Fast Lane

Lexus’ new LC super coupe.
Lexus’ new LC super coupe.PHOTO: LEXUS
Vauxhall (Opel) Grandland X.
Vauxhall (Opel) Grandland X.PHOTO: VAUXHALL
Rolls-Royce Phantom.
Rolls-Royce Phantom.PHOTO: ROLLS-ROYCE
Audi’s new RS3 Saloon and Sportback.
Audi’s new RS3 Saloon and Sportback.PHOTO: AUDI

Opel and Vauxhall sold

The sale of Opel Automobile GmbH with its brands Opel and Vauxhall by General Motors to Groupe PSA has been finalised.

Opel Automobile GmbH chief executive Michael Lohscheller said: "We have set ourselves the clear target of returning to profitability by 2020."

Opel will remain German, Vauxhall will remain British. The market share of the enlarged Groupe PSA is about 17 per cent in Europe, making it the continent's second largest carmaker.

Lexus LC available in Singapore

Lexus' new LC super coupe has landed. Available either as a 5-litre 470bhp V8 or a 3.5-litre 353bhp V6 Hybrid, the 2+2 two-door can be yours for $550,000 (identical pricing for both).

The 5-litre is the first car here to have a 10-speed transmission. Minimum speed in 10th gear is 90kmh. The V6 Hybrid is not much of a trade-off. It sprints to 100kmh in five seconds (versus the V8's 4.7 seconds) and on to a top speed of 250kmh (270kmh).

Despite weighing 50kg more than the V8 at over two tonnes, the hybrid has a stated consumption of 6.7 litres/100km - far better than the V8's 11.6 litres. Lexus agent Borneo Motors would not say how many orders it has garnered, nor the number of cars it has been allocated by the manufacturer.

Honda NSX GT3 hits the racetracks

A track version of the Honda NSX will be available from next year. The NSX GT3 race car will be assembled by JAS Motorsport, which will support racing programmes in Europe, Asia and South America. Honda Performance Development will coordinate North American racing, while Mugen will be responsible for customer support in Japan (plus trackside support for engines in China).

The NSX GT3 is eligible to race in more than two dozen International Automobile Federation-sanctioned races around the world. The car has been designed by Honda research and development in Japan in collaboration with JAS Motorsport in Milan, Italy. The car's development has been undertaken as a collaborative project over the past three years.

An initial batch of 12 cars will be produced in time for the start of the race season next year. The production- based 3.5-litre, twin-turbocharged V6 racing engines are built alongside their production vehicle counterparts at the Anna Engine Plant in Ohio, the United States.

The racing engine uses the same design specifications as the production NSX, including the block, heads, valve train, crankshaft, pistons and dry-sump lubrication system. A six-speed, sequential-shift racing gearbox delivers power to the NSX GT3's rear wheels.

An SUV that knows when you are tired

The new Vauxhall (Opel) Grandland X will come with Driver Drowsiness Alert. Together with features such as Forward Collision Warning with Automatic Emergency Braking and pedestrian detection, Advanced Park Assist and Automatic Cruise Control, it will make the Grandland one of the most advanced sport utility vehicles around.

Driver Drowsiness Alert X triggers an audio and visual warning if the vehicle veers unexpectedly, suggesting driver fatigue or inattention. If the vehicle continues to show signs of driver drowsiness after three warnings, a second alert message will be displayed along with a louder signal.

Rolls-Royce Phantom - the most silent car on the road

The new Rolls-Royce Phantom looks hardly changed from the previous one. The new car boasts 130kg of noise insulation, allowing it to have the most silent cabin of all cars.

Overall, the car is lighter, stiffer and more technologically advanced. Self-closing doors will be available on all cars.

But it is the cockpit that will see the most dramatic feature - a high-tech "art gallery" where various works of art can be installed underneath a glass panel in the dashboard.

The car will be powered by an all-new 6.75-litre twin-turbo V12. It is slated to land in Singapore by year-end.

Audi RS3 Saloon and Sportback speed ahead

Audi's new RS3 Saloon and Sportback have landed. Powered by an aluminium 2.5-litre turbo engine with 400bhp and 480Nm of torque, both variants hit 100kmh in 4.1 seconds and a top speed of 278kmh.

A seven-speed dual-clutch transmission channels power to the car's quattro permanent all-wheel-drive system. The driver can adjust the shift points, and the proportion of torque directed rear-wards, through Audi drive select.

Christopher Tan

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 05, 2017, with the headline 'Fast Lane'. Print Edition | Subscribe