30 September 2013

Formula E Coming to Putrajaya : Giant RC Noise (Video)

There's new Formula racing series in town, and it consumes no fuel, and it is coming to Malaysia. To be specific, Putrajaya has been chosen as one the venue, set to host a second round of Formula E Championship in October 2014. It will be road circuit, design around Putrajaya although details are scarce the moment.
Formula E is the new racing series under FIA. The design guideline is highly regulated although manufacturer are encourage to come up with the own design. Many items are standardize, while other are constraint (for example maximum power and top speed). Tyres will be an all-season, eliminating the use of dry and wet weather tyres. Vehicles aerodynamics are specially crafted to aid overtaking, preventing another slipstream-limited not unlike the Formula One cars. All electric powertrain is set to give it a new breed of racing sound. Listen to the video below and judge for yourself. I feel it sound like an RC car, albeit in gigantic scale.
At the moment there are already 4 teams registered namely Drayson Racing, China Racing, Andretti Autosport and Dragon Racing. The calendar will consist of 10 rounds and Malaysia, as mentioned earlier is second is the series.

Those with technical insight, below is the technical specification of the car, extracted from FIA website. Read more after the jump.

27 September 2013

Spot: Mazda6 Now Features Trunk Lid Lip Spoiler

It is transporter snapping activity lately. I snapped a Mazda transporter shifting mostly Mazda CX-5. But there is a sole Mazda6 on the top deck. Look closely and you'll see there is something on the trunk lid. It is a lip spoiler, something which was not there on the previously delivered Mazda6. Read MMN article about how Mazda6 drive HERE. If this batch really come with the lip spoiler then the early owner would be pissed off!

Spot : New Color For Proton Preve?

There could be new color scheme coming for Proton Preve, and it is not in the Proton Edar website just yet. On the way to work on recent morning, I came across a transporter with a bunch of Proton Suprima S, accompanied by one peculiar looking Proton Preve. It is in shade that is unseen before, a very light purple, baby purple I would say. It is a Preve Executive variant. Apart from the new color, the rest are the same. A few photos can be seen after the jump, snapped at SKVE highway.

25 September 2013

BMW M3 & M4 - Juicy Technical Details Announced

BMW has announced the much awaited details of its forthcoming M-car, the M3 and M4. Originated as an M3, the model has to be split due to BMW new naming convention which segregate the 4 door and 2 door coupe version with different numerics. We already know how BMW 3 Series sedan and 4 Series coupe look like (refer to the BMW M4 Concept above) so let's just dwell on the technological grand force of the new M cars.

In powertrain department, the previous M3 is powered by S65 engine which displaces 3,999cc and kicks out 414hp at dizzying 8,300rpm and 400Nm@3,900rpm, breathing a naturally-aspirated system. The V8 mill is capable of thrusting the M3 to century sprint in 4 seconds flat. Moving on to the next stage, BMW is banking their M3/M4 with new S55B30. Apart from displacing less at 3.0L, and reverting back to venerable straight-six configuration, the new lump features twin turbocharger to boost the power to 430hp and pulling out more than 500Nm. Consistent with the force-fed nature, the power and torque is maintain over a fat range.

S55B30 engine adopt close deck engine architecture for an increase in rigidity accommodating the high cylinder pressure resulted from a boosted engine. Cylinder walls features twin-wire arc spray coating instead of conventional liners. The cranktrain system is also lightened to reduce the rotating mass and thus enhance engine responsiveness. The crankshaft is a forged unit which blend ultra rigidity and allow optimization in rotating mass and the conrod has been suitably beefed up too.

The new BMW M3 and M4 will features a host of weight saving technology, in pursuit of less than 1,500kg of kerb weight. This include carbon fibre roof and carbon fibre propeller shaft. The body panels too is subject to weight diet exercise. The lighter roof (which also reduce the weight away from the C.o.G) is further supported by CFRP trunk lid panel. The weight saving activity extends to suspension system too, whereby the control arm, wheel carrier and axle subframe are made of aluminum. Overall weight reduction from existing car is around 80kg.

