29 August 2011

Infiniti FX50 - Sebastian Vettel Edition

We have heard for quite sometimes that the commercial agreement between Infiniti and Red Bull Racing (RBR) could spawned a road car project. What surfaced out ahead of Frankfurt motorshow is not a complete new car, but a world champion edition of Infiniti flagship, FX50 Sebastian Vettel Edition. What is obvious is only cosmetic changes. The front bumper is entirely different to bread and butter FX, with more deliberate lower intake design. This wavy design could be inspired by ground-hugging RBR front wing with all the wing element and cascades element included!

The rims is different too, so are the rear spoiler. As depicted is photos below, the changed item could be carbon-fibre composites item. The DRL is added too in the lower bumper. Mechanically still unknown, but we could see some special power hikes to celebrate the defending world champion commanding lead in 2011 F1 season. Two more detail photos after the jump.

Toyota Camry 2012 - China market

Just as we thought we have seen enough variation of Toyota Camry design, another version has now spied. This is the Chinese version of Toyota Camry. It has some differences to the Ukraine model unveiled earlier this week.
The front grille design is different. Instead of horizontal chrome louvres, it has a chrome surround and some what crated grille, common to radiator grill and lower and side bumper intake sections. More details after the jump.

Proton & Hawtai - rumour mill spins again

Recently, the chinese media leaked the news on potential Proton and Hawtai carmaker started to talk on potential deal where Proton top people were said to visit the Hawtai new HQ. Now, more news starts to spread again. In a nutshell:
  • The deal could be big enough covering technical expertise sharing
  • Hawtai visited Proton a few times to understand how Proton operates
  • Proton visited Hawtai multiples times discussing on collaboration
  • Framework is being put up, with various option lay on table covering market and technical joint venture
  • Proton and Hawtai potentially collaborate on engine technology
    • Proton to capitalize on Hawtai diesel expetise
    • Hawtai to tap on Proton gasoline technology. Until now it relies on SAIC engine, with other rumoured Malaysian-based engine maker deal never seen to be able to take off
  • The pair could also work on overseas CKD activities
With this potential collaboration in place, does this means that Proton will no longer work in Youngman. Some industry bird was whispering that the Lotus-Youngman collaboration is no longer in active due to some reason or another. Another impact is, will we never see MSX-resemblance SUV to be badge as Proton?

26 August 2011

Could this be Malaysian Toyota Camry?

Is it a trend now that the hometown of Japanese car maker will be the last to get the new model? After the new Civic make it debut in US, GCC then lift the lid of their new Civic, whereas the European model will bow in during next month Frankfurt Autoshow. JDM? No where to be seen yet. 

Same story with Camry here. USDM makes it debut earlier this week. Now Toyota Ukraine revealed their model too, with totally different front and rear styling. This is strikingly similar to the car leaked on Modelista brochure. This could be the JDM car too, and could be destinated to be Asian model as this is the "RIGHT" Camry with upright, striking front grille and more formal tail light which shouts Executive Class.

Anyway enjoy the photos. It does not show anything we did not yet know, but this is the official, clear hi-res photos.

More after the jump.

25 August 2011

Mercedes-Benz B-Class 2012 - more detailed photos

The replacement for B-Class has been unveiled. The proportion does not differ much from outgoing model, but the body surfacing has adopted latest Mercedes-Benz design cues such as angular headlight and creased and wedged side profile.
The new B-Class 2012 features latest MB front grille, first seen on CLS, followed by the new SLK. It is softer than the one C and E-Class, but noticeably harder-edged compared to previous generation of MB cars. The headlight now featured DRL running at the top edge of the light.
There is a sharp character line rising from behind the front wheelarch, kicked upwards and blended with the rear wheelarch. The rear light is more elongated than current car, but similar in design concept.

