NY Auto Show preview: BMW 3 Series GT set to make U.S. debut

2014 BMW 3 Series GT overhead motion viewBMW’s theme for the 2013 New York Auto Show seems to be “small and sensible.”

In addition to unveiling the Concept Active Tourer plug-in hybrid and 2014 328d diesel, the Bavarian brigade will show the 3 Series Gran Turismo (GT) for the first time in the United States.

For those of you who don’t speak BMW, “Gran Turismo” is the wonderfully romantic name the German carmaker uses for high-roofed hatchbacks based on its luxury sedans. The 3 Series GT will further expand the 3 Series range, and complement the larger 5 Series GT in the company’s lineup.

What buyers will get is a stretched wheelbase and a taller roof with a crossover-style tailgate, all adding up to extra cargo space. This is definitely an exercise in function over form: even a dramatically sloping roofline can’t save the 3 Series GT (or its 5 Series sibling) from terminal ugliness.

Under the skin, the GT is all 3 Series. Like the 2014 3 Series sedan and wagon, it will be offered as either a 328i, with a 240 horsepower, 2.0-liter turbocharged inline-four, or a 335i, with a 300 hp, 3.0-liter turbocharged inline-six.

An eight-speed automatic transmission will probably be the only option, and BMW’s xDrive all-wheel drive may also be offered.

Like the regular 3 Series, the GT will also be offered with several aesthetic trim packages, including Sport Line, Luxury Line, Modern Line, and M Sport.

We’ll have all the details on the 2014 BMW 3 Series GT when the 2013 New York Auto Show opens next week. Will it be a niche hit or an ugly flop? Tell us what you think in the comments.

Smart Home

Not only is Chucky back, he haunts your smart home in Child’s Play reboot

Chucky is a classic horror movie villain dating back more than 30 years and the character is getting reimagined in the new reboot coming in June that gives the evil doll control over smart home functions.

Add style and functionality with the best iPad Pro 9.7 cases

No tablet should be without protection, especially an expensive one. Check out our picks for the best iPad Pro 9.7 cases, so you can add some protection, functionality, and style to your new device.

These business machines can rival any consumer laptop in style and function

These laptops have the reliability, performance, and battery life you need whether you're at your desk or flying across the country for a meeting, letting you to revel in a function-first approach.

Walmart deal drops the price of the 55-inch TCL 4K Roku smart TV to just $338

Was last weekend's Game of Thrones streaming experience lacking? Look no further than this 55-inch TCL TV, which features built-in Roku functionality, and can be had at Walmart for just $338.

The best diagnostic adapters monitor your car so you don't have to

Sometimes called dongles, the best car adapters will tell you what's wrong under the hood while help you keep tabs on your family and routine maintenance.
Emerging Tech

Japanese taxis will use facial recognition to target you with ads as you ride

A Japanese startup is trying to reinvent in-taxi advertising by using facial recognition technology to identify the key characteristics of riders and then presenting them with appropriate ads.

Nvidia agrees with Tesla’s take on self-driving cars, but corrects specifics

Nvidia vice president Rob Csongor agreed with broad statements by Elon Musk at Tesla's April 22 Autonomy Investor Day. Csongor then took exception to what he termed were inaccuracies about Nvidia's self-driving car chip.

Stop backing into your neighbor's car with the best backup cameras

The right backup camera will allow you to better avoid vehicles and other obstacles without taking your eyes off the road, rendering "sorry, I hit your car!" notes a thing of the past. Here are our current favorites.

Waze vs. Google Maps: Which map app should you be using?

Waze and Google Maps are two of the most popular apps for those looking for turn-by-turn navigation, yet there are some notable differences to point out. Here, we examine both to decide which offers the best feature set.

Tesla posts $702M Q1 loss as deliveries fall sharply; Musk promises turnaround

Tesla lost $702 million during the first quarter of 2019 as deliveries fell sharply, and demand for the Model X and the Model S flattened. The company predicts it will again lose money in the second quarter.

Ambitious but not rubbish: The best Top Gear episodes

Since its relaunch in 2002, Top Gear has become required viewing for any serious gearhead. The great moments from this show may seem too numerous to count, but we've managed to pick some of the highlights from the first 26 seasons.

Qiantu K50 electric sports car was designed in China, will be built in the U.S.

The Qiantu K50 is a Chinese electric sports car that will be marketed in the United States by California-based Mullen Technologies. The carbon-fiber bodied, 402-horsepower K50 is expected to go on sale in 2020.

Volkswagen prepares its electric ID R race car for its toughest challenge yet

The Volkswagen ID R electric race car will head to the Nürburgring to set a lap record. With Romain Dumas at the wheel, the ID R will try to become the fastest electric car around the grueling, 12.9-mile long track.

The best hybrid cars save on fuel without sacrificing fun

The best hybrid cars are fuel-efficient and all the rage, but which one should you buy? We’ve broken through the noise to let you know the best hybrid, and a few interesting alternatives from different categories.