The increase in power and the reduction in weight will gives higher power density. Apart from fulfilling the handling mantra of an M-car with improved steering precision, on-limit adjustability, enhanced agility and outstanding directional stability, the new BMW M3/M4 is supplied with track-ready cooling system and oil supply system. The thermal management will ensure optimal cooling whether you are blasting around the track or trundling around the city, and this include indirect intercooler to cool the intake air, additional radiators from high and low temperature water circuit, turbocharger and engine oil. Additional electric coolant pump cools the turbo bearing when car is stationary.

The oil system features the sump made of magnesium with special baffle plate to contain the oil under strong 'g'. Also designed for an extreme dynamic envelope is the oil extraction pump and oil return system to maintain an uninterrupted oil circulation.

BMW M3 and M4 comes in two transmission of choice. The first up is the 6 speed manual box. Innovation surrounding it include carbon friction lining in syncroniser rings, dry sump lubrication and have throttle blips control function. The gearbox is not only more compact, but also 12kg lighter then the existing unit. The second option is M Dual Clutch transmission with 7 forward ratios and comes with Launch Control. It is claimed to have an ultra fast gearchange that minimise power interruption. Another system making an appearance is the Active M Differentials. It uses an electric actuator to vary the locking effect in real time continuously.

Pheww. More salivating photos can be found after the jump which detailed out the engine and chassis components. 

Nissan Grand Livina Facelift Launch

Nissan Grand Livina is a very popular MPV in Malaysia, so popular that it obtain the best selling non-national MPV. On this side of Perodua Alza/Proton Exora pricing, Nissan Grand Livina has been a default choice among the Malaysian family. Originally introduced in 2007, this is the second facelift which will extend its 6-year old into newer era with bold new front and rear design which bears no passing resemblance to the outgoing model.

Changes are extensive. Front end is totally new, it ditches the old look and in comes the new Nissan's corporate face that is more modern. The headlight, grille, hood, bumper and fender are all new. The grille is far classier than the rudimentary item on the old version. The rear end is similarly updated too, with redesigned tailgate, bumper and the rear light cluster is now bigger and it extends into the tailgate panel.

The interior makeover is more subtle, and Nissan concentrates more on the trimmings instead of design change. Basic dashboard architecture is retained, however, the color scheme has been changed from all-black affair to two-tone arrangement with black upper section and beige lower section for an added perceived space. The seats are upholstered in beige. The center console is now brightly painted, and the 1.8L variant gains wood trimming. The sense of opulence is further supplied by Nissan Sylphy derived steering wheel (new design) and stylish Fine Vision meter cluster make an appearance.  

Other than that, it is the Nissan Grand Livina that we used to know. This include the spacious cabin that accomodates 7 and the driving position is car-like (it is build on Latio platform which has MPV-like driving height) and it has numerous loading flexibility thanks to the split-folding second row seat. There's also second row aircond duct for an added comfort.

Powertrain unit is carried over wholesomely from the outgoing Grand Livina. This means that there are two engine option available; MR18DE 1,798cc (126PS,174Nm) paired with 4 speed automatic gearbox and HR16DE 1,598cc (105PS, 150Nm) driving via either 5 speed manual or 4 speed automatic. Chassis mechanicals are McPhersons strut at the front coupled with torsion beam setup at the back, with the stopping hardware provided by ventilated disc/drum combo (ABS, EBD and BA standard on all variant).

Beyond the drivetrain and updated outlook, Nissan has also take the opportunity in this round of facelift to update the safety front with the inclusion of seat-belt pretension and load limiter. Also thrown in for the 1.8L version is the i-Key system which essentially is the keyless entry with twist switch starter system.

As for the pricing, the entry level 1.6L MT is pitched at RM86,880, 1.6AT at RM89,880 and the range topper 1.8L AT at RM99,880. As with the Nissan Almera, Nissan has opened up plenty of chance for customization with the Navi, Luxury, Family and Impul package. Detail description of each package is as below:

Navi Package (RM4,000 for 1.6L, RM3,700 for 1.8L)
Consist of: 6.5' Multimedia Navigation (with DVD player,iPod, USB, and Bluetooth connectivity and also rear view camera, 10.1' roof mounted LCD panel. 
Luxury Package (RM3,800 for 1.6L, RM3,500 for 1.8L)
Consist of: Leather upholstery for seat and door trim, window tinting (Solar Guard, with V-Kool Elite available for an additional RM1,500, LED stainless steel kick plates and door visors.
Family Package (RM7,000 for 1.6L, RM6,700 for 1.8L)
Combination of Navi and Luxury package.
Impul Package:
Consist of:
  • Impul Complete Aerokit: RM3,500 (with 50% launch promotion discount)
  • Impul Sports Suspension: RM2,800
  • Impul Blast 2 Exhaust Muffler: RM1,800
  • 17' Impul Aura SX-20 alloy rims set: RM4,500
  • Goodyear Eagle F1 Directional Set : RM1,800
Small gallery can be found after the jump.

23 September 2013

BMW 1-Series Arrived : 116i, 118i and 125i, from RM171k

BMW Malaysia has bring in the long-awaited second generation BMW 1 Series to our shore. It has been a long wait, as the F20 has been launched ages ago in other market. There are three main version on offer, namely 116i, 118i and 125i. Typical in the newer BMW model, there's a trim line for an added differentiation, except for the entry level 116i. The 118i can be optioned in either Urban or Sport line, and the top of the line (which is also CBU) can be spesified in either Sport or M Sport guise. 

With regards to the powertrain unit, 116i and 118i are both powered by a TwinPower Turbo unit with 1,595cc. In the lower tune the mill gives 136hp and 220Nm, while in the higher-tune 118i the engine produces 170hp and 250Nm. Both chanelled the drive via an 8 speed automatic transmission. The fully-imported 125i is powered by the fame N20, now in "25i" guise which produce 218hp and 310Nm. 

In terms of pricing, BMW 116i is priced at RM170,800, 118i Urban and Sport at identical RM190,80 while 125i Sport at RM238,800. The range topper BMW 125i M Sport is RM253,800.

21 September 2013

(VIDEO) How To Make An F1 Car : Design & RND

Formula 1 car is one hell of complex things. Engineers intelligence is pushed to the limit in an effort to squeeze additional ounce of downforce optimization, drag reduction, weight relocation all in pursuit of that milisecond gain. No one is doing better job than the drink company, Red Bull, coincidentally the champion for the past few years. Enjoy the video : How to make an F1 car; Design and R&D.

19 September 2013

Proton Suprima 2.0L coming to KLIMS?

It is an open secret that Proton/DRB would want to utilize the engine family bought from Petronas into its stablemate of cars, which potentially can extend to small capacity version of Lotus cars if we think realistically. This is to fully capitalize on the range of technology bought from Petronas for meagre RM63million. Petronas has spent years and years in developing engine know-how with its tied-up with Sauber Petronas Engineering and other associated technology partner, and exhaustively nurtured a world-class engineers  before calling it a day some years back. The engine technology was sold to DRB in December last year.

One of the first car destined to receive the engine is Proton Suprima S. We heard that the concept version of Proton Suprima 2.0L will be showcased at Kuala Lumpur International Motor Show. While we are not sure if this is Proton Suprima R/R3 people are talking about, but surely this is not the hottest of the Petronas engine available. Petronas NE01 modular engine family is available from 1.8L to 2.2L of displacement, with the forced-fed induction integration also available for use. Perhaps the naturally-aspirated 2.0L is the leading case to gauge the market before the rest of the line-up get deployed to the other variants. It is also heard that the engine is already in the final phase of testing whereby mass production stage is as close as ever.

*Photo above is from Theopilus Chin - a rendering of Proton Suprima R

Honda Mobilio Revealed In Concept Form

Honda today revealed its MPV derivative of Honda Brio/Amaze, called Honda Mobilio. Despite being labelled as a concept, the MPV is a thinly veiled production version sans the flashy alloy wheel and fancy interior decor. Unlike the Datsun GO+ which is tipped to be on sale for less than 100milion Rupiah, Honda Mobilio is targeted to be class above that with price inching closer towards 180milion Rupiah.

