Car Tech Live 170: Electric car reality check (podcast)
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Car Tech Live 170: Electric car reality check (podcast)

Auto Tech
>> Tesla looks like a real car company all of a sudden. Getting a factory will do that for you. 5 million places to charge your EV. TV broadcast in cars hit a snag. A GPS device that worries for you. We'll go for a ride in our favorite sports sedan, the AMG C-63. >> That's right, everybody, it's CNET's Car Tech live for our -- whack -- that happens sometimes. It's a -- it's a Thursday, if you haven't been with us on a Thursday live show this is our new time, kind of new for some people. That's Kelly Hendricks [Assumed spelling] by the way. Kelly is in for Mitchell Chang. Kelly is Ably assisting us, and is sort of a sergeant at arms. So it's amazing what the man can step in and do. There's Kelly, thank you so much for being in for Mitchell today. And I of course am Brian Cooley, joined with Wayne Cunningham [Assumed spelling], joined by Wayne Cunningham [Inaudible] proper English, which I don't always use. Hello, Wayne. Fresh off of near-miss with jury duty. And Antuan Goodwin, fresh off a near-miss at the local bar. So -- >> It was a near miss. >> He hit it head on. Head on, and still feeling the effects. All right, let's get into the top news this week. It's actually news from like literally about an hour after we closed the show last week. I hate when they do that. Tesla, Toyota, and the New Me plant here in the Bay Area announced that Tesla's all of a sudden a big-old growed up car company. They did a deal with some investment from Toyota to take over the New Mi plant, which was the GM Toyota joint operation in Fremont, California, southern end of the Bay Area if you're not from here, to make that the new Tesla plant. They've been looking around southern California and all over the place and all of a sudden it's like, ding, this is going to be our new factory. They're going to use a very small part of it, they say less than 20% of it to start, to do manufacturing. But the big idea here is it's giving them a place to build the Model S, which is supposed to a much higher volume, much more approachable car, sort of Tesla's version of a 5 series, if you will, competes in that category. All of a sudden we've got a car company here that's a real car company, you know? Well, they actually got not only -- Elon Musk, of course, the head of Tesla to be at the press conference, Governor Schwarzenegger, California governor, at the press conference, makes sense. And also Akio Toyoda, the head of Toyota -- >> The head of Toyota. >> Yeah, big time, big cheese there. >> That was amazing. They brought that many names together, which I think speaks to a number of things. First of all Toyota really likes what Tesla's doing. Because Toyota -- despite their current woes they don't need a lot of help from anybody, they're a big company that can do just about everything. But for them to go into Tesla's world and make a $50 million investment, I think, on this shows that they want to be tied in with Tesla, get first crack of whatever they develop, to a very close partner. >> Yeah, they said they actually want to learn from Tesla. >> Amazing language. >> They don't really know about, you know, electronic, you know, electronic drive systems for cars. And they don't want to spend the time researching and Tesla's done a pretty good job. In fact I think it's really probably the range factor that Tesla's getting -- they say 200 miles on the roadster, and they're going -- planning on 250 to 300 miles on the Model S. So that could be a really groundbreaking car. >> I think Toyota's looking at that saying, you know, what's next. We had a home run with the Prius, what's going to be happening next. And electric cars, they have to be feeling the heat from Chevy and Nissan, especially from Nissan, they competitive in the domestic market. And many -- to a degree, there are many Es coming sooner than later. And what am I missing, the I me, [Inaudible] you went for a ride in this Mitsubishi last week. >> I did. Actually, that's why I missed yesterday -- last week's show is I was driving one of these little tiny cars, little tiny electric cars from San Francisco to Sacramento, which is an 85-mile drive. And that was about 30 miles further than the Imea could actually go. >> So how did that work? >> We actually stopped -- this is part of a way to show of what they're calling the electric highway. And about a little more than halfway along the trip in Vacaville [Assumed spelling] which is a town not too far from San Francisco, 55 miles, they had a charging station, a rapid charger station set up by a company called Eaton [Assumed spelling] who is also trying to get into the electric infrastructure game -- >> Eaton of super-charger fame? >> Exactly. This is a company that's well known for super-charger. They do a lot of infrastructure work now, and they have a lot of expertise in designing these chargers which can actually -- figuring out where to put these chargers, because they have to know how these grids work, you know, where there's enough power that they can actually get the -- I think it's something -- 200 something volts this thing pulls, and huge amount of amps, because this charger can actually charge up the Imea's battery to 80% in 25 minutes, which is fast, considering that I guess a dryer out let, you know, your home dryer outlet takes about 4 to 6 hours. >> That's a lot of -- that's a lot of progress toward getting these cars to be more like a gas fill up. Of course 25 minutes is still a lot longer than what, 90 seconds to fill a gas car. But it gets you a long way toward consumer nervousness being erased. Like -- even you say you knew you had a charging station coming up. But I'm sure in the back of your mind is okay, how are we doing on range. >> The last bit of it -- actually, this was not optimum conditions to use this car. This was the little Imea car, it's really a city car, it's tiny, it's not great on the freeway. And it's also -- you know, the electric drive train isn't great on the freeway either because city conditions, flat ground and all that, you can get about 80 miles range. But as we were pulling into Vacaville I was watching that battery meter and it was telling me I had 5 kilometers of range left. >> And you're hoping it's accurate. >> Oh yeah. Because we were driving at 60 to 65 miles per hour the whole way, and we had just gone over the set of mountains -- [ Multiple voices speaking ] >> That kills the draw. >> Yeah, it's terrible on electric drive. And I thought the fact that it handled 55 miles of range on the fly under those conditions was about reasonable. >> Yeah. That's pretty good. >> That's what I would expect with 80 miles at a maximum range. >> What's the forecast for this car coming to market, I forget. >> Next year they're going to launch a version in the U.S., late next year, late in 2011, and the way the Mitsubishi rep described it as when it comes to the U.S. it's going to be snazzier. >> Well, let's hope so, because it looks like an ice cream cart the way it is there. Here's that charging station, I believe that you tapped into. >> Yeah. That's the Eaton rapid charger station. This is sort of a development model. They're looking -- they showed off a couple of, like, pedestal versions, much smaller. And the idea is like in the future, they will have these sort of strewn about parking lots and company offices and stuff like that, so you can park your car during the day and have it charged up, and you know, swipe your credit card or use your cell phone, something like that to pay for the electricity. One interesting thing that was brought up when they talked about these charging stations is that it varies all over the country who can actually sell electricity in the California area, in the California area, northern California, P G and E has sort of the license, the cartel on selling electricity. >> And even that's changing with municipal power operations. Like Palo Alto, California, you know, the capital city of Silicone Valley, if you will, has its own utility. And they're doing a lot of these alternate utilities around the Bay Area which is a very controversial thing. And that's another battle over who can sell juice. >> Yeah, not everybody can jump in a say I'm going to throw up a few electric charging stations and I'm going to become an electricity seller. >> Yeah , so it's such a foggy roll out of how we're going to get this infrastructure, which is in many ways the hardest part of EVs. That said, we saw research this week from Pike Research company that does this kind of research, that says this is a turning point in 2010, and as we move forward we're going to see almost 5 million charging points