30 July 2012

Next Honda Accord sets for 8th August unveiling

Still on Honda news, Honda will revealed the first photo of the next generation Accord model on 8th August 2012, with full details coming a month later on September 5th, according to Vtec forum. Since traditionally we've been getting the larger US model (instead of the smaller and sportier JDM and Euro model), this is going to be the first indication of the Malaysian too. Add in a lens or two, we could be having a Malaysian version in the making.

We've heard that the new Accord will debut the Earth Dream engine technology. The engine will be enhanced with the direct injection system, Exhaust Gas Recirculation (EGR), high tumble port design, Idle Stop technology and various measures of friction reduction technology. The 2.0L and 2.4L engine will be paired with the CVT gearbox (or 6 speed manual) while the 3.5L V6 will be paired with the new 6 speed automatic transmission. The 2.4L Earth Dream engine was revealed to the motoring journalist sometimes some months back and it is tipped to produce 181bhp and 240Nm. The Hybrid version will be available too, this time paired to the 2.0L petrol engine. Honda has also announced that i-MID, SMS Texting capability and Pandora Internet radio interface will be featured too.

According to the Honda news, the new Accord adopts a single piece soft touch dashboard instead of 16 pieces as they are now. It is going to a seamless one piece panel with integrated airbag lid. The current Accord dashboard is assembled from four module from the aforementioned 16 pieces. However, if you want to know, the two-tone door trim of Honda Brio also is a single piece item. While naturally it appears as a two-piece item with contrasting color, it turns out to be a single piece and coated upper pieces with a fine masking tape applied at the mating color line. It is what Honda has invented for its latest crop of model and naturally it will appears elsewhere too.

The glimpse of Honda Accord new dashboard can be seen from MMN previous article HERE and the exterior article HERE.

Honda CR-V European version - gallery

The British-built Honda CR-V was unveiled on 18th July. For the European market, there are two option of powertrain sets available, 2.0L i-VTEC and 2.2L i-DTEC. FWD is also available for the first time. Transmission options are 5 speed automatic and 6 speed manual. The European version of Honda CR-V carries some detail design differences compared to the Asian/JDM version. MMN did not give enough photos during the unveiling article, so here they are.

For more details of the new Honda CR-V, head to our previous coverage HERE & HERE. More photos after the jump.

29 July 2012

2013 Kia Forte fully revealed - studio pics

The official studio photos of the exterior of the much awaited Kia Forte has been revealed. Consistent with its cousin, Elantra, the new Forte is more rakish in appearance. The A and C pillars are deeply angled, the body surfacing is richer in elements and the overall appearance is slightly flamboyant, if not overtly flashy like its bigger brother the K5.

What say you?Still want that Honda Civic? The only bad thing is that the previous Forte took more than a year to reach Malaysian shore, albeit in the rebadged and locally assembled form. Will this one be the same? 

2013 Kia Forte/K3 - new front shot

Just a solitary shot of the new Kia Forte, front angle.
It continues to impress. Sourced from HERE.

28 July 2012

Toyota Auris - radical redesigned of Corolla hatch uncovered

Early in May MMN has covered the story of the next generation Toyota Corolla going radical, which is according to the Car and Driver Brazil. However, when the new Corolla Axio came out in mid-May, it was as radical as sardine can, so what's the earlier piece of news all about? Well, it could be this, the Auris. In Europe, Toyota has dropped the legendary Corolla nomenclature from the Auris, but some market still called it as Corolla Auris. Still based on the Corolla chassis, Auris comes only in hatchback form.

As can be seen above, Toyota has really sharpened the frond end of the Auris model. The slit-like headlight and grille is akin to the domestic Toyota Wish. The emblem is fitted to a stubby centre section, which hold the chromed grille bar that even joint the headlight internal graphic. Fog lamp housing is as per what we have seen on Prius/Aqua and new Camry, so is the lower grille treatment. The side profile is conventional, which just solitary sill line adorning the lower belt line. Glass house kick up at the C-pillar, nice and resembling the old legend Caldina in GT4 guise.
It is the rear end that is really prominent. The intricately styled rear lights protrude out from the body surfacing, lending it an aggressive outlook. The effect of distributed mass is also evident from the massaged-look tail gate garnish and punctuated bumper section housing the rear reflector.

