Fast lane

Range Rover Velar (above).
Range Rover Velar (above).PHOTOS: AUDI, LAND ROVER, MERCEDES-BENZ, PORSCHE, SUZUKI

Range Rover Velar launched here

The new Range Rover Velar was launched in Singapore on Thursday.

The designer SUV starts at $284,999 for the two-litre, four-cylinder variant and $388,999 for the three-litre V6.

Size-wise, the Velar sits between the Range Rover Sport and Evoque. The 4,803mm car is 47mm shorter than the former, but 433mm longer than the latter.

It comes with nifty features, including a dual touchscreen for infotainment controls and adjustable ride height (three-litre).


Mercedes-Benz introduces E-class Coupe here

Mercedes-Benz has launched the E-class Coupe (above) in Singapore. The handsome addition joins the E family - which includes the Mercedes-AMG E63 S, Mercedes-AMG E43 Estate and Mercedes-Benz E200 Exclusive.

The model comes with LED headlights, a widescreen cockpit, smartphone integration and the latest assistance systems with the option of partially-automated driving.

The E200 Coupe starts at $282,888, while the E300 Coupe is priced at $334,888.


BMW X3 to come with new four-cylinder petrol engine

From December, a new four-cylinder petrol engine will be added to the BMW X3 line-up.

In addition to BMW TwinPower Turbo technology, the two-litre unit also boasts a weight-optimised design and a new engine encapsulation system for better acoustic characteristics and warm-up behaviour.

The engine featured in the BMW X3 xDrive20i delivers 184bhp and 290Nm. The car hits 100kmh in 8.3 seconds.


Ford and Lyft collaborate on driverless cars

Ford has teamed up with American ride-hailing company Lyft to bring self-driving vehicles to the masses.

The partnership aims to work towards a more affordable, dependable and accessible transportation model. Ford continues to make progress on developing self-driving technology through its driverless vehicle and Argo AI's virtual driver system.

Lyft has a network of customers, growing demand for rides and strong knowledge of transportation flow within cities.


New versions of Audi RS4 Avant and RS5 Coupe

Audi has introduced Carbon Edition versions of its RS4 Avant and RS5 Coupe (above).

Additions include extensive carbon-fibre detailing (the whole roof for the RS5), 20-inch milled alloy wheels, privacy glass, RS sport exhaust and RS matrix LED headlamps. A new 2.9-litre turbo engine with 450bhp and 600Nm delivers the century sprint in as little as 3.9 seconds (the RS4 Avant does it in 4.1 seconds) and a top speed of 279kmh.


Largest independent car workshop in Singapore

MBM Wheelpower, a Hong Kong-listed Singapore workshop operator, officially launched MBM AutoCity today.

It is Singapore's largest independent car workshop, spanning more than 38,000 sq ft, and is located at 160 Sin Ming Drive. Manned by about 100 mechanics, the workshop is equipped with a Car-o-Liner Collision Repair System and environmentally friendly water-based Cromax Pro Paint System. The workshop can work on 70 cars a day and can handle aluminium body repairs.

The 16-year-old home-grown company has set up a workshop in Tianjin, China, and plans to set up one in Kuala Lumpur next. The workshop is listed on the Hong Kong bourse under Zheng Li Holdings.

It is also launching a new car warranty programme called MBM Unlimited Warranty, which provides unlimited mileage coverage. Underwritten by QBE Insurance, a policy starts at $288 per annum.


Audi unveils first all-electric race car

Audi has joined Formula E, the battery-powered version of Formula 1. It presented the group's first all-electric race car in Neuburg on Wednesday night. The Audi e-tron FE04 (above) is the first such car in the company's four decades of racing history.

At the recent Frankfurt Motor Show, Audi announced that it will have more than 20 electrified models before 2025.

The combination of the motor and transmission is the centrepiece of the Audi e-tron FE04. To transmit power to the wheels, Team Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler will be using a high-efficiency transmission with only one gear in the 2017/2018 season.


Most powerful Porsche Sport Turismo

Porsche has included a plug-in hybrid variant to its new Panamera Sport Turismo wagon.

The Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid Sport Turismo (above) flagship model will combine a four-litre V8 with an electric motor, resulting in a system power of about 680bhp. Even when just above idle speed, the Panamera Turbo offers 850Nm of torque.

It accelerates from zero to 100kmh in 3.4 seconds and reaches a top speed of 310kmh.

The most powerful Sport Turismo has a range of up to 49km using solely electric power, producing zero local emissions.

Prices start at $842,488 before COE.


Fastest Porsche 911

Porsche has set a new record for road-approved sports cars on the 20.6km Nurburgring Nordschleife with the 911 GT2 RS (above).

A time of 6 minutes and 47.3 seconds was achieved on Sept 20. This makes the GT2 RS the most powerful and fastest 911 ever built.


Dyson working on electric car

Dyson, the British company behind the bagless vacuum cleaner and bladeless fan, has begun work on a battery electric vehicle, due to be launched by 2020.

The company has assembled a team of 400 people and is committed to spending £2 billion (S$3.64 billion) on the project to take on the likes of Tesla and other automotive giants.

Asked why it is venturing into this highly competitive field and why it thinks it can succeed, a Dyson spokesman says the company had actually come up with a diesel particulate filter system in the 1990s. But the market was not ready for it and the project stopped.

"Now, Dyson has the opportunity to bring all our technologies together into a battery electric vehicle. Rather than filtering emissions at the exhaust pipe, today we have the ability to solve it at the source," he adds.


New Suzuki bike has 'neo-retro' design

Suzuki will unveil the SV650X (above) at this year's Tokyo Motor Show next month.

An evolution of the SV650 Rally concept shown at last year's event, the bike pays homage to the tarmac rally cars and bikes of the 1970s.

"Neo-retro" design sees the SV650X get a newly styled bikini fairing and tinted screen, fog lamps and clip-on handlebars, with a tuck-roll - already available as a genuine accessory on the SV650 - completing the look.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 30, 2017, with the headline 'Fast lane'. Print Edition | Subscribe