News: Ford’s SYNC2 coming in November


New Ford owners will be able to literally talk to their car as Ford has announced its second generation version of its in-car information and entertainment system, SYNC 2, which will hit Australian roads later this year in the Ford Falcon and Territory.

SYNC2 is controlled by voice, along with commands issued through an 8-inch, high-resolution touchscreen in the car’s dashboard. The driver can control the car’s entertainment system, climate control, satellite navigation and linked mobile devices – like compatible smartphones and tablets – with voice commands.

New introductions to the system include pushing the voice control button and saying “I’m hungry” to bring up a list of local restaurants. Drivers and occupants can use SYNC2 to call up the restaurant to make a reservation, then provide guidance to the location with turn-by-turn directions. Continue reading “Ford’s SYNC2 coming in November” »

News: New Ford lab enables virtual walk-arounds

FiVE-labFord has unveiled its new Ford immersive Vehicle Environment (FiVE) lab in Melbourne, which will enable designers to build a full-size virtual car and enable them to perform virtual walk-arounds such as customers will do at dealerships.

Earlier this year, Ford Australia initiated a second round of investment into its virtual reality centre, which was originally launched in 2012.

The overhaul updated the lab’s hardware and software, including a move to new photo-realistic virtual-reality software (VRED), and expanded motion-tracking equipment equivalent to that used in the animation and gaming industry. Continue reading “New Ford lab enables virtual walk-arounds” »

News: Volvo Polestar cars support dealer cancer charity


Sydney Motorsport Park will this weekend see the return of the Volvo S60 V8 Supercar for the Sydney 400 at Eastern Creek.

The Volvo Polestar Racing cars driven by Robert Dahlgren and Scott McLaughlin will feature a Cure Brain Cancer logo on their bonnets this weekend as a part of Volvo Car Australia’s partnership with the brain cancer research foundation, founded by Dr Charlie Teo.

The partnership has so far generated over $1 million via Volvo Car Australia’s Dealer Network, an occasion which was celebrated recently in Sydney. Continue reading “Volvo Polestar cars support dealer cancer charity” »

News: New Legacy and Outback are top US safety picks


Subaru’s new generation Legacy and Outback have received the highest safety ranking in testing conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) in North America.

Both cars have been awarded “Top safety pick+” status – along with the “superior” rating for front crash prevention for versions equipped with Subaru’s EyeSight driver assist system. EyeSight variants earned the maximum six out of six points for front crash prevention.

The results mean Subaru now has seven models that have earned 2014 safety awards from IIHS – four with ‘Top Safety Pick’ and three with ‘Top Safety Pick+’. Continue reading “New Legacy and Outback are top US safety picks” »

News: Driver distraction growing in Queensland

distracted-driversDriver distraction is continuing to be a big issue in Queensland after a Royal Automobile Club of Queensland (RACQ) survey revealed that driver distraction is a growing concern with mobile phone use the key worry for surveyed members.

Queensland’s motoring body has called on motorists to keep their eyes on the road, after research revealed the majority of Queenslanders believed driver distraction was a growing problem.

More than 90% of motorists surveyed by RACQ say it is a bigger issue now than it was five years ago, and nearly 40% think mobile technology such as smart phones were to blame. Continue reading “Driver distraction growing in Queensland” »

News: Classics go under the hammer in Sydney


Chrysler-AirflowThe Shannons Sydney winter auction will see a 1930’s and a 1950’s classic car – go up for auction next Monday, August 25.

From the United States comes a 1934 Chrysler Airflow CU ‘Eight’ four-door sedan, regarded as being the first mass-produced streamlined car.

Meanwhile from the UK, a 1951 Jaguar XK120 Roadster that was launched at the 1948 Earls Court Motor Show with a speed of 190km/h in an era when most sporting cars could barely reach 160km/h will also be coming down under. Continue reading “Classics go under the hammer in Sydney” »

News: Jaguar XE offers Wi-Fi connectivity


The new Jaguar XE due out next month comes equipped with a wide range of state-of-the art technologies, which includes Jaguar InControl to essentially make the car act as a WiFi hotspot in any location.

The new XE’s InControl infotainment system is designed around an 8-inch touchscreen. An intuitive user interface gives access to all features and functions, and voice control using plain speech means that drivers can keep their eyes on the road at all times.

“In-car technologies in this ever-more connected and fast-paced world are an integral part of your driving experience. With the all-new XE we’re introducing an entire suite of driver aids and entertainment systems,” says Mike Bell, Jaguar’s global connected car director. Continue reading “Jaguar XE offers Wi-Fi connectivity” »

Mini: MINI: 2014 Cooper Hatch review

mini cooper 2014 rear quarter

The Mini is 55 years old, being first produced in 1959. 55 years is the same amount of time as the longest serving UK prisoner, serial killer John Straffen, had served when he died in 2007. However, this Mini initially slayed its competition, was killed off in 2000 and then was reborn into a not-quite-so-mini Mini in 2001 under BMW’s ownership where it has continued to be popular, although arguably less iconic. Continue reading “MINI: 2014 Cooper Hatch review” »