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  • Infiniti Q50 appears on Malaysian website – RM250k

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    The Infiniti Q50 has appeared on Infiniti Malaysia’s website with an estimated price of RM250k for the Infiniti Q50 2.0t Standard model, along with a preliminary equipment list.

    The rear-wheel drive Q50 competes in the same class as the Mercedes-Benz C-Class, BMW 3 Series and Lexus IS. Under the car’s hood is a 2.0 litre turbocharged four-cylinder engine from Mercedes-Benz, similiar to the one in the W212 E-Class facelift and the upcoming W205 C-Class. In Q50 tune, it does 211 hp at 5,500 rpm and 350 Nm of torque from 1,250 to 3,500 rpm.

    This is 30 Nm more torque than the Q50’s 320 Nm figure for other markets, and we wonder why. The engine is mated to a seven-speed automatic transmission with Downshift Rev Matching and Adaptive Shift Control.

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    Other features of note include LED headlamps, LED foglamps and LED brake lights, keyless entry and start, power-folding heated wing mirrors, dual-zone automatic air conditioning, rear air vents, a 10-way power adjustable driver’s seat with two-way power lumbar, eight-way power adjustable front passenger seat, heated front seats and 60/40 split backrest.

    Also included are a six-speaker audio system with Bluetooth support, Infiniti InTouch dual screen infotainment system, 17-inch wheels with 225/55 runflat tyres, ESP, VDC, Active Trace Control and six airbags. For a full list of specs and equipment, click here.

    Last we heard, three models will be available – a 2.0t Standard, a 2.0t Premium and a 3.5 Hybrid Sport. The RM250k estimated price for the 2.0t Standard matches what we wrote earlier.

    The Hybrid Sport will eventually get a pricetag of under RM400k, while the 2.0t Premium remains a question mark at the moment. We’re wagering somewhere between RM270k to RM300k, depending on what kind of equipment is added over the Standard.

     
     
  • JDM Subaru WRX S4 teased ahead of August 25 debut

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    Fuji Heavy Industries (FHI) has teased the Subaru WRX S4, the Japanese-market version of the Subaru WRX that is already on sale in other countries, ahead of its unveiling on August 25.

    The S4 in the name, says Subaru, comes from “Sports performance”, “Safety performance”, “Smart driving” and “Sophisticated feel”. To that end, the S4 will come with the third generation of the EyeSight camera-based driver assistance system for “unique overall safety performance”, and the car has been developed to provide “superior environmental friendliness” and a “high-quality feel”.

    No other details have been released so far, but it is rumoured that the Japanese will be compensated for the car’s late arrival on home soil with a few more horses from the 2.0 litre direct-injected turbo flat-four. Power is expected to rise by 32 PS to a round 300 PS and torque by 50 Nm to 400 Nm, which if you recall are the same figures as on the Japan-only Levorg estate.

    Like the Levorg, the S4 will reportedly be available solely with a CVT, presumably to leave some space for the also upcoming manual-only WRX STI, which as before is expected to be powered by a 2.0 litre MPI turbo mill for the Japanese market, rather than the 2.5 litre unit found elsewhere.

    2015 Subaru WRX

     
     
  • Ford Falcon – XR8 and XR6 reveal final FG facelift

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    Ford Australia has revealed the final iteration of its Falcon sedan, with the XR8 and XR6 models taking the wraps off the facelifted seventh-generation FG. The company had earlier unveiled its final GT-badged Falcon, the FPV GT F 351, last month.

    The facelift brings about a new face with more than a passing resemblance to the new Mustang. There’s a new bonnet, complete with revised power dome, a new trapezoidal grille and slimmer headlamps in the mix, while the rear gets fresh wraparound LED tail lamps.

    2014 ford falcon xr6

    The duo, along with the rest of the Falcon and ute range, will make their way into the market sometime in the fourth quarter this year. Full specifications haven’t been announced, but the powertrain lineup will consist of EcoBoost four, in-line six – including the EcoLPi liquid-injection LPG – and V8 petrol choices.

    Elsewhere, features and kit are unlikely to differ very much from that currently available, given that this is the final chapter of the car as well as Australian production – the company is slated to cease local manufacturing operations at its Broadmeadows and Geelong plants in October 2016.

     
     
  • Shell Helix contest winners head to Belgian GP at Spa

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    Five Shell Helix users will be on their way to Belgium after beating five others in the Shell Helix ‘The Ultimate Ferrari Experience’ finale at the Speedway PLUS Go-Kart Circuit recently.

