(The BMW 5-series GT will be as luxe as the 7-series and its cargo space as big as a station wagon's)
By Christopher Tan
BWM 5-SERIES GT: POMP AND VERSATILITY
BMW has released details of its 5-series Gran Turismo, a coupe-like model that promises the luxury of a 7-series and the versatility of a wagon.
It has features such as rear seats that can be rolled 100mm forward and a tailgate which can be opened like a boot lid or liftback (first seen in the Skoda Superb).
The car offers up to 1,700 litres of cargo space.
There are three engine variants, all turbocharged (one diesel, two petrol).
Top of the line is the BMW 550i GT, which has the the same 4.4-litre bi-turbo V8 found in the 750Li.
It has 407bhp and 600Nm of torque from 1,750rpm.
The GT hits 100kmh in 5.5 seconds, versus the 750Li's 5.3.
VW HOOKS UP WITH CHINA FIRM
Volkswagen has signed a memorandum of understanding with BYD, a Chinese manufacturer of electric and hybrid vehicles.
This follows VW's tie-ups with Sanyo and Toshiba to develop batteries for an affordable electric car the German company hopes to launch by next year.
NEW ELECTRIC BIKE
Part-Segway, part-motorcycle, all electric. Canadian inventor Ben Gulak of BPG-Technologies has developed an electric bike called the Uno, which stays upright on its two side-by-side wheels using gyro technology.
Like the Segway, the rider leans forward to go faster, backwards to slow down.
The 59kg Uno is powered by two electric motors (one in each wheel) and can run for 150 minutes on a full charge.
But it has a modest top speed of 40kmh.
COMING SOON: 240BHP LANCER RALLIART
Mitsubishi agent Cycle & Carriage will bring in the Lancer Ralliart in late September.
The car has on tap 240bhp (from a detuned Evo X 2-litre turbo block), which is regulated by a dual-clutch gearbox.
Estimated price: $100,000, which is far more affordable than an Evo X but costlier than a Subaru WRX.
The latter, however, does not have the Mitsubishi's quick and efficient transmission.
SMALL ASIAN CARS MAKE THE MARK
Small Japanese cars can be just as safe as their Continental cousins, according to the European New Car Assessment Programme (Euro NCAP).
Honda's latest Jazz has emerged with the maximum five stars in crash tests conducted by Euro NCAP.
The Jazz shares its honours with other small cars such as the Kia Soul and Hyundai i20 (neither of which are in Singapore yet).
To attain five stars, a car has to provide adequate protection to both adult and child occupants.
The latest tests also take into account features that minimise pedestrian injuries in the event of an accident.
Honda Jazzes sold here, however, are not identically equipped as those sold in Europe.
For instance, the versions here do not have vehicle stability assist, an electronic traction control.
For more The Straits Times stories, click here.