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
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
OK, it's Sync, not *NSYNC, and with its stylish logo it should be free of any associations from the band that made Justin Timberlake famous. Unlike the band, Sync also plays music. Microsoft has been trying to sell automakers on its automotive platform for a while and is really starting to gain ground. Last year at the Geneva Auto Show, Fiat showed off an installation of Microsoft's system, dubbed Blue&Me, in one of its cars. This year the software maker and America's number two automaker announced that a version of Microsoft's automotive platform will … Read more
As we first reported in December, Ford and Microsoft have been busy working in collaboration on in-car communications and entertainment, to be unveiled this week at CES. Well, here we are today at CES, and we can spill the beans on details of the system to be marketed under the name "Sync."
Initially to be made available in twelve 2008 models across the Ford family and across the entire 2009 lineup from FoMoCo, the service will be a fully-integrated, flash memory-based system that enables drivers to call hands-free and to control a range of digital audio via voice … Read more
Earlier this week we spoke with Microsoft, who confirmed that they would be partnering with Ford on a new in-car tech initiative some time in the New Year. Beyond that, Redmond was pretty tight-lipped, declining to comment further on what shape the partnership would take. Well, thanks to Engadget, we now have a clearer idea. According to an article published today, Ford and Microsoft are planning to announce the availability of the Blue&Me in the United States with coinciding announcements at CES and the Detroit Auto Show.
Apparently, the system "will have cross-platform smartphone support (i.e., … Read more
Ford let us take one of its preproduction 2008 Escape Hybrids for a couple of days to get an early look at the next major upgrade for this little environmentally oriented SUV. This new generation of the Escape Hybrid brings its tech up to modern standards and is a big improvement over the 2007 Ford Escape Hybrid. Where the 2007 model had sporty lines, the 2008 upgrade looks much tougher. It has square indentations along the sides and rear bumper, fog lights molded into the front bumper that echo earlier Land Rovers, and high wheel arches. But it also has … Read more
Attention, cheapskates: So you refuse to pony up a measly $300,000 for the "Morphis ESP" simulator we told you about. And you call yourself a gamer?
If you absolutely must go bargain-basement, Uncrate says there's a twin-unit "Ford Racing Arcade Game" selling for just $19,000 on Amazon. It doesn't seat eight as the Morphis does, but these machines do have "force-feedback wheels, driving pedals and authentic racing seats."
Most important, if you're a Ford buff, are the legendary cars featured in the game: a '68 Mustang GT, '66 Thunderbird … Read more
Following the introduction of its 2007 Altima Hybrid, which we saw at this month's LA Auto Show (and which makes use of Toyota's hybrid drivetrain technology), Nissan has outlined plans to introduce a car using its own hybrid technology in 2010.
The announcement is part of the Nissan Green Program 2010, which also includes plans to introduce an original hydrogen fuel-cell car incorporating an in-house-developed stack, and a "three-liter car"--a car that gets gas mileage of 100km per three liters of gasoline (around 79mpg)--both by 2010.
Nissan's news is the latest in a … Read more
Ford released details of its hydrogen-powered, electrically driven Explorer that it will unveil at the Los Angeles Auto Show. The most impressive thing about this Explorer is its 350-mile range, where many previous-generation fuel cell cars have struggled to get up to 200 miles. The Explorer's range is made possible by a big storage tank that can hold 10 kilograms of hydrogen, mounted where the transmission would go on a gas-powered Explorer. Tank pressure is about 10,000 PSI, and yes, it's relatively safe. New hydrogen storage tank technology is way beyond the thin metal walls that make … Read more
In some cars, installing a new stereo requires cutting large holes in the dashboard. In others, you simply slide the previous stereo out and drop a new one in. That's the difference between cars that follow standards, such as including DIN slots in the dashboard, and cars with extensively factory-customized controls. SEMA, a show devoted to all the neat things you can add to your car, has a vested interest in automakers taking the standardized approach. It gives awards every year for the cars that are most friendly to aftermarket customization.