Vital Statistics:
Dimension: 4359mm x 1786mm x 1557mm (length x width x height)
Engine : 
  • 1.6 litre DOHC Direct-Injection Turbocharged (122bhp & 200Nm) in B180 
  • Similar engine but different tuned to 156bhp and 250Nm in B200
  • 1.8 litre turbo diesel engine - 109bhp and 250Nm in B180 CDi
  • Similar engine, boosted to 136bhp and 300Nm in B200 CDi
  • Transmission : 6 spd MT and 7 spd DCT
  • Layout:Front engine, front drive

More photos and details after the jump.

Land Rover Defender - Vilner crafted lux edition

Among all the spartan and minimalist car in the world, Land Rover should be in top 3 at least. With its exposed hinge, plastic gear lever, tough dashboard, mud-no-problem flooring, it is easily the most simplistic around. Do you fancy cupholder in it? Or maybe leather hide on IP? Forget it! Or you may head to Vilner.

Vilner is a Bulgarian customizer and they have a hefty record in customizing the car. Their recent effort include Smart ForTwo, Toyota iQ and Infiniti FX37. Now enjoy their hand-crafted skills on spartan Defender.
All black exterior imparts massive road presence. Flared arches with tough bull bar, plated hood side and snorkel show serious off-road potent. Yet you surely won't want to dig deep into the mud and step in deep pile carpet. More tasty photos after the jump.

24 August 2011

Ferrari 458 Spider

The stunning Ferrari 458 Italia has just been given an open top sibling. The V8 supercar is no longer fabric topped like its predecessor, but gain a retractable folding hard top. See video below from Ferrari.

USDM Toyota Camry 2012 debuted

Toyota USA today debuted the new Toyota Camry, their (& USA) best selling passenger car for the last 9 years. The replacement model sports bolder exterior design with sophisticated treatment to design detailing as well as more spacious interior with quiter driving experience and better vehicle dynamics. Both gasoline and hybrid version were launched together.

The new model has three different detail design, with normal version is the silver car below, while the red car is the sporty SE version. Hybrid version gets its own design detailing too.

 More details after the jump.

23 August 2011

Chevrolet Captiva facelift - RM155,185

Chevrolet today has launched the updated Captiva SUV. The model is basically an enhanced version of Captiva that they sold some years back. The facelift consists of new totally new front end design, LED indicator on side mirror and new wheel design. The rears are untouched. The Thai-sourced car is priced at RM155,185 without insurance.

New bumper, headlight, grille, hood - the entire front is new

Absolutely identical to old one
Vital statistics:
Dimension: 4690mm x 1850mm x 1790mm (L x W x H)
Wheelbase: 2710mm
Kerb Weight: 1830kg
Engine: 2.4 litre DOHC inline-4 gasoline
Power: 165bhp@5600 rpm
Torque: 230Nm@4600 rpm
Transmission : 6 speed auto
Drivetrain: 4WD

In case you are wondering, yes the diesel model has been dropped for now. According to Naza Quest, this variant is coming in last quarter of this year. We are already in 3rd quarter now, why not launch in one go Naza?

More photos and detail after the jump.

Leaked brochure of JDM Toyota Camry 2012

These are the clearest photos of JDM Toyota Camry compared to last spyshots. This time around the rear end design is clear to be seen. As expected, the front fascia is clear departure from bland USDM car but is does look like a bloated Corolla to me. The rear end however, is a bit too bland. The chrome strip that runs into white section of tail light is pure, well, bland. It doesn't look like LED illuminated either. Oh well, if there's one car company that can afford to be complacent, this is it!

Honda Odyssey JDM update teaser

The never-been-launched-in-Malaysia Honda Odyssey is set for cosmetic revamp soon. The Japanese Honda website has teased some photos of the updated car. The updated item covers new headlamps, with some retouched at inner edge near the grille, restyled rear light with different graphic and added chrome strips and the customary new rims design. Photos are as below.

This generation of Odyssey has never been launched in Malaysia. This is due to the dominance of used import that is pounding our streets at much cheaper price, relegating the official import Odyssey to insignificance. In its last year of sales, Honda Malaysia sold a grand total of 2 units of Odyssey for the whole year! The sales in the previous year was 150% more unit. Current generation of Odyssey is one of the most stylish around. The photos below is pre-facelift model.

