31 October 2012

Nissan Almera official launched in Malaysia - cheapest and largest in class

After probably the longest pre-launch hype in our market, Tan Chong Motor has officially launched its B Segment sedan, the Almera. Set to take the baton from the legendary Sunny model, the car will take the battle to the Toyota Vios and Honda City, just to name its fellow Japanese nemesis. In the Malaysian market at least, the Almera is also out to wrestle it out with local establishment in the shape of Proton Preve and Naza Forte.

In the market segment where asthetic take a back seat, Nissan Almera has a big opportunity to succeed. For one, it is the largest and has the lowest entry price compared to its fellow Japs rival. Measuring  4,425mm long, 1,695mm wide and 1,500mm tall and wheelbase is 2,600mm, Almera is  vastly larger that Toyota Vios which is 4,300mm long, 1,700mm wide and 1,460 tall while it rides on a shorter 2,550mm wheelbase. Honda stylish City meanwhile is 4,395mm long, 1,695mm wide and 1,475mm tall while the wheel distance stretched 2,550mm too.

There are 3 trims level to choose from. The entry level "E" model comes in manual and automatic option, which the former is priced at a surprise RM66,800, while the latter weights in at RM69,800. The next two trims level comes only with automatic gearbox (with a total of 4 ratios). The "V" spec is priced at RM76,800 while the range topper "VL" is priced at RM79,800.

There's only solely one engine option, i,e the HR15DE 1.5L mill, producing 99PS@6,000rpm and 134Nm@4,000rpm. The fuel tank is 41L in size and according to Nissan, it is good for 14.9km/L for the manual version. All version sits in 185/65 R15 tyres.

The entry level "E" model comes with 15" steel wheel with plastic cover and equipped with driver's airbag, ABS+EBD and manual airconditioning. Opting further up for the "V" spec will gain you an alloy wheel, chromed door inside handle, Fine Vision Meter and trunk illumination. The range-topper "VL" is further equipped with  keyless entry, starter button, audio control on steering wheel, automatic airconditioning and temperature display.

For the gadget geek, there are 3 accessories package to choose from. Luxury Package (RM3,500) will buy you LED side mirror indicator, LED-illuminated stainless steel kick plate, door visor, trunk tray, sport pedal, leather upholstery on seats and door trim and Solar Gard Armorcoat. The Navi Package (also RM3,500) is almost the same as the Luxury Package, but here the leather upholstery is replaced by the 6" multimedia navigation unit with rear view camera, DVD player and comes compatible with iPOD. The Premium Navi Package is essentially both of the previous package combined where you'll get both the sat-nav unit together with the leather. The price however is RM6,000.

There's also an IMPUL package, priced at RM9,500. The package consists of the front grille, all around skirting, rear spoiler, exhaust muffler, sports suspension with 25mm lower ride height and an option of either 16" or 17" alloys.

MMN already snapped some photos during the Star Motor Carnival so head to our previous post for the details of engine and chassis. The photos can be found after the jump.

Facelifted Mercedes E-Class Scooped

The W212 generation of Mercedes E-Class has been around with us since 2009, so it is about time for a mid-life refresh. For the first time, the undisguised updated car has been scooped. The solitary photo here is probably the AMG version, denoted by the massive front air intake and the Bi-turbo badge on the fender.
The front end has foregoes the quad light setup seen since W210 in 1995 and in comes the C-Class inspired shape with a much more pleasing shape. The hint of quad lights setup is now taken care by the distinctive internal component arrangement. Overall, the front end now appears softer with more curvaceous appearance, consistent with newer A and B-Class design language. Another significant styling change is the deletion of the rear "Pontoon" style rear wheel arches, replaced by more conventional item.

Mercedes E-Class traditionally is the BMW 5 Series closest rival. With the Munich rival is set to receive its mid life update too (BMW F10 LCi covered HERE) at around the same time, the battle is set to be restarted.

