CNET Ranks the Cars of 2013 Based on their Tech

If your sole goal with the purchase of a new car is to get the largest number of cutting edge toys with it, then CNET’s 2013 rankings will definitely interest you. They rated all the cars they tested throughout the year according to their usual tech-centric criteria, then made a video about the top five ones they chose.

All the cars on their list definitely deserve their place on it, like the new Mercedes-Benz S-Class, Tesla Model S and even the Jeep Grand Cherokee makes sense in this companionship, when pitched in a suitably techy way.

We won’t tell you which one was crowned king, though, and for that you’ll have to scroll down to until after the virtual jump to find out.

Feel free to have your say, if you think they omitted a certain noteworthy model, or if you don’t agree with the selection.

By Andrei Nedelea


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Google and Audi Expected to Announce Android-Based Infotainment System at CES

At next week’s Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Google and Audi are expected to announce the joint development of in-car entertainment and infotainment systems based on the Android software.

According to people familiar with the matter, Google also plans to announce collaborations with other automotive and tech companies, including chip maker Nvidia Corp., to establish Android as an important technology for future vehicles.

Google wants to offer similar music, navigation, apps and services in cars to those available now on Android-powered smartphones. Google’s move is seen as a response to Apple’s initiative launched last June to integrate iPhones and other devices running its iOS operating system with carmaker’s dashboard control panels. Apple so far has agreed to collaborate with BMW, Mercedes-Benz, GM and Honda.

“Cars are becoming more complex, and with the computing power that is going into vehicles, you need that type of system in the car,” Audi's head of product strategy Filip Brabec told The Wall Street Journal. He acknowledged that future vehicles will need computer operating systems to support the kind of apps and functions that consumers want to access while driving.

At the CES 2014, Audi is also projected to demonstrate new technologies that allow cars to drive themselves in certain situations and for short periods of time. The systems are set to arrive on new models over the next four or five years.

Ford is said to demonstrate an autonomous vehicle it has developed at CES next week. BMW has also announced a demonstration of related technology.

By Dan Mihalascu



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Fisker Founder, Former Directors Sued by Investors

Fisker Founder, Former Directors Sued by Investors Fisker Founder, Former Directors Sued by Investors
Henrik Fisker and the electric automaker’s former directors are being sued by Atlas Capital Management, an investor group that had purchased Fisker securities. According to Atlas Capital Management, Fisker misled investors by hiding problems with its government loan and keeping a safety recall in 2011 a secret while Fisker Automotive was trying to raise funds.... more
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Nissan Teases New Sports Sedan Concept; Looks a Lot Like Our 2015 Maxima Study

Nissan will be heading to the 2014 Detroit motor show in about two weeks' time with a new conceptual study for a sports sedan previewed through a cropped photo of the vehicle's front end.

While the Japanese automaker isn’t ready yet to release full details, we believe that the aptly named the "Sports Sedan Concept" is the same car previewed during Nissan's 360 event in California this past summer, and which Carscoops showcased in a rendering for the 2015 Maxima (see below).

In a short statement about the study, Nissan said it "offers an advanced look at a future production sports sedan" and " previews a new energetic design direction that amplifies Nissan's legendary approach of applying sports car principles to a sedan".

The Sports Sedan Concept will be joined in Detroit by the North American debuts of the IDx Freeflow and IDx NISMO small coupe studies, first displayed at the Tokyo Motor Show in November.

Photo Rendering Copyright: Carscoops / Josh Byrnes


Nissan Sport Sedan Concept2016 Nissan Maxima[3]

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2015 Volvo V60 Priced From $36,215

2015 Volvo V60 Priced From $36,215 2015 Volvo V60 Priced From $36,215
Volvo has announced that its V60 wagon model will be priced from $36,215 when it arrives the U.S. early next year. The base model V60 T5 Drive-E will come with a new 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine with 240 hp and 258 lb-ft of torque. The T5 Drive-E will also feature an eight-speed automatic transmission and... more
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Stock Veteran Says GM Will Buy Tesla in 2014, Auto Exec Doubts It [w/Videos]

As one of the most advanced electric vehicle manufacturers, Tesla Motors is no doubt being closely monitored by volume carmakers wishing to gain a firmer foothold in the electric vehicle segment. General Motors, for instance, has openly admitted to creating a special unit to monitor Tesla Motors.

While that doesn’t necessarily mean GM wants to buy Tesla, there are some analysts who believe that this is the case and that a transaction could happen as soon as next year.

In an interview with CNBC, Yra Harris of Praxis Trading made a bold prediction that GM could try to buy Tesla Motors next year. The trader said Tesla is a perfect fit for the Detroit carmaker and that such a deal could make sense for both companies.

For GM, owning Tesla would give it access to advanced plug-in technology as well as a premium high-tech brand to its stable. In exchange, GM would help Tesla grow further thanks to its established global retail and service networks.

While there were previous rumors about other companies being interested in Tesla (such as Apple), a carmaking giant like GM or even Ford would likely be a better fit for the company founded by Elon Musk.

However, not everyone agrees with Harris, with former Mazda North America CEO Charles Hughes telling CNBC that the acquisition of Tesla by GM or Ford wouldn't work for any of the two Detroit-based carmakers. You can find out why from the second video posted below.

By Dan Mihalascu




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2013 MINI Cooper S vs Fiat 500c Abarth

2013 MINI Cooper S vs Fiat 500c Abarth 2013 MINI Cooper S vs Fiat 500c Abarth

It is the 1960s all over again. Cooper MINIs and 500 Abarths are roaming the streets like a pair of unrefined European hooligans. If you are a car enthusiast originally from across the Pond, the names John Cooper and Carlo Abarth are probably well known. But on our shores, only those with strong cases of vehicular obsession would have known these names prior to the early 2000s. These two men did to Minis and Fiats what Carol Shelby did Fords; tune them, race them and even completely redesign them.

MiniExterior3.jpgSo decades later, these two small hatchbacks are back at it, promising to capture the spirit of their legendary successors. Can either achieve this monumental feat, or if not, which one comes closest? As we are always looking for any excuse to conduct a comparison test between a pair of fun to drive cars, a 2013 Mini Cooper S and a 2013 Fiat 500c Abarth were acquired, and we set out to find some answers.

Now, before you start typing "how can you compare a MINI Hardtop against a Fiat Convertible!!!1!11!!!" in the comment box, know this: first, the Mini Cooper we have has the full glass roof which can vent both front and rear panels as well as retract half the roof back. Second, the Fiat 500c is not a convertible. It is more a targa with a cloth roof insert that rolls back sardine-can-style to add some fresh air into the cabin. Think of both vehicles as being uber-ventable-roofed vehicles. If a proper convertible is a must, only MINI has you covered with the Cooper S Convertible.

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