BMW's M6 Gran Coupe, a big, effortless rocket ride (CNET On Cars, Episode 30)


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In this episode:

BMW's M6 Gran Coupe, a new member of the M family. Bumper impact tech may not save your life, but perhaps you wallet. Detail your car instead of buying a new one (see the products list below). Five top performance technologies that used to be only on high-end cars Safety tech that has trickled down from high-end cars E-mail: When and how will Alfa ever return to the US?

Here's the list of products I like … Read more

Gorgeous Alfa Romeo 4C to to enter U.S. market

It was love at first sight when Alfa Romeo debuted the 4C concept car at the 2011 Geneva auto show. At that time, Alfa Romeo said it would put the car into production, but it has been an excruciating two years waiting for any news of the car.

Now the wait is over, as Alfa Romeo announced it would not only show the production car at the 2013 Geneva auto show, but will also sell this beautiful little two-seater in the United States.

The 4C is a mid-engine, rear-wheel-drive car, a perfect formula for excellent handling. The production vehicle will … Read more

Open Hexagon, an open copycat of Hexagon

Open Hexagon is a polygonal endurance run that draws heavy inspiration from Terry Cavanagh's Hexagon. Much like its former Web app game, Open Hexagon challenges players in a collapsing environment of walls that cave in. Your goal is to keep a dinky little triangle alive by orbiting around the core while dodging walls and crushing barriers. The game's overall design is a simple pixelated collection of lines and shapes, with some added chiptune tracks to appease the eardrums of our inner geek.

Since its release, the developer, Vittorio Romeo of Vee Software, has received mixed reactions for releasing … Read more

10 exciting concept cars for 2011

From Paris to New York, automakers showed off their latest concept cars over the last seven months. These design and technology explorations were intended to incite buzz among auto show goers and demonstrate the future direction of their creators.

Many concepts, such as the Kia Pop, are odd-looking vehicles that will never see production. Then there are concepts such as the Jaguar C-X75 that we dream about night after night, despite the fact that Jaguar doesn't plan to build it.

The Ford Vertrek concept, and others like it, represent a future design idea for a specific model. Then there'… Read more

Car Tech Live 206: 2011 Geneva auto show edition (podcast)

Ferrari FF, Lamborghini Aventador, BMW Connected Drive, and the Alfa Romeo 4C are just a few of our favorites from Geneva that we cover this week.

Subscribe with iTunes (audio) Subscribe with iTunes (video) Subscribe with RSS (audio) Subscribe with RSS (video) EPISODE 206 SHOW NOTES Lamborghini Aventador LP 700-4 Ferrari FF Alfa Romeo 4C 2012 VW Golf Cabriolet And even more CNET coverage of Geneva 2011

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Alfa Romeo readies a minisupercar

Curvy and compact, it would be easy to mistake the Alfa Romeo 4C for a Lotus. The new concept professes similar virtues: low weight, short wheelbase, small displacement, and efficient engine. The result: thrilling performance. At least, on paper.

Alfa Romeo says the 4C hits 62 mph in under 5 seconds. With a mid-engine configuration, 60 percent of the car's weight sits on the rear wheels, which should contribute to superior cornering.

For this concept, Alfa Romeo took everything it learned from producing the 8C Competizione and came up with a sports car appropriate for a more fuel-efficient era. … Read more

Romeo the robot ready to love you

In the not-too-distant future, your aging parents may be reciting "O Romeo, Romeo, wherefore art thou Romeo?" in times of need.

Aldebaran Robotics, a Parisian company known for creating the pint-sized Nao robot, is working with major French research organizations on a new assisted-living humanoid bot named Romeo.

Set to debut in prototype form late next year, Romeo is a 4.5 foot, 88-pound autonomous companion that aims to assist the elderly and disabled with daily activities. The robot with the romantic-hero moniker could do things like keep tabs on owners' health and summon medical assistance if something appears to go wrong; keep track of small objects such as eyeglasses and remote controls; and help with tasks like taking out the trash, opening and closing doors, or fetching a snack from the fridge.

Romeo has an intuitive computer-human interface based on gesture and voice control. As far as we can tell, though, it does not recite lovestruck Shakespearean sonnets. … Read more

Rumor: Chrysler adding Alfa Romeo to lineup

There hasn't been a lot of news from Chrysler lately, but rumor has it that papa Fiat will be sending a version of the Alfa Romeo Giuletta to the U.S., according to a article in the Detroit Free Press. The proposed model will be built on Fiat's C-EVO underbody and look similar to the Guiletta. The Alfa Romeo, which could begin production late next year, should replace the Dodge Caliber crossover in the beleaguered automaker's lineup, and Chrylser and Jeep could also get a version of the five-door Italian hatchback.

The 2010 Alfa Romeo Guiletta fetches … Read more

Alfa Romeo plans full product line for U.S.

Sergio Marchionne, CEO of Fiat and Chrysler Group, has ambitious plans for Alfa Romeo's full return to the United States, a move that has been anticipated--and delayed--since 2000, when Fiat and General Motors signed an ill-fated joint venture.

Marchionne wants to transform Alfa into a "full-line premium carmaker." In April, he said Alfa would return to the United States in late 2012. In the past two years, Alfa sold about 100 vehicles in the United States at Maserati dealerships.

Plans call for North America to account for 85,000 of Alfa's 500,000 global sales by … Read more

Chrysler has key role in Alfa's 2012 plan for U.S.

TURIN, Italy--A plan to revive Alfa Romeo as it nears its 100th birthday is shaping up, and Chrysler Group has an important role.

Sergio Marchionne, CEO of Chrysler and Fiat, made a strong commitment to Fiat's money-losing sporty brand during a presentation last week of Fiat's five-year strategy. Here are highlights of the plan:

-- Sales of Alfa vehicles at Chrysler Group dealerships in the United States start in the second half of 2012.

-- In 2014, North America will account for 85,000 of Alfa's 500,000 global sales.

-- Fiat wants to transform the brand … Read more