Cool tech and hot cars from the N.Y. Int'l Auto Show

The New York International Auto Show, which runs through April 27, allows automakers to show off the latest technology on four wheels. Here are some of the highlights from this year's big event.

Cool car tech

At the New York International Auto Show, which runs through April 27, car makers displayed some of the coolest tech they were putting in cars. Sure, these cars look great, but what's really interesting is what's under the hood. From infotainment systems to telemetry computers, here is some of the highlights from this year's event.

Bugatti Veyron Super Sport

The fastest street-legal production car in the world (top speed 267 mph), the 16-cylinder, four-wheel drive Bugatit Veyron is chock full of technology.

The car's "central nervous system" is made up of three data buses connected to 26 control devices related to the driveline, convenience functions and internal diagnostics. The hub of the car's network is the telemetry computer, which collects vehicle data. Any malfunctions are automatically transmitted to Bugatti from anywhere in the world.

The Veyron’s GPS data is also continually collected so the car's location can be tracked in case of theft.

So what does a car that goes from 0 to 60 mph in under 2.5 seconds cost?  $2.5 million.

Dodge Challenger Shaker

Dodge debuted its 2015 Charger and Challenger at the show. The Challenger R/T Plus Shaker (pictured here) boasts a 6.4-liter "Scat Pack" engine inspired by the classic '71 Challenger. The engine produces 485 horsepower.

In addition to some serious, tire-melting muscle, the Challenger (and Charger) get LED headlights and tail lamps, and interior facelifts that include an all-electronic steering system, a backup camera, blind spot warning and forward collision detection system. There's also the 8.4-in. touch-screen infotainment center powered by Dodge's highly regarded UConnect software.

Lexus RC F Coupe

The 2015 Lexus RC F (available this fall) sports a new 5.0-liter V8 with more than 450hp. 

The RC F’s new dashboard cluster looks similar to aircraft cockpit instruments. The meters provide a wide range of information for the various drive modes available.

The cluster includes a centrally mounted tachometer that changes according to the drive mode, a digital stopwatch, a digital and analog speedometer, differential torque vectoring monitor, G-Force meter, and (of course) oil and water temperature gauges, and mileage information.

Infotainment tech

Inside the car is a 7-in. touch-screen infotainment system that includes a touch pad remote interface that works like a laptop touchpad -- your finger can be used to control systems such as navigation, climate control and multi-media.

Soleil Anadi

The Soleil Anadi is a head turner. Based on the Corvette C6 platform, the car was handbuilt in Italy by Soleil Motors. Under the front hood is a 6.2-liter, 651hp, V8 that can go from 0-60 mph in 3.2 seconds and hit a top speed of 201mph.

Current models of the car's body are created with fiberglass, but the company plans a carbon-fiber version that will result in a 22% weight reduction.

The $300,000 car is expected to go on sale by the end of the year.

Lots of wood

The Soleil Anadi is chock full of wood paneling -- either ebony or rosewood.

A rear view

Let's face it, this is probably the way you'll be seeing this $300,000 sports car.

The Koenigsegg Agera R and 3D printing

The Agera R from Swedish manufacturer Koenigsegg Automotive is powered by a 5.0-liter twin-turbocharged V8 that churns out 1,140 hp -- 1,140! --  and 885 foot-pounds of torque. The car goes from 0-62 mph in 2.8 seconds and reaches a top speed of over 273 mph.

The super sports car comes with a high-definition touch-screen that controls entertainment, navigation, climate control and connectivity.

3D prototyping and printing is being used to develop many of the components of the super car, including seatbacks, pedals and air ducts.

A hybrid super sports car

Porsche has been leading the sports car industry for decades, but the new 918 Spyder sets a new bar. This $845,000 hybrid uses both gas and electric power, so the uber-wealthy no longer have to worry about their gas-sucking engines.

The all-wheel drive car generates up to 887 hp and can go from 0-60 mph in 2.5 seconds in virtual silence. It uses an internal combustion engine and electric motor on the rear axle with a second electric motor on the front axle. 


Carbon fiber construction and a liquid-cooled lithium-ion battery

The entire load-bearing structure (frame) of the car is made of carbon fiber reinforced polymer for extreme rigidity.

Energy for the Spyder's two electric motors is stored in a liquid-cooled lithium-ion battery made up of 312 individual cells that can store about 6.8 kilowatt hours of power.

SRT Viper Anodized Carbon Edition

Chrysler's SRT (Street & Racing Technology) group is planning only 50 of these beauties.

This Viper comes not only with a special matte finish, but LED head and tail lamps that consist of more than 70 lights all together.

Like some other other new Chrysler vehicles at the auto show, the Viper has the new, larger 8.4-in UConnect Infotainment touch screen. The system is Bluetooth phone compatible with streaming audio, comes with an embedded Wi-Fi cellular connection for new services and downloadable apps as well as connectivity to a rear backup camera display.

The 50th anniversary Mustang

Ford Chairman Bill Ford showed up for the big reveal of the 50th anniversary edition Mustang, which took many of its design cues from earlier Mustangs, including its rear quarter-window louvers, chrome trimmed lights and "corralled" stallion symbol on the front grill. The company is producing just 1,964 of them.

Based on the 2015 Mustang GT fastback with the performance pack, this pony car comes with a 5.0-liter V8 making up to 420hp. The car goes into production this fall.

Still powered by Microsoft's SYNC

The new 2015 Mustang line-up, of which the 50 Anniverary edition is a part, comes with the latest generation of Ford's Microsoft-powered SYNC AppLink infotainment system technology. There are rumors the troublesome SYNC software might be replaced by Blackberry's QNX OS, but the company declined to comment on that possibility.

