If you've driven the Fiat 500 and found it underpowered, things are about to get more interesting. Fiat will bring out the tuned Abarth version at the upcoming Los Angeles Auto Show.
Fiat made its return to the U.S. market this year with the 2012 Fiat 500c, an inexpensive city car with cute retro looks. To increase appeal among a more power-hungry set of drivers, Fiat is bringing the tuned Abarth version to the U.S., and it gets its first showing next month in Los Angeles. … Read more
Until the concept is unveiled, all we have is the sketch above and a few tidbits teased by the automaker. The large crossover slots in just below the full-size Infiniti QX and will have three rows of seats with room for seven passengers. Externally, the design language that featured prominently on the Infiniti Essence concept car should be stretched … Read more
When Nissan unleashed its latest version of the GT-R in 2007, it seemed there was no room for improvement. Engineered to extreme levels, this GT-R used a high-power twin turbo V-6, essentially a racing engine, a dual-clutch six-speed automated manual transmission, and a very advanced all-wheel-drive system.
But Nissan demonstrates with the 2012 model that technology can always be improved, increasing engine output by 45 horsepower. And what looks like a minor bodywork update also increases downforce by 10 percent. For a cosmetic update, Nissan added LED running lights.
We also found a slight mystery on the all-wheel-drive control switch. … Read more
LOS ANGELES--With electric vehicles being one of the main story lines at the LA Auto Show here this week, some other news may have gotten lost in the shuffle. But if you were at the Porsche press conference, where the German automaker unveiled its Cayman R, its presentation of a video celebrating 60 years of its cars in America was worth watching (see video below).
Accompanied by models dressed in the garb of each decade that Porsche has been selling cars in the United States, the presentation was clearly a trip down memory lane for many in the audience. But … Read more
LOS ANGELES--Earlier this year Mini said it would integrate Web radio and other smartphone apps with its cars, but gave little detail of how the system would work. At the 2010 Los Angeles Auto Show, we had a Mini representative to give us a demo of its new ConnectedDrive system.
To answer our most immediate question, Mini developed its own iPhone app, so Web radio, Twitter, and the other functions it is offering actually reside on the phone, using its processor power and data connection. With the iPhone connected to the car's USB port, control of the app gets taken over by the Mini's onscreen interface.
Added to the list of audio sources on the Mini's LCD was Web radio, right along with satellite radio, AM, and FM. That Web radio entry only appears when a phone bearing the Mini ConnectedDrive app is hooked up. The Web radio feature of the Mini app lets you listen to thousands of radio stations that stream their audio to the Internet.
The Mini ConnectedDrive app also offers Google Local Search, Twitter, and Facebook. The interfaces for each of these functions have been designed by Mini to avoid on-road distraction. For example, the Twitter feature does not let you type in a Tweet. Instead, the car comes up with canned Tweets that you can send.
This Tweet function is kind of brilliant, as it uses data the car knows, such as location, current temperature, or how long you've been driving. It can take this data and punch it into Tweet templates, letting you easily update Twitter with your location or what a nice day it is while you're driving around. Mini suggests this feature will encourage social networking amongst Mini owners, making it possible for them to enjoy a drive together while keeping organized. For example, a lead car could Tweet direction changes. Users will also be able to create their own Tweet templates. … Read more
LOS ANGELES--Wandering the floor of the 2010 Los Angeles Auto Show, we happened across a dashboard display in the Chrysler area. Attached to a wall, it lacked an actual car, but its touch-screen head unit showed off the next generation interface for Chrysler's UConnect infotainment system.
Unlike Chrysler's current system, there were no buttons on the sides of the touch screen. A row of icons ran across the bottom of the screen, allowing access to navigation, audio, climate control, and the phone system. These icons were attractively designed and easily readable.
On current UConnect systems, we've complained … Read more
LOS ANGELES--If you've never been to a major auto show, you've probably never seen quite as many all-new cars and beautiful concept vehicles as attendees feast their eyes on.
Of course, over two full days of carmaker press conferences, it can be quite exhausting, but for enthusiasts, it is also a treat to get to see many of the very latest vehicles on the road, and those that will be gracing highways around the country in the next year or two.
The 2010 Los Angeles Auto Show played host to the introduction of Mitsubishi's i electric car for the U.S. market. Up until this introduction, Mitsubishi had used the Japanese market version to introduce the car to the press, but the U.S. version shows substantial changes. It seems to have dropped the Miev from its name, simply becoming the i.
Most importantly, the steering wheel moves from right to left. Also significant is the fact that the car has grown in size for the U.S. market, allowing for a wider cabin and U.S. safety equipment. With … Read more