Honda Mobilio does not hide its Honda Brio origin in its front end design, where the headlight and grille is unmistakably derived from its hatchback sibling. That is where the similarities end, although we could see some carry over parts in the dashboard too. The rest of the body design ends the similarities. Despite the class typical of mundane styling, Honda has tried to inject some character to the design to spice up the aesthetic. The beltline is characterized by "lightning bolt" line split, which came from US version of Honda Odyssey. This greatly reduce the visual mass that is usually associated with the MPV rising beltline. The D-pillar too is partly blackened, and the rear fascia too is much more elaborated with multi-surfacing which split the tailgate upper surface and the use of protruding rear light.

Unlike Toyota Avanza which sits on a lorry-type platform, Honda Mobilio sits on a stretched Honda Brio platfrom with the wheelbase extended to 2,650mm, a monocoque chassis it is. Overall length is 4,390mm, 1,680mm wide and 1,610mm tall. In comparison, segment stalwart Toyota Avanza measures 2,655mm, 4,140mm, 1,660mm and 1,695mm respectively in the dimensions which makes Honda Mobilio much longer than its fellow Japanese rival. Space is designed for 7 occupants although one can expect a second class final row of seats.

Honda Mobilio is powered by the familiar i-VTEC mill displacing 1.5L picked from Honda City stablemate. Kicking out 118PS and 144Nm, the drive will be channeled to the front wheel (unlike Toyota Avanza rear wheel drive setup) via 5 speed manual or CVT gearbox.

Equipment level will be class competitive. Double blower aircond will be featured, so the 50/50 split 3rd row seat, and the flexibility will be help further with 2nd row seat that can be folded in 60/40 ratio. Safety will be taken care by dual airbags, ABS and EBD which is a standard affair from any bargain basement car today.

The significance of Honda Mobilio is that it signals Honda arrival into the lucrative Asian small MPV segment which was previously played by Toyota Avanza/Daihatsu Xenia, Nissan Gran Livina and Maruti Ertiga. Will Honda later join the pick-up bandwagon too?

More photos and live gallery of Honda Mobilio can be found after the jump.

17 September 2013

2014 Datsun Go+, 7 Seater & Under 4m

Datsun today revealed its second model in the revived line-up, aptly named Go+. Simply an extended version of the Datsun GO hatchback (Nissan Micra/March derived, for low cost market), Datsun GO+ get an extended length to 3,995mm long, just 210mm longer than its hatchback derivative, which measures 3,785mm. Wheelbase is retained at 2,450mm, so is the width and height at 1,635mm and 1,485mm respectively. The dimension is deliberately kept under 4,000mm long so that it can capitalize on the excise duty reduction for India market, a market which the revived Datsun brand is targeted. Why 4.0m? Read our earlier article on the incentive for India's compact car HERE.

Far smaller than any MPV, Datsun Go+ is better to be considered as 5+2 seater instead of full 7 seater, and even smaller than Perodua Alza which is a familiar sight on our home market. The MPV is virtually identical in design in everything compared to its smaller sibling right down to the front and rear fascia and I believe the rear door also is identical to the hatchback.

The cabin also features almost wholesome carryover from the Datsun Go hatchback, which is no bad thing as things still come from the Nissan parts bin. The 3rd row seat is visibly cramped, and small in size and thus it is safe to assume that it is designed with kids in mind. Similar to Perodua Alza, take this as the estate version of the Datsun GO with the occasional 7 seater functionality and you won't be far off the mark. At least it give a very much welcome boost in luggage capacity when needed, and flexible too as can be seen below. 

The powertrain option will be a gasoline mill with 1.2L paired to manual gearbox. Both Datsun GO and GO+ will be produced in Indonesia. It will be competing with the rest of low cost Asia mobile including the new Honda Mobilio MPV and the likes.

More photos can  be found after the jump.

10 September 2013

2014 Nissan X-Trail Gets Sleeker

Nissan unveiled its 2014 Nissan X-Trail at Frankfurt Motorshow today. The high-volume SUV for Nissan has ditched its body body of the previous two generations, and in comes the crossover styling theme adopted by other recent Nissan such as Qashqai, Murano and Juke. The vehicle will also be known as Nissan Rogue in North America. The new SUV is part of a high-volume global product built on the new jointly-developed platform between Nissan and Renault Common Module Family (CMF).

