Latest Stories

  • GIIAS 2019: Volkswagen Tiguan Allspace 7-seater SUV

    Here’s a break from the usual 2019 Gaikindo Indonesia International Auto Show (GIIAS) programming – a European car that Malaysia is yet to, or will never, get. The Volkswagen Tiguan Allspace is essentially a longer version of the second-generation Tiguan that was launched in our market in March 2017.

    At 4,701 mm, the Allspace is 215 mm longer than a regular Tiguan, and its 2,787 mm wheelbase is 106 mm longer. It’s not easy to spot this added length at a glance, and that’s a testament to good design – VW designed the rear doors to be longer, and raised the bonnet section above the radiator grille to achieve pleasing proportions.

    The added length is used to fit in two more seats. With all 5+2 seats erect, there’s 230 litres of storage space; not much, but fold down the third row and you’ll get a generous 700 litres (to the window line). Pull the latches on the boot wall to fold the second row seats and the cargo area grows to 1,775 litres.

    Bigger body aside, the Allspace is all Tiguan. Under the hood is a 1.4 litre TSI engine with 150 hp and 250 Nm of torque, available from 1,500 to 3,500 rpm. The petrol turbo engine is mated to a six-speed DSG dual-clutch gearbox, and the combo is good for 0-100 km/h in 9.5 seconds. Top speed is 202 km/h. There’s no 4Motion, so this SUV is front-wheel-drive.

    As for kit, the well-equipped Allspace includes Vienna leather seats, leather on the steering and gear knob, foldable tray tables for second row passengers, an eight-inch touchscreen head unit, Active Info Display digital instrument panel, powered front seats (memory for driver), 18-inch “Nizza” alloys and LED headlights/DRLs/tail lights.

    Also on are heated wing mirrors, DCC adaptive chassis control, Kessy keyless entry and push start, powered rear hatch, cruise control, three-zone climate control and an electronic parking brake with auto hold. Available in five colours – Candy White, Deep Black, Indium Grey, Reflex Silver and Silk Blue – the Volkswagen Tiguan Allspace is reasonably priced at Rp 533 juta (RM157,206), undercutting our five-seat Tiguan Highline.

  • GIIAS 2019: Honda Accord launched, 1.5T for RM206k

    The new Honda Accord has been officially launched at the 2019 Gaikindo Indonesia International Auto Show (GIIAS). The tenth-generation Accord comes in a sole 1.5T variant, priced at Rp 698 juta, which is equivalent to RM206,033. The new D-segment sedan starts from close to RM200k in Thailand, so that’s the ballpark price Malaysia should looking at.

    The 1.5 litre engine is the VTEC Turbo unit with 190 PS and 260 Nm of torque available from 1,600 to 5,000 rpm. That’s our CR-V 1.5T level of tune (which is higher than the Civic), but with 17 Nm more torque. The 1.5T is essentially a replacement for the current 2.4 litre naturally aspirated engine, but unlike the outgoing generation, there’s no entry level 2.0L NA version of the new Accord.

    Going out with the NA engines is the five-speed torque converter auto, replaced by a CVT with sport mode and paddle shifters. There’s an Accord Hybrid in Thailand, and it’s positioned higher than the 1.5T in the Land of Smiles.

    The new 2019 Accord won’t be mistaken for the old one, as it boasts a fresh new look with a sweeping roofline. At 4,920 mm long and 1,860 mm wide, the new sedan is 10 mm shorter and 10 mm wider than before. That roofline sits 15 mm lower than before, while the 2,830 mm wheelbase is a significant 55 mm longer. The centre of gravity is 10 mm lower than before. The wheels are 18-inch blade-style items.

    In Indonesia, the new Accord comes with the full Honda Sensing suite of safety features, including Collision Mitigation Braking System with Forward Collision Warning, Road Departure Mitigation with Lane Departure Warning, Lane Keeping Assist System and Adaptive Cruise Control with Low-Speed Follow. All exterior lights are LEDs, and there’s Auto-High Beam too.