    They will join winners from around the world for a 5D4N all-expenses paid trip to Spa-Francorchamps to watch the 2014 Belgian Formula One Grand Prix at the end of August. There, they will have access to the Shell hospitality suite, spend time with the Ferrari team and enjoy a behind-the-scenes paddock tour.

    The lucky five are Kok Tuck Choon, 45, from Kuala Lumpur; Low Ken Chin, 29, also from KL; Mohammad Sukhri Hadafi bin Mohammad Hanif, 29, from Perak; Dr Muhammad Yusuf bin Abdurrahman, 30, from Johor; and Wong Ken Hou, 28, from Selangor. They accumulated the highest scores in a quiz, go-kart hunt and time trial at the event.

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    At the event, Shell Lubricants also presented prizes to winners of the ‘Guess the number of Shell Helix Ultra bottles in a car’ contest and the #cleanmyengine Instagram contest held in conjunction with the Shell Helix global promotion roadshow.

    The global promotion featured a two-tier contest from April 1 till June 30, and was opened to customers who purchase a four-litre pack of Shell Helix Ultra with Pureplus Technology or any product from the Shell Helix HX7 range. Tier-one winners took home cash prizes.

     
     
  • SPYSHOTS: New Renault Twingo RS on test – to share an engine with the smart forfour Brabus?

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    The most powerful version of Renault’s little rear-engined, rear-wheel drive Twingo hatchback when it was unveiled in February this year will be a turbocharged 0.9 litre three-cylinder engine producing 90 hp and 135 Nm of torque. But a more powerful version is coming soon, as our Euro spies have snapped the upcoming Renault Twingo RS on test.

    You can see various holes cut in the body, presumably to allow for better cooling to the hotter engine mounted at the rear. There’s a hole cut at the nose under the Renault badge, and there are also intakes above the rear wheels which are not found on the regular Clio.

    Renault-Twingo-RS-04

    Will the Twingo RS use a tuned-up version of the 0.9 litre engine or will it use a larger displacement engine? The last generation Twingo RS used a 1.6 litre normally aspirated engine that did 133 hp and 160 Nm of torque. Could we be looking at a minimum of 160 hp and 200 Nm to keep up with the Fiat 500 Abarth this time around?

    It also remains to be seen if the Twingo RS will share its engine with the upcoming Brabus version of the new smart forfour, given that the two cars are now built on common platforms.

     
     
  • Traffic laws should be continuously enforced – CAP

    PJ Traffic Jam

    The Consumers’ Association of Penang (CAP) is demanding for traffic laws to be continuously and strictly enforced, rather than it being seasonal to coincide with local festivals.

    According to Bernama, president SM Mohamed Idris claimed that Malaysia was ranked 20th in the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) 2011 list of countries with the most road deaths, and that the country did not have a good record with law enforcement.

    “The enforcement of laws in Malaysia related to speed limits, drunk driving, motorcycle helmets and seat belts was ranked between four to five in a range of 0-10 compared to Singapore’s enforcement, which was ranked between seven to nine,” he said.

    Also worrying is the rising number of road accidents in the country, with 18 people killed daily. Indeed, the Malaysian Institute of Road Safety Research (MIROS) expects that figure to rise to 29 by 2020.

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    SM Mohamed added that the low traffic fatalities in Singapore were partly the result of strict enforcement – the island nation recorded just four deaths per 100,000 population, while Malaysia had about 24 deaths per 100,000 population.

    “Due to the lack of traffic law enforcement, among other reasons, the Perception of Being Caught (POBC) rate among Malaysian road users is low, at a 25% rate on regular days and a 50% rate during the festive seasons when there are road safety operations,” he said.

    The president stressed the need to up the POBC rate – which stands at between 80-90% in developed countries – to create more disciplined drivers. Such a move, he said, would dramatically improve the culture of enforcement among the authorities and reduce the propensity of Malaysian drivers to break laws.

    The association also called for a special investigation team to reduce corruption in the transport system in the field of traffic offences, road worthiness of vehicles, overloading, driver testing, licensing irregularities and vehicle inspections.

     
     
  • Aston Martin Lagonda – only for the Middle East

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    Aston Martin has released the first images of its new Lagonda, which is set to enter series production in limited numbers next year. The new Lagonda derives its inspiration from the 1976 designed by Williams Towns.

    The luxury super saloon won’t be available globally though – it’s only going to be sold exclusively in the Middle East as a result of specific market demand.

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    It’ll be offered for sale by invitation only, and the company adds that the asking price will be commensurate with the model’s exclusivity, quality and luxurious nature.

