Rip snorting around in the newest Mustang Shelby, top tech from BMW's New Top Ride, and do speed cameras have a place?
It's time to check the tech.
We see cars differently.
We love them on the road, and under the hood, but also check the tech and are known for Telling it like it is.
Ugly is included at no extra cost.
The good, the bad, the bottom line.
this is CNET On Cars.
Welcome to CNET On Cars, the show all about high tech cars and modern driving.
I'm Brian Cooley.
Well the first special performance edition of the new 2016 Mustang is here.
The Mustang Shelby GT350, and GT350R.
But performance cars today can't just do brawn well, they've got to nail finesse as well.
Let's see if Ford got it right in that balance as we drive the new Shelby's and check the tech.
1966 Popular Mechanics in the Driving with Dan section.
Walter Eastman writes in to ask Dan Gurney What's the best all-round street/track sports car you've ever driven?
To which Gurney simply replies, A GT 350 Mustang.
Guess what we've got with us today.
Let's see if Gurney would be just as simple, and just as positive in his endorsements.
Ford breathed on almost every part of a Mustang to create the GT350.
One of the most obvious changes you can spot from the outside is the whole front clip.
See, they pushed out the front track on the wheels almost an inch and a half.
As a result, the body work has to reach out to cover it.
You get different fenders and a different hood than on any other mustang.
Now, on top of the GT350, you've also got the very rare R model.
Only two seats, they lose the back Carbon fiber wheels, extraordinarily unusual.
A magnetorheological adaptive suspension that's standard on the r, optional on the 350.
And ideally, you'll order it the right way.
No radio, no air conditioning, no rear carpet.
You can spot one by the red grill dash.
Now we've seen the inside of the new Mustang Ford have been dramatically different there.
A couple of additional gauges Three choices of gear box for the rear wheel drive, six speed manual, manual six speed, or six on the floor.
Learn to drive it, that's your only choice.
Here in the head unit you're going to have a basic display radio like we have here or you can go all the way up to their latest.
Sync three touchscreen system, or all they way to a stripped R, as I mentioned, with nothing there.
No radio, no AC.
And here's your drive mode selector on the steering wheel.
Other Mustangs put it as a toggle down here.
It's able to harness all these different drive modes you see on the dash, but unlike other Mustangs, it can also roll in an adaptive suspension Suspension as part of its mix.
This is the first Ford ever to have that.
Now, whether you get a 350 or a 350R, you have the same mill.
A 5.2L naturally aspirated V8.
No turner, no blower.
Nothing like that, 526 Horse Power.
That's nearly 102 horse power per liter, a number called specific output.
and in this case, it's the highest one Ford's ever posted without a turbo or a blower involved.
The red line is 8250, peak horsepower occurs near that.
Compare this to a Camaro Z28, which uses a much larger seven liter engine, to get a lower 505 horse, and only 72 horse per liter, though it does make more torque.
And it uses technologies like low friction design for internal resistance, free breathing heads and valves, lots of lightening.
They took away as much weight as they could.
We've heard all that before, to be honest.
What you probably haven't heard before is deep in the heart.
Something called a flat plane crank.
A crankshaft has counterweights at 90 degrees.
What a flat plane crank does, is changes that 90 degree to 180 degrees.
The engine fires from bank to bank and you get better exhaust scavenging.
So one cylinder doesn't disrupt the flow of the next cylinder.
Some say oh, it's a flat plane crank.
Maybe it's gonna Sound like a Ferrari.
Yeah, like a Ferrari in a denim jacket with a Marlboro hopped up on meth.
What I love about this vehicle that I noticed immediately is it is the God son of [UNKNOWN] 302.
My favorite modern Mustang ever.
Light, crisp, muscular, but not steroidal.
That's my kinda Mustang.
Utterly and completely driveable every day.
Some people are gonna find it not hard edged enough, not feeling special [INAUDIBLE] But I would consider them to be purists without a cause.
Now, I focus on the GT 350 in this story today, because it's gonna be a lot more accessible.