22 August 2011

First photo of 2012 Mercedes-Benz B-Class

The first ever exterior photos of B-Class has surfaced out. MB previously teased the interior of their new baby.
The car sets to make it world debut at next month Frankfurt Autoshow. Preliminary details revealed that the new car is longer,wider and lower at 4,359mm long (+86mm), 1,786mm wide (+9mm) and 1,557mm (-43mm) tall and continue using the "sandwhich" platform like previous model, whereas the new MB A-Class ditched it.

The new model will be offered with a new 1.6-liter gasoline engine delivering 122HP and 200Nm  in the B180 and 156HP and 250Nm  in the B200. At launch,diesel options are 1.8-liter turbocharged unit rated at 109HP and 250Nm  in the B180 CDi and 136HP and 300Nm  in the B200 CDi

21 August 2011

Proton Persona R (P3-21A) spied with more detail

Proton Persona R or P3-21A has been spied in convoy together with Exora Turbo. Not one car, but at least 3 different P3-21A were in that convoy. The "B 461A" car especially revealed things we haven't seen yet so far. See the photos below, credited to Paultan Automotive Blog Album.
In this photos, the previously covered front grille is now open to be seen. It is not as intricate as the Tuah showcar, it is in fact as conventional as Proton Waja from last decade. There is a depression at the edge of the hood, above the grille with some rectangular holes. I am very convinced this is the fixing points for chrome garnish. The lower grille in the bumper featured mesh pattern and the lower-side intake is louvered  has fog lamp. There's also character line running from front wheel arch, gently rising along the belt-lines towards the rear light.
This particular car has get rid of the fake rear light, and we can catch a glimpse of the actual rear light running underneath the tape. We can see that the rear light graphic is similar to Saga FL/FLX with some LED in it. We also can see that the rear light unit is split between the rear side structure and on the trunk lid. The exhaust tip is oval in shape and the muffler box is different from the previous test car.
In the "B 2371A", the cladding around the lower bumper concealed the fog lamps, but in this "B461A" we can see the oval fog light together with the louvres. The door outside handle looks very much like Gen2 item which has been widely used in Satria Neo, Persona, Exora and Saga. The door has a thin sash, as it is contained below the side structure. The car is visibly cab-forward where the A-pillar is very much near the front wheel axis. Tiny quarter glass exist in front of front door, to where the A-pillar meet the front fender. 

The rear door aperture is what we have seen on bare BIW some times back. But now we can see the static glass is still retained, despite the visibly tiny rear door opening. The rear window surely will be very cozy in its opening. More photos after the jump.

Volkswagen UP unveiled

VW unveiled the UP model today head of Frankfurt Motorshow. The car has been long showcased as concept car for some iterations and finally the mass-production car has been unveiled. 

The car retain a lot of cues from the concept car including the two-box silhouette which maximise interior space,"floating" front bumper and flush rear light setup. While the car retains the looks (see concept below), the drivetrain could not be more different. Whereas the concept used rear mounted drivetrain, the mass produced car utilized conventional FF layout, build on MQB platfrom, which VW sets to use among all VAG family.
More details after  the jump.

20 August 2011

Toyota Camry 2012 - USDM sets to be revealed on 23rd August 2011

The promotional activity for the USDM Toyota Camry has started. After a series of teaser (become a trend nowadays), Toyota has released a launch announcement, together with official interior photos.

The dashboard looks quite upmarket with silver lined between upper and lower fascia and surrounding side vents. The floor console is typical Toyota, with the gear shifter occupied the driver side and identical space next to it for easier drive conversion.

It is quite fascinating to see the kind of image Camry impart to the US market, compared to Asian market. The USDM Camry looks as ordinary as Corolla here, with no chrome accent for plasticky front grille and very subtle rear lights. Asian Camry on the other hand must have big, shinny, chromed and perfectly detailed front grille complete with highly intricate inner headlight graphics. The rear will be LED-flood, surrounded by big additional reflector in the taillamps. The seats will be light coloured with premium fabric or leather that is more soothing and calming rather than drab part fabric, part leather than bounds the thin line between nasty and ugly.

