The 2012 Ford Focus Electric is the very first all-electric car released by the company, and is marketed as America's most fuel-efficient five-passenger vehicle, what with it's 110 MPGe city rating (99 MPGe highway) and up to 76 mile range on a single charge. We were able to spend a week with the 2012 Ford Focus Electric, and we're here to report back with our thoughts. Is it a worthy contender in the electric car movement? Read on.
General Motors unveiled the long-awaited 2014 Cadillac ELR this week, the first plug-in extended range EV hybrid for the brand. For all intents and purposes, the ELR is a Chevy Volt that's been souped up with Cadillac luxury touches. Originally revealed as the Cadillac Converj, the ELR will feature a redesigned interior cabin that will supposedly define future Cadillac models, with features like Regen on Demand buttons on the steering wheel that let the driver capture the energy generated by the vehicle's momentum, conserving it for a bit more battery juice. The ELR also packs in the awesome Cadillac CUE infotainment dashboard system. The vehicle puts out 207hp, more than 25% more than the Chevy Volt. No final word yet on EV range, though, but the Volt gets about 35 miles before gasoline kicks in, and the ELR is a bit heavier. GM says that production on the ELR is set to begin later this year in preparation for a 2014 North American launch.
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GM is the first to announce Siri integration with two new car models: the Chevrolet Spark and the Sonic Drive. The feature was dubbed "Eyes Free" and was announced at Apple's World Wide Developers Conference (WWDC) in June by former iOS chief, Scott Forstall. Basically, "Eyes Free" will be integrated via the car's Bluetooth functionality and the iPhone itself. The user can then initiate Siri's voice command by tapping a button on the steering wheel, and Siri's responses will be played over the car's audio system. Other car manufacturers such as Chrysler, Honda, Toyota, Jaguar, Audi, Land rover, GM, BMW and Mercedes are slated to incorporate Siri's "Eyes Free" as well. Check out the full press release after the break.
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Yesterday we told you about SideCar, the community-powered ride-sharing service that's available in both San Francisco and Seattle. Today, the company sent out an update to its userbase announcing that all proceeds earned this weekend (November 9-11) will be donated to the American Red Cross to help with Hurricane Sandy relief efforts. If you're a driver, you'll still get to keep your 80% portion of the fare, so it's SideCar’s 20% split that goes toward charity. So if you're in Seattle or San Francisco and need a ride this weekend, keep SideCar in mind!
SideCar, the popular ride-sharing service out of San Francisco, has made it's way up the West Coast and has launched here in Seattle. Curious about what a ride-sharing service even is? Well, the easiest way we can explain it is to have you imagine a taxi service. Now, instead of a professional taxi driver in a cab picking you up, it's someone who's been vetted by SideCar, driving their own vehicle.
Lexus calls it CinePrint, we call it brilliant. The luxury auto maker has created a very nifty interactive marketing ad, which utilizes a user's iPad to bring a 2013 Lexus ES to life in a magazine. From a marketing standpoint, the illustration is very impressive and gets the reader involved in the process of merging print and video. This is surely lacking when just reading a static page or watching a traditional car commercial on TV, at which point we usually just turn the page or tune out. It's still an ad, but it's pretty freaking cool. Check out the video after the break.
Remember our 2012 Chevy Volt that failed while driving and almost got me in an accident? We updated the story with the details about trying to work with Chevy and GM to get a replacement Volt since we no longer felt safe driving the one we had. After all, it had been in the shop for repairs every two weeks since we had picked it up the first time. Well, we are please to report that Chevrolet and General Motors did right by us, and agreed to replace our 2012 Volt with a newer, similarly-equipped 2013 model. Since this was a lease, it was a bit more complicated than a simple trade. Instead, we did what's called a VIN swap. The result? We keep the same lease terms and paperwork, with the VIN being the only change on the documents. It took a while since the 2013 Chevy Volt wasn't available until very recently, and once it arrived, we needed to wait for all the paperwork to be completed. Still, it was worth the wait. Stay tuned for our 2013 Chevy Volt review.
Yesterday morning we let you know that we'd be spending some quality time with Boeing's 787 Dreamliner, the current talk of the aviation world. While All Nippon Airways in Japan took delivery of its Dreamliner last year, we've been waiting to find out which US-based carrier would be the first to have its livery emblazoned across the fuselage of Boeing's current flagship aircraft. As it turns out, that carrier is United Airlines.
We hit you with the exterior shots of the United Boeing 787 Dreamliner, and now we've got a bunch of images of the inside of the first US-based 787 airplane. We've got images of the cockpit, BusinessFirst class, Economy Plus, Economy, and even the meals and lavatories. Head on over to our United 787 Dreamliner interior gallery to get a look at how the company outfitted its new aircraft. Those multi-course meals look delish, no?
Yesterday we were given the opportunity to check out the first US-based Boeing 787 Dreamliner, purchased by United Airlines. We'll be giving you our full thoughts on the aircraft, but in the meantime, we put together a bunch of images showing off the plane. This one highlights the United 787 Dreamliner exterior. Being that this aircraft just rolled out from the factory, it looks fantastic and pristine. Stay tuned for a separate gallery of the interior of the plane, as well as our thoughts on the experience.