Fast Lane: Revamped Audi Singapore to help cope with demand

Ferrari SF90 Stradale.
Ferrari SF90 Stradale.PHOTO: FERRARI
Updated Skoda Superb.
Updated Skoda Superb.PHOTO: SKODA
Skoda Citigoe iV.
Skoda Citigoe iV.PHOTO: SKODA
McLaren GT.
Revised BMW X1.
Honda e.
McLaren Senna.
Ford partners Agility Robotics to use two-legged robots for deliveries.
Ford partners Agility Robotics to use two-legged robots for deliveries.PHOTO: FORD
Opel (Vauxhall) Corsa-e.
Opel (Vauxhall) Corsa-e.PHOTO: VAUXHALL

Ferrari SF90 Stradale plug-in hybrid to come next year

Ferrari has unveiled its most extreme racer, the SF90 Stradale. The car is the Prancing Horse's first production plug-in hybrid, boasting a combined output of 1,000hp and a downforce of 390kg at 250kmh.

Its V8 delivers 780hp, the highest output of any eight-cylinder in Ferrari's history. The remaining 220hp is delivered by three electric motors - one at the rear located between the engine and a new eight-speed dual-clutch transmission.

The SF90 Stradale is also the first all-wheel-drive Ferrari - necessary to cope with its outlandish power. With a full-electric front axle, it hits 100kmh in 2.5 seconds and 200kmh in 6.7 seconds.

The SF90 will arrive in Singapore in September, but deliveries will start only from the third quarter of next year. It is expected to cost more than $1.5 million.

Updated Skoda Superb gets plug-in hybrid variant 

Skoda's facelifted Superb comes with a plug-in hybrid variant - the brand's first. The car has an all-electric range of 55km, courtesy of a motor paired with a 1.4-litre turbo petrol engine making 218hp and 400Nm of torque.

Skoda plans to launch it early next year, but there is no news on whether it will come to Singapore.

Skoda's first all-electric vehicle - the Citigoe iV - has 61 kW of power and 210Nm of torque. It is suitable for urban driving, with a range of 265km, a 0-100kmh time of 12.5 seconds and a top speed of 130kmh. Production is slated to begin in the next few months.

McLaren GT priced from $760,000

McLaren Singapore has held a preview of the McLaren GT, a car aimed at the Aston Martin DB11. Still a two-seater, the GT is the first McLaren to be able to accommodate a full-size golf bag in its rear stowage area.

This is because its engine has been lowered and the car lengthened marginally. It is also the first McLaren to have a powered tailgate.

The car is designed for day-to-day usability - with suspension, transmission mapping and cabin insulation tuned for comfort. Ground clearance rivals that of the Mercedes-Benz C-class. Prices start from $760,000 before COE.

NTU wins big at Shell Eco-marathon 

Three teams from Singapore's tertiary institutions have won top awards at this year's Shell Eco-marathon held at Malaysia's Sepang International Circuit from April 29 to May 2.

The Nanyang Technological University (NTU) team topped the UrbanConcept hydrogen category with its Nanyang Venture X setting a record of 94km per cubic metre of hydrogen. It also beat the top three teams from each fuel type of the category (hydrogen fuel cell, internal combustion engine and battery electric) at the Drivers' World Championship Asia qualifier.

The top three teams from the Asia qualifier will face off against the best UrbanConcept teams from the Americas and Europe in the Drivers' World Championship to be held in London on July 5.

In the hydrogen Prototype category, the teams from Temasek Polytechnic and Ngee Ann Polytechnic retained their titles from last year's event. Temasek's Eco Flash came in first with an efficiency of 403km per cubic metre, while Ngee Ann had an efficiency of 122.5km per cubic metre.

Revised BMW X1 to arrive by year-end 

The X1, BMW's smallest sport utility vehicle (SUV), features the Bavarian marque's big and bold grille in its 2020 facelift. Powered by a range of three-and four-cylinder turbocharged engines, and expected to arrive by year-end, the X1 looks even sportier than the current second-generation model, which was launched in 2015.

A plug-in hybrid variant will be available for the first time. Last year, the X1 was BMW's best-selling X model worldwide.

Revamped Audi Singapore to help cope with demand

Audi Singapore has completed a year-long renovation of its aftersales centre in Ubi.

Audi says the refurbishment was undertaken with "elements that impact the five senses". Fine details like scent, refreshments, music and amenities have been "redesigned to deliver a truly premium customer journey throughout".

Structurally, the facility's capacity has increased to cope with the growing Audi population.

All-electric Honda e swops mirrors with side cameras

Honda has confirmed that its electric Honda e will have side cameras instead of wing mirrors. The technology is a first in the compact segment and promises sleekness and better efficiency (from lower drag).

The system projects images to two six-inch screens inside the vehicle. Integrated at either end of the dashboard, these ergonomically positioned screens ensure a natural feel and vision for the driver. Honda says the system will result in a 3.8 per cent improvement in fuel efficiency.

Four McLaren Senna supercars sold 

McLaren Singapore has sold four McLaren Senna supercars - its most extreme model yet.

Priced from $3.2 million to $4.5 million (depending on options), the 800hp racer with an oversized adaptive rear spoiler hits 100kmh in 2.8 seconds - a feat for a rear-wheel-drive.

Three of the cars are registered for road use, while one is a left-hand-drive bought by a collector for display.

Ford partners Agility Robotics to use two-legged robots for deliveries 

Ford is working with start-up Agility Robotics to use two-legged robots for delivery. Because of online shopping, the United States Postal Service alone delivered more than six billion packages last year or double the volume it was handling a decade ago.

Ford is teaming up with Agility Robotics to automate deliveries via driverless vehicles and two-legged robots to carry out that final step of getting a delivery from car to door.

Opel battery-powered Corsa-e to arrive next year

Opel (known as Vauxhall in Britain) aims to have an electrified version of every model in its range by 2024.

A battery-powered Corsa-e and Grandland X plug-in hybrid will be launched this year, followed by two more all-electric models - the Mokka X and Vivaro - next year.

With a range of almost 330km (460km in eco mode), the Corsa-e has 136hp and 260Nm of torque provided by a 50kWh battery. It is expected to arrive in Singapore in the first half of next year.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 01, 2019, with the headline 'Fast Lane'. Print Edition | Subscribe