We’ve all been there and done that; you’re cruising down the road and the “Check Engine” light pops on. Then you have three choices. Choice No. 1 is simply ignoring the light and risking damaging important components on your car. Choice No. 2 is taking the car to the shop and pay upward of $100 just to have the light diagnosed. Choice No. 3 is to buy your own scanner for $50-plus and hope that you can sort out the problem.
Well, now there is a product named Automatic Link that takes the place of the standard OBD-II scanner and spits out the code that the check engine light was caused by and a general summary of the code right on your Bluetooth-compatible smartphone.
On top of being a rolling and wireless scanner, it also keeps tab on your driving style, mpg and so much more.
Click past the just to read our review on the Automatic Link
With 105 Veyron GrandSports left to be built, a renewed contract makes it clear that the Bugatti Veyron GrandSport will continue until the end of 2014.
The production of the Bugatti Veyron 16.4 was completed nearly a year ago, but the GrandSport is left to be sold-out. Since Bugatti’s contract with renowned transmission supplier Ricardo had recently ended, Bugatti had no other choice but to renew its contract with Ricardo in order to get the remaining 105 examples built. It is stipulated that the new contract will expire at end of2014. Once the contract runs out, no one really knows what will happen.
So, for those who would like to buy a new Bugatti — hardly anybody considering its $1.9 million price tag – you only have the choice of the open-top GrandSport and GrandSport Vitesse. With 105 examples left on the shelves, you have plenty of time to consider you purchase.
The Bugatti Veyron GrandSport is powered by an 8.0-liter W-16 engine that develops a total of 1,001 horsepower at 6,000 rpm. Unlike the 252 mph hitting Veyron 16.4, the GrandSport is limited to 217 mph, which is still stratospheric for an open-top for a car.
Via a little snooping by GM Authority, it has dug up that GM has renewed the "El Camino" and "Nomad" trademark for future branding. These names were last used in 1987 and 1972 respectively, where they served great for people looking for a robust, V-8 powered utility vehicle. With GM fighting with everything it has to keep it and Holden’s heads above water, it is no surprise that bringing back these two icons back to America, even if they are simply a case of swapping badges.
With Chevy teasing the anticipated Chevrolet SS, it doesn’t hurt assuming that Chevrolet will import the Commodore Ute and Commodore Sportwagon as its modern versions of its Chevy El Camino SS and Nomad SS. This makes even more sense since we are all but assured that the Chevrolet SS is nothing more than a badge-doctored Holden Commodore.
A spokesman for Holden in Australia said that the automaker has not taken a decision on further exports, but the free trade agreement between Australia and the U.S. has been renewed. With all the legal processes almost completed, Chevy may decide to announce the two. So, fingers crossed!
Keep in mind, however, GM teased us before with the Pontiac G8 Sport Truck concept, which was a Holden Commodore Ute in Pontiac garb. So this whole thing could mean absolutely nothing…
With the launch of the C7 Corvette and SS, and now the slim possibility of the El Camino and Nomad coming back, the future is starting to brighten up for Chevy. Hope that reflects in the sales figures as well.
With rumors floating that the development of a new Maserati MC12 based on the Ferrari F70 was underway, we contacted Maserati to confirm whether this rumor was true or not. Unfortunately, Maserati denies the development of a future supercar based on the Ferrari F70 — the spiritual successor to the Maserati MC12. On the bright side, if there is customer demand for a supercar from the Trident, the board might consider the development of one. So, fingers crossed!
The MC12 was basically the Maserati body placed atop a Ferrari Enzo chassis, with a few homemade touches. It was powered by a 6.0-liter V-12 engine that was left behind on the Enzo’s chassis. Though the MC12 had a longer and more curvacious body than the Enzo that promised low-drag coefficient, the Enzo (F60) was faster by about 12.5 mph. Production of the MC12 ended in 2005 with only 50 examples being produced. With the rarity of the MC12, if you want to snag up one of these Maserati-modified Ferraris, it might set you back more than a million dollars.
