31 October 2013

Kia Picanto Officially Priced from RM54,888

Naza Kia has officially put a price tag to its newest supermini, the Picanto. Lower than the priced expected earlier, Kia Picanto manual is priced at RM54,888 while the higher specification Kia Picanto AT is RM59,888. The car has been exhibited to the public earlier at Sunway Pyramid and has been launched to the world for quite long time so there's no secret on how it looks.

The all-new Kia Picanto is powered by sole engine option of 1.2L Kappa CVVT producing 87PS@6,000rpm and 120Nm@4,000rpm. The engine is sufficient to get the car to 100km/h in 11s for the 5 speed manual version, while the 4 speed automatic version takes 12.9s. Top speed is 171 and 163 km/h respectively for the manual and automatic. Kia Picanto is in the supermini categorization, measuring 3,595mm (10cm shorter than our beloved Perodua Myvi), 1,595mm wide, 1,480mm tall and sits on 2,385mm wheelbase. Boot volume is 200L which is mere 8L less than Perodua Myvi.

Kia Picanto is suspended McPherson strut for the front, while the rear end is class customary torsion beam while braking is disc all around. Picanto manual rides on smaller 14' wrapped by 165/60 R14 while the pricier automatic version rides on 175/50 R15. Kia Picanto is generously spesified, standard equipment covers 6 airbags, ABS with all host of ESC and TCS, ISOFIX anchor, 3 rear seatbelt with 3 points, rear parking assist, auto headlamp (halogen-projector), LED DRL and electric folding side mirror.

Opting for the highly spesified automatic version will gain additional exterior chrome finish, fog lamp, Supervision meter cluster, 6 speakers, Bluetooth connectivity, steering wheel mounted switches (leather trimmed instead of PU), starter button, keyless entry, sunglass holder and illumination for vanity mirror and cup holder.

How will Kia Picanto fare in Malaysia market? In terms of pricing, Kia Picanto is head to head with Perodua Myvi SE/Extreme which is priced from RM50,900 to RM61,700. Picanto is far superior when it comes to the equipment level especially in terms of convenience and safety.

Small gallery can be found after the jump. 

26 October 2013

BMW 2 Series Sleek Coupe Unveiled

BMW has debuted its latest model, the 2 Series ahead of its physical unveiling at Detroit Motor Show in January 2014. It is the latest product with BMW's new naming convention whereby the even number is specified for the niche model derived from the mainstream model. It is what a 4 Series to the 3 Series,so the new 2 Series is a replacement for the outgoing 1 Series Coupe.

BMW 2 Series shares the same 2,690mm wheelbase as per BMW 1 Series F20, and measures 4,432mm long, 1,774mm wide and 1,418mm tall. Compared to the outgoing 1 Series Coupe, BMW 2 Series is 72mm longer, 32mm wide, 5mm lower and has 30mm longer wheelbase. This translates into a more habitable cabin and luggage space, where BMW claims an increase of 19mm more front headroom, 21mm more rear legroom and 390L boot volume up from 370L previously.

Unlike the 1 Series Coupe which carries over wholesomely the previous 1 Series hatchback styling cues, BMW 2 Series is a clear departure from that. The front end is sleeker, with slimmer and sharper headlamp making the case here.The front fascia is an amalgamation of multiple surfaces, with outer and inner bumper having different planes and blended well with the surface drawn from the hood. The base car shown above is complemented by Sport, Modern and customary M Sport. The base, Sport and Modern are differentiated by unique bumper insert, not unlike the one in F30. M Sport meanwhile gets a totally new front bumper set.

The compactness of the car can be seen clearly through the side profile, which retain the stubby look of its forebear. However, the car is not that small at over 4.4m, the size at which the older of the 3 Series used to be. Like BMW 4 Series, the belt line creases is immensely strong, it slids inwards post the front wheel arch underneath the waist line, but sneak out again near the rear wheel arch, giving the proper stance to the rear end.

The rear end is another adaptation of BMW L-shaped rear light, although clearly the constraint of dimension does not allow all the lines to flow and converge gracefully. Read more after the jump.

