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  • GALLERY: Lexus IS 200t “Luxury” in showroom

    2015-lexus-is-200t-luxury-in-showroom- 067

    As we reported yesterday, Lexus Malaysia has just rolled out its updated IS range of cars here, with prices ranging from RM289k to RM452k. Three variants of the turbocharged IS 200t made their debuts, while a fourth and final one sees range-topping IS 300h hybrid soldier on.

    Today, with Lexus showrooms across the country beginning to display their updated IS models, we decided to visit the Mutiara Damansara outlet to bring you these lives photos of the new car.

    Only the IS 200t Luxury variant was available for display at the time, itself being the higher-spec variant of the two 200t versions without the F Sport package. Specifically, this IS 200t Luxury will set you back a cool RM349,900.

    The new 2.0 litre turbo four engines bring to the IS 200t units more power and technology than before, with outputs rated for 241 hp at 5,800 rpm, and 350 Nm of torque between 1,650 and 4,400 rpm. With a new eight-speed torque converter Sports Direct Shift (SPDS) automatic transmission sending power to the rear wheels of the car, the IS 200t is capable of performing a century sprint in just seven seconds.

    The C-Class and 3 Series-fighter you see here wears a Red Mica Crystal Shine body paint colour. The front-end features the brand’s prominent spindle grille design, flanked by HID (Xenon) projector type headlamps, with auto-levelling function and headlamp washers.

    All IS variants feature LED daytime running lights and fog lamps, and rear combination lamps as standard, while the auto-folding and dimming wing mirrors with heater and memory function are Luxury-and-above only features. So too are the car’s rain sensors. The wheels worn by this variant are a set of 18-inch multi-spoke alloys.

    Inside, the Luxury variant gets a wood and leather combination interior (lower-spec Premium only gets a film and leather type), while both the non-F-Sport 200t variants get a three-spoke multifunction leather-wrapped steering wheel. Paddle shifters are a standard affair on all IS variants, including the IS 300h hybrid.

    Dual-zone air-conditioning is standard for all variants as well, together with rear AC vents. The inside rear-view mirror on the Luxury variant and upwards are automatically dimming electro chromic types.

    For infotainment, the IS 200t Luxury and the base Premium variant get the same Lexus Premium Audio eight-speaker sound system. The Luxury variant sets itself apart from the Premium variant with a seven-inch Lexus Electro Multi Vision display screen, however – the Premium gets a more basic Lexus Display Audio system screen.

    Connectivity and audio options for the Luxury variant include an in-dash DVD player, MP3 and WMA compatibility, dual USB ports and an AUX jack. There is also Bluetooth handsfree connectivity. The Luxury variant also adds reverse camera, navigation, Blind-spot Monitor and Rear Cross Traffic Alert systems, features not present in the baseline Premium.

    As mentioned in our launch report, all IS models also increase their airbag count to 10 from the previous eight available, while other standard safety systems across the board include vehicle stability control, traction control, ABS, brake assist and electronic brake-force distribution, hill-start assist and a tyre pressure warning system.

    So, will it be this over the BMW 3 Series, Mercedes-Benz C-Class?

  • Nissan NP300 Navara coming to Malaysia in Nov 2015

    01 Photo_Coming Soon_Nissan Navara

    Edaran Tan Chong Motor (ETCM) has announced that the hotly-awaited Nissan NP300 Navara is coming soon – the all-new 12th generation of Nissan’s small pick-up truck is set to make its way into Malaysia as soon as next month.

    Provisional specs have also been confirmed; as expected, the D23 NP300 will make use of an improved version of the current D40 Navara‘s YD25 2.5 litre diesel with common-rail direct injection and variable geometry turbocharging, producing 190 PS and 450 Nm. It’s mated to a seven-speed automatic transmission with manual mode – a six-speed manual gearbox should also be on the cards, at least on lower-end variants.

    Under the skin, the Malaysian-spec NP300 utilises a multi-link rear suspension with coil springs – a first for the pick-up segment – for improved ride comfort, although it retains a tough, durable solid rear axle.


    Elsewhere, kit bandied about includes LED headlights with boomerang-shaped LED daytime running lights, a rear spoiler, the ultra-comfortable zero gravity-inspired seats (first seen on the Teana), 18-inch alloy wheels, keyless entry, push-button ignition, a multi-function steering wheel, Bluetooth connectivity, dual-zone automatic climate control and rear seat air vents.

