First car without a key - how many ways can that go wrong? (AutoComplete, Episode 6)The first electric Aston Martin, the first Tesla under $500 and the first car without a key are all on the way.
[MUSIC] welcome to autocomplete episode six this is roadshows weekly podcast about the latest news in cars and the technology inside of them. I'm Brian Cooley editor At large, for Rojo. Joined by Tim Stevens, our Editor in Chief. And, Tim, we're on the cusp of sending a whole bunch of our team to the Geneva Auto Show. Where, among other things, we're going to see that hot new Lexus, the LC-500, arriving with, supposedly, a hot, new hybrid powertrain as well. Right, in fact we've got Wayne Cunningham's in Europe right now, checking out the car a little earlier before the show, getting a bit of a sneak preview. It's an interesting proposition. Of course, they unveiled the non-hybrid version in Detroit, which is one of the sexier looking cars of the show. Now they're showing us the hybrid powered version. It's down about 100 horsepower over the normal version. I think we're talking about 350 horsepower, thereabouts. And it's got a very interesting setup for it, it's Plug-in hybrid. Do, we're hoping somewhere north of 30 miles per gallon that probably closer to 40. But also it's got a very interesting transmission subs. Both the CBT and a four speed automatic which is a Bit of an odd combination, where [INAUDIBLE] they've added the [INAUDIBLE] better feel for drivers than Siri, but I don't think there are too many drivers in favor. CVTs and four-speed automatics feel a little bit dated too. To bring the two together, I don't know. It seems like an interesting mix. Yeah, that we have never seen before. I can't remember another car except maybe Chevy would argue the volt that has two transmissions inside of it. This is an odd bird and of course CVT is like you mentioned, they get a bad wrap in a lot of places, sometimes it's vividly, sometimes not. This is a strange mix, almost more interesting this transmission, than its actual power. So as Tim mentioned, we've got Wayne giving an early look at that. And our Geneva coverage will have more details on what many, including Antoine Goodwin, thought was just about the most stunning car that we've seen so far in the early road circuit at Detroit. Where this car first came out. So this could be a stoner with some really impressive tech under it's body as well. We'll have no doubt that'll be the case with a couple of BMW's that we're looking for at Geneva. The M Badge, coming to the coming to the seven for I believe the first time, with the M760 Li. That's a lot of alphabet. [LAUGH] End up to continue the numbers and letters we've got a v12. 600 horse power less than four seconds zero to 64. What is it? A massive car we were out there testing the seven series not that long ago. Yeah. This is a very big luxury Luxury car, and to get that thing to 60 in 2.9 seconds is quite impressive. So that's interesting but true. But they're also gonna bringing a performance aspect to the hybrid versions with the, let's see what are they calling it? The 74. 740e and LE, the long wheel base for the LE, but they're bringing in iPerformance dash where they're basically adding a little bit more juice on the plug in hybrid version of that car. So if you want your economy, your efficiency and also some performance, you can have your cake and eat it too, I guess. Yeah, the 740e is going to be an interesting package. You've got a full size seven or the L stretch like you mentioned which really kinda stretches the concept. But as I understand it, this is a twin powered turbo Four cylinder, That's nice. Backed up by the hybrid electric motor. That's an amazing thing to do in a car that has always stood for more and maximum in as many cylinders and pounds and horsepower as you can get. Supposedly 25 miles of pure electric range. Which most car makers will argue puts you pretty close to driving all electric during your regular commute driving, at least in the US. They say that they've wedged the battery well under the back seat which is kind of the new state-of-the-art to make sure it's not going to create any Higher floor, which can make the cabin cramped or intrude in the trunk, which in a big car like that you can't fool with the trunk. If you've got an IS or something it doesn't really matter, but on a big four-seat luxo-barge like that, people buy them so they can put four people and all their stuff. In there for a trip. Turbo 4, that's wild. Right and this will be the first time that they're gonna be bringing the iBadge to a gasoline powered car. They've got the i8 of course which is the hybrid and also the i3, but they're gonna be bringing this iPerformance badge here basically to tie the link between their performance oriented EVUs and the plug-in hybrid, the i8. But to bring that on to a normal car, quote and quote normal car for the first time, it's an interesting proposition here. Performance range in hybrid car with giant luxury hybrid car in that. Yeah, I'm