The Dodge Dart returns to the road.
The Dodge Dart returns to the road.
A First Look at the 2012 Coda Sedan, the workman's electric car.
Get a hands-on look at Nissan's electric utility vehicle.
A First Look at a mini Mini
LAS VEGAS--Sporting booths and displays suitable for a full-fledged car show, major automakers showed off their varying connected car strategies at the 2012 Consumer Electronics Show.
But the automaker displays at CES only held a smattering of cars, the space primarily being taken up by standalone dashboards and kiosks showing in-car navigation, audio, phone, and app screens. I never doubted the benefits of data feeds in cars, as integrating Google search with a navigation system is far better than relying on some static, outdated points-of-interest database.
Knowing the glacial pace of automotive development, what surprised me was how quickly automakers … Read more
LAS VEGAS--Chip maker Freescale sees smartphone integration as the future of automotive infotainment systems.
Luke Smithwick, who runs the Driver Information and Infotainment Business section of Freescale, points out his daughters as an example of how young people's lives are on their smartphones. And no matter what regulations might be passed, those phones will find a way into the car. So Smithwick's mission is to work on technology that can safely integrate smartphones with driver information systems.
Among its displays here at CES 2012, Freescale had a head unit with its version of MirrorLink enabled, a new technology … Read more
LAS VEGAS--At CES 2012, Johnson Controls showed off its HUD technology, currently used in the Citroen DS5, and a conceptual 3D instrument cluster.
In a private meeting room, Johnson Controls had two bucks set up, stands with automotive instrument clusters showing off its latest technology. The company, which does big automotive business with things such as the HomeLink system for opening garage doors, is pushing its human/machine interface capabilities in new dashboard instrumentation products.
The head-up display (HUD) system relies on a small, clear panel sticking up out of the dashboard, above the instrument cluster. A projection shows speed, … Read more
LAS VEGAS--The last thing I expected to do on my arrival in the city for CES 2012 was to take a quick drive in the Fisker Karma.
But as I walked out of the hotel near the Las Vegas Convention Center, there was the car, in all of its curvaceous, green glory, parked at the curb. A quick talk with the Fisker rep on hand, and soon I was in the driver's seat of this new-series hybrid car, models of which are just beginning to roll off the production line.
Looking around the cabin, I was surprised at the lack of leather, a typical lining for the innards of any high-end luxury car. Instead, surfaces were covered in a variety of thick, soft fabrics. This model was in Eco Chic trim, which keeps the animal carcasses away from passengers. Even the bits of wood trim in the car come from reclaimed sources, the remnants of a wildfire in Southern California and salvaged from the bottom of Lake Michigan, according to the Fisker rep accompanying me.
A 10.3-inch touch screen filled the center dashboard, and the instrument cluster was an LCD panel showing virtual gauges. The drive selector was like none I've ever seen before, four buttons in a crystalline structure like something from "Doctor Who."… Read more
Some years, automakers show off fanciful design concepts never meant for the road at the Detroit auto show, but 2012 features significant new launches people can actually buy.
The big three came loaded for showrooms, each showing off impressive new models or updates. Cadillac came out ready to seriously take on the BMW 3-series with its all new ATS. This small sport luxury sedan sounds like it's got the right stuff to compete with the eternal champion from Munich.
The new Dodge Dart is less ambitious, but looks like a credible revival of a popular nameplate. And it aims … Read more
DETROIT--Chevy wants the nation's youth, and it built two Hot Wheels-esque concept cars to use as bait.
The two concepts, unveiled at the 2012 North American International Auto Show, go by the names Code 130R and Tru 140S. Chevy cites the potential market of 80 million people in their '20s as the impetus for these two design studies.
The Tru 140S is intended to evoke an expensive exotic car in its styling, although its profile brings the old Pontiac Sunfire to mind. And based on the Chevy Cruze platform, with front-wheel drive and a turbocharged 1.4-liter engine, it is unlikely to provide supercar performance. … Read more