Hey 007, Make that a V8! Aston Martin and Daimler AG

Aston Martin and Daimler AG

Last summer, Aston Martin and Daimler AG announced a pending partnership wherein potent AMG engines would find their way inside Aston Martin luxury rides. Now the first official details have emerged on the budding romance between automakers.

Details are here regarding what Aston Martin buyers can expect from the new partnership with Mercedes and AMG.

As with any partnership, the fine-tuning process is non-stop, but Mercedes-Benz CEO Dieter Zetsche has confirmed that the first AMG engines will grace Aston Martin cars by 2017. To explain the gap, Zetsche said: “When you make decisions like this it usually takes three to four years to see results.” Anyone who has ever participated in a group project can attest to that statement. read more

Look Out, Siri! Audi and Google are Teaming Up

Audi and Google

The battle between tech tycoons Apple and Google rages on, and now Google is taking aim at Siri, the disembodied voice that Apple users have grown to love. Because Apple has partnerships with around nine automotive companies to integrate their iOS devices, Google has now paired up with Audi to unleash a direct threat to Siri in the form of Google’s Android operating systems in new Audi cars.

Which will be better, Apple iOS devices linking to infotainment systems or Google Android software coming with new cars? Oh how far we have come from pulling off the lot with a shiny new tape deck! read more

Audi Cylinder on Demand Option Offers Greener Power

Cylinder on Demand

Audi is joining the ranks of companies offering cylinder deactivation options. With its Cylinder on Demand (COD) feature, fuel economy is improved by up to 20% when deployed.

The Audi Cylinder on Demand system can improve fuel economy by up to 20 percent compared to fully active mode.

The company will release the COD system in three of its gasoline engines, including the following: The 1.4-liter TFSI COD 4-cylinder, the 4.0-liter TFSI COD 6-cylinder and the W12 COD 12-cylinder of the latest Audi A8 L. read more

The 2014 Spark-Renault SRT_01E is Prepping for the Formula E Championship

Spark-Renault SRT_01E

Excitement is mounting for the first-ever electric car racing circuit, the Formula E Championship. The 2014 2014 Spark-Renault SRT_01E is poised to be the first electric racer ready for the challenge. Check out the body, it appears to be every bit a beast, and can meet the strict criteria for the championship.

The world got a sneak peek at the 2014 Spark-Renault SRT_01E at the 2013 Frankfurt Auto Show. It is to be the world’s first sanctioned electric car for the Formula E Championship. 

The 2014 Spark-Renault SRT_01E at a glance: read more

Students Build Dutch Electric Car that Beats Bugatti from 0-60 MPH

Students Build Electric Car

A group of Dutch students at Delft University of Technology have crafted a fast little number that can beat a Bugatti Veyron from 0-60 miles per hour. The shocker: it is an all-electric ride. The Dutch electric car is named the DUT13 and it looks like a Tonka kids toy, tipping the scale at a mere 320 pounds.

Dutch students break electric car acceleration record with a tiny ride. Its blistering acceleration rate has broken the record.

The DUT13 demolishes the 0-60 jump in 2.15 blistering seconds. It accomplishes this feat thanks to an extremely light body that lacks creature comforts like a roof. The single-seater goes way heavy on the carbon fiber. For comparison purposes, the fastest Bugatti Veyron model’s 0-60 sprint is a cool 2.4 seconds. read more

Which 2014 Mercedes-Benz Can Stop and Steer Itself?

Mercedes-Benz is eager to unleash some futuristic trends for the next-gen cars. The new 2014 Mercedes-Benz S-Class will take the brand one step closer to an autonomous car–boasting the ability to stop and steer itself. While it seems quite sci-fi at this juncture, many brands are gearing up to offer autonomous vehicles behind the scenes. The concepts are largely ignored or labeled as crazy, but the technology is coming. The word ‘safety’ could quite possibly ensure its survival success. read more

Plug Into the BMW Concept X5 eDrive

BMW Concept X5

BMW continues to enhance its i line, with the recent unveil of the BMW Concept X5 eDrive at the 2013 Frankfurt Auto Show. The next generation of the X5 is still gorgeous and performance oriented, but has a newfound love for its environment. That is to say, it is a plug-in hybrid.

