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  • Mitsubishi Xpander rendered with Nissan X-Trail bits

    The Mitsubishi Xpander made its world debut at this year’s 2017 Gaikindo Indonesia International Auto Show (GIIAS), and will reportedly also be sold as a Nissan model in the republic. If you ever wondered what such a vehicle might look like, RZ Autoworks has created this render for your consideration.

    As you can see, the Xpander’s striking face has been totally removed here, and in its place is the one from the latest X-Trail. The V-motion grille and headlights are all carried over, although the lower apron has been tweaked for this render.

    To go along with its Nissan face, the vehicle also gets the X-Trail’s alloy wheels and roof rails. Some black-painted plastic side guards would have been welcomed additions, only to further emphasis its “small crossover MPV” persona.

    While this may just be a render (a new Grand Livina, maybe?), it has been rumoured the Xpander will also be sold as a Nissan model in Indonesia. It remains to be seen if this involves a straight rebadge, or something a little more substantial (as this render illustrates).

    If the Xpander is of interest to you, it has been reported the three-row MPV will make its way to Malaysia next year, where it will most likely compete against the popular Honda BR-V. Do you prefer the Xpander’s face or the one on the Nissan render?

    GALLERY: Mitsubishi Xpander Sport A/T

  • BARU: Artikel terkini dalam Bahasa Malaysia

  • New Perodua Myvi coming Q4 2017 – research house

    A new Perodua Myvi could see the light of day as early as the fourth quarter of this year, if a report by The Sun is to be believed. Research house MIDF Research predicted the arrival of the next-gen hatchback as a catalyst for strong sales in the automotive sector for the second half of 2017.

    The ballpark provided may seem like guesswork, but the current model is due for a replacement, given that it’s already six years old – the first Myvi was also discontinued after six years. Besides, the expected base for the new car, the latest Toyota Passo/Daihatsu Boon, has been out on the market for a year now, so a Perodua version will come sooner rather than later.

    With that out of the way, let’s talk specifics. The next Myvi is expected to use a range of new 1.3 litre and 1.5 litre Toyota NR engines, including the 94 hp/121 Nm 1NR-VE 1.3 litre Dual VVT-i mill used in the Bezza. Those engines will almost certainly be matched to either a five-speed manual gearbox or a four-speed electronic automatic transmission (E-AT).

    Also expected to be inherited from the Bezza are the new technologies introduced on the new sedan, including keyless entry, push button start, an Eco Idle automatic engine start/stop system and Vehicle Stability Control (VSC) on range-topping variants.

    Don’t discount the availability of driver assists like autonomous emergency braking and lane departure warning, either – Perodua has been seen trialling a Daihatsu Move Custom with the Smart Assist II system in downtown Kuala Lumpur before, so it’s not as far-fetched a technology as you’d think.

    GALLERY: 2016 Toyota Passo

  • New MG6 unveiled, goes on sale in China in November

    After seven long years, the first model from the reborn MG brand, the MG6, has finally received a replacement. The Chinese concern with a British badge may have branched out to superminis and SUVs, but the midsize sedan/hatchback remains a key part of its lineup.

    Wearing the brand’s new “Sensibility” design language introduced on the E-motion concept, the MG6 features a rather sleek fastback look with a steep rear windscreen rake. At the front are sharp headlights framing a “Star Rider” diamond-studded grille, bearing a striking resemblance to the Mercedes-Benz A-Class.

    Along the side the side a prominent shoulder crease flows into the punchy rear haunches. Moving to the rear, there are “Ambilight” tail lamps with twin light guides, as well as a diffuser with twin exhaust exits. Sequential LED indicators are also fitted.

    The cabin is quite attractive, with a leather-wrapped dashboard, a driver-focused centre console and round air vents akin to what you’ll find on an Audi A3. There’s a distinct absence of switchgear – many of the controls are grouped in the large touchscreen belonging to the Zebra 2.0 infotainment system. Utilising Alibaba’s YunOS, the system features more advanced voice control, remote control and intelligent maps.

    No details as to what is under the bonnet, but Chinese automotive portal Autohome reported that the MG6 will feature a 1.5 litre turbocharged petrol engine with 169 hp and 250 Nm of torque, paired to a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission.

    The MG6 will go on sale in China in November, and it will also take a second stab at the UK market next year – the outgoing model was discontinued last year amid poor sales.

  • Uber loses licence to operate in London – safety and deception among the issues raised by authorities

    Uber will not be issued with a new private hire operator licence after the expiry of its current license on September 30, Transport for London (TfL) said last Friday.

