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  • Mercedes-Benz recalls diesel cars – over 500k units?

    Daimler has announced that it will be recalling hundreds of thousands of diesel-powered Mercedes-Benz vehicles over emissions issues, though this applies only to models equipped with the OM651 engine.

    The company has yet to reveal the number of cars involved, but threw in a ballpark of “medium six figure” cars that would be affected by the recall. This includes 260,000 units of the previous-generation Sprinter van (the production of which ended in 2016). According to statements by Stuttgart authorities and Daimler, it was found that Mercedes-Benz sold around 684,000 vehicles that did not fully comply with nitrogen oxide emissions regulations.

    Germany’s road traffic regulator KBA, which is the organisation that ordered Daimler to issue the recall, said the Sprinter vans may contain illegal engine management software. “Mercedes-Benz customers will be notified in writing over further actions if their vehicle is subject to the recall and a software update can be installed,” it said.

    Daimler is currently complying with the recall directive and stressed that earnings would not be affected by the proceedings with the KBA. Earlier in June, Daimler issued a profit warning and announced an increase of legal provisions amounting to hundreds of million euros, to cover various ongoing governmental proceedings and measures relating to diesel vehicles.

  • Renault Captur Trophy, sporty orange SE coming soon

    The Renault Captur was never given the RS treatment by Renault Sport, but Malaysian distributor TC Euro Cars has taken things into their own hands and injected some RS flavour into the compact crossover. This is the Renault Captur Trophy, a sporty special edition that’s coming soon, now displayed at Renault’s PJ showroom.

    The most striking thing about this upcoming SE is its orange paintjob, which along with Liquid Yellow is synonymous with Renault Sport hot hatches. To ram home the point, there’s a Megane RS in Tonic Orange sitting right next to it. The Captur’s colour is officially called Trophy Orange, and no one will be mistaking it for the standard car’s Atacama Orange – it’s really that bright and different.

    The Captur Trophy will also come with front and rear bumper spoilers and black chequered flag decals on the sides. Of course, the flag motif is also an RS signature, and we can see that TCEC has attempted to integrate an F1-style front blade (in silver, see lower bumper) as found on RS hot hatches. The rear bumper add-on has a diffuser design.

    The lower rear and sides are in black, but the front extension is in body colour. We’re told that the bodykit is still work in progress and what we see here might not be the final product. What do you think, convincing?

    The Captur Trophy is of course just a cosmetic special edition, and there’s no change in performance or dynamics. The B-segment SUV was updated in April this year with a Euro 6 version of the familiar 1.2 litre TCe 120 engine, now with auto stop-start. Output is 120 PS and 205 Nm of torque from 2,000 rpm, which is 15 Nm more than before.

    Paired to a six-speed Efficient Dual Clutch (EDC) automatic, the claimed combined fuel consumption figure is 5.9 litres per 100 km (16.9 km/l) in the NEDC cycle.

    The 2019 update also brought offline and online navigation and internet connectivity to the seven-inch touchscreen head unit, which supports apps such as Joox and Waze (and more) when online. The Captur Trophy will get the hands-free powered tailgate (swipe foot under the rear bumper) from the Captur+, but not the maroon leather seats (black here), front centre armrest, dashcam and scuff plates/boot sill guard.

    The rest of the kit list reads keyless entry and push start, walkaway auto locking, dual-tone body colour, LED fog lamps, auto headlamps/wipers, reverse camera and ECO mode. On the safety front, there are four airbags, ESC and ABS/EBD/BA.

    The Captur Trophy should be available for the same price as the Captur+ at RM107,980 on the road without insurance. Kit wise it’s win some (unique colour, bodykit) and lose some (armrest, dashcam, scuff plates), so it depends on your taste. As mentioned, the car you see here might not be 100% identical to the final product, which will be launched soon.

