Fast Lane: Mercedes-Benz recalls almost a million cars; new S range for Bentley's Continental GT, GTC

The Polestar 3 will feature a dual-motor drivetrain and a large battery affording it a targeted range of over 600km. PHOTO: POLESTAR

Polestar 3 features unique aerodynamic kit

The upcoming Polestar 3 full-size sport utility vehicle has a unique suite of aerodynamic aids. Just fore of the bonnet and above the grille is a low-profile front spoiler. This is complemented by a prominent rear spoiler.

Hence, the car is positioned as a performance model, with its sights set on the Porsche Cayenne.

At launch, the Polestar 3 will feature a dual-motor drivetrain and a large battery affording it a targeted range of over 600km. Interestingly, this sporty car will also offer partially autonomous highway cruising later, with "best in class" LiDAR sensor from Luminar and centralised Nvidia computing software.

The model will be made at Volvo's plants in Chengdu, China, and South Carolina, United States. Both plants produce the Volvo XC90. The Polestar 3 shares its platform with the next-generation XC90.

The car will be unveiled in October and will arrive in Singapore in the later half of next year. Polestar says the car marks its entrance into "one of the highest margin and growth segments in the automotive industry".

Brits rent out home-based EV chargers

British home owners with electric vehicle (EV) charging points in their driveway are making extra money by renting out their chargers to other EV drivers.

Through online parking marketplace, this opens up 4,892 EV private spaces at 1,700 locations across Britain. The portal claims these driveways generate 14 per cent more income than normal driveways which are rented out as parking spaces.

As at April, there are around 30,290 publicly available EV charging points in Britain, translating to just 45 devices per 100,000 of the population.

Hardcore and electric


For an edgier variant of the Polestar 2, look to the Polestar 2 BST Edition 270, which is limited to 270 units slated for Europe, North America and China.

Its two motors powered by a 78kWh battery have been tweaked for a maximum output of 350kW and 680Nm of torque (versus 300kW and 660Nm from the Long Range Dual Motor version).

Ride height is 25mm lower, with Ohlins two-way adjustable dampers and 20 per cent stiffer springs. The car sits on 21-inch alloys shod with Pirelli P Zero tyres.

Mazda plants to be carbon-neutral by 2035

Mazda Motor has announced its commitment to making its factories around the world carbon-neutral by 2035, supporting its goal of making the whole Mazda supply chain carbon-neutral by 2050.

To achieve this, the company will work with its partners to focus on energy conservation, shift to renewable energy and introduce carbon-neutral fuels for in-house transportation.

Bentley spices up Continental GT, GTC


Bentley has introduced an S range for its Continental GT and GTC. It has new 22-inch wheels, darkened lamps, a louder sports exhaust, and black chrome and sportier interior trim.

Bentley's Dynamic Ride suspension will be standard fare, and so will "performance-focused graphics" in the driver display.

The cars will retain their 550hp, 770Nm 4-litre V8 engines which deliver a century sprint of four seconds.

Mercedes recalls close to 1m cars over faulty brakes

Mercedes-Benz is recalling nearly one million vehicles over brake issues.

According to The New York Times, the cars were sold around the world between 2004 and 2015, and could experience brake failure.

Affected models are the ML and GL series of sport utility vehicles, as well as the R-class multipurpose vehicles.

Tests showed that advanced corrosion in a joint area of the brake booster housing in some of the vehicles could cause problems with the braking mechanism, the paper quoted the manufacturer as saying.

The problem could lead to "an increase in the brake pedal forces required to decelerate the vehicle and/or to a potentially increased stopping distance".

More than 933,400 vehicles are affected, according to Germany's Motor Transport Authority, the agency that issued the recall.

Daimler South East Asia said it is working with the authorities to determine the number of cars affected in Singapore.

Meanwhile, the US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is looking into complaints from more than 750 Tesla owners who have reported problems with the cars' brakes. Known as phantom braking, the issue causes a car to decelerate without warning and at random.

Three electrified Cupra models by 2025


Cupra, the performance division of Volkswagen-owned Seat, will introduce three electrified models by 2025.

The Cupra UrbanRebel is a front-wheel-drive electric tall hatch built on Volkswagen Group's MEB small platform and poised to be the brand's main battery-powered model. The 4.03m-long vehicle is built with advanced recycled polymers and bio-based materials.

Next comes the Cupra Terramar, a plug-in hybrid SUV which will be introduced by 2024. It will be produced in Hungary at Audi's Gyor plant and is also available with conventional petrol powertrains. The plug-in hybrid variant promises an electric range of 100km.

Lastly, the Cupra Tavascan is a larger, sportier electric model based on a 2019 concept car.

EVs reduce stress of driving: poll

Research by Citroen's DS Automobiles finds that some owners of electric and hybrid cars feel less stressed while driving.

Up to 78 per cent of drivers in Britain have experienced stress behind the wheel. But the quiet and refined drive of an electrified model supposedly reduces stress (as long as the battery is not near empty, of course).

In a survey of 2,000 British drivers, 38 per cent of electric and hybrid car owners said their cars make them feel less stressed than their previous petrol or diesel cars.

An electric van from Fiat


Fiat has unveiled another electric model - the E-Doblo, a battery-powered light van available in both long- and standard-wheelbase versions.

The long-wheelbase version has up to 4.4 cubic metres of cargo space. Two diesel versions are also available - a 1.5-litre 100hp with manual transmission, and a 1.5-litre 130hp with a choice of manual and eight-speed automatic transmission.

A 1.2-litre 110hp petrol variant completes the range.

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