    The local government body responsible for the transport system in Greater London said that the ride hailing app company is lacking in safety measures and is “not fit and proper” enough to hold a license.

    TfL also said that Uber’s approach and conduct demonstrates a lack of corporate responsibility in relation to a number of issues which have potential public safety and security implications.

    TfL says that it has issues with Uber’s approach to reporting serious criminal offences, its approach to how medical certificates are obtained, and its approach to how Enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) checks are obtained.

    Previously, Uber was made to admit that it used Greyball, a secret program to avoid law enforcement. Greyball was designed to identify law enforcement officials, and show them a fake app interface that made it much harder to book rides. Uber’s approach to explaining the use of Greyball in London is an issue, TfL says.

    Uber can appeal the decision, and will be able to operate until all forms of appeal have been exhausted. Some 3.5 million passengers and 40,000 drivers use the Uber app in London, according to the BBC.

    “I fully support TfL’s decision – it would be wrong if TfL continued to license Uber if there is any way that this could pose a threat to Londoners’ safety and security,” said London mayor Sadiq Khan.

    “I want London to be at the forefront of innovation and new technology and to be a natural home for exciting new companies that help Londoners by providing a better and more affordable service. However, all companies in London must play by the rules and adhere to the high standards we expect – particularly when it comes to the safety of customers,” Khan said.

    “While we haven’t been asked to make any changes, we’d like to know what we can do. That requires a dialogue we sadly haven’t been able to have,” Uber’s London GM Tom Elvidge told The Times. Sources close to Uber say that the US-based company has been asking to meet Khan since his election in May 2016 but those requests have been rejected.

    Of course, Uber has defended its conduct. In a series of tweets on Sunday, the company said it would challenge the TfL decision “in the courts to defend the livelihoods of drivers and the consumer choice of millions of Londoners who use Uber”.

    “Drivers who use Uber in London are licensed by TfL and have been through the same enhanced DBS background checks as black cab drivers. We have always followed TfL rules on reporting serious incidents, with a dedicated team that works closely with the Metropolitan Police,” it added.

    “The truth is that there is a high cost to a bad reputation. It really matters what people think of us, especially in a global business like ours. It’s critical that we act with integrity in everything we do, and learn how to be a better partner to every city we operate in,” Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi wrote to staff last week.

    Over 725,000 people have signed an online petition to “Save Your Uber in London”.

  • Suzuki e-Survivor concept to make its debut in Tokyo

    Suzuki will show off a future compact SUV concept at the 2017 Tokyo Motor Show. Break out that Destiny’s Child album, and say hello to the e-Survivor, a ladder frame-based vehicle with electric propulsion.

    The concept features an electric motor in each wheel to provide it with all-wheel drive, although the exact specifications of the drive system will only be revealed later on. At first glance, the vehicle certainly looks like a capable off-roader, with large approach and departure angles, plus a pretty high ground clearance.

    Suzuki says the concept’s design takes inspiration from some of its more famous models, such as the Jimny and the Vitara. It also comes with a two-seat open cockpit, “glowing wheels” and clear doors, the last one likely to make viewing obstacles an easier affair.

    The e-Survivor will be presented alongside Suzuki’s other exhibits at the show, including the Xbee trio, Spacia concepts and mobile shop truck concept.

  • Suzuki Xbee concepts to make their debut in Tokyo

    For the upcoming Tokyo Motor Show, Suzuki is presenting a selection of crossover wagon concepts known as the Xbee (pronounced as “crossbi”). Based on the Hustler, three different takes on the Xbee will be put on display in late October – standard, Xbee Outdoor Adventure and Xbee Street Adventure.

    The first is the yellow vehicle you see here, which is said to be suitable for various lifestyles. “From a stylish lifestyle in the city to active leisure in nature,” Suzuki says the compact crossover wagon offers a spacious cabin, coupled with easy manoeuvrability and functionality of an SUV. New bumpers and additional plastic guards help to reinforce that image.

    Next up is the beige Xbee Outdoor Adventure, “designed for grownups who love camping.” The concept is largely similar to the standard Xbee, except with a different paintjob and wood-like panels along the sides.

    For those who spend more time in urban settings, there’s the black Xbee Street Adventure instead. “Intended for fashionable and active urban lifestyles,” this concept is given a bolder paint scheme, which includes bright side trim panels. Looks like a baby Toyota FJ Cruiser, no? So, which one’s your favourite?

  • Grab partners with Here for more accurate routing

    Ride-hailing service Grab has announced an expanded partnership with Here today, using the latter’s maps to provide more accurate fare estimations, ETAs and trip routing. The mapping company will provide its services in Malaysia, Indonesia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam, which will be combined with real-world on-road data from Grab’s 1.3 million drivers.

