QOTD: Who Has the Best Infotainment System?
Yesterday, we asked you who had the worst infotainment system. So, naturally, today we're asking you about the best.
Dodge Introduces Three Horsepower Challenger, Charger
Dodge has long been synonymous with high levels of horsepower. Modern-day marketing materials practically scream it into your ear, acknowledging the company’s historic penchant for providing ludicrous amounts of power for hysterically low prices. The reality is a bit more complicated, however. While Mopar brands were indeed offering some of the best bang-for-your-buck muscle cars, back when they were a tad more novel, some of the fastest machines actually came from General Motors and Ford.
Today’s situation is very much the same. When the rest of the industry started downsizing powertrains, Dodge was still trying to squeeze even more juice from its colossal V8 engines — installing them anywhere they might fit. Rivals quickly got wise to its attempt to corner a segment just about everyone else had abandoned, resulting in gems like the Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 or Ford Shelby GT500. But with everyone now back on board with the concept of displacement meaning power, Dodge has decided to change tactics.
What if it manufactured the V8 offering the smallest amount of horsepower imaginable?
Fiat Chrysler Previews Next UConnect
No North American Auto Show in January? No problem, says Fiat Chrysler – “let’s bring some media to our neck of the woods to talk about the Chicago show.”
I can’t yet talk about the other stuff I learned in Auburn Hills last week – while I’m not a huge fan of encouraging OEM marketing plans by agreeing to embargoes, those same embargoes are meant to make sure we play fair with other media, and I’m on board with that – but there was one piece of news that’s no longer under embargo.
UConnect is getting an upgrade. A massive one.
Road Trip Rage: The Dodge Durango GT, All Buttoned Up and Going Nowhere Fast
This past week, your humble author spent three days on vacation with a rented 2017 Dodge Durango GT. The black wagon you see above is the result of terseness at the Enterprise counter, where I had a reservation for a “Standard, Buick Verano or similar” vehicle, but where a base model Elantra with 25,000 miles, stained seats, and wheel covers was presented by the Enterprise staff.
The Durango was equipped with the Navigation and Power Liftgate Group, bringing its price to around $42,000 before incentives. That’s far too much coin for the irritation this vehicle causes.
All things considered, the Elantra may have been less annoying to drive.
Dodge Is Installing a 12.1-inch Touchscreen on Police Cars, but What's Next?
Dodge announced for its Charger Pursuit cars Friday an available 12.1-inch Uconnect touchscreen, which is five times larger than its 5-inch model available in some of its cars.
The 12.1-inch screen — which is only available on Charger cars for police for now — is meant to eliminate mounted laptops in the front seats of many police vehicles. The screen can be connected to a laptop in the trunk via ethernet cord, and can display functions such as lights, sirens, forward-mounted cameras and radio information.
Apparently All Cars Can Be Hacked Now: Tesla Edition
Two men say they’ve managed to shut off a Tesla Model S at low speeds, proving that no car is actually safe on the streets anymore and we should all go back to driving Chevrolet Vegas.
The hack, which was reported by the Financial Times and detailed exhaustively by Wired, requires physical access to the car’s infotainment system to exploit the vulnerability. The car can then be remotely disabled.
Similar to hackers who recently said they could start and stop OnStar-enabled vehicles, the two men who broke into Tesla’s software said they presented their findings to the automaker and Tesla released a patch for its cars Thursday. Last month, a vulnerability in Fiat Chrysler Automobiles’ Uconnect system forced the automaker to recall 1.4 million cars.
NHTSA Investigating Harman Kardon for Hacking Vulnerabilities
Fresh from the recent Fiat Chrysler Automobiles infotainment-hacking flap, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration announced last week that it would look further into supplier Harman Kardon for possible vulnerabilities in other cars, the Associated Press reports (via Autoblog).
Harman Kardon produces radios for automakers such as BMW, Subaru, Mercedes-Benz and Volvo, in addition to FCA.
OnStar Hack Can Open Doors, Start Car, Track Driver
Not content with scaring the bejesus out of Chrysler owners, Wired has uncovered a hacker who says he can open a GM car with OnStar, start it or track it remotely. The only thing he can’t do is put the car in gear or steer it, which still requires a key.
Hacker Samy Kamkar says his $100 device can seriously annoy — or seriously rob — a GM car owner if he wanted it to. GM promptly responded by saying it fixed the flaw in a way that owners won’t have update their cars.
Kamkar said his exploit wasn’t mean to cause mayhem, but rather to show how modern, technological cars can be vulnerable to hackers.
FCA Recalls 1.4 Million Cars After Jeep Uconnect Hack
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles announced that it would voluntary recall 1.4 million vehicles to patch a security exploit that could allow hackers to infiltrate a car’s vital systems.
The recall would apply to cars fitted with the Uconnect 8.4-inch touchscreen. A story released by Wired magazine this week detailed two hackers’ system that could take over a Jeep Cherokee and control the car’s systems, including throttle, braking and steering.
Jeep released the update last week, saying the patch was for “nothing in particular” and that they “continuously test vehicles systems to identify vulnerabilities and develop solutions.”
The release required owners to download the update onto a USB drive and install it themselves, or go to a dealership. FCA will mail affected owners a USB drive with the update now.
According to FCA, the company is unaware of any injuries related to the hack.
Security Flaw in Uconnect Lets Hackers Remotely Kill Jeep's Engine
If you’re like me, you may have found yourself asking “Why would Fiat Chrysler Automobiles release a patch for Uconnect if nothing is wrong?” last week.
The answer, provided by Wired today, is “They wouldn’t,” and that hackers could remotely kill a Jeep through a zero-day exploit in the system’s software. Additionally, hackers could take control of many other functions including steering, climate controls, brakes, throttle — the whole nine yards.
2015 Ram ProMaster City Revealed
Pulling up to the intersection of Flower Shop Lane, Contractor Boulevard and Utility Road is the Fiat Doblò-based 2015 Ram ProMaster City, the second van to emerge from Ram’s relationship with Fiat Professional.
Review: 2014 Fiat 500L (With Video)
I have to admit, I’m a fan of the Fiat 500. Yes, I know it’s just a Fiat Panda with bubbly sheetmetal. Yes I know it’s a little peculiar. Yes I know it’s trying to ride on MINI success. It doesn’t matter, the wee Fiat makes me grin every time I drive one. Whether it’s the slow-as-dirt standard 500, the ludicrously loud Abarth, the almost-convertible 500c or the totally impractical 500e, the Cinquecento knows how to brighten my day. I was therefore excited when Fiat announced the 500’s success would spawn a four door stable-mate for 2014. Is the 500L 40% more smiles for 20% more cash?
Chrysler Adding Microsoft-Based Infotainment System To UConnect Range
The UConnect system used on everything from Jeep Grand Cherokee to the Dodge Dart to the Chrysler 300, is one of the better infotainment systems on the market. But the 8.4 inch screen is getting a companion with a smaller 5-inch screen, that will run on an entirely different operating system.