Fast lane

Jaguar E-Pace (above).
Jaguar E-Pace (above). PHOTOS: AUDI, JAGUAR, JEEP, OPEL

Jaguar E-Pace to arrive next year

Jaguar's E-Pace, its first compact crossover, is set to arrive by the first quarter of next year. The car is available with a wearable Activity Key, a waterproof and shockproof wristband with a radio- frequency identification transponder, allowing the driver to lock the main key inside the vehicle when enjoying activities such as running, swimming or cycling.

The E-Pace is said to boast a strong chassis with a maximum towing weight of 1,800kg. Engines include a 180bhp turbodiesel and a 249bhp turbo petrol, paired with a nine- speed ZF automatic transmission.

BMW to enter Formula E

BMW will enter Formula E - a battery-powered version of Formula One - in the 2018/19 season. Its cars will be powered by a newly developed BMW drivetrain and will be run by the Andretti Formula E team. Meanwhile, BMW is already working on its next generation of electric models.

Survey shows autonomous technology will raise car demand

An international survey found that more than half of the motorists polled said they would be more drawn to owning a car when autonomous technology arrives.

Some 54 per cent of those polled by components maker Bosch said they were more likely to buy a car then. Of those, 52 per cent of the men surveyed said that self-driving technology would increase their interest in buying a new vehicle. In principle, the younger the driver, the greater their interest in buying a car with automated driving functions.

Bosch asked about 6,000 licensed drivers in six countries (Brazil, China, Germany, France, Japan and the United States), with about 1,000 people aged 16 and older taking part in each country. The findings are contrary to popular notions that autonomous technology will lead to fewer cars on the road.

Audi A5 Sportback available here

Audi's new A5 Sportback (above) has landed. The second-generation five-door coupe comes with a completely re-engineered suspension, high-performance drivetrains and innovative driver assistance systems.

The car has grown significantly inside. Its interior length has gained 17mm, the shoulder room for driver and front passenger up to 11mm and the rear knee room 24mm. With 480 litre of luggage capacity, the A5 Sportback rates among the best in its class. The A5 Sportback 2.0 TFSI S tronic is available at $201,900.

Jeep unveils limited- edition Wrangler Rubicon Recon

Jeep continues to expand its range of Wrangler 4x4 vehicles with the introduction of a limited-edition Rubicon Recon (above).

The car gets more protection from the most severe terrain, a stronger front axle and heavy-duty cast rear differential covers. It wears 18-inch low-gloss aluminium wheels, a black dual top (including soft and hardtop options) and a dual-vented Power Dome hood. The cabin has a black-and-red decor.

The Recon comes with two- or four-door versions and is powered by Jeep's 3.6-litre 284bhp V6 petrol engine mated to a five-speed autobox.

Opel Insignia GSi to debut at Frankfurt Motor Show

Set to make its debut at the Frankfurt Motor Show in September, the new Insignia GSi (above) from Opel (Vauxhall in the United Kingdom) promises to bring thrills to the brand's executive range.

The performance variant of Opel's flagship is available with all-wheel drive, a new chassis, a 2-litre turbo engine, an eight-speed automatic gearbox with paddle shift and Brembo brakes.

Having undertaken parts of its development on Germany's Nurburgring circuit, the GSi is 160kg lighter than a comparable Insignia, which, when combined with its low centre of gravity, creates more traction and leads to faster lap times.

Daimler recalls three million cars over diesel concerns

Daimler is recalling three million Mercedes-Benz diesel cars to address concerns about their emissions systems amid scrutiny from the German government and prosecutors. Bloomberg, quoting a company statement, reported that the recall will cost the Stuttgart-based carmaker about €220 million (S$347 million).

The recall marks a change of approach after the company vowed to fight accusations of cheating by "all legal means". Mercedes is one of a number of carmakers targeted in a technology scandal that has enveloped the industry since Volkswagen admitted in September 2015 that it installed software to bypass pollution rules.

Hundreds of police officers and prosecutors participated in searches at Daimler sites throughout Germany in May as part of a probe opened earlier this year. The measures will see almost all of Daimler's diesel cars in Europe with the so-called Euro 5 and 6 emissions standards receive an upgrade.

Christopher Tan

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 22, 2017, with the headline 'Fast lane'. Print Edition | Subscribe