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2019 Autoblog Technology of the Year finalists revealed

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Every fall, we line up a range of new models with the latest and most compelling

automotive technology

from the past year. We test everything from semi-autonomous systems like


Autopilot to trick suspension setups like the Multimatic spool-valve shocks on the

Chevy Colorado

ZR2. We spend months paring down the list to a small group of contenders. After testing, dinner and healthy debate, we tally up the votes and name our winner. For


‘s 2019 Technology of the Year Award, our three finalists are the

Cadillac CT6

with Super Cruise, the Infiniti


with Variable Compression


and the Mercedes-AMG E 53 with EQ Boost.

Super Cruise

is an advanced SAE Level 2 semi-autonomous system, though


(unlike some of its rivals) is reluctant to push that point. Cadillac would like you to think of this as an advanced driver assistance feature rather than a semi-autonomous system. Super Cruise allows completely hands-free highway driving. Thanks to a driver-facing camera, the system forces the driver to keep his or her eyes on the road even if hands are off the wheel. Although the


is being discontinued, look for Super Cruise to make its way to other Cadillacs soon.

VC Turbo

is a little more complicated. Basically,


2.0-liter turbocharged inline-four can vary the compression ratio on the fly. In general, turbocharged engines are more efficient than naturally-aspirated engines when on boost, but can perform worse at low revs. VC Turbo allows for a best-of-both-worlds situation, increasing the compression at low revs and backing it off once the turbo spools up. The best part is that it does so seamlessly, with only a dash readout letting you know what’s going on under the hood.

Our third finalist is the

EQ Boost

48-volt system in the Mercedes-AMG E 53. Like VC Turbo, EQ Boost does a lot just beneath the surface.


has developed a new turbocharged 3.0-liter inline-six and paired it with a small electric motor. While the car can’t run on electricity alone, the motor helps improve both efficiency and performance, smoothing shifts and filling in low-end torque before the turbos spool up. Think torque fill, similar to a


P1. Who can complain about better

fuel economy

and more torque? Look for the 48-volt system to make its way into most of the



The winner will be revealed next week on


, and we’ll present the award Jan. 15 at the

Detroit Auto Show


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