First and foremost, the good news is that the US once again has a big, rear-wheel-drive, V8-powered sedan with the Chevy bowtie badge proudly displayed on its front grille. Picking up where the old Pontiac G8 left off, the Chevy SS may be built on the same platform but it comes with a host of improvements. Thing is, that’ll come at a price. Chevrolet has officially announced that the 2014 SS will carry a base sticker price of $44,470 and that includes the $995 destination charge.
However, if you compare that number to the new Corvette Stingray, you’ll discover that the SS costs only about $7,500 less.Compared to the outgoing C6 Corvette, the SS is roughly $5,000 less. So the big question now is whether the Chevy SS is worth it, but consider this: it comes with a standard 6.2-liter V8 that produces 415 horsepower and can go from 0-60 mph in about five seconds. Options are limited to just a $900 sunroof and a $500 spare tire package. When compared to the Audi A6 or BMW 5 Series the SS is still a bargain, but for not much more dough, you could also be the proud new owner of a Stingray. Just something to ponder.
While not everyone was overly enamored with the lime green Stingray Michael Bay plans to use in “Transformers 4,” his selection of a custom 1967 Camaro for the new Bumblebee won’t attract too many doubters. Whether it’s better than the 77 Camaro Z28 used in the first installment is, however, up for debate. The yellow nose stripe is a pretty sweet feature and the deep dish wheels are a nice touch, and for us this is the pick of the Autobot bunch revealed so far. Production has only just started, so be prepared to wait a year for the movie to hit the big screen. – See more at: http://www.carbuzz.com/news/2013/6/1/Restomod-Bumblebee-for-Transformers-4-7714599/#sthash.wlzyjfCf.dpuf
Buyers lined up in droves to take home the latest new cars last month in the United States, and while there weren’t many surprises on the top 10 list, there were some pretty positive sales figures.
For one, Ford sold a staggering 71,604 F-Series pickups, its best figure for the truck line since March of 2007. Dig back into your memory banks and you’ll likely remember that March of 2007 was well before the markets tumbled and shoppers started keeping their money in the pockets.
The 10 best-selling cars of May 2013
1. Ford F-Series 71,604
2. Chevrolet Silverado 43,283
3. Toyota Camry 39, 216
4. Honda Accord 33,218
5. Nissan Altima 31,940
6. Ram Pickup 31,672
7. Honda Civic 30,268
8. Ford Fusion 29,553
9. Ford Escape 29,123
10. Toyota Corolla 27,997
BMW is increasing the connectivity of its ConnectedDrive infotainment system through the use of a new built-in SIM card.
Set to launch in Europe beginning this July, BMW’s new SIM card-equipped ConnectedDrive system will give drivers access to the internet without the need of a smartphone or other mobile device. In order to best utilize the updated system, BMW is also launching a new ConnectedDrive Store, similar to Apple’s App Store.
We recently sampled the system on a 2014 Kia Forte EX sedan, but the system works essentially the same on any so-equipped vehicle.
Although not as comprehensive as the General Motors OnStar telematics system, UVO eServices offers a number of features designed to keep drivers connected to their cars for both day-to-day use and in the event of an emergency.
Notably, UVO eServices does not require a monthly charge like most rival systems – as long as the system is paired to a Bluetooth-enabled phone, it’s ready to work.
Two screens are offered – a 4.3-inch unit without navigation and a larger 8-inch unit with the navigation. Our Forte came with navigation.
Kia also offers an app for Android and iPhone devices to allow users a certain degree of connection when they’re not with their cars.
Further, owners can log onto MyUVO.com, register their vehicle and gain basic diagnostics information. They can also book services and locate a nearby dealer if they’re on the go.
Hidden behind the scenes is automatic 911 assistance. If the airbags deploy, eServices will automatically dial 911 as long as a phone is paired to the system.
Oh, and what do the names mean? UVO is Kia’s name for its infotainment software, which operates the audio system, the backup camera and, when equipped, the navigation system. eServices is Kia’s name for its connectivity suite.
Using UVO eServices
We didn’t have the opportunity to try out the MyUVO.com or the app with our test Forte since the car isn’t ours, but Kia has demonstrated them to us on separate occasions.
Both are simple to use. The real benefit to the website is the ability to check whether your registered Kia is up to date on its servicing. For owners, this will help them ensure that they don’t miss maintenance. And for Kia, it results in better maintained vehicles, a boon for lease return vehicles and for long-term reliability scores. After all, many negative reports are due to negligent service histories.
The app includes a convenient Parking Minder. From the vehicle’s touchscreen display, users can tell the app to remember the GPS coordinates of their vehicle. Later, owners can fire up the app and locate their car.
The app doesn’t allow the same degree of communication with the vehicle as some other units – drivers can’t unlock or start their vehicles remotely, for example.
From inside the car, drivers can tap an eServices button from the home screen that directs them to a page filled with icons for each function:
Roadside assist. Press this and the system will use a paired phone to dial Kia’s roadside assistance in the event of a breakdown or flat tire.
Vehicle diagnostics. The system will report any needed servicing. If there is a critical issue, the system will prompt users and offer them the choice of either scheduling a service with a nearby dealer or calling roadside assistance.
Parking minder. As we said before, tap this and the vehicle’s location will be sent to your smartphone. This feature is offered on both navigation and non-navigation units.
My POIs. Drivers can store specific points of interest for easy recall – home, office, Grandma’s house, favorite restaurants, etc. This feature is only on navigation-equipped Kias.
eServices Guide. Tap this icon and an automated service will walk users through some of eServices’ functions.
