Is it time to switch to electric cars?

Electric Vehicles (EV) and hybrid cars have been significantly expanding over the last decade, especially with supportive policies and technology advancement, according to the International Energy Agency. In fact, a report from Bloomberg New Energy Finance stated 58 percent of global passenger vehicle sales in 2040 will come from electric vehicles. With the Hong Kong government actively supporting the adoption of EV cars throughout the city and a wider range of options available on the market, is it time to switch over to electric cars?

gafencu wheels Is it time to switch to electric cars porsche tycan
Image: Porsche Tacyan

A larger network of charging stations
The local government has, for several years, taking an active role in supporting the adoption of electric cars in the city through tax reductions, financial incentives and more importantly laying out infrastructures for charging stations across the city. In 2019, The Chief Executive announced the preparation of a $2 billion pilot subsidy scheme to promote the installation of an EV charging network that will be made easily accessible to EV car owners in private residential car parks as well as public parking spaces. 

gafencu wheels Is it time to switch to electric cars tesla
Image: Tesla Model 3

Better for the environment
Hong Kong’s air pollution index has been a major cause of concern for many residents, as well as the local government, prompting it to facilitate an EV-friendly city to combat the detrimental consequences of greenhouse gas emissions from petrol and diesel vehicles. According to the Environmental Protection Department, 60% of carbon monoxide emissions comes from transportation. Because electric cars are powered by electric motors that run on rechargeable batteries, replacing conventional cars with EV cars drastically reduces carbon emissions into the air. 

gafencu wheels Is it time to switch to electric cars recharge

More Economical
One of the biggest reservations most consumers have when considering an electric car is the mileage. The Tesla Model 3 currently boasts the longest range among other EV cars on the market, covering 320miles on a full six to nine-hour charge. In contrast, conventional fuel-pumped cars go between 360 to 480 miles on a full tank, needless to mention that refuelling also takes less time. But Hong Kong also has the most expensive auto-fuel retail price in the world, according to the Consumer Council. It costs $17 per litre to pump gas while charging an EV car is free. 

However, if road trips out of the city is a priority, hybrid cars offer the best of both words covering a longer range fueled by reusable energy, and gas as a reserve. Otherwise, there are about 3,351 EV charging stations across the city, at refuelling stations, public parking spaces as well as private residential car parks (one within every 10km).

gafencu wheels Is it time to switch to electric cars volkswagon

A growing range of options
Over the years the number of electric vehicles and hybrid cars entering the market has steadily increased, offering an optimistic future for the development and advancement of EV cars. No longer exclusive to Tesla, the industry now features some of the biggest names in the motor industry including BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Aston Martin, Porsche and Volkswagen, to name a few. Rolls Royce had also declared its commitment to manufacturing a line of EV cars, skipping on hybrids completely, and iPhone and Macintosh technology company Apple also recently announced that it will be rolling out an EV car in 2024.

As of right now, Tesla remains in the lead, offering models with the longest range and quickest acceleration on the market, however that will soon change with more hybrid sedans and utility EVs expected to come out of the woodworks with improved specifications, performance, charging time, and even more luxurious exterior and interior layouts. 

gafencu wheels Is it time to switch to electric cars lucid air
Image: Lucid Air

Save on cost
Though the cost of purchasing an EV car can set you back anywhere between $500,000 to $1 million, the cost of maintenance and servicing will save buyers money in the long run. Conventional cars consist of several parts that often break down or need regular servicing or maintenance, whereas EV cars only need to be serviced twice a year and have their brake fluid replaced every 5 years. Though the battery packs are the most expensive part to maintaining ((between five to fifteen thousand) an EV car, most battery packs come with an eight-year (or 100,000miles) warranty and take about 17 years to die (or  200,000miles). 

So, is it time to switch to electric cars?
There are at least 12,000 registered electric cars in the city and despite the initial upfront cost of switching over to an electric car is high, the need for maintenance, servicing and downtime are much less and more convenient than conventional cars. Saving at least $5,000 per year, not including the government’s incentives. And with a wider range of options to hit the market in the next few years, and a more widespread network of EV chargers in gross spaces, both public and private residential areas across the city to accommodate the demands of private electric car owners, there is very little downside to a sustainable, cost-efficient and eco-friendly move as to switch from conventional gas-powered cars to its electric alternative. 


