The 2017 Singapore Motor Show is upon us again, and here are 10 of our 'peeks' from today...
Singapore - Critics may regard the Singapore Motor Show as a 'COMEX'-style car-mart for car-shoppers, but this year's affair saw an eclectic display of new models that wasn't just there to be wheeled-and-dealed. Even without the presence of the crowd-pulling exotic brands or the more predictable sportscars like the R8 Spyder and NSX, here are 10 wheeled wonders that tickled our fancies... PHOTOS DAVID KHOO / DERRYN WONG
(The 2017 Singapore Motor Show will run from 12-15 Jan 2017 on L3/L4 of the Suntec City Convention Centre)
Audi's latest compact crossover is a great entry-point into four-ring ownership especially if you weren't partial to the A1's styling. For Singapore, the Q2 is powered by a 150hp 1.4-litre featuring cylinder deactivation COD (cylinder on demand) for even better fuel consumption figures.
Citroën DS 3 Cabriolet
The third drop-top (well the RF is kinda drop-top) in our list is the DS 3 Cabriolet, which like the Beetle Cabriolet, features a soft-top. We've always thought that soft-tops add a erm, 'softer' touch to a cabriolet's profile compared to those large clunky multi-piece metal roofs (the MX-5 RF is one of the few exceptions to this). Unlike conventional cabriolets, the DS 3 retains its fixed pillars as the cloth roof can be peeled back (almost like a sardine can), which is a lovely nostalgic touch that brings to mind the cult 2CV.
Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid
Hyundai leads the Korean technology charge with the Ioniq Hybrid, a sporty-looking five-door fastback with integrated rear-spoiler for even better wind-cheating characteristics. The tech extends beyond the hybrid powertrain to the cabin, which is well-appointed with touch-screen functions.
Infiniti Q60 Red Sport
If the Q50 Red Sport is any indication, its coupe counterpart the Q60 should be just as engaging to drive since the biturbo 3.0-litre has been tuned to deliver 400bhp... and this is kickin' it old school through the rear-wheels! If that doesn't tickle your fancy, the sculpted styling and snazzy interior should, especially with the snug sports seats that will hold you firm during those high lateral g manoeuvres.
Mazda MX-5 RF
The sexy RF (Retractable Fastback) boasts beautiful proportions with a 'Targa-esque' silhouette thanks to its flying buttresses, which we think make it look a lot more elegant than last gen's RHT. According to Hitoshi Takamatsu, Deputy Program Manager, the team went through many roof design interations, but decided on the one that best accentuated the car's clean lines. He doesn't see the possibility of a fixed-roof Coupe version because as far as the brand is concerned, the MX-5 has to be 'open-top'. Like the roadster, the RF will be powered by the 2.0-litre engine, since the 1.5-litre is only available for Japan and the UK, markets he emphasises that "appreciate the focus of a lightweight handling sportscar"...
The fifth generation Impreza is the first Subaru to use the brand's latest Subaru Global Platform architecture, which will form the basis for all future Subaru models. It's designed around a theme of premium comfort and is available in several body-styles to suit the different palates.
We like small cars and the Ignis name is resurrected with this tiny tyke crossover city-car, which combines cheeky styling with larger-than-life utility. The Japanese are masters of packaging and the Ignis boasts thoughtful storage solutions and a peppy enough powerplant to demonstrate it has substance and isn't just a typical millenial.
The chunky and muscular CH-R (or Coupe High Rider) sees a further evolution of the edgy design seen on the Prius, albeit with less polarising elements. It certainly re-energises the brand with styling and function intended to appeal to the young and young-at-heart. A 1.2-litre turbo will come first, with the hybrid model to be confirmed.
VW Beetle Cabriolet
The lurid colour certainly helps, but it's not like the Beetle Cabriolet needs much else to cause severe rubber-necking when it drives by, especially if you're blasting tunes through the Fender in-car entertainment system. The latest iteration of the 'modern' Beetle retains the familiar silhouette of its iconic predecessor, but enjoys little styling touches that endow it with enough manliness so a guy won't have to pretend it's his mom's/gf's/gran's car...
Volvo makes some of the most beautiful estate/stationwagons and the V90 is no exception, even in the show-car's Black. A big challenge in the large estate segment is achieving balanced proportions that convey sportiness and an appropriate amount of dignity without coming across as too utilitarian, especially since the V90 operates in the premium luxury arena. Volvo has worked its Nordic magic (and some 60yrs of know-how in the estate trade) to create an estate that is practical, yet oozes plush comfort. To our eyes, the V90 looks a lot more 'complete' than its sedan counterpart...