MAIN­STREAM HIGH TECH FEA­TURES EX­PLAINED

NEW CAR TECH GUIDE: HIGH-TECH SAFETY, CON­NEC­TIV­ITY AND FUEL-SAV­ING TECHNOLOGY IS GO­ING MAIN­STREAM IN A SE­RI­OUS WAY. HERE'S WHAT NEW CAR SHOP­PERS NEED TO KNOW.

Ignition - - Front Page - BY JUSTIN PRITCHARD

In the time since you last bought a new car, the level of technology avail­able in af­ford­able, main­stream mod­els has ex­ploded. Technology is great stuff. Dur­ing the last decade, it's al­lowed mankind to land a space probe on a mov­ing as­ter­oid. It's given us high-pow­ered phone cam­eras that fit in our pock­ets. It's en­abled us to au­to­mate our homes, save en­ergy, and track our fit­ness with ever-in­creas­ing ef­fec­tive­ness. And, in the world of the ev­ery­day au­to­mo­bile, it's made for rides that are more pow­er­ful, safer, more ef­fi­cient, and more con­nected than ever. So, if you're in the mar­ket for a new main­stream ve­hi­cle this year, here's a primer on the very lat­est in new car tech that fo­cuses on sav­ing, con­nec­tiv­ity, and safety.

SAFETY TECH: Higher-than-ever levels of safety technology are emerg­ing at lower price points. Once the stuff of flag­ship mod­els priced in six-fig­ure ter­ri­tory, af­ford­able ac­cess to out­ward-look­ing haz­ard de­tec­tion sys­tems are the name of the auto in­dus­try's safety game to­day. Us­ing cam­eras and radar, your next new ride can likely alert you of an el­e­vated col­li­sion risk up the road, an un­in­tended lane de­par­ture, a ve­hi­cle hid­ing in your blind spot, and more. Many mod­els can even self-ap­ply their own brakes to pre­vent cer­tain types of low-speed ac­ci­dents.

Th­ese sys­tems and their func­tion­al­i­ties are mar­keted under a plethora of dif­fer­ent names, but they all share an

FUEL SAV­ING TECH: Big dis­place­ment en­gines? You're on the bench. Down­sized and tur­bocharged en­gines? You're up. Smaller en­gines with tur­bocharg­ers are pow­er­ing more and larger ve­hi­cles than ever, as the auto in­dus­try works to de­liver the ef­fi­ciency and per­for­mance that shop­pers (and gov­ern­ments) de­mand.

In many fam­ily haulers (Chevro­let Mal­ibu, Kia Op­tima, Ford Es­cape, Hyundai Sonata among oth­ers), the V6 engine has been made ob­so­lete by more pow­er­ful, more ef­fi­cient tur­bocharged four-cylin­der en­gines. Driv­ers typ­i­cally get im­proved low-end torque for added re­spon­sive­ness, and lower fuel con­sump­tion. Direct In­jec­tion, Vari­able Valve Tim­ing, and higher-than-ever com­pres­sion ra­tios are mak­ing to­day's en­gines more ef­fi­cient than ever.

Other pop­u­lar fuel-sav­ing tech­nolo­gies in­clude Au­tostop, which is mar­keted under var­i­ous names, and works to ef­fec­tively switch the engine off when it would oth­er­wise idle waste­fully. With Au­tostop, the engine restarts in frac­tions of a sec­ond when the driver re­leases the brake pedal, and all ac­ces­sories con­tinue to func­tion as nor­mal when it's off.

Many ve­hi­cles of­fer up a driver-se­lectable ECON mode too—which trades away a lit­tle re­spon­sive­ness and re­cal­i­brates var­i­ous ve­hi­cle sys­tems at the touch of a but­ton to help save even more fuel. The lat­est trans­mis­sion technology also helps save fuel and in­crease per­for­mance, with au­to­matic trans­mis­sions in­creas­ingly of­fer­ing up 7 to 10 gears for lower cruis­ing revs and im­proved ac­cel­er­a­tion.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.