Wednesday, March 7, 2012 00:06
The Swiss are known for neutrality, but that didn’t stop the Geneva Motor Show from becoming the scene of a brawl among carmakers to see whose new models would get the most attention. We here at Real Car Guys picked our top three, but we’re not betting against any of them to score a knockout.
BMW’s new M6 Coupe and Cabriolet use the same 4.4-liter twin-turbo V8 that puts out 560 horsepower and 500 pound-feet of torque. With its seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox, 0-62 mph takes just 4.2 seconds for the Coupe, with the Cab lagging a tenth of a second behind. BMW’s Active M differential, a limited-slip differential that’s coupled with Dynamic Damper Controls, adjusts the suspension on the fly for optimum handling. Braking comes courtesy of 16.1-inch carbon-ceramic rotors with six-piston calipers in front, and 15.6-inch rotors and single-piston calipers in back.
Ford’s popular Fiesta gets the ST treatment with a 1.6-liter, 177-horsepower EcoBoost engine that propels the car to a top speed of 125 mph. The suspension, which was developed by Ford's Team RS and tuned at the famous Nurburgring Nordschleife circuit, comes with three electronic stability control settings. With the Fiesta ST confirmed for introduction in Europe in 2013, can a U.S. version be far behind? More...
Monday, December 12, 2011 01:22
When I was a kid my father subscribed to Popular Science magazine. I was reading a lot of science fiction back then, so the PopSci articles on the future were my favorites. Flying cars! Underwater cities! Personal jetpacks! The future looked so good I couldn’t wait for it to get here.
But having seen Toyota’s version of the future, I’m pretty sure I don’t want anything to do with it.
This video was made to show off Toyota’s Fun-Vii concept car, which is pretty much an iPhone on wheels. The outside of the car is a display screen that you can program with to change colors, flash messages, and probably show your cholesterol level. Once inside, your only contact with the outside world is via “augmented reality” and a “navigation concierge”––imagine a holographic projection of Princess Leia beaming out of R2D2, only instead of asking Obi-Wan for help, she tells you where the nearest Starbuck’s is.
Some of these gadgets are clearly never going to make it to market, at least not in my lifetime, but what really creeps me out is the look on the faces of the people in the video. Whatever automotive advances the future holds, they’re nothing compared to the pharmacological ones that are surely responsible for the dopey, blissed-out smiles on the faces of the happy, carefree Citizens of Tomorrow. All through the video I kept waiting for the robot army to show and start herding them into the soylent green machine.
With any luck the Fun-Vii future will become a reality only in the fevered imagination of a car designer whose desk is too close to the fumes seeping out of the cleaning closet. Because if this is really the future of driving, I‘m taking the bus.