Fast Lane: Bentley Bentayga, Audi S3 and more

Bentley Bentayga Speeds up

Behold the most powerful Bentayga yet – the Bentayga Speed.

The Bentley sport utility vehicle’s 6-litre W12 gets a power boost to 626bhp (from 600bhp), but its torque remains at 900Nm. Its zero to 100kmh timing is now 3.9 seconds, down from 4.1 seconds; while its top speed goes from 301kmh to 306kmh.

Sportier, more powerful Audi S3


Audi’s new S3 Sportback and Sedan are slated to arrive here mid-next year.

The S3’s 2-litre turbocharged engine now churns out 310hp (from 290hp previously) and 400Nm (from 380Nm). The century sprint is completed in 4.8 seconds by both variants, with a regulated top speed of 248kmh.

Audi A5 gets mild hybrid system


Audi’s facelifted A5 range is here – in Coupe, Sportback and Cabriolet forms.

With prices starting at $199,900, the executive A5 is a competitive package. With an extensively revised exterior and full LED lighting, the range is now also fitted with an infotainment system with more features and higher connectivity. Its 2-litre turbocharged engine is available as a 150hp or 190hp, both paired with a 12-volt “mild hybrid” system which conserves fuel.

Maserati Trofeo sedans to arrive next year


Maserati has expanded its Trofeo collection. The Levante Trofeo (above, centre) is now joined by the Ghibli Trofeo (above, right) and Quattroporte Trofeo (above, left). The latter two are the fastest Maserati saloons ever, with the Ghibli fitted with a V8 for the first time. The 3.8-litre twin-turbocharged V8 (also found in the other Trofeo models) produces 580hp and 730Nm, and sends the two sedans to a top speed of 326kmh.

The Ghibli and Quattroporte Trofeos are due here in the first quarter of next year.

Two-thirds of BMW vehicles to be electric by 2030

The BMW Group expects sales of its electric vehicles to exceed 500,000 by the end of the year and to breach the one-million mark by next year.

By 2030, two-thirds of its vehicles will be all-electric variants.

Meanwhile, the BMW 5-series will have five plug-in variants, making it the largest range of plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) within one BMW Group model series.

At the top of the range is the 545e xDrive Saloon, which features a synchronous electric motor delivering 80kW, paired with a straight six-cylinder turbo petrol engine with 286hp. Together, they generate a system output of 394hp and 600Nm. Power is distributed as required to all four wheels via an eight-speed automatic transmission.

The car hits 100kmh in 4.7 seconds and a regulated top speed of 250kmh. Alas, there are no plans to import this model here.

Hyundai Genesis to debut here

Hyundai agent Komoco is preparing for the arrival of Genesis, the South Korean carmaker’s luxury arm. There will be three models to start with.

Komoco executive chairman Teo Hock Seng says the company will “redo the facility” to accommodate Genesis, although there is no confirmation of when the new sub-brand will debut here.

“I think we will have to move Harley out and take the frontage of Alexandra Road,” he says, referring to the Komoco’s Harley-Davidson motorcycle showroom.

“It’s no use spending excess money to get another property. This area is still good for 30 years.”

But he adds that his proposal will have to be approved by Hyundai Motor. “If they have some other ideas, then we have to go somewhere else.”

Hydrogen-powered supercar with a century sprint time of 2.5 seconds

Los Angeles-based Hyperion says it has developed a hydrogen-powered supercar.

According to Bloomberg, it now needs money. The car will purportedly sprint from a standstill to 100kmh in around 2.5 seconds and travel 1,600km before running out of fuel. The speedometer will top out around 353kmh.

On a highway, hydrogen is cleaner than petrol and does not require a massive battery and the precious lithium and recycling headaches that go with it.

But producing the fuel is expensive, both in carbon and dollars. Hyperion touts at least six rounds of venture capital investment, but will not disclose how much money it has raised. Production on the car will not start until 2022 at the earliest. In the meantime, the company is looking for investors.

Kia Stinger facelift to come next year


Kia’s refreshed Stinger is due to arrive in the first quarter of next year. Looking sportier and featuring a higher quality interior, the 2018 Straits Times Car of the Year is unlikely to have changes to its punchy drivetrain. Kia says the 2021 car will offer buyers more options for customisation.

Christopher Tan

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