Monthly Archives: March 2014

Toyota: Apple CarPlay, yes. When? Not saying, actually

"Come 2015, you'll be able to get the iPhone experience you love in your Toyota with Apple CarPlay," says Toyota.

(Credit: Toyota)

For a little while on Wednesday, it looked like we had a date for when Toyota would start offering Apple’s new CarPlay smartphone integration for iOS devices.

Then early Thursday, the automaker shifted from drive to neutral, with this brief note on its official Toyota UK blog :

UPDATE 13/3/14: A previous version of this article said Apple CarPlay would be in Toyota cars from 2015. This is incorrect and we are happy to put the matter straight. No announcements have been made about if and when Apple CarPlay will arrive in Toyota cars.

The headline on the blog post does suggest a certain amount of enthusiasm for the new iPhone-related technology — “Apple CarPlay: Toyota joins in-car iOS project” — but the subhead takes a more tentative, standoffish tone: “Apple’s CarPlay software could bring the iPhone experience to future Toyota models.” (Emphasis added.)

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Top-tier RS 7 is a tech car in track-ready trim

The Audi RS 7 Quattro is one of those cars that tries to do it all. Not content to just be good at one thing or to be a jack of all trades, the RS 7 tries to be great at everything… and pulls it off. It’s possibly the most “total package” car that I’ll drive this year. Startlingly fast, quite comfortable, and extremely high tech, they don’t come much more “CNET-style” than this.

Power and performance The most powerful of the A7 chassis, the RS is powered by a 4.0-liter V-8 engine that is stated at 560 horsepower and 516 pound-feet of torque. That torque is sent through an eight-speed Tiptronic automatic transmission on its way to the Audi Quattro system and all four 20-inch RS Design wheels. In this configuration, Audi’s all-wheel drive system splits power 40/60 between the front and rear axles, respectively. This slight rear-bias, along with the torque-vectoring rear Sport Differential, contribute to the sporty RS 7′s sporty driving characteristics.

The 560 horsepower RS 7 has as much power and torque as a Porsche 911 Turbo S.

(Credit: Antuan Goodwin/CNET)

Twin turbochargers force feed air into the V-8′s cylinders, which is then mixed with direct injected premium gasoline and combusted to create gobs of power. When all of that capacity isn’t required, such as when cruising along, the engine takes advantage of cylinder deactivation tech, shutting down one of its cylinder banks and dro… [Read more]


Car Tech: An automotive blog from CNET

BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe is a sharper, slightly compromised sedan

2015 BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe

GENEVA — BMW has proven that it will explore just about any niche that it can in order to deliver to its drivers that Goldilocks car configuration, but the newly unveiled BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe has me wondering if the automaker isn’t just messing with us.

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Recently, BMW split the BMW 3 Series line in two. Models with four or more doors kept the 3 Series badge and two-door models were redesignated the 4 Series. However, the new 2015 BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe that debuted at the Geneva auto show this week has four doors. It is a sedan variant of the 4 Series Coupe. But the 3 Series was already the sedan variant of the Coupe, right? Confused? Let’s take a closer look.

BMW adds a sedan to its new line of coupes (pictures)

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Koenigsegg: There can be only One:1

The Koenigsegg One:1 earns its name with a power-to-weight ratio of 1 horsepower to 1 kilogram.

(Credit: Josh Miller/CNET)

GENEVA–They call it the first Megawatt car because its turbocharged 5-liter V-8 produces 1,000 kilowatts. That’s 1,341 in horsepower. They named it the One:1, because it has a power-to-weight ratio of one horsepower per kilogram.

Danish automaker Koenigsegg brought its new One:1 supercar to the Geneva auto show, demonstrating an unparalleled level of engineering. In silver and black, this road legal Agera R sibling can make it up to 273 mph.

More extraordinary, Koenigsegg notes that the One:1 can make it to 248 mph, 400 kmh, in just 20 seconds.