21 October 2013

McLaren P1 Headline Figure Confirmed - 2.8s, 350km/h, 8.3L/100km

As the first customer of McLaren P1 took delivery of the hybrid powered hypercar, McLaren today confirmed all the performance figures for McLaren P1 following the exhaustive testing and development program. Performance is scintillating to say at least, even in relation with LaFerrari. 

These are the acceleration figures. 0-100km/h is doable in 2.8s, 0-200km/h in 6.8s and 0-300km/h in 16.5s. Top speed is electronically limited to just 350 km/h. As opposed to the acceleration, the deceleration from 300 - 0km/h is 6.2s (246m), 200 - 0km/h is 4.5s (116m) and 100 - 0km/h is 2.9s (30m).

The savage braking power is provided by the bespoked Akebono system, fabricated from carbon ceramic coated with silicon carbide. The acceleration meanwhile is thrusted by gasoline-hybrid powertrain churning a combined 916PS thanks to a twin turbo 3.8L V8. The electric drive is sufficient for emission free 11km drive, and returns an impressive 8.3L/100km on European combined cycle. 

This is what we called THE CAR! 

2015 Mercedes-Benz C Class - First Detail

Mercedes-Benz has revealed the first detail of the forthcoming forth generation C Class, due to debut in just two months time. The new C Class is tipped to lead the class with advanced body structure design which offers greater rigidity and weight reduction which in turns enhanced the safety, refinement and fuel efficiency. Constructed in aluminum in greater than ever proportion, the new 2015 Mercedes-Benz Class features 39% of the lightweight material, hybridized with high strength and ultra high strength steel construction. Estimated weight saving is around 100kg less than the current car, with 20% gained in fuel efficiency. This is achieved despite the increased in size, something Mercedes can afford to do since the baton for smallest sedan in the line-up has been passed to the front-wheel-drive CLA.

The interior too has been revealed for the first time, itself a big departure from the existing C Class. The layout has taken a leaf or two from the far more luxurious S Class big brother in terms of opulence, with the detailing in tune with the sportier and smaller Benz such as the recently introduced CLA. The dash top and centre console is swoopy and entirely free of edgy structure. It sports the familiar circular vents and tablet-like display screen smack in the middle of the dashboard.

Mercedes-Benz C Class is set to be introduced in flesh at Detroit Motor Show in January. The entire line-up will consist of the sedan, coupe, convertible and estate. More photos after the jump.

20 October 2013

Lamborghini Veneno Roadster

This is Lamborghini Veneno Roadster. Enough said. Bye. Okay, while they build only 3 Lamborghini Veneno, Lamborghini will build the roadster 3 times as much, so you'll have 9 on them roaming around our earth.

Key facts: mid mounted 6.5L V12 thrusting 750PS, 2.9s century sprint and 355km/h top speed. And it is permanently open. Drive something else on a wet day. Photos after the jump.

19 October 2013

Proton launches Proton Preve LE, New Soft Lilac Color, Pandu & Menang Competition

Proton Holdings today launches Pandu & Menang competition that offers a grand total RM400,000 collective worth of prize. The contest period is from today and will run until 17 December 2013. Participation is supremely easy, just head to the nearest Proton showroom and test drive the car. The contest is divided into two areas - one is via SMS, where participants will need to answer two questions correctly and respond in the fastest time to win the Daily Prizes. The other portion of the contest invites participants to take a creative picture with the test drive Proton car and upload it on Facebook.

The latter will enable you to win the Daily and Weekly Prizes comprises of 42' LED TV, electrical gadgets and cash prizes. In addition  SMS contest participants who places a booking and registers his or her car within the contest period will be eligible to win the Grand Prize of the Proton Prevé LE.

Proton also launches two updates on its Preve. We have covered both news yesterday. The first news is the introduction of new color for the existing Proton Preve Executive and Premium called Soft Lilac. Targeting the female audience, Proton Preve in Soft Lilac can be ordered from today onwards.