The BMW Concept X5 eDrive at a glance:

  • The plug-in hybrid powertrain features a 4-cylinder gas engine paired with a 95-horsepower electric motor. The electric motor was developed in-house. The system also packs a lithium-ion battery pack for extra range.
  • Automated transmission sends power to all four wheels
  • The 0-60 mile per hour mark is achieved in less than 7 seconds, not too bad for a hybrid. Hybrids tend to be heavier than their gas-sipping siblings, with extra lbs added by the electric motor and battery.
  • Gas powered counterparts can envy the Concept X5 eDrive’s impressive 61 mile per gallon stats.
  • Unlike some luxury hybrid models that seem to be released prematurely without attention to range, the X5 eDrive can hit a blistering 75 miles per hour for a 19 mile stretch on electric power alone. There are no regular speed range figures, but you can imagine they will be longer than most.
  • This concept features the BMW xDrive AWD system
  • A specialized hybrid-specific Proactive Driving Assistant accesses the navigation system to determine routes that will optimize the range.
Driving and charging 
  • Three driving modes: Intelligent hybrid drive for efficiency, Pure electric mode for electric power only mode, and Safe battery mode to ensure the battery remains fully charged.
  • The BMW Concept X5 eDrive can be charged at a standard electrical outlet, with a wall charger or at a public charging station. These options should help to reduce range anxiety. We plug in our smartphones, ipads and computers constantly, are our vehicles next?

While the BMW X5 hybrid is certainly exciting, it was upstaged by its racier i8 sibling at the Frankfurt show. The BMW i8 production version is also a hybrid, but it is a sports car, slung low and turbocharged. It packs a 1.5-liter 3-cylinder engine and a 131 horsepower electric motor. It is coming to showrooms in the states by 2015. The X5 concept is currently referred to as a “study vehicle”, with no official plans for production. read more

Ferrari Wind Tunnel is Back in the Saddle

Ferrari wind tunnel

The Prancing Horse could be firmly back in the saddle again soon. After 18 grueling months, the Ferrari wind tunnel is back in the business of tenaciously testing aerodynamics for the Scuderia racing team.

The wind tunnel testing area is just a small section of the Maranello operations, but it is very important.

The wind tunnel, named galleria del vento, plays a vital role in keeping the Scuderia Ferrari Racing Team on top. It was closed down for over a year due to major discrepancies between testing and actual track results. During the many months that the air was still, Ferrari’s Formula One cars were tested using Toyota’s wind tunnel in Cologne, Germany. According to team principal Stefano Domenicali, wind testing in Germany was “Like playing basketball with one hand behind your back.” The team is likely quite pleased to have the Maranello based wind tunnel back in order. read more

Want to Know More About Your Audi? Audi eKurzinfo App

Audi eKurzinfo App

Technology is everywhere. It is increasingly incorporated into our lives in unexpected places, like automobiles. While technology certainly makes our lives more streamlined, it can be frustrating for some to adjust. Audi has introduced an application that can assist with those issues! The Audi eKurzinfo app serves to replace that bulky user’s manual.

Gone are the days of frantically flipping through a car manual searching for an answer. The Audi eKurzinfo will be available for the following models: The A1, A3 and S3 from 2012 forward. This is such a simple idea, I think all vehicles should come with a searchable manual created specifically for the model. read more

2014 Mercedes-Benz Lets You Keep that New Car Scent

2014 Mercedes-Benz

That ‘new car scent’ is something special that will wear off eventually, regardless of the finest efforts. That may not be the case with the 2014 Mercedes-Benz S-Class. There is an available option that will waft one of four scents through the vehicle. So how is this different from expensive car scents? 

The car perfume is called…prepare to be surprised: “Active perfuming”. The brand loves the term active, and tacks it onto anything possible.

The active perfuming option is an additional $350 and is located inside of the glove compartment as part of the automatic climate control system. There are just 4 scents to choose from initially, though if the trend catches on there will surely be more rolling out. The scents are called: Nightlife mood, Downtown mood, Fireside mood and Sports mood. We can only hope that Sports does not call to mind a dirty locker room. The buyer can substitute their favored perfume or cologne if they do not care for the 4 scents. read more