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  • Citroen Grand C4 Picasso MPV officially launched at new Puchong showroom – 2.0 turbodiesel, RM185k

    Citroen C4 Picasso Launch

    The Citroen Grand C4 Picasso, announced and previewed in June, has been officially launched at the brand’s new Puchong showroom, which opened its doors this evening. The 4,000 sq.ft Citroen Puchong is a 1S showroom located within IOI Business Park, fronting the LDP and opposite IOI Mall.

    The Citroen Grand C4 Picasso is available in a sole 2.0 BlueHDi variant in Malaysia, priced at RM184,926 on-the-road excluding insurance. The engine is a turbodiesel making 148 hp at 4,000 rpm and 370 Nm of torque at 2,000 rpm. It’s mated to a conventional six-speed automatic transmission.

    The seven-seater MPV goes from 0-100 km/h in 10.2 seconds on its way to a top speed of 207 km/h, while returning 4.6 litres per 100 km on the European combined cycle. Emissions are low for its kind, at just 120 grams of CO2 per km.

    The new Citroen Puchong showroom is located opposite IOI Mall, fronting the LDP

    Available equipment includes keyless entry and start, a seven-inch touchscreen infotainment system located below an enormous 12-inch digital instrument cluster, navigation, 360-degree surround view system, reverse camera, dual-zone automatic climate control in front and air vents for the second (pillar-mounted dual-zone blower control) and third rows (roof-mounted single-zone blower control).

    The GC4P also features a panoramic roof, an electrically-powered tailgate, an automatic parking system and 18-inch wheels wrapped with 225/45R18 Michelin Pilot Sport 3 tyres, among others things Four exterior shades are available for the Grand C4 Picasso, these being Noir Onyx (black), Blanc Banquise (white), Blue Teles and Rouge Babylone (red).

    Official distributor Naza Euro Motors is offering a five-year warranty with unlimited mileage. The company has collected 30 bookings for the Grand C4 Picasso so far.

     
     
  • Land Rover considering new, all-electric Range Rover

    range-rover-05

    It would seem that Land Rover is seriously considering an all-electric variant of the Range Rover. According to Autocar, Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) group engineering director Wolfgang Ziebart had hinted at such plans with the company keen to echo the success of the Tesla Model S.

    Further cementing that an EV-type model from Land Rover is imminent, the company’s chief designer Gerry McGovern has hinted that a new “incredibly luxurious, low-slung” model is being developed with intentions to expand the current Range Rover line.

    Don’t be surprised if the upcoming model shares some of its underpinnings with the soon-to-arrive Jaguar CX-17 SUV. With that said, one can expect the electric Range Rover to be engineered mainly for use on the road, with off-roading capabilities courtesy of height-adjustable suspension.

    All-wheel drive will then be possible via two electric motors, each one powering the front and rear axles. The Range Rover’s aluminium monocoque is expected to be modified to accommodate the battery pack, which has to have a range capable of matching the official Tesla Model S figure of 265 miles or 426 kilometres.

    GALLERY: Range Rover launched in Malaysia

     
     
  • New Shell Helix Ultra with PurePlus Technology – industry-leading motor oil made from natural gas

    Shell_Helix_PurePlus_Advertorial_

    Engine lubricants, i.e. motor oils, are made to deliver reliability and protection for a wide variety of engine types. The general objectives are clear: to combat engine wear, minimise power loss, clean the engine, deliver superior fuel economy, as well as to cool the engine. With all that in mind, Shell has introduced a higher-performing Shell Helix Ultra with Shell PurePlus Technology – the first synthetic motor oil made from natural gas.

    Shell PurePlus Technology is a revolutionary gas-to-liquid (GTL) process, developed over 40 years of research, that converts natural gas into a crystal-clear base oil with virtually none of the impurities found in crude oil. Moving away from the traditional source of oil yields a formulation with enhanced cleansing and engine protection, resulting in greater efficiency.

