AutoGuide News Blog
The AutoGuide News Blog is your source for breaking stories from the auto industry. Delivering news immediately, the AutoGuide Blog is constantly updated with the latest information, photos and video from manufacturers, auto shows, the aftermarket and professional racing.
The 2014 Rogue, Versa Note and Leaf will be the first vehicles from the Japanese automaker to receive iTunes Radio, where Nissan will enjoy exclusive advertising rights through 2013.
This year’s Apple’s Worldwide Developer’s Conference (WWDC) debuted the newest version of the tech giant’s mobile operating system, iOS 7, which will add more integration with vehicles.
A free parking app is now available for the Apple iPhone to help users find where they parked their vehicle.
Have you heard the big news in Formula One? No, not that Mark Webber just won the Monaco Grand Prix, but that Red Bull has launched its ‘Racing Spy’ app, bringing plenty of Formula One goodness to your favorite Apple device.
Run-of-the-mill Jaguar XJ not good enough for you? Not even the $111,000 Supersport version? Better dig deep into your pockets for the XJ Ultimate Edition.
Last year Range Rover introduced its Autobiography Ultimate Edition which became the most expensive Land Rover made. Even though official pricing hasn’t been announced, we expect the XJ Ultimate Edition to follow a similar path, possibly boasting a price tag upwards of $175,000.
Despite the Land Rover boasting such an exorbitant price tag, it quickly sold out and clearly the success has allowed the British automaker to do the same with its XJ model. Among the car’s luxury features, there are two separate, fully-reclining seats in the rear along with aluminum folding tables and space to serve your favorite champagne.
Embedded behind the seats are built-in Apple iPads, similar to what was in the Range Rover Ultimate, to provide entertainment. If Apple’s tablet isn’t good enough, passengers can also watch entertainment on the TVs in the headrests. Since the XJ Ultimate Edition is clearly intended for transporting passengers, the suspension has been modified to give a more comfortable, softer ride. Engine choices will, however, be the same as the standard XJ model.
GALLERY: Jaguar XJ Ultimate Edition
Devoted to celebrating the history and the culture of automobiles, car museums allow enthusiasts to admire the rarest and most iconic of cars, but don’t forget the “do not touch” sign.
Now, thanks to the Road, Inc. classic car app, you can touch these cars to your heart’s content… on your iPad. A car museum at your fingertips, the Road Inc. app features an extensive collection of images, videos, sound clips and documentation on 50 carefully selected automobiles, ranging from super cars that broke the status quo to historically significant basic transportation.
While the app was originally sold for about $9.99, developer Pyrolia has now lowered the price to $6.99. A bit more expensive than the average app, Pyrolia also offers a free version, featuring just one out of the fifty vehicles – a Ferrari 250 GTO. If you’re a selective connoisseur and don’t care for all fifty cars, each of the cars can be downloaded for $0.99, or in categorized groups ranging from $1.99 to $3.99.
However you choose to enjoy the app (we recommend just paying $6.99 for the complete collection), we guarantee it will be more enjoyable than any of the table-top magazines you’ll see the next time you find yourself at a waiting room.
GALLERY: Road Inc. car museum app
Subaru just released a series of “Dynamic Brochure” iPad apps for the 2012 Subaru Impreza, Impreza WRX/STi, Outback, Legacy and Forester.
These fun and interactive apps feature new, fully photographic exterior and interior 360-degree views that let you experiment with paint colors and interior trims. They also include interactive feature demos, videos and comprehensive specifications. You’ll get the full experience with these apps, as you can see, hear and explore the Subaru models and the technology right on your iPad.
“Subaru is excited to roll out the next generation of our leading-edge, environmentally-friendly Subaru model iPad apps for 2012. These model app launches will be followed closely by the all-new Subaru ‘Life Book’ featuring our full line of vehicles in a single app,” said Sondra Shiffer, brochures manager, Subaru of America, Inc.
While this move may come under scrutiny as Ford promoting the usage of tablets while driving, the American automaker is just hoping to take a preventive approach believing that consumers are bringing those devices into their vehicles with them regardless. ”Drivers are bringing these devices into the car already,” said Ford spokesman Alan Hall. “We’re allowing them to access the content in a safer way.”
The tablet compatibility will allow drivers to control devices such as an Apple iPad, Kindle Fire, HP Touchpad, Nook Color, and Sony Tablet S – a variety of different tablet devices – through their voice. Ford hopes that this will allow drivers to keep their eyes on the road when they inevitably have the urge to do something on their tablet.