installed world-wide now, this is spread around the globe, but mostly in the developed first-world nations between now and 2015. But they said the tap just really got turned on this year by technologies like you saw there, the Eaton supercharger -- rapid charger, and other companies that are going to do this. There's Better place, there's Aerovironment, there's Cullom Technology, Ecotality, lots of companies are out there trying to work with utilities to get the grid rights, work with car makers to get compatibility and put optimal charging architecture for the cars. And work with all manner of -- honestly, real estate stake holders who will give them a place to put these things. Whether it's shopping malls, offices, Nissan wants to put these in their dealerships for their vehicle owners. So there's a number for you, 4 to 5 million of these, almost 5 million come in between now and 2015. We also had word of an interesting -- couple of things around the space of the federal involvement in this. And one of these is that house and Senate leaders are about to roll out a plan for an $11 billion fund, pretty good money even in this day and age, to encourage electric vehicle sales and also to help fund the recharging network. So here we go, another big basket of money going that way. This is Democrat Ed Marky from Massachusetts, Judy Biggerton of Illinois, Byron Dorgen [Assumed spelling] of North Dakota, [Inaudible] of Oregon, Lamar Alexander of Tennessee. So a wide array of people. But interestingly, none from Michigan, getting involved in this one, trying to promote the electric car. So that's kind of an interesting car [Inaudible] -- >> All this promotion is kind of interesting because of the fact that there's a lot of oil around, it's all sloshing around in the gulf right now. >> Right. You know, there's about -- what did they just say, that just has now been declared the largest oil spill in U.S. history, just passed Exxon Valdez at 11 million -- 11 million? Yeah, 11 million gallons. So nice. I guess they just got it capped this morning. I haven't kept an eye on it. >> Yeah, they're working on it, they haven't got it capped yet but it's looking like it might be promising. >> Like it might work. >> Yeah, it's -- but it, you know, might be a shot in the arm for electric cars. >> Exactly. Because it gives oil a black eye. Speaking of -- we talked at the top of the show about Tesla opening a factory. Nissan about the same thing, almost I think to say yeah, we're doing it too. The Nissan leaf factory, the little picture of a rendering of it here. They're getting ready to break ground on this for production in 2012. So they've got to get this factory done quick. Groundbreaking in Smurshia [Phonetic], which is where Nissan recently moved their headquarters out of southern California, dragged almost everyone out to Tennessee, except the few who wouldn't go, that's quite a culture change to move from LA to Tennessee. 1300 jobs they say. But again, another major plant with a credible company behind it, Nissan, like the deal between Toyota and Tesla. So I have to say, this has been a very interesting week for real world plants being built or announced with real money behind them and real players to start getting EVs built in some large numbers. Along this comes an interesting prediction by Carlos Nome [Assumed spelling] the head of renowned Nissan, who says in as little as four years, he thinks, U.S. federal supports for EVs -- I think he's talking mostly here about supports for the companies, the manufacturers, not the tax breaks, can go away. That the market will be that strong that it will be able to stand on its own and car makers can make money in the business of electric vehicles in as little as four years without having to get special incentives like we just talked about, the $11 billion bail. I don't think he's talking about our forecasting an end to those federal tax credits, up to $7500 right now for an advanced-technology vehicle, whether it's hybrid or typically EV. If those were to go away right away all of a sudden the Volt gets real expensive. What's a Volt priced at, how many, Antuan? >> I don't know. They won't say. >> We're guessing? >> We're guessing somewhere -- >> 40? Before the credit. >> Before the credits and what not. >> Yeah. So when you guys drove that one the other day they were still not talking price. >> No, they're -- they will tell you that every number that's [Inaudible] pure speculation right now. >> There's a lot of speculation saying 40. So if that's the ballpark, to have a $7500 credit go away, all of a sudden you're paying $40,000 for a car. Just from what you've driven, the Volt's a real $40,000 purchase. Is it a problem? >> I don't know, it depends on what the final model looks like. I don't know. I think 30s is about right. If you're pushing 40 -- >> Before options. >> -- yeah, well I mean, I think -- yeah, before options, pushing 40, yeah. That's a bit high. >> It's a lot of money, right? >> But I mean it's the price you pay to be an early adapter. I mean, all technology is expensive in the first generation. That's kind of how it is. >> Yeah. >> I mean, remember how much a -- imagine paying, you know, $400 for an iPod now. >> That's right, iPod were hundreds of dollars for the first model, the big white one that had -- >> 4 gigs -- >> Was it 4 gigs? What's the first iPod was, who had the first white iPod, I didn't. >> I didn't have it. I think it's like 4 or 8, some small number. >> For hundreds of dollars. Yeah. All right so anyway, [Inaudible] is saying head of Nissan about where he thinks this is all going. And this is an interesting one here, about -- our last story in this big flurry of EV stories and charging, Bellcon, who we know for things like home AV and PC and Mac peripherals makes an investment in a smart charging startup. What's going on with this, Antuan? >> Well basically they are -- there's a startup that's basically called like a smart -- juice technologies, and Bellcon is basically -- >> It's like a sports drink, but -- >> Well yeah. Juice, electricity, juice, I don't know. Basically Bellcon's just kind of investing some money into this so they can basically get some research going and some -- some -- I guess work going on, charging technologies, energy monitoring technologies and what not. >> Different place for them. I mean, that's such a different departure. I wouldn't have expected this. >> Well, if you think about it, charging equipment is basically a peripheral or the electronic device that's your electric car. It isn't really -- it's kind of a -- it's a stretch for Bellcon, but I mean, they've basically been selling cables and connections and what not -- >> These are just bigger and more expensive. >> Yeah. It's just a different kind of cable, aid friend kind of connection. >> Yeah, they're known for all of their -- let's see, we've got the Bellcon site here, their power line up. They've got all kinds of power conditions, all kinds of -- they're into U P Ss now. All manner of this stuff. They've built some beautiful gear. I mean, their stuff used to be junky years ago. Kind of like this clunky looking, you know, nasty stuff. Now they build really nice stuff, everything's really well made. >> Has that actually changed? Because that's been my impression of Bellcon for a long time. >> Still crap? >> I don't know. I mean, this is from years ago, after -- [ Multiple voices speaking ] >> Right, used to be horrible stuff -- [ Multiple voices speaking ] >> -- cheaply made and broke. >> But you're saying they're much better now. >> Great stuff. Gorgeous stuff. I was just looking for a plug strip the other day, you know, just to plug more outlets in, I wanted one is a surge protector. And I went and got -- up here somewhere -- it was -- I could buy one of the usually plug strips, or one of theirs -- this one here, this compact wall-hugging thing. That's a nice product. Nicely designed. Dwell meets Ikea. It's heavy, it's made of really good, nice kind of piano polished finished plastic. And it's a clever design, allowing you to get everything plugged in and to hide the cord around the back [Inaudible] hide inside of it. You know, it's not Car Tech, but it's a really cool piece of tech that makes me say they might do some cool stuff in automotive charging. >> So when you put this Bellcon charger in your garage or whatever, for your electric car, it's not going to kind of fall apart -- >> Ding! Yeah, Sparks coming out of it. Yeah, guys used to build some real crap. Let me tell you, Bellcon used to be synonymous with just cheap stuff. But that's -- that's years in the past. They've done some really good -- really good products. So anyway, good to see them getting into car charging, and who knows who's next. My question is when are we going