    Safety-wise, the NP300 Navara will feature Vehicle Dynamic Control (VDC), traction control, four-wheel Active Brake Limited Slip (ABLS), Hill Start Assist (HSA) and Hill Descent Control (HDC). In certain markets, the truck is available with up to seven airbags (including one for the driver’s knee), so here’s hoping we’ll get the whole lot too, at least on higher-end models.

    Interested members of the public will be able to take a closer look at the NP300 Navara soon, as it will be on display at Nissan roadshows around the country from October 15 to November 22. They can also visit the official website to register their interest and receive a test drive invite, as well as view Nissan’s pick-up heritage stretching back 80 years.

    Of course, we’re plenty familiar with the Nissan NP300 Navara; last year, we not only covered the international launch in Bangkok, but also drove the truck in Chiang Mai – you can read on how it fared here. As always, we’ll update you with the latest information on Nissan’s new pick-up as soon as we have it.

  • MyTeksi introduces number masking – feature set to enhance safety by ensuring customer privacy

    myteksi masking main

    MyTeksi has announced that it has introduced number masking in Malaysia, which it says will enhance safety for both drivers and passengers – the feature allows for completely anonymous calls between drivers and passengers to ensure extra security and privacy for both parties.

    Here’s how it works – when a booking for a taxi or car is made via the MyTeksi app, both driver and passenger have the option to call via the app. If a call is made, both parties will be automatically connected via a virtual number – personal mobile numbers will no longer be displayed to ensure privacy.

    Drivers and passengers can call via the same virtual number once the booking is confirmed until the ride ends or is cancelled, and this feature also applies to advanced bookings. Passengers can of course choose not to call, and continue to leave specific pick-up instructions to drivers via the ‘Notes to driver’ feature when making a booking with the app.


    The measure is part of the platform’s US$6 million investment drive to improve customer safety across the region – locally, the company states that its commitment to safety has been recognised by women in Malaysia; it says eight out of 10 women acknowledge that taxis are safer now than before MyTeksi was available, and seven out of 10 women polled by the service said they feel safer taking taxis at night.

    The number masking feature, which begins running today, is being progressively rolled out to users in Singapore and Malaysia, and will be available to all MyTeksi app users in these markets by end-October.

    The feature will be implemented in Indonesia, Philippines and Vietnam by November. To access the feature, users need to download or update to the latest version of the MyTeksi app from Google Play or App Store.

  • 2016 Porsche 911 Carrera 4, Targa 4 AWD revealed


    Think ‘Porsche 911‘ and a rear-engined, rear-wheel drive icon comes to mind. But did you know that more than one in three 911 buyers opt for a ‘4’ badged all-wheel drive variant? With that in mind, today’s announcement of the 911 Carrera 4 and Targa 4, along with 4S versions, is significant. Three bodystyles to choose from – coupe, cabriolet and the midway Targa – and they will appear at next month’s LA show.

    The 991-generation facelift made its debut at last month’s Frankfurt show with evolutionary styling but big news in the engine bay – turbocharged engines, which are detailed here. The biturbo 3.0 litre flat-six does 370 hp and 450 Nm in the Carrera, and makes up to 420 hp/500 Nm in S models via modified compressors for the turbo, specific exhaust system and tuned engine management.

    Combined with AWD, the 911 Carrera 4 accelerates faster than its rear-wheel-drive counterpart for the first time. With PDK and Sport Chrono options, it does 0-100 km/h in 4.1 seconds (0.4 sec less than the pre-facelift), with the S model registering 3.8 seconds (0.3 sec less). The cabriolet S and the 911 Targa 4 with comparable equipment need just two tenths longer. Top speeds vary between 287 km/h and 305 km/h depending on model and equipment.


    The point of turbo is efficiency, and less fuel consumption is expected. FC in the Carrera 4 Cabriolet with PDK drops by 0.8 litres to 7.9 l/100 km. Variants with the most significant improvements are the Carrera S Cab and Targa 4S, each with PDK, in which average consumption falls by 1.2 litres to 8.0 l/100 km.

