- Published: Friday, 30 December 2016 10:06
SINGAPORE - Honda has a monster coming to Singapore this year with the cracking 310bhp turbocharged Civic Type R due to arrive. Those with less of a need for speed or blistered wheelarches (and wallets) will love the Civic hatch, which may be powered by a Cat-A friendly 1.0-litre turbo engine.
Kia's bringing its first hybrid, the Niro crossover, here and it shares much with its impressive sister the Hyundai Ioniq which is already on sale here for less than $120k. Speaking of Hyundai, the brand will launch the all-new, Golf-fighting i30 here too, as well as the Genesis G80 luxury sedan to take the fight to Lexus. And it's not as if Lexus is sitting still, since it'll have the stunning LC coupe, a turbo engine for its RC coupe and a facelift of the IS sedan. Finally, Ferrari will be launching 'something' in 2017, and we're sure it'll be as exciting as it should be.
This is part two of our guide to all the cars launching in Singapore in 2017, read our A-C Part One here if you missed that, covering BMW's new 5 Series and range of iPA plug-in performance cars.
What: F12 M
How much: $1.45m without COE (est.)
*Current F12 tDF shown here
Ferrari’s front-engine, V12 monster gets an update, although Maranello prefers to think of facelifted cars as new models altogether. There’s no official information, but we hear the F12berlinetta (reviewed here) will be replaced by the F12 M (for “Modificata”). Ferrari has already sold an upgraded F12, in the form of the F12 tdf shown here. Like that car, the F 12 M is likely to get a power hike from 740hp to anywhere up to 780hp, and should get the rear-wheel steering system that recently showed up on the GTC4Lusso. That’ll virtually shorten the wheelbase to make it more maneuverable at low speeds, but more stable when you’re attempting that top speed run.
How much: Around $140,000 with COE (est.)
Honda’s all-new crossover will have one feature to make rivals sweat: a seven-seat configuration. Honda is masterful with space packaging, so it’ll be interesting to see how well adults will be able to fit into the back of the CR-V, though it’ll help that the body has grown in size. Five-seat versions will also go on sale, and Honda says that the rear will offer the most legroom in the business.
When: Q2, 2017
How much: Around $110,000 with COE (est.)
Hyundai’s rival to the VW Golf has a big mission on its hands: spearhead the brand’s ambition to become the number one Asian carmaker in Europe by 2020. It means we’ll effectively be getting a European car; the new i30 was developed there, and it’s looking pretty solidly engineered, with a multi-link rear suspension that should make it ride and handle well. It also has quicker steering than before and beefier brakes, so it’s obviously aimed at keen drivers. It’s a bit longer and wider than before (but not as tall), and the boot is a useful 395 litres in size (growing to 1,301 litres when you fold the rear seats).
How much: TBA
Say goodbye to the Hyundai Genesis, and hello to the Genesis G80. Hyundai intends to repeat Toyota’s success with Lexus by launching its own standalone luxury nameplate, and its first model will be here in the third quarter of 2017. It’s aimed at people who are bored with a Mercedes E-Class or BMW 5 Series, and offers luxury in the same format (front engine, rear drive) but will give more-bang-per-buck: the base engine is a 3.8-litre V6, but there’s a new 3.3-litre twin-turbo V6 with 365hp. It will come equipped with a posh cabin (with real wood trim) and likely be specced with every safety and connectivity feature known to man. Despite that, it will likely be a tough sell, at least for starters. Luxury cars are still mostly bought by brand snobs, in our country.
What: Q50 Red Sport 400
How much: Around $300,000 with COE (est.)
Infiniti’s Q50 has provided the brand’s bread and butter in Singapore, but the Red Sport 400 offers a bit of jam. It’s a nicely understated performance car whose 3.0-litre V6 turbo packs 400 horsepower. That’s enough to send the Q50 Red Sport to 100km/h in 5.1 seconds. It’ll be interesting to see what public reaction to the car will be when it makes its debut at the Singapore Motor Show. If you tell someone you bought a BMW M3, you get admiring glances, but informing them of your decision to buy a Red Sport 400 is likely to draw quizzical looks. Some people enjoy that sort of thing, and is something of an Infiniti core value anyway: its models are named after understated “Q cars”.
What: Jeep Renegade
When: First half
How Much: $130,000 with COE (est.)
It’s small, it’s feisty, it’s actually the fruit of the Chrysler-Fiat pairing and Jeep’s very first small SUV. Based on the platform of the Fiat 500X, the Renegade has been on the cards for Singapore for some time: This time last year, we placed our bets on a version with a 1.4-litre turbocharged gasoline engine with 160bhp and a nine-speed automatic gearbox option with front-wheel drive. But Jeep has just re-confirmed the Renegade being brought in with a 1.4-litre Multiair turbo engine and six-speed dual-clutch automatic gearbox, which should make for a characterful alternative to the current crop of small SUVs/crossovers.
SG Motor Show
There are two ways to look at the Kia Niro. It’s a compact crossover (one size down from the Kia Sportage), with the size and versatility to tempt people who want to upgrade from a hatchback or small sedan. Or, it’s Kia’s first hybrid for Singapore. That second one is more interesting, of course, and it entails a claimed consumption figure of 26.3km per litre. That’s courtesy of a 1.6-litre petrol-electric drivetrain with a compact lithium-ion battery, driving the front wheels through a six-speed twin-clutch transmission.
What: Discovery 5
How much: Above $250,000 with COE
Big news for Land Rover’s big seven-seater: it’s shedding nearly half a tonne in weight, thanks to a new aluminium body and various other flab-fighting measures. That’s in spite of a longer body intended to increase legroom inside, and ensure that the seven seats can be used by adults. Air suspension will be standard in the all-new car, which allows it to be lowered for stability (or even easier loading) or raised for off-roading. Land Rover says you can drive it through water 90cm deep now, which is 20cm deeper than before. Bring on rising sea levels.
What: IS Turbo & IS 300h
How Much: From $200,000 with COE (est.)
SG Motor Show
In the uber-competitive small executive sedan segment, Lexus gives its sports sedan a mid-life facelift to stay competitive. The spindle grille is even bigger, the side air intakes now gaping wide and aggressive - almost like an F model already - and the discrete arrowhead LED running lights now migrate into the one-piece headlight units. We expect the IS to remain similar, mechanically, with the IS Turbo still packing 241bhp 2.0-liter turbo four pot shared with the RC 200t, It's almost half a second faster though, while the IS 300h has the same 2.5-litre engine-based full hybrid system. Sadly we miss out on the Lexus Safety System+ which now comes standard in other markets - abroad the package includes lane departure alert, automatic high beam assistance, autonomous forward braking and adaptive cruise control.
What: RC Turbo
When: Q1 2017
How Much: $230,000 with COE (est.)
SG Motor Show
The stonking RX 350 is both fast and beautiful, but it’s also rather expensive. More palatable for those who would otherwise choose a BMW 420i or Mercedes-Benz C 250 Coupe is the new RC Turbo with the 2.0-litre turbocharged engine now endemic to the entire Lexus range. It trades outright power for more efficiency, although it’s still pretty quick on its feet. Under the hood lies With 350Nm of torque, paired to an eight-speed automatic driving the rear wheels, the RC Turbo completes the century sprint in 7.3 seconds and tops out at 230km/h, returning 7.2L/100km.