As mentioned earlier, Nissan decides to let go the conventional squared off lines of the previous generation which contributes to X-Trail muscular image and replaces it with a premium and dynamic appearance. The new design is characterized by sculptured muscular lines achieved by elegant curves and high wheel arches and feature a number of Nissan signature cues such as the ‘boomerang' rear lights, intricate headlights internals with LED daytime running lamps and the distinctive D-pillar design. 19' alloy wheel contributes to the road hugging impression. LED headlights for both high and low beams are standard on high grade models for an added design panache. In pursuit of design excellence, the practicality is not left behind, as it is the main mantra of this segment of vehicle. For example, the rear door can be open with 80 degrees of opening angle, greatly enhancing ingress and egress of the occupants, especially when the optional 7 seater layout is specified.

The current Nissan X-Trail has a similarly boxy interior design in tandem with squared off exterior theme. The new 2014 X-Trail is a complete opposite. The interior is adorned with premium features including chrome, geometric metallic and piano black finishes. Options include a sophisticated cloth fabric covering plus a full leather offering with contrasting stitch accents. The spacious interior has theatre-style seating and the option of two extra seats to make room for seven inside. Read more details after the jump.

09 September 2013

LEAK - Honda's Avanza Rival

Our friend in AutonetMagz keep the interest in the Honda Mobilio up and running with the new leak. It is low-res grainy photo but it keep us in the clarity on how the Honda's Avanza rival shaping up. While front front fascia is very Honda Brio-like, although the grille assembly is stubbier. While the side profile is akin to Toyota Avanza with its long and slim structure, we expect the Honda Brio MPV version to be lower overall as it does not sit on the lorry platform. Official unveiling is 19 September 2013. One more photo after the jump.

Jaguar C-X17 - Aluminum SUV In The Making

Jaguar is set to preview its flexible new aluminum vehicle architecture in Frankfurt Motorshow underpinning the concept SUV named C-X17. The SUV aside, the new aluminum platform is set to expand the utilization of the said material wider throughout the Jaguar range of vehicle, which is currently limited only to the flagship XJ-series. The platform will be of modular type, and will underpin anything from the forthcoming 'baby Jaguar' onwards.

Jaguar SUV has been mulled for quite sometimes. Even in mid of last decade, there has been a talk about Jaguar crossover. Only now it materialize, and also signifies the flexibility of the Audi-MLB rivalling new platform. Externally, Jaguar C-X17 wears all the familiar, contemporary Jaguar styling cues. The front fascia is clearly Jaguar XF-inspired, and rear end bears resemblance to the recently introduced F-Type. The side profile is classic Jaguar, sleek and flows with unrivalled elegance. The only obstruction to the perfect elegance is the upright front end, necessitates by the SUV-like snout.

Despite wearing a production-realistic body surface, the concept C-X17 is adorn with the flashy alloy wheel and fanciful glass roof. Interior meanwhile is pure showcar, with its embedded hi-tech instrumentation lies within the minimalist fascia arrangement.

The rear seats are of individual item, separated by the centre console loaded with fully flush and embedded infotainment system.

With the crossover segment is bursting with new entrance from every motorshow, it is not hard to imagine Jaguar is putting the C-X17 into production in the near future. However, don't be sure 100%, as Proton also exhibits its then-new VVA (Versatile Vehicle Architecture, aluminum rivet bonding) in Proton MSX (or Lotus APX depending on where you at it) and then it was never to be seen again! More photos of Jaguar C-X17 can be found after the jump.

08 September 2013

Volkswagen Golf Sportsvan Revealed

Volkswagen has revealed the Golf Sportsvan Concept, the successor to the Golf Plus, which will make its debut at the Frankfurt Motor Show (IAA) on Tuesday. Despite the concept moniker, expect a very minimal change, if at all, when the new car debuted in the European market soon. There's also rumors that it will not be called Golf Plus anymore in certain market, hence a Sportsvan name is a probability.

Like the Volkswagen Golf hatchback, Golf Sportsvan is based on the MQB platform, and incorporates all the advanced technology of that car, but in a larger, even more practical body style.  Its exterior design clearly follows the look of both the Golf, and Volkswagen’s more generic ‘DNA’.

