The Consumer Electronics Show presented more car technology than ever this year. We recount what we saw from QNX, Mercedes-Benz, Audi, Pioneer, and even take a drive in the Fisker Karma.Subscribe with iTunes (audio) Subscribe with iTunes (video) Subscribe with RSS (audio) Subscribe with RSS (video) EPISODE 248 SHOW NOTES
If you needed proof that the world will come to an end in 2012, just know that this will be the year that someone actually builds a stretch limo variant of the Audi R8 5.2 FSI Quattro.
Commissioned by Limo Broker and currently in production by Carbonyte UK, the formerly two-seater Audi R8 will be stretched to accommodate six more sport bucket seats, bringing the total passenger count to eight. When it is completed, the right-hand-drive vehicle will see service in Limo Broker's fleet, which also includes a stretch Ferrari 360 Modena, in the U.K. sometime later … Read more
LAS VEGAS--Sporting booths and displays suitable for a full-fledged car show, major automakers showed off their varying connected car strategies at the 2012 Consumer Electronics Show.
But the automaker displays at CES only held a smattering of cars, the space primarily being taken up by standalone dashboards and kiosks showing in-car navigation, audio, phone, and app screens. I never doubted the benefits of data feeds in cars, as integrating Google search with a navigation system is far better than relying on some static, outdated points-of-interest database.
Knowing the glacial pace of automotive development, what surprised me was how quickly automakers … Read more
LAS VEGAS--Audi delivered remarkable technology with its A7 model last year, and now the company is bringing even more advanced features to the low end of its lineup, in the new A3.
Although Audi did not have a new A3 on display at CES 2012, the company did bring its dashboard. The completely functional head unit in this dashboard showed off Audi's latest cabin technology. More importantly, it showed that Audi won't reserve this technology for its high-end models.
One of the top features, which also made the A7 such a standout, is the dedicated data connection into … Read more
We announce the Tech Car of the Year and the Car Tech 10. Find out which car is the techie best, which proved the most popular, what the best car stereo of the year was, and discover Car Tech's best production asset.Subscribe with iTunes (audio) Subscribe with iTunes (video) Subscribe with RSS (audio) Subscribe with RSS (video)
2012 Audi A7 Our choice for CNET Tech Car of the Year goes to the 2012 Audi A7, a car that shows superb technology throughout. The list of nominees this year included many very advanced cars representing an impressive leap over last year, proving that the automotive industry is on a hot streak. Improvements in power-train tech play a big role, which helped the Chevy Volt take a top spot in our reader poll, but the connected car seemed like the most relevant and broad-based trend, which is why our staff leaned … Read more
In its annual list, Wards Auto lauds what its editors perceive as the 10 best engines powering cars today.
The 2011 Ward's 10 best engines list pays homage to electrification, including both the mixed gas and electric system driving the Chevy Volt, and the pure electric motor in the Nissan Leaf. One diesel also made the list, Volkswagen's TDI. Among the gasoline engines, most feature forced induction. Direct injection also makes an appearance. But big displacement has its place, as seen in the 5-liter V-8s from Ford and Hyundai.… Read more
As 2011 rolls to a close, we look back at the cars we've reviewed over the last year to see which one should earn our Tech Car of the Year Award.
This year's nominees come largely from the luxury market, where automakers are pushing their best cabin tech and most-advanced driver assistance features. Connected features are also starting to appear, with online search available in navigation systems. All of these vehicles use advanced engines, but the Volt pushes the boundaries the furthest.
Please vote for the car you think should be the 2011 Tech Car of the Year, and discuss it in the comments. The Car Tech staff jury will place its own votes, voting closes on December 19, and we will announce the winner on December 21. … Read more
Even I roll my eyes at those ads where someone gets a new car with a big, red bow on a snowy holiday morning. But when you think about it, a car is actually a pretty awesome gift.
Cars are more than just basic transportation these days. Pick the right ride, such as our top Holiday Gift Pick and Editors' Choice 2012 Audi A7, and you'll also be giving the gift of entertainment, safety, utility, and style. And while a car really is too big to be gift wrapped or stuffed into a stocking, you may be able to squeeze the diminutive 2012 Fiat 500 C under a big enough tree.
We acknowledge that a new car isn't always the best gift idea--maybe the car lover in your life already has a perfectly good set of wheels. Never fear, we have plenty of smaller car tech gift ideas as well. From radar detectors for speed demons to Bluetooth hands-free kits for motor mouths, sports cameras for daredevils, and GPS navigators for the perpetually lost, there's something for every sort of automotive enthusiast in our Car Tech Holiday Gift Guide.
These five cars have the best-sounding stereos we've tested all year.
To get good sound in a car, you used to have to visit an installer, who would rip out four tinny speakers and replace them with six-by-nines, a sub, and an amp. But now many automakers are partnering with known audio companies to put high-quality audio components in cars at the factory. These systems are designed specifically for each car by professional audio engineers. We picked out five cars with the best-sounding audio systems we heard this year. These systems produce the kind of sound that will have you driving around the block until your favorite song finishes playing.… Read more