29 July 2011

BMW i3 and i8 unveiled

BMW launched its "i" series car at Frankfurt today. The range at the moment consists of two model namely i3 and i8. i3 is the compact city car powered by electric and capable of 250km range for single charge. It seats 4 and have 250 litre of luggage space. Meanwhile i8 is the evolved BMW Vision EfficientDynamic concept. It continues to come with electric propulsion coupled to small turbodiesel engine.

Full gallery here of i3 can be found here.

Gallery of i8 can be found here:

These cars are slated for production by 2013. Looking at the galleries, the cars are still way too futuristic to be implement in their current design. Do expect some tone down for the sake of practicality, safety and cost reason.

28 July 2011

Proton Persona R (P3-21a) spied again

Possibly this is a gimmick, but the information is precious nevertheless. Apparently during the Saga FLX test drive at Proton test track, there was a P3-21a prototype caged somewhere nearby, close enough to be photographed by the participating journalist. The car could be the one of the early prototype, but some of the camo has been shed.
The car did shed some of the tape around the grille. The design of grill passing a resemblance to the spied photos many months back, where there is chrome garnish bar at the top of the grill and a protruding emblem at the centre. However, this grill looks scarily conventional and outright ugly. Let's really hope the final item is way better executed.
The camouflaged at the door line, near the C-pillar was absent too. This conform the depression seen on the BIW is just for cosmetic, where the door like actually more inwards. I am quite to see how the rear end design is executed, as P3-21a looks to have a modern proportion like all small sedan this days, where cab forward design put the A-pillar at the extreme front, while the pushed C-pillar results in stubby notch. Hopefully the rear end will be Forte-like handsome with none of awkward tall-boy narrow body defective looking.

More of original photos after the jump.

Refreshed Suzuki Swift

Suzuki Malaysia refreshed its Suzuki Swift hatchback, now comes in GLX and GXS guises. The GLX cost RM 75,788, a couple of grand more than outgoing model. The GXS comes in at RM81,888. Opting for GXS gained you leather seats, V-kool tint and a so-called ThreeBond Ultra Glass Coating Neo.

The car essentially is a comestic updates, perhaps as a gap filler while the third generation making its way here. Updates made are new, deeper front bumper with sportier side skirts.

At the rear, rear combi gained a new internal graphics, while the rear bumper get a new garnish design, complete with honeycomb mesh. The 'expressively' styled spoiler complete the rear styling enhancement.
 Continue reading after the jump.

26 July 2011

Proton P3-21A chassis - preliminary design analysis

Yesterday, Proton sort of celebrate the first body of their latest baby, P3-21A, or more fondly known as Persona R by the public. The chassis that was shown comprises of floor panel, dash panel, side structure, front side member, roof assembly as well as rear end structure. The missing of fender and other closures item (hood, door and trunk lid) prevented us from speculating how the actual car looks like. However, some of design intent can be clearly seen, such as stubby notchback stance, kinked rear side glass and shape of rear combi housing, which disturbingly bear more than passing resemblance to outgoing Mazda 3.
Note the housing shape for rear light and door cutout

Continue after the jump.

Proton Saga FLX - pricing details

Microsite for the new Saga FLX is now up and running at epicsaga and Proton Edar website. The official launch will be on August 1, as indicated in the microsite. However, the full model line-up and pricing has been announced.

Saga FLX comprises of 4 model range, made up of Manual transmission and CVT, both comes in Standard or Executive guise. The Campro IAFM 1.3 lump produced 94bhp@5750 rpm and 120Nm@4000 rpm. Power and torque figures are similar to Saga FL but peak power was produced at lower rev compared to at  6000rpm for Saga FL Campro lump. This could be due to an improved IAFM. Due to lower engine speed  too, fuel consumption at constant 90km/h is 5.7 l/100km and 6.0 l/km for manual and CVT respectively, are 5% better than Saga FL. 

For pricing, Standard model starts at RM38,148 for MT and RM41,148 for CVT. Executive model, which comes with ABD with EBD and dual airbags cost RM41,948 for MT and RM44,548 for CVT. All prices are for solid color. Metallic paint required additional RM400. The car comes in 5 color choice; Solid White, Tranquility Black, Genetic Silver, Blue Rock and new Elegance Brown.

