Fast Lane: Audi e-tron to hit Singapore next year

E-tron prototype
E-tron prototypePHOTO: AUDI
Veloster Turbo (right) and Veloster N
Veloster Turbo (right) and Veloster NPHOTO: HYUNDAI
All-electric truck
All-electric truckPHOTO: VOLVO
Retired Routemaster double-decker bus.
Retired Routemaster double-decker bus.PHOTO: MORGAN MOTOR COMPANY

Audi e-tron to hit Singapore next year

Behold the e-tron prototype, Audi's production-ready electric car. It is expected to reach Singapore showrooms as early as the first half of next year and will be the German brand's first battery-powered vehicle.

Looking like a Q5 sport utility vehicle, the prototype is expected to be comfortable, spacious and capable of a decent range. So far, the car has clocked more than five million test kilometres on four continents. The production version can fill up on electricity at fast-charging stations with up to 150kW charging capacity. In just under 30 minutes, the SUV is ready to go. The all-wheel-drive will be produced at a "carbon-neutral" plant in Brussels.

Hyundai sports models for gamers first

The South Korean automaker's latest Veloster Turbo and Veloster N have not hit the streets, but are already available in Forza Motorsport 7, a video racing game for Windows PCs and Xbox consoles.

Hyundai's latest turbocharged pocket rockets are rendered in realistic detail for the game, from the exterior to the interior and right down to the engine bay. Players can personalise their new Velosters with new wheels, powertrain tune-ups, suspension upgrades and different paint schemes - just like in real life.

Volkswagen testing autonomous parking

in Hamburg Volkswagen, Audi and Porsche are testing autonomous parking at Hamburg Airport, Germany. The function, which allows the car to park by itself and be summoned remotely, is set to be available from 2020.

In addition to parking, services such as charging, parcel/laundry delivery and billing by app will be built in. The cars navigate their way to a parking space on their own.

Thousands of parking procedures in different places around the world are being performed and analysed in the test phase.

Volvo launches its first all-electric truck

Volvo Trucks has rolled out its first all-electric truck for commercial use - the Volvo FL Electric, for urban distribution and refuse collection. The idea is that with better air quality and less noise in the city, it is possible to plan for housing and infrastructure more freely than at present.

An electric truck without any exhaust emissions can be used in indoor terminals and environmental zones. Its low noise level allows it to be used at night, thus reducing burden on the roads during the day. The truck, with a gross vehicle weight of 16 tonnes, has a 185kW electric motor which produces 130kW of continuous output. It has a two-speed transmission, propeller shaft rear axle. Its peak torque is 425Nm and its maximum range is 300km.

Bigger TV moniters for ComfortDelGro cabs

Singapore taxi group ComfortDelGro is fitting 3,000 of its cabs - or just over 20 per cent of its total fleet - with bigger TV monitors. The 10-inch interactive entertainment screens are being installed in partnership with Asia's leading in-vehicle platform provider, Idooh. The screens are around 1.4 times larger than the current monitors.

BMW opens autonomous driving campus

The BMW Group has opened its autonomous driving campus in Unterschleiheim, Germany. The campus is a "state-of-the-art centre of excellence that covers every base when it comes to offering greater capacity for innovation and increased development efficiency".

Some 15 months ago, the group decided to pool together its expertise in the fields of vehicle connectivity and automated driving at a single location. The campus offers 23,000 sq m of office space with room for 1,800 employees.

Small car company brings big bus back

Earlier this year, Britain's Morgan Motor Company bought a retired Routemaster double-decker bus, the second-to-last one withdrawn from service in 2005.

Morgan will be using the iconic bus for the 50th anniversary celebrations of the Plus 8 roadster this year. Both British vehicles were introduced in 1968. The last Routemaster to be taken out of service is on display at the London Bus Museum in Brooklands.

Lamborghini-branded e-bicycles

The Italian supercar manufacturer has partnered with Italtechnology to create the first range of e-bikes bearing the Lamborghini name.

Designed and built in Italy, with five years' development behind them along with four international patents, these Lamborghini battery-assisted bicycles are available in two versions - one with mountain-bike capabilities for outdoor activities and the other for urban riding. Each e-bike's livery can be individually customised, just like for newly purchased Lamborghini supercars.

Christopher Tan and David Ting

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 21, 2018, with the headline 'Fast Lane'. Print Edition | Subscribe