to get to the wireless charging like on a Palm Pri, where someone's going to say you know what, we're going to be first -- you know, like one of those power pads. You drive in and it's just a mat on your garage floor. >> I've seen some prototype of that kind of work where they do have a pad on the floor and you just drive on to it. Of course those inductive paddles that we use for the Toyotas from back when that you just kind of slide them into a slot in the car and they charge it up. >> Oh really? >> But they've really gone to that J 1772 standard wheels a plug that actually has communication channels. And that's a real necessary part of electric car charging. Because you know, the car has to talk to the charger to say I need this much juice, level it off now. Just to keep the batteries in good shape. That's what on the -- that's what's on the nose of the leaf, right? One of those smart connectors. >> Yeah, they have that, Tesla uses it, all the electric cars are going to use that J 1772 standards. It's -- here it is here, there's a little trap door on the front of the leaf. That's the one on the right. And then Nissan has their own proprietary current, like 400 something Volts on the left side there. But that's not a standard, I don't think. >> No, it isn't. That's a DC to DC rapid charger. >> That's right. Super rapid. And as Thomas Edison and his contemporaries will tell you, you don't want to screw with DC. I'm not sure that's a good idea. There's nothing -- that's why we have an AC power system in the U.S., because DC is too damn dangerous. That will knock you on your ass real quick. But I'm sure they're going to work on that. Technology has moved ahead a little bit. Speaking of technology moving ahead, let's take a look at the latest on that black box bill. We told you about it last week. This is the idea that there's going to be new federal regulation to mandate black boxes in cars so they must record five seconds before an impact and I think 20 or 25 seconds after. Also kind of regularize what they record, the number of parameters, to really bring all cars together on the same playing field of data collection. And there's also some other technology mandates in there. But the black box one's really getting the headlines. Pardon me. And this has gotten passed through a U.S. house panel, I'm not going to bore you with all the procedural details of the law-making process, but we hear now that it could be up for a full house vote in a few weeks. We'll stay on top of that story and let you know when it's up for a vote. Because that could be a major sweeping change in U.S. technology and safety standards for vehicles, to really bring the law up to speed with current tech, and tell car makers they've got to make their cars a little more invasive, some will say. The black box is a very controversial technology. Mobile DTV, mobile digital television, we were telling you about this I think last week. We showed you a map of the areas where you can get mobile D TV, the TV you get over the air in your home area in your market. And showed you about 30 cities that have it. But then we take a look at a story this week that indicates -- this comes out of one of the consumer outlook. And they say that now mobile D TV, the actual in-car mobile devices that pick up digital television at highway speeds, that's the difference, technology that can hit a moving receiver, if you will, is going to be delayed until the end of this year. That's a one year delay because we heard about this at CES in January at the top of this year and they were just about to go to the market. And now all of a sudden it's going to be next holiday season, which they better hit because then you miss the holiday season you've got to wait another year. But the hang up here apparently is not technical but legislative, where there is something in the law currently, FCC regulation I should say, that mandates that any digital TV tuner must also have some degree of analog compatibility. I didn't know this. But apparently the All Channel Receiver Act which goes back to 1962, talk about an old law, says all digital TVs, which I didn't think we did in '62 so I'm not sure how they foresaw that, must also have analog tuners. But the new mobile D TV devices that are coming out, the tuners, are all digital, apparently have no analog TV on them because we don't broadcast analog any more. So it sounds like an argument between a couple laws, one of which is archaic. But got to get that sorted out or your product is technically in violation of FCC regulars, and the forecast here is it may take the rest of the year to get that done. So if you're looking for one of those mobile D TV devises, tuners to hook up to the screens in your car and you're wondering why can't I find them -- not at retail till late year, although I think you can still order them direct, I believe from Audiovox, although they're also doing flow TV. Do you know, Antuan, if anyone's making a D TV receiver yet? >> I'm not familiar with one. Yeah, I know Audiovox is definitely doing flow TV. >> Yeah, they're doing flow. >> I don't know anybody else who's doing -- >> Everything else. >> -- off the top of my head. >> I think there might be some -- I'm just looking here. Mobile D TV receiver. There are a few kind of second-tier manufacturers, it looks like. One called On Air GT. We can take a picture of this -- let me put this up, this is an Amazon product listing. This is a mobile D TV receiver and DVR built into a box that could be hooked up to your car. There's the antenna where it picks up the signal, because this is coming off local transmitters. But again, this is signed of second tier stuff available from what kind of shady sellers -- did I say that? >> -- [Inaudible] was working on one of these -- >> They're the core technology under it. >> Okay, so they're -- they were demonstrating that, but they weren't actually retailing it. >> No, they're not retailing. But they are building the chips that I believe are inside of it. And I'm not sure who these sellers -- these look like private party sellers here on Amazon. So anyway, hold up on the mobile D TV if you're trying to hot rod your minivan with that technology that we got you all excited about. Speaking of technology we got you all excited about, now Antuan, you're a big Avic, was it the 101 you're always recommending? >> Yeah, the Z 110 BT. >> 110? >> Pretty much like the go-to [Inaudible] e-mails all the time. I want to do, you know, navigation, iPod integration, and Bluetooth hands-free, what do I need to add. And it's -- I always end up going back to the Z 110 BT because it's got really good voice controls. >> But this has replaced it now, what is this? >> Right. Basically what they're doing, they just announced the Z 120 D T, which is basically -- [ Multiple voices speaking ] >> -- 10 points better -- >> Something. It's 10 better. Well basically what they've done is added a little bit more application integration so the Pandora link app that we heard about at CES earlier this year, that basically allows you to take control of an iPhone that's running the Pandora Internet radio through the touch-screen, that's part of this whole package now, and that app's on the iTunes store now. And they've added the music sphere application, which is like an iTunes plug in that you install on your computer that analyzes your music for VPMs and mood and what not. And will create special play lists that you can access through a 3 D kind of spherical interface. That's also going to be in here. And they've also added an ecodriving manager that will basically keep track of all of your driving and show you how greenly you're getting from point A to Point B. It will also for all that information on an SD card and you can analyze it later. ^M00:22:35 >> So a lot of new tricks. >> Yeah, a lot of new tricks. It's interesting because the X 920 BT came out earlier this year, and this was actually the unit that all these features debuted on. So my question to Pioneer was, well, the X 920 seems more advanced now than the Z, and they said don't worry about it, don't worry about it, we've got it. And then now I've seen it, they've basically bumped all those features up to the Z 110. And it doesn't really seem like there are any hardware changes, seems like it's just a Firmware change, because all the other specs are identical, same screen size -- >> So all of this is pretty much looking identical in the form factor to the 110. >> Yeah, I think it's the same thing. >> With some new guts inside to power the apps, obviously? >> I don't know. Did -- [ Multiple voices speaking ] >> That's what it looks like. There's really no way of telling. The rumblings on the internet that I've been kind of hearing when I talk to some of the -- my car audio