Microsoft's and Ford's next generation SYNC
has official taken us from our origin at Smittenville to the rural outpost of Gobsmacked. The new SYNC adds 911 Assist, SIRIUS Travel Link
navigation, and DVD playback on a large 8- or 6.5-inch touchscreen display depending upon the guzzler you choose. The full $1,995 navigation option (or $395 for just the voice-controlled SYNC) is available exclusively on Ford's 2009 Escape, Escape hybrid, Flex, Lincoln MKS and F150 before rolling out to the rest of Ford's fleet. A new 10GB hard drive "Jukebox" has also been added which allows you to insert a CD, lookup the Gracenote CDDB info (including cover art) from the pre-installed database, and then rip the audio back to the disk if you choose. Rounding out the features are Sirius Radio (of course); aux-in and USB-in device (yes, iPods) support; voice commands; streaming audio and SMS text to voice read-out from Bluetooth enabled-phones; and several real-time, Sirius Travel Link services such as traffic data, weather detail, sports info, movies listings, and even gas prices at nearby pumps. Timely. Video walkthrough after the break.