Source: Carscoop

30 October 2012

Proton inked the collaboration with Honda

DRB-HICOM, the parent company of the national carmaker Proton has announced that it has reached an agreement with the Honda Motor to explore collaboration in the areas of technology enhancement, new product line-up, platform sharing as well as facilities sharing. The deal comes as a surprise as Honda has never been known to be linking up with people, except with Rover group sometimes back.

Details are scarce at the moment, there was not even a press release for the matter. The only confirmation obtained was the company announcement to Bursa yesterday. The only elaboration found are from market analyst, which mostly are textbook statement generalized for any carmaker collaboration.

Sources close to the company however is quite cautiously optimistic about the news. This is because this is not the first MoU the company signed and so far there is no concrete outcomes yet. Let me tell you something, usually after the initial collaboration intent has been signed, both companies will actively explored the possibilities. The sort of NDA signed will enable the release of data between companies.This involved the study of the platform and engineering data, among others, on how to synergize. Vendor assessment, product line-up overlapping, engine line-up identification will be tabled out for further decision. There is a possibility that they will find no scope to collaborate. Also, how does this news relates to the earlier rumour about utilizing Petronas powertrain?

What does it mean to you and me now? Nothing yet now. However, if Proton managed to work out a deal like Rover did decades ago, we could see a common platform between both brands common segment. Till then, dream on about getting a Civic-based Preve II and CR-Z-based Satria Neo!

27 October 2012

Revised Lexus LS launched in Malaysia - 4 variants, priced from RM788,000

Lexus Malaysia has launched the revised range of its flagship model, the LS to our market. Comes in four variant, the LS now starts from RM788,000 for the LS460, rises to RM818,000 for LS460 F Sport, RM878,000 for LS460 Long Wheelbase and topped by LS600hL priced at RM1,068,000. 

As covered in our launch review, the 2013 LS comes with a renewed front end , sporting the now famous spindle grille treatment.  Its mammoth, running all the way from the hood edge down to the air dam level. The crisp front fascia is joined by similarly sharply dressed headlight, which looks uncannily like the one on the new GS. While the side profile is recognisably belong to the 4th generation LS, the rear end has been thoroughly tweaked. The trunk lid, lighting, garnish and bumper are all revised, with the chromed interlink between the more elaborate rear light bring on a harmonious look unfound on the previous LS. The character line that runs from the bumper, upwards into the rear light, narrowing before joining the trailing edge of the trunk lid has given a new found assertiveness as far as design impact is concerned.

The interior too has been suitably updated to bring it in line with the new line-up of Lexus.  It gets a twin cowled top fascia which extend towards the middle of the car and house a gigantic 12.3" screen that housed the entertaintment and navigation system, complete with split screen hi-res functionality. The dashboard also gained a metal section that housed the classy analog clock, again similar in trend with the new GS and ES model.

Mechanically, these car are unchanged fundamentally, although the 4.6L V8 has been given a boost of power and torque, totally 386bhp and 497Nm. Drive is channelled via the 8 speed automatic gearbox, to the option of either RWD or AWD for the gasoline version. Performance can be described as scintillating, with century sprint can be completed in 5.4s while the top speed is limited to bizarre 210km/h only. The hybrid LS600hL continues to be powered by 5.0L V8 hooked to a pair of electric motor, making it an AWD only.

More photos of the revised Lexus LS can be found after the jump.

25 October 2012

Honda to update US version of Honda Civic on 29th November?

Before being accused of being blogger who merely condemn car without looking, this piece of new came from the Autoblog. The news is said to come from David Hendly, AVP of Honda National Sales. Taking the excerpt from the articles, Honda dealers are urged to clear the stock of the 2012 Honda Civic as soon as possible as the 2013 model will make life hard for the 2012 model when they are parked side by side in the showroom floor. The enhanced model will be announced on 29th November, which is the opening day of the Los Angeles Motorshow. According to the articles:

"The changes made to the 2013 model will make the outgoing 2012 Civic a difficult model [to] sell when they are side to side."

Another source of article, cited from Hondasacuras said:

When it arrives on your lots you will see dramatic improvements to the exterior styling that moves Civic into a more premium sporty direction. The interior has even more upgrades and improvements to bring more sophistication and quality to its appearance.