BMW Encounters Chapter 2: Ushering in a new era of luxury sports cars

Celebrating the art of fine car-making, luxury German motoring marque BMW ushered in a new era of luxury sports vehicles at the recent BMW Encounters – Chapter 2 event. Held at the brand’s Wan Chai showroom, the exclusive showcase set a new benchmark of automotive design with the unveiling of several cars: THE 4, a new coupé; a new luxury Sedan, THE 6 Gran Turismo; and a stunning flagship sport car in the form of THE M8 Competition.

gafencu magazine BMW Encounters Chapter 2 Ushering in a new era of luxury sports cars the 4


This latest BMW coupé builds on the traditional features fashioned by iconic predecessors that have captivated auto enthusiasts across the past century. Its aesthetics, though, are inspired wholly by contemporary design, be it the front kidney grill featuring an eye-catching sculpted 3D mesh design or the sleekly sculpted, elegantly contoured roofline.

gafencu magazine BMW Encounters Chapter 2 Ushering in a new era of luxury sports cars the 4 interior navigation control system

Moving to the interiors, THE 4 comes equipped with the BMW Live Cockpit Professional, with the iDrive 7.0 and BMW Intelligent Personal Assistant granting lucky drivers instant access to a variety of vehicular stats and functions like temperature control, entertainment and navigation.

gafencu magazine BMW Encounters Chapter 2 Ushering in a new era of luxury sports cars the 4 kidney grille (2)

This new era of coupé not only appeals with a modern aesthetic, but it is also the first in its class to have its doors, engine lid and front wings made of aluminium- making it 20kg lighter than its earlier models. Adding to the list of improvements, is a performance with enhanced agility and lateral acceleration. Notably, its M440iA xDrive model houses a TwinPower Turbo in-line six-cylinder engine that can deliver a horse power of 374bHp which quickly goes from rest to 100km per hour in a mere 4.5 seconds with peak torque of 500Nm. Another impressive highlight is the M Sport suspension which brings promising driving pleasure with stiffer chassis, uncontested agility and precision handling – delivering a truly powerful driving experience.

gafencu magazine BMW Encounters Chapter 2 Ushering in a new era of luxury sports cars the 6

THE 6 Gran Turismo

Next up is The 6 Gran Turismo, an innovative new sedan that oozes elegance and opulence with every inch. Placing the emphasis firmly on optimal comfort, it has been crafted with only the most premium of materials.
Ensuring you never need to ‘pack light’ on any trip, boot offers a capacity of 600L, which can be further expanded to 1,800L thanks to the foldable backrest of the rear seats. This luxury Sedan is also equipped with a 2.0-litre 4-cylinder TwinPower Turbo petrol engine and eight-speed Steptronic transmission that speeds at a maximum horse power of 258bHp, while reaching a peak torque of 400Nm, offering a driving pleasure with a unique high-performance.

gafencu magazine BMW Encounters Chapter 2 Ushering in a new era of luxury sports cars m8


Rounding out the high-octane trip is the dazzling THE M8 Competition, a tantalising new flagship model that blends the brand’s iconic M racing DNA with the sumptuous accents of its luxury class designs. Stylishly elegant to the utmost, under the hood lies a powerful 4.4-litre BMW M TwinPower Turbo engine, which unleashes a maximum output of 625bHp at 6,000 rpm and goes from zero to 100km per hour in 3.2 seconds with a top speed of 750Nm. This top-of-the-line racing machine that classic ‘double-bubble’ roof design, one that truly enhances its dramatic sporting appeal.

gafencu magazine BMW Encounters Chapter 2 Ushering in a new era of luxury sports cars even beyond beyond perspectives

From now until February 21, BMW invites you to explore a new side to BMW in its Even Beyond – Beyond Perspectives photo competition at the BMW Wanchai Luxury Class Showroom. Themed around angles, photography aficionados and can try their hand at capturing the unique details of the three showcased models and deliver their own creative touch through their camera lens. 

Participants can then upload the masterpiece onto their Instagram page with the tags #EVENBEYOND and @BMWHONGKONG or onto an assigned comment section on BMW Hong Kong’s Facebook page. Winners will have a chance to take home prizes worth up to ten thousand Hong Kong dollars including a Sony ZV-1 vlog camera (Value at $5,990), Sony camera gift vouchers and BMW lifestyle gift vouchers.

