Fast Lane: Add more room to the Mini Countryman with a roof tent

New Mini Countryman
New Mini CountrymanPHOTO: MINI
Skoda SUV Karoq
Skoda SUV KaroqPHOTO: SKODA

Add more room to the Mini Countryman with a roof tent

As if the new Mini Countryman is not big enough, there is now an AirTop roof tent owners in the United Kingdom can buy to create extra room in the biggest Mini yet.

Developed by Autohome in cooperation with Mini's design team, the two-man tent is mounted on the roof of the Countryman. It can fit Mini models too. It uses conventional Mini roof rails and no tools for installation are needed. It comes with an aluminium ladder.

Ideal for those cosy camping adventures in the woods.


'Low-risk' drivers get 15 per cent discount off car insurance premiums

Safe drivers can now look forward to discounts on their car insurance premiums with AIG Singapore. The AAS Academy, a wholly owned subsidiary of Automobile Association of Singapore and insurance provider AIG Singapore, have come up with an online risk assessment form for drivers.

The assessment covers four areas of driving proficiency: attitude, knowledge, concentration and observation, and hazard perception. Upon completing the assessment, drivers will be assigned a low-, medium- or high-risk status. Drivers who are identified as "low risk" will receive a 15 per cent discount.



PHOTO: NISSAN

Nissan adopts Victorian-era invention to reduce smartphone distraction

Nissan GB has adopted a Victorian-era technology to reduce smartphone distraction while driving.

The Nissan Signal Shield concept (pictured) creates an in-car compartment that blocks all cellular, Bluetooth and Wi-Fi signals.

It is built into the armrest of Nissan's Juke crossover.

One in five drivers in the United Kingdom admit to having illegally texted while driving.

The innovation works on the principle of the Faraday cage, an enclosure made of a conductive material, such as wire mesh, which blocks electromagnetic fields.

It is named after the pioneering English scientist Michael Faraday, who invented it in the 1830s.


Skoda SUV Karoq to debut on May 18

Skoda has named its next compact sport utility vehicle (SUV) Karoq (pictured), which is derived from the language of Alaska's indigenous people. Its world premiere will take place in Stockholm on May 18.

The car is said to offer "exceptional space in the interior and boot", new driver-assistance systems, full LED headlights and a digital instrument panel. Five engine variants are available from 115bhp to 190bhp, of which four are new.


 New Volkswagen coasting function shuts off engine

Volkswagen will introduce a new coasting function in the facelifted Golf TSI BlueMotion. Unlike current coasting functions, which disengage the engine from the gearbox, VW's version will shut off the engine entirely when the car is coasting.

At speeds of up to 130kmh, when the foot is lifted off the throttle, the Golf's engine will be deactivated. This reduces fuel consumption by up to 0.4 litres/100km - versus 0.2 litres/100km for current coasting functions.

The Golf variant also has a compact lithium-ion battery to power the air-conditioner and other onboard functions when the engine is switched off. At the end of the coasting phase, the Golf's 1.5-litre turbo engine is started up immediately.


Control car infotainment system with smartphone

Passengers in many new Volkswagen cars can now use their smartphone to switch between music tracks being played in the car, turn the volume up and do a host of other things.

Volkswagen's innovative Media Control app gives passengers the power to control the car's infotainment system with their phones via a WLAN connection.

Christopher Tan

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 06, 2017, with the headline 'Fast Lane'. Print Edition | Subscribe