10 years ago, if you’d have told someone that you could start your car with your Casio, they’d have thought you were bonkers and locked you up. But now that dream is a reality for Hyundai buyers. Yep, Hyundai owners who own a vehicle that supports the brand’s Blue Link cloud platform can get their hands on a Hyundai app that allows Android Wear owners to start and stop their vehicle remotely from a watch – as well as lock and unlock their doors. They can even flash their lights remotely to creep out the neighbours and honk the horn to terrorise drunks returning home.
It all sounds a little bit wacky, and a little bit too much like something straight out of 1960’s sci-fi cartoon The Jetsons, but hold on a minute because things get worse – or better, depending on your personal discretion: Hyundai’s watch app also supports voice command, so you can shout ‘start my car!’ to your watch, and it will fire up your car in seconds. Though it’ll be embarrassing if it doesn’t work in front of that girl you’re trying to impress.
It sounds kinda cool, and it was no doubt conceived in response to the Apple Watch that can lock and unlock your car, but we’re sceptical as to whether this is going to really take off. What we really want to see is a Mercedes operated entirely by a Rolex from the comfort of your own home, with no steering wheel involved. Now that would be something.
Mercedes Announce Plans To Crack The Luxury Electric Market
So far, electric cars have largely been aimed at those looking to save a bit of cash. American brand Tesla though, have been aiming their arrows at the luxury market, firmly believing that wealthier people want in on this electric thing too. And now Mercedes Benz want in too, with CEO Dieter Zetsche saying that “Tesla has proved there can be a market at the other side of the range. If that is a possibility, we are investigating.”
You can bet your bottom dollar Mercedes are investigating, and no doubt other high quality car manufacturers, such as Audi and BMW will have pricked up their ears and will be hitting the drawing board to see what they can come up with too. Tesla, who currently have a monopoly over the luxury electric car sector, are meanwhile going the other way, with a budget $35,000 model scheduled for 2017 release. It’s all swings and roundabouts.
Peugeot Unveil Their SUV Hybrid, The Peugeot Hybrid
When hybrid cars were first mentioned in muted tones, the big fear was that they’d look too unorthodox to be loved. Fortunately, that fear has since been done away with, with very pretty and very loveable hybrid cars leaving warehouses all over Europe.
Unfortunately, though, Peugeot have lowered the tone, because somebody has allowed the Peugeot Quartz, a big, angular SUV, to crawl out of their warehouse and into the Geneva motor show. This classless, crass creature looks like an extra from 80’s dystopian movie Mad Max – it screams Tina Turner – and is made from recycled plastic bottles. You can’t help but get the feeling that it broke free from its chains and escaped from the Peugeot warehouse before it was really ready. Lock your doors and keep your children indoors is all we can say just in case it heads to these shores. You know, like Dracula did.
Peugeot say they have no plans to go ahead with Quartz production.
Volkswagen Release Cheaper All-Electric Golf
U.S. sales of the e-Golf have been more than disappointing; by the beginning of March 2015, VW had shifted 688 models across the Atlantic. Perhaps in response to this, Volkswagen are now set to roll out a much cheaper variant, with prices starting at just $34,270 – $2,000 less than the initial model that was launched just four months ago.
Volkswagen are no doubt hoping that the reason consumers have so far ignored the e-Golf is the high price tag, as opposed to a lack of quality. They’ll need to be right too, because the lower priced e-Golf comes without what is otherwise standard kit, such as leather seats, alloys and LED headlights.
UK Car Market Is Booming
It was recently announced that the UK car output in February 2015 was worse than what it was in the same month of the year before. But whilst sales figures for UK produced cars might be hinting at a bit of a malaise, actual all-round car sales in the UK rose 12% in February, which means that over the last 36 months, sales have continuously improved. This means that over the last three years, the UK car market has grown in ways never seen before. Happy days.
76,958 new cars were registered last month, and combined with January’s figures, the total comes to 241,814. Company car sales are also on the up and up, and have been ever since Britain began to recover from the economic downturn.
March is the real test, though, as it’s often been the highest-selling month. Come on March, don’t let us down.
Nissan Recall ‘Flying Hood’ Altima’s
Anyone driving a Nissan Altima in the U.S. might have been disturbed to see their boot fly open whilst they rocketed down the highway recently. But they won’t have been alone, because Nissan are set to recall 625,000 Altima’s due to a huge problem with faulty latches, a problem which essentially means that hoods fly open at random. There is a theory that every time a butterfly flaps its wings, 625,000 Nissan Altima hoods open, causing chaos everywhere, and leading to conspiracy theorists to ramble on about UFOs and the cosmos.
But we won’t go into that. The problem though, is a further embarrassment for Nissan, after 238,000 Altima’s were recalled in 2013. This came after 216,000 Infiniti QX35s, QX60s and Pathfinders were recalled in 2014 and 2014 – all for faulty latches. Nissan say that a solution to the ongoing issue is yet to be found.
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