SINGAPORE – After a two-year hiatus, Singapore Motorshow is back.
The seventh edition of the ticketed event presented by the Motor Traders Association of Singapore started on Thursday and runs till Sunday.
While the floor space of the show at Suntec City Convention & Exhibition Centre is slightly smaller than the previous one in 2020, there are more unveilings of new models, including an unprecedented number of electric vehicles. In all, 25 automotive brands are present.
Making their debuts are no fewer than three Volkswagen electric models as well as one from Skoda. Sweden’s Polestar is participating for the first time and Nissan is showcasing the Ariya electric crossover. And there is a multicolour Audi e-tron GT called Electric Dreams.
Beyond the electric offerings, visitors can check out the last pure combustion-engined cars in town, including the Lotus Emira and Subaru Impreza WRX.
Be entertained by performances by British precision driver and three-time Guinness World Record Holder Russ Swift.
Heading down to the show? Here is a list of cars you should not miss.
Singapore Motorshow 2023
Where: Suntec City Convention & Exhibition Centre, Levels 3 and 4, 3 Temasek Boulevard
When: Till Sunday, Friday, 11.30am to 9pm; Saturday and Sunday, 10.30am to 9pm
Admission: $8, free for children below 1.2m; tickets available at Suntec Singapore Concourse Level 3 or via Sistic (go to www.sistic.com.sg or call 6348-5555)
BMW M3 Touring
Cross a sports car with a station wagon and you might get something like the M3 Competition Touring.
BMW’s first 3-series steroidal wagon packs 510hp within an inline-six turbocharged engine which is paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission. All-wheel drive ensures maximum traction, whether its 500-litre stowage is full or empty.
BYD Seal and Dolphin
There are worse things than to name cars after marine mammals. But in this case, the two BYD electric cars in question look delectable enough to carry it off.
The Dolphin is a small, tallish hatch which is reminiscent of the BMW i3 – chic, cute and compact.
The Seal, on the other hand, is a sizeable saloon meant to take on the Tesla Model 3. In its home country of China, the Seal is selling like hot cakes, which may or may not be indicative of how it will perform elsewhere. Check the car out and decide for yourself.
The e-C4 is the first electric Citroen in town and also the first new Citroen to make it here in a while.
It shares the excellent platform of the Peugeot e-2008, so expect superb ride and handling. It has 97kW of power, which means it falls under Category A certificate of entitlement (COE). And with a fast charger, you can add 100km of range in just 10 minutes.
Of course, the proof of the pudding is still in the eating, so stay tuned to this section for a review of this car.
Kia Niro EV
The second-generation Kia Niro EV is here, just weeks after the Niro Hybrid was launched.
The battery-powered crossover offers more space and a slightly bigger battery than its predecessor. Its wheelbase has grown by 20mm to 2,720mm, which should mean more space.
But its performance remains unchanged, with a century sprint of 7.8 seconds. Consumption has risen slightly to 16.2kWh/100km, so its range should not be very different despite the bigger battery.
But crucially, the car qualifies for Category A COE, while its predecessor was a Category B car.
Lexus’ first electric model, the UX300e, was a trial car which had neither range nor performance. But the new RZ promises to be a quantum leap.
The RZ450e is powered by two motors and an adaptive all-wheel-drive system. The front motor makes 150kW, while the rear produces 80kW – which means you can expect an adrenaline-pumping time at the helm. It is estimated to have a range of 360km, which is more than decent in Singapore’s context.
The car looks good too.
Classic lovers will remember the seminal 300SL Gullwing, a car made in the 1950s which will still put many modern-day beauties in the shade. The latest descendant of this car is the Mercedes-AMG SL, which returns as a soft-top 2+2.
The SL55 has a twin-turbocharged 4-litre V8 making 476hp and 700Nm of torque. For the first time in an SL, power goes to all four wheels.
There will also be an SL43, powered by a 381hp/480Nm turbocharged 2-litre four-cylinder – the first for an SL. Its uniqueness extends to its electric turbocharger, which promises seamlessness in the way power pours out.
The MG 4 is an electric rear-wheel-drive compact hatch with edgy crossover-like styling.
It has 150kW of power and 250Nm of torque, enabling it to reach 100kmh in 7.9 seconds. With a 64kWh battery and a relatively low kerb weight (under 1.7 tonnes), it promises a range of up to 450km.
This is a VW Golf-size car. Find out at the show if it is as roomy as the Golf.
The Nissan Leaf was the first modern-day mass-production electric car when it was launched in 2010. The Ariya is the second electric car from Nissan, promising more performance, space and range.
This model was launched in 2020, but may not reach showrooms here until early 2024, although Nissan agent Tan Chong Motor is trying to make it available for sale by the end of 2023.
The new 408 is a compact fastback saloon which qualifies for Category A COE. It has a crossover-like front section, which makes it rather different from the elegant and bigger 508.
For those who are not ready for electric cars or not partial to sport utility vehicles, the 408 may be an interesting option.
Skoda Enyaq Coupe iV
This coupe variant of the Enyaq iV is Skoda’s first electric model. It shares the same platform as the Volkswagen ID4. But being a Skoda, it offers more utility.
What is less utilitarian, however, is its illuminated grille, which may not be approved for Singapore. So, the Singapore Motorshow may be the only place you can view this unique glowing grille.
Subaru’s first electric model shares the same platform as the peachy Toyota bZ4X. It is a departure from Subaru cars to date, which are known for their grunt and gutsy performance.
Like the Nissan Ariya, the Subaru Solterra is unlikely to be in showrooms any time soon. So, do not miss this preview.
Those who love the sound and fury of fossil-fuel cars should not miss the new GR86.
Sharing a platform with the Subaru BRZ, the GR86 is powered by a four-cylinder Boxer engine paired with a six-speed manual gearbox. It packs 231hp and 250Nm of torque. The output may seem modest, but should be adequate in such a taut 2+2 package.
The car should be more affordable than the Supra and less daunting than the GR Yaris.
Volkswagen ID Buzz
This electric minivan may well be the coolest car at the show. Just look at its smiley face.
It is also the first electric car here to have sliding doors. Currently available with five seats and an enormous cargo area, the ID Buzz is ideal for road trips. It has more than 400km of range and the rear seats can be collapsed flat against its raised boot platform to form a surface area large enough for a bed.
Opt for a version with a panoramic glass roof and you can literally sleep under the stars.
Follow Christopher Tan on Instagram @chris.motoring