Cooley On Cars
Lamborghini Huracan: Brute in a suit (CNET On Cars, Episode 63)We drive the outrageous yet technologically civilized Lamborghini Huracan, show you how to spot bogus car parts, and run down our top five ways Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are going to reinvent the dash.
Lamborghini Huracan. Exploring the intersection of livable and supercar. Is there something more than 12 volts coming to your next car? And top five car technologies we need Apple and Google to fix. Time to check the tech. They see cars differently. Nice. We love them on the road and under the hood. But also check the tech and are known for telling it like it is. Ugly is included at no extra cost. The good, the bad, the bottom line, this is CNET on Cars. Welcome CNET on Cars the show all about high tech cars and modern drivers. I'm Brian Cooley. When I mention super cars to you, you probably think about some kind of a hand built boggle that cost a fortune, purchased by rich folks who almost never drive them. The garage queen. And you'd basically be right. But then we get to cars like the Lamborghini [UNKNOWN] that exemplify an. Interesting trend I've noticed in the supercar business lately. To make these things more livable day to day, and that also brings in a lot of new technology. Let's drive the Huracan, and check the tech. [NOISE]. [MUSIC] This is what replaces the Gallardo. The best-selling Lamborghini ever. And it replaces it with a major leap forward in technology and. When Lamborghini set out to replace the Gallardo they wielded a lot of new and improved technology. Adaptive electronic steering, magnetic fluid adaptive suspension. Blessedly now a dual clutch instead of single clutch automated gearbox. An Audi Quattro related all wheel drive system. A dramatically new LCD instrument. Panel. And a body with clean, subtle aerodynamics. Not obnoxious cutouts or powered rear wings. Now as Lamborghinis go. And I actually find this vehicle understated and elegant. The whole structure of this car is a composite of some carbon pieces, some aluminum pieces, a lot of sandwiching and blending of the two. It's not a true carbon tub. With aluminum sub frame. Instead it's a glued and riveted sandwich of the two materials, especially at the cowl and down the spine. Lamborghini calls this a carbon hybrid. Blessedly conventional doors. Do you really need this? And then you've got the glass cover on the. The engine, which is beautiful and clean, but no, that's an option. Normally you'd have a busier set of louvers there. That's the best $7,000 you'll ever spend. Now, inside the Huracan, things are decidedly more modern than the Gallardo it replaced. Look at that instrument panel. That's a 12 inch, side to side, all LCD. Driven by an Nvidia Tegra processor. You've also got another LCD over here that's a fixed [UNKNOWN] of engine gauges. Now back to the main one: interesting behavior here. You can have sort of a split screen, where you have instrumentation on the left, and you've got your info-tainment interface on the right. Hold a button here on the wheel, and then you go into a full screen of your Audi inspired MMI. You'll recognize and have seen that before. Hold the button again and now you go to a full instrumentation layout. Hold another button and that can go between full tach and full speedo. There's no other interface quite like this. It's also nice when you go in reverse, you get your reverse camera right there in front of you. In fact, everything's in front of you. This is an interesting vision of moving things away from the glance away. Center head stack to right in front of the driver. [MUSIC] And of course, related to all that stuff in the dash is a pretty familiar, kind of last generation Audi M-M-I interface. Now onto the drive controls. This vehicle is not like any other in that respect either. Here on the wheel. Everything has gone kind of motorcycle like. Notice there are no stalks around the column. Only a couple of properly mounted stalk based shift paddles. Left is down shift, right is up shift. Instead things that used to be on stalks are here. Here's my high beam switch. Here's my left-right turn signal switch. Wipers are over here and then down at the bottom, here's where my drive personality controls are, sport, strada, corsa. We'll talk more about those on the road. Back here on the backbone you've got a locked down start/stop button,that's just some great Hollywood theater there. And of course what would a super car be without cool toggles to play with? And here's a rack of those for things like windows, hazards, and most importantly on this guy the optional nose lifter. [MUSIC] Under glass. Is the heart of the beast. The 5.2 liter V10, naturally aspirated, no turbos, no super charger. They do it the old fashioned way. 0 to 60 in 3.2 seconds. That's what happens when you got 602 horse. Notably though, only 413 pound feet torque. This guy's a rever, not a puller. Now while this engine breaths conventionally, it drinks via two technologies. Both torque and direct injection. Something a number of automakers are doing more of lately to