friends -- is that there may actually be so some sort of Firmware update that may add these functionalities for people who bought the Z 110 last year and want to -- [ Multiple voices speaking ] >> -- because Pioneer, they have a good track record for Firmware updates on their [Inaudible] line, and they are Firmware -- [ Multiple voices speaking ] >> -- because they have the SD cards -- >> Respectful of the customer. Here is -- let me see, I had a picture of what I think is the Pandora link. That's not it, let me find that. I just want to see if this is the Pandora link software that you're talking about. I lost it. I'll find it again. >> Is it a Flash drive unit or a hard drive in there? >> It's a solid state memory. So yeah -- >> Flash, yeah. >> Maybe they increased the memory a little bit? >> Well, there's only like 2 gigs of storage space, and that's only for the maps. You don't have access to any of that for anything else. >> Okay. >> Is this the Pandora -- this here, is that the interface? >> Yup. That's the one. And basically you can thumbs up, thumbs down -- [ Multiple voices speaking ] >> You can also find -- search through play lists, bookmark songs and artists and what -- pretty much anything you can do with the Pandora app for iPhone you can now do on the touch-screen so you don't have the fumble with your phone when you don't like the song you're listening to. >> Looks nice. And they make better use of the real estate than a lot of car makers head units in terms of letting things read out. They can't [Inaudible] head units we see where they've got all this real estate but they give me four characters for artist, or six for a track name. Stop, let it run, let it use the screen. Related to that, piece of research came out this week about the sales rate of these kind of Pandora enabled head units, very early days, of course. But the 920 BT, the 120 BT that you mention with Pandora link are selling -- and alpine's 305 S, is that one that has or will have -- >> That has the functionality. There isn't a version of the Pandora app that works with the alpine that I've seen yet. >> So it's coming. >> I thought they were going to basically release a new version of Pandora that just basically gave hardware access. But Pioneer's Pandora link is a separate app that they developed themselves. >> Oh, so Pandora links [Inaudible] -- >> Yeah, it's Pioneer Pandora -- >> Not Pandora's software. >> -- so I don't know if or when or how alpine's going to get that integration or they're going to go the same route maybe that [Inaudible] planning on going, or maybe alpine has something else up their sleeve. >> Right. Because the Ford thing is, they're just going to be enabled in the standard Pandora mobile app. There isn't a special app to get for your car, it's just Pandora mobile will soon have Ford support. >> Right. >> Just a couple of take aways from this piece of research, and it's you know, kind of finger in the wind research, but one -- one store in Delaware sold a dozen 920s in 30 days, ran out of all he ordered, ordered 4 more, so big demand there. Another guy in Hatfield, Pennsylvania, World Wide Stereo, hello, says not getting any requests from its customers, so big lack of awareness in some places. They also talk about how the price -- this is only available on high end units right now, so that's going to limit a lot of people. But half a dozen retailers have said -- half of them are saying customers are coming in asking for it, they're already aware. And the other half say nope, no one's asking. So clearly a big education job to be done among several parties here. O E Ms, Pandora, car makers like Ford that are supporting it, to make people aware that they can get this. Magellan's got some new units. What have you got on this, Antuan? >> Yeah, they just basically announced -- it's weird, because you don't see a lot of people coming out with whole lines, like our fall line up. But Magellan just came out with a new -- >> Fashion-oriented. I like that. >> 2010 [Inaudible] GPS devices, and they just dropped eight new devises on the market -- ^M00:27:00 [ Multiple voices speaking ] >> -- 33065, [Inaudible] that's not a hem line. This top end unit, you like a couple things about it. >> Right. It's the Roadmate 3065 Commuter, and it's called the Commuter because it's got some functionalities that are built with your morning and afternoon commute in mind. Namely -- I guess first of all, all of the Roadmate devices in the 2010 line up have free lifetime traffic. So any new Roadmate that you pick up from the new line up is going to have that traffic. But the 3065 Commuter takes a weird -- has a weird feature called commute wake up. And basically what that means is that you punch in the time that you go to work, you punch in the time you come home, you punch in your home address and your work address, and then 30 minutes before you leave for work in the morning and 30 minutes before you leave for home in the afternoon it books up and starts watching the traffic patterns. >> And what does it do, by doing that. >> Well basically it's trying to figure out what's the fastest way to get you home. So if it sees -- it may see that there's going to be a lot of traffic on this highway, I'm not really sure what sort of algorithms they use, but Magellan says that basically, you know, the snap shot of -- they're -- what am I trying to say -- [ Multiple voices speaking ] >> -- some historical data in there as well. >> Right. Well, I guess the tech they're taking is that the snap shot of traffic doesn't really give you a full view of what's going on, because the system can look at traffic for 30 minutes it has a better view of what's actually happening on the road. >> Get a better predictive thing going, huh, interesting. All right, so that's the -- that's the top of the line one, free traffic on all of them, all of the Roadmates. >> Yes. And there are a couple of models that have -- there's one model that has lifetime map updates, there are a couple of models that have Bluetooth hands free, there's a big 5-incher, there's a whole line. It's -- and they kind of -- [ Multiple voices speaking ] >> -- all the way from about $299 for the most expensive one you may the way down $169 for your basic. >> $299 for the most expensive. That's cheap. Yeah, GPS devices used to be like $700. >> All those features and free traffic, I thought you were going to say $499 you know, most expensive, [Inaudible] price below that. But $299 MSRP? >> Yeah, cell phone integration and the fact that pretty much most smart phones that are coming out these days have free navigation on them, really pushing those prices down. >> You can't sell a $500 GPS nav any more. >> Exactly. And then you -- the free traffic is pretty much, you know, one of the things that's kind of differentiating a lot of the newer -- TomTom's got free traffic now, Garmin's got free traffic. [ Multiple voices speaking ] >> It's becoming now, gift with purchase. >> Exactly. A lot of them are starting to do like lifetime map updates and what not. They really just have to push the value home. >> God, I'd really hate to be in that business, brutal. Hardware business and having to give away more and more services. Tough one, tough one. Thank God I hate Apple. Let's take a look at our last story in the news block this week, which is great if you're a Mercedes dealer. Mercedes is apparently giving a test group of 40 dealers iPads to close deals with. This is through Mercedes Benz Financial. So they wanted to use iPads when they work and walk the show floor with you and say well, we can get you into this car for X number of dollars. Because they think it's a better way to show you really what they're trying to pencil out. This goes right back to the old car dealer trick of you know, using a big sheet of paper, the work sheet, and they'll write out some numbers and they'll -- and -- the great trick, they'll write down a number of a possible monthly payment, they'll circle that and they'll kind of put their finger out and draw your -- can you do this number, how does that work for you. It's a classic old car dealer thing. If you're a car dealer and know will that came from please let me know. >> I remember when I used to work at -- an electronics company, a consumer electronics retailer, and when you would try to -- >> Who you clearly won't name. >> I won't name, because I worked for all of them. And when you try to sell the service plans they would actually give you, like, a sheet, and you would write down the price, and they would, like, highlight this number, and show them this -- >> Same thing. >> -- they grab that into you. >> How does this work for you. >> Exactly. >> Is this a number you can live with? >> If you write it down it makes it real. >> Is that what it