Fast Lane: S-class Cabriolet returns

The Mercedes-Benz S-class Cabriolet.
The Mercedes-Benz S-class Cabriolet.PHOTO: MERCEDES-BENZ

S-class Cabriolet returns

The Mercedes-Benz S-class Cabriolet is back after a 44-year absence. The big topless four-seater ruled the boulevard between 1961 and 1971. Now, with open-top models from Rolls-Royce and Bentley gaining popularity, Daimler reckons it is time to get back in the game. It says the new S-class Cabriolet - built on the S-class platform - will be "the most comfortable cabriolet in the world". It will come with features found in its SL roadster, including an enhanced automatic wind protection system called Aircap and a neck-level heating system called Airscarf. Heated armrests and seats are also available. Too bad an equivalent suite of comfort features is not made for tropical markets. The model is set to arrive by the second half of next year.


Clio back in Singapore

The Renault Clio is back in Singapore, ready to heat up the supermini segment. The French hatch is powered by a 1.5-litre turbodiesel mated to a dual-clutch gearbox. Renault says it can cover 100km on just 3.7 litres of fuel and emits just 95g/km of CO2 (entitling it to the top-tier $30,000 carbon rebate). The cabin is highly equipped, with a leather-wrapped steering wheel and a 7-inch touchscreen infotainment system that includes voice control, navigation and Bluetooth connectivity. It also comes with a keyless access and ignition system with walk-away auto lock.


Not so mini Clubman

The new Clubman is Mini's interpretation of the shooting brake concept - a sporty wagon with a roof that slopes backwards. It is 292mm longer and 117mm wider, with a wheelbase stretched by 123mm. It clocks the century sprint in 7.1 seconds (Cooper S variant). The Cooper S is powered by a 192bhp turbocharged engine mated to an eight-speed Steptronic gearbox. It is expected to arrive here in early February.

Kia launches new engines

Kia will roll out a new generation of engines to rival European power plants. They are three turbocharged units (two petrol and one diesel) which will have the option of being paired with a Kiadeveloped seven-speed doubleclutch transmission. The two petrol engines are 1-litre three-cylinder direct-injection units producing 98bhp and 118bhp. The turbodiesel is a 1.6-litre four-cylinder producing 134bhp and 300Nm of torque. It will be the first to have the dualclutch gearbox.

Christopher Tan

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 26, 2015, with the headline '(No headline) - CTFAST26'. Print Edition | Subscribe