For more information click here.


Upside and downside of electric cars

More and more electric cars will take to Hong Kong streets amid greater technology advances. Shifting to and investing in an electric car is well worth considering as concerns for the environment in Hong Kong and across the world continue to grow.

The following are pertinent facts about electric cars:

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(image of the Q4 E-Tron from Audi)

Pros of Electric Cars

Fuel Cost Savings 

Initially, electric cars may cost more than those that run on fossil fuel. But over time, electric car owners can achieve substantial savings as these vehicles won’t need to refuel. Batteries can simply be charged in charging stations around Hong Kong or at home whichever is convenient.

Lower Maintenance Costs

Electric cars often entail maintenance costs significantly lower than those that run on fossil fuel as the former needs no engine parts replacements and repairs of spark plugs, valves and other parts.

facts about electric cars gafencu magazine Mercedes-Benz EQV
(Image of the EQV from Mercedes-Benz)

Environment Friendly

The biggest and greatest benefit derived from electric cars are their contribution to the reduction of carbon emissions. Since electric cars run on charged batteries, they don’t release or emit carbon dioxide into the air, thereby helping reduce carbon emissions and easing air pollution. Electric cars are an environmentally-friendly option that is welcome everywhere.

Better Performance

Engines of electric cars start much faster than those in fossil fuel-driven cars. Changing gears and applying the break in electric cars are also much easier and smoother in electric cars. Engines of electric cars are also impressively much quieter than their fossil fuel counterparts.

facts about electric cars gafencu magazine BMW IX3
(image of IX 3 from BMW)

Cons of Electric Cars


Electric cars have several drawbacks and one of them relates to charging of batteries. Although there are more than 350 charging stations in Hong Kong, each station varies by the type of charging ports ranging from normal to quick charge and they are not as convenient to find as petrol stations. It can also take up to to 30 minutes to charge about 80 percent of the battery of an electric time, and this is the fastest. Fully charging a battery under normal charging rates can take up to eight hours.

See the list of charging stations in Hong Kong here.

facts about electric cars gafencu magazine BMW IX3 (2)
(image of IX 3 from BMW)


Another significant factor to consider is the cost of replacing an electric cars’ battery pack. The best EVs can travel up to 300km or more on a fully-charged battery pack, which is enough to drive from Hong Kong’s urban areas to the airport. But with the scarcity of charging stations and the time that it takes to charge fully, driving an electric car will likely deter a motorist from travelling outside Hong Kong on long distances without stopping for a recharge. Replacing the battery pack of an electric car can also cost as much as $10,000.

facts about electric cars gafencu magazine BMW IX3 (4)
(Image of the IX 3 from BMW)

Despite battery drawbacks and lack of easy access to charging stations, these inconveniences can easily be addressed by setting up a charging station in the home garage or at the carpark building nearest to the motorist’s home. As more electric car models get introduced to the market, prices are likely to go down even as their technological features improve further.


Swanky new BMW Luxury Class Showroom unveiled in the heart of Wanchai

Legendary German automotive company BMW is no stranger to luxury. Indeed, its cutting-edge cars have long epitomised the perfect amalgam of sophisticated elegance and powerful performance. Now, following the successful launch of The X7 and The 8 Coupe over the summer, the maverick motoring marque looks set to further thrill car enthusiasts with the unveiling of its all-new BMW Luxury Class Showroom.

BMW Luxury Class Showroom 1

Located on Gloucester Road, the newly-updated state-of-the-art store is an homage to fine living and fast cars, dedicated to providing its discerning customers with a contemporary lifestyle retail experience. In layman’s terms, this means the days of putting the spotlight solely on cars is clearly long gone, with the new BMW showroom striving to offer emphasise a sensorially-sumptuous, high-tech experience with the customer as its key focal point.

BMW Luxury Class Showroom 2

This sees the store fitted with cutting-edge Bower and Wilkins audio systems – which also provide the Bower Wilkins Diamond Surround Sound System that is an optional upgrade for BMW’s flagship models – a specially-formulated signature aroma, delicious food and beverage options, and a Lounge replete with a dedicated concierge service who can walk potential buyers through the wide array of luxury models and an even more extensive list of personalisation options.