is? >> Yeah, that's what it is. If you write it down for somebody it makes it real for them and it's easier for them to say yes. >> Okay, that's why. Well now Mercedes is going to do that on an iPad. How about this, does this number work for you. We do this monthly, this is the drive-off, yadda-yah So Mercedes Benz Financial putting these out to 40 dealers. So if you're out buying a Mercedes this week or something and the salesperson pulls out an iPad, they're not Cowboying it. >> That's falls short of what Hyundai is doing with the new Equus when that come comes out. >> They're giving you the iPad. >> Right. If you buy an Equus you actually get an iPad. Which you know, I -- >> That's cool. >> $400 device for buying a $50,000 car, I can see it. >> Oh, absolutely. And that has the owner's manual on it, right? >> Yeah. Yeah. >> That's the way it should be. I like it. Yeah, so they found -- they used to try and do this on iPhones, I guess they equipped them with iPhones for a while but they found it was just too small, you couldn't share the image very well. Especially with Mercedes customers, they tend to be a little older, look over the top of their glasses. All right, that's a stereotype, but they're older than Sion buyers. >> No they're not. >> Sion buyers are actually very old. >> Yeah. ^M00:32:05 >> That's a weird little piece of market trivia. Sion was shocked when they found that they got cross over from Lexus, not from Toyota. >> It's because of the X B. I mean, the X B is like -- I think it's just -- particularly the first generation was huge value. And I mean you look at that and you -- >> -- as a second car with really great utility. >> Doesn't have a lot of power. Kids, they may not need the power. They definitely don't need the power. >> I always thought that the TC was a really mature design, really grown-up looking car for a small car. You know, not glitzy, not going to look like damaged goods next year. Has great lines for a little car. It appealed to me, when it came out when I was like, 45. And I thought wow, that's a great looking car. >> I think older people just didn't care what the X B looked like either. I think they were like I don't care about style, I don't need to look cool any more. >> Ugly is okay for me. >> Yeah, works, I can sit up right. >> It's got good head room, Mabell. >> It's funny how the small old X B actually feels bigger on the inside than the new big X B. Weird thing they did there with that car. >> Because this is the -- let's see, this is the original X B, right? With the squarer lines. >> That's the one. >> Yeah. And you got to say, it's pretty clean. You know, they didn't -- they didn't filigree it up. And then the new X B is this guy -- let's see, I think it's this guy right here. Which is more doughy, a little more -- >> Yeah, I think that's one of their special editions. >> Yeah, these are both hotted up. Scary monster face on it and all that. All right. Well anyway, so -- >> Like a [Inaudible] for the cube which is weird. Because the cube is a total [Inaudible] -- >> Right. It's like in Excel when you make a circular difference in a cell calculation, hey, you're calculating a value based on a calculated value. All right, that's -- that's something to be aware of if you're going Mercedes shopping. Okay, enough on that. Let's get to our e-mail and voice mail. Voice mail line, 866-401-CNET. You don't have to call live, we take your voice mails 24-7, calls, comments, questions, whatever we get you thinking about, let us know. 866-401-CNET Car Tech, cars, you know, we're car lover here, but we focus on tech, you know that. Let's take a look at an e-mail we got in for Antuan here. This one comes in about is there a way to replace a factory installed hard drive based navigation by imaging the factory hard drive, like you might do if you're deploying a fleet of PCs, and then significantly pumping up the storage so the usual puny 10 gig average drive the maker gives you can carry your whole library -- this is Kevin in Atlanta who apparently has a very large music library. >> Yeah. There's a good thing, when you're talking about things like that. And many times -- >> The saying is don't. >> You can do anything if you have enough time, now-how, and money. And that's -- [ Multiple voices speaking ] >> Enough time, money, and not know-how, [Inaudible] stupid. You can tell I hate this idea. >> Well, what you would have to do is you would have to locate the hard drive, which basically would probably mean removing the head unit and taking it apart, which means that you're going to void your factory warranty, you'll probably break the head unit. You're going to be looking at thousands of dollars of repairs to get the head unit put back to the 10 gig that you were dealing with in the first place. >> Yup. >> Then there are all sorts of things. A good example is when the Xbox 360 came out they had these really small hard drives, and people were like, well there's just a regular hard drive inside of this proprietary case. Maybe we can swap that out. But then it turned out that you needed a very specific brand of hard drive and the Firmware wouldn't recognize certain things. In other situations where people try to do swaps like that, the Firmware may not even be able to recognize a bigger partition than what you're given. So -- >> Good point. Partitions are very fussy on vertical things like this. This is not like a PC. >> Right. Then you're also assuming that the hard drive that's in the car actually has a standard theta [Assumed spelling] I.D. or micro theta connection or something like that. You're looking at a lot of maybes, ifs, that can vary from manufacturer to manufacturer, model year to model year -- [ Multiple voices speaking ] >> -- before you even get into breaking the head unit open. It's a -- it's not worth it. >> Here's Toshiba's page for their automotive hard disc line. They're the number one maker of automotive hard drives through the O E Ms. They don't sell them to consumers, per se, though that doesn't mean you can't Google around and find someone who is selling these. So if you really want to do this go and look at Toshiba's automotive hard disc drives, just Google Toshiba hard -- auto hard disc and you'll find these. They are 2-and-a-half inch drives, so they may look like a laptop drive. But like Antuan says , they're very likely, a number of differences, we know one of the main differences is these are ruggedized for the automotive environment of temperature, vibration, dust sealing, things like that. But if you want to get more information on the drive that is most likely but not guaranteed to be used in your car here are all the spec sheets. Look like they make them in Seta [Assumed spelling] and parallel A T A, which I think is like the old I D E standard, if I'm not mistaken, that's like old-school stuff. And there's one Seta here that's more of a modern connection. They're all 2-and-a-half inch. Here is a 60, an 80, a 40, looks like 80 is the biggest they make. >> Yeah, these drives actually fall way behind what we're used to in modern PCs because they do have to be ruggedized and designed for this environment that's way different than the laptop. And so yeah, I remember seeing these -- these press releases announced, they announced them years ago. They had a 40 gigabyte disc, and that was the biggest one at the time. And now the biggest one is an 80 gigabyte. And that's, you know, way behind what -- what we're getting in laptops. >> Toshiba just came out with a 200 gig this year. >> Automotive? [ Multiple voices speaking ] >> -- okay, I'm not even sure it's on the market yet, because it's not showing up on their list. So it's coming. >> What's really going to piss you off, you get through all this, you get it working, and then you're going to have to sit in your car and rip CDs for hours. Because most of the hardware and Firmware in these cars won't allow you to just plug a USB port in full of MP3s and drag them over. >> That's right. [ Multiple voices speaking ] >> Make you go through a disc. >> So yeah, just get an iPod, plug that in and just -- >> This is strictly a project, Kevin. If you want to have a project, if you're trying to tell your wife something and you want to have a reason to be in the driveway for a few weekends, this will do it. But we wouldn't do it. No. Okay, here's a question about Yolanda Yaris who is not a character in Cars but apparently is someone's car. Tracy writes in. Hello Brian, Antuan, and Wayne. I'm an owner of an '09 Yaris. She says I know it's hard to imagine, but I'm only 5 feet tall and I'm cheap. Good, thank you for being honest. I have a Garmin 760 I mounted in it, but everyone always knows it over when they get in the car and it annoys me. I would love to get a built in head -- where are you