Fast Lane

Mercedes-Benz electric compact crossover

The pricing for the Mercedes-Benz EQA, the brand's entry-level electric car, is not quite as entry-level. Starting at $222,888, it is the costliest non-AMG GLA in Singapore.

Unveiled at a virtual launch on Wednesday, the compact crossover is available initially as a 140kW/375Nm EQA250 AMG Line with a range of up to 426km from its 66.5kWh battery.

The car accelerates to 100kmh in 8.9 seconds and peaks at 160kmh, making it slower than the $212,888 petrol-driven GLA200 Progressive.

Automobile Association launches safety campaign

According to the World Health Organisation, more than 3,500 people around the world die on the road every day.

In yet another campaign to improve road safety here, the Automobile Association of Singapore, together with Federation Internationale de l'Automobile (FIA), has partnered outdoor advertising company JCDecaux to launch #3500Lives here.

This is part of a worldwide campaign which has been encouraging road users to adopt simple, easily applicable and efficient road safety rules since 2017. The theme this year is Share The Road, which tells all road users - including pedestrians and cyclists - to adopt safer behaviour.

Most powerful Aventador yet

The Lamborghini Aventador LP 780-4 Ultimae, quite possibly the last Aventador, is here. Only 350 coupes and 250 roadsters will be made.

They get a V12 engine which sends 769hp at 8,500rpm to all four wheels to take the car to 100kmh in 2.8 seconds and a top speed of 355kmh (coupe).

Prices start at about $2 million for the coupe.

New Mazda CX-5 to be offroad-ready

Mazda's 2022 CX-5 has been revealed. There is no official powertrain information, but the car will have adaptive all-wheel drive, drive mode selection (including an offroad mode) and an evolved SkyActiv architecture.

Mazda claims road noise is "greatly reduced" with this platform. It comes with a slew of driving aids, including a convoying mode, which is particularly useful in a traffic jam. It is unknown when the car will arrive here.

Refreshed Jags raring to go

Jaguar's facelifted XF mid-sized sedan (from $268,999) is here, along with its superlative sibling, the enhanced F-Pace SVR (from $435,999).

The latter is powered by a 543hp 5-litre supercharged V8, which sends it to 100kmh in four seconds and a top speed of 286kmh.

Peak torque is 700Nm, 20Nm more than previously. The engine is paired with an eight-speed automatic, which is said to be as smooth as it is quick.

The revamped XF sports a new front-end with all-LED lighting, new front and rear bumpers, a revised grille and lower air intakes. Inside, it boasts an all-new interior with more luxurious materials and the latest connected technologies. Its cockpit design is bolder and sportier-looking.

A centrally mounted 11.4-inch HD touchscreen takes centre stage.

Most extreme Porsche SUV

Porsche's Cayenne Turbo GT has landed. At $813,688 before COE and options, it is the priciest Porsche sports utility vehicle (SUV).

It is also the most powerful Porsche SUV. Its 4-litre turbocharged V8 churns out 631hp and 850Nm of torque, propelling the car to 100kmh in 3.3 seconds (quicker than the Lamborghini Urus). Zero to 200kmh takes merely 12.2 seconds, with top speed capped at 300kmh.

Electric BMW with Hans Zimmer-composed sounds

Despite having almost identical dimensions as the BMW 4 Gran Coupe, the electric i4 shares only 20 per cent of its components with its combustion sibling, says the German carmaker at a virtual launch on Wednesday.

The first car to have sounds created by German film score composer Hans Zimmer, the i4 is likely to arrive in the first quarter of next year. The X5-sized iX will arrive by the end of this year and is expected to be priced below $400,000. Owners will be able to download a soundtrack by Zimmer next year.

Both cars have single-speed transmissions and BMW says it has no plans for two-speed boxes like Porsche and Audi.

Asked whether the iX's retractable door handles will extend in the event of a crash when the car's power is cut completely to prevent fires and electrocution, BMW says the doors can be opened via a manual slot. It is not clear if a special key is needed.

Muscular Musso

Ssangyong's latest Musso has a towing weight of 3.5 tonnes, courtesy of its 179hp/420Nm turbodiesel engine. Paired with a six-speed Aisin autobox, it reaches 100kmh in 11.9 seconds.

VW to offer phone-like updates free

Volkswagen will offer free over-the-air updates for its electric ID3, ID4 and ID4 GTX3. Networking the entire ID fleet will allow Volkswagen to lay the foundation for new, customer-oriented business models.

Thus far, Volkswagen remains the only high-volume manufacturer to provide this technology for its customers.

Porsche, Siemens to make clean fuel in Chile

Porsche and Siemens Energy have joined forces with a number of international companies to build a plant to make nearly carbon dioxide-neutral fuel (eFuel) in Punta Arenas, Chile.

The pilot plant is expected to produce about 130,000 litres of eFuels next year. The capacity will then be expanded in two stages to about 55 million litres by 2024 and to about 550 million litres by 2026.

Porsche expects cars running on such fuels to be comparable with the carbon footprint of electric vehicles.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 18, 2021, with the headline 'Fast Lane'. Subscribe