Luxe Ford MPV in the works
Fast Lane

LUXE FORD MPV IN THE WORKS

Ford will introduce a luxury multipurpose vehicle and preview it at the Milan Motor Show in December. The S-Max Vignale concept is in line with Ford's ambition to create a Lexus-like division of upmarket models (although one wonders why it does not bank on its existing Lincoln nameplate).

The S-Max Vignale sports 21-inch alloys, dark-chromed polished aluminium detailing, a special Vignale grille and quilted leather seats. It follows the Mondeo Vignale, which is slated to roll out next year.

 

PEUGEOT WITH METAL-TEXTILE BODY

Peugeot has unveiled a new sedan concept called Exalt. Its body is a blend of bare metal and a textile the maker calls "shark skin".

Its interior boasts superior acoustics, with seats lined with natural wool-based fabric and aged leather, and trim of steel and ebony. On top of that, it has a highly interactive cockpit. The Exalt is powered by a 340bhp petrol-electric drivetrain.

 

HYUNDAI'S SEXY COUPE

Hyundai's sexy PassoCorto midengined two-seater sports car is said to be slated for production. The concept, a product of the carmaker's design students, will be showcased at the IED Milan Campus during the Milan Design Week this month.

The ultra-lightweight coupe was created by a team of 16 students at IED in Turin and is designed to appeal especially to Generation Y consumers. The compact PassoCorto - Italian for "short wheelbase" - weighs 840kg and measures 4,100mm long.

SWING TO A MERC OR MCLAREN

Golfers playing at the 43rd Singapore Island Country Club May Day Charity tournament stand to win two supercars. Motor broker AutoInc, together with Anika Insurance Brokers & Consultants and motor insurer AXA, will be sponsoring a Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG (right) and a McLaren MP4-12C (left) as hole-in-one prizes. The SLS was first registered in January 2012 and the 12C in March last year, hence both vehicles come fully registered with COE, unlike most hole-in-one trophy cars.

To sweeten the deal, AutoInc will throw in additional prizes, including Zymol car detailing packages worth more than $8,500.

BIGGER SOUL JUST AS BOLD

Kia's new Soul is as boldly styled as its predecessor but bigger. Its wheelbase is 20mm longer at 2,570mm, which stretches the car to 4,140mm. It is also 15mm wider at 1,800mm. But the car has been lowered by 10mm to 1,600mm, making to appear more squat, sporty and purposeful.

Its tailgate opening is 62mm wider and provides access to a 354-litre boot. Engines include a 1.6-litre turbodiesel designed and engineered at Kia's European Technical Centre in Russelsheim, just outside Frankfurt.

It develops 126bhp and 260Nm of torque and is mated to a six-speed automatic gearbox.

There is also a new 1.6-litre direct injection petrol engine that produces 130bhp and 161Nm of torque.

PLUG-IN HYBRIDS FROM BENTLEY

Bentley will introduce a range of plug-in hybrids, starting with the sport utility vehicle it will launch in 2017. It is slated to be the first ultra- luxury marque to employ this technology, that is, if Rolls-Royce does not roll out something before 2017.

A plug-in hybrid will mitigate the monumental thirst that is expected of a Bentley SUV.

SEE MORE WITH LAND ROVER

Land Rover is working on a virtual imaging technology that makes the bonnet of its cars "transparent".

The see-through augmented reality view will make navigating rough terrain easier. Cameras located in the vehicle's grille capture data used to feed a head-up display, breaking new ground in visual driver assistance.

The technology, named Transparent Bonnet, provides unrivalled visibility to a driver climbing a steep incline or manoeuvring in a tight carpark ramp.