Latest Stories

  • New Daihatsu Copen roadster is a hit in Japan – first month sales of six times monthly target

    Daihatsu-Copen-0041

    The new Daihatsu Copen is selling like hot cakes! Order books for Daihatsu’s new K-roadster have reached 4,000 in just one month after it started taking them, which is equivalent to six times its monthly sales targets.

    According to the statistics, 80% of the buyers are male. The CVT automatic model which is priced at 1,798,200 yen (RM57k) accounts for 70% of bookings, with the balance being the 5-speed manual, which goes for 1,819,800 yen (RM58k).

    The new Copen is powered by a 660 cc turbocharged KF engine, producing 64 hp and 92 Nm of torque. There’s an optional LSD, and power is sent to the front wheels. It measures 3,395 mm long, 1,475 mm wide and 1,280 mm tall. For rainy days, you have an electrically-controlled two-piece folding hardtop.

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    One unique feature of the Copen is that the body panels on its D-Frame chassis can be replaced by the owner in order to customise it to his or her liking. A total of 11 parts of the car can be replaced – this includes the front hood, luggage area, front/rear bumpers, front/rear fenders, locker and fuel filler lid.

    Perodua is in the business of making basic transportation for now, but what if they started selling something like the Copen too? Would you be interested in one?

     
     
  • 2015 Kia Sorento sketches revealed with video teaser

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    Here are more sketches of the next generation Kia Sorento, and unlike the fan-drawn sketches we previously featured, this time they’re officially released by Kia.

    The new Sorento adopts styling cues from other large Kias such as the Kia Quoris and most recently the Kia Sedona. The front end is dominated by an extra large interpretation of Kia’s Tiger Nose and the headlamps meet exposed side edges of the grille in a style very much like what was first seen on the F30 3-Series.

    Kia also released a teaser video along with the two sketches above which show a designer sketching out the new Sorento with a digitizer. The video offers a less ‘blacked out’ view of the new Sorento. The video sketch also reveals a Y-spoke design for the alloy wheels, something we can’t really see in the sketches.

    A global reveal should be happening next month in South Korea, with a more international premiere happening at the Paris Motor Show later this year.

    GALLERY: 2015 Kia Sorento spyshots

     
     
  • Malaysia increases Johor Causeway toll to RM16.50 for a round trip – Singapore to match new rates

    singapore-coe

    The latest in rising costs for Malaysians travelling to Singapore and vice versa comes in the form of a toll hike for motorists using the Johor Causeway effective August 1 2014. The toll hike is imposed on all vehicles passing through the Sultan Iskandar Customs, Immigration and Quarantine (CIQ) building.

    The current toll charges are RM2.90 for private passenger cars, and this is a one way charge. The new toll charges for cars is RM6.80 when you leave Malaysia and RM9.70 when you re-enter Malaysia, effectively increasing the toll charge from RM2.90 to RM16.50 for a round trip.

    But this is not all – you also have to pay toll for crossing over at the Singapore side. The current toll charged at the Singapore side is S$1.20 (approximately RM3.07). But that will not be for long.

    In response to this increase in toll at the Malaysian side, Singapore’s Land Transport Authority said Singapore will be matching them in due course. According to the LTA, it has been Singapore’s practice to peg its tolls to match those set by Malaysia at the Causeway and the Second Link.

    Other than the RM16.50 and S$1.20 toll charges, Malaysia motorists will also have to pay S$35 (RM90) for a Vehicle Entry Permit. Thankfully, the VEP is exempted on Saturdays, Sundays and Singapore Public Holidays, 10 normal weekdays per calendar year, and between 5pm to 2am on all other days.

     
     
  • Infiniti Q50 appears on Malaysian website – RM250k

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    The Infiniti Q50 has appeared on Infiniti Malaysia’s website with an estimated price of RM250k for the Infiniti Q50 2.0t Standard model, along with a preliminary equipment list.

    The rear-wheel drive Q50 competes in the same class as the Mercedes-Benz C-Class, BMW 3 Series and Lexus IS. Under the car’s hood is a 2.0 litre turbocharged four-cylinder engine from Mercedes-Benz, similiar to the one in the W212 E-Class facelift and the upcoming W205 C-Class. In Q50 tune, it does 211 hp at 5,500 rpm and 350 Nm of torque from 1,250 to 3,500 rpm.

