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  • IIMS 2014: Daihatsu CUV-2 Concept, B-segment SUV

    Daihatsu CUV-2 IIMS- 12

    Plenty of sequels at PT Astra Daihatsu’s vast IIMS 2014 stand – you saw part three of UFC earlier today, now here’s the second episode of the CUV story. The Daihatsu CUV-2 Concept is a development of the CUV Concept from last year’s IIMS. CUV stands for Crossover Utility Vehicle.

    Nothing much was revealed, although the original CUV was touted as a “new Terios”. The Daihatsu Terios was of course the donor car for our popular Perodua Kembara and short-lived Perodua Nautica, with a stretched version of the latter branded as Toyota Rush.

    A step closer to reality means that the original CUV’s rear-hinged suicide doors make way for conventional rear doors, while round edges have been sharpened. More jewellery on the face too, while the prominent arch on the tailgate is no more. The C pillars have been blacked out.

    It’s likely that the CUV-2 is a design study on the path of the B-segment crossover. Started by the Nissan Juke, this class includes cars like the Ford EcoSport, Peugeot 2008 and Renault Captur, all raised hatchbacks based on B-segment superminis (Fiesta, 208 and Clio respectively).

    Hyundai is also jumping on the bandwagon with the ix25, while Suzuki has revived the Vitara name for its contender. One that’s coming soon to Malaysia is the Honda HR-V, a crossover that sits on the City/Jazz platform.

    It’s a hot segment, and there’s no reason why Daihatsu, which is very strong in Indonesia and Malaysia (via Perodua) shouldn’t venture into it. A modern Kembara anyone?

     
     
  • VIDEO: 2014 Honda Jazz 1.5 V walk-around tour

    Thanks to our comprehensive launch report, test drive report and old car versus new car gallery, the bases have all been pretty much covered with regards to the 2014 Honda Jazz. But since words and static pictures can only tell you so much, we don’t stop there.

    The third-gen B-segment hatch may have just missed the train bound for Driven Web Series station this time, but not to be outdone, we capture it in another walk-around video.

    Here, we dissect the range-topping Grade V, showing and demonstrating the stand-out features – including the Ultra Seats and MirrorLink HDMI – which make it a contender that’s hard to ignore. Is it truly “everybody’s kind of car”?

    Enjoy watching, and don’t forget to subscribe to our Youtube channel for more videos!

     
     
  • Isuzu D-Max Artic – limited edition run of 510 units

    Isuzu D-Max Artic 5

    Just three months after adding on V-Cross models – and the 3.0 litre VGS turbodiesel – to its second-gen D-Max pick-up range, Isuzu Malaysia has introduced the D-Max Artic, a limited edition run of 510 units.

    The Artic (yes, without the c, hence not quite named after the polar region) edition is finished in a Silky White Pearl exterior shade, which extends to the body mouldings on the lower flanks of the doors and on the rear cargo spoiler.

    Chrome and silver further add to the flair – the D-Max Artic features chrome accents, silver anodised aluminium side steps andHyper-Silver multi-spoke 17-inch alloy wheels.

    The edition also gets a V-Lid lockable cover finished in silver, though you can also go for the conventional roll-bar look. Also featured, daytime running lights, a first among pick-up trucks, the company says.

    Inside, you’ll find chrome scuff plates as well as seats and armrests dressed in mocha brown genuine Italian leather. The interior is further accented with wood trim on the door handles, central console and fascia, and the carpet mats in this one come complete with brown piping. The Artic also features a two-DIN 6.2-inch multimedia player from Blaupunkt, complete with a reverse camera.

    Unlike the V-Cross, which is only available as a 3.0 litre model, or the special X-Series that made its debut at KLIMS last year, the D-Max Artic is available in both 2.5 litre and 3.0 litre double-cab 4×4 forms.

    No mechanical changes to the mills – the 4JK1-TCX 2.5 litre VGS turbodiesel continues on with its output of 136 PS at 3,600 rpm and 320 Nm of torque from 1,800 to 2,800 rpm, and the 4JJ1-TCX 3.0 litre VGS turbodiesel is good for 177 PS at 3,600 rpm and 380 Nm of torque between 1,800 and 2,800 rpm. Both are paired with a five-speed auto transmission for the Artic version.

    In all, four versions of the D-Max Artic limited edition are available, and these are:

    • D-Max Artic 2.5L 4×4 (with roll-bar) – RM103,698
    • D-Max Artic 2.5L 4×4 (with V-Lid) – RM106,120
    • D-Max V-Cross Artic 3.0L 4×4 (with roll-bar) – RM110,312
    • D-Max V-Cross Artic 3.0L 4×4 (with V-Lid) – RM112,760

    All prices are on-the-road, without insurance. The D-Max Artic comes with a three-year or 100,000 km warranty, as well as a 24-hour Doctor Mobile assistance service.

