Fast Lane: Audi's all-new A4 sedan

Audi's all-new A4 sedan.
Audi's all-new A4 sedan.PHOTOS: AUDI, MERCEDES-BENZ, JAGUAR, VOLKSWAGEN, BENTLEY

Audi's all-new A4 sedan

Audi presented its all-new A4 sedan on Thursday, ahead of the Singapore Motorshow next week. The car is about the same size as its predecessor, but is up to 120kg lighter and with a slightly longer wheelbase.

It is powered by a 1.4-litre TSI engine mated to a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission. It attains 100kmh in 8.5 seconds and a top speed of 210kmh, while consuming 5.6 litres of petrol per 100km.

Although its design has not been changed drastically, the new A4 looks noticeably sharper and smarter. Its interior is spacious and classy, with a dashboard and centre console befitting a car a station above it.

With prices starting from $176,800, it is expected to help maintain Audi's record sales last year.


Open-top V12 Merc

Behold the Mercedes-AMG S65 Cabriolet, Daimler's first open- top V12 four-seater. With 630bhp and 1,000Nm at its disposal, the car is aimed squarely at Bentley's Continental family.

It sprints from 0 to 100kmh in 4.1 seconds (0.3 seconds quicker than the Continental GT Speed) and its top speed is electronically limited to 300kmh (the GT Speed has a claimed top velocity of 327kmh). Occupants are pampered by air suspension, a three-layered acoustic fabric top, and nappa leather upholstery.


Jaguar Land Rover for electric car race

Jaguar Land Rover will take part in the FIA Formula E Championship from this year, signalling its commitment to electric technology. The Tata-owned British company will enter the championship as a manufacturer with its own team.

FIA Formula E is the world's first global single-seater championship for electric powered cars.


Nissan car cameras a hit

Nissan is fast becoming a major camera brand. The carmaker sells more than 3,000 car cameras a day. And more than two million Nissans were fitted with cameras in the past two years alone.

The most popular types, according to Nissan, are wide- angle cameras attached to the front, back, left and right. Used in unison, they form Nissan's Around View Monitor system.


Singaporean heads VW Group here

Volkswagen Group Singapore has appointed a Singaporean as its new managing director - a first for any German car brand. Mr Ricky Tay, who has worked in the automotive industry for 30 years (15 with VW), replaced Mr Steffen Schwarz on Jan 1.

Mr Tay, 59, worked for Volkswagen Group Singapore from 2000 to 2001 as regional manager for Austra-Asia. After that, he held various positions in Asia, including, deputy sales director at Shanghai Volkswagen, managing director at Volkswagen Group Malaysia and, most recently, group managing director at Volkswagen Group Import China Co Ltd.


From SLK to SLC

Mercedes-Benz will launch a facelifted version of its SLK roadster in March. Renamed SLC, it comes 20 years after Merc's popular hardtop convertible was unveiled. The new name reflects the car's close ties with the C-class, from which much of the roadster's technology is derived. Stand-out features include a "diamond" radiator grille and LED headlamps (an option). It will arrive in Singapore in the second half of this year.


Electric concept from VW

Volkswagen showed off a new electric concept at the ongoing Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.

The BUDD-e has electric all-wheel-drive, with the front motor producing 110kW and the rear making 125kW. It has claimed a range of 533km with a full charge.

Using a tablet and Volkswagen's Travel App, users can programme songs to start exactly at specific points on their route. Gesture control allows the car to be operated intuitively. Even the doors can be opened with a gesture.


Bentley covered in stone

You will soon be able to order a Bentley with stone veneer. Developed by its coach-building unit Mulliner, the imaginative finish uses slate and quartzite stone from quarries in Rajasthan and Andhra Pradesh, India.

The stones are split from larger pieces and cured using glass fibre and a resin. Finally, they are shaped and hand finished in Crewe, England.

The stone surfaces are just 0.1mm thick, which means they are light and translucent.


New, beefier engines for Infiniti

Infiniti will unleash a twin- turbocharged V6 which it claims is its "lightest, most powerful, cleanest and most fuel efficient V6 engine".

It will have two power outputs available: 300bhp or 400bhp. It will be introduced in new Infiniti models starting this year.


Rolls-Royce testing SUV on roads

Rolls-Royce has started road-testing its SUV, which it will launch in 2018. But being the typically coy company that it is, it merely says the tests are for "an all-new aluminium space- frame architecture that will underpin all future Rolls-Royce models arriving in the market from early 2018".


Voice-control system on wristband

Volvo and Microsoft will unveil a voice-control system in the form of a wearable wristband later this year.

The Microsoft Band 2 will allow Volvo owners to talk to their cars, instructing them to perform tasks such as setting the navigation, starting the climate control, locking the doors, flashing the lights or sounding the horn.

Christopher Tan

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 09, 2016, with the headline '(No headline) - CTFAST09'. Print Edition | Subscribe