most famous hoodie-wearer in the world will be Friday morning, he'll be ringing a bell in Hacker Square.
Hacker Square is more or less the center of Facebook's Menlo Park, Calif., headquarters, and features a giant "HACK" in the cement that's large enough to be seen from space. The man with the hoodie is, of course, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg. At 6:30 a.m. PT tomorrow, a source told CNET, Zuck will stand by a big crane in the square and ring a ceremonial bell in time … Read more
Ever since hybrids became popular, with the second generation of the Toyota Prius, the question arose of whether the fuel savings justified a hybrid car's higher price. The extra expense for a hybrid car has been called the hybrid premium.
The extra cost for a hybrid car comes from the additional equipment in the driveline. Along with the gas engine, hybrid cars have an electric propulsion motor, a high-voltage battery pack, and a power control module, this latter component determining how to feed electric power into the drive system.
Now, with many automakers offering some type of hybrid car, … Read more
When they asked me to compare these two cars, I almost choked on my morning Castrol: the Porsche 911 is just about unassailable as a driver's car, while Jaguar has insulted us for ages with X-Types, S-Types, and a bunch of XJs whose resale value drops faster than the Dow in '08.
But as I went over my notes from driving each recently, I found an interesting story and a couple of cars you might actually cross-shop. Maybe.
Let's get them head-to-head and see if the 911's latest edition can unnerve Britain's best example of an … Read more
The inherent frugality of a hybrid car might make you think of a no-frills driving experience. But luxury automakers have learned the win-win nature of an electric-assisted power train.
Infiniti, Porsche, and BMW devised their own takes on the hybrid car, fitting these fuel-efficient systems into full-size sedans and SUVs. Lincoln borrowed a hybrid system from sister brand Ford for its own midsize sedan, the MKZ. And Lexus even transferred the Prius hybrid power train into a luxury hatchback.… Read more
Those familiar with past 911s will notice something missing in the cabin of the 2012 911 Carrera S -- the emergency brake lever no longer sticks up from the console. Instead, a switch by your left knee activates an electronic parking brake.
The console now plays host to an array of buttons activating sport modes, active exhaust, and damper stiffening. In my opinion, these buttons are more accessible, and look much better, than the tiny plastic buttons that used to sit below the navigation screen.
Of greater loss to the traditionalists is hydraulic power steering, replaced by an electrically boosted … Read more