    GALLERY: 2019 Renault Captur+

  • BMW recalls over 250k cars – Supra, Cullinan involved

    BMW has issued a recall in the US involving over 250,000 cars to address an issue with the display settings. Most recent BMWs allow drivers to turn off the rear-view camera when reversing, but this preference could potentially be retained the next time the vehicle is driven, causing the reverse camera display to not show up when engaged in reverse gear.

    The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) says the issue could increase the risk of a crash and also does not adhere to federal safety standards. Currently, BMW says the issue affects a range of cars made from 2018, and extends to the Rolls-Royce Phantom and Cullinan, as well as the new Toyota Supra.

    Other BMW models that are affected include the 2018 G30 BMW 5 Series range (540d, 530i, 540i, M550i xDrive, M5, 530e), 2018-2019 BMW 640i xDrive GT, the new X3, X4, G05 X5 and G06 X6 range, 7 Series, 8 Series, G20 3 Series (330i, 330i xDrive, M340i, M340i xDrive), and Z4.

    Owners with the affected vehicles will have to contact the respective BMW, Rolls-Royce or Toyota customer service centres and have the cars sent in to be rectified. The dealerships will then update the reverse camera software for free. The recall exercise is expected to begin from November 19, 2019.

    Presently, the recall only affects vehicles that were sold in the US. Customers are also able to key in their car’s 17-digit vehicle identification number (VIN) into NHTSA’s website to see if it’s affected.

  • PACE 2019 – own a Jaguar F-Pace for as low as RM499k, get a free auto-deploy side step worth RM20k

    The Premium Auto Car Expo (PACE), co-sponsored by Michelin and TyrePlus, is set to return this year – the ultimate sales-driven car expo focusing on premium vehicles will take place at the Setia City Convention Centre on November 2 and 3, 2019, from 9.00 am until 7.00 pm on both days.

    Jaguar will be at the event again this year, and one of the highlights at its display booth will be the F-Pace SUV. Prices for the 2017 World Car of the Year start from as low as RM498,800, and to further sweeten the deal, every purchase of an F-Pace will come with a complimentary auto-deployable side step, which is worth over RM20,000.

    The British brand will be just one of many premium makes that will be present at PACE 2019, joining the likes of Audi, BMW, Land Rover, Mercedes-Benz, Renault, Volkswagen and Volvo – along with newcomers Subaru and Malaysia’s own sports and luxury carmaker, Bufori – at the event.

    At PACE, you’ll be able to drive and purchase your dream car – new or pre-owned, we’ve got you covered. Not only will you be able to enjoy irresistible year-end promos from brands present at the show, there are plenty of extras in store as well.

    For a start, the first 150 new car customers will receive a combined RM2,450 voucher*, which includes a RM770 3M tinting voucher, a RM680 premium Babel Fit gym membership voucher, a RM500 Reebonz shopping voucher and a RM500 Kuzig Glanz car detailing voucher.

    We’re also giving away a combined RM1,270 voucher for the first 50 pre-owned car orders, inclusive of the RM770 3M tinting voucher and the RM500 Kuzig Glanz car detailing voucher.

    That’s just the tip of the iceberg – there will also be a lucky draw for those with confirmed purchases (i.e. approved loans), with 10 units of the new Samsung Galaxy Note 10 worth RM3,699* up for grabs, as well as a grand prize of a free holiday for two worth RM25,000*!

    Co-sponsor Michelin is one of the global leaders in tyre development, passionately innovating to make mobility safer, more efficient and more environmentally friendly. It offers a wide variety of quality tyres, ranging from the eco-friendly Energy XM2+ and highly efficient Primacy 4, to the ultra high performance family of Pilot Sport 4, Pilot Sport 4 SUV and Pilot Sport 4 S.

    TyrePlus Malaysia currently operates 60 outlets across the country, and TyrePlus has been in operation in over 22 countries for over ten years. Their professional tyre and car services offer quality work including routine oil changes, battery changes, brake system inspections, brake replacements, and vehicle servicing – that all add up to a well-running, long-lasting vehicle.

