Car Tech Live 212: New York International Auto Show editionOur favorites from the New York auto show, BMW Google and the U.S. make electric car moves this week, Chevy recalls the Cruze after one very high profile screwup...and we take a spin the electric Smart car.
Check out our favorites. From the New York auto show. W Google and the US all make electric karma. Chevy recalls the crews after one very high profiles. Can take a stand in the electric Smart Car. Wow what a lineup are -- -- picked Cooley here. And it is -- -- -- lives we've got -- Wayne and amp water on a sign. But at the New York auto show us this week I didn't join this year around but we're gonna be hearing a report -- them -- a report from also in just a matter of moments. We've also got those news stories coming up and don't forget a programming note we do not have roadside assistance. -- -- -- how to podcast this week because we're gonna spread around the around the continent this week -- return next week. And of course this is -- show to twelfth. On April 21 if you're catching us alive. And this -- car tech live from cnet's let's get started off of the New York auto show which of course is the big news going on this week in car -- and it's funny the card is. -- -- a big auto show going on everything else -- gets a little quiet around the fringes because demonstrated there's only -- -- this many companies in the car business and they're all in one place all focused on one thing right now which is. New York or whether it's -- -- -- Detroit Geneva whatever it is so things tend to very focused. In the carb is during the big shows among our favorite products and by the way we have a very comprehensive -- eleven New York auto show thread running over at the CNET car tech blog at cars dot cnet.com. We have a new Taurus new Taurus Sho. We've also got the new beetle and a lot of details on that the new Nissan Versa up. That new electric race car from Nissan as well we've got the new Honda hybrid civic which gets another MPG one more than it used to get which was already outstanding. After a Jeep they -- -- Cherokee are SRT eight in the blog. As well as the sign on -- -- which is really the Toyota FT 86. Revised yet again. Everybody has shown that -- around -- to -- one of these days actually make a real car out of it. A four cylinder engine coming back to BMW in disease for that kind of came out -- nowhere interesting story. -- also have some news about BMW electric cars will be covering here in a minute but first off let's go to up the piece that Winamp one of filed from the floor of the auto show during the press -- And -- the show even opens up until tomorrow. Friday ballistic -- what some of their favorite cars were from the Javits Center. In Manhattan. I'm Wayne Cunningham and I'm Antuan Goodwin and this week -- -- lives were on the floor at the 2011 New York auto show we're gonna and a bunch of new models here. To solving Honda Civic action the 2012 model. Actually have six versions of this are coming out there's going to be a hybrid. Gas versions enemy is SI which of course is always uniformity and excited about. And it actually got look at the -- technology in this car that revenue navigation system which we've got a long awaited. Well let -- old system's almost like ten years old Dallas love birds has gotten -- fortunately. They got a flash -- that system replacing that that's kind of cool to see. And they also avenue loud music and -- patent actually will bring up album covers for music you're playing on your iPod. Those willing to Cover Flow thing what you. I'm not exactly like that but really it's -- -- -- -- -- so you're. This track playing over doesn't cover art calacanis that's of the more visual it's it's nice to see that -- -- the technology. -- voice command system really is new in an improvement over -- the same. A bunch of steps. To get everything done or edit them got a new Nissan Versa right ray and other like small car from Nissan and you know they've they've been coming a lot of they call conventional cars you know they've got the -- and they've got the Versa. And again to do. In the -- comes out they're calling it implements the moment it looks pretty that literally -- and unconventional. Yet the first thing -- -- enough so that I was like and it won't be. It's just like a little -- we haven't seen -- back yet but it's got a one point six liter engine paired with CBT. And they're talking about 37 miles per gallon highway on this card and that's all and just sort of what everybody else is doing right now. Hyundai Honda everybody's talking even -- talking forty miles per gallon -- class. But it is gonna be the first and -- new line of what's called your drive models. -- and vehicles that have an emphasis on fuel economy and emissions are gonna get a nice little blue your drive beds of you may be -- three miles per gallon London thanks and -- that you feel good about that direct injection engine. Don't believe. I think -- it's pretty -- Whatever it is the same engine that produced about did you. Just to be -- version I don't remember of the you can direct it to that effect direct injection island -- -- and a there was an in cabin tech and there navigation is available Bluetooth is available navigation system im gonna have traffic but I think they're still the you know they've got pricing. 