Fast Lane:Last lap of testing for BMW 1-series

Last lap of testing for BMW 1-series


PHOTO: BMW

The new BMW 1-series (above) is undergoing final testing in southern France to refine its agility and dynamics.

The testing caps five years of intensive development at BMW, which wants to make the front-wheel-drive compact's handling the best in its class.

A 2-litre turbocharged four-cylinder engine with 306hp - the "most powerful" four-cylinder in BMW's range - will power the M135i xDrive.

Jaguar Land Rover wins intellectual property case


PHOTO: JAGUAR LAND ROVER

Jaguar Land Rover has won a case in the Chinese courts against a manufacturer, which made and sold a near-identical copy of its iconic Evoque (above).

The first win for a foreign auto manufacturer in an intellectual property case, Jaguar welcomed the court's ruling to award it compensation against Jiangling Motor Corporation, which produced the copycat Landwind X7.

In the ruling, all sales, manufacturing and marketing of the Landwind X7 must cease and Jiangling will compensate Jaguar.

Seat to launch six electric and plug-in hybrid models


PHOTO: SEAT

As part of its electric vehicle push, Seat will launch six electric and plug-in hybrid models between now and the beginning of 2021.

The electric version of the Mii and el-Born (right) will be Seat's first two fully electric models, while the new-generation Leon, Cupra Leon, Cupra Formentor (left) and Tarraco sport utility vehicle will feature plug-in variants.

Seat and Volkswagen will also co-develop a future vehicle platform which will underpin affordable electric vehicles, cementing the Spanish automaker as a cornerstone in the Volkswagen group.

Subscription-based car rental

Automotive marketplace Carro has launched a subscription-based car service that lets customers pay a flat monthly fee and rent a car of their choice.

The monthly fee includes the car's insurance, road tax, warranty, 24-hour assistance and maintenance costs.

Drivers can return the car at the end of the rental period with "no questions asked" about minor wear and tear, dents and scratches.

Three subscription plans - $1,199, $1,499 or $1,999 monthly - let customers choose anything, from a Volkswagen Golf to a BMW.

Carro's chief executive Aaron Tan said it wants to provide customers with car ownership flexibility with "no strings attached".

Wong Kai Yi

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 30, 2019, with the headline 'Fast Lane'. Print Edition | Subscribe