2016 Chevrolet Volt to launch next year: What we know so far

There's been very little news lately about the Chevrolet Volt range-extended electric car, and its sales in 2013 sales were stagnant.

In fact, the most recent item of note was a $5,000 price reduction on the 2014 Volt last August, to bring it closer to the center of the volume-car market.

But behind the scenes, Chevrolet is preparing the next iteration of its pioneering plug-in car.

Based on published articles and a host of private conversations with industry analysts, electric-car advocates, and--yes--a few General Motors employees, here's what we know so far about the next Volt.

Timing … Read more

Cadillac opens an app store, goes 4G

Cadillac announced today that its vehicles would benefit from a built-in 4G data connection, and that an app store, called CUE Collection, would launch in its CUE (Cadillac User Experience) infotainment system later this year. The move follows similar announcements by sibling-brand Chevrolet, and builds on the OnStar telematics platform which comes standard in GM vehicles.

Last year, OnStar announced it would adopt 4G connectivity through AT&T, making for a more robust data connection in the car able to power other features besides the traditional OnStar safety and concierge services. OnStar comes standard in all Cadillac models, and … Read more

Mild-mannered Chevy Malibu sedan features modern, smartphone interface

Ford is making much ado about the Mustang's 50th birthday this year, and yet Chevy isn't throwing the Malibu, which also launched in 1964, much of a party. Among the reasons for this lack of acclaim: the Malibu was more of a trim level than a distinct model when it launched; Chevy released a major update for the 2013 model rather than holding the update for a celebratory year; and the Malibu is a sedan rather than a more emotionally appealing coupe.

The 2014 Chevy Malibu, in its current styling, doesn't look like it's up for … Read more

Top 11 videos from the Detroit auto show

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.

1. 2015 Ford F-150 An all-aluminum body frame, a fuel-efficient engine, and some new body styling cues are highlights of the 2015 Ford F-150. … Read more

Sport rules the Detroit auto show

With the global economy on a rubber band for the past couple of decades, automakers circled the wagons, taking a conservative approach to their model lineups. But at the 2014 Detroit auto show, it looks like we can have fun things once again.

Toyota, that hallmark of sensible cars, showed off an exciting new concept called the FT-1. Although not meant as a production prototype, it shows that Toyota is letting its designers have fun, and hopefully presages new models with a more emotional appeal.

Likewise, Toyota's luxury brand Lexus gave its new RC coupe its North American debut, … Read more

2015 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 unveiled: 625 supercharged horses and more downforce, too

DETROIT -- With the launch of the new Corvette Stingray last year, Chevy fans had a new performance car to aspire to. However, true fans of the brand knew the best was yet to come. While the new C7 Stingray raised the performance bar well above that of the C6 that came before, it's always the subsequent performance models that really light the world on fire. This year in Detroit the first of those was unveiled, the venerable Z06.

Catch CNET's coverage of the 2014 North American International Auto Show.

The first Z06 model appeared back in 1963 … Read more

Chevrolet App Shop replicates a smartphone in the dashboard

LAS VEGAS -- While many automakers concentrate on how to connect phones to the car, Chevrolet used CES 2014 to take a different approach, essentially building smartphone-equivalent functionality into the dashboard. The new feature is called App Shop, and will be available this year in select models.

App Shop expands on the Chevy MyLink system, which already uses a touch screen and icon-based interface. Chevy gave me a demonstration of the new feature in an Impala after a press conference.

Among the familiar icons of MyLink, which cover navigation, phone, and the stereo, Chevrolet included another icon calls Apps. An owner will be able to tap the icon and browse apps that Chevrolet has approved for use in the car, choosing which to install. … Read more

Track testing the 2015 Chevrolet Corvette and its new Performance Data Recorder

Track days are an increasingly common way for automotive enthusiasts to see what their machines can do without risking their licenses on the street. Also increasingly common? GoPro cameras stuck on windshields, fenders, and anywhere else that might provide the most dramatic footage of pilots aggressively driving in circles. Other companies, like VBOX, take that footage and add GPS telemetry, laying speed and track position over the footage.

Now, Chevrolet is making that sort of fun a factory option. Buyers of the 2015 Corvette will be able to tick a box and request what's being called the Performance Data … Read more

2013 Car Tech Awards: And the winner is...

CNET Tech Car of the Year for 2013

2014 Mercedes-Benz S550 It came, we saw, and it conquered. The 2014 Mercedes-Benz S550 shows forward thinking in every aspect of its being, and highlights the kind of technical advancement that gave the world adaptive cruise control. The new S-Class is everything Mercedes-Benz needed it to be to stay at the forefront of luxury sedans, but what really swayed us was its near-self-driving capability. Its advanced adaptive cruise control system works in stop-and-go traffic, and Mercedes-Benz added the new steering-assist system, which can drive the car hands- and feet-free in slow traffic. The rollout of these types of technologies is what will ultimately lead us to fully self-driving cars.

Other technical achievements include a powerful V-8 engine making use of direct injection and turbochargers, a comfortable air suspension, and one of the least annoying idle-stop features extant. The fact that the new S-Class does away with incandescent lighting completely in favor of LEDs is another step forward. A 3G data connection comes built into the car, and Mercedes-Benz has begun to bring well-known apps on board. The Burmester audio system is audiophile-quality, and topping the whole thing off is a built-in aromatherapy system.… Read more

Vote for the Tech Car of the Year

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