Singapore - CarBuyer's January issue is now out on the newsstands and in it we cover all the new launches for 2015. We'll be rolling out the story online too in this multi-part update. Today we start with A. Check back for the rest later this week!
Rapide S January $938,000 without COE Like the Vanquish, the four-door saloon Rapide gets the new Touchtronic III transmission and manifold benefits that come with it. Power is up incrementally in the AM29 V12 engine, now the Rapide S has 552bhp to play with. Like the Vanquish, the car chops half a second from its 0-100km/h time, now 4.2 seconds, and enjoys approximately 10 percent better efficiency. What’s also new with the gearbox is being able to execute multiple downshifts by holding the left paddle and Aston Martin also says the unit is able to learn driving styles and adapt accordingly.
Vanquish January Price: $1,580,000 without COE Aston’s ultimate GT is back and with a new transmission: the all-capable ZF eight-speed automatic gearbox (what it terms ‘Touchtronic III) is now mated to the 568bhp V12 engine (codenamed AM29). With a transaxle layout, the box sits in the rear of the car, and the car’s 0-100km/h is cut by an amazing half second(now 3.6 seconds) thanks largely to the wider available ratios. The basic aluminium platform is evolved from before, but its updates like the gearbox that’ll keep Aston in the GT game for some time coming.
Variants: 1.0, 1.4 Second half 2015 $TBA The cute and stylish Audi runabout gets its mid-life facelift, the most interesting addition to its arsenal is a new, 95bhp, 1.0-litre turbocharged engine with three-cylinders which should allow it to see off the Mini challenge. Existing variants like the 1.4 and 1.4 twincharged should also continue. The exterior has only been slightly revamped, although on the inside Audi’s MMI is updated to latest version with 4G and connected services. There’s a 230bhp S1 model, but it’s likely we don’t get it again.
A6 Variants: 1.8, 2.0, 3.0, S6, RS 6 Second half 2015 $TBA Like the rest of the range, Audi’s strong-performing A6 gets its subtle update with tweaks to new Audi ‘singleframe’ grille with more edges. New to the A6 range is a 1.8 turbo petrol the front and rear end of the car, most obviously in the new signature LED lights and the model with the ‘ultra’ badging, meaning it’s really efficient, quoted at 5.7L/100km and we see no reason why it shouldn’t come to Singapore. The rest of the range remains the same from 2.0 all the way up to 560bhp RS 6.
A7 Sportback Variants: 2.0, 3.0, S First half 2015 $TBA The sleek wagon-coupe thing A7 sees similar improvements to the A6 - it’s based upon the sedan after all - with a wider grille with six corners (as seen on the TT) and new LED main headlights as standard. The old 2.8 V6 has now been binned, there’s now a 2.0 (likely front-wheel drive for SG) and the 3.0 supercharged V6 quattro as well as the enjoyable 4.0 V8 S model, though there’s still no right-hand drive RS 7.
Q3 Second half 2015 Variants: 1.4, .2.0 $TBA Audi’s compact SUV is one of the best offering in the class, despite being a bit short on space in the back, but it looks set to get better with a, you guessed it, mid-life facelift. Singleframe grille, new LED DRLs and headlight options, improved MMI and connectivity choices on the inside too. All in all, a standard mid-life update. Check out our review of this year's excellent little 1.4 variant.
TT Coupe Variants: 2.0, TTS First half 2015 $TBA The new TT we’ve already tested at its international debut in Spain and came away very impressed with the new machine’s lightweight, more involving performance. The standard 2.0 model with quattro should be enough for anyone, while the 340bhp TTS model is almost supercar quick - we tested it at the stunning Ascari Race Resort no less, watch an on-track video here. The new-fangled MMI driver display is also one of the best implementations of infotainment out there - see it in action here. Our wish? Bring in the 2.0 TDI ultra model we enjoyed so much over there...
TT Roadster Variants: See TT Second half 2015 $TBA The drop-top Roadster was announced weeks after the TT’s debut, with the TT being so light already, the Roadster is surely no porker either. Like the A3 Cabrio, it’s got an extra insulated acoustic roof, although likely the TT Roadster will be offered with a 2.0-litre turbo engine with 230bhp, along with the TTS quattro.
Continental GT3-R Mid 2015 $1,200,000 without COE It’s Crewe’s turn to jump on the limited-run, bad-ass, go-faster-wagon wagon. To celebrate the marque’s return to racing in Abu Dhabi last year, as well as its first home win in more than eight decades, the Continental GT has evolved into the GT3-R. It’s not the same as the actual GT3 racer of course, but 100kg lighter, with power from the 4.0-litre V8 bumped up to 572bhp (from 538bhp on the V8 S model) and revised gearing and suspension, it cracks 0-100 in only 3.6 seconds. Orders are being taken now, but better be fast with that chequebook as there are only 300 units to be produced.
Mulsanne Speed Q2 2015 $POA When you have an uber-luxurious superlimo, the only really logical thing to do is to make it faster. Or not. Bentley’s going to do it anyway with the Mulsanne, and as with the Conti, the result is the Mulsanne Speed model. Turbo, exhaust and transmission optimisation plus additional tuning on the air suspension yields more oomph. There’s 25bhp more from the huge turbo V8, but that means a total of 530bhp and wait for it, 1,100Nm of torque. Lucky the Mulsanne’s mass is there to blunt the grunt, else you and your passengers would all be wearing neck braces.
Derryn Wong is currently editor-in-chief of CarBuyer and he enjoys probing all aspects of the motoring industry, ranging from bizarre holes in the upholstery to the engineered insanity of the COE system. No, not those kinds of holes.