optimize fuel delivery across the entire RPM and load range. Seven speed dual clutch automated manual gear box is very different than that Gallardo we had which had a single clutch automated manual and was on the bulky side. This promises to be much more refined. Oh, by the way, if you care the MPG is 14 20 on this guy, that's actually not bad. The days of single digit MPG super cars are just about over. [MUSIC] Almost immediately. I notice how this car has a really nice transmission. Because it's a dual clutch, we don't have all that jerkiness that the single clutch automated manuals are known for. Instead, the shifts are super smooth. Plenty quick. Of course, it depends if you're in strada, sport or corsa. When you move those drive modes on the wheel, [NOISE] You affect a lot of things. You're gonna change your throttle mapping so you get more power sooner. You change your steering ratio if you have the adaptive steering option. You're gonna change the way the adaptive suspension. Engine operates. You're also going to change the way the instability control is gonna dial in. You're gonna change the shift points and how aggressive and quick those happen. It really transforms a lot of things about the car. Now this car's also got an interesting set of sensors. The accelerometers and the gyros are three dimensional. So you've got X-Y and Z. What Lamborghini says is really helping them get some real dimension and real-world flavor into how they modify all of those drive systems. You know my favorite compliment for any car? It feels light. [LAUGH] It feels light. And when you feel light you feel fast. And one of the things you're also hearing about this car. It is the exhaust that [LAUGH] changes when you go into Sport or Corsa. And they open up some bathers, and you get this nice back crackle. Beautiful sounding. Now there are some Lamborghini quirks that make this car a little pain in the **** to live with. I don't quite fit. I'm leaned way back and my knees are all bunched up. The other thing is, when you get a windshield this rakish and cheeky, you also end up with some great big a pillars that really get in the way of tackling corners. [NOISE] Okay. Let's get you all budgeted to buy your Hurricon. [LAUGH] $241,000 is your entry point with destination. Now, we gotta add a handful of things to get it CNET style. Adaptive steering was $2,400, the adaptive suspension's $3,400. [MUSIC] Navigation is an awfully steep $3,200. Rear cam, you're gonna need it, that includes backup sensors, nearly $4,000. The nose lifter will save you twice the price the first time you find a curve. That's $6,900. And the glass engine lid, I love it, $7,000. All in we're at about $268,000 but who's counting. This is a very. Livable, approachable car that is also extreme when you want it to be but not when you don't. It's a very interesting story and I see it bubbling up all over the super car market and perhaps nowhere expressed better than right here. By the way, if you want more Lamborghini head over to cnet on cars.com and just search Lamborghini. You'll find my takes on the Aventador and the Gallardo, which proceeded the Huracan. A hundred dollar Rolex will, at most, damage your ego when it's found out. But fake car parts raise the stakes considerably high. Coming up, spotting counterfeit car parts when CNET On Cars continues. [MUSIC] [NOISE] [MUSIC] [NOISE] You're not fooling anybody when a counterfeit brake caliper cracks during a hard stop, or an airbag doesn't deploy. Or does, but like a bomb instead of a pillow. One of the most ominous things about poorly made counterfeit parts posing as genuine is that they likely evaded all tests by posing as an original that was tested and basically getting a pass. Even legit low cost alternative parts are tested. Now of course auto makers and even junkyards have vested interest in you buying genuine parts because that's what they sell in one form or another. This is a Honda airbag and this is not. [MUSIC] But the government agencies that intercept and monitor these things are ringing alarm bells. Going so far as to suggest you contact the FBI if you suspect you've been sold counterfeit car parts. You don't need to be a shade tree mechanic to spot them. Be wary of too good to be true prices. It's one thing to get a $17 Mac Book charger. This is different. Steer away from that guy who approaches you in a parking lot to fix your car. I shouldn't need to tell you that. Be wary of parts purchased online that ship from distant countries. Especially countries that aren't really in the car business. And look for typos on the box. Motorcraft and Delphi never misspell their own name. It pays to do a quick double check on the likelihood that you're buying a cheap fake, that will damage more than your ego, when it reveals itself. Welcome back to CNet On Cars, coming to you from our home at the Mount Tam Motor Club, just north of the Golden Gate Bridge. Thanks to increasing amounts of electronic tech, and electrically driven components of your car, there's been a lot of research and movement toward a higher voltage system in your vehicle. Let's