So, with the plethora of supercars that are fueling the growth of the segment, do you think there’s place for a future Maserati supercar or not?
After initial rumors and reports that Ferrari would unveil the highly anticipated flagship at the 2013 North American International Auto Show (NAIAS), now, according to Autoblog.com, reports suggest that Ferrari hasn’t finalized the plans for a worldwide launch. So, Ferrari enthusiasts who have penned down the date on their calendar will sadly have to strike them off.
On the other hand, the Prancing Horse might consider a private launch, separate from all the big car shows, so that they can grab more attention and more people to drool over it. A likely reason for its change of plans is because of the unveiling of the sister brand’s - Maserati - next generation Quattroporte . If debuted at the same show, the F70 would’ve drawn the entire Detroit population towards its stand leaving the Maserati stand deserted.
According to previous reports and a spy shot of the engine bay , the Ferrari F70 is expected to get a V12 engine with an F1-inspired KERS system that will pump out a combined output of 920 hp (686 kW). The supercar could have a curb weight of only 1134 kg (2500 lbs) thanks to a 20 percent lighter chassis made from carbon fibre. The carbon tub that underpins the F70 was shown off at the Paris Motor Show which was enough to increase the excitement and anticipation of its launch.
No one except the top guns at Porsche really know whether the newly released Panamera Sport Turismo Concept will ever reach production or not. That said, if you are a fan of its styling cues, particularly the headlights and taillights (which we definitely are), you are in for a good surprise. Porsche has just announced that these cues will be transferred to the entire Porsche lineup.
If you hadn’t noticed already, the two styles already exist in the sport car builder’s lineup, as the taillights are derived from the 911 and the headlights are obviously slightly modified mockups of the new Boxster’s headlights. This smashup of the two styles, according to Matthias Müller’s interview with Motor Trend, will see first production life on the Porsche Macan , and will be carried to other models from there.
In the same interview, Müller also confirmed that the plug-in hybrid drivetrain that we saw in the Sport Turismo concept will see production sooner rather than later. It will debut in the Panamera next year and then appear in the Cayenne in 2014. There is no confirmation on whether the impressive 428 horsepower will carry over too, but we think it’s safe to assume it will.
To say the least, it looks like Porsche is ready to revolutionize the supercar and sports car arenas once again with these coming additions and we are excited to see how the dominos fall. Add in the fact that the 918 Spyder will soon hit the market and you can color us flat-out excited to see how the Porsche lineup evolves in coming years. These changes are exactly what Porsche has needed for many years and avoided in the past out of what we can only assume is a fear of change.
So you may have never heard of QNX, but you likely interface with it on a daily basis, given you have a car with a computer-based infotainment system (Toyota Entune, BMW ConnectedDrive, GM’s OnStar, etc.). QNX is essentially to a car what Windows is to a PC – it allows the software and hardware to do their delicate exchange of ones and zeros to turn them into what you see on the screen.
QNX is actually in development of its second-generation operating system, which it has dubbed QNX CAR 2. This may sound like just another small and meaningless software changeover, but CAR 2 will include something that may revolutionize automotive infotainment systems – an HTML 5-based interface.
As it sits now, QNX builds the OS, but the manufacturer works the front end of its software in its own way, leaving the customer out of the equation. The HTML 5 interface will allow the manufacturer to set up the basic functions of the infotainment systems, but ultimately allow you to customize it as you see fit.
Additionally, the usage of HTML 5 will also help lower the gap between consumer electronics and automotive electronics, which currently have a 7- to 10-year gap between product cycles. Heck, your laptop is obsolete before you ever walk out of the store, yet some cars run the same cruddy infotainment systems they did in 2005.
Another huge relief that HTML 5 would bring to the automotive world would be the development of apps. As it stands now, cars are much like the iPhone – you have to buy licensed apps from the app store, which cost loads of money over time. With the introduction of HTML 5, you get the option of more open-source apps, like you do with an Android-based smartphone or tablet. No, we’re not trying to start a Mac vs. Android war; we’re just stating the obvious.
