Dedicated electric motorcycle app can account for environmental factors, traffic conditions and rider’s behavior.
Range is a constant concern when driving an electric car, although various onboard and offboard features and apps allow you to calculate just how far you can go before running out of power.
But what if you own an electric motorcycle? It’s not as if you have a free hand to fiddle with a screen or an app while balancing on two wheels.
That’s why electric motorcycle maker Brammo is offering a range calculation app for its Empulse model that can be displayed on a smartphone and mounted on the bike's handlebars for easy access. While the app allows Empulse riders to see their EV range at a glance, it also takes into consideration traffic conditions and performance data. Plus, it can even learn individual driving habits to further fine-tune range calculations.
Base price undercuts that of outgoing Jeep Liberty.
For better or worse, we know what the 2014 Jeep Cherokee looks like. Now, we know how much it will cost as well: $23,990. That's the base price of $22,995 plus a $995 destination charge.
In base Sport trim, the Cherokee will retail for a few hundred bucks cheaper than the outgoing $24,320 Jeep Liberty it replaces. Plus, it comes with looks that are sure to spark conversations -- or at least get people whispering things behind your back.
Four trim levels will be available: Sport, Latitude and Limited come in two-wheel and four-wheel drive configurations; Trailhawks are four-wheel only.
Here's how the trim level pricing will break down, according to Chrysler (all prices include a $995 destination charge):
The 2003-2004 Odyssey and 2005-2008 G6 models are under investigation for reported defects.
NHTSA received six complaints from owners of 2003-2004 Honda Odyssey models alleging that their front airbags deployed without warning or a crash. The agency said it received 41 additional complaints regarding illuminating air bag warning lights, although the two issues are not necessarily linked. Honda sourced its airbags from supplier TRW, which also supplied airbags for nearly 920,000 Jeep models that were recalled in November for inadvertent airbag deployment. The Odyssey's airbags contain the same electrical circuit that was prone to "overstress" in the Jeep models, the filings said. As many as 320,000 vehicles may be affected.
In December, Honda recalled 870,000 vehicles for faulty ignition interlocks that can let the autos roll away unexpectedly when parked, including the 2003-2004 Odyssey.
Audi, BMW are letting owners pick and choose their infotainment services, and sometimes, giving them more for their money.
For as long as new cars have been for sale, buyers have had to decide on options before they sealed the deal. Of course, they could add things later, such as new wheels, radios or other accessories, usually through the aftermarket. But making changes and additions to existing infotainment systems -- especially as cars have become more sophisticated and components have become more integrated -- is difficult, if not impossible.
Ford’s Sync system, which set a new standard in many respects when it was introduced in 2007, was the first to shift this paradigm via software updates. By downloading an update from an owner website to a USB drive and then uploading it to a Sync-equipped vehicle through its USB port, an owner who bought a car in, say, 2008, could add Sync features that were introduced in 2009 or later.
When Ford introduced the MyFord Touch system in the 2011 model year, an owner could add navigation capability later via an SD card, and earlier this year Chrysler announced that dealers could enable navigation on existing vehicles with the Uconnect Access system after the sale. But both of these involve a visit to a dealer.
The next evolutionary step in this process is over-the-air software updates that are easier and automatic. Systems like the Mercedes-Benz mbrace2 and Ram’s Uconnect Access use an embedded cellular modem to download and install software updates, and to potentially add new features in the future.
A canyon ride reveals surprising shortcomings of the Porsche roadster’s base model.
Take a look at any of your favorite automotive websites – including this one – and you could swear that Porsche doesn’t make a base model car anymore. All you'll see are “S” versions. It seems as though we journalists never get a chance to drive Porsche’s base model cars, and with a week in Los Angeles, I was determined to try.
Two things are immediately apparent when you approach the 2013 Porsche Boxster. The first is that it is gorgeous. Even in Los Angeles, the Racing Yellow exterior stands out, with its matching yellow seatbelts adding just the right amount of levity as an accent. The interior as a whole is great, too, like all new Porsche interiors. The newest version of the Boxster sees a design finally coming of age, with a cohesive mix of aggression and elegance lacking in previous models.
The second thing you notice is how expensive the Boxster is. The spec sheet showed that the base model I was testing was just over $63,000 with destination. Included in the handling department for that price are 19-inch wheels, Porsche Torque Vectoring and Porsche Active Suspension Management. This makes the 2013 Boxster one seriously sticky car on the mountain roads just north of L.A. But the easy handling has caused me to develop a gripe.
Without diving deep into a settings menu, the driver can turn off all alerts for driver-assist features such as lane-departure warning with one switch.
According to a 2008 study by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, lane-departure warning and lane-departure prevention systems could prevent or mitigate up to 87,000 nonfatal crashes and 10,345 fatal crashes per year.
The nonprofit IIHS also found that if all passenger vehicles were equipped with four driver-assist technologies – lane-departure warning, blind-spot monitoring, forward collision warning and active headlights – approximately one in three fatal crashes and one in five crashes that result in injuries could be prevented or reduced.
A 2013 Infiniti JX I recently tested has all four of these. But after awhile, a driver can become numb to the systems' constant beeps, blips and “crying wolf” over false readings and start to ignore the warnings.
This can lead to a phenomenon known as “alarm fatigue,” a serious problem in hospitals and one that automotive supplier Continental hopes to address with a concept called Driver Focus, which draws a driver's attention to the road only when a risk is imminent.
The 1.0-liter turbocharged engine is coming to the U.S. on the 2014 Fiesta. Also on its way is Ferrari's 6.3-liter V12, which easily won two of the 12 awards.
The awards, similar to the annual 10 Best Engines list from WardsAuto, ranks the industry's 12 top engines by size as chosen by dozens of international journalists. It's not a science by any means, but seeing as we've revved many of these engines ourselves, we're apt to agree.
The Ford 1.0-liter turbocharged 3-cylinder, which makes an impressive 123 horsepower, has been on sale in Europe since last year, and it's arriving on the Fiesta this summer alongside a larger, 1.5-liter 4-cylinder turbo coming for the 2014 Fusion. A 1.6-liter version is already available and will stay on for the manual transmission model.
It's dark out, but please thank the owner for reminding you that you are not driving a Mercedes.
Car and Driver leafed through the German brand's latest accessories catalog and found the solution: an illuminated badge with LED and fiber-optic backlighting. When the car is locked or unlocked or when a door is opened, the Mercedes logo beams to life. For now, the logo glows only when the engine is off, but the company wants to offer a version that will pair with the LED daytime running lights so that it's always on.
We'd advise against that, as it'd be compelling reason for big pickups to brake-check a tailing Benz driver and her fancy light into their steel bumpers.
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Clifford Atiyeh has spent his entire life driving cars he doesn't own. Raised in Volvos, he has grown to love fast, irresponsible vehicles of all kinds. He is the senior news editor at MSN Autos and also reports for Car and Driver, Road & Track, The Boston Globe and other publications.
In the garage: 21-speed Iron Horse, 2002 Jeep Wrangler X (not his)
Doug Newcomb has covered car technology for over 20 years for outlets ranging from Rolling Stone to Edmunds.com. In 2008, he published his first book, "Car Audio for Dummies" (Wiley). He lives and drives in Hood River, Ore., with his wife and two kids, who share his passion for cars and technology.
In the garage: 1996 Chevrolet Impala SS, two 1984 Chevrolet Blazers, 2008 Honda CR-V
James Tate learned to drive stick at age 13 in a 1988 Land Cruiser - in La Paz, Bolivia. He's since been a mechanic, on a pit crew and has wrenched on every car he's owned since his first 1989 Honda CRX Si (and won't stop until the car is a 1973 Porsche 911 RS). His work has appeared in Car and Driver, Popular Mechanics, Automobile and others.
In the garage: 1995 Porsche 911 Carrera, 1988 BMW M5
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