    The Sport Chrono package now includes a mode switch on the steering wheel inspired by the 918 Spyder supercar. A rotary ring with four positions – Normal, Sport, Sport Plus and Individual – it allows drivers to alter the mood of the car or configure their own set-up; parameters include PASM, active engine mounts, PDK shift strategy and sports exhaust system if fitted.

    In combination with PDK, the mode switch has an additional control called the “Sport Response Button”. Press this and you get maximum acceleration for 20 seconds.


    Power goes to all wheels, of course. The now electro-hydraulically controlled AWD is faster and more sensitive thanks to the tech adopted from the 911 Turbo. Porsche says that it enhances directional stability during “extremely sporty driving” without sacrificing any agility. The retuned PASM chassis with its 10 mm lower ride height is standard on all Carrera models. New shock absorbers improve comfort and body control. Rear-axle steering is an option for the S.

    There are new steering wheels with a design based on the 918 Spyder’s. Besides the standard 375 mm diameter item, there’s an optional 360 mm GT sports wheel. Also cool is a hydraulic lift system with integrated lifting cylinders in the struts of the front axle. Pressing a button increases ground clearance at the front lip by 40 mm (within five seconds) to avoid scraping the ground at ramps.

    Looks wise, all-paw cars get the traditional strip between the rear lights, now with an “especially distinctive effect” thanks to 3D depth. The strip also underlines added width, with rear wings that arch further outwards by 44 mm as in previous models. 991 facelift cues include four-point DRLs, door handles without recess covers, redesigned rear lid with vertical louvres and four-point brake lights.

    The 911 Carrera 4 and 911 Targa 4 will be available in Germany from end-January 2016.

  • AD: Enjoy special offers and rewards when you service your BMW at Wearnes Autohaus until Nov 30!

    BMW PAULTAN 630x448HR 151002

    Is your BMW due in for a service any time soon? Regular servicing is important to keep it performing at its best, and fortunately you will be able to enjoy exclusive rewards when you purchase a service package with Wearnes Autohaus!

    From now until 30 November, purchase an oil service package along with either tyre alignment and balancing or air-conditioning servicing or both and get a 15% rebate*. Additionally, you will also receive a RM200 cash voucher – redeemable on your next visit – when you spend RM1,000 or more (before discounts) on maintenance and service.

    Looking to purchase your next BMW instead? You will be able to browse a full selection of BMW demonstrator models at both Wearnes Autohaus showrooms in Segambut (Kuala Lumpur) and Tebrau (Johor Bahru). These low-mileage beauties could be yours from just RM1,928 a month, depending on the model.

    wearnes exterior

    As always, BMW Credit schemes will be available, with various financing solutions to fit your needs. Best yet, all new BMW models now come with a five-year, unlimited mileage warranty with free scheduled service*.

    For more information, or if you would like to service appointment or book a test drive, please send in your enquiries via email, visit Wearnes Autohaus online or visit their Facebook page. You may also drop by their service centres or call them at:

    wearnes maps

    *Promotion is only for BMW cars registered before 1 June 2015 and excludes BMW cars that are still under BSRI. Terms and conditions apply.

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  • Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport race car announced


    Porsche has confirmed that it will be building a more hardcore track-only version of the sensational Cayman GT4. Called the Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport, the new race car will be homologated next year for race series such as the Pirelli World Challenge and the Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge, as well as club races around the world.

    No official images have been revealed just yet – those will probably be released later on – but the Clubsport is said to be nearly identical to the standard production GT4. There are a few noteworthy changes that have been made to turn the mid-engined sports car into a race-ready weapon, however.

    While the 3.8 litre naturally-aspirated flat-six has been retained, the Clubsport ditches the GT4’s six-speed manual gearbox in favour of a much faster PDK dual-clutch transmission with paddle shifters. There’s also a lightweight front axle from the bigger 911 GT3 Cup, 380 mm race-spec steel brakes, a welded-in roll cage, a racing bucket seat and a six-point safety harness. All in all, the Clubsport weighs in at just 1,300 kg.

    Sales of the Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport will kick off the same time the car makes its debut at the 2015 Los Angeles Auto Show, on November 18.

  • Daihatsu D-Base concept shown – previews next Mira?


    Daihatsu will show a new kei car concept at the 2015 Tokyo Motor Show at the end of the month. Called the Daihatsu D-Base concept, it’s likely to presage the replacement for the current Daihatsu Mira, which has been around since 2006.

    The D-Base’s dimensions are right up against kei car regulations, measuring just 3.4 metres long, 1.48 metres wide and 1.49 metres high. The design features strong wheel arches, a stepped window line and “hidden” rear door handles, and should – barring the large wheels, flush front door handles and funky two-tone colour scheme – make it to production mostly intact.

    The blue colour way extends inside, along with a two-spoke steering wheel, slim air vents, a digital instrument cluster, a large central infotainment display, bucket seats and a futuristic gearlever integrated into the armrest console. Again, expect a lot of this to make it on the showroom floor, minus some of the more showy bits.

    Motivation comes from a 660 cc three-cylinder engine – as is typical in the segment – mated to a CVT automatic. Daihatsu has yet to release more details or output figures, but claims that with a lightweight body and a energy recuperation system, the D-Base is capable of achieving 3.0 litres per 100 km.

    Normally, we would be excited by such news, as it could foreshadow a new Perodua model as well. However, the second national carmaker’s lineup is already filled up at the bottom end by the Axia, which is based on the Indonesian Daihatsu Ayla and Toyota Agya twins. It does leave some space above it for a slightly more upmarket model to slot below the Myvi, however, so who knows?

  • Ford Ranger – RM4k price increase for pre-facelift


    The focus may be on the Ford Ranger T6 facelift, which makes its Malaysian debut later this week, but here’s an update on the outgoing one – prices of the original T6, which will continue to be on sale until stocks are exhausted, will be increased as of tomorrow.

    We came across a bulletin announcing the price increase, and have since confirmed it with the folks at SDAC – prices of the old Ranger are set to go up by RM4,000, across the board. Never good news to hear of an increase, but the company says the higher pricing is unavoidable, the hike being put down to the effect of the Ringgit’s performance against the US Dollar. This isn’t the last you’ll hear about it on that front, as carmakers begin increasing prices as a result of the forex.

    Post-GST, pricing for the 2.2 litre line-up ranged from RM76,453 for the 2.2L XL 4×2 Lo-Rider manual and the single cab 2.2L XL 4×4 Hi-Rider manual up to RM101,415 for the 2.2L XLT 4×4 automatic.

    Currently, the 3.2 litre model line-up consists of three variants, the 3.2L XLT manual (RM103,411), the 3.2L XLT auto (RM110,504) and the range-topping 3.2L Wildtrak 4×4 auto, which goes for RM122,985.

    The Ranger T6 made its local debut in June 2012, and three 4×4 versions were available at point of launch, these being a 2.2L XLT in manual and automatic forms as well as a 3.2L XLT Wildtrak.

    In 2013, new variants arrived – there was the 2.2 XL manual, which featured a slightly detuned Puma ZSD-422 2.2 litre commonrail direct injection oil burner, as well as two entry-level workhorses, the XL Lo-Rider and Single Cab variants. A regular XLT derivative was also introduced for the 3.2L model.

    ford ranger se 1

    The final pre-facelift variant came about in August this year, when the Ford Ranger Special Edition, a limited run of 100 kitted-up units based on the 2.2 XLT Automatic 4×4 Hi-Rider, was announced.

    The T6 was last updated for the Malaysian market in May 2014, where all variants were standardised in terms of safety kit, equipped with electronic stability control (ESP), five (as opposed to four) three-point seatbelts, plus a centre headrest and two ISOFIX anchors for the rear bench seats.

    It remains to be seen how much the facelift will go for. We already know that pricing for the new truck is set to be higher than the current one – back in August, it was reported that prices were due to be around 3% higher than presently, but now that the old one has also had a price hike, it may turn out to be quite a leap for the facelift. We’ll have the entire lowdown on the T6 facelift when the time comes.

  • BMW M4 GTS revealed – 500 hp, 600 Nm, 700 units


    The BMW M4 GTS has been revealed as a 700-unit limited edition to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the BMW M3, which has been with us since 1986.

    Described as the M division’s tech showpiece that elevates the M4’s potential to another level, this production car was accurately previewed by the Concept M4 GTS that made recent appearances at Pebble Beach in August and Sepang the following month.

