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  • Nissan to launch three new electric vehicles and five e-Power range extender models in Japan by 2022

    Nissan has revealed that it will be launching three new electric vehicles and five e-Power models in Japan by 2022. The new EVs will expand the automaker’s pure electric line-up beyond the single passenger-based offering it has at the moment, the Leaf, while e-Power will grow its range extender model base beyond the Note e-Power and Serena e-Power models currently available in the domestic market.

    The trio of EV offerings will be part of the 12 pure electric vehicles the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi alliance is due to deploy by 2022. Announced last year, the alliance’s next-generation of electrified vehicles will involve common, scalable EV platforms for multiple segments by 2020, with platform sharing occuring on a common basis by the target date. A new family of EV motors and batteries will also feature, starting from 2020.

    Nissan says it expects electric vehicles and e-Power models to make up 40% of sales in Japan by 2022, and by 2025 it anticipates that half of the vehicles it will sell will be EVs or e-Power models. The company added that it expects to sell one million electrified vehicles (both EV and e-Power) globally per year by the end of is 2022 target plan.

    The automaker also announced that it will be expanding its car sharing services in its home market. Building on the success of its e-share mobi programme, Nissan said that it will increase its car sharing service network in Japan from 30 locations to 500 by the end of this year.

    GALLERY: Nissan Leaf EV, 2018 Bangkok Motor Show

    GALLERY: Nissan Note e-Power at Nissan Futures symposium, Singapore

  • BARU: Artikel terkini dalam Bahasa Malaysia

  • Toyota Corolla Hatchback drift car makes 1,000 hp!

    The new Toyota Corolla Hatchback (called the Auris in Europe) may have been designed to be a more exciting car to drive than the last, but I’ll bet my bottom ringgit that it won’t be quite as exciting to drive as the new Corolla Hatchback drift car for the 2018 Formula Drift championship.

    Piloted by 2015 champion Fredric Aasbø, this fire-spitting sideways machine may vaguely resemble the ho-hum family hatchback at first glance, but it’s a very different beast under the skin. That’s largely because the once front-wheel drive five-door has been converted into a rear-wheel drive machine, but also because the standard 2.0 litre Dynamic Force engine has been kicked to the kerb.

    Replacing it is the 2AR-FE 2.5 litre four-pot from the pre-facelift Camry, but it’s been stroked to 2.7 litres and given a turbocharger and nitrous oxide injection kit. Outputs have soared to a massive 1,000 hp and 1,150 Nm of torque, all sent to the rear wheels through a Gforce GSR four-speed manual dog gearbox. Yes, we’re back to a four-speeder Toyota, but on a twisty drift course four tightly-spaced ratios are all you need.

    While the standard Corolla Hatchback already sports an extroverted design with its L-shaped head- and tail lights and massive front grille, the outlandish Rockstar Energy Drink livery and widebody kit designed by renown automotive rendering artist Jon Sibal take it to a whole new level. The fat wheel arches house 18-inch Motegi Racing alloys shod with massive 265/35-section front and 275/40-section rear Nexen tyres.

    Other bits of note are the custom RS-R coilover suspension, Sparco bucket seats, harnesses and steering wheel and a full roll cage. The Corolla Hatchback drift car is being fielded by the Papadakis Racing team and replaces last year’s Corolla iM. The car is already off to a good start, with Aasbø winning the season-opening Long Beach round earlier this month.

  • SPYSHOTS: Yamaha YZF-R15 coming to Malaysia?

    Recently launched in India and priced at 1.25 lakh rupees (RM7,364), the 2018 Yamaha YZF-R15 V3.0 drew a lot of interest from readers. Many like the looks of the R15 V3.0, with its full-fairing sports bike styling, and asked if it was ever going to come to Malaysia.

    Well, reader Pakcik Misai sent in some photos of the YZF-R15 V3.0 parked in an undisclosed location, sans number plates. Decked out in Yamaha’s sports livery of Racing Blu and Silver, the R15 V3.0 might be appearing in the Malaysia market soon, as many readers are hoping.

    The R15, now in its third iteration as Yamaha’s “baby” sports bike, comes with a SOHC, liquid-cooled, four-valve, single-cylinder mill displacing 155 cc and producing 19 hp at 10,000 rpm and 15 Nm of torque at 8,500 rpm. Fuelling is by EFI and a six-speed gearbox delivers power to the rear wheel.

    Variable Valve Actuation (VVA) is used to provide low-end torque and high-end performance using two intake cams, the same system as used in the Yamaha NVX 155. An assist and slipper clutch is also installed to reduce clutch lever effort and eliminate rear-wheel hop during deceleration.

    LED lighting is found all-round on the R15 V3.0 and an LCD instrument panel is found inside the cockpit. We have no details as to how and why this particular 2018 Yamaha YZF-R15 V3.0 is in Malaysia and official distributors Hong Leong Yamaha Malaysia declined to comment.