In Europe, the car will be powered by 1.3L and 1.6L gasoline from the current car, but with an added environmentally-friendly device to boost economy. The diesel however will benefit from BMW technology for 1.6L and 2.0L.JDM Auris will be powered by 1.5L and 1.8L engine, mirroring those on the recently launch Corolla Axio.

In the European market, Toyota Auris will compete against the Honda Civic Euro,Ford Focus and VW Golf. They are typically made up a huge chunk of a family car sold over there. It is quite amusing when this kind of little car can be described as family car. Maybe their family is small, maybe they don't travel across the country or maybe their wife don't pack up the whole wardrobe for balik kampung trip. But when I learnt that these small cars can accommodate up to 480L of boot volume, I now understand why. Pity we don't have them here.

There's a bit more photos from leaked Japanese brochure. It gives the outlook of the non-hybrid model which is slightly different from the Hybrid. But changes are minimal, limited only to bumper and grille trimmings. Photos after the jump.

Lexus rehashed LS460 for 2013

The 6-year-old Lexus LS will be refreshed for 2013 with a host of styling updates and introduction of F Sport version to the flagship model. While the official introduction has been set on 30th July, but some photos has made an early appearance on the net on the Chinese website. While it was previously thought that we are going to see an all-new model as the current LS is an ageing model already, but the recent capture show that the profile remains familiar.

What's new then. Well the now customary spindle grille make an appearance here, albeit in its largest disguise. The bumper also sports a much aggressive frontal presence with larger air opening, signalling that this is the F Sport version. At the back, the rear light has been redesign and it sports new silhouette.

More details sets to come on July 30th.


27 July 2012

Proton sets to shut down R3 division?

There's a rumours circulating from Inspira tuners facebook that the R3 division is set for a closure after Raya.  While there's no further information available, the most sensible reason must the rationalisation of Proton's overall business under DRB-Hicom care. In a bid to cut cost (& loss), the non-core division or business must go. Make no mistake about it, motorsport is costly.

Anyway, this kind of move is really a typical one. Especially when the company has new owner or more so a new leader. And the consequences is, well, the intelligent working level that suffers. Those who works passionately and giving their all to deliver the product will now have to do something else, which might not be their interest. But this is the danger of sticking to the non-core business in any type of organisation. The niche department only exists during the good time. They will be shed away in no time at all in the difficult moment.

Many years ago, Proton axed major project with Lotus. The results, some aspiring young engineers gone out of job. In a foreign country some more. In the recent years, an oil and gas company shed its automotive powertrain division due to the desire to stick to the core business. As a results of that, many of the not-so-young engineers again have to look or job. Some decide to sell their soul to the money promised by some industry, some stay stubborn while some just don't care.

However, in light of all this, despite the appears on the losing side, it is actually a character building. Be it for the company, or be it for the person. It inculcates resilient. Top gun will always stay top gun. If DRB-Hicom thinks this move will make Proton earns better, just do it then!

Next Kia Forte scooped with interior photos

The new Kia Forte is set to unleash a splash of style in the crowded C Segment. While the new Honda Civic goes formal, and sibling Elantra goes outlandish, the new Forte will ditched the current model boxy look in favor of a more intricately curvaceous skin.

The new Forte sits on the C Segment platform shared with the new Hyundai Elantra. So, the dimensions should be more or less similar to the Elantra, meaning that a slightly longer at 2,700mm and overall length of 4,530mm. It is refreshing to see that the new Forte is not outlandishly styled like the Optima K5. Instead the execution of Kia corporate face here is more subdued and pleasing to the eye. The interaction between the grille and the headlight is not as intense as its bigger brother. The intricate inner detailing of headlight remains though, as can be seen with the LED eye lid here.
The rear end adopts a wrap-around rear light with intricate inner detailing. While some Japanese maker has ditched the LED insertion for the rear light and decide to go spartan, Kia however clearly give their all. No expense spared here. It even has a slight Audi-ish in the way the illumination is set.

