Fast Lane: Toyota’s Supra is back


Toyota's Supra is back

Toyota's long anticipated Supra sports coupe (above) returns after two decades and is expected to be in Borneo Motors' showroom in the third quarter. The car, which shares underpinnings and drivetrains with BMW's new Z4 roadster, is likely to be priced around $250,000. Engines include inline-four turbos and an inline-six turbo, all mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission. And going by Z4 specs, the Supra could hit the century mark in as little as five seconds (or less).

Electric Nissan GT-R?


Will Nissan ever make an electric GT-R? The answer is a resounding "yes", if the new IMs concept (above) is anything to go by. The sports saloon's electric powertrain consists of dual electric motors (front and rear) generating 483hp and 800Nm of torque. Its 115kWh battery provides the all-wheel-drive an estimated range of over 600km. If this goes into production, and if it should spawn a coupe variant, car lovers will in effect have an electric GT-R.

Volkswagen Amarok heads for the Arctic


A one-off Volkswagen Amarok (above) designed exclusively for life in the Arctic Circle has been unveiled. With a raised ride height, huge all-terrain tyres and a cappuccino machine, the pick-up truck, modified by off-road specialists Arctic Trucks, is currently being put to work in Iceland as a support vehicle for winter driving experiences, leading customers out onto the snow and ice. Under the bonnet is the usual Amarok 3-litre V6 turbodiesel with 224hp, allowing the truck to overcome 45-degree slopes and pull a payload of 1,154kg.

Spider gets top-exit exhausts


McLaren's new 600LT Spider (above) features top-exit exhausts seen in the 600LT Coupe. At 1,297kg (dry weight), it is some 80kg lighter than its competition and just 50kg heftier than the Coupe. McLaren says no additional body strengthening has been incorporated. With 600hp and 620Nm from a 3.8-litre twin-turbocharged V8, the topless track-ready car has a century sprint time of 2.9 seconds (identical to the Coupe's). It hits 200kmh in 8.4 seconds or just 0.2 seconds slower than the hardtop.

Lexus LC goes topless


Lexus' award-winning LC will soon have an open-top variant. Lexus says the LC Convertible concept (above) is a roadster "imagined alongside the LC coupe". It sports a rakish windshield and smooth contours leading to the rear, where a decklid houses its retractable roof. Inside, seats are upholstered in crisp white leather with yellow accent stitchings.

BMW revamps 7-series


BMW's facelifted 7-series flagship (above) has grown 22mm longer and sports a massive grille. It has a new engine line-up comprising petrol and diesel units in six-, eight-and 12-cylinder formats. A petrol-electric hybrid offers an electric-only range of up to 57km. At the top is a 6.6-litre 585hp V12 with a peak torque of 850Nm. While its top speed is restricted to 248kmh, this superlative limo hits 100kmh in merely 3.8 seconds.

Safety recalls for Hyundai, Kia

Hyundai and sister company Kia have issued fresh safety recalls in the United States. According to Reuters, 168,000 vehicles are being recalled for fire risks related to fuel leaks. Both will also make software upgrades on 3.7 million vehicles.

A high-pressure fuel pipe may have been damaged or improperly installed as part of an engine replacement during the prior recall and that installation could increase the risk of fire, the companies said.

The Korean carmakers said the software update aims to protect the vehicles from internal damage and they will also offer extended warranties for engine issues.

The new recall covers Kia Optima, Sorento and Sportage cars (model years 2011 to 2014); and 2011 to 2014 Hyundai Sonata and 2013 to 2014 Hyundai Santa Fe cars.

In May 2017, the US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration opened a formal investigation into the recalls of nearly 1.7 million Hyundai and Kia vehicles over engine defects.

According to the Land Transport Authority, no such recalls affecting the two brands have been made in the last six months.

Christopher Tan

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 19, 2019, with the headline 'Fast Lane'. Print Edition | Subscribe