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Archive for the ‘Infotainment’ Category

Order Domino’s Pizza at Touch of a Button: In Your Car

Pizza company joins Starbucks and other with car-based apps.

by on Mar.25, 2019

Domino's is developing a in-car app that allows you to order a pie on the fly.

First it was building a car specially designed to autonomously deliver its pies, now Domino’s is looking to develop an in-car app that allows users to order a pizza while they’re on the go.

Working with developer Xevo Inc., the Ann Arbor, Michigan-based pizza maker is following in the footsteps of Starbucks and others to allow motorists to order on the fly. The company doesn’t have a specific tie-up with a brand yet, but if the picture is any indication, General Motors is the leading contender.

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Domino’s plans to launch its AnyWare pizza ordering platform, which will be part of Xevo Market, sometime this year. It will be preloaded in the vehicle’s infotainment system. (more…)

First Drive: 2019 BMW X7

Bavaria’s big boy offers Euro alternative to Escalade, Navigator – as well as 7-Series.

by on Mar.21, 2019

The 2019 BMW X7 shown here in Euro trim heading off into the sunset.

Laissez les bon temps rouler…let the good times roll. And since I’m heading to New Orleans, it’s nice to be rolling that way in the new 2019 BMW X7.

The German automaker was one of the first to get serious about building luxury SUVs with the 1999 launch of the original X5. And as the global market has steadily shifted from sedans and coupes to SUVs and CUVs, it has steadily expanded the range of what the Bavarian marque prefers to call “Sport Activity Vehicles.” The X7 is the latest and most lavish entry, essentially a two-box alternative to the brand’s familiar flagship, the 7-Series.

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To see if it’s really up to the challenge I headed down to Tallahassee to pick up one of the Bavarian brutes, beginning a day-long drive across the Florida Panhandle, through Alabama and Mississippi and wrapping up in the Cajun State, just in time for the start of the annual Mardi Gras.

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Cadillac’s New CT5 Revealed Through a “Sensory Symphony”

“We’re very much committed to sedans,” says brand boss Carlisle.

by on Mar.18, 2019

The Sport edition of the 2020 Cadillac CT5.

Hoping to rebuild momentum for its struggling turnaround strategy, Cadillac has been putting a premium on SUVs, rolling out new models like the XT4 and XT6 this past year and preparing to upgrade the older XT5 and Escalade models, as well.

That’s a logical move, considering utility vehicles now dominate the luxury car market. But General Motors’ flagship brand isn’t abandoning its more traditional product family. The CT5, the new midsize sedan that will be replacing the old CTS, is making its debut today through a broad social media campaign it is calling a “Sensory Symphony,” ahead of its more formal appearance at the New York International Auto Show next month.

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“We’re very much committed to sedans. Let me clear the air about that,” said Caddy President Steve Carlisle said during a media background briefing.

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What to Expect When Tesla’s Model Y Rolls Out

New electric-SUV could double sales of Model 3.

by on Mar.14, 2019

The Model Y debuts tonight and will be more expensive than the Model 3.

In a market where SUVs and CUVs have overwhelmed traditional sedans and coupes, there’s a yawning gap in the Tesla line-up that the upstart automaker intends to fill in the months ahead.

And the process will begin this evening when CEO Elon Musk pulls the wraps off the Tesla Model Y. Set to become the fourth product in the automaker’s portfolio, the battery-SUV could outsell all existing Tesla products combined, at least if a recent forecast by CEO Elon Musk proves accurate.

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“We will probably see higher volumes for Model Y than Model 3, (perhaps) double,” the 47-year-old exec said during a late January conference call with auto analysts and journalists. (more…)

First Drive: 2019 GMC Sierra

Luxury and technology mated to power and performance.

by on Mar.12, 2019

The GMC Sierra continues the brand's legacy a near-luxury vehicle, especially tough for a full-size pickup.

As a brand, GMC has come a long way from the days when it was a “work truck” often sold on dusty lots deep in parts of the city zoned for industrial use.

It has undergone a transformation in recent years that has made its utility vehicles a rival of luxury brands and the changes have also altered the GMC brand’s bread-and-butter vehicle, the pickup truck, which is more than evident in the GMC Sierra, which has been completely redesigned for the 2019 model year.

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The fact is when you’re riding in the cab of a 2019 GMC Sierra, if you close your eyes for a moment at a stop light, you might think you’re riding in a big, luxury sedan because the plush, comfortable interior and the surprisingly smooth ride and refined, overall performance out on the road or on the highway. (more…)

Fiat Concept Centoventi Offers Ultimate in Customization

New model debuted in Geneva hopes to curry favor like the 500.

by on Mar.06, 2019

The Fiat Concept Centoventi offers the ultimate in customization, right down to how far you can travel on a charge.

