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Mercedes-Maybach has unveiled a unique, bespoke S-Class inspired by a classic racing yacht, paying tribute to the Sphinx 12mR yacht built in 1939 by Robbe & Berking. This exquisite luxury sedan not only honours the yacht but also celebrates its maker’s 150th anniversary, showcasing numerous exclusive visual upgrades and nautical-themed elements both inside and out.

Exterior Elegance

The bespoke Mercedes-Maybach S-Class features a striking two-tone paint finish, with Nautical Blue Metallic adorning the upper sections and Patagonia Red on the lower parts, sourced from Mercedes’ Manufaktur customisation division. A delicate pinstripe in Manufaktur Opalite White Metallic separates the two colours, matching the yacht’s white waterline and adding a sophisticated touch.

Luxurious Interior

Inside, the sedan is a testament to Manufaktur’s craftsmanship. The interior is adorned with Manufaktur Exclusive Nappa leather upholstery in a Crystal White look, featuring diamond quilting. This luxurious material covers the seats, door cards, headliner, and various other components, all highlighted by Orion Gray decorative stitching. The cockpit is enriched with exclusive wood walnut trim and light-coloured aluminium accents, creating an opulent and refined atmosphere.

Additional bespoke touches include customiSed rear Nappa leather cushions, Maybach embossing, and backlit side sills. The car’s generous equipment range boasts a Burmester high-end sound system, MBUX rear-seat entertainment system, a cooling compartment with silver-plated champagne flutes, and numerous other luxurious amenities designed for the ultimate comfort and convenience.

Power and Performance

Under the hood, this custom Mercedes-Maybach S-Class is based on the S 680, equipped with a handcrafted 6.0-litre V12 engine. This powerhouse features twin turbos, producing 621hp and 900Nm of torque. Despite its substantial 2,425kg curb weight, the vehicle can accelerate from 0-97km/h in just 4.5 seconds. The S 680 uses a 9-speed automatic transmission and benefits from Mercedes’ 4Matic all-wheel-drive system.

Pricing and Availability

The bespoke Mercedes-Maybach S 680 4Matic, inspired by the Sphinx 12mR yacht, starts at $234,300 (RM1,103,850). This exceptional car exemplifies Mercedes-Maybach’s dedication to blending heritage with innovation, creating a true masterpiece that stands as a symbol of luxury and performance.

Pagani has unveiled the Huayra Epitome, a singular creation from its Grandi Complicazioni division, showcasing the pinnacle of luxury and technological innovation in hypercars. This unique car marks a milestone as the first Huayra equipped with a manual transmission, designed to deliver an unparalleled driving experience with extensive customisation and top-tier performance.

Key Features and Specifications:

  • Engine and Performance:
    • Pagani V12 Engine: The Huayra Epitome is powered by a formidable Pagani V12 engine.
    • Power Output: It delivers 864hp and 1,099Nm of torque.
    • Transmission: The car features a seven-speed manual gearbox by Xtrac, offering a pure mechanical driving experience.

  • Collaborative Customisation:
    • The Huayra Epitome’s creation was a collaborative effort with the commissioning client, aiming to encapsulate elegance and peak performance.
    • Bespoke Elements: Custom front and rear bumpers, exclusive light clusters, and a rear hood with an integrated wing were tailored to the client’s specifications.

  • Advanced Features:
    • Suspension and Aerodynamics: Advanced suspension and aerodynamic features ensure exceptional handling, enabling drivers to explore the car’s capabilities safely and comfortably.
    • Lightweight Components: The vehicle includes a lightweight titanium exhaust system and forged aluminum alloy wheels, inspired by the client’s Imola Coupé.

  • Design and Craftsmanship:
    • Exterior Design: The car’s aerodynamic profile is meticulously designed to blend performance with aesthetics.
    • Interior Luxury: The interior reflects the highest level of luxury, crafted with attention to every detail to provide a unique and opulent driving environment.

The Pagani Huayra Epitome stands as a testament to bespoke automotive artistry, combining high performance with personalised luxury to create a hypercar that is truly one-of-a-kind.

Geely has unveiled its new lithium iron phosphate (LFP) battery cell, boasting an impressive energy density of 192 Wh/kg, a 50-year service life, rapid charging capabilities, and minimal capacity loss in cold weather. This new battery technology aims to address various concerns about electric vehicles (EVs) beyond their initial cost.

Key Features of Geely’s New LFP Battery:

  1. Energy Density and Longevity:
    • Energy Density: 192 Wh/kg.
    • Service Life: 50 years with 3,500 charge cycles, equating to about a million kilometres.
  2. Rapid Charging:
    • Charging Speed: Charges to 80% capacity in under 20 minutes, specifically achieving 10% to 80% charge in just 17 minutes.
    • Technological Enhancements: Utilises carbon nanotubes and an enhanced cover film to accelerate lithium ion movement, contributing to faster charging times.
  3. Cold Weather Performance:
    • Minimal Range Loss: Experiences only a 10% range loss in extremely cold conditions, comparable to CATL’s fast-charging LFP cell introduced last year.
  4. Durability and Safety:
    • Rigorous Testing: Subjected to harsh conditions including exposure to open flames, puncturing, rolling over, submersion in corrosive seawater, and operation in freezing environments.
    • Technological Innovations: Features a thermally resistant separator and self-healing electrode technology that passed all durability tests, ensuring robust performance and safety.