The second one is the introduction of Proton Preve Limited Edition, or Preve LE in short. Limited to 100 units, the car is decked out in R3 accessories such as 17' alloy wheel and all around skirting, low profile 215/45 tyres, enhanced safety equipment in the shape of curtain airbags and top tether for child seat and the cabin is wrapped in luxurious leather trim upholstering the seat, door trim and console lid. Available only in Solid White, you can get Proton Preve LE from today at RM79,688.

18 October 2013

Proton Preve LE - RM79,688 (R3 Kits, 6 Airbags, Only In White)

There's new variant of Proton Preve, and it is destined to sit at the top of the range at RM79,688, merely RM50 more than the top line Proton Suprima S. According to Proton Edar website, Proton Preve LE stands for limited edition with limited unit coming. Justifying its positioning at the top of range, Proton Preve LE is decked out with R3-branded 17' alloy wheel in dark finishing wrapped by low profile 215/45 tyres, added safety features in the form of curtain airbags (6 airbags in total, similar to Proton Suprima S (detail of Proton Suprima launch HERE and driving impression HERE) and top tether for rear seat-mounted child seat, leather upholstery for seats, door trim and centre console lid and all around skirting. The car is available exclusively in Solid White.

At the moment of writing, we are still awaiting for official press release from Proton, however there's a launching of a "Proton Pandu & Menang" contest which Proton Preve LE is the grand prize. So we can expect more details on Proton Preve LE tomorrow.

Soft Lilac - New Color for Proton Preve

We uncovered the new color for Proton Preve last month when the car was spotted on the transporter (refer HERE). The new paint has appeared on Proton Edar website, and it is called Soft Lilac.
Previous photos spied can be found after the jump.

14 October 2013

New Toyota Vios Tested - Polished Gem

Toyota Vios is no stranger when it comes to Malaysian sedan market. Since 2003, some 265,000 units has been sold between the first and second generation model. Despite the relatively young model for Toyota, the four generation (including Vios Soluna from late 90s) is a product which has been massaged over the years to meet the expectation of ever more demanding customer group. Over the years, Toyota Vios has grown from somewhat a recycled-old-Corolla (1st gen Soluna Vios) to a better product for the last generation which is more refined and lack the cheapskate look of the older model. The 2013 Toyota Vios is a further finesse of these, whereby Toyota has deployed in engineering and design prowess to come up with a better entry level sedan. MMN drive impression and lengthy observation on the car detail design yield a conclusion : This is a very polished product with full of high perceived quality and refinement way beyond the previous generation ever achieved.

First is the look. Gone is bulbous look of the previous generation, and in comes a more angular design that wears more intricate detailing for that pricier look. The headlamp, particularly the top two model, is a projector unit with inner detailing that extended from the grille. Expansive chromed bars has been used for the grille treatment, which is further helped by the angular bumper with textured central insert. Toyota tries here, it has not relaxed contrary to people's perception about Toyota stylist. The exterior panel is more chiseled with sharp character line and gives a sharper look to the new Vios. The side profile is also garnished with stronger character which more angular towards the back. The rear end has a mini Toyota Camry look with its chromed garnish and tail light with fancy lens detailing. In terms of dimension, the new Toyota Vios is 110mm longer than its forebear at 4,410mm and slightly taller at 1,475mm. Although the wheelbase is retained from previous car at 2,550mm, a newfound spaciousness can be attributed to cleverer packaging given the the increased in length. 
Second major upgrades over the current car is the interior. It is as if the old bunch of the senior designer/engineer has either retired, died or has been given the bottom 10% position of their appraisal and subsequently been given "Career Transfer Out" option and in comes a more enthusiastic and artistic bunch of motivated designer/engineer who is keen to produce a winner at a given cost constraint. First one to go is the central mounted meter binnacle, now repositioned in front of the driver. 

