Month: December 2013

Arrow: A four-wheeled ‘fighter jet’ for the road (Q&A)

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Charles Bombardier’s Arrow is a concept design for weekend escapes.

(Credit: Charles Bombardier)

What if your main occupation was dreaming up fanciful, futuristic concept vehicles? If your name is Charles Bombardier, that’s exactly what you do.

The scion of Canada’s Bombardier, which manufactures planes and trains, Charles Bombardier recently showed off designs for his Arrow concept car, an electric two-seater that looks like a retro racing car.

It’s designed with a torpedo-shaped body and “a cockpit that opens up like a fighter jet to reveal tandem seats.”

Bombardier came up with the Arrow concept as a cool commuter vehicle that can also be used for weekend escapes.

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A 30-kilowatt, liquid-cooled, double-sided synchronous … [Read more]


from Car Tech: An automotive blog from CNET


Top Stories from 2013 (12/30/13)

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A touch of tech trouble; enduring a trial by fire; why dealers, lenders are drawing interest; plus, history waits in the wings.

from First Shift Player – First Shift with Jennifer Vuong

2015 Subaru WRX: Cornering champ and commute-ready

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The new WRX comes with different all-wheel-drive systems depending on the equipped transmission.

(Credit: Wayne Cunningham/CNET)

I love a small, fast car with plenty of cornering capability, so was more than thrilled to attend a press drive event for the 2015 Subaru WRX in Northern California. The long-awaited newest generation of the WRX met the public eye at the Los Angeles Auto Show last month, two years after the launch of the vehicle on which it is based, the newest generation of the Subaru Impreza. Unlike the Impreza, the WRX only comes in a sedan format, 80 percent of its sheet metal is different, and it 268-turbo-boosted horses are stabled under the hood.

Flooring it out of the staging area, I was immediately disappointed.

The acceleration felt meh, the ride felt soft, and the continuously variable transmission had the typical lifeless feel of its breed. That’s right, I was driving the CVT version, despite having the option to drive the manual. That may seem like a perverse decision, but I was curious, as the CVT-equipped WRXes also use a different version of Subaru’s Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive system than the manual transmission version.

2015 Subaru WRX hits all the right notes on the road (pictures)

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from Car Tech: An automotive blog from CNET

Google reportedly partners with Audi for on-board Android

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Google is reportedly hitting the road for its next battle with Apple for mobile OS market share.

The Web giant has teamed with carmaker Audi to develop in-car entertainment and information systems based on the Android operating system, according to the Wall Street Journal. The aim of the partnership, which is expected to be announced next week at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, would allow for in-car integration of music and navigation apps currently available on smartphones, sources told the Journal.

The partnership is expected to generate a challenger to Apple’s iOS in the Car, which aims to integrate users’ iPhones with their car’s onboard receiver or “infotainment” system. Unveiled in June at Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference, the feature is expected to provide an interface that lets users control things like music, messages, and maps right through the vehicle.

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Top Blunders of 2013 (12/27/13)

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Ford’s big mileage mishap; rough road for new Lincoln; Scion-dealer downer; and how Jeep execs learned timing is everything.

from First Shift Player – First Shift with Jennifer Vuong

Styling Standouts of 2013 (12/26/13)

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From the character lines on the new Corvette, to the aerodynamics of the Mercedes CLA, a year of striking style points.

from First Shift Player – First Shift with Jennifer Vuong

CES 2014 will showcase the near future of driving

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Toyota will bring its latest Fuel Cell Vehicle Concept to CES, demonstrating its green car development.

(Credit: Timothy Hornyak/CNET)

Auto shows make great places to see the cars coming to showrooms in the next year, but CES shows how we will be driving by 2020. Automakers and suppliers are participating in CES 2014 to show off their latest tech concepts, designed to make driving safer and easier than ever.

At CES 2013, both Lexus and Audi made important announcements about their efforts to develop autonomous vehicles. While those efforts have not come to dealers yet, Audi will be demonstrating its test vehicles at CES, showing how the future car will drop off its passengers, then go find a parking spot on its own. At CES 2013, Audi executives displayed the hardware that would make self-driving cars practical, including a sensor array much more compact than that seen on the tops of Google’s autonomous cars. The company is working to integrate its sensor array into cars to enable self-driving capabilities.

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