In-Car Tech

Apple WWDC: Apple CarPlay gets minor updates

Apple is revamping its CarPlay system as part of a larger iOS 14 upgrade.

Photo courtesy of Apple

Apple isn't giving its CarPlay technology a full redo, but it is getting some upgrades this year. The move comes as competition between Android Auto and Apple CarPlay grows stronger in light of rapid product evolution within the companies and their products that are designed to interact with vehicles.

Apple CarPlay is available in 97 percent of the new cars sold in the U.S. and 80 percent of the new cars sold worldwide.

2021 BMW 5 Series The iOS 13 version of Apple CarPlay is shown here.Photo courtesy of BMW

Apple CarPlay was introduced in 2013. It currently allows for phone, Apple Music, Apple Maps, calendar, messages, AudioBooks, and podcast functionality.Apple CarPlay users will have more than light or dark modes to choose from. They'll be getting new wallpaper options with multicolor backgrounds that look similar to default background options on Apple's iOS system.

Additionally, Apple has introduced three new types of apps for parking, ordering food, and electric vehicle charging. Those types join the roster of four categories that are currently available including audio, navigation (including Waze), automaker (vehicle-specific controls), and messaging/voice over IP (VOIP).

Users can utilize Apple CarPlay functionality via a cord or wireless connection, depending on what their vehicle allows.

The area of the system devoted to electric vehicle charging is part of a larger electric vehicle component added to iOS 14 and announced today during the Worldwide Developer Conference (WWDC).

During WWDC, Apple also announced that BMW would be the first automaker to receive the ability to use Apple's phone-as-key technology.

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Nuts & Bolts

 
 

The Jeep Wrangler Rubicon 392 Concept shows of the possible future of a V8 under the hood of a Jeep.

Photo courtesy of FCA US LLC

The Jeep Wrangler Rubicon 392 Concept model shows that the production model of a V8-powered Wrangler (and possibly Gladiator) is likely on the way - and that's straight from the people in the know at FCA.

Jeep Wrangler enthusiasts have been asking us for a Wrangler -8 and our new Wrangler Rubicon 392 Concept proves that we have the ability to make that happen," said Jim Morrison, Head of Jeep Brand – FCA North America. "From the recently introduced 29-mpg Wrangler EcoDiesel to our award-winning Jeep Gladiator, and the upcoming Wrangler 4xe plug-in hybrid electric vehicle, Jeep is clearly listening to its customers. We are anxious to gauge their reaction to this new Wrangler Rubicon 392 Concept, a vehicle that delivers an incredible and unmatched level of fun-to-drive performance and capability, on- and off-road."

Jeep Wrangler Rubicon 392 Concept The model is pretty standard for a modern Wrangler Rubicon - on the outside.Photo courtesy of FCA US LLC

It's been a hot minute since there was a V8 under the hood of a Jeep. The last model to wear its power proudly was the 1981 Jeep CJ, which had a 5.0-liter V8 that delivered 125 horsepower and 220 pound-feet of torque.

The Wrangler Rubicon 392 Concept is powered by a 6.4-liter (392-cubic-inch) HEMI V8 that delivers 450 horsepower and 450 pound-feet of torque. That power gives the concept a zero to 60 mph time of less than five seconds.

Its engine is paired with a more robust version of the traditional eight-speed automatic, something that the HEMI in the Charger Scat Pack gets as well.

The parts roster includes Rubicon rock rails, steel bumpers with a Warn winch, and a steel belly pan. It also comes with Dana 44 axles, Selec-Track full-time two-speed transfer case (3.73 gear ratio), and Tru-Lok electric front- and rear-axle locking differentials. The SUV rides on custom 17-inch deadlock wheels that are wrapped in 37-inch mud-terrain tires.

The suspension of the typical Wrangler JL has been upgraded to include new aluminum, monotube Fox shocks, and two-mode exhaust, which is adjustable at the touch of a button.

The company has installed a factory Jeep Performance Parts two-inch lift kit from Mopar.

All that equipment gives the model some impressive numbers. It has a water fording capability of 34 inches, 13.25 inches of ground clearance, an approach angle of 51.6 degrees, a breaker angle of 29.5 degrees, and a departure angle of 40.1 degrees. It's Trail Rated.

Jeep has given the concept a Granite Crystal paint job, bronze-colored tow hooks, badging, springs, shocks, and wheels. There's a heavy-duty raised hood, custom half doors, and Wrangler's Sky One-touch powertop.

The concepts interior features a Red Rock-colored leather bolstered seats with gold stitching, along with a performance steering wheel.

When will you see the production version of the V8? These things take time, but remember, the auto show circuit looks to pick up in earnest early next year, and we have the Wrangler 4xe to see first.

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The 2021 Lamborghini Sián Roadster is already sold out.

Photo courtesy of Automobili Lamborghini
Lamborghini is taking the top off the Sián Roadster. The 2021 Lamborghini Sián Roadster is a drop-top version of the hybrid super sports car that captivated audiences last year. The cabriolet's run is limited to just 19 models - all of which are already sold out.

The model is outfitted with the same V12 engine and delivers equal hybrid performance. The engine is paired with 48-volt mild-hybrid technology delivering more rapid availability of torque off the line and fuel savings. The 48-volt e-motor, delivering 34 horsepower, sits in the gearbox. The mild-hybrid technology is more powerful than a battery of the same weight and three times lighter than a battery while producing the same power.

Photo courtesy of Automobili Lamborghini


The new Lambo has a top speed of 250 km/h. It can get from zero to 62 mpg in 2.9 seconds. To get back to zero, the car uses its regenerative braking system.

"The Sián Roadster encapsulates the spirit of Lamborghini," says Stefano Domenicali, Automobili Lamborghini Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. "It is the expression of breathtaking design and extraordinary performance, but most importantly embodies important future technologies. The Sián's innovative hybrid powertrain heralds the direction for Lamborghini super sports cars, and the open-top Sián Roadster affirms a desire for the ultimate lifestyle Lamborghini as we move towards a tomorrow demanding new solutions."

Lamborghini showed off the car with a Blu Uranus paint job. The company says that the color encapsulates, "the blue of the sky and the green of the fields, evoking the freedom and driving elation delivered by the open top Sián." The car rides on Oro Electrum wheels. Their color was chosen to signify the Sián's electrified powertrain. Its interior features Blu Glauco detailing and aluminum elements in Oro Electrum.

Three-dimensional printer technology allow customers to have their initials designed into the car's air vents.

The car features design that envokes the iconic periscopio line inspired by the first Countach. It runs diagonally from the cockpit to the rear. It has a low front and integrated carbon fiber splitter with Y-shaped headlights sitting above.

It has been optimized for aerodynamic efficiency with airflow "directed through the front splitters and through the front bonnet, through the side air intakes and outlets and over the rear spoiler, with no loss of aerodynamic efficiency from the roadster's roofless design". The car has active cooling vanes on its rear that use unique materials-science technology patented by Lamborghini.

At the rear is a strong design featuring six hexagonal taillights inspired by the Countach. The car's rear wing extends out only during the driving to enhance the performance.

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