10990. But they don't actually have their packaging. Things like ready for primetime yet -- -- we -- it is gonna have we just don't know where it can work now I'm thinking. Bluetooth navigation. And iPod integration are all gonna be optional event -- -- known -- And then now also we've got to get a conventional we've got some unconventional. The DVW beetle although it's been around so -- -- out conventional. They're virtually invisible -- that it accept the new version has pretty different styling from the new -- is they've called it since 98. And actually the first. Upgrade since 92. So this one has a slightly differently curved roof which actually reflects the -- -- really original -- came out and 1950s something around her opinion. And it looks like it's -- -- design for better -- -- -- back to use its. It's -- slightly flatter -- and occurs toward the back a little like old school could -- The cool looking its so it's -- that is actually second two -- patch that -- -- -- -- -- back on back to. Along with the -- two door hatchback but since -- look so different but you gotta have two cars have the same format. It's also -- a similar engine choices is the -- 2.5 liter just in regular gas engine -- two liter turbocharged engine. And many TI. Diesel -- your maximum fuel economy. Yeah I'm sure that'll lot of people who are really -- -- that really -- fuel economy in game like. -- -- dvi or even that CDS for away and are gonna jump for the opportunity have something that actually looks stylish. But -- is the current tennis kind of bland looking. Oh that's. And -- it depends on what you think the new beetle or any idea what stylish and it. But he has another car that you know people are gonna be able to get a stab -- getting a more fuel efficient version of is the Ford Taurus. Now they announced -- SHO. The high output -- it's got a new front and that's a lot more aggressive but it's still got that same. 3.5 liter V6 but today we found out that -- Lesser versions of -- a Ford Taurus -- gonna get two new engines the first one being basically an evolution of the a three point oh liter V6 that we -- on the last generation. Little bit more powerful. Little bit more fuel efficient. But the one that's really important is the two liter Turbo charged four -- that's gonna be available and they economy needs from level. The Ford Taurus and this is basically the same. Did several -- porcelain that in the Ford Focus ST. But this time it's tuned for for fuel economy so you're ten -- down from the high performance focus. But you're also getting about 31 miles per gallon -- Really big vehicle. Like a full size sedan -- -- that the Big Five theories that are you know and though it's in an able to get that. Minority get that 31 miles per gallon number that -- -- right now and it's been confirmed by the EPA yet. They had to step down to the smaller displacement they're making up for the power loss within -- whose term. Densities that horsepower from that engines I can imagine -- -- -- users view that. Yeah that's the real advantage is again it's I don't think people are going to be expecting performance -- those you know that -- it will be disappointed. And Natalie and other arguments in the grill me more aggressive looks like -- brings in some of that kinetic design styling that they have and that. The yes that -- lost in the fiesta we just saw recently in the new. Focus and lending that I have actually noticed -- economic staring at the -- -- hours. Is that if you really look at it and you imagine -- -- kind of sucked back a couple of inches looks like a mustang sedan. The head lamp the design of -- hand lens is very similar. The silhouette of the -- is also very similar. It looks more like the last thing in any hard -- and it's not then. The unified design theory -- exactly. RM Wayne Cunningham and -- and at the at 2011 New York others. That's a very interesting point against -- -- they visualize that Taurus when -- a similar site and than just him it's in the grill pushed back a little bit of the body headlights to go -- And bought -- that very good anyway we got our full coverage of New York auto show continuing -- cars dot cnet.com. With videos. That we sent our crew out there to shoot -- were coordinating here from San Francisco and of course the blog post the slide shows. Everything's there let's talk about some other news has been coming out around the New York show this week BMW's getting into the electric car business. It very modest ways you can imagine they're gonna be leasing a certain number of -- 700 electric cars with one of these pilots kind of like what meaning is doing right now with. What is -- 500 -- Electric's that are out there for release only in their real cards you use of every day like they're yours they are -- what you released the much do you buy it. And they're not doing it to a wide number of folks it's a 24 month trial. And as you can see this is going to be their first big push to say. BMW is also an electric car -- it's