While there is no mentioned specifically about what the upgrades details are, it is clearly visible that our Asian version looks markedly more upmarket than its sibling in the US. For one, the front end is treated with different headlight (with amber lens thanks to US regulation) and a different front bumper (almost similar but with blander lower portion with straight lip and empty grille garnish). Asian version gets a more upmarket headlight with clear lenses and sportier bumper with meshed grille insert and more pronounced lower lip. The rear end is differentiated by the reflector insert in the slightly redesigned trunk lid which lift the outlook somewhat.

It is harder to comment on the interior as we have no chance to touch and feel the cabin plastic, however we noted that the climate control panel is different. Malaysian press said that the plastic material is due to different cost structure which was stressed very hard so we have to take their word for it.

MMN thinks the update will consist of a better aesthetic and materials found in the Asian car. However for full confirmation, wait till Los Angeles Motorshow then. For comparison between the appearance between Asian and US Civic, refer below:
Comparison of Asian and US Civic Si - front end

Comparison of Asian and US Civic - rear end

Comparison of Asian and US Civic - interior

23 October 2012

PROTON to use PETRONAS engine?

PETRONAS E01 installed in Proton Waja
Fresh from the press, Berita Harian today said PROTON is exploring the use of PETRONAS engine in its revise line-up of cars. It is mentioned that the deal includes the purchase of the Intellectual Property Right of the engine as well, giving the DRB-HICOM-owned company a full ownership of the engine. The models to be fitted with this engine is claimed to be forthcoming Preve hatchback, Exora facelift and Perdana replacement.

There is some doubt about the news, as Berita Harian did not revealed any source, nor there is any interview excerpt to prove it. The engine in question also is the E01, which was revealed way back in 1998 and, although a class-act in terms of power output rivalling modern 2.0L engine, it is way behind in emission rating. 

What do you think about this, based on this limited information? Malaysia Motoring News is not at liberty to reveal more. However you can dig more in the internet to find out the whole range of PETRONAS engine, which extend all the way from the bike engine to the automotive engine. There's also news in China website mentioning something about the engine exhibited sometimes in 2009 which I could not find.

18 October 2012

Proton unveiled Preve and Exora models at Australia International Motor Show

Proton has introduced  its latest two product into the Australian market with the debut of the Preve C Segment sedan and the Exora 7 seater MPV. For Preve, multiple variant will be offered, encompassing the entry level naturally-aspirated model and a range topper light pressure turbocharged unit. Exora MPV meanwhile will only be offered in the turbo guise.

Proton Preve is Proton's first C Segment sedan engineered with global homologation standard in mind. It was introduced in Malaysia in April 2012 (Read the Malaysian launch story HERE). For Australian market, the engine range is similar to Malaysian market. The entry level GX model is powered by Campro IAFM+ displacing 1.6L producing 108bhp@5,750rpm and 150Nm@4,000rpm. The drive is channelled to the front wheel with a choice of 5 speed manual or CVT gearbox with 6 preset ratios. Later in mid-2013, Preve range will be joined with the 1.6L CFE (Details on Proton's CFE engine HERE) engine which, thanks to its turbo-charger, punching out a healthy 138bhp@5,000rpm and 205Nm from 2,000rpm. Equipment level for the GX base model is generous, including the Stability Control, ABS, Front Active Headrest, Bluetooth and iPod-enabled audio system, as well as a truly spacious cabin with 508L of boot volume thrown in. The turbocharged GXR model gets an additional features such as paddle shifter, leather upholstery, sat-nav, auto headlight and wiper, cruise control and push start button. Preve measures 4,543mm long, 1,786mm wide and 1,524mm tall, while wheelbase is 2,650mm. More details and photos of Proton Preve can be seen HERE and HERE. The price for GX range starts from $18,990 for the manual and $20,990 for the CVT. Price for the GXR will be revealed closer to its launch.