mounting it? >> I was going to ask that question. >> I mean, unless you've got some real lurky friends that get in and sweep their head across the windshield or something. And by the way, Ouch. Because those things don't let go easily. Anyway, I would love to get a built in head unit that will replace my Garmin and also allow me to stream music from my iPhone. Do you have any suggestions aside from getting rid of Yolanda Yaris. All right, what do you do with her, her being Tracy, not the car. Car has to stay. >> Well the Yaris is a good car. >> It actually is. >> So we talked earlier about the -- always talk about the [Inaudible] 110 BT. We also talked about the up coming -- I guess it's out now, the Avic 120 BT. Those are my favorites. You know, the Z 120 BT has the -- it's going basically push the price of the 110 BT down. So if you can find a 110 BT, it will probably be cheap and on sale right now. So it's a good way to go. There's also the X 920 BT that we've got in for testing. If you really like Pandora radio and you listen to Pandora radio on your iPhone, you're going to want to look at that 120 or the 920 X R V. You don't care about Pandora, I've got a unit in right now -- >> He's selling. >> Well no, it just landed on my desk, I'm going to be testing it in the text couple of weeks. It's the JVC KWNT 3 HDT, that's a mouthful, it's got free lifetime traffic on its navigation, which is better than Pioneer, it's got a detachable face plate which is really good for security, and it's got HD radio built in. >> What's it called again, JVC what? >> JVC KWNT 3 HDT. Yeah. They should just give these things names. Like JVC has the -- [ Multiple voices speaking ] >> And people go oh. >> So the Yaris has an on double bin space for a head unit in there? >> I think -- >> Let's take a look. She say what it is -- it's an oh -- it's an '09, 2009, Yaris, we're pulling this up here. >> [Inaudible] in-dash nav, I'm hoping -- >> Right. There's a difference, single din unit, that's your standard car radio, which you'll be seeing a lot of -- >> Looks like double din. Here is our head unit right there. Looks standard, right? >> Yeah, it looks almost like the same. If I'm not mistaken, they're -- the Yaris shares a lot of parts with Sions. And I know all of their parts are double din. >> Okay. Yeah. So that's a good -- straight double din square. So that saves her. She can get into that. We've got a line here on the Z 100 BT. Amazon's got it for 908. Is that about right for a street price, or is that high? >> Almost 300 bucks off what it used to be -- [ Multiple voices speaking ] >> When I was pricing it. >> This is a premium unit. You've got that one there. And this isn't the JVC you're thinking of though, is it? -- [ Multiple voices speaking ] >> Yeah, the JVC is not on the market yet, I don't think. ^M00:41:14 >> It just came out. It's brand-spanking new. But it's about a $1500 unit. You could probably find it at your local 12-volt store -- >> It's a big piece of Yolanda Yaris MSRP. >> But it's got a lot of features. I like features. It pretty much takes everything that you like about the Pioneer -- that I like about the pioneers and adds HD radio to it. And I'm a big fan of HD radio. I don't know how you guys feel about that. >> So after putting in the head unit in the Yaris then you put in the big amp and the big sub woofers, you have one hell of a well-equipped Yaris. >> You just doubled the cost of your Yaris. By having a cool audio head unit. And nav, and everything else. >> So Tracy, you've got to make your priorities. To really go with the right unit you're going to spend a little bit of money, but you're going get everything you want and you're going to have the world's coolest Yaris. Let's just point that out. Voice mail came in this week. We've got a voice mail here that is about the range we've been talking about, EVs, we've told you that EVs will go X number of miles, we just talked about the Ime that Wayne was mentioning, the Leaf, what Tesla's do, they're all over from 40 to 200 plus miles on a charge before they either are out or start to generate, depending on what kind of car they are. Let's listen to this question about the real-world mileage one might expect from let's say a Volt or a Leaf. ^M00:42:25 >> This is Darius in Alexandria, Virginia. When you talked about electric vehicles like the Leaf and the Volt you note their relative short cruising range. What I'd like to know -- and by the way I don't hear this cited anywhere else either -- is how much other electrical operations within the vehicle impact that range. In other words, should the claimed ranges be reduced when passengers use the power Windows, the power moon roof, the radio, the CD, headlights, and most importantly, AC and heat. >> Okay, good question. Now Wayne, when you were on the Mitsubishi Ime drive, what did they say about real-world use of accessories. >> This was actually a warm day in the California central valley, and they recommended that we didn't use the air conditioning on this drive. Because the thing is electric air conditioning -- >> You would not have had your 5 kilometers left if you had the AC on. >> Yeah, we wouldn't have made it the 55 miles that we did with the AC running, because this is an electric AC unit in these cars, and they also use electric heater units in these cars, which is -- although they can suck some heat energy off of the batteries, I guess, from what I understand. >> Oh yeah, those get hot. >> Right. But they still need an electric fan to kind of blow that into the cabin. So yeah, this -- all those will make an impact on the range of these cars, and potentially substantially. Especially if you're talking about a cold, you know, Detroit winter and -- you know, running the windshield wipers and heater and all that. It's going to have an impact. I do think, though, that the car makers do realize this is going to be a problem. And they don't want to shoot themselves in the foot by having people drive these cars and get stranded on the side of a road with a dead battery. So they're going to take a lot of measures to make sure that that doesn't happen. One is going to be, you know, plenty of warning telling you how much range you've got on the dash board, plenty of lights that will say you know, you can go this much further, and probably start popping up warning lights when you've got only -- >> Those are probably more conservative than the low fuel lights, right? Because those give you like what, two gallons typically? And that's on a lot of cars, that's maybe 50, 60 miles. As a percent that's pretty small. But the EVs I'm sure are going to give you a larger percent warning. >> And I wouldn't be surprised if they have a power reserve too, they're going to start Flashing the empty sign you know, well before it actually stops. >> Oh yeah. They don't need that PR. They don't need lots of stories in the main stream media saying yup, first 20 Volt owners are complaining about how they got stranded in the middle of winter. And the volt comes out end of the year, it's going to be selling into market during bad weather. So they've got to meet that head on. The Volt, for example, has -- the mechanical shifter that Wayne and Antuan showed you on last week's show, the finger guillotine, that's mechanical for a reason. They could have made that an electric switch, kind of like the Prius, a little mini stalk, but it just works a switch. Or they could have made it push buttons. But that uses more power to maintain the latched state of the circuit. They said nope, give us a mechanical switch that literally moves a contact somewhere. They have a lower power consumption radio. In fact, Bose about a year-and-a-half ago started redesigning a new stereo for the Volt. It's 40% smaller, 40% lighter, and uses 50 % less electricity to produce I would imagine similar specs and wattage output as a, you know, similar to high feature radio. And they've also got a special kind of tires for the Volt called the Goodyear Assurance Fuel Max which were developed for the Volt and future EVs. So the car companies are doing a lot to make sure that you don't get much of a penalty, but I don't think of them yet are saying you'll get this much less range when you're running the AC or the heat or radio and wipers all the time. I don't think we know until we get real-world tests. >> Well, you get less range running the AC on any car. >> That's true. There's no difference in that sense. >> You run AC on a gasoline car you get 1, 2, fewer miles to the gallon. >> It's just the -- the penalty is less -- [Inaudible] more gas versus standing around for a few hours charging up. The Leaf has a solar panel on the roof on the rear spoiler to help trickle charged while it's parked to help keep things up a little higher, especially