Fast Lane: Audi boosts smallest RS car; Jesko supercar details

The new Audi RS3 will peak at 288kmh if equipped with an optional dynamic pack. PHOTO: AUDI

Audi beefs up

RS3 Audi has primed its smallest RS car for more shenanigans. The latest RS3 packs 400hp and 500Nm - up from its predecessor's 367hp and 465Nm.

As a result, the pocket rocket hurtles to 100kmh in 3.8 seconds, from 4.3 previously. To optimise the increased output, the car is equipped with a Torque Splitter and new RS driving modes.

Due to arrive here in the first half of 2022, the new RS3 will peak at 288kmh if equipped with an optional dynamic pack.

Newly developed six-piston steel brakes keep the power of the five-cylinder engine in check. Ceramic front brakes are available as an option.

Suzuki, Daihatsu invest in Toyota venture

Suzuki Motor and Daihatsu Motor are investing in a Toyota Motor Corp entity to bring electrification and autonomous driving to commercial vehicles, deepening ties among the vehicle manufacturers.

According to Bloomberg, they will join Isuzu Motors and Hino Motors, Toyota's truck and bus unit, which formed the venture earlier this year.

Suzuki and Daihatsu will acquire a 10 per cent stake in the partnership from Toyota, they said in a statement on Wednesday (July 21), without disclosing the amount.

Toyota, the world's biggest carmaker, has been stitching together a web of alliances and shareholdings with smaller car-and-truck manufacturers to pool together resources and take part in the shift away from combustion engines and human drivers.

Volkswagen and other global carmakers have also been forging partnerships as new technologies and business models disrupt the US$2.23 trillion (S$3.03 trillion) global auto industry.

Toyota and Suzuki took stakes in each other two years ago and Daihatsu became a subsidiary of Toyota in 2016.

Suzuki and Daihatsu bring to the table deep experience in smaller cars used by consumers and businesses, which they said account for about 31 million of the 78 million vehicles owned in Japan and "serve as an essential lifeline in the daily lives of people, especially in rural areas".

Porsche Macan S, GTS more punchy after facelift

The new Porsche Macan. PHOTO: PORSCHE

Porsche's facelifted Macan is here.

Two variants are available with a 2.9-litre biturbo V6 producing more power - the Macan GTS sits at the top of the range, with 440hp (plus 60hp) and a century sprint time of 4.3 seconds and a top speed of 272kmh, while the Macan S gets 380hp (plus 26hp), which allows it to hit 100kmh in 4.6 seconds and a top speed of 259kmh.

The base Macan has a turbocharged inline-four with 265hp and it reaches 100kmh in 6.2 seconds and a top speed of 232kmh.

Prices start from $260,088 for the Macan, $299,988 for the Macan S and $359,988 for the Macan GTS before the certificate of entitlement and options.

Aston Martin Valhalla to have 950hp hybrid powertrain

The car is due as early as 2022. PHOTO: ASTON MARTIN

The Aston Martin Valhalla takes another step towards production as the manufacturer announces that it will be "a truly driver focused... supercar".

It will be powered by a 950hp hybrid powertrain, which mates a 750hp twin-turbocharged V8 with two electric motors.

A new eight-speed dual-clutch transmission equipped with an electric reverse gear and electric differential ensures further efficiency.

Active aerodynamics produce 600kg of down force for a sub-6:30 Nurburgring lap time target.

The car is due as early as next year (2022).

Volvo buys Geely stake in Chinese plants

Volvo Car Group has reached an agreement with Geely Holding to acquire its parent's stake in the Chinese parent's joint ventures in China.

The agreement aims to have Volvo Cars take full ownership of its production plants and sales operations in the world's biggest vehicle market.

Under the deal, whose financial details were not disclosed, Volvo will have full ownership of its manufacturing plants in Chengdu and Daqing, its national sales company in China and its research and development facility in Shanghai.

Koenigsegg Jesko to get up to 1,600hp

The Koenigsegg Jesko should arrive by late 2022. PHOTO: KOENIGSEGG

Swedish boutique car company Koenigsegg has revealed more details of its Jesko supercar.

The Jesko will be powered by a redesigned 5-litre twin-turbocharged V8 which produces 1,280hp when running on petrol and 1,600hp when operating on E85 biofuel.

It is mated to a new and light nine-speed transmission. Aerodynamics offer more than 1,000kg of down force to keep the land missile on the tarmac.

The Jesko, named after the father of company founder and chief executive Christian von Koenigsegg, will have active rear-wheel steering, a carbon-fibre chassis, and more legroom, headroom and greater visibility.

The car should arrive by late 2022.

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