interested to seeing a little bit more about that as we get into the show It's a little odd to put the eye beds on something that doesn't look weird. I mean, the eyes, so far, right, the consumer knows the i3 it looks odd, like something out of a Woody Allen movie and the i8 looks like something out of Star Wars. And then you suddenly start to, some would say, water down The sexiness of i by slapping it on a mainstream car. But that's probably where it has to go as they keep trying to build the i DNA into volume cars. Non volume car would be a new Aston Martin. We looked to see at the show and this one is going to be interesting because Aston says the new DB11 is going to be the first refresh of their line since the rebirth of the company 12 some odd years ago. Supposed to spec and appear quite different. I'm the first one to admit, Aston's all look the same to me, except for the [UNKNOWN]. [LAUGH] And they all start with the same three letters or the same two. They're all Vantage, Vanquish, V-A something. My Dubuque and I which was Fisker designed of course. Dates back to 2003 so it's been a really long time coming to bring this new generation db to market. There was a picture which leaked onto the internet this week. And it looks quite good. I think it's basically a bit more of a throwback to a traditional db the The dv five and particular I think it looks quite a bit like in the nose anyway which is all that I've seen so far. But yes it's gonna be powered by a smaller reduced displacement v12 of course with turbocharging which is the way things go these days. But they'll Will be an all-new electronic system within the car, which is sourced from the Mercedes Benz, I believe it is, so that's gonna give them a lot more smarts internally, which is something they [LAUGH] desperately needed for a long time now. The loss of the It was a bit of a sad thing, but definitely as you mentioned, that they've needed a bit of a new design language, and some help on the electronics side of things too. So, I'm looking forward to seeing this, again should be one of the biggest cars of the show. Well the DB 11, with the new power trains new electronics from. From Mercedes as well, and of course still a lot of high tech bonded aluminum structure to keep it light and stiff and all of that. Aston Martin may also be pursuing, not necessarily in Geneva, but talking about it a lot there. Their first electric car. Well, you know that the Rapide is their four door panamera style four door coupe. They will keep the name but make the e at the end a capital e so I guess you'd call it the RapidE. Is a prospective vehicle that's going to be perhaps built in conjunction with LeEco which is the same Chinese company that may power the underpinnings of the Faraday A super car e thought is the es. So this is a weird kind of triple bed fellows. Right and I knew something was up when there were a lot of Aston Martin people hanging out around at the Faraday future event. Were there? At ces so I knew something was going on there. And then of course they also announced an latv partnership at CES but that was just from the infotainment in car media services kind of side of things. Now obviously taking that to another level You have with a fully electric repeat. The repeat s is actually a very nice car. Obviously it's you know a bit of a different Aston Martin. It's a big four door a beautiful four door car. But to go electric it will be an interesting proposition. You know Aston Martin's all about the you know the emotion of driving and a big part of that of course is a screaming v12. So to go with an electric is gonna take you all some interesting mixture to see if they can find way to bring that emotion without the sound but certainly having a lot of torque and a lot of power may and may silence lot of critics. Well see. Is it bound to have a fairly good team working on the acoustics to create some kind of an synthetic engine sound which is we are seeing a little bit in cars already especially at fairly performance may have A four cylinder option. They may pipe in a little more engine sound and or add some synthetic recorded engine sound that responds to throttle. We're getting into this odd era of scripting cars sound because they're having less of them. As they become more electrified so I guess every company's gonna have to have their signature roar. And now it'll be an mp3 instead of an actual engine. [CROSSTALK] Yeah. Now, Volvo has got something odd coming up after Geneva at the Mobile World Congress. Mobile World Congress is the biggest mobile technology show in the world. It's held in Barcelona, Spain every year. It's all about phones, tablets, wireless carriers and increasingly in the last couple of years a little bit of automotive news leaks in there as cars become connected. So, Volvo's gonna use that stage to talk about what they say will be the first Keyless car. Not a car that has a keyless entry pad,like a Ford or a car that has a remote key Fob but a car that actually doesn't come