Fast Lane: 25 Land Rover Defenders available; more power, improved aerodynamics for Porsche's 911 GT3 R

The 296 GT3's aerodynamics yield 20 per cent greater downforce than that of the 488 GT3. PHOTO: FERRARI

New Ferrari to compete in GT3 races

The 296 GT3 is a new Ferrari designed for GT racing that follows the legacy of the 488 GT3. It marks the return to the track of a Ferrari equipped with a rear-mounted six-cylinder engine like the 246 SP.

The chassis and vehicle dynamics are designed to deliver performance and driving ease for professional and gentlemen drivers alike. The 296 GT3's aerodynamics yield 20 per cent greater downforce than that of the 488 GT3.

Latest 911 GT3 R to cost $717,600 before taxes


Porsche's new 911 GT3 R promises more power, sophisticated aerodynamics and optimised balance. From the 2023 season, Porsche customer teams can race the new car in motorsport events that adhere to GT3 regulations.

The vehicle is based on the latest 992-generation 911. Compared with its predecessor, the new 911 GT3 R features a larger engine producing up to 565hp. Development of the car began in 2019.

Porsche Motorsport now offers the new 911 GT3 R at €511,000 (S$717,600) before taxes.

McLaren Artura track car to make 577hp


The new McLaren Trophy Championship will feature an Artura race car which is based on the Artura GT4, but has more power and downforce.

The McLaren Artura Trophy will not have a hybrid system like the Artura road car and will have its six-cylinder engine tuned for 577hp. It will compete in a one-make race series which "places emphasis on challenging amateur GT drivers and aspiring professional drivers in a relaxed and sociable environment".

Rolls-Royce's electric Spectre shows hints of a coupe


Rolls-Royce Motor Cars is currently conducting a 625,000km testing phase of its electric Spectre in the French Riviera, and images of the car in disguise suggest a fastback not too dissimilar to the Wraith model.

The BMW-owned company says the car will have a proprietary smart suspension system which sets it apart from the competition.

Mobile-conferencing app for the car

Say hello to an in-car meeting app. Geely-owned Lynk & Co will offer a meeting app which makes it possible for drivers and passengers to attend Microsoft Teams meetings. The on-the-go conferencing function is said to be secure and easy, but will it be distracting for drivers?

EV battery pack shipments to triple to 30 million growth 

A new study from Britain's Juniper Research has found that the volume of electric vehicle battery pack shipments will reach 30 million in 2027 - from 10 million in 2022.

The research identified falling vehicle costs, often directly caused by government subsidies, as a key driver behind the growth.

The company added that electric commercial vehicles will see the strongest growth, with battery pack shipments growing from 1.4 million in 2022 to more than seven million by 2027.

The most pressing issue for EV adoption is the rare earth minerals required in battery production, including cobalt, which is difficult to source - in terms of both cost and the ethics around procurement.

Very limited Defender run


Fans of the Land Rover Defender can look forward to a limited run of 25 classic Defenders in three body variants: 90, 110 and 110 Double Cab Pick-Up. Land Rover Classic is creating 25 Defender Works V8 Trophy II vehicles finished in a distinctive camouflage paintwork.

Each buyer will be invited to take part in the second three-day Trophy competition organised by Land Rover Classic. The latest Trophy edition Defender follows the success of the 2021 Land Rover Defender Works V8 Trophy, which saw 25 re-engineered vehicles finished in evocative Eastnor Yellow.

The latest cars will be powered by a 405hp 5-litre V8 paired with an eight-speed ZF automatic transmission.

Alfa Romeo to make all-new model in US

Alfa Romeo is set to develop a large car in the United States, according to Reuters. The Italian brand under the Stellantis group will work on the new car, slated to be launched in 2027.

Alfa Romeo chief Jean-Philippe Imparato said the company has not yet decided where to manufacture it. "Our offer for a large-size vehicle must fit international markets - American, Chinese, European," he said.

The marque is still assessing whether the new model will be a sport utility vehicle (SUV), a crossover or a sedan, but it will not probably be a classic large SUV, such as BMW's X5 or X6, Mr Imparato said, adding that a decision will be made by year-end.

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