accessories that run in stand by mode while you're parked, like the clock and other things like that. And there's some vehicles that use solar panel to run blowers in the sun roof to try and keep -- in fact, some non electric cars do that today. Which does, the Prius? >> Yeah. The 2010 Prius. >> That's right. >> Is that an option or is it -- >> It's an option. Yeah. So it allows the car to have less work to do when it gets started. I wouldn't be surprised if we start seeing some electric cars that do that too so there's less load on the AC when you get into a hot car. So yeah, the answer is yes, it reduces it. The other answer is we don't know by how much. And that will be the really interesting part of the real-world roll out of these vehicles is what are people really finding when they use the car like regular people. Not like in tests. And that also factors in how the EPA is going to rate these cars which is still up in the air. They do not have a firm development cycle yet that I know of for cars like the Volt or even for E Vs -- EVs are simple, it's how much do you get on a charge. It's the Volts that are weird. >> And this is why we review cars. >> That's right. We'll know, we'll tell you -- that will be a fascinating part of our work when we start getting cars like the Volt in here and can tell you here's what we've really got, because that's going to be all new territory. All right, go on the road, folks, as we do every week. Don't forget, e-mails and voice mails, any time you want to send them, we love them. Great stuff we get from you guys. It's Cartech@cnet.com for the e-mail. We all get that. It's a nice little distribution list that we hit. So whatever your question is, whoever's best at it's going to take it. And also the voice mail line is always open, calls, comments, questions, 866-401-CNET. Take part in the show by hitting us on the voice mail. This week we take a ride in what I think we all pretty much agree on is just about our favorite sports sedan and has been for a while. A car that I think -- this is going to get some e-mail -- makes the M 3 look kind of geeky and pansified. It's just like, wow. The 2010 Mercedes AMG C-63. It goes fast, the old fashioned way. Wayne and Antuan take us for a look as they take us on the road. [ Background noise ] >> Antuan's on the wheel getting a good fast start here. This thing will get to 60 in no time at all. >> Half the time it normally takes to get to 60 in pretty much any other car. The traction control light was Flashing on that run a little bit, but didn't really seem to effect the performance at all. >> Right. It will pop up a little bit initially because this engine is so powerful, you know, it's really hard keeping those rear wheels, you know, glued to the pavement. This is the 6.3 liter V8, the AMG V8, hand built, it's even got the name of the guy who built it on the car -- on the plaque on top of the engine. You know, they're that particular to detail with these AMG cars. And we've got a 7-speed automatic transmission. This is their sport automatic transmission. So in this car you definitely shouldn't scoff at oh, it's got an automatic transmission and it's trying to be a sports car. This is a really good transmission. >> You've got a couple of different drive modes. We're in sport right now. There's also a comfort mode, which is not very much different. And a manual mode that gives you control with the steering wheel-mounted paddle shifters. >> Yeah. And this -- this car though does have these comfort, sport, and manual modes. That doesn't effect the suspension at all, that just effects the transmission, really. The suspension in this is fairly conventional, except for its incredibly sport-tuned and it really keeps this car flat. A while ago we compared this to the BMW M 3. And we generally liked it better than the M 3. >> Yeah. It's really easy to say you know, the BMW M 3 is a better-handling car, but it's just as easy to say who cares, and just step on the throttle with this thing. I don't think there's a car that screams beefcake louder than this vehicle does. >> Oh yeah. I mean the sound of this engine will get people, like, scurrying out of your way. That's what kind of sound it makes. One thing I noticed on this car though, compared to the BMW M car is that this car is pretty much always on, it's always a sports car. With the M cars, the BMW M cars, you can put them in their regular drive mode and they're kind of boring and sedate and then you push that M button and suddenly they go crazy and become these crazy sports cars. >> I think that's partially due to the fact that the M cars also have chassis dynamics and what not all tied into that button. So you push that button and your steering response switches up and everything else changes. Really -- really literally almost becomes a different vehicle here. You pretty much got what you got. It's a little dumber, but no less fun. >> Yeah. Well actually the part that's not so much fun is when you go to the gas station because you'll be doing that a lot. We did an average of about 14 miles per gal with this car. EPA is 12 miles per gallon city and 19 highway. So you're never going break 20. And you know, just takes some gentle driving even to get to 19. You know, it's a gas guzzler, and it actually gets the gas guzzler tax because of that. So that -- that's kind of too bad. >> Yeah, I have reason to believe even the EPA testers were probably stepping on it when they were testing this thing. It's just far too much fun to hear that engine and far to easy to get into the power. >> Oh yeah. >> You just wouldn't want to drive this car slow, it's so much fun. >> No, and I would think you were a communist if you did. I mean, that's one of the great driving experiences with four doors in the world. $2100 gas guzzlers tax, though. That's just at purchase. And then another gas guzzler tax every time you drive it. ^M00:51:57 [ Multiple voices speaking ] ^M00:52:00 >> You know, there's no -- there's no problem with that automatic, though. There's absolutely no problem. >> Greatest automatic transmission ever, by a mile. Unbelievable. When you put it in manual mode, even though it's not a dual gear box, it's crisp and positive, it locks up the torque converter, it's just such a positive gear box -- I love it. >> That's what they do, they have lock mechanisms in there so when you go through those sequential gear changes which it does, it will lock these gears in and just eliminate that torque converter slush. >> It's not even there. And then there's the middle rung, which is the sport mode, which is a nice, alert automatic mode, if you just want to drive automatic but have power right now. And you know, the comfort mode is kind of numb, but it's fine for everyday driving when you don't feel like getting jostled around, just going to do some utility driving. It's a car I think for all seasons where I don't recall the M 3 being a car that I wanted to drive every day. It was a car that I want to have as my second car. We had the M 3 coupe with the carbon roof and everything, and it was just much more of a committed experience where the C 63 I thought this was a great everyday car, good grocery-getter. And then when you get on the road the best -- or among the best. Tremendously fun. >> [Inaudible] disagree. >> On what? >> I'm more of a fan of the M 3. But I think that's more because -- [ Inaudible audience comment ] >> I love the C 63, I respect what it is. And I mean, if somebody handed me the keys to one I would not hesitate to take it out. But if I had to choose between the two of them I probably would pick the M 3. I think it's more because I'm a gadgety gee whiz guy. I like the whole -- [ Multiple voices speaking ] >> I love -- I [Inaudible] in my actual car. When you push a button and it turns into a different car. I used to do that in my Acura. >> Transformer boy. >> Yeah, I like that idea of going like, and now the car is in this mode. And now I'm driving. Because for me it helps me get in the frame of mind of -- and now I'm driving. And now I'm driving for fun. >> You love all the M dynamics, the M driving mode you can set up. The different -- which is yeah -- it's a different approach to performance. And as you guys mentioned the modes on the C 63 are just really just power train response. Nothing changes on the suspension, right? >> That's the real difference between Mercedes Benz AMG branch and BMW M branch or division I guess, branch sounds like secret service -- [ Multiple voices speaking ] >> M is not afraid at all to throw technology to make better performance. And -- because they do amazing things with dynamic suspensions. Where AMG seems a little more raw. They are just more traditional, they build a really well engineered suspension. But it's not so good that that car actually fights body roll. It's got stabilizer bars and all that, but it will lean a little bit in the corners. >> I found -- I just thought it was just right. It was the three bears every time I drove that car. Just comfortable enough that I never thought ah, you're annoying me. And when you push it, what a delight to drive. >> It's a German muscle car in the purest sense of the world. >> Yeah. >> I mean, it is a muscle car. It's dumb, it's strong, but I mean -- >> 6.3 liters equals -- how many cubic inches. I know Google's got a converter here. Here we go, it's on a Honda board of all places. Why would they care? 6.3 liters is 384 cubic inch. Not that big. Not to us American car buyers. Whatever. 