Monthly Archives: October 2013

New Jaguar XJR claws up the curves

Big, overpowered sedans are not usually my favorite to drive on public roads, as I can barely tap their performance potential. But the 2014 Jaguar XJR managed to give me a fat, wide grin when I slogged it down a twisty back road.

With the Dynamic mode engaged, adding a red mist to the instrument display, and the transmission’s Sport mode keeping the revs high, this big cat’s engine broadcast its throaty growl across the surrounding cow pastures, changing pitch at each gear change when I braked then accelerated out of turns. The thick tires held onto the pavement and the suspension controlled the body’s load shifts with finesse.

New Jaguar XJR combines power and comfort (pictures)

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Ferrari F12: A supercar for all seasons (CNET On Cars, Episode 28)

Ferrari F12: A supercar for all seasons. (CNET On Cars, Episode 28)


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In this episode:

  • We drive the rather stunning Ferrari F12, including a great bonus slide show from the shoot (below).
  • Learn how to avoid a nasty accident that can actually defeat some of you car’s safety tech.
  • Find out how to change your oil, one of the last maintenance tasks you can still own.
  • See out Top 5 Ferrari tech innovations, CNET Style.
  • Slideshow: … [Read more]

    Car Tech: An automotive blog from CNET

2013 Dodge Journey Test Drive

2013 Dodge Journey RT AWD

2013 Dodge Journey Overview

The Dodge Journey hasn’t exactly been a proven contender in the cross-over sector when it first debuted nearly four years ago.  It was only after two years of development and testing before engineers and designers were able to revise the Dodge Journey scorecard with its all new design.  Lessons learned and actions taken, the 2013 Dodge Journey has become an iconic symbol of positive transformation.  Certainly, the 2013 Dodge Journey still inherits some of the lackluster traits from its former siblings, but the overall aspect of the vehicle is actually quite nice.

This SUV wants to drive itself, but needs your help

As much as we’d like for every car that we review to be as exciting as the Jaguar F-Type that recently graced the Car Tech garage, the reality is that most of the time I’m driving regular sedans and dull SUVs. So, while there was a lot to look forward to with the 2014 Acura MDX’s arrival — it’s handsome new design, jewel-like full LED headlamps, and the promise of updated tech, for example — the reality was that I was fully prepared to be just a bit bored this week.

And then I hit the road, curiously tapped the button for the Lane Keeping Assist system, and was met with one of the weirdest drives of my life.

Advanced, awkward, awesomeThe MDX’s midtier Technology package adds a number of passive driver aid technologies, such as a blind-spot-monitoring system, a forward collision warning system, and a lane departure warning system. Each of these systems will chide you with visual and audible alerts, letting you know that there’s potential danger — such as merging into a lane that’s currently occupied or drifting out of your current lane because of inattentiveness — but they don’t actively intervene in any way.

However, the MDX’s top-tier option package and trim level, the MDX Advance, adds active intervention abilities to the passive driver aid features of the Technology package. Forward collision alert becomes a Collision Mitigation Braking System tha… [Read more]


Car Tech: An automotive blog from CNET

Apple Mac hardware exec Doug Field departs for Tesla

(Credit: James Martin/CNET)

Apple’s vice president of Mac hardware engineering, Doug Field, has left the company to join Tesla Motors.

Doug Field, Tesla's latest hire.

(Credit: LinkedIn)

Tesla announced the hire Thursday, saying Field would become the company’s vice president of vehicle programs.

“Tesla’s future depends on engineers who can create the most innovative, technologically advanced vehicles in the world,” Tesla co-founder and CEO Elon Musk said in a statement. “Doug’s experience in both consumer electronics and traditional automotive makes him an important addition to our leadership team.”

Apple declined to comment.

Before joining Apple, Field was Segway’s chief technology officer. He left the company in mid-2008 after nearly a decade there. Earlier stints in the vehicle industry include six years as a development engineer at Ford.

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Lamborghini unveils $4.5m Veneno Roadster

(Credit: Lamborghini)

As part of its 50th anniversary celebration, Lamborghini has unveiled a raging beast of a prototype. Next year, the luxury supercar company will launch a super-limited run of one of its most exclusive models: the Veneno Roadster, a sports racer with an asking price of more than $ 4.5 million.

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The sleek carbon-fiber roadster follows the Veneno, unveiled in March and limited to a production run of just three cars. They’re named after a famous Spanish fighting bull — the fierce beast that adorns Lamborghini’s logo — to signify power, strength, and vigor.