based on the one series you can see right -- the one series coupe by the way. And the rate on this the F -- is gonna be -- a nine a month so it's you know. Kind of a modest at least of these cars being virtually one offs cost a fortune -- this is not about BMW making any money -- -- -- to fifty dollar between 250 dollar down payment as well. And this is apparently happening in New Jersey new York and have greater Manhattan area. Connecticut Boston. And three California cities so a limited roll -- but if you really want an electric one series you do have a chance to do it. If you wonder if an electric cars for you at all. -- as interesting app -- BMW rolled out. It's called the the -- vault. And it's its iPhone or Android as well I believe and what you do is you its atomic got -- -- You simulate having any V like -- having a -- And what it does is it lets you find that the EV is gonna work for you so using GPS and its internal clock in the calculations that are built into the apps software. It'll be able to see okay here's how far you drove today I know how its electricity that would take him. Here's kind of the speed you drove -- I imagine it takes into account -- altitude not sure about that. And also when your park where you parked where -- your charging station if not I think consume junior once and that's kind of a baseline. And it puts this together intelligent yet you'd have been allocated an electric car or -- -- -- stranded. A very interesting little app if you're wondering if electric works for you would also the BMW evolve -- And get iPhone or Android appearance in trying that out finding and -- are gonna work for you. Lot of folks wonder how to -- find. Any of these alternate fueling stations whether it's hydrogen which is really rare. -- Rick biodiesel. Even any of the other types of a fuels out there how what 85 the really serious -- Well there's a new mapping service at the government's just put out. It's part of Department of Energy as well as a couple other divisions and they're importing it into a Google map -- you can see right here. And what you can do and as a checkbox if you're watching a video version you can -- album -- looking for biodiesel. Compressed natural gas goes in a few cars run on that electric 85 hydrogen. Liquefied natural gas or propane take any or all of those you want like all -- electric. A punch in my zip code right here for us CNET 94105. A select a radius 25 miles. And I can also select my charge level. So level one is a 110 outlet level to as they 240. And in the DC fast I believe is what they mean by level three -- -- gonna get results and only do I get a list but of course it's a Google map. So I get to go zoom right in and find out where they are in there in this case if you're watching the show I can see I've got about eight charging stations not far from CNET. Would've been kinda hard to find that on my own just cut up raw Google. Especially if you -- a nationwide list or regional -- -- going on a trip somewhere so that's kind of a cool little tool will put the link to that. In the show notes for this week if you're dying to have one of those new plug in free -- that are coming on the market that's gonna be early 2012. Toyota is taking got to get this. Pre orders for -- Yorkers. This called -- people. So they've got a new place -- -- go to toyota.com slash plugin on the punt set up right here we'll take a look so here it is this is the pre order pre order site. And you can sign up he -- it hit first in line to be first in line at. To sign up for a Prius. Claim one when they first come out a plug in Prius by the way and decide you're gonna be in line for that pattern -- them. That -- -- the Mitsubishi -- Meade electric which we should you late last year needles fall of 2010 we did that video. Goofy look a little thing kind of golf cart -- I mean almost you know it's a note it's in a foot race with the Smart Four Two for -- is looking car on the road and this guy now is actually priced. So it's gonna be on the market now and the pricing is as follows and again like the -- -- volt they went ahead -- factored in the federal discount. Through the tax return often the IRS I should say so they're saying the MS RP is 20500. But again they've already -- that -- are gonna get the full 7500. Dollar federal tax credit. Which most people will. But it's not guarantees -- always bristle when they do this so really it's a at twenty he a little bit about 28000 dollar cars what idiot. It's about a hundred miles on -- charges you -- coffee watched our video. Up. Interest in looking little guy. A little low on creature comforts -- curious about it you know go check that it will be a viable contender against belief the volt. The size needs and sued the Ford Focus electric in -- 2012 those will be basically your big four on the market at the top of next year elite. Reasonably priced by category and leaving out this current and Tesla -- those guys. There's also a 2800 dollar special premium package that includes the quick -- that's that. 480. And that's really key because that'll you be an 80% charge in thirty minutes. If you have access to one of these level three charging