Fast Lane

Mitsubishi e-Evolution
Mitsubishi e-EvolutionPHOTO: MITSUBISHI MOTORS
Range Rover Sport
Range Rover SportPHOTO: RANGE ROVER
McLaren BP23
McLaren BP23PHOTO: MCLAREN
Audi R8 LMS GT4
Audi R8 LMS GT4PHOTO: AUDI
Project Neptune
Project NeptunePHOTO: PROJECT NEPTUNE
Honda Sports EV concept
Honda Sports EV conceptPHOTO: HONDA

Electric Evo

An electric Mitsubishi Evo? That's exactly what Mitsubishi Motors is showcasing at the Tokyo Motor Show later this month. With a triple-motor all-wheel-drive system, the e-Evolution concept promises to be as racy as its petrol-driven Evo predecessors. With a dual-motor active yaw control and even a coaching function, the car should be accessible to novices. Its triple motor 4WD system employs a single motor to drive the front wheels and an active yaw control system to couple two rear motors through an electronically controlled torque-vectoring unit. Whether driving around town, on motorways or along winding roads, the system always provides crisp and nimble handling that faithfully mirrors driver intent.

More jams on the road with car-sharing

Car-sharing means fewer cars, but busier roads. According to a study quoted by Agence France-Presse, a boom in car-sharing could slash the number of vehicles on European roads by 80 million by 2030. But roads could become busier even as Europe's fleet of cars falls to 200 million, consultancy PwC forecasts, as shared vehicles will be used much more frequently than privately owned ones. The experts believe up to 1km in 3km travelled on European roads could use some form of car-sharing in future, predicting that services will become just as accessible in the countryside as in cities. Increasing numbers of electric and self-driving cars will encourage people to try out car-sharing, PwC expects. Shared vehicles clock around 58,000km a year, the study found, or roughly the equivalent of a taxi - compared with just 13,200km for a private car. That means they will have to be replaced more often, likely every 3.9 years rather than the 17.3 today.

Green Range Rover?

A plug-in hybrid variant of the Range Rover Sport has been launched. With a combined output of 404bhp and 640Nm and a purported efficiency of 2.3 litres/ 100km, the petrol-electric car sounds like a greenie's SUV. The car is able to go 50km on pure electric mode, which means the average motorist in Singapore may never need to call on its combustion engine - a 2-litre inline-four turbocharged. Discussions are underway to bring the car here. Petrolheads, meanwhile, might want to go for the top-of-the-range 575bhp Range Rover Sport SVR, which finishes the century dash in 4.5 seconds.

Record-breaking Alfa Romeo SUV

Alfa Romeo's Stelvio Quadrifoglio has lapped the iconic Nurburgring circuit in a record seven minutes 51.7 seconds, making it the fastest production SUV. Powered by a twin-turbo 2.9-litre 510bhp V6, the all-wheel-drive Stelvio Quadrifoglio completed the epic 20.7km Nordschleife eight seconds faster than the previous production SUV record holder.

Fastest McLaren

The next McLaren Ultimate Series product is codenamed BP23. Its road-testing programme is continuing with a centre seat mule based on a McLaren 720S. The mule vehicle has been created to investigate different ergonomic solutions for the car’s unique cabin layout as well as technologies being developed for the final car. The hybrid-powered BP23 will be “the fastest-ever McLaren”. Only 106 units will be produced. So far, orders have outstripped demand by three times.

Audi GT4 ready for orders

The track-ready Audi R8 LMS GT4 can now be ordered in four continents. The GT4 delivers up to 495bhp and is priced from €198,000 (S$317,250). Deliveries are planned to begin in December. Mr Hendrik Tobbe is the central point of contact. E-mail hendrik. toebbe@audi.de.

Aston Martin to go into submersibles

Aston Martin is collaborating with Triton Submarines to create a futuristic submersible codenamed Project Neptune. Triton has unparalleled expertise in the design, manufacture and operation of submersibles for researchers, explorers and super-yacht owners. Project Neptune will be based on Triton’s Low Profile three-person platform.

Entry-level BMW 5-series

BMW has added the 520i to its new 5-series stable. It is powered by a modular BMW EfficientDynamics family of power units. The 2-litre four-cylinder produces 184bhp and 290Nm of torque. Fuel consumption is a stated 6.2 litres/ 100km. It accelerates to 100kmh in 7.8 seconds and onto a top speed of 235kmh. It is priced at $264,800.

Honda offers new concepts

Honda will unveil a Sports EV concept at the Tokyo Motor Show on Oct 25. Other Honda highlights include the Urban EV Concept – revealed to an overwhelmingly positive response at the Frankfurt Motor Show last month – and a range of Super Cub motorcycle models celebrating its 60th anniversary and 100 million units produced.

Visitors will also be able to see the Honda NeuV personal mobility concept.

The Sports EV concept has an eye-catching silhouette, friendly face and supple body surfaces. It is designed to deliver “a feeling of joy and emotional unity to the drive, achieved by efficiently combining the EV power unit and AI technology in a compact body shape”.

Trio to boost technologies for electric vehicles

Mazda Motor, Denso Corp and Toyota Motor have signed a contract to jointly develop basic structural technologies for electric vehicles. The three have also decided to establish a new company, which will explore projects that will include fuel-cell and lithium battery technologies. Meanwhile, Nissan has announced its 2018 range of home and office charging units. The Nissan double-speed 7kW home charger allows electric vehicle owners to achieve a full charge in 5.5 hours – a 70 per cent reduction from the current charging technology. The 22kW charger goes even faster and is capable of charging a Nissan EV in just two hours.

Christopher Tan

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 07, 2017, with the headline 'Fast Lane'. Print Edition | Subscribe