Chevrolet has begun rolling out an advertising campaign for Siri “eyes free” integration with the infotainment system of both the 2013 Chevrolet Sonic and 2013 Chevrolet Spark. The video below, titled “Buttons” showcases what Chevrolet calls “the button to end all buttons.” Using an easily accessible toggle on the steering wheel gives you full access to Apple’s Siri while driving. Similar to setting the cruise control, adjusting music volume, or any other steering wheel mounted control, the Siri “eyes free” button seems to be the next big trend in automotive mobile technology. How long do you predict it will it take to integrate other mobile personal assistants? Give us your feedback below.
If you are as fond of your smartphone as you are of your sports car, you will like this new Samsung Galaxy S4 camera test posted on Gottabe Mobile. There are a series of tests using different zoom levels and color sets. From the initial tests, it looks like Samsung has another industry leader, in the Galaxy S4, when it comes to mobile photography. The Galaxy S4 camera does not disappoint! Head on over to Gottabe for more details. We are curious what smartphone you use. Please let us know by clicking on the forum link below and sharing with other tuner fans.
Enemy to Fashion, a classic Americana retailer of clothing and accessories, has completely overhauled a stock 2013 Chevrolet Spark into what looks like a modern remake of Mad Max. Weapon Collective Creative Director Caleb Clark, who started the Enemy To Fashion brand in 2005, has this to say about the project:
It screams post-apocalyptic Cannonball Run…It’s not what you would expect to see from a Chevy Spark, but the car really wears it well.
The Spark was unveiled at last year’s SEMA Show in Las Vegas. Taking cues from vintage Army surplus colors and materials, the Enemy to Fashion project involved completely redressing both interior and exterior surfaces. Here is a complete break-down of the products used in the Spark project:
- Rhine Built – rhinebuilt.com
- Kicker Audio – kicker.com
- 3M – mmm.com
- Falken Tires – falkentire.com
- Fifteen52 Wheels – fifteen52.us
- Recaro Seats – Recaro.com
- Rigid Industries – rigidindustries.com
- Venom High Performance – venom-performance.com
- INJEN Performance – injen.com
- Rhino Racks – rhinorack.com
- Duplicolor – duplicolor.com
- Supertrapp – supertrapp.com
- Industrial Sign – industrialsign.com
Project management and fabrication was handled by specialist Bill Rhine and his team at Rhine Built. For more information on Enemy to Fashion or any other partner in the project, click on a web link above.
A recent report by WorldCarFans states that the 2015 Ford Focus RS is moving in the direction of a 335 hp producing turbocharged, 2.3 Liter, 4-cylinder Ecoboost engine. Initial reports indicated an all-wheel drive (AWD) powertrain, but more recent indications point to a sophisticated front-wheel drive system. It’s also estimated that the new 2015 Ford Focus RS will sell for $40,000 Euros.
Autocar has Roelant de Waard, Vice President of Marketing, Sales and Service, Ford Europe as stating:
Our focus now is on the Mustang, but over time there is aways room for RS products. But what is clear is that RS shouldn’t be a series, or a car badge that we have in our portfolio all the time. It is an extreme car – something more than ST.
…It is so evocative that I’d be highly surprised if there were not more RS products – plural – in the future, but I would be surprised if there was more than one at the same time.
If you haven’t been following, Samsung officially released their much anticipated flagship phone: the Galaxy S4. Now, the Galaxy S4 won’t be available for purchase until the end of April, but we can review the advertised features and benefits to determine how this new piece of technology will keep you safer on the roads.
To begin, let’s review the core specifications of the US variant:
|Dimensions||5.38 x 2.75 x 0.31 inches|
|Operating System as Tested||Android 4.2.2|
|Total Integrated Storage||16, 32, or 64 GB|
|CPU||Qualcomm Snapdragon 600 Quad-Core|
|Processor Speed||1.9 GHz|
|Screen Size||5 inches|
|Screen Resolution||1920 x 1080 pixels|
|Screen Type||Super AMOLED HD|
|Screen Pixels Per Inch||441 ppi|
|Camera Resolution||13 MP Rear; 2 MP Front-Facing|
|Video Camera Resolution||1080p Rear; 1080p Front-Facing|
As you can see above, samsung has slightly increased the screen size to 5″ from the Galaxy S3 at 4.8″, but increased resolution to full 1080p specs. On top of that, we have heard through countless first hands-on reviews that Samsung has also increased the brightness and overall clarity of the screen. The Galaxy S4 will ship with Android’s latest operating system: Android 4.2.2. Samsung will add to this many new Touchwiz features that we will discuss in a moment.
So what is all the excitement about…well here are a few of the most alluring features if you are on the road for a considerable amount of time with your phone.
- Photos with audio – Consider for moment that you are a real estate agent…take a snapshot of that new real estate property and tag along up to nine seconds of audio per picture for a more complete evaluation back at the office.
- Use front and rear cameras together – You are on the road traveling and want to stop and send a site-seeing photo back to the family…just snap the picture using the rear facing 13 MP camera while simultaneously taking your photo with the front-facing camera. Simply merge the two together and send them back home.