    The inaugural running of PACE last year was a resounding success, with 214 cars worth over RM50 million sold over two days – 180 brand new units and 34 from the pre-owned selection. One lucky buyer was also named the grand prize winner of the lucky draw, taking home a free holiday worth RM25,000.

    Click here for more details on PACE, and we’ll be announcing the promotions from participating brands closer to the event, so stay tuned, and remember to mark the dates on your calendar!

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  • Porsche Taycan 4S – 571 PS, 463 km range, 250 km/h

    Porsche’s first fully-electric model line, the Taycan has now been augmented with the Taycan 4S variant, positioned below the launch variants Taycan Turbo S and Taycan Turbo as the current entry-level model in the line-up. The Taycan 4S is available with two battery specifications for varying charge capacity and performance, the Performance battery and the Performance Plus.

    The Taycan 4S with the standard, single-deck Performance battery offers a capacity of 79.2 kWh for an output of 530 PS, with power consumption rated at 24.6 kWh/100 km. This is joined by the Performance battery Plus option which offers an output of 571 PS; battery range is up to 407 km for the Performance battery and up to 463 km for the Performance battery Plus, which is rated at 25,6 kWh/100 km.

    The latter figure makes the Taycan 4S the variant with the longest battery range so far, and which accommodates a charging capacity of 270 kW; the base Performance battery has a peak charging capacity of 225 kW. Performance for both variants is identical through the 0-100 km/h acceleration benchmark at 4.0 seconds, and top speeds for both are matched at 250 km/h. In contrast, the top Taycan Turbo S does 0-100 km/h in 2.8 seconds and a top speed of 260 km/h.

    Like its senior Turbo and Turbo S siblings, both battery versions of the Taycan 4S are all-wheel drive with one drive motor on each axle, the rear axle working through a two-speed transmission. Drag coefficient on the Taycan 4S matches that of the Taycan Turbo at 0.22.

    This comes courtesy exterior bodywork unique to the Taycan 4S, which is largely the same as those on the Turbo save for black trim on the lower edges of the front apron and rear diffuser, as well as side sills.

    Rolling stock on the Taycan 4S is a set of 19-inch Taycan Aero wheels, which house cast-iron disc brakes measuring 360 mm in front and 358 mm at the rear, with six-piston calipers in front and four-piston calipers at the back. As with its Turbo S and Turbo siblings, the Taycan 4S features three-chamber adaptive air suspension as standard, paired with Porsche Active Suspension Management (PASM) electronic damping.

    Inside, the Taycan 4S comes with a part-leather interior as standard, where the front seats come with eight-way electric adjustment. As with the Taycan Turbo S and Taycan Turbo, the Taycan 4S can be specified with an entirely leather-free interior, with upholstery made of recyclable material.

    Dashboard architecture on the Taycan 4S mirrors that of its Turbo S and Turbo siblings, with a curved, fully digital instrument cluster for the driver paired with a 10.9-inch central infotainment display and an optional passenger display. This is joined by an 8.4-inch touchscreen panel for control of air-conditioning functions.

    The Porsche Taycan 4S is now available to order in Europe with prices starting from 105,607 euros (RM487,993), and is set to arrive in European dealerships in January 2020.

    GALLERY: Porsche Taycan Turbo, Turbo S

  • ETCM launches new Nissan showroom with global CI

    Local Nissan distributor Edaran Tan Chong Motor (ETCM) has officially opened the doors to the first showroom in the country to comply with the carmaker’s Nissan Retail Concept (NRC). The facility, operated by Nikaijaya Resource, has a design that follows the new corporate identity, aimed at enhancing customer service by defining a consistent global brand experience.

