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  • 2015 Toyota Camry – specs and equipment released

    2015_Toyota_Camry_Facelift_Malaysia_03 copy

    UMW Toyota Motor has released official specifications of the updated 2015 Toyota Camry, which will be launched on April 2. A new engine, a new hybrid variant and added kit – let’s go through all of them, shall we?

    First up, what’s under the bonnet. As mentioned previously, the Camry gets an all-new engine – a 6AR-FSE 2.0 litre four-cylinder petrol engine with VVT-iW and D-4S direct and port injection. Producing 167 PS at 6,500 rpm and 199 Nm at 4,600 rpm (17 PS and 9 Nm from before), it finally ditches the old four-speed automatic transmission for a six-speed unit with Super-ECT.

    The new mill is capable of running on both Otto and Atkinson cycles, the latter for better efficiency. As such, it achieves a combined ECE-rated fuel consumption figure of 7.3 litres per 100 km, down from 8.3 litres per 100 km previously.

    Bigger news is the availability of a new 2.5 Hybrid model, which mates a 2AR-FXE 2.5 litre VVT-i four-cylinder petrol engine (160 PS at 5,700 rpm and 213 Nm at 4,500 rpm) with a 105 PS/270 Nm electric motor and a nickel-metal hydride battery. Combined, they produce a total system power output of 205 PS and deliver a combined fuel consumption of 5.2 litres per 100 km.

    2015_Toyota_Camry_Facelift_Malaysia_04 copy

    Click to enlarge.

    Two trim levels are available for the 2.0 litre – the base 2.0E and the mid-level 2.0G, doing away with the recent 2.0G X variant. Both models now come with HID projector headlights with LED daytime running lights, dual exhaust outlets, keyless entry and push-button start, but otherwise equipment levels remain the same.

    The 2.0E gets manually-adjustable fabric seats, a basic radio and CD/MP3 player with USB and iPod connectivity, six speakers, dual-zone automatic climate control with rear air vents and an Optitron instrument cluster with a new full-colour multi-info display. Going up to the 2.0G nets you eight-way power-adjustable leather seats, cruise control and security and solar film for the windows.

    Sitting at the top of the range, the 2.5 Hybrid replaces the old 2.5V and comes with automatic LED twin-projector headlights, automatic wipers, an auto-dimming rear-view mirror, a new seven-inch touchscreen navigation system with Bluetooth connectivity and reverse camera, a 10-speaker JBL Green Edge Tech sound system, a Panasonic Nanoe air ioniser and Qi wireless charging. We don’t get the Thai-market car’s power-reclining rear seats and triple-zone climate control, though.

    Click to enlarge the comparison tables.

    Last but not least, we come to safety – the 2.5 Hybrid gets the full complement of seven airbags (including one for the driver’s knee), VSC, Hill Start Assist and a Blind Spot Monitor with Rear Cross Traffic Alert (RCTA), but misses out on pre-crash alert, lane departure warning and dynamic radar cruise control, all of which come on cars from across the northern border.

    As before, the 2.0 litre models get two airbags – on par with the Honda Accord but behind the six-airbags-as-standard Nissan Teana. Disappointingly, the base 2.0E soldiers on without VSC, either. On the options list for the 2.0 litre models is an aerokit derived from the Thai-market Extremo variant, a seven-inch touchscreen DVD-AVN system with Bluetooth and a reverse camera, as well as security and solar film for the 2.0E.

    All that remains to complete the puzzle are prices for all variants, which we’ll find out during the launch of the 2015 Toyota Camry in two days time.

    2015 Toyota Camry 2.0G

    2015 Toyota Camry Hybrid 2.5HV

  • SPYSHOTS: New BMW 7-Series M Sport pack sighted

    Spy-Shots of Cars

    We’ve already featured spyshots of new BMW 7-Series quite a few times before, and we’ve even seen the car completely undisguised in some facility, but this is the first time we’re featuring what appears to be a 7-Series shod with an M Sport package on test.

    Here’s a comparison of the front view – the regular car is on the left and the M Sport is on the right. Generally, M Sport cars use V-shaped central air intakes while true M cars use an inverted V instead.

    We know this is an M Sport and not a true M7 because although the camo on the car makes it look like it could be an M7, look close enough and you’ll see a proper V shape behind the camo on the right.