    Other safety features include six airbags, ABS, EBD, BA, VSA, Hill Start Assist, Honda LaneWatch and Driver Attention Monitor. The latter can help determine if the driver is becoming drowsy and will alert him/her to stop and take a break. Auto brake hold and a multi-angle rear view camera provide convenience.

    The single spec also includes beige leather upholstery, powered front seats (memory and four-way lumbar), “boss seat” buttons, seven-inch digital instrument panel, eight-inch touchscreen head unit, remote engine start, keyless entry with push start, walk away auto lock, auto wipers, electric parking brake with auto hold, auto dimming rear view mirror and dual-zone auto air con with rear vents.

    Speaking of the rear quarters, Honda says that there has been a 48 mm increase in legroom. Rear occupants also get to enjoy two USB charging ports and a larger sunshade. Honda has worked to reduce rolling noise from the tyres and underbody, and there’s Active Noise Cancellation to counter noise inside the cabin.

    The all-new D-segment contender is available in four colours in Indonesia, and they are White Pearl Platinum, Modern Steel Metallic, Lunar Silver Metallic and this example’s Crystal Black Pearl. What do you think of the new Accord that’s surely comong to Malaysia next?

    Yay or nay, it looks like we’re now in an era where Japanese D-segment sedans start at around RM200k (the Camry 2.5V is priced at RM197k), and the benefactors are BMW and Mercedes-Benz.

  • Porsche 911 tribute – a living legend owning its niche

    The automotive world, for as long as it has been in existence, has seen some truly phenomenal four-wheeled vehicles grace the tarmacs of the earth. Some were revolutionary game changers, others established unrivalled cult following, but those which did both were few and far between.

    The Porsche 911 is an automotive icon that has been benchmarked countless times and boasts a staunch following in all corners of the world. It’s a living legend that, to this day, continues to embody the rear-mounted Boxer engine tradition it first adopted 56 years ago. As far as series production cars go, the 911 is perhaps the remaining one of its kind today, and it gets better with every generation. Let’s go back in time.

    The original Porsche 911 – 1963 to 1973

    The original model was known as the 901, but was later changed to the 911 following a brief row with Peugeot on naming rights. It made its global debut at the German International Auto Show in 1963, complete with a new air-cooled flat-six petrol engine delivering 130 PS. As production continued, the model range expanded from the coupe to the Targa (complete with a thick roll-over bar for safety), then the 911 S with 160 PS joined the line-up in 1966.

    In 1969, the 911’s wheelbase was lengthened by 57 mm, resulting in calmer handling. Engine displacement was increased from 2.0 litre to 2.4 litre (this saw the 911 S’ output bumped up to 190 PS), but the range-topping 911 Carrera RS gets a fire-breathing 2.7 litre engine making 210 PS and 255 Nm of torque without turbocharging. The RS weighed in at just 1,000 kg, rocketed from 0-100 km/h in 6.3 seconds, and had a top speed of 245 km/h.

    A total of 111,955 units of the G Series 911 were sold throughout the 10-year production run, but only 1,525 units of the Carrera RS left the factory gates in Zuffenhausen.

    G Series Porsche 911 – 1973 to 1989

    The G Series went down in history as one of the longest 911 models to be in production, following a successful 16-year run and with close to 200,000 units sold globally. The base 911 Carrera received the 2.7 litre six-cylinder Boxer engine from the previous RS, which was later increased to 3.0 litres.

    At the time, Porsche’s involvement in motorsports provided sufficient technical know-how on turbocharging, thus giving birth to the 911 Turbo in 1974. It packed a 3.0 litre flat-six turbo that delivered 260 PS, and in 1977 the engine was uprated to 3.3 litres and received an additional intercooler to produce 300 PS. As a car in the 70s, the Turbo zoomed from 0-100 km/h in 5.2 seconds, and had a top speed of over 260 km/h. Another legend was born.

    In 1982, Porsche introduced the 911 Cabriolet (sold alongside the Targa) for the first time, and in 1989 the 911 Carrera Speedster broke cover, marking the end of another illustrious chapter. Just 2,103 units of the Speedster were made – the bulk of sales were from the turbo-width body style, whereas 171 units of the narrow-bodied (export version) model were sold.

