Fast Lane: BMW steps up electric components production

Audi A3 to arrive here next year.
Audi A3 to arrive here next year.PHOTOS: ASTON MARTIN, AUDI, MOTIV
Aston Martin Vantage Roadster available by year end.
Aston Martin Vantage Roadster available by year end.PHOTOS: ASTON MARTIN, AUDI, MOTIV
Hyundai to build electric vehicles with EV start-up.
Hyundai to build electric vehicles with EV start-up.PHOTOS: ASTON MARTIN, AUDI, MOTIV

BMW steps up electric components production

BMW Group is expanding production capacity and increasing its staff at the Competence Centre for E-Drive Production in Dingolfing, Germany, faster than originally planned.

Due to growing demand for electrified vehicles, the plant expects the number of modules needed for production of high-voltage batteries to double from the previous year. The number of electric motors required will also increase significantly. It expects the facility to grow from 8,000 to 80,000 sq m in the future.

By the end of the year, it will increase staff numbers in this division from 600 to more than 1,400.

Audi A3 to arrive here next year

Audi's new A3, due in Singapore by late next year, will be sportier than ever. In quattro form, it will have full variability between the front and rear axles.

Torque vectoring further enhances the car's cornering finesse, while progressive steering gives the driver more confidence.

The electromechanical steering wheel requires only 21/2 turns to go from lock to lock, with a ratio of 14.3:1.

Adaptive suspension will be available in selected variants. Looks like Audi has thrown all its dynamic tech into its new compact.

Volvo's Polestar to use recycled materials for cars

Volvo's sister brand Polestar is using Bcomp's natural fibre composite to reduce plastic content in its car. The material is said to be able to reduce weight and could improve crash behaviour for interior panels.

Polestar is also using 3D-knit fabric for seats made entirely from recycled plastic bottles; interior plastics infused with waste cork products; and carpets derived from recycled fishing nets.

Aston Martin Vantage Roadster available by year end

Aston Martin's Vantage Roadster is powered by a familiar AMG-sourced 510hp/685Nm 4-litre twin-turbo V8 mated to an eight-speed ZF transmission. It goes from zero to hundred in under four seconds and onto a peak velocity of 304kmh.

The two-seater has a fabric hood which opens and closes in less than seven seconds each way, making it the fastest motorised roof. It is merely 60kg heavier than its Coupe twin. It is expected to land by year end.

Hyundai to build electric vehicles with EV start-up

Hyundai Motor has teamed up with Los Angeles-based Canoo to develop a fully scalable platform for upcoming Hyundai and Kia electric models. It expects the new platform using Canoo's skateboard architecture to allow for a simplified and standardised development process, lowering vehicle price.

Single-seater autonomous pod could be future of mobility

Gordon Murray Design, Delta Motorsport and itMoves have joined hands to produce Motiv - an autonomous vehicle platform. The consortium is looking for more partners to launch real-world trials.

The single-seat Motiv offers either personal transportation or last-kilometre deliveries. Motiv is said to have the potential to significantly reduce congestion and emissions in city centres due to its fully electric powertrain and compact footprint.

The 1,628mm high pod measures just 2,537mm in length, with a width of 1,310mm. It is powered by a 20kW electric motor and will be equipped with a 17.3kWh liquid-cooled battery pack providing a potential range of up to 100km. It will operate at speeds of up to 65kmh, making it ideal for cities. It can be recharged from 20 per cent to 80 per cent full in just 40 minutes.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 15, 2020, with the headline 'Fast Lane'. Print Edition | Subscribe