Audi A3 Saloon with ‘mild hybrid’ assistance

Audi has unveiled its latest A3 Saloon, hot on the heels of its Sportback counterpart. It features Matrix LED lighting with new digital daytime-running lights for selected variants.

Inside, a fully digital cockpit with an infotainment touchscreen greets occupants. It will have Audi’s usual range of engines, with “mild hybrid” assistance in some variants.

The car should arrive by the end of next year, along with the Sportback.

Mobile robot finds EV and charges it

Aiways, a Shanghai-based personal mobility provider, has been granted seven patents across Europe and China to develop an autonomous charging robot.

The device – named Carl – helps to solve challenges around charging an electric vehicle. Similar to a charging robot Volkswagen unveiled last year, Carl provides fast-charging to any EV with a recognised charging standard. Recharging an EV battery to 80 per cent is done in under 50 minutes.

Having parked their vehicle in public, at home or at workplace carparks, EV owners can summon a Carl located nearby via a smartphone app and leave. The robot will then use GPS data to locate the vehicle within the area in which it operates, plug in and start charging it automatically. Once the charging process is complete, Carl will continue to the next user.

Seabed mining – the next frontier for metals for batteries?

A research paper titled Where Should Metals For The Green Transition Come From? examines the merit of mining seabeds for metals used in batteries.

Using a lifecycle sustainability analysis, the paper compared ores mined from the land and polymetallic nodules collected from the deep seafloor of the Pacific Ocean. The findings suggest that ocean nodules can deliver 70 per cent less CO2e direct emissions, 94 per cent less stored carbon at risk, 90 per cent reduction in sulphur oxide and nitrogen oxide emissions, 100 per cent reduction in solid waste, 94 per cent less land use, and 93 per cent less wildlife at risk.

Wonder what impact it will have on sea life, though.

Suzuki Swift, Vitara and Jimny on auction

Suzuki agent Champion Motors has started an online “auction” for its Swift, Vitara and Jimny models at “slashed prices”.

The Suzuki Super Auction from today to Wednesday happens on auction.suzukicar.com.sg and is hosted on Suzuki’s website.

Bidders simply select a model and colour and enter their preferred price. They will be notified of the outcome via e-mail or phone.

Winners will be able to collect their cars once showrooms reopen after circuit breaker measures are lifted.

Honda to recycle old EV batteries

Honda Motor is expanding its partnership with energy company Snam to recycle end-of-life batteries from hybrids and electric vehicles in Europe. Snam is looking at using batteries for the storage of renewable energy in industrial applications.

Meanwhile, new hydrometallurgy processes enable extraction and recycling of materials from batteries deemed not suitable for a second-life application.

The expanded agreement will see Snam collect lithium-ion and nickel metal hydride batteries from across Honda’s dealer network in 22 countries.

BMW X5 M Competition and X6 M Competition clock century sprint of 3.8 seconds

BMW has launched the third generation of its high-performance executive-class sport utility vehicles – the X5 M Competition and X6 M Competition.

Powered by a V8 developing 625hp, an M-specific chassis, the two cars sprint from zero to 100kmh in 3.8 seconds. Both models have an electronically limited top speed of 250kmh. The X5 M Competition is retailing at $600,888, while the X6 M Competition is $610,888.

Seltos GT Line priced from $116,999

Cycle & Carriage has launched the new Seltos. The mid-sized crossover is powered by a new 1.4-litre turbocharged petrol engine producing 138bhp and 242Nm.

It comes with several segment-first features, including a large infotainment set with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. It has “sound mood lighting”, which pulsates to the beat of music playing through the audio system.

The Seltos GT Line is retailing from $116,999, with the EX variant to follow in the later part of the year with a targeted launch price of below $90,000.

Tour the Porsche Museum

Petrolheads stuck at home can go on a digital tour around the Porsche Museum.

To join the interactive tour, head to www.porsche.com/all/transitional/museum/kugelpanoramen/Tour_Porsche_high_res/Museumstour_hr_en.html. In there, children can also enjoy games and other activities.

Porsche Singapore has also put together a weekly Porsche Playlist series, including a thrilling race between Patrick Dempsey and Mark Webber. To view, go to str.sg/JMen.

Ducati, Lego team up for Panigale V4 R model

Ducati and Lego have jointly developed the first brick model of the Ducati Panigale V4 R. Made with 646 bricks, the Ducati Panigale V4 R Lego Technic will be on sale in Ducati dealerships and in the Ducati Online Shop, as well as in the entire Lego sales network, starting from June 1. The most powerful Ducati of all time with 221 horsepower is translated to a brick model measuring 32cm long, 16cm tall and 8cm wide.

Aeristech recognised for new technology

British motor maker Aeristech has clinched the Queen’s Award for a new motor control technology which is applicable to high-speed electric motors to power superchargers and hydrogen fuel cell air-side compressors.

Aeristech’s technology allows higher performance from smaller motors, which is crucial to applications where weight and packaging are paramount.

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