    This is 30 Nm more torque than the Q50’s 320 Nm figure for other markets, and we wonder why. The engine is mated to a seven-speed automatic transmission with Downshift Rev Matching and Adaptive Shift Control.

    infiniti-q50-17-inch

    Other features of note include LED headlamps, LED foglamps and LED brake lights, keyless entry and start, power-folding heated wing mirrors, dual-zone automatic air conditioning, rear air vents, a 10-way power adjustable driver’s seat with two-way power lumbar, eight-way power adjustable front passenger seat, heated front seats and 60/40 split backrest.

    Also included are a six-speaker audio system with Bluetooth support, Infiniti InTouch dual screen infotainment system, 17-inch wheels with 225/55 runflat tyres, ESP, VDC, Active Trace Control and six airbags. For a full list of specs and equipment, click here.

    Last we heard, three models will be available – a 2.0t Standard, a 2.0t Premium and a 3.5 Hybrid Sport. The RM250k estimated price for the 2.0t Standard matches what we wrote earlier.

    The Hybrid Sport will eventually get a pricetag of under RM400k, while the 2.0t Premium remains a question mark at the moment. We’re wagering somewhere between RM270k to RM300k, depending on what kind of equipment is added over the Standard.

     
     
  • JDM Subaru WRX S4 teased ahead of August 25 debut

    WRXS4_teaser

    Fuji Heavy Industries (FHI) has teased the Subaru WRX S4, the Japanese-market version of the Subaru WRX that is already on sale in other countries, ahead of its unveiling on August 25.

    The S4 in the name, says Subaru, comes from “Sports performance”, “Safety performance”, “Smart driving” and “Sophisticated feel”. To that end, the S4 will come with the third generation of the EyeSight camera-based driver assistance system for “unique overall safety performance”, and the car has been developed to provide “superior environmental friendliness” and a “high-quality feel”.

    No other details have been released so far, but it is rumoured that the Japanese will be compensated for the car’s late arrival on home soil with a few more horses from the 2.0 litre direct-injected turbo flat-four. Power is expected to rise by 32 PS to a round 300 PS and torque by 50 Nm to 400 Nm, which if you recall are the same figures as on the Japan-only Levorg estate.

    Like the Levorg, the S4 will reportedly be available solely with a CVT, presumably to leave some space for the also upcoming manual-only WRX STI, which as before is expected to be powered by a 2.0 litre MPI turbo mill for the Japanese market, rather than the 2.5 litre unit found elsewhere.

    2015 Subaru WRX

     
     
  • Ford Falcon – XR8 and XR6 reveal final FG facelift

    2014 ford falcon xr8

    Ford Australia has revealed the final iteration of its Falcon sedan, with the XR8 and XR6 models taking the wraps off the facelifted seventh-generation FG. The company had earlier unveiled its final GT-badged Falcon, the FPV GT F 351, last month.

    The facelift brings about a new face with more than a passing resemblance to the new Mustang. There’s a new bonnet, complete with revised power dome, a new trapezoidal grille and slimmer headlamps in the mix, while the rear gets fresh wraparound LED tail lamps.

    2014 ford falcon xr6

    The duo, along with the rest of the Falcon and ute range, will make their way into the market sometime in the fourth quarter this year. Full specifications haven’t been announced, but the powertrain lineup will consist of EcoBoost four, in-line six – including the EcoLPi liquid-injection LPG – and V8 petrol choices.

    Elsewhere, features and kit are unlikely to differ very much from that currently available, given that this is the final chapter of the car as well as Australian production – the company is slated to cease local manufacturing operations at its Broadmeadows and Geelong plants in October 2016.

     
     
  • Shell Helix contest winners head to Belgian GP at Spa

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    Five Shell Helix users will be on their way to Belgium after beating five others in the Shell Helix ‘The Ultimate Ferrari Experience’ finale at the Speedway PLUS Go-Kart Circuit recently.

    They will join winners from around the world for a 5D4N all-expenses paid trip to Spa-Francorchamps to watch the 2014 Belgian Formula One Grand Prix at the end of August. There, they will have access to the Shell hospitality suite, spend time with the Ferrari team and enjoy a behind-the-scenes paddock tour.

