CES 2011: Ford Focus Electric ready to steal the EV spotlight

Filed under: CES, Hatchback, Ford, Electric

Ford Focus Electric

Ford Focus Electric – Click above for high-res image gallery

The Chevrolet Volt and Nissan Leaf may have stolen the show for electric vehicles in 2010, but Ford is hoping to make big waves in 2011 with its first EV passenger car, the Focus Electric. The zero-emissions Focus hatchback makes its official debut at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show and Ford says the car will officially launch at the end of 2011 here in North America, with European customers expected to take delivery sometime before 2013.

Visually, the Focus Electric has an improved aerodynamics package to improve drag, incorporating a new front fascia that looks like something right out of the Aston Martin school of design. (Too bad this isn’t the Cygnet, huh?) The only other major design changes are the addition of a charging port with an LED ring to the left of the driver’s door and a new set of 15-spoke 17-inch alloy wheels wrapped in low-rolling resistance tires. And speaking of LEDs, while the gasoline-powered Focus’ LED eyebrow above the headlamp is only available in Europe, Ford tells us that the North American-spec Focus Electric will wear this bit of accent lighting when it hits production.

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Gallery: CES 2011: Ford Focus Electric

Ford Focus ElectricFord Focus ElectricFord Focus ElectricFord Focus ElectricFord Focus Electric

Gallery: Ford Focus Electric

Ford Focus ElectricFord Focus ElectricFord Focus ElectricFord Focus ElectricFord Focus Electric

Live photos copyright (C)2011 Damon Lavrinc / AOL

[Source: Ford]

Continue reading CES 2011: Ford Focus Electric ready to steal the EV spotlight

CES 2011: Ford Focus Electric ready to steal the EV spotlight originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 07 Jan 2011 14:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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CES 2011: Hands-on with MyFord Mobile

Filed under: CES, Technology, Ford, Electric

MyFord Mobile Hands On

MyFord Mobile app – Click above for high-res image gallery

On the eve of Ford’s big unveiling at CES, we got an exclusive hands-on with MyFord Mobile, a smartphone app that keeps track of all the information an electric vehicle owner would want. Why does Ford need an app for an EV? That’ll be unveiled tomorrow, but you know what’s coming…

The app – which will launch on Android and Blackberry, with iPhone support coming later on – connects with an EV to provide the owner with a range of charging, location, telematics and driver-oriented information. If you’re an iPhone owner, you can also access all the features through any HTML5 browser (Safari) or from your desktop PC. And before you ask, the demo unit in the photos was running Windows Phone 7, but it isn’t supported just yet.

When you load up the app, you’re greeted with the vehicle’s state of charge, how long it will take to charge to different levels and the exact time the battery will be topped off. There’s also a page that lists how much CO2 you’ve saved, the amount of cash you’ve stolen out of Big Oil’s pockets and a rating of your driving style – a sliding scale that moves between ‘zippy’ and ‘zen.’

Ford partnered up with MapQuest to provide location data, including where the nearest charging stations are located, along with color coding (green, yellow and red) that indicates your charge status when you arrive. The mapping software also can calculate the distance to and from multiple destinations – round trip – and determines if you’ll have enough juice to get back home. It even takes into account the outside temperature and how it affects the battery’s discharge.

Finally, there’s the My Car section that covers everything from location, vehicle information (battery health, tire pressure, etc.), charge settings and how your personal driving style is affecting the amount of range you’re getting. Ford has also partnered with Microsoft to provide smart charging data, allowing you to only juice up your EV during non-peak use hours.

That’s all we can divulge for now, but you can get more details in the press release after the jump, the photos in the duo of galleries below and check back tomorrow at 11 AM PST/2 PM EST for official details on Ford’s new electrified XXXXX.

Gallery: Hands On: MyFord Mobile App

Gallery: MyFord Mobile App

MyFord Mobile AppMyFord Mobile AppMyFord Mobile AppMyFord Mobile AppMyFord Mobile App

[Source: Ford]

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CES 2011: Hands-on with MyFord Mobile originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 07 Jan 2011 00:01:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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CES 2011: Next generation MMI, Touch debuting on Audi A3

Filed under: CES, Technology, Audi

Audi Next Generation MMI

Click above to enlarge

Take a close look at the photo above. You’re looking at Audi’s next generation MMI system being demoed during this morning’s keynote at CES. The circuit board to the left is packing NVIDIA’s Tegra chipset – the same processor powering a range of tablets and netbooks – and to the right is Audi’s new scroll wheel, which has grown considerably. The reason for the added girth? Audi is incorporating the much-lauded MMI Touch interface directly into the scroll wheel. MMI Touch – which originally debuted on the A8 and is making its way to the A7 and all-new A6 – will continue to move down through the ranks of Audi’s line-up and will debut on the next generation A3, likely to arrive within the next two years.

The revised MMI Touch will continue to include handwriting recognition, but will also handle scrolling and possibly gestures for panning, zooming and other functions. If you’ve used an iPhone, iPad or MacBook touchpad, you’ll be right at home.

We also got a sneak preview of the Tegra’s performance as it seamlessly rendered Google Earth, a new circular navigation menu and full 3D graphics. Audi claims to have over 100 engineers and user interface experts working on its infotainment software, and from what we’ve seen today, we believe them.