BMW Luxury Class Showroom 3

It’s clear that the new BMW Luxury Class Showroom has completely reinvented itself with an eye on #TheRiseofNewLuxury, and it’s a warmly welcoming transformation that will surely enchant any lucky visitor who enters the store.

BMW Luxury Class Showroom 4

Visit the BMW Luxury Class Showroom today to see BMW’s current array of Luxury Class models, including The 7, The 8 Convertible, The 8 Coupe, The X7 and the futuristic i8 first-hand. For more information, visit this website

BMW unveils two luxury cars, X7 and 8 Series Coupé, in Hong Kong

In what was surely a red-letter day for Hong Kong’s automobile aficionados, German motoring marque BMW unveiled two of the brand’s new luxury cars, with the sensational return of its 8 Series Coupé and the launch of its first-ever flagship model X7 at the Ritz-Carlton Hong Kong. Aptly named ‘Own The Moment’, the launch party drew the select VIPs from Hong Kong’s high society, all of whom got treated to an evening of high-octane entertainment. Here is our exclusive video footage from the event.


Martijn Oremus on the BMW Art Car, Art Journey and what to expect from the carmaker in 2019

The recent Art Basel Hong Kong fair marked the seventh anniversary of the fruitful partnership between the mega art event and renowned German automaker BMW. We spoke to the marque’s new managing director Martijn Oremus about this successful relationship, its Art Basel highlights and what Hong Kong’s auto enthusiasts can expect from the luxury carmaker in 2019.


Tell us about the partnership between BMW and Art Basel, and what makes it such a successful one?

The partnership between BMW and Art Basel spans seven fruitful years, but actually, the engagement of BMW in cultural partnerships goes back even further, encompassing five decades. In essence, it’s creativity that ties everything together. Creativity is key, not only to art, but to innovation, design and technology. To that end, it a fundamental part of our business.

With Art Basel being one of the leading platforms for creativity, it brings together all the relevant people from an expansive array of industries in the name of art. We are very happy to be partnered with Art Basel, not just in Hong Kong but worldwide.

Martijn Oremus with BMW Art Car No1 at Art Basel Hong Kong
Martijn Oremus, Managing Director of BMW Hong Kong, with the BMW Art Car No.1 at Art Basel Hong Kong

What can we expect from BMW at Art Basel Hong Kong 2019?

We have a range of activities going on, and one I’m particularly proud of is the BMW Art Journey. Each year, we bring young emerging artistic talents and give them an opportunity to travel the world as part of this unique art competition. It’s not just a prize but an opportunity for them to develop as artists. At Art Basel Hong Kong, we’ve announced the shortlist of potential awardees for the next Art Journey. The winner will be chosen in the coming months. This year, we have three female finalists, which is quite special.

BMW Art Car No1 circa 1975

Tell us a little bit about BMW’s all-new Art Car. What were the inspirations behind its design?

Over the years, we have brought a total of nine BMW Art Cars to Hong Kong, but this year it’s even more exciting because we have the original Art Car No.1 from 1975. It’s a particularly special occasion because this was the car that laid the foundation stone for the entire Art Car collection. It was French racer Hervé Poulain who commissioned his friend, the renowned American artist Alexander Calder, to transform on his actual BMW racecar. It is that precise car that is on display at Art Basel Hong Kong, and is the pioneer for a line that now boasts 19 unique models. The Art Car really highlights to blending of creativity and artistic flair with our cars, which evokes emotional responses in people’s hearts and emotions, much like the world of art.

Martijn Oremus is the new Managing Director of BMW HK

What’s can we expect from BMW in 2019? Which new models will be making their debuts?

First and foremost, we will have a range of new models launching in the market. First of all, the new generation of the 3-series. The 3 series for us represents the core of sheer driving pleasure. It’s the most dynamic and sporty car that we have, and will be coming to Hong Kong very soon. On top of that, this year we’ll be focussing on the luxury segment. For example, we will bring a revamped version of the 7-series, but also two all-new concept cars – the BMW 8-series and the X7, which will be the first full-size SAV in this luxury segment to be introduced to the market.

Thank you.

