Fast lane: Fastest Volkswagen Beetle

The Beetle LSR (Land Speed Record)
The Beetle LSR (Land Speed Record)PHOTO: VOLKSWAGEN
The E-class All-Terrain
The E-class All-TerrainPHOTO: MERCEDES-BENZ
Carbon Dress
Carbon DressPHOTO: FELDER FELDER
C3 WRC
C3 WRCPHOTO: CITROEN

Fastest Volkswagen Beetle

A specially tuned Volkswagen Beetle has set a new speed record at the World of Speed in Lake Bonneville in Utah, United States. The Beetle LSR (Land Speed Record) with a turbocharged 2-litre direct- injection engine drove the fastest speed ever documented for a Beetle, reaching 328.195kmh over 1.6km.

The output of its engine was boosted to 550bhp (with additions such as a new turbocharger, different pistons, camshafts, connecting rods and cylinder head modifications). It wore special wheels and sat closer to the ground. A limited- slip differential was also used to improve traction. In addition, the car had two brake parachutes.


Bentley embraces diesel technology

Bentley has introduced its first diesel model. The Bentayga Diesel has a triple-charged 4-litre V8 turbodiesel developing 429bhp and 900Nm. It has two turbos and one supercharger. It is also the world's fastest diesel SUV, with a century sprint timing of 4.8 seconds and a top speed of 270kmh. It will have a range of 1,000km and a carbon dioxide output of 210g/km - the lowest among Bentleys.

Bentley, like Rolls-Royce and other super high-end marques, has long resisted diesel variants because it wants to preserve refinement and image. Guess all bets are off then.


Cloud solutions for vehicles

Buildings, hedges or a truck - these objects can obscure a driver's view, especially at intersections. However, vehicle connectivity can greatly reduce the number of accidents this would cause by promptly providing information that is outside the driver's field of vision.

Together with Nokia and Deutsche Telekom, Bosch is developing local cloud solutions for the automotive industry and working on the complete integration of vehicles via the cellular network all the way through to the Bosch IoT Cloud. It will allow vehicles to communicate with one another, thereby eliminating many of today's blindspots.


Volkswagen Caddy, Caddy Maxi and Tiguan 2.0 TDI recalled

Volkswagen Singapore has started recalling the first registered cars affected by its global diesel scandal. These are the Caddy, Caddy Maxi and Tiguan 2.0 TDI.

There are 662 customer vehicles in Singapore that are fitted with the EA189 diesel engine and have software that can recognise a test-bench situation. This comprises 441 passenger cars and 221 commercial vehicles, VW Singapore says.

The 2-litre EA189 engine will receive a software update, which will take less than 45 minutes to implement. For the 1.6-litre EA189 engine, a "flow rectifier" in the intake duct is fitted, in addition to a software update. The expected labour time for this procedure is under 60 minutes.


Mercedes-Benz E-class All-Terrain for the dirt track

Following in the footsteps of Audi and Volkswagen, Mercedes-Benz is now offering a wagon for the dirt track. The E-class All-Terrain can supposedly tackle routes which conventional estates cannot - thanks to greater ground clearance and all-wheel drive.

Rugged styling and flared wheel arches also set it apart from the soccer mum's estate. The sub-segmental model will premiere at the Paris Motor Show later this month.


Carbon dress inspired by BMW i

A fashion line inspired by the BMW i's carbon-fibre programme. And why not? A collaboration between London-based fashion house Felder Felder and BMW has resulted in, among other items, a Carbon Dress. It uses carbon fibre from BMW's electric vehicle programme.

Carbon material makes up 97 per cent of the fringe-detailed, metallic grey skater dress, which took more than 100 hours to make. The unique texture and shine of the material provide a futuristic finish, which remains lightweight and strong, but is more tactile and daring compared with other fashion fabrics.


Infrastructure overhaul for autonomous cars in future

Kia Motors believes fully-autonomous cars will account for half of all car sales in the United Kingdom in 25 years. And more than eight million connected cars on UK roads will be able to communicate with one another and the surrounding infrastructure.

In a study it commissioned, Kia says there will be a huge overhaul of infrastructure to accommodate a mixture of autonomous cars, connected cars and traditional vehicles. In 25 years, autonomous cars will have their own lanes on highways. Parking fines will be almost eliminated as cars will be able to drop off their passengers before finding a suitable space, while insurance premiums for road traffic accidents are likely to be almost obsolete, with cars able to avoid collisions through communication with one another.



PHOTO: PRODRIVE

Lightweight folding bike

British motorsports group Prodrive has unveiled the Hummingbird (pictured) - said to be the world's lightest folding bike at 6.7kg. Most other folding bikes weigh at least 12kg.

The Hummingbird boasts a carbon frame, carbon forks and seat post. It has a unique and simple folding mechanism in which the back wheel folds under the crank. Unlike other folding bikes, this ensures that the chain remains in tension, even when fully folded. It also allows the bike to be wheeled along the ground when folded. Prodrive will produce the first test bikes next month, with production bikes going on sale early next year.


Citroen C3 WRC concept car unveiled

Citroen Racing is getting ready for its comeback to the Fia World Rally Championship with the unveiling of its C3 WRC concept car at this year's Paris Motor Show.

The final racing version will have around 380bhp (with a bigger turbo), a protruding front bumper and a rear bumper fitted with a diffuser, and an enlarged rear spoiler moved farther back for even greater aerodynamic support.

Christopher Tan

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 24, 2016, with the headline 'Fast Lane'. Print Edition | Subscribe