Fast Lane: Refreshed BMW 3-series, 8-seater Land Rover Defender to arrive in 4th quarter

The Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 ePerformance's battery can be charged from 5 to 80 per cent full in about 15 minutes. PHOTO: PORSCHE

Electric Cayman matches 911 GT3 Cup performance

The Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 ePerformance is an electric all-wheel-drive racing concept. Like the Mission R concept revealed earlier, the Cayman GT4 ePerformance uses the chassis of the 718 Cayman GT4 Clubsport.

In simulated racing, a steady 450kW is available for 30 minutes (duration of a Carrera Cup race). In terms of lap times and top speed, the GT4 ePerformance is on a par with the performance of the current Porsche 911 GT3 Cup.

Via a 900-volt technology, the electric racer's battery can be charged from 5 to 80 per cent full in about 15 minutes.

VW ID5, Nissan Qashqai top driver-assistance ranking

Volkswagen's ID5 and Nissan's Qashqai have earned top marks in the European New Car Assessment Programme's driver-assistance grading for 2022.

Both earned the four-star maximum, but the VW's Travel Assist is slightly ahead - with 76 per cent assistance competence versus 74 per cent garnered by Nissan's ProPilot with Navi-Link.

But the Nissan's safety backup is much higher - at 93 per cent versus the VW's 85 per cent. The Polestar 2 is a distant third - with 53 per cent assistance competence and 88 per cent safety backup.

In 2020, the Tesla Model 3 garnered a score of 36 per cent for competence (largely because of poor driver engagement) and 95 per cent for safety backup.

Nip and tuck for Rolls-Royce Phantom

The launch edition is a customised variant called the Phantom Platino. PHOTO: ROLLS-ROYCE

Rolls-Royce Motor Cars has given its Phantom flagship a light facelift. The Phantom Series II's aesthetic tweaks include a front end with a polished horizontal line that sits above the grille and between its daytime-running lights.

Its grille - now illuminated like the smaller Rolls-Royce Ghost's - has also been altered slightly to make the Rolls-Royce badge and Spirit of Ecstasy mascot more prominent. The limousine's headlights are made shinier with laser-cut design elements.

The launch edition is a customised variant called the Phantom Platino.

Polestar on a roll

Polestar, the electric car maker jointly owned by China's Geely and Sweden's Volvo, plans to roll out one new model a year over the next few years.

Hot on the heels of its Polestar 2, which was launched here late last year, will be the Polestar 3 - a sport utility vehicle (SUV) around the size of the Porsche Cayenne.

This is expected to be unveiled in October this year and arrive in Singapore by the fourth quarter of next year. An SUV-coupe around the size of the Porsche Macan - named Polestar 4 - will follow next year and land here in 2024.

In 2024, the Polestar 5 four-door grand tourer will be launched. This is based on the stunning Polestar Precept, although the production car may not have rear-hinged rear doors. It should arrive here in 2025.

A sporty roadster may follow. It will be based on the sexy drone-equipped O2 concept unveiled early this year, and built on the bonded aluminium chassis of the Polestar 5.

Refreshed BMW 3-series to land in fourth quarter

The headlights and kidney grille have been redesigned, with full-LED illumination being offered across all variants. PHOTO: BMW

BMW's facelifted 3-series will arrive later this year. Its headlights and kidney grille have been redesigned, with full-LED illumination being offered across all variants.

The headlights are now much slimmer, with clear contours and daytime-running lights arranged in an inverted L-shape. Air intakes in high-gloss black positioned below the kidney grille cool the braking system.

The facelifted 3-series is slated to arrived in the fourth quarter of the year, starting with the 318i and M340i. Prices are expected to be around $260,000 and $380,000, respectively.

Eight-seater Defender to debut this year

The Defender 130 will have seats for up to eight occupants. PHOTO: LAND ROVE

A multi-seat variant of the Land Rover Defender will arrive in the fourth quarter of the year.

The Defender 130 will have seats for up to eight occupants. This extended wheelbase variant will have three rows of seats - two in front, three in the middle and three at the back. It joins the existing 90, 110 and commercial Hard Top variants.