Interview and photography by: Tenzing Thondup
Video: Kingsley Lau

BMW X5 unveiled at the immersive new BMX X Hub in Wanchai

Design. Innovation. Performance. Luxury. Versatility. These are the guiding principles that helped shape the renowned German car maker BMW’s latest automotive model, the BMW X5, launched recently at the brand’s Wanchai Showroom.

Kevin Coon, BMW Vice President, and other luminaries at the BMW X5 launch

The unveiling ceremony was graced with the presences of BMW’s own Kevin Coon, Vice President of BMW Group Importer Office (Hong Kong, Macau & Taiwan), Joseph Lau and Andy Hau of BMW Concessionaries (HK) Ltd, and Gary Wong and Raymond Lee from Sime Darby Motors Group (Hong Kong and Macau).

Even without the impressively-arranged backdrop, the aggressive styling of the new BMW X5 is apparent, most notably in its one-piece active kidney grille and trapezoid exhaust finishers. The luxury Sports Activity Vehicle (SAV) also boasts a higher ride than its predecessors thanks to the brand’s first-ever factory-available 22-inch wheels.

The BMW X5 boasts an aggressive styling

The BMW X5 also ramps up its power factor, with its 3-litre, 6-cylinder BMW TwinPower Turbo engine delivering up to 340bHp and the Dynamic Damper Control offering even better suspension. When paired with the innovative BMW iDrive 7.0 operating system, this is truly a Digital Age automobile.

To launch the BMW X5, the luxury marque unveiled a wholly immersive BMW X Hub showcase at its Wanchai Showroom, replete with multi-sensory experiences including a Digital Facial Analyser, Celebrity Audio Tour (narrated by HK celeb Timothy Cheng Tse Sing) and an Interactive Product Zone.

The BMW X Hub includes an Interactive Product Display

Don’t miss out. Register here for an exclusive chance to get up close and personal with the latest BMW X5 and see the newly-unveiled BMW X Hub first-hand.

The special showcase runs from now until 7 December, with six showings per day (11am, 12.30pm, 2pm, 3.30pm, 5pm and 6.30pm).

BMW Wanchai Showroom. G/F, Everbright Centre, 108 Gloucester Rd, Wanchai.

BMW hands keys of all-new 740e to the German Consulate of Hong Kong

German luxury automaker BMW is already world-famous for its ability to consistently deliver beautiful and technologically innovative cars. But recently, it added yet another feather to its cap when Kevin Coon, Vice President, BMW Group Importer Office – Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan handed the keys of an all-new BMW 740e plug-in hybrid to Dieter Lamlé, German Consul General to Hong Kong & Macau at an exclusive ceremony in the brand’s Wan Chai showroom.


Following a round of celebratory photo-taking, we sat down with Coon and Lamlé to find out more about Germany’s legendary automotive industry and Hong Kong’s own love affair with their beautifully manufactured vehicles.

What do you think is the reputation of German cars in Hong Kong?

German Consul General Hong Kong & Macau Lamlé: I believe Hong Kong absolutely loves German cars, especially when you look at the figures. 75% of all premium cars found in the city are German. I think Hongkongers feel a connection to our innovative designs, precision engineering and, of course, the high build quality.

Kevin Coon, BMW Vice President and Dieter Lamlé, German Consul General to Hong Kong & Macau at the BMW 740e Handover Ceremony
Kevin Coon, BMW Vice President, and Dieter Lamlé, German Consul General to Hong Kong & Macau, at the BMW 740e Handover Ceremony

What made you decide on the BMW 740e Plug-in Hybrid as your new car?

Lamlé: As the German Consul, I have to showcase German products and our country’s latest technological developments. The automotive industry is the backbone of the German economy, and we are the third largest automaker in the world, behind China and the US.

Having said that, my predecessor also previously owned a BMW, a i3 electric car, but as my family moved to Hong Kong with me, I needed a bigger car. I wanted to stay within the BMW family as an outstanding German automotive brand, and so I opted for the new BMW 740e plug-in hybrid. (The Federal Government uses the full range of German automobiles for their embassies and consulates world-wide.)

BMW exclusive for the German Consulate General of Hong Kong and Macau

Why did you opt for a plug-in hybrid instead of a non-electric car?

Lamlé: Honestly, when you’re driving the electric car, you can barely tell the difference in performance as compared to a more traditional model. But going electric is not just the environmentally-friendly choice, it also promotes a lifestyle that is linked with the interconnectivity of a ‘Smart City’, which is where the future is heading.