384. I don't know, doesn't compare to my 460, but whatever. >> Put a blower on it, [Inaudible] -- one thing I've got to talk about the handling of that car too. And I thought it was very similar to the BMW M 3 the way when you take it around a corner the back end kind of -- you know, let's the back end come out a bit but not too much. >> Love that about it. >> You start to -- when you get crazy with it, initially, you feel it come out a little too far. But then the traction control steps in and says okay, you're not going to go over the side of the road. >> Yeah. I'm not going to let that happen. But if you turn off the stability control, it goes almost all the way off, it will never go completely off, so it will catch you in a bad mode. I've got to tell you, a couple of times I was parking it, I actually broke the rear end lose. That's a very impressive car. Just parking. Yeah, pulling into a parallel parking spot. I think I was in manual mode, because I had been driving in manual mode, I pulled to a spot somewhere, I put it in reverse, that's not manual I guess, maybe it is a lock up. I don't know. I kind of poked it into the spot. There was a little chirp, and coming out the other way, [Inaudible] little chirp. I thought what the hell is going on. >> [Inaudible] do that parking style where you kind of slide around the corner just land in the spot. >> Like one of those BMW films -- the BMW films video, with Madonna, when she goes flying out the back door when he hits the curb. >> You probably can't do that in the car because it's got the pedal break. >> Oh that's right. -- [ Multiple voices speaking ] >> It needs the hand handle. >> Electric parking break, yeah. >> Do some really crazy stuff. >> One thing I found too, in that car though, using the manual mode with the transmission in sport mode, trying to manually shift -- >> So in sport, using at paddles. >> Right. It will let you shift but it will also fight with you on it. I got double-shifts like I was do you know shifting before a turn, and the car also down shifted. So I went from fourth to second. >> That's not good. >> No. So you pretty much have to say I'm either in manual, I'm going to shift in manual, or if I'm in sport I'm going let it do its sport thing. >> That's interesting. Yeah. I didn't find that the paddle shifting in sport mode was all that satisfying either. I didn't end up with any double-burps like that, but I ended up finding it was a little bit -- a little sluggish. I just let it do its thing in sport and didn't fuss with paddles. And then when I was in manual mode then I got on the paddles. We didn't talk about tech in this car because that one didn't have the full head unit. There's a $3300, arguably overpriced, multimedia package, it gives you a hard drive nav, Sirius satellite radio with traffic, 7 inch screen that kind of goes up and down like a slice of toast, unlike that little guy we saw in there. 6 slot CD, DVD, iPod MP3, 6 gig hard drive available for you to put music on, and logic 7 surround sound. They don't specify Watts or speakers. But it's obviously and upgrade. $3300 seems a little steep for that. >> It's a good system though. We saw that in some other C class Mercedes Benzes. And it is a good system. It's up there, I'd call it in the very good realm. >> Yeah, exactly, gets an 8 out of 10, right? >> 7 out of 10. [ Multiple voices speaking ] >> There are better things out there. ^M00:58:06 Also -- but one thing also in that car, without that we have this iPod integration there, which is such a hack job. >> Horrible. >> I hate this iPod integration because it actually doesn't show you the library, the music library on the LCD, it shows it on the speedometer, which is just bizarre. Because you look at all of the other audio information on the LCD. >> IPod only shows up on this black and gray LCD in the middle of the speedo, where things like tire pressure and MPG shows up. Felt like a total hack. Although on the screen you can -- you can see the aux jack. If you go down to CD and then you drop down to this other menu. The whole thing was like just stuff that was piled on and not done from scratch. It's a poor head unit in terms of advanced tech. But you do get that screen you may have seen there, 4-and-a-half inch color LCD of limited dot resolution. It's not very satisfying. It's just eh, there's a little nob controller. >> Keep that door closed. >> Right. Keep that door closed and drive that car. Keep your eyes on the road and listen to that exhaust and you will be happy. So big thumbs up all around. Right? I mean, even though Antuan wants an M 3. >> I like the M 3. >> But C 63, wouldn't turn your nose up at it. >> No. You -- you'd be a fool to turn your nose up at this. >> Yeah. And Wayne and I love the C 63. That's just a delightful car. >> Yeah. Enjoyed driving that all over the place. >> Nice. It's a winner. And for pricing on that guys, about $60,300 base with the guzzler tax. $2100 of that is guzzler tax. And $850 or so is delivery. And then you'd add the multimedia package to go CNET style for $3300 more the interesting one on this, the fascinating one is the AMG development P 31 pack. Sounds like something you need an export license to purchase. $6,000 to get lighter forged pistons and connecting rods, lighter forged connecting rods. A revised crank, reprogrammed electronic engineer control unit, different intake runners, 6 [Inaudible] 14 inch rotors and a carbon fiber spoiler. So it's this hot rod kit on top of the basic hot rod kit, gets you to 481 horse power. I don't know how much torque it has, but it's 30 horse power more for 6 grand, up to you if that's worth it. >> A bargain. [ Laughter ] >> M 3 boy always goes for horse power, for anything. >> But of course, all this in, it's still probably about $20,000 less than a similarly equipped M 3. >> That's why I don't drive either of them. >> Right. >> 60 to $80,000 cars, people, for relatively compact sedans and-or coupes. They're a lot of money for what they are. >> The M 3 GT -- >> GTS -- >> Yeah, GTS that just came out. It's like almost $100,000. >> Very just released specs for that. That's right. >> Good grief. >> It's like a race package. [ Multiple voices speaking ] ^M01:00:40 >> -- 200 pound, 300 pounds [Inaudible] -- >> Which is hard to do. That's a lot of weight to shave off an already light, beautifully engineered car. All right folks, let's take a look at what's in the CNET Car Tech garage. In addition to that C 63 that we love so much, that review is up fresh and new. Infinity EX35, we've had a back-to-back pair of the high style infinity cross overs, the 35s are in there now. We had the FX just a week or two ago . Honda Civic EXL as well. Coming in right now we have the BMW 750 I. Delightful, delightful big beamer. And on the other hand, we have a Sentra S. Nothing against Sentras, but it just doesn't give us as much fun to play with as a big beamer does. So we have kind of the yin and the yang of tech cars in the garage right now that will be showing up in just a matter of days with our reviews and video. And the infinity M 56 is on deck to be in our garage in a few days. And that is one that we previewed at a thing that we saw in Beverly Hills, an event they held back during the LA Auto Show late last year. So this is our first chance to get our hands on it. And this is a brawler of a 5.6 liter V8 powered sedan from infinity. It's just -- it's a bad-boy. It will be our first blush on that one. So that's what's in the garage and coming up soon from CNET Car Tech. We are running long, so folks, thanks for staying with us, don't forget to call or e-mail. The phone line is open at 866-401-CNET. Toll free voice mail, calls, comments, and questions, take part in the show that way or e-mail us. Cartech@cnet.com. Show notes are at cartech.cnet.com and we're all on Twitter tweeting about cars and other stuff. I'm Brian Cooley on Twitter, all one word, Wayne is Wayne C, underscore, SF, and Antuan is Antgoo, A-N-T-G-O-O. We'll see you next week. ^M01:02:22 [ Music ]

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