- Published: Thursday, 29 December 2016 14:45
Singapore - It's been a busy period for us at CarBuyer as we've been preparing for 2017 and catalogued an exhaustive list of all the new cars that are arriving on the Lion City's shores. The other big event for early 2017 is the Singapore Motor Show, which is happening on January 12-14 at Suntec City Convention Centre - cars that will be at the show are highlighted by the 'SG Motor Show' tag. All the prices and launch dates are estimates and to be confirmed by the brands/dealers, unless otherwise stated.
Audi's got a slew of new models incoming but the big news is BMW's long awaited 5 Series will finally be here, and the brand also has a shocking reveal up its sleeve: The new range of iPerformance plug-in hybrid models.
What: Alfa Romeo Giulia/Giulia Quadrifoglio
How Much: TBA
Probably based by a rear-wheel drive platform, the long-awaited Alfa Romeo Giulia has a range of petrol and diesel engines. The former are more likely for us, with the mainstream model a 200bhp, 2.0-litre turbocharged ‘Multiair’ engine. Alfa’s going audacious with this one too - as a small executive sedan it’ll face everything from the Mercedes-Benz C-Class to the Lexus IS. The halo model is the all-wheel drive Quadrifoglio with a Ferrari-derived V6 turbo engine that cranks out a ludicrous 500bhp. There may also be a ‘semi-hot’ Veloce version in future that stands between the normal Giulia and the Quad.
How Much: $993,000 (Launch edition before options and COE), $950,000 (Regular edition before options and COE)
Having made a made its official debut in Geneva back in March 2016 and enjoying a sneak preview in Singapore almost simultaneously, the DB11 marks a fresh new start for Aston Martin, with the car being its V12 flagship coupe that runs on an all new aluminium platform. The British brand’s weak point - interior quality - will be supplanted with the use of Mercedes inside the cabin, including infotainment from the S-Class limo. The 5.2-litre V12 will make 600bhp and 700Nm, achieve 0-100km/h in 3.9 seconds and give the car a top speed of 320km/h. A less expensive version with an AMG-sourced V8 turbo engine is also expected later on.
What: A5 Coupe
How much: $245,000 with COE (est.)
2017 is looking like a year of niche models for Audi (most of them arriving at the start of the year, too), but the original A5 Coupe was a big seller for the brand a decade ago. Can this new one repeat its success? The launch model should be a 2.0 TFSI with 225 horsepower and a seven-speed twin-clutch transmission, and with the excellent new A4 providing its underpinnings it should be refined and grippy.
What: Q2 crossover
How much: $140,000 with COE (est.)
Big things come in small packages sometimes, and the Q2 is a neat example. It’s a small Audi with a small engine (we reckon a 1.0-litre turbo with 116 horsepower), with a correspondingly small price tag, at least by premium brand standards. It’s roughly half a size down from the Mercedes-Benz GLA-Class, but it’s the BMW 116d that we expect it to steal sales from, mostly.
SG Motor Show
What: R8 Spyder
When: Second half
How much: $880,000 with COE (est).
You’ll be able to see it at the Singapore Motor Show in January, but that’ll be a preview. Instead, the R8 Spyder will probably reach customers around the middle of the year. It’s the topless version of the latest R8, which is a spectacularly fast, well-sorted car. The handbuilt Spyder adds glamour, but its price tag remains frighteningly out of reach. What Audi could do with most is a 4.0-litre V8 twin-turbo for the R8 family that chops at least one-third off the price.
What: RS 3 Sedan
When: First half
How much: $290,000 with COE (est.)
While the S3 Sedan is smooth and swift, and yet playfully agile, the RS 3 is like its beefy, steroid-fueled and slightly demented brother as the hatchback already proves. It’s been updated with more power for the sonorous 2.5-litre five-cylinder engine, and now has 400 hp. That makes it more than a match for Mercedes-AMG’s hell-raising CLA 45 4Matic.
What: S3 Sportback, S3 Sedan (facelift)
How much: $227,000 with COE (Sportback, est.), $230,000 with COE (Sedan, est.)