    The lucky five are Kok Tuck Choon, 45, from Kuala Lumpur; Low Ken Chin, 29, also from KL; Mohammad Sukhri Hadafi bin Mohammad Hanif, 29, from Perak; Dr Muhammad Yusuf bin Abdurrahman, 30, from Johor; and Wong Ken Hou, 28, from Selangor. They accumulated the highest scores in a quiz, go-kart hunt and time trial at the event.

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    At the event, Shell Lubricants also presented prizes to winners of the ‘Guess the number of Shell Helix Ultra bottles in a car’ contest and the #cleanmyengine Instagram contest held in conjunction with the Shell Helix global promotion roadshow.

    The global promotion featured a two-tier contest from April 1 till June 30, and was opened to customers who purchase a four-litre pack of Shell Helix Ultra with Pureplus Technology or any product from the Shell Helix HX7 range. Tier-one winners took home cash prizes.

     
     
  • SPYSHOTS: New Renault Twingo RS on test – to share an engine with the smart forfour Brabus?

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    The most powerful version of Renault’s little rear-engined, rear-wheel drive Twingo hatchback when it was unveiled in February this year will be a turbocharged 0.9 litre three-cylinder engine producing 90 hp and 135 Nm of torque. But a more powerful version is coming soon, as our Euro spies have snapped the upcoming Renault Twingo RS on test.

    You can see various holes cut in the body, presumably to allow for better cooling to the hotter engine mounted at the rear. There’s a hole cut at the nose under the Renault badge, and there are also intakes above the rear wheels which are not found on the regular Clio.

    Renault-Twingo-RS-04

    Will the Twingo RS use a tuned-up version of the 0.9 litre engine or will it use a larger displacement engine? The last generation Twingo RS used a 1.6 litre normally aspirated engine that did 133 hp and 160 Nm of torque. Could we be looking at a minimum of 160 hp and 200 Nm to keep up with the Fiat 500 Abarth this time around?

    It also remains to be seen if the Twingo RS will share its engine with the upcoming Brabus version of the new smart forfour, given that the two cars are now built on common platforms.

     
     
  • Traffic laws should be continuously enforced – CAP

    PJ Traffic Jam

    The Consumers’ Association of Penang (CAP) is demanding for traffic laws to be continuously and strictly enforced, rather than it being seasonal to coincide with local festivals.

    According to Bernama, president SM Mohamed Idris claimed that Malaysia was ranked 20th in the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) 2011 list of countries with the most road deaths, and that the country did not have a good record with law enforcement.

    “The enforcement of laws in Malaysia related to speed limits, drunk driving, motorcycle helmets and seat belts was ranked between four to five in a range of 0-10 compared to Singapore’s enforcement, which was ranked between seven to nine,” he said.

    Also worrying is the rising number of road accidents in the country, with 18 people killed daily. Indeed, the Malaysian Institute of Road Safety Research (MIROS) expects that figure to rise to 29 by 2020.

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    SM Mohamed added that the low traffic fatalities in Singapore were partly the result of strict enforcement – the island nation recorded just four deaths per 100,000 population, while Malaysia had about 24 deaths per 100,000 population.

    “Due to the lack of traffic law enforcement, among other reasons, the Perception of Being Caught (POBC) rate among Malaysian road users is low, at a 25% rate on regular days and a 50% rate during the festive seasons when there are road safety operations,” he said.

    The president stressed the need to up the POBC rate – which stands at between 80-90% in developed countries – to create more disciplined drivers. Such a move, he said, would dramatically improve the culture of enforcement among the authorities and reduce the propensity of Malaysian drivers to break laws.

    The association also called for a special investigation team to reduce corruption in the transport system in the field of traffic offences, road worthiness of vehicles, overloading, driver testing, licensing irregularities and vehicle inspections.

     
     
  • Aston Martin Lagonda – only for the Middle East

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    Aston Martin has released the first images of its new Lagonda, which is set to enter series production in limited numbers next year. The new Lagonda derives its inspiration from the 1976 designed by Williams Towns.

    The luxury super saloon won’t be available globally though – it’s only going to be sold exclusively in the Middle East as a result of specific market demand.

    aston martin lagonda 2

    It’ll be offered for sale by invitation only, and the company adds that the asking price will be commensurate with the model’s exclusivity, quality and luxurious nature.

    No details have been announced, save that the bespoke vehicle will be based on the brand’s existing flexible VH architecture and utilise carbon-fibre body panels. Reports have speculated that it’ll be powered by a 6.0 litre V12 that’s good for 600 hp.

     
     
 

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