Fast Lane: Rolls-Royce Cullinan makes first appearance in South-east Asia

The Cullinan sport utility vehicle.
The Cullinan sport utility vehicle.PHOTO: ROLLS-ROYCE
A fleet of 50 Land Rovers (above) set off from East Coast Park.
A fleet of 50 Land Rovers (above) set off from East Coast Park.PHOTO: LAND ROVER
The duo trailer.
The duo trailer.PHOTO: SEAT

Rolls-Royce Cullinan makes first appearance in South-east Asia

Rolls-Royce Motor Cars presented its latest model, the Cullinan sport utility vehicle (above), at the Ritz-Carlton, Millenia Singapore on Tuesday.

It was the first time Roller's tallest model - more than 1.8m - made its appearance in South-east Asia. The all-wheel-drive - sitting on a chassis which can be lowered and raised by 40mm - is available as a four-or five-seater, with prices starting at $1.27 million before the certificate of entitlement.

The show car, however, is a fully equipped variant with a $1.71-million price tag. It has laser headlights, night vision, adaptive cruise control, pedestrian warning, collision warning, cross-traffic warning, lane change warning and Wi-Fi, most of which had appeared in parent BMW's products before.

Amazon Alexa available in Seat models

Volkswagen-owned Seat has become the first automotive brand in Europe to include Amazon Alexa in its vehicles.

The cloud-based smart assistant gives Seat customers access to a host of functions. All users need to do is press a control button on the steering wheel and speak. Launched in 2014, Amazon Alexa now has more than 45,000 skills.

Land Rover charity drive for animals

In celebration of National Day and Land Rover's support for animals, Land Rover Singapore held its second National Day Charity Drive on Thursday in partnership with Causes for Animals (Singapore) and Land Rover Owners Singapore.

A fleet of 50 Land Rovers set off from East Coast Park, passing key landmarks in Singapore - including Marina Bay Sands, Gardens by the Bay and Orchard Road - on National Day. The drive followed a series of fund-raising events, which started in mid-July.

Tesla board clueless about CEO Elon Musk's buyout plan

Who is funding Tesla's buyout plan? No one seems to know. Even Tesla's own board has not yet received a detailed financing plan from chief executive Elon Musk, reported Reuters.

The board is seeking more information about how Mr Musk will take the United States electric car maker private in a proposed deal worth US$72 billion (S$99 billion), people familiar with the matter said on Thursday.

While the board has held multiple discussions about Mr Musk's proposal, which first became public on Tuesday via one of the billionaire's many tweets, it has not yet received specific information on who will provide the funding, one of the sources said.

The move came after months of Mr Musk battling investors, journalists and analysts over whether Tesla could turn a profit and produce enough of the mass-market model of its electric car to meet demand. Mr Musk said in a tweet on Tuesday that he had secured financing for the deal.

Audi electric SUV boasts superior battery recuperation system

Audi's e-tron prototype promises high efficiency. The 300kW full-size electric sport utility vehicle accelerates from zero to 100kmh in less than six seconds and has a claimed range of more than 400km. It also boasts the best battery recuperation system, with each kilometre downhill bringing about an additional kilometre in range.

The Audi e-tron recuperates energy with up to 300Nm of torque and 220kW of electric power - more than 70 per cent of its operating energy input. No series production model has achieved such a value yet.

Duo trailer has test run in Spain

It measures more than 30m long and reduces CO2 emissions by 20 per cent for each road journey. The duo trailer also promises cost savings of 25 per cent and should also reduce the number of road accidents. The truck was tested between Zaragoza and Martorell in Spain, a distance of some 280km, by Seat and Grupo Sese.

Both companies carried out the pilot test to analyse the performance of a duo trailer, which features two 13.6m-long trailers pulled by a truck with a Scania cab - a Volkswagen Group brand. With a total length of 31.7m and a maximum payload of 70 tonnes, it is designed for travelling on high-capacity roads.

Christopher Tan

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 11, 2018, with the headline 'Fast Lane'. Print Edition | Subscribe