CES 2014: BMW M235i prototype is world’s first self-drifting car!

BMW has revealed a new autonomous driving assistant system that is capable of operating a car in a range of different driving situations — even sending it into a wild oversteer drift on a circuit without any prompting or input from the driver. It’s all part of a host of new technologies shown by the German car maker at this week’s International CES (aka Consumer Electronics Show) in Las Vegas.

Fitted to a prototype version of the soon-to-be-introduced M235i Coupe, the advanced system has been developed by BMW’s Technik division in Munich, Germany as part of a program that aims to make cars fully autonomous by the end of the decade, when vital juristic changes to road worthiness laws across the globe are expected to allow such technology to be introduced to regular production cars.

Touting GPS technology used in the latest guided missile system as well as state of the art sonar radar, BMW’s latest autonomous driving assistant system actively intervenes in the decision making of the driving process, operating the accelerator, steering and brakes fully independent of the driver.

Phoning home while drifting around your favorite track. Checking e-mails while your car autonomously launches off the line with a smokey burnout. Updating your Facebook page while pulling over 100mph up the back straight. With BMW’s latest technology such scenarios are no longer a pipe dream but reality. The question is: how long will it take lawmakers to play ball?

Porsche Introduces The “Porsche Macan” Compact SUV

porsche introduces macan compact SUV

Porsche has expanded into the compact sports-utility vehicle market by introducing the macan, adopting the DNA of the ’918 spyder’, the company’s first hybrid super car. the top-of-the-line ‘S’ model boasts a 400 horsepower 3.6-litre V6 bi-turbo engine, which when paired with active all-wheel drive and a seven-speed double-clutch transmission, catapults the sports SUV from 0 to 100 km/h in 4.8 seconds. making its debut at the 2013 los angeles auto show, the ‘macan’ positions itself just below the cayenne, offering a high level of comfort and versatility with performance numbers comparable to the likes of the porsche 911 carrera.

For its facade, the macan bases its headlight and tail light design off the 918 spyder, which features compact three-dimensional LED technology. inside, the SUV position the driver as if they were inside a sports car; the cockpit integrates a multi-function sports steering wheel equipped with paddle shifters and is outfitted with premium leather sports seats.

Porsche has expanded into the compact SUV market by introducing the macan, adopting the DNA of the ’918 spyder’

the top-of-the-line ‘S’ model boasts a 400 horsepower 3.6-litre V6 bi-turbo engine

the macan features an active all-wheel drive system with a seven-speed double-clutch gearbox

the macan bases its headlight and tail light design off the 918 spyder

the cockpit integrates a multi-function sports steering wheel and is equipped with paddle shifters

2014 Chevrolet SS Revealed !

Super Sport. Spiritual Successor. Serious Speed. Whatever SS means to you, it spells performance for Chevrolet — and after 17 years, a rear-wheel-drive V8 sedan is back in the bowtie brand’s lineup.

It’s called simply the SS. The sporting machine is being unveiled this weekend as part of festivities ahead of the Daytona 500 later this month.

Like the Impala SS of the mid-’90s, the 2014 model adopts its eight-cylinder power from the Corvette. In SS trim, it produces 415 hp and 415 lb-ft of torque from the 6.2-liter (376 cubic inches) LS3 engine used in the 2013 Corvette. The engine is paired with a six-speed automatic transmission with steering wheel-mounted shift paddles and can sprint to 60 mph in five seconds. No manual transmission will be offered. Pricing will be announced closer to launch.

The SS is underpinned by General Motors’ global rear-drive chassis. The SS uses a MacPherson strut front and multilink rear suspension geometry. The platform is also used in various forms by the Camaro, Caprice police car and Holden’s VF Commodore. The SS will be assembled at a Holden factory in Elizabeth, Australia.

The famous SS badge has been worn on a variety of Chevy vehicles since the early 1960s, from sedans to pickups. The Impala, Chevelle, Camaro and Malibu were particularly appropriate canvases, though Novas and TrailBlazershave also used it.

The SS gets wheels that measure 19-by-8.5 inches in front and 19-by-9 inches in rear. The forged aluminum wheels are wrapped in performance Bridgestone tires. The SS has electronic power steering and Brembo brakes.

Design wise, the most sporting Chevy sedan is rather understated. It uses an aluminum hood and rear deck in place of steel panels, and the wheels are pushed to the corners. The body is accented with chrome and fronted by high intensity discharge headlights and LED running lamps.

The cabin seats five and is marked by SS badging and ambient lighting. A full-color touchscreen, nine-speaker audio system, push-button start and blind-spot detector are standard equipment. The SS is also the first Chevy with available automatic parking assist.

In a statement, GM North America president Mark Reuss said, “The Chevrolet brand was largely built on the strength of rear-drive performance sedans, yet it’s been 17 years since we’ve offered one. The all-new Chevrolet SS fills that void and fills it better than any other vehicle in the brand’s rich history.”

The New 2014 Corvette Stingray

When General Motors engineers and designers started work on the next-generation Corvette, they drew up the usual requirements for the star of American muscle cars.

Killer looks. Big engine. Handles like a race car.

But topping the list back was something at odds with the roar of the car’s big V-8: Gas mileage.

The new Corvette could not be a gas guzzler. Stricter government rules were forcing a leap in fuel economy. If the car burned too much gas, it would trigger fines from regulators and never get built.

“There won’t be a Corvette if we don’t care about fuel economy,” said Tadge Juechter, the car’s chief engineer.

