In yesterday's blog we were all enthralled by a battle of four "clunker" trade-ins filled with "liquid glass", and lemons attempted to one-up the other by outlasting their opponents in running time before the inevitable seizure of their respective engines. Today's clip is similar, but in my not-so humble opinion the duel between these two clunkers isn't the story here. What I found more amusing was the amount of smoke that this old Lincoln Towncar (I think...it's a Ford make so I'm close) was able to emit. And to me, … Read more
I've owned a variety of automobiles in my lifetime, but one of the few that holds a special place in my heart to this very day was my old 1988 Lincoln Town Car (or as I used to call it "The Stinkin' Lincoln"). It was in no shape or form sedan-like: I'm talking about one of those big, boat-like cars with gas-guzzling 5.0 V8 engines that are sort of like a poor man's Cadillac. My Lincoln was white with plush, white leather interior and the fancy-looking wood grain. The feeling I got driving that … Read more
During the 2009 New York auto show, Ford let us try out a couple of technologies it is introducing. The first is called Active Park, and parallel parks your car for you. Lexus previously rolled out a self-parking car with its LS model, but Ford has refined the concept and made it more user-friendly.
For the demonstration, we got into a Lincoln MKS equipped with the technology and started driving. After pushing a button to activate the system, the car goes into parking spot search mode. We drove by two cars parked at the curb, and the system told us we could fit in the space between them, and advised us where to stop so it could commence parallel parking.
As with the Lexus system, we had to put the MKS in reverse and control the brake and the accelerator, but the car handles the steering. As we backed up, the wheel spun around on its own accord, steering the car into the spot. The park distance warning sensors sounded off as we got close to the car behind us, and the Active Park system flashed a message that it was time to pull forward. Putting the car into Drive, the wheel again turned, straightening the MKS out so it would be parallel to the curb. … Read more
Probably the only race that Buick and Jaguar would finish in a tie is the J.D. Power and Associates 2009 Vehicle Dependability StudySM (VDS), but both are on the top of the leader board this week. Each rank highest in vehicle dependability in a tie. Buick improves from a sixth-place ranking in 2008, while Jaguar improves from 10th place. Following in the top-five rankings this year are Lexus, Toyota and Mercury.
Toyota garners five segment awards for the Highlander, Prius, Sequoia, Solara, and Tundra. Lexus follows with four segment awards for the ES 330 (in a tie with the … Read more
DETROIT--While the switch to electric power steering will boost fuel economy, it also opens the door to driver-friendly features for Ford vehicles--specifically, parallel-parking assist and a torque-assist feature that reduces driver effort on crowned road surfaces.
By 2012, 90 percent of Ford's vehicles, including light-duty trucks, will be equipped with standard electric power steering, replacing hydraulic steering.
"It improves fuel economy by 3 to 5 percent--which, depending on the size of the vehicle and the engine, equates to somewhere between 0.4 and a full 1 mpg," said Ali Jammoul, chief engineer of North American chassis.
Ford is purchasing electric power steering systems from Delphi and TRW Automotive. Valeo provides the parking-assist module. … Read more
Ford's 3.5-liter twin-turbocharged, direct-injected EcoBoost V-6 engine, set to debut this spring under the hood of the Lincoln MKS and Ford Taurus SHO, makes so much torque (350 pound-feet, to be exact) that apparently the automaker's standard 6F-50 six-speed automatic transmission couldn't reliably handle it. So Ford went back to the drawing board and created a new transmission specifically for the higher torque demands of the new powerplant: the 6f-55 automatic transmission.
While most of the details are highly technical in nature, the key changes for this new transmission include stronger parts and materials to deal … Read more
We saw several electric car concepts at the Detroit auto show, but there were also a set of more traditional concepts with internal combustion engines on the automaker's specification lists. These cars show off the sorts of designs the car companies are looking at for future production models. Volkswagen and Audi push the diesel agenda with new entrants, while Volvo and Subaru show off the future direction of specific models. Lincoln tries out a new take on luxury, while Kia gets playful with its new Soul platform.
Lincoln surprised us with a new concept at the 2009 Detroit auto show, designed as a compact luxury car. We did get a teaser at the CES 2009 show, where Ford ran a video of a conceptual dashboard without letting on that it was from the C concept. We're impressed that Lincoln realizes there is a future in small cars, and that good things can come in small packages.
CNET Tech Car of the Year for 2008
In December we invited you to vote for the 2008 Tech Car of the Year from our five nominees. Well, no upset this year, as our staff judges agreed with the voting public: the 2009 Nissan GT-R is our Tech Car of the Year. Nissan has been putting top-notch cabin tech into its Infiniti models, and applied the same gear to the GT-R. But that's only the beginning, as you can almost feel the circuitry running through the GT-R's advanced suspensions and road-holding systems. Likewise, the engine is a pretty impressive piece of engineering, bringing in supercar acceleration from a V-6, not to mention the new double-clutch gearbox.
The GT-R has some faults, such as the overly stiff ride, which isn't really mitigated by the Comfort setting for the suspension. And we had some staff disagreement about that double-clutch gearbox: Brian Cooley found problems with using it in traffic, while Wayne Cunningham felt it worked very smoothly. But we couldn't deny the tech tour de force that the Nissan GT-R represents.
A new feature from Ford Motor will allow drivers to let their car do the steering when faced with a parallel parking space, the company announced Tuesday.
On the self-parking Lexus, the driver can use an interface to adjust the space the car aims for, and only maintains control over the brake while it's maneuvering.
In Ford's version the driver pulls up alongside a space and pushes a button. The car then applies ultrasonic-based sensors … Read more