Fast Lane

Kia Optima.
Kia Optima.PHOTO: KIA
Volkswagen Beetle.
Volkswagen Beetle.PHOTO: BEETLE
The Superb GreenLine.
The Superb GreenLine.PHOTO: SKODA
Renault Talisman Estate.
Renault Talisman Estate.PHOTO: RENAULT

Bigger, finer Optima

Kia will show off its latest Optima at the Frankfurt Motor Show next month. The car is more spacious than ever, thanks largely to a longer wheelbase. It will offer more technology, more refinement and higher quality finishing. Structurally, the car’s body is said to be 50 per cent stronger.

It will also be equipped with new active safety features. Engine choices include petrol, upgraded turbodiesel and a plug-in hybrid to follow. They are mated to a seven-speed double-clutch transmission. The car could arrive in Singapore as early as December.


Beetle at Night Festival

The Volkswagen Beetle now comes with bi-xenon headlamps, LED daytime-running lights, and a panoramic sunroof with UV protection. It wears 18-inch “Twister” alloy wheels and a rear spoiler.

Buyers get to choose different roof, mirror and tailgate designs too. View the car at the Singapore Night Festival 2015 today and tomorrow.


Superb GreenLine goes greener

Skoda is set to unveil one of the most frugal full-size cars.

The Superb GreenLine  is said to offer a consumption figure of 3.7 litres/100km and CO2 emission of as little as 96g/km.

These provide the new Superb GreenLine a potential range of more than 1,760km on a full tank – almost the distance between Singapore and Bangkok. It is powered by a 1.6-litre four-cylinder turbodiesel that develops 120bhp


Tesla charger at Airbnb

Online accommodation provider Airbnb has tied up with electric car maker Tesla to have Tesla charging stations installed at Airbnb homes. The deal kicks off with homes in California. Currently, 15 homes have been installed with chargers. Both companies say this will give Tesla owners the freedom to explore more and farther on road trips.


Hyundai’s race division

Hyundai Motor will showcase its high performance sub-brand N at the Frankfurt Motor Show next month. The result of intensive testing and product development, the sub-brand builds on Hyundai’s motorsport experiences.

Hyundai will highlight its move with a new generation i20 WRC car. Based on the latest i20, the rally car is the first prototype for a vehicle that will take part in the 2016 WRC.


Talisman Estate unveiled

Renault has taken the wraps off the Talisman Estate, just a month after the sedan version of the French make was revealed. The large estate has the same technological features as the sedan, along with extra load carrying ability.

It will have four-wheel steering, active damping and a sophisticated infotainment system, and offers almost 1,700 litres of cargo space. Unfortunately, it is available only in left-hand-drive.


Cheaper crude, but higher pump prices

Crude oil prices have fallen below the US$40 (S$56) level. On the New York Mercantile Exchange this week, West Texas Intermediate crude, a US benchmark, fell to US$39.63 – its lowest in more than six years.

Current pump prices, however, are still 12 to 16 per cent higher than when they were in 2009, discounting the hike in petrol duty in February this year.


French racing connection

DS Automobiles, a luxury spin-off from Citroen, has started a motor sport division.

DS Performance will contribute its technological expertise in Formula E research and development to the DS Virgin Racing team.

The division is headed by veteran rally driver and race manager Yves Matton.


Christopher Tan

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 29, 2015, with the headline ''. Print Edition | Subscribe