CES 2011: Next generation MMI, Touch debuting on Audi A3 originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 06 Jan 2011 19:58:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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CES 2011: Audi shows off revised eTron Spyder

Filed under: Concept Cars, Convertible, Hybrid, CES, Audi, Electric, Diesel

Audi eTron Spyder

Audi eTron Spyder – Click above for high-res image gallery

Audi CEO Rupert Stadler rolled onto the stage in the same eTron Spyder we saw in Paris, but for the crowd in Sin City, Audi swapped the silver paint for a more delectable red hue.

Aside from the color change, everything else remains the same, from the 300-horsepower twin-turbo TDI V6 churning out 479 pound-feet of torque to the front-mounted battery and wrap around windshield. It’s still a looker, although we’re generally in favor of something a little more subtle…

Gallery: CES 2011: Audi eTron Spyder

Gallery: Audi eTron Spyder

Live photos copyright (C)2011 Damon Lavrinc / AOL

CES 2011: Audi shows off revised eTron Spyder originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 06 Jan 2011 14:45:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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CES 2011: Blue Link is Hyundai’s answer to OnStar

Filed under: CES, Safety, Technology, Hyundai

Hyundai Blue Link

Hyundai Blue Link – Click above for image gallery

As part of its quest to match the rest of the industry point-for-point, Hyundai has just announced at the Consumer Electronics Show that it’s entering the world of telematics with the introduction of Blue Link, its first foray into the safety and convenience sphere.

Similar to OnStar, Blue Link handles everything you’d expect, specifically directions with turn-by-turn navigation, point-of-interest searches, remote door-locking/unlocking, vehicle health reports, maintenance scheduling, crash notification, remote start and – according to Hyundai – 30 other features at launch. Included is a vehicle slowdown feature to aid police if the vehicle is stolen and a new “geofencing” system that sends a text message to the owner if the vehicle strays outside a prescribed area or route. Little Jimmy will not be pleased.

Hyundai is also touting a new voice-to-text feature that allows drivers to reply to a text message with custom commands rather than canned responses.

Blue Link is set to arrive this spring, initially on the Sonata sedan and a “youth-focused model” (*cough* Veloster *cough*) before the summer, with the system rolling out to every Hyundai by 2013. Hit the jump for the full details.

Gallery: Hyundai Blue Link

[Source: Hyundai]

Continue reading CES 2011: Blue Link is Hyundai’s answer to OnStar

CES 2011: Blue Link is Hyundai’s answer to OnStar originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 05 Jan 2011 13:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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CES 2011: GM shows off OnStar equipped with 4G, Skype, video monitoring and more [w/video]

Filed under: CES, Technology, Buick, Cadillac, GM

OnStar with Verizon 4G LTE

Click above to view the video after the jump

Verizon just rolled out its 4G LTE wireless broadband network, and with General Motors using Big Red for its OnStar system for over 15 years, GM is asking itself: What can we do with all this bandwidth?

The answer is ‘plenty’… but nothing immediately.

Instead, GM and Verizon equipped a Buick LaCrosse with a 4G LTE modem and a host of cameras, sensors and controls and is trotting it out at CES to demonstrate how the broadband tech could be implemented.

Among the possible applications is a vehicle monitoring system that utilizes a handful of lipstick cameras to transmit video to the driver to see what’s going on both inside and outside the vehicle while they’re away. On the same front, the system can be paired with Verizon’s 4Home service, which connects with home security cameras, lights and thermostats and transmits information back to the driver.

Other features include voice search, a traffic view that streams live traffic-cam images, Skype with video chat and a impact detection system that would identify if your car was hit in a parking lot, and would then turn on all the exterior cameras and capture an image of the offending vehicle as it drove away.

Hit the jump for a video of the various systems in action along with the press blast, and look for our initial impressions from CES later this week.

Continue reading CES 2011: GM shows off OnStar equipped with 4G, Skype, video monitoring and more [w/video]

CES 2011: GM shows off OnStar equipped with 4G, Skype, video monitoring and more [w/video] originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 05 Jan 2011 00:01:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Ford teases Focus electric ahead of CES

Filed under: Hatchback, Ford, Electric

2012 Ford Focus Electric

It’s been nearly a full year since Ford made it clear that the automaker is planning to roll out an all-electric version of its Focus, and now we have our first glimpse at what to expect from the car. The Blue Oval has dusted off its first teaser of the New Year with a shot of the charging port on the EV Focus. Interestingly enough, Ford has decided to skip the Detroit Auto Show as a venue for the vehicle’s unveil, opting instead for the electrified Focus to take a bow at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, which runs from January 6 to 9.

Ford has previously announced that when the Focus Electric hits the market, it will initially only be available in Washington, D.C. and just 14 states. Buyers can expect to find a range of around 100 miles thanks to an array of lithium-polymer batteries supplied by LG Chem. The attentive of you will recognize that supplier as the same company that serves up the cells for the Chevrolet Volt.

We’ll have the full details about Ford’s Focus Electric in the coming days, so stay tuned.

[Source: Facebook]

Ford teases Focus electric ahead of CES originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 03 Jan 2011 13:28:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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