Fast Lane: A bobsleigh for seven

Volkswagen executives at the unveiling of the Ameo in New Delhi this week.
The X-Trail Bobsleigh.PHOTO: NISSAN

A bobsleigh for seven

Making a seven-seater SUV is relatively easy, so Nissan has taken upon itself to design a seven-seater bobsleigh. The X-Trail Bobsleigh went on its inaugural run earlier this week at the historic Olympic track in Igls, Austria, piloted by British Olympic medallist Sean Olsson. Nissan worked with bobsleigh experts to transform a traditional four-man sled into "an X-Trail inspired" seven- seater capable of reaching speeds of around 100kmh, pulling a G-force of 4.5G.

Funny look at driving habits of Singaporeans

Singaporean Kevin Foo has written an illustrated book that pokes fun at Singaporean driving habits. Titled Have We Lost It - Gracious Driving, the tongue-in-cheek book cites 75 scenarios that many drivers here will recognise.

Foo says: "I believe if we embrace graciousness in our driving, we would see less road rage and fewer accidents."

The book is available at major bookstores at $17.90.


NSX not coming here

Honda has decided not to bring the NSX (above) to Singapore, despite heightened anticipation of the supercar that has taken more than 10 years to make a comeback.

The Straits Times understands that the car would cost more than $1 million here, making it costlier than a few models from Porsche and Ferrari. In view of the economic slowdown, cars in this price bracket will be extremely hard to sell.

Powered by an all-new twin- turbocharged 75-degree V6 mated to a nine-speed dual-clutch transmission, the car is fast. But it is even faster because of its three-electric motor hybrid system which, along with the engine, carries an ultra- lighweight body.

The first production model was sold at an auction in the United States last week for US$1.2 million (S$1.7 million) - almost 10 times its showroom price. It was bought by Mr Rick Hendrick, owner of the Hendrick Motorsports Nascar team, with the money raised donated to children's charities.

Volkswagen executives at the unveiling of the Ameo in New Delhi this week. PHOTO:

Volkswagen made for India

Volkswagen has unveiled a made- for-India compact sedan to compete with Suzuki, reports Bloomberg. The VW Ameo, powered by a 1.2-litre petrol or 1.5-litre diesel engine, will go on sale in the second half of this year.

The model will have cruise control and rain-sensing wipers, and offer airbags for both driver and front passenger.

VW plans to introduce the Ameo and three other new models in India through March next year, after unwinding its alliance with Suzuki, which accounts for 47 per cent of passenger vehicle sales in India.

End of the Scion

Toyota is killing the Scion brand as the car fails to maintain interest among the young, according to Bloomberg. Sales of the United States youth-targeted nameplate is now less than one-third its peak a decade ago. From August, Scion models will be sold as Toyotas.

The world's largest carmaker started selling Scions in 2003 and used the brand to test-bed funky cars and change-of-pace retailing practices. Sales peaked at 173,034 units across just three models in 2006. Last year, Scion sold just 56,167 vehicles, including a small number in Canada and Puerto Rico.

Mini Convertible JCW available only on indent

The new Mini Convertible JCW is now available in Singapore, but on an individual indent basis. Its indicative price is just below $200,000 (based on the most recent COE results). The rag-top car is powered by a 231bhp/320Nm 2-litre turbocharged engine.


Bike with race machine technology

The new Suzuki GSX-R1000 (above) will take centre stage at this year's MCN London Motorcycle Show next week. The bike uses technology found in the GSX-RR MotoGP race machine. Its engine features variable valve timing and it has anti-lock braking system, traction control, quick shifter, launch control and multiple power modes.


Skoda's six-seat SUV

The Skoda VisionS (above) is a hint of the new multi-seat SUV that the Volkswagen-owned Czech manufacturer is planning. It fits three rows of seats in a body measuring 4.7m front to back, making it bigger than the Skoda Yeti, but smaller than other multi-seat SUVs on the market.

The car is relatively wide and tall, though measuring 1.91m by 1.68m. It accommodates six occupants.

Christopher Tan

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 06, 2016, with the headline '(No headline) - CTFAST06'. Print Edition | Subscribe