Singapore is a small country. When I say small, I mean, 719 square kilometers small. To put that into perspective, Metropolitan Manila is 613 square kilometers (contrary to the popular belief that Singapore is smaller than Quezon City). Sure, it’s bigger than we thought, but compared to the entire landmass of the Philippines, this small Southeast Asian neighbor is utterly miniscule.
Still, Singapore punches above its weight on the world stage. Most of the regional headquarters of various car companies call the island nation their home. It is a hub of activity that—despite having few cars on the road and high taxes on vehicle sales—shows exactly what a modern road network can be.
Recently, the country held its Singapore Motorshow, and we were lucky enough to have been there when the doors were opened. Here are 10 of the most interesting cars of the event:
Nissan GT-R. Was there any doubt that Godzilla would be among the cars shown? Although just recently introduced in the Philippine market, the Nissan GT-R was the first car that greeted us upon walking into the show. With such an introduction, our skepticism at such a small venue for the show immediately evaporated.
Peugeot 3008. The face-lifted Peugeot 3008 was the headliner at the Peugeot booth. It was the center of a multi-car display and it proudly wore the revised grille design that should make its way down the Peugeot range in the near future. Handsome and clad in a two-tone red and black finish, the 3008 is definitely a looker for a brand that doesn’t get the attention it deserves locally.
Honda NSX. No doubt the star of the show, Honda’s revival of the three-letter name synonymous to Ayrton Senna shows the new NSX is every bit a supercar as its predecessors, and then some. Powered by a hybrid gasoline powertrain, the NSX shares technological know-how with the likes of the McLaren P1, the Porsche 918 and the Ferrari LaFerrari.
Subaru Impreza. As you surely know by now, the all-new Subaru Impreza was launched at this show. Fitting, as Motor Image is headquartered in Singapore. The all-new compact is making waves all around the world and we were fortunate to be able to test it while we were there.
Volkswagen Scirocco. The gorgeous Scirocco was at the show, too, alongside its sibling, the Golf. Sharing platforms, but with a much more sporty stance and aggressive look, the Scirocco is the more attractive, if less practical of the two. Of course, we know what we’d pick of the litter.
Mazda MX-5 RF. The MX-5 RF made its regional debut at the show. Basically a modern MX-5 with the addition of a retractable hardtop to replace the soft top, the RF is a more civilized and attractive version of the current mini sports car.
Mercedes CLA Shooting Brake. We at Top Gear have always been fans of wagons. Thankfully, they seem to be coming back in style. But Mercedes-Benz saw it fit to grant the CLA not just a wagon body style, but a shooting brake rear end. The gorgeous taper of the roof sacrifices practicality for a look that blows other wagons out of the water.
Toyota C-HR. This quirky new crossover from Toyota has the looks of the concept car, but somehow translated almost exactly into a production-ready form. Aggressive haunches and fender flares lead up to a gorgeous rear end flanked by swoopy taillamps. A near-perfect driving position makes you feel like you are piloting a fighter jet, or at the very least, a sports car, while the rear seats provide for adequate leg and headroom for such a compact car. This is one car we cannot wait to make it to our shores.
Range Rover Evoque Convertible. The Evoque convertible is insane, and we love it. Here's a droptop that has the off-road chops to take you anywhere you want to go. Want to go to the beach? No other convertible can reliably make it through sand. Want to go into a rainforest? Why not do it in style and with the wind and insects in your hair?
Lexus RC Turbo. The baby Lexus RC made its Asian launch at this show. Powered by a small displacement turbo engine, it may just be the first turbocharged sports car from the Japanese luxury brand.
The Singapore motor show may be small, but the cars were great and the quality unquestionable. It is definitely one show we would make time to go back for in the years to come.