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.
Fanboys have been waiting for its arrival almost as long as Christians have been waiting for the second coming and now, lovers of Toyota‘s FT-86 sports car have a new way of passing the time until it arrives. Proving that there really is an App for everything, Toyota has just launched the “FT-86 World Report” App. Get ready to be disappointed.
It doesn’t let you race the FT-86 on the Nurburgring, or go behind the scenes of the creation or design of the car, or even have a great teaser of its exhaust note. Nope. Instead, the App let’s you digitally add a rendering of the FT-86 onto a photo you take and then upload it to the FT-86WorldREport.com website. Perhaps the only genuinely interesting part of this app is that you can see just how many others are as excited as you are about Toyota’s new affordable sports car.
Toyota will debut the FT-86 at the Tokyo Auto Show on November 30, with it’s sister car, the Subaru BRZ being unveiled the same day. The U.S. market Scion FR-S is expected to be unveiled at the New York Auto Show next spring.
Available for iPhone4, 4S and iPad2, download the app today here.
Watch the video after the jump:
It’s not too early to start thinking about Christmas shopping – it is October, after all. And getting a head start on the must-have list for toys this holiday season are Disney-Pixar Cars 2 AppMATes, a line of toys that digitally come to life when used with an iPad.
The brainchild of Disney and Spin Master, AppMATes feature your favorite Disney-Pixar Cars 2 characters. Available in packs of two, these toy cars come equipped with sensors on its base that identifies them to the iPad. To start these toy’s engines, just download the free app and put the cars on the iPad screen. You child is taken to Radiator Springs, where they can explore, race, and perform secret missions as they move their car around.
A pack of two Disney-Pixar Cars 2 AppMATes costs $19.99 and will be on store shelves starting in October (you’ll find them at Apple stores and other major retailers). The toys themselves may be inexpensive, but you’ll have to shell out cash for the iPad. To see how AppMATes works, watch the video after the jump.
[Source: Consumer Reports]
Take care of business on the go. Busy executives will be able to multitask while being driven to their next meeting, thanks to the Bentley Mulsanne Executive Interior Concept.
Premiering last week at the 2011 Frankfurt Auto Show, the Mulsanne Executive Interior is a multimedia connectivity concept that was showcased in the hand-crafted cabin of the Bentley Mulsanne. Boasting an impressive array of bespoke business, comfort and entertainment features, this interior took over 170 hours to create.
If you’re sitting in the back seat, you can take advantage of individual Apple iPad workstations with full internet access that sit on integrated retractable picnic tables. If you want to take a break from work, watch a movie on the large, drop-down LED screen.
Feeling a little thirsty? You’ll find a bespoke bottle cooler in rear center console that comes equipped with an illuminated, double-glazed frosted glass door. In the way of lighting, there are multi-directional reading lights for each rear passenger that can be operated with Apple devices, and mood lighting in the rear center console keeps stowage areas well lit. Even the docking station and cupholders are illuminated for extra brightness.
As for the stylish interior, the Mulsanne showcases a distinctive Yachting-style veneer, blending light and dark contrasting tones. And for one of its many finishing touches, Bentley commissioned a Tibaldi fountain pen (found in the center armrest) that takes its cues from the Mulsanne’s knurled-metal rotary switchgear.
Although it’s just a concept, it’s amazing to see the next generation of conveniences that will hopefully be available in vehicles in the near future.
GALLERY: Bentley Mulsanne Executive Interior Concept
Hyundai‘s nice little publicity stunt is now over: future Equus buyers will not be getting a free Apple iPad with their luxury car (much like we didn’t when we reviewed it recently).
Hyundai spokesman Jim Trainor said that the iPad promotion was only available for the first year of Equus sales. Anyone who wants an Equus now will have to deal with a weighty lump of dead tree for their owner’s manual, though the iPad app is still available in the App Store.
The free iPad was a strong attraction for the initial launch of the Equus, though not necessarily a selling point—we don’t know how many people threw down $58,000 for the sake of a $500 iPad. No word on whether future Equus buyers will be stuck with a Blackberry Playbook.
Click here to read AutoGuide’s Hyundai Equus Review and see after the jump for our video:
Porsche has released a unique application called the Porsche 360° app for the iPad, iPhone or iPod Touch. This app allows for an up-close driving experience without actually sitting inside one of the sports cars.
The app allows users to ride shotgun, alongside Porsche driver Jeroen Bleekemolen for a lap around the Zandvoort circuit. While in the simulator, the user can choose any viewing angle by moving the Apple product into the according direction.