  • Crunch time for GM Korea in its fight to remain afloat

    It’s crunch time for GM Korea today – the beleaguered company is holding a board meeting later this evening to make a decision on whether to file for bankruptcy if it fails to reach an agreement over its turnaround and restructuring plans, Yonhap News Agency reports.

    Meanwhile, the company and its union are said to be continuing talks in a last-minute effort to avoid it being placed under court protection. Discussions are hoping to find common ground in the rescue plan, with GM looking at wage concessions and the suspension of some benefits for workers. Talks up to now have failed to reach a preferred situation. Even if an agreement is reached, a deal would still be subject to a vote by union members.

    In February, the automaker said it was shutting down one of its four South Korean factories by May, stating unequivocally that union concessions as well as government support were needed for it to remain operating in South Korea. The country’s finance minister Kim Dong-yeon has however said that public funds can only be used to support the company if it was clear that the business could survive on its own long-term.

    State-run Korea Development Bank (KDB), which holds a 17% stake in GM Korea, has said it could inject about 500 billion won (US$470 million) into the company if it finds the results of due diligence on the unit satisfactory, the report added.

    The company – which produces a variety of Chevrolet models – recently posted an annual net loss of US$1.1 billion (RM4.28 billion), its fourth straight year in the red. Some 2,600 employees out of the company’s total workforce of 26,000 have filed for voluntary retirement and applied for a redundancy package.

  • Mercedes-Benz A-Class sedan shown – Beijing debut

    We’ve been waiting for the debut of the Mercedes-Benz A-Class sedan for some time now, ever since the W177 A-Class hatchback was shown at this year’s Geneva Motor Show. Well, that day will soon be upon us as the more practical A-Class is set to debut at the upcoming Beijing Motor Show.

    There’s more too, as CarNewsChina has uploaded a photo that supposedly shows the A-Class sedan in all its glory. The text on the number plate reads “A-Class L Sport Sedan,” which likely indicates this is an extended wheelbase version – a trend that is well received by customers in China.

    Styling-wise, the A-Class sedan appears to be pretty similar to previous renderings that we reported on. The front is pretty much identical to the hatchback with an AMG Line kit, right on through to the B-pillars. Things start to deviate from the rear doors, which are likely redesigned to offer a larger aperture, along with the addition of a larger boot.

    Mercedes-Benz A-Class sedan renders

    Out of sight here is the vehicle’s rear, but based on previous spyshots and renders, we should expect a pair of angular, two-piece taillights and a more rounded bootlid instead of the sharp edged one on the Concept A Sedan preview car.

    Expect the interior to mimic the A-Class hatchback as well, which should be offered with a variety of new technologies like high-definition screens and the Mercedes-Benz User Experience (MBUX) interface.

    According to the source, the A-Class sedan will be manufactured by Beijing Benz, a joint venture between BAIC Motor and Daimler AG – the company also assembles the V213 E-Class L and W205 C-Class L. Competitors for the sedan will include the BMW 1 Series Sedan and Audi A3 Sedan.

    GALLERY: 2018 Mercedes-Benz A-Class sedan spyshots

    GALLERY: Mercedes-Benz Concept A Sedan

    GALLERY: 2018 Mercedes-Benz A-Class hatchback

  • Mercedes-Benz, Geely parts sharing possible – report

    A further Daimler-Geely partnership could be on the cards, following Zhejiang Geely Holding’s purchase of a 9.69% stake in Daimler AG. The German automaker intially was less than keen on the idea, having turned down an earlier offer from Geely to take up a 5% stake via discounted share placement for concerns of diluting existing Daimler stocks.

    Now though, it appears that Mercedes-Benz and Geely could jointly develop a platform for electric vehicles, according to Manager Magazin. In a report, it is said Geely is keen to develop a new electric vehicle architecture which it plans to offer to other automakers, and is considering joint production of battery cells with Daimler as well.

    The rumoured joint effort could also see Daimler supply Geely-owned Volvo with engines and other components, the German publication reported. As part of this suggested supply deal, Daimler would need to purchase a small stake in Volvo Cars, it added. “This is pure speculation which we will not comment on,” a Daimler spokesman told Reuters, while Volvo declined to comment.

    Any industrial joint venture between Mercedes-Benz and Geely will be less than straightforward, due to the former’s existing partnerships with Chinese manufacturers BAIC and BYD, both competitors to Geely. Daimler had earlier announced plans to manufacture EVs with BAIC, where both companies might invest more than 11.9 billion yuan (RM7.35 billion) for a new plant in China.

    Though Daimler CEO Dieter Zetsche has welcomed Geely chairman Li Shufu as a new shareholder, any industrial partnership will depend on whether or not current partner BAIC agrees.