There is much more flair to the design. The meter is cowled while the centre console is mounted high up with the airconditioning vent and audio system encased in silver trimmed housing and trimmed with creative texturing. As can be seen above the dashboard is multi tiered, with the top surface adopt a simulated stitching edge, lend by Toyota Camry. Silver strip separates this part from the lower dash (G and E trim, black on TRD and unpainted on J trim), the same finish extend the the door trim as well (except for E which terminates at the vent). 
Despite having similar wheelbase to the current Vios, the new cabin is roomier thanks to a re-positioned A and C-pillar. Leg, head and shoulder room is class competitive, with comfort further aided by an enlarged seat surface. Seating position is great, and all control surfaces are within the ergonomics bound. Feel good factor is high. The chunky steering wheel has a fat rim, and the button feels substantial. Audio button and aircond vent feel solid, while the rotary dials for the manual aircond has a tactile rotation inertia. The gear knob is palm-full to grab, however it is too light in its movement for my liking.
Storage space is abundance. There's a slot in front of the gear console, sizable glovebox with partition and this is where the increased in length is justified. The boot volume has grown tremendously to 506L from 470L previously. This puts Toyota Vios boot space on part with Proton Preve (Read all about Proton Preve here) and Honda City which just 2L separates them. More juicy discussion after the jump.

10 October 2013

Perodua Alza Facelift Leaked

This is the leaked photo of the Perodua Alza SE. As can be seen the design change is quite significant, so significant that we believe this version is a derivative of the updated Alza. Perodua Alza has been in our market since 2009, so 4 years is already late in fact for a facelift. 

Externally, Perodua Alza SE you see here sports a new front bumper assembly including the grille, while the hood and headlight looks as if it has been carried over, saved for the deletion of yellow lens in the headlight. There's also lower lip found on the front bumper, perhaps an SE-spesific accessories. The rear end also retains the old sheetmetal, whereby the changes are new rear bumper, clear tail light and wider license plate garnish which covers the entire width.

The change is the cabin is small but significant. The creaky Alza old's gear level has been ditched, and in come the unit from the 2011 Perodua Myvi. The entire centre console cum gear console has been redesigned. It has been shaped and retrimmed for a classier look. Audio system is a touch screen unit, while the steering wheel too is brought is from Perodua Myvi SE. Roof mounted screen is also observed to be in. The black leather finishing on the steering, seat and console could be Alza SE spesific, but we hope the new instrument panel and control item will be carried over the non-SE updated Alza.

Perodua Alza is a strong seller in our country. It has become a default choice for a small family who previously stick with the sedan format. This should strengthened Perodua position as a number one car maker in Malaysia.

09 October 2013

Peugeot 208 GTi Launched in Malaysia

The hot version of the Peugeot 208 has arrived in our shore today. Packed with 200bhp delivered at 5,800 rpm and 275Nm at stupendously low 1,700rpm, Peugeot 208 GTi is capable of blasting the tarmac to 100km/h in mere 6.8s on its way to 230km/h top speed. All this for RM139,888.

Peugeot 208 GTi is powered by a turbocharged 1.6L in-line 4 mill which is widely used in PSA family, but it is in a higher state of tune. All the performance does not come at the expense at the fuel economy as the hot hatch is sipping it fuel at the rate of 5.9L/100km in a combined cycle. Drive is enthusiastically channeled via a 6 speed manual gearbox.

Peugeot 208 GTi wears sportier clothes compared to the bread and butter model. There's a wider wheelarch which accomodates 10mm and 20mm increased in front and rear track, more pronounced side skirt, more aggressive front grille insert, bigger spoiler and rear bumper lower garnish with dual exhaust pipe. Stance is enhanced with larger 17' alloy wheel wrapped by 205/45 low profile tyres.

The interior has been garnished up with the spicier looking trim, mostly in black base with red trim. The seats are upholstered in black Nappa leather with red insert, similar finishing is applied to the steering wheel, gearknob and dashboard top portion. There's also silver panel found surrounding the airconditioning vent, door grab handle and the seatbelt. Aluminum is used for an added contrast, and the touch has been applied to the steering wheel, gearknob and pedal.

Peugeot 208 GTi is equipped with 6 airbags and the usual plethora of ABS, EBD and stability control system. Available in only two color; Rogue Red and Digital White, Peugeot 208 GTi also comes with 5 years warranty with unlimited mileage for an added peace of mind. Several more photos can be found after the jump.

