The automotive industry has seen a flurry of activities this week, with new cars being launched in rapid succession. From family-friendly SUVs to pure track weapons, there is definitely a vehicle for everyone.
And with manufacturers now pushing the boundaries of what's possible through new technologies and engineering methods, this may possibly be one of the most eclectic mixes of new cars we’ve seen in quite some time. Today we take a look at some of the highlights that deserve your attention.
You probably already saw this coming. AMG is kicking off their 55th anniversary with a bang by lifting the wraps off their Mercedes-AMG One hypercar. First announced in 2017 as the Project One concept car, this Silver Arrow is finally ready for production, with its first public appearance slated to be at the Goodwood Festival of Speed this year.
The Mercedes-AMG One is powered by a 1.6 litre turbocharged V6 hybrid petrol engine and a quartet of electric motors, making full use of the company’s new E PERFORMANCE hybrid drive technology. With a whopping 1063 hp on tap and a redline of 11,000 RPM, this is the closest that one can get to having an Formula 1 car for the road. Which makes sense, as the powerplant is lifted directly from the company’s F1 programme.
Its front axles are equipped with a pair of 120 kW electric motors, with a combined power output of approximately 326 hp. A single 120 kW (163 hp) electric motor is mounted on the crankshaft, while a 90 kW (122 hp) one complements the electric exhaust gas turbocharger. With the 574 hp internal combustion engine coming into play, the One is able to achieve 100 km/h from a standstill in just 2.9 seconds.
Not content with just having raw power, Mercedes-AMG has also engineered the One to be as light as possible, with liberal use of lightweight materials throughout. This includes incorporating a high-strength carbon fibre monocoque and a lightweight seven-speed automated manual transmission. The result? A combined kerb weight of 1695 kg, or the rough equivalent of a Toyota Corolla Altis with four adult occupants.
The aerodynamic exterior - festooned with air intakes - is also full of technology, with active flaps on the front diffuser and active louvres on the front arches to reduce drag and increase downforce respectively. The Mercedes-AMG One’s cabin is similarly functional, with fixed racing seat-pan sculptures, an F1-style steering wheel, and a pair of high-resolution 10” digital displays.
Production is slated to begin sometime this year.
Toyota GR Corolla MORIZO Edition
How do you make a hot hatch even spicier? It seems that Toyota, along with their very own president, has the answer. Enter the GR Corolla MORIZO Edition.
Named after Toyota president Akio Toyoda’s alias for when he goes racing, the MORIZO Edition features a plethora of upgrades, both cosmetic and mechanical, approved by Toyoda-san himself. It retains the venerable 400 horsepower G16E-GTS turbocharged three-cylinder powerplant, but with an uprated torque figure of 295 lb-ft (400 Nm), versus 273 lb-ft (370 Nm) found in the GR Corolla Core and Circuit variants.
The MORIZO Edition benefits from having shorter differential gears and an exclusive close ratio intelligent Manual Transmission (iMT), ensuring quicker and more brutal acceleration. This top-shelf Corolla is also approximately 45 kilograms lighter than the Circuit Edition. Much of the weight reduction is due to the removal of the Corolla’s seats, window regulators, and speakers from the rear cabin. It also gains 18” forged alloy wheels wrapped in ultra-grippy wide Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tyres, and a forged carbon fibre roof.
Toyota’s Gazoo Racing boffins have also managed to make the GR Corolla even more rigid, with two additional floor braces and one additional rear strut brace. Not only that, it has 349 more spot welds and over six meters more structural adhesive than on the frame of a standard Corolla hatchback.
The company’s intelligent GR-FOUR all-wheel-drive system, made famous by the insane GR Yaris, is still present, meaning that the driver can set the front/rear torque distribution to 60:40, 50:50, or even 30:70 with the twist of the dial, greatly changing the driving dynamics depending on the conditions.
Aesthetically, the MORIZO Edition features exclusive front brake ducts, a vented bulged bonnet, with both Windchill Pearl and a MORIZO Edition exclusive matte finish grey paint options available. Inside, this special Corolla will receive exclusive red and black Ultrasuede and leather sports seats with high bolsters and harness holes, and an Ultrasuede-wrapped steering wheel with a red sightline, shift knob, and boot and parking brake lever.
Only 200 units will be available, with all of them being built in Toyota’s Motomachi plant. No announcement has been made on whether it will be imported into Singapore at the time of publication.
BMW X1 / iX1
BMW’s entry-level SUV line continues to grow to meet ever-changing customer demands, this time with several choices of electrification.
Four engine options - two petrol and two diesel - will be made available for the internal combustion engine (ICE) - powered X1. They will be mated to BMW’s seven-speed Steptronic transmission, and will be either front-wheel-drive or all-wheel-drive, the latter of which will use the xDrive system.
The all-electric iX1 xDrive30 will quickly follow suit, with an electric power consumption of 18.4 to 17.3 kWh/100 km, combined in the WLTP cycle. That’s not all, as BMW will also release a pair of plug-in hybrid models and another two ICE-powered variants with 48V mild hybrid technology.
The new X1 will feature a stronger design language than its predecessor, with a large kidney grille up front, and striking front and rear LED lights. Adaptive LED headlights with matrix high beam are available as an option. While 17” wheels will come as standard, xLine and M Sport models will be fitted with 18” wheels, although customers may also opt for 19” or even 20” ones. A Frozen paint option will also be available from BMW Individual.
Keeping things premium inside, the X1 will have newly developed seats that are available with the option of both Sensatec perforated and Vernasca leather upholstery. Boot capacity can be increased from 540 to a maximum of 1,600 litres, with the split rear seats capable of folding 40:20:40.
The interior keeps up with the latest BMW models, equipped with a pair of high-resolution digital screens; a 10.25” information display and a 10.7” control display. BMW Live Cockpit Plus comes standard, providing occupants with the latest-generation BMW iDrive multi-sensory vehicle experience. It is based on BMW’s latest Operating System 8 system, and comprises the BMW Curved Display along with an upgraded BMW Intelligent Personal Assistant. Available as an optional add-on for the cloud-based BMW Maps navigation system is the Augmented View function.
For the iX1, two highly integrated drive units are fitted to the front and rear axles, delivering a combined output of 230 kW (313 hp), and 494 Nm of torque. It goes from 0 - 100 km/h in just 5.7 seconds, making it a brisk operator. Thanks to the fifth generation BMW eDrive technology, the iX1 has a range estimate of approximately 413 - 438 kilometres.
The four-cylinder 204 hp BMW X1 xDrive23i has a combined fuel consumption of 7.2 - 6.5 l/100 km, while the three-cylinder 136 hp sDrive18i variant has an estimate of 7.0 - 6.3 l/100 km. For the diesel options, the four-pot X1 xDrive23d with mild hybrid technology achieves a stellar fuel consumption of 5.4 - 4.8 l/ 100 km, while its less-powerful sDrive18d sibling achieves 5.5 to 4.9 l/100 km.
Pricing details will be released closer to the Singapore launch date.
This year is quickly proving to be an exciting one for both the automotive industry and fellow enthusiasts from around the world. If you'd like to keep abreast with the latest industry developments and news, click here to stay updated with us!
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