Anyway, lets wait for August 23rd.

19 August 2011

Lexus GS350 - technical data

Vital statistics:
  • Dimension: 4850mm x 1840mm x 1455mm (length x width x height)
  • Wheelbase: 2850mm
  • Weight: 1686kg
  • Range: GS250, GS350 and GS450h
  • Drive: RWD & AWD for GS350
  • Main engine: 3.5l V6 Direct Injection, 306PS@6400rpm & 375Nm@4800rpm
  • Transmission : 6 speed automatic
  • 0-100km/h: 5.7 seconds for GS350
  • Tyre size:
    Standard: 225/50 R17
    Optional: 235/45 R18
    Optional: 235/40 R19
The exterior design is distinctive, but unmistakably Japanese. Perhaps Lexus has decided that they will stay true to their heritage rather than trying to mimic the European bland, taut and sometimes simplified design. The side profile has an element of IS and LS model, the front adopt the concept pioneered by CT200h while the rear is a clear progression of RX series and CT model, with some Mark X touch to it. 

Infiniti JX-7 Crossover Concept fully revealed

After a series of teaser, Inifiniti finally revealed the full JX-7 concept crossover at Peeble Beach Concours d'Elegance. The 7-seater crossover shares a lot of design cues from Essence and facelifted FX such as headlamp and grille shaped, crescent D-pillar. For the interior, the dashboard is snug and swoopy in appearance, wrapping around the occupant. 

Lexus GS officially launched

The new Lexus GS series has been officially launched in Peeble Beach Concours d'Elegance. The car, previously preview my LF-Gh concept, adopt the latest of Lexus design language, first prominently seen on CT200h model.

Dimension-wise, the car remains similar to old model. However, front and rear track has been increased by 40mm and 50mm respectively to improve road holding. At the front, lighter upper and lower control arm employed larger bushing, while the rear get an all-new multi-link suspension. Combined with more rigid bodyshell, Lexus aimed to improve handling and the car refinement.

At the moment, 3 models are available. GS250 is confirmed for UK market, while GS350 and GS450h are available too.F-Sport version will be made available too. But GS-F remains a possibility, with no confirmation yet from Lexus.

The car features sharp creases grill edge, called hourglass shaped as of CT200h, bit more prominently styled with more distinctive chroming placement. The car also lost the dual headlamp setup pioneered by second generation GS model. In a way, the car is a spiritual successor to the original first generation car.

18 August 2011

Lexus GS 2012 - leaked photos

The new Lexus GS series has been caught totally uncovered (saved for the Lexus badge), according to publication in China. The car is quite aggressive looking, with some element from smaller CT series. The model caught here is GS350 AWD.Judge it yourself!

More photos after the jump.

Official photos of 2012 Porsche 911

The photos of Frankfurt motorshow bound launch of the new Porsche 911 has leaked. These are the official images of the iconic sportscar. The photos revealed an unchanged design philosophy, but has been massaged with the progression is aerodynamics and safety regulation that dictate the surface detail design.
The 2012 car keeps the classic proportion of its ancestor, but added some contemporary touch as LED daytime running light, newly shaped air intakes and the ever thinning rear lights. More details after the jump.

Kia Forte 2013 spyshot

Kia/Naza Forte still feels fresh as new, as it was introduced to our shore only in late 2009. It has been in the international market for quite sometimes at that particular time. No surprise that after slightly more than a year with us, a revamped version with 6 speed auto transmission has already been introduced, together with some mild facelift.

Now, a replacement model has been spotted testing, with camouflaged. The current car actually sits on outgoing Hyundai Elantra/Avante platform, meaning that it is already outdated as the new Elantra already on sale right now. The new model is similar in length as before at 4530mm, while the wheelbase is 50mm longer at 2700mm. This put it exactly the same size as the new Elantra. The LED tail lamps is standard, as well as 18 inches wheel, one up from current Forte.
At the front, the car is described to have a heavily contoured hood, with very pronounced pleat on the surface.The headlight too, is described as very shapely like the new Optima, but with "pan handle" protrusion joining the now customary tiger grille. The tail light too, is Optima like, with strong stretchy like design with some reminiscent of Audi A4/Q5 design, with character line joining both side of lights. Enjoy the photos after the jump, copyrighted by KGP.