    On the rear, these two cars look similiar because of all the camo covering the rear bumper design, but if you look closely you’ll see a diffuser-like cutout on the bumper of the car on the right – that’s the M Sport model.

    If this was a proper M7, we’ll probably be looking at quad tail pipes. So yes, no M7… yet?

    GALLERY: Next generation BMW 7-Series M Sport spyshots

    GALLERY: Next generation BMW 7-Series spyshots

  • SPYSHOTS: Mercedes-Benz A-Class facelift – a first look at the updated interior

    Mercedes A-Class Facelift 5

    The second car in Mercedes-Benz’s MFA family of cars to receive a mid-life facelift will be the Mercedes-Benz A-Class. As expected, a lot of the changes that will appear in the facelift A-Class have already been shown when the B-Class got its facelift.

    Our Europrean spy photographers managed to take a peek into the interiors of one of the facelift A-Class prototypes running around. These spyshots show a new steering wheel design as well as a colour (pre-facelift was monochrome) multi-info display in the instrument cluster, similiar to that in the B-Class facelift.

    Mercedes A-Class Facelift 7

    The centre dash area also features a new layout with a flat button design. Everything else looks similiar to the pre-facelift car. If things are consistent with the B-Class, there should be a new eight-inch COMAND screen option as well. The largest COMAND screen offered in Malaysia is seven-inch in the A 45 AMG. The A 200 and A 250 variants make do with 5.8-inch Audio 20 screens.

    Since the facelifted B 200 and B 250 did not get any changes in engine output, we don’t think the facelift A 200 and A 250 will get any power upgrades either.

    GALLERY: Mercedes-Benz A-Class Facelift

    GALLERY: Mercedes-Benz A 45 AMG Facelift

  • Toyota and Lexus to debut affordable automated safety tech packages on RAV4 Hybrid, next-gen RX


    Back in 2014, Toyota introduced its Safety Sense platform, which is comprised of several affordable safety packages, with the aim of introducing it onto its new models come 2015. The Japanese automaker plans to slowly roll out said safety packages across its entire model range by 2017.

    All that begins this April at the 2015 New York International Auto Show (2015 NYIAS) with Toyota set to showcase the new RAV4 Hybrid and Lexus to do the same with its fourth-generation RX. The former will be equipped with Toyota’s Safety Sense (TSS) platform – itself broken down into two categories, TSS C (for compact models) and TSS P (for mid-sized and premium models). The full-size Toyota Avalon will be the second recipient alongside the RAV4 Hybrid to incorporate TSS.

    To recap, the TSS C package consists of a camera and laser radar-based Pre-collision System (PCS), Lane Departure Alert (LDA) and Automatic High Beam (AHB) systems. PCS possesses an operational range that is tuned to mimic the speeds of which 80% of rear-end collisions are said to occur at – 11 to 80 km/h.

    The TSS P package carries forward the same features but adds on a camera and millimetre-wave radar-based pedestrian pre-collision system that gives off an audio and visual warning should the sensors detect an impending collision. Failure to brake would result in the automated application of the brakes – the system possesses an operational range from 11 km/h to 80 km/h.

    Additional features on the TSS P package includes Dynamic Radar Cruise Control (DRCC) which works by detecting vehicles ahead and adjusting the car’s own speed to maintain a sizeable gap between the vehicles. A forward-facing camera allows the system to pick up on vehicles that merge in front and adjusts accordingly. The TSS C package is expected to cost around US$300 (RM1,110) while the P goes for US$500 (RM1,850).

    Further up the Toyota hierarchy, its all-new RX model will debut with the Lexus Safety System + (LSS+). The package will contain a plethora of features from the TSS C and P package with PCS, LDA, AHB and DRCC thrown in. Additionally, LSS+ will feature a new Road Sign Assist function – designed to detect almost all globally-recognised road signs. LSS+ is expected to cost between US$500 to 635 (RM1,850 to 2,351).

  • Audi A4 B9 leaked undisguised, including interior

    Chinese website has posted photos purportedly of the new Audi A4 B9, which is set to debut just ahead of Frankfurt later this year. Renderings and spyshots aside, the new photos offer a closer look at the car’s headlamp design (a rather aggressive looking thing) as well as an overview of the interior, sans steering wheel.