take a look at that now in a future looking Car Tech 101. [MUSIC] Today, your car almost certainly uses exclusively 12 volt direct current to do just about everything. You know it, this is the stuff that comes out of the cigarette lighter, or what we call the power port now. On your console. But it flows all over your vehicle, from tail lights to ignition system. Sometimes it's converted to higher voltage for things like high intensity discharge headlamps, but for the most part, this car is a twelve volt world, and that dates back over sixty years. Before that, it was a six volt world in many. Many instances. But now we're cutting the other way to higher voltage. Namely, 48. Now just a 12 volt is a big increase in the ability to get things done and do it efficiently over six volts. 48 volts is multifold improvement over the current standard. Yet it remains notably below the 50 volt DC line that is generally considered the beginning of substantial shock risk. to humans. Now the main motivation for higher voltage, is coming largely from the engine deck. The things that use to be driven by these sloppy parasitic belts off the engine, are now being driven by integral electric motors. [INAUDIBLE] I'm talking about things like power steering pumps, air conditioning compressors, and water pumps that move coolant around the engine. If you can drive those by electricity and only when they're needed as opposed to constantly tethered to a belt, you get nice efficiencies. And you also can package things a little more tightly in the engine bay. And speaking of electrifying things, several auto makers are considering using new electric turbo chargers which are spun up by a integral 48-volt motor instead of bypassing exhaust gases which should reduce lag, make the plumbing more compact. and lower fuel consumption while creating that additional power. It goes without saying that EV's already use high voltage like the 375 volt system that powers the Tesla and you've seen those orange wire housings inside electric cars and strong hybrids those call out the high voltage runs but those are currently limited to systems that turn the wheels not much else. But even if you don't look to the future with strong hybrids plug in hybrids and electric cars the move to 48 volts seems like its ready to happen because it grants so much more efficiency to even conventional gas engine cars. Allows packaging to be much more flexible, which designers love, and takes components that sap the engine's rotational energy all the time and convert them to devices that tap mostly the electrical system just part of the time. [MUSIC] In a moment, wheel worries and the things that Apple and Google can best improve inside your car when Cnet Oncars returns. [MUSIC] [MUSIC] The the thing that I think. We've had the most fun with, is we've given it the new sound of electric vehicles. [NOISE] Most of the feedback we've gotten from the performance or car enthusiasts say, oh the cars are too quiet. We've given it, in my opinion, the right touch of sound. So when you accelerate or decelerate. You get that adrenaline flowing, and it adds a, a whole different dimension to driving an electric vehicle. Find more from the XCAR team at cnet.com/xcar. Welcome back to CNET on Cars. I'm Brian Cooley. It's that part of the show where we take some of your e-mails, got a twofer this time from Jose O and Chad S, who both ask about wheels. Jose writes in, how about doing a Wheels 101? About the different manufacturing processes for function and aesthetics of wheels? And Chad writes in, I bent a wheel on my Civic EX and on my Evo MR after hitting potholes. Thankfully I was able to get both of them repaired. I'm curious to see how a bent wheel can affect a tire from taking and holding air. Well guys, first of all, I feel for anyone out there who's had a bent wheel. You know the minute you do it. You hit a pot hole and it's harder than usual. The. The car shakes in a different way and maybe even drives funny right afterwards and you know, things just got expensive. Alloy wheels have less protection these days than they used to. Lower profile tires provide less cushioning above the circumference of the wheel, so not only are tires getting lower, but maintenance budgets in just about every municipality seem to be getting lower as well, so the roads are pretty crappy out there. I'll do a car tech 101 on how wheels are made. Remain soon, but know that there are basically two divisions, Jose, in the kind of wheel you buy, cast wheels or forged wheels. Cast wheels, that's one where a hot, molten alloy is poured into a form and then cooled in a machine. That tends to be a mainstream wheel, affordable. Not the highest performance in some cases. Then there's a forged wheel, which is as the name implies, forged out of a single ingot of alloy material under enormous. Mechanical pressure. These tend to be very strong wheels. They can be made particularly light. They're often demanded in performance applications. Now in terms of bending a wheel and fixing it, Chris. This is an area where I recommend you go to a specialist. Ask