Fast Lane: Singapore's Vanda blooms

The Vanda Dendrobium.
Suzuki’s new Swift.
Suzuki’s new Swift.PHOTO: SUZUKI
The Mercedes-AMG GT concept.
The Mercedes-AMG GT concept.PHOTO: MERCEDES
Bentley’s EXP12 Speed 6e concept.
Bentley’s EXP12 Speed 6e concept.PHOTO: BENTLEY
Panamera Turbo Sport Turismo.
Panamera Turbo Sport Turismo.PHOTO: PORSCHE
Volkswagen’s new Arteon.
Volkswagen’s new Arteon.PHOTO: VOLKSWAGEN
Range Rover Velar.
Range Rover Velar.PHOTO: RANGE ROVER

Singapore's Vanda blooms

Singapore's first supercar concept has made its debut at the Geneva Motor Show. The Vanda Dendrobium is an electric two-seater with a carbon-fibre body and rear-hinged doors which open with the roof to look like an orchid in bloom. It is a project by Vanda Electrics, a unit of family-owned Wong Fong Engineering Works. The car has a theoretical top speed of around 320kmh and a 0-to- 100kmh sprint time of under three seconds. Williams Advanced Engineering, an engineering services and technology unit of the Williams group of companies, will build the car if Vanda decides to go ahead with the project.

Recall of Touran and Caddy vehicles

Volkswagen has begun recalling 1.6-litre turbodiesel Touran and Caddy vehicles to fix their emission anomalies. There are 662 customer vehicles in Singapore that are fitted with the EA189 diesel engine that recognises the driving curve of an official emission test cycle. This comprises 441 passenger cars and 221 commercial vehicles.

For the affected 1.6-litre vehicles, a "flow rectifier" in the engine intake duct will be fitted, on top of a software update. The expected time needed for this procedure is under an hour. VW would not say how the rectification affects the cars' various emission levels.

Aston Martin's Valkyrie

Aston Martin has named its AM-RB 001 concept Valkyrie, in line with its V line-up of cars. To be made with Red Bull Advanced Technologies, it will be powered by a high-revving naturally aspirated mid-mounted V12. No power figures are available, but Aston Martin claims it will have a 1:1 power- to-weight ratio, which means it is likely to produce in excess of 1,300bhp. This car, in both track and road versions, is available in right-hand drive.

It starts at £1.85 million (S$3.2 million) before taxes.

Wearnes wins with Aston Martin

Wearnes Automotive has been named Aston Martin's top Asia-Pacific dealer for 2016 - its first year representing the British sportscar brand. According to Land Transport Authority figures, 14 new Aston Martins were registered last year - up from five in 2015, when Wearnes took over as franchise holder. The group beat 21 other retailers in the region.

Lighter, more powerful, more efficient Swift

Suzuki's new Swift is up to 10 per cent lighter, 19 per cent more powerful and 8 per cent more fuel- efficient than the outgoing model. Engines include a 90bhp 1.2-litre four-cylinder dual-injection unit offering higher efficiency. There is also a 111bhp 1-litre three-cylinder turbocharged unit, which can be paired with a mild hybrid system. The lightest variant is just 890kg. There is also an all-wheel-drive option.

Mercedes' super hybrid

The Mercedes-AMG GT concept, a super hybrid four-door coupe, may well be the first petrol-electric model wearing the AMG badge. It is powered by a 4-litre V8 bi-turbo aided by a powerful electric motor, allowing it to achieve a 0-to-100kmh timing of under three seconds. The car's energy storage unit is more powerful than conventional hybrid batteries, but, at the same time, more compact and lighter. The system is also scalable upwards. The model seems more likely to be produced than previous all-electric products.

London to Paris?

No problem Bentley's EXP12 Speed 6e concept is an all-electric tourer with immediate and effortless torque and long-distance stamina.

Bentley's vision is for a high- speed inductive charging system that will replenish the car's batteries in a jiffy.

It will be able to go from London to Paris or Milan to Monaco on a single charge.

A Panamera wagon

Five years after it was first shown as a concept, Porsche has unveiled the actual Panamera Sport Turismo - a wagon version of its premium sedan. The car is slated to arrive in Singapore by next year, but Porsche has already published prices. They range from $388,388 for the Panamera 4 Sport Turismo to $728,288 for the Panamera Turbo Sport Turismo. The car is 5,049mm long, 1,937mm wide and 1,428mm tall, with a wheelbase spanning 2,950mm. It is the first Panamera with five seats. Its boot offers 520 litres of stowage, 20 more than the saloon. The rear seats can be folded down individually.

Volkswagen's Arteon with 6 engine choices

Volkswagen's new Arteon is a five-door, five-seater grand tourer replacing the CC. It will have LED headlights merging with the grille and bonnet to "form a completely new front end". It offers a generous wheelbase and a 563-litre boot which can expand to 1,557 litres when the rear seats are folded down. There will be six turbocharged engines offering a power output from 150 to 280bhp. It will have new assistance systems which react to speed limits, bends and roundabouts.

Range Rover Velar's long wheelbase, big boot

Here is more information about the Range Rover Velar (above), Land Rover's new model line. From the side, it sports a distinctive silhouette with a boat-like rear quarter. Its aluminium-intensive body offers a generous wheelbase of 2,874mm and a class-leading 632-litre boot. Air suspension will be standard on six-cylinder variants.

An all-wheel-drive system with intelligent driveline dynamics and optional active locking rear differential will be available. Six powertrains range from a 180bhp 2-litre turbodiesel to a potent 380bhp supercharged 3-litre V6 petrol.

Audi's boost from an electric compressor

Audi's Q8 Sport Concept is powered by a 3-litre six-cylinder turbo engine boosted by an electric compressor and a mild hybrid system - a world first that enables it to deliver an exceptional 476bhp with the efficiency of a four-cylinder equivalent.

The car goes from zero to 100kmh in just 4.7 seconds and on to a top speed of 272kmh. It has a range of around 1,200km, thanks to its 20kW hybrid system.

Christopher Tan

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 11, 2017, with the headline 'Fast Lane'. Print Edition | Subscribe