Happenings

Singapore Motorshow 2017 – Part 2

BY Jonathan Lim

The annual Singapore Motorshow returns with a host of new models - we highlight some here!

Photos by Jonathan Lim and Azfar Hashim

Our coverage of 2017’s iteration of Singapore’s largest motoring event continues:

Mazda MX-5 RF - Want the open-top driving thrills from the world’s best-selling roadster ever, but also want the refinement and insulation of a metal roof? Don’t worry, Mazda’s got you covered. Meet the MX-5 RF, a retractable targa-roof version of the company’s little sports car, and one of BP’s most hotly-anticipated launches of the entire show. The metal roof and origami-like folding mechanism do add 45kg of weight over the standard fabric roof, but with an overall kerbweight of 1125kg, we have no doubt the MX-5 RF will still be an absolute hoot to drive.

Mazda CX-9 - On the other end of the physical scale, Mazda also launched the largest vehicle in their lineup, the updated CX-9. Powering this 7-seater family SUV is the first ever turbocharged Skyactiv engine; a 2.5L unit that delivers 228bhp and fuel consumption of 8.4L/100km. this alone should make it much more enticing to buyers, compared to its predecessor’s 3.7L V6 motor.

In addition, the 2017 Mazda 3 and 6 also made their debut at the show, and are the first models to feature Mazda’s G-Vectoring Control, which is designed to increase precision and stability when tackling corners, thus providing a smoother overall driving experience. Standard on all trim levels of the 3 and 6, this nifty technology will eventually find its way onto all Mazda models.

DS3 Cabrio - If you’d like your open-top motoring experience to take on a more Gallic flavour, then the DS 3 Cabriolet could be just your ticket. Like the larger DS 4 and DS 5 models, the DS 3 has dropped its Citroen branding and will continue on as standalone models under the DS Automobiles brand, a luxury offshoot of Citroen with a similar relationship between that of Lexus and Toyota.

It now proudly wears the hexagonal “DS Wings” corporate grille, behind which you’ll find the 1.2 Turbo PureTech engine that was awarded International Engine of the Year 2016. It’s practical for a drop-top too, with best-in-class boot space, seating for five people, and a roof that can be operated at speeds up to 110km/h.

Hyundai Ioniq - The Ioniq is South Korea’s first attempt at making a standalone eco-friendly car model, tackling head-on the evergreen Toyota Prius that started this market segment. It goes one further than the Prius though, by being the first car in the world to offer hybrid, plug-in hybrid and fully electric powertrains in a single body type, although only the hybrid model is available in Singapore at present.

A 1.6L GDI engine combines with a 32kW electric motor, Lithium-Ion battries and a 6-speed dual clutch transmission to produce a maximum of 141hp. A coupe-like silhouette helps the Ioniq achieve a low drag value of just 0.24Cd, which in turn allows for Hyundai to claim fuel efficiency figures of less than 4.0L/100km. Still think that the Prius is the way to go?

Kia Niro - If you liked the Hyundai’s promises of fuel economy but wanted it wrapped up in a larger but more conventional body style, then the Kia Niro’s the car for you. Under the skin it uses the exact same running gear as the Ioniq, but with the obvious difference of being an SUV. Slotting in below the Sportage, it features much of the same tech as in the Ioniq, including a wireless inductive handphone charging pad under the centre armrest.

Audi Q2 - There seems to be no end in sight to the public’s craze for crossovers, which is why the Audi Q2 exists. Built on the VW Group’s MQB platform, this pint-sized puppy slots into the market to do battle with the BMW X1 and Mercedes GLA. In Singapore, engines will range from the 1.0L three-cylinder found in the A1 supermini, to the 150bhp 1.4L TFSI unit found in the A4 sedan.

Audi R8 Spyder - Taking centre stage at Audi’s booth was this, the R8 Spyder. As with its fixed-roof sibling at last year’s motorshow, the Spyder’s presence is only a sneak preview ahead of a proper local launch later in the year. Fitted with the 540bhp version of the 5.2L V10 engine, the R8 Spyder can complete the century sprint in just 3.6 seconds, and will keep going till it runs out of puff at 317km/h. Contender for sexiest car of this year’s show? We certainly think so!

Audi A5 - If there’s one thing you can rely on with German brands, it’s their logical predictability. So exactly one year after the A4 made its local debut, its 2-door sibling has now come to join the party. Its styling is clearly evolutionary in nature, taking most of its cues from predecessor, but presented in a lower, wider, sharper form. Like the A4, the new A5 is built on the MLB platform architecture, so expect a lot of similarities such as the 252bhp 2.0L TFSI engine and 12.3-inch Virtual Cockpit instrument panel.

Subaru Impreza - Fresh from its crowning as the 2016-17 Japan Car of the Year, the 2017 Subaru Impreza has made it to our shores. This is an important car for the company, as it marks the debut of the new Subaru Global Platform that is set to underpin all future Subaru models. This 5th-generation car will be available in both four and five-door guises, with a 1.6 or 2.0L boxer engine, and features new technology such as “Subaru Rear/Side Vehicle Detection” (SRVD) and “Steering Responsive Headlights”.

As for the new platform itself, it is the company’s way of “future-proofing” its vehicles, allowing for economies of scale in component production, as well as flexibility to adjust specifications to suit different models. Compared to the current generation of platforms, the new one promises a lower centre of gravity, enhanced body rigidity, and superior refinement and agility.

Volvo V90 - To many a car enthusiast, the quintessential image of a Volvo is that of a large, practical, boxy wagon. This car here, the V90, certainly fulfils those first two criteria, while managing to look incredibly handsome while doing so. The V90 joins the award-winning S90 sedan and XC90 SUV in the brand’s flagship range, and offers huge space, immense load-carrying ability, safety and elegance. For now, the V90 is available only in T5 guise, with 254bhp coming from a 2.0L turbocharged engine.

Suzuki Ignis - Cutest car of the 2017 Singapore Motorshow? Quite possibly. The Suzuki Ignis holds a special place in our hearts here at BP as we had a blast running an Ignis Sport as a company toy for a few months in 2013 and 2014, so naturally we were extremely pleased to hear the Ignis would be making a comeback. It won’t be quite so soon though – the unit you see here is a concept model specially shipped here as a preview. When this tiny crossover does arrive though (in the second half of this year), it’ll come with a 1.2L Dualjet engine with 90bhp. That doesn’t sound like much, but the Ignis is a genuine featherweight with just 810kg to lug around, so we have high hopes it’ll be as fun to drive as the old one!