Cars

IIHS Finds Aluminum F-150 Extended Cab Doesn’t Fare Well in Crash Test

IIHS Finds Aluminum F-150 Extended Cab Doesn’t Fare Well in Crash Test

The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety or IIHS is an organization that crash tests all sorts of vehicles to see how safe they are for passengers and drivers. Recently the IIHS tested a new extended cab Ford F-150, the first mass-produced aluminum bodied truck on the roads. Some have wondered how well the truck, made using copious amounts of aluminum, would fare in a serious accident compared to traditional steel-bodied trucks.

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This is VW’s plan for semi-autonomous, smartphone-friendly driving

This is VW’s plan for semi-autonomous, smartphone-friendly driving

Volkswagen is embracing CarPlay and Android Auto, revamping its whole infotainment line-up while injecting some smart semi-autonomous tech to its 2016 cars. I spent some time with VW's new Driver Assist semi-autonomous features, along with the Discover Pro on the e-Golf SEL Premium, the top-spec MIB-II model in VW's new range. It's a noticeable improvement over the old infotainment platform, pairing a sizable 8-inch capacitive touchscreen with easily stabbed and grabbed shortcut buttons and knobs.

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Tesla experimenting with a free car for referrals

Tesla experimenting with a free car for referrals

Tesla will soon begin a referral program for their electric vehicles instead of continuing to fight their up-hill battle with US car dealers. They'll continue to open new stores, for sure, but depending on how well this referral program goes, suggested CEO Elon Musk this week, perhaps not so many stores will be opened as originally planned. Word of mouth, after all, is one of Tesla's strongest tools for sales of vehicles, especially in states where sales through Tesla stores are not yet legal.

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These VW Android Auto and CarPlay cars are in showrooms now

These VW Android Auto and CarPlay cars are in showrooms now

Volkswagen has launched its new Modular Infotainment Platform, MIB-II, with the first cars with the new touchscreen head-units arriving in dealerships complete with Android Auto and CarPlay. The new technology, announced at CES 2015, switches to a more modular approach, as well as baking in more apps and wearables. It's an ambitious roll-out, too, with VW planning to put MIB-II into all but a handful of its 2016 models.

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Ferrari 488 Spider unveiled with 661HP, 203 mph top speed

Ferrari 488 Spider unveiled with 661HP, 203 mph top speed

While the Frankfurt Motor Show isn't until September, Italian manufacturer Ferrari decided not to wait until then to reveal the 2016 488 Spider. As the convertible version of the Ferrari 488 GTB, introduced back in February, the 488 Spider shares the same turbocharged V8 engine as its coupe sibling, offering 661-horsepower and a top speed of 203 mph. With the hard top on, the Spider may also look nearly identical to the coupe, but with its stunning design, that's far from a bad thing.

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Elio Motors raises $25M in “non-binding” crowdfunding

Elio Motors raises $25M in “non-binding” crowdfunding

Crowdfunding the production of a vehicle? Sure that's done before, but not really on Kickstarter and nowhere near the sophistication that "equity crowdfunding platform" StartEngine offers potential businesses. But that seems to be exactly what Elio Motors needed to boost the production of their three-wheeler car, now almost two years in the making. After all, they were able to gather $25 million in just a month from over 6,000 investors. But hold your horses, that doesn't mean they really got $25 million in cash, only that the sum was a "non-binding indication of interest."

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Hyundai provides DIY Android Auto update for 2015 Sonata

Hyundai provides DIY Android Auto update for 2015 Sonata

Today, Hyundai is fulfilling its promise and its boast of being the first auto maker to put Android Auto on a production vehicle. While many of its rivals have also advertised support for the in-vehicle version of Android, those are still coming in future models. In contrast, starting with Hyundai's 2015 Sonata, owners can already start experiencing the hands-free and safe driving benefits of Android Auto. They can even do it themselves if they want to, with Hyundai providing the software and the steps to perform the upgrade.

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Apple reported to be eying BMW i3 for its own EV plans

Apple reported to be eying BMW i3 for its own EV plans

Apple making its own electric car is one of those news that refuses to die, much like a zombie. Although a surprising new venture for Cupertino, it falls in line with the tech world's recent obsession over the automotive industry, both in EVs and in self-driving cars. And there is strong evidence to support news of Apple's plans, as well as a steady flow of rumors, like this one that puts Apple chief exec Tim Cook in Germany to see if the BMW i3 electric car is a viable basis for its own.

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Record $105m fine for Fiat Chrysler over recalls

Record $105m fine for Fiat Chrysler over recalls

Fiat-Chrysler will buy back as many as 500,000 trucks in a hugely costly settlement with the NHTSA that also includes a penalty that could reach $105m. News of the buy-back comes after the beleaguered manufacturer agreed to recall a whopping 1.5m cars, SUVs, and trucks late last week, with today's record fine coming after the firm failed to convince the US safety regulator that it handled a total of 23 recalls affecting in excess of 11m vehicles effectively over the past few years.

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2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata First Drive – Roadster Reborn

2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata First Drive – Roadster Reborn

It's close to being a miracle that the 2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata exists. As the cars around it get bigger, more luxurious, and more insulated from the road beneath them, and as semi-autonomous technologies become more and more mainstream, a tiny, purist roadster seems all the more an outlier. Surely Mazda's accountants and its "brand strategists" will weigh in and, for this fourth-generation, dilute the MX-5 with demands for practicality? Read on, because I have good news.

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