Fast Lane: Skoda Octavia RS arrives, Amazon Alexa in Jaguar Land Rovers

The Skoda Octavia RS comes with a limited slip differential and a lowered chassis. PHOTO: SKODA

New Skoda Octavia RS at around $200,000

The fourth-generation Skoda Octavia RS is here, boasting an engine which still makes 245hp, but which promises higher efficiency. The power plant is paired with a shift-by-wire dual-clutch gearbox.

Slightly bigger than its predecessor, the front-wheel-drive car comes with a limited slip differential and a lowered chassis. Inside, you will find Alcantara sports seats and a digital instrumentation panel with five layouts. Its steering takes only 2.13 turns lock to lock, down from 2.7 previously.

The car is priced at $199,900.

$2m McLaren showcased in Bell hangar

The showcar comes in a special "colour-shifting" paintwork with varying hues of blue, purple and orange. PHOTO: MCLAREN

McLaren Singapore has sold out its allocation of the new limited-volume 765LT Spider. All nine cars, each starting at $1.75 million before certificate of entitlement (COE) and options, have been snapped up even before the press unveiling this week at Bell Helicopter's Seletar hangar.

The showcar, which comes in a special "colour-shifting" paintwork with varying hues of blue, purple and orange, costs at least $200,000 more.

Meanwhile, 10 units of the coupe version, each starting at $1.6 million before COE and options, have been delivered.

Electric Skoda with verve and versatility

The Electric Skoda has a boot capacity of 570 litres and a drag-coefficient value of 0.234. PHOTO: SKODA

Skoda has unveiled its first electric vRS performance car. The Enyaq Coupe iV puts out 220kW and has a claimed range of 543km.

It has a boot capacity of 570 litres and a drag-coefficient value of 0.234. It comes with different battery sizes, and in rear or all-wheel-drive format.

The car may not arrive in Singapore till 2024.

Alexa, play Adele

Alexa will be made available to more than 200,000 current owners of Jaguar and Land Rover models with Pivi Pro. PHOTOS: JAGUAR LAND ROVER, REUTERS

Jaguar Land Rover will install Amazon Alexa across all models equipped with its Pivi Pro infotainment system. The voice-activated feature - without having to be paired to a phone - allows drivers to control navigation and music, manage calendars, listen to the news, check the weather and control smart home devices.

Alexa will be made available to more than 200,000 current owners of Jaguar and Land Rover models with Pivi Pro via an over-the-air software update.

It is not known when this feature will be available in Singapore.

Alfa SUV with non-fungible token cert

The Tonale is the first car on the market equipped with a non-fungible token digital certificate. PHOTO: ALFA ROMEO

Alfa Romeo has unveiled its Tonale crossover. Made in Italy at the company's revamped Giambattista Vico plant in Pomigliano d'Arco, the Tonale is the first car on the market equipped with a non-fungible token digital certificate.

It has a new infotainment system, with two large TFT screens totalling 22.5 inches designed to offer over-the-air updates and integration with Amazon Alexa.

The car is available as a hybrid and a plug-in hybrid. The 275hp plug-in hybrid all-wheel-drive has an expected electric range of up to 80km in the city.

The 160hp hybrid is available with two power levels - 130hp and 160hp. Both have front-wheel-drive, a new seven-speed dual-clutch transmission and a built-in 48-volt 15kW motor.

The Tonale is expected to arrive in the fourth quarter of the year.

Electric Triumph superbike in live testing stage

The 180bhp TE-1 single-seater could be in showrooms as early as 2023. PHOTO: TRIUMPH

An electric sports motorcycle made by British companies Triumph Motorcycles and Williams Advanced Engineering is entering the live testing phase.

Boasting a next-generation lightweight fast-charging battery and compact powertrain, the 180bhp TE-1 single-seater could be in showrooms as early as 2023.

Besides Williams, Triumph is also working with the University of Warwick on this halo project. The varsity provides electrification expertise, and modelling and simulation to determine consumer demand.

Aston Martin beefs up DBX SUV

The DBX707's 4-litre V8 engine generates 707hp and 900Nm. PHOTO: ASTON MARTIN

Aston Martin has launched a steroidal variant of its DBX sport utility vehicle.

The DBX707's 4-litre V8 engine generates 707hp and 900Nm. Hardware upgrades to cope with the high output include a new nine-speed wet-clutch gearbox and 420mm carbon brakes.

International deliveries are scheduled to begin in the second quarter of the year.

Volvo's Swedish plant to make next-gen EV batteries

Volvo Cars and Northvolt have selected Gothenburg, Sweden, to set up a new battery manufacturing plant, which will commence operations in 2025.

The venture will create up to 3,000 jobs and complement the planned research and development centre that both companies announced in December as part of an investment of about 30 billion kronor (S$4.4 billion). Construction will start in 2023.

The plant will produce battery cells specifically developed for use in next-generation electric Volvo and Polestar cars. It will have a potential annual capacity of up to 50 gigawatt hours, which would supply batteries for about half a million cars annually.

AMG's most powerful car is a hybrid

The four-door coupe is the first performance hybrid from Affalterbach. PHOTO: MERCEDES

Behold the most powerful series-production Mercedes-AMG car - the 843hp/1,400Nm GT63 S E Performance.

The four-door coupe is the first performance hybrid from Affalterbach. Its 4-litre V8 bi-turbo engine is paired with a 150kW electric motor, allowing the car to hit 100kmh in 2.9 seconds and 200kmh in under 10 seconds. Top speed is 316kmh.

International deliveries will begin in April.

Koenigsegg's smaller, better motor

Swedish boutique supercar maker Koenigsegg has rolled out an ultra-compact electric motor which weighs just 30kg, but delivers up to 600Nm of torque and 250kW of power.

The Quark motor's shaft is made of 300M steel used in motorsports and aerospace.

French electric prototype with 8,000Nm of torque

The car has a carbon monocoque body, features twin electric motors with 600kW and a four-wheel-drive transmission. PHOTO: DS AUTOMOBILES

DS, Citroen's performance unit, has unveiled a radical prototype called the E-Tense Performance.

The car has a carbon monocoque body, features twin electric motors with 600kW and a four-wheel-drive transmission. DS claims it has an insane torque value of 8,000Nm at the wheels.

Taken straight from developments for Formula E, the two motors have "unprecedented regeneration capacity" that is sufficient for almost all braking functions. The car is said to hit 100kmh in two seconds.

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