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  • Volkswagen T-Cross teased yet again – Oct 25 debut

    Volkswagen’s smallest SUV, the T-Cross, will finally be unveiled on October 25, but before that the company has managed to release one more teaser in a painfully long teaser campaign. This time, it’s a video showing the car’s various design cues, and there are quite a few items that have been revealed.

    The front end can be clearly seen, pairing VW’s usual integrated headlights and grille with a bone-shaped air intake with six-pointed fog lights. At the rear, you’ll be able to spot the C-shaped tail lights, enclosed in a black housing and connected by a full-width light strip. The ten-spoke alloy wheels are also shown, here wearing an outlandish black and orange colour scheme.

    Meanwhile, the dashboard design is reminiscent of that of the Polo, with VW’s digital Active Info Display instrument cluster and a large centre touchscreen sitting atop the air vents. There are also part-leather seats with a quilted pattern on the fabric portion.

    The T-Cross rides on VW’s smaller MQB A0 platform also used for the Polo, and will likely come with the same range of engines as its regular hatchback sibling. These include the 1.0 litre MPI and TSI three-cylinder and 1.5 litre TSI four-cylinder petrols and the 1.6 litre TDI diesel – in the Polo, they are available in outputs ranging from 65 PS to 150 PS.

     
  • 2019 Nissan Maxima facelift debut next month in LA

    Click to enlarge

    Nissan has released a single image of the 2019 Nissan Maxima and announced that the sedan will make its debut at the Los Angeles Auto Show, which opens in late November. The flagship of Nissan’s North American sedan lineup will go on sale in December.

    It has been three and a half years since today’s Maxima was unveiled, which makes a facelift overdue. The eight-generation Maxima was as radical as a full size sedan could look when it debut, and still is quite a sight today. As such, the “four-door sports car” looks familiar, but also sharper.

    The unique headlamps with upturned “eyebrows” are still there, but the eyes are now full LEDs and the LED daytime running light strip is slimmer and full length. The black nose section is also sharper edged; same goes to the V-motion “bowl” holding the Nissan badge.

    There’s a bit of a silver-painted chin going on, while the fog lamp housings (lights should be LEDs now) are significantly larger than before – the overall look is a lot more aggressive. The profile, with its unique lines, is still good for a couple of years and have been maintained along with the signature DLO “tail”. Big gunmetal alloys go well with the car’s red.

    No further details other than the Maxima facelift will be available with Nissan Safety Shield 360 technology, a suite of six advanced safety and driver assist technologies. The current model year car is powered by a 300 hp 3.5 litre V6 engine mated to a Xtronic CVT automatic.

    GALLERY: 2016 Nissan Maxima

     
  • E-hailing drivers will be subjected to same laws and regulations as taxi drivers – deputy transport minister

    Instead of imposing an outright ban on e-hailing services, the government will create a level playing field for e-hailing drivers and taxi drivers by subjecting both parties to the same laws and regulations, says deputy transport minister Datuk Kamarudin Jaffar.

    According to The Star, Kamarudin said that the government has no intention to abolish e-hailing services, as it has complemented the public transport system and is already a worldwide phenomenon.

    “In principle, the ministry has agreed that we want to impose the same law and regulations on both e-hailing and taxi drivers, so no one will have any advantages when carrying out their services,” he said.

    He explained that the process of creating a level playing field will be implemented in stages to ensure smooth operation for all parties, adding that the process will begin on January 1 next year and expected to be completed within a period of six months.

    “We are currently trying to implement it, but it will take some time. We were informed that there are about 600,000 people who are involved in providing e-hailing services in the country. (We need time) Or else it would be impossible for Puspakom and other relevant agencies to cope with the inspections, but we are confident of implementing it,” he said.

    As for the incident involving a group of angry taxi drivers in Langkawi during a dialogue between cabbies and the prime minister, Kamarudin said Tun Dr Mahathir, who is also the Langkawi MP, actually truly cares about the welfare of taxi drivers and the people. “Whatever was raised by the group will be addressed and brought to the cabinet so it can be settled. For me, such rude action should not have happened towards a leader of the country,” he noted.

    More recently, a group of disgruntled taxi drivers held a protest in front of the finance ministry over claims that Grab was putting a dent into their business. What’s your take on this, folks?

     
  • Audi Q2L – compact SUV gains LWB version in China

    Audi has introduced the new Q2L in China, which joins the Q5L in a market that has a liking towards long-wheelbase vehicles. The model is built by FAW-Volkswagen and retails from RMB217,700 (RM130,518).

    Styling-wise, the Q2L looks almost identical to a regular Q2, with the only noticeable difference being its increased length. Now measuring 4,229 mm from front to rear, the Q2L is 38 mm longer than the Q2, and most of it is dedicated to the wheelbase that spans 2,628 mm (Q2 wheelbase is 2,595 mm).

    That extra 33 mm between the wheels allow rear passengers in the Q2L to enjoy more legroom and kneeroom than in the standard-wheelbase model. Much like the outside, the interior remains familiar, with standard features like a 12.3-inch virtual cockpit, MMI infotainment system with 8.3-inch display, progressive steering system and adaptive cruise control.

    The Q2L will be available with a 1.4 litre TSI engine that comes in two states of tune, mated to a seven-speed DSG. The entry-level version of the engine provides 131 PS and 220 Nm of torque, while the more powerful unit serves up 150 PS and 250 Nm.

     
  • AD: Subaru core technologies – Symmetrical AWD; over four decades of maintaining balance and traction

    Think of Subaru and the well-known Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive (SAWD) system will most likely pop into mind. In the company’s 65 years of existence, the technology has remained a core characteristic of the vehicles it makes for more than four decades.

    The first instance of SAWD was found on the Leone Touring Wagon in 1972 that made its debut before the 1972 Winter Olympics in Sapporo. At the time, Subaru wanted to emphasise that all-wheel drive systems were durable, dependable and can be mass produced at a time when the technology was primarily found on off-road vehicles.

    As history shows, the Leone proved to be a success in numerous markets, spurring Subaru to develop and improve its system further. What resulted was the addition of Active Torque Split in 1985 starting with the Alcyone/XT, a centre-locking differential on the Leone Coupe 4WD RX/II in 1987, and a viscous limited slip centre differential on the first generation of the Legacy in 1989.

    Later on, performance-focused models like the turbocharged SVX (1991) featured Variable Torque Distribution (VTD), which was more rear-biased as compared to cars with Active Torque Split. This pursuit of performance was at its most extreme in 1994 when the Impreza WRX STI burst onto the scene with the introduction of the hallowed Driver Controlled Centre Differential (DCCD).

    While the system has evolved throughout the years, the general layout has always remained unchanged, with the left and right sides of the drivetrain being completely balanced with equal length half-axles. This symmetry is precisely why the system is named as such, in case you’re wondering.

    In all applications, the main goal of SAWD has always been to maximise traction in any given scenario. Unlike other systems that operate mostly in front-wheel drive mode until loss of traction is detected, warranting a switch to all-wheel drive, Subaru’s SAWD remains permanently on and continually monitors all wheels to ensure torque is sent to the wheels with maximum grip.

    As a result, the system is capable of responding quickly to changing terrain, providing drivers the assurance that he or she is always in constant control at every turn. With the surefooted stability provided by the system, a smoother driving experience is guaranteed every time. It’s clear that SAWD is an integral part of Subaru’s ethos, and you can find it in almost every vehicle it currently sells.

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  • Top Gear – Paddy McGuinness and Freddie Flintoff join Chris Harris, replacing Matt LeBlanc, Rory Reid

    Top Gear has had a bit of a tumultuous history since the departure of regulars Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May. Since thinning down an all-new six-host lineup after just one series, the motoring programme enjoyed two series of relative stability with Matt LeBlanc, Chris Harris and Rory Reid.

    However, LeBlanc announced earlier this year that he was parting ways with the show, because the show’s “time commitment and extensive travel… takes me away from my family and friends more than I’m comfortable with.” And now, Reid is leaving the show too.

    The trio will stay for one more series (Series 26, which will debut early next year), but after that Harris will be joined by two new hosts – comedian Paddy McGuinness, who hosts the dating show Take Me Out, and former Ashes-winning cricketer Freddie Flintoff. Their first series will kick off later in the year.

    The show’s broadcaster BBC said that Reid will continue to be part of the Top Gear family, alongside German racing driver Sabine Schmitz, and will continue hosting the behind-the-scenes show Extra Gear. He will also helm an expanded online presence for the brand.

    “Getting the Top Gear gig is a real honour,” McGuiness said. “To be hosting a show I’ve watched and loved from being a small boy is beyond exciting. Top Gear fans worldwide are a passionate bunch and I consider myself one of them. Now let’s start up this Great British machine and see what it can do.”

    