    Type 964 Porsche 911 – 1988 to 1994

    The third-generation 911 launched in 1988 saw yet another first for the model line – an all-wheel drive variant, one that’s effectively known, until today, as the Carrera 4. It wasn’t until a year later that Porsche launched the rear-wheel drive Carrera 2.

    As standard, all variants of the 964 were powered by a 3.6 litre flat-six petrol engine, with base outputs rated at 250 PS. The engine featured twin-spark ignition for the first time, which Porsche had originally developed for better operational reliability in aircraft engines.

    A fixed rear spoiler provided aerodynamic lift, which kept the rear axle planted. Another big addition is the optional adaptive Tiptronic gearbox, which Porsche claimed to provide smooth gear shifts without any interruption in power. A five-speed manual was the standard offering.

    A total of 63,762 units of the Type 964 were sold between 1988 to 1994, and top models such as the 911 Turbo S had an output of 360 PS and 520 Nm of torque. A Speedster version was also introduced to symbolise the end of a model run, with 945 units built.

    Type 993 Porsche 911 – 1993 to 1998

    Enthusiasts affectionately labelled the 993 as the most desirable iteration in the history of classic 911s. It was a riveting thing both in pictures and in the metal, featuring clever implementation of concave and convex panels, flush-mounted windows and wide rump with angled tail lights. Unfortunately for some, it was also the last 911 model to be air-cooled.

    The 993 was initially offered as a coupe and cabriolet, but the Targa debuted in 1995 and featured a broad electric glass roof instead of a removable hardtop. Mechanically, the 993’s multi-link suspension was considered to be the ultimate development stage of the “Weissach” rear axle, which made history with its self-steering properties. This gave the 911 even better driving dynamics and ride comfort.

    Porsche really got serious with the 993 – the 911 Turbo had all-wheel drive as standard, and the 3.6 litre engine gets boosted with two turbochargers to deliver 408 PS. The more hardcore 911 GT2, which was rear-wheel drive only, made an astonishing 450 PS, and production was limited to just 100 units.

    For the first time, the automaker introduced a six-speed manual gearbox for the 911, enabling a top speed of 270 km/h – the fastest 993 was said to have a top speed of 300 km/h, although this was never made official. At the end of the short production cycle, the 993 proved to be a huge success (both in terms of sales and cult following) with nearly 70,000 units sold worldwide. What came next, changed everything.

    Type 996 Porsche 911 – 1997 to 2005

    The fifth-generation 911 was born in a time of great difficulty – the financial crisis was starting to cripple markets the world over, and carmakers had to drastically reduce production costs and meet stricter emissions and safety regulations, all at the same time. The 911 also had to remain classically distinguishable, and the rear-engine recipe that made its forebears the icons they were must be preserved at all costs.

    Design-wise, the 996 received mixed reviews. Its headlights looked funny, the car’s overall proportions grew bigger, and the cabin was made to be more spacious than ever before. Mechanically, the decision to drop air-cooling was because the setup could not comply with strict emissions regulations, so water-cooling was, and still is the name of the game.

    From the get-go, base 911 models get a 3.4 litre naturally-aspirated flat-six engine, generating 300 PS. During the midlife update, displacement was increased to 3.6 litres, and output was consequently bumped to 320 PS (345 PS for the 40th anniversary edition). The Turbo had a smaller but more powerful 3.2 litre engine that made 420 PS, and therefore allowed the 911 to break past 300 km/h for the first time.

    The 911 GT2, which made an astonishing 483 PS, was fitted with ceramic brake discs (PCCB) for the first time. Combined, the entire braking system was 50% lighter than its cast iron counterpart, and boasted a service life of up to 300,000 km. This was groundbreaking for its time.

    Towards the 996’s end of life, Porsche rolled out the GT3 and GT3 RS. The latter featured progressive springs rather than linear, and the shocks were up to 15% stiffer than the GT3 in bounce and rebound. Their introduction also sparked the beginning of the Porsche brand cups, or more casually known as Porsche’s customer motorsport event. Over 175,000 units of the 996 were sold over the course of eight years.

