Cars

2016 Scion iM first-drive – Goodbye xB, hello maturity

2016 Scion iM first-drive – Goodbye xB, hello maturity

Scion made its name with a bizarre hatchback, the xB, and is hoping to revive its fortunes with the 2016 iM. Targeting fun-seeking but cash-poor Millennials with a sub-$20k sticker price and lashings of standard kit, the iM not only courts those who might covet a Golf or a Mazda 3, but drivers that might otherwise be looking to a four-year-old used car instead of something new off the forecourt. Times are tough, though, and so rather than cook up a new car from scratch, Scion has followed the same approach that netted the perky FR-S roadster for its range and based the iM on an existing design.

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Uber nixes UberPOP in France after growing pressure

Uber nixes UberPOP in France after growing pressure

The pressure in France against Uber’s UberPOP service reached explosive levels last month, resulting in violent protests and, among other things, a legal order for police to begin seizing Uber cars that were in violation of the ban. Uber still pushed back, though, and that rolled over into two of its executives being arrested. The protests and legal battles appear to have exceeded Uber's willingness to fight, as it announced today that it has ceased UberPOP in the nation.

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2016 Scion iA first-drive – Slack-jawed sedan with Mazda zoom

2016 Scion iA first-drive – Slack-jawed sedan with Mazda zoom

Scion has decided the 18-35 demographic it’s desperate to attract to is in need of an aspirational sports sedan, and the 2016 Scion iA is the result. Mouth of a guppy, mechanics of a Mazda, and price tag of something several years old and with at least one other owners’ name on the title, the iA isn’t lacking in ambition, certainly, and neither has it spared the spec-sheet. All the same, the controversial looks and dinky engine could spoil the show, though Scion has reached high for things like safety tech.

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Uber wants to make sure you don’t miss jury duty

Uber wants to make sure you don’t miss jury duty

The jury duty letter comes in the mail and many people immediately start thinking of ways to get out of it. In one county, at least, not having access to public transportation or a vehicle will no longer be an applicable excuse, as Uber has struck a new partnership that will see it giving free rides to those who have to report for jury duty. The new service is being launched in Macomb County north of Detroit, Michigan; it isn't clear if it will expand in the future.

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Chevrolet adds “Active Phone Cooling” to next-gen vehicles

Chevrolet adds “Active Phone Cooling” to next-gen vehicles

Chevrolet is the first automotive company to bring "Active Phone Cooling" to vehicles. This is a sort of air conditioner for your phone, made to keep your device cool when you're using it for high-power-requirement tasks like turn-by-turn directions with online maps, and music streaming. "Innovation doesn’t mean reinventing the wheel," said Impala engineer Dan Lascu, "Sometimes simplicity offers the most elegant solution to a problem." The solution in this case is giving the smartphone its own little handy-dandy super-cool compartment where it can rest easy.

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Aftermarket autonomous vehicle tech enters testing in California

Aftermarket autonomous vehicle tech enters testing in California

Autonomous vehicles are the future of driving and there is no way we will get away from that. Like most cool new features, initially the only way to get the ability for your car to drive autonomously will be to buy a new car that has the tech built-in from the factory. The good news for folks who don’t want to buy a new car or have a car they love currently is that there will be aftermarket autonomous vehicle tech such as the offering that Cruise Automation is working on.

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BMW finally unveils its hydrogen fuel cell i8 concept

BMW finally unveils its hydrogen fuel cell i8 concept

The BMW i8 already looks like a car from the future, but this new version of it might be even more so. Just the other day we saw Toyota boasting about the mileage of its own hydrogen fuel cell Mirai and now BMW has come out with one of its own. Not a commercial model yet, though. This still unnamed research car will be the German car maker's plans for fuel cell powered automobiles. Curiously, Toyota actually plays an important role in those plans as well.

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New electric vehicle record set for Pikes Peak hillclimb

New electric vehicle record set for Pikes Peak hillclimb

As all-electric race cars become more and more common, they continue to not only take on challenges dominated by traditional gasoline-powered vehicles, but perform almost just as well. Case in point: a new electric vehicle record has been set on the famous Pikes Peak International Hillclimb, the grueling uphill course in Colorado known for rally races. The Drive eO PP03, driven by Rhys Millen, made it to the top of the mountain in 9 minutes, 7.022 seconds.

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Jaguar: customers aren’t cargo, won’t make self-driving cars

Jaguar: customers aren’t cargo, won’t make self-driving cars

While some car makers are scrambling to make cars smarter, perhaps even to the point of being able to drive themselves, at least one is putting hard limits to what technology will be able to do. At least according to its R&D head. Wolfgang Epple, Jaguar Land Rover's research and development chief, might come off as anti-robot, but his reasoning pretty much appeals to human emotion. The company doesn't consider its customers as cargo so they aren't interested in developing a robot that just delivers them from one point to another.

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2016 Mirai sets a 312 mile record for zero-emission cars

2016 Mirai sets a 312 mile record for zero-emission cars

The Toyota Mirai is really setting records, at least according to the car maker. Toyota just proudly announced that the 2016 Mirai has achieved the equivalent of 67 miles per gallon on city/highway/combined roads and a range of 312 miles, both based on EPA estimates. That might not sound so noteworthy at first, until you take into account the fact that the Mirai is a hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicle. Thus, Toyota is claiming that it is the first of any zero emission vehicle to hit, and even exceed, that 300 mile mark.

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