    Now, the new Shell Helix Ultra with PurePlus Technology motor oil that uses many of the same building blocks (base oils and additives) that are found in the engine lubricant used in the Ferrari F14 T Formula 1 race car, is being made available to motorists in countries all over the world. Naturally, it is the only motor oil recommended by Ferrari for all of its road cars.

    The first fully synthetic motor oil made from natural gas, Shell Helix Ultra with PurePlus Technology is the new industry-leading motor oil for passenger cars. It offers protection against sludge, superior corrosion defence and ultimately, helps to ensure longer engine life. And that’s on top of delivering an improvement of up to 1.4% in fuel economy.

    Discover the power of natural gas at http://pureplus.shell.com/en-my/

     

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  • Ferrari Sergio to be built, 6 units all sold out via invites

    Pininfarina_Sergio_Live

    It appears that the Ferrari Sergio, the stunning Pininfarina-designed speedster concept that debuted at last year’s Geneva Motor Show, has been confirmed for production according to a report by CNN Money.

    Don’t get your hopes up on scoring one, however – only six will ever be made, they are expected to cost millions each, and they have all been sold out by invitation only to extremely wealthy Ferrari aficionados in the United States, Europe and Asia. Better luck next time, perhaps.

    The Sergio concept was penned by the Cambiano-based design house as a tribute to the legendary Sergio Pininfarina, who passed away in 2012. Built on the bones and the mechanicals of the 458 Spider, it was lighter, faster and stiffer than the donor-car, and far more gorgeous – no mean feat when the existing 458 wasn’t exactly an ugly duckling to begin with.

    Some changes would have to be made to put the Sergio on the road, however. A couple of purportedly leaked pictures show a potential production-spec model, incorporating a number of significant updates. The biggest of these are a full windscreen and side windows – allowing driver and passenger to avoid the use of a helmet for safety reasons – as well as full-sized doors (with wing mirrors) in place of tiny half-sized items.

    Elsewhere, the deep side air intakes have been dispensed with – smaller intakes aft of the side windows feed air to the engine instead, just like on a regular 458. The impossibly low nose of the concept has also been raised slightly, the headlights moved upwards (presumably to comply with headlight height regulations) and the front air vents removed as there is now no need to direct air over the occupants.

    Extremely limited-run bespoke supercars like the Sergio are key for Ferrari to retain its exclusivity in the market as it is set to lose its self-imposed 7,000-unit-per-year production limit in order to boost Fiat Chrysler Automobiles’ (FCA) bottom line. Yesterday, FCA announced its intention to spin Ferrari off into a separate entity, listing 10% of its shares on stock markets in the US and possibly in Europe.

    Pininfarina Sergio concept

     
     
  • Ford Fiesta ST – details of Malaysian-spec car revealed

    Fiesta ST teaser

    More news about the soon-to-arrive Ford Fiesta ST, which was last spied undergoing type approval at the JPJ. The car is now listed on the Ford Malaysia website, and specifications of the Malaysian model have been revealed.

    Confirming that offered by the spied Molten Orange mule, we’ll be getting what is essentially a ST-1 trim level model, save a rather intriguing addition – there will be push-start ignition fitted as standard, which is actually only available from ST-2 trim on.

    This, along with rear parking sensors (which is actually part of an optional City Pack for the standard Fiesta range), makes the local Fiesta ST very much like the uniquely-configured Malaysian-spec Focus ST (ST-2 trim, but with ST-3 HIDs, slightly different tail lamp configuration and rear parking distance sensors incorporated in the final mix). Essentially, the Malaysian ST largely mirrors the Australian-market model, though that has an eight-speaker Sony audio system in place.

    Otherwise, the specification list for the three-door B299 supermini reads as before, with Silverstone grey/charcoal black fabric seats (Recaros in front) as well as a standard SYNC-based CD audio six-speaker system with multi-function matrix display in the list.

    Fiesta ST brochure 3

    Other standard kit on the 1,163 kg offering include manual air-conditioning, halogen projector headlamps with silver bezels and DRLs as well as a leather-trimmed steering wheel (with ST badging) and gearshift knob, complete with red stitching.