Koenigsegg One:1 inspires automotive awe (pictures)

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1981 DeLorean modded with in-dash iPad interface

(Credit: Video screenshot by Leslie Katz/CNET)

Dr. Emmett Brown made a good point in “Back to the Future” when he said to Marty McFly, “The way I see it, if you’re gonna build a time machine into a car, why not do it with some style?”

If you plan on roaming the streets in a 1981 DeLorean, you might as well customize it to your liking. That’s exactly what YouTube user DMCPat says in a video about the impressive modifications he made to his classic DeLorean, including adding an iPad Mini interface.

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This 1981 DeLorean is a Vin 1880, which means it’s one of the first 1,000 cars shipped to the US. It has many modifications, including a rear spoiler, a high-mounted third brake light, remote lock/unlock, new wheels and steering wheel, seal-beamed LED lights, LED fog lights, blue LED interior door lights, and blue LED underbody lights, just to name a few.

But it’s the iPad interface that really sets this car apart from other DeLoreans. “The iPad … [Read more]


Car Tech: An automotive blog from CNET

Maserati Alfieri concept is one heckuva 100th birthday present

Maserati designed the Alfieri concept for its 100th anniversary.

(Credit: Wayne Cunningham/CNET)

GENEVA–Automotive history is littered with car companies that didn’t quite make it. Even recently we’ve seen upstarts Fisker and Coda added to the list of automotive also-rans. For a company to count 100 years in business is quite an achievement, something that Maserati celebrated at the 2014 Geneva auto show.

And what better way to celebrate such a milestone but to build a gorgeous GT concept car? Maserati took that tack, unveiling the Alfieri in Geneva.

Rather than a concept leading to a production model, the Alfieri is a bit of a vanity project, yet Maserati points out that the new concept hints at the next century’s worth of styling for the Italian automaker. More importantly for the present day company, it shows off a new GT design with 2+2 seating at a time when the company’s most recent models have been sedans.

Maserati previews new century design with Alfieri concept (pictures)

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Apple’s ‘iOS in the Car’ technology to roll out next week, says report

Apple VP Eddy Cue shows off iOS in the Car at WWDC 2013.

Apple’s “iOS in the Car” operating system, which would let drivers access various iPhone functions through a car’s built-in screen, is set to head out of the garage next week, says a report.

Ferrari, Mercedes-Benz, and Volvo are the automakers on board for the launch, said the Financial Times, which cited unnamed sources in reporting that the official announcement will take place at the Geneva Motor Show. The FT said neither Apple nor the carmakers would comment.

More about iOS in the Car

First Drive: 2014 Hyundai Sonata 2.0T

2014 Hyundai sonata 2.0T ExxteriorFor those looking for a mid-size sedan that combine the duo relationship between style and performance , the 2014 Hyundai Sonata 2.0T might be the car you’ve been looking for.  Noticed that I said “might”?  Surely, there is no lack in eye candy as former Audi designer, Peter Schuyler ensured  the Sonata would warm the hearts of any style-conscious consumer.  And at 274 horsepower, that’s a pretty decent number to satisfy most automotive jockeys out there.  All within the base price of $34,199, that’s not bad at all for a top trim level.  But enough with the brochure talk and let’s get down to the details of the beauty and the beast within the loaded 2014 Hyundai Sonata 2.0T.

Mercedes-Benz CLA250: Just too little Mercedes? (CNET On Cars, Episode 36)

Mercedes-Benz CLA250: Just too little Mercedes? (CNET On Cars, Episode 36)


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Take the CNET On Cars poll and let us know what segments you want to see on the show.

In this episode:

  • Mercedes CLA250 explored
  • Glance technique: The driving basic you probably forgot.
  • Mazda Skyactiv gas engine technology explained
  • Top 5: MORE fuel economy myths!

As always, … [Read more]


Car Tech: An automotive blog from CNET