    Here – owned by German carmakers Audi, BMW and Mercedes-Benz – is creating the most up-to-date maps to be used by autonomous driving and connected driver assistance systems, and has employed a fleet of Here True vehicles to continuously map the road network. The result is the HD Live Map, a three-dimensional representation of the physical world that is accurate down to two centimetres.

    Aside from its maps, Here will also provide its places of interest (POI) database gathered through public sector and enterprise partners such as Samsung, Amazon and Microsoft, as well as real-time traffic data sourced from vehicles and devices connected to its network.

    Forming the backbone of the collaboration is Here’s Matrix API, which enables Grab to improve the way drivers are assigned to passengers. The Basic Routing API will also provide passengers with more reliable ETAs and corresponding fare estimations.

    Grab says that the data-sharing partnership will help it overcome the challenges of operating in rapidly-developing countries such as Myanmar and the Philippines, which have no established national address system. To that end, Here has embarked on a two-year, 45,000 km mission to create the first ever comprehensive digital map of the Philippine road network, which it has almost completed.

    “South East Asia is developing quickly, with new roads and new rules emerging every day. By layering local map data on top of Here’s comprehensive location data, we can optimise driver-passenger interactions and further streamline our backend dispatch systems,” said Grab’s head of product Jerald Singh.

    Here APAC director Mark Whitmore added, “We’re proud to support Grab’s fast evolving platform and growing network of passengers, drivers and new service lines with our robust and flexible on-demand location platform. We look forward to helping Grab streamline pick-up and drop-off processes, provide reliable ETAs and ultimately improve traffic management in underserviced cities like Yangon.”

  • GALLERY: Mercedes-Benz X-Class X220d and X250d

    The huge Mercedes-Benz showcase at the 2017 Frankfurt Motor Show last week included displays of the X-Class, which had its own little area outside Hall 2 in addition to the usual fare inside the pavilion. The automaker had both launch variants of the pick-up – the X 220 d and X 250 d – on call in manual and automatic forms respectively.

    The visual similarities to the Nissan NP300 Navara, especially around the centre cab section, is inescapably evident, but the X-Class – which measures in at 5,340 mm long, 2,113 mm wide and 1,819 mm tall – is Mercedes through and through from the front.

    Distinct styling elements include C-shaped headlights and an unmistakable twin slat grille, complete with a huge tristar. The rear end has been kept simple, with flat C-shaped tail lamps (and a Mercedes logo) the pointers to its identity.

    The interior is also very much Mercedes, though there are giveaways to its shared underpinnings – the Navara’s console-mounted gearshift lever is one, as are switchgear controls. Nonetheless, elements such as round air-conditioning vents, three-spoke steering wheel, instrument cluster, the COMAND infotainment screen and controller on the centre console give the X-Class enough brand-related character.

    Standard equipment for the pick-up – in its domestic market – includes a comfort suspension, seven airbags as well as Active Brake Assist, Lane Keeping Assist and Traffic Sign Assist, with cruise control and Mercedes me connect services also to be found.

    Power comes from a Renault-sourced 2.3 litre four-cylinder engine that equips the Navara in certain markets, the X 220 d featuring a single turbo while the X 250 d’s mill comes equipped with sequential twin turbos.

    Output numbers for the X 220 d are 160 hp (or 163 PS) and 400 Nm, and paired with a six-speed manual transmission (the standard gearbox for the pick-up), performance figures for the variant include a 0-100 km/h time of 12.9 seconds and a 170 km/h top speed.

    The motor on the X 250 d, meanwhile, offers 188 hp (or 190 PS) and 450 Nm, and even with the optional seven-speed automatic transmission, the variant is expectedly quicker off the mark, doing the century sprint in 11.8 seconds. With a 176 km/h top speed, it’s also marginally faster. The show cars were 4Matic examples, equipped with switchable four-wheel drive.

    The diamond silver metallic X 220 d display unit in Frankfurt featured two-tone black Posadas fabric seats, a standard 5.4-inch COMAND screen and an Audio 20 infotaiment system along with manual air-conditioning. The show car came kitted out with a Progressive equipment line, which adds on an eight-speaker system and a load securing rail system. It was also fitted with an optional Style package, and as shown was priced at 51,230 euros (RM256,200).

    As for the X 250 d, the cavansite blue metallic example came dressed with black leather seats and a COMAND Online navigation system with a larger 8.4-inch centre display. A Power equipment line package adds on LED high performance headlamps, Keyless Go, Thermotronic auto climate control and an Artico faux leather dashboard.

