Fast Lane: The new Alfa, Mercedes AMGs, Ford Galaxy MPV, Peugeot 308 GTI, Aston Martin DB9 GT

NEW ALFA HITS 100KMH IN 3.9 SECONDS

Could the new Giulia herald Alfa Romeo's revival? The performance sedan, said to share a Maserati platform, is powered by a turbocharged six-cylinder that puts out 510bhp. The rear- or all-wheel-drive hits 100kmh in 3.9 seconds, making it more than a tad worrying for BMW's M division. It boasts lightweight construction, torque vectoring and an active aero splitter. The car is likely to reach Singapore no earlier than the middle of next year, with a smaller-engined variant to follow.

MERCEDES-AMG SIZZLERS ARRIVE

Two Mercedes-AMG cars were launched here on Wednesday - the Mercedes-AMG GT S and the Mercedes-AMG C63 (also available with more power in the form of the C63 S).

About 200 guests attended the event at the Grand Hyatt, where the two 4-litre V8 sports cars vied for attention with a buffet spread of lobsters, oysters and sashimi. The GT S, the second standalone sports model from AMG after the SLS, is targeted at Porsche 911 buyers. Its price tag of $699,888 reflects this ambition. The C63 S is lower, at $465,888, with the C63 at $445,888. All prices include COE.

ALL-WHEEL-DRIVE OPTION FOR FORD MPV

Ford's new Galaxy MPV is expected to arrive in the fourth quarter. The seven-seater boasts integral link rear suspension, adaptive steering, acoustic glass and optimised headliner (to reduce noise). The third row can be folded with the push of a button. Engines include a new 210bhp bi-turbo diesel and all- wheel-drive is offered as an option for the first time.

PEUGEOT'S 308 GTI SETS POWER-WEIGHT RECORD

Peugeot's new 308 GTi is a hot hatch powered by a highly efficient 1.6-litre turbo engine available in two forms: 250bhp or 270bhp. The more powerful version sets a new record for power-to-weight ratio in its segment, at just 4.46kg per unit of horsepower. It can reach 100kmh in just 6 seconds, compared with 6.2 seconds for the 250bhp variant. Both versions have a regulated top speed of 248kmh.

CAMERA FOR BLIND JUNCTIONS

Exiting blind junctions can be a nerve-racking experience. Ford's new technology may help. Its innovative Front Split View Camera - available as an option on the new Ford Galaxy and S-Max - displays a 180-degree view from the front of the car, using a camera in the grille. The camera enables drivers to easily spot approaching vehicles, pedestrians or cyclists from a blind junction.

BMW'S CARBON FIBRE-REINFORCED STUNNER

This is one concept car BMW should build. The 3.0 CSL Hommage - a tribute to the timeless 3.0 CSL of the 1970s - has a carbon fibre-reinforced plastic body and 21-inch wheels. BMW makes no mention of the engine, but it would not be surprising to find a turbocharged V8 beneath its sexy bonnet. Paired with an electric motor, perhaps.

PERFECT BLEND OF CRAFT AND COMFORT

A Bentley is a whale of a car and the just unveiled Flying Spur V8 Beluga Specification drives home the majesty of the British beast. Featuring 20-inch alloys, a gloss black radiator matrix and a body-coloured lower grille bar, the Beluga Specification is the perfect enhancement for a modern performance saloon that "perfectly blends craft and comfort". Inside, buyers will find swathes of piano black veneer, knurled gear shift paddles, contrast stitching on the luxurious seats and steering wheel as well as deep pile floor mats and boot carpet with contrasting leather binding. In 4-litre, twin-turbo V8 guise, it develops 500bhp and sprints to 100kmh in 5.2 seconds.

PORSCHE REPLICA SOLD FOR CHARITY

A full-sized replica of the Porsche 919 Hybrid has been sold for US$106,100 (S$142,465) through eBay to raise funds for charity. The worldwide auction was concluded on June 14, coinciding with the end of the 24 Hours of Le Mans (where Porsche has achieved its 17th overall Le Mans victory with a one-two finish). Only 13 such 1:1 scale replicas exist worldwide. The buyer is Thai and a Porsche fan.

HELLO HOVERBOARD

Scrap the Segway. Lexus' new magnetic levitation Hoverboard makes use of liquid nitrogen-cooled superconductors and permanent magnets to give it Star Wars-style mobility. The Hoverboard is the fourth project in the Lexus Amazing in Motion campaign - an international showcase for the brand's creativity and innovation. The prototype will be tested in Barcelona in the coming weeks. Unfortunately, it is not for sale yet.

CAPTAIN NEMO'S NAUTILUS, ANYONE?

What's for sale, though, is Captain Nemo's six-wheeled Nautilus car from Sean Connery's adventure movie The League Of Extraordinary Gentlemen (2003). It will be sold by international auctioneers Coys at the Blenheim Palace auction on July 11. Designed by production designer and art director Carol Spier and one of only two made, the fully functional car was used throughout the film.

INFINITI COMPACT HERE NEXT YEAR

Infiniti has unveiled the Q30, its first compact model. The VW Golf-sized hatch, to be made in the UK, was first shown as a concept at the 2013 Frankfurt show. The car is now undergoing final dynamic testing. It will go on sale in Europe towards the end of this year and arrive in Singapore by the first half of next year.

SLEEK AND GREEN DS5

The new DS5 is a picture of sleekness. It is powered by the latest engines from the PSA Group, with outputs of between 120bhp/240Nm and 200bhp/400Nm. A hybrid all-wheel-drive variant 4x4, it is said to be capable of covering 100km on less than 4 litres of fuel.

A BEAUTY FOR BOND

The 547bhp DB9 GT is Aston Martin's most powerful DB9 to date. The 6-litre V12 is said to be capable of a 4.5-second century sprint. Not blindingly quick for what is supposed to be the beefiest Bond-mobile made. But when you are in such a beauty, what's the hurry?

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 27, 2015, with the headline ''. Print Edition | Subscribe