This app is currently only available in The Netherlands, but is also in the App store in co-operation with Porsche AG.
Check out the Porsche 360° video after the jump!
BMW has a pretty good thing goin’, believes Mercedes. Their car-integrated app store brings together Pandora Internet radio, BMW Connected, and room for more apps within BMW’s mobile Internet service. Now, Mercedes is looking to develop their own.
The system they’ve proposed sounds remarkably similar to BMW’s: it will offer entertainment options like streaming radio, roadside assistance and services, and ways for owners to connect with the company.
“We have our own telematics research and graphics pre-development operation in Palo Alto,” says Gorden Wagener, Mercedes chief designer. ”In addition, we can imagine developing a so-called ‘Mercedes App Store,’ with apps that make the life of the Mercedes driver even more comfortable.”
With Mercedes’s whole host of driving aids, self-guided technology, and automatic warnings, this iPad-integrated system will help owners more effectively avoid that whole pesky driving business.
[Source: Motor Authority]
Subaru of America has announced the lauch of its new iPad applications based on its 2011 model digital brochures. The free apps allows users to explore the 2011 Outback, Forester and WRX/STI through the iPad utilyzing videos, interactive demonstrations and 360-degree views.
Apple has had tremendous success with its iPad, selling 4.69 million units alone in the second quarter of 2011. This success prompted Subaru to decid they coulde attract potential buyers by allowing them to learn about Subaru products through interactive means.
Alan Bethke, Director, Marketing Communications, Subaru of America, Inc. explained “Car shoppers are researching everything from financing to auto insurance on their mobile devices. Making these apps available gives car shoppers a convenient and interactive way to explore Subaru vehicles and technology, and it also aligns with our environmental efforts.”
The Subaru app encourages consumers to learn about the company’s zero-landfill manufacturing plants- by minimizing paper usage, energy consumption, inks and production wast. As well as Subaru’s green outlook, the app will enhance the auto research experience by offering trim simulators along with engineering and Subaru Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive feature demonstrations. App users can compare vehicle models and generally get a better understanding of what Subaru is and what the company is striving for with its new generation of vehicles.
Zipcar’s interesting business model has inspired others to think outside the box when it comes to car rentals and now Getaround is looking to add technology to the mix in coming up with a very interesting solution.
Essentially Getaround is looking to unleash a viable way of peer-to-peer car rentals, where those offering the rental cars would be everyday people like yourself and those looking to rent the cars would be the same everyday person. Getaround would provide the infrastructure and marketing/advertising while you provide the vehicle for rental and the result is a 60/40 split, in Getaround’s favor of course.
Essentially the success of this program lies on how many people are willing to let anyone and everyone access to their vehicle. But as Getaround co-founder states, the average vehicle in the United States sits for 22 hours – that’s a lot of hours you’re paying to not use the vehicle. So why not rent it out?
Cautious ones can be reassured that Getaround has full coverage and an insurance backer, though they didn’t disclose who is underwriting them. The rates seem reasonable per hour, with a Mini Cooper running around $5.50, a BMW Z4 for $15.00, and a Tesla Roadster for a nice $50. Whether or not your share of the profit really covers the depreciation that’s going on with your vehicle as its being driven for those hours can still be debated, but those that really don’t sit there and put mathematical sense to everything could easily have their lease payment covered if they just watch the mileage.
Getaround is currently offering beta testing of the program in San Francisco and San Diego, California. The network of available vehicles is obtained through an iPhone app and those wishing to rent out their vehicles will receive a car kit that sits on the dash. Once someone has decided which car they wish to rent, the app will let them know the location and they’ll be able to unlock the vehicle at which point they’ll have to find the key that’s hidden somewhere in the inside.
GALLERY: Getaround Car Rental System
If you thought the Facebook Donk was the ultimate internet homage, then you’ve clearly underestimated the laughably tasteless creativity of the Donk community. The uber-popular Angry Birds smart phone app has made its way into an Internet Google Chrome-browser friendly experience, the successful Rio movie, and now apparently into the donk crowd.
Along with the Angry Birds screen image on the hood, this boxy Chevy gets some pause buttons on the fenders and while it’s hard to see from the photos, behind each of those massive 24-inch wheels are covers that feature the famous birds themselves.
We can’t help but wonder what’s next. A Farmville-themed Donk? Cake Story?
GALLERY: Angry Birds Donk
We knew it was just a matter of time once Apple introduced its next-generation of products (most noticeably the iPad 2) that Brabus would be updating their iBusiness package on Mercedes-Benz‘s S-Class luxury sedan. Geared towards becoming the world’s fastest mobile office, Brabus stepped up their game some more on their Brabus 800 iBusiness 2.0 demo car, pushing out 800-hp and 1,047 ft-lbs of torque, giving it a top speed of 219-mph.
