Archive for the ‘Car News’ Category
Two of my favorite companies have come together in a new feature that has me seeing music notes. Volvo’s new Sensus Connected Touch is available in May of this year, and it now features Spotify, the music playlist behemoth,
“Volvo’s integration with Spotify is both voice-activated and touch enabled. The new system allows drivers to be able to stream music with a 3G/4G dongle or via the driver’s mobile phone connection through their dashboard. Drivers will be able to play any Spotify track they want just by just saying its name, allowing car owners the ability to remain connected when driving. Sensus Connected Touch turns the 7-inch display into a state-of-the-art infrared, beam-scanned touch screen you can use even when wearing gloves – a world first in cars.
The new technology responds to demand from drivers for consumption of music on the road, combined with Volvo’s core safety value. It is easier and safer to use whilst driving, as drivers can access and operate the music system via the steering wheel and centre stack controls, without taking their eyes off the road or their hands off the steering wheel. As well as Spotify, the technology also includes access to thousands of radio stations from all over the world.
The system is based on Android technology, which allows it to be regularly upgraded. Other apps accessible via Sensus Connected Touch include Google maps, TuneIn, iGO navigation and an app store for new functions and updates. Internet data can also be transferred via Wi-Fi between the mobile phone and Sensus Connected Touch and the Wi-Fi network can be shared with everyone in the car when using a dongle.” Volvo, 6 March 2013.
50. I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles) – The Proclaimers
49. Blitzkrieg Bop – The Ramones
48. California – Phantom Planet
47. Take It Easy – Eagles
46. Cruisin’ – Smokey Robinson
45. Hotel California – Eagles
44. Around the World – Daft Punk
43. Running On Empty – Jackson Browne
42. The Waiting – Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers
41. Sweet Home Alabama – Lynyrd Skynyrd
For more hits, here’s a few playlists we found on Spotify:
Photos via Auto Blog.
Meet the 2013 Volkswagon Cross Up, the European version of an off-roader, complete with rugged interiors and paneling, with a 75-horsepower 3-cylinder engine. The car goes on sale late this summer in Europe, but is unlikely to be adapted for US sales. For a complete gallery and more information, visit the Auto Blog website.
Ah, the Super Bowl. The food, the game, the half-time show, but most importantly the commercials. Remember last year’s Darth Vader? Here’s a few of our favorites from Hyundai, Toyota, Audi, and Cars.com.
Hyundai inspires a boy to build his dream team.
Audi makes a teen’s prom night awesome.
Hyundai Turbo allows you to bypass the ugly.
Toyota’s Genie isn’t very understanding.
Cars.com removes the drama from the car purchase process.
You can watch all of the ads on the Huffington Post website.
Image Source: Yahoo! Auto
An increase in horsepower without a decrease in gas efficiency sounds too good to be true, but for the space-age style Honda CR-Z, let’s just say it ain’t no big thang. The all new model debuted at the Paris 2012 Auto Show.
The 1.5-liter engine and electric motor have been tweaked to produce 137 horsepower, which is a 13-horsepower improvement over the 2012 model—and putting it on even footing with the Veloster. More interestingly, Honda has added a Plus Sport button, which gives an extra surge of power when there’s over 50% battery charge left for up to ten seconds. That won’t lead to neck-snapping acceleration, but considering the European combined cycle will stay at 56.4 miles per gallon, it means there’s little if any cost to fuel economy. Yahoo, 27 Sep 2012.
The model is much more popular in Europe, but Honda is hoping this power boost might give it an edge in the American market.
Here’s a few interesting auto related articles from around the internet:
A 102-year-old Michigan woman showed her 1930 Packard roadster at the Concours d’Elegance last weekend. She’s owned the car for more than 60 years, and until the last few years maintained it herself.
Have teen drivers? Here’s a list of seven benefits of teaching them yourself instead of sending them to driver’s school. Whiplash and bruises are not on the list.
The Obama administration has delayed announcing the new CAFE standards for gas mileage. The guidelines are still undergoing review.
If you live in the Southern states, here’s a great article on how to protect your car during a hurricane.
Have a great weekend, and stay safe.
A revamped sportier design and updated marketing plan has increase sales of the Toyota Camry by 40% this year and the average buyer is almost ten years younger than before.
