Toyota launches smartphone mirroring tech in EU

Toyota's European Touch Life infotainment system is the first platform to allow true smartphone replication on the in-dash display.

The new system takes advantage of the Car Connectivity Consortium's MirrorLink (formerly Nokia Terminal Mode), which lets drivers and passengers access all of their smartphone apps from a car's in-dash touch screen. However, there are some limitations. True smartphone mirroring is only available on Nokia phones equipped with the Symbian Belle operating system. The Nokia Car Mode app lets drivers access the device's telephony, voice-guided turn-by-turn navigation, and audio entertainment functions while the car is in use, but prevent them from using all other applications until the car is parked. … Read more

Consumer Reports finds Scion most reliable brand

Consumer Reports released the results of its annual car reliability survey today, and Scion came out as the top brand, with the fewest reported problems.

Scion cars proved the most reliable, according to owners contributing their experiences in the latest survey by Consumer Reports used to predict car reliability. The report, released today, compiles survey results for 28 brands. The least reliable cars, according to the survey, bear the Jaguar badge.

Along the Scion range, the xD scored the best, while the xB model was the worst, although all were well above most other brands. Lexus, another brand from Toyota, grabbed the No. 2 spot, and its CT200h model proved the most reliable, even more so than the Scion xD. Toyota-branded cars showed up at No. 6 in the survey.… Read more

Cloud computing could transform car interiors

Storing data outside vehicles could reduce clutter inside.

Access to the "cloud," through a wireless Internet connection in a car, has automakers thinking out of the box.

Potential features go far beyond present uses of in-car Internet access. With the expanded data storage available, a car could become a highly customized personal assistant connected to the owner's home, smartphone, and computer.

For example, a car could automatically tailor ride and handling characteristics for an individual driver on an individual route, instead of having the driver choose from a limited number of modes such as "sport" … Read more

2012 Green Car of the Year finalists named

The 2012 Ford Focus Electric, 2012 Honda Civic Natural Gas, 2012 Mitsubishi i, 2012 Toyota Prius v, and 2012 Volkswagen Passat TDI are all finalists for 2012 Green Car of the Year, Green Car Journal announced today in a press release.

The winner will be announced during a press conference at a Los Angeles Auto Show press day on November 17. This marks the seventh consecutive year the award has been given out.

Green Car Journal editors considered dozens of models that were designed to reduce their environmental impact and be more energy-efficient. According to the press release, the cars … Read more

Toyota promotes FT-86 II concept with Facebook game

Toyota promotes its new sports car, based on the FT-86 II concept, in a Facebook racing game, with track decorated uisng your Facebook content.

We are almost tired of waiting for Toyota's new sports car, which appeared at multiple car shows in concept form as the FT-86 II and the Scion FR-S, the most recent version. We've caressed the sleek sides of the concept at shows, pored over photos and specifications released by Toyota, and even driven the car virtually in Gran Turismo 5.

But Toyota is not quite ready to release the car to the public. In another bit of promotion, the company released a Facebook game, Social Network Racer, which lets you pilot the FR-S/FT-86 II around a custom course. We drove a couple of hot laps in the game to see if it is worth your time.… Read more

Video list: Top connected car technologies

Here is an essential set of CNET videos to introduce you to what's happening in the connected car space. It's taking place on many fronts, so this is just a snapshot and can't possibly be complete so stay on top of all the latest in connected cars at

Toyota Entune shows a smart way of prepackaging a suite of apps so car owners don't have to manage them.

Cadillac CUE will debut in 2012 with a lot of cues from the smartphone home screen and computer desktop.

The GM OnStar Mobile App is … Read more

Toyota returns to 2012 Le Mans 24 Hours with LMP1 hybrid race car

Toyota announced Friday that it will compete in the 2012 Le Mans 24 Hours with a new race car powered by a petrol hybrid powertrain.

According to the automaker, the LMP1 will be a collaborative effort: Toyota Motorsport in Germany will design the chassis, and the car will be equipped with a hybrid gas powertrain engineered by Toyota in Japan.

A new race team will be organized out of Toyota Motorsport's Cologne headquarters, the company said in a press release. And in addition to competing in the 80th running of the Le Mans 24 Hours (June 16 and 17, … Read more

In electric-car stakes, automakers spread their bets

DEARBORN, Mich.--Electrification is the biggest change to hit the auto industry in decades. But with little clarity on how the technology will play out in the future, automakers are laying down multiple billion-dollar bets.

After years of talking about plug-in electric vehicles, automakers can finally point to actual products, actual customers, and the beginnings of a charging infrastructure.

Yet automakers still don't know which products will resonate with consumers. The result is a spate of all-electric cars and a spectrum of hybrids built around different-size batteries.

What combination of battery and gas engine will be most popular with … Read more

Car Tech Live 235: Good old boys in an F-150 (podcast)

On this week's show, OnStar decides not to be nosy, BMW's M5 makes some noise, and we get our truck on.

Subscribe with iTunes (audio) Subscribe with iTunes (video) Subscribe with RSS (audio) Subscribe with RSS (video) EPISODE 235 SHOW NOTES

OnStar reverses snooping policy

BMW officially rebrands itself as Ultimate Poser Car

M-B gets a 4-cyl in the U.S.

Artist renders next-gen Toyota Supra concept

Nissan building GT-R based 'Super Juke' (rumor)

Artist renders next-gen Toyota Supra concept

We know that the Toyota Sprinter Trueno (AE86) will be getting a spiritual successor in whatever vehicle comes out of the other end of the development of the FT-86 concept. However, although Toyota fanatics have been howling for a replacement for the Supra for much longer, Toyota hasn't openly committed to plans to revive its former halo car. That doesn't stop talented artists from taking their own cracks at designing the next Toyota Supra.

Speedhunters, an automotive lifestyle blog run by the guys behind EA's Need for Speed series of racing sims, is usually home to some … Read more