    An ST Convenience Pack (optional, but regulation fitment here) adds keyless entry (as intimated by the front door handles on the evaluator) and powerfold side mirrors. Elsewhere, there are sport alloy pedals, front door ST scuff plates, auto headlamps and rain sensing wipers.

    Powering the car is a 1.6 litre EcoBoost turbocharged engine offering 182 PS at 5,700 rpm and 240 Nm (290 Nm of time-limited overboost) from 1,600 to 5,000 rpm, and the mill is paired with a B6 six-speed manual transmission. Performance figures include a 0-100 km/h sprint time of 6.9 secs and a 224 km/h top speed.

    Standard safety equipment consists of ABS with EBD and brake assist, ESC, hill start assist and seven airbags (driver/front passenger, front side, curtain and driver knee).

    Fiesta ST brochure 4

    It remains to be seen if the retail units will come standard with the ST Style Pack seen on the spied mule – the optional pack adds 17-inch Rado grey alloys (shod with 205/40 tyres) and red-painted brake calipers, but there’s no mention of it in the brochure. Incidentally, the pack also features illuminated ST scuff plates, and that’s not mentioned either.

    Three exterior colours will be available for the Fiesta ST – the signature Molten Orange as well as Spirit Blue and Panther Black. Like the Focus ST, the fully-imported Fiesta ST – which is assembled in Cologne, Germany – will come with a three-year/100,000 km warranty. No indicative pricing for the car has been revealed yet.

    If you’d like to get up close with the Fiesta ST ahead of its debut, you can do so this weekend at the Asia Klasika Motor Festival being held at the Pullman Putrajaya Lakeside Resort from October 31 to November 2. The Fiesta ST is being previewed at the event – which will also see a commemorative 50 Years of Mustang display alongside the classic car run – from 10 am to 7 pm daily, and we hear test drives will be available.

    Ford Fiesta ST spied at JPJ Putrajaya

     
     
  • SPYSHOTS: Nissan X-Trail CKD testing in Malaysia

    Click to enlarge pics

    Pics of a mystery SUV with a taped up rear end is making the rounds on social media, and we can tell you that it’s a third-generation Nissan X-Trail. Clues include the shape of the black “diffuser” area (middle section protrudes slightly) and the positioning/shape of the tail lamps, which resemble the second-gen Toyota Harrier’s.

    The new X-Trail is of course coming to Malaysia – very soon, in fact. Edaran Tan Chong Motor (ETCM) revealed in August that the SUV will be introduced by the end of this year, in locally-assembled CKD form. This means that Nissan will finally have a direct rival to the popular Honda CR-V and Mazda CX-5 duo. The original X-Trail was a success for ETCM, but the second-gen didn’t really catch on here.

    The latest X-Trail was recently launched in Indonesia, and we got up close with the now curvy SUV at the 2014 Indonesia International Motor Show. Nissan’s mid-size SUV is available with seven seats for the first time, and that’s what our ASEAN neighbours get.

    Two engines are available there – a Serena S-Hybrid-derived MR20DD 2.0 litre direct-injected mill (144 PS, 200 Nm) and a QR25DE 2.5 litre MPI motor from the Teana with 171 PS and 233 Nm. The former is available with either a six-speed manual or an Xtronic CVT, the latter only available with the automatic. Power is sent exclusively to the front wheels. Prices range from Rp. 383 juta (RM103,300) to Rp. 431.5 juta (RM116,900).

    Will the Malaysian X-Trail mirror those specs? Check out our IIMS report and gallery for a preview of sorts.

    GALLERY: Nissan X-Trail at IIMS 2014

     
     
  • Answer simple questions and stand a chance to take part in the PETRONAS Experience to Believe Drive!

    petronas experience to believe

    You can now stand a chance to take part in an all-expense-paid PETRONAS “Experience to Believe” Drive event happening on November 8, 2014. Furthermore, you’ll get to win some mystery prizes as well!

    At the PETRONAS “Experience to Believe” event, you will be able to get up close and personal with PETRONAS’s fuel experts to answer all of your fuel-related questions as well as take part in an exclusive one-day convoy drive from Kuala Lumpur to Ipoh.