    “Special-edition models like the BMW M3 GT, BMW M3 CSL, BMW M3 GTS and BMW M3 CRT have a decades-long tradition in our mid-size line-up – and that continues with the BMW M4. They sharpen the character of the BMW M brand and embody an emotionally rich and exclusive driving experience,” says Frank van Meel, CEO of BMW M GmbH.


    “We’ve created a sports machine for the race track that delivers top-end dynamics and inspirational performance. It allows us to demonstrate what is possible today with a road-legal car. Owners can drive their M4 GTS to circuits such as Spa-Francorchamps, the Nürburgring or Laguna Seca – for clubsport events, for example – and then set lap times there that raise the bar to extremely high levels for road-legal cars,” he added. The M4 GTS laps the Nürburgring in 7.28 minutes.

    The M3/M4’s 3.0 litre turbo inline six has been given water injection technology (tested by the 2015 MotoGP Safety Car, more details here) that raises output to 500 hp and 600 Nm from 431 hp and 550 Nm. Despite this, fuel economy and CO2 emissions of the standard car have been maintained at 8.3 litres per 100 km and 194 g/km. 0 to 100 km/h is completed in a mere 3.8 seconds and top speed is limited to 305 km/h.

    The seven-speed M DCT dual-clutch gearbox’s Drivelogic shift programs and Launch Control have been retuned to match the engine’s bigger output.


    It’s not just more power but less mass as well, at just 1,510 kg. Rigorous weight-saving measures include carbon-fibre bucket seats; lightweight centre console, rear seat panelling and boot area partition (glass-fibre-reinforced plastic (GFRP) shelf and rear panel in CF sandwich construction, saves around 40%); lightweight door and side panel trim, including door pull loops in place of solid handles. Out of view things too, like the CF instrument panel bracing tube.

    Outside, the newly designed bonnet, roof and adjustable front splitter are shaped from carbon-fibre-reinforced plastic (CFRP). The adjustable rear wing, too, is cut from this light but durable material. It rests on CNC-machined aluminium mounts fixed to a CFRP boot lid. Teaming up with the CF diffuser, the wing reduces lift at the rear axle. The titanium muffler is 20% lighter and has an “emotionally rich soundtrack”.

    The three-way M coilover suspension can be adjusted to individual tastes and demands of different race circuits. Track work will also benefit from M carbon ceramic brakes. Those striking rims are forged star-spoke 666 M Styling items in Acid Orange. They are wrapped with Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tyres – front 265/35 R19, rear 285/30 R20.

    The CF bucket seats are around 50% lighter than regular M4 chairs, but North American market units are fitted with different bucket-style M sports seats (including lightweight backrests with cut-outs) in line with local registration requirements. An optional Clubsport Package includes a roll bar in Acid Orange behind the front seats, a race-spec six-point harness and a fire extinguisher.

    Lastly, the headlights are LED adaptive and dazzle-free BMW Selective Beam units, but the L-shaped rear lights are OLED (organic light-emitting diodes, previewed by the M4 Concept Iconic Lights from CES 2015) units making their series-production debut.

    OLEDs, which are just 1.4 mm in height are a new kind of light source that light up over their full surface with a very homogeneous effect – unlike LED units, which emit their light in the form of points. This opens up fresh possibilities for lighting concepts, as exhibited by the rather elaborate design of the M4 GTS’ rear lights.

  • MyLesen sees over 20,000 motorcyclists registered


    The MyLesen programme, which came into effect last month, has registered a total of 20,000 motorcyclists so far. Despite the fee reduction to obtain a motorcycle license (from RM350 to RM299), the response for the pilot programme hasn’t quite met the Road Transport Department’s (JPJ) target, The Star reports.

    Prior to this, it was reported that the programme was to assist some 3.35 million riders without a valid license. The department’s director general Datuk Ismail Ahmad said that it had “targeted to reach out to youths aged 16 years and above, but probably they are busy with their final or SPM examinations as the year is coming to an end.”

    He however had hopes that the response would improve gradually. “We are confident of gaining more participants next time around, as the programme will be held continuously in efforts to ensure all motorists possess a valid licence,” he said.

    On another note, a total of 195 driving institutes have since signed the Corporate Integrity Pledge (CIP), according to Ahmad. All 205 driving institutes nationwide are expected to sign the pledge to ensure that drivers-to-be are properly educated on road rules as well as to tackle corruption.


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