The current generation of Forte is powered by a choice of 1.6L Gamma (124PS/156Nm) or 2.0L Theta II (156PS/194Nm), both mated to 6 speed automatic transmission. For the new model however, expect some overlap with the Hyundai Elantra powertrain, including the 1.8L version punching out 150PS and 178Nm of power and torque respectively. 

The cabin is not as radical as the Kia Optima K5 with its heavily driver oriented centre console (same with the new Kia Cee'd), the new Forte is kind a refinement from the current model. The vertical aircond ducts are retained while the whole centre and floor console has been tidied up. Some more photos after the jump, including the official sketch from Kia.

26 July 2012

New Mazda6 officially revealed

After a series of teaser video showcasing the significant design elements of the next generation Mazda6, Mazda has released a full set of photos of the said model, albeit only for the exterior. Stays faithful to the Takeri concept, the new 6 is another full adaptation of not only the new Kodo design language, but also include the full Skyactiv technology. The car is expected to debut at Moscow motorshow later this month, thus the glimpse of the interior might have to wait till then.
The front end is clearly derived from the Mazda CX-5 fascia, with large grille opening featuring prominent Mazda emblem flanks by thin "wing". The radiator is adorned with thin chromed outline than tapered off at the headlight inner part. The headlight has an interesting graphic that blends well with the afore-mentioned chromed bar.
At the back, Mazda6 lost the slit like fascia of the Takeri concept, but that is expected anyway. The rear combi has the same silhouette as the CX-5 item, but the graphic is more up to date. The rear lower section is curvaceous, a theme that is followed by the flowing lines in the license plate depression area. Chromed trunk lid garnish finished off the imposing rear end. For this round of model, Mazda will not offer the 5 door version. 

The engine selection will mirrors those in the CX-5. It means a full complement of Skyactiv G and Skyactiv D, which means a 2.0L gasoline and 2.2L diesel. Transmission choice include manual and automatic variety, both comes with 6 forward ratios.

True to the spirit of 2012, Mazda6 comes with an energy recuperation system, dubbed i-ELOOP which stands for the intelligent energy loop. The fundamental of this system is similar to the regenerative braking available in many cars today, but Mazda system make do without the need for battery. Instead, energy of is stored in the high capacity capacitor. Under braking, the generator can sent up to 25V to the capacitor, which then channelled the electric power to other system such as audio and climate control system. Mazda claims 10% improvement in fuel consumption as a results of this mechanism.
Judging by reasonably quick turnaround time by Mazda Malaysia for the CX-5 to arrive, the Malaysia's debut could be just a few month late than the global sale debut. More details will be available during the Moscow motorshow. Stay tune.

24 July 2012

Lotus unveiled Exige S & flagship store in London

The shop opening and sports car unveiling mark a new chapter for both Lotus and its parent company PROTON after being taken over by Malaysian conglomerate DRB-HICOM earlier this year. DRB-HICOM with its vast experience and presence in the entire automotive industry value chain, coupled with long-standing collaborations with other global automotive giants reiterated their commitment to drive this iconic British brand to greater success.

Group Managing Director of DRB-HICOM and Executive Chairman of PROTON Dato’ Sri Haji Mohd Khamil Jamil said: “We can derive many synergies between DRB-HICOM, PROTON and Lotus; and we reaffirm our full and long-term commitment to raise Lotus to the next level of success. With a future of increased productivity and cooperation ahead, Lotus is destined to join the ranks of the great luxury performance brands of the world.”

The 170mph high-performance Exige S with a supercharged V6 engine caused a sensation when it was announced at the Frankfurt motor show last year. The first cars will begin rolling off the production line at the company’s HQ at Hethel, Norfolk, later this month.