    During the drive, you will get to experience the new PRIMAX 95 with Advanced Energy Formula fuel while driving your car around some beautiful roads through the Malaysian countryside. Not only that, you can even bring a friend along! Taking part is fairly simple. Just answer the questions in the form below and off you go. Take part today, as only 10 lucky winners will be selected :)

    Contest ends on November 2, 2014.

    Create your free online surveys with SurveyMonkey , the world’s leading questionnaire tool.

     

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  • SPYSHOTS: Mercedes-Benz ML/GLE plug-in hybrid

    Mercedes ML-GLE Plugin hybrid 2 copy

    A plug-in hybrid variant of the Mercedes-Benz ML has been spotted making its rounds, suggesting that the finished product should be arriving soon. If the GLE moniker in the headline confuses you, don’t be. There’s a chance that Mercedes-Benz is due to restructure the designations of their cars.

    First to receive the change is the current ML-Class, which should be renamed as the facelifted version makes it debut. A new name isn’t the only thing that’s interesting here as it will be made available with a plug-in hybrid variant.

    From an aesthetic point of view, nothing seems to have changed much except for the reverse lights – which have been moved to the bottom of the taillight assembly. Expect a slightly redesigned front end beneath the camouflage with a new exhaust pipe layout.

    Mercedes ML-GLE Plugin hybrid 7 copy

    Power source should be similar to the Mercedes-Benz C 350 plug-in hybrid – equating to 208 hp from a 2.0 litre four-cylinder engine. An extra 80 hp comes from an electric motor integrated into the seven-speed automatic transmission. Expect a world debut next year in January at the 2015 Detroit Auto Show.

    A “coupe” version set to take on the BMW X6 has also been spotted recently, nearly undisguised – if the renaming of Mercedes’ SUVs does come about, that car could be called the GLE Coupe.


    GALLERY: Mercedes-Benz ML 350 4MATIC BlueEFFICIENCY

     
     
  • BMW X5 M and X6 M duo officially unveiled – 0-100 km/h in 4.0 secs, 567 hp from twin-turbo 4.4 litre V8

    P90166898-highRes

    BMW’s M Division has officially unveiled the new BMW X5 M Sports Activity Vehicle (SAV) and BMW X6 M Sports Activity Coupe (SAC). Both variants come with a similar powertrain setup, a new M TwinPower Turbo V8, which is said to be the most powerful engine developed for the firm’s all-wheel drive models.

    The mill is equipped with a pair of twin-scroll turbochargers, cross-bank exhaust manifolds, VALVETRONIC and direct injection which help the 4.4 litre V8 produce 567 hp from 6,000 rpm to 6,500 rpm and 750 Nm of torque between 2,200 rpm to 5,000 rpm.

    Both models send their power to all four wheels via the xDrive intelligent AWD system with Dynamic Performance Control, which is coupled to an eight-speed M Steptronic automatic transmission with Drivelogic. The 0-100 km/h sprint in the BMW X5 M and X6 M is completed in exactly 4.0 seconds.

    Top speed for both models are electronically limited to 250 km/h. BMW quotes a 20% drop in fuel consumption pending official EPA figures, with C02 emissions down to 258 g/km.

    P90166903-highRes

    A myriad of electronic features are present in the new models, most of which lean towards the performance spectrum rather than the economy side. Launch Control, for instance, helps the driver achieve an optimum getaway from standstill and the Dynamic Stability Control (DSC) allows for different parameters.

    Three modes are available under DSC – DSC on, MDM (M Dynamic Mode) and DSC off – with the levels of electronic assistance decreasing respectively. New on both models, various safety and comfort features have been programmed under the DSC umbrella, such as Brake Drying, Brake Standby and Start-Off Assistant.

    The BMW X5 M and BMW X6 M both come as standard with non-runflat Michelin Pilot Super Sport UHP tyres, measuring in at 285/35 for the front and 325/30 for the rear. They wrap 21-inch forged wheels. Stopping power comes courtesy of six-piston fixed calipers at the front and single-piston calipers at the rear.