    Type 997 Porsche 911 – 2004 to 2012

    The introduction of the 997 addressed most of the concerns with its predecessor’s design. Here, Porsche went full steam ahead by introducing a total of 24 variants, supplemented by a wide range of personalisation options. There were the Coupe, Targa, Cabriolet, Speedster, rear-wheel drive, all-wheel drive, narrow or wide bodywork, GTS, GT2, GT2 RS, GT3, and two GT3 RS models. Mad, right?

    But the strategy paid off. Handsomely. Porsche sold more units of the 997 in eight years than it did the G Series in 16 years – 213,004 units to be exact, compared to 198,496 units of the G Series. It was during this period that Nissan started benchmarking the GT-R R35 against the venerable 911 Turbo, which packed a 3.8 litre turbocharged flat-six that’s cranked to produce 500 PS (the Turbo S made 530 PS).

    Only the 911 GT2 RS was faster and more powerful. Its 3.6 litre engine, while smaller, gets tuned to make 620 PS and 700 Nm of torque, enough for a lap time of seven minutes 18 seconds on the Nürburgring north loop. The 0-100 km/h sprint was done in 3.5 seconds, and it was able to reach a top speed of 330 km/h. It was a 911 unlike any that came before, and Nissan couldn’t have picked a better rival.

    In 2009, Porsche introduced the new seven-speed dual-clutch (wet-clutch) version of its previously race-only Porsche Doppelkupplungsgetriebe (PDK) transmission on the facelifted Carrera and Carrera S models. The fast-shifting PDK was optional at the time, and was offered alongside the five-speed Tiptronic automatic and six-speed manual. Over the years, Porsche continued to refine the PDK, and today it is widely dubbed as the best dual-clutch transmission in the world.

    Throughout the production stage, Porsche introduced several limited edition 997 models, most notably the 911 Turbo S Edition 918 Spyder. This was created to shorten the waiting time of customers who ordered the actual 918 Spyder hypercar. As goes without saying, only customers of the hybrid beast are able to purchase the special edition Turbo S.

    Type 991 Porsche 911 – since 2011

    The arrival of the seventh-generation 911 brought about confusion, albeit a small one. Just why did Porsche backpedal the model code from 997 to 991? Truth be told, nobody really knows, not even the 911 engineers whom I had the privilege of speaking with. This wasn’t so much a break in convention, but the 991.2 facelift changed the course of the 911 for good. You should know this, it’s a one-word phenomenon – downsizing.

    For the first time in the history of the 911, entry-level 911 Carrera models were powered by a turbocharged engine, and a relatively tiny 3.0 litre flat-six unit at that. Fans across the world were aggrieved, yet the melancholy was all but fleeting.

    In typical Porsche fashion, the new and improved 911 GT2 RS had to be an unprecedented monster – it made 700 PS and had a top speed of 340 km/h. Till today, it remains as the fastest series-production 911 in history, while the 911 GT3 RS with its 4.0 litre high-revving naturally-aspirated flat-six engine featured more motorsports-derived technology than Porsche had ever before offered in a road legal car.

    At this point, it seemed as though nothing could go wrong for Porsche. To date, approximately 217,930 units of the 991 have been made. If you’ve been doing the math from the start of this story, you’d realise that collectively, over one million 911s (1,049,330 units to be exact) have been produced and sold.

    To commemorate the milestone, Porsche created a one-off Carrera S finished in a special Irish Green paint, which rolled off the production line on May 11, 2017. You can view it in the metal at the Porsche Museum, if you’re so inclined.

    Type 992 Porsche 911 – since 2018

    After 56 years of making some of the finest cars in the world, Porsche went back to the drawing board with the eighth-generation model. As per tradition, the classic 911 look remains unmistakably recognisable, but a majority – or 95%, rather – of the car’s components, from chassis to engine and body panels, are completely new. According to Porsche, there hasn’t been a more extensively revised model in the past, and our brief test drive of the 992 left quite an indelible impression.