The car can be booked from now on. So head to your Proton agents for a 1.3l car that comes with modern CVT and value for money full-sized sedan body, all yours for less than RM50k! Maybe time is already up for 1.3l Hatchback car that comes only with 4 speed auto transmission!

Proton P3-21A by February 2012 and vendor re-evaluation

Following up the leaked photos of P3-21A BIW late yesterday afternoon, Proton actually "launched" the new Persona BIW in a session at their TGM plant yesterday. They also announced the P3-21A will debut by February 2012. The event saw, among others, the MoU signing with Malaysia Productivity Corp (MPC) to increase the capability of component manufacturer and supplier. 

The vendors will be assessed through the Business Excellence Practises (BEx). The event also saw pledge reading of Proton QA personnel as well as 108 vendors. According to Dato Seri Syed Zainal, Proton has identified 20 out of 108 vendors to their new car. Some vendor will be merged to better ensure quality and productivity.

Well, this is no new things for Proton. And don't be confused by terms "merged" and "consolidate" among vendors. What it means here is that Proton will actually appoint or award the system to one vendor, and this system will consist of many components that is made by many vendors. In effect, the awarded vendor will be the first-tier vendor that hold accountability of the part, whereas the sub vendor will be second-tier and so on.

This potentially can lead towards more efficient vendor management and in turns, produced higher quality parts consistently. This is not a new move by Proton, as this kind of activity has already started during BLM time. Perhaps this explain why BLM quality is way better than any Proton before it.

Proton is already on song this year. Saga is the nation best seller for couple of month now. The introduction of Saga FLX with CVT can comes at no better time. The sales of this model could sustain the lead untill the introduction of enhanced Exora, and eventually P3-21A. To all Proton engineers, work hard guys!

25 July 2011

Honda previews the 2012 CRV

Honda today has released a photo of CRV concept. Bar the fancy lighting graphic, massive wheels and fancy paint, what we see here is a lightly disguised production car, due to make it debut near the year end.

Meanwhile the photos from insideline shows the prototype was caught with its tailgate open, and this simply squashed the rumour that the next CRV will seat seven. As one can see here, opening the top-hinged tailgate revealed, well, a boot.

Proton Persona R (P3-21A)Body-in-white

*UPDATE - This is no longer a secret. DSZ launched this first BIW at Tanjung Malim plant, and this was featured in Buletin Utama at 8.20pm. Seems that the video a few hours ago was leaked while the staff got their chance to see the BIW.

The Body-In-White of new Proton Persona R photos has leaked to the net. The event looks a like a first body out of assy line ceremony or something like it, judging the crowd of excited Proton workers and some obvious vendor uniform shirt. The videos can be found at funtasticko.
The new car has adopted a cab-forward design, where the A-pillar meeting point with the side panel is way above the wheelarch, instead of be behind it. The front shape of the car still can't be seen as they haven't fit the fender just yet. If they do, then we can determined the shape of headlamp too.

More photos after the jump.

24 July 2011

Proton Saga FLX - price starts at RM38,598

More details of Saga FLX start to filter through the net, which can be found from Funtastickodesign and Arenakereta. From the brochure there are basically 4 version of Saga FLX. There are Standard and Executive model, where each got a manual and CVT option.The CVT, as expected came from Punch as rumored. Does this means that the rumors of  6 speed manual with Getrag will materialize too with Persona R? With the existence of Manual transmission, does this means that there is no more Saga FL?  

More details after the jump.

2012 Lexus GS driven by Autocar

Autocar UK has driven the prototype of new Lexus GS250 ( yes it '250' suffix instead of usual minimum '300'). Below are the photos.
 More photos after the jump.

Daihatsu Sirion 2011 launched in Indonesia

PT Astra Daihatsu Motor launched the 2011 Daihatsu Sirion Indonesia International Motorshow. The car is essentially a rebadged and re-spec Perodua Myvi 2011. The car is heavily based on Premium spec Myvi, but with some trim downgrading.
Essentially a Perodua Myvi with Daihatsu badge 
 More pictures and details after the jump.