A candidate for a Singapore Motor Show debut, the S3 has been updated with a bit more power and new styling features that include Audi’s Matrix LED lamps. More to the point for the driving enthusiasts that these cars are for, the engine gets a slight power hike to 310hp. Inside, features from the pricier Audis have started to filter through, like the digital screen-based Virtual Cockpit system.
What: S4, S4 Avant
How much: $270,000 with COE (S4, est.), $275,000 (S4 Avant, est.)
The top-performing versions of the new A4 hit town early in the year, and bring with them serious performance: 354 horsepower, and the ability to blitz to 100km/h in just 5.1 seconds. Both sedan and Avant (station wagons) will be available, and the latter is likely to be something of an aficionado’s choice. While it’ll undoubtedly be fast, the real question will be whether the S4 will be fun. The two are different, and it’ll need more steering involvement than the current A4 offers to truly please driving fans.
What: TT Coupe and Roadster 1.8 TFSI
How much: $235,000 (Coupe, est.), $240,000 (Roadster, est.)
If you fancy a TT for the looks and handling but don’t consider horsepower important, there’s a 1.8-litre version on the way. It’ll have 180 horsepower (which is exactly how much the original TT came with, incidentally) and lose about a second in terms of 0 to 100km/h sprint times, but that’s not exactly slow. Don’t expect it to he stripped of fancy features, either. Audi says cutting edge stuff like the virtual cockpit system will still be in the cheaper TTs.
What: 4 Series Gran Coupe & Convertible LCI
How Much: TBA
The new 4 Series should be presented as the sedan and convertible we know very well of, but with refreshed styling. Very similar to that of the 3 Series, its head and rear lights will come equipped with LED technology, and be given a sportier and more aggressive front. Interior wise, seats are coated with quality leather, curved a tad more and even brought lower in both models.
What: 5 Series
How Much: TBA
Seven generations in and the all-new BMW 5 Series, codenamed G30, is coming to Singapore early next year. We expect it to be nothing less than great, since it faces a seriously tough market with the Mercedes-Benz E-Class and upstarts like the Volvo S90 already on the ground here.
Luckily, as we previewed on CarBuyer.com.sg earlier this year, it seems to have the goods. While it doesn’t use carbon tech like the 7 Series, BMW says it’s up to 100kg lighter thanks to the use of aluminium. The launch model for Singapore, and also the least expensive one, is set to be the 520d powered by a 2.0-litre turbodiesel engine with 188bhp and 400Nm of torque. The least-powerful gasoline engine is the 530i, with a 2.0-litre turbocharged inline four, with 250bhp. Other variants outed include a 530e plug-in (see below), 335bhp 540i, an M 550i xDrive with 456bhp V8 and a 530d with 262bhp. The plug-in IPA model, 530e, is also likely to arrive later in 2017.
What: i3 with improved battery
How Much: estimated $130,000 with COE
One of our favourite cars of the 21st century gets a performance boost - just like smartphones having been supersizing their batteries to last longer, so too has the BMW i3: The 2017 updated boasts a 50 percent boost in capacity with a 33kWh battery in place, although it’s no larger than the unit it replaces thanks to progress from BMW and battery supplier Samsung - and no, it won’t explode. If we do the math correctly, the i3 will sustain approximately an additional 55km as compared to its 130km from the current 22kWh battery pack. That’s enough to travel the length of Singapore almost four times without emitting anything from the tailpipe.
SG Motor Show Debut
BMW’s solution to sustaining a clean and emissions-free future is encapsulated by the BMW i brand, but it’s also making a major step forward with another subset of vehicles: BMW iPerformance Automobiles. Like M Performance Automobiles are an offshoot of M, the iPA cars are imbued with BMW i’s technology. And while BMW’s been making super-efficient models in the form of the ED variants, the iPerformance line is a whole new range of plug-in hybrid cars - the ‘i’ part is done by plug-in and hybrid tech, while the ‘Performance’ is supplied by the instant electric motor torque. For Singapore, the iPerformance line-up for 2017 consists of the BMW 225xE Active Tourer, the 330e, the X5 xDrive40e and the 740Le xDrive. According to BMW, the iPerformance cars will be making their debut at the Singapore Motorshow 2017 will sadly not be making an appearance at the Singapore Motorshow.
