Ever since 2009, Audi has been showing off enticing electric cars under the E-tron name, its brand for any electrified power train. I finally got to drive one during a green industry conference in San Francisco, but it was a far cry from the original sporty-looking E-tron concept. However, the A3 E-tron looks a lot more like a car that Audi would put into production.… Read more
When Apple announced the iPhone 5's new Lightning connector, a replacement for the 30-pin connector of past iPhones, iPads, and iPods, it also announced an adapter to maintain compatibility with 30-pin accessories and docks. I tested the iPhone 5 with its biggest 30-pin accessory, a Volkswagen.
Volkswagen uses the same iPod integration system as Audi, which it calls the Media Device Interface. This system consists of a proprietary port in the car with adapter cables for 30-pin iPod connector, USB, Mini-USB, and auxiliary input. As Volkswagen has not come out with a Lightning cable for its Media Device Interface, you have to get Apple's 30-pin-to-Lightning adapter, and connect it to the car's adapter cable. Not exactly an elegant solution.… Read more
When shopping for a new car, the old questions remain relevant. Does it have enough seats for my family and friends? Are the seats comfortable? Will it suit all the uses for which I need it? Does it get good fuel economy? Is it safe?
However, there are many new tech features available that can make your drives more comfortable, keep you out of traffic jams, and prevent accidents. In addition, there are different drivetrain options that can save you a lot of money, depending on your lifestyle.
In this guide, we will let you know what features you can … Read more
PARIS--One of the easiest ways to increase fuel efficiency without sacrificing drivability is to shave weight. Lose a gram here, save an ounce there, and before you know it, you could be looking at sizable weight reduction and a complementary reduction in fuel consumption and particulate emissions.
On the first day here at the 2012 Paris Motor Show, we heard this theme repeated over and over from automakers as they put their vehicles on a diet, shaving hundreds of pounds off of their newest models.… Read more
A number of Audi purists (and a couple of intenders around the office) groaned when I showed them the new S5 with its V6. And it turns out they are on to something. Not that the car isn't responsive, but there is a point where the power flattens out right when you think it will keep coming. You actually have to be good about selecting gears and reading the situation ahead. Welcome to the new downsized world -- and to actually driving, not just throttle pressing. … Read more
During today's event announcing the new iPhone and iPod, Apple V.P. Phil Schiller spent a little time talking about the Lightning connector, the port replacing the old 30-pin port on iOS devices. Although Schiller pointed out how Apple's adapter for the port would ensure backward compatibility, some car models are not likely to work with Lightning or the new adapter.
Schiller specifically mentioned how the adapter would work with existing iPod integration in cars, showing an image of an iPhone cabled to a car. The car shown in the photo was an Audi, identifiable by the distinctive … Read more
BMW started the trend in 2004, offering native integration between car and iPod. Now almost every new car sold has some method of plugging in an iPhone or iPod. This integration is very convenient for drivers, as they can select music from the device through a car's own stereo controls.
However, reports of a smaller, 19-pin connector for the iPhone 5, replacing the current 30-pin connector, may bork iPhone integration with car stereos. Short of getting a new car to match your shiny new iPhone, what is a driver to do?
The good news is that many cars, such as those from Ford, BMW, and Honda, use a standard USB port to connect to the existing white iPhone cable. The new 19-pin connector is likely to use the same sort of adapter cable as current iPhones and iPods, so should plug right in. However, those existing cars may not be able to decode the signal from the iPhone 5 and its connector, depending on how much Apple reengineers its interface.… Read more
You only need to look at a smartphone to realize the usefulness of an Internet connection in a car. And the advent of smartphones is playing a big part in getting automakers to integrate connected features. People used to looking up an address on a smartphone can now do it right in their car's dashboard, and save that address to the navigation system. Other apps that can come in handy on the road, as deemed by these automakers, bring up Internet radio, social networking, and dinner reservations.… Read more
Celebrating both its win at Le Mans with a diesel-electric hybrid race car, and the upcoming production release of the R8 e-tron electric vehicle, Audi set a lap record on the Nurburgring for a production electric car. The Audi R8 e-tron ran the 12.92-mile lap in 8 minutes, 9.099 seconds.
Previously, Toyota set a lap record of 7 minutes, 47.79 seconds for an electric car on the Nurburgring, but its EV P001 is not a production car. Both the Audi and Toyota laps fall behind the 7-minute, 11.57-second record set by a Gumpert Apollo Sport for … Read more
Ricky Bobby said "If you ain't first, you're last", but the driver of Audi's No. 2 R18 e-tron quattro probably did not feel particularly crushed to come in second, behind Audi's No. 1 R18 e-tron quattro, at this weekend's 24 hours of Le Mans endurance race. Both cars not only used Audi diesel engines, which have dominated at previous Le Mans runnings, but also an electric boost system.
The wins not only prove the efficiency of these drive systems, which helped the drivers to victory through the need for fewer fueling stops, but … Read more