Fast Lane: Alfa Romeo's first SUV

The Stelvio
The StelvioPHOTOS: ALFA ROMEO, ALPINE, BENTLEY, DS7, FORD, MITSUBISHI, PEUGEOT , ROLLS-ROYCE
Peugeot’s Instinct concept
Peugeot’s Instinct conceptPHOTOS: ALFA ROMEO, ALPINE, BENTLEY, DS7, FORD, MITSUBISHI, PEUGEOT , ROLLS-ROYCE
The new DS7 Crossback
The new DS7 CrossbackPHOTOS: ALFA ROMEO, ALPINE, BENTLEY, DS7, FORD, MITSUBISHI, PEUGEOT , ROLLS-ROYCE
Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross
Mitsubishi Eclipse CrossPHOTOS: ALFA ROMEO, ALPINE, BENTLEY, DS7, FORD, MITSUBISHI, PEUGEOT , ROLLS-ROYCE
Alpine A110
Alpine A110PHOTOS: ALFA ROMEO, ALPINE, BENTLEY, DS7, FORD, MITSUBISHI, PEUGEOT , ROLLS-ROYCE
Ford’s next Fiesta ST
Ford’s next Fiesta STPHOTOS: ALFA ROMEO, ALPINE, BENTLEY, DS7, FORD, MITSUBISHI, PEUGEOT , ROLLS-ROYCE
The Bentayga Mulliner
The Bentayga MullinerPHOTOS: ALFA ROMEO, ALPINE, BENTLEY, DS7, FORD, MITSUBISHI, PEUGEOT , ROLLS-ROYCE
The Rolls-Royce SRH
The Rolls-Royce SRHPHOTOS: ALFA ROMEO, ALPINE, BENTLEY, DS7, FORD, MITSUBISHI, PEUGEOT , ROLLS-ROYCE

Alfa Romeo's first SUV

Behold the Stelvio (pictured), Alfa Romeo's first modern sport utility vehicle. The car comes in three trim levels and with a choice of a 280bhp 2-litre turbocharged petrol or a 210bhp 2.2-litre turbodiesel, both mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission sending power to all four wheels.

The petrol engine is an all-aluminium four-cylinder unit with carbon drive shaft, electro-hydraulic valve actuation, two-in-one turbo and 200-bar high-pressure direct injection. It delivers 400Nm at 2,250rpm and offers best-in-class acceleration, going from zero to 100kmh in 5.7 seconds and on to a top speed of 229kmh.


Peugeot Instinct concept learns driver's preferences

Peugeot's Instinct concept (pictured) is a 300bhp plug-in hybrid with changeable Autonomous and Drive modes. It will also "learn" the driver's preferences and pre-set driving mode, seat and interface settings, ambient lighting and music.


DS7 Crossback boasts tech features for self-driving

The new DS7 Crossback (pictured) is packed with high-tech features that can be applied to autonomous driving. These include adaptive cruise control, night vision and a suspension system that sets itself up for the road ahead with the aid of cameras. It is available in a range of engines, all mated to an eight-speed autobox.


New Volvo XC60 keeps drivers safer

The new Volvo XC60 will literally steer drivers out of trouble. Its City Safety has been updated to include steering support, which engages when automatic braking alone would not help the driver avoid a potential collision. It helps to avoid collisions with vehicles, pedestrians and large animals, and is active at 50 to 100 kmh.

The XC60 also has a new system called Oncoming Lane Mitigation, which helps drivers to avoid collisions with vehicles in an oncoming lane. The system will guide a straying vehicle back into lane at speeds from 60 to 140kmh.


Volvo's hybrid truck 30 per cent more efficient

Volvo has developed its first hybrid long-haul truck, which can reduce fuel consumption and CO2 emissions by about 30 per cent. The hybrid powertrain works by recovering energy when driving downhill on slopes steeper than 1 per cent, or when braking. The recovered energy is stored in the vehicle's batteries and used to power the truck in electric mode on flat roads or low gradients.

It is able to analyse upcoming topography to calculate the most economical and efficient choice between its diesel engine and electric motor. On long haul journeys, it is estimated that the hybrid powertrain will allow the combustion engine to be shut off for up to 30 per cent of the time.


Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross to debut next year

Mitsubishi Motors will introduce a new compact crossover called Eclipse Cross (pictured) next year. It uses an electronically controlled four- wheel-drive system that feeds the optimum amount of torque to the rear wheels, depending on the driving situation and road surface.

It will be powered by a new 1.5-litre direct-injection turbocharged petrol engine paired with a continuously variable transmission with eight-speed manual override. A 2.2-litre common rail direct-injection turbodiesel will have a regular eight-speed autobox.


Alpine A110 targets Porsche Cayman

Alpine has released images of its A110 (pictured), a mid-engined two- seater aimed squarely at the Porsche Cayman (it even looks a bit like the Cayman).

The A110 features a full aluminium platform and upper body for optimum weight and agility.


Renault-Nissan to develop services with driverless car specialist

Renault-Nissan and Transdev have agreed to jointly explore development of mobility services with electric driverless vehicles for public and on-demand transportation. The research will initially include field tests in Paris-Saclay with Renault Zoes, and Transdev's ondemand dispatch, supervision and routing platform.

Transdev is engaged in a series of pilot autonomous vehicle deployments in a number of countries and is operating the world's first commercial driverless service on state-owned utility company Electricity of France's campus in Civaux, France.


New Ford Fiesta ST hits 100kmh in 6.7 seconds

Ford's next Fiesta ST (pictured) is powered by a new three-cylinder 1.5-litre EcoBoost engine producing 200bhp and 290Nm. It will hit 100kmh in 6.7 seconds. It has drive mode selection, electronic sound enhancement and active exhaust noise control valve.

Most impressively, the engine will have cylinder deactivation - the first for a three-cylinder.

The new Fiesta ST will be available from next year in both three-door and five-door bodystyles.


Connected cars of the future make driving seamless

Seat chief digital officer Fabian Simmer says cars in the near future will be as connected as the smartphone. For example, they will enable drivers to access e-mail and social media and continue driving in complete safety. There will be more specific apps to be used inside the car in a safe manner.

In the future, vehicles will have predictive assistants that help drivers choose the best route to take. They will also help look for parking spaces (it is estimated that 25 per cent of traffic in Europe's city centres is caused by drivers looking for a place to park).

Lastly, future vehicles will be enabled for car-sharing, allowing several users to have access to a car via a secured phone app.


Bentley to launch variations of the Bentayga Mulliner

For those who feel the Bentayga is not luxurious enough, Bentley has come up with a Mulliner version. The Bentayga Mulliner (pictured) features 22-inch wheels, a new Mulliner Bottle Cooler, new veneer concept and a bespoke Mulliner interior colour split with contrast embroidery.

Meanwhile, Bentley will be launching a turbodiesel Bentayga soon in Singapore, followed by a seven-seater and possibly a two- door coupe variant.


A Rolls-Royce motorised toy car for reducing patient stress

Rolls-Royce Motor Cars has crafted a motorised toy model (pictured) for St Richard's Hospital Pediatric Day Surgery Unit in Chichester, West Sussex.

The Rolls-Royce SRH - with a top speed of 16kmh - will allow children awaiting surgery to drive themselves to the operating theatre, through the Pediatric Unit corridors. The experience is thought to reduce patient stress.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 04, 2017, with the headline 'Fast Lane: Alfa Romeo's first SUV'. Print Edition | Subscribe