Vanda Electrics, an e-mobility company under home-grown Wong Fong Engineering Works, has unveiled the Dendrobium, an exotic electric car capable of 0-100km/h acceleration in 2.7 seconds and a top speed in excess of 321km/h (theoretically).
Vanda Electrics’ technical partner in the ambitious project is UK-based Williams Advanced Engineering, which took the Dendrobium idea from Singapore drawing board to Geneva motor show booth.
The British firm of Formula One fame has specified a pair of inboard-mounted Yasa motors per axle, a single-speed gearbox/differential at the front, a multi-speed gearbox/differential at the rear, and lithium batteries based on Formula E technology (Williams is the sole supplier of racecar battery systems for the championship series).
Other features of the 1750kg Dendrobium include carbon bodywork, a composite monocoque chassis, exposed double- wishbone suspension, carbon-ceramic brakes, an aerodynamic floor and a rear double diffuser.
The roof and doors are designed to open in a synchronised style – resembling a dendrobium orchid in bloom – to reveal a dramatic two-seater cockpit with a digital dashboard, hexagon-shaped buttons, Scottish leather upholstery and plenty of carbon fibre.
Larissa Tan, chief executive of Vanda Electrics, said: “This electric hypercar may just be a concept for now, but we have every intention of putting it into production.”
812 IS SUPERFAST
The latest Prancing Horse is powered by a naturally aspirated 6496cc V12 with 800bhp, 718Nm and a redline of 8900rpm.
Ferrari’s F1 7-speed dual-clutch transmission works in concert with cutting- edge mechatronics (including the marque’s first application of electric power steering) and leading-edge aerodynamics to make the 812 Superfast super-shiok to drive.
The cabin is another work of automotive art from the Italian artisans in Maranello, with a “strong and smooth engine sound inside in all driving conditions”.
A high-end audio system with 12 speakers and a 1280-watt amplifier provides an alternative to the uplifting orchestral music played by the V12 motor. The cockpit is also equipped with a telemetry system derived from the one in the LaFerrari hybrid hypercar.
Even more powerful than the F12berlinetta, the 812 Superfast is the fastest Ferrari road car in regular production – zero to 100km/h in 2.9 seconds, 100km/h to 200km/h in another 5 seconds, and a maximum velocity of 340km/h.
720S IS SUPERFAST, TOO
The first model in McLaren’s second-generation Super Series is as quick as the Ferrari 812 Superfast – zero to 100km/h in 2.9 seconds, 100km/h to 200km/h in another 4.9 seconds, and a maximum velocity of 341km/h.
The replacement for the 650S is lighter, faster and even better to drive, powered by a 4-litre twin-turbo V8 with 720bhp (hence the model name) and 770Nm. Compared to the company’s existing 3.8-litre V8, 41 percent of the 4-litre engine’s componentry is new.
The 720S has a new carbon fibre tub called McLaren Monocage II and a chassis that uses alloys extensively. This structure is clothed in striking styling, which includes dihedral doors with a unique “double-skin” aerodynamic form that channels air to the high-temperature radiators cooling the mid-mounted engine.
Taking centre stage in the cockpit, which is decorated with fine leather and machined aluminium, is an apparently revolutionary interface with a folding driver display and central infotainment screen.
The 10th-generation Honda hatchback has been heated in a red automotive microwave and the result is another Type R to rev up boyracers when it reaches Singapore.
The body is a controlled explosion of spoilers, vortex generators and air curtains, with the visual aggression accompanied by an excellent balance between lift and drag. Naturally, the exterior’s flashes of racy red are repeated in the cabin.
The torsional stiffness has been increased by 38 percent vis-a-vis the previous Civic pocket rocket, while the handling capability has been improved by the revised front geometry and high-rigidity rear arms of the suspension.
The turbocharged VTEC 2-litre hot hatch produces a punchy 320bhp and 400Nm, put through a precise 6-speed manual gearbox with rev match control. The exhaust gases exit through triple tailpipes. Selectable on-demand driving modes (Comfort, Sport, +R) tweak the adaptive damping, steering force, gearshift feeling and throttle response to make the new Civic Type R race as intended by the driver.
SMALL LIMO, BIG HEART
Rolls-Royce has created a bespoke Motor Car called SRH for the Pediatric Day Surgery Unit of St. Richard’s Hospital in the marque’s home town of Chichester.
The well-appointed little limousine allows children awaiting surgery to drive themselves to the operating theatre, through hospital corridors lined with “traffic signs”, and aims to reduce the child patients’ stress.
The SRH has a top speed of 16km/h, “achieved in seconds courtesy of power derived from a 24-volt gel battery that propels the car with the same whisper-quietness as Rolls-Royce’s magnificent V12 engines”.
DISCOVERY OF A HERO
Land Rover has built a customised version of the latest Discovery SUV to serve as an advanced command vehicle for the Austrian Red Cross.
Called Project Hero, the special support car comes with its own roof-mounted drone, which is able to land while the vehicle is in motion, perhaps en route to a disaster area. The bird’s-eye-view footage transmitted from the airborne drone would help emergency response teams to carry out their life-saving missions more effectively.
The 3-litre turbo-diesel 6-cylinder Project Hero is also equipped with a heavy-duty sliding boot floor, a segregation panel behind the rear seats, additional tool-mounting points, extra LED lights, multiple-frequency radio sets and numerous on-board power points which accept a variety of plugs from different regions.