Fiat’s new concept, the Centoventi, looks to set a new standard for customization and simplicity for buyers, while hoping to capture the imagination of buyers the same way the Fiat 500 did starting in the 1950s.

The Centoventi, which is Italian for “one hundred and twenty,” is an electric vehicle designed more like a gizmo than a car. It comes in only one color, but can be personalized using the “4U” program which gives buyers a choice of four roofs, four bumpers, four wheel covers and four external wraps.

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Additionally, the interior can be customized with different configurations, infotainment systems and the even the size of the battery can be selected to determine how much range each Centoventi will have. (more…)

Nissan IMQ “Signals the Direction” of Future Electric CUVs

A “seamless” blending of exterior and interior design.

by on Mar.05, 2019

Nissan designers opted for a sharper and more angular approach to the design of the IMQ.

Think of the new Nissan IMQ concept vehicle as a rolling crystal ball. Following on the debut of the IMs prototype at the Detroit Auto Show two months ago, the Japanese maker says its latest concept “signals the direction of (its) next generation of crossovers.”

Make that battery-electric CUVs, for the concept vehicle that debuted today at the Geneva Motor Show reveals the next-generation e-Power system, an all-electric powertrain that you might think of as the familiar Nissan Leaf on steroids.

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Actually, that is a bit misleading, as the Nissan IMQ carries with it a 1.5-liter gas engine that serves solely as a generator, providing energy when the battery is drained. That’s the same approach BMW has taken with its little i3 city car. The internal combustion engine never actually provides direct power to the wheels.

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First Drive: 2019 Audi A8 L Quattro

A supreme combination of luxury and performance.

by on Mar.05, 2019

The Audi A8 L Quattro may be among the best-looking vehicles on the road today.

Passenger cars come in wide variety of shapes and sizes.

But no vehicle has the presence and stately grace of a well-made sedan and the Audi A8 L Quattro certainly fits the bill with its extra-long wheel base, roomy cabin, quiet ride and an extensive complement of technology designed to make driving less stressful and even less eventful for the driver.

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However, I also had a sneaking suspicion when I saw the spacious rear seat that this was actually a car where a chauffeur did the driving while the owner and his or her colleagues enjoy the comfortable ride and perhaps the view from large side windows. (more…)

Aston Martin AM-RB 003 is a High-Tech, Hybrid Hypercar

British marque turns to Red Bull for F1 powertrain technology.

by on Mar.05, 2019

The Aston Martin AM-RB 003's F1-derived drivetrain is expected to top 1,000 hp in final trim.

After weeks of teasing its new hypercar, Aston Martin has finally pulled the wraps off the AM-RB 003 at the Geneva Motor Show, and it’s a high-tech hybrid that also happens to be insanely fast, its 1,000 horsepower drivetrain able to launch from 0 to 60 in less than 3 seconds.

The AM-RB 003 picks up where the earlier Valkyrie left off, “incorporate(ing) concepts and technologies taken directly from F1,” the automaker explained as it prepared to reveal the two-seater at Geneva’s PALExpo convention center.

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The limited-edition model is the third mid-engine offering developed as part of a “long-term collaboration” and “extraordinary journey” pairing Aston with its Formula One partner, Red Bull Advanced Technologies, noted the British automaker’s CEO Andy Palmer.

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First Drive: 2020 Toyota Corolla Sedan

More than just the car car for first-time buyers.

by on Feb.26, 2019

The 2020 Toyota Corolla XSE reflects the company's commitment to car production in the near term. (Photo credit: Ron Sessions)

By now, you’ve heard that some automakers are dropping small sedans and hatchbacks from their line-ups. These automakers are buoyed by the heady sales and big profits of luxed-out full-size pickups and every conceivable micro-slice of SUV and crossover.

The Big Three in particular are moving passenger cars to the exit doors. Especially small ones. FCA nixed the Dart and Chrysler 200 a couple years ago, Chevrolet is giving the Cruze, Volt and Impala the heave-ho and Ford is saying adios to all of passenger cars save the Mustang.

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In a mindset that laser-focuses on stock price and quarterly profits, culling the low- or no-profit passenger cars and cranking up production of high-dollar trucks sort of makes sense. Except that line of thinking leaves first-time car buyers kind of out in the cold.  (more…)