with a key.using blue tooth unless you actually request one optionally. It's all smartphone based ,using blue tooth not cloud to get greater reliability and this is one of those things that polarized people. They either say "Why don't we have keyless cars? Why are we still carrying keys?" Or they go the other way and say I would never want the fussiness and fallibility and battery charge concerns of my phone to stand between me and being able to get in my damn car. Right, and as tech forward and progressive as I like to think that I am, I'm Definitely in the second camp there at this point anyway. I've certainly had myself on barricIV. That's not something that I would want to prevent me from getting in the car at least unless there was a USB cable dangling out from the wheel well or something like that. [LAUGH] I could plug my phone into if it happened to die. The idea basically is you. Control your car directly from your phone, again, within Bluetooth range. So, you probably look for 20 to 30 feet, about the same as a typical wireless key at this point. It's an interesting idea, the fact that you can still get a key is good. I wonder if this isn't just an opportunity for Volvo to charge you a little bit more money for another option, who knows? But it is the kinda thing that I think a lot of people are. Gonna be looking forward to it. And we're seeing something similar in the Chevy Bolt anyway with them using Bluetooth music low energy within that car. They're doing the same kind of thing basically. Identify and authenticate the driver of the car. I think that care will still have a traditional key. But 2017, anyways one less thing to worry about carrying around. And one less thing to lose maybe if you drive a Volvo. Yeah. I think Volvo says they will have this on the market in, I believe, calendar 2017. So it may It may list as a 2018 model. But either way, it's not gonna be this year but they say it's imminent and for sure. And an interesting quote from one of their execs around this was not just about convenience and high tech forwardness. But they say, this has the potential to completely change how a Volvo can be accessed. And shared instead of sitting idle and parking for it's entire life. So, they obviously are trying to do what everyone else is doing, trying to move into mobility solutions by saying we've got a car that has at least this little slice of it helping to enable the idea that yeah, you can use my car. Let me just authorize you on my phone and suddenly your Volvo app operates my car until I then decide to revoke it later. So for friends, family, who knows, people that want to come do a car wash or a detail at your office, you can say, yeah, go ahead and take my car for a couple hours, I'm gonna authorize you now. It's interesting in that respect. And Volvo has played around with this kinda thing before. They actually had the ability to allow someone to deliver groceries into your trunk for a test in Sweden, for example. So, that's kinda a similar concept where you can unlock just the trunk of a car with a smartphone and that was I think about a year or two ago they did that as a pilot program. So, they've been playing around with this idea for a while now and it's good to see them. Taking it worldwide anyway, but yeah, I'm definitely curious to see what the uptick is and how many people do check the box to get an extra key on there even if they don't need it. Couple of quick ones here before we take a break. There's is some speculation anyway, a New York Times piece we saw this week. That buybacks of at least some of the diesel gate VWs are looking to be nearly inevitable. And we're also seeing an interesting and ominous drumbeat this week from I believe it's an unnamed inside source at Volkswagen but picked up by a lot of the financial press, that at the time CEO of Volkswagen Martin Winterkorn This person on the inside says he absolutely knew about the defeat device and as early as early 2014 which goes not anywhere near to the beginning of its supposed use but certainly far enough back that it wasn't sort of two ships passing in the night. Early 2014 is going way back in this one so that's kind of where things are on that investigation. A lot of people ask where do the things stand on the recall as of this morning There is no response from California Air Resources Board or the EPA on a response to VW's latest proposed fix. The time on that I believe runs out on the 23rd, so we're only a few days away as of today's taping by which point the regulators need to give VW some kind of a response as to whether the latest proposed fix, which we don't know what it is, it's just a black box right now in their documents. Is accepted or not. So we'll stay on top of that cuz we know we have a lot of vw and some Audi owners out there who are affected. When we come back Tim's got highlights for us from what's going on right now at road show and we're also going to detail you on another issue of cars being called back. This one for any of you who have the latest