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At the price point of a Golf GTi, its going to sell in big numbers Using Land rover chassis and FWD. Wonder how the new Volvo XC60 will be able to compete. But based on reliability, going by Land Rover , its going to be difficult to convenience the type of buyers with deep pocket who treasure convenience and time.
Sources: http://www.straitstimes.com/singapore/transport/sales-of-diesel-cars-rising-at-fast-pace Diesel models have become the fastest-growing segment of cars, with interest fuelled by revised taxation, the carbon emission-based vehicle scheme (CEVS), lower running costs and an overall improvement in diesel technology. According to Land Transport Authority data, there are now close to 5,000 diesel-powered passenger cars on the road - up from fewer than 150 five years ago. With the quantum leap in growth, the diesel car population has now outstripped the cohort of cars that run on compressed natural gas (CNG) and is expected to overtake petrol-electric hybrids soon. There are now around 6,200 such hybrids and fewer than 2,000 CNG cars. After being largely ignored in the last several decades, diesel cars began to sway buyers in 2013 when a special tax for such vehicles was slashed for cleaner models. For Euro 5 diesel cars, the tax is 40 cents per cubic cm of engine displacement versus $1.25 for Euro 4. For those which did not meet Euro 4 emission standard, the tax was several times the vehicle's road tax. CEVS - with rebates and penalties pegged to a car's carbon emission - was also rolled out in 2013, and made more stringent this year. As diesel cars produce far less CO2 than petrol equivalents, they qualify for CEVS rebates more easily. A 130bhp power cap for Category A certificate of entitlement (COE) was also announced in 2013. As diesel cars tend to produce less power but more torque, dealers began offering more such models two years ago. And consumers have warmed up to them. Volvo agent Wearnes Automotive sold 52 diesel cars in 2013, 530 last year and 444 in the first half of this year. Peugeot agent AutoFrance said its diesel car sales doubled from 2013 to last year, and trebled from last year to this year. In fact, diesel cars now make up half of its total sales. Shipyard manager Avery Yeo, 47, said he bought a diesel Peugeot 5008 because he lives in Bedok and works in Tuas. "I clock at least 80km a day," he said. "I get 22.2km per litre with the 5008, compared to 16km for my previous car, a Toyota Wish." And since diesel is also cheaper at the pumps than petrol, Mr Yeo said "it's really worth it". The sums add up even for someone clocking a national average of 50km per day. A 1.6-litre petrol car would use around $4,000 of fuel a year, compared with $1,600 to $1,700 for a 1.6-litre diesel car. Both estimates are based on pump prices before discount. This fuel saving more than offsets the $763 premium in annual taxes the latter attracts, assuming it is a Euro 5 model. Retired pilot Leonard McCully, 71, however, was drawn to his Audi A6 Avant 3.0 TDI more for its performance. "With 650Nm of torque, it flies," he said. "In fact, when I drove it on the first day, my wife asked why I was driving so fast. "I've driven it to Phuket and it kept up with the (Porsche) 911s in the pack." Watch dealer Leslie Chang, 52, said even though his Mercedes-Benz C200 diesel attracts more than $4,000 in annual taxes (because it is Euro 4) and "is a little noisy when idling", he still enjoys it. He has done laps around Johor's Pasir Gudang race track, and the car performed well. Plus, it has a "feel- good factor" because of its low fuel consumption and carbon output. Nanyang Business School adjunct associate professor Zafar Momin said diesel cars are even gaining a foothold in the US, a predominantly petrol market. In Singapore, Mr Momin attributes diesel's meteoric rise to a host of economic reasons. But the biggest one, he said, was the power cap for Category A COE. "From a pricing standpoint, diesel models became much more attractive than the petrol versions that had been moved to Cat B," he said, adding that brands such as Volvo, Citroen, Peugeot and Renault "have clearly benefited".
Michael Schumacher was optimistic that Mercedes could carry its qualifying form into the Malaysian Grand Prix after securing his best starting spot since returning to Formula 1 as he went third quickest at Sepang. The seven-time world champion was beaten only by the two McLarens, and held a provisional front row spot until deposed by an improvement from Jenson Button. Mercedes ran third and fourth early in the Australian GP but struggled with high tyre degradation. Schumacher was halted by an early gearbox failure, while his team-mate Nico Rosberg dropped down the order before a last-lap collision with Sergio Perez's Sauber consigned him to 12th. Asked if he was worried about another slump in race pace on Sunday, Schumacher replied: "I guess all of us have certain concerns because these temperatures are pretty new to us. "We had some preparation yesterday. We have done a decent job. We have learned a lesson in Australia, reacted and the boys in factory have done a great job so I am looking forward to tomorrow." He added: "I feel good about it and we have chosen a car that should work better in the race - that is the situation that I hope will play out tomorrow." Schumacher said that no matter what happened in the race, Mercedes' pace so far in both Australia and Malaysia proved it was in substantially better shape than a year ago. "It is quite an achievement to see who is behind us," he said. "We still have to catch up a bit forward. "We are reasonably close, not miles away like we were last year so it is up to us to have a good development programme, work methodically and stay focused and let's see what the season will bring us." http://www.autosport.com/news/report.php/id/98322