Fast lane

PHOTOS: AUDI, NISSAN, GTA, TRAMONTANA, MINI, LOTUS, MERCEDES-BENZ

NEW A4 MAKES DEBUT

Audi's new A4 is out. About the same size as its predecessor but weighing up to 120kg lighter and boasting a drag-coefficient of 0.23, it is said to be more fuel efficient. As before, it will have a wide choice of four- and six-cylinder engines ranging from 150bhp to 272bhp. Audi says it is built on an all-new platform and boasts a revised seven-speed dual-clutch and eight-speed Tiptronic transmissions. The new model is expected to arrive here around the middle of next year.


SPANISH SUPERCARS ON SHOW

Two Spanish supercars will star at Salon Prive, a car show to be held from Sept 3 to 5 at Blenheim Palace in Britain. The Tramontana R, powered by either a V12 or a V10, will vie for attention with the GTA Spano. The Spano, powered by a bi-turbo V10 that makes 925bhp and 1,220Nm, hits 100kmh in 2.9 seconds and a top speed of more than 365kmh. The Tramontana R is said to be capable of a 3.5- second century sprint and a peak velocity of 325kmh.


NISSAN'S INSANE JUKE-R GETS CRAZIER

Nissan has upgraded its Juke-R Crossover supercar. The Juke-R 2.0 concept made its debut at the Goodwood Festival of Speed from June 26 to 28. The 600bhp car is even more insane than its predecessor, which was shown last year.


SUZUKI OFFERS DUAL-CLUTCH GEARBOXES

Suzuki is the latest to offer dual-clutch gearboxes, starting with its turbodiesel S-Cross Allgrip.

The six-speed transmission utilises one clutch for first, third and fifth gears and the other for second, fourth and sixth.

Paired with its latest Euro 6 1.6-litre turbodiesel with 320Nm of torque, the dual-clutch unit offers quick and seamless shifts.

The driver takes control via paddle shifters.


NEW PETROL FORMULA FOR ESSO

Esso is rolling out a new formulation for its petrols to go with a facelift for its stations.

The company would only say the fuels contain more additives and motorists will notice their new names.

Syn 2000 will now be called Synergy Regular, Syn 5000 will be called Synergy Extra and Syn 8000 will be called Synergy Supreme+.


POSTURE FOR DUMMIES

You are in a car and you know you are about to hit something. If you are the driver, you're likely to hit the brakes and turn the wheel.

If you are a passenger, aware of what is about to happen, your instinct is to brace yourself for impact.

These changes in posture - relaxed or braced - are not something physical crash test dummies can copy. However, Toyota has produced new software for its virtual human modelling that replicates these kinds of pre-collision reactions.

The computer-aided models allow changes prior to an impact to be scrutinised. This means the performance of seatbelts, airbags and other safety devices, as well as other pre-collision systems, can be studied more closely.


NEW MINI CLUBMAN BIG ON SPACE

The new Mini Clubman is noticeably bigger than its predecessor. To be precise, it is 270mm longer and 73mm wider than the Mini 5-door Hatch, with a wheelbase which is 100mm longer.

The boot has a volume of 360 litres, which can be extended to 1,250 litres by folding flat the rear seats. Other than that, it is all Mini.


LOTUS UNVEILS THE 3-ELEVEN

Lotus last week unveiled its quickest and most expensive series production car - the 3-Eleven - at the 2015 Goodwood Festival of Speed. Its lightweight body, with an open cockpit, is propelled by a revised V6 supercharged engine developing 450bhp. With a dry weight of below 900kg (Race version), the 3-Eleven has in excess of 500bhp per tonne and is capable of sprinting from zero to 100kmh in just over three seconds and a top speed of 290kmh.


DRIVE SELECT FOR MERCEDES A-CLASS

Mercedes' facelifted A-class will offer drive select. At the touch of a button, the driver can change the car's driving characteristics from comfortable to sporty or efficient. It will also have a new range of engines, including a 109bhp turbodiesel A180d with a claimed CO2 emission of 89g/km. Also new to the range is a A220d 4Matic.


LEXUS ROLLS OUT TURBO IS

Lexus is gradually introducing forced induction to its range. The IS is next. The compact performance sedan will have a 2-litre turbocharged petrol engine that produces 241bhp and 350Nm of torque. First found in the NX200t, it powers the IS200t to 100kmh in seven seconds and a top speed of 229kmh. However, unlike the six-speed NX, the IS has an eight-speed autobox originally developed for the RC F sports car.


CALTEX AND CDC ENRICHMENT CAMP ENDS

Caltex and Central Singapore CDC have concluded a new enrichment programme for lower-secondary students studying science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

The inaugural programme saw 320 pupils attending a one-day camp, which included learning journeys and hands-on activities.

Christopher Tan

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 04, 2015, with the headline '(No headline) - CTFAST04'. Print Edition | Subscribe