Fast Lane: New Mercedes-Benz GLC partly electrified


New Mercedes-Benz GLC partly electrified

The new Mercedes-Benz GLC (above) will have minor cosmetic changes, new features and new tech. The most popular variant is likely to be the GLC 300 all-wheel-drive with 258hp and 370Nm, plus a 10kW electric boost from a hybrid system. It is expected to arrive here in the fourth quarter of this year.

Financing Porsche cars: Hong Leong Finance is tops

Singapore achieved the highest market share of financing Porsche cars in the world last year. On Wednesday, Porsche Financial Services Group Germany presented Hong Leong Finance a special award for achieving the highest "market penetration worldwide" for the German brand. This was the second year running that Hong Leong Finance had achieved pole position. The company financed an average of 130 cars in the year when its cooperation with Porsche Financial Services first started in 2012.

Last year, it financed 400 cars. Mr Kwek Leng Beng, chairman and managing director of Hong Leong Finance, said: "It is tough selling cars here, but there is a niche market for luxury sports cars. The Porsche name makes it a little easier."

S'pore Ferrari agent is top regional dealer

Ital Auto, Singapore's Ferrari agent, has clinched the top dealer award for South-east Asia and South Korea. The Ferrari Top Dealer of the Year Award recognises the best performing dealer from a particular region. Established in 2009, Ital Auto is led by entrepreneurs Ong Beng Seng and Teo Hock Seng.

Aston Martin Lagonda SUV to be made in Wales


Aston Martin has revealed yet another concept of its Lagonda sport utility vehicle (above), ahead of its planned production in 2022. The electric model will be made at Aston Martin Lagonda's brand new facility in St Athan, Wales.

1,900hp Pininfarina Battista available here


Pininfarina's electric Battista supercar (above) was officially unveiled this week. It boasts 1,900hp and a dizzying price tag of US$2.6 million (S$3.5 million) excluding car taxes and certificate of entitlement. Only 150 units will be made and orders in Singapore will be fulfilled by Wearnes Automotive.

Smart and spacious Skoda Kamiq


The upcoming Skoda Kamiq compact crossover (above) has been unveiled and is said to offer the agility of a compact car, with "state-of-the-art assistance and infotainment systems, a generous amount of space and numerous clever features".

Most rugged Jeep Wrangler


The Jeep Wrangler Rubicon 1941 (above) is the most rugged Wrangler to date. It has a 50.8mm suspension lift, snorkel air intake and rock rails. There are currently no plans to bring this car to Singapore, but a new Wrangler 2.0 turbo is due here by middle of next month.

F8 Tributo: lighter and more aerodynamic Ferrari


Behold the Ferrari F8 Tributo (above), a new mid-rear engined sports car with 720hp churned out by its 3,902cc turbocharged V8. The two-seater replaces the 488 GTB, with improvements across the board, providing even better control on the limit along with greater comfort. The F8 Tributo punches out 50hp more than the car it replaces, is 40kg lighter and 10 per cent more aerodynamic. Its steering wheel is smaller to enhance steering agility.

A more efficient Volvo XC90


Volvo Cars has unveiled a refreshed version (above) of its best-selling XC90 flagship sport utility vehicle. It will have energy-recovery braking system, which is said to raise efficiency by 15 per cent.

On the outside, the refreshed XC90 offers subtle upgrades to the original exterior design, such as new wheels, exterior colours and a modern new grille, among other details.

Seat's battery pack recharges in 47 minutes


Seat's el-Born electric concept (above) incorporates autonomous functionality and connectivity. Seat claims the car's battery pack can be recharged in as little as 47 minutes, replenishing its range of up to 420km.

New Vanquish to enter production in 2022


Aston Martin's Vanquish Vision Concept (above) gives a strong hint of what the marque's new Vanquish will look like. Set to be its first series production mid-engined supercar, the Vanquish will have an aluminium body propelled by a new V6. It is scheduled to enter production in 2022.

