Wednesday, February 4, 2015

The Singapore Motorshow 2015

Words by Ben, Snaps by June

Detroit. Paris. Tokyo. Shanghai. Bangkok. All these cities have one thing in common: They are hosts to some of the biggest motor shows on the planet. Millions flock to these shows, eager to see the innovations and new models that the car manufacturers and industry supporters are releasing.

Motor shows are the best avenue to have a glimpse at the future of the car industry, and for the millions of motorheads and automobile consumers around, they are "must see" events.

After 6 years of radio silence, the Singapore Motorshow came back this January 2015, headed by the Motor Traders Association of Singapore. A total of 21 car brands gathered at Suntec City to showcase their current lineup, show some prototypes, and launch new models.

With 150 vehicles displayed, including 20 new launches and a few concept car showcases, and a stunt performance by Russ Swift, the show drew a whopping 52,000 visitors.

While the Singapore Motorshow didn't have the kind of exclusive unveilings as the major shows have, the dealers put in the effort to give the crowds things to get excited about.

Like Lexus' LF-LC prototype.

The sexy coupe was, in my opinion, the highlight concept of the show. With its burgundy red dress and its hybrid 438hp, we just wish it could make it to production, and fast!

As a proper concept car, you get fancy headlights and tailights, and a very enticing flowy design that shows the evolution of Lexus' visual direction. The spindle grille is more present than ever, showing that the brand is not close to moving onto another front end design.

Aside from the LF-LC, Lexus celebrated the show with the launch of the RCF. Showcasing double headlights à la IS250 range show that this evolution is to be expected in the upcoming new range of Lexus models.

Under the hood, the 5.0L 467hp heart seduces and roars a fierce warning at the Germans. M4's A5's and CLS AMG's have a new friend to play with.

Subaru too was showcasing prototypes, with the Viziv being the highlight.

Aside from the switchblade doors and the fancy headlights that wrap around the front, the Viziv looks rather close to what a production model could be.

Take a look inside. You can find a standard steering wheel and fancy yet not overly designed dashboard. The seats are a bit concept-ish with the breathing holes on the side and TVs in the back, but it's easy to picture them being swapped with production-friendly variants.

The rear too is production-friendly, if you overlook the carbon fibre diffuser.

The most awaited car of the show, at least among motorheads, came from across the Pacific.

You guessed it. The Mustang is finally gracing Singapore with its presence, and the Motorshow was the perfect occasion to unveil the monster.

The highly awaited 5.0L of Detroit engineering might not be available for the local roads though, and the pinstripe-and-starred pony might only launch with the 2.3L EcoBoost. Less exciting, but more realistic to live with on Singapore's jammy roads.

I still hope Ford will bring in the V8, for what's a muscle car without proper muscle?

With Japan and the US putting up quite a show, Alfa Romeo stood up to represent Europe, with the sexy 4C.

While Alfa's not the most popular brand here in Singapore, the 4C's gorgeous design caught some hearts.

The 4C is nothing common, and is not going to become an often seen car on our shores as the limited production will only see 4 units allocated to the local market. Talk about exclusivity!

Siding along Alfa Romeo on the Euro side, Audi launched two models, starting with the new A7 Sportback.

And the more exciting new TT.

Audi remained very close to the previous design with this third-generation, and unless you put them next to each other, it might prove tricky to differentiate one from the other. At the front, the headlights and grille are a dead giveaway.

At the rear, however, it's harder to spot the difference.

On an interesting note, Renault launched the Captur, a crossover that I saw going up the walls of the Atelier Renault in Paris back in 2013.

This 1.5L dCi turbo diesel crossover was designed for city environments and should do fairly well in Singapore.

Glenn Tan, the President of the MTA and also Executive Director of Tan Chong (the distributor of Subaru and Nissan in Singapore), spiced up the motorshow by bringing over Russ Swift for some precision driving performances.

The 62 year old stunt driver holds 3 Guinness World Records for his amazing driving skills, and demonstrated his worth in front of the Singapore audience with some 2-wheeling action, burnouts, and his trademark parallel parking.

The new car launches happening, the concepts and the shows were obviously a good surprise for the Singapore crowds, and the recipe resulted in the record-breaking 52,000 visitors.

Now that the show is back in Singapore, let's hope to see it again next year, with more concepts and exciting models!


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