Now we totally get the people that sit there and try to text on their cellphones while driving, but who seriously tries to access their 7-inch or 10-inch tablet while driving? Either way, at least Ford is taking a proactive approach in trying to develop technology that will make the roads safer, but maybe we just need to expedite the whole autonomous car thing if people really can’t wait to access their tablets.
[Source: Huffington Post]
With the iPad 3 announcement scheduled for next week, the rumor mills are churning on what Apple has up their sleeves next. As with everything Cupertino-related, nothing will ever be confirmed until it comes out of Tim Cook’s mouth.
The newest rumor has Apple China posting a job listing on LinkedIn for a “SQE/NPI with over 4 years Mechanical engineering background familiar with CNC/die casting/stamping/plastic injection, can use APQP/PPAP/SPC to control product quality.” Now while seeking an employee isn’t exactly groundbreaking news or entirely revealing of the company’s intentions, there’s reason to believe that Apple could finally be looking at their own infotainment system.
It makes sense considering Brabus has already outfitted their Mercedes iBusiness S-Class with Apple products and aspiring entrepreneurs are taking matters into their own hands by developing their own in-dash head unit replacement to use with an iPhone. With how abundant iPhones are in this world and how many vehicles are on the road, it almost makes sense that Apple would somehow integrate an infotainment system to work with its devices.
Systems such as the Ford SYNC (which is now standard in the new Fusion and Flex) is powered by a Microsoft Windows-based system, Apple’s infamous rival in the marketplace. Other manufacturers such as Kia and Toyota also employ Microsoft’s services but we feel it’s the threat of Google’s Android into the marketplace that has Apple interested.
Sure Microsoft has almost a 10-year head start in the auto infotainment industry, but it’s Google’s Android and Apple’s iOS that rules the world now. Both mobile operating systems have already been used to seamlessly sync into vehicles and they have the most accessibility to functional apps. In addition, app developers around the world have already embraced what Google and Apple have to offer.
So what is it Apple could be making? Based on the job listing, it seems that they could be looking into manufacturing a device that will integrate into a car’s dashboard. Our guess is that it’ll be a very plain-looking, but sleek head unit that will wirelessly sync with your Apple device to stream music, movies, app data, and more to your vehicle.
[Source: Car News China]
Keeping kids entertained on road trips is fairly simple these days. You can download a movie or a game on your iPad and your kids will stay quiet so you don’t have to put up with endless “are we there yet” questions.
Unfortunately, Apple’s standard headphones aren’t necessarily made for children and their little heads. If you’ve ever had this problem, try the Kidz Gear Wired Headphones on for size.
Able to cut out background noise, the Kidz Gear Wired Headphones will work with your iPad, iPhone and iPod. These headphones have a volume-limiting feature so kids can’t deafen themselves by blasting their music. They also come with a built-in microphone.
They don’t look particularly durable, since the headphones are made out of plastic, but for $29.99 you get equipment that will get your kids through some long stretches without worrying about expensive replacements.
Recently Lexus announced the creation of the Tori 500 track, inspired by swimsuit model Tori Praver’s curvaceous body. At the time of that release, Lexus teased that a TORI 500 app would be available for iOS devices, and now here it is.
The TORI 500 racing app allows iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch users to enjoy driving a virtual Lexus GS sedan around a virtual Tori Praver. Of course the racetrack in the game is the one created by Tori Praver’s body and the 3D image of the supermodel might not be the best of things to show off to your significant other.
Lexus also released another app that allows users to place the swimsuit model into their own photos with a click of a button. Oh the beauty of today’s technology. The Japanese automaker is the Official Automotive Marketing Partner of SI Swimsuit. Cars and beautiful women in bikinis, what more could a guy ask for?
GALLERY: TORI 500 Gaming App
And in case you missed it, watch the creation of the Tori 500 race track below:
The vast majority of us will never get to experience a Mercedes-Benz C63 AMG Coupe Black Series up close and personal, so the German luxury automaker decided to take the liberty of creating an app for fans to enjoy some media on their Apple devices.
The app showcases what makes the C63 AMG Black Series Coupe so exciting with highlights on its styling, racing atmosphere, and performance. You can browse through specs of the Black Series Coupe, download dynamic wallpapers, and even share the iPad experience with your friends on Facebook.
Hit the source after the break on your Apple device to download the app.
Hot Wheels is finding new ways to make their toys relevant and fun again, this time around launching a new product line called the iNitro Speeders which allows the user to control their little car through an iPhone app.
Similar to what you’d find with a standard remote controlled car, the iPhone app features your standard dual-stick controller but also takes advantage of the iPhone’s built-in accelerometer to control the car. Even cooler, you can use the app to choose a predefined driving route or draw your own pattern and watch it come to life with the miniature car.