    The layout of the third-gen’s interior has plenty of new Q7 overtones, including a similarly-shaped gearshift lever, and is certainly a significant jump over that found on the current A4 B8.


    The new A4 will sit on a modified version of the MLB platform. Dubbed the MLB evo, it was first seen underpinning the second-gen Q7. The platform employs a combination of ultra high-strength steel, aluminium and composites, and will potentially allow the A4 to shed around 100 kg in terms of weight.

    Front-wheel drive and quattro all-wheel drive options are set to feature, as will the automaker’s range of forced induction TDI diesel and TFSI petrol engines, along with six-speed manual or seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmissions.

    GALLERY: Audi A4 B9 render/spyshots

  • Indonesia’s national car to be an electric car – report


    Indonesia’s self-developed and built national car is planned to be an electric vehicle (EV), research, technology and high educational institute minister Muhammad Nasir has said, Antara reports.

    “Yes only electric cars, not ones fuelled with oil or other fuels,” he said, citing the eco-friendliness of EVs, the republic’s dwindling oil reserves, as well as Japanese and South Korean competition.

    According to the Indonesian news agency, the national car project is currently being trialled and evaluated by the Technology Application and Study Agency, the Indonesian University and the Bandung Institute of Technology. The testing is expected to be completed by year-end.

    However, Muhammad Nasir declined to comment on the supposed Indonesia-Malaysia collaboration in the development of the republic’s national car.

    Antara quoted Parliament deputy chairman Fadli Zon as saying that a national car project does not necessarily have to be a government project, and that the cooperation with Proton is a private-sector project rather than one involving the two governments.


    On February 6, during Indonesian president Joko Widodo (Jokowi)’s three-day Malaysian visit, Proton signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with PT Adiperkasa Citra Lestari to explore the possibilities in developing and manufacturing an Indonesian national car.

    Under the MoU, both companies are to conduct feasibility studies in areas including commercial, localisation, engineering and design, logistics and the potential development and manufacturing of the project in Indonesia. If successful, Proton and PT Adiperkasa Citra Lestari will sign a definitive joint-venture agreement.

    The deal was met with some criticism in Indonesia, leading to Jokowi clarifying that the cooperation agreement was not intended for the development of a national car. Jokowi was reported to have championed the Esemka marque when he was Solo mayor – Esemka is a collaboration between several vocational schools in Solo, Central Java to design and build vehicles.

    However, during his time in Malaysia, Proton chairman Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad took Jokowi for a spin in the yet-to-be-launched Proton Iriz EV, which has been developed with South Korea’s LG Electronics. Could this be the EV they’re talking about, or is the Indonesian car set to share some of its technology?

  • Bridgestone Potenza Adrenalin RE003 tyre launched

    bridgestone-potenza-adrenalin-re003 5

    The latest addition to Bridgestone’s portfolio has been unveiled in the guise of the Bridgestone Potenza Adrenalin RE003 – a performance-oriented tyre that supersedes the Adrenalin RE002 in the Potenza range. The new tyre is said to be constructed “with the optimal mix of powerful traction, handling stability and quick initial response on dry roads, while boasting sure handling and braking on wet roads.”

    Manufactured in Thailand, Indonesia and Japan (depending on tyre sizes), the RE003 utilises an improved silica-based compound in its construction to deliver improved handling in both wet and dry conditions over the outgoing RE002. Elsewhere, a “pulse groove” incorporated into the design of the tyre helps to disperse standing water more effectively, decreasing the risk of aquaplaning.

    bridgestone-potenza-adrenalin-re003 6

    A more rounded profile design increases the amount of contact between tyre surface and tarmac while a wider centre rib over the RE002 is said to offer more precise cornering performance. The outer region of the RE003 features a stylised groove, a “Connection Block”, that provides additional traction in dry conditions.

    Additionally, the new Bridgestone Potenza Adrenalin RE003 also boasts significantly lower road noise as well as increased ride comfort compared to the RE002. The tyre is available in 20 different sizes, with profiles ranging from 35 to 55 series. Available wheel sizes span from 15- to 18-inch measurements.