Koenigsegg has once again etched its name into the history books, setting four world records in a single high-speed run with the Jesko Absolut hypercar at an airfield in Orebro, Sweden. Koenigsegg reclaimed the 0–400–0km/h crown from itself, this time using a new model.

Koenigsegg test driver Markus Lundh was the chosen pilot for this record-breaking attempt. Lundh clocked an impressive 0–400–0 km/h time of 27.83 seconds, surpassing the previous record of 28.81 seconds set by the Koenigsegg Regera in 2023. But one world record was not enough for Lundh. He continued to push the limits, reaching a top speed of 412km/h and setting three additional records in the process.

Powered by a twin-turbocharged 5.0-litre V-8 engine running on E85 fuel, the Jesko Absolut boasts an astonishing 1600hp. Lundh reached 400km/h in 18.82 seconds, hit 402km/h in 19.20 seconds, and achieved a 0–402–0km/h time of 28.27 seconds. Remarkably, the Jesko Absolut’s top speed of 412km/h indicates even greater potential.

The record-breaking run took place around five in the morning to take advantage of calm winds and low temperatures. Aside from a roll cage for safety and a seat borrowed from a Koenigsegg One:1, the Jesko Absolut was in standard condition, running on E85 fuel and equipped with standard Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 R tyres.

This extraordinary feat reaffirms Koenigsegg’s status as a leader in high-performance automotive engineering and sets a new benchmark in the world of hypercars.

Starting April 1, 2026, foreign-registered commercial diesel vehicles with smoke emissions of 50 Hartridge Smoke Units (HSU) or more will be turned back at land checkpoints and denied entry into Singapore. The National Environment Agency (NEA) announced that this new threshold aligns with the emissions standards under the ASEAN Framework Agreement on the Facilitation of Goods in Transit.

In preparation for this change, from October 1, 2025, to March 31, 2026, the NEA will issue advisories to foreign commercial diesel vehicles entering Singapore, reminding them of the new emission threshold and implementation date.

Currently, if the smoke emissions of a local or foreign commercial diesel vehicle exceed 40 HSU, the motorist is issued a compound fine. Foreign commercial diesel vehicles emitting 60 HSU or more are already turned back at land checkpoints. The new regulation lowers the turnback threshold to 50 HSU, aiming to reduce air pollution from high-emission vehicles.


To mark the 50th anniversary of Tignanello, one of the most iconic red wines, Maserati has unveiled a customised Fuoriserie version of its latest electric creation, the GranCabrio Folgore. This bespoke car, crafted exclusively for Marchesi Antinori, will be auctioned on July 14 in California at Festival Napa Valley’s Arts for All Gala, one of the leading arts charity events in the United States.

A Collaboration of Italian Excellence

In celebration of its 110th anniversary, Maserati has partnered with Marchesi Antinori, a family with a 600-year history in winemaking, passed down through 26 generations. This collaboration symbolises the shared values of tradition, innovation, and excellence that define both brands. Marchesi Antinori and its Tignanello wine represent the passion and pioneering spirit that has always characterised Maserati.

Design Inspired by Vineyards

The GranCabrio Folgore Tignanello draws inspiration from the vineyard, a symbol of roots and heritage. The car’s body features a custom Terra di Tignanello paint, a rich chestnut colour with a metallic tint inspired by the vineyard’s soil and the hues of Tignanello’s barrels. The rims and calipers are in matte and gloss black, respectively, with copper-coloured emblems, and the Maserati logo in glossy copper.

Inside, the car showcases leather seats adorned with a silver and burgundy ribbed weave made of Vegea, a fabric derived from vineyards that resembles leather. This innovative material is used for the first time in a Maserati. Dark briar wood with laser engravings recalls the oak barrels used in winemaking, while the headrests feature embroidered Maserati Tridents combined with the Tignanello sun emblem. The central tunnel is also laser-engraved with the dates 1971-2021, marking Tignanello’s 50-year legacy.

GranCabrio Folgore: A Benchmark in Electric Luxury

The GranCabrio Folgore is Maserati’s first 100% electric convertible, boasting cutting-edge performance and comfort. Equipped with an 800V battery system, developed with Formula E technology, the GranCabrio Folgore offers outstanding performance. Its three electric motors produce a combined 818hp and 1,350Nm of torque, enabling acceleration from 0-100km/h in just 2.8 seconds. The 92.5 kWh battery provides an EPA-estimated range of 375km between charges.

Comfort and Innovation

The GranCabrio Folgore offers four true seats, made possible by its soft top. It features innovative systems such as a neck warmer for comfortable open-top driving in cooler weather and a wind stopper to reduce turbulence inside the passenger compartment.

