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16 January 2007

CES 2007: The Cars of CES Part IV

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CES 2007: The Cars of CES Part IV

In Part IV, the final installment in our CES Car Show, you get VW Beetles and a four-door GTI used as a guitar amp, a Roush Mustang, a mostly untouched (thank god!), bright red Lotus Exige and various other autos we saw around the show.

While we didn’t get to hear the GTI in play, but the Beetles actually sounded quite good. We know some amateur bands that have amps that sound much worse than the car’s speakers. Then again, it could be their guitar-playing abilities. We can’t wait until someone puts together a concert with about 20 Beetles on stage as amplifiers. Could you bill it as The Beetles United?

Enjoy all 22 high-res 1280x photos in our gallery.

16 January 2007

CES 2007: The Cars of CES Part II

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CES 2007: The Cars of CES Part II

More cow-sized speakers, more LCDs, more more more more. And some really odd appliques for your car’s otherwise blandly smooth body panels. The gray VW Beetle’s ground shaking booms could be heard all over the show floor. Amazing such impressive sound could come from such a tiny car.

Check out the gallery for 34 more 1280x photos of flash and whiplash from CES 2007.



16 January 2007

CES 2007: The Cars of CES Part I

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CES 2007: The Cars of CES Part I

Even within the international geekfest that is CES, we found a few interesting machines. From old school to new school, to no school, the vehicles of CES ran the gamut of taste. About the only place we didn’t see an LCD monitor installed in a car was under the gas cap. We’ve seen car trunks filled with monitors, but on the underside of the trunk lid? Really? Is that necessary? Maybe your kidnap victims can entertain themselves with a music video.

Speakers are a tremendously popular trend — the more the better and the bigger the badder. Extra points are awarded for the number of seats taken up by your sound system, apparently. One Scion xB even had an extendable… Read the rest of this entry

16 January 2007

CES 2007: Pioneer shows custom tC, Solstice

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CES 2007: Pioneer shows custom tC, Solstice

CES: Scion TC by PioneerPioneer electronics rolled out two custom cars as platforms to show off their latest mobile electronics.

Keith Losier and his team of plasma-torch-wielding Canadians converted an 2006 Pontiac Solstice to a neon green hardtop street racer with a 500 hp supercharged powerplant, 20s on the front, 22s on the back, and a completely reworked plush interior. And, of course, it’s packed with Pioneer gadgets. A 6-disc DVD changer feeds numerous monitors, while Pioneer’s Premier amps overcome the wind noise from all those body mods (and, we assume, the road noise from those 22s).

The 2005 tC was custom-built by Sixth Avenue Electronics using 19-inch wheels, and, in the tC’s trunk, you’ll find two 10-inch subs visible through the car’s rear window connected to four PRS amps cranking out a heart-stopping 4,000 watts of power.

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16 January 2007

CES 2007: Alpine debuts the Mercedes RLS

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CES 2007: Alpine debuts the Mercedes RLS

UPDATE: Click here for Alpine’s unveiling of the RLS

Click the image above for a full gallery.
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Alpine is well known for their great-sounding home and car electronics. They’re also known for their, um, shockingly overdone show cars. You might remember last year’s Sinister Six. This year Alpine started with a Mercedes R350 on which to build a showcase their new gadgets. Gary Bell looked to the CLS’s roofline as inspiration for the beginnings of Alpine’s RLS. From there he borrowed from Bentley and other classic marques for design cues trying to keep this year’s car as classy as possible. “We started out saying we wouldn’t do anything on this car we wouldn’t do on a Bentley,” a proud Gary said immediately after the unveiling. The radically altered R class rides… Read the rest of this entry

16 January 2007

CES 2007: Fill that void in your dash with GPS

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CES 2007: Fill that void in your dash with GPS

From our viewpoint here at CES, it looks like automotive electronics manufacturers want nothing more than to fill that gaping hole where your 8-track once was with anything but an 8-track.

