Filed under: Technology , Audi , Chrysler , Toyota Apple expects nine different carmakers to begin including a “Siri button” on their steering wheels within the next 12 months, the company announced this week. Of course, the news came as a surprise to some of the carmakers, according to Business Insider . After Apple announced plans to further integrate it’s Siri voice recognition software to a button on the steering wheel, some carmakers said they were unaware of those plans. Audi told Fast Company , which contacted all nine carmakers mentioned by Apple, that it was not sure if the project could be completed in a year. A Chrysler spokesman said the company did not have any plans to announce anything. Toyota was equally as vague: “(T)here are no particular applications planned at this time.” Building a Siri button certainly makes sense and, no doubt, will happen in the coming years. It’s also smart business. Instead of an automaker spending money developing voice recognition software, let Apple do it and integrate that system into a vehicle. Already, carmakers have moved to integrate smartphones into cars, putting apps on phones onto center console screens and finding ways to piggyback services from a phone into the car. USB ports on a car are simply expected nowadays.
Filed under: Motorsports , Audi , Toyota , Racing While the Toyota TS030 Hybrid won’t be participating in this weekend’s FIA World Endurance Championship race at Spa-Francorchamps in Belgium due to a crash in pre-season testing last month , that didn’t stop the automaker from bringing the new endurance racer as a preview for what’s to come for the 24 Hours of Le Mans in June. The TS030 even made time for a quick photoshoot at the infamous Eau Rouge alongside the new Audi R18 e-tron Quattro, which happens to be making its race debut this weekend. While both the Audi and Toyota employ hybrid powertrains, a first for endurance prototypes, each go about it in very different ways. The TS030 makes use of a naturally aspirated 3.4-liter V8 while the R18 e-tron Quattro uses a turbocharged diesel V6. Audi’s hybrid system powers the front wheels, hence the Quattro name, while Toyota has yet to announce whether it’s system will drive the front or rear wheels. The closed cockpit racers make for quite an attractive couple, and we hope it’s a pairing that will form a lasting rivalry in the coming years. Toyota TS030 and Audi R18 E-Tron Quattro pose for the camera originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 04 May 2012 09:59:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds . Permalink
Filed under: Car Buying , Audi , Chevrolet , Chrysler , Ford , Honda , Jeep , Lexus , Toyota Kelley Blue Book has announced the company’s 2012 Best Resale Value Awards. The honors are handed out based on projections crafted by the KBB staff of automotive analysts for cars and trucks expected to retain the largest percentage of their original list price after five years. For 2012, KBB has named Toyota as the best resale brand with Lexus taking the top honor in the luxury brand category. There aren’t any surprises there, and the list of individual winners isn’t likely to shake anyone’s tree either. Toyota brands earned five category awards, while Honda alone took four categories, including sub-compact car, compact car, hybrid and van. The Ford F-150 , meanwhile, took home the full-size pickup nod and the only award for the Blue Ovals brands, while the Chevrolet Camaro V6 and SS snagged the sports car and high-performance car categories, respectively. There were a few surprises in the mix, however. The Jeep Wrangler brought home the only win in the compact SUV category and the only nod for Chrysler this year. The Audi A5 snagged the gold in the luxury car category and the Chevy Volt beat out the Nissan Leaf in the electric car category. Kelly Blue Book says that residual value should be at the top of car buyers concerns when it comes time to bringing home a new model as depreciation represents the largest potential new-car expense.
Filed under: Audi , BMW , Chevrolet , Dodge , Ford , Honda , Hyundai , Jeep , Toyota , Volvo Wards Automotive 10 Best Interiors of 2011 – Click above for high-res image gallery Wards Automotive takes its 10 Best Interior awards seriously. The industry mag tested 51 vehicles to come up with this year’s winners, which span three luxury vehicles, three economy cars, a sport sedan, a minivan, a family sedan and an SUV. Ward’s AutoWorld Editor-in-Chief Drew Winter says the publication has never tested so many vehicles, adding, “Every auto maker wants the freshest, highest-quality interior possible for all the vehicles they sell.” Showing just how much the world of interiors has changed over the years, Chrysler was the only automaker to take home two awards, thanks to the Dodge Charger and Jeep Grand Cherokee , while Kia and Hyundai could technically say the same since the Elantra and Optima each took home honors. At the same time, both Toyota and Lexus were shut out, as was Honda’s Acura luxury brand and Mercedes-Benz . Among the first-time winners for 2011 are the Ford Focus Titanium and Chevy Cruze . Click on the image above to browse through all 10 winners, or you can head over to Wards Automotive for the complete scoop. What do you think – Did Wards get it right? If not, what was left out and what should it replace? Gallery: Wards 2011 10 Best Interiors [Source: Wards Automotive ] Ward’s Automotive picks best car interiors of 2011 originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 11 Apr 2011 18:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds .