Fast lane: Meet the Ferrari Spider and know more motoring news

488.
488.PHOTOS: FERRARI, JAGUAR, LEXUS, HONDA
Jaguar F-Pace.
Jaguar F-Pace.PHOTOS: FERRARI, JAGUAR, LEXUS, HONDA
RC F.
RC F.PHOTOS: FERRARI, JAGUAR, LEXUS, HONDA
Honda’s CRF1000L Africa Twin.
Honda’s CRF1000L Africa Twin.PHOTOS: FERRARI, JAGUAR, LEXUS, HONDA
Full carbon-fibre wheels.
Full carbon-fibre wheels.PHOTOS: FERRARI, JAGUAR, LEXUS, HONDA

SUPER SPIDER

That Ferrari is introducing a convertible version of its 488 is not surprising.What is surprising is the 488 Spider's prowess. The car with the retractable hard roof sprints from 0-100kmh in three seconds flat, and 0-200kmh in 8.7 seconds.

The standard-setting performance comes from its 3,902cc turbocharged V8, first seen in the recently launched 488 GTB. It makes 670bhp and 760Nm of torque from 3,000rpm.


AUDI'S NEW LED TECHNOLOGY

Audi will next use organic light-emitting diodes (Oled) technology for its car lights. OLEDs have a flat light source and this opens up new design possibilities, Audi says. The company's new Matrix Oled lights - which require far less cooling than traditional LEDs - will be showcased at the Frankfurt Motor Show next month. Audi has pioneered light technology and trends which are now adopted by many rivals.


TOUGH TESTS

From the searing heat and dust of Dubai to the ice and snow of northern Sweden, the new Jaguar F-Pace has been tested to the limits in some of the most inhospitable environments on earth. The car is Jaguar's first crossover and this is the first time that a Jaguar test programme has included gravelled mountain passes.


SHOW OFF YOUR HEARTBEAT

Lexus has created the world's first vehicle that directly translates the driver's heart patterns into a visual display across its bodywork. Its chameleon RC F coupe is a one-off creation with creative agency M&C Saatchi.

Different technologies have been integrated into the car to monitor the driver's heartbeat. The data captured is transmitted as an electric charge through the bodywork. The body panels are finished in an electro-luminescent paint, produced by the United States specialist Luminor, which reacts to the charge with an intense glow, pulsing to the same rhythm as the driver's pulse.


VW GROUP TOPS SALES

Volkswagen Group sold 5.04 million cars between January and June this year. BBC reported that the German conglomerate pipped Toyota's 5.02 million units to become the world's top-selling automotive company in the first half of the year.

VW, which owns brands such as Audi, Skoda, Seat, Lamborghini, Bentley and Porsche, aims to "moderately" exceed this year the 10.1 million cars it sold last year.

Toyota sold 10.23 million vehicles last year, but expects the total to slip to 10.15 million this year.


MORE POWERFUL TWIN

Once, there was the XRV750 Africa Twin. Now, Honda's CRF1000L Africa Twin takes the big dual-purpose bike further.

The new 1,000cc adventure motorcycle is powered by a new, compact parallel twin engine with 95bhp and 98Nm torque.

This is teamed with a new dual-clutch transmission (an option), switchable anti-locking brakes and multi-mode torque control (also an option).


ELECTRIC STEERING IS KEY

German components maker Bosch, which has produced 50 million electric steering units to date, says the system is key to electric and autonomous driving. It also claimed that its system saves up to 0.8 litres of fuel per 100km.

Seven out of 10 Bosch power steering systems are currently electrically driven. Driver assistance systems such as lane- keeping and self-parking require electric steering.


NEW PASSAT

Volkswagen Singapore will launch the new VW Passat next Friday, starting with the 180bhp 1.8TSI, available in Comfortline and Highline. It will be followed by a 220bhp 2.0TSI in Exclusiveline and sporty R-Line.

In a few months, a wagon will follow, in the form of the Passat Variant 2.0TSI. Prices start from $152,800 for the 1.8TSI Comfortline.


FINE SET OF WHEELS

American bespoke carbon-fibre atelier Vitesse AuDessus has launched a line of one-piece, full carbon-fibre wheels. Hollow and perfectly balanced, each handcrafted wheel tips the scales at just over 6kg on average.

Choices for all current Lamborghini, Ferrari, McLaren, Bugatti, Bentley, Aston Martin, Porsche, Mercedes-Benz and BMW models are available. Prices start from US$8,875 (S$12,190) a wheel, while bespoke pricing begins at US$10,125 a wheel. Wheels come with a five-year warranty.

Christopher Tan

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 01, 2015, with the headline '(No headline) - CTFAST01'. Print Edition | Subscribe