Fast Lane: Alpina XD3 to arrive next year

Alpina’s second-generation XD3
Alpina’s second-generation XD3PHOTO: ALPINA
Mercedes-Benz A-class
Mercedes-Benz A-classPHOTO: MERCEDES-BENZ
Kodiaq GT
Multistrada 950S
Multistrada 950SPHOTO: DUCATI
Toyota Corolla
Toyota CorollaPHOTO: TOYOTA

Alpina XD3 to arrive next year

Alpina's second-generation XD3 , based on the BMW X3, will hit 100kmh in less than five seconds and a top speed in excess of 250kmh. With 700Nm of torque on tap, it offers real-world effortlessness under any condition. It should arrive by the end of next year.

New Mercedes-Benz A-class with three engine versions

The new Mercedes-Benz A-class has landed, looking more low-slung and high-tech than before. Starting from $152,888, the entry-level Merc has plenty of features found previously only in luxury models.

These include semi-autonomous driving, multi-beam LED headlights, voice control infotainment, and a choice of 64 ambient lighting colours.

With a longer wheelbase, larger wheel arches and lower drag coefficient, the car comes in three engine versions at launch. A new 1.3-litre four-cylinder makes either 136hp/ 200Nm or 163hp/250Nm, and a 2-litre four-cylinder makes 224hp and 350Nm.

BMW adds plug-in hybrid to 3-series line-up

BMW’s relentless product offensive continues with the unveiling of a plug-in hybrid variant of its new 3-series.

The 330e supposedly has an electric range of 59km and heightened efficiency. But if economy is not your priority, the battery power can be used to provide an extra 41hp to propel the car to 100kmh in six seconds. Top speed is 229kmh, making the car faster and more efficient than before.

Skoda Kodiaq GT premieres at Auto Guangzhou

Skoda’s new Kodiaq GT was presented to the public for the first time at Auto Guangzhou in China. The Czech brand’s first “sport utility vehicle coupe” is its latest China-specific product.

There is also the Skoda Kamiq, which is positioned below the Karoq at 4,390mm long, 1,781mm wide and 1,593mm tall. The Kamiq is powered by a newly developed 1.5-litre petrol engine with an output of 110hp.

Volkswagen to go full speed ahead with electric cars

Volkswagen will invest €44 billion (S$69 billion) by 2023 in smarter, greener cars of the future as it ramps up efforts to shake off the “dieselgate” emissions cheating scandal.

Agence France-Presse reported that the investment will be for electric, self-driving and connected cars as well as mobility services like car-sharing. The figure represents roughly a third of the group’s planned expenditure between now and 2023 and the bulk of it will go to developing e-cars.

Volkswagen’s “electric offensive” underscores just how serious the carmaker is about closing the gap with Asian competitors and United States tech giant Tesla who have had a head start in the e-car race.

Ducati Multistrada 950S unveiled

Ducati has a new bike for next year: the Multistrada 950S. An upgrade to the 950, it is said to feature cutting-edge technology to boost safety and riding enjoyment.

This includes clutch-less quick shift, full LED headlights, 5-inch colour thin-film-transistor display, hands-free system and cruise control.

It also features hydraulic control and a Bosch anti-lock braking system for cornering.

AAS plans epic London-to-Singapore driving expedition

The Automobile Association of Singapore (AAS) is organising a driving expedition from London to Singapore next year. Slated for Aug 8 to Nov 5, the 90-day driving odyssey will retrace a number of such epic adventures in the past.

The AAS says the trip – which will pass scenic spots in countries such as China, Germany, Croatia and Turkey – is to commemorate the 200th year of Singapore’s founding. It is the longest such trip organised by the AAS. A briefing will be held at AAS’ GB Point premises on Monday at 7pm for those who want to find out more.

Toyota Corolla gets sportier

The next Toyota Corolla is expected to arrive by early next year. Besides the usual 1.6-litre petrol version, a hybrid 1.8-litre is also said to be in the offing.

Looking decidedly sportier than any Corolla before it, the 2019 model features ultra-slim headlights, an aggressive radiator grille and a wedge-shaped side profile.

A Singapore-bound version may sport slight styling variations. Interior amenities include tablet-style infotainment screen with Apple and/or Android compatibility.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 24, 2018, with the headline 'Fast Lane'. Print Edition | Subscribe