This week brought news of numerous recalls (Honda, Chrysler's Ram truck, Dodge), big rebates on the Chevy Volt, and a partnership between DreamWorks and Ford that will bring a modified Mustang to the big screen in next year’s "Need for Speed" film.
Here’s what else you may have missed from this week’s car news:
Apple announced its latest operating system will have an in-car component. Speaking at Apple’s 2013 Worldwide Developers Conference on Monday, senior vice president Eddy Cue said iOS in the Car would use the iPhone’s voice-activated Siri system and integrate the phone’s maps, texting and music into the existing screen in the car.
In his address, Cue said 95% of vehicles being sold today can integrate "music playback and control" from an Apple device. Seeking to build on this connectivity, Cue said, iOS in the Car will use voice-activated commands for hands-free and eyes-free control.
Numerous automakers are slated to include this system in their cars for 2014. The list includes Acura, Chevrolet, Ferrari, Honda, Hyundai, Infiniti, Jaguar, Kia, Mercedes-Benz, Nissan and Volvo.
The road to an electric future got another boost on Tuesday as six automakers announced they were adopting a standardized charging setup. General Motors, Ford, Chrysler, Volkswagen, BMW and Mercedes-Benz announced that they would integrate into future electric cars a combination charging system that works with AC or DC power.
"This unprecedented cooperation ... demonstrates the maturity of this important technology that will help speed the adoption of electric vehicles around the world," said Britta Gross, GM's director of advanced vehicle commercialization policy.
AC is more commonly used in slower home-charging stations, while DC is favored for public fast-charging stations that can add back up to 80% of a car’s power in as little as 20 minutes.
The system was recently endorsed as the industry standard by the Society of Automotive Engineers. The first commercially available vehicles to come to market with this new fast-charging combination will be the Chevrolet Spark EV and the BMW i3.
Audi announced its full 2014 lineup -- including pricing -- on Thursday.
The list includes a host of new diesel models in the A6, A7, A8, and Q5 range. On all but the A8 line, the diesel versions of each vehicle will be positioned at the top of the lineup.
This strategy differs from Mercedes-Benz, which has said it will position some of its 2014 diesel models (the GLK crossover and the midsize E-Class) as the entry-level model.
Audi also announced a small horsepower bump in its A4, A5 and all-road cars. The trio share a 2.0-liter turbocharged engine, which will now make 220 horsepower.
Unfortunately, we’ll need to wait a few more months to get pricing for some of Audi’s newest -- and most interesting -- offerings, including the supercharged, 354-horsepower SQ5 crossover and the 560 horsepower RS 7.
A complete list of the models and prices is available here.
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