     
     
  • Mercedes-Benz V 250 BlueTEC 4MATIC set for Paris debut; first V-Class to feature 4MATIC system

    V-Klasse 4MATIC

    Mercedes-Benz will premiere its new V-class with 4Matic all-wheel drive system for the first time at the upcoming Paris motor show. Initially, only the V 250 BlueTEC variant will be available with the system – plans to offer it on other V-class models will materialise in the near future according to the company.

    The V 250 BlueTEC 4Matic variant will be powered by a 2.1 litre four-cylinder engine capable of producing 190 hp and 440 Nm of torque, mated to a seven-speed 7G-Tronic Plus automatic transmission.

    Performance figures were not disclosed except for the fuel consumption numbers, which is rated at 6.7 litres/100 km or 14.9 km/litre.

    mercedes-v-class-4matic

    Mercedes-Benzs’ 4Matic system, in a nutshell, is based on the 4ETS Electronic Traction System which works together with the Electronic Stability Program (ESP). Should one or more wheels lose traction, 4ETS automatically distributes power to the wheels with the most grip. The system allows Mercedes-Benz to do without conventional mechanical differential locks.

    Order books for the Mercedes-Benz V 250 BlueTEC 4Matic will open in December, two months after its official global debut.

     
     
  • Ferrari to increase annual production to 10,000 cars

    ferrari

    According to a report by Bloomberg earlier in the week, incoming Ferrari chief Sergio Marchionne has plans to increase production capacity to keep up with the growing number of wealthy customers around the world. Among the current models in production at Ferrari, Marchionne is eyeing the Ferrari F12 Berlinetta as a growth model.

    Marchionne’s game plan heavily contrasts with Luca di Montezemolo‘s principle as the latter was always pushing to safeguard Ferrari’s exclusivity by limiting production – a move which saw Ferrari’s profits soar as a result of increased demand from limited availability. Come next month however, things are due for a change as Marchionne will push for 10,000 units annually as opposed to di Montezemolo’s limited run of 7,000 units.

    Fears of oversaturating the market were countered by Fiat-Chrysler Automotive Group (FCA), which believes that entry into new markets will decrease the risk. To further prove his point, Marchionne has also stated that limiting production will lead to potential customers being put off by the long waiting periods between orders and delivery.

    For those who need a refresher course on what has happened at Ferrari recently, it is believed that di Montezemolo and Marchionne have clashed over the direction on the company’s future – with most insiders claiming that it ultimately led to di Montezemolo stepping down. Whether or not the move to increase numbers will prove fruitful for the brand, only time will tell.

     
     
  • IIMS 2014: Daihatsu UFC-3 Concept – a junior Avanza?

    Daihatsu UFC-3 IIMS- 18

    Greetings from Jakarta, where the press day of the 2014 Indonesia International Motor Show (IIMS) kicked off earlier today. The annual show in this sprawling capital is as vibrant as the Indonesian car market itself, which is set to overtake Thailand as the largest in ASEAN. It’s still held at the JI Expo in Kemayoran, but the show is fast outgrowing the venue.

    Daihatsu, a big player in Indonesia, has one of the biggest stands in JI Expo, and the small car expert is showing a couple of concept cars here, some of which are pretty large in size. We start off with the Daihatsu UFC-3 Concept, mid-size three-row MPV around the size of a Perodua Alza.

    If the name sounds familiar, the UFC-3 is a development of the UFC-2 Concept that was on show at last year’s IIMS. The original UFC made its debut here in 2012. Compared to the UFC-2, the third concept looks immediately more feasible and less experimental. There’s still plenty of showcar bling, but it’s now possible to envisage a production version of the UFC. By the way, UFC stands for Ultra Function Compact.

    Daihatsu UFC-3 IIMS- 9

    The showcar was locked but we managed to snap some pics of the cabin, which like the exterior, has showcar gloss over a production-looking basic design. The gear knob is located on the centre console, Perodua-style, while the head unit has the “floating” effect that’s in vogue now.

    The local word is that the UFC-3 previews an upcoming “adik Xenia”. The Xenia is a Daihatsu badged Toyota Avanza, the leader in the Low MPV segment that also counts the Suzuki Ertiga, Chevrolet Spin and latest Honda Mobilio as members.

    If Daihatsu is indeed planning a cheaper MPV below the Xenia, the UFC could be a Low Cost Green Car (LCGC) budget-MPV rival to the Datsun GO+ Panca, launched earlier this year with prices starting from 85 million Rupiah (RM23,885). Could it also form the basis of the next Perodua Alza? Like what you see?

     
     
  • Bentley introduces Mulsanne Speed, with 1,100 Nm!

    JL4_5220

    Bentley has massaged the 6.75 litre twin-turbo V8 in its flagship Mulsanne to produce 537 PS and 1,100 Nm of torque – the result is this, the Bentley Mulsanne Speed, a car that weighs 2,685 kg, yet can hit the 100 km/h mark from standstill in 4.9 seconds. It will premiere at Paris 2014.