22 July 2011

Proton Saga FLX

Seems that the launch of Proton Saga CVT is inching closer. The car will gets an improved IAFM, combined with CVT gearbox. Not sure yet if this combination is available for both 1.3 and 1.6. Anyway below are the photos.
Similar face to the FL version as the facelift is very recent
 More photos after the jump

21 July 2011

Proton Exora Turbo - spied at NKVE

Arenakereta reported that the turbo-ed version of Proton Exora has been spotted at NKVE along Jalan Duta to Subang exit. The news was shared by its reader gurunmaju.

More details after the jump.

20 July 2011

2012 Honda Civic Asia/Arab version

As usual, Asian Civic get different front and rear treatment from its US sibling. So for this ninth generation, it will be the same story. Some pictures of Asia/Arab version has filtered down through the net. Since it is LHD, I guess this is still a Gulf version, where differences to Asia version will probably limited to steering position.

More details after the jump.

Proton maintain its market lead in June 2011

Sales statistic of June 2011 sees Proton is maintaining its lead over Perodua. Total sales statistic can be obtained from Motortrader. Proton recorded 13,012 car sales in June, compared to mere 8,870 units for the second national car maker. Cumulative Jan-June stands at 85,223 units for Proton and 79,467 for Perodua, where the first national car maker increased its lead significantly compared to May sales record. 

While the model spesific statistic is remain to be seen, I am convinced that Perodua's sale is suffering in this transition between the old Myvi and the new Myvi 2011. This is because Myvi is the back boned of its sales statistic since 2005. Until the delivery of the model is back to its usual standard, this is the sales pattern that we are going to see.

Personally I think Perodua should react in more proactive way. Probably a lower-line Myvi will do, or a tarted-up Viva with more value for money. Proton also should also capitalize this situation. If only the new Persona replacement can be launched now, surely the new booking can sustain the market lead for quite sometimes to come. Or at least, please come up with an improved Saga BLM ( rumoured with CVT) soon enough. Better still, maybe launched a run-out edition of current Persona with every accessories loaded to the brim.

More updates will come when the model by model sales statistic is published. 

19 July 2011

Proton Exora - tested by Autocar UK

Our homegrown baby has been tested by Autocar UK and today 19/7/2011, the car is the prominent feature of this UK website. They were testing a Malaysian-spec car and have quoted that the UK-spec will be slightly differs in specification. In a nutshell, their verdict are:

-Price as tested is GBP 14,500
-Interior design looks modern, but made with uninspiring plastic
-Exterior not exactly a looker, however some angular fascias give it some road presence
-UK spec will get 16 inches wheel
-LOTUS contribution to chassis tuning is not clear to be felt, was said to be re-tune for UK-bound car
-Weak engine paired to archaic transmission, however, importantly, turbo and CVT combo to follow suit in 2012 and diesel to join the fray in 2014- this last fact is doubted as by then, Exora is already 5 years old
-It isn't a driver's car, it is however is a simple, inoffensive and comfortable MPV with plenty of kits and space for seven
-It needs a patience to be with it. Can't resist this last sentence

Full text from Autocar UK after the jump or through this link.

Honda CRV 2012 - spied hot weather testing

Worldcarfans has spied the new Honda CRV 2012 undergoing its hot weather testing in Death Valley, USA. Below are the photos.

 More photos after the jump.

17 July 2011

Perodua Myvi Elegance Photos

More photos of Myvi Elegance. The car is in Ebony Black. The high gloss really accentuates the curvature of the body surfacing and the curvy skirting. My verdict is that Perodua really gives their all in designing this new baby. There's no awkward angle to be viewed, be it front, side and rear. The interior too is free from obvious ergonomic foibles. This is hardly surprising as the new Myvi has a big shoe to fill. Anyhow, enjoy the photos.

Cohesive front fascia design, the skirting squared off the jaw, lending it more squat appearance
More photos after the jump.

15 July 2011

2012 F30 BMW 3 Series Spyshots

The camouflaged BMW F30 (2012 3 series) was recently caught testing at Autobahn. 
The new model retain current car proportion, with short overhang and wheel at the corner stance. However, from the spyshots, it looks as if the front end design adopt current BMW design language of sloping hood with more upright fascia. The tail lamps looks like it will carry the traditional L-shaped, perhaps a variation from current F10 design. The car is expected to be on sale in 2012, with debut targeted for 2012 Geneva motorshow in March. Enjoy the spyshots after the jump.