And even though you can control the car with a standard remote control that’s included, taking advantage of the iPhone app really makes it different and fun. It comes with an infrared module that plugs into the iPhone’s headphone port and after you calibrate it you’ll be good to go. Lastly, the app has a built-in racing game that you can play without the remote controlled car, giving kids and young adults (like us) a little bit of everything to enjoy.
Xatori Inc., the same company that created PlugShare, has released their second iOS application called GreenCharge. Building off the success of PlugCharge, which is the nation’s largest electric vehicle charging network, GreenCharge allows owners of electric vehicles to view real time battery data and to see and share the environmental and monetary benefits of owning their EV.
The app is currently only available on Apple devices for $9.99 and can sync directly with eligible electric vehicles such as the Nissan Leaf or Chevrolet Volt. It is also the first and only app that connects driving data with local energy pricing to give the user their costs of operating their electric car. And for those that are really green, the app will let them know the carbon offset from their driving.
Those that don’t yet own an electric vehicle but are considering one can also use the app on a demo car to simulate driving and cost information to see if an EV would be worth the investment. Lastly, no app would be welcomed in 2012 without the ease of sharing your info on Twitter and Facebook.
“I’ve talked to too many people who have been confused about the benefits and operating costs of an electric vehicle” said Forrest North, CEO of Xatori Inc. “We built GreenCharge to let EV owners understand their cars and educate others on the true environmental and monetary benefits of driving an electric vehicle.”
Check out a video highlighting the app’s functionality after the break.
There are some great auto magazines available for your Apple iPad, but they can be a little pricey. You’ll be glad to hear about Porsche‘s new magazine called Christophorus, and this iPad app is totally free to download.
And just because it’s free, it doesn’t mean that Porsche scrimped when it comes to what’s in this magazine. You’ll be pleased with the amount of interactive content, impressive photos, cool animation and informative stories. There are also exclusive interviews and technical features from the world of Porsche.
If you’ve got an iPad, download the Porsche Christophorus magazine app for free.
[Source: Top Speed]
Ford is taking a clever approach to virtually revealing the new 2013 Fusion sedan before its official debut at the upcoming 2012 Detroit Auto Show. Using an app, now available on Android and iOS systems for smartphones and tablets, is an augmented reality game app where users can virtually drive the new Fusion through a series of worlds that unlock to reveal the car.
Each track is loaded with video clips featuring insight on technology and design from key Fusion team members. A daily video clip will unlock more content to the app every day with demonstrations of key vehicle features on the new 2013 Fusion.
When the vehicle finally debuts at the 2012 Detroit Auto Show, users will be able to unlock access to the full image of the car. At that point, they will also be able to drive any of the four Fusions on the virtual track in addition to creating a custom image of the car to share via Facebook or Twitter.
The all-new Ford Fusion will also be the Official Car of the 2012 CES show.
Check out an app walkthrough video after the break.
If you play the EA Moble game Road Trippin’, you can expect to stop by Sears Auto Centers in your virtual travels.
Sears Auto Centers and BF Goodrich Tires have joined forces with EA Mobile, so players of the popular moble game can stop to tune up their cars, receive power boosts and earn extra points. And players can also earn discounts for their real cars from Sears and BF Goodrich as well.
“Mobile gaming is a great venue to introduce Sears Auto Center’s products and services to a new generation of customers,” said Lori Williams, Chief Marketing Officer for Sears Auto Centers. “With the number of mobile game players growing every day, Road Trippin’ enables Sears Auto to leverage this new marketing channel to engage with potential customers in a relevant way.”
You can download the game for free at the Apple iTunes store.
Take the brand new Volvo FH16 out for a spin… but be careful of obstacles. That’s the idea behind Volvo Trucks’ new game for smartphones and tablets.
Released to coincide with the 25th anniversary of Volvo’s flagship truck, FH16 750 is an exciting and entertaining game that tests your lighting fast reflexes. The object of the game is to get rid of various obstacles that pop up and get in your way. To move to the next level (there are eight to get through), you need to accumulate enough points… and not crash your truck. The game also offers some interesting facts about the Volvo Trucks’ FH16-750.
“It’s easy to learn, but hard to master. If you’re good, you can get onto the high-score lists and boast about your results on Facebook or Twitter. There is also a contest on Worldtrucker, our online truck community, where weekly prizes are awarded,” said Niclas Hermansson, Digital Marketing Strategist at Volvo Trucks.
You can download the FH16 750 game for free at the Apple App Store, Android Market or Volvo Trucks’ game site To download the game, you need the iPhone 4/4S or iPad 2 or Android 2.3 phones or tablets with 480×800 screen resolution or higher.
Be sure to check out the game trailer after the jump.