06 October 2013

Toyota 86 New TRD Parts Released

TRD has released a new set of kits for the Toyota 86 for October. However instead of giving it 100bhp increased in power or a leach-like-grip for suspension, they have given it a new, more extreme bodykit. The new kit consists of canard, front fender fin, wheelarch extension, rear side spoiler, quick shift, TRD label and engine oil. Gallery of the parts after the jump.

05 October 2013

2014 Toyota Harrier - Photo Gallery

Toyota Harrier is traditionally available as an identical twin to Lexus RX-series right from the first generation. The trend however stops at the current generation of Lexus RX as Toyota stop selling the identical car in Japan, a move which also kills the like of Toyota Altezza, Toyota Windom, Toyota Aristo, Toyota Soarer and Toyota Celsior, all which are Lexus IS, ES, GS, SC and LS respectively.

For this year, Harrier is back, and it is wearing a different clothes from the current Lexus RX (at least for now as we don't know how the forthcoming Lexus RX is going to look like. While the front end looks entirely different, it still has the slim light unit near the fender like the RX, but devoid of the mega spindle grille of course. Side profile however, does bears some resemblance, especially the C-pillar and rear window line.

That's as far as any resemblance detected. The rest of the exterior are unique, including the rear end. The rear window cladding makes it appear less steeply raked compared to Lexus RX. The rear fascia has trendy looking clear lens tail light with fashionable light rays, but the rest of aesthetic is well restraint and imparts a degree of elegance touch. 
The interior is an all-new and carries several design cues like not unlike the other big Toyotas such as Toyota Crown and Mark X. The gear level retains the traditional position of gear knob in any previous Toyota Harrier which is mounted high up. Unlike the Lexus sibling, the centre stack is symmetrical. Interior finishing seems to have Lexus-level of craftmanship and design quality. High gloss centre console, classy wood insert and swooping leather line dashboard complete the interior.
The new Toyota Harrier will be hybrid powered although we don't know the detail of the powertrain unit. However, it is very likely it is the same unit as the one powering the latest bunch of Lexus hybrid series. The SUV is due to be launched in Japanese market this winter. A gallery can be found after the jump, thanks to Response and Autoc-one.

02 October 2013

Toyota Vios 2013 Arrived in Malaysia - 4 Trims, 1 Engine, RM73k - RM93k

Toyota Vios has arrived in Malaysia. Judging by how many units are running, crawling and parking in Malaysian street, surely the whole nation is rocking in excitement as their much awaited small sedan has arrived. Make no mistake about it, this is by far the most desirable car in our market today. Most people buy Toyota Vios by default, and referral happen every minute in office pantry conversation and even the quiet person who speak to one will drop by the showroom today and place a booking. Such is the sheer popularity of Toyota Vios in our market.

So, what do you get exactly. Firstly, the look. For 3 generation (4 if the Soluna Vios is taken into account), Toyota Vios has evolved from el-cheapo looking to bulbous to a refined-matured-classy look. Edgier Toyota styling language has made an appearance here. The headlamp is sharply chiseled, and seamlessly blend into the the upper grille assembly giving it a well cohesive look. Slight boxy, amalgamate with tasteful chrome application is right recipe here and it sure set to win thousands of heart. Side and rear profile also has been entirely redesigned, and a more upmarket looks is a surety.

The car is larger in every vital dimension. Length is up by 110mm to 4,410mm and height increased by 15mm at 1,475mm. Width and wheelbase remain status quo at 1,700mm and 2,550mm respectively. Toyota has updated the body structure with greater use of high tensile strength steel and increased overall stiffness with greater number of spot welds, contributing to significant 30kg weight reduction compared to the existing Vios. The new Toyota Vios is more crash-worthy too, thanks to the new ECE R94 and R95 regulation which demands a safer car for the masses.

