In the muscle car era, new technology seldom meant anything but more power. Cars today serve different needs. Engineers strive to make you safer, to make cars greener, and of course to replicate home theaters.
Among the cool technologies going into cars now are radar-based cruise control, blind-spot eliminators, and of course hybrid engines.
The magazine IEEE Spectrum just issued its annual list of the top ten tech cars for 2006. It focuses on production cars now in showrooms or soon to be available but also notes three concept cars.
If you're a muscle car fan, see the one that just missed making the list ...
- 2006 Chrysler Heritage Edition, headlights automatically switch to low beams when the car detects approaching vehicles.
- 2006 Volkswagen Passat, European version can be equipped with radar-based active cruise control.
- 2006 Volvo S-60, available in Europe with a camera-based blind-spot eliminator.
- 2006 Subaru R2 Type S, for its tiny but mighty supercharged, intercooled, 660-cc engine.
- 2007 General Motors Yukon, an example of GM's increasingly sophisticated OnStar radio-based alert system.
- 2007 Mercedes-Benz E 320 Bluetec, which will have the cleanest diesel engine on the planet.
- 2007 Lexus LS460, for its breathtaking assortment of technologies and creature comforts, including advanced stability control, three DVD players, and a 19-speaker sound system.
- Ford Reflex Concept Car, a turbo-diesel hybrid.
- Subaru B5-TPH Concept Car, for its turbocharged gasoline-hybrid power plant and advanced manganese lithium-ion batteries.
- Mitsubishi Concept CT-MIEV, a four-door hatchback with four electric motors, one in each wheel.
Special mention was also made of the new Bugatti Veyron, which the magazine called "an astounding piece of engineering with a 1000-horsepower engine and a top speed of 408 km/hr (253 mph)."