Fast lane: Aston Martin snagged by Wearnes Automotive and other news

547bhp DB9 GT
547bhp DB9 GTPHOTO: ASTON MARTIN
Talisman.
Talisman.PHOTO: RENAULT
Toyota’s Mirai.
Toyota’s Mirai.PHOTO: TOYOTA
500.
500.PHOTO: FIAT
624bhp Rolls-Royce Wraith.
624bhp Rolls-Royce Wraith.PHOTO: ROLLS-ROYCE
The V-class.
The V-class.PHOTO: MERCEDES-BENZ

ASTON MARTIN GOING TO WEARNES

Multi-brand dealer Wearnes Automotive is said to have clinched the Aston Martin franchise, according to industry sources. After negotiations spanning nearly six months, the British marque currently handled by businessman Derek McCully will move to the Wearnes stable before the end of the year. The deal, however, does not include the sale of two current Aston premises in Chang Charn Road and Tuas Basin Link. Neither Wearnes nor Mr McCully would comment on the move.

Aston Martin is poised to launch a slew of new models based on a new aluminium chassis and engines from AMG, starting with a new DB9 within the next two years. There is also a crossover on the horizon. Recently, it unveiled a 547bhp DB9 GT , its most powerful DB9 to date - until the new model appears.


NEW TALISMAN FROM RENAULT

Renault has introduced the rational Talisman. Measuring 4.85m tip to tip and 1.87m wide and just 1.46m tall, the French sedan is sleek and sizeable. And with a 2.81m wheelbase and a 608-litre boot, it is also very spacious all around.

The Talisman will be powered by two petrol engines mated with a seven- speed dual-clutch gearbox and three diesels mated with a six-speed dual-clutch.


MIRAI GOES THE DISTANCE

Toyota's Mirai, the world's first commercially available hydrogen fuel cell car, clocked 3.5 litres/100km in a recent economy test in the United States. On one tank of hydrogen, it could cover around 500km. Instead of using petrol, the Mirai runs on electricity created by hydrogen fuel and oxygen. The only emission produced by this process is water vapour.


FERRARI 488 GTB ARRIVES HERE

The Ferrari 488 GTB officially made its debut in Singapore on Wednesday, just three months after breaking cover at the Geneva Motor Show in March. Forty years after the launch of the 308, Ferrari's first mid-rear-engined V8 berlinetta, the 488 GTB revisits the special architecture. For those who are keen, the car costs just over a million bucks.


500 CELEBRATES 50 YEARS

Fiat unveiled the new 500 on July 4, exactly 50 years after the birth of the first 500 in 1957 and eight years after the previous model. It has not grown in size but it has matured with advanced technologies, improved efficiency and even more customisation ideas.

Available as a hatchback or a convertible, it has a high equipment level. LED daytime-running lights, seven airbags, multi-function steering wheel and a Uconnect infotainment system with six speakers are standard issue.

The engine line-up at launch includes a 0.9-litre TwinAir engine (85bhp or 105bhp) and a 1.2-litre 69bhp unit.


WRAITH LEADS IN HILL SPRINT

At the Goodwood Festival of Speed last Sunday, a 624bhp Rolls-Royce Wraith driven by hill-climb legend Joerg Weidinger beat several sports cars in a 1.9km hill-climb sprint.

The Roller crossed the line at 170kmh, completing the course in 57.21 seconds. It was ahead of the Maserati GranTurismo MC Stradale Centennial Edition (59.00), the Bentley Continental GT (60.65), the Maserati GranCabrio MC (60.66) and the Porsche 918 Spyder "Weissach" (61.37).


V FOR VARIETY

The V-class is Mercedes' answer to the Toyota Alphard. It comes with two wheelbases, three body lengths from 4,895mm to 5,370mm, three engines and many optional features. It is available in three power output levels: The V200 CDI develops 136bhp and 330Nm, the V220 CDI generates 163bhp and 380Nm, while the top-line V250 BlueTec puts out 190bhp and 440Nm.

Christopher Tan

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 11, 2015, with the headline 'Fast lane'. Print Edition | Subscribe