Do you think electric cars are the way of the future?

Kevin Coon, Vice President, BMW Group Importer Office – Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan: Absolutely. In terms of BMW, itself, last year we sold a little over 100,000 electrified cars – which includes both full-electric and hybrid motors. This year we’re looking at an increase up to 150,000 units, which by the end of 2019 is forecast to reach over half a million electrified cars around the world.

Kevin Coon, BMW Vice President and Dieter Lamlé, German Consul General to Hong Kong & Macau pose with the i8 Roadster
Kevin Coon, BMW Vice President, and Dieter Lamlé, German Consul General to Hong Kong & Macau, pose with the i8 Roadster

What do you think is the next step forward for BMW?

Coon: In response to the rise of electric cars and the Smart City, BMW has invested significant resources to developing what we call ACES (Autonomous, Connected, Electric, Shared) technologies. Already, cars have become giant mobile devices, connected to satellites and the internet for up-to-date information relay, and it will only continue to be more and more so. We hope to remain at the cutting edge of that transformation.

BMW has also just unveiled its iNext concept car, which is a prototype autonomous vehicle that’s currently touring the world, which is very exciting. We’ve also launched the new 5 series which now has some of these autonomous driving features, and are currently working with the government to bring more of these technologies to the city since automated driving hasn’t really taken off here yet.

Thank you.

Interview by: Tenzing Thondup


BMW HK celebrates 50th anniversary with JOY IS TIMELESS mega event



German luxury automaker BMW has been charming Hong Kong’s car enthusiasts for quite a while now – five decades to be exact. To celebrate its 50th anniversary in the city, BMW HK has kicked off an expansive showcase entitled JOY IS TIMELESS at Harbour City. The mega event consists of three separate exhibits: ‘Joy of Legacy’, ‘Joy of Excitement’ and ‘Joy of Sharing’.

The inaugural day of BMW HK’s 50th festivities, which runs until 5 August, centred on a dual celebration. First up, the focus was wholly on ‘Joy of Legacy’ with the unveiling – and Asian debut – of the 1972 BMW Turbo Concept. This sleek red-and-ochre supercar was originally developed as a prototype design and was introduced to the world at the 1972 Olympic Games in Munich, Germany. Believed to be the precursor to the iconic BMW M series, it’s one of only two such cars in the world.

BMW HK brings historically iconic cars to Harbour City

As evening arrived, the spotlight shifted to ‘Joy of Excitement’. This time, though, the focus was all on the arrival of the future as BMW HK pulled back the covers on its all-new X4. This second incarnation of the Sports Active Coupe is said to offer up even more hands-on driving excitement thanks to upgrades of its iDrive 6.0 system. With an evolved front overhang and rear contour, this speedster’s athletic appeal is unmistakable.

Concurrent to these two highlights were a display of BMW’s iconic cars its historic catalogue, ranging from the tiny and adorably dome-shaped 1955 Isetta to its latest i8 supercar. Visitors will also have an opportunity to get their hands on various BMW HK-themed souvenirs and gifts.


New BMW i8 Roadster ideal for top-down fun in the sun

The BMW i8 Roadster had many a gearhead in a tizzy when it made its debut at the Los Angeles Auto Show earlier this year. And now, this futuristic, tech-laden automobile has finally landed in Hong Kong’s streets, just in time for the city’s car lovers to take it for a test drive and have some top-down fun in the summer sun.

The 2018 BMW i8 Roadster offers top-down fun in the sun

The soft-top new BMW i8 Roadster is the first-ever two-seater, plug-in hybrid supercar to go into commercial production. Hailed as the turbo-driven phenomenon of tomorrow, this truly designer drive boasts futuristic exteriors, the brand’s in-house iDrive technology, and truly top-notch interiors.

The tech-packed interiors of the new BMW i8 Roadster

Part of BMW’s electric ‘Project i’ fleet, its cutting-edge hybrid engine is capable of travelling up to 54 kilometres without producing any emission while still cruising speedily at up to 120kmph.

BMW i8 Roadster can travel up to 54km with zero emissions

Blending environmental responsibility with all the poise of a fully paid-up member of automotive aristocracy, the BMW i8 Roadster is truly one of the motor highlights of the year.