Fast Lane

Curtain call for Beetle
Curtain call for BeetlePHOTO: VOLKSWAGEN
Revamped Lexus IS unveiled
Revamped Lexus IS unveiledPHOTO: LEXUS

Curtain call for Beetle 

The Volkswagen Beetle may have ended production in July last year, but it is only just about to bow out of Singapore.

The original Beetle, affectionately called the Bug, was commissioned by Adolf Hitler and designed by Ferdinand Porsche before World War II.

It became a symbol of the hippie counterculture of the 1960s.

The iconic car spawned two makeovers - the New Beetle in 1997 and its successor in 2011. Volkswagen Singapore still has a final stock of four coupes ($123,400) and one Dune ($126,400) for sale.

Revamped Lexus IS unveiled 

The Lexus IS has undergone a makeover for next year, with bolder body mouldings, restyled lights back and front and a host of additional amenities.

These include a 10.3-inch infotainment touchscreen system with Apple and Android compatibility, adaptive cruise control and parking assist.

Driving and safety features such as lane-tracing assist and pre-collision steering assist are also available.

The car was unveiled here on Thursday.

Two variants are available: a 2-litre turbo with 241bhp and a 3.5-litre V6 with 311bhp. The 2-litre is $198,800, while the 3.5-litre is around $243,800.

Volkswagen T-Cross available now


The new Volkswagen T-Cross, announced 21/2 years ago, has arrived here. The urban crossover, powered by a 1-litre three-cylinder turbo here, starts at $128,900.

Volkswagen Singapore is offering a launch discount of $10,000 (valid till Dec 9). At 4,235mm long, the T-Cross is decidedly compact. Its 2,551mm wheelbase, however, is generous for its size. The luggage compartment holds between 385 and 455 litres, depending on how far you slide the rear bench seats. The seats can also be folded flat to free up 1,281 litres of storage volume - the largest in its class.

The 1.0 TSI engine, paired with a seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox, makes 115hp and 200Nm. It sends the car to 100kmh in 10.2 seconds and on to a top speed of 193kmh.

Honda CR-V crossover powers up 


The new Honda CR-V crossover is powered by a 1.5-litre VTEC turbocharged engine and boasts an output of up to 193hp and 243Nm.

It is packed with active safety features such as collision mitigation braking, adaptive cruise control, lane-keeping assist and road departure warning. The seven-seater is priced from $156,999, while the five-seater will arrive next year.

McLaren Artura supercar with twin-turbo V6, electric motor 

McLaren has named its new hybrid supercar, Artura, which will arrive in showrooms in the first half of next year. It is powered by a new compact twin-turbocharged V6 paired with an electric motor. The plug-in hybrid can run on electric power for short emission-free commutes.

Bentley Bentayga goes for Continental look 

Bentley has given its five-year-old Bentayga sport utility vehicle a major makeover. Although the Volkswagen-owned company claims body panels have been changed to make the car look more like the Continental, changes are noticeable but not startling.

Dynamically, a 20mm increase to the rear track width makes the Bentayga sportier.

The big all-terrain vehicle has more significant changes inside, boasting new seats, trim and more rear legroom (by up to 100mm).

A new infotainment system with a 10.9-inch high-resolution screen and better connectivity awaits. Trim choices include a dark-tint diamond-brushed aluminium finish (a first for Bentley). Launched here yesterday, the 4-litre V8 variant starts at $889,000 before the certificate of entitlement.

Eurokars Group donates ambulance to TTSH-NCID


Multi-franchise motor firm Eurokars Group has donated an ambulance to Tan Tock Seng Hospital and the National Centre for Infectious Diseases.

It comes with emergency and life-support equipment, trolley bed access and an automatic retractable wheelchair ramp to accommodate wheelchair access.

Track-only Ferrari 488 GT Modificata


Ferrari has made another limited-edition car. The 488 GT Modificata incorporates technology developed for the 488 GT3 and 488 GTE track cars, and is only for track use. Its twin-turbo V8 makes around 700hp and is paired with a gearbox with different transmission ratios and a carbon-fibre clutch.

Mercedes-Maybach S-class gets more luxurious 


The new Mercedes-Maybach S-class is 5,469mm long, 1,921mm wide and 1,510mm tall.

Distinguishing features include a bonnet with a chromed fin and a special grille. The word "Maybach" is integrated into the chrome surround of the grille. On request, the limousine can be equipped with electrically operated rear doors. Two-tone paintwork is also an option.

German-made Mini in electric and combustion engine variants to come in 2023 

In 2023, the first born-in-Germany Mini will roll off the assembly lines at BMW Group's Leipzig plant. The all-new successor to the current Mini Countryman will be made there. Both electric and combustion engine variants will be assembled alongside.

Only 49 Naran 2+2 coupes to be made 


Naran Automotive, founded by Indian-Zimbabwean entrepreneur Ameerh Naran, has launched its first car - The Naran, a 2+2 "hyper-coupe".

Just 49 units will be tailor-made to buyers' specifications. The car is said to reach 100kmh in under three seconds and to be capable of a top velocity in excess of 360kmh. Aerodynamics features produce an industry-leading 1,377kg of downforce to keep the car on the tarmac. It is powered by a 1,048hp 5-litre twin-turbo V8 developed by Racing Dynamics.

Rolls-Royce gets neon variants


Rolls-Royces need not be in sombre colours. The BMW-owned marque has just announced "Neon Nights" variants of its Dawn, Wraith and Cullinan.

The Wraith Black Badge is finished in Lime Rock Green, a near-luminous hue seen on the Australian green tree frog. The striking Eagle Rock Red created for the Dawn Black Badge mimics a Hawaiian flower.

For Cullinan, its paintwork is inspired by an exotic South American butterfly. The funky treatment extends to the interior of the cars.

Only 630 units of Lamborghini-inspired Ducati 


Behold the Ducati Diavel 1260 Lamborghini, a superbike inspired by the Lamborghini Sian FKP 37.

Limited to just 630 units, the Diavel 1260 Lamborghini boasts carbon-fibre components and is powered by a 1,262cc Testastretta DVT engine. It makes 157hp and 129Nm of torque.

With a body weight of just 220kg, it will not be hard to imagine how quick this two-wheeled Lambo will be.

Consumer Reports survey: Mazda most reliable car brand

Consumer Reports of the United States has ranked Mazda as the most reliable automotive brand. The watchdog body's latest annual survey placed the brand above its fellow Japanese rivals Toyota and Lexus, which had topped the rankings for the previous six years.

The report attributed Mazda's maiden pole position to, among other things, its use of traditional automatic gearboxes rather than continuously variable transmissions.

Mercedes-Benz GLE Coupe upsized 


The new Mercedes-Benz GLE Coupe is here. Prices are $405,888 for the GLE450 and $435,888 for the GLE53. The car is 4,939mm long and 2,010mm wide, making it 39mm longer and 7mm wider than its predecessor. Riding on large flush-mounted wheels between 20 and 22 inches wide, it stands at nearly 1.8m.

Christopher Tan and Toh Yong Chuan

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 28, 2020, with the headline 'Fast Lane'. Print Edition | Subscribe