Fast Lane: New Renault Kadjar to arrive next year

Lexus LY650
Megane RS
Mercedes-Benz GLE
Lister LFP
Concept-i autonomous car
Concept-i autonomous carPHOTO: LIONEL SEAH
Infiniti QX30

New Renault Kadjar to arrive next year

Renault's new Kadjar crossover will arrive early next year, with the familiar 1.3-litre turbocharged petrol engine found on other Renault models. A turbodiesel version may also be available if it performs well in the emission banding scheme here.

The car has a number of premium features, including exhaust pipes incorporated into the rear bumper, and front seats with extendable thigh support.

Super-light design can cut car weight by half

British engineering firm Gordon Murray Design says its iStream Superlight construction method reduces vehicle body weight by up to 50 per cent, promising a quantum leap in efficiency and performance.

Combining an aluminium frame with carbon-fibre composite panels (so it will not be cheap), the system "brings Formula One-derived construction and technologies to mainstream car production". The modular platform can be adapted to suit every type of vehicle.

Lexus on water

Lexus has released details of its 65-foot luxury yacht, the Lexus LY650, which is part of the Toyota brand's "exploration into non-automotive ventures".

The boat will be available from October next year. Although Lexus agent Borneo Motors will not be retailing it, you can register your interest with the company and it will make the referral.

Jeep Cherokee for urbanites

The new Jeep Cherokee will first be available with a 2-litre turbodiesel engine producing 150hp or 195hp. There will be three all-wheel-drive systems and rear-axle disconnect technology. Its infotainment system will be compatible with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

This offroader will have a slew of safety features for urban survival, including Active Forward Collision Warning with Pedestrian Emergency Braking, LaneSense Lane Departure Warning-Plus, Blind-Spot Monitoring with Rear Cross Path detection and eight airbags. The car will be available in Europe next year, but there is no indication when it will be available here.

Only 155 units of Aston Martin's first electric car will be made

Aston Martin's first electric model will be the Rapide E sedan. Developed with Williams Advanced Engineering, only 155 units will be made. It will be powered by two electric motors producing more than 610hp and 950Nm of torque, making it the most powerful Rapide model. Deliveries are scheduled to start in the fourth quarter of next year .

Renault Megane RS in Singapore

Renault's third-generation Megane RS is now available at Wearnes Automotive. With 276bhp and 390Nm of torque from a 1.8-litre turbocharged engine, the Golf GTI rival will hit 100kmh in 5.8 seconds and a top speed of 255kmh. Equipped with all-wheel steering for better handling and driveability, the car is retailing at $164,999.

BMW's own digital voice assistant

From March next year , BMW drivers and passengers will be joined by an intelligent, digital character that responds to the prompt "Hey BMW". This Siri-like function will be compatible with other digital voice assistants. The personal assistant's capabilities will include learning the routes and habits of the driver. BMW says the system can even indulge in casual conversation.

Mercedes-Benz GLE gets a tech update

The new Mercedes-Benz GLE will arrive some time next year. The model boasts new technologies, such as an active suspension system which uses a 48-volt system, a full-colour high-definition head-up display and hand and arm movement recognition. It will have a completely new range of engines.

Lister LFP said to be

world's fastest SUV British sportscar maker Lister has unveiled plans for what it claims will be the world's fastest sport utility vehicle: the Lister LFP. The car will produce about 670bhp, with a top speed of 320kmh and a century sprint time of under 3.8 seconds. Prices start from about £140,000 (S$250,600) in Britain.

Toyota Concept-i to be part of 2020 Tokyo Olympics

Toyota aims to help make the 2020 Tokyo Olympics "the most environmentally friendly Games ever". Toyota Motor Asia Pacific president Susumu Matsuda says the company will supply a slew of future mobility options at the event, including the Concept-i autonomous car which can hold a conversation and detect emotions.

The e-Palette electric shuttle-cum-delivery van will zip around the Olympic village, as will a fleet of hydrogen fuel cell vehicles such as the Mirai sedan and Sora bus.

Audi launches e-tron charging service

Audi says it will roll out more than 72,000 charging points in 16 European markets with the launch of its e-tron electric car. Access to all charging points will be via card or phone app.

The Audi e-tron Charging Service will be part of a broad-based offering for charging and provides Europe-wide access to the public charging infrastructure. The e-tron has a claimed range of more than 400km, which means it will be good for about 300km in real life. There are currently no plans to roll out charging points here, though.

The Infiniti QX30 has arrived

Infiniti's QX30, the brand's first city crossover, is here. Powered by a 1.6-litre or 2-litre turbocharged engine, the car is based on the Mercedes-Benz GLA. Prices start from $148,800.

Christopher Tan

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 15, 2018, with the headline 'Fast Lane'. Print Edition | Subscribe