Fast Lane: Ford Mustang RTR drifts the Nurburgring

Ford Mustang RTR
911 Speedster
911 SpeedsterPHOTO: PORSCHE
FitCar PPV
Project Black S prototype
Project Black S prototypePHOTO: INFINITI
Skoda’s new plug-in hybrid concept
Skoda’s new plug-in hybrid conceptPHOTO: SKODA
Vauxhall Corsa GSi
Peugeot e-Legend concept
Peugeot e-Legend conceptPHOTO: PEUGEOT
Mercedes-AMG One hybrid hypercar
Mercedes-AMG One hybrid hypercarPHOTO: MERCEDES-AMG

Ford Mustang RTR drifts the Nurburgring

Drifting is strictly not allowed at the Nurburgring in Germany, but that is exactly what champion drifter Vaughn Gittin Jr has done - behind the wheel of a 900hp Ford Mustang RTR. The maiden feat saw him hitting speeds in excess of 240kmh and shredding three sets of tyres.

Drifting is forbidden on the Nordschleife track and while some drivers have drifted sections - including two drivers performing drift demos during a race - this is the first full-on drift attack of the 20.76km circuit.

Only 1,948 units of Porsche 911 Speedster

To mark its 70th year, Porsche has announced a 911 for the purist. The 911 Speedster will be available from the first half of next year. Only 1,948 units of the open-top two-seater will be built.

Renault's electric K-ZE for China

Renault has announced a new electric model. The K-ZE will be sold in China first. It will be augmented by hybrid and plug-in hybrid versions of the Clio, Megane and Captur by 2020. The K-ZE is a compact crossover with a 250km range. It will be manufactured by e-GT New Energy Automotive Co, a joint venture with Dongfeng Motor Group.

Renault launches electric car-sharing in France

Renault will deploy 120 electric vehicles in Paris and Clichy in France for a car-sharing scheme. The Moov'in plan offers free-floating cars that do not have to be returned to a charging station - unlike the previous electric car-sharing scheme operated by Bollore. One hundred Renault Zoe and 20 Renault Twizy models will be put into service, with more to be added in future. Renault does not say how the cars will be recharged, though.

Luxurious self-driving ride

Renault's EZ-Ultimo is a driverless concept envisioned as an upscale ride-hailing option. For more privacy, passengers are hidden by glass facets on the upper part of the car. Its interior boasts luxury materials such as wood, marble and leather.

World's first calorie-burning car

Introducing the FitCar PPV, the brainchild of Saudi-based inventor Nasser Al Shawaf who, together with Dutch engineering partner BPO, has developed the world's first calorie-burning car.

Based on an Audi A4 Avant 2.0L petrol TFSI automatic, the car's throttle is replaced by a bicycle pedal mechanism and mated to a flywheel, which generates an electronic pulse to engage the accelerator. The car is powered as normal, delivering manufacturer specification performance and economy, governed by an active pedalling motion instead of the conventional depressing of the accelerator.

Infiniti Project Black S unveiled

Infiniti will reveal a new Project Black S prototype at the Paris Motor Show, showcasing how Formula One dual-hybrid electric powertrain technology can be deployed in a road car. Drawing on expertise from across the RenaultNissan-Mitsubishi alliance, the concept's 3-litre V6 twin-turbo engine is paired with an electric system to produce 563hp. It is expected to hit 100kmh in under four seconds.

Volkswagen, Siemens to make crossroads safer

Volkswagen and Siemens want to improve road safety, especially at crossroads. To achieve this, new functions have been developed for the local exchange of information between vehicles and digital transport infrastructure.

The overall system uses car-to-everything communication and is undergoing tests in Wolfsburg, Germany.

On a main road, 10 traffic signal systems will transmit the traffic light phases in the vicinity. Connected cars will be able to process that information and inform the driver, for example, when all traffic lights in succession are green. That way, they can avoid braking or accelerating unnecessarily. In the near future, assistant functions will be able to do this without driver intervention.

Women-only W Series to launch next year

An all-women racing series will flag off soon. The W Series - a free-to-enter single-seater tournament - has a prize fund of US$1.5 million (S$2.1 million). The inaugural season will commence in spring next year and will encompass a number of races run on some of the best and most famous circuits in Europe, most of which have staged Formula One races for many decades.

In future, the United States, Asia and Australia will be included. The race will feature identical cars for 18 to 20 drivers. At the heart of W Series' DNA is the firm belief that women can compete equally with men in motorsport. However, an all-female series is essential to force greater female participation.

Skoda Vision RS clocks 7.1-second century sprint

Skoda's new plug-in hybrid concept will have a system output of 245hp and a 70km battery range - the longest electric range of any hybrid. The Vision RS is powered by a 1.5-litre turbo engine paired with an electric motor to propel the car to 100kmh in 7.1 seconds.

Ford's vision for no traffic lights

Ford is exploring how choreographing connected cars at junctions could allow motorists to enjoy free-flowing traffic without traffic lights.

Taking inspiration from how pedestrians adjust their speed to avoid those crossing their path, the company is already testing technology that could advise drivers to slow down or accelerate to avoid a collision with vehicles approaching from other directions.

Intersection Priority Management aims to keep drivers driving and bring an end to unnecessary stops at junctions, both easing traffic flow and increasing safety and efficiency.

Citroen's Grand C4 SpaceTourer is here

Citroen's Grand C4 SpaceTourer, which replaces the Grand C4 Picasso, is here. Agent Cycle & Carriage is offering free upgrades during the launch period, which includes a two-tone leather upholstery and bodykit worth $2,000. The Grand C4 SpaceTourer boasts features such as hands-free tailgate and a more responsive 7-inch infotainment touchscreen, which is compatible with Apple and Android phones.

Kia e-Niro to arrive in January

Kia's fully electric e-Niro crossover is powered by a 64kWh lithium-ion polymer battery providing a range of up to 482km on a single charge. It will go on sale in selected European markets by year-end and should arrive in Singapore in January.

Zippy Opel Corsa GSi

Here is the Vauxhall Corsa GSi , which will debut here as the Opel Corsa GSi. Powered by a 1.4-litre turbocharged engine producing 150hp and 220Nm of torque, it hits 100kmh in under nine seconds and a top speed of 207kmh. The engine is paired with a short-ratio six-speed gearbox. Completing the Corsa GSi's dynamic package are optional 18-inch lightweight alloys.

Peugeot's electric powerhouse

The Peugeot e-Legend concept is powered by 100kWh batteries and produces 800Nm of torque and 340kW of power, distributed to all four wheels. It hits 100kmh in less than four seconds and a maximum speed of 220kmh. It has a range of 600km, which means a real-world range of at least 400km.

Nissan Qashqai gets engine upgrade

The Nissan Qashqai will have a new 1.3-litre petrol engine available in 140hp or 160hp output. It replaces the crossover's previous 1.2-and 1.6-litre engines. Mated to a seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox, it is expected to deliver better fuel consumption and lower carbon dioxide emissions.

Mercedes-Benz's F1-powered hypercar

The Mercedes-AMG One hybrid hypercar boasts active aerodynamics in the form of a multi-part, two-stage extendable rear wing for maximum downforce in race mode. The mid-engined hybrid is powered by a Formula One-inspired 1.6-litre direct injection, turbocharged V6 engine mated with an electric system. It is expected to produce more than 1,000hp. Together with its fanciful aerodynamic features, it will go beyond 350kmh, with an expected century sprint to be accomplished in about two seconds.

Christopher Tan

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 13, 2018, with the headline 'Fast Lane'. Subscribe