SINGAPORE: Car enthusiasts have much to cheer about this week as the Singapore Motorshow rolls into town.
The four-day event got off to a roaring start on Thursday (Jan 12) with more new car launches than before - 22, compared to 16 in 2016, stunt driver Russ Swift’s death defying swerves and manoeuvres, and more than 200 vehicles on display.
This year also marks the debut of VR technology at the event.
Nissan Skyline GTR (Photo: Winnie Goh)
Held at the Suntec Singapore Convention and Exhibition Centre, the show has been an annual affair since 2015, featuring the who’s who of the world automobile industry.
Among the launches were new models from Audi, Citroen, DS, Honda, Hyundai, Infiniti, Kia, Lexus, Mazda, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Renault, Subaru, Volkswagen and Volvo, with cars like the Audi R8 Spyder, Suzuki Ignis, Subaru Global Platform and the Toyota C-HR on preview.
The Audi R8 Spyder. (Photo: Winnie Goh)
2016’s show drew more than 58,000 visitors. By Thursday afternoon, the fourth floor exhibition hall was teeming with visitors, from car enthusiasts like Lee Sze Yong - who said he was looking forward to seeing the Honda NSX and the Mazda MX-5 RF, two new cars coming to Singapore - or 59-year-old V Kunnasegaran, who said he came to compare car models with his son. "I'm looking at the Volvo model S90, whereas my son is looking at the Mercedes,” he said.
Lexus IS Turbo. (Photo: Winnie Goh)
Others, like Rehan Aziz, had their daily commutes in mind. Pushing a pram, the ICA officer said she was looking at the various MPVs on display. "We intend to change our car so we thought there's a wide variety here,” she said. “So might as well come here and get the quotations."
The Subaru booth at the Singapore Motorshow. (Photo: Winnie Goh)
Beyond the flashy cars or the latest technology, the idea of “sustainable motoring” was also on the lips of various exhibitors, with several companies showcasing their latest eco-friendly cars amid global efforts to reduce fuel emissions.
The Toyota Harrier. (Photo: Winnie Goh)
For example, KIA Motors launched its new hybrid vehicle, the Niro, touted as its first “dedicated eco-car”, and seen by some as its answer to the Toyota Prius. "Around the world, there are many cities now and they are getting very congested,” said Jardine Cycle and Carriage’s managing director of Singapore Motor Operations, Eric Chan. "Now emissions is a problem to our health, so it's important that manufacturers have to build vehicles in that direction."
KIA Motors' Niro. (Photo: Kenneth Lim)
Mr Chan added that KIA hopes to reduce its cars' emissions by 20 per cent by the year 2020.
Similarly, Hyundai launched its first hybrid car - the Hyundai Ioniq, with three different powertrains: electric, plug-in hybrid or hybrid. But only the hybrid version will be available in Singapore for now.
"It's an effort for us to want to encourage the take-up of hybrid vehicles in Singapore, said Hyundai-Komoco Motors’ marketing manager, Shirley Sng. She added that the trend towards hybrid cars “should be able to take off well if there's better education, better awareness and a whole global drive towards lower emissions".
Hyundai's Ioniq Hybrid at the Singapore Motorshow. (Photo: Kenneth Lim)
The Singapore Motorshow runs till 8pm on Sunday (Jan 15).