It's the first week of the new year, and we've browsed our favorite automotive blogs all week long to gather the highlights from each. The Consumer Electronics Show is in full swing, bringing with it lots of news about cool gadgets for our cars, and next week is the Detroit Auto Show, so we've also got plenty of preview material.
At CES last week, Chevrolet released a mobile application that will allow owners of the Chevrolet Volt 24/7 access with their Volt from Droid by Motorola, Apple iPhone, and Blackberry Storm smartphones to get real-time vehicle data or manage the vehicle's charging controls remotely. Ford revealed its MyFord Touch interface featuring user-configurable twin 4.2-inch LCD screens in the instrument panel and an available eight-inch screen for the center stack. Mobile devices, such as phones and MP3 players, can be connected via Bluetooth or USB, enabling information to be displayed within the car and controlled by voice. Mobile WiFi and downloadable apps make this bleeding-edge auto technology. Meanwhile, TheCarConnection reports such technology is "disturbing to safety advocates, who worry that drivers of the future will pay more attention to their email inbox than the interstate."
Toyota has reported it will stage the world debut of a new dedicated hybrid concept vehicle during the 2010 North American International Auto Show in Detroit. AutoBlogGreen reports it's likely to be a Scion version of the Toyota IQ three-door hatchback currently on sale in Europe and Japan.
In what will be the single most ambitious year of new engines and transmission launches in Ford's history, the blue oval will be introducing nine engines and six transmissions in models for the first time in 2010. According to LeftLaneNews, among the new engines, Ford will introduce the first direct-injected, naturally aspirated engine in North America in the 2012 model year Focus near the end of 2010. We'll have more to report on this from the Detroit auto show next week!
Chevrolet will be displaying a sporty preview of the next-gen Aveo, and Ken Zino has a published a detailed first look of the diminutive B-car at The Detroit Bureau. While the Aveo RS to be on display at next week's Detroit auto show is technically a show car, it is actually very close to a real production model that will be built in Michigan starting about a year from now.
We'll have plenty of Detroit auto show coverage here at autoMedia.com so keep checking back to see what we're reporting!
General Motors has hired a firm to begin winding down business at Saab, though optimists still hold out for a Hail-Mary save from Spyker. If you're also a fan of the brand, then you'll appreciate this photo gallery retrospective of the brand at Automotive Traveler, complete with a sample of historic and contemporary Saab vehicle images.
Do you live in an area plagued by speed cameras? It seems the folks at AutoBlog feel they're quite a scourge, when they say "Speed cameras are at best a dubious safety enhancement sold on the premise of slowing traffic, while the more important proposition is often the promise of the revenue they can generate." Apparently the citizens of Arizona don't like them much either, as this report indicates nearly $100 million in camera-reported tickets have gone ignored and uncollected. Quel dommage.
Consumer Reports has posted the results of its Car Brand Perceptions Survey, showing Toyota at the top of the list and Hummer at the bottom of the list. According to the report, "Despite experiencing one of the most turbulent years ever in the automotive market, Chevrolet, Ford, and Subaru have benefited from a dramatic increase in overall brand perception among car owners." Read the blog to find out where the rest of the manufacturers placed.
In a similar vein, TheCarGurus has an interesting article discussing the final U.S. car sales numbers, saying "if you've been following the ongoing disasters in autodom, there won't be too many surprises here." 2009 car sales ended on a high note, with just over a million vehicle sales in December, marking a 15-percent increase over December 2008.
Were you a fan of the A-Team when it was broadcast on NBC in the early 1980s? Did you know or care that 20th Century Fox is planning a feature film based on the series? Release date is scheduled for June 11, 2010, and Jalopnik has shared the first movie trailer. The cast is led by Liam Neeson as "Hannibal" Smith, but Jalopnik is most pleased to see the GMC A-Team Van also returns in a starring role.
And with that video to help you revisit (or revile?) the wild and crazy days of your youth, we thank you for joining us for this week's CARnival! Have you got something of interest you want us to include in a future carnival? Then fill out our online form so we can be notified of your interesting entry to our weekly blog CAR-nival. See you next week!Brandy Schaffels, autoMedia.com contributing editor
Latest News > autoMedia CARnival 01-08-10: This week in Auto Blogs