Fast lane: BMW reveals iX3 electric SUV on Instagram

BMW iX3 electric SUV
Hyundai’s new i20
Hyundai’s new i20
Skoda Octavia vRS
Skoda Octavia vRS

BMW reveals iX3 electric SUV on Instagram 

BMW has posted a photo of its upcoming iX3 electric SUV on Instagram.

Unlike its first production EV (the i3), the iX3 bears some resemblance to the conventional X3. It is also bigger, which means it should go down well with consumers who want utility with their green car.

Production will start in the later part of this year and the car should arrive in showrooms from next year.

Number of off-peak cars lowest in 15 years 

The number of off-peak cars in Singapore continues to shrink, with the red-plated vehicles hitting 12,977 last year - the lowest in about 15 years.

The decade-long slide from a peak of 50,040 in 2010 came on the back of softer COE prices as well as the advent of private-hire players - both of which have made access to a normal car far easier than before.

Last year's population was 7.5 per cent smaller than 2018's, and nearly 70 per cent smaller than the cohort in 2013 - the year Uber and Grab arrived.

Red-plated cars now account for only 2 per cent of the total car population.

The authorities had once envisioned them making up 10 to 15 per cent of the population.

Hyundai's new i20

Hyundai has released the first teaser rendition of its new i20 hatch.

With a sleek and sporty profile, the made-in-Turkey i20 is the first Hyundai in Europe to implement the brand's "sensuous sportiness" design language. The car will debut at the Geneva Motor Show next month.

With a cascading grille running horizontally towards slim lights at the sides, the car appears wider and lower. Bold character lines on the side of the body emphasise the car's sporty proportions and agility.

The rear is complemented with a horizontal tail lamp design which is seamlessly connected with the rear glass.

Inside, a new digital cluster and main centre fascia have been combined, and feature two 10.25-inch screens.

Skoda to unveil first plug-in hybrid vRS in Geneva

This is an official sketch of the fourth-generation Skoda Octavia vRS. The sporty wagon will be the first plug-in hybrid vRS.

The Octavia vRS iV will be unveiled at the Geneva Motor Show next month. Wearing signature black vRS details which emphasise the dynamic design language of the elegantly proportioned performance car, the car is slightly bigger than its predecessor.

It comes 20 years after the debut of the first Octavia vRS. The variant accounts for 20 per cent of Octavia sales in some key markets.

Featuring a plug-in hybrid powertrain generating a system output of 245hp, the new car will be available in more than one body form.

Its most eye-catching design elements are a black grille and sporty front apron with large air intakes and distinctive black detailing.

Large alloy wheels, diffusers at the front and rear and spoilers on the tailgate are other "go fast" elements to look out for.

Virus impact on China's vehicle sales temporary: Moody's

Credit agency Moody's says the coronavirus crisis will have a negative impact on vehicle sales and production in China.

Reuters reported that the agency is still optimistic about the long-term prospect of the industry, with demand growth underpinning its recovery from the developing epidemic.

The sector's negative credit impact will also be offset by "solid fundamentals of rated Chinese automakers".

It expects these companies to be able to absorb the near-term impact of the potentially fatal viral respiratory disease that is increasingly disrupting business and commerce.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 08, 2020, with the headline 'Fast lane'. Subscribe