  • Honda to unveil a new SUV concept in Shanghai

    honda concept shanghai 2015

    Honda’s wholly-owned subsidiary in China, Honda Motor China Investment, will be premiering an as-yet-unnamed SUV concept at Auto Shanghai 2015 later this month.

    Save a teaser sketch, no details have been revealed about the vehicle, which the automaker is presenting together with Guangqi Honda Automobile and Dongfeng Honda Automobile Honda, its other joint-venture manufacturing concerns in the country. The company says that the study will preview a new SUV developed exclusively for the Chinese market.

    At the 2013 edition of Auto Shanghai, the company debuted its Concept M MPV, and the new SUV shows hints of a similar-looking face, albeit with a more wedge-like nose – is there another triple-deck fascia in store? More when the vehicle debuts in Shanghai.

  • KL City Grand Prix – driver’s view of proposed circuit

    Remember the KL City Grand Prix, the launch of which we covered in December? Yup, between August 7 and 9, Kuala Lumpur is set to see GT racing teams, their drivers and their cars do battle on her streets, within a specially-designed 3.2 km street circuit in the KLCC area.

    With the action only five months away, organiser GT Global Race (M) Sdn Bhd has released a TVC outlining the event and its highlights. The KL City Grand Prix is estimated by PricewaterhouseCoopers to draw 100,000 new visitors to the country, create over 6,300 jobs from the first event and raise RM750 million in national income.

    We’ve also included a video of the proposed circuit from a driver’s view. The planned 11-turn circuit starts at KLCC Suria and proceeds through Jalan P Ramlee, Jalan Ampang, Jalan Sultan Ismail and Jalan Pinang before returning to the chequered flag. It should certainly make for quite a spectacle.

    Chaired by YAM Tunku Naquiyuddin ibni Tuanku Ja’afar and headed by president and CEO M. Arrasu, GT Global Race has engaged Shanghai Top Speed to stage selected rounds of certain international race events in KL, including the Lamborghini Super Trofeo Cup, Formula Masters and Scirocco Cup.

    Partners include DBKL (for exclusive rights to hold the KL City Grand Prix for five years), AAM (for race organisation and FIA homologation), plus UK-based APEX and Australia-based KBR (for street circuit design and development).

    Horsepower-bristling GT machines thundering through the streets of KL? We can’t wait!

  • GALLERY: 2015 Toyota Camry 2.0G CKD, first pictures

    2015 Toyota Camry 2.0 CKD 3

    You’re looking at the first pics of the 2015 Toyota Camry 2.0G, one of three variants of the locally-assembled refreshed Camry that will be launched later this week. The other two are the entry-level 2.0E and the Camry Hybrid 2.5HV. The latter, which we showed you a full gallery of last week, is the first hybrid Toyota to be assembled in Malaysia.

    The CKD Camry 2.0 gets a new 2.0 litre VVT-iW D-4S engine. The direct-injection 6AR-FSE unit, making 167 PS at 6,500 rpm and 199 Nm of torque at 4,600 rpm, has separate twin injectors for both direct and port injection. It is mated to a six-speed torque converter “Super ECT” automatic gearbox with manual mode.

    Both the engine and transmission are significant upgrades from the outgoing 1AZ-FE 2.0 litre VVT-i (150 PS/190 Nm) and four-speed automatic combo.

    2015 Toyota Camry 2.0 CKD 13

    Equipment wise, it looks like the 2.0G will come with HID projector headlamps with LED daytime running lights, twin-tailpipes and 16-inch multi-spoke wheels with 215/60 Bridgestone Turanza ER33 tyres, plus front and rear parking sensors. The bodykit seen here is optional.

    Inside the black-themed interior, Camry 2.0G occupants get black perforated leather seats; wood trim on the dashboard, centre console, gear knob and door pulls; dual-zone auto air con; steering buttons; cruise control and keyless entry with push start button. There’s also a cool new Optitron instrument cluster with a full-colour multi-info display between the two dials. The DVD-AVN head unit seen here is optional.

    Things like the twin-projector LED headlights, 10-speaker JBL Green Edge Tech sound system and Qi wireless charger are reserved for the range topping Camry Hybrid, which could retail for RM175k. More details coming your way soon, but for now, browse our live gallery of the 2015 Toyota Camry CKD.

    2015 Toyota Camry 2.0G

    2015 Toyota Camry Hybrid 2.5HV


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