The R is gonna be extraordinarily low production as far as we can tell.
And the 350 does most of what you want at a nice price psychologically.
Comes in under 50 grand with delivery, but then you've got this very difficult decision to make.
You can get the track package for 6,500, which gets you the adaptive suspension, heavy duty front springs, the drive control, a spoiler in the rear, a tower brace, and heavy duty coolers.
Or, the tech package, which also gets you adaptive suspension, heavy springs, and drive control, but then adds infotainment like a better audio system, Sync 3, power seats, and voice operated nav.
$7,500 for that.
If you're curious, an R adds about $13,500 to either configuration.
I'd go with tech package, and that gives you at about $56,200 out the door.
That's a pretty good value for a car that has such track prowess and such nice street [INAUDIBLE] which is becoming the theme in the high-performance market, from McLarens to Challengers to Cameros, most cars that are super brawny realize they also have to have clean fingernails.
Check out the rest of our experience with the new Shelby's at Laguna Seca Raceway, it was quite a day, over at Cars.
Well what's the only thing more hated than a red light camera?
That would be a speed camera But what if they work and are improving public safety?
It's an interesting question to ponder.
We'll do that for the smarter drive when CNet OnCars returns.
The simplest kind of speed camera is basically a radar gun on a stick.
But those are easy for the speeder to beat.
You slow down for the a few hundred yards and then Speed up again.
So the new trend in US speed cameras may soon be corridor averaging with ALPR cameras.
Those are automatic license plate recognition.
Now if you're one of our UK viewers, none of this new to you, having debuted back in Scotland in 2004.
Here's how corridor averaging in ALPR is used.
A camera recognizes your car's license plate at one point on the road.
As you drive down the road further, additional cameras recognize your plate again and again, and record it each time with a time stamp.
Since the distance between those cameras, and the times at which they spotted you is known, Little simple math results in an average speed and potentially a ticket.
[SOUND] One of the first major U.S. of corridor averaging with ALPR was in Montgomery County, Maryland.
Which added the tech to it's standard speed cameras in 2012.
The insurance institute for highway safety has since used as a study base and just released a few numbers.
They estimate these cameras generated about a 30 percent decrease in fatalities and serious injuries That would mean 21,000 fewer deaths and serious injuries if this was nationwide.
And that in Montgomery county fatalities and serious injuries fell 27% even on nearby roads where these cameras weren't specifically being used.
A spill over effect because I know you're wondering Montgomery County posts the location of all of it's speed cameras on a county web page.
They're moved regularly.
And you can be sure that drivers share the location on crowdsource nav apps like Waze.
And there is of course a vigorous debate as to whether units of [UNKNOWN].
Sneakily deploy traffic cams to generate more revenue than speed reductions.
And in some states, notably California, this corridor averaging, license plate camera technology is expressly prohibited as a speed trap, for now, at least.
It pays to double check what kind of speed cameras are in use where you travel.
And not give them a reason to notice you at all.
Welcome back to CNET on cars.
Coming to you from our home at the Mt Tam Motor Club just north of the Golden Gate Bridge.
A lot of cars actually use Atkinson's cycle engines you just wouldn't know it I guess Lean Burn doesn't make for as sexy a badge as Turbo or 5.0.
[NOISE] And notice most cars with an Atkinson are hybrids, as the technologies dovetail with a mission of efficiency above sheer power.
Here's how it all works.
An Atkinson engine basically one, takes in a little less Fuel, and two, wrings the most out of it.
But three, at a sacrifice of raw horsepower.
When a given piston in an Atkinson engine has completed its intake stroke and begins to compress the charge of air and fuel, it leaves the intake valve open for a bit, creating a sort of leak, and thereby reducing the amount of air fuel charge in the cylinder.
Unchanged is the duration of the combustion or power stroke, thereby giving the engine all the time it needs to fully burn the smaller charge it ignited.
The downside is less air and fuel going in means less power coming out when you ignite it all, but you spend proportionately less fuel on your overall power.
Since most Atkinson cars are hybrids.