But the 2014 Corvette is here, the first all-new version in nine years. The king of American sports cars, driven by astronauts and celebrated in a Prince song, rolled out Sunday night in Detroit. It will arrive in showrooms this fall.

Image: The 2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray under wraps at its debut before media previews at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, Sunday, Jan. 13, 2013.

The 2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray under wraps at its debut before media previews at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, Sunday, Jan. 13, 2013.

To many fans, the new Corvette symbolizes the rebirth of America’s auto industry after its near death in 2009, showing the world that it again can lead in technology, styling and performance — at a lower cost that European competitors.

Getting there was tough for the 1,000-member Corvette team, which gave the car the code name “C7.” GM’s bankruptcy slowed development twice. With each delay, new safety and gas mileage regulations forced changes. The Corvette team overhauled the car: aluminum replaced steel, super-light rivets held parts together, and the V-8 engine kicked down to four cylinders at highway speeds, saving fuel.

Image: The 2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray in Detroit, Monday, Jan. 14, 2013.

The 2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray in Detroit, Monday, Jan. 14, 2013.

All the changes helped it overcome nine years of government crash safety requirements that could have bloated the car. But even with the lighter materials, the regulations have pushed its weight to a little more than the current base model’s 3,200 pounds. Still, it’s an engineering achievement. The Corvette is so new that it only shares two parts with the current model.

GM said testing is still being done on the car’s fuel economy, but it’ll be better than the current base model’s 16 mpg in the city and 26 on the highway. Juechter said the window sticker highway mileage won’t reach 30 mpg, but he wouldn’t be surprised to see some drivers get that or more.

Image: The new Corvette Stingray is displayed after its unveiling in Detroit, Sunday, Jan. 13, 2013. This time in gray.
The new Corvette Stingray is displayed after its unveiling in Detroit, Sunday, Jan. 13, 2013. This time in gray.

The car’s usual buyers — men in their mid-50s — will also notice dramatic changes on the outside of the two-seat car. The hood slopes low to slice through the wind. All the vents and scoops have functional purposes like cooling the brakes or transmission.

On the back, designers took cues from the1963 Corvette, with a sloping roof that tapers toward the bottom. The car has a small Stingray badge on each side, complete with gills. And there’s a more modern rendition of the Corvette’s crossed-flag logo.

Image: The rear end of the new Corvette Stingray is displayed after its unveiling in Detroit, Sunday, Jan. 13, 2013.

The rear end of the new Corvette Stingray is displayed after its unveiling in Detroit, Sunday, Jan. 13, 2013.

A 6.2-liter small-block V-8 with 450 horsepower takes the car from zero to 60 mph in under four seconds. That’s at least a few tenths of a second faster than the current base model.

Engineers also redesigned the somewhat-chintzy interior, giving it a jet cockpit look with leather, carbon fiber and soft plastics.

Image: The interior of the new Corvette Stingray is displayed after its unveiling in Detroit, Sunday, Jan. 13, 2013.

The interior of the new Corvette Stingray is displayed after its unveiling in Detroit, Sunday, Jan. 13, 2013.

GM hopes the styling, performance and updated dashboard electronics will expand the car’s appeal to younger buyers. The Corvette’s been a favorite of adrenaline junkies for 60 years. Mercury astronaut Alan Shepard owned one from the first year — 1953.

The company won’t quote a price on the 2014 model. But Juechter said someone who bought the current version can afford the new one. The Corvette starts at $49,600. That is more than $30,000 below what GM considers its chief competitor, the Porsche 911. The car makes a decent profit for GM despite relatively low sales, Juechter said.

Paul Sancya/AP

Journalists surround General Motors new 2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray, Sunday, Jan. 13, 2013, the night before press days at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit.

GM wouldn’t give sales targets for the new car. Last year it sold only 14,000 of the aging Corvettes, down from over 30,000 the first few years after the current version was rolled out. Porsche sold about 8,500 911s last year.

Image: General Motors unveils its newly redesigned Corvette Stingray in a former industrial complex, Sunday, Jan. 13, 2013, the night before press days at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit.

General Motors unveils its newly redesigned Corvette Stingray in a former industrial complex, Sunday, Jan. 13, 2013, the night before press days at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit.

The prospect of a new ‘Vette has fans waiting anxiously, browsing the Internet for unauthorized photos or drawings. Thousands of aficionados live in the U.S., and even Europe and the Middle East.

CORRECTION Auto Show 2014 Corvette

John Browning, 70, president of the Renegade Corvette Club of Hollywood, Fla., one of 600 such clubs in the U.S, said some Corvette lovers can’t contain themselves.

“I’ve got one member, he just sold his ’13 in anticipation, to wait for the ’14,” said Browning. “I think the Corvette is the icon. As far as I’m concerned you can’t get a better deal.”

Google Maps will come integrated in newest Kia cars, Sorento first to get it in Q1 2013!

Kia Motors has announced that it will integrate Google Maps for navigation in its newest car models, in what it says will become the second generation of its UVO eServices system.

This year’s Kia Sorento expected to go on sale in Q1 2013 will be the first car to come with Google Maps on board and the new platform will allow the user to easily send directions and places from their smartphones to the system.

The same interface will also deliver entertainment like music, hands-free features and better voice recognition.


Google Maps will bring not just directions but points of interest with Google Places.

Car makers have been actively integrating various technologies like Navteq’s navigation and maps from Nokia in the latest BMW, Mercedes and Hyundai, and Apple’s Siri in GM’s Chevrolet.