- Air gesture – Now we don’t enforce or approve of anyone driving while operating your smartphone…but come on, we know you are all adults and this is simply a cultural event. If you are going to do it anyway, why not be as safe as possible. Using air gesture, simply waive your hand in front of the sensor to scroll pages or perform other actions without having to concentrate on phone and not your driving.
- Input through gloves using synaptic technology - If you live in a cold climate, you really appreciate this new feature. No more having to buy capacitive friendly gloves from Isotoner! The new Galaxy S4 now has the ability to dial-up the responsiveness of the capacitive screen and detect your hands though most thin to medium weight gloves.
These are just a few of the important features for us road warriors. Stay tuned as we report back with hands-on video and commentary where technology meets the street.
Ever since I was a young boy, I have had an infatuation for police cruisers. It was a culmination of interior smells, the all-black seats and dash, multitudes of electronic devices, high-performance speeds, and of course, the full spectrum of colorful lights. Now, consider this, that was in the 70′s!
Accelerate 30+ years into the future…and you still have one of the most alluring iconic displays of power, performance, and electronic warfare. The Dodge Charger Pursuit is no exception to this.
Dodge has made a name for itself in the line of duty. The Charger has become a very popular choice among police agencies since the retirement of the Ford Crown Victoria. Chrysler has put together a Police Advisory Board that incorporates input from fleet customers and weighs-in on upcoming features and necessities.
Customers have been asking for better cold climate performance, i.e. all-wheel drive, and in a recent press release, Peter Grady, Vice President – Network Development & Fleet, had this to say:
Adding available all-wheel-drive capability to the already popular Dodge Charger Pursuit will broaden the Charger’s appeal to police departments that are accustomed to dealing with rough winters and adverse weather conditions…With the Charger Pursuit now offering dual capability of both rear- and all-wheel-drive, we’ll be able to meet the needs of our police fleet customers across the country.
Police fleet customers will be able to start ordering the Dodge Charger Pursuit with AWD for the 2014 model year. Dodge still has to put the Charger Pursuit AWD through the police pursuit durability cycle set for RWD models. This will guarantee that the new drive system can handle the rigors of police use.
Countdown to SEMA
With another SEMA Show under our belt, we are already thinking about next year at the 2013 SEMA venue in Las Vegas. American Tuners will be there and blogging live from the event. SEMA Show 2013 is scheduled to run from November 5th through the 8th.
In order to keep up-to-date on the latest news and releases from the show, bookmark and visit this page often. We will be broadcasting live from the event on the morning of the 5th from Las Vegas, NV.
Detroit News’ Doug Guthrie recently took the Dodge Charger Sport with AWD out for a spin and reported back with a favorable opinion.
A square-shouldered, full-size brute with a wing on the back like the Dodge Charger SXT didn’t seem like a logical choice to drive across Michigan into a snowstorm. But the 2013 Dodge Charger Sport package with its highly evolved all-wheel-drive system is the equivalent of a snowmobile with classic American muscle car looks.
I haven’t had an opportunity to test an AWD Dodge Charger myself, but would like to take it down one of our snow and ice filled Minnesota roads. Personally, I also prefer rear-wheel drive vehicles with good stability controls and automatic throttle reduction in snow and ice conditions. With just a boost of the throttle in a slippery corner, you can drift the rear-end around and point the front in a controlled forward direction…no front-wheel drive plowing.
If you are considering the purchase of a new Dodge Challenger in R/T trim, take a look at Dodge’s latest upgrade option: the Redline Edition. At an MSRP package price of $1,995, you get the following trim:
- 20-inch Rallye Redline gloss black chrome aluminum wheels with red backbone
- Body-color grille surround
- Redline Dual-color custom body side graphics
- Distinctive black cloth (R/T) or black or radar red leather-trimmed seats (R/T Plus)
- Mopar® T-handle shifter
- Mopar bright pedal kit
Dodge does not list an official production date, so head on over to your local dealer for more information. The Redline edition adds a more distinct muscle car theme to help you stand out from the crowd. Add this to the R/T specs, and you have a great American Tuner.
Fast on the heels of the 2013 Dodge Dart GT, we are already receiving rumors of next years higher performance big brother, the SRT4.
Leaked images are starting to pop-up across the Net with claims of pushing 300 bhp with a potential all wheel drive sytem. If this were the case, Dodge may now have a real contender to the Ford Focus RS and Mitsubishi EVO X.
Take all of this with a grain of salt as there is no official word from Dodge yet, but as it seems, all the photos and information point to the same finished product: a stronger, better handling, and more aggressively styled and tuned Dodge Dart SRT4.
In our opinion, we like what we see in the photos and would like to see Dodge taken seriously when it comes to competitive street racers.
Update #1: It looks like Motor Trend has written up an article on the Dodge Dart SRT4 with additional images or renditions. They are speculating that it will also top nearly 300hp with a turbo Tigershark setup. I like the aggressive styling of these renditions. If Dodge can bring this to the market, we will have a formitable line-up of American Tuners between Ford, GM, and Dodge. Tell us your thoughts in our forum – link below.