    Major changes include relocating the engine some 20 mm forwards. It’s still rear-engined, but having the flat-six unit sit closer to the middle gave it more neutrality in the bends, and it’s less prone to snap oversteer when chucked around in the hands of the less experienced. A combination of other state-of-the-art mechanical components and cutting-edge software makes the 992 the most advanced 911 that you can enjoy driving daily, and for hours on end.

    Now, as a show of appreciation for making it to the end of this memory lane, I’ll have you in on a little fact – Porsche engineers are some of the most passionate car enthusiasts I’ve had the pleasure to meet. Some are obsessed, even. Like devotees to a cult, minus the bro-science and evangelism.

    And that’s exactly what makes the 911 so endearing. The people that make the car do it with no compromises, and every iteration of the 911 must be better than the last. It’s exactly like that motivational poster you see on gym walls – the only person (or car, in this case) you should try to be better than is the one you were yesterday. Because if you think about it, the Porsche 911 is pretty much in a league of its own.

  • SPYSHOTS: G30 BMW 5 Series LCI sedan spotted

    Following the on-road sighting of test units for the forthcoming facelifted G31 BMW 5 Series Touring, it’s now the turn of the G30 sedan. As with the sighting of the Life Cycle Impulse (BMW-speak for facelift) 5 Series Touring, the sedan here wears camouflage foil over the front and rear fascia in their entirety, as well as a portion of the bonnet and the bootlid. What are the bets for an incoming larger kidney grille?

    As for this development unit, the ‘Hybrid Test Vehicle’ stickers are rather self-explanatory; as with the LCI 5er sedan also in development, the PHEV 5 Series sedan is likely to get an engine upgrade to the 3.0 litre turbocharged straight-six as employed in the 745e, though most likely with a more modest total system output than the flagship limousine’s; figure on closer to 375 hp for the six-pot PHEV Five.

    Certainly, the mid-lifecycle update is also a good time to revise the rest of the engine line-up, across both petrol and diesel versions, though the exact gains for the various powerplants remain to be seen. Inside, the interior is most likely to receive updates in terms of trim and upholstery, along with enhanced technologies such as the Live Cockpit setup, though actual images of the LCI interior have yet to surface.

    Despite the outwardly minimal changes, there should be quite a bit more going on than meets the eye, therefore the updated G30 5 Series could be some way off from its market arrival. Our sources suggest a debut could take place either late next year, or early in 2021.

  • Toyota Rush – Malaysian vehicles not affected by potential airbag sensor issue, no call for inspection

    UMW Toyota Motor has issued a statement regarding the Toyota Rush, which has been recalled in the Philippines over an airbag sensor issue, in which the sensor is easily triggered by jolts, leading to the curtain airbags deploying when hitting road bumps at speeds of 60 km/h and above.

    The company clarified through a statement that the Rush being sold in Malaysia is not affected by this recall. The UMW Toyota announcement follows on that made by Perodua on Wednesday, when it stated that a number of units of the Aruz SUV was being called for inspection over the issue. Both the Rush and Aruz are of course related.

    Perodua said that while the issue has not affected the Aruz, it was carrying out the safety campaign as a precaution, and said it will carry out inspection and replacement of the part. The entire process will take 30 minutes to accomplish, with all costs to be borne by the company.

    The exercise involves over 3,000 units of the Aruz built before February 15 this year. Perodua said that all affected customers will be informed about the matter.

  • C8 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray goes mid-engined with 495 hp 6.2 litre NA V8, DCT, 0-100 km/h under 3 secs

    The wait is finally over, and Chevrolet’s worst-kept secret is finally out of the bag. The C8 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray has just been revealed, and the rumours and reports were true – after 67 years, America’s premier sports car has gone all mid-engined and ready to hunt Porsches, Ferraris and Lamborghinis.

    This switch has been a long time coming, with a series of studies and prototypes having been built from the late ’60s all the way until the ’90s. “The traditional front-engined vehicle reached its limits of performance, necessitating the new layout,” said GM president Mark Reuss. “In terms of comfort and fun, it still looks and feels like a Corvette, but drives better than any vehicle in Corvette history.”

