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  • 2016 Toyota Hilux to get new 2.4 and 2.8 litre engines plus a six-speed automatic gearbox?

    Toyota-Hilux-Spyshots-0006

    Here’s some news for pick-up truck aficionados. Reports around the Internet are suggesting that the 2016 Toyota Hilux may be getting brand new 2.4 and 2.8 litre turbodiesel engines, plus the option of a six-speed automatic transmission!

    Rumours are that the smaller 2.4 litre VNT (Variable Nozzle Turbo) unit will output 150 PS and 343 Nm of torque with a standard five-speed manual gearbox, and 167 PS and 400 Nm in six-speed auto form. The 2.8 litre VNT engine, meanwhile, is said to offer 177 PS and either 420 Nm (manual) or 450 Nm (auto) of torque.

    If true, this compares favourably to the existing model’s 144 hp/343 Nm 2.5 litre and 163 hp/343 Nm 3.0 litre VNT engines, not to mention the four-speed automatic transmission currently offered. The five-speed manual – one cog down on the manual Ford Ranger and Nissan Navara – could be a slight disappointment to some.

    As for looks, what appears to be a leaked brochure of the next-generation pick-up truck was recently leaked. Of course, none of this has been confirmed by Toyota as of yet, so let’s reserve our judgement until it has all been made official, shall we?

    GALLERY: 2016 Toyota Hilux testing in Europe

    GALLERY: 2015 Toyota Hilux TRD Sportivo

     
  • Chevrolet Sonic 1.6 hatchback and sedan introduced

    CHEVROLET-SONIC-1600-0003

    Chevrolet Malaysia has added a new 1.6 litre variant to the Chevrolet Sonic line-up in Malaysia. Available in both sedan and hatchback body styles, the new Sonic LTZ 1.6 is priced at RM86,782.23 OTR with insurance, which is a premium of just under RM8k or so over the 1.4 litre version.

    The 1.6 litre engine makes more power of course – 114 hp at 6,000 rpm and 155 Nm of torque at 4,000 rpm, compared to the 1.4 litre engine’s 100 hp and 130 Nm. Power goes to the front wheels via six-speed automatic transmission. Other than that, the infotainment system has been upgraded to a Chevrolet MyLink touchscreen system.

    According to Chevrolet Malaysia, stock availability for the 1.6 litre version is limited for now. You can head over to the Naza World Auto-Mania event running this weekend to have a look at the car and enquire further.

     
  • Chevrolet Colorado Sport Edition launched – RM130k

    Chevrolet_Colorado_Sport_Edition_Malaysia  003

    As revealed by the official Chevrolet Malaysia Facebook page, the dressed-up Chevrolet Colorado Sport Edition has been unveiled at the ongoing Naza World Auto-Mania 2015 in Petaling Jaya. Looks quite menacing, doesn’t it? This new range-topper is priced at RM130,487.36, on-the-road with insurance.

    It’s based on the existing Colorado 2.8 LTZ Muscle Edition (RM113,781.76 with GST), but adds on an aggressive seven-piece bodykit (including wheelarch extensions), 18-inch wheels with performance on-road tyres and sporty rear roll bars. Inside, SE-specific leather upholstery and a reverse camera are included too.

    Chevrolet_Colorado_Sport_Edition_Malaysia  004

    A sports suspension package is fitted to the Colorado Sport Edition, which Chevrolet Malaysia claims improves the pick-up’s ride comfort and on-road handling. The ride height is slightly lowered too, adding on to the aggressive looks.

    On top of the Sport Edition package, buyers can also choose to add on optional LED daytime running lights, a roller cover for the rear deck, as well as a performance pack. The latter boosts the 2.8 litre Duramax tubodiesel’s 193 hp and 500 Nm of torque closer to the 200 hp mark.

    So, fancy a sports truck in Malaysia, anyone?

     
  • DRIVEN: Porsche Panamera S E-Hybrid in Singapore

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    Hybrids. Love ’em or hate ’em, they’re here to stay for the foreseeable future. Thanks to ever-dwindling natural resources and increased levels of congestion in major cities around the world, the notion of a fuel-sipping runabout vehicle that runs on electric power half the time seems more relevant than it has ever been.

