JAGUAR XJ50 AVAILABLE ON SPECIAL ORDER
Fast Lane: Jaguar XJ50 available on special order Jaguar is marking 50 years of its flagship XJ luxury sedan with a special edition XJ50. PHOTO: JAGUAR

JAGUAR XJ50 AVAILABLE ON SPECIAL ORDER

Jaguar is marking 50 years of its flagship XJ luxury sedan with a special edition XJ50 (above). It will be available in both standard and long wheelbase, with a choice of 3-litre engines - a 340hp petrol and 300hp diesel. In Singapore, the car will be available on special order.

The XJ50 wears new 20-inch Venom wheels, a black front grille and unique badging to the rear and side vents. Inside, the cabin features soft-grain diamond-quilted seats with an embossed leaper on the headrests and an XJ50 logo on the centre armrest. Anodised shift paddles and bright metal pedals are also part of the package.

LONGER AUDI Q5 REVEALED

Audi has unveiled a stretched version of its Q5 for the Chinese market. Measuring 4.77m long and offering plenty of space for five people and loads of luggage, the Q5L (left) will be available in five equipment lines and two versions of its 2-litre turbocharged engine, both with quattro all-wheel-drive system.

INFINITI TO DEVELOP NEW ELECTRIC VEHICLE

Infiniti will develop an electric vehicle platform based on its Q Inspiration concept. Along with the recently announced QX50, this will be another one of five new Infiniti models, which will be built in China over the next five years. These cars are expected to be exported worldwide.

NEW SUPER GRAND TOURER FROM ASTON MARTIN

Aston Martin's Vanquish replacement will be called DBS Superleggera - a combination of the five-decade-old DBS nameplate and Touring Superleggera, the Milan-based coachbuilder known for handbuilt sports cars.

It will feature "the highest levels of performance, craftmanship and design". The company says details of the super grand tourer will be made soon, but it is safe to say a V12 heart will beat beneath its bonnet.

HYUNDAI I20 GETS FUNKY

Hyundai's new i20 five-door (above) and three-door hatch boasts a fresh design and starts with a line-up of three different petrol engines paired with seven-speed dual-clutch transmission.

As with many new cars today, a slew of active safety features and wide choice of connectivity will be available. Its infotainment system will have Apple Car Play and Android Auto. Hyundai agent Komoco is evaluating the model and will bring it in if a 1-litre turbo variant is available.

DAIMLER CEO: NO SIGN OF TAKEOVER FROM SHAREHOLDER GEELY

Daimler chief executive Dieter Zetsche says there was no indication that the firm's largest shareholder, Chinese auto magnate Li Shufu, was planning a hostile takeover after he took a US$9-billion (S$12-billion) stake in Daimler earlier this year. Mr Zetsche said on Wednesday that Mr Li, the head of Chinese carmaker Geely, had told the firm he had no intention to go beyond his current 9.7 per cent stake, Reuters reported.

Mr Zetsche added that he was not concerned about the firm's top shareholder wresting further control of the company, which owns carmaker Mercedes-Benz. Earlier this month, Germany's spy chief urged vigilance over increased moves by Chinese companies to invest in and acquire high-technology German companies, warning the loss of key technologies could harm the German economy.

MERCEDES-BENZ L SALOON FOR CHINA

Mercedes-Benz will roll out a sedan version of its A-class hatchback next month.

The A-class L Saloon (above) has a 2,789mm wheelbase, versus the hatch's 2,729mm. This car will be produced by Beijing Benz Automotive, a joint venture between Daimler and its Chinese partner BAIC Motor.

The market launch in China is scheduled for the second half of this year.

FIERY BMW M2 COMPETITION

BMW's new M2 Competition (left) features a 410hp/550Nm power plant. The German pocket rocket will also have changes made to the steering, braking system, exhaust and suspension - all wrapped in a revised exterior design enhanced for aerodynamic efficiency.

It accelerates from zero to 100kmh in 4.2 seconds before going on to an electronically limited top speed of 248kmh. Upgrade to the optional competition-focused M Driver's Package and that top speed increases to 272kmh.

Revised chassis tuning and an upgraded brake system mean the new M2 handles more sharply than the original.

DUCATI TO FEATURE RADAR SYSTEM BY 2020

Ducati could soon offer bikes with a rear radar, which can pick out vehicles present in the blind spot or those approaching from behind at high speed.

A radar sensor positioned in the front will allow future Ducati bikes to have adaptive cruise control. These systems, together with an advanced user interface designed to alert the rider to any existing dangers, will be available on at least one model coming in 2020.

NISSAN LEAF GETS FIVE STARS IN EURO NCAP CRASH TESTS

The Nissan Leaf has scored maximum points in the European New Car Assessment Programme's (NCAP) pole crash test. The first car to go through the new scheme, the electric Leaf scored five stars.

The car features cyclist and pedestrian emergency braking functions. Euro NCAP constantly raises the bar in its testing regime, which means achieving a five-star rating is tougher than before. Key to the new programme is the introduction of tests to assess the performance of Autonomous Emergency Braking systems, which can detect cyclists or pedestrians.

NEW SKODA SUV FOR CHINA REVEALED

Skoda has released first sketches of a new sport utility vehicle model (above) meant for the Chinese market.

The new mainstream city SUV will be the third member of the brand's SUV family, after the Kodiaq and Karoq.

China is Skoda's strongest single market in the world, accounting for a quarter of its sales. The Volkswagen-owned Czech brand re-entered the Chinese market in 2007.

VOLVO S90 AMBIENCE CONCEPT WOWS THE SENSES

Behold the Volvo S90 Ambience Concept - a three-seater executive saloon targeted at the chauffeured class.

Passengers can personalise the car's atmosphere by using the intuitive smartphone app to choose one of seven visual themes synchronised with audio and scent. The visual element transforms the car's ceiling according to the selected theme - including Northern Lights, Scandinavian Forest, Swan Lake, Archipelago and Rain - each providing a different mood. There is also a Nocturnal theme for resting.

A Bowers & Wilkins premium hi-fi system includes small tweeters in the headrest for an immersive sound experience. Each theme is matched with one of four bespoke scents, created by Byredo, which deploys simultaneously from a portal in the centre console.

HALF OF VOLVO CARS TO BE FULLY ELECTRIC BY 2025

Volvo Cars expects fully electric models to make up half of its sales by 2025. The commitment positions Volvo as a powerful player in China, the world's leading market for electrified cars.

The Chinese government plans to have new-energy vehicles account for more than 20 per cent of the country's annual car sales by 2025, which equates to more than seven million vehicles, based on government forecasts.