Ward's Auto announces its 10 best engines for 2011

In its annual list, Wards Auto lauds what its editors perceive as the 10 best engines powering cars today.

The 2011 Ward's 10 best engines list pays homage to electrification, including both the mixed gas and electric system driving the Chevy Volt, and the pure electric motor in the Nissan Leaf. One diesel also made the list, Volkswagen's TDI. Among the gasoline engines, most feature forced induction. Direct injection also makes an appearance. But big displacement has its place, as seen in the 5-liter V-8s from Ford and Hyundai.… Read more

BMW 6 gains two doors

Joining the four-door coupe trend pioneered by the Mercedes-Benz CLS 550, BMW adds rear doors to its 6-series, calling it a Gran Coupe.

At first glance, the 6-series Gran Coupe seems an odd overlap with the 7-series. BMW says the Gran Coupe fills a niche, being a car for buyers who want the sporty look of the 6-series, but also want a usable rear seat.

Normal rear doors give access to the rear seat, which will only hold two adults comfortably. BMW calls the seating configuration 4+1, as the hump in the middle of the rear bench is too … Read more

BMW, GM to collaborate on fuel cells

This decade will bring a lot of changes to the fuel cell market, the latest being a partnership between General Motors and BMW.

The two automotive manufacturers will sign a cooperation agreement that gives BMW access to GM's existing fuel cell technology in exchange for research funding supplied by the German auto maker, according to reports in German weekly business magazine WirtschaftsWoche.

Both manufacturers have been developing and testing hydrogen-powered vehicles for more than two decades. After clocking more than 2 million miles during Project Driveway, GM is fleet and consumer testing its Chevrolet Equinox Fuel Cell vehicles in … Read more

Vote for the 2011 Tech Car of the Year

As 2011 rolls to a close, we look back at the cars we've reviewed over the last year to see which one should earn our Tech Car of the Year Award.

This year's nominees come largely from the luxury market, where automakers are pushing their best cabin tech and most-advanced driver assistance features. Connected features are also starting to appear, with online search available in navigation systems. All of these vehicles use advanced engines, but the Volt pushes the boundaries the furthest.

Please vote for the car you think should be the 2011 Tech Car of the Year, and discuss it in the comments. The Car Tech staff jury will place its own votes, voting closes on December 19, and we will announce the winner on December 21. … Read more

Car Tech Live 243: Chevy Volt is the wrong way (podcast)

Chevy Volt spontaneous combustion is investigated, Toyota and BMW swap tech, Tokyo Motor Show wows us with weird (duh), and Maybach is dead.

Subscribe with iTunes (audio) Subscribe with iTunes (video) Subscribe with RSS (audio) Subscribe with RSS (video) EPISODE 243 SHOW NOTES

BMW and Toyota push the pedal on greener cars

Hybrid car leader Toyota and BMW are joining forces in pursuit of a better vehicle battery.

The two automakers today announced a research partnership around basic research to speed development of next-generation lithium ion battery cells.

As part of the collaboration, BMW will supply its "clean diesel" engines to Toyota for vehicles sold in Europe. The 1.6-liter and 2.0-liter diesel engines are slated for certain Toyota models in Europe starting in 2014, the companies said.

The joint research is designed to give the two companies a leg up on competitors for core technology in cleaner, fuel-efficient … Read more

Car Tech Live 242: Is the Volt on fire...or just catching fire? (podcast)

The Chevy Volt gets the feds look at the safety of all electric cars, Nissan makes a fast charge cheaper (sort of), Toyota puts Intel Inside, and Mercedes reworks the lowly windshield wiper.

Subscribe with iTunes (audio) Subscribe with iTunes (video) Subscribe with RSS (audio) Subscribe with RSS (video) EPISODE 242


2011 Frankfurt auto show: BMW i3 and i8 concepts

BMW's newest concept cars say one thing: dramatic change is coming.

BMW points at the next generation of vehicles that look toward efficiency more than luxury with these i3 and i8 concepts. The shapes are barely recognizable as BMW, and the power trains even less so. But for a company with its track record for technical innovation, we should expect nothing less.

(CNET's full coverage of the 2011 Frankfurt auto show)

With Mog, BMW adds on-demand music in the car

BMW announced plans to integrate on-demand streaming music in August, and this week the on-demand music service has finally been added to ConnectedDrive. But before you get too excited, the latest integration will only benefit Mog Primo subscribers.

Mog is an ad-supported streaming-music platform that one-ups Pandora by letting listeners dial up any song or artist they want to listen to online. For $4.99 per month, listeners can subscribe to the service and ditch the ads. If you want to access Mog's library of 13 million downloadable songs, you'll need to upgrade to Primo service for $9.… Read more