    Chevrolet claims that the new engine placement improves straight-line and track performance thanks to the increased rearward weight balance, and that the driver’s positioning closer to the front axle provides better responsiveness and sense of control. The move has also enabled the bonnet, dashboard and steering wheel to be moved lower, enhancing visibility and allowing for a race car-like view of the road ahead.

    Mounted longitudinally just behind the driver is the LT2 small-block V8, which keeps the 6.2 litre displacement (and likely the cross-plane crank and ancient pushrod valves) of the previous LT1 but introduces a dry sump with three scavenge pumps. This enables the engine to be mounted lower and improves lubrication under hard track driving. The company says this is the only remaining naturally-aspirated V8 in the segment.

    Equipped with a performance exhaust system, the new Stingray makes 495 hp at 6,450 rpm and a towering 637 Nm of torque at 5,150 rpm, making it the most powerful base Corvette ever. It’s also the fastest, going from zero to 60 mph (97 km/h) in under three seconds when fitted with the Z51 Performance Package.

    Part of that speed comes down to the transmission. Unfortunately for purists, the seven-speed manual option is no more, replaced by a standard-fit eight-speed dual clutch transmission. The new Tremec-developed unit features a very short first gear for quick launches, closely-spaced ratios from second to sixth and tall seventh and eighth gears. It also allows drivers to manually disengage the clutch by pulling both paddles.

    Under the skin, the new Corvette is built around a stiff backbone structure that offers a solid foundation for the suspension, as well as improved torsional rigidity and easier entry and egress compared to the competition. It also preserves the Corvette’s trademark removable roof panel and eases the conversion to right-hand drive, so the C8 will be the first generation to be available with the steering wheel on the correct side.

    The main structure is made from just six die-cast aluminium parts to increase rigidity, while a carbon fibre rear bumper beam and an ultra-lightweight material – derived from fibreglass and a proprietary resin – for the front and rear luggage tubs combine to reduce mass and vibration.

    Another wholesale reinvention can be found in the all-round double wishbone suspension, where the Corvette finally waves goodbye to composite leaf springs in favour of conventional coils. Moving the engine rearward has also allowed for a shorter, straighter and stiffer steering system which, together with the revised electric power steering and quicker ratio, allows for more responsive handling.

    The new C8 also introduces an eBoost electro-hydraulic brake booster and a nose lift system that is linked to the navigation system and can recognise up to 1,000 locations. You also get an electronic limited-slip differential, Michelin Pilot Sport all-season tyres and version 4.0 of the optional Magnetic Ride Control dampers that read the road better and responds more quickly to driver inputs.

    Also on the options list are Performance Traction Management and the aforementioned Z51 package that adds a whole host of performance-enhancing features. These include uprated suspension with manually adjustable threaded spring seats, larger brake discs, an enhanced cooling system, a unique rear axle ratio, front brake cooling inlets, the performance exhaust and Michelin Pilot Sport 4 S summer tyres.

    Performance characteristics can be adjusted using the drive modes that have been expanded from four (Weather, Tour, Sport and Track) to six. There’s a customisable MyMode as well as a Z mode that can be used to further tweak the engine and gearbox settings. General Motors’ new electrical architecture allows for shorter wiring and quicker signal transmission, allowing for over-the-air updates and enhanced cybersecurity.

    The revised layout has made fundamental changes to the car’s proportions, with a cab-forward profile inspired by fighter jets and Formula 1 race cars. The Corvette’s low nose has been retained and incorporates new headlights with forked LED daytime running lights and large air intakes.

    This hyper-aggressive look continues down the rest of the car, where you’ll find retractable door handles and a sizeable inlet aft of the doors to aid cooling and aerodynamic performance. But it’s at the rear where the designers have really gone to town, with quad tail lights (with sequential indicators) and exhaust exits, huge vents and a massive diffuser.