Honda Civic. That and more when auto complete continues [BLANK_AUDIO] [MUSIC] Back to AutoComplete, episode six. I'm Brian Cooley, Editor at Large at Roadshow and joined by our Editor in Chief, Tim Stevens. What's going on at the site that people should know about this week, Tim? We got a lot of first takes. In fact, Emmy has been very busy this week. She drove both a new BMW M2 which is their high performance smaller car, kind of feeling the need the M3 is moved out as things gotten bigger. She's also driven the X4 M40i which is the new performance version of the X4 and the convertible mini cooper. So all of those from Emmy this week if you want to and she has also the Daytona 500 this weekend so look forward Do some coverage coming out of that event. I did the Lamborghini Huracan Spyder in the rain, but it was still a great test so I've got my impressions of that car up there as well. And we should have a new episode that is of Road Show Rivals where we test. Three row luxury SUVs against each other. We've got the Acura MDX, the Audi Q7, and one of our favorites, the Volvo XC-90. So the comparison test will be online probably by the time you see this video. So check all that out and of course we're working up to MWC and Geneva news as well. Okay a lot going on at theroadshow.com and if you haven't discovered it yet we're only a couple of months old. It's seen at massive new automotive site. Everything from the passion of cars, the technology in them, and the latest in automotive news like we're covering right here on the roadshow podcast. We did have an email from one of our viewers last week. Thank you for catching on this. We failed to mention. The not yet a recall but it is a stop sale. Which is pretty dramatic in the business of 2016 Honda Civics with a two liter four because this engine apparently some of them can have a part inside of the cylinder that connects the connecting rod to the piston. A little ring probably about a 30 cent part but apparently was not snapped on tightly enough in assembly and it can cause The piston and rod connection to get sloppy and that can just tear your engine apart. This connection right here, this is where the connecting rod which connects the piston up here to crank shaft below it and then you've got this pin, this big sort of tub that goes between the rod and the piston. And then you snap that together with that little ring you see on the left. That's the part that apparently may not be installed properly and that causes the whole assembly to get sloppy and that's catastrophic. So, they're not recalling the cars. As of this morning there was no official recall on the nits or recall site, which by the way is www.safercar.gov if you wanna monitor recalls on this car or any other car. It is a full on stop sale. In fact the actual document that they've got over near from civicX website they have this service bulletin that comes up from Honda dealers and it simply says we're not selling. This is per inspection. Warranty information is coming. But right now these cars are waiting for a fix. They're not filling new ones. If you're driving one right now I wish I had better news for you. They don't have a loaner program that I know of. If you hear of this as an owner, let us know. You can send email to me. It's email@example.com and tell us what you're learning at the Honda dealers about how they're dealing with the entire fleet. Of 15 civics with a 2 liter forward having a potentially self-destructive engine. Let's do some tests on these. There will be a recall for the public in March at some point, that's the word on the street anyway. So you're gonna have to wait a little bit longer for that. And it's not like your engine should really blow into pieces. It's probably going to be causing additional wear within your engine if indeed you are missing this part. But it shouldn't go flying apart, shouldn't catch fire, shouldn't do anything hugely dangerous. But it certainly is not very good With the helpful engineer the long term. Some of that you are gonna want taken care of as soon as you do anything from the dealers Yeah, you probably if it does came apart you probably looking at them, putting a new engine in your car for wheeling when that pin start to drag up and down the cylinder wall that's not gonna be a pretty sound. That part coming from exhaust and you don't want that. I do not wanna hear that, now Some Tesla news. The summon feature that let's you have the car come out of it's parking space and come to you. I wondered about this. It sounded awfully libertine. And now it turns out that they are going to change it and give it a dead mans switch logic. Which I didn't know it didn't Have, which is also shocking. I didn't either, that was actually surprising. So this is actually bringing it more in line with the options that Mercedes Benz and BMW have where you need to be performing some kind of action. With the Mercedes you need to be spinning your thumb in a circle on the smartphone app to keep the car backing up. With