Fast Lane: New Merc C-class arrives, souped-up BMW iX and more

The Mercedes-Benz C180 AMG. PHOTO: MERCEDES-BENZ

Latest Merc C-class arrives

The new Mercedes-Benz C-class has landed. The junior executive saloon is available as a 1.5-litre turbocharged, with the C180 AMG Line offering 170hp/250Nm and the C200 Avantgarde pushing out 204hp/300Nm.

The former hits 100kmh in 8.6 seconds and a top speed of 231kmh. The latter clocks the same sprint in 7.3 seconds and a top velocity of 246kmh. Prices start at $255,888 and $279,888 respectively.

Shell, Porsche kick-start cross-country charging network

Shell and Porsche Asia Pacific have opened the first of six electric vehicle (EV) fast-charging stations along Malaysia's North-South Highway. The main station is in Tangkak, Johor - a popular stopover during road trips.

The two companies said later this year, customers will be able to charge their EVs quickly all the way up to Bangkok and back as the first cross-country charging network in South-east Asia is rolled out. Malaysia will have six 180kW direct current chargers at Shell stations. They can charge up a Porsche Taycan from zero to 80 per cent in about 30 minutes, providing up to 390km of travel distance.

Souped-up BMW iX with 1,100Nm

The electric BMW iX M60 can go from zero to 100kmh in 3.8 seconds. PHOTO: BMW

BMW has unveiled its third variant of the BMW iX electric sport utility vehicle. The iX M60 boasts an output of 619hp and 1,100Nm, a century sprint of 3.8 seconds and a range of up to 572km.

The most powerful iX is also said to consume 21.6kWh/100km. It has an M-specific suspension and is made in BMW's Dingolfing plant in Germany, along with other BMW i models.

New Volvo flagship electric SUV to have autonomous feature

Volvo Cars will introduce its unsupervised autonomous driving feature, Ride Pilot, to customers in California later this year. The company plans to offer it as an add-on subscription on its forthcoming flagship electric sport utility vehicle (SUV).

Ride Pilot is developed by autonomous driving software company Zenseact together with Volvo's in-house team of developers and developers from Luminar, one of its technology partners.

The car will have more than two dozen sensors, including Luminar's cutting-edge Iris Lidar.

Citroen facelifts C5 Aircross

The facelifted C5 will also be available as a plug-in hybrid. PHOTO: CITROEN

Citroen's facelifted C5 Aircross gets sharper looks and more high-tech features. Updates include a new front end, 18-inch diamond-cut alloy wheels and a distinctive three-dimensional light signature at the rear.

The car will have Citroen Advanced Comfort seats and more driving aids. It will also be available as a plug-in hybrid with a 54km electric range.

Rent a car online with Cycle & Carriage

Multi-franchise motor group Cycle & Carriage has launched a completely online leasing platform. Named myCarriage, it allows customers to browse and book the exact car they want with a "simple and easy rental process".

The time taken from booking online to car collection can be as short as two hours, the company says. Customers can also opt for the car to be delivered for a fee. Cars can be rented for between one and 30 days.

Geely ties up with Waymo to build driverless ride-hailing car

Geely's premium electric brand Zeekr will collaborate with Waymo to develop a new electric vehicle for deployment in the Waymo One autonomous ride-hailing fleet in the United States.

The purpose-built vehicle is being designed at Zeekr's research and development facility in Gothenburg, Sweden, which has a proven record in developing class-leading vehicles for the Geely group.

It will be designed to be rider-centric from the outset, setting a new benchmark for autonomous vehicles.

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