    A bigger front splitter and a two-piece rear spoiler on the Z51 version add up to 180 kg of downforce. The glass hatch provides a good view of the engine – the design of which has been completely tidied up for presentation – and with a boot that Chevrolet says is big enough for two golf bags (there’s another boot in the front). The wheels measure 19 inches in front and 20 inches at the rear.

    Inside, the C8 continues the cockpit-like dashboard design that wraps around the driver, but the technology inside has been raised to a whole new level. Ahead of the driver sits a customisable 12-inch digital instrument display and a squared-off two-spoke steering wheel, while a higher-resolution centre display is linked to Chevrolet’s next-generation infotainment system.

    This system incorporates features such as one-touch Bluetooth pairing via Near Field Communication (NFC), wireless charging, improved real-time traffic information for the navigation system and a voice control system that learns over time. There’s also a Performance Data Recorder with a high-definition camera that can record track and point-to-point road course data, and which can also function as a dash cam.

    Elsewhere, Chevrolet promises top-grade materials such as hand-wrapped cut-and-sew leather and real metal and carbon fibre trim. It also offers a choice of three seat options with differing bolstering, materials and upholstery, and claims that the revised packaging has added an inch of rearward seat travel and almost double the reclining angle. Audio is piped in through a choice of 10- and 14-speaker Bose systems.

    Production kicks off at the Bowling Green, Kentucky plant in late 2019, and while no specific details on pricing and variants have been made available just yet, it’s been confirmed that the range will start from under US$60,000 (RM246,600).

  • GIIAS 2019: MINI Cooper 60 Years Edition – limited units coming to Malaysia next month as a Cooper S

    MINI turns 60 this year, and the brand has released a global special edition model to mark the milestone. The MINI 60 Years Edition can be had as a Cooper or Cooper S, and with three or five doors. MINI Indonesia rolled out the 60 Years Edition as a Cooper 3-Door Hatch at the 2019 Gaikindo Indonesia International Auto Show.

    The first thing that catches your eye is the British Racing Green colour, which was recreated solely for this edition, MINI says. The car is also available in Melting Silver, but why? Also unique to the 60Y are the 17-inch two-tone wheels you see here, wrapped with Dunlop run flat tyres.

    Colour and wheels aside, the exterior clues to the specialness of this MINI are in the badges. “60 Years” graphics can be found on the hatchback’s side scuttle (that’s where the signal lamps sit on the front wings) and black bonnet stripes, which has Aspen White and British Oak pinstripes that interplay with the colour of the roof and wing mirror caps.

    Inside, the MINI Yours Leather Lounge seats in Dark Cacao really stand out, especially when contrasted with green stitching and thick piping, and the exterior BRG paint. There are 60Y logos stitched on the outside corners of the chairs, and another logo on the leather steering wheel. More 60Y graphics can be found on the door sills and logo projection – the latter shines from the side mirrors and is visible at night. The pinstriped dashboard trim is also unique.

    Nothing’s new under the hood. The facelifted MINI Cooper is powered by a 1.5 litre turbocharged three-cylinder engine with 136 hp and 220 Nm of torque, mated to a seven-speed Steptronic auto transmission. 0-100 km/h takes 7.8 seconds. Today is the first public day of GIIAS, but MINI Indonesia’s 60 Years Edition allocation is already sold out for the green colour.

    The MINI 60 Years Edition will be coming to Malaysia next month, but we’ll be getting the hatchback in Cooper S form. That means a 2.0 litre turbocharged four-pot making 192 hp and 280 Nm, good for the century sprint in 6.7 seconds. Special editions aren’t uncommon when it comes to MINI, but this one’s rather alluring.

  • Lexus GXOR Concept debuts – rugged and luxurious

    Lexus has unveiled a new concept car called the GXOR, or GX Off-Road, which is essentially a heavily modified version of the GX SUV (specifically the pre-facelift model) that prioritises ruggedness. The vehicle was presented at the FJ Summit in Ouray, Colorado recently, and features a number of modifications to tame even the most demanding off-road trails.

