Fast Lane: Future Ford cars may be able to read your mind, Volvo recalls cars over airbag death

BMW 223i Active Tourer (2022).
BMW 223i Active Tourer (2022).PHOTO: BMW

New BMW mini-MPV to have big grille, curved display

BMW's new 2-series Active Tourer will arrive in the first quarter of next year and is expected to be priced below $200,000, or slightly lower than the current range.

The second-generation five-seater mini-MPV wears BMW's enormous grille and will have a redesigned interior boasting a curved display seen in the electric BMW iX and an iDrive "built around intuitive touch control and voice control".

Four variants with front-wheel drive and outputs ranging from 136hp to 218hp will be available at launch. To be built at BMW's Leipzig plant, it will have two plug-in hybrid variants a few months after launch.

New Suzuki Ignis only 920kg


Suzuki Ignis (2022). PHOTO: SUZUKI

Suzuki's new Ignis is powered by a 1.2-litre mild hybrid engine which promises power and efficiency. A higher percentage of lightweight high-tensile steel in its construction has kept kerb weight at an enviable 920kg. The small car offers more than 500 litres of luggage space when its 50:50 split rear seats are folded. The car comes with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, as well as a suite of safety systems. These include a camera-based pre-collision system, lane-departure warning and weaving alert. Prices start at $108,900.

Future Ford cars may be able to read your mind

Ford is working with neuroscientists to develop a faster and more effective way to detect when drivers are tired, distracted or not concentrating - among the top causes of serious accidents.

The American company is mapping brain patterns with Uniklinik RWTH Aachen in Germany. This involves participants completing a driving simulation while their brain activity is scanned by an MRI machine. Researchers measure how quickly participants react and if they make the right decision. Changes to heart rate, breathing rate and other physiological signs are monitored too.

Lighter Ducati with lower maintenance


Ducati Multistrada V2 (2022). PHOTO: DUCATI

Ducati's new Multistrada V2 is 5kg lighter than its predecessor and boasts improved ergonomics. Its 937cc eight-valve twin-cylinder engine delivers 113hp and 98Nm of torque. The engine has extended maintenance intervals, with oil change every 15,000km and valve clearance check every 30,000km.

British body calls for moves to curb e-scooter accidents IAM RoadSmart, Britain's largest independent road-safety charity, is calling for the British government to drive down injuries caused by e-scooters.

The plea comes after the Department for Transport's latest findings that there were 484 casualties involving e-scooters in 2020, of which one person was killed, 128 seriously injured and 355 slightly injured.

These findings come after e-scooter firms were given the green light to start trials on British streets in July 2020, sparking a surge in e-scooter usage. This decision was made in the light of Covid-19 social distancing regulations, which meant people needed to get around without resorting to buses and trains.

The department's latest report also revealed that between 2004 and 2020, serious injuries of cyclists rose by 26 per cent and fatalities increased from 134 to 141.

Best tyres in local conditions


Ignition Labs' tyre test. PHOTO: IGNITION LABS

Local motoring content provider Ignition Labs has conducted what it claims to be the first independent tyre test under local conditions.

A range of Kia models were used for the Asia's Ultimate Tyre Awards, which saw the Bridgestone Potenza Sport bagging the top award, as well as the best dry grip title. The fastest lap under dry conditions was achieved by the Michelin Pilot Sport. The tyre which had the best grip in the wet was the Hankook Ventus S1 Evo3. The best dry braking tyre was the Pirelli Cinturato P7, while the Hankook Ventus S1 Evo3 stopped best in the wet. The quietest rubbers were the Nexen NFera (UHP), the Michelin Primacy 4 ST and the Rydanz Roadster 02. And if efficiency is what you are after, the Pirelli Cinturato P7 had the lowest rolling resistance.

Volvo recalling nearly half a million cars over airbag death

Volvo Cars is recalling more than 460,000 cars worldwide over the risk posed by an airbag component that could rupture into metal fragments and strike drivers, Bloomberg reported.

The recall affects the S60 and S80 sedans produced between May 2000 and March 2009. The Swedish carmaker told the United States National Highway Traffic Safety Administration that there is potential for tablets of propellant in its vehicles' airbag inflators to decay if they are subject to moisture and high temperatures.

At least one such incident has taken place, which resulted in a death. The defect is similar to the one affecting Japan's Takata Corp. Roughly 100 million of the Takata airbag components have been recalled worldwide and untold millions are still in cars on the road.