In the new Mustang, instead of using the touch-screen to adjust the suspension, throttle, traction and even check the tire pressure, the driver uses knobs on the steering wheel.

Those knobs control Mustang’s Track Apps menu, which is located in the middle of the gauge cluster. Ford chose to add the knobs to the new lineup to help drivers keep an eye on the road.


Lotus Evora S

While not new (it was introduced in 2011), the Lotus Evora S retains its state-of-the-art sports car technology. The 3.5-liter V6 engine produces up to 345hp and has a top speed of 162mph.

This super sports car includes direct inputs for the iPod, iPhone and MP3 devices plus a music and video app via the built-in satallite navigation system. An "Eco Drive" readout also allows drivers to evaluate performance, including acceleration and braking, as well as emissions.

The car also comes with IPS (Intelligent Precision Shift) steering wheel-mounted paddle shifters, and a DPM (Dynamic Performance Management) traction and stability management system that has three settings: one suppresses oversteer and understeer, one allows a small degree of slip and the "sport" mode turns the automatic adjustments off.

Jaguar F-Type

The new Jaguar F-Type is pricey at $65,000, but it's at least within the realm of possibilities for more people than a lot of the other super sports cars at the International Auto Show. This Jaguar has a supercharged 3.0 liter V6 (340hp) engine that can take the car from 0-60 mph in 5.1 seconds. Top speed: 161mph.

Jaguar made its stab at fuel economy with an "Intelligent Stop/Start System" that shuts the car off automatically when at a standstill.

The all-wheel F-Type also comes with an "Adaptive Dynamics" system that continuously monitors the speed, steering and body movements of the car, adapting the suspension up to 500 times a second.

Audi R8 V10 Plus

The AWD Audi R8 V10 comes with a 5.2-liter V10 that produces up to 525 hp and drives a seven-speed, dual-clutch transmission.

The Audi MMI Infotainment system 8-in. touchpad allows drivers to manage an array of systems including navigation, entertainment, interior, even ride dynamics on models with Audi drive select. The car also comes with parking assist and a rear-view camera.

Like other Audi models, the R8 comes with the Audi Connect-powered infotainment system with Google Earth satellite imagery for navigation as well as travel information, weather reports, fuel prices and local points of interest. You can even send destinations with your myAudi account on your desktop straight to your car.

The infotainment touch pad

One of the innovations in the A8 is the MMI Touch, which allows drivers to input preferences by writing with their fingertip. For example, if a driver wanted to search for telephone contact list, you could scribble the first letter in a name to bring up a list of phone numbers associated with it.

3D navigation overlays surrounding buildings onto GPS maps for more recognizable features as you drive.

The Alfa Romeo 4C

One of the more anticipated cars to debut at this year's show, the Alfa Romeo 4C, is a sports car that steals its looks from the company's 1967 33 Stradale -- arguably among the most beautiful sports cars ever made.

This slick car is powered by a 1750cc direct-injection, 4-cylinder, 237 hp aluminum engine that can go from 0-60 in about 4.5 seconds and reach a top speed of 160mph.

The Alfa "DNA selector" offers four driving modes: Race, All-Weather, Natural and Dynamic. For example, the Race setting offers extreme performance that deactivates anti-slip regulation and activates the "Romeo Electronic Q2" differential control system for fast exits out of corners or bends.

Prices start at $54,000.

Carbon fiber body

The car is made of ultra-lightweight materials that are vastly lighter than the Alfa Romeo's previous models. The body is constucted of a monocoque (internal skin) made entirely of carbon fiber that delivers extraordinary stiffness and strength. The two seats are also constructed of carbon fiber.

Attached to the Alfa Romeo 4C's monocoque are front and rear cell structures, roof reinforcements and an engine-mounting and an engine-mounting frame made from lightweight aluminum.

The Alfa Romeo 4C's bodywork is entirely made of SMC (Sheet Molding Compound), a low-density, high-strength composite material that is 20% lighter and dimensionally more rigid than steel.

Engineers even optimized the Alfa Romeo 4C's windshield and side windows by using 10% thinner glass to reduce weight by up to 15%.

The BMW i8

The i8 is BMW’s first plug-in hybrid, 2+2 super-car. The body is primarily constructed from lightweight carbon fiber. The car boasts 94mpg equivalent.

The i8’s TwinPower Turbo and BMW eDrive technology allows it to go from 0-60mph in 4.2 seconds with a top speed (electronically governed) of 155 mph. In the all-electric mode, the i8 can travel up to 22 miles at a top speed of 75 mph. The car also features electric-powered steering.

The wing doors are part the vehicle’s clean lines and aerodynamic surface design. The car has full-LED headlights and longer-distance laser headlights.  

2014 Lamborghini Aventador Roadster

And finally, we present the Lamborghini Aventador. This 6.5-liter, V12 panther with 700hp goes from 0 to 60 mph in 3 seconds and tops out at 217 mph. Like a few of the other cars you've seen, the Lamborghini's body is made of a lightweight carbon-fiber monocoque construction. This $375,000 car has a 7-speed, paddle activated transmission with an electronically controlled front differential, and a mechanically controlled rear differential.

Oh, that rear end!

As with some of the other sports cars at the show, the Lamborghini has a driver's Select Mode that allows you to choose from three different shifting characteristics: Strada, Sport and Corsa. The transmission can shift automatically, or you can select gears manually.

Believe it or not, the company was also concerned with fuel economy, so the Aventador comes with cylinder deactivation technology and a start-stop system with supercapacitors. Engine restart takes 180 milliseconds.

Lamborghini also debuted its "entry-level" car -- the $240,000 Huracan outside of the Auto Show at the Bathhouse Studio in the city's Lower East Side. Compared to some of the other cars on display, this one could be a steal.

Copyright © 2014 IDG Communications, Inc.

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