It’s not often you get to announce the end of an era — let alone two — but this week has been nothing short of dramatic in the motoring world.
As the car industry races to adapt to the changing demands of its increasingly savvy drivers, brands have been pivoting far from its heritage and decades of know-how to stay relevant. Case in point: everything in this round-up has something to do with electrification.
We’ve talked about electrification time and again here but you know a new era of driving has truly arrived when Lotus announces its final combustion-engined sports car, followed by Lamborghini’s decision to can the Aventador and its famous V12.
Meanwhile, Bentley has taken the next step in its Beyond100 strategy of achieving an end-to-end carbon neutral organisation while progressing towards electrification with the Flying Spur Hybrid. Closer to home, Volvo’s performance and electric-vehicle brand Polestar is finally making its way to Singapore to offer even more eco-friendly options here. Even Bugatti will soon tap into the know-how of Rimac’s EV tech once the partnership is official later this year.
For more juicy details on these, read on.
Lotus reveals its final gas-powered car
Lotus might have the electric route in its sights but not without one final hurrah. Its final combustion sports car, the Emira, will replace both the Elise and Exige, and will be its only non-EV from 2022 and beyond so purists of the brand will want to move fast with this.
The mid-engined sports car — the first all-new sports car since the Evora in 2009 — is a real head-turner, especially since it takes cues from Lotus’ first electric hypercar, the Evija. Like all Lotuses, the Emira is relatively lightweight at 3,097 pounds, and will come equipped with either a 3.5-litre supercharged V6 from Toyota or Mercedes-AMG’s two-litre four-cylinder engine from the A45.
Choose the former and you’ll get 400hp, and the option between a six-speed manual or a six-speed torque-converter automatic with a limited slip differential. The car is plenty quick too; 0-100kph times have been estimated to be 4.0 seconds before going onto a top speed of 180mph.
Lamborghini bids goodbye to the Aventador with a bang
It was only a matter of time, but the days of the symphonic V12 are numbered and with it, one of the best supercars to ever hit the roads. More than a decade after its launch, the Lamborghini Aventador and its recognisable V12 growl will cease to exist, but not without a grand finale.
The limited-run LP 780-4 Ultimae edition will be Sant’Agata’s final pure-combustion V12 production car, and it’s also its most powerful. The 6.5-litre powerhouse will produce 10hp more than the SVJ, sending 769hp and 720Nm to give a 0-100kph time of 2.8 seconds and a top speed of 356kph. The next V12 to join the portfolio will be the third new variant in Lamborghini’s entire company history, and will see a naturally-aspirated V12 engine augmented by an electric hybrid system.
Only 350 coupes and 250 roadsters will be available, each with a numbered plaque and offered in a series of unique colour schemes. The roadster, in particular, can be had with a dashing exposed carbon fibre roof panel.
Polestar comes to Singapore
Just in time for the growing demand for electrification on the roads, Swedish electric performance car brand Polestar has finally made its way onto local shores, and has named Wearnes Automotive as its sole distributor in Singapore.
This means that you can expect to see cars like the Polestar 2 on roads near you soon. The fully-fledged production car has been named a serious competitor to other EVs on the market like the Tesla Model 3, and takes cues from its parent company Volvo to offer crisp aesthetics and reliable performance without any unnecessary frills. It’s also the first car in the world to feature Google built-in. Three variants of this model will be available upon launch here: the Standard Range Single Motor, Long Range Single Motor, and Long Range Dual Motor version.
The Polestar Space in Singapore will be located at 45 Leng Kee Road and will be open to the public in November 2021.
Bentley adds the Flying Spur to its hybrid lineup
Keeping true to its promise of a greener, more eco-friendly line-up, Bentley has announced its second hybrid after the Bentayga. This time, it’s the Flying Spur.
As the “most efficient Bentley ever”, this sedan will see a 410hp, 2.9-liter twin-turbo V6 and a 134hp electric motor work with the eight-speed dual-clutch transmission to give a total of 536hp and 750Nm of torque. Interestingly, it’ll also have a mode that obliges around 40km of electric-only range, which means more efficiency for all your trips. Despite the mechanical changes, the hybrid’s 0-100kph time is just a hair slower than the V8 model with a 0-100kph time of 4.3 seconds (4.1 seconds in the V8), before it goes on to a top speed of 285kph.
The Flying Spur Hybrid will also try to use its battery in the most effective way if a destination is programmed into the navigation system, prioritizing holding charge for urban use. On the aesthetics front, little distinguishes the hybrid from the rest of the Spur range — which is a very good thing — although there is a discreet badge on the front fender and a charging port at the back on the left that will give its eco-friendly game away.
Bugatti, Rimac and Porsche announce joint venture
With a bigger focus than ever on the future of motoring — think digitalisation, electrification, and autonomous driving — the Volkswagen Group no longer has the funds or manpower to lavish on its former CEO’s “hobby brands”.
Which brings us to this mutually beneficial joint venture between the three big names. Bugatti shares will soon be transferred out of the VW Group and into this new automotive initiative, with Rimac holding 55 percent of the share, and Porsche controlling the other 45 as well as all Bugatti responsibilities.
With Rimac’s stellar EV tech, Bugatti might soon be able to hop on the bandwagon with electric hypercars of its own. The shared tech and resources also mean that the 918 Spyder might get a more advanced replacement in the near future.