ports and those are pretty rare these days and very unlikely -- you're gonna -- in your house or even install in your house by. To -- to think about it you're looking for an -- Toyota's production. Is an ongoing story we've been covering they've. They're getting hammered by the Japan earthquake and -- situation and to watch Toyota's interest in because there's such a huge auto maker basically number one and talk with GM. And because they have so many plants in the US as well so they're really a domestic auto maker of some major import. So they now say what they're going to do here is basically cut everything back to 13 production -- that's a really big sacrifice for big car company folks they hate to do that it's so wasteful. But they're gonna be putting all the North American plants on three days a week at least through April. And then for the rest of April and may that schedules gonna continue to they've extended that schedule. And -- be operating at 50% on top of that so they get to an overall actual utilization of just 30% of their plant capacity this is unheard of stuff. They like to run these plants -- right at full tilt three shifts if they can't and to go back to 30% production gives you are an indication. Of how serious the ongoing shortages coming out of Japan are a little brighter note if you're shopping for a car we have an email about this and roadside assistance and those last week. What are our favorite sites to go to to. Model car configure it look at the pricing and compare. To other cars there's a new one that caught our I had this week and -- I'm not I'm not totally sold -- it's the greatest thing since sliced bread but. It's kind of -- disease called. And it's agnostic. So -- can see here I go to new cars I get this big gold dropped down and this is basically every brand of car right here major brands luxury brands and exotic -- So let's say I wanna say we were -- is looking at Toyota for example. -- -- -- -- They take you to this 3-D rendered universal show -- And this is very interest and they say that everything here is on one level -- having to tab around Walden all the suvs are on the left of the sedans wagons and hybrids are on the right. Featured cards are down here. And I click on one of those. As the corolla for example and now it's gonna build me a 3-D dais or 380 stand if you will of the corolla as I go through and -- the configure. And it's all done in this one -- -- very virtual very visual and it's agnostic every single car looks the same -- -- bouncing between sites. Which has an interesting psychological effect when you go -- -- really well done site or badly done -- site and a good one it's done very differently you get a different impression of the car. So these sites are very clear very simple. Others are really tedious to deal with and I think you -- -- dampens our enthusiasm for the -- hard to live with. This way you're gonna see every car made in the exact same frame and interface. The system we've been doing before with -- and KBB all -- those guys but never -- visual form like this when you can do all this sort of 3-D can -- -- -- -- get all the media. And -- all the options -- -- on the screen so kind of cool that's PS cars dot com and as you can see there are still a few bugs to work out but. It's a very cool way of giving you a level playing field for those -- you been riding in asking about our. -- -- -- -- -- A Hyundai has done that probably the most aggressive stuff with innovative sales promotions during the recession. They've had the will buy your car back if you lose your job thing. And one -- along those lines GM -- that will buy your car back -- well now holidays come along with this. They will guarantee the future trade in value. And a -- -- a little bit about this. But your number one cost and buying -- car is depreciation. That's the big thing that really hits your wallet and no one ever thinks about to actively offering -- by the card now one of the payments what's the down doesn't affect my insurance what's the MPG -- good to go I'm never gonna sell -- people always forget the fact depreciation as the biggest -- you take what you buy or -- because the build that back into the -- so what do you do here is up you get -- guaranteed trade in value from Hyundai. Four I believe two through four years. To bring it back to the dealer and get that guaranteed value. And you have to keep it factory service -- -- Hyundai dealers have all those check offs in their database you brought it back for all your service there for -- and its -- over. A repair out of the road you can get that done wherever. But doubt this'll give you the guaranteed trade in value when you go look at the -- -- what that's going to be part with a reason and is doing this is to sell cars. Part of reason they're doing this -- because they have one of the lowest rates in the industry of dealers making money on service and parts. Most dealers make 7080%. Coverage of their overhead on their parts and service operation. Hyundai is like 50% in other words Hyundai dealers don't come back to the dealer very -- And if they do they don't do so very often or they don't spend money on significant