Fast Lane: Hyundai recalls 17 cars in Singapore, 50th-anniversary M3 and M4 BMWs

BMW is launching a 50 Jahre (years in German) edition of the M3 for its 50th anniversary. PHOTO: BMW

Faulty seatbelt part injures motorist in Singapore

Hyundai Motor is recalling 17 cars in Singapore over faulty seatbelt pretensioners. Hyundai agent Komoco says owners of the affected cars - 15 of the latest Avante sedans and two of the current-generation Santa Fe sport utility vehicles - are being notified of the safety recall.

Hyundai is recalling 281,000 cars in North America over seatbelt pretensioners that could explode and project metal fragments after three injury reports, including one in Singapore.

In a collision, a pretensioner uses an explosive charge to activate a piston to lock a seatbelt in place so there is no slack.

50th-anniversary M3 and M4 arrive

To mark the 50th anniversary of M, BMW is launching a 50 Jahre (years in German) edition of the M3.

The cars will have their front, rear and wheel hubs decorated with emblems inspired by the BMW Motorsport logo, and boast M paintwork. They will also have M Performance parts which further enhance handling.

The M3 Competition 50 Jahre and M4 Competition 50 Jahre are the first two M models to receive this anniversary treatment in Singapore. Both have front attachments, air breathers and rear spoilers in carbon fibre.

The M3 is priced at $545,888, while the M4 Coupe costs $550,888.

Bentley's extra-comfy package

Bentley cars are already rather comfortable, but with the new Azure package, they are even more so.

The package includes 22-way adjustable front seats with heating and ventilation functions. A massage function with six programmable settings prevents fatigue on long hauls. Adjustable side bolsters, electric seatbelt adjustment and "comfort headrests" complete the package.

Bentley Dynamic Ride, which uses a 48-volt active anti-roll system, enhances ride comfort even around corners. Finally, a slew of driving aids minimises effort on the part of the driver.

A peek at a future Renault Scenic?

Renault's Scenic Vision is a concept car powered by hydrogen fuel cells, with a small lithium battery to capture recuperated power. PHOTO: RENAULT

Renault's Scenic Vision is a concept car powered by hydrogen fuel cells, with a small lithium battery to capture recuperated power.

Designed to have a carbon footprint that is 75 per cent less than a conventional electric car, the futuristic people mover has a suite of safety systems which help to reduce accidents by 70 per cent.

Renault says more than 70 per cent of the materials in the car are renewable and 95 per cent of the entire vehicle is recyclable, including its battery.

The concept is the basis for an electric model which will be unveiled in 2024.

Audi cars to have Apple Music

Audi is integrating Apple Music with its infotainment system to provide access to more than 90 million songs, 30,000 expert-curated playlists and Apple Music Radio.

The music-streaming subscription service allows customers to access their personal Apple Music account directly from their car, with no Bluetooth or USB connection required.

Classic Merc auctioned at record €135m

A 1955 Mercedes-Benz 300 SLR Uhlenhaut Coupe has fetched a record price of €135 million (S$198 million). PHOTO: MERCEDES-BENZ

A 1955 Mercedes-Benz 300 SLR Uhlenhaut Coupe has fetched a record price of €135 million (S$198 million).

RM Sotheby's, in association with Mercedes-Benz, sold one of two famed 300 SLR Uhlenhaut Coupes to a private collector and will donate the proceeds to establish a worldwide Mercedes-Benz Fund, to provide for young people's educational and research scholarships in the areas of environmental science and decarbonisation.

An icon of the automotive world, the car is one of just two prototypes built and named after its creator and chief engineer, Mr Rudolf Uhlenhaut.

The 300 SLR was based on the successful W196 R Grand Prix car, which won two World Championships in the hands of Juan Manuel Fangio. The 3-litre car could attain a speed of 288kmh, making it one of the fastest road-legal cars at the time.

Mercedes to shift focus back to luxury cars


After nearly three decades of growing a mass-market segment, Mercedes-Benz is moving its focus back to luxury cars. The Stuttgart-based company will devote more than 75 per cent of investments to its top-end and core luxury segments.

