First, Ford went back in time to redesign its Mustang. Now, the company travels back to the 1960s yet again to design the Ford Airstream concept. Ford took Airstream along on the trip to build this new crossover car, although to me it looks more like a minivan. Designers of the concept were influenced by 2001: A Space Oddyssey for the interior, which includes organically shaped podlike seats. The most notable element of the interior is the 360-degree video screen, which can show movies, video games, or ambient displays, such as a lava lamp. Did I mention this car is … Read more
Opinions differ wildly when it comes to automotive design, but no one could deny the sheer beauty of Rolls-Royce's new Phantom Drophead Coupe. The second car in Rolls-Royce's rejuvenated model lineup, the Drophead takes the elegance of the Phantom and adds exterior elements that make it more sporty and downright lovely. The most obvious elements are the brushed steel hood, which creates a nice two-tone effect with the body, and the teak cover for the convertible top, reminiscent of a Chris-Craft powerboat.
Ostensibly a convertible version of the Phantom, the Drophead Coupe shares very little with its hardtop … Read more
The long-anticipated introduction of Smart to the United States is at hand, with the Daimler-Chrysler-owned small-car maker showing off its 2008 ForTwo car at the 2007 Detroit Auto Show. Although only a two-seater, the ForTwo features 12 cubic feet of cargo capacity. It's only 8 feet 10 inches long and can be parked perpendicular to the curb where other cars have to park parallel. The most powerful model uses a three cylinder engine, which pumps out 84 horsepower, not exactly astounding, but it gets more than 40mpg. Its most interesting power-train tech feature is a five-speed manual transmission with … Read more
This blog is all about things we crave, and what could be more craveworthy than the Maybach 62S? It sat there at the 2007 Detroit Auto Show, penned off in a small booth all by itself. From the outside, it looks like pure evil, ready to devour unsuspecting motorists in the darkness of desert highways. The inside is a whole different story. It looks like heaven. When I die, I want to be buried there. It's more sumptuous than any pharaonic burial chamber.
Powered by a 543 horsepower V-12, the regular Maybach 62 is no slouch. But the Maybach … Read more
Alpine is using CES 2007 to launch the next generation Blackbird portable navigation device. The Blackbird PMD B200 improves on the first-generation device with live-traffic capabilities via a built-in Navteq tuner that picks up RDS data of live traffic flow and incidents. This information is then projected onto the device's preload maps to alert drivers to hotspots in real time. Owners of the PMD B200 get a free 90-day trial of the traffic service, after which it costs $60 for a year's subscription. Other navigation enhancements to the second generation Blackbird include an increased number of points of … Read more
In-dash navigation and entertainment systems are great if you're the driver, but not so much fun for the front passenger. Not only do those riding shotgun have their navigational responsibilities usurped by an electronic processor, they're also forced to wait until the car is stopped to watch movies or even program in a destination.
There is a good reason behind this, of course--drivers can't have the distraction of a movie playing while racing along in the fast lane of the freeway, and punching in a destination on the touch screen is a dangerous diversion from the road. … Read more
Pioneer is following Ford and Microsoft in its adoption of USB ports for the playback of digital audio in the car. Here at CES, Pioneer is debuting the snappily named DEH-P6900UB and DEH-P690UB, two new stereo head units that come with built-in USB jacks for hooking up portable media players or thumbdrives.
When connected via USB, media players, such as iPods and Zunes, can be controlled entirely via the head unit, giving drivers high-speed control over their digital media, including content subject to iTunes (Fairplay) and Windows Media digital rights management. As well as a built-in USB port, both head … Read more
Here's another take on Windows Mobile. The Azentek Atlas is a double-DIN system that fits into your car's dashboard and gives you all of the functionality of a Windows PC from the driver's seat. While the model on display here at CES 2007 is running XP, we're told that Atlas will ship in March with Windows Vista. The Atlas, which makes use of iMobile software, packs an Intel Core Duo processor and comes with 512MB of RAM memory and a Seagate automotive-grade 40GB hard drive. It also comes with built-in GPS with turn-by-turn navigation and maps … Read more
One of the most eagerly anticipated aftermarket car tech gadgets at this year's CES is the Dash Express from Dash Navigation. Dash Express is the first portable navigation system to have built-in two-way connectivity (cellular and Wi-Fi), giving drivers access to a whole new world of information via the Internet and the network of other Dash-connected users. The system display real-time traffic data, which comes from the network of other Dash drivers, while Web connectivity gives drivers a points-of-interest database served up by Yahoo Local, with whom Dash announced a partnership last week. Here are some of the major … Read more
One of the major themes of this year's CES is mobile TV: yesterday, Verizon confirmed it will be bringing live full-length television programming to selected handsets, and then Samsung revealed it had developed a technology to enable local TV stations to broadcast digital programs to cars and mobile devices. For those road warriors who can't wait for either of the these solutions for their fix of Regis and Kelly, the answer might just be KVH's TracVision A7.
Developed in collaboration with DIRECTV, the A7 enables drivers to pick up 185 channels, including local network stations. To do … Read more