Thursday, August 29, 2013

The Hyundai Veloster 1.6 - Not for performance, just for looking good.


There are times when we feel the need for something a little more flashy than the normal cooking hatchbacks, small ugly sedans or even large uncle-mobiles. Even housewives, family men need that urge to feel young and free again or that those who are indeed single and young at heart want a car that actually shows off that side of them. Sometimes, I feel that urge too when it comes to personal transport. In the quest to find a decent second (or third) car for the family I actually stopped to look at those priced below rm140,000 and with something less than four doors. 

I looked at the Honda CRZ, a fantastic car for people who want a sporty urban runabout. It has a 1.5liter engine coupled to an electric motor and makes more than 130hp. It also drove well but I have reservations as regards its running costs after five or more years. Whilst Honda is giving a guarantee that the electric motor's battery pack will last at least ten years I am not convinced that it will do so. Why? You may ask and the answer is because we live in a country where humidity is extremely high and I have never really been confident about any electrical product that sits, whether occasionally in the rain and then the sun will actually stand this constant cycle of hot and cold and of condensation of water vapour in the long run. I may be just ultra paranoid, but there could be a valid reason for me being as such.  Anyway, when Hyundai launched the Veloster recently, I was curious at this single rear door five seater coupe. Could it be the the flashy coupe for small families and for paranoid motorheads like Yours Truly?

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

The UD Quester is launched - a new heavy duty global truck platform - SPONSORED VIDEO

Let's talk about trucks today. Specifically the newly launched UD Quester by UD Trucks. The UD Quester is a truck designed for a global market with local conditions in mind. Designed by specialists from the Volvo Group (of which UD Trucks is a part of) the Quester is versatile and it has an extensive range of wheelbases and a chassis that is easy to build on – a fact very important to Malaysian truck owners and coach, or bodybuilders which customize a truck's chassis to suit local needs.

Using class leading systems and processes coupled with Japanese build quality the Quester has over 1.5million engineering hours and 65000 hours of road testing during its 3.5 year span from the start of development to its launch. The focus on the vehicle's uptime and fuel efficiency are key ingredients during its development.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Some thoughts on the upcoming 2013 Toyota Vios

This will be a short one without any complains about how bad something is at this point of time in and around Malaysia - like why the heck is the Malaysian Ringgit dropping against most major currencies and why is a deputy minister complaining about gangsters biting the dust. I am actually pleased that Toyota has come up with a Toyota Vios that looks pleasant from the outside and now the inside.

You see, I have no complaints about the exterior of the current Vios. It looks like a mini Toyota Corolla or Camry. In other words, it is as offensive to the eyes of the general public as a wall painted white in colour or a coconut tree on the beach. The upcoming one however is actually nicer to look at. Toyota have put more effort into styling the darn thing this time around and it looks good. The latest Toyota design philosophy is all over this Vios.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Proton Suprima S - Driven.

It's quite a large hatchback isn't it? The newly launched Proton Suprima S looks as big as the Proton Inspira nee Mitsubishi Lancer parked in front of it. Now this is the actual problem that Proton needs to highlight when it comes to launching new cars or variants. I should harp a little about this before we get to the slightly more interesting details about how the Suprima S drives.

Priced from RM76,500 around RM79,988 the Suprima S isn't a cheap Proton. In fact it is slightly cheaper than the Inspira and slightly more expensive than the Proton Preve. It is also more expensive than the Proton Satria R3, which is supposedly Proton's hottest model (which sadly does not come with a turbocharged 1.6liter engine like the Preve and Suprima S). It also sits in the region where one could opt for the cheapest non-Malaysian cars like the hot selling but really big arsed Nissan Almera, the dull Toyota Vios and the slightly better than window dressing Honda City. There are even smaller hatchbacks within the same price range like the Suzuki Swift and the Ford Fiesta. These are world class superminis that are actually the best in their class. 

Friday, August 16, 2013

BMW Previews the M4 Concept - Feng Shui disaster in Series numbering?

Nice. I don't really know how many horses this new M Division BMW will make (actually, about 450bhp) nor do I care how fast it goes (0-100km/h in about 4.4secs). The only reason the picture above is being shown on this site is the fact that I really wonder how BMW is going to market this new 4 series model here in Asia.

This car is actually the 2 door BMW 3 series. BMW wants us to believe that the 2 door variant is inherently sportier than any 2 door 3 series before this and that it deserves a series of its own. There goes our dreams of a new proper 2 door BMW M3 after the E92. Somehow unlike Mercedes Benz who have decided to call the 2 door C-class as the C-class Coupe, BMW had decided to make the coupe variant a whole new model series - the BMW 4 series. So we have the BMW M4 pictured above, as well as slower cooking models like the 420i, 428i, 420d, 430i, 440i. Now would Feng Shui practicing Asia welcome the 4 Series with open arms? The number 'Four' basically means 'die' in cantonese.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Proton Suprima photos leaked.

Photos of the Proton Preve hatchback are going around (I've taken this from my friend who got it off the web.). I think there are going to be more Subaru Impreza copies running around. Now its going to be the GRB hatchback version especially in blue pictured herein. Malaysians that cannot afford an Impreza are going to make this their Impreza whether  Subaru, Subaru owners and rational people like it or not. All they would think this car needs is a bonnet scoop and wallah, it's a Subaru. Of course, the new Proton hatch is going to cost somewhat like the Preve - around Rm60,000 to Rm75,000 depending on whether it has a turbocharger or not. (update - there are two versions of the Suprima S. Both turbocharged)

It's also called the  Proton Suprima. Sounds like a brand of Petronas unleaded petrol to me and when i was typing this on the Ipad the autocorrect spelt 'subprime'. hmmmm.....

UD Trucks will preview the new UD QUESTER soon - SPONSORED VIDEO

UD Trucks is now ready to launch the UD Quester – a new heavy duty truck range developed for Asia and other growth markets. Its global launch takes place in Bangkok on August 26, 2013. UD Trucks was formally known as Nissan Diesel and since Volvo Group (the commercial vehicle manufacturer and not the car producer – which is owned by Geely) took control of the company in 2007. Since then it has since used UD as its brand name, which is short for 'Ultimate Dependability'. Yes people, UD Trucks is a Japanese brand with a Swedish presence too.
The new truck will be called the Quester. The name Quester reflects UD Truck's six year quest to deliver a range of trucks and services, designed for Asia and other growth markets. This means that the UD Quester was designed to handle the the tough and rough roads and traffic conditions (which are usually terrible) throughout Asia. A truck with the same mind-set and endurance as a long-distance runner – efficient, determined and tough. 

New Kia Cerato or Hyundai Elantra?

Last year Hyundai launched the current Elantra. This year, Kia launched its latest iteration of the Forte/Cerato here in Malaysia.

Hyundai Elantra

Kia Cerato

Aside from their respective front grilles they look so similar on the road.