Fast Lane

10 MSO X
Range Rover SV Coupe
Santa Fe SUV
Land Rover Discovery Sport Diesel
Land Rover Discovery Sport DieselPHOTO: ST FILE

Limited-edition McLaren MSO X mirrors GT4 race car

McLaren has delivered 10 MSO X cars - street-legal versions of its 570S GT4 race car. With enhanced aerodynamics, a track-biased interior and unique exterior colours, the cars were delivered to their owners in Las Vegas on Thursday.

Designed to mirror the external appearance of the McLaren 570S GT4 race car as closely as possible, the MSO X cars are deliberately finished in accordance with race car design practice and all have liveries inspired by McLaren F1 GTR endurance race cars of the mid-1990s.

Land Rover makes coupe

Land Rover will make a limited-edition Range Rover SV Coupe - no more than 999 units will be produced - to mark its 70th anniversary.

The company has released only interior images, showing a luxurious cabin decked out with the latest gizmos. There are no details on the drivetrain for the coupe, which is set to become one of the world's biggest two-doors.

Hyundai to debut new Santa Fe SUV next month

Hyundai Motor has unveiled a teaser image of its new Santa Fe sport utility vehicle, which will be launched at the Geneva Motor Show in March.

The fourth-generation Santa Fe will boast the latest active safety features, including an industry-first Rear Occupant Alert which monitors the rear seats to detect passengers and alerts the driver when leaving the car.

The Rear Cross-Traffic Collision Warning is now enhanced by an automated braking function to prevent collisions when reversing out of narrow areas with limited visibility.

More self-driving tech for next-generation Volkswagen Golf

Volkswagen's next Golf will have semi-autonomous features, Agence France-Presse reported. The move will bring driverless technology - now available only in high-end models - to the masses.

Slated for release next year, the updated Golf will be constantly connected to the Internet, with greater self-driving capabilities and "more software than ever before on board," Volkswagen compact cars chief Karlheinz Hell said.

The next-generation Golf is the most significant launch for Volkswagen next to its all-electric ID series set for release in 2020. The brand will spend €1.8 billion (S$2.9 billion) developing the new hatch.

Driving a sports car is more exciting than kissing

Driving a sports car provides more "buzz" than a host of other feel-good activities. A neurological study commissioned by Ford measured "buzz moments" - peak thrills that play a vital role in people's overall wellness - as volunteers indulged in various activities.

Participants who sat behind the wheel of a Ford Focus RS, Focus ST or Mustang experienced an average of 2.1 high-intensity buzz moments during a typical commute, compared with an average of three buzz moments while riding on a roller coaster, 1.7 while on a shopping trip, 1.5 each while watching a Game Of Thrones episode or a football match, and none at all while salsa dancing, fine dining or sharing a passionate kiss.

Discovery Sport was best-selling Land Rover model last year

Land Rover posted record sales in Singapore last year, with 529 units registered versus 388 in 2016. This represents a 36 per cent year-on-year growth - making the marque distributed by Wearnes Automotive among the fastest-growing ones in the premium segment.

It contributed to the overall growth of Jaguar and Land Rover sales of 1,082 units last year, crossing the 1,000-mark for the first time in Singapore. The Discovery Sport was the best-selling Land Rover model, making up close to half of sales last year.

BMW and Daimler close to merging car-sharing units

BMW and Daimler are close to merging their car-sharing units, reported Reuters. Quoting the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (FAZ) newspaper, it said a deal could be sealed by next month.

The FAZ reported that both brands will keep their car-share names, but the systems will be merged. The deal should allow the German brands to better compete with United States ride-hailing service Uber.

Volkswagen's monkey business

Volkswagen rigged an experiment involving 10 monkeys in 2014 to show diesel engines were relatively clean. The New York Times reported that scientists in an Albuquerque, New Mexico, laboratory conducted a Volkswagen-financed experiment where the monkeys squatted in airtight chambers, watching cartoons for entertainment as they inhaled fumes from a diesel Beetle.

But the American scientists conducting the test were unaware of one critical fact: the Beetle provided by Volkswagen had been rigged to produce far less harmful pollutants in the lab than on the road. The results were being deliberately manipulated. The Albuquerque monkey research, which has not been previously reported, is a new dimension in a global emissions scandal that has already forced Volkswagen to plead guilty to federal fraud and conspiracy charges in the United States and to pay more than US$26 billion ($S34 billion) in fines.

Christopher Tan

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 27, 2018, with the headline 'Fast Lane'. Subscribe