The heart of the iBusiness 2.0 is essentially in the excess use of Apple technology throughout the cabin. A Mac Mini is installed in a leather-lined tray in the trunk, connected to a 15.2-inch TFT display that is revealed from the alcantara headliner. The display is also hooked up to be an auxiliary display to the two iPad 2s that can be found on the adjustable custom tables found behind each front seat. Along with each tablet is an Apple bluetooth keyboard, giving its passengers full control to work on the road.
An Internet connection is always ready on the go also thanks to Brabus outfitting the S-Class with UMTS and HDSPA networking. Brabus has even developed their own app, allowing the iPad 2s in the backseat to control Mercedes’ COMAND system that’s normally taken care of by the front driver and passenger. Oh yeah, a 64GB iPod Touch can be found in the rear center console to adjust what tunes are being blasted through the S-Class or Sennheiser’s Noise Gard headphones.
The iBusiness 2.0 conversion is available for any S-Class model, from the S 350 to the S 65. Obviously the gaudy 800-hp is only available for the twin-turbo V12, but hey, some people might rather get to their destination a little slower with all the gadgets available to them. Angry Birds anyone?
Official press release available after the break.
GALLERY: Brabus iBusiness 2.0 Mercedes-Benz S-Class
iSupercar Sounds has developed an app for various Apple iOS products featuring sound clips and high resolution wallpapers for various luxury and exotic cars out there. From Ferrari to Lexus, iSupercar Sounds has you covered if listening to supercars is your source of pleasure. Hey, we’re not judging.
Currently there’s a free version of the app up on the store, featuring 30 minutes of ad-supported sound clips. Those that have $0.99 to spend can grab the full version which comes with 30 additional sounds. iSupercar Sounds is also promising weekly updates with additional cars. Not too shabby for under a buck, save yourself a trip to McDonald’s and you can stop using that juvenile fart app. OK who are we kidding, fart sounds are still hilarious.
[Source: DUB Daily]
GALLERY: iSupercar Sounds App
You love your iPad so much you never want to let it out of your site. And with the iPad Car Headrest Cradle, you can watch it while on the road… unless, of course you’re driving.
With the iPad Car Headrest Cradle, your iPad is snuggled and hung from the back of the car’s headrest with care. It’s perfect to keep little ones in the back seat occupied with their favorite TV show or movie.
Keeping it securely in place is a mounting frame that clamps to the headrest posts, while its rubber lining ensures it won’t scratch the metal finish. And even when you hit the bumpiest roads, the iPad Car Headrest Cradle won’t move, thanks to locking pins that secure it into place at the perfect angle. It also features an aluminum stand with four raised corners that hold the iPad in place without blocking your view or any of the controls, and its ball joint lets you rotate it 360º horizontally or vertically.
If you got an iPad for the holidays, be sure to pick up this handy accessory for $59.95 – it’ll pay for itself after just one long family road trip.
[Source: Coolest Gadgets]
Taking a page from Hyundai’s playbook, customers who pre-order a Saab 9-4X crossover will get an iPad courtesy of Saab – sort of.
After contacting a Saab retailer, the customer will place an order for both the 9-4X, and the iPad. The iPad will set you back $500, but the cost will be refunded upon taking delivery of the vehicle.
If you don’t want an iPad, you can just order the car, and if you cancel the order, you’re still on the hook for the cost of an iPad – which makes this exercise pretty pointless, if you ask us. The promotion runs from January 15th until February 28th.
Following the news of Google’s self-driving car, there’s news that the German’s have been working on a pretty cool idea – an autonomous car controlled by an iPad.
This latest addition to the market, brought to you by the AutoNOMOS Labs project at Germany’s Freire University, combines a modified Volkswagen Passat that is equipped with sensors, GPS, radar and scanners, along with an iPad app that relays coordinates and other user information to the car. The test vehicle in question is a taxi – no word on why this type of technology is being used on a taxi service, but it is an interesting concept.
Watch the video after the jump.
Apple’s iPad has certainly become a huge success and now every company in the world has jumped on the bandwagon to reach out to as many potential consumers as possible. Bentley is one of those companies, releasing an iPad app for their new 2011 Bentley Continental GT.
The app features plenty of high-res photos of the 2011 Bentley Continental GT, with the ability to zoom in and out in order to admire the new Continental GT’s body lines. And of course, all the images are easily sharable through the iPad with a simple push of your finger.
