In-Car Tech

BMW adding wireless Android Auto in 2020, ditching Apple CarPlay fee

Google recently enhanced its Android Auto interface.

Photo courtesy of Google

Better late than never. BMW has announced that they will add wireless Android Auto to their vehicles starting in July 2020. The German automaker already offers Apple CarPlay, and in 2017 because the first company to make wireless CarPlay available.

In 2018, BMW became the first automaker to charge specifically for Apple CarPlay, requiring customers to cough up $80 per year for the tech. Last week BMW let it slip to Roadshow that they would no longer charge the fee for 2019 and 2020 model year cars.

Android Auto 2019 Android Auto is able to perform many of the functions of a traditional smartphone while hooked up to your car, including give directions.Photo courtesy of Google

Android Auto will be available in the new vehicles sans special equipment fee.

Like with Apple CarPlay, Android Auto links a smartphone's functionality to a vehicle's infotainment system. When it becomes available, Android Auto will be able to fully integrate into BMW's digital cockpit meaning that the information appears in the car's head up display and instrument cluster instead of exclusively in the infotainment screen at the center of the dashboard.

"We are excited to work with BMW to bring wireless Android Auto to their customers worldwide next year," said Patrick Brady, Vice President of Engineering, Google. "The seamless connection from Android smartphones to BMW vehicles allows customers to hit the road faster while maintaining access to all of their favorite apps and services in a safer experience."

If you're wondering whether or not your phone is compatible with Android Auto, click here to see a handy guide from Google.

The public's first peek at Andorra Auto will be at the Consumer Electronics Show in January.

Android Auto will be available for all BMW customers in 20 countries with BMW Operating System 7.0 in mid 2020.

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Mitsubishi Motors North America is adding 10 new dealerships in the U.S.

Photo courtesy of Mitsubishi Motors North America

Mitsubishi Motors North America has added 10 new dealer partners to its nationwide sales network. The company is also investing in dealership upgrades and launching a number of new models in the coming year.

The list of new dealerships includes:

  • Auto World Mitsubishi in Bedford, Ohio
  • Crossroads Mitsubishi-Lumberton in Lumberton, North Carolina
  • Foundation 45 Mitsubishi in Houston, Texas
  • KDK Mitsubishi in Brunswick, Ohio
  • Nielsen Mitsubishi in Rockaway, New Jersey
  • Redondo Mitsubishi in Redondo Beach, California
  • Route 17 Mitsubishi in Ramsey, New Jersey
  • South Shore Mitsubishi in Freeport, New York
  • Team Mitsubishi – Hartford in Hartford, Connecticut
  • Jim Shorkey Mitsubishi-Youngstown in Youngstown, Ohio
Foundation 45 Mitsubishi is located just off I-45 on the east side of the interstate about halfway between Houston and Spring, Texas. It is next to CarMax.
Arrotta's Mitsubishi in Spokane, Washington also just completed construction, undergoing an extensive renovation as part of the brand's new Visual Identity Program. Dealerships that undergo renovations evolve to feature a retail space colored in muted black and gray tones with red accents. There is clean branding throughout the showroom and "Drive Your Ambition" brand messaging is present.

"We continue to invest in and improve every aspect of the vehicle shopping experience with our dealer partners, and we are thrilled to have 10 new partners join the Mitsubishi Motors brand," said Mark Chaffin, Chief Operating Officer, MMNA. "2021 is a pivotal year for Mitsubishi Motors, with one all-new and three substantially revised vehicles that are now arriving in dealer showrooms. New or long-standing, it's an exciting time to be a Mitsubishi dealer, and we're looking forward to working together with all of our dealer partners to make the most of this opportunity for mutual success."

New versions of the Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross and Outlander will be making their way to dealer lots in the U.S. The revised Eclipse Cross and completely redesigned Outlander are just two of the new models that Mitsubishi is planning to sell in North America this year.

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The newest Bentley Continental GT has broken cover.

Photo courtesy of Bentley Motors

The recipe for the 2022 Bentley Continental ST Speed Convertible is pretty simple on its face. Take a Continental GT, make is a Speed, cut the roof off. Thanks to technological innovations, it's actually not that simple.

The third-generation Continental GT Speed Convertible features Bentley's 6.0-liter W12 engine that delivers 650 brake horsepower and 664 pound-feet of torque that work to haul the car from zero to 60 mph in 3.6 seconds. Bentley has installed an eight-speed dual-clutch transmission in the car. The luxury car is capable of reaching a top speed of 208 mph.

Bentley has given the model standard all-wheel steering, carbon ceramic brakes, Speed sport sills, dark tint grilles, Dark Tint radiator matrix, a Jewel fuel and oil filler cap, and Speed badging. There are three 22-inch wheel options (Dark Tint, Black Gloss, or Bright Silver) and seven roof colors available, including tweed. Eight interior roof finishers are available.

Photo courtesy of Bentley Motors

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The Z-fold convertible roof system has been improved so that less noise permeates it in this generation than in the last. The new drophead car is as quiet as the previous generation Continental GT Coupe. The roof can be deployed in 19 seconds and with the car traveling at speeds of up to 30 mph.

The cabin of the car also gets Speed badging, as well as an Alcantara steering wheel and a color split trim in Hide and Alcantara. Customers can further choose from 15 main and 11 secondary hide choices.

Piano Black veneer is standard in the Speed, with Crown Cut, Dark Stain Burr Walnut, and Dark Fiddleback Eucalyptus offered as no-cost options. Open-pore Dark Stain Burr Walnut veneer, Crown Cut Walnut and Koa are also available. A new technical finish for the center console is available: Dark Tint Engine Turned Aluminum.

A neck warmer (which is both warmer and quieter than in the previous generation model), is integrated into the heated and vented Comfort Seats.

"The new Speed is the most driver-focused Continental GT Convertible available and unique in its ability to offer extremely refined, all-season open-top Grand Touring with the added edge of astonishing performance and dynamism," said Chris Craft, Member of the Board for Sales and Marketing at Bentley Motors. "Combined with exquisite, handcrafted interior details, the Continental GT Speed Convertible exemplifies all Bentley knows about creating the world's most stylish and elegant cars for roof-down motoring."

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