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  • Perodua year-end deals – RM1,200 off Axia, RM3,000 off Alza, RM3,200 off Bezza, RM5,000 off Myvi 1.5

    In a blink of an eye, we’re already at the end of 2016, and it’s usually at this time that carmakers are throwing discounts to close off the year. Perodua is no different, offering up to RM5,000 off various models.

    The deals, which go all the way through December, include a RM1,200 rebate on the Axia 1.0 Standard G auto, while those looking to buy the Alza MPV will be able to enjoy savings of RM3,000 on the Alza 1.5 S and RM2,000 on the Alza 1.5 Advanced.

    The new Bezza sedan is also included in these offers, with RM1,500 off the Bezza 1.0 Standard G, RM3,000 off the Bezza 1.3 Premium X and RM3,200 off the Bezza 1.3 Advance. Lastly, the Myvi 1.5 gets the biggest savings on the list, with RM3,800 off the Myvi 1.5 SE manual, RM5,000 off the Myvi 1.5 SE auto and RM4,000 off the Myvi 1.5 Advance.

     
  • Lexus teases next-gen LS flagship, Detroit 2017 debut

    Click to enlarge

    It was back in 1989 when Lexus shocked the luxury car establishment with the LS 400, which made its debut at the Detroit auto show. The launch heralded the birth of the Lexus brand, and the original LS made its mark by offering the performance, quietness and luxury that matched, if not bettered, its rivals from that era.

    Fast forward 28 years and Lexus will reveal the all-new, fifth-generation LS flagship at the 2017 North American International Auto Show next month. It will be a “world-class car” for more than 90 countries around the globe, boasting a bold new look with a coupe-like silhouette. See Tokyo 2015’s Lexus LF-FC concept for clues.

    Built on the company’s all-new global architecture for luxury vehicles (GA–L), the rear-wheel drive platform — an extended version of that used in the stunning LC coupe — will offer a more dynamic experience on the road, Lexus promises. A spacious cabin, luxurious appointments and visionary technology are also on Lexus’ cards. Main rivals: the Mercedes-Benz S-Class and BMW 7 Series.

    GALLERY: Next-gen Lexus LS spyshots

     
  • VIDEO: Jaguar F-Pace R Sport SUV walk-around tour

    Here we have a walk-around video of the new Jaguar F-Pace, the brand’s very first SUV model. Just launched here in Malaysia with a price of RM598,800, the F-Pace is sold here with just one engine option – a 3.0 litre supercharged V6 with 340 PS and 450 Nm of torque. Zero to 100 km/h is done in 5.8 seconds – not your typical SUV, then.

    Well, a Jaguar SUV is never going to be a typical SUV. This one is rather different to the norm, and not at all related to the models from the other side of the Jaguar Land Rover company. It has more in common with the XE, XF and F-Type rather then the Range Rovers. It’s an SUV meant to stick to the roads, not go off it.

    Shown here is the higher-spec F-Pace R Sport model, plus a few optional extras. It’s priced at RM658,800 (before options), which makes it a direct competitor to the similarly-powered Porsche Macan S (from RM610k, also before options). As you’ll see in the video above, the Jaguar is obviously the larger, more practical SUV.

    For the full specifications plus options list of the new Jaguar F-Pace here in Malaysia, do check out CarBase.my. For a deeper, more subjective take on it, you can read our review of the new premium SUV.

     
  • Faraday Future releases new teaser for its first SUV

    faraday-future-second-teaser

    To keep the hype train rolling, Faraday Future has released a second teaser image for its first production model set to debut at next year’s Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. The new model is largely expected to be a crossover, as we’ve seen in an earlier teaser video.

    This time, we are shown a shot of the vehicle’s rear, which does make us question on the legitimacy of its “production-ready” status. The culprit? Those small cameras that are in place of the wing mirrors are certainly illegal many countries, unless Faraday plans to market the vehicle exclusively in Japan.

    Moving on, the teaser also shows us an interesting taillight design that appears to mirror the front grille from the first image shown to us, featuring an illuminated FF logo in the centre. We also get to see a flowing roofline and large rear windshield that appears to end near the lighting units.

    Curiously, what looks to be an off-centred, protruding “shark fine antenna” can also be seen in the image, which could serve more of a purpose than allowing you to hear some radio tunes. As we’ve seen atop an earlier prototype, this could be the car’s LiDAR sensor that supports autonomous driving features.

    The Faraday SUV will ride on the company’s Variable Platform Architecture (VPA) that features a modular battery structure, allowing for a variety of vehicle types and electric motor configurations. More details will be released when the vehicle is revealed in full on January 3, 2017.

     
  • Audi TT 2.0 TDI gets quattro all-wheel drive option

    Audi TT 2.0 TDI quattro

    According to Audi, 50% of Audi TT models sold worldwide comes with its quattro all-wheel drive system. Therefore, the German automaker has decided to offer the system for the third-generation model that is equipped with the 2.0 litre TDI engine.