    Located in Kampung Sungai Ara near the North-South Expressway’s Damansara toll plaza, the showroom features all the hallmarks of NRC, including red Nissan tablet signage on the façade and “Nissan Drive” sales and consultation areas, incorporating an overhanging red-and-white structure. It has a total built-up area of 6,556 square feet and features a fleet of test cars and space for up to five display vehicles, along with a café-like customer lounge, free WiFi connectivity and a kids’ corner.

    “The NRC adapts to the latest ways of our business environment and it represents our commitment in providing our customers with a high quality experience from the minute they arrive. We continue to expand and enhance our customer touch points to ensure a greater coverage and accessibility for our customers to meet the growing demand of our Nissan brand,” said ETCM sales and marketing director Christopher Tan.

    In conjunction with the opening, the company is organising a Nissan Test Drive Carnival on October 19 and 20. There, visitors can test drive the new electric Leaf, receive offers on a range of Nissan models and take part in various activities.

  • Next-generation Honda City to launch in Thailand in November; 1.0L Turbo, Phase 2 Eco Car – report

    It’s only slightly more than a week to the press day of the 2019 Tokyo Motor Show, where the fourth generation Honda Jazz (also known as the Honda Fit in Japan) will make its world debut. Now, it appears that the Jazz’s sedan sister – the Honda City – is also just around the corner. Thailand’s Headlightmag reports that the new City will launch in the Land of Smiles in November this year.

    The ASEAN debut of the new City isn’t the only big news, though. The local website reports a major change in the tried and tested City formula – it is said that Honda will be switching from a 1.5L naturally aspirated engine to a downsized turbo engine. It will be a boosted 1.0 litre three-cylinder VTEC Turbo mated to a CVT. If so, the City will follow the Civic and CR-V (1.5T for both) down the downsizing route.

    Going for a small turbo engine helps the new City comply with Thailand’s Phase 2 Eco Car criteria, which is stricter in fuel economy, emissions and safety terms. Among the criteria are Euro 5, CO2 emissions below 100 g/km, fuel consumption not exceeding 4.3 litres per 100 km (23.25 km/l), and ABS/EBD/BA/VSA standard across the range.

    In addition to the 1.0L turbo triple – which has been used in the Civic in Europe and China for a couple of years now, as sampled in 2015 – the City is also set to be available globally with the dual-motor Intelligent Multi-mode Drive (i-MMD) hybrid powertrain, which is yet to be revealed.

    Next week’s debut of the new Jazz will give us strong hints of the new City’s looks. From spyshots, we’re expecting a softer, more rounded five-door hatchback compared to the outgoing Jazz GK’s relatively aggressive styling. Expect a friendlier face and a more organic shape. The images above are renderings of the City from early 2018, inspired by the new Honda Insight.

    The outgoing City has been Honda Malaysia’s best selling model since it surfaced in 2014 (facelifted in 2017), and sales have been going strong despite its age and the emergence of younger rivals. It should soldier on healthily before the baton is passed – should be awhile more, though.

    GALLERY: 2019 Honda City 1.5V

  • Mercedes-AMG GT facelift teased – M’sia launch soon

    Mercedes-Benz Malaysia (MBM) has teased the imminent arrival of the facelifted AMG GT by posting a brief video on its social media pages, which features a shadowy look at the car’s revised front end and some lovely engine noises to go along with it.

    The AMG GT range was given an update back in November during the 2018 Los Angeles Auto Show, and is available in nine variations, although it isn’t obvious which one(s) will go on sale here.

    As a recap, the latest AMG GT range includes the standard GT, GT S, GT C and GT R, all of which can be had either as a coupe or a convertible. There’s also a limited-edition model called the GT R Pro, which is an even sharper version of the GT R coupe with derived technology from the company’s GT3 and GT4 race cars.

    Immediately obvious styling revisions on the AMG GT can be seen at the front, where you’ll find restyled LED headlamps that feature a new light guides and a three-chamber reflector system flanking the familiar Panamericana grille. At the rear, the LED taillights have been lightly enhanced to appear even deeper with a darker background for the clusters.