What: 225xe Active Tourer (LCI)
How Much: TBA
The five-seat Active Tourer model gets the same 1.5-litre turbo triple as the 218i, but also packs a 88bhp electric motor that drives the rear wheels, also providing all-wheel drive as needed. With the 7.6kWh lithium ion battery, the car can travel 41km on e-power alone, and at speeds of up to 125km/h. Together the entire system delivers 224bhp and 385Nm of torque, with an EU cycle quoted consumption of 2.0L/100km.
How Much: TBA
We drove the prototype version of this car and thought it could be the perfect machine for Singapore: The exterior of the super-popular 3 Series with plug-in underpinnings. Charge it in two to three hours, and a city dweller gets roughly 40km of pure electric drive, and in hybrid mode covers 600km on a full tank of gas. It has the same 7.6kWh lithium-battery pack and 88bhp motor/generator as the 225xE, plus the same all-wheel drive capability. Boot space is down from 480-litres to 370-litres, which isn’t a huge dip, and given what we’ve experienced, plus the 252bhp total system output paired with 1.9L/100km efficiency, the 330e just might be the poster boy for the entire iPA range.
What: X5 xDrive 40e
How Much: TBA
If you want to drive a big SUV but don’t want everyone giving you the dirty eye - how about one that delivers 3.3L/100km in efficiency terms? The BMW X5 xDrive40e, the first fruit of the brand’s plans to install plug-in drive. On full charge, and according to the EU cycle official figures, it emits just 77 grammes CO2/km. While it’s the least efficient iPA car - 3.3L/100km and a 30km electric range - it still packs plenty of room, with space for 700 to 1,200-litres of cargo. The only drawback is, since the space under the cargo area is taken up by the lithium ion batteries, the X5 xDrive 40e is a five-seat only vehicle, unlike regular X5s that can be optioned with seven seats.
What: M4 LCI
How Much: TBA
*Current model shown here.
While the M3 and M4 have already received the tweaks M drivers want the most, in the form of the Competition Pack upgrades, the 4 Series coupe itself has also gotten a minor nip-and-tuck around the head and taillights, so the M4 will too. On the cards are the organic LED taillamps from the limited-edition M4 GTS model, but other details are scarce at the moment.
What: M760Li xDrive
How Much: TBA
A high-performance 7 Series: it’s been on the cards for years, but never made a reality unless you count Alpina’s version. But here it is, the biggest, baddest M sedan to date, the M760Li xDrive. A 6.6-litre, twin-turbo V12 engine makes 610bhp and 800Nm of torque - it’s basically a detuned Rolls-Royce engine, and makes 75bhp more than the standard 760Li limo. It packs tonnes of tech tricks to let it dance lightly too, like an uprated ‘Executive Drive Pro’ suspension system, active roll control, Integral Active Steering (all-wheel steering) and all-wheel drive. It’ll blitz 0-100km/h in 3.9 seconds. Top speed? 305km/h if you opt for the M Driver’s Package.
What: New Cruze
How Much: $110,000 with COE (est.)
The follow-up to Chevy’s Corolla/Jetta class of car could spell big things for the brand. It’s based on the platform of the excellent new Opel Astra, and comes with the usual benefits that generation-change tends to bring to cars: less weight, more space inside, and plenty of connectivity for the sound system. Apple CarPlay is a likely feature. A hatchback version has also been revealed, but it’s up in the air as to whether that will make it to saloon-loving Singapore.
One potential stumbling block for the car is whether the Cruze will continue to be available with 1.6-litre power, which would keep it within the all-important Category A corner of the COE market. It was launched overseas with a new 1.4-litre turbo that would put it in Category B. Generally, the subject of engines could make 2017 a challenging year for Chevy. Stricter Euro VI emissions standards kick in in September, and it’s unclear if the brand’s Korean-sourced models like the Spark will be able to comply. Get yours while you can.