Fast lane: New Aston Martin showroom

The Aston Martin DB10.
The Aston Martin DB10.PHOTO: ASTON MARTIN

Wearnes opened its Aston Martin showroom at Leng Kee Road yesterday, seven months after the multi-brand motor company started pitching for the British franchise and barely three months after clinching it. The opening marks a new chapter for Aston Martin in more ways than one. The brand associated with James Bond will finally have a line-up of new products, following AMG's 5 per cent stake in the company.

The first new model, to arrive in the second half of next year, is the DB11. The car, which blends classic DB lines with an edgier overtone, will first be powered by a V12 and then a bi-turbo V8 found in the Mercedes-AMG GT.

It will be followed by the track-ready Vantage GT12, a five-door crossover based on the DBX concept, an electric Rapide four-door and a Lagonda limousine.

Two cars took centre stage at the Wearnes opening - a DB9 GT Bond Edition, one of 150 units made worldwide, and a DB10, a show car that stars in the latest Bond move, Spectre.

The DB9 GT is sold to a collector who does not intend to drive it, but wants to display it in his home.


New Macan GTS

Porsche's Macan GTS has a re-engineered chassis, 20bhp more power and uprated brakes. With 360bhp and 500Nm available from its 3-litre twin-turbocharged V6, the car goes from zero to 100kmh in 5.2 seconds (5 seconds with the optional Sport Chrono package).

The car is lowered by 15mm and sits on 20-inch RS Spyder alloys. Top speed is 256kmh.


Plus-size Merc coupe

Behold the Mercedes-Benz S-class Coupe, which rivals plus- size two-doors such as the Rolls- Royce Wraith and Bentley Continental GT. Merc agent Cycle & Carriage has started selling the car at $613,888 - which makes it the least extravagant plus-size two-door.

What makes the big Merc different is its Magic Body Control adaptive suspension system and curve tilting function. Combined, they make cornering fast in this yacht of a two-door a graceful manoeuvre.

If you want more bling, you can opt for LED headlamps that are each embedded with 47 Swarovski crystals.


Improved Mini Convertible

Mini's new Convertible sports an electric canopy that is quieter, more refined and retracts fully in 18 seconds. Boot volume has increased by 25 per cent against the outgoing model and there is more space for rear passengers. It is also available as a turbodiesel.


Firecracker manual

Peugeot's new 308GTI promises to be a firecracker. Weighing only 1.2 tonnes and powered by a 1.6-litre turbocharged engine that delivers up to 270bhp, it hits 100kmh in 6 seconds flat and on to a top speed of 248kmh.

It is available only in manual and will not be available in Singapore.


More powerful Audis

Audi has uprated the outputs of its RS6 Avant and RS7 Sportback, bringing both cars even closer to supercar levels. The 4-litre turbocharged V8 that powers both cars now boasts 605bhp (+45) and 750Nm (+50), allowing them to hit 100kmh in 3.7 seconds and a top speed of 303kmh.


Stylish autonomous car

If you think autonomous cars will be boring and soulless, check out the Nissan IDS. The concept model is sleek and stylish inside and out, and can be operated manually or in auto-pilot mode.

Even in auto-pilot, the car's performance - from accelerating to braking to cornering - imitates the driver's style and preferences.

Its artificial intelligence program also learns the driver's preferences for food and beverages, and will recommend suitable F&B outlets in the vicinity. It is powered by a high-capacity 60kWh battery and - thanks to its outstanding aerodynamics, low stance, flowing form and reduced weight due to its full-carbon-fibre body - the vehicle has a long driving range.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 31, 2015, with the headline 'Fast lane'. Print Edition | Subscribe