Fast Lane: Bigger and better BMW 3-series

BMW’s seventh-generation 3-series
BMW’s seventh-generation 3-seriesPHOTO: BMW
Porsche’s latest Macan
Porsche’s latest MacanPHOTO: PORSCHE
Mercedes-Benz's new B-class
Mercedes-Benz's new B-classPHOTO: MERCEDES-BENZ
Audi SQ2
Suzuki Katana
Suzuki KatanaPHOTO: SUZUKI
Lux SA2.0 sport utility vehicle
Lux SA2.0 sport utility vehiclePHOTO: VINFAST

Bigger and better BMW 3-series

BMW's seventh-generation 3-series will have wider tracks, a longer wheelbase, less weight and better aerodynamics. Along with a cleaner exterior design, the car will have a revised cockpit with BMW Intelligent Personal Assistant.

The new car is 85mm longer than its predecessor at 4,709mm, 16mm wider (1,827mm) and just 1mm taller (1,442mm). Added to that, its wheelbase has been extended by 41mm to 2,851mm, as has its track widths (front by 43mm, and rear by 21mm).

It is slated to arrive by the second quarter of next year, with prices estimated at between $210,000 and $250,000.

Porsche Macan debuts new engine

Porsche's latest Macan comes with a 2-litre turbocharged engine with improved combustion chamber geometry. It delivers 252hp and has a maximum torque of 370Nm.

Paired with a seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox, it goes from zero to hundred in 6.7 seconds and on to a top speed of 227kmh. The makeover includes a three-dimensional LED light panel at the rear and a new communication management system with 10.9-inch touchscreen inside.

ComfortDelGro goes green

Taxi giant ComfortDelGro has ordered more than 500 Toyota Prius hybrids in a push to be environmentally cleaner. Three months ago, the company placed an order for up to 1,200 Hyundai Ioniq Hybrids. Hybrid vehicles are just as efficient as diesels, but emit far less noxious pollutants such as nitrogen oxides and particulate matter.

Mercedes-Benz B-class to come next year

Mercedes-Benz says its new B-class is sportier and yet more comfy. It will have a high-tech infotainment system with voice control and augmented reality functions.

The interior is more spacious (2,729mm wheelbase), while the engines are more efficient and cleaner. Engines are mated to an eight-speed dual-clutch transmission for the first time. Engines include a 1.33-litre producing 136hp or 163hp, both with particulate filters. It will arrive in Singapore next year.

Audi SQ2 boasts 300hp

Audi's new pocket rocket is a crossover. Its 300hp SQ2 will clock a 4.8-second century sprint, making it the quickest among compact crossovers available today.

The car sits 20mm lower than the Q2 and is shot with 18 or 19-inch wheels. Powered by a tuned up 2-litre turbo engine producing a heady 400Nm of torque, the SQ2 will reach a governed top velocity of 248kmh.

Suzuki Katana revealed

Suzuki has unveiled a new Katana superbike. Styled by famed motorcycle designer Rodolfo Frascoli and built by Engines Engineering, the Katana 3.0 is powered by a four-cylinder inline engine which began life in a GSX-R1000 K5.

The 999cc engine uses a long-stroke design (73.4mm x 59.0mm) for a broad spread of power across the rev range, with peak power 150hp at 10,000rpm and peak torque 108Nm at 9,500rpm.

Mercedes-Benz CLS available now

The new Mercedes-Benz CLS was launched at the Singapore Wine Vault last week. The five-seater "four-door coupe" comes with a new EQ electric boost function, new comfort features and a new range of engines - including a 2-litre CLS350 ($335,888) and 3-litre CLS450 all-wheel-drive ($385,888).

Vietnam's first car exports in 2020

VinFast, Vietnam's first volume carmaker, has held two world premieres - the Lux A2.0 sedan and Lux SA2.0 sport utility vehicle (left) - at the ongoing Paris Motor Show. They will be followed by a city car, electric car and electric bus - all of which are already in development. Exports are slated to begin in 2020. The first two cars will have a petrol engine with two power outputs - 176hp and 231hp. It will be paired with an eight-speed ZF autobox.

Christopher Tan

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 06, 2018, with the headline 'Fast Lane'. Print Edition | Subscribe