The cabin has been given a major makeover. One drastic change is the relocation of meter binnacle from the centre of the dashboard to a more conventional location in front of the driver. The two-tiered dash layout adopts black top part, complete with the moulded stitch for an opulence touch. The top and bottom layer of the dashboard is separated by the garnish piece, which runs into the door trim, itself is far more elaborately designed than the existing Toyota Vios. The control system (steering, gearknob, audio and airconditioning) are designed with ease of use, ergonomics and good looks in mind, and Toyota is successful in it. The seats are larger too at the front, and offers more minute adjustability. Thanks to the enlarged body, legroom has increased too. Boot volume has gone from class competitive to class leading (almost) with 506L in VDA method. 

In theory, everyone is aiming for 1000bhp thunder-sedan and capable of lapping Sepang Circuit in 1minute 35 seconds. Or at least for an easier bragging rights, a turbo-engine with renowned suspension tuning will do. But in reality what matters is the reliability, driveability and serviceability. Thus, Toyota Vios is equipped with the fame carry over 1.5L in-line 4 mill hooked up to a 4 speeder auto (or optionally 5 speed manual in the cheapest version). Suspension has been retuned for greater comfort and stability. Stopping power is four-wheeled disc on top two variant, while the bottom two makes do with rear drums.

Variants available are J, E, G and TRD Sportivo. Vios J is available in either 5 speed manual or 4 speed auto while the rest of the range is auto only. The trims are differentiated by equipment level. Starting with the front, Vios J and E is equipped with halogen headlight, while Vios G and TRD Sportivo comes with projector item. Moving rearwards, all version bar Vios J gets fog lamp, electrically-folded side mirror with indicator and integrated audio system. The interior is differently colored, with the based J model is an all-black affair, almost similar to E version however the latter comes two tone black and grey fabric. Vios G adopts a two tone black and beige interior color while the TRD Sportivo is black with red accents, in leather no less. Vios G and TRD gets multi-info display, 6 speaker setup (4 for the rest) and the gear knob and steering wheel is leather wrapped ( with audio control button too) which the lower two version is equipped with none of this. Tyre and wheel size is identical across the board, shod with 185/60 R15. Three rims design are available exclusive for each variant (J and E share the design).

Standard equipment across the range is dual airbags, ABS with EBD, Isofix, reverse sensor, door visor, rear fog lamp, remote boot release and speed adjustable intermittent wiper. There's 3 years warranty thrown in capped at 100,000km. The price is RM73,200 for Vios J Manual, RM77,300 for Vios J Auto, RM82,900 for Vios E, RM88,500 for Vios G and RM93,200 for TRD Sportivo.

What do you think? I personally think the days when national car reign on value for money is long gone. Fully polished design and engineering has price, and this is what the foreign brand is undoubtedly good at. Gallery can be found after the jump.

01 October 2013

Ford Fiesta Facelift Launched In Malaysia - RM86,988

Ford Fiesta facelifts now arrived in Malaysia, and it brings in a new engine, new trims, updated aesthetic and rationalize the model line-up in the process. The new Ford Fiesta is available only in one engine for now that is 1.5L Ti-VCT, shooting 112PS and 140Nm through the dual clutch 6 speeder. Comes in two bodystyles as before in the form of 4 door sedan and 5 door hatchback, the updated Fiesta is priced at identical RM86,988 for both.

The  vehicle range has been rationalize, and the new engine replaces both the 1.4L and 1.6L with something in between displacing 1.5L. Ford Malaysia also has adopt similar naming convention similar to Ford Focus, i.e Sport for hatchback and Titanium for sedan. 

The updated interior trim also mimics those on Ford Focus (refer here to MMN Test Drive), whereby the hatchback is upholstered in half-leather dark in shade while the Titanium sports a fully leather in light shade interior trim. The color palette also has been revised in order to raise the interior ambiance for higher perceived quality.

The exterior changeover include new front fascia design, sporting Aston Martin-like front grille. The previously plain sedan front end has gain similar chrome treatment as per the hatchback this time around. The rear end has been enhanced with new tail lamp design.

In terms of equipment level, Ford Fiesta facelift comes with Ford SYNC, keyless entry, push start button, auto headlight, auto wiper and single zone climate control system. In terms safety, number of airbags count has been reduced to two accompanied by the usual ABS, EBD, traction control and Hill Launch Assist.