It will halve its so-called "entry luxury" segment to only four model variants and aims to grow its operating margin to 14 per cent, from 12.7 per cent last year. M4 CSL clocks best time in Nurburgring

BMW's M4 CSL boasts 550hp; a carbon-fibre roof, bonnet and boot lid; and a limited production run of 1,000 runs.

The two-seater achieved a lap time of 7:15.677 at Nurburgring's Nordschleife 20.5km track - the best figure for a BMW road car.

Weighing 1,625kg (100kg lighter than the BMW M4 Competition Coupe), it sprints from 0 to 100kmh in 3.7 seconds, and 200kmh in under 11 seconds. Top speed is an electronically limited 304kmh.

Polestar latest to invest in fast-charging battery start-up

Polestar has tied up with fast-charging expert StoreDot to commercialise advanced batteries. StoreDot is on track to mass-produce silicon-dominant lithium-ion cells that deliver 160km of range in five minutes of charging by 2024.

Its strategic partners now include Daimler, BP, VinFast, Volvo, Polestar, Ola Electric, Samsung, TDK and EVE Energy.

Pole to pole in an electric Nissan

British adventurer Chris Ramsey is set to become the first person to drive from the magnetic North Pole to the South Pole and will be undertaking the journey in an electric Nissan Ariya.

Departing in March 2023, Mr Ramsey will travel more than 27,200km spanning 14 countries from the Arctic to North, Central and South America, before finally crossing to Antarctica.

The modified Ariya will brave temperatures that are predicted to range from minus 30 to 30 deg C.

Suzuki batteries used to power street lamp

Suzuki Motor has developed a technology to reuse small lithium-ion batteries collected from its scrapped cars for solar-powered streetlights in Japan. Previously, such batteries were simply disposed of. A pilot project makes use of batteries from 10 cars to store power for one street lamp.

Maserati MC20 Cielo roof opens, closes in 12 seconds

Maserati has unveiled the MC20 Cielo, a convertible version of the MC20. PHOTO: MASERATI

Maserati has unveiled the MC20 Cielo, a convertible version of the MC20. The model is equipped with an electrochromic window, which can instantly switch from clear to opaque at the touch of a button, courtesy of polymer-dispersed liquid crystal technology.

The roof is also best-in-class in terms of thermal insulation, and can open and close in 12 seconds. The Cielo weighs just 65 kg more than the coupe and shares its carbon-fibre chassis. The car is expected to arrive early 2023.

Ford cars may slow down on their own in future

Ford is experimenting with geofencing technology to slow down its cars automatically in riskier areas. For instance, 30kmh geofenced zones for schools, hospitals and shopping areas could greatly reduce the risks to all road users. Ford is carrying out a trial in Cologne, Germany, with an electric Ford E-Transit. If successful, the feature could be introduced in its line-up of commercial and passenger vehicles.

Kia EV6 among latest five-star Euro NCAP cars

The European New Car Assessment Programme (Euro NCAP) has published its third round of safety results for 2022 and the highest-ranked cars are the Kia EV6, Mercedes-Benz C-class, Volvo C40 Recharge and Volkswagen's new Multivan - all of which clinched the maximum five stars. The new Opel Astra and th Peugeot 308 garnered four stars.

Stellantis, Samsung build battery plant in Indiana

Euro-American group Stellantis has formed a venture with Samsung to build an electric-vehicle battery plant in Kokomo, Indiana.

The plant is targeted to start in 2025 and create 1,400 new jobs. It will have an initial annual production capacity of 23 gigawatt hours, with an aim to ramp up to 33 gigawatt hours.

The joint-venture company will invest more than US$2.5 billion (S$3.4 billion) initially, raising this to US$3.1 billion over time.

Caterham unveils Seven 420 Cup

The Caterham Seven 420 Cup is based on the Caterham Seven Championship UK race car. PHOTO: CATERHAM

British niche carmaker Caterham has revealed the new Seven 420 Cup. The road-legal, track-focused model is based on the Caterham Seven Championship UK race car.

The first production model will feature a six-speed sequential gearbox and adjustable Bilstein dampers. The Seven 420 Cup is powered by a 2-litre Ford Duratec engine producing 210bhp and 203Nm of torque, resulting in a power-to-weight ratio of 375bhp per tonne and a century sprint time of well under four seconds.

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