Audi has unveiled the new A4, its latest contender in the junior executive segment.
Audi has unveiled the new A4, its latest contender in the junior executive segment. The new model is larger than its predecessor, but is up to 120kg lighter and claimed to have the lowest drag coeffi cient in its class. The A4’s bigger size means the cabin is roomier than ever, with enhanced headroom for front passengers and greater legroom for rear occupants. For added comfort and flexibility, the redesigned front seats now have headrests that are adjustable for distance to the head. Nifty options include in-car Wi-Fi and wireless charging for smartphones. The infotainment system off ers better smartphone connectivity, with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto as standard functions. Audiophiles can also specify a Bang & Olufsen hi-fi system, which supposedly delivers “3-D sound”.
Sure to attract yuppies is the entry-level variant. Powered by a turbocharged 1.4-litre 4-pot producing 150bhp and 250Nm, this model is the first junior executive saloon in Singapore with an engine that’s smaller than 1.5 litres (the facelifted BMW 3 Series will have a 1.5-litre variant). Paired to a 7-speed dualclutch gearbox, said engine can propel the car from rest to 100km/h in a respectable 8.9 seconds. The new Audi A4 will come to Singapore in mid-2016.
Aimed at younger drivers, the all-new second-generation Chevrolet Cruze has a sleeker design than its predecessor and promises better driving dynamics, too. Key to this car’s enhanced driveability is its stiff er body, which utilises more high-strength steel. This also makes it up to 113kg lighter than the older model. Complementing the body is a new 1.4-litre turbo engine that’s capable of 150bhp and 240Nm – an increase of 10bhp and 40Nm over the previous 1.4-litre turbo.
Inside, the car is claimed to have a higher-quality cabin that’s roomier compared to rivals such as the Hyundai Elantra. More soft-touch materials are used this time around, and there’s a snazzy new infotainment system with enhanced smartphone connectivity. Safety has also been enhanced, with 10 airbags as standard. The new Cruze will come to Singapore in the second quarter of 2016.
HIP NEW CLUB
Fashionable station wagon buyers searching for an equally stylish estate could consider the all-new MINI Clubman, which will arrive here in January 2016. Like its predecessor, the latest Clubman also features a vertically split tailgate, but instead of having three doors for passengers, this automobile utilises a more conventional fourdoor layout. The new version is larger than the older model – its overall length has increased by 292mm and its 2670mm wheelbase is 123mm longer than before. Naturally, the Clubman swallows more luggage, thanks to its 360-litre boot, which expands to 1250 litres with the rear seats folded.
These figures are a substantial 100 litres and 320 litres more than what the preceding model off ered. The vehicle is also more upmarket than its predecessor. It’s the first MINI to off er comfort access, an electrically adjustable driver’s seat with memory function, and puddle lamps that project the brand’s logo. And for the first time in a MINI, an 8-speed automatic gearbox is available, but it can only be specified in either the Cooper S or Cooper D Clubman variants.
FUNKY FAMILY MOVER “WATCH” THIS SERIES
Multi-purpose vehicles are usually seen as boring. But not this one. The second-generation Toyota Sienta not only has a more funky design (supposedly inspired by trekking shoes) than its boxy predecessor, it off ers equally stylish paint options, too, such as the Air Yellow hue seen here. This compact seven-seater MPV also off ers plenty of practicality with its numerous storage points, plus the convenience of second-row seats that have one-touch, tumble-forward mechanisms. Compared to the old Sienta, the new one is also more spacious and accessible – there’s more legroom now, and the opening width of the powered sliding doors is 50mm wider.
The first-gen Sienta was only available in Singapore through parallel importers, but it was overshadowed by the hugely popular Wish. At press time, offi cial Toyota agent Borneo Motors has no plans to bring in this funky family mover.
“WATCH” THIS SERIES
Bentley has launched the Continental GT Speed Breitling Jet Team series, a collection of seven cars painted in the same scheme as the seven Aero L-39 Albatros jets used by the Breitling Jet Team. The colours are Hallmark and Onyx, with matching “Breitling Yellow” highlights. The interiors of the vehicles are also finished in the same colour combination and have individually numbered door tread plates. The dashboard fascia also features the image of the seven planes.
MASSIVE SCALE MODEL
Lego fans and budding engineers alike will enjoy assembling this scale model of the Mercedes-Benz Arocs 3245. The kit, which consists of 2793 pieces, includes power functions and pneumatic actuators that let users play with the truck’s lifting functions. Mirroring its reallife counterpart, the scale model comes with four-axle suspension, too. When assembled, this model measures 54cm x 14cm x 31cm. Like other large Lego Technic kits, this one off ers buyers a second build option – the Mercedes-Benz Articulated Construction Truck.
“CAN” YOU DIG THIS?
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles Canada celebrated Canada Day with a life-size replica Jeep Wrangler built from over 4500 cans of non-perishable food. The project, which took 12 hours to build, was in partnership with Canstruction, a non-profit organisation dedicated to hunger relief. The Jeep replica wasn’t just for show. After the event, the cans of food, which can provide (no pun intended) at least 3120 meals, were donated to the Greater Vancouver Food Bank Society.
CHILD SAFETY DELUXE
Volvo’s Excellence Child Safety Seat concept might make the job of securing infants in cars a lot easier if it goes into production. The concept does away with the front passenger seat and replaces it with a swivelling child seat instead. For practicality’s sake, the concept also provides storage space underneath for parents to stow baby accoutrements. The child seat can be turned to face the rear and locked in position. Research has shown that it is safer for children to travel in a rearward facing position until they are three or four years old, as this helps prevent whiplash injuries in a collision.