Aston Martin rips out the gauges, flaunts touchscreen-laden Autolink Rapide S at CES

aston martin letv reveal autolink rapide s at ces pictures  003
When its vehicles are stylishly ferrying James Bond away from baddies on the big screen, it’s easy to forget that Aston Martin is a relatively small company. In terms of total employee numbers, the automaker from Gaydon, Warwickshire, England has roughly a third of the personnel that Ford has working at a single production facility, which means the manufacturer has a far smaller resource pool to draw from.

We’ve discussed Aston Martin’s partnership with Mercedes-AMG in the past — the German brand will supply Aston with engines for the next several years — and the company’s pairing with VC firm ChinaEquity on the RapideE concept has been well documented. At CES 2016, the automaker revealed the Autolink Rapide S, a new concept born from a collaboration between Aston and a firm dubbed “the Netflix of China.”

Aston-Martin-+-Letv-Autolink-Rapide-S-001

The Autolink Rapide S is an infotainment showcase featuring Chinese entertainment company Letv’s Internet of the Vehicle (IOV) system. The sports car’s center console has been ripped out in favor of a 13.3-inch HD touchscreen, and the instrument panel has been similarly replaced with a 12.2-inch screen that displays digital instrumentation and gauges. The IOV suite has also upgraded the Aston’s electronics by adding Letv’s latest speech-recognition technology and a remote monitoring system.

“After a few months of effort, we finished the integration of an Aston Martin vehicle and the Letv IOV system,” said Ding Lei, co-founder of Letv’s car division. “We have successfully equipped this supercar brand with over 100 years of history with an ‘Internet brain.’”

“Aston Martin is renowned for the beauty and quality of its hand-crafted cars,” explained Dr. Andrew Palmer, Aston Martin CEO. “The integration of Letv advanced connected technologies into this bespoke environment is a natural progression as we look to the future demands of our customers.”

Letv also happens to be the financial backer for the cutting edge Faraday Future FFZERO1, which was also revealed at CES 2016. Read more about the car and its slick modular platform here.

Cars

Rivian CEO R.J. Scaringe wants his startup to be the Patagonia of electric cars

Rivian is the latest startup hyping new electric cars. But unlike most other startups, Rivian is focusing on off-road vehicles. It launched an electric pickup truck and SUV at the 2018 Los Angeles Auto Show. CEO R.J. Scaringe explains the…
Cars

Gateway’s born-again Ford Bronco boasts classic style, 2018 muscle car power

Illinois-based Gateway Bronco has received a license from Ford to make brand-new examples of the first-generation Bronco. Every build starts with a Ford VIN and a donor vehicle, but Gateway upgrades every part of the car.
Gaming

‘Fortnite’ Season 7 brings ziplines and airplanes as holiday gifts

The seventh season of Fortnite has arrived, and the holiday-themed update adds new weaponized airplanes to battle royale. The update also adds holiday wrapping for weapons and vehicles.
Cars

Uber is about to restart self-driving car tests but on a reduced scale

Uber is reported to be on the verge of restarting its autonomous-car test program. The company halted it in March 2018 following a fatal accident involving one of its vehicles, but its cars could be back on the road within weeks.
Cars

600-hp, $155K Polestar 1 is the alluring Volvo coupe you’ve been waiting for

Volvo's return to the coupe segment just took an interesting turn: the model will join the Polestar lineup, and it will get a 600-hp plug-in hybrid powertrain. The Polestar 1 will be built in China starting in 2019.
Cars

The Aston Martin Vanquish Zagato Shooting Brake is the sexiest wagon ever

Aston Martin has revealed new photos of the limited-production Vanquish Zagato Shooting Brake. The Vanquish Zagato line now includes the Shooting Brake, Coupe, Volante, and Speedster, each with bespoke styling.
Mobile

Car-branded phones need to make a U-turn if they ever want to impress

Your car and your smartphone are becoming one, yet smartphones branded or co-created by car companies are a problem. We look at the history, some examples of the best and worst, then share hopes for the future.
Cars

Nissan and Italdesign’s GT-R50 concept will become a $1.1 million reality

The Nissan GT-R50 is a customized sports car built to celebrate the 50th anniversaries of both the GT-R and design firm Italdesign. Underneath the sleek bodywork sits a 710-horsepower engine fortified with race car components.
Cars

Ford’s new Shelby GT500 Mustang will have 3D-printed brake parts

Ford's new $45 million Advanced Manufacturing Center will focus on emerging technologies, including 3D printing. One of the staff's first jobs is to print parts for the 700-horsepower Shelby GT500 Mustang.
Product Review

Audi built an electric SUV for buyers who want gasoline-free to mean stress-free

We finally got to spend time behind the wheel of the electric 2019 Audi E-Tron bustling cities and arid desert of the United Arab Emirates to see how it compares with Jaguar and Tesla's competitors.
News

World’s fastest electric race car to display at Petersen Museum

The Volkswagen I.D. R Pikes Peak race car smashed the all-time record at the hill climb for which it was named. The all-electric VW record-holder will be on display at the Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles until February 1, 2019.
Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Folding canoes and ultra-fast water filters

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!
Cars

This freewheeling Army truck-turned-tiny home is a labor of love

Most tiny homes are models of efficiency but one British metal worker has redefined the idea, converting an old Army truck into a mobile tiny home that comes with a bed, a sofa, a shower, and a beer garden.
Cars

Take a friend stargazing at 202 mph in the 2019 McLaren 720S Spider

McLaren has introduced the 2019 720S Spider. As its name implies, it's a convertible variant of the 720S coupe. The company promises the Spider retains the coupe's dynamism and agility thanks in part to the widespread use of carbon fiber.