Fast Lane

New WRX to arrive early next year

Subaru's new WRX is out. The 2022 model looks markedly different from the previous bug-eyed car loved by many.

It will be powered by a 2.4-litre direct-injection turbocharged four-cylinder Boxer engine with 271hp and 350Nm. This will be paired with either a six-speed manual gearbox or an eight-step continuously variable transmission, The former takes six seconds to reach 100kmh, while the latter achieves that in 6.1 seconds, according to provisional figures.

The new WRX is expected to arrive here in the second quarter of next year.

Meanwhile, the Subaru XV has been facelifted. It gets new wheels, an updated drive mode program, an improved off-road program and a suspension tweaked for more comfort.

New lithium-carbon battery fully charged in minutes

German engineering group Mahle Powertrain claims to have made a lithium-carbon battery which enables ultra-fast charging with a technology that combines the benefits of supercapacitors and traditional lithium-ion batteries.

The battery is fully recyclable, free from rare-earth metals and less susceptible to fires. Mahle says a car with this battery can be fully charged in nearly as much time as it takes to refuel a conventional car and in about the same time it takes to refuel an internal combustion-powered vehicle.

Additionally, its capacitor-style cathode enables a lifetime of more than 100,000 cycles, far greater than conventional batteries.

Lotus Emira to have 400hp from 3.5-litre V6

Lotus has revealed details of its new Emira. The sports car will have a mid-mounted supercharged 3.5-litre 400hp V6 with a six-speed manual transmission or a six-speed autobox with paddle shift.

The car rides on 20-inch ultra-lightweight V-spoke forged alloy wheels. Two-piece brake discs with branded callipers are part of the First Edition equipment.

The manual car hits 100kmh in 4.3 seconds, while the auto does it in 4.2 seconds. Top speed is 290kmh.

Ford's car-like van

Ford's compact new Fiesta Van has several car-like features, including driver assistance, Matrix LED headlamps with glare-free high beam and parking assistance.

The van shares its bodyshell with the three-door Fiesta passenger car, adding a durable and grippy flat rear load floor, four tie-down points and full-height bulkhead with steel mesh in the upper half for improved rearwards visibility.

The units for right-hand-drive markets feature solid panels instead of rear glazing. Gross payload is up to 531kg.

Electric motorbike expected to exceed 400kmh

White Motorcycle Concepts, a British company aiming to set new world land speed records with its electric motorcycle at Bolivia's Salar de Uyuni salt flat next summer, has successfully completed initial trials of its ground-breaking WMC250EV high-speed demonstrator.

Ridden by company founder and chief executive Rob White, the carbon-fibre prototype ran without fault during its shakedown test at Bruntingthorpe Proving Ground and has now completed a comprehensive full system pass off.

The WMC250EV which is capable of reaching speeds of more than 400kmh, features an ultra-low drag system called V-Air. This uses a large duct at the centre of the bike which forces air through the vehicle, reducing aerodynamic resistance by 70 per cent compared with a conventional motorcycle.

The bike also features a D-Drive motor unit that powers the front wheel, which in turn makes it possible to harness regenerative braking energy.

Roofless electric two-seater to have 640km range

Aura, an all-electric British sports-car concept, aims to reduce environmental impact through lightweight natural composites, low-drag surface design and optimised location of battery cells and motor.

The two-seater, roofless concept was designed, developed and built as a fully working, road-legal prototype by four British specialists during the pandemic.

The car features two 44 kWh batteries - one mounted at the front and the other underneath the chassis for good weight distribution. It has a claimed range of about 640km.

Comfort and performance from Suzuki's new sports tourer

Suzuki has revealed its new GSX-S1000GT - a new sports tourer designed to take riders farther and faster without sacrificing comfort and practicality. Powered by a 150hp/106Nm engine, it offers a comfortable, upright riding position.

Suzuki says a wide spread of torque, smooth power delivery and a strong top-end make the motorcycle a capable city commute as well as a long-distance tourer.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 25, 2021, with the headline 'Fast Lane'. Subscribe