Proton Exora MPV actually has been hanging around Malaysian market since 2009. However, the model that Australian market is getting actually is the revised and facelifted version introduced late in 2011, called Exora BOLD in Malaysian market. While there is a range of engine choice in Malaysia, Australian market will only get the top line version powered by the 1.6L CFE engine as per Preve, coupled with the CVT gearbox, and will be offered in two trims, GX and GXR. The higher-line model will gets reverse camera, daytime running light, roof mounted DVD player, as well the customary ABS and ESC. Both Preve and Exora comes with 5 years warranty or 150,000km warranty.

17 October 2012

Proton new business plan to be revealed next month

DRB-HICOM has announced that it is planning to reveal Proton's new business plan next month in an attempt to turn around the national car maker. The news broke at Malaysian Institute of Certified Public Accontants-Bursa Malaysia forum, by Datuk Seri Che Khalid Mohamad Noh, the Group COO of DRB-HICOM.

The move is dubbed as essential as Proton's problem can bring down the whole DRB-HICOM business, although it is highly diversified and drawing some RM4 billion in sales of automotive, motor an military product. DRB-HICOM is the assembler of many foreign brand.

Nothing has been hinted yet other the casual statement such as the necessity to come up with a car that market wants at a competitive price and also a re-look into vendor ecosystem. Such statement is nothing new really and since DSZ is at helm, vendor rationalisation has already taken place and competitively priced and wanted car such as Proton Saga BLM and Proton Persona has been launched since 2007. So, wait till next month then....

BMW 5 Series facelift spied for the first time

The mid-range sedan from BMW, the 5 Series is nearing its mid-life update. The LCi version of the F10 generation 5 Series is set to arrive next year, after 4 years in the market since its introduction in 2009. Details are scarce at the moment as, typical to BMW LCi terminology, changes are minimal. The critical change areas are camouflaged, making the prediction difficult.
The headlights are unlikely to be redesigned, except some minor revision to the internal graphic, depicted by slightly different looking outer edge of the headlamp. The hood and fender too looks carry-over from the current F10. It is the front bumper that gets most of the changes, and the upper grille silhouette is different in detailing to the current F10. The lower intake also sets to be revised although it is impossible to see the precise redesign. Side view mirror might be installed with the LED repeater like its smaller siblings too.

At the back, the inner portion of the tail light looks similar with its top placement of reverse light and three strips light bars. The changes could be all on the outer portion, although the change could be limited to some re-coloring. Rear fascia looks unchanged too judging by the placement of the rear reflector although changes could well be lower down. The squarish exhaust tips seen here is not new, as this is the standard item of the higher-powered 550i available in other markets.

Other than that, expect some enhancement in the cabin, particularly the switchgear and cabin trim to make it consistent with the rest of the updated model range. Some more photos can be found after the jump.

14 October 2012

Mitsubishi Mirage - Specs & Gallery

Front view of Mirage GS with Aero bodykit and Chrome package

The Thailand made Mitsubishi Mirage is bound to land on our shore in November and Mitsubishi Malaysia has start taking order right now for their new compact car. There will only be one engine on offer, which is the 3A92 MIVEC 1.2L unit. Displacing 1,193cc, arrange in in-line 3 cylinder configuration, the 4 valve per cylinder unit pumps out a reasonable 78PS@6,000 rpm of power and 100Nm of torque at 4,000 rpm. The drivetrain, combined with a lightweight 850kg (max for CVT kitted in GS trim), the car is claimed to be capable of returning 21km/L of fuel consumption.
Rear view of Mitsubishi Mirage GS trim

There will be two transmission on offer, a 5 speed manual and an INVECS-III CVT, split over two trim level. The entry level GL can only be had either in manual or CVT, while the pricier GS is CVT only. In terms of price, the manual GL is RM56,000, GL CVT is RM61,000 and the GS is RM64,000. All are OTR minus insurance. The car you see in this article are top range GS only, displayed at Mid Valley. One is the pure GS, while the other is the GS decked out in optional leather seats (RM1,500 option), AERO bodykit (RM1,999) and Chrome Package (RM750).
Front view of Mitsubishi Mirage GS in standard configuration