Before its remake, the Camry was reliable but boring. Handling was average and its looks were bland. As a result, it attracted mainly baby boomers in their mid-50s who were looking for reliable transportation.
But the new version has pulled in younger buyers, knocking 10 years off the age of the average buyer, Carter said.
“We didn’t anticipate that much movement in the demographics,” he said.
One reason younger buyers are going for Camrys is a sportier version called the “SE,” which has a firmer suspension, aluminum wheels and low-profile tires:
It now makes up about 40% of Camry sales, Carter said.
The company also changed its marketing to focus more on the car’s style and handling, Carter said. USA Today, 16 Aug 2012.
Better safety and a series of technological advances have also helped sell the car. Features include ten airbags, Blind Spot Monitor, Entune, and more. Check out all of the features on the Toyota website.
Interested in owning a piece of Mercedes-Benz and European history in car form? This 1936 Mercedes-Benz 540K Special Roadster has a plethora of stories to tell, and it’s going up for auction at the annual Gooding & Co. auction at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance car show. It was originally owned by German Baroness Gisela von Krieger.
Von Krieger’s brother Henning originally paid about $7,000 for the Mercedes. This Sunday, it’s likely to fetch at least $10 million and could break the $16.4-million record for any auto sold at auction when it’s put up for bid at the splashy Gooding & Co. auction that follows the Pebble BeachConcours d’Elegancecar show. The vehicle is owned by New Hampshire businessman Lee Herrington, who made his money through catalog sales of preppy clothing, shoes and gadgets.
How it got to the auction is the story of a German aristocrat who defied the Nazis and saved a glossy black Mercedes-Benz two-seater that today is rarer than a Stradivarius violin. Experts have dubbed it the automotive equivalent of a coveted Picasso.
“It is one of those cars that exemplify everything that is desirable about a classic automobile,” said Leslie Kendall, curator of the Petersen Automotive Museum. “It is gorgeous, it is powerful, it is rare and it was expensive.”
Known as the Von Krieger Special Roadster, it was the favorite ride of Baroness Gisela von Krieger, a member of the Prussian nobility. She had a prewar romantic dalliance with a mysterious Jewish Englishman and, when the war started, refused orders from the Third Reich to return home from France.
Instead, Von Krieger and her mother fled to Switzerland. But the prized Mercedes was stuck at the Daimler-Benz plant in Germany where it was undergoing repairs after an accident. The baroness settled the bill and had the automaker ship the car by rail to Switzerland. Los Angeles Times, 15 August 2012.
Read the full history of the car on the LA Times website. It’s well worth it.
Photo by Jim Weber / AP
Gas prices are on the rise again, after several months of stable or declining prices. The national average is now $3.52 a gallon, a 17 cent increase in less than a month.
“More and more locations say prices are above where they were last year — and last year was the most expensive for motor fuel,” says Oil Price Information Service analyst Tom Kloza. Gas averaged $3.71 a gallon in July 2011.
The Midwest is particularly pinched. Refinery woes in Indiana and Illinois have crimped output, propelling prices to as high as $4.29 a gallon in Chicago and to near $4 levels in several regions of the Rust Belt.
“It’s been pretty lousy,” says Patrick DeHaan, senior energy analyst for price tracker gasbuddy.com. “In some states, there’s been a 40- to 50-cent increase.”
BMW announced this week the addition of two major improvements to its ConnectedDrive system, including 3D city models and a touchpad interface.
Called BMW ConnectedDrive, the new system is marked by two big improvements. The first are new graphics for the entire system that feature black backgrounds and atmospheric lighting effects, as well as a new view option for maps called “3D City Models” for select locations.
The second improvement is the introduction of iDrive Touch, which is a touchpad interface like those first used on some Audi models that’s embedded on the top of BMW’s familiar iDrive rotary knob controller. Measuring 45mm in diameter, the touchpad can be used not only for inputting characters, but also features a pinch-to-zoom function when viewing maps and will soon have the ability to control a cursor when BMW makes a browser function available. iDrive Touch will launch this month in China, where the input’s gesture control method works particularly well with that language’s thousands of characters, and then go on to appear in all other markets a year later.
The system will also be open for app development. BMW was the first auto company to offer in-dash navigation systems. The option first appeared in 1994.