DETROIT -- The creation of a special-edition, high-performance auto is a challenging thing. There are engineering challenges, of course. Taking a car that was designed to do one thing and then tweaking it to do even more isn't always hard, but as any Forza or Gran Turismo junkie can tell you, doing so without ruining the character that made the car good in the first place takes genuine skill. But then there's another, almost ethical challenge faced in launching something like the supercharged 2015 Corvette Z06: how do you promote this new special edition machine without belittling the … Read more
DETROIT -- Lexus has been sharpening its performance cred in recent years with the launch of the IS F and the LFA supercar, but the launch of the RC F at the 2014 Detroit auto show suggests the previous moves were more than a passing whim. The RC F features a V-8 engine and a sport coupe design that should garner the appreciation of any driving enthusiast.
The RC F follows the launch late last year of the RC 350 model. Both use the same body, although the RC F gets some aero enhancements, such as a spoiler that automatically … Read more
DETROIT -- The midsize sedan segment is important for any automaker, and for Mercedes-Benz, it is bread and butter. The C-Class not only makes up a major portion of Mercedes-Benz sales, but also serves as the first taste of the brand for many buyers. At the 2014 Detroit auto show, Mercedes-Benz showed the newest generation of this most important model, one that it can little afford to get wrong.
And from all appearances, Mercedes-Benz got the right mix of features and design.
The body of the new C-Class maintains the same general lines as the previous generation, with a short … Read more
DETROIT -- With shorter life cycles, navigation and other features on phones tend to be more advanced than those found in cars. During the Detroit auto show, Panasonic showed off head unit concepts with navigation and entertainment powered by a connected phone.
Panasonic had on hand a head unit running its own, embedded infotainment system, one showing Android phone integration through MirrorLink, and a third also running navigation from an Android phone, but this one connected through CloudCar.
With both the MirrorLink and CloudCar implementations, navigation and entertainment functions running on the phone were translated to an appropriate interface for … Read more
DETROIT -- Sport driving enthusiasts long revered the M3 as a high-performance, somewhat affordable car for road and track. Those enthusiasts will have to get used to saying M4 instead, the new name for the previous M3 coupe.
Beyond a simple name change, however, the M4 and its M3 sedan sibling are wholly new cars, featuring down-sized yet more powerful engines along with new body and performance components. Although the M4 and M3 share performance components, serious drivers will be more interested in the coupe for its sleek styling.
The design of the new M4 is not radically different from … Read more
DETROIT -- With the launch of the new Corvette Stingray last year, Chevy fans had a new performance car to aspire to. However, true fans of the brand knew the best was yet to come. While the new C7 Stingray raised the performance bar well above that of the C6 that came before, it's always the subsequent performance models that really light the world on fire. This year in Detroit the first of those was unveiled, the venerable Z06.Catch CNET's coverage of the 2014 North American International Auto Show.
The first Z06 model appeared back in 1963 … Read more
DETROIT -- For more than a decade, Toyota's most exciting car didn't actually exist, the company focusing on reliable sedans such as the Camry and Corolla. At the 2014 Detroit auto show, Toyota released the FT-1 concept car, a signal that its era of boring design has officially ended.
Kevin Hunter, President of Toyota's CALTY design center, called the FT-T a "spiritual pace car."
"FT" stands for Future Toyota, according to Hunter. This new concept shows that the company is bringing back sports car design, such as it used to have with the … Read more
DETROIT -- 763,402 sales in 2013. That'd be a huge number for just about any product you can think of, but when you consider that's how many F-150s Ford moved in 2013 alone, it's an eye-opening feat. That's fully 40 percent of the US truck market, capping off the 37th consecutive year as America's best-selling truck. And 2013 marked the 32nd year it's been the best-selling car of any kind in the US.
The F-series dates back to 1966. In 2014, it gets a complete makeover, including plenty of new tech. Rather than … Read more
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 … Read more
For years, whenever someone at a party would ask me, "so what's your favorite car?" or "what's the coolest car you've driven?" I'd blurt out "the Lamborghini Gallardo LP 570-4 Superleggera" faster and with more flourish than you could say "Red Ryder carbine action 200-shot range model air rifle." It's embarrassing, but I've been in love with the impractical wedge-shaped supercar ever since I got a chance to track one back in 2009. I know -- it doesn't make sense, but supercars have a way … Read more