Lotus Chief Operating Officer Aslam Farikullah said: “The car represents the very best of Lotus. Its aerodynamic appearance is race-track inspired, as is the interior. Every detail from the racing twin-piston front caliper brakes, to the glossy black wheels and lightweight aluminum bonded structure has the Lotus mark of excellence about it.”

The board of DRB-HICOM met with British Trade Secretary Dr Vince Cable on Wednesday, shortly before the store was officially opened by Malaysian High Commissioner to the UK, Dato’ Sri Zakaria Sulong. More after the jump.

18 July 2012

European Honda CR-V breaks cover

Honda has revealed the European version CR-V today. The Swindon-made SUV will be on sale in European from October onwards. Similar with the rest of the world, Honda has made the CR-V available for the first time in front-wheel-drive, instead of only four-wheel-drive. Engine option for the UK market comprises of 2.0L gasoline and 2.2L i-DTEC. 

While both engine appears to be 3rd generation CR-V carried over item, both powertrain has been massaged for significant emission reduction. The 2.0L i-VTEC engine now produced 155PS (from 150PS) while torque increased by 2Nm for 192Nm. The emission level is pegged at 176g/km and 174g/km of CO2 for automatic and manual version respectively, down from 195g/km and 192g/km. For the diesel version, the 2.2L i-DTEC continues to produce 150PS and 350Nm as before but CO2 emission has dropped to 175g/km and  153g/km for automatic and manual transmission, down from 195g/km and 171g/km respectively. Transmission option is 5 speed automatic, while the 6 speed manual will be fitted idle stop start system.

Honda claims the European CR-V differs from the other region aesthetically. The changed listed are the redesigned from bumpers, LED DRL and LED tail light. While the last two are hard to identify from the still photos here, but MMN has detected the sole redesigned item on the front bumper, it is the fog lamp housing where it is now a through-mesh design which is different from the Asian version (Singaporean). 

Honda also claims that the interior now oozes higher quality than before. Material selection is said to be Euro-specific. The difference is hard to perceived compared to the Asian region, but true to some intelligent journalist article, the tactility of the material is indeed can't be deduced just by looking at photos. Anyway, the interior noise level in this new model is 3dB less then before.

The rest of the engineering detail such as the dimension, suspension and design should be more or less similar to the CR-V from the other region. Please refer to MMN JDM-CR-V launch article for more details. Some more photos of European Honda CR-V can be found after the jump.

17 July 2012

Revamped Alza Advanced with integrated GPS - RM69,503

Perodua has revamped the equipment list for the Alza Advanced model mainly on the interior appointments. While the exterior still retained the Alza Advanced bodykit comprises of front, side and rear skirt plus the spoiler, the interior has been refreshed with the touch screen multimedia system with GPS functionality. This is the same unit as per in the 2011 Myvi. Thus this will end the retro-fitment of the GPS on the dash top slot for the current Alza Advanced model. The seats are also upholstered with Luxvelvet which supposedly more pleasant to sit on. 

As opposed to Proton who hook up with Yes 4G for the mobile internet, Perodua has packed the new Alza Advanced with TM Wifi Hotspot Locator. The 6" touchscreen unit is also capable of searching Perodua outlet, phone search for commercial number and Yellow Page Integration. The GPS map is also TM-powered and is capable of rendering 3D building and junction. Reverse camera is included too. More page of the brochure can be seen after the jump.

15 July 2012

2012 Honda Civic - design and brief drive impression


First of all, lets get the sticky point out of our view. If you are interested in the new Honda Civic, but has been hindered by the rumours of poor interior quality, worry no more and please proceed buying it! MMN would say that the worry is baseless, and purely based on the press review from outside Malaysia.

Contrary to the Honda Civic FD generation, Honda offered two grades for the 2.0L version instead of 1.8L. So you will not get the high-spec 1.8L version this time around. The range starts with Civic 1.8S (RM115,980), followed by Civic Hybrid (RM119,980), Civic 2.0S(RM131,980) and topped by Civic 2.0 Navi at RM136,980. All prices are OTR and the waiting list quoted as per launch week is less than two month.


