Fast Lane: Skoda goes electric

The Vision E study. PHOTO: SKODA

Skoda goes electric

Skoda will show off an electric concept at the Shanghai Motor Show from April 19 to 28. The Vision E study  is the Volkswagen Group-owned Czech brand's first electric concept. The five-door SUV coupe can travel up to 500km on electric power and meets the Level 3 requirements for autonomous driving, which allows the driver to take his hands off the steering wheel in low-conflict environments such as expressways. Skoda will be offering five purely electric models in various segments by 2025.

UK consumers less keen on diesel cars

Almost two-thirds of consumers in the United Kingdom have been put off buying a diesel car by recent reports on the negative effects of diesel emissions. According to a poll, 61 per cent of respondents have been put off buying a diesel car. Also, research into Google search trends shows a 127 per cent increase in users looking for hybrid cars in the first three months of this year, compared with the same period last year. In comparison, searches for diesel cars have grown by just 9 per cent.

New colours for Porsche

Porsche's new model year starts with a new array of colours for the interior and exterior. In addition, a kit to increase power by 30bhp is available as an option for the 911 S. An optional sports exhaust system is now also available with tailpipes in high-gloss black.

BMW Group Asia to get new managing director

Mr Paul de Courtois will replace Mr Axel Pannes as BMW Group Asia's managing director from May 1. Mr de Courtois, 44, has served as the director-general of BMW Group Poland for the last four years. He has been with the BMW Group since 1997. Mr Pannes, 45, has been BMW Group Asia's managing director since November 2014. It is not known where he will be posted next. BMW Group Asia comprises 13 markets - Singapore, Indonesia, Vietnam, the Philippines, Sri Lanka, Brunei, Bangladesh, Guam, New Caledonia, Tahiti, Cambodia, Laos and Myanmar.

Hyundai to launch electric SUV

Hyundai is working on a dedicated platform for electric vehicles, but it will not be ready before next year. According to Reuters, Hyundai Motor and affiliate Kia Motors will meanwhile roll out small electric sport utility vehicles based on an existing platform. Quoting Mr Lee Ki Sang, a senior vice-president at Hyundai Motor, Reuters said the subcompact or compact models would have a range of more than 300km and would be "more competitive" than rival offerings. He expects electric vehicles to account for about 10 per cent of total global vehicle sales by 2025, from only 1 per cent now. Hyundai will launch the electric SUV, followed by a sibling model by Kia Motors, next year.


New Rexton to be Ssangyong's flagship

Ssangyong has revealed that a new large SUV it is unveiling at the ongoing Seoul Motor Show is the new Rexton (above). Developed under the project name of Y400 and seen as the LIV-2 concept at last year's Paris Motor Show, the new Rexton will be Ssangyong's flagship model. The car will feature Apple Carplay and Android Auto with device mirroring, 3D Around View Monitoring and a wide 9.2-inch HD screen. The seven-seater is expected to arrive in Singapore by the end of the year, starting with a 2.2-litre turbodiesel and followed by a 2-litre petrol turbo later.

India bans sale of vehicles which do not meet emissions standards

On Wednesday, India's top court banned the sale of more than 800,000 new vehicles which fell short of new emissions standards, according to Agence France- Presse. The Supreme Court ordered a halt to the sale and registration of vehicles that do not meet new pollution standards by today. The ruling is expected to affect as many as 824,000 vehicles not yet sold or registered, said the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers. These include mainly motorcycles but also commercial vehicles and three-wheelers.

Christopher Tan

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 01, 2017, with the headline 'Fast Lane'. Print Edition | Subscribe