Tesla, you basically hit the button And then at that point you could put your phone in your pocket. And the car would back itself up automatically. And there was a stop but now and then if you needed to stop it, but if you've already locked your phone, if you've put it in your pocket or if you dropped your phone obviously it's gonna be a little bit difficult to reach for that button. Now it sounds like what you have to do is actually hold your finger on the button to make the car continue to back up and [INAUDIBLE] To you which is probably the way it should have been. And this is I think in the case of Tesla being a little bit loose in their interpretation of you know what is safe and what is not safe. Yeah. Same basic same thing I think you could say would be the idea of their autonomous functionality with a car that can drive on the highway. It will chime at you after about 15 seconds if you take your hands off the wheel but you can actually go in the options and turn that off which is something that is unique to Tesla as far as I know. Yeah, they have amazing cheek with how they bring these things to market. I gotta give it to them. They just say, look, and this is specifically prohibited by law. And the law is trying to catch up with all this stuff, the regulations are. We're just gonna go ahead and do it. But yeah, this one kinda surprised me. [LAUGH] I couldn't believe it. [CROSSTALK] Yeah, I couldn't believe it wasn't already a dead man switch, that's pretty shocking. The Model 3, of course, is a much more important story. This is the car that will make or break Tesla in the minds of many, certainly who watch it from a financial point of view. The S and X are in about the same level of relatively unaffordable cars to the average person of course. I mean, these are. 80 to 100,000$ cars typically. The model three is supposed to be a bmw3 series competitor. So the word now is Elon Musk is going to open the doors for pre orders on the model three and also have more details on it as well. The day before they crank open formal preorders on the model x. So they're actually rushing the three by just a day To almost get in line ahead of the Model X, even though the Model X has been trickling out in production. This is their make or break car and I think it's the one that will really speak to some degree of regular people. But the question is, who's gonna cross-shop? It's not gonna attract lease buyers, it's too far up the food chain for them. But it's also not gonna be a performance status symbol the way the X and the S are. Right, this is gonna be a transitional car for Tesla if indeed they can bring it to market in the kind of numbers that they need to. This will be a car that in theory will start in the mid-$30,000 range and offer a 200 mile range in terms of driveability. But again the big question is how much is it actually gonna cost to get that 200 miles on the model. On the model S and the model X, you can pay extra to get extra range. Is that gonna be the case in the model 3? What kind of option packages are there going to be, and ultimately how much are we looking to spend to get a well-equipped model 3 that'll do 20 miles? That's the big question. Chevy Volt is gonna be the only car on the market that as we know of that'll be in that same price range for that same range. But that's a very different proposition two. That's more of a you know an economy family car versus this which'll be more of a you know mw3 series competitor kind of thing. But at this point we still have more questions and answers and I'm hoping we get a lot of answers At whatever happens on at the end of March. If it's an event, if it's just a press release. If it's a rendered photo. Yeah. You know we have absolutely no idea at this point what to expect but we have a lot of questions and I'm looking forward to getting some answers finally. Yeah this is supposed to be the car that moves Tesla from losing phenomenal amounts of money to moving toward maybe making a dollar one day. Here's one way to have some new revenue coming in. It's from a children's Tesla, this is either the coolest thing ever or it shows that it's just a whole different world being a kid today. They're working with the folks that make the red wagon, Radio Flyer. And I was looking at this thing. They have actually a really good video, of course, Tesla's behind it, at the Radio Flyer website. This is one of the most perfectly faithful renditions of a Tesla. It's you know a little kids pedal car, so it's of course it's electric, lithium ion, switchable speed ranges 3 or 6 miles per hour and in classic Tesla format you can option a bigger parry for more money. [LAUGH] [LAUGH] These things are about 500$ you're looking for a single cedar little Tesla model s. That's about twice the price of your average power wheels. Where in fact you can get a Rolls Royce phantom power wheels for about 350$ on Amazon I was looking around. So this is a bit of a premium for this higher end little ev and it only seats one I've noticed so if you've