Honda Civic 2012 continues the FD cab-forward design with a stretched out pillars location front and back. The low slung but mono-surfaced FD front end has been revised with a more deliberate design. The elongated headlamp now staggered when view from the top plane, with the inner part kicks inwards before joining the grille. The chromed upper grille parts harks back to the facelifted FD for a design inspiration. If it looks a bit less techno-looking compared to Civic FD, the culprit is the fender. It is no longer a wrap-around item that goes all the way to cover the headlight flanking a smaller hood aperture, but it is smaller item now, terminated somewhere at the outer edge of the headlamp. That's the sole reason.

The side profile too has been given a dose of style injection. Gone is slab sided on the FD and in comes a more pronounced wedge shape, much like an enlarged version of Honda City. The glass house for example has been given a kink at the C-pillar, much like its smaller sibling. The lower  edge of the door is accentuated by the crisper sills line that runs all the way onto the rear wheelarch surfacing which eventually dies off at the rear bumper.

At the back, the new Civic has get rid off the FD large rear eyes, and replaced with a smaller item that stylishly protrudes out from the body, much in the style of the larger Honda Accord brothers. There is also a light extension into the trunk lid, but the lens are color-matched with the counterpart on the outer side, unlike the rear combi of some recently introduced national car. The rear bumper is taller than the current Civic and gains a lot of surface interplay that eliminates the bulk and create a negative mass perception.

The new Civic is not that photogenic. In photo, is appears flat, with squared-off edge and flattened surfaces. In flesh however, there's a subtle line that break those surfaces, and in the correct lighting scenario, the surface interplay can be seen clearly. It is like the current Honda Accord. Look it in the light-limited situation and it appears like whale, but once out in open environment, the interaction with the natural lighting comes into play. Same case here. So go and have a look for yourselves in real world.

To elaborate more on my first ever sentence in this review, lets be straight regarding the interior of Honda Civic. The plastic material used is not the low quality type. The quality and textures are on par with the Civic FD. The top portion of the dashboard has some techno texturing on it. While typically the texture resembles leather or pure geometric, this one mimics leaves. A green-inspired move perhaps? The plastic quality is generally OK, and the perceived quality and tactility is even thrown in with some good measures. The upper area of the door trim is soft padded, just like Civic FD. While the nicely textured dashboard top part is hard plastic, it is similar case in Civic FD. While most of the surface is not soft touch, at least they are kind of matte in finishing, hence eliminates the shiny look of the cheaper variety. Thus, there's no obvious case of cost cutting here.

However, what amplified the previously negative perception is the new aesthetic direction. Make no mistake though. It is still an interplay of massive different surfaces as can be seen below. The space age Multiplex concept still intact. What is missing is the fulfilment of of those void spaces. As can be seen above, in front of the gear level, there's nothing. It a void. If it is lidded, perhaps it will turn out better. Similar case to the climate control system. Previous Civic FD is adorned with a different layout with many button and nice screen to fill up the space offered by the Multiplex layout. Not so here. The sparse looking audio does not help either. But bear in mind though, this audio looks better in real life. Similar to the climate control, they are geometrically textured with horizontal bar that makes them looks a bit matte. And if perceived quality can be de-coupled with aesthetic pleasure, this new design is no problematic at all.

In terms of interior trim, the new Civic comes in two color. The one below is for the 1.8S version. It has a "greige" color scheme, which the two-tones does exudes some quality feeling in it. The fabric still has some "towel" outlook legacy from FD1, but it is OK actually. The seating position is excellent. The ergonomics are fine too. It is nice to note that the centre console is angled towards the driver. However, the 1.8S version lacks the cruise control function, so the right panel on the steering wheel is void.

Opting for 2.0S will give you an all-black cabin. Accentuating sporty perhaps, it is similarly nice to be seated in here. Note the steering wheel has extra button, thats your cruise control. Note that both version has the leather-upholstered steering wheel.
This is what MMN means by sparse. Look at the void in front of the gear lever. It is a storage I know, but perhaps it should be more elaborative. The gear console too has lost the FD fancy garnishing, but this one is not too bad in flesh. 