In turn, all of this should – theoretically – make bringing more advanced infotainment systems to the consumer at a lower price.
QNX expects to see CAR 2 start being used sometime in 2013 or 2014. We’ll keep an eye on this and bring you more information as it becomes available.
Check out the above video to see QNX CAR 2 in action, it’s pretty awesome.
We understand all too well that companies tend to change things up just for the sake of change in some cases. We see it every year in the automotive world. Fortunately, in our world, this typically doesn’t affect you all too much if you had a car just before a drastic and utterly meaningless upgrade occurred. You just keep on motoring.
Well, when it comes to some electronics, these changes can spell disaster if you are not well informed and prepared. Case in point is the new iPhone 5, which iFolk are iTrading their iPhone 4s like iHotcakes to get their iHands on, but there is a problem that they may run into when trying to dock up their flashy new iPhone 5 to their iPhone-ready car… The new “Lightning” interface connector will not connect, even if you just snagged up a 2013 model year.
The only way to rectify this issue is to go to the store and pick up $29 (Apple licensed) adapters for your car and the other numerous doo-dads that you hook it up to. Additionally, for those that have ever tried using cellphone adapters of any sort, please think of the last one you bought – licensed or not – that actually worked the way it was supposed to. Not too often, huh?
So this may, create a small tizzy in the automotive industry, as owners may take to the dealerships up in arms as to why the car companies had no idea that the iPhone 5 would not fit their massive 30-pin receptacle. This could result in automakers like Kia , Hyundai , Audi , and VW , all of which have the old-style iPhone connector, having to offer all of its new-car buyers these adapters – possibly free of charge to avoid legal issues.
This just shows how something as little as a change in the connector for seemingly no reason at all can lead to serious headaches for your customers. Apple really should have included the adapter with the iPhone 5 and very well may decide to retroactively do so in the future, if the issue becomes too big.
When two Fisker cars catch on fire within months of each other, what’s the first action you may expect from the car company? We would expect a thorough evaluation of the situation, a final determination, then maybe some internal rearranging, given the second fire is found to be caused by an issue with the company’s manufacturing process.
They must do things a little differently at Fisker, as it has chosen to replace its CEO – the second time that has happened this year, by the way – and replace him with Chevy Volt line director, Tony Posawatz. Interesting last name for a guy heading up a hybrid car company... Reuters is also reporting that the fired CEO will be around to offer “fatherly advice” to the new CEO, but he will not hold a formal role with the company.
We don’t know if Fisker’s latest CEO to enter the revolving door has anything to do with the Fisker-b-q that’s been going on recently, but the timing sure does seem a little strange to us. We are actually due to talk with Fisker at some point today, so we will make certain to ask their rep all about this situation while we’re on the phone with him.
We’re pretty sure we’ll get a canned response about the dismissal, but it’s well worth a try nonetheless. We’ll let you know what we hear from the rep, if he tells us anything at all.
We love vehicles that have two and four wheels, so why shouldn’t we love those that have six wheels? No, we’re not talking about the latest Ford F-350 Dually. We are talking about the technological marvel that has been on the tip of everyone’s tongue lately: the Mars Science Laboratory, which is better known simply as the Curiosity Rover.
Recently, we showed you an infographic that pitted the 2013 Ford F-150 SVT Raptor against the Curiosity Rover, and that was obviously done in jest. See, the Curiosity Rover is set to go where no F-150 could ever go... the red planet – Mars to those that are not also Sci-Fi nerds.
With the Curiosity’s touchdown coming in just a few days, we thought it was time to give it the TopSpeed once over to see if it is really ready to embark on this 253-day journey, which is quite a commute...
UPDATE 08/07/2012: The Curiosity Rover has touched down on Mars and has officially taken its first color picture of the surface of the Red Planet. The picture was taken with the Mars Hand Lens Imager (MAHLI) at the end of the rover’s robotic arm. Check out the image, as well as many others, in the gallery provided!
Click past the jump to read our full review on the Curiosity Rover.