Bentley has made its flagship limousine a little nasty
Fast Lane The Mulsanne Speed from Bentley can reach a top speed of 305kmh. -- PHOTO: BENTLEY

SPEEDY BENTLEY

Bentley has made its flagship limousine a little nasty. The Mulsanne Speed's 6.75-litre V8 is tuned up to make 530bhp and 1,100Nm of torque, allowing the behemoth to accomplish the 0-100kmh dash in 4.9 seconds. Top speed is a respectable 305kmh, which means the luxe barge will outrun a number of sports cars in the city. The Mulsanne Speed comes with variable damping and steering, and a cabin boasting "unrivalled craftsmanship and exquisite handcrafted details".

NEW CAPTUR ON THE MARKET

Renault has launched its new Captur compact crossover. Priced at $117,999, the car is powered by a torquey 1.5-litre turbocharged engine mated to a six-speed dual-clutch autobox. It comes with Eco mode, which is said to cut fuel consumption by up to 10 per cent. Gadgets include LED daytime-running lights, 7-inch colour touchscreen with navigation and Bluetooth connectivity, keyless entry with auto lock and reverse camera.

NEW SEVEN-SEATER FROM FORD

Ford's new S-Max seven-seater will have adaptive steering, LED headlights, pre-crash safety and either a 1.5-litre EcoBoost petrol or a revised 2-litre turbodiesel engine. Ford says it has 32 seating and loading configurations, with an innovative Easy-Fold second and third row. Voice control and hands-free motorised tailgate are also featured.

SUPERCARS FOR TYCOON'S COLLECTION

Two very special - and very expensive - supercars belonging to tycoon Peter Lim have arrived.

The first, Ferrari's LaFerrari, is currently on display at Ital Auto's showroom. The LaFerrari is a carbon-fibre racer that puts out 963bhp and 900Nm of torque. It is also Ferrari's first petrol-electric hybrid.

The swan-door exotic car hits 100kmh in under three seconds and 200kmh in under seven. Its V12 engine is mated to an electric motor that is integrated with its seven-speed dual- clutch gearbox.

The other car is the world's only Bugatti Veyron Grand Sport Vitesse "1 of 1". Like the LeFerrari, this tailor-made version of a terresterial rocket that can exceed 410kmh will be delivered, not to Mr Lim's swanky abode, but to sportscar specialist EuroSports Auto for safe-keeping (to be fired up regularly to keep their engines in good order).

Both cars will not be registered in Singapore as they are left-hand-drive. But if they were, the LaFerrari will cost more than $4 million, while the 8-litre 16-cylinder Veyron will touch $8 million.

RUNNING ON AIR AND PETROL

Peugeot's 208 HYbrid Air 2L Demonstrator is a concept car running on compressed air as well as petrol. The 2L stands for 2 litres per 100km. Its conventional engine is a 1.2-litre 82bhp used in the 208. Weighing just 860kg, the concept car has a compressed-air tank located below the boot.

In Air mode, it runs on compressed air alone. This method of driving does not consume fuel and emits no CO2, making it ideal for urban environments. In Petrol mode, the car is powered only by the 1.2-litre petrol engine.

The Combined mode is designed for transition phases in urban environments, such as standing starts and acceleration. The compressed air tank is recharged when the car is slowing down (while braking or taking the foot off the pedal) or by part use of the energy developed by the three-cylinder petrol engine to compress the air. Both methods can achieve maximum pressure in just 10 seconds.

Citroen will also showcase a similar concept in the C4 Cactus.

MACAU HOTELIER BUYS 30 PHANTOMS

Macau entrepreneur Stephen Hung has bought the largest Rolls-Royce Phantom fleet in the world. He placed an order for 30 Bespoke Extended Wheelbase Phantoms for his Louis XIII hotel in Macau.

This transaction represents the world's single largest order of Rolls-Royces ever. Two of the fleet will be the most expensive Rolls-Royce Phantoms ever commissioned.

GEARBOX MAKER BUYS SAFETY SYSTEMS COMPANY

German gearbox maker ZF is acquiring American safety systems company TRW Automotive to become the world's second largest car component manufacturer by revenue with combined sales of more than €30 billion (S$49 billion) and 138,000 employees globally.

NEW HEAD FOR BMW GROUP ASIA

Mr Axel Pannes will become managing director of BMW Group Asia from Nov 1. Mr Pannes, 42, has been with the BMW Group since 2002.

He replaces Mr Sergio Solero, 43, who will take on a new position as the president of BMW Group Italia. Mr Solero is the shortest-serving head of BMW Asia, having assumed his post only in January this year.

Meanwhile, former head of BMW Asia Roland Kruger has left the Bavarian group to lead Nissan's Infiniti.

B-CLASS GETS A FACELIFT

Mercedes-Benz has unveiled a facelifted B-class. It will have three diesel variants, two petrol versions and an electric one.

With a drag-coefficient of 0.25, it is one of the most aerodynamic mini-MPVs around. It will have LED headlamps as an option.

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