Apart from color difference, there's also minor difference between the 1.8S and both 2.0L version. The silver bar on the door trim upper part (which is soft touch BTW) is not fitted on the cheaper version. 
The rear accommodation is  excellent. While the wheelbase has been shortened by 30mm, the interior length contrastly grows by 10mm. By cleverer packaging of the cabin, the rear legroom is enhanced by 40mm. Honda packaging engineers also has improved the visibility. The A-pillar base has been shifted forward, revised base design and shifted the mini quarter pillar to offer a much uninterrupted view out front. The floor is flat too.
Have a look at the audio system and climate control. MMN is trying to project a better view of these two controversial items. The buttons are nicely trimmed but subjectively the aesthetic could be improved.

In the powertrain department, it is a mixture of old and new. While the 1.8L lump is carried over, the DOHC 2.0L in previous Civic made way to the R20 from Accord/CR-V model. The slightly enhanced 1,798cc lump kicks out 141PS@6,500rpm and 174Nm@4,300rpm of power and torque. The 1,997cc R20 punches 155PS@6,500rpm and 190Nm@4,300rpm. Both engine are mated to the 5 speed automatic transmission where the 2.0L version gets paddle shift control. Both engine are rated at EURO 3 emission performance. Fuel tank is 50L. The Hybrid version is powered by 1.5L gasoline engine paired to an electric motor and the combo produces 110PS@5,500rpm of power and 172Nm of torque between 1,000rpm and 3,500rpm.

Chassis & Dimension
For the chassis, Honda engineers has decided to combat the trend of scaling up the car with each iteration of generations. So for this generation, they have loped off 30mm from the wheelbase, giving it 2,670mm in total, all without the loss of spaciousness. Overall length is 4,525mm, width 1,755mm and height 1,435mm. The new Civic is 15mm shorter than the Civic FD. Chassis hardware is similar to the outgoing model with McPherson strut up front and multi-link at the back. Braking power is supplied by ventilated disc up front and solid back at the back. Both 1.8L and 2.0L version now equipped with Electric Power Steering.

The 2.0L model is adorned with the 17" alloy wrapped by 215/45 R17 tyres. The entry-level 1.8S model make do with a smaller 16" wheel shod with 205/55 R16 tyres. The Hybrid model goes even smaller with its 195/65 R15 to reflect its environmentalist incentive.

Driving Impression
The driving position is comfortable with good ergonomics between steering wheel, pedals, gear knob and control button placement. It is typical Honda here. The visibility out front is good, rears on OK too. The gear knob and handbrake movement is smooth with no creaky sound as some cars.

On the move, the 2.0L version pulls away cleanly and surely. Noise suppression especially in terms of isolating the engine noise is nicely subdued. Even under the harsh acceleration the engine noise (for 2.0L) is well muted and maintaining its refinement. However, the author thinks there's a slight tyre noise (or wind noise) distantly creeping into his ears. It is the case of it is not quite audible, but it is there nevertheless. But Civic FD is also the same in this case.

The steering feel can be described as well weighted. The feel into the corner is what you expect out of Civic, it is nothing like the lightness of Honda City steering. Handling-wise, what can be concluded is it is composed. But we haven't got the chance to throw it out to the mountain road. So do check around for some other long distance test drive from other publication. 

Honda Civic used to be the defining C Segment car. The competition is stiffer these days. However, it is still a differentiators between the B Segment car with C Segment size. This is the case applicable to lower rung of the price scale of the C Segment cars. Elantra too is a pure C Segment car that slightly cheaper (compare for 1.8 to 1.8 version, but price will be increased by RM5k soon), Forte is also a C Segment, but it is getting a bit long in the tooth. Any lower than these however, they could just be an inflated B Segment contenders.