So what the engine lacks in oomph, the electric motor more than makes up.
Now, why's it called an Atkinson Cycle?
That's because it was invented by a guy named Atkinson in the late 1800s, the British engineer.
Back then there was no variable valve timing, as we've discussed, so he literally had to vary the travel length of each piston cycle with a combination of wonky linkages you should be pretty glad we're not dealing with today.
In a moment your email, when your brakes are your enemy.
And reason number six thousand, two hundred, seventy one, why manual transmission aren't coming back.
When C Net on Cars continues.
We have known it was coming for a long time, but Bentley have finally officially lifted the covers on Bentega, the first foray by the British luxury manufacturer into the world of SUVs.
[UNKNOWN] wants to out-luxury and outperform the likes of the Range Rover and the Porsche Cayenne.
And to achieve that, it's going to have to come out swinging.
Find more from the xcar team on cnet UK at cnet.com/xcar.
Welcome back to cnet on cars.
I'm Brian Brian Cooley, here's the part of the show where I take a few of your emails.
First one comes in from Zaid R who says my question is why would aggressive braking cause extra fuel consumption?
It is kind of a nonintuitive connection isn't it?
Well Zaid the thing about braking the wrong way is that you kill momentum.
Momentum that you spent precious fuel to create in your car.
That's how you get the car going forward, don't throw it away but when you jump on the brake non-judiciously first thing you do is you convert a lot of motion that you want into heat that doesn't do you any good and you also create a lot of brake dust.
I mean, these are kind of useless byproducts Of using your brakes too hard, too late, too much.
Now, on top of that remember that 70% of the fuel in the average gas engine car, for example, is creating heat, not motion.
It's enormously wasteful.
So don't add to it by braking badly.
The way to do it is what hypermilers know well, folks that can get up to 100 miles per gallon out of a Prius.
They look way down the road and read the situation to accelerate very gradually and to brake very gradually, and do the least amount of both so you're not constantly scrubbing off speed and then dumping fuel in the engine to get speed back.
That real lumpy driving, kills fuel economy.
So interestingly enough, paying attention to way down the road Raises your MPG.
And be easy on the brakes.
But don't be dangerous.
Brad from Miami writes in and says,
When will you be airing that video you promised showing us how to drive a manual transmission?
Yeah, we're a little late on that one.
I have some friends that would like to learn.
Also, is there any data you know of on texting and driving in an automatic Automatic versus a car with a manual transmission.
Well, first of all, you're right.
We're overdue on getting you that how-to video on how to drive a manual gear box.
I'm looking for just the right victim, student, and also right manual transmission car.
A lot of the ones we've had in a extremely high performance and I'm not gonna do that to a first time clutch driver.
But we're on it.
Now, your other question's interesting.
I know of one study from the University of Virginia that looked at the relationship between attention paid to driving with a stick versus an automatic.
And they found generally speaking with adolescent boys who have attention deficit hyperactivity disorder that they paid more attention to driving when they had a manual gear box in the simulator.
Kept them more focused.
Now that's not directly related to keeping your mind on driving versus holding your phone, but it seems to go down the same road.
Let's face it, you can't steer and shift and juggle your phone when you only have two hands.
But you know how we are.
That's why we have knees.
To take over the steering wheel, I'm afraid.
So, and none of this, even if we found that it's the Holy Grail of reducing texting while driving, is going to save the stick, I'm afraid.
The manual gearbox is suffering a death of a thousand cuts or already has.
Has for a variety of reasons.
First of all, it's fuel economy.
Modern automatic transmissions can be programmed by the manufacturer to seek the most efficient gear combination with the engine load and RPM.
That's how you get the most fuel out of a power train.
Along the same lines, emission goals are getting ever more stringent.
And again, being able to program the gear box gives the manufacturer one more tool they can use.
To bring down emissions the most.
It's just part of an ecosystem in the car that is smart.
And finally, convenience, most of us just don't want to a baby a collection of stick, especially in our average driving, up and down the freeway in congested traffic.
