Detroit auto show had a lot going for it;Ford steals the show with its new cabin tech; GM has gone seriously toward small cars; and Toyota deploys a new technology across the board to squash rumors its cars aren't safe.Subscribe with iTunes (audio) Subscribe with iTunes (video) Subscribe with RSS (audio) Subscribe with RSS (video) Episode 151 Show notes
The last few days I've given air time to the vehicle that won the North American Truck of the Year award this week at the Detroit auto show: the Ford Transit Connect. But apparently Ford doubled its pleasure in the Motor City by winning the other award for North American Car of the Year, and the recipient was Ford's hot new Fusion hybrid sedan.
This road test video examines both the six-cylinder edition of the Fusion as well as the four-cylinder hybrid version of this award winner. If you're expecting flash and excitement, then this video isn'… Read more
In the last few Web videos I've posted here I've shown the many different ways that the "Truck of the Year" award-winning Ford Transit Connect van can be utilized to suit your family and/or business needs. But you may be wondering, "How does the Transit Connect drive?" Well, this short clip here should give you a brief analysis on how this somewhat revolutionary cargo/minivan hybrid handles at the wheel and on the road. It doesn't go into a lot of detail, but it does reveal at least a modicum of what … Read more
DETROIT--The 2011 Ford Mustang GT and the 2011 Cadillac CTS-V Coupe may be an unlikely pair, but they were two great examples of American muscle at the 2010 Detroit auto show. The Mustang borrows looks from the past, but the CTS-V Coupe is something completely new.
Both are bruisers, the Mustang GT's new 5-liter V-8 making 412 horsepower, while the CTS-V Coupe's supercharged 6.2-liter V-8 puts out 556 horsepower. The Mustang GT looks blue collar, while the CTS-V Coupe has a hint of European sophistication. And each delivers blistering performance.
Each car can also hold its own … Read more
DETROIT--At CES 2010, Ford announced a whole new cabin tech interface for its cars, dubbed MyFord, MyMercury, and MyLincoln, depending on which model brand it is installed. At the 2010 Detroit auto show, we got a hands-on look at the MyLincoln interface in the updated 2011 Lincoln MKX, and a voice-on demonstration of Sync's new smartphone application integration.
In Ford models, MyFord is divided into two variants, MyFord and MyFord Touch, the latter featuring two 4.2-inch LCDs and one 8-inch touch-screen LCD. In Lincoln models, starting with the launch of the 2011 MKX, MyLincoln Touch is standard, with the two 4.2-inch LCDs flanking the speedometer and the 8-inch touch screen mounted in the center stack.
We started our demonstration by trying out the user configurable screens in the instrument cluster. Lincoln mounted five-way button clusters on each steering wheel spoke, which let you manipulate the look of the screens and make selections. These buttons are patterned after those found on cell phones and MP3 players, and we found them immediately intuitive to use.
On the left side screen, we went through menu options, changing the look of the engine speed gauge and opting for which kind of trip information we wanted to view. The system responded quickly, and seemed no more distracting than choosing trip information from current vehicles. … Read more
I'm sure I've baffled a few readers after several days of Web video on Ferraris and then totally switch gears and start showing videos of minivans, showing moms and their little kids. But variety is the spice of life, my friends, and besides, the thing won a prestigious award at the International Auto Show in Detroit this week for being "Truck of the Year" (interesting, seeing as this is a cargo van, but anyway...). Tuesday's Web video demonstrated the Ford TC's usefulness as a family vehicle, but today's clip basically serves as a … Read more
Anyone who thinks that American automobiles don't stack up against their European and Asian rivals may need to reconsider such an attitude. Why? Just recently two Ford vehicles won both of the prizes in the North American Car and Truck of the Year contests as decided by roughly 50 automotive critics at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit. The winning car was Ford's first foray into the world of hybrid vehicles (the Ford Fusion), and the other winner for Ford was its new Transit Connect van.
The Transit Connect part cargo van, with plenty of room … Read more
This video of the 2012 Ford Focus popped up on YouTube yesterday. The Focus will, no doubt, be the talk of the North American International Auto Show in Detroit. Both the four-door sedan and five-door hatchback body styles of the next-generation Focus will be previewed at the show.
According to an announcement today on Ford's Web site, the company is showing a "completely new 2.0-liter gasoline engine for the North American market that features DI and Twin Independent Variable Camshaft Timing (Ti-VCT) for enhanced performance and fuel efficiency. The new 2.0-liter DI Ti-VCT engine is up … Read more
Rather than big surprises, expect a stream of technology improvements coming from Ford Motor's labs which, when added together, will deliver 5 to 10 percent gains in fuel efficiency in the next few years.
At the North American International Auto Show in Detroit on Monday, Ford introduced the latest Ford Focus, which is due in early 2011 and sports a 10 to 20 percent better fuel economy than the current model. The company also has plans to expand its line of hybrids, introduce an all-electric Ford Focus in 2011, and offer plug-in hybrids in 2012.
Making refinements to gasoline, … Read more
CNET Tech Car of the Year for 2009
In December we invited you to vote for the 2009 Tech Car of the Year from our five nominees. And in a unanimous decision between you, the voting public, and our Car Tech judges, the 2010 Ford Fusion Hybrid wins the award. Although it faced some stiff competition, the combination of an excellent hybrid power train and the most advanced cabin tech in the business gave the Fusion Hybrid the edge. Ford and Toyota hybrid power trains work along similar principles, but Ford raised the bar by tuning it to work under electric power at higher speeds while delivering a very satisfying driving experience, with acceleration you can count on. With fuel economy pushing the 40 mpg mark, this midsize sedan makes trips to the pump infrequent.
On the cabin tech side, Ford complemented the hybrid power train with its Smart Gauge, LCD panels on either side of the speedometer, showing a variety of vehicle operating information. And Ford made Smart Gauge user configurable, a big leap from analog gauges of the past. Sync is standard, providing voice command and the kind of Bluetooth phone and MP3 player integration to which other companies are just starting to catch up. Sirius Travel Link feeds unparalleled and useful data sources into the navigation system, including traffic, weather, and fuel prices. And the Sony audio system is an excellent value, producing impressive sound quality.