    The show car also came equipped with a parking package, complete with a 360-degree camera, a roll cover and a winter package. Specified as such, the variant had a 63,900 euros (RM319,570) price tag.

    The X-Class will begin going on sale in Europe this November, followed by South Africa, Australia and New Zealand in 2018 and in Argentina and Brazil in 2019. What do you think of Mercedes’ first pick-up? Would it be a commercially viable proposition here? Share your thoughts with us in the comments section.

    GALLERY: Mercedes-Benz X-Class X 250 d 4Matic

    GALLERY: Mercedes-Benz X-Class X 220 d 4Matic

  • MSF Finale 2017 on Dec 2 and 3 – car show plus bike track day and drifting event to preview full 2018 series

    The Malaysia Speed Festival (MSF) has now become Malaysia’s biggest local car racing event with over 170 cars racing in 11 categories. Ever since it started in 2010, MSF (previously known as Saturday Night Fever, or SNF) has aimed to promote affordable and exciting motor racing to further develop the grassroots scene with track days and door-to-door racing for cars.

    Today, MSF not only caters to the entry-level scene, but also features categories filled with experienced drivers including Karamjit Singh, Tengku Djan Ley, Keifli Othman, Boy Wong, Farique Hairuman and more.

    Now, two additional motoring activities will be introduced at the MSF Finale 2017 event happening on December 2 and 3. These new events include a track day for superbikes as well as a target drift challenge. MSF will also reintroduce its four-wheeled time attack session known as MSF MegaLAP Time Attack as well as a car show competition by Mcclubz, featuring over 150 cars.

    The MSF Superbikes event will kick off with an open track day session, previewing a superbike racing series in 2018 with multiple categories. Similarly, the drift event, MSF Drift Gonzo, will preview a full challenge series in 2018. The 2017 finale will run with three drift categories including Super 1600, Street and Pro-Comp.

    Click to enlarge

    The MSF Drift Gonzo is not your usual drift challenge, also known as Tsuiso – instead, drifters will be scored by hitting certain targets on a car park such as clipping point markers, dragging long, fast drifts and even drifting in a ‘tightrope’ section. The MSF Superbikes and MSF Drift Gonzo series will be featured in three two-day rounds in 2018, including a night endurance race in August called the MSF Merdeka Night Enduro.

    As mentioned earlier, apart from being able to watch all the driving and riding action up close at MSF Finale 2017, spectators will also be able to catch over 150 interesting cars on display. There will also be a WaterPark for kids as well as a number of F&B outlets, plus a BBQ Year-End Party in the works, too. Tickets will be up for grabs from as low as RM20.

    The MSF Finale 2017 will take place after MSF Round 5 on October 15, which will feature the MSF Track Day and MSF Racing Series for four-wheelers, so pencil in the dates December 2 and 3 to witness one of Malaysia’s most exciting motorsport events. For more information, visit the official MSF Racing website or its Facebook page.

  • GALLERY: Ferrari Portofino, Maranello’s new drop-top

    Ferrari gave its Portofino its world debut last week at the 2017 Frankfurt Motor Show, and the replacement for the California every bit the looker in the metal, the form especially striking in silver at the event.

    The car is powered by a 3.9 litre Ferrari F154 BB twin-turbo V8, the same mill found on the California T, but now with a revised output of 600 hp at 7,500 rpm and 760 Nm from 3,000 to 5,250 rpm courtesy of a rework that sees new pistons and conrods as well as a redesigned intake and exhaust system making their way on.

    A lighter kerb weight also aids performance, of which relevant figures include a 0-100 km/h time of 3.5 seconds (and a 0-200 km/h time of 10.8 seconds). Fuel consumption has also improved – the Portofino consumes just 10.5 litres per 100 km on a combined cycle.

    The Portofino features a third-generation electronic differential (E-Diff3), which is integrated into the F1-Trac system to improve mechanical grip and control at the limit, and electric power steering is now to be found, offering a seven percent faster steering ratio.

    Elsewhere, the SCM-E magnetorheological dampers have been uprated with the use of dual-coil technology, enhancing performance while improving bump absorption.

    Inside, the cabin largely mirrors the interior styling of the GTC4Lusso – there’s a 10.2-inch touchscreen infotainment system display as well as a secondary info screen on the dashboard console for the front passenger. Other fresh bits include a new three-spoke steering wheel as well as a new air-conditioning system, and the backrests of the front seats have been redesigned to offer more legroom for rear occupants.


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Last Updated 21 Sep 2017


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