Hot new cars from Ferrari and Jaguar
Fast Lane New arrivals: The Jaguar F-Type Coupe (above) and the Ferrari California T. -- PHOTOS: JEREMY CHUA, DARYL LEE, LOTUS, LAND ROVER, RENAULT, AUDI

HOT NEW CARS FROM JAGUAR AND FERRARI

Two hotties have just arrived in Singapore: the Jaguar F-Type Coupe and the Ferrari California T.

The F-Type Coupe looks even more alluring than its Roadster sibling, with the lines of its fixed top flowing more fluidly from front to back.

Three variants are available, led by the F-Type R Coupe with a 5-litre supercharged V8. It flies to 100kmh in 4.2 seconds and on to a top speed of 300kmh. It costs $550,000 with COE, compared with $440,000 for the F-Type S and $400,000 for the F-Type.

Higher on the price spectrum is the California T, Ferrari's first turbocharged racer in a long while. The hard-top convertible starts from $905,000 before COE.

Its 3,855cc turbocharged direct-injection V8 allows the car to reach 100kmh in 3.6 seconds, 0.2 seconds quicker than its 4,297cc normally aspirated predecessor. Owners will thus enjoy a bigger performance but a smaller road tax - not that road tax matters to Ferrari owners.

ROLLS-ROYCE TARGETS SUV LAUNCH FOR 2017

The Spirit of Ecstasy will soon have a loftier perch, as Rolls-Royce Motor Cars sets its sights on rolling out its very own SUV as early as 2017. The regal British marque, owned by BMW Group, is likely to base the ostentatious off-roader on the Ghost.

Rolls-Royce chief designer Giles Taylor reportedly told Autocar that sketches of the car are being done to assess its viability. Perhaps it does not deem Bentley's SUV - already confirmed for production - as sufficient evidence of viability.

He reportedly said an SUV would not undermine the Rolls-Royce brand. Why not do a real-life test then? Just drive a mock-up Roller SUV to a five-star hotel and see if the valet would allow it to be parked up front.

AUDI WITH LASER BEAMS

The Audi R8 LMX has 570bhp and 540Nm on tap, allowing it to rocket to 100kmh in 3.4 seconds and to a top speed of 317kmh. Perhaps because of that, it has to have laser headlights.

Audi says laser-powered headlamps are twice as bright as all-LED headlamps. Only 99 cars will be produced and not a single one is bound for Singapore.

CARS IN UK TO COME WITH BLACK BOX

Every new car sold in Britain from next year will have to be fitted with a "black box" device, reported the Daily Mail. Equipped with a phone SIM-like card, the device allows vehicle tracking and aids in getting emergency services. The device is expected to add at least £100 (S$210) to the cost of each car. There goes privacy.

NEW CHIEF FOR GROUP LOTUS

After firing flamboyant Turk Dany Bahar in 2012, Proton has picked Jean-Marc Gales as the new chief executive of Group Lotus plc. Lotus is a wholly owned subsidiary of Proton. Mr Gales, a Luxembourgian, was previously head of the European Association of Automotive Suppliers. Before that, he was the president of PSA Peugeot- Citroen.

BIGGEST CARBON-FIBRE MANUFACTURER

A joint venture between BMW Group and SGL Group will treble its carbon-fibre production at a plant in Moses Lake, Washington. With a medium-term capacity of 9,000 tonnes a year, it is poised to become the world's largest carbon-fibre manufacturing facility. Another US$200 million (S$251 million) will be invested for the expansion, on top of

US$100 million invested initialliy.

BMW i8 HYBRID SOLD OUT HERE

BMW's first-year allocation of its radical i8 super plug-in hybrid has already been spoken for here. Life! understands that just under 10 cars have been assigned to Singapore, and each costs about $600,000. Delivery of the carbon-fibre 2+2 with swan doors is expected in the fourth quarter.

UPGRADE FOR FREELANDER

Land Rover is giving its Freelander one more upgrade, with the introduction of a Metropolis variant that replaces the HSE as the range topper. Features include premium leather, electrically adjustable seats, panoramic sunroof, xenon headlights, reverse camera and 19-inch diamond-turned alloys.

MEGANE RS GETS MORE POWER

Renault has tuned up its Megane RS to produce an insane 275bhp - all going to the front wheels. The limited-edition Megane Renaultsport 275 Trophy has 10bhp more than the previous RS unveiled in 2011. Besides the power upgrade, the car also comes with a titanium exhaust system, with options such as Ohlins Road & Track dampers and bespoke tyres. Interior enhancements include leather and Alcantara Recaro seats and alloy gear knob. While its peak power output is attainable at 5,500rpm, the car's peak torque of 360Nm is available from 3,000rpm.

"MISSING" JAGUARS TO BE BUILT

Jaguar will build six reproductions of the original, race- bred Lightweight E-Type. The cars are the "missing" six vehicles from a 1963 project to build 18 special GT E-Types. Only 12 of the aluminium-bodied racers were eventually built.

The six new cars will be hand-built in-house to original specifications, including a 3.8-litre straight-six engine. The Lightweight was about 114kg lighter than a standard E-Type.