17 August 2011

Resurrection of Bristol Car using Proton technology?

According to Gmotors.co.uk, the new owner of Bristol Cars, Frazer-Nash is set to resurrect the car maker with the new range extender EV model using the technology they developed with Proton a while back.

The package consists of separate twin motor at each axles with Wankel engine as the power generator, mainly for battery charging. 

The new drivetrain packaged can't be fitted to current Bristol model range, hence Frazer-Nash is currently looking for donor vehicle for the application.

The car is planned to be introduced in 2013. 

Proton to work with Hawtai?

According to Chinacartimes, Hawtai is exploring opportunities to work with our national car company, Proton Holdings. They was rumoured to hold a discussion recently in Hawtai new HQ in Beijing. The discussed item remains a mystery, however a Chinese media is quoted saying that Proton is in the needs to improve its stance in China, while Hawtai is attempting to get to Indonesian market. Synergized, they could both form an attack to their desired market.

Previously, Hawtai has attempted to sign the deal with Saab, but Youngman wrestle the deal after Hawtai discussion fall through. Maybe Hawtai now want to partner with Youngman old friend - Proton?

Hawtai Motor is a Chinese company producing sedans and SUV in its range. Their cars are largely Hyundai based and the engine was said to be SAIC unit, and some are home grown with VM-Motori technology. They are also reputedly eyeing to use a Malaysian designed engine, but not from Proton or Perodua.

Ferrari FF now available in Malaysia

  The new Ferrari FF is now available in Malaysia, brought in the official importer Naza-Italia. The 612 Scaglietti replacement costs a cool RM2.8 million, many thanks to our very enriching tax structure. Full gallery can be seen at my previous post here and also at Paultan launch gallery. Wipe your "air liur" dude!

Volvo S60 now CKD in Malaysia

Volvo has introduced a CKD version of the S60 model in Malaysia. There is additional variant, as well as deletion of a variant with the arrival of CKD car. The CBU were previously available in T5 and T6 guises, respectively with 2.0 Turbo and 3.0 Turbo, pumping out 240bhp and 304bhp each. They were priced at RM288k for T5 and RM348k for the T6.

There is no T6 version for CKD, the T5 remains and a T4 model added. The T5 model now cheaper at RM 255k. The new T4 version is equipped with the latest down-sized engine in the Volvo family, GTDi  (which also powered the larger S80), a 1.6 i-4 engine with turbocharger. This engine produced 180bhp and  240Nm. No slouch at all. While it only consumes 7.4 l/100km of fuel, it still capable to catapult this sedan to 100 km/h in 9 seconds and 225km/h top speed, while paying only RM90 in road tax! Like the T5, T4 also is paired with Powershift gearbox. The T4 variant is priced at RM220k. More after the jump.

15 August 2011

BMW 3-series 2012 (F30) spied uncovered

The totally uncovered BMW F30 pictures has surfaced out, thanks to F30post.com. The new photos unveiled that the new Bimmer is indeed elegant in proportion. The front appears sporty yet elegant and the headlights are thankfully sleeker than the awkward F20 1-series. The rear clearly shows a family resemblance to the F10 with subtle L-shaped. Like the F20, the side  indicators are now integrated into the side-mirrors. There also some badging at the front quarter panel where the side indicators used to sit. 
More photos after the jump.

13 August 2011

New interior shots of new Honda CRV 2012

Courtesy of Chinacartimes, now we have a glimpse of the new Honda CRV 2012 interior. It retains the basic architecture of current CRV, but with added touch of integrated ICE and new meter combi. The new gear lever resides at the same place as previous one.

Note the ECO symbol (the leaves thing) present here too, like the new Civic. More photos after the jump.