GPS info. The screen can display detailed GPS coordinates.
In practice, eServices is a cinch to use. Our only real complaint is that the icons are monochromatic, which makes them a little difficult to find at a quick glance.
Leftlane’s bottom line
UVO eServices is nowhere near as comprehensive as systems like GM’s OnStar or Lexus’ Enform, but it’s hard to argue with the high level of value here.
With no monthly fee, the system provides a number of handy convenience features designed to give owners a certain peace of mind for their safety and for their car’s health. We think the biggest boon here is the automatic 911 dialing, but the system’s maintenance and diagnostics features will also ensure that owners complete recommended services.
Leftlane’s Spotlight On series aims to provide new car shoppers with an in-depth look and critical evaluation of new technologies and features. Since high-tech items tend to evolve quickly, it is important to note that the information presented here is accurate as of the publish date above.
Read more at http://www.leftlanenews.com/spotlight-on-kia-uvo-eservices.html#O6q7FRM47ArdUJ6j.99
As one would expect given Land Rover’s off-roading heritage, the LR2 is the mountain goat of the premium compact crossover segment. Now in its sixth year on the market, the little ute isn’t quite as compelling as more modern rivals when it comes to day-to-day driving, although a refresh for the latest model year helps in this regard.
Wearing essentially the same understated duds as last year’s model, the new LR2 has only reworked headlights, taillights and trim to allow eagle-eyed observers to identify it as the refreshed model. Clearly, the Range Rover Evoque is still the looker in Land Rover’s small crossover lineup.
Thankfully, there are more substantive changes under the hood, where the thirsty 3.2-liter straight-six has been replaced with a more powerful and fuel efficient turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder. Sourced from former parent company Ford and paired with a carryover six-speed automatic, the new mill produces 240 horsepower and 250 lb-ft of torque and returns 17 mpg in the city and 24 mpg on the highway. In comparison, the old six was good for 232 horsepower, 234 lb-ft of twist and 15/22 mpg.
The update also stretched to the interior, which benefits from a streamlined center console with simpler, more elegantly arranged controls. The gauge cluster has also been redesigned with a new five-inch vehicle info screen, and the steering wheel features redesigned audio and cruise control buttons.
Overall, the revisions give the LR2’s cabin a clean, contemporary feel. Like other Land Rovers, the LR2 offers an elevated driving position and plenty of window area for a good view of the world outside. It also features the company’s “stadium seating” layout, where rear passengers sit slightly higher than front occupants, for increased visibility.
Cargo space measures 59 cubic feet with the rear seats folded and 26.5 cubic feet with the rear seats up, which is respectably commodious for a compact crossover.
Although the LR2 is often viewed as a road-focused crossover due to its carlike unibody construction, it offers a number of features geared specifically for off-roading. The ute comes standard with Land Rover’s unique Terrain Response system, which optimizes vehicle settings to maximize traction in different weather conditions and on manifold surfaces like grass, gravel, mud, sand and more. Additionally, all LR2 models leave the factory with all-wheel-drive and a Gradient Release Control system, which improves driver confidence and control when releasing the brakes on steep and slippery slopes.
These elements, along with 8.3 inches of ground clearance, make the LR2 perhaps the most off-road-ready small luxury crosover on the market, although it still can’t quite match up to old-school SUVs like the Jeep Wrangler.
When the time comes to leave the trails behind, the LR2 is plenty refined on the pavement, although customers seeking dynamic handling might be better served by another crossover.
Trim Level Breakdown
The LR2 is offered in base, HSE and HSE LUX trim levels.
The base model LR2 comes standard with leather upholstery, power front seats, dual zone automatic climate control, a two-part panoramic sunroof, a proximity key, a seven-inch infotainment touchscreen, bi-xenon headlamps, adaptive front lighting, 18-inch alloy wheels, rain-sensing windshield wipers and rear park distance control. Audiophiles will appreciate the 17-speaker, 380-watt Meridian AM/FM/CD sound system, which is new for the latest model year. It features HD radio, Sirius satellite radio and Bluetooth connectivity.
The HSE brings a rearview camera, Xenon headlights with LED running lights. The HSE LUX adds an upgraded 825-watt Meridian stero along with softer, more supple Windsor leather upholstery.
Options include a DVD-based navigation system with a touch-screen display and a Climate Comfort package with heated front seats, a heated steering wheel and heated windshield-washer jets.
All LR2 models come equipped with dual front, side and full-length side curtain airbags along with a driver’s knee airbag, traction and stability control systems, electronic brake-force distribution and emergency brake assist.
The Bugatti Veyron 16.4 is the most powerful, most expensive, and fastest street-legal production car in the world, with a proven top speed of over 400 km/h (407 km/h or 253 mph). It reached full production in September 2005. The car is built by Volkswagen AG subsidiary Bugatti Automobiles SAS and is sold under the legendary Bugatti marque. It is named after racing driver Pierre Veyron, who won the 24 hours of Le Mans in 1939 while racing for the original Bugatti firm. The Veyron features a W16 engine—16 cylinders in 4 banks of 4 cylinders. According to Volkswagen, the final production Veyron engine produces between 1020 and 1040 metric hp (1006 to 1026 SAE net hp), so the car will be advertised as producing “1001 horsepower” in both the US and European markets. This easily makes it the most powerful production road-car engine in history.