So far, Pioneer, Eclipse, TomTom, and even Microsoft are among those introducing all-in-one navigation-giving, MP3-playing, iPod-connecting, Bluetooth-equipped, satellite radio-lovin’, in-car entertainment systems. All are the same, in that they take a bunch of those gadgets off the top of your dash and squash ‘em into a box in the dash.

Microsoft CEO Bill Gates gave his 10th keynote address at CES Sunday night, where he talked about Vista and how it would unify communication in and outside the home. Your car too. Ford’s Executive Vice President Mark Fields flew in from Detroit to join Gates in announcing Sync to a huge CES crowd. Gates… Read the rest of this entry

16 January 2007

Turn vibrate off: GM releases Camaro ringtone

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Turn vibrate off: GM releases Camaro ringtone

When unveiled at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit back in January, the Chevy Camaro Concept managed to get hearts pumping. Not everybody loved it, but those who did could hear their pulse over the announcer. Until the car was started. That great American V-8 burble was the perfect compliment to the muscular looks of the car, and it drowned out just about every other sound in the hall.

Well, the car is still a couple of years away, but you too can live the dream by having that classic exhaust note available at your beck and call. Chevy has made available a Camaro ringtone. Just a few throttle blips, but enough to get your motor running every time your phone rings. Might be your Chevy dealer with an update on your deposit and order status.

Listen and… Read the rest of this entry

16 January 2007

Volvo readies three C30 concepts for SEMA

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Volvo readies three C30 concepts for SEMA


click on image above to enlarge

As you know, we were unabashedly impressed with the C30 when it debuted as a concept at the 2006 North American International Auto Show and were equally excited to see the production version lost little of the concept’s charm. It turns out that Volvo is pretty excited about the C30 too, as the Swedish brand has turned three cars over to a triumvirate of tuners who will produce custom versions for the SEMA Show in November. The companies involved include ipd, HEICO SPORTIV and EVOLVE.

The first tuner is little ipd who will make a very big statement with its C30 concept (shown above) producing 400 horsepower thanks to a belt-driven supercharger. That delicious powerband is augmented with audio courtesy of Alpine and Apple. Handling is jacked up a notch thanks to a fully adjustable… Read the rest of this entry

16 January 2007

New small Rover packs big audio punch: Dolby Pro Logic II 7.1 debuts on LR2

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New small Rover packs big audio punch: Dolby Pro Logic II 7.1 debuts on LR2

Land Rover, Land Rover, send surround sound over! Land Rover’s all-new Freelander, to be dubbed LR2 Stateside, will be the first-ever vehicle to use Dolby?® Pro Logic II?® 7.1 surround sound. Sure, almost all vehicles have a rudimentary version of surround sound with speakers taking residence in dashboards, rear decks and door panels, but this is the real deal. With 14 speakers including a center channel, rear surrounds and a subwoofer, it promises home theater-like audio presentations.

Alpine developed the system with 440 watts of power, fiber optic connectors and an iPod jack to keep everyone happy. The new LR2, built on the global Ford EUCD platform, with its new transverse straight-six, better off-road capabilities, and this killer sound system should make the all-new baby Rover a pretty attractive package… Read the rest of this entry

16 January 2007

Pimp My Heart

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Pimp My Heart

Here it is, folks, this is what you get for the tuner who has everything. Introducing the “Pimp My Heart,” a system that uses sensors in the steering wheel to gauge your heart beat as you drive and subsequently pump said heart beat through your car’s audio system for the ultimate beats. Using his Heart Beat Bass Booster, inventor Takehito Etani offers up “Pimp My Heart” for the “ultimate unity between car and driver.”

The concept takes a look at bass thumping, its role as a marker of territory and “psychological armor,” and asks some questions. What if the bass sounds are the driver’s real-time heart beat instead of beats of music? Does our relationship with the vehicle/driver and the pedestrian change?

Sounds very academic, eh? While we wonder if dear Takehito has too much time on his hands over there at Carnegie Mellon,… Read the rest of this entry

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