    Available for both Coupe and Roadster versions, the TDI mill provides 184 hp and 380 Nm of torque, sent through Audi’s S tronic six-speed dual-clutch transmission, and to all four wheels. The quattro system itself uses an electro-hydraulic multi-plate clutch to distribute the torque to both axles.

    In terms of performance, the TT Coupe 2.0 TDI quattro will make the century sprint in 6.7 seconds, and hit a top speed of 234 km/h. Meanwhile, in Roadster guise, the sprint is accomplished in seven seconds, while top speed is down by 4 km/h. Compared to its petrol equivalent (2.0 TFSI quattro S tronic), the TDI is slower to 100 km/h by 1.4 seconds (both bodystyles) has a 16 km/h slower top speed.

    However, the all-paw diesel TT claws back when it comes to fuel economy, as the Coupe will consume just 5.2 litres per 100 km, whereas the Roadster does 5.4 litres per 100 km (following the NEDC cycle). By comparison, the TDI quattro-powered TT consumes about 1.2 to 1.3 litres per 100 km less than its petrol siblings.

     
  • VIDEO: Infiniti Q60 roams the streets of Havana, Cuba

    They love putting the Infiniti Q60 in videos, and why not? The two-door that goes against the Audi A5, BMW 4 Series and Mercedes-Benz C-Class Coupe is sleek, sensual, sculptured and quite a sight to behold, especially in the signature Dynamic Sunstone Red. Saw one on the streets of L.A. recently and it’s dramatic.

    But in this latest video outing, the backdrop for the car is the real star, because it is not merely a setting, but an essential part of the story. Besides looking and sounding oh so exotic, Cuba is also in the DNA of Alfonso Albaisa, Infiniti’s executive design director.

    Now based in Japan where he oversees all four Infiniti design studios across the world, Alfonso grew up in Miami and is a US citizen. However, he identifies himself as Cuban, despite only knowing the country’s history via stories and photos. Here, he visits the land of his ancestors for the very first time, bringing a gift to Havana in the Q60 – the first US-spec car registered in Cuba in 58 years. It was “a monumental task,” he said.

    Tracing his roots back to his parents’ birthplace, Alfonso gets to see in real life the curves of the mid-century modern architecture of his great-uncle Max Borges-Recio, including the Tropicana, Club Nautico, as well as Borges Recio’s own home. In the process, the designer may have also found the origins of his own design DNA that is expressed in the unique flowing lines of today’s Infiniti cars.

    Nice film, lovely looking car, fantastic location and story. Watch it.

    GALLERY: Infiniti Q60 in Havana, Cuba

     
  • Volvo scores most IIHS Top Safety Pick Plus awards of any European carmaker for 2017 – S60, V60, XC60

    In recent years, the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety (IIHS) in the United States has been doubling down on safety requirements for its Top Safety Pick awards. So it’s no surprise that Volvo, the standard bearer for safety, has won the most awards of any European carmaker for 2017.

    The S60, V60 and XC60, equipped with Active Dual Xenon headlights, earn the Top Safety Pick Plus award, while the S90 and XC90 gain the Top Safety Pick award. For the new year, the institute has added an acceptable or good headlight rating as a requirement for its highest Top Safety Pick Plus award, in addition to the advanced or superior rating for front crash prevention required previously.

    The one-rung-lower Top Safety Pick award requires cars to earn good ratings in five crashworthiness tests – small overlap front, moderate overlap front, side, roof strength and head restraints — as well as an advanced or superior rating for front crash prevention (up from last year’s basic rating requirement) to qualify.

    Volvo has been recognised by the IIHS for safety before – in August 2016, the institute reported that cars fitted with Volvo City Safety autonomous emergency braking (AEB) system reduced rear-end collisions by 43% and those with injuries by 45%. The company will further cement that reputation with the introduction of large animal detection with AEB on the S90 and XC90 next year.

    “Volvo’s commitment to safety is crystalized in our Vision 2020, which states that no one should be killed or seriously injured in a new Volvo car by 2020,” said Volvo Car USA president and CEO Lex Kerssemakers. “Our new cars prove that luxury, style and performance can perfectly compliment world-leading safety.”

     
  • Honda Civic, Toyota Sienta and Nissan Navara all obtain full five-star ASEAN NCAP safety rating

    honda-civic-asean-ncap

    The New Car Assessment Program for Southeast Asian Countries (ASEAN NCAP) has released its latest round of results for the Nissan Navara, Toyota Sienta and Honda Civic.

    Starting with the Navara pick-up truck, which now obtains a five-star rating after going through a second round of testing, this time with three airbags fitted (dual front, driver’s knee). The result is an adult occupant protection (AOP) test score of 14.44 points out of a maximum possible 16 points, an improvement from the 12.34 points obtained in March.

    Child occupant protection (COP) also sees an improvement, with a 61% compliance instead of 37% before. As per ASEAN NCAP’s requirements, only models that come equipped with Electronic Stability Control (ESC) and a seatbelt reminder system (SBR) can receive a five-star safety rating. As such, the sole variant without ESC (2.5 S MT) will get four stars instead.