Tignanello: A Legacy of Innovation

Tignanello was the first Sangiovese wine aged in barriques and the first contemporary red blended with non-traditional grape varieties, specifically Cabernet. It is crafted from a meticulous selection of Sangiovese and Cabernet grapes from the Tenuta Tignanello vineyard in Chianti Classico, covering 57 hectares (141 acres).


The unique GranCabrio Folgore Tignanello will be auctioned on July 14 at the Festival Napa Valley’s Arts for All Gala.

The first fourth-generation BMW 1 Series, a BMW 120, has rolled off the production line at BMW Group Plant Leipzig. This premium compact model, exclusively manufactured in Saxony, Germany, marks a significant milestone for BMW. The plant can produce up to 500 units of the 1 Series per day, contributing to a total daily output of 1,300 vehicles when combined with the BMW 2 Series Gran Coupe, BMW 2 Series Active Tourer, and MINI Countryman. The new BMW 1 Series is scheduled for market launch in October 2024.

A New Chapter in BMW’s Compact Segment

The fourth-generation BMW 1 Series continues the brand’s nearly 20-year legacy in the compact segment. Production began with the three-door model at Plant Leipzig in 2007, and since then, over 1.3 million units have been manufactured. By the end of June 2024, nearly 443,000 third-generation BMW 1 Series vehicles had been delivered to customers. “The new BMW 1 Series will remain a key factor in maintaining high capacity utilisation here at Plant Leipzig,” said Petra Peterhänsel, Plant Director.

This increase in production volumes is not only securing existing jobs but also creating new ones. By the end of 2024, an additional 900 people are expected to join vehicle production, bringing the total workforce at Plant Leipzig to around 7,000.

Dynamic Design and Enhanced Features

The new BMW 1 Series boasts a dynamic design, a revised drive portfolio, and improved chassis technology. The front end is notably flat and sits lower to the road, emphasising its sporty driving capabilities. The wide, forward-leaning radiator grille features an innovative arrangement of vertical and diagonal bars, while standard LED headlights give the car a striking “four-eyed face.”

The rear apron, vertical reflectors, two-part rear lights, and black diffusor-style insert contribute to the vehicle’s powerful appearance. Inside, the BMW 1 Series is now completely leather-free as standard, featuring a redesigned cockpit with the BMW Curved Display. The optional M Sport Package and M Sport Design equipment option, available at market launch in Europe, further enhance its dynamic look.

Innovative Contrast Roof

For the first time, the BMW 1 Series offers an optional contrast roof in high-gloss black, using an overspray-free painting process piloted at Plant Leipzig. This method is more resource-efficient and avoids the mist of excess paint typically produced during painting.

Market Launch and Key Markets

The new BMW 1 Series is set to launch on October 5, 2024. Germany, Europe, the UK, and Italy have been the strongest markets for the 1 Series so far, and the brand expects continued strong performance in these regions.

Upgraded Plant for Increased Capacity

Since 2018, BMW Group Plant Leipzig has undergone systematic upgrades, increasing its annual production capacity to 350,000 units—100,000 more than before. The plant now manufactures four models with three different types of drive by two brands on the same production line. The addition of the MINI Countryman to the production lineup in November 2023 has boosted output, with production of the MINI set to rise to 500 units per day, alongside approximately 800 BMW vehicles.

In a move to ensure customer satisfaction and improve owner education, Nissan has unveiled a new “Second Delivery” program specifically for its all-electric Ariya. This initiative aims to provide Ariya owners with a comprehensive understanding of their new vehicle’s features and functionality.

Doppler Automotive to Assist with Deliveries

Nissan has partnered with Doppler Automotive, a third-party service, to manage the Second Delivery process. This collaboration allows dealerships to focus on sales while ensuring customers receive detailed walkthroughs of their new cars. The costs associated with Doppler’s services are covered by Nissan corporate, making it a seamless option for dealerships.


Toyota has decided to discontinue the four-cylinder Supra for the 2025 model year after just three years of production. The entry-level model, which featured a 2.0-litre turbocharged engine producing 255hp and 400Nm of torque, did not sell as well as expected.

In 2023, only 2,652 Supras were sold, and although Toyota did not provide a breakdown by engine type, it is assumed that the four-cylinder model was the slower mover.


Chinese automakers are poised to capture 33% of the global automotive market by 2030, a significant increase from their forecasted 21% market share this year, according to a recent report by AlixPartners, a financial advisory and global consulting firm. This growth will predominantly occur outside China, with sales expected to rise from 3 million this year to 9 million by the end of the decade, increasing their global market share from 3% to 13%.

The rapid expansion of Chinese automakers presents a challenge to legacy automakers and has raised concerns among global politicians. The fear is that more affordable, China-made vehicles will inundate markets, particularly impacting the all-electric vehicle sector.

AlixPartners predicts Chinese brands will expand across all global markets but at a slower pace in Japan and North America. In North America, the stringent vehicle safety standards and a 100% tariff on imported Chinese EVs are expected to limit their market share to 3%, primarily in Mexico, where Chinese brands could represent 20% of vehicles by 2030. In contrast, substantial growth is anticipated in Central and South America, Southeast Asia, and the Middle East and Africa.



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