We've been keeping a close eye on the development of the Toyota FT-86 concept, mostly because we're excited at what could be the first small, sporty Toyota (or Scion) since the Celica took a trip to the chopping block in 2006*. However, we've also been peripherally aware that Toyota's development partnership with Subaru--provider of the 86's Boxer four-cylinder engine--meant that we'd eventually see a Subaru variant of the sports coupe. It now appears that we won't have to wait much longer, as Subaru has recently launched a teaser site for its "Boxer … Read more
It seems like its been ages since Toyota debuted its FT-86 concept at the 2009 Tokyo Motor Show. The sport coupe concept featured a front-engined, rear-wheel-driven configuration and would be built in collaboration with Subaru, borrowing a shortened version of the Impreza platform and a 2.0-liter, over-200-horsepower variant of Subaru's boxer four-cylinder engine--hence the "Toyobaru" nickname that's been floating around the 'Net.
If the latest shadowed teaser photo released by Toyota is any indication, the sports coupe project is still on track and inching toward production with a second concept, dubbed the Toyota FT-86 II, … Read more
CNET Tech Car of the Year for 2010
Earlier this month we invited you to vote for the 2010 Tech Car of the Year from our five nominees. This year proved an upset, though, as our staff judges came down on the side of the 2011 Nissan Leaf, these votes overruling the general support for the Lincoln MKZ Hybrid and the Audi A8. The MKZ Hybrid is an excellent car, although its very close relative, the Ford Fusion Hybrid, won last year's award. Audi came out this year with a phenomenal flagship sedan in the new … Read more
Throughout 2010, CNET Car Tech editors drove thousands of miles reviewing more than 80 cars. We punched addresses into the navigation systems, talked to the cars through voice command, listened to music from a variety of audio sources, and even made calls to see how well Bluetooth phone systems worked. We took the cars onto twisty roads, bumpy roads, up steep hills, into stop-and-go traffic, and sped long distances on freeways to get a sense of fuel economy, handling, ride quality, and acceleration. We tested lane departure systems, blind-spot detection, adaptive cruise control, and automated braking.
Now, at the end … Read more
Today, a Ford press release crossed my desk with an interesting tidbit about the sales figures for its new Ford Fiesta. It turns out that the majority of buyers have chosen the five-door hatchback body style over the more conventional four-door model. Apparently, someone at Ford thought this was newsworthy, but for me, it was sort of a no-brainer: the five-door was always the better car in my eyes. But that got me to thinking, "What is it with Americans and hatchbacks?"
We're big fans of hatchbacks here at CNET Car Tech, particularly those of the hot … Read more
Subaru fans rejoice. Fuji Heavy Industries Ltd. (parent company of Subaru) has pulled the wraps off of its new-generation four-cylinder boxer engines. OK, it's not that exciting, but if you're already a fan of Subaru's quirky engine configuration, the promise of more power and more efficiency for new models should at least get you grinning.
The boxer engine (or flat engine), for those unfamiliar, features a four-cylinder, horizontally opposed configuration with a pair of pistons punching out toward either side of a central crankshaft--like the fists of boxers. This third generation boxer engine incorporates new improvements in … Read more
With better power and handling than the standard Impreza, but not as hard-core as the STI, the WRX occupies a comfortable middle ground, being a car suitable for driving to work on a daily basis and ripping around dirt roads on weekends. Its all-wheel-drive handling also makes it a good ski weekend vehicle.
But Subaru had ignored the techie side of the WRX's youthful demographics, until now. This new WRX, while not exactly on the cutting edge of cabin tech, offers useful features, such as navigation and Bluetooth phone support. And the new, wider track gives the 2011 model … Read more
Audi's new A8 rewrites the description for a high-tech car; the feds put the brakes on blaming tech for Toyotagate; and is your car the hacker's next frontier? Lotus has plans to go way beyond the Evora, and we thrash the very tossable new Subaru WRX with the big body.Subscribe with iTunes (audio) Subscribe with iTunes (video) Subscribe with RSS (audio) Subscribe with RSS (video) EPISODE 181 SHOW NOTES
The Subaru Outback, a "crossover" SUV and yuppie icon that seems naked without a ski rack on top and several Whole Foods grocery bags in the backseat, is now offering wireless connectivity with Autonet Mobile in-car Internet service for its 2011 incarnation.
This means the Outback is the latest in a parade of models to feature built-in Internet connectivity. The next generation of Ford's Sync service, a multimedia system in partnership with Microsoft, can hook up to USB modems. And Autonet Mobile has already debuted as an option in some Cadillac vehicles and in Chrysler's gimmicky "Web Edition" cars … Read more