    Moving on, the Honda Civic scored 14.74 points out of a maximum possible 16 points in AOP, along with an 86% compliance in COP, good for a five-star safety rating for the C-segment model. The model tested here is sourced from Thailand and does not come with a front passenger SBR (and only two airbags), hence a four-star rating is applied instead.

    Thankfully, the Malaysian-spec Civic is equipped with the passenger SBR, as well as six airbags (dual front, side and curtain) from the base 1.8 S variants, right up to the 1.5 TC-P. Vehicle Stability Assist (VSA), Isofix mounts, ABS with EBD, brake assist and hill start assist are standard kit as well.

    Finally, the Toyota Sienta also receives a five-star rating, scoring 15.26 points in AOP, and a 74% compliance in COP. However, like the Navara, the five-star safety rating is only given to variants equipped with ESC, while variants without it get four stars instead.

    The good news is, all Malaysian-spec variants of the Sienta – 1.5V and 1.5G – come with the stability control system, along with other standard safety features such as traction control, three airbags (dual front and driver’s knee) and Isofix child seat anchors.



     
  • Volkswagen Malaysia announces new MD – Erik Winter

    A shift in management has occurred over at Volkswagen Passenger Cars Malaysia (VPCM). Just three months after the company became official distributor, it has appointed a new managing director for brand and human resources, Erik Winter, who assumes the position with immediate effect.

    Winter replaces outgoing MD Alin Tapalaga, who is returning to Europe due to health reasons. He joins Florian Steiner, managing director for aftersales, information technology and finance, at the helm of VPCM. Together with Steiner, he is focused on increasing the company’s market share, strengthening its dealer network and improving its aftersales service

    Winter brings with him 16 years of experience working at various global business units of parent company Porsche Holding Salzburg (PHS), Europe’s largest automotive distributor and a separate entity from the famed Stuttgart sports car maker. He was previously stationed in China, overseeing the retail operations of one of the brands represented by PHS there.

    Since setting up shop here, VPCM has launched two new cars, the facelifted Jetta in September and the new Passat last month. It has also added a five-year, unlimited-mileage manufacturer warranty, and introduced an additional two-year warranty for DSG dual-clutch transmissions earlier in the week.

     
  • Perodua Eco Challenge 2017 revamped, focus on R&D

    perodua-eco-challenge-2017

    The Perodua Eco Challenge (PEC) is back for 2017, with an emphasis on R&D and potential commercial value for the students’ creations. One of Perodua’s long-standing corporate responsibility programmes, PEC has always been a platform for engineering students from institutes of higher learning to create a fuel-efficient machine, pitting their creation against those from other polytechnics and universities.

    From its introduced in 2009 till 2013, PEC’s focused was on redesigning an existing Perodua model for fuel efficiency. It evolved into building a car with P2 underpinnings, and marketing them, with FC as the main goal. Typically, the theme of PEC was fuel efficiency.

    For the big 2017 revamp, the institutes of higher learning will instead focus on R&D, working closely with Perodua’s R&D department as well as vendors to produce a prototype component, with parts development coming into play.

    puo p2 02

    “The PEC 2017 is very unique and comes with a new format as we need them to create a part of a car that includes the element of ECO – environment, creativity and originality – which will be considered to be included in our new models,” said Perodua president and CEO Datuk Aminar Rashid Salleh.

    A total of 21 institutions were invited to participate in PEC 2017 in November, and ten were chosen at a ceremony at Perodua Sentral, PJ today. The carmaker gave a small seed grant to the teams for idea development, and by April 2017, the teams will work with Perodua and the vendors to produce a prototype part for final assessment. The ideas must incorporate a “unique Malaysia” element in the design.

    Perodua and its vendors will also advise and educate the students on the importance of proper work culture, procedures and processes. “We believe that this will be a great help to both the institutions and students as they will be able to incorporate the processes in their education and work-life environment,” Aminar rightly pointed out.

    puo-02

    Once the prototype is completed, the component will be reviewed by a team of judges in December 2017. Marks will be given on a stage basis, where the institutions will be evaluated based on progress and team participation.

    “The PEC’s core idea is to empower youths through education and we believe adding ‘real world’ elements such as competition and actual processes in developing a global business mindset are essential for a vibrant and innovative nation,” Aminar said.

    The ten institutions are Universiti Teknologi Petronas (UTP), Universiti Kuala Lumpur (UniKL), Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM), Universiti Teknologi Mara (UiTM), Universiti Malaya (UM), Politeknik Ungku Omar, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM), Universiti Teknikal Malaysia Melaka (UTEM), Universiti Malaysia Sarawak (UNIMAS) and Universiti Malaysia Pahang (UMP).

    The teams will be vying for an overall first prize of RM20,000 (RM12,000 and RM8,000 for second and third places), as well as design, product proposal paper and development of parts sub-categories, which come with cash prizes.

     
 

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