Land Rover says the car will have the "latest digital technologies and advanced integrated chassis technologies".

Volvo car air purifiers remove up to 99.9 per cent of allergens

Volvo cars will offer an air cleaner suitable for people with asthma. Its Advanced Air Cleaner, part of an air-purification technology available on Volvo's new 60 and 90 series models, has been certified asthma- and allergy-friendly by Allergy Standards.

It removes up to 99.9 per cent of grass, tree and weed pollen allergens from incoming air. Allergy Standards is an independent certification programme that helps consumers identify products that are suitable for people with asthma and allergies.

Drivers will be able to assess whether to purify the air in the cabin of their car with the help of live data that shows actual outdoor-pollen and air-quality levels in the car's centre display - an industry first.

Making the Audi RS4, RS5 even sportier

RS sports exhaust system plus - offered on these cars for the first time - ups the aural appeal. PHOTO: AUDI

Audi is offering options to make its RS4 and RS5 even more dynamic. New coilover suspension, a sportier differential and Pirelli Corsa P Zero tyres up the sizzle quotient of the cars.

RS sports exhaust system plus - offered on these cars for the first time - ups the aural appeal. Exterior and interior accents underscore the exclusive character of the so-called competition package. There is no word yet on whether the package will be available in Singapore.

Sime Darby Motors takes to the air

FlyNow Aviation GmbH develops and produces electrical take-off and landing drones, which can carry single occupants or cargo. PHOTO: FLYNOW AVIATION

Sime Darby Motors Singapore and drone company FlyNow Aviation GmbH have signed a memorandum of understanding to advance urban air mobility in the Asia-Pacific.

This is the multi-franchise motor group's first aviation foray. FlyNow Aviation GmbH develops and produces eVTOL (electrical take-off and landing) drones, which can carry single occupants or cargo. Its drones are said to outperform those by rivals in the areas of noise emission, energy efficiency, ergonomics and cost.

Sky's the limit for topless Maserati

Maserati is ready to showcase another new model - a convertible variant of its MC20 sports car. It will be called the MC20 Cielo and unveiled on May 25.

The name Cielo means "sky" in Italian and highlights the fact that it is a model "devoted to driving pleasure in the great outdoors".

Like the coupe variant, the MC20 Cielo is developed at the Maserati Innovation Lab in Modena and produced at the historic plant on Viale Ciro Menotti.

Hydrogen-fuel-cell single-seater to hit 100kmh in 2.2 seconds

British supercar manufacturer Briggs Automotive Co (BAC) and pioneering hydrogen powertrain engineers Viritech have teamed up to build a hydrogen-fuel-cell sports car which is lightweight, agile and quick.

The e-Mono concept is merely 100kg heavier than the 555kg Mono supercar, allowing it to achieve the same Silverstone lap time as the Mono R.

The e-Mono's battery pack is installed as far under the car's single seat as possible. The pack's casing is a structural component of the chassis, while the fuel cell is placed above it. The fuel cell's compressor is hidden inside an air-intake pod usually used for the petrol-powered Mono R.

In simulation tests, the 277kW all-wheel drive e-Mono shaved two seconds off the Mono R's Silverstone lap time (2.04.3 vs 2.06.3). It is able to run 10 fast laps in between refuelling. On-road range is calculated at 266km. Top speed is expected to be 264kmh, with 0-100kmh achieved in 2.2 seconds.

Toyota best employer in automotive sector

Toyota Motor Asia Pacific has been recognised by The Straits Times as one of the top 200 employers in Singapore. It is ranked as the top company in the automotive industry in the newspaper's Best Employers list for 2022.

The automaker achieved a score of 7.78 out of a maximum of 10, also landing it a spot among the top 60 highest-scoring companies on the list.

The annual list ranks companies and institutions in the country based on an assessment of their attractiveness to employees, which was conducted through a large-scale, independent survey by global data firm Statista.

The survey polled more than 17,000 respondents across six main areas - working conditions, workplace environment, potential for career development, employer's reputation, salary and diversity.

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