The exterior design can be described as modern conventional. Mitsubishi has adopted a small car layout in terms of length and especially height, resulting in conventional proportion instead of bulbous and tall-boy configuration like many compact car design nowadays. The front and rear design are great departure from the current Mitsubishi design language premièred on Lancer and ASX siblings. Perhaps this is a new design theme from the Japan maker. Aerodynamically, Mirage has a drag coefficient of 0.30, which is reasonably good for a mainstream hatchback.
Mitsubishi Mirage GS with leather pack

The interior too has a typical Mitsubishi cabin design. The dashboard and door trim lack the snazzy approach that even Perodua Myvi has adopt right now with its colorful detailing. The cabin is dominated in hard dark-colored plastic. Mitsubishi however tries to inject some character with the high gloss black centre console panel surrounding the audio and climate control system. There is also a silver lining surrounding all aircond vents and also on steering wheel spokes. Gear console is silver painted too.
Mitsubishi Mirage GS in standard fabric seat

Overall, the interior is cosy for four adult with sufficient legroom for the rear occupants. However, don't expect a spacious cabin as offered by the Perodua Myvi, as the legroom is much less. Boot space however is 245L, much larger than 208L offered by the new Myvi. The seats are a bit flat, particularly the back seat. This is the trend adopted by many Japanese maker right now, and really making the rear passenger thrown everywhere upon tight cornering.

Mitsubishi Mirage is 3,710mm long, 1,665mm wide and 1,500mm tall. It rides on 2,450mm wheelbase. The car is fairly light at 825kg in its barest trim. The chassis bits is also on par with the class standard. Suspension is McPhersons struts up front and torsion beam at the back, while the power steering is electrically assisted unit. Braking is ventilated disc at the front while the rear make do with the drum setup. The 14 inc alloy wheel is wrapped by 165/65 tyre.

Standard equipment across the board include the 2DIN audio interface with USB/iPOD connectivity, dual SRS airbags and ABS braking system. The pricier GS trim gets front fog lamp, rear spoiler, push start button, digitised automatic airconditioning and keyless entry. All model are equipped with 60/40 split folding rear seat for an added practicality, as well as 3 head restraint for the back seat.

The RM750 Chrome package buys you chromed fog lamp panel, front lower grille, tailgate garnish and door scuff plate. The Aero package meanwhile gives you front skirt, side window deflector, side skirt and rear skirt and costs you RM1,999. The cheapest accessories if you must get one is the Ralliart Fuel Lid Cap at RM150.

What do you think about the new Mitsubishi Mirage? Will it make our compact car market merrier? More photos can be found after the jump.

13 October 2012

Perodua What's Up Graduate - easier way to own nation best seller

Perodua has kicked out a campaign for student and fresh graduate to own its model, which include the nation best seller Myvi and its siblings. The program consists of an affordable financing scheme which starts from as low as RM299 permonth. Other items in the package include 50% discount for the service and maintenance for 2 years, RM20,000 personal insurance coverage and free driving lesson. The offer starts from 1st October 2012 and runs until 31st March 2013.

Perodua is a Malaysian second national car maker, and number one seller for many years in a row, thanks to a credible model like Perodua Myvi and Alza. MMN has grabbed the opportunity to test some of their latest offerings and you can read the review of Perodua Myvi HERE and Perodua Myvi SE/Extreme HERE.

By the way, there's new Perodua showroom in Bukit Beruntung, opened at the new Adenium industrial area so Bukit Beruntung folks do not need to go to Rawang stores anymore. Do check it out.

Anyway, the author observes that the freshies working at Perodua drive more JDM than struggle to buy the cheap national car on special financing package. Why? Many of them are Jap's grad and they brought back Toyota Altezza, Honda Integra, Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution and other high performance car. Glory life isn't it? Regret of not opting to study in Japan now.....

12 October 2012

Porsche reveals Cayenne Turbo S - 550hp & 750Nm

Porsche has revealed the range topper version of its popular SUV, the Cayenne. Named Cayenne Turbo S, the upgraded model received additional 50hp and 50Nm over the already potent Cayenne Turbo. The increased in the powertrain output result in 0.2s second quicker century sprint down to 4.5s and top speed increased by 3 km/h to 282 km/h.