    For starters, the GXOR features 2.5-inch dampers made by Icon with remote reservoirs and billet control arms with delta joints. There’s also parts from CBI, including frame sliders, full underbody armour protection and a bespoke bumper that also hides a Warn 9.5XP-S winch.

    The list continues with General Tire Grabber X3 275/70 tyres wrapped around 18-inch Lexus F Sport wheels,and a Safari snorkel. That last item ensures air is constantly fed to the 4.6 litre naturally-aspirated V8, especially when wading through deep water.

    Other adds-on include Maxtrax recovery boards for dire situations, AluBox storage cases, a 50-inch LED light bar from Rigid and an Overland 160-watt solar panel, with a K9 roof rack from Eezi-Awn to accommodate them all.

    Meanwhile, the boot is fitted with a Goose Gear drawer system and a National Lune Refrigerator. To go along with the SUV, and for even more storage, there’s also a Patriot Campers X1H trailer in tow that gets a Redarc Two-Pro electric brake controller.

    As you can tell, these upgrades aren’t custom made for the concept, but are actually sourced from various aftermarket manufacturers and suppliers. Lexus says the concept is meant to be a love letter to GX fans, saying, “it’s the enthusiasts and their vehicles that give life to the concept.”

  • July 2019 week four fuel price – RON 97 goes up again

    It’s Friday, which means the usual weekly fuel price update. Again, no cheer for RON 97 users, because the price of the fuel is going up again this week.

    From July 20, RON 97 will be priced at RM2.67 a litre (up 10 sen from the RM2.57 last week). As for RON 95 petrol, it will continue to retail at RM2.08 per litre, which is the maximum price consumers pay no matter how high market prices push pump prices.

    This is the same for Euro 2M diesel, which continues to retail at RM2.18 per litre, and Euro 5 diesel – which is 10 sen more than Euro 2M diesel – is priced at RM2.28 per litre.

    According to the finance ministry’s Automatic Price Mechanism (APM) calculations, RON 95 petrol and diesel would each cost RM2.37 per litre without the price cap in place. The government added that it will absorb an estimated RM179.97 million in fuel subsidy costs for the period July 20-26.

    These prices will remain in effect until July 26, when the next set of fuel pricing adjustments will be announced. This is the 28th edition of the weekly fuel pricing format, which is announced every Friday. The weekly prices are in effect from Saturday until the following Friday.

  • SPIED: Porsche 992 Turbo Cabrio seen testing again

    Development cars for the 992-generation Porsche 911 Turbo are out and about again, this time running tests in hotter conditions compared to its previous sighting.

    Given that the Carrera S and Carrera 4S models carry over the 3.0 litre biturbo flat-six from the latter part of the 991-generation model‘s lifecycle, the 992 Turbo should follow suit in also using the 3.8 litre flat-six capacity and configuration of its predecessor, albeit with uprated outputs to make it the most potent version outside of the GT range.

    The forthcoming 992-generation 911 Turbo could boast of at least 580 hp, a figure attained by the 991-generation Turbo S facelift of 2016, and driveline will almost certainly be a dual-clutch gearbox sending power to all four wheels, likely featuring torque vectoring and rear-axle steering as well. Turbochargers are likely to continue to be variable turbine geometry units as well for the 992 model.

    A selection of Turbo visual cues are carried over; the front bumper here should add some aggression to the overall Carrera bumper shape, albeit with dual-strip DRLs similar to the 991.2 Turbos, while yet-to-be-revealed Turbo-specific wheels and tyres should house uprated brakes and a Turbo-specific suspension tune. Air intakes ahead of the widened rear wheel arches further signify the Turbo from the core 911 range.

    At the back, the 992 Turbo gets a deployable rear spoiler atop a fixed ducktail section – a Turbo signature since the 996-generation model. The capital ‘T’ Turbo also appears to use a restyled version of the 991 Turbo’s quad-trapezoidal exhaust outlets, as well as rear bumper vents outboard of the exhausts.

    Save for the modest use of shrouds and camouflage foil, the 992-generation 911 Turbo should be reasonably close to production readiness – could a Frankfurt Motor Show debut be on the cards?


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Last Updated 06 Jul 2019


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