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Car shows

Geneva auto show's perfect storm of tech and exotica

Some auto shows fizzle, hitting a dead zone in product cycles so that manufacturers have little of note to announce. This year in Geneva, the opposite happened, with automakers from every segment showing off exciting new models and concepts.

There were supercars and hypercars. There were compact SUVs and hot hybrids. There were cars of the past and of the future. And Apple joined a couple of automakers to give the first public look at CarPlay, formerly known as iOS in the Car.

The show stealers were the exotics, vehicles that sell in limited quantities at prices ranging from a … Read more

Koenigsegg: There can be only One:1

GENEVA -- They call it the first megawatt car because its turbocharged 5-liter V-8 produces 1,000 kilowatts. That's 1,341 in horsepower. They named it the One:1, because it has a power-to-weight ratio of one horsepower per kilogram.

Swedish automaker Koenigsegg brought its new One:1 supercar to the Geneva auto show, demonstrating an unparalleled level of engineering. In silver and black, this road legal Agera R sibling can make it up to 273 mph.

More extraordinary, Koenigsegg notes that the One:1 can make it to 248 mph, 400 kmh, in just 20 seconds.

Carbon fiber … Read more

MirrorLink-equipped Peugeot competes with Apple CarPlay

GENEVA -- Jumping on the small but growing MirrorLink bandwagon, Peugeot chose the 2014 Geneva auto show to unveil its new 108 model, which comes standard with the smartphone mirroring technology. Peugeot demonstrated its MirrorLink implementation at the same time that Apple's CarPlay technology was being shown by Mercedes-Benz, Volvo, and Ferrari.

Both MirrorLink and CarPlay let a driver plug a smartphone into the car and have a modified interface from the phone appear on the car's head unit. The driver can choose functions, such as navigation, controlling it through a touch screen or other car interface while … Read more

2015 Nissan Juke's got the love

GENEVA -- The Nissan Juke has been a love-it-or-hate-it kind of car, but it seems the lovers have won out, as the Juke has proved extremely popular in the global market, such that Nissan didn't make any radical changes to the funky little crossover for the 2015 model year.

In fact, the styling changes emphasize the 2015 Nissan Juke's flair.

Headlight and taillight casings gain Nissan's boomerang shape, also seen on the GT-R and 370Z. As before, the headlight casings form part of the architecture of the front fenders. A larger wheel arch up front also accentuates … Read more

Maserati Alfieri concept is one heckuva 100th birthday present

GENEVA -- Automotive history is littered with car companies that didn't quite make it. Even recently we've seen upstarts Fisker and Coda added to the list of automotive also-rans. For a company to count 100 years in business is quite an achievement, something Maserati celebrated at the 2014 Geneva auto show.

And what better way to celebrate such a milestone but to build a gorgeous GT concept car? Maserati took that tack, unveiling the Alfieri in Geneva.

Rather than a concept leading to a production model, the Alfieri is a bit of a vanity project, yet Maserati points … Read more

Goodyear debuts radical tire concept in Geneva

Most of the concepts on display at the 2014 Geneva auto show were cars, or some variant thereof, but Goodyear unveiled an example of its latest thinking: a concept tire designed for SUVs.

The goal of the tire was to improve SUV efficiency without sacrificing capability. Goodyear took a radical approach with this concept tire, designing it with two distinct rings.

The outer ring comprises about two-thirds of the track width and is of slightly wider diameter than the inner ring. It has a primarily slick surface with cut-ins to move water and prevent hydroplaning. Different textured surfaces also enhance … Read more

New Audi TT shows up with a techie twist

GENEVA -- The attractive and costly little Audi TT works as a weekend toy for the wealthy or a symptom of midlife crisis, a sports car usually out of reach of the average backroad flogger. That niche must work well for Audi, however, as the 2015 TT, launched at the Geneva auto show, holds the line on this formula.

Looking toward techie wealth it seems, Audi adds a substantial tech twist to the new TT in the form of its Virtual Cockpit.

Styling updates to the new TT are slight, showing in a slightly less rounded roofline and a single-frame … Read more

Apple CarPlay lets iOS take over a Mercedes-Benz

GENEVA -- Apple's much anticipated CarPlay feature, formerly known as iOS in the Car, got its first public airing at the 2014 Geneva auto show this week. Volvo and Ferrari were offering demonstrations, but I took advantage of Mercedes-Benz, which had CarPlay implemented in a C-class.

CarPlay is a means of mirroring an iPhone's apps and functions through a car's dashboard. Although the CarPlay screens look the same from car to car, the control paradigms can vary. For example, the Volvo concept car at the show with CarPlay used a touch screen, but the C-class had Mercedes-Benz'… Read more

Mercedes-Benz S550 Coupe advances technology with built-in banking, Apple CarPlay

GENEVA -- Mercedes-Benz model names look like alphabet soup with their one-, two-, and three-letter combinations, but things are about to get a little simpler as the CL-class goes away. In its place will be the S-class Coupe, a new two-door version of the S-class sedan.

Mercedes-Benz released a new generation of its S-class sedan last year, which showed enough technological innovation to win CNET's Tech Car of the Year award. This new coupe will offer all the technology, luxury, and power of the S-class sedan, but with a sleek two-door body.

The S-class Coupe, which will be sold … Read more

Supercars and stylish concepts slated for Geneva auto show

With a few years of troubles in the European automotive sector and not much preview news, I hadn't been expecting much for the 2014 Geneva auto show. But the last month proved me wrong, wrong, wrong. Almost every major automaker, and many you've probably never heard of, has something big planned for the show, from blisteringly fast supercars, to design concepts, to the kinds of new models that matter for the everyday driver.

Last December, Lamborghini released news of its Gallardo replacement, the Huracan. Not only sporting a 610-horsepower V-10 engine, the Huracan brings in high-tech features such … Read more