Volkswagen Golf Sportsvan is 4,338mm long, 1,870m wide and 1,578mm tall. The wheelbase is 2,685mm. Compared to the 7th generation Volkswagen Golf, Golf Sportsvan is 83mm longer, 80mm wider and 126mm higher as well as rides on 48mm longer wheelbase. Compared to Volkswagen's old Golf Plus, it is  134mm longer but it is 224 mm shorter than the Golf Estate.

With the increased in dimension, Volkswagen Golf Sportsvan offers 498L of boot space(Golf is 380 litres), with the back seats at their rear-most position.  Moving the rear seats forwards increases the luggage capacity to 585L, while folding the rear seats liberates up to 1,512L. The front passenger seat can optionally fold fully forward, creating a load space which is up to 2,484mm long. Hence, practicality is its big forte.

Volkswagen Golf Sportsvan will be powered by a range of petrol and diesel engines mirroring those on the hatchback version, all of which conform to Euro 6 emissions standards and incorporate Stop/Start and battery regeneration systems.  There are four turbocharged 1.4-litre petrol engines with 85, 110, 125 and 150PS and three turbodiesels: a 2.0-litre 150PS, a 1.6-litre 90PS and a 1.6-litre 110PS for the Sportsvan BlueMotion.  This is expected to return fuel economy of 32.4km/L and emit 95 g/km of CO2.  All engines (but the 85 PS) can be ordered with a DSG gearbox.

Like the Golf hatchback, the Sportsvan comes not only with a stronger, safer body structure but also a raft of standard and optional passive and active safety systems.  These include an automatic post-collision braking system which automatically brakes the vehicle after a collision to reduce kinetic energy significantly and thus minimise the chance of a second impact, and a PreCrash system which, on detecting the possibility of an accident, pre-tensions seatbelts and closes the windows and sunroof, leaving just a small gap, to ensure the best possible protection from the airbags.

Other electronic aids include Adaptive Cruise Control, Front Assist and City Emergency Braking, all of which can reduce or eliminate the chance of accidents occurring.  Also available are a Driver Alert System, a camera-operated Lane Assist system and a Dynamic Light Assist system.

A first for the Golf Sportsvan is a Blind Spot Monitor, with an assistant for exiting parking spaces.  This monitors the area behind and to the sides of the vehicle, ensuring easier and safer egress when reversing from a parking bay.

Volkswagen Golf Sportsvan will be officially revealed in Frankfurt International Motorshow on Tuesday. More photos can be found after the jump.

Honda Mobilio - Honda's New Budget MPV

Not many days left until its planned unveiling on 19th September 2013 at Indonesia Motor Show, but one Indonesian-based website has revealed that the new Honda-Brio based MPV will be called Honda Mobilio. This is quite shocking judging by the fact that Honda Mobilio used to be a JDM MPV and seems that the new MPV is at least not as rudimentary as certain South East Asian-only offering.

The specs are already out for Indonesian market which will get i.e S and E. Consistent with the Honda's Asian trimming, S is a cheap version with E is the posher between the two. The entry level version will be available in manual only while the E version can be had either in manual or CVT guise. 

The styling is also revealed in the leak leaflet. It is however obvious the earlier sketch is very much hyperbole, as Honda Mobilio has a Toyota Avanza-like stance instead a sleek look suggested by the world-wide spread sketch. Despite retaining Honda Brio-like headlight, thats pretty much if any resemblance is exist.

Have a look at the details of the equipment of each version, and the outlook of the vehicle and compare it yourself with the styling sketch. 

Source: AutonetMagz

Only In India - The Tale of Compact Sedan

If there's one weird category of vehicle, this is one of it. In India, there is an incentive in terms of excise duty slash for a compact car  measuring less 4.0m and has engine capacity of maximum 1.2L for petrol and 1.5L for diesel. Instead of the usual 24% tax, the compact sedan is charged only 12%. This segment is lucrative and growing big. Mid last year, this segment grows by 30% while the India total automotive market grows at only 7.2%. 

