Fast Lane: $20m Pagani, China doubles EV chargers to 5.2m, electric Mini Convertible

The Bombardier Global 7500 private jet and the Pagani Huayra Roadster BC. PHOTO: PAGANI

Mega-buck Pagani meets its match

Fast cars and flying machines are often associated with each other. Hence Pagani of Singapore and Bombardier teamed up on Feb 7 to showcase the Pagani Huayra Roadster BC and the Bombardier Global 7500 private jet at the Bombardier Service Centre in Singapore.

The Huayra Roadster BC, handmade by Italian manufacturer Pagani Automobili, is a high-performance, open-top roadster. It is powered by a new twin-turbocharged V12 that produces over 800hp and 1,050Nm from 2,000rpm.

Only 40 were produced worldwide, with at least one registered here. Pagani’s local agent Eurokars Supersports says the one on the road here was brought in privately by an individual collector before it clinched the dealership.

Eurokars says all 40 produced have since been snapped up. But based on its estimated open market value of $5.5 million, a Huayra Roadster BC would cost in excess of $20 million after the newly announced car tax changes.

That, however, still pales in comparison with the Global 7500 jet, which is close to US$100 million (S$133.7 million) apiece and touted as the costliest private jet of its kind.

Mercedes-Benz takes over sales function in UK

Mercedes-Benz UK is the latest to transition to the so-called agency model, in which the manufacturer owns all stock, sets prices and closes sales.

In an increasingly digitised world, Mercedes-Benz – as well as a few other carmakers – believe customer-buying habits have changed, and that the agency model provides “a consistent and transparent purchase journey”.

Inspired by Tesla, the Mercedes-Benz Online Showroom allows customers to choose a vehicle and specify things from colour to trim to equipment level – without the need for a salesperson. It also removes the need for price haggling, as prices are all fixed.

Former dealers are relegated to smaller roles, such as preparing a car for delivery and arranging trade-ins.

Mercedes-Benz is reportedly looking to expand the agency model to more markets, including Singapore and Malaysia.

Second costliest Aston Martin lands here

A pre-production unit of the Aston Martin Valhalla at Wearnes Automotive. PHOTO: ASTON MARTIN

A pre-production unit of the exotic Aston Martin Valhalla is on display at Wearnes Automotive. The car is powered by a rear-mid-mounted 4-litre twin-turbo V8 engine making more than 800hp going to the rear axle.

Supplementing this V8 is a 150kW hybrid system with a pair of motors on either axle. The electric system contributes a further 204hp for a combined power output of 1,012hp.

When driven in electric vehicle mode, the car is front-wheel driven. In other driving modes, power is split between front and rear motors. Only 999 Valhallas are made, with at least two bound for Singapore, where it will set back the buyer by $4.8 million before certificate of entitlement and equipment options, making it the priciest Aston Martin here after the exotic Valkyrie. 

China doubles EV charging points to 5.2m

China doubled the number of electric vehicle (EV) charging points to 5.2 million in 2022, Reuters quoted the National Energy Administration as saying. Of the total, 3.4 million were private charging points.

More than 3,000 companies invest and operate these EV charging facilities, with 17 of the firms each running more than 10,000 points.

Power consumption for EV charging last year totalled 40 billion kWh, up 85 per cent from 2021.

The China Passenger Car Association expects sales of new energy cars, mainly EVs, to hit 8.5 million units in 2023, accounting for 36 per cent of total new car sales.

Plug in to topless fun

Mini Electric Convertible with top down. PHOTO: MINI

BMW-owned Mini will produce a limited batch of battery-powered Mini Convertible cars. The Mini Electric Convertible is powered by a compact 135kW motor, which sends it to 100kmh in 8.2 seconds. The car has a maximum of 199km on a full charge. Compared with the combustion engine variant, its boot space remains unchanged at 160 litres.

Hyundai donates $2.7m to Turkey, Syria

Hyundai Motor Group says it is donating US$2 million (S$2.7 million) to earthquake relief efforts in Turkey and Syria. The sum, made through the Korean Red Cross, will contribute towards relief activities and damage recovery.

Separately, Hyundai Motor’s local subsidiary, Hyundai Assan Otomotiv Sanayi Ve Ticaret, the group’s vehicle-making affiliate in Turkey, had earlier extended emergency support of €500,000 (S$712,900) worth of casualty relief equipment.

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