amounts of repairs and service whatever that mixes so this is -- is way of saying. Start using your Hyundai dealer more as a regular maintenance facility and also if you do that we're gonna give you guaranteed trade bad value of your car and interesting promotion there if you're out looking for -- vehicle. And you want the real important number to work out well that's depreciation. The story is interesting I categorize this under tempest in a teapot. Here's the story Wall Street Journal blog -- major major visibility right. She every recalls crews. After -- steering wheel falls off right -- -- great big tight. This is not the kind of image you -- when you're General Motors are -- coming back right now doing a lot of good cars right now. Then you get this steering wheel falls -- this isn't like. Carpet made the accelerator stick down Toyota -- this is steering wheel falls off. There's not a whole lot of vagueness around that so I follow through on the story I'm looking around and physics say a site set up I guess by the person who owned the car that had the -- you'll fall off and here it is. Looks -- like a -- site. I imagine GM's lawyers are about to go do a cease and desist on this one. But it is actually. A complaint site at cruise Lestock on CR UZELESS. And here's a video on this YouTube video write the middle let's take a look at that. And others narrate this at the real short video when you go look at it. And at some dude walking around I think the cars at a dealership getting -- you're about to see why. You go inside you see the car very new it's -- like he shows the odometer and its its got 16100 miles on so it's a brand new cruise on the camera pulls out. And there's a steering wheel snapped off hang him by like the whole -- -- wire some. This isn't good. -- out it turns out that this is. From what I can tell basically a one off failure. Chevy says -- what happened was on the assembly line the wrong steering wheel got put into the parts assortment as the car was being built. And the machine that. Puts the steering wheel on locks down -- -- the there's a big a bolt this -- you can -- it internally thread that -- the -- -- With the wrong machine -- -- -- it wrong or didn't put it on -- -- didn't want lines properly whatever it was. They've identified it as what they say is a one off and they're doing a a service on this to make sure all these cars have their wheels -- writes if you've got a 2011 crews -- talk to the dealers that -- -- and we object is to -- -- it's gonna happen to -- and be realized this is -- -- We see a lot of car companies beaten up in history for relatively small issues Audi. Seemingly Toyota let's face it the results have come out the Toyota didn't have electronic bugs but you have a bad supplier on an accelerator but a lot of hot air bubble up -- -- story. And this one is also one to keep. In perspective. Yes -- steering wheel came off by the way it happened on the freeway at 65 so says this cruise -- site. But they were able to ski -- kind of a gradual stop against the guardrail nobody got hurt as far as I have read. But if you're hearing about that story that's what we've learned that scene in and checked out -- so. You know what's not decided to cruise -- -- death trap it -- definitely had at least one major. Inexcusable failure. Off the assembly line on that one particular car. Okay folks introduced this we gonna mention we're not -- roadside assistance this week we are doing on the road so this week it's one that is. One -- polarizing cars out there. Since its introduction -- the US in 2008 about the Smart Four Two lot of folks hated you -- absolutely love it I loved it until I hated it so you know I got -- global economy. But this week when and in one take this for a ride in -- smart electric drive which is a completely different version of a smart card does it make it better. Worst are just weirder let's take a look. This is -- smart converted to electric drive. And you think he is a small flight of a car -- be perfect for an electric motor and not so sure. It. That Baghdad and in my life have got them all the laid out on -- thing that's ever. Definitely. Convenient and it feels kind of -- and that's obviously didn't sixteen point six kilowatt. Lithium ion battery. And that'll give it range about I think about 8200 miles which. Again you think -- be a lot more given how small this card isn't given maps. Pretty much the same size of electric motors that they put in the year electric batteries they put in media outlet in the Chevy Volt. And another problem with is currently drive mode is that. It's that top speed is only about sixty miles per hour unions -- -- batteries that. Yeah I mean I had trouble on the freeway getting -- even fifty and that's kind of security and other cars -- invite you. One minute nice and that. -- clutch automated manual from gasoline -- god. So when you do get moving you are moving you'll be stuck without power. What little bit of power -- -- -- -- electric drive gives us some smooth and consistent acceleration which you don't get him yet and gas engine cut. The only instrumentation that we have is the basic -- are pretty low -- -- agent -- But governor at a battery meter. And there are 100% of the -- like music shows how much -- using regenerating -- -- And right and that's one I think failing of the smart electric drive. Is that you see a lot of currently -- -- -- -- machine people have complex. LCD displays that tell you everything about how the cars operating and how you drive it more efficiently. This car doesn't even go so much as a failure your electric range which. It's -- -- troublesome because electric ranges is very important now since it's so short you kind of line only -- ten miles left ago. Ray I think maybe it's not so -- Italy. I mean actually. The button guy and but they clearly don't want you go too far from home again though perhaps knowing that -- battery now. You know network -- -- -- Smart Four Two electric drivers are called the smart electric drive and call and report to I don't -- interesting car. It's the same as the standard smart for two and all the -- we don't deal with -- cabinet on this on the on a review this guy committed to a full review we did -- its first drive and we did a video too which are coming video on -- as well. But of course the big shocker is the price at the 45000. Dollar smart. That's like. Would you put forty you could even carry 45000 dollars -- that card your bank robbers so. Missed that that's the shocker now of course the idea is you're gonna -- this thing for 550 years 600 -- -- like that BMW -- we talked about top of the show. It's not intended to be bought yet they put a price on it. Just put a price on to back the least number out of and I guess com. But the numbers are interesting -- -- zero to sixty. At sixty kilometers an hour eons. Six and a half seconds. But that's kilometers and windows sixty tops models tops its government sixty I got to 65 and -- down. It's a city car it's not a freeway car going up long grades. It didn't even holds sixty got down to 45 on like this one about a mile long grade coming off the Golden Gate Bridge may be less the -- Much less than that and it couldn't really even old freeway speeds of this is a very a very flawed but in the city or an urban or regional environments without going on on to a full on interstate it was really cool as -- got -- -- the one really disastrous thing and a smart portrait. That gearbox. That's a piece a crap. And we have an electric motor it's one speed real smooth the disk is always there so it was really kind of a bittersweet story did so much so much better and then it's. One thing now with -- which is it and go fast and you can't take it on a freeway I don't think so. Another interesting note here I don't believe it has the soon to be required. Noise maker for pedestrians. Electric cars and hybrids are supposed to have that very soon when they make a certain synthetic -- and they drive we've noticed that -- electric cars had gotten lately. But this one doesn't have that though it's another indication it's still very much a work in progress and may not be coming to market itself. Anyway if you're looking for a smart electric I don't know this is gonna be the real. Save your car that you wanted to buy I aid you've got to look at those of the -- we talked about as they roll out the focus electric the I need even if you what -- -- electric go to the Mitsubishi -- word enough. An electric and -- the real freeway car that -- actually enjoyed driving on the freeway. In spite of the looks like like I was -- gallons of remake of sleeper OK let's see what's going on of the CNET car tech garage. The latest Florida focused titanium this is a hot little car. This is not the old sort Ford Focus -- are -- gonna let me tell you this is. How much nicer looking forward focused. Nice driving a little gutless right now in the automotive world so you gotta wait for the opposite could be an ego boost Motorola's as the mobile certain. Coming up and maybe early next year this is the total gas -- -- -- -- -- -- a good time shooting it is his gun metal -- focused Itanium that we took the stand. And again this is part of -- rewriting the rules on their cars along with a fiesta -- -- done. The -- it was -- -- recently. -- start to hit on all -- -- on their designs as well as their execution and of course coming inextricably mentioned before we have an Audi a seven that's the new Audi a eight games. Who finished four door -- format that's -- -- be so we have in the garage next week okay folks that's it for this week for car tech live numbered no roadside assistance as we -- back -- -- overall back in the studio with roadside assistance in car tech live. Next week it'll be the show on the twentieth of April -- meantime -- finest the site is cars dot cnet.com. The -- site for all the show notes from today's stories and all the others and to find all of our shows his car tech dot cnet.com -- number 866401. CNET toll free. Write to our car -- voicemail -- your thoughts comments and questions for roadside assistance any question you've -- buying a car. Figuring out car tech changing your stereo -- that stuff. That's 866401. CNET toll free and follow me on Twitter I'm Brian Cooley BR IAM. Zee double OLEY. Thanks for watching car tech -- -- next week.