Fast Lane: Around half the world in 92 days

Around half the world in 92 days.
Around half the world in 92 days.PHOTO: AAS, AUDI, BENTLEY, MINI, VOLKSWAGEN
Bentley recreates long-lost 1939 Corniche.
Bentley recreates long-lost 1939 Corniche.PHOTO: AAS, AUDI, BENTLEY, MINI, VOLKSWAGEN
Mini parties at 60.
Topless T-Roc to debut at Frankfurt Motor Show.
Topless T-Roc to debut at Frankfurt Motor Show.PHOTO: AAS, AUDI, BENTLEY, MINI, VOLKSWAGEN
Audi e-tron Scooter akin to a skateboard.
Audi e-tron Scooter akin to a skateboard.PHOTO: AAS, AUDI, BENTLEY, MINI, VOLKSWAGEN

Around half the world in 92 days

The Automobile Association of Singapore's 92-day London-to-Singapore driving odyssey is under way. The convoy of 16 cars and 31 participants left London on Aug 10 for the longest expedition the AAS has organised.

The sport utility vehicles will pass through several countries, including Germany, Turkey, Croatia, China, Iran and Uzbekistan. They are scheduled to arrive in Singapore on Nov 7.

Participants paid $53,000 a person or $39,000 for twin-sharing arrangements. Vehicle-related fees are another $11,000 or so a car.

Bentley recreates long-lost 1939 Corniche

Volkswagen-owned Bentley Motor Cars has revived the Corniche. Undertaken by its Mulliner division, the restoration involved traditional coachbuilding with original and newly manufactured parts. The original 1939 Corniche was lost in a war-time bombing raid in France.

The recreated Corniche will debut at Salon Prive next month, followed by a world tour. The Corniche was a radical step forward from the traditional Bentleys of the 1920s and 1930s, introducing streamlining to help deliver greater speed and performance.

The revival project started several years ago by volunteers from the W.O. Bentley Memorial Foundation and the Sir Henry Royce Memorial Foundation. It was brought in-house in February last year by Bentley chief executive Adrian Hallmark, who asked for it to be completed this year to celebrate the marque's centenary.

Mini parties at 60

Thousands of Mini fans from all over the world gathered in the English port city of Bristol last week to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the British heritage brand.

The cars at the celebration included the first classic Mini built, dating back to 1959, the Mini 60 Years Edition produced this year and the electric Mini Cooper SE.

The International Mini Meeting was launched in 1978 by German fans of the classic Mini. Since then, it has developed into the world's biggest annual Mini event.

Hyundai Ioniq maintains five-star safety rating

Hyundai's Ioniq has maintained its maximum rating of five stars for the European New Car Assessment Programme crash test.

The Ioniq Hybrid, Plug-in Hybrid and Electric have all clinched the top score for protecting adult and young occupants, as well as minimising injury to pedestrians.

Topless T-Roc to debut at Frankfurt Motor Show

The Range Rover Evoque did it. Now, Volkswagen's T-Roc crossover has gone topless. The German manufacturer will unveil the T-Roc Cabriolet at the Frankfurt Motor Show next month. The open-top version, to be launched early next year, adds "yet more lifestyle to the booming SUV market".

Following the tradition of the Beetle and the Golf, the T-Roc Cabriolet has a canvas top, motorised to open in just nine seconds. It can be operated at speeds of up to 48kmh. It is equipped with roll-over protection bars, which spring up from behind the rear seats within a fraction of a second.

Audi e-tron Scooter akin to a skateboard

The Audi e-tron Scooter weighs just 12kg, is foldable, has a top speed of 20kmh and can be operated with one hand. Audi says the rider has one hand free to give hand signals to others on the pavement. Production and sales are planned for late next year.

Unlike on most e-scooters, riders control the Audi version like a skateboard with their feet by shifting their weight. The movable axles with four wheels allow unusually tight curves.

The steering handle gives stability, holds the battery and the electronics, and carries a display showing the battery status. Riders accelerate and brake by means of a twist grip. It comes with a hydraulic foot brake, energy recuperation and a range of 20km. The Audi e-scooter will retail for around $3,097. It can be charged in the car boot via a dedicated socket.

Christopher Tan

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 17, 2019, with the headline 'Fast Lane'. Print Edition | Subscribe