Even though the app centers around the new Continental GT, users can also check out the new flagship Mulsanne and learn a little bit more on the history of Bentley. Tons of multimedia has been packed in a quick and easily downloadable app – get to it, we know you have a few minutes to kill.
GALLERY: Bentley Continental GT iPad App
Official press release available after the break.
Not to be outdone by fellow luxury sedan manufacturer BMW, or aftermarket manufacturer, Brabus and their iBusiness, Mercedes-Benz has decided to outfit their line of luxury sedans with an iPad integration conveniently located on the headrests for passenger use.
The headrest-mounted iPad dock is similar to BMW’s offering and will allow rear seat passengers to comfortably use and charge their iPads. We’re guessing this is perfect for those busy businessmen traveling on the run, being driven around by their chauffeur to their next meeting. But we have to question, again, how comfortable using an iPad from the headrest of a vehicle really is.
And with the incoming surge of tablets from Apple competitors (powered by Android), are we going to be seeing a new generation of tablet integration in vehicles of the future?
Ford has launched an iPad app focused (no pun intended) on the 2011 Fiesta subcompact. The app is intended to act as a brochure for the car, as a way of taking advantage of the multimedia features of Apple’s tablet computer.
With manufacturers increasingly going to electronic brochures, the iPad app is a novel way to promote your new vehicle – although we will always love the tactile elements of a paper brochure, and would be a little upset if they went the way of the dodo. But for Fiesta buyers, most of whom have lived their entire lives with digital devices, the iPad app is likely going to appeal to their target demographic.
Hit the jump to read the official press release
Volkswagen is leading the rush to tablet-based publishing with the creation of a new magazine exclusively for the Apple iPad. Called “Digital Automotive Space” or DAS, the magazine can be obtained via a special app that can be downloaded by iPad users. The magazine will be published quarterly, and features articles, technical information and interactive images, like 360 degree views of cars, in 5 languages. Volkswagen plans to launch a web based version for standard computers sometime after the app’s launch.
Volkswagen has previously partnered with Apple for the 2010 GTI launch, introducing a driving game highlighting the car, while giving away six real GTIs to lucky players.
[Source: Edmunds Inside Line]
It seems like everyone absolutely has to make an app for everything nowadays, and Rolls-Royce‘s marketing department didn’t skip a beat in jumping on the bandwagon. The free app released by Rolls-Royce gives users the ability to customize their own Rolls-Royce Ghost, similar to what is seen on their online website customization.
So if you’re looking to impress that fine lady at the bar by showing off your car, head on over to the app store and download the app and get to customizing. You’ll be able to go through 12 colors, three kinds of wheels, eight shades of leather and five types of veneer highlights. And once you pick up that dream girl by showing off your fake car, you’ll be able to hit up the convenient dealer locator to place yours on order before she finds out you’re just a fraud.
While technically not about Cadillac themselves, it is about the future of where the company wants to take the brand. In order to appeal to more tech-savvy (read: younger) buyers, the automaker has partnered with Cool Hunting to deliver a feature and style-rich application for the Apple iPad.
Other than the fact we’re in love with the music over the demonstration — 1901 by Phoenix — and the overall impression is of a slick, easy-to-use application that dovetails perfectly with where Cadillac sees their future buyers.
If you’re into this sort of thing, check out the post regarding the challenges design house BBH Labs faced when developing the app.
In the interest of fairness, we do think it’s incredibly difficult to market a new car. After all, how are you supposed to get attention from prospective buyers — especially when your latest city car is geared toward the youngest demographic possible?
Audi is trying to coax a few more eyeballs onto their A1 city car by releasing Beat Driver (iTunes link), an iPhone / iPod Touch / iPad game. The purpose? Steer through a fictional landscape (think F-Zero or Wipeout), drive into pulsating blocks, get powerups, and avoid the dreaded black “X” block.
As an avid iPhone users, we immediately downloaded and fired up the game — and were pleasantly surprised to find a track by Canadian band Metric (“Gold Guns Girls”) as one of the in-game songs. Torpedo, Tommy Sparks, The Music, White Lies, The Rakes, La Roux, The Fall, and Lo-F-Fnk also contribute tracks.
After a quick test drive, here’s the verdict: the music is good, but the game is awful. It’s a tired concept that doesn’t make use of any features of the iPhone / iPod Touch / iPad platform, and was clearly cranked out for some middle manager at a marketing firm to tout its success through numbers of downloads.
And despite an “international high score list,” Facebook, and Twitter integration, it comes off as a desperate attempt to pander to the “cool kids” that Audi so desperately wants in the A1.