    Compared to its predecessors, the brake pads are now 50% larger and weigh 1.6 kg less. All four discs on both models are perforated and inner-vented with the calipers painted in blue.

    Looks wise, the front of both cars are not exactly what one would describe as subtle with large air intakes being required to aid cooling for the transmission, engine and front brakes. The flaps located down under help to reduce lift and improve aerodynamics, another cue taken from the track.

    The Air Breathers, located behind the front wheels, help to reduce turbulence generated in the front wheel arches when the vehicle hits a certain speed. At the rear, a distinctive quad-exhaust setup integrated into the diffuser help distinguish it from lesser models, with the X6 M getting a rear spoiler.

    Step inside either model and a M-specific leather steering wheel with paddle shifters are present along with electrically operated M Multifunction seats, trimmed in Merino leather and embossed with M logos. Added features include a power tailgate, four-zone auto climate control and Harman Kardon surround sound system.

    Two new exclusive paint options are available, Long Beach Blue Metallic and Donington Grey Metallic. The BMW X5 M and X6 M are expected to make their debut at the upcoming 2014 Los Angeles motor show.

    BMW X5 M

    BMW X6 M

     
     
  • Proton constantly improving quality and efficiency, but Malaysians still not convinced – Mahathir

    tun-dr-mahathir-dreamedge-keynote 271

    The guest of honour at DreamEDGE’s Empowering the Nation’s Automotive Industry seminar yesterday was none other than the ‘father’ of the industry himself, Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

    In his keynote address, the Proton chairman talked about the challenges faced by the national carmaker with regards to public perception, and the industry’s need for home-grown research and development.

    “When the first Proton Saga came out in 1985, the total industry volume (TIV) was 50,000 units a year. From commanding 80% of the market (then), we are down to 18% today. Now we import more foreign cars than produce local cars,” Dr Mahathir said, adding that Malaysians object to high-priced local cars, but not high-priced foreign cars.

    Proton_PCC_Iriz_undisguised_020

    “We (Proton) are trying to produce cars of world standard, and for the most part, we have succeeded, but Malaysians are still not convinced,” the former PM lamented, adding that some still hung on to the infamous ‘power window‘ belief. “Today, the power windows in a Proton jump up and down efficiently,” he joked.

    “I can assure everyone, the (Proton) car today is far better than the one we had ten, or even five, years ago. We are constantly improving the quality and efficiency of our cars. The new blueprint for Proton is to produce cars of the same standard as those from Germany, Japan and Korea.

    “We want to produce electric and hybrid cars. We will produce them sometime soon, but (they) cost a lot of money. We have not managed yet to build up a useable (business) case for EVs (electric vehicles), but we are still researching,” Dr Mahathir said, pointing out that some of the world’s biggest companies have failed to make EVs commercially successful.

    Proton_Preve_REEV_ 009

    And it’s not just the development costs – the cost of the car will also be very high, placing it out of reach of most Malaysians. Dr Mahathir cited the batteries as a big contributor to the overall cost, and said he hopes battery prices will come down.

    “The hybrid car holds more promise – we have been researching range extenders,” he said. Range-extended electric vehicles (REEV) run on electric power only, but carry an internal combustion engine that is solely used to charge the batteries, and not to provide drive.

    Proton has experimented in the past with the Exora REEV and Persona REEV, and recently displayed its Preve REEV prototype at the Alami Proton carnival. It is also developing an all-electric Iriz EV with South Korea’s LG Electronics.

    IRIZ-ACTIVE-TUNM-5

    Dr Mahathir also highlighted the importance of local research and development, saying that Malaysia is falling behind in terms of engineering and technology because not enough money is being spent on research. The government, he lamented, is concentrating more on making Malaysia a high-income nation and not enough on local research and innovation.

    “The mindset of Malaysians must be attuned to research. (Currently) we would rather buy technologies and knowledge from others; we’re not willing to do our own research and development, which would produce a unique result that will make us stand out from the crowd.

    “The automotive industry is a great catalyst for our goal to become a developed nation by 2020,” he said.

     
     
 

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