The Detroit auto show, officially known as the North American International Auto Show, is the first car show of the year. Held each January in the home of US car culture, it brings shiny new models, new car technology, and loads of automotive eye candy. CNET's Car Tech team was hard at week in Detroit over the last three days to cover the show and we're happy to show you the video highlights below.
As the end of the year closes in, the Car Tech staff takes a look back at the cars we have reviewed, challenged with the task of determining the best tech cars available. As the preliminary stage in coming up with the Tech Car of the Year for 2013, we picked out five nominees from a year's worth of reviews. For a car to qualify as a Tech Car of the Year nominee, we had to have given it a full review, with plenty of drive time and exploration of cabin tech features.
One trend that stood out for us this year was autonomous driving. No production car currently allows fully autonomous driving, but many come with driver assistance features leading in that direction. We also looked to connected tech in the cabin, a big consideration in previous years, and general excellence in cabin electronics. Drive systems, from the engine bay to transmission and suspension, also came under consideration.
Check out our list of nominees and editors' comments, place a vote for your favorite, and discuss the cars in our comments section. Our CNET jury will place their votes, and we will announce the winner on December 18. We will also be announcing the Car Tech 10, a set of 10 other awards for notable achievements in the automotive space. … Read more
With its flagship sedans, formerly the RL and now the RLX, Acura has struggled to maintain parity with the likes of rivals Lexus and Mercedes-Benz. That difficulty had to do with Acura's insistence on a front-wheel-drive platform fitted with a V-6 engine, pitted against rear-wheel-drive V-8 cars, and relative size. Acura's flagship sedans tended to compare with second-tier cars from the competition. Despite the large cabin and impressive Krell audio system, Acura stuck to its guns with the 2014 Acura RLX model.
The 2014 Acura RLX Sport Hybrid, however, sets itself apart through high-tech power and economy.
Sport … Read more
Way back in May 2005, I did what I believe was our first car tech video: a look at the 2005 Acura RL. It was like this thing from Mars had dropped on the CNET building. Today, the RL is gone, the RLX takes its place, and its first job is to put Acura back on the map in terms of a high-tech flagship sedan that sells in greater numbers than you can count on two hands. We'll show you … Read more
One of the bigger challenges facing automakers in recent years has been making usable and safe interfaces for navigation, stereo, and hands-free phone systems. With the 2014 RLX, Acura shows off its latest attempt at tackling the interface challenge, but ends up with a kludgey design that will leave drivers frustrated.
The RLX replaces the company's RL model as its flagship sedan, and incorporates enough changes to warrant a different model name. It successfully ups Acura's luxury quotient through the use of more quality interior materials and new technologies, yet still does not quite feel up to the … Read more
Automaker Honda today said it plans to integrate Apple's Siri voice assistant in some of its upcoming Honda and Acura vehicles.
On the list is the 2013 Honda Accord, and two Acura models, the 2013 RDX and ILX.
The feature in question is Siri's "Eyes Free" mode, a way to use Apple's iOS voice assistant without having to rely on visual cues, or interact with on-screen menus. The functionality, which was introduced at last year's WWDC, works over Bluetooth and connects through Honda's HandsFreeLink setup just like other mobile phones.
From Apple's … Read more
LOS ANGELES -- Once upon a time, Acura pushed the cutting edge of cabin technology, pioneering such features as navigation and active noise cancellation. But times changed and Acura didn't, letting other automakers steal the high-tech mantle. Now Acura fights back with the RLX, a new high-end sedan with some odd quirks.
By and large, premium and luxury automakers use rear-wheel drive for their flagship sedans, an architecture maintained more out of tradition than real necessity. Acura has always bucked this trend, and continues to do so with the RLX. This model will launch as a front-wheel-drive car sporting … Read more
If I were a betting man, I'd wager that the SEMA Show in Las Vegas is easily the largest aftermarket car show in the world. Hundreds of customized cars (dinged-up daily drivers, glossy show cars, battle-scarred race cars, and bench racing dyno queens) crowd the Las Vegas Convention Center every year. It's nearly impossible to see it all, but that doesn't stop us from trying. So after filling up an SD card with snapshots, we've sorted out the best of the first day for your enjoyment.
The Camaros, Corvettes, Sparks, and Sonics that populated Chevrolet's … Read more
Voice-command systems in cars let you make phone calls, enter an address into navigation, and even request music by an artist or album name, all without taking your eyes off the road or your hands off the wheel. Voice command over music usually works with an iPhone or iPod cabled to the car, or a thumbdrive plugged into the USB port. Most of the cars below rely on Gracenote's music database to translate artist and album names into phonetics understandable by a voice recognition system. This database includes nicknames, so instead of saying "play Bruce Springsteen," you can say "play The Boss."
Here are five cars waiting to take your musical requests. … Read more
Hybrid drive systems in modern cars store what would otherwise be wasted kinetic energy from braking, making it available to supplement the work of the gasoline engine. These hybrid cars get much better fuel economy than their gasoline-only equivalents, and, due to regenerative braking, reduce brake pad wear. Although the Prius is the hybrid poster car, many other types of hybrid cars exist today, meeting the American buyers' variety of needs.
Here are five of the latest hybrids hitting the market. … Read more