Fast Lane: New Jimny coming

New Jimny coming
New Jimny comingPHOTO: SUZUKI
The electric Dendrobium D-1
The electric Dendrobium D-1PHOTO: DENDROBIUM
Skoda’s new Octavia
Skoda’s new OctaviaPHOTO: SKODA
Honda Monkey
Honda MonkeyPHOTO: HONDA
Volkswagen to start car-sharing services
Volkswagen to start car-sharing servicesPHOTO: VOLKSWAGEN

New Jimny coming

Ever since the first Jimny made its debut in April 1970, it has had a strong cult following. The latest generation of the 4x4 subcompact SUV (above) is slated to land in Singapore next month. To be powered by a 1-litre turbocharged engine, the boxy icon is expected to be priced at around $80,000. Small and lightweight, the Jimny incorporates essentials for serious off-roading such as a ladder frame construction, three-link rigid axle suspension with coil spring and part-time 4WD with low-range transfer gear.

Singapore orchid car set to bloom

A Singapore-conceived supercar named after an orchid is one step closer to production. The electric Dendrobium D-1 is now the project of a new company, Dendrobium Automotive, established in Britain. First drawn up in the mid-1990s by Singapore-based Vanda Electrics, it was turned into a working concept by Formula One company Williams Advanced Engineering and shown at last year's Geneva Motor Show. Nigel Gordon-Stewart, who has been associated with McLaren and Lamborghini, is chief executive of Dendrobium Automotive. Part of his role includes raising funds to get the 1,750kg, 1,800bhp/2,000Nm car produced.

Audi ties up with Huawei

Audi is teaming up with Chinese telco Huawei to work on intelligent connected vehicles with the aim "to improve safety and optimise traffic flows in order to create intelligent cities". Concepts will initially be targeted at the Chinese market. Connected vehicles allow relevant information to be exchanged with the surrounding environment. To achieve this, cars need a high-quality, stable data connection.

High-powered Octavia competitively priced

Skoda's new Octavia has landed. The high-powered RS245 features a 2-litre turbo engine with 245hp and serious-looking wheels. It is priced at $126,900. The Octavia 1.0TSI, priced at $99,900, has 116hp and 200Nm of torque from 2,000rpm, and has long been one of the most spacious sedans in town. The RS variant will now position it as a serious contender in the performance segment.

Honda Monkey back in the swing of things

The Honda Monkey was a groovy icon of the 1970s, but it first saw the light of day in 1961. Originally developed as a 49cc child's plaything for Tama Tech, an amusement park in Tokyo, it proved so popular that a road-going version was developed. With its chunky tyres, minuscule fuel tank and big, squashy seat, the Monkey look is unmistakably of its time. The latest version is powered by a 125cc air-cooled engine with 9.4hp and 11Nm torque. Weighing only 107kg, it comes with LED lighting.

Volkswagen to start car-sharing services

The Volkswagen brand will be offering car-sharing services soon. The WE customer platform is to begin rolling out various vehicle-on-demand services, in particular car-sharing, in Germany next year. These services are to be extended to major cities in Europe, North America and Asia as early as 2020. This was announced by the Volkswagen Brand board member for sales, Mr Jurgen Stackmann, at an event in Berlin.

Dawn Black Badge for the younger patron

Rolls-Royce Motor Cars has unveiled the Dawn Black Badge. The latest interpretation of Rolls-Royce's darker and bolder alter-ego was displayed at the recently concluded Fullerton Concours d'Elegance. Tailored by Rolls-Royce's Bespoke engineers in Goodwood in response to the differing lifestyle requirements of a younger, more dynamic patron of luxury, Dawn Black Badge has 593bhp and 840Nm to its name - 30bhp and 20Nm more than the Dawn. Combined with a sharpened transmission and 22-inch carbon-fibre wheels, it hits 100kmh in 4.9 seconds (same as the regular Dawn).

Christopher Tan

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 14, 2018, with the headline 'Fast Lane'. Print Edition | Subscribe