Manufacturer is rushing to capitalize on this loop hole. They aim to give the maximum to the buyer at the lower side of 4.0m. The tax incentive will make it a credible business case as the final price will entice the buyer from sedan segment up, and worth the weird solution or awkward silhouette. The most popular approach is to lengthen the hatchback to the brim of 4.0m, while there are also manufacturer that chopped the tail of their sedan instead. We now heard Volkswagen is developing a challenger for this segment in based on Volkswagen Up architecture and Toyota too is working on a sedanized Toyota Etios Liva which is already based on the sedan Etios.

Honda Amaze (Honda Brio Amaze outside India) is the current biggest seller of the segment, and it has placed Honda as the top four manufacturer in India recently. It has displaced the previous class stalwart, Maruti Swift Dzire. Lets have a look at the popular offering in this segment.

As we know Honda Amaze it is the booted version of Honda Brio. You can check the launch detail <HERE>. It is 3,990mm long (remember the limit is 4,000mm), some 380mm longer than Honda Brio Hatchback and sits on 60mm longer wheelbase at 2,405mm. Apart from having a cushier seats than its rival, its 400L boot volume is commanding too. It has the usual Honda quality which results in more premium looking bodystyle and cabin finish compared to the model developed in the India homeland.

The other competitor is Maruti Swift Dzire. It is based on Suzuki Swift we all like, but with the boot strapped behind and manufactured by Indian's Maruti. The boot is supershort, it needs to be to slip below 4.0m at 3,991m as the donor Swift is already 3,850mm in the first place. Sharing 2,430mm with the hatchback, the poor boot volume of the hatchback has been increased to a more credible 316L. 

The newest challenger coming this year is Mahinda Verito Vibe. Verito is the rehashed Dacia Logan, which took the world by storm last decade with its 5,000 Euros cars. Having it second life in India, Mahinda has chopped the tail to comply with the compact car rule. No one thought that the boot can be any shorter than Swift Dzire, but Mahinda has different idea. Measuring 3,991mm long, it is much shorter than the 4,277mm sedan it is based on. The boot also is a hybrid between hatchback and sedan whereby it is hatchback in look, but open in sedan style. 

Can we implement the same strategy in Malaysia? Instead of giving incentive to hybrid cars which is beyond reach for many people, why don't we populate the low end of the market. It could kill the national car, but if in return we can have so many specialized model from the global manufacturer why not? What about unregulating only one segment of the market, let's say compact MPV with engine capacity of less than 1.5L, accomodate 7 people and maximum 4.2m in length? Or a 4 door segment with maximum 1.0L engine capacity and 400L boot?

More information about any of these cars can be obtained from India website linked below:

05 September 2013

9th Generation Honda Accord Launched in Malaysia

The ninth iteration of Honda Accord has been launched in Malaysia. Locally assembled in Honda Melaka plant, the new Honda Accord is priced very competitively starting from only RM139,800 for the base 2.0 VTi model, which makes it cheaper even than the Korean entry. Two other models are available, a higher specification 2.0L VTi-L at RM149,800 and 2.4L VTi-L at RM172,800. Fellow Japanese rival  Toyota Camry starts at RM149,915 for 2.0E and topped by 2.5L variant at RM180,917. The sleek Mazda6 is also pricier at RM159,455 for the 2.0L model and RM189,728 although it is CBU. So Honda has nailed it this time around as far as pricing is concern.

If pricing alone won't entice you, you'll be glad to know that the new Honda Accord is more comprehensively equipped than the outgoing car. Luxury amenities is thrown in more generously, and this is being topped by the new clothes that is more prestigious with its crisp body surfacing, intricate light detailing and classier interior design.

The base 2.0L VTi comes with beige interior upholstered in fabric. There are two screen in dashboard, the smaller and lower one for audio system while the larger upper mounted screen is for i-MID. There's also dual zone aircond, rear aircond duct and parking sensor. The exterior is garnished by 17' alloy wheel, LED day time running light and LED rear combi. Auto headlamp function is included too.

Opting for the higher specs VTi-L version gains you a dark cabin upholstered in leather trim, electrically adjustable driver seat, key less entry, starter button, hands-free Bluetooth functionality, cruise control, intelligent automatic airconditioning, rear door sunshade, sat-nav, HDD audio and DVD player. Both 2.0L variant soldiers on the carried over SOHC 2.0L linked to 5 speed automatic transmission. The engine has been massaged for greater refinement and economy, pushing out 155PS and 190Nm.