    No details have been announced, save that the bespoke vehicle will be based on the brand’s existing flexible VH architecture and utilise carbon-fibre body panels. Reports have speculated that it’ll be powered by a 6.0 litre V12 that’s good for 600 hp.

     
     
  • SPIED: Ford EcoSport Titanium sighted undisguised

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    The Ford EcoSport has been sighted on test on the road, two of them in fact – an orange one snapped by reader Hakimin Zahid and a greyish one sighted by reader Erh Pin Lim.

    While the unit that we saw at JPJ Putrajaya earlier this week was in Trend trim, these cars being driven on the road with trade plates are of the Titanium spec that was advertised on oto.my for RM96,888. The Titanium spec includes better looking alloy wheels and chrome fog light surrounds, but the giveaway is of course the Titanium badge on the rear.

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    Since the Ecosport has the high ground clearance of an SUV, you can peek under the car in some of these shots. It doesn’t look like there’s any drive to the rear axle, so these are most likely front-wheel drive cars. This might reduce offroading capabilty but it should improve fuel economy and it’s not likely that any EcoSport owner is going to do anything funky anyway other than some ‘creative’ parking perhaps.

    The EcoSport will be powered by the same 110 PS/142 Nm 1.5 litre Ti-VCT four-cylinder engine and six-speed PowerShift dual clutch transmission combo as on the Fiesta 1.5. There is also the possibility of the 125 PS/170 Nm 1.0 litre EcoBoost turbocharged three-cylinder mill found in the Fiesta EcoBoost coming in later.

    In the meanwhile, read our Ford EcoSport review from when we tried the car out in Thailand.

     
     
  • Acura/Honda NSX prototype burns down on the ‘Ring

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    Yikes. Just a couple of days after we saw the Acura/Honda NSX prototype roaring around the Nürburgring, we now have pictures of the very same car burnt to a crisp on the side of the track. A bit too enthusiastic chasing that Mark IV Toyota Supra, perhaps?

    Apparently, witnesses saw flames sprouting from the rear of the car as it was driving around the track. The NSX eventually pulled to a stop at Pflanzgarten and both occupants escaped without injury, before the fire swiftly engulfed the vehicle.

    This shows that the advanced Sport Hybrid Super Handling All-Wheel Drive (SH-AWD) might still need some time to get some teething issues ironed out. The system mates a mid-mounted VTEC direct-injected V6 with an electric motor and a dual clutch transmission to drive the rear wheels, while a pair of motors drive the front wheels and can provide instant positive or negative torque as needed when cornering.

    As previously reported, the new NSX is slated to be unveiled before the end of the year and will be built at the new US$70 million (RM222 million) Performance Manufacturing Center in Ohio in 2015, although whether this new development has set back Honda’s plans remains to be seen.

    This NSX is just the latest in a string of supercars that are prone to catching fire – earlier this year, two Porsche 911 GT3s were set alight which prompted Porsche to replace all customer engines, while in 2010, a spat of Ferrari 458 Italia fires resulted in a recall involving 1,248 units of the Maranello exotic.

    So I suppose the NSX has already started earning its supercar credentials even before launch day, eh?

     
     
  • Germany wins 2014 WC, football fan wins Polo Sedan

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    Volkswagen Malaysia has announced the winner of the Win a Polo Sedan campaign in conjunction with the Onefootball Brasil app that kicked off in May. Football and VW fan Tee Jee Hung is the grand prize winner of a new Volkswagen Polo Sedan.

    Volkswagen Malaysia held a contest that ran from May 22 to July 13. Football fans and motorists were invited to visit VW dealerships and test drive cars for a chance to win the Polo Sedan. During the period, the said app garnered more than 26,000 downloads from Malaysians.

    “I downloaded the Onefootball Brasil app to keep updated on the World Cup and one of its features directed me to the nearest VW dealership. I took the opportunity to test drive the Polo Sedan since I’ve been considering getting the car for some time now, but I never thought I’d win the exact car I wanted!” exclaimed the 28-year old IT consultant from Seremban.

    “Much like the national German football team that just won the World Cup, the Polo Sedan epitomises the highest performance, quality and efficiency. We trust that Tee Jee Hung, who has always been a Volkswagen fan, will enjoy the true Volkswagen brand experience,” said Petra Schreiber, director of marketing and communications at VGM.

    The locally-assembled Polo Sedan was launched here in October 2013. The B-segment sedan, a rival to the Toyota Vios and Honda City, is powered by a 1.6 litre MPI normally-aspirated engine (105 PS/153 Nm) paired to a six-speed torque converter automatic transmission with Tiptronic. It sells for RM85,888.

     
     
 

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