Fast Lane: Mercedes-Maybach's all-terrain convertible

G650 Landaulet
G650 LandauletPHOTOS: AUDI, CHRISTOPHER TAN, CITROEN, KIA, MERCEDES
Audi’s latest RS3
Audi’s latest RS3PHOTOS: AUDI, CHRISTOPHER TAN, CITROEN, KIA, MERCEDES
Kia’s new Picanto
Kia’s new PicantoPHOTOS: AUDI, CHRISTOPHER TAN, CITROEN, KIA, MERCEDES
Citroen’s SpaceTourer 4X4 E
Citroen’s SpaceTourer 4X4 EPHOTOS: AUDI, CHRISTOPHER TAN, CITROEN, KIA, MERCEDES
The Continental SuperSports
The Continental SuperSports PHOTOS: AUDI, CHRISTOPHER TAN, CITROEN, KIA, MERCEDES

Mercedes-Maybach's all-terrain convertible

Hot on the heels of Range Rover's Evoque Convertible, Daimler presents the G650 Landaulet (pictured), which will be branded a Mercedes-Maybach.

With a huge V12, portal axles and an electric fabric top, the all-terrain convertible is limited to only 99 units.

It has a length of 5,345mm, a wheelbase of 3,428mm, a height of 2,235mm and almost half a metre of ground clearance, and the gigantic four-seater also features an electrically operated glass partition separating the rear compartment from the driver's section.

This optional partition can be changed from transparent to opaque at the press of a button.


Drive sideways with McLaren

McLaren has come up with a revised version of its hydraulic suspension system.

McLaren says it Proactive Chassis Control II system will be able to monitor dynamic and driver inputs to provide "outstanding breadth of handling balance, grip and ride comfort".

Drivers will be able to choose Comfort, Sport or Track chassis modes. In addition to those, McLaren Variable Drift Control will allow drivers to get their cars to go sideways in a controlled manner, using finger-tip adjustment of electronic stability intensity.

Proactive Chassis Control II uses 12 more sensors than the previous version, including an accelerometer on each wheel hub.


Ford SUV goes electric

Ford will introduce a fully electric SUV that is engineered to deliver a range of at least 480km by 2020.

Sales of Ford's SUV models in the UK - the compact EcoSport, medium-size Kuga and full-size Edge - grew by 320 per cent in the last three years.

They account for more than a quarter of all new registrations in Europe.


100kmh in 4.1 seconds with Audi's RS3

Audi's latest RS3 has been unveiled.

It boasts a 400bhp five-cylinder engine, wider tracks and pronounced sills.

It will be available as a Sportback (hatch, pictured) as well as a sedan. The sedan will be in Singapore by the second half, followed by the hatch shortly after.

The car hits 100kmh in 4.1 seconds, courtesy of its 2.5-litre five-cylinder turbo engine which makes 480Nm from 1,700rpm.

Top speed is 279kmh with the limiter removed.


Picanto's clean engine

Kia's new Picanto (pictured) will have an engine variant that is as clean as a hybrid. Its 1-litre multi-point injection engine produces 67bhp and 96Nm of torque.

It is the most fuel-efficient engine available to Picanto buyers, capable of producing just 89g/km of carbon dioxide, down from 95g/km on the outgoing model.

With its wheelbase extended by 15mm to 2,400mm, the wheels have been pushed farther out to the corners of the car, making it look more planted on the road.


Three sizes for SpaceTourer

Citroen's SpaceTourer 4X4 E concept features a 4x4 drivetrain, enhanced body protection and new external graphics.

It is available in XS (left), M and XL body sizes to meet the needs of families and professionals alike.

With its short wheelbase, the XS model is a first in its segment with a body length of just 4.6m and a height of 1.9m.


Jaguar Land Rover opens training academy here

Jaguar Land Rover has unveiled a new dedicated regional training academy in Singapore.

Based on the successful Jaguar Land Rover Academy in its global offices, the new training academy is the first such facility for the manufacturer in the Asia-Pacific region.

Delivering over 5,027 man-days of training when operational, the academy will see more than 300 technicians, sales consultants and service representatives trained across 37 dealerships.

The 1,289 sq m facility in Golden Agri Plaza in Pasir Panjang Road also features a workshop with floor space for nine vehicles as well as a fully equipped showroom for four cars.


Fastest Bentley

Bentley unveiled its fastest production car here on Thursday.

The Continental SuperSports (pictured) produces 700bhp and 1,017Nm of torque, allowing the enormous wide-body two-door car to hit 100kmh in 3.5 seconds and a top speed of 336kmh.

Four have been assigned to Singapore, each starting from $1.15 million before COE.


Ex-Nasa engineer to develop Uber’s flying taxis

Ride-hailing app provider Uber has hired ex-Nasa engineer Mark Moore to head a project to develop flying taxis.

The Uber Elevate project could see electric vertical- take-off vehicles catering to those in a real hurry and who are willing to pay substantially more than for a regular cab.

Bloomberg reported that Mr Moore was leaving Nasa one year before he is eligible for retirement and walking away from a significant percentage of his pension and free health care for life “to be in the right place at the right time to make this market real”.


Mercedes-Benz E220d with all-wheel-drive

The Mercedes-Benz E220d is now available with all-wheel-drive in both saloon and estate form.

The E220d 4matic uses the same all-new four-cylinder 2-litre bi-turbo engine as the rear-wheel-drive E220d.

It produces 194bhp and 400Nmand, as with all new E-class cars, comes with a nine-speed automatic gearbox.

With a front-rear torque split of 45:55, the 4matic system offers greater traction, driving dynamics and driving stability in all road conditions.


CNG trucks with 800km range

CNG Fuels, the supplier of renewable biomethane fuel, and United Kingdom supermarket group Waitrose have teamed up to introduce Europe’s most advanced fleet of compressed natural gas-powered trucks with a range of up to 800km.

They will use game-changing technology developed jointly with truck retailer Scania and fuel storage manufacturer Agility Fuel Solutions.

Touted as the most cost-effective and lowest carbon alternative to diesel for heavy goods vehicles, the technology is showcased in 10 Scania-manufactured CNG trucks which started plying last month.

Each truck is 50 per cent costlier than a diesel equivalent, but that difference is expected to be offset by lower running cost in two to three years.

Each lorry will save more than 100 tonnes of CO2 a year compared with a diesel equivalent.

Christopher Tan

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 18, 2017, with the headline 'Fast Lane: Mercedes-Maybach's all-terrain convertible'. Print Edition | Subscribe