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2014 Maserati Ghibli: The more attainable rare Italian (CNET On Cars Episode 42)

Maserati’s Ghibli has a tantalizing take on four-door performance; see CNET’s top-rated 2014 cars; and find out if you have the right junk in your trunk.







CNET Car Tech

Mazda’s little crossover is more powerful, still fun

The 2014 Mazda CX-5 Grand Touring a great little urban crossover, but more polished cabin tech would make it an exceptional one.







CNET Car Tech

Cadillac ELR: More than a souped-up Volt? (CNET On Cars, Episode 37)

Cadillac ELR: More than a souped-up Volt? (CNET On Cars, Episode 37)

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In this episode:

  • Cadillac ELR explored and explained
  • Keeping your dog safe in the car
  • Top 5 apps for the driver

As always, email me your thoughts, suggestions, and comments.

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Car Tech: An automotive blog from CNET

Escort’s new flagship detector boasts more signal, less noise

Escort’s Passport Max brings few new tricks to the radar detector’s bag of tricks. It’s got GPS connectivity, which it uses in some innovative ways. It uses new signal-processing tech to tune out the noise that triggers false alerts. It’s even got a new suction cup.

Design The Passport Max attaches to your car’s windshield with a new Sticky Cup suction mount, similar to that of the Bracketron Mi-T Grip. While it looks like a standard lever-activated suction cup, the Sticky Cup uses a tacky, indeed, sticky semiadhesive material for its cup. With this change, the Passport sacrifices a bit of liberty for security, as the new suction cup is less forgiving during positioning (as it sticks to rather than slides on glass and has only one hinged point of articulation) and is more difficult to remove, but holds to the windshield glass with great strength.

Escort refers to the Passport Max as “compact” but at 1.3 by 3.2 by 5.3 inches, it feels pretty big to me. Imagine about three Nexus 4s stacked sandwich-style, and you’ll have an idea of its size. Still, size doesn’t really matter here, as the Max isn’t really the kind of thing that you’d carry around all day, though it does ship with a nice soft carrying case for it and its accessories.

The Passport's OLED screen displays … [Read more]

    








Car Tech: An automotive blog from CNET

2014 Honda Civic Si Coupe gets more bark, more bite

(Credit: Antuan Goodwin/CNET)

LAS VEGAS — I was a big fan of the 2012 Honda Civic Si Coupe, so I wasn’t disappointed when, for the 2013 model year, the Si Coupe went unchanged, despite the many revisions that the Civic Sedan and Civic Si Sedan received as part of the “emergency refresh” of the 2013 model year.

Unveiled today at the 2013 SEMA Show here in Las Vegas, the 2014 Honda Civic Si Coupe finally gets its refresh, bringing it in line with the four-door variant but with styling twists of its own.

The 2014 Civic Coupe gets new headlamps that are visually similar to those of the sedan, but the grille that flows into and joins those lights is more aggressive and streamlined. The result is a fascia that’s even less visually complex than the already simplified 2013 design. The Si Coupe model differentiates itself even further with a unique front bumper and air dam that is much angrier-looking, with larger openings at the corners that envelop the foglamps.

Honda debuts, customizes 2014 Civic Si at SEMA 2013 (pictures)

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Parrot adds three more Android-powered Asteroids to its belt

(Credit: Parrot)

Parrot’s Asteroid was one of the first car stereo systems to be based and powered by the Android operating system, but it won’t be the last after the Asteroid Smart, the Asteroid Tablet, and the Asteroid Mini join the original later this month.

The Asteroid Smart takes over flagship duties with its large, 6.2-inch screen and the most full feature set.

(Credit: Parrot)

The Asteroid Smart will sit at the top of the new lineup, packing a 6.2-inch capacitive, multitouch screen. The unit fits into a standard double-DIN car stereo and, like the rest of the Asteroid lineup, is powered by a heavily customized version of Android 2.3 (Gingerbread). The unit features four standard USB ports (one of which is dedicated to a full-speed iPod/iPhone input), a SiRFstar IV GPS antenna, Parrot’s fantastic dual microphone, Bluetooth connectivity, and Wi-Fi — which is a new addition to the Asteroid family feature set. The car stereo also features a four-channel Mosfet amplifier to power your car’s speakers. The unit’s functionality is similar to that of the first-generation Asteroid, albeit controlled by taps and swipes of the capacitive touch screen, rather than twists and pokes of a control knob.

Out of the box, the Asteroid Smart supports Bluetooth hands-free calling and audio streaming, MP3 and video playback over USB or the included SD card, a… [Read more]


Car Tech: An automotive blog from CNET

Lamborghini makes Aventador more fuel efficient for 2013

The 2013 Aventador doesn't get great gas mileage, but it's better than last year’s.

(Credit: Antuan Goodwin/CNET)

I can that imagine someone at Lamborghini thinks that the Aventador’s 700-horsepower split between all four wheels is probably enough power for one car. (And no, I don’t agree with that person.) I assume this because rather than getting a nominal power bump for this model year’s update, the 2013 Lamborghini Aventador LP700-4 gets a mile per gallon bump thanks to the addition of cylinder deactivation and idle stop-start technologies that allow the V-12 engine to instantaneously and momentarily make less power in the pursuit of using less fuel.

The Cylinder Deactivation System (CDS) works like this: When cruising or coasting at speeds below 85 mph, the Aventador shuts down one bank of its 6.5-liter, V-12 engine — essentially transforming the engine into a 3.25-liter, inline six-cylinder. You don’t need all 700 ponies for your daily commute, so by basically shrinking the engine on demand, Lamborghini is able to squeeze out a few more mpgs. When the user decides that it’s time to drop the hammer, the CDS fires the second bank of cylinders back up with no more interaction from the driver than an increase in pedal pressure and, presumably, no hesitation.

When the 2013 Aventador comes to a stop, so does its engine thanks to the start-stop system that reduces fuel wasted whil… [Read more]


Car Tech: An automotive blog from CNET

Lamborghini makes 700-horsepower Aventador more fuel efficient for 2013

The 2013 Aventador doesn't get great gas mileage, but it's better than last year.

(Credit: Antuan Goodwin/CNET )

I can imagine someone at Lamborghini thinks that the Aventador’s 700-horsepower split between all four wheels is probably enough power for one car. (And no, I don’t agree with that person.) I assume this because rather than getting a nominal power bump for this model year’s update, the 2013 Lamborghini Aventador LP700-4 gets a mile per gallon bump thanks to the addition of cylinder deactivation and idle stop-start technologies that allow the V-12 engine to instantaneously and momentarily make less power in the pursuit of using less fuel.

The Cylinder Deactivation System (CDS) works like this: When cruising or coasting at speeds below 85 mph, the Aventador shuts down one bank of its 6.5-liter, V-12 engine–essentially transforming the engine into a 3.25-liter, inline six-cylinder. You don’t need all 700 ponies for your daily commute, so by basically shrinking the engine on demand, Lamborghini is able to squeeze out a few more mpgs. When the user decides that it’s time to drop the hammer, the CDS fires the second bank of cylinders back up with no more interaction from the driver than an increase in pedal pressure and, presumably, no hesitation.

When the 2013 Aventador comes to a stop, so does its engine thanks to the start-stop system that reduces fuel wasted while idli… [Read more]


Car Tech: An automotive blog from CNET