    So why is it then that the lead photo you see is that of a Porsche Panamera? Granted, it’s not exactly an all-out supercar but it’s certainly no Prius as well. Let me explain. This here is the Porsche Panamera S E-Hybrid – the second addition to Stuttgart’s plug-in range alongside the Cayenne S E-Hybrid. The 918 Spyder doesn’t really count as a series production car now, does it?

    Launched as part of the facelifted Panamera range in 2013, we managed to sample the latest green Porsche on the streets of fine Singapore – which should prove as the perfect setting to put such a vehicle through its paces with copious amounts of speed cameras coupled to the typical urban crawl of the small city state.

    Is the Panamera S E-Hybrid more Prius than sports car? Find out here.

     
  • SPYSHOTS: Aston Martin DB11 is a stunner with camo

    Aston Martin DB11 Road 3

    The Aston Martin DB9 has been around for close to 12 years – digest that for a minute, will you? Bar the most recent Virage-inspired facelift, the DB9 has stuck around for the better half of a decade with nary a hint of a change in its svelte bodywork.

    So while the DB9 will, arguably, remain evergreen in the eyes of most, there’s no escaping the fact that its competitors are now several steps ahead when it comes to the quantifiable stuff – performance, fuel economy and what have you. Aston is well aware of this conundrum, which is why we are now staring at the first shots of the DB9’s successor – rumoured to adopt the DB11 moniker.

    In true Aston fashion, the DB11 is set to be one heck of a looker judging from the presence of the trademark front grille and bulging rear wheel arches found on the prototype – seen here pounding the circuit and undergoing road tests. A much lower, ground-hugging stance courtesy of a revised silhouette should give it that added boost of visual drama.

    Aston Martin DB11 Road 8

    While the finished article is still far from completion, expect the Aston Martin DB11 to draw on cues from the Vanquish as well as the Aston Martin DB10 – a model specifically developed for the upcoming Bond film, Spectre. Under the skin, the DB11 should ride on an entirely new platform.

    As for engine choices, the DB11 should come powered by the marque’s fabled naturally-aspirated 6.0 litre V12 engine, likely tuned to deliver a power output figure that surpasses the current car’s 517 PS rating. Aside from that, the new car is also expected to feature a variation of Mercedes-AMG’s turbocharged 4.0 litre V8 as part of a partnership that will also see Aston receive electrical components and tech platforms.

    2013 Aston Martin DB9

     
  • PLUS – traffic diversion on NKVE towards Jalan Duta

    NKVE

    Here’s something that will be of interest to New Klang Valley Expressway (NKVE) highway users – Projek Lebuhraya Usahasama Berhad (PLUS) has announced that there will be a temporary traffic diversion next week for vehicles heading towards the Jalan Duta toll plaza from Shah Alam, Damansara and Petaling Jaya.

    The traffic diversion will be put in place at the Bukit Lanjan interchange between 10 pm and 5 am on April 27-29, and is to facilitate beam launching works for the highway widening project at the location.

    NKVE Ramp diversion

    As such, users travelling from Shah Alam, Damansara and Petaling Jaya on the NKVE heading towards the Jalan Duta toll plaza will have to proceed towards Sungai Buloh before making a u-Turn near the Sungai Buloh overhead restaurant at KM458.5.

    Because of this, it’s anticipated that there will be traffic disruptions at the designated stretches throughout the construction period, but PLUS says it will carry out various proactive actions to ensure minimal disruptions to the traffic flow.

     
  • BMW 2 Series Gran Tourer coming second half 2015

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    Like the new BMW 218i Active Tourer but prefer a little more space? Good news – BMW Malaysia has confirmed that the larger seven-seater 2 Series Gran Tourer will be launched in the second half of 2015. No additional details such as engine variant were offered.

    The Gran Tourer measures 4,556 mm long and 1,608 mm high, 214 mm and 53 mm more than the Active Tourer respectively. Wheelbase is longer by 110 mm. The additional dimensions allows for an optional third row of seats suitable for kids.

    Since they’re optional you can also have the Gran Tourer as essentially a wagon variant of the Active Tourer. With the third row folded down, boot space is 560 litres compared to the Active Tourer’s 468 litres of space.

