Fast Lane

Honda Gold Wing
Honda Gold WingPHOTOS: ALBERO BROWN, AUDI, BMW, HONDA, MCLAREN AUTOMOTIVE, PORSCHE, VOLKSWAGEN

A high-tech Gold Wing

Redesigned from the wheels up, the new Honda Gold Wing is sharper, more compact and lighter. Its monumental flat-six engine now features four valves a cylinder and comes equipped with throttle-by-wire technology, four riding modes, Honda Selectable Torque Control and Hill Start Assist.

It is mated to a seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox. Its new chassis features an aluminium beam frame, double wishbone front suspension and single-sided Pro-Arm with electrically adjustable damping. Apple CarPlay is among a slew of amenities fitted.


Lexus IS cars recalled

In a pre-emptive move to fix a front passenger-side airbag flaw, Lexus is recalling 2,851 Lexus IS cars in Singapore. These cars were registered between 2006 and 2012, which means some would have already been scrapped.

The flaw has to do with the airbag inflator, which could have been assembled with "improperly manufactured propellant wafers", Lexus agent Borneo Motors told owners in a letter. This could lead to the airbag deploying abnormally in a crash and increasing the risk of injury.


Sporty BMW X2

BMW has unveiled the X2, its latest coupe-styled crossover. The company says the car's exterior design "combines the low-slung proportions of a coupe with the robust core of a BMW X model". This could mean it is neither here nor there. But looking at the picture, the styling works.

Lengthwise, the X2 is 2cm shorter and, height-wise, more than 7cm lower than the BMW X1. Both share the same wheelbase. It has a stretched, coupe-style roofline and slim window graphic. Its BMW kidney grille is wider, but its base is wider than at the top - the first modern BMW to feature this design cue.

Initially, the X2 xDrive20d turbodiesel will be available. It generates 190bhp and 400Nm of torque, enabling a century sprint time of 7.7 seconds. Variants following will include a four-cylinder petrol sDrive20i, which should be most relevant in Singapore. The car will arrive here by the first half of next year.


Audi A7 Sportback revealed

Behold the A7 Sportback, Audi's first executive-class fastback. The "five-door coupe" will initially be available with a 3-litre TFSI V6 petrol engine with 340bhp and 500Nm, aided by a mild hybrid system.

The cabin features an all-digital control system and comprehensive connectivity. The car should arrive in Singapore by the second half of next year.


Volkswagen Golf, new and improved

Volkswagen's facelifted Golf has arrived. The 2018 car is available with a wide range of engines, including a first-time 1-litre with 110bhp and 200Nm. The usual 1.4TSI with 125bhp or 150bhp, a GTI with 230bhp, and a Golf R with 290bhp make up the rest.

Prices start at $105,900 for the 1-litre Golf TSI, $175,900 for the GTI and $211,900 for the Golf R. All models are equipped with a stop-start system, regenerative braking and a 9.2-inch infotainment touchscreen.


Easy rider

Half-bicycle, half-motorbike and all fun, the Bultaco Albero combines electric propulsion activated by a grip throttle and independent pedalling, allowing the rider to adjust, at will, the amount of effort he wishes to make. The zero emission two-wheeler has 60Nm of torque, a 45kmh top speed and a range of 96km.


Bugatti gets new president

With effect from Jan 1, Mr Stephan Winkelmann, 53, will be president of Bugatti Automobiles, taking over from Mr Wolfgang Durheimer, 59, who is retiring.

Mr Winkelmann, who holds a degree in politics, comes from Audi Sport, and previously, Lamborghini. Mr Michael-Julius Renz, currently heading Audi sales in China, is tipped to replace him at Audi Sport.


McLaren 570S Spider hits Singapore

McLaren unveiled the 570S Spider - its latest model in the Sports Series family - at the McLaren Singapore showroom on Tuesday. It is the third bodystyle in the family, alongside the Coupe and GT. Its retractable hardtop is similar to that found on the 650S and 675LT Spiders.

Just 46kg heavier than the 570S Coupe, it transforms to an open-top car in 15 seconds - and at a vehicle speed of up to 40kmh. Its extended rear spoiler is 12mm higher than the Coupe's to compensate for the change in body shape. Its 3.8-litre twin-turbocharged V8 is paired with a seven-speed autobox. With 570bhp and 600Nm, it hits 100kmh in 3.2 seconds and a top speed of 328kmh with roof up - identical to the Coupe's performance. Its top speed with roof down is 315kmh. The price starts at $770,000 before COE.


911 Carrera T is faster and lighter

Porsche calls its new 911 Carrera T a purist's car. Wait, did it not say that about the recently launched 911R? Be that as it may, the new T takes its inspiration from the 911 T of 1968 - with less weight, shorter transmission ratios from a manual gearbox and rear-wheel drive with mechanical rear differential lock.

Its engine delivers 370bhp, giving the T (for Touring) plenty of grunt. It is fitted with Porsche Active Suspension Management sports chassis, which is lowered by 20mm, Sport Chrono Package, a shortened shift lever, 20-inch wheels and Sport-Tex seat centres. An optional rear-axle steering is also available. The car has arrived and is priced from $500,888 before COE.


Volkswagen takes Pikes Peak with EV

Volkswagen will take on the legendary Pikes Peak hill climb with an electric car, marking its return to the windy challenge after more than 30 years. The all-wheel-drive prototype is scheduled to be at the start of the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb in Colorado, United States on June 24 next year. Its goal is to set a new record for electric cars at the finish line which is at 4,300m elevation. By 2025, Volkswagen will be offering 23 all-electric models.


Cars@Expo is back

Whether you are in the market for a car, considering a vehicle upgrade or simply looking to make your daily ride more enjoyable, visit Cars@Expo this weekend.

With more than 40 exhibitors, the show at Singapore Expo will display a wide range of sedans, sport utility vehicles, luxury and hybrid vehicles from brands such as Audi, BMW, Honda, Mazda, Toyota and Volkswagen. There will also be a range of car accessories to make your drive a little more pleasurable.

Check out promotions on tyres from Stamford Tyres and the latest dash cams from Maka GPS Technologies and ZMC Automotive. Visitors who spend at least $100 will stand a chance to win one of eight electronic scooters from Mobot. And buyers of a new or used car will receive a $50 Esso petrol voucher while stocks last. The show is on today and tomorrow, from 10am to 8pm, at Halls 5 and 6. Admission is free.

Christopher Tan

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 28, 2017, with the headline 'Fast Lane'. Print Edition | Subscribe