  • FIRST DRIVE: Volkswagen Tiguan 1.4 TSI Highline

    First launched in Malaysia back in April 2017, the second-generation Volkswagen Tiguan is an interesting alternative to the usual SUV offerings like the Honda CR-V, Nissan X-Trail and Mazda CX-5. Customers will get to choose two variants – Comfortline and Highline – both powered by a 1.4 litre TSI engine.

    The single-turbo mill serves up 150 PS and 250 Nm of torque, which is directed to the front wheels via a six-speed DSG wet dual-clutch automatic gearbox. While the base Comfortline sells for RM148,990 on the road without insurance, the range-topping Highline, which is the tester we have for this video, is priced at RM168,990.

    The Highline comes equipped with LED headlamps with Dynamic Cornering Assist, 18-inch “Kingston” wheels (shod with 235/55 tyres), “Vienna” combination leather interior, three-zone climate control, a 12.3-inch Active Info Display digital instrument panel and a Discover Media eight-inch touchscreen system.

    So, does the overall package impress? Well, join us as we take you on a tour of the Tiguan Highline and find out what we think of the SUV. For a more detailed look at equipment and specifications of the Tiguan range, head on over to

  • Brabham BT62 teased again with preliminary details – 5.4 litre V8, 1,200 kg of downforce, 730 PS per tonne

    In just two weeks’ time, Brabham Automotive will unveil its new BT62, a limited-number model that is priced at one million British pounds (RM5,478,700). Ahead of the reveal, the carmaker has released a new teaser as well as preliminary details of its upcoming model.

    The BT62 will be powered by a 5.4 litre naturally-aspirated V8 engine that makes about 710 PS, propelling a dry weight of just 972 kg, resulting in power-to-weight ratio of 730 PS per tonne. That should make for a fast car, although actual performance figures aren’t provided yet.

    In the teaser image, we see the car’s thin LED taillights reflected in the large carbon-fibre rear wing, which suggests there’s some serious aero performance – the company says the BT62 will deliver over 1,200 kg of downforce. Also part of the setup are carbon brakes that are derived from Formula 1 technology – featuring six pistons front and rear.

    Only 70 BT62s will be produced, and owners will join a Brabham driver development programme which will enable them to fully exploit the performance of the vehicle on the track.

  • VIDEO: Modenas Dominar 400 in Malaysia – RM14,615

    Newly launched in Malaysia is the 2018 Modenas Dominar D400 at a limited time introductory price of RM14,615 including GST, but excluding road tax, registration and insurance. The Dominar naked sports bike is targeted at the rider who wants a value-for-money motorcycle, especially those stepping up from the kapchai class.

    Carrying the 373 cc liquid-cooled single-cylinder mill – based on the KTM 390 power plant – the Dominar 400 produces 35 PS at 8,000 rpm and 35 Nm of torque at 6,500 rpm. The triple-spark engine is fed by EFI and housed in a beam-type perimeter frame, power getting to the ground via a six-speed gearbox.

    Braking is with Bybre, Brembo’s budget house brand, clamping a single 320 mm diameter disc in front and 230 mm disc at the back, with two-channel ABS as standard. Suspension on the Dominar uses a standard telescopic front in front, 43 mm in diameter, with a pre-load adjustable remote-resorvoir monoshock in the rear.

    LED lighting is found all-round on the Dominar D400, with a back-lit LCD instrument panel in the cockpit. Fuel is carried in a 13-litre tank, and the D400 weighs in at 182 kg.

    There are four colour choices available for the 2018 Modenas Dominar D400 – Matte Black (as in photos), White, Red and Blue. Warranty for the Dominar D400 is two years or 24,000 kilometres, and five free service visits are included in the purchase.

  • China to remove limits on foreign automakers by 2022

    China has announced that it is set to end foreign ownership limitations on local auto companies by 2022. The move will bring to an end to a policy that was implemented in 1994 to limit foreign automakers to a 50% share in any local joint venture project.

    According to Reuters, the Chinese government has also said that if will begin lifting restrictions on new-energy vehicle ventures from this year, starting with the removal of limits for companies making electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles. This will be followed by commercial-vehicle producers in 2020 and the wider passenger vehicle market by 2022.

    Industry analysts said that the change in policy is likely to raise pressure on domestic carmakers, while immediate beneficiaries of the switch will be companies focused on new-energy vehicles. These will include automakers like Tesla, which has been seeking to open up a production base in Shanghai.

    Many companies are however expected to adopt a wait-and-see approach, and might even baulk at the idea of ditching their joint ventures, being so dependent on Chinese partners that it will be almost impossible to sever ties.

    Some automakers have clearly expressed no intention to change the status quo. Last week, a General Motors executive said that even without ownership caps the company will not cut ties with its local partner SAIC Motor, stating that the American carmaker would not be as successful in China on its own.

    This was echoed by Honda, which said that it had no plans to change its capital relationship. It said that its business in the country had been developed on the basis of strong local tie-ups.


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Last Updated 12 Apr 2018


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