The 2.4L version is loaded with all bell and whistles that Honda currently knows how to make. The headlight is pulled out from the brand's luxury arm Acura, and LED item with auto-levelling and the car shod on 18' alloy wheel. The interior is decked out with paddle shifter, rear view mirror with auto dimming, wood trim, powered passenger seat, powered rear glass sunshade and premium sub woofer. Safety is upped too with 4 airbags in addition to the driving aids called LaneWatch and Active Cornering Light. The engine is new, replacing the K24 mill. It is of the Earth Dream Technology umbrella although it lacks the direct injection system. The new engine makes 175PS@6,200rpm and 225Nm@4,000rpm. Ultimate horsepower is slightly less than the outgoing engine although it is 7% more economy and 6% lighter.

In tune with the new Honda Civic, the 9th-gen Honda Accord is smaller than its predecessor. Compared to the outgoing model, the new Honda Accord is 80mm shorter at 4,870mm, 25mm shorter wheelbase at 2,775mm, 5mm wider at 1,850mm and 10mm lower at 1,465mm. Space however has not been compromised at rear legroom increased by 35mm while the boot is 23L more than before. All has been achieved thanks to the more efficient packaging including thinner seat structure.Honda also has replaced the double wishbone suspension at the front with McPherson strut while the rear end end is still multi-link.

Price comparison with the fellow Japanese rival is as mentioned above. In terms of dimension, Toyota Camry measures 4,825mm long, 1,825mm wide and 1,470mm tall. Its wheelbase is similar to the new Honda Accord at 2,775mm and boot stands in at 515L, a lot smaller than Accord. Mazda6 is a tad shorter at 4,850mm, 1,840mm wide, lower at 1,450mm, longer wheelbase at 2,830mm but cosier in terms cabin space and the boot volume is a good deal smaller too.

Small gallery can be found after the jump.

03 September 2013

Lexus Preparing Hot GS-F?

It seems so, at least from the uncamouflaged photos spied by a Japanese car magazine. Nothing is firm although the magazine claim the super-sedan will be powered 5.0L V8 mill punching 456PS. More obvious than the hidden engine is the more aggressive outtake of GS F-Sport version bodykit, with more pronounced front bumper opening, flared front airdam with blistered front wheelarch, more aggressive side skirting and rear lower valence accompanied by quad exhaust setup arranged in similar manner to the older IS-F. The skirtings are all carbon fibre finished. Similar finishing is spotted on the side mirror rear duck-tail spoiler. The larger alloy wheel is finish in dark tone as well. Two more photos after the jump.

2014 Land Rover Discovery - Updated Styling & Luxury

Land Rover has upgrade its popular Land Rover Discovery model.  The 2014 Land Rover Discovery receives a new look, new badging, improved fuel efficiency, enhanced audio systems and new driving assistance technology. The rejuvenated equipment level aims to enhance comfort and safety level to the already award-winning model.

The exterior makeover is as subtle and the wind breezing.  A new front grille, new front bumper, new headlamp design with distinctive LED DRL, two new alloy wheel designs are as far as the exterior updates go. Carried over from the current model is the optional ‘Black Design Pack’ which gives revised detailing and 20' black alloy wheels. Another subtle but significant change is the name ‘Discovery’ name replaces ‘Land Rover’ on the bonnet. Engine badging relocates from the tailgate to an ingot mounted on each of the front doors.  

The aforementioned new range of driver assistance, comfort and safety features for the 2014 Land Rover Discovery include Wade Sensing (a technology unique to Land Rover), Blind Spot Monitoring, Closing Vehicle Sensing, Reverse Traffic Detection and T-junction Cameras.

The updated entertainment system is the Meridian premium audio option.  The standard system features 8 speakers and 380 Watts of power, while the Meridian Surround system produces an impressive 825 Watts output and features 17 speakers.  

The 2014 Land Rover Discovery will continue to be available with the 3.0L SDV6 with 256PS and CO2 emissions reduced from 230g/km to 213g/km, and fuel consumption improved to 35.3mpg.  All models are equipped with an eight-speed ZF automatic transmission.