    The biggest gain in space is for the middle row, which BMW claims will offer the level of legroom “that is normally the preserve of luxury cars.”

    In the meanwhile, you can test drive the 218i Active Tourer at Auto Bavaria outlets this weekend as they are having a test drive campaign for the new car.

     
  • Shanghai 2015: Chery Alpha 5 and @ANT3 concepts

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    The orange wonder you see above is the Chery Alpha 5, a concept sedan that previews the Arrizo 5, an upcoming vehicle that will straddle the gap between the Arrizo 3 and Arrizo 7.

    It’s actually an evolution of Beijing 2014‘s Concept Alpha, which appeared to have come straight out of the designer’s canvas – at least there’re door handles now! Same five-twin spoke alloys, but everything now looks more ‘productionised’, including the headlamps, tail lamps and front bumper.

    Pretty well-proportioned, this thing – we like the way the headlamps are attached to the front grille, and the side profile, although not the most original of designs, is easy on the eye.

    CarNewsChina reports that the production Arrizo 5 will get 126 hp/155 Nm 1.6 litre and 130 hp/212 Nm 1.2 litre turbo engines, plus five-speed manual and CVT gearboxes, when it launches in China later this year.

    Meanwhile, sitting in a corner is the interestingly-named @ANT3 concept. Never mind that ants don’t have wings; this is Chery’s idea of the future – an “individualised urban public transport system”.

    Peer into the futuristic interior and you’ll find no steering wheel. Instead, there’s a central joystick which can be used to drive the car or control any of its functions. Intelligent drive with vehicle following system, wireless charging and cloud connection concepts are touted.

     
  • 2015 Mazda 2 gets a four-star Euro NCAP safety rating

    The 2015 Mazda 2 Hatch has officially been rated four stars in Euro NCAP – the B-segmenter garnered respectable scores of 86% for adult protection, 78% for child protection and 84% for pedestrian protection, but a 64% safety assist score pulled down its overall rating.

    The variant tested was the 1.5 Core, incorporating front, head and side airbags, Isofix, stability control and an active bonnet as standard. Autonomous city braking is available as an option, but not fitted to the test car, and high-speed emergency braking is not available at all.

    Autonomous emergency braking is a pre-requisite for five stars here, and according to Euro NCAP, because the low-speed system “is not standard equipment, (it) did not qualify for inclusion in the assessment.”

    Worth noting is the fact that the Mazda 2 scored maximum points in the severe pole impact test, in which the car is propelled sideways at 32 km/h into a rigid pole. Also, in the frontal offset barrier test, the passenger compartment remained stable, and max points were given for passenger dummy protection.

    However, a fraction of a point was deducted for the driver’s leg (owing to the absence of knee airbags), and reduced whiplash protection for rear passengers is mentioned.

    In Malaysia, the Mazda 2 Hatch and Sedan comes with two airbags as standard. You can look at the full Mazda 2 Euro NCAP crash test report on CarBase.my.

     
  • One last ride: Fast & Furious 8 set for Apr 2017 release

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    Looks like Paul Walker’s one last ride wasn’t the last ride for the Fast and Furious franchise. Part eight in the series will be made, and is set to be released on April 14, 2017.

    Called Furious 8, the upcoming movie’s release date was announced by none other than Dominic Toretto himself at Universal’s CinemaCon presentation in Las Vegas yesterday.

    “I swear to you and to my brother upstairs (Walker), we are going to make the best movie you’ve ever seen,” the 47-year old star actor and producer of Furious 7 Vin Diesel said.

    The movie will be a follow-up to the current Furious 7. Directed by Malaysian-born James Wan, the film has grossed more than $1 billion worldwide since its April 3 opening, crossing the magic threshold in just 17 days.

    If you’ve been following the franchise since day one, you would have shed a tear in silence (c’mon, admit it!) at the ending of F7, which paid tribute to Paul Walker. The “turbocharged Japanese import guy” in the show (contrasting Dom’s penchant for American muscle) was slain in a car crash on November 30, 2013, aged 40. How many of you have Wiz Khalifa’s See You Again on replay? One last ride, for Paul.

     
 

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