More powerful engine for revised F-Type

Jaguar’s revised F-Type sports a new design, more luxurious materials, more features and, of course, more power. Inside, there is a new 12.3-inch interactive driver display, Meridian audio, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

The car is driven by a supercharged V8, tuned to produce either 450hp or 575hp. The latter sends the two-seater coupe to 100kmh in just 3.5 seconds. Keeping up is an uprated chassis with new springs, dampers and anti-roll bars.


BMW M135I XDrive

Priced at $243,888 BMW’s most powerful 1-series variant has arrived. The M135i xDrive is endowed with BMW’s most powerful four-cylinder engine, a 2-litre with 306hp and 450Nm. It hits 100kmh in 4.8 seconds and onto a regulated top speed of 250kmh. The pleasure is yours for $243,888.


Bentley begins work on new engineering test facility

Volkswagen-owned Bentley Motors has started work on a state-of-the-art engineering test facility at the company’s expanding headquarters in Crewe, England. The new centre is the latest phase in ongoing development at the Pyms Lane site where all Bentley cars are hand-built.

With completion due in the latter half of next year, the new building will cover more than 4,600 sq m over two storeys. Included in this figure will be 773 sq m of office space and 1,550 sq m designed for the installation of a single climate-controlled chassis dynamometer, operating across a range of temperatures from minus 10 to 40 deg C.


(Related: Car review: Jaguar I-Pace, the best electric SUV on the market?)


Volkswagen to invest $6 billion in China to rev up electric-car production

Volkswagen is upping its electrification investment in China by 40 per cent next year. With an aim to become carbon-neutral by 2050, VW is investing more than €4 billion (S$6 billion) in China next year, with around 40 per cent of this investment going towards e-mobility.

By the end of this year, Volkswagen Group China will already offer 14 electrified models, with production of all-electric models based on Volkswagen’s modular electric platform starting in Anting and Foshan.

By October next year, capacity at the two plants will hit 600,000 units a year. Overall, the group will offer 30 locally produced e-cars by 2025, including achieving 1.5 million e-cars sales by that point.


Electric vehicles sales to reach 2.8 million units

The global automotive industry will recover slightly next year, but still faces major risks from the United States-China trade war, according to a new report from The Economist Intelligence Unit.

New car sales will rise by 1.7 per cent next year, following a fall of 6.2 per cent this year. Commercial vehicle sales will edge downwards by 0.1 per cent next year, after a 1.4 per cent drop this year.

China’s automotive market will recover after two years of steep decline, but the US market will continue to contract. Global sales of new fully electric vehicles will reach 2.8 million units, up from 2.2 million this year, spurred by new emissions targets.


Audi e-tron available in Singapore

Audi’s first electric crossover has landed with a price tag of around $360,000. Based on a stretched version of the Audi Q5, the futuristic battery-powered e-tron has side cameras instead of wing mirrors (the first car here to offer this cost option).

Weighing nearly 2,500kg (with the battery accounting for 700kg), the e-tron needs all the aerodynamic aids it can get. But its weight is evenly distributed between its axles. The car is 4,901mm long, 1,935mm wide and 1,616mm tall, with an ample wheelbase of 2,928mm. It offers a luggage capacity of 660 litres.

With two electric motors producing 300kW of power, the car sprints to 100kmh in 5.7 seconds and has a range of 400km. If you are keen, hurry, as half a dozen people have already beaten you to the queue.

(Related: 2019 Jaguar F-Type gets new tech and torque vectoring)


Hyundai Nexo breaks hydrogen fuel-cell long-distance record

French balloonist Bertrand Piccard drove 778km across France in a fuel-cell Hyundai Nexo, setting a world record for the longest distance driven in a hydrogen-powered vehicle on a single tank. He left the FaHyence hydrogen station in Sarreguemines on Nov 25 and arrived the next day at the Musee de l’Air et de l’Espace in Le Bourget – a distance of 778km, with a remaining range of 49km.

An equivalent conventional combustion-engined car might have matched the feat, but would have produced 111.2kg more carbon dioxide along the way.


Insignia gets bolder and more modern styling

Vauxhall/Opel will have a new Insignia from next year. The flagship full-size saloon sports a bolder and more modern styling. It has new adaptive LED headlights and new features to improve comfort and safety.

The refreshed model’s LED headlamps feature 84 LED elements in each dipped beam. Its rear incorporates a camera and a rear cross traffic alert system.

Vauxhall/Opel has been a Groupe PSA brand since 2017. By 2024, each of its models will offer an electrified version.


(Related: Virgins of the SUVs: Maserati, Bentley, Rolls and Jaguar Enter the Market)

This article was originally published in The Straits Times.