    All AMG GT cars also gain a new black diffuser insert and new tailpipe setups, with the latter being dependent on the selected variant. For the regular GT, there are two round twin tailpipe covers, with the GT C cars fitted with trapezoidal-shaped twin outlets instead. The GT R retains its distinctive arrangement with a centrally positioned exhaust that is accompanied by two smaller ones on the diffuser.

    As before, the company’s handbuilt 4.0 litre V8 biturbo M178 engine continues to be of service here. On GT models, the V8 makes 476 PS and 630 Nm of torque, while the GT S and GT C cars make do with 522 PS/670 Nm and 557 PS/680 Nm, respectively. As for the GT R and GT R Pro, both share the same output of 585 PS and 700 Nm. The AMG Speedshift DCT seven-speed transaxle dual-clutch transmission remains present.

    We’ll know more when the facelifted AMG GT is launched here, which shouldn’t take too long based on the caption used in MBM’s social media postings.

    2019 Mercedes-AMG GT R

    2019 Mercedes-AMG GT C Roadster

  • VIDEO: 2020 KTM Super Duke super naked teaser?

    While Japanese brands Kawasaki, Yamaha and Honda are showing their 2020 range at the Tokyo Motor Show in a few weeks, European bike maker KTM is choosing EICMA in November to release what looks to be the 2020 KTM Super Duke. A teaser video from the Austrian motorcycle manufacturer shows a motorcycle being assembled in a factory setting.

    While the full reveal only happens on November 5, the views can see some of the components being installed. These include carbon-fibre body panels, a frame in KTM Racing Orange and single-sided swingarm. Also shown is a wide rear wheel with the hashtag, “#getduked”, making it clear this a a naked sports bike from KTM and it is not likely to be a small capacity model.

    There have been many ruours about other KTM Duke naked sports models but many are saying the mdoel shown in the video is a Super Duke because of the fully-adjustable monoshock shown being put into the frame, aside from the aforementioned carbon-fibre parts and single-sided swingarm.

    The current model KTM Super Duke 1290 uses a 1,301 cc V-twin mill, mated to a six-speed slipper clutch equipped gearbox. Power is claimed to be 174 hp with 141 Nm of torque on tap.

    Known widely as “The Beast” the Super Duke comes with a full suite of electronic riding aids, without which the bike would quite aptly earn its sobriquet. These include traction control with cornering ABS, Supermoto mode, three ride modes, cruise control, tyre pressure monitoring system and keyless start.

  • Volkswagen reportedly mulling Lamborghini sale

    The Volkswagen Group is reportedly weighing options for Lamborghini, including a potential sale or a stock listing. Other options being considered for the Italian brand are spinning it off into a separate legal entity, Bloomberg reports, citing sources familiar with the matter.

    The moves are being considered as VW CEO Herbert Diess looks toward channeling resources towards future expansion of the group’s main VW, Porsche and Audi brands. Restructuring Lamborghini would fit with Diess’s goal to channel resources more efficiently and avoid duplicated efforts, the report adds.

    The sources add that preparations to detach Lamborghini into a separate legal entity have already started, with the process to conclude possibly towards the end of next year, but Volkswagen apparently signaled over the weekend that any decision is likely a ways off and said it has no plans for a sale or IPO.

    Diess has been pushing to overhaul the group since he took the helm a year and a half ago. “We shouldn’t spread ourselves too thin. That might be hard in some cases, but it’s the only viable way,” he told German publication Sueddeutsche Zeitung in an interview recently.

    With Diess aiming at getting the VW group to a market value of 200 billion euros (RM922 bilion) from the 81 billion euros (RM373 billion) it has right now, analysts say it is time VW consider deep changes such as an IPO for Porsche – which is the group’s most profitable division – to unlock value.


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Last Updated 12 Oct 2019


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