14 July 2011

Toyota Hilux facelift unveiled

Toyota has refreshed its popular pickup range, the Hilux. External changes are new front end design, consists of new grille, headlight and bumper, while the rear end features revised tail lamps. Among the changed item for the interior is new instrument cluster, new steering, revised centre console and some minor trim changes.

Engine-wise, the 3.0 l D-4D is carried over with a new diesel particulate filter. The 2.5 l version has been upgraded with 144 PS (106 kW / 142 PS) and 343 Nm (253 lb-ft) of torque.
More photos after the jump.

12 July 2011

Proton takes the market lead from Perodua up to May 2011

For the first time since, well forever, Proton has taken the lead in sales volume, according to market analysis from January to May 2011. During this  period Proton sold 72,229 vehicles compared to 70,752 cars for its national   nemesis. 
The bulk of Proton sales contribution came from the affortable range of Proton Saga (BLM) where 33,649 unit were sold during this period. Traditionally, Saga is beaten by Myvi and always settled for second spot for quite a while, with occasional top and third spot observed at some points. Continue after the jump.

11 July 2011

Toyota Camry 2012

New artist impression of 2012 Toyota Camry found on carspyshots.net. Looks like a scaled up Corolla Altis to me, but still attractive nevertheless.

More details to come and official launching closing in.....

08 July 2011

Inokom i10 facelift - RM 47,988 - RM53,988

Sime-Darby Motor today launched the improved i10 model, with an enhanced engine as well as updated cosmetic in line with the latest Hyundai design language.

More after the jump.

Toyota Wish Unreg/Recond - buying guide

The first generation of Toyota Wish (ZNE10G) is very popular to Malaysian market for the last few years. Even when the second generation already been launched, there are still plenty of "old" Wishes running around with new registration plate.

There are many different specifications of this car available, as usual for JDM cars. Plenty of options are available too. It is very hard to find a consolidated information as details of this cars are scattered around the sites, forums and directory with various languages. Hence, the purpose of this entry is as a one-stop centre for potential Wish buyer who want to know the detail of their potential ride. I will cover the details of specification, engine option and equipment level for each variants.

More details after the jump.

06 July 2011

Ferrari FF photo gallery

Just more photos of the stunning Ferrari FF to savor. Now wipe you saliva! Just to recap, this is a 660PS 6.3l V12 powerhouse from Ferrari. For the first time the drive is channelled through all four wheels. The car is designed to be a luxurious 4-seater, contained within 4907mm (L) x 1953mm (W) x 1379mm (H) dimensions. 450 litres of boot space is available too in this 2990mm wheelbased car. This 1790kg car is capable of sprinting to 100 km/h in 3.7 seconds, on its way to 335km/h top speed. 

More pictures after the jump.

04 July 2011

Lighter and turbocharged next Mazda MX5

Next generation Mazda MX5 is sets to get a turbocharged engine of small capacity of around 1.5 litres . This is Mazda bids to return the model to its original root of lightweight and agile sports car.

The ambitious target is to go down to 800kg. This is well 275kg under current model. This will be achieved by optimizing the mechanical components, utilizing lightweight materials and adopting minimalist spec. Although the final figure is doubtful in this era of heavy crash legislative and safety equipment, the target, according to Autocar is describe at "not bad".

03 July 2011

Sepang Bronze - BMW Individual Color

Do you know that Sepang Bronze is one of the color that BMW offered as one of the customized paint option on their model under Individual option list? It is one one color that has motorsport track related naming. The other one is Imola Red.

More delicious photos after the jump.

02 July 2011

Honda CRV 2012 spied again

Honda's 2012 CRV has been spied again. This time around it was in China.

Toyota Camry 2012

Toyota's President Akio Toyoda said that the new Camry will be "the best Camry ever" and "will exceed your expectation". Read more after the jump.

01 July 2011

Ford Mondeo and S-Max EcoBoost

Ford Mondeo facelift was launched yesterday with a host of upgrade including the new EcoBoost engine. The MPV Ford S-MAX was launched too, featuring similar engine.
Ford Mondeo facelift