Honda Civic however is not without weaknesses. For one, the equipment level is not that high. No bluetooth connectivity for the non-Navi car? Come on  Honda. Anyway Honda has thrown in a better warranty scheme that now covers 5 years with unlimited mileage. What can be concluded here is that there is nothing wrong with the new Civic, but neither there is anything special or outstanding about it too.

More photos after the jump.

14 July 2012

Limited run of Proton Satria Neo supercharged coming?

Together with the Proton Preve R3 kits and the rest of R3 enhancement for Proton range, also on display at Plaza Angsana is the Proton Satria Neo S2000 Concept. Bearing the same shade as the Proton dominant rally machine, S2000 Concept is powered by the supercharged Campro lump, as indicated on the tailgate badging on the car. According to the source close to the company production, there was a plan to offer a limited run of 200 units of the supercharged Neo as a commemorative to the rally success in the recent years. Could this be the preview of such model?

Back in April last year, some media did uncovered the Proton Satria Neo supercharged project. With the Sprintex supercharger unit mounted on the Campro unit, the total tally is 180bhp and 200Nm. Will it ever produced? Such a late enhancement to a model approaching its end of life cycle.....

R3 kit introduced for Proton Preve & other models

Proton has showcased the latest R3 product, mainly for the Proton Preve and Satria Neo at the event of APRC in Johor. The models are being on show at Plaza Angsana. The R3 kit for the Preve is the first in line for this particular model, comprising of a new front bumper extension with lower lip and side duct, side skirting and rear valence. While there is no mentioned about the rims, it looks as if it is at least 17" in diameter.
There's no mentioned about the drivetrain enhancement, so it is very likely this is the cosmetic updates only. As depicted from the product description, the package does not include the rims, suspension or engine tweak and currently limited to the faster-looking body addenda. The indicative pricing is RM3k++.

Also on show at the Plaza Angsana is the ageing Proton Satria Neo with S2000 Concept. While it lacks the flaring wide-body outlook from the successful rally car, the R3 kit does include an aggressively styled front bumper with massive radiator grille intake, side skirt, new rear bumper and big rear spoiler. Larger rims are available too. The indicative pricing is RM4k++. 

R3 kit for the rest of Proton range is available too. There will also be package for Saga BLM that resemble the R3 show car in Thailand Auto Expo back in 2010, priced tentatively for RM3k++. There special price on offer during the APRC event too for selected R3 kits. For Proton Persona, the bodykit package (minus the rims and tyres) is RM3113.60 (normal RM3,892), Satria Neo CPS package for RM1,000 (from RM1,250), Proton Gen2 kit RM2,530 (usual RM3,891), Proton Satria Neo kit at RM2,570 (normal RM3,953) and finally an Inspira kit for RM2,388 instead of usual RM3,674. Please note that the price quoted are all without rims and tyres.

The photos of the Preve R3 and the brochures for the model mentioned above can be seen after the jump.

