Cars

Cool cars and bikes you’ll want on the road

The interior of the new facelifted Nissan X-trail comes packed with more technology and features. Photo: Nissan
Sono Motors Sion has solar panels that can generate enough to power the car. Photo: Stuff Singapore
You can tune your Yamaha YZ450F bike by using your mobile phone. Photo: Stuff Singapore
Published: 4:00 AM, August 11, 2017

SINGAPORE — These days, technology is such a key part of the motor vehicle industry that it is nearly impossible to recall a time when even basic car tech such as reverse sensors were merely a twinkle in an engineer’s eye.

Cars and bikes now come with so much built-in tech, you will be asking for your own astromech droid next. Here are three examples that could spice up your on-the-road experience in the future.

FACELIFTED NISSAN X-TRAIL comes WITH MORE FEATURES

Set to be launched in the last quarter of the year, the seven-seat Nissan X-trail will be updated with the marque’s latest interpretation of the V-motion grille, which will give it an altogether more upmarket look, along with a sporty, flat-bottomed steering wheel.

Looks aside, however, the new car will be loaded with even more safety and convenience features, from having an intelligent four-wheel-drive system and 360-degree view parking camera, to Intelligent Forward Collision Warning and Emergency Braking systems. And let us not forget the 144hp 2-litre unit that is mated to a Continously Variable Transmission.

SONO MOTORS’ SION RECHARGES ITSELF FROM THE SUN

Can you imagine a world where you never have to stop for petrol, or electricity, or whatever it is we will end up running our cars on? You could just keep driving and driving, only ever stopping to refuel yourself with coffee and munchies.

That is the plan behind the Sion, a city car from Sono Motors that is covered in solar panels to recharge the battery when it is not plugged in.

It has a range of 250km when fully charged, but Sono reckons it can generate enough juice on its own to cover 30km per day (which is akin to driving from Changi Airport to Bukit Batok).

YAMAHA’S YZ450F LETS YOU TUNE YOUR BIKE FROM YOUR PHONE

A motorbike and a mobile phone? That sounds like a recipe for broken bones, but we are not talking about checking your text messages as you tear along the track.

Yamaha’s YZ450F motocross bike (from S$12,950) has Wi-Fi onboard, so you can connect your phone and fire up the accompanying Power Tuner app which you can download for free.

It lets you tinker with engine mapping, including fuel injection and ignition timing settings, and save them for specific circuits and weather conditions.

And with a new motor, new chassis and reworked suspension, the only texts you will be sending after the race will be about your famous victory. Sheldon Trollope