Fast lane: New Citroen cars to have electric versions by 2025

Citroen C5 Aircross
All-electric Sony Vision-S concept
All-electric Sony Vision-S concept
ACH130 Aston Martin Edition
ACH130 Aston Martin Edition
Nawa Racer
Nawa Racer
Mobile robot charger for EVs
Mobile robot charger for EVs
Mercedes-Benz Vision AVTR
Mercedes-Benz Vision AVTR
Fisker Ocean crossover
Fisker Ocean crossover

New Citroen cars to have electric versions by 2025

Citroen has unveiled a plug-in hybrid variant of the C5 Aircross, as part of its plan to introduce six new electrified models this year.

All new Citroen models launched will have an electrified version by 2025. The plug-in C5 Aircross has an all-electric range of 50km, yet offers the flexibility of longer drives with its petrol engine.

Sony Vision-S concept all-electric car a sight to behold

Japanese electronics giant Sony shows how a non-automotive company can create an alluring car. The all-electric Sony Vision-S concept (right) was shown at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas this week.

About the length of a Mercedes-Benz C-class but with the legroom of an E-class, the dual-motor saloon has 400kW on tap. It is expected to hit 100kmh in 4.8 seconds and a top speed of 240kmh - very respectable figures indeed. With an air suspension system, the all-wheel-drive is expected to ride as beautifully as it looks.

Aston Martin and Airbus team up for luxury helicopter

The ACH130 Aston Martin Edition  is the first helicopter furnished by the British luxe marque. In a partnership between Aston Martin Lagonda and Airbus Corporate Helicopters, the helicopter comes equipped with a range of four interior and exterior designs created by Aston Martin. Among other things, the chopper has Pure Black ultra-suede upholstery in Oxford Tan, Pure Black, Cormorant and Ivory.

New Das WeltAuto showroom

Das WeltAuto, the official used car division of Volkswagen Group Singapore, has opened a new showroom at Leng Kee AutoPoint. Located next to the Volkswagen and Skoda new-car showroom, the facility allows dealers on both sides to work closely to "offer highly competitive trade-in deals and full-fledged aftersales support". The authorised used car unit ensures replacement parts used are "100 per cent genuine parts".

Harman's new audio tech quiets down automatically

Audio specialist Harman is aiming to put an end to constant fiddling with the stereo volume whenever you want to chat in the car. As part of its EV Plus+ Solutions, a voice-sensing volume fade will automatically lower the stereo's volume once it detects a conversation. It turns the music back up as soon as the conversation is done.

E-bike with capacitors, battery

French tech start-up Nawa Technologies has unveiled an electric motorcycle which uses ultra-capacitors paired with lithium-ion batteries. Offering 10 times more power and five times more energy than existing ultracapacitors, they allow the Nawa Racer to capture 80 per cent of energy otherwise lost in braking, offers a 300km urban range and brings weight savings of 25 per cent.

The carbon-fibre bike weighs only 150kg - about 25 per cent lighter than equivalent electric sports bikes.

Mobile robot charger for EVs to boost infrastructure

Folks who say they are not switching to electric cars because of inadequate charging infrastructure will be glad to know Volkswagen has come up with a novel solution.

The German group has unveiled charging robots which will charge up EVs when they are parked. Booked via an app, the mobile robot navigates its way to the parked vehicle. With a self-contained energy storage device, it starts charging the EV. Once the charging service is complete, the robot collects the energy storage device and brings it back to the charging station.

Lamborghini adds Alexa voice control to Huracan Evo

Lamborghini has become the first automaker to incorporate Alexa by Amazon in its in-car control system. First available in the Huracan Evo range, the feature offers a connected infotainment system with digital services for the first time on a supercar. Functions such as climate, lighting and seat heating can be accessed via voice control.

Mercedes-Benz makes Avatar-inspired car without a steering wheel

Mercedes-Benz has unveiled a futuristic concept called Vision AVTR - a car inspired by the 2009 James Cameron film Avatar. With its stretched "One Bow" design and organic design language, the car has a biometric system.

Instead of a conventional steering wheel, the multifunctional control element in its centre console allows human and machine to merge. By placing a hand on the control unit, the interior comes to life and the vehicle recognises the driver "by his or her heartbeat and breathing".

Rolls-Royce hits record sales, thanks to Cullinan SUV

Despite weak global economic sentiment, Rolls-Royce Motor Cars delivered an all-time high of 5,152 cars globally last year, up 25 per cent from its previous record in 2018.

The record was fuelled largely by the new Cullinan sport utility vehicle (SUV), which contributed to some 40 per cent of sales, the 116-year-old BMW-owned British marque said on Tuesday. While the Cullinan had driven sales, its deliveries are "expected to stabilise in 2020".

For this year, the company said the new Ghost saloon - expected to arrive in Singapore by year-end - will drive sales. Meanwhile, Volkswagen-owned Bentley Motor Cars' sales rose 5 per cent to 11,006 units last year - the seventh consecutive year, which saw sales breach the 10,000-mark. Bentley said deliveries of the all-new Flying Spur will begin early this year.

Earth-friendly Fisker crossover to be available in 2022

Chinese-owned Fisker says it will launch "the world's most sustainable" car by 2022. The Fisker Ocean crossover will have a "vegan interior" made of recyclable and recycled materials, and which is low on volatile organic compounds. It comes with a solar roof and electric motors, which will send the all-wheel-drive to 100kmh in about three seconds. Production is slated to begin by end of next year and the first cars will be in showrooms in 2022.

Christopher Tan

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 11, 2020, with the headline 'Fast lane'. Subscribe