Fast Lane

Kia goes big on EV, literally

Kia's Concept EV9 (right) is a bus-like electric sport utility vehicle measuring 4,930mm by 2,055mm by 1,790mm tall, with a limousine-rivalling wheelbase of 3,100mm.

It promises a range of up to 480km. With a 350kW charger, its battery can go from 10 to 80 per cent in about half an hour. It incorporates some solar cells, which help extend range.

Inside, a 27-inch infotainment touchscreen with Internet connection controls most of the on-board functions.

Porsche to become majority owner of Croatian e-bicycle maker

Porsche is acquiring a majority stake in e-bike manufacturer Greyp Bikes.

The carmaker's venture capital arm, Porsche Ventures, has held a stake of about 10 per cent in the Croatian company since 2018. It invested in Greyp at the same time that it invested in its sister company, Rimac Automobili.

Now, following a takeover offer from a third-party investor interested in Greyp, Porsche has exercised its contractually agreed right of first refusal. Its majority takeover of the e-bike manufacturer further expands its activities in the sector.

Singapore electric scooter unveiled

Another Singapore-backed electric scooter has been unveiled. The Uno-X (above), produced by SGX-listed GSS Energy and licensed under Italian automotive brand Iso, has a direct belt transmission which protects the central motor from vibration, enabling it to run on any terrain.

The scooter comes with a phone app, which allows owners to control the motorcycle, check on its status in real time, plan trips, calculate travel distances and view trip histories.

Its 8.5kW motor is powered by a 3.24kWh battery with a range of 130km. Top speed is 115kmh. Equipment include front and rear disc brakes, and a seven-inch LCD touchscreen dash.

There are at least two other Singapore electric-motorcycle makers - Scorpio and Ion.

Alpine ups the ante

The Alpine A110 range has been updated, with new versions, uprated performance, and more equipment. The new A110 GT (right) and A110S receive sharper engine calibration with 300hp and sharper chassis tuning. All cars come with an upgraded multimedia system.

The A110S can be specified with an Aero Kit featuring carbon elements for added downforce and enhanced performance. Its top speed has been raised to 272kmh, from 260kmh.

The upgraded cars could arrive as early as the second half of next year.

BMW's electric iX3 gets facelift

Barely a year after it was launched here, BMW's electric iX3 has been facelifted. The revised car (left) gets a more prominent grille and a new front bumper assembly incorporating new auxiliary lights.

At the back, rear lights have black surround. Inside, it gets a larger control display and new layout of switches. The BMW app, which the car can be paired with, has also been updated, and owners can also receive push notifications when the car begins charging and when the car is fully charged.

The car's infotainment system has also been upgraded.

Polestar previews biggest model

Polestar has previewed its biggest model yet - the Polestar 5 (left). The big grand tourer is based on the Polestar Precept concept car.

Set to launch in 2024, the Polestar 5 has a 3.1m wheelbase, which accommodates a large battery pack. Its front grille is replaced by a Polestar SmartZone, representing a shift from breathing to seeing.

An area which once channelled air to radiators and the combustion engine now houses technology for safety sensors and driver-assistance functions. It also boasts a Lidar pod on its glass roof.

Sunseap to install solar panels on Hyundai plant here

Home-grown Sunseap Group will provide clean energy for the Hyundai Motor Group Innovation Centre in Singapore, which will house the first electric vehicle manufacturing facility in Singapore.

Under a 20-year solar power purchase agreement, Sunseap will install a 1.39MWp solar-energy system on the rooftop of the seven-storey facility by July next year.

It can generate an estimated 1.76GWh of electricity annually and is equivalent to avoiding 1,247 tonnes of carbon emissions or offsetting the energy consumption of 408 four-room Housing Board flats.

Suzuki's 2022 Katana gets 2hp more

Suzuki has sharpened its Katana (above) for next year, with the updated machine getting more power and an improved suite of electronics.

Based on this year's GSX-S1000 platform, the revised Katana produces 150hp at 11,000rpm, 2hp more. Its torque of 108Nm is spread across a wider rev range, thanks to revisions made to its intake and exhaust camshaft, valve springs, exhaust and airbox.

A bi-directional quickshifter makes swift work of gear changes and enhances performance on sporty rides, and there are five modes of traction control to choose from. A new easy-start system and low-rpm assist raise engine speed as the clutch lever is fed out, to aid slow speed control and prevent stalling.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 27, 2021, with the headline Fast Lane. Subscribe