It reads better than it lives, I know their are die hards out there but The stick's not coming back, It will remain kind of like vinyl, a very popular, enthusiast, minority choice.
I've never done a top five about a single car before but I'm about to do one now, because the new BMW 7 Series has so many new technologies in it, new for it and to some degree, new for the auto industry, certainly in mainstream production.
But it deserves that kind of a look.
It also, as an interesting indicator, some people have a theory that the German premium car makers are getting a little nervous that companies like Tesla in particular, are beginning to steal their thunder as the go to car for affluent, tech savvy buyers.
So let's see how the BMW 7 answers that particular appetite with the top 5 technologies you'll find in it.
Number five, the Carbon Core.
Now I put this at number five because it is not an entirely new technology, carbon fiber in cars.
But pure carbon fiber.
Passenger sales remain a tedious expensive process.
What BMW's done here is hybridise with carbon fiber reinforced plastic, here and here and here.
Blended with aluminum and light weight high strength steel.
The overall result is a loss of nearly 200 pounds.
Now on a big boy like this, that's not exactly earth shaking But weight loss is the holy grail, and this is an important way of getting there.
By the way, this technology trickled down from the I series, the I3 and the I8, where it emerged a couple years ago.
Number 4, laser headlights.
Now I put these relatively low because this is not entirely new technology.
Audi got these out in a limited production R8 a little while ago.
But this is full production in the 7 series.
Contrary to what you might think, laser headlights don't literally aim out on the road like lasers at a concert.
They go about inch and they hit an illumination structure inside the lamp and then that light is projected out.
But you end up with a much more efficient and controllable light, huge throw, they say about a third of a mile for these guys.
That's way more than your current high beam Beam, while using about a third less power.
They're very tiny modules, and they should last forever- unless you rear-end someone.
Don't do that.
Number three is gesture control.
Now, a BMW gives you a lot of ways to control Control the center stack.
You've got the traditional high drive knob controller which lately has had a touch pad on top of that.
Voice command continues better than before.
You've got a touch screen now.
I'm still getting used to that in a premium German car.
That was very known [INAUDIBLE] for the last number of years.
But now on top of all that is gesture command as well.
This is the biggest mainstream push to put gesture in real cars yet.
Number two is the Head up display.
You may say, a HUD's nothing new, and it's not.
But this is the largest one in the business.
And that's important in a HUD because the bigger and more expansive it is, the less you have to scrutinize a small piece or real estate, which is not a great idea when you're driving.
You want a big one that is more or less in your gaze.
And this one's absolutely doing that.
On top of that, BMW already, in my opinion, did the best infographics in a HUD of anybody in the industry.
What I want to see them push the bar on next is, Be the first to get augmented reality in here.
Number one in the words of Auric Goldfinger is what an extraordinary car key you have Mr Bond.
This is the first LCD touch screen remote key fob Now, you slide it up to get to your screen, and you can see if the car's locked.
You can check your fuel range, check your batter charge if you happen to have a plugin hybrid or something.
But here's where it gets really interesting.
On the last screen, it marries in to a new level of self parking tech.
So you hit this button here, and the car goes and identifies a nearby parking space.
It shows you yes, I have found one.
Then you just stand on this arrow, and the car will start to nose in, all by itself.
You aren't in the car.
Notice that that's also a dead man's switch.
If I lift off, the car stops moving for safety reasons.
Otherwise, I just stay on the arrow, and the car takes itself all the way in.
And when it's done it tells me.
And all I have to do is turn it off and it locks.
And I walk away.
That's a crowd pleaser.
Thanks for watching, hope you enjoyed this episode coming, it's on cars at C Net dot com, and if you follow me on twitter you'll know ahead of time what we're shooting next, it's Brian Cooley.
I'll see you next time, from tech to tech.
Brian Cooley joined CNET in 1995 and always comes at technology from the real consumer's point of view. He brings his high energy, often skeptical style to all avenues of CNET coverage, with an emphasis on car tech. You'll also find him frequently on television, radio and the TV screens at Costco!