Baltimore, Maryland, United States
Apple, maker of tech items like the iPhone, iPad and Mac line of computers, is extending its reach into the automotive market, making a fairly big announcement ahead of the Geneva Motor Show. No, it hasn't bought Tesla (yet). Instead, Apple has announced CarPlay, an all-new means of controlling an iPhone through your car.
Now, this doesn't strike us as some gimmicky thing. It's become increasingly common for automakers to take advantage of the high-speed data streams its customers enjoy on their smartphones in order to integrate navigation, traffic, audio and other infotainment items into a car's touchscreen interface. The Chevrolet Spark and Sonic are two prime examples of this move, using an iPhone's data stream for Siri integration and data for a third-party navigation app.
Owners will be able to plug in their iPhones to their cars via the USB port and gain control of a number of the device's functions, all through a car's touchscreen.
Each year at the Detroit Auto Show, the top vehicle designs are recognized with the prestigious EyesOn Design award for production and concept vehicles. This year, the 32 EyesOn Design judges (comprised of current and former vehicle designers including Chrysler designer and SRT president Ralph Gilles, Kia designer Peter Schreyer and retired General Motors designer Wayne Cherry) handed out three awards for the Best Concept Vehicle, Best Production Vehicle and Innovative Use of Color, Graphics, and Materials.
Beating out the Mercedes C-Class and Ford F-150, the 2015 Ford Mustang was named the Best Production Vehicle as the top auto show debut at this year's Detroit show. The 2014 Volvo Concept XC Coupe took home awards as the Best Concept Vehicle and for its Innovative Use of Color, Graphics and Materials.
Considering the Volvo's primer grey hue and subtle orange accents, it was a rather surprising winner for Innovative Use of Color, Graphics, and Materials over flashier concepts like the Toyota FT-1 and our Editors' Choice top pick, the Kia GT4 Stinger. Other vehicles in the running for the concept car award include the GT4 Stinger and Audi Allroad Shooting Brake
For those not paying attention, Volvo has updated its S60 sedan range for 2015 with a new range of engines under the Drive-E label. Wearing the same T5 and T6 badges to note the relative levels of power under the hood, both engines are 2.0-liter four-cylinders, with the lesser being turbocharged and the greater being both supercharged and turbocharged.
Both Drive-E variants are currently only available in front-wheel-drive flavor, though Volvo will still happily sell you an S60 T5 AWD with the older 2.5-liter turbo five-cylinder, or a top-of-the-line S60 T6 with a turbo'd 3.0-liter six-cylinder and all the wheels turning.
The car I drove for a week is perhaps the most balanced version of the S60 range, with that exotic sounding twin-charged 2.0-liter mill planted happily in the attractively sloping nose. Provided you're not hung up on front-drive dynamics, the T6 Drive-E might be a solid candidate for your next premium small sedan shopping list, as well.