    The V8 has had plenty redesigned – combustion chamber, inlet ports, fuel injectors, spark plugs, compression ratio, revised variable valve timing, optimised turbocharger control, the works, basically. The peak torque of 1,100 Nm is reached at a low 1,750 rpm, channeled through a recalibrated ZF eight-speed automatic gearbox. The car’s top speed is rated at 305 km/h.

    JL8_7983

    As part of efforts to not burning through an entire tank of fuel from Sri Hartamas to Bangsar, the V8 has the ability to turn into a V4 engine by shutting down half the cylinders on light loads. The normal Mulsanne V8 can of course do this, but for the Speed, Bentley says it has retuned the system for smoother transitions. Even then, the car is rated to consume 14.6 litres per 100 km on the EU NEDC combined cycle.

    The Mulsanne Speed’s air suspension has also had its Sport mode tuned to be more driver-focused. The other two modes are Bentley and Comfort, and the driver can also choose his own Custom mode to individually match steering, chassis and engine tunes.

    JL8_7655

    To differentiate the Speed from a regular Mulsanne, Bentley has applied a dark tint finish to the headlamps, tail lamps, radiator grille, lower bumper grilles and wing vents on this one.

    The 21-inch alloy wheel design is for the first time on a Bentley directional, which means there are separate designs for the left and right side of the car. Finally, there are twin-rifled exhaust pipes and polished stainless steel Speed badging on the front fender and door tread plate areas.

     
     
  • Proton opens its gates with Alami Proton open day; stand a chance to win a new Proton Compact Car

    alami proton 1

    National car manufacturer Proton Holdings Berhad is organising an open day called Alami Proton this September 27-28, at its Centre of Excellence in Shah Alam.

    Aside from test drives of Proton vehicles, R3 and Lotus cars, the event will offer visitors the rare opportunity to view Proton’s manufacturing methods as well as get a closer look at the company’s latest technological developments. On the cards are tours of the Research and Development (R&D) facilities and Medium Volume Factory (MVF) at the automaker’s Shah Alam manufacturing plant.

    Proton_PCC_Iriz_undisguised_005

    Other exhibits will include a display of products and services from Proton vendors such as Robert Bosch, TRW, Delloyd Industries and KYB-UMW Malaysia. Visitors will be able to get up close with the various technologies used to develop a Proton car, from performance and styling to the safety aspects.

    To keep families entertained, plenty of activities are planned, and these include wall-climbing, kart racing, laser tag and face painting. Proton’s upcoming Proton Compact Car (PCC) will also be featured at the event, with the highlight being a lucky draw for visitors to win the PCC. Other lucky draw prizes include various bicycles and motorcycles.

     
     
  • Opel/Vauxhall Adam S – production car debuts in Paris

    AS 2

    The Opel/Vauxhall Adam S was previewed in “near production” form at the Geneva 2014 show earlier this year, and will now make a world premiere in production form at Paris 2014.

    The Adam is a city car built on a shortened version of the B-segment Corsa platform, competing with cars such as the Fiat 500, smart fortwo, Renault Twingo, Volkswagen up! and Toyota iQ.

    While the Adam tops out with a normally-aspirated 1.4 litre engine, under the hood of this ‘hot’ Adam S version is a 1.4 litre Turbo ECOTEC engine, which produces 150 PS and 220 Nm. The cast iron engine has a plastic intake manifold, dual continuously variable valve timing and a manifold-integrated turbocharger. The 0-100 km/h sprint is done in 8.5 seconds.

    The Adam S features large VXR S brakes and standard 17-inch alloys with an optional 18-inch upgrade. On the interior, the driver and front passenger can choose between four different seat arrangements, including Recaro Performance seats in Morrocana or Nappa leather.

     
     
  • SPYSHOTS: Qoros SUV prototype spotted testing

    Qoros-suv-2

    Chinese-Israeli auto manufacturer, Qoros, has a mystery new SUV in the works. Spotted testing in Europe, the prototype gives almost nothing away as it is heavily camouflaged, but what we can possibly gather is that the new SUV is probably based on the Qoros 3’s modular platform and would likely share the same drivetrain options as well.

    Judging from the photos, the overall styling of the car seems to be in line with the current Qoros design language. The front of the car appear to feature head lights similar in style to the ones on the Qoros 3, even sharing the wide honeycomb front grille. The prototype also appears to feature a metal skid plate on its lower front end.

    At the rear, the car features LED tail lights that are obviously inspired by the 3, albeit with a more bulbous look. Twin exhaust pipes at each end of the car remain, again taking another styling cue from the Qoros 3. The company currently employs ex-MINI designer Gert Hildebrand, who has been serving as Head of Design since 2011.

    Qoros, a relatively new name in the auto industry, stunned everyone when the 3 received not only a five-star Euro NCAP rating but also held the highest score in that year. Since then, the new brand has expanded on its 3 lineup with the Qoros 3 Hatch – a car which was awarded the prestigious Red Dot Award.

    Qoros 3

     
     
 

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