12 July 2012

9th Generation Honda Civic Launched in Malaysia

Honda Malaysia today has revealed the 9th generation Honda Civic to Malaysia market. Comes in 4 variants, the pricing starts at RM115,980 for the 1.8S, rising to RM131,980 for 2.0S and topped by the 2.0 Navi at RM136,980. There's also a Hybrid version selling at RM119,980 for the environmentalist. For the current generation, there are also 3 variants on offer, namely 1.8S, 1.8 S-L and 2.0S after the Hybrid version was discontinued. Contrary to the current Civic, the tax-free Hybrid is no longer the cheapest in the range.
Externally, the 2012 Honda Civic retained the Civic FD sillhouette but with an added surface interplay. The entire front fascia comprises of headlights and grille is similar in concept with the Insight model, while the front bumper fascia is multi-faceted with many main surfacing to impart a more imposing front end. However, the new look has lost the low-slung look of the FD Civic. Finally, the fender size has been shrink as it no longer wrapped the whole headlight top edge like the FD size.
The rear end also gets the multi-faceted look, where the upper part of the rear bumper follow the plane of the rear combi before joining the lower portion that has more horizontal line. These lines seamlessly blend the rear wheelarches which in turns in blended with the rising sills along the lower edge of the door. The glass house too has been revised whereas the rear window ends with a kink, akin to the current Honda City. The 2.0L model is adorned with the 17" alloy wrapped by 215/45 R17 tyres. The entry-level 1.8S model make do with a smaller 16" wheel shod with 205/55 R16 tyres.
It is the interior that sets the previous generation Civic apart from its competitor. The new Civic continues that trend too by retaining the multiplex instrument panel. The design language is similar to the Honda CR-Z, but with the panache removed. Gone (compared to CR-Z) is the glossy black panel, intricate switches arrangement and fancy aircon dials. However, the single-piece control panel concept is still there where it housed the aircond duct on the far right , sweeping inwards with the lower meter screen before being ended with another aircond duct and audio system. It is a plain flat fascia. The fancy climate control are gone too, replaced by a more formal looking climate control panel. Another items that has gone to history is the egg-shaped gear level, circular alloy look gear console and reverse-lower portion hand brake where all of them has been replaced by a more formal looking item. Perhaps Honda is moving away from the sporty look to a more executive look with this generation of Civic, akin to the ES generation from 2001. There was a worry about interior plastic quality, but our press (tested the car in Thailand) and Oz press said this is no a concern at all.
One strong point of the Honda Civic is its spaciousness and this new Civic is no different. The 2.0L model gets an added luxury touch with the inclusion of leather upholstery while the cheaper 1.8S model make do with the fabric. The 2.0L Civic gets a dark cabin while the 1.8L version gets a lighter hue, but no beige this time around.

For the chassis, Honda engineers has decided to combat the trend of scaling up the car with each iteration of generations. So for this generation, they have loped off 30mm from the wheelbase, giving it 2,670mm in total, all without the loss of spaciousness. Overall length is 4,525mm, width 1,755mm and height 1,435mm. Chassis hardware is similar to the outgoing model with McPherson strut up front and multi-link at the back. Braking power is supplied by ventilated disc up front and solid back at the back.

In the powertrain department, it is a mixture of old and new. While the 1.8L lump is carried over, the DOHC 2.0L in previous Civic made way to the R20 from Accord/CR-V model. The 1,798cc lump kicks out 141PS@6,500rpm and 174Nm@4,300rpm of power and torque. The 1,997cc R20 punches 155PS@6,500rpm and 190Nm@4,300rpm. Both engine are mated to the 5 speed automatic transmission where the 2.0L version gets paddle shift control. Both engine are rated at EURO 3 emission performance. Fuel tank is 50L. The Hybrid version is powered by 1.5L gasoline engine paired to an electric motor and the combo produces 110PS@5,500rpm of power and 172Nm of torque between 1,000rpm and 3,500rpm.

In terms of equipment level, there are no major surprises and it mirrors the one in current Civic. The new item is the ECON button to boost your economy and the 2.0 Navi gets the 6.1" touch screen entertaintment system with navigation function.

Similar with the revamped Honda City recently, Honda is offering a 5 years warranty and unlimited mileage with the service interval of 10,000km. Some more photos can be found after the jump.

10 July 2012

Ferrari F12berlinetta in photos - pure stunner

Ferrari F12berlinetta, a new installment of the front-engined Ferrari is really a stunner. The replacement of the 599GTB, which in turn succeed the 575 and 550 Maranello, all of which hailed a heritage from 365 "Daytona" sports a true cutting-edge Ferrari latest design philosophy. Sharply styled, punctuated by holes and duct, it a sight to behold. It is simply breathtaking and phenomenally imposing. Recently launched in Japan, so wipe off your saliva, thanks to the gallery from Carview.

Vital dimensions: 4,618mm(L) x 1,942mm(W) x 1,273mm(H) and wheelbase of 2,720mm. Kerb weight is 1,525kg.

 The heart: 6.3L V12, 730bhp@8,250rpm, 508Nm@6,000rpm. Century sprint: 3.1s
 The devil is in the details. Some more detail photos after the jump.