You don't get a little friend that you want to take along with you. They're gonna have to get their own Model S unfortunately. Yeah, we're gonna take a quick look at it here, we've got a few shots of it here in this video. If we can go to that screen we can see it, it's really faithful. What's amazing to me is you actually charge it in the same port location. Under a flip-up portion of the tail light. They even got that right. And you can get that extra $15.00 for a custom license plate if you like as well. Yeah. Which is pretty cute. And you can get a car cover, and you can get a custom parking, reserved for your child's name. I mean this is like pre-training the one percenters right from the beginning. [LAUGH] KInd of amazing to me. Cruise to preschool in style. Man. Hello to our Detroit listeners. A story here that's kind of not automotive, almost real estate. But it just gives you some idea how much Google Is gobbling up Detroit. They are, according to report in Crane's Business News they're in the Detroit market. They say Google is looking for another 30,000 square foot facility for more r&d. They're looking in Southfield, Farmington Hills and looking around Detroit. They've already got two facilities, 90,000 square feet in Farmington Hills, a 140,000 in Ann Arbor And they also intend to use Ann Arbor, the actual city, as a test ground for autonomous vehicles, where you have Mcity and you have the new Willow Run that GM is gonna retool, that are sort of closed campus test cities. So Detroit's turning out to be the capital of self-driving test cities almost overnight, and Google loves the place. This is absolutely very encouraging to see because as of now Google's been testing primarily in Southern California and in Nevada where there isn't a whole lot of weather to speak of. So for them to go into Michigan shows that they are interested in testing their car in all four seasons which has definitely been a big A big concern of the big data mine but of course Google all ready has a bit of presence there, their self-driving car was actually built in Michigan by Rauch industries>> That's right. That's where that car comes from, so they've been building them in Michigan shipping them to California but now they can build in Michigan and take them to wherever Google's new testing facility is but [UNKNOWN] facility that you mentioned is kind of the premiere atomic car testing facility and also the premiere vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-infrastructure testing facility in the world right now. So for Google to get closer to that makes a lot of sense. Yeah, yeah. So very interesting moves that are turning what had been a California-centric industry, that's always the industry, you see yourself driving cars, tooling around California. Like you say, the weather's great and it's really easy to do. now getting a little more real world and getting where the heart of the auto industry is in the US as well. Last thing we've got for you is a new survey from Insurance.com, an insurance brokerage website that many of you know, that looked at applications coming into their site and people saying, yeah, I've got a ticket or two and here's the car I drive, what rate can you give me? Well, from that same data, they were able to figure out what's the most ticketed car out there. And let's start with number five and do an impromptu top five here. Number five, Chevy Monte Carlo. All right, I don't really see many of those on the road anymore. No. I mean, those are not currently made, those are a past model. Number four, VW Jetta. Number three, Dodge Charger, okay that starts to make sense. Mm-hm. Number two, Nissan 350Z, that makes total sense. Mm-hm. [LAUGH] But the number one ticketed car, Tim, is the Lexus ES300. That doesn't make any sense to me at all. How is that possible? No. I have no idea. I would've expected maybe a BMW, a sports car of some sort. Not a Lexus. Nope. And the least ticketed cars, well you might have seen this one coming. Number one, the Buick Encore. But then right after that a Lexus IS350. Now I wouldn't expect that either. I would expect people in an IS350. 350 to be leaning on it pretty hard. I would have thought so too, Prius presumed ranks in that top five somewhere. I would have to think too- I'm not finding Prius in either list. It's what Prius haters always say about Priuses. They're just kind of in the middle, they're not this nor that. [LAUGH] So anyway if you're driving an ES 300, you're a badass. Just so you know, you're out there Flaunting the law all the time, [LAUGH] which we don't encourage here at road show. Absolutely not, drive safely. Absolutely not, right. Okay folks, that's it for this week. Hope you enjoyed this update. Make sure you stay on top of everything, that's the easiest and best way to. Is TheRoadShow.com, where all of our news, reviews, and adventures with cars are refreshing several times a day. We'll see you next time we put it all together for Tim Stephens. I'm Brian Cooley, thanks for watching Auto Complete.