Mercedes-Benz CLA in wagon form


The new Mercedes-Benz CLA (above) will be available as a Shooting Brake from September. The car is 48mm longer than before, 53mm wider but 2mm lower. Its flat headlamps, low-slung bonnet and diamond radiator grille give it a sporty stance. At 871mm, its boot opening is significantly wider than in the previous model (635mm).

720S Spider one of the fastest topless cars


McLaren has unveiled a new 720S Spider (above) designed by its Special Operations division. With 720hp from its 4-litre twinturbocharged V8, the convertible sprints to 100kmh in about three seconds and attains a top speed of 340kmh, making it one of the quickest and fastest topless cars.

Mercedes-AMG GT R Roadster: only 750 units


Limited to 750 units, the Mercedes-AMG GT R Roadster (above) will have 585hp and 700Nm pouring out from its 4-litre V8 biturbo. It rides on adjustable coil-over suspension with active rear axle steering.

With active aerodynamics and lightweight construction, the car will hit 100kmh in 3.6 seconds and a top speed of 315kmh. To help insulate the cabin at high speeds, it has a triple-layer fabric soft top.

Refreshed Alfa Romeo Giulietta comes with three engine choices


Alfa Romeo's Giulietta (above), which has undergone a facelift, will be available with three engines - a 1.4-litre 120hp turbo petrol, 1.6-litre 120hp turbodiesel and 2-litre 170hp turbodiesel. Front-and rear-parking sensors, electrochromic rear-view mirror, electrically folding wing mirrors, automatic headlights and windscreen wipers and Uconnect 6.5-inch infotainment monitor will be standard issue in the Veloce variant.

Ssangyong Korando to have electric variant


The fourth-generation Ssangyong Korando (above) sports a new look throughout. Inside, it boasts better head-room and rear legroom than its rivals, as well as modern premium features. It will be powered by a 1.5-litre turbo petrol and updated 1.6-litre Euro 6d turbodiesel, with an electric variant to follow.

Longer, wider and lower than the car it replaces, the new Korando measures 4,452mm by 1,870mm and is 1,620mm tall. Its wheelbase measures 2,675mm.

Aston Martin Valkyrie has 1,160bhp


Aston Martin has confirmed specs for its Valkyrie (above). The hybrid hypercar will have 1,160bhp at 10,500rpm and 900Nm of torque from 6,000rpm. Its naturally aspirated 6.5-litre V12 alone delivers 1,000bhp and 740Nm, with the hybrid system providing the rest.

Kia's daring electric saloon


"Imagine by Kia" (above) is a new electric four-door saloon from the South Korean brand. As with all new Kia cars, it has a bold styling. The concept wears an illuminated "tiger mask" grille and is underpinned by a new platform with a low-mounted, contactless induction-charged battery pack that powers a compact drivetrain.

Volvo cars to have top speed limited to 180kmh

Volvo Cars has decided to limit the top speed of all its cars to 180kmh, something Japanese manufacturers have applied to all its domestic models for decades now. It said all new cars will have this limit from next year.

Cupra unveils hybrid coupe-crossover


Seat's performance unit Cupra celebrates its first anniversary with the unveiling of the Cupra Formentor concept (above). After releasing its first model, the Cupra Ateca, the brand's plan to double sales within the next three to five years will gain momentum with the Formentor - a 242bhp plug-in hybrid coupe-crossover.

GKN gearbox for electric cars

GKN Automotive has unveiled the world's first battery electric vehicle with a two-speed transmission and torque vectoring on the front axle.

Based on the Jeep Renegade, the GTD19 demonstrator vehicle is undergoing extensive testing at GKN's winter testing programme in Arjeplog, Sweden, and showcases how automakers can use drivetrain innovations to raise efficiency, safety and driving dynamics. The car is equipped with a two-speed 'Seamless shift' eTransmission, which helps extend range.

Audi announces four plug-in hybrids

Audi will have plug-in hybrid versions of its A6, A7 Sportback, A8 and Q5 by this year. A powerful electric motor and high battery capacity offer an electric range of more than 40km.

Christopher Tan

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 09, 2019, with the headline 'Fast Lane'. Print Edition | Subscribe