Porsche Cayenne Turbo S is powered by the same engine found in the Panamera Turbo S which is a twin-turbocharged 4.8L V8. The Cayenne Turbo S has been carefully configured for maximum dynamic performance. Therefore, it incorporates all relevant control systems as standard equipment. From the already highly-capable Cayenne Turbo it takes the combination of an air suspension and active PASM damping control. To this is added Porsche Dynamic Chassis Control (PDCC), which reduces the roll angle in curves to improve agility and comfort equally. Porsche Torque Vectoring Plus (PTV Plus) is also a standard feature, combining torque vectoring on the rear wheels with an electronically controlled rear differential lock to improve traction, thereby increasing agility in every driving situation. The new Cayenne Turbo S is also equipped with the Sport Chrono package as standard.

The exterior appearance of the Cayenne Turbo S clearly hints at its purposeful intent. Design highlights include the air inlet grilles, headlight housings and mirrors, which are painted in high-gloss black. The 21-inch diameter alloy wheels with coloured Porsche centre badges are designed exclusively for the Cayenne Turbo S; their inside surfaces also painted in high-gloss black.
Porsche designers created new leather interior packages in fresh colours and patterns specifically chosen for the new Cayenne Turbo S. These interior features are available in Black/Carrera Red or Black/Luxor Beige combinations. The bi-colour leather packages that are reserved for the new top model are extended by adding decorative seams in the contrasting colours Carrera Red and Luxor Beige. The Carbon interior package complements the leather features and highlights the sophistication of both vehicle and materials.

11 October 2012

Subaru XV Crossover Scores Highest Safety Rating

Subaru’s new compact crossover, the XV, has received the highest possible safety rating in crash safety tests in the USA. Subjecting the Subaru XV to moderate overlap frontal, side rollover and impact tests, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) awarded the car a ‘good’ rating, which is the top rank across all tests.
Earlier in 2012, the XV was also awarded five stars in the rigorous Euro NCAP safety tests, receiving the highest score ever recorded for child occupant protection at 90 per cent.
Subaru remains the only manufacturer with IIHS ‘Top Safety Pick’ awards for its entire model range currently on sale across North America – an accolade that the manufacturer has held for three consecutive years.  Top Safety Pick is conferred on those vehicles that receive ‘good’ ratings in each crash safety test conducted by the IIHS.
As well as an all-steel unitary structure and a large number of standard-fit airbags (dual front and side, driver’s knee, curtain and torso airbags) for excellent passive crash safety performance, Subaru’s Vehicle Dynamics Control system and Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive also contribute to world class road-holding in all conditions.  Ultra high-tensile steel is also used for key sections of the bodyshell to improve rigidity while keeping the XV’s kerb weight down.
For our market, Subaru XV is one the Subaru model to be assembled locally. Malaysian launch is stipulated to happen right at the end of the year.

Toyota Etios comes with TRD Sportivo package

Toyota India has spiced up the Etios Sedan range with the TRD package. The budget sedan is now offered with a racier front bumper lip, side skirt and rear skirting for a road hugging look. There is also a body strip on the door. While there is suspension retuning, the TRD Sportivo package does include a newly design 15 inch alloy wheel.

The interior is been subtly upgraded too. The seats are now wrapped in a two-tone fabric with TRD logo and the gearknob trimmed in silver topping. There is no change to the mechanicals, so Etios Sedan continues to be powered by the 1.5L lump pulling 90PS@5,600rpm and 132Nm@3,000rpm. The 930kg sedan really trumps its opposition in terms of packaging, where within the 4,265mm long, 1,695mm wide, 1,510mm height and 2,550mm wheelbase houses a massive 595L boot as well as a spacious cabin. The exterior footprint is actually similar to our home-grown Proton Saga BLM, but obviously it houses a much bigger interior volume.

There has been some talk about Perodua to come up with a sedan. While some people unrealistically drawing a comparison with Perodua Bezza, it is unrealistic to expect Perodua to come up with their own car. So perhaps a "low-cost" car like this, born within the Toyota family could be a sound base to work from. Perodua stylist is well known to better off their Japan counterpart especially in exterior styling. Anyway, if you are unfamiliar with Toyota Etios, some views can be found after the jump.

