Fast Lane: Mustang masters Mandarin


Mustang masters Mandarin

Engineers in Ford's Nanjing facility in China have updated the Mustang's infotainment system, which now understands Chinese characters handwritten on its touchscreen and recognises Mandarin voice commands.

More than 2,500 commonly used characters in the Chinese language and a wide range of writing styles are in the database of the system called Sync 3.

Previously, the car required the user to type in hanyu pinyin and then select one of multiple characters, making it tedious to enter a command or search for a destination.


Ferrari's 70th birthday

The Italian supercar has kicked off celebrations to mark its 70th anniversary this year. It launched a dedicated website (, introduced the LaFerrari Aperta (above) as a commemorative special edition and released a video which re-enacts the 125 S (far left), the first car to sport the Ferrari badge, driving through the Maranello factory gates for its debut test drive on March 12, 1947.

A year-round series of events, with the slogan Driven By Emotion, is lined up, including for Singapore, where there will be a 70-Ferrari parade in August.


720S at MBS

McLaren's latest supercar made its Asia-Pacific premiere at Marina Bay Sands on Wednesday. Powered by a 4-litre twin-turbo V8 engine with 720bhp and 770Nm, the 720S is faster than the 650S it replaces, going from 0 to 100kmh in 2.9 seconds, 0 to 200kmh in 7.8 seconds and on to a maximum speed of 341kmh.

Taking centre stage in the purposeful cockpit is a radical interface with a folding driver display and central infotainment screen.

The price of the McLaren 720S in Singapore starts at $990,000 without COE.


Heroic Disco

Land Rover has built a customised version of the new Discovery SUV to serve as an advanced command vehicle for the Austrian Red Cross.

Called Project Hero, the special support car comes with its own roof-mounted drone, which is able to land while the vehicle is moving, perhaps en route to a disaster area.

The bird's-eye-view footage transmitted from the airborne drone would help emergency response teams to carry out life-saving missions more effectively.

The 3-litre turbo-diesel Project Hero is also equipped with a heavy-duty sliding boot floor, a segregation panel behind the rear seats, additional tool-mounting points, extra LED lights, multiple-frequency radio sets and numerous on-board power outlets which accept a variety of plugs from different regions.

David Ting

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 18, 2017, with the headline 'Fast Lane'. Print Edition | Subscribe