Fast Lane: Hyundai Ioniq 5 due here in 2022, 2 key launches for Mercedes-Benz

The Hyundai Ioniq 5 is able to take power from an 800-volt fast charger.
The Hyundai Ioniq 5 is able to take power from an 800-volt fast charger.PHOTO: REUTERS

Hyundai Ioniq 5 to arrive next year

Hyundai's electric Ioniq 5 crossover, due here in the middle of next year, is available with two battery pack options - 58kWh or 72.6 kWh. Customers can pick a single rear-mounted motor or a twin-motor all-wheel-drive.

The top of the line is an all-wheel drive paired with the 72.6kWh battery. It has 225kWh and 605Nm of torque to power it to 100kmh in 5.2 seconds.

The single-motor variant with the bigger battery offers the longest range of up to 480km.

The car is able to take power from an 800-volt fast charger. It has a 3,000mm wheelbase, which translates to ample cabin space.

Mercedes C-class plug-in hybrid with 100km electric range


PHOTO: MERCEDES

Mercedes-Benz will have two key launches here this year - the S-class limousine next month, and the C-class junior executive sedan in the fourth quarter.

It is already collecting orders for the S-class, which had its international unveiling last September.

But it is the new C-class which will be a bigger seller. It is bigger all round inside and out - so big that rear-wheel steer is offered as an option.

And there is a plug-in hybrid variant which has a class-leading electric range of 100km.

The car has more digital features - from the headlights to the infotainment system to the ability to connect to a smart home.

Variants include a 170hp 1.5-litre and a 258hp 2-litre, with the mild hybrid system likely to be standard issue.

New Maserati SUV being tested


PHOTO: MASERATI

A prototype of Maserati's new Grecale sport utility vehicle has been photographed outside its plant in Modena. The prototype cars are currently undergoing road, circuit and off-road tests in various conditions.

The Grecale will be built in Cassino, Italy, where an investment of about 800 million euros (S$1.3 billion) is planned. It will launch by year-end.

Infiniti faces uncertain future in Singapore

Infiniti, the luxury arm of Nissan, may be coming to the end of its road here again.

As part of rationalisation plans that started in 2019, Infiniti had stopped making right-hand-drive (RHD) models. It has also closed its regional headquarters in Hong Kong.

This means that when local distributor Wearnes Automotive runs out of existing stock and can no longer source for unsold RHD cars from other markets, it will have no more cars to sell.

According to Land Transport Authority statistics, 101 Infiniti cars were registered last year, down 38 per cent from 2019. The number hasdipped forthe fourth consecutive year since the peak of 328 in 2016. In January this year, only five Infiniti cars were registered.

The brand entered Singapore more than 20 years ago with Nissan agent Tan Chong Motor but exited not long after without much success. It returned with Wearnes Automotive in 2011 and had sold 1,543 cars up to the end of last year - around the average number that Toyota's luxury arm Lexus clocks in a year.

Honda HR-V has novel hybrid system


PHOTO: HONDA

Honda has unveiled the latest generation of its popular HR-V compact SUV, which is available with a powerful two-motor e:HEV powertrain.

First seen in the new Honda Jazz, this system allows the car to run on electric power alone, with the engine acting as generator.

But unlike a similar system used by Nissan (e-Power), e:HEV has a drive mode which allows the engine to drive the wheels as well.

A safer, more convenient Subaru Forester

Subaru's new Forester, due here next month, is equipped with a driver monitoring system (DMS).

Using an infrared camera, it scans the driver's face when he gets behind the wheel. Once he has been identified as a driver registered in the system, it automatically adjusts seat and mirror positions as well as air-conditioning and infotainment settings preselected by the driver.

The system can register up to five driver profiles. DMS also monitors the driver's eyes while he is driving to ensure that he is focused on the road ahead.

Electric MG multi-seater to come next year


PHOTO: ROEWE

MG, the top-selling electric car brand here, will offer a multi-purpose vehicle next year. It will be a rebadged and full-electric variant of the Roewe iMax8.

Roewe and MG are owned by Shanghai-based SAIC Motor. Slightly smaller than the enormous Maxus G20 (SAIC owns Maxus too), the car can be configured to seat up to eight.

Faurecia, Groupe Renault team up on hydrogen storage systems

Automotive parts supplier Faurecia and Groupe Renault have tied up to work on hydrogen storage systems for hydrogen light commercial vehicles.

By the end of this year, Faurecia will supply hydrogen storage systems for the first fleet of light commercial vehicles. The systems will be developed and produced at the company's global centre of expertise in Bavans, France.

Citroen makes electric Berlingo


PHOTO: CITROEN

Citroen has unveiled the e-Berlingo, an electric van with a range of nearly 280km. Available in two body lengths, it can be configured as a multi-seater or a light goods carrier.

Touring Superleggera Aero 3 a spin on Ferrari F12

The Touring Superleggera Aero 3 is a retro take on the Ferrari F12. With 740hp and 690Nm from its 6,262cc V12, it hits 100kmh in 3.1 seconds, and top speed of 340kmh.

It is priced at 1.32 million euros (S$2.1 million) before taxes. Local agent Eurosports is taking orders now.

852kg racer with 725bhp


PHOTO: GORDON MURRAY/AUTOMOTIVE

Gordon Murray Automotive has unveiled the T.50s Niki Lauda, a track-centric racer named after legendary F1 champion Niki Laudaand limited to only 25 units.

Designed, engineered and developed in parallel with the T.50 supercar, the car weighs just 852kg. Powered by a 725bhp naturally-aspirated V12 which revs to 12,100rpm, it has an insane power-to-weight ratio.

An electric Cupra is Born


PHOTO: CUPRA

Seat's performance arm Cupra will make Born, an electric car with a 500km range, at its Zwickau plant in Germany from the second half of the year. It is named after a fashionable Barcelona district.

For petrolheads, Cupra has the Formentor VZ5,equipped with 2.5-litre five-cylinder turbo engine generating 390hpand 480Nm of torque. The performance SUV accelerates from zero to 100kmh in 4.2 seconds. Alas, it is available only in left-hand drive.