Real cars dominate at the 2012 Detroit auto show

Some years, automakers show off fanciful design concepts never meant for the road at the Detroit auto show, but 2012 features significant new launches people can actually buy.

The big three came loaded for showrooms, each showing off impressive new models or updates. Cadillac came out ready to seriously take on the BMW 3-series with its all new ATS. This small sport luxury sedan sounds like it's got the right stuff to compete with the eternal champion from Munich.

The new Dodge Dart is less ambitious, but looks like a credible revival of a popular nameplate. And it aims … Read more

Acura NSX supercar reborn as hybrid concept

DETROIT--Honda unveiled a revamped version of its storied NSX supercar at the 2012 Detroit Auto Show today, taking the wraps off a greener, sleeker, and likely fiercer sports car that already has Hollywood bragging rights.

The NSX Hybrid Concept is powered by Acura's Sport Hybrid SH-AWD (Super Handling All Wheel Drive) technology, a direct-injection, mid-mounted V-6 engine, and dual-clutch transmission.

The all-wheel drive system can deliver instant negative or positive torque to the front wheels when rounding corners, according to the company.

Honda did not release many details of the concept, and it's unclear which motor powers which wheel set. It only promised that the NSX will create handling performance unmatched in AWD cars. … Read more

Please, Acura, don't ruin the NSX

If Acura thinks that its announcement that a new NSX concept will make a bow at the 2012 Detroit auto show is going to whip me into a fanboy frenzy, well, then it's absolutely correct.

However, if anything, today's announcement has raised more questions and concern than excitement and anticipation.

This can't be right... Let's take a quick look at the rumored specs. We're starting with 3.5-liter V-6 (308-horsepower est.) that is hybridized by the integration of an approximately 40-horsepower (30kW) electric motor with its seven-speed dual-clutch transmission. There are also a pair of … Read more

Acura announces new NSX concept for Detroit

On the heels of the Earth Dreams Technology announcement at the Tokyo Motor Show, Honda says it will unveil a concept version of a new Acura NSX at the 2012 North American International Auto Show in Detroit.… Read more

Honda announces new, more efficient engines, hybrid system

In classic Japanese style, Honda calls its new drivetrain effort Earth Dreams Technology.

Once upon a time, Honda engineers came up with VTEC, a valve control system that made its engines the most advanced in the industry. But that was years ago, and other companies, notably BMW, have pushed the envelope with new valve control, direct-injection, and turbocharging technologies. With each model update it releases, I've been waiting for a similar advance from Honda.

The wait appears to be, mostly, over, as Honda announced a new set of engines, transmissions, hybrid system, and electric drive at the 2011 Tokyo Motor Show. Giving these new drive components the overall moniker of Earth Dreams Technology emphasizes the goal of greater efficiency and Honda's effort to reduce its vehicle's CO2 emissions 30 percent by 2020.… Read more

CNET Roadside Assistance 029: Gentlemen prefer Minis (podcast)

On this week's show, a listener asked if it's OK for a man to like the Mini; we help a buyer decide between a Honda and an Acura; and we get a car camera question.

Subscribe with iTunes (audio) Subscribe with iTunes (video) Subscribe with RSS (audio) Subscribe with RSS (video) EPISODE 029 SHOW NOTES

LOLcars (photos)

2012 Buick Verano to start at $23,470

The 2012 Buick Verano small luxury sedan, which will roll into showrooms later this year, will have a starting price of $23,470 including $885 in destination charges.

The 2012 Verano was announced at the Detroit auto show in January.

"Verano is a great new addition to Buick because it expands the brand's reach," Tony DiSalle, U.S. vice president of Buick Marketing said in a press release. "With Verano, we're inviting new customers into the Buick family, giving us the opportunity and privilege of building longtime Buick loyalty."

The Verano will compete with … Read more

Put the pedal to the metal with Drag Racing for Android

Drag Racing for Android puts you in the driver's seat of your favorite street racer. With more than 50 real cars to choose from, dozens of upgrades, and a nearly unlimited pool of opponents, don't be surprised to find yourself behind the wheel for hours at a time.

The game offers four racing modes to choose from. You can Race Offline against the computer, Quick Race one-on-one against an online opponent, join the Pro League against a group of online competitors, or race against Friends. Also, you can choose either quarter-mile or half-mile races, with the shorter distance … Read more

10 car stars of movies and television

As common objects in everyday life, cars frequently appear in movies and television. But sometimes they show up with more impact, such as when a camera angle just happens to pick up the badge in the foreground, a character makes a comment about the car that has little to do with the story, or a whole fleet of the same type of car drives into view onscreen.

Automakers embrace movie and television tie-ins as a means of raising awareness for their brands and specific models. And with some movies, the product placement is baked in, such as the recent series of live-action "Transformers" movies with the Bumblebee Camaro. Similarly, the "Fast and The Furious" franchise is all about cars, so it is no surprise to see a Dodge Charger featured prominently. … Read more