Fast Lane: VW playlists on Spotify, Ferrari launches 296 GTB plug-in hybrid

Lotus agent Wearnes Automotive says it has more than 30 orders for the new Emira on hand. PHOTO: LOTUS CARS

Wearnes has more than 30 bookings for Lotus Emira

Lotus agent Wearnes Automotive says it has more than 30 orders for the new Emira on hand, which translates to Lotus' allocation for this and next year.

Most are understood to be the 3-litre V6 variant, which has an indicative price of $500,000 before the certificate of entitlement (COE). The 2-litre inline-4, which will arrive after the 3-litre, is estimated to be above $400,000 before COE.

Wearnes says its bookings for the V6 are the highest among all Asia-Pacific markets. To date, nearly 90 per cent of global production orders for the mid-engine premium sports car has been filled.

A show car is due in the second quarter of the year and deliveries are scheduled to start in the third or fourth quarter. Those who book now are likely to get their car only from 2024.

Tune in to VW playlists on Spotify

Volkswagen is now on music streaming platform Spotify. The German marque says it has curated playlists "to help us connect with Volkswagen fans and customers wherever they are".

It adds: "We aim to build playlists for different occasions, purposes and even ones that bring out the unique characteristics of each Volkswagen model."

The first list is titled #MoreThanALoveBug, featuring 30 loves songs through the years.

Ferrari 296 GTB plug-in hybrid to cost at least $1.2 million

Ferrari has launched its 296 GTB plug-in hybrid two-seater coupe here ahead of international media test-drives.

The car is powered by a 120-degree 3-litre turbocharged V6 paired with an electric motor to produce 830hp and 740Nm of torque. It hits 100kmh in 2.9 seconds, 200kmh in 7.3 seconds, and a top speed of 330kmh.

It is priced at $1.13 million before COE and options. Deliveries will begin in early 2023.

Jaguar Land Rover partners AI specialist Nvidia

Jaguar Land Rover has formed a multi-year strategic partnership with Nvidia, a leader in artificial intelligence and computing, to jointly develop and deliver next-generation automated driving systems.

Startingfrom 2025, all new Jaguar and Land Rover vehicles will be built on the Nvidia Drive software-defined platform, delivering a wide spectrum of active safety, automated driving and parking systems as well as driver assistance systems.

The system will deliver features such as driver and occupant monitoring as well as advanced visualisation of the vehicle's environment.

AMG electric saloon to have 1,000Nm

The Mercedes-AMG EQE53 is an all-wheel-drive luxury saloon. PHOTO: MERCEDES

Mercedes-AMG has unveiled electric cars which are likely to take some shine off Tesla's popular Model 3.

The Mercedes-AMG EQE53 is an all-wheel-drive luxury saloon boasting 505kW, 1,000Nm of torque and a claimed range of 518km. It hits 100kmh in 3.3 seconds and a top speed of 240kmh.

The EQE43 has 350kW, 858Nm of torque and a stated range of 533km. It clocks a 4.2-second century sprint and a top speed of 210kmh.

They will go head to head with the Model 3 Performance and Standard Range respectively. The Mercs are expected to be pricier, but promise more space and luxury. More importantly, the drive, suspension, brakes, sound, design and equipment will be AMG-tuned.

Ioniq 5 to have beefier battery pack

The Ioniq 5 will also have video-based digital interior and exterior mirrors; and battery conditioning for enhanced charging times. PHOTO: REUTERS

Hyundai Motor has enhanced the electric Ioniq 5 with a bigger 77.4kWh battery pack - up from the current 58kWh or 72.6kWh versions.

The car will also have new options, including video-based digital interior and exterior mirrors; and battery conditioning for enhanced charging times.

First launched in February 2021, the Ioniq 5 is the first model based on Hyundai Motor's dedicated electric vehicle platform. Its new assembly plant in Singapore is expected to roll out the car by 2024.

Audi to can Q2 and A1

After years of moving downstream to compete with mass-market brands, Volkswagen-owned Audi is now refocusing on bigger models - a move its competitorson a similar path are likely to follow.

As such, the Ingolstadt company will discontinue the Q2 subcompact crossover and A1 supermini hatch after just one generation. This was reported last week by German business paper Handelsblatt, which quoted Audi chief executive Markus Duesmann.

In recent decades, other premium brands such as Mercedes-Benz and BMW have also added a slew of smaller, cheaper cars to their core luxury product line-up in abid to gain better economies of scale.

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