around. Get recommendations from your car club or something. Because it's kind of an art to bring this thing back to its perfect shape in several ways. What you want to achieve is three things. First of all, you want to get,. True back. True means this bead here has to be dead straight to help the tire seal air as well as not loose its seating in the wheel. And if you spin it, it shouldn't do this, wander left and right. That's not good for holding the tire in place. Or to have a good balance on the wheel. Secondly you wanna have round. You've gotta perfect circle again when it's fixed and there's no divot here in the curvature. The third thing that's harder to eye-ball this is metal fatigue. How's that? Metal is bent and then brought back into shape. That fatigues the metal in many cases, often beyond the point of where it's safely serviceable. That can be dangerous. A couple easy ways to eyeball and alloy wheel, if you're looking at it, you can always roll it down a smooth surface and just watch how that bead might move. If it's out of true, take it and put the face, or whatever part was damaged, on a known flat surface and look for any significant gaps between it and daylight. But, in terms of the metallic damage from too much stress of being bent and bent back. I've got no tips for you there. After a lot of promises, mostly broken in 2014, car makers really are putting Apple Car Play and Android Auto into new cars this year. This isn't just another technology addition. These two new entrants have the potential to take over some areas that car makers just can't seem to nail. Let's run down the top five. Now these are my picks based on spending a lot of time in a lot of cars that try my patience with their cabin tech. And admittedly limited time in poking around car playing android auto since these are very, very new. Don't **** this up, guys, and make us both look bad. Here we go. Number five, dashboard distraction. I put this low because lets face it, screwing around with infotainment while you drive is still screwing around with infotainment while you drive, no matter who designed it. However, Apple and especially Google, are experts at predictive knowledge. Their systems are built to try and know what you mean or want before you're even done inputting it. Nice on a phone. Critical in a car. Number four. Lousy user interface. Car makers are all over the road on their UI. What their screens and displays look like all too often have a single thing in common. They look like hell. Google, and especially Apple, have a look and feel to their platforms that holds together across all screens and, ideally, across third-party apps. It creates some badly needed consistency. Imagine if cars had the gas pedal on the left and sometimes on the right. Number three, old media. Even Apple, the folks who invented iTunes. iTunes aren't so much in the mp3 game like they used to be. And neither they nor Google were ever married to things like satellite radio, HD radio, CDs. They have no problem quickly embracing the new and dumping the old. Things like streaming choices that come so fast car makers can often just hope to be two generations behind. Number two, stale POIs. Eyes. In your car's current navigation rig, points of interest, seldom are. They're instead these stiff, rigid, outdated categories of things that take longer to page through than to drive to. And almost never are they aware of what you like. It's mostly collections of obvious things like national chain locations or overly broad categories like museums. Thumbs or cemeteries. Yeah. Kill me. Move over and let live search and my preferences and history flourish in the dash. Before I get to number one, some things that are certainly beyond the ability of Apple and Google to fix. Beyond infotainment. Like complicated touchscreens for temperature control. Why? Blind spot and lane departure warnings that all sound like the same bird chirping. Or absurd 180 mile speedometers that crush every increment down so small, you can't tell if you're doing 50 or 70 without taking out a magnifying glass. The number one thing that Apple and Google can, no, must improve in the dash, is maddening voice commands. Voice commands in cars used to be like magic. Until smart phones arrived, and showed us it's actually more like a gallstone. Get out of the way car makers, there's no technology better proven you shouldn't be involved in than voice command. Add in the fact that voice envelops most of what happens in the dash. And I can't wait to talk to Siri, or say okay Google behind the wheel. Calling Peggy Jordan mobile. By the way, if you don't want to wait, or buy a new car,. The after market has beaten car makers to the punch. Installing Car Play and Android Auto Systems as we speak into the cars people already own. Thanks for watching. Hope you enjoyed this episode and of course, keep those emails coming. It's OnCars@CNET.com. You're a big part of how we put this show together every episode. And wherever you go for streaming video, look for us. We're probably there. I'll see you next time we check the deck. [MUSIC] [NOISE]