09 October 2012

Volkswagen Touareg Hybrid now in Malaysia

Volkswagen Malaysia has introduced the Hybrid version of its SUV Touareg to our market. Volkswagen Touareg Hybrid is powered any a petrol engine displacing 3.0L supplemented by a supercharger producing 328hp@5,500-6,500rpm of power and 440Nm of torque from as lowly 3,000rpm. The gasoline lump is augmented by the electric motor kicking some 45hp. Total power and torque output is 375hp and 580Nm, sufficient to propel the 2.3 tonnes SUV to 100km/h in 6.5s and giving it 240 km/h of top speed. Drive is channelled via 8 speed automatic gearbox.

Malaysian-bound car features Vienna leather upholstery, 19 inch Salamanca alloy wheels, panoramic sunroof, audio system with 60GB harddisk and 10 speaker setup. The  price set for this model is RM616,888.

06 October 2012

3rd Gen. Mazda Atenza debut in Japan -specs & gallery

Mazda Motor Corporation has unveiled the third generation Mazda Atenza in Japan, with delivery planned in late November this year. The introduction of the new Mazda D Segment sedan also marked the first view of the right hand drive version of the Mazda6, a name which it will be known worldwide outside Japan. Similar to what unveiled in Paris, two body styles will be available in Japan, sedan and wagon. Mazda has also released a huge gallery of the European version, so head straight down if you are only interested in the European LHD car.

For Japan market, there are two gasoline engine on offer, namely the fame 2.0L Skyactiv-G and 2.5L Skyactiv-G, both are high-compression ratio direct-injection engine. The former produced 155PS@6,000rpm and 196Nm@4,000rpm while the latter kicked out 188PS@5,700rpm and 250Nm@3,250rpm. The third engine on offer is the Skyactiv-D with 2.2L displacement producing 175PS@4,500rpm and 420Nm@2,000rpm. The petrol model can only be paired with 6 speed automatic transmission, while the diesel can be had in both 6 AT and 6 MT format. The sedan is 4,860mm long, 1,840mm wide and 1,450mm tall. The wheelbase is 2,830mm long. Amusingly, Mazda quoted a shorter wheelbase for the wagon, which 2,750mm. It is also shorter at  4,800mm and taller at 1,480mm.

The interior is a major departure from the current Mazda6/Atenza. Gone is angular symmetrical layout and in comes a high-mounted screen with colored separator between the top and bottom layer of the dashboard. While the Moscow and Paris car wears the reddish dashboard horizontal garnish, now we can see that there is another trim option available for the selected trim line.

Initially, the are limited trim-line for the 2013 Mazda Atenza. The 2.0L version is only available in the "S" variant, while the 2.5L model is available only in S trim with L package. The diesel engine is labelled XD and since there's only sole engine line, it is made available in either XD or pricier XD L Package. For the base S and XD variant, the equipment level include front fog lamp, iStop system, i-ELOOP regenerative braking  and stability control, multi-info display 60/40 split rear seat and leather-wrapped steering wheel, gearknob and hand-brake lever. The seat is fabric upholstered. The standard rim on the petrol is 17 inch item wrapped by 225/55 R17 tyres. The manual diesel version however comes with 19 inch wheel as standard, shod with 225/45 R19 tyres.
Mazda Atenza Sedan 20S version front view

Mazda Atenza sedan 20S rear view

The interior of S and XD package - noted the fabric and dashboard trim

Mazda Atenza Wagon 20S front view

Mazda Atenza Wagon 20S rear view
 The "L Package" available on the 25S and XD meanwhile adds Smart City Brake Support, Radar guided cruise control, Rear Vehicle Monitoring System, HID headlight and 19 inch wheel wrapped by 225/45 tyres.
Mazda Atenza Sedan 25S front view

Mazda Atenza Sedan 25S rear view

Mazda Atenza Wagon 25S front view

Mazda Atenza Wagon 25S rear view

The interior with L Package

Malaysian market gets the car directly from the Japan factory and hence the trim level here is a clear indication on what we will be getting soon. It is refreshing to see that the entry level trim for the 2.0L version gets 17 inch alloy and fog lamp unlike the current Mazda6 which is devoid of fog lamp and rides on puny 16 inch alloy wheel. With the launch rumoured to happen sometimes in November or December it won't be too long before we can lay out hands on these stylish car. More gallery of the JDM Mazda Atenza can be found after the jump.