With its cutting lines and brilliant red body, the open-topped Veneno Roadster is a stunning embodiment of speed and audacity. Click through our gallery to see more.

Lamborghini’s Veneno Roadster $ 4.5m super racer (pictures)

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Car Tech: An automotive blog from CNET

Ford Fiesta becomes working-class Transformer

From Fiesta to fantastic.

(Credit: Hetain Patel)

The good-guy Transformers tend to take the shape of hot cars like Lamborghinis, Porsches, and Chevrolet Corvettes. Artist Hetain Patel went in a different direction by turning a little Ford Fiesta hatchback into a Transformers monument.

While Transformers on the big screen can turn into humanoid figures in a matter of seconds, it took a bit longer to create the Fiesta sculpture. Patel started with a red 1988 Fiesta that had seen better days. He was inspired to use a Fiesta because it was the first car he ever owned, a gift from his father. His father, a mechanic who converts cars into hearses, worked with him on the creation.

“For me, these ‘robots in disguise’ (as per the cartoon’s theme tune) stand as a metaphor for the other, in a fantasy world where they can transform out of a marginal position into one of empowerment,” writes Patel in an artist’s statement.

Patel and his father’s efforts are captured in a video that traces the project as it develops over time. The result is recognizable as both a working-class car and a squatting Transformers figure.

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A tour of the Vault at the Petersen Automotive Museum

(Credit: Geoffrey Morrison) You can’t take pictures. Well, not normally. During a regular tour, there’s the tour guide, and a separate minder who keeps an eye on you and your phone or camera.

Welcome to the Vault, the sprawling underground storage of some incredible and historic cars, beneath the Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles.

By special arrangement, I got to take my camera, so I can show you some of the cars on display. From a 1903 Cadillac to a 1953 Ferrari, to a gold-plated DeLorean, there’s lots to see.

If you’re a fan of cars, or even just history, I recommend checking out the Petersen if you’re in LA. Since the Vault is a guided tour, there’s a separate fee and specific tour times (two times a day on weekdays, four times on weekends).

If you can’t convince your significant other to go for the cars, the LA County Museum of Art is across the street.

At your appointed time, your guide shepherds you into the elevator. Through another set of doors at the bottom is the underground garage that is the Vault.

Because it’s not a show space, per se, the lighting isn’t ideal for photography. The closeness of the cars was occasionally an issue for some shots. Excuses aside, here are a few dozen cars in all their amazing gl… [Read more]


Car Tech: An automotive blog from CNET

Tesla taps AT&T to bring cellular connection to its cars

Tesla Model S.

(Credit: Wayne Cunningham/CNET)

Tesla will be able to tout one more feature in its advanced electric cars: a cellular connection.

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The upstart automaker has partnered with AT&T to bring a 3G or HSPA+ (what AT&T calls 4G) connection to its electric cars. With a modem and SIM card, the cars will be able to share performance data, allowing for better remote diagnostic and maintenance, while passengers have the option to browse the Internet, watch videos, or get real-time traffic info via the connection.

For AT&T, it’s the latest automaker to sign with the carrier, follo… [Read more]


Car Tech: An automotive blog from CNET

Skully demonstrates GPS, rear-view camera in motorcycle helmet

The Skully P1 looks to be the most high-tech motorcycle helmet around.

(Credit: Skully Helmets)

Using GPS on a motorcycle usually involves looking down at a portable navigation device on the handlebars, but Skully Helmets wants to update that experience. The company developed the Skully P1 motorcycle helmet, which gives riders a heads-up display and integrates not only GPS, but a rear-view camera, hands-free phone system, and voice command.

According to Skully’s press materials, the display is not in the rider’s primary field of vision, and appears as if it were floating 6 meters ahead.

The helmet runs a modified version of the Android operating system, which comes loaded with navigation and Bluetooth connectivity. With the helmet paired to a smartphone through Bluetooth, the rider can use voice command to make phone calls and start music playback.

The heads-up display can also show the image from an integrated rear-view camera. Skully notes that this camera has a 180 degree field of vision, so the rider can also see when it is safe to change lanes.

Skully will show off the P1 helmet this week at the Demo 2013 conference in Santa Clara, Calif. The company did not say when the helmet would become available, or list a retail price.

A heads-up display shows the rider turn-by-turn direct… [Read more]


Car Tech: An automotive blog from CNET