Most auto makers have something that sets them apart from other manufacturers, but what are some of the unique features found in only their cars? Here are 10 of our favourites.
Cadillac’s video rear-view mirror
In the flagship CT6 sedan, the rear-view mirror functions as an ordinary mirror until you flip it back, as you would to dim it. That’s when it switches to a high-definition video mirror, showing a wide-angle image from a camera on the trunk lid, separate from the backup camera. It takes a little getting used to, but there’s no blind spot.
Nissan’s separated rear storage
The rear storage compartment of the Nissan Rogue SUV can be configured in multiple ways with a separating divide. This way, wet or dirty things, such as soccer cleats, can be kept apart from clean things, such as food or your sweater.
BMW’s gesture control
A camera beneath the rear-view mirror of the BMW 7 Series picks up movement, and recognizes certain hand gestures beneath it. Point at the radio with two fingers and the sound will be muted; twirl your fingers clockwise or counterclockwise and the volume will increase or decrease accordingly.
Mercedes-Benz’s split video screenThe central display screen in many Mercedes is designed to show one image to the driver and another to the passenger. Pixels are aligned in alternating rows, and a mask on the screen divides the two images. This way, for example, the passenger can watch a movie while the driver sees only the navigation screen.
Dodge’s red and black keys
On the 707-horsepower Hellcat editions of the Challenger and Charger, there’s a red key and a black key: The red key allows unrestricted performance and the black key – the one you give your friends or your spouse – cuts horsepower to “just” 500. There’s also an electronic valet mode that cuts horsepower further to 300 and 4,000 rpm, and locks out first gear.
Audi’s virtual cockpit
It’s a popular optional extra that turns the dashboard in front of the steering wheel into a video display, featuring customizable gauges and readouts and even a full-width navigation screen.
You probably won’t even notice it, but some Mazdas have software that uses pressure from the engine to govern the individual shock absorbers around corners. It means less wavering of the steering wheel even on a straight road, and a smoother ride.
Porsche’s cellphone-signal optimizerPlace your cellphone in the central armrest of your new Porsche and not only will it charge wirelessly, it will connect automatically to an antenna near the headlights, where the cell signal will be stronger.
Honda’s farside video
Flick on the indicator of your Honda Accord to turn right while driving, and the central display screen will show an image of the right side of your car. This way, you’ll see any vehicle otherwise hidden in your mirror’s blind spot and, more important, any bicycles and scooters coming alongside in city traffic.
Lincoln’s split thigh support
The 30-way adjustable front seats of the new Lincoln Continental are split in the front centre to provide individual support for each of your thighs. Want to lift that left leg a little higher than the right? Only Lincoln will actually help you do it.
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