05 October 2012

Hot Honda CR-Z finally on sale - 300 units & JDM only

We've been teased a while back with the supercharged Honda CR-Z from Mugen and now the real deal has arrived. Tagged an official nomenclature of Honda CR-Z Mugen RZ, the IMA hybrid powerplant is now augmented by a supercharger. The forced-fed internal combustion engine punch out 154bhp and 185Nm, up from 121bhp and 146Nm of the naturally-aspirated unit, while the electric motor output remain unchanged at 20PS and 78Nm. The total output stands at 174bhp, nearly 30bhp up from the NA version. Performance figures has been improved too with century sprint of 6.1s.

Externally, the Mugen RZ is differentiated by a customized front bumper with a front grille featuring carbon-fibre insert as well as a flared out fog lamp housing surrounding the enlarged lower intake. There a lower lip adorning the bottom end of the front bumper. Mugen has also fitted a side skirt and modified the rear end appearance with a prominent lower valence featuring diffuser and a gigantic rear wing. The interior is decorated in two-tone fabric on the door trim accompanied by carbon fibre trimmings and new gear knob.

The chassis has been uprated with enhanced suspension and braking systems. The car now shod with 205/45 R17 tyres and rims combo.

Honda CR-Z Mugen RZ is a limited production run with only 300 units allocated for Japan market solely. It will be on sale from 26th November onwards. The price is around 4.5 million yen or RM180,000 with direct conversion. Enjoy the gallery of the Honda CR-Z Mugen RZ after the jump, credit to Carscoop.

04 October 2012

3rd Generation Mazda6 coming to Malaysia in November?

We are still fresh from the European debut of Mazda6 in Paris Motorshow, and we know that it will enter major market right at the end of the year. Guess what, Malaysia is one of those countries. Although there has been a rumours about the arrival of the 3rd generation Mazda6 in the Q1 2013, we could reveal that the arrival could be as early as November, with December delivery for the eager customer!
Two versions are coming to our shore. The entry level is the 2.0L Skyactiv-G powered, which is the same as the one powering the CX-5 crossover. The output figure quoted for Malaysian CX-5 is 153bhp and 200Nm. As before, Mazda6 range in Malaysia will be powered by the 2.5L mill, Skyactiv-G direct injection engine kicking 192bhp. Both version will be paired to the 6 speed automatic gearbox.
For the outgoing generation there were two different versions of the Mazda6. The one we see in Malaysia is the more compact version, sold to the majority of the world while the American version is much larger although they both share the same styling. There's no such thing this time around as Mazda has decided to unify both version. 5 door liftback version won't be available as well, as Mazda deemed the svelte looking new 6 is as sporty as the liftback version.

Mazda6 is slightly bigger than the old car (smaller than the US version though). Overall length is 4,865mm, width 1,840mm and 1,450mm tall. Wheelbase is 2,830mm. In comparison, the old 6 measures 4,755mm,1,795mm, 1,440mm and 2,725mm in these dimensions respectively. As a results of this, there is 43mm more knee room at the back while the rear seat cushion has been increased by 20mm for added comfort. Boot space is 483L, slighly less than current car 519L.
If Malaysia market introduction is really happening in November, it means that we are getting the new Mazda6 as fast as the rest of the world. This is no surprise actually if we consider the fact the the supply of our Mazda6 comes from Japan, where the production of the current car has been stopped to give way to the car you see here. To support this fact further, Mazda Malaysia has been attempting to clear the stock of the current car as early as last July with significant discount. So, roll on the new Mazda6.....

Photo source: Car.watch.