Sunday, June 29, 2014

Sunday Car Porn: Land Rover Defender 2.2 TDCI XS 110 – Chelsea Defender by A. Kahn Design.


Kahn Design, that UK based company that adds more leather, wide arches, big wheels and basically everything turned up to 11 on a scale of 10 has did up another Land Rover Defender - The Land Rover Defender 2.2 TDCI XS 110 – Chelsea Defender. 

"The look of the Nara Bronze XS 110 Chelsea Wide Track is complimented by a multitude of additions that include a front bumper including bumper lighting, front and rear wheel wide wheel arches and wings in matt black, LED diamond bright headlights, bonnet vents with mesh, painted brake calipers, privacy glass, front bumper sump guard, hardwearing mud flaps, exhaust shields, Kahn crosshair exhaust system, Kahn 9 x 20" Mondial wheels in volcanic black and a Chelsea truck company spare wheel cover.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

BMW i3 wins award for Production Interior Vehicle Design of the Year

The new BMW electric hybrid coupe, the BMW i3 has won an award for 2014 Production Interior Vehicle Design of the Year at the Automotive Interiors Expo Award 2014 (there IS such an expo!). The car, innovative as heck but isn't something for the sporty sort of BMW drivers. More for the uncles and aunties. And Eco-mentalists. Yup.

PRESS RELEASE

Tuning News: New 2014 Mercedes Benz C180 W205 tuned by Inden Design

The tuning houses have descended on the W205 Mercedes Benz C-class. Here we have Inden Design, tuner of Ferrari and Mercedes Benz over in Germany coming up with their interpretation of the entry level C180 model. This could be inspiration to those local car enthusiasts who intend to get the new C-class and start making it slightly different from the norm.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

News: Subaru BRZ may be axed due to a BMW-Toyota collaboration


The Subaru BRZ, or the Subaru version of the Toyota GT86 may be discontinued if Toyota and BMW's joint venture on the developement of a high performance sports car gathers momentum. The chief engineer responsible for the Toyota and Subaru versions, Tetsuya Tada, had stated in an interview with www.Drive.com.au that the program with the German brand could be expanded to include the next 86. 

The engineers are currently examining whether to keep the current 2.0liter flat four engine or replace it with something more conventional, or in my opinion, something 4 cylinder with a turbocharger that allows for better emissions and torque (as well as downsizing the engine even more).

Saturday, June 21, 2014

News: Volkswagen Peninsular Malaysia 'Volkswagen On Tour' Roadshow is now on going

Volkswagen Group Malaysia is extending its comprehensive and compelling Volkswagen brand experience to various locations across Peninsular Malaysia as part of its continuous commitment to engage with Malaysians. 

Starting with its first stop at One Utama in Petaling Jaya, the continuation of the Volkswagen On Tour series of roadshows will see visitors engaging personally with Volkswagen’s fleet of vehicles in Malaysia including all of Volkswagen’s recently launched vehicles – the all-new Golf R, the latest Tiguan, the enhanced Passat and the locally assembled Jetta. Visitors will also stand the chance to win the Polo Sedan in conjunction with Volkswagen’s “Safe and Stylish Balik Kampung” campaign.

News: Hyundai's new 3S Centre in the East Coast of Peninsular Malaysia and enhanced Hyundai Veloster launched

Hyundai-Sime Darby Motors (HSDM) has opened its first 3S centre in the East Coast of Peninsular Malaysia. The 3S centre is located in Kuantan, Pahang and it is part of Hyundai's plan to increase its market share over the next three years continues to gain momentum. You can now get everything Hyundai in one stop over in the 'Pantai Timur'


Thursday, June 19, 2014

2014 J.D Power Awards for Initial Quality Study and Awards for Dependability Rating

The 2011 Lexus GS - Most reliable Mid-sized Premium Car after three years and most reliable brand overall after the same period according to J.D Power

There are two, I repeat two (2) major J.D Power Awards for the Automotive sector out there. 

First is the Initial Quality Study for 2014. Taken from the Initial Quality Study (IQS), which looks at owner-reported problems in the first 90 days of new-vehicle ownership, this score is based on problems that have caused a complete breakdown or malfunction, or where controls or features may work as designed, but are difficult to use or understand.

Hyundai Snares Most JD Power Initial Quality Awards In Its History

J.D. Power presented three Hyundai vehicles - 2014 Genesis, 2014 Elantra and 2014 Accent - their highest award for initial quality in their respective segments. Hyundai ranked fourth overall in initial quality, climbing six spots from last year, and was the highest-ranked non-premium brand. In total, Hyundai had six vehicles in the Top Three positions in their segments, including two second place finishes for Santa Fe and Sonata and a third-place finish for Equus. This year’s results mark the third time Hyundai has been the highest-ranked non-premium brand in the past 10 years, and the third time it finished among the Top Four brands overall.

TYRE NEWS: GOODYEAR PROVIDES MALAYSIAN DRIVERS WITH WORRY FREE ASSURANCE

Goodyear Malaysia is delivering greater assurance to drivers by offering its Worry Free Assurance program. This provides replacement tyres within six months from the date of purchase on selected Goodyear tire patterns for road hazard damage that is beyond repair (caused by puncture, cut, bruise or impact during the course of normal driving) on a maintained road (within the stipulated terms and conditions). Tyres are expensive. Especially in those large low profile sizes. AND what is the difference between tyre and tire? Tyre is the English way of spelling it and 'tire' is the American/Canadian way of spelling it as per the press release - there you go, another lesson for you folks out there.

Spotted For Sale: The "Toyota AE86" you never ever wanted

This is for one for those days where you thought things couldn't get any weirder but it does. My friend Firdaus has friends who search the classifieds for unique used cars to lust after. But sometimes they come across cars that you have no idea why they are what they are in the first place. This is one of them - a Proton Saga Iswara that wants to be a Tofu transport vehicle, the Toyota 'Hatchiroku' or 86.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Peugeot 508 facelifted for 2015MY

Peugeot has facelifted their large family sedan, the 508 for the 2015 Model Year. The new nose gets its new themes from the recently launch 308 and is actually more promiment as well as being a more conventional split two grille front end rather than one large grille previously. Lots of brands seem to eschew the large single grille and are now reverting to the traditional split grille setup. Ah, how things are so fluid in the automotive industry.


The facelift covers the sedan, the SW estate and also the crossover RX wagon (which isn't on sale over here) and aside from the front end rework, the new stuff are some new engines and the interior, which has new dials, instrumentation, less clutter (from less switches) and a larger infotainment screen. There are also blind spot sensors and a reverse camera as options too.

Facelifted 2015 Mercedes Benz CLS launched - new front end, LED headlights and a new gearbox


The facelifted Mercedes Benz CLS has been previewed. Typical of most new Mercedes Benz facelifts, the 2015 CLS now gets a nearly completely new front end. The 'honed front section' is actually a familiar looking face. It looks so much like the facelifted W212 E-class instead of being more of a 'halo' car for Mercedes. Maybe there is a need for more of a family look to it. It does have a Diamond pattern type grille of the latest sporty models though. Still breathtaking though.



RM199 per month for a Golf, Polo Sedan or Polo 1.6 - too good to be true?

"It’s never been easier to own a Volkswagen. For an amazingly low monthly instalment of RM199*, you can drive home a brand new Golf, Polo Sedan or Polo 1.6. And because we have stock readily available, there is no waiting for your dream car either."

So is it too good to be true? If it were RM199 per month forever, then theVolkswagen Golf 1.4TSI would be yours after about 779 months, a Polo Sedan could be yours for 452 months or 37 years. So......This is only for the first year okay. After that things should revert to the normal high hundreds or low thousands or RM.

Tech Talk: Mercedes Benz Malaysia says its not their fault you're having problems with Grey Imports and...

....I have to agree with them. This issue cropped up due to Malaysians who buy grey import Mercedes Benz Direct Injection (CGI) or even the CDI diesel models who are suffering from engine ailments caused by Malaysian petrol being of Euro 2 standard when the Euro or Japan Specced models brought in by grey importers or AP holders require at least Euro 4. Those that bought via official Mercedes Benz dealers (like Yours Truly...Muahahahahaha) will not face such problems.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Perodua drops prices of the Viva, why Perodua is successful and why Proton aren't

You've got to hand it to Perodua. The second national car maker has dropped prices for their cheapest model again. 

Viva 660 BX manual – RM22,000 ( from RM25,000, less RM3,000)
Viva 850 manual – RM27,900 (from RM33,200, less RM5,300)
Viva S auto – RM29,900 (from RM35,200, less RM5,300)
Viva Elite MT – RM32,900 (from RM38,200, less RM5,300)
Viva Elite AT – RM36,800 (from RM41,300, less RM4,500)

Friday, June 13, 2014

Mercedes AMG previews a new engine for its upcoming GT



"A compact design, low power-to-weight ratio, great fuel efficiency, and signature, distinctive AMG sound all work in harmony to create the high-performance AMG 4.0 Liter V8 Biturbo Engine (M178). This engine is truly bigger than the sum of its parts – and a quantum leap into the future of technology."

Opinion: Of Nissan Teana and Nissan Sylphy - CVT on the old and new models.

It may be very okay to buy this new 2014 Teana.....
...but not very okay to buy this previous Teana.

I just noticed that the new Nissan Sylphy and the new Nissan Teana....have the same engine and gearbox. Note that the earlier Sylpillis, er Slyphy...no, Sylphy and the earlier Tena, no, that's an adult diaper were running the same CVT gearbox and different engines. This time, both have four cylinder Nissa-Renault MR Series 2.0liter engines running a slightly modified CVT gearbox. You also get the same engine and transmission in the recently launched Renault Fluence (which I totally forgot was also recently launched - makes you wonder how much I was looking forward to it being around Malaysia).

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Tech Talk: Of steering feel and steering weight. No, they're not the same

The steering of this Mazda has supposedly less feedback than.....

......this 1990 Proton Saga??????
I have on many occasions noticed that most of us Malaysians confuse 'steering feel' with 'steering weight'. There was this one time when a friend of mine was trying to sell his Mazda MX-5 Roadster and the chap who wanted to buy it said that the Roadster had no steering feel. This was unlike his 1990 Proton Saga Megavalve Manual which to him had tons of feel.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

TEST DRIVE: THE VOLKSWAGEN GOLF 1.4TSI Mk7 - The Mr Spock of hatchbacks


The Volkswagen Golf is a car that has become an automotive icon. Over in Europe the car defines a genre and is the benchmark that others either follow or try to beat when engineering a hatchback. However over here, things are just warming up as any real Golf presence came about sometime after 2004 when the Golf Mk5 was officially imported. Prior to this we had Auto Dunia importing Volkswagens but somehow they must have done it wrong as not many people were enraptured by Volkswagens. These days, there are more Golfs than before and now in its Mk7 model, the current Golf carries on the legacy (and whatever reputation the previous models have; good or bad).



Monday, June 09, 2014

Trucking News: Volvo Trucks Announces the Fuelwatch Challenge 2014 Champion

Volvo Trucks have announced the winner of this year's Fuelwatch Challenge. Clocking the lowest fuel consumption over the 40-kilometre drive challenge in the final stage, En Ahmad Bin Othman from Logistik Petikemas Sdn Bhd in Prai emerged as the victor of this year’s Fuelwatch Challenge. He achieved a strong result of 2.52 kilometres using only 1 litre of fuel driving a Volvo truck with a 40-footer container carrying 20 tonnes of load. As the national champion and the next Fuelwatch ambassador, En Ahmad Bin Othman is set to represent Malaysia at the Fuelwatch APAC and World Finals 2014, to be held in Volvo’s home country in Gothenburg, Sweden later this September. Go and make us proud.



New car launch: McLaren launches the McLaren 650S at its KL Showroom


I attended the launch of the new McLaren 650S supercar in both coupe and spyder form earlier today. This marks the third car launched by McLaren after the 12C and the P1. Some may say that the 650S is an evolution version of the 12C as it looks similar. But underneath is a whole slew of parts which differ from the 12C. One of which is the suspension hydraulics which have been placed closer to the top of the strut instead of being in the middle of the car. This does all sorts of things, but I would have to actually drive the car to find out and see. Fingers crossed (big time).

Saturday, June 07, 2014

Iconic Cars: The original Citroen DS

The original Citroen DS Brake Pedal......is actually something called a mushroom button. It isn't even a pedal. Really. As exotic and as unreal as how it looks inside and out. Note that you also have a tiny little stick as an accelerator pedal too. The 'normal' looking pedal you see on the left is the DS' park brake. The rest of the interior is also cool. Note the single spoke steering wheel, column mounted gear shift (4 or 5 speed manual, 3 speed automatic or 4 speed semi-auto) and an actually modern looking dashboard for a car that was first produced in 1955. In fact, it was so futuristic, Citroen kept on producing it till 1975.


New car launch: Volkswagen officially launches the Mk 7 Volswagen Golf R for Malaysia

The Volkswagen Golf R is officially in town. It will costs those interested RM245,888 without insurance and if you opt for the optional tech pack, RM285,888 without any insurance too. 

This new Mk 7 Golf R is fitted with a newly designed 2.0l TSI engine producing 290hp and 380Nm of torque from as low as 1750rpm via the usual wet clutch DSG transmission unit through all four wheels (a Haldex All-wheel drive system). This allows the Golf  R to accelerate from 0 to 100kph in 5 seconds and onwards to around 250kmh easily. It, like any Mk7 Golf is based on VW's pretty good Modular Transverse Matrix (MQB) platform. As with any performance hatchback the Golf R built on a chassis that starts of as a regular Golf hatchback and gets extra engineering built into it. A good foundation is all important, and when it comes to ride, handling as well as NVH, the engineers already have the brilliant chassis of the basic Golf and makes it into the Golf R. 

Thursday, June 05, 2014

Car News: Launches this week - Nissan Teana and the Range Rover Sport


Nissan launches the ALL-NEW 2014 L33 Nissan Teana (aka Nissan Fuga elsewhere). It looks good, has a name that no one will make fun of and is now without a 6 cylinder engine (now a 2.0 136hp  4cylinder and a 173hp 2.5 4 cylinder driving the front wheels via a CVT - not that powerful if you compare to the Honda Accord or even Hyundai's i40). Boo Hoo for ultimate affordable refinement but prices are more affordable and servicing costs should go down a tad bit. RM139,800 for the base 2.0, RM149,800 for the 2.0XL and RM169,900 for the full monty 2.5XV. All with insurance.

BMW Celebrates 25 years of the BMW 8 series Coupe

 
Recently BMW celebrated the 25th anniversary of the BMW 8 series coupe. This flagship coupe was basically BMW's halo car in the late 1980s and the early to mid 1990s. Launched in 1989 the BMW 850i was quite close to what a BMW supercar could have been (aside from the earlier BMW M1 that is). It had a 5.0 liter V12 engine that also powered the 750i and it made 300hp with 450Nm enabling the sleek coupe to have a 0-100kmh of 6.8seconds (with either a 6 speed manual gearbox or slightly slower with a 4 speed automatic). This was later upgraded to a 5.6liter V12 in 1993 and the car could hit 100kmh in under 6 seconds. One must remember that this was the 1990s and this was good enough those days. 

BMW also launched a 840i with a 4.0liter V8 making 286hp. Not as fast as the V12 versions, but still having the same sleek styling, pop up headlights and was also filled with tech. Note that the 8 Series actually had active steering as well as some rear wheel steering too. It had a lot of stuff that we see today in the latest BMWs. 

News: The Castrol Edge Titanium Trial - Video with Ken Block and others

THE TITANIUM STRONG BLACKOUT TRIAL

MAN AND MACHINE TAKE ON A CHALLENGE LIKE NO OTHER IN 

A PITCH-BLACK RACE AGAINST THE LIGHTS



(5 June 2014) Witness jaw-dropping car stunts like never before in the first Castrol EDGE

Titanium Trial: Titanium Strong Blackout. YouTube sensation Ken Block, Augusto Farfus (BMW

Motorsport works driver/DTM), Mike Rockenfeller (Audi Sport works driver/DTM) and Adrian Zaugg

(Lamborghini Squadra Corse test driver) team up for the first time to take on this one-of-a-kind race

against the lights, on a course drenched in darkness. Powered by Castrol EDGE now boosted with

TITANIUM FST™, it was up to the drivers to step up, push it and be Titanium Strong.

Hyundai provides 1,021 vehicles for the FIFA World Cup 2014 in Brazil

1,201 is a huge amount of vehicles! This is what we call good promotional marketing as Brazil (even with all the controversy surrounding how the country is preparing for the competition) is one of the most promising emerging markets these days. You spend money to make money. This is one good example of it being done.

PRESS RELEASE

Hyundai Motor Kicks Off 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil™

By Providing Vehicles For Ground Transportation

− Hyundai Motor delivers 1,021 premium sedans, SUVs and vans to be used as

official tournament transportation, and decorates the 32 official national team

buses with the slogans of the ‘Be there with Hyundai’ competition

Wanna Win A VW Polo Sedan??

Interested? 
You only need to head over to test drive Volkswagen models in any Volkswagen dealerships nationwide or log on to http://bit.ly/emelxVW from June 10 to July 10 in order to fill out a simple online survey to be in the running to win the grand prize. No purchase is required to enter. 

PRESS RELEASE:

Win a Polo Sedan with the Volkswagen “Safe and 

Stylish Balik Kampung” campaign in collaboration 

with Melinda Looi 

Sunday, June 01, 2014

Sunday Car Porn: Mini Superleggera Vision Concept and the Lamborghini 5-95 Zagato

I know this is a bit late as almost all the websites have published this bit of news. The car, touted as BMW Mini's challenge to the Mazda MX-5 is indeed a stunner. It brings back a look from an era that has long gone - the 1960s. Small roadsters as well as gorgeous looking coupes existed back then. Think Lotus Elan, Aston Martin DB5 (which is by Touring Superleggera and you can see the similarity in its DNA too) and the Jaguar E-type to name a few. Super glamorous. And if Mini does make it its flagship model, it could possibly be the most gorgeous small roadster/coupe on sale which you can buy.



Trucking News: Tan Chong Industrial Equipment Makes its First UD Trucks’ Quester Delivery in Malaysia

Press Release

Tan Chong Industrial Equipment Makes its First UD Trucks’ Quester Delivery in Malaysia

SELANGOR, 30 May 2014 – In response to the ever increasing demand for reliable transport solutions in Malaysia’s growing economy, Tan Chong Industrial Equipment Sdn Bhd (TCIE), the authorized sole distributor for UD Trucks in Malaysia, made its first batch of delivery of the all-new Japanese heavy duty truck, Quester, to its long term customer, Kim Ma Oil Palm Transport Sdn Bhd (Kim Ma).



NEWS RELEASE: The Volkswagen Tiguan 1.4 2WD: New variant to Malaysia launched

KUALA LUMPUR, 30 May 2014 – Volkswagen Group Malaysia today introduces the new choice for driving pleasure, the Tiguan 1.4 2WD, a fully imported compact SUV from Germany which is available for viewing at all Volkswagen dealerships in Peninsular Malaysia starting today.

A pure fusion of innovation and performance, the Tiguan is a sporty SUV that is both practical and versatile, yet a safe and durable set of wheels. True to its tagline of “Explore Life”, the Tiguan combines exceptional performance with fuel efficiency and innovative, enabling discerning drivers to get the most out of their experience behind the wheel whether it’s at the most happening spots in the middle of town or on the open road.

News Release: Total Oil Malaysia Annouced Strategic Partnership with Wing Hin Motorsports

Partnership Launch officiated by (From L to Right) Mr. Antonio Miranda, Managing Director, Kenny Lee, Race Driver, Mr. Simon Loh, Dir. Sales & Racing and William Ho, Race Driver    

KUALA LUMPUR, MALAYSIA – May 30, 2014 – Total Oil Malaysia, a leading worldwide producer of  cutting-edge innovation lubricants is excited to officially announced the partnership with Wing Hin Motorsports on 29 May 2014. Total, known for being an active Motorsports player, will be the exclusive provider of cutting-edge lubricants to Wing Hin Motorsports’ racing team in their upcoming races. In the fast-paced world of motorsports, both key players in their respective 
industries aim to set a whole new benchmark under the terms of this strategic partnership. 

Total’s role in the motorsports scene as a global lubricant sponsor for Infiniti Red Bull Racing Team in
Formula One™ ; Citroën in World Rally Championships, and DAKAR Rally, has established its strong
presence in these world leading competitions. On the other hand, Wing Hin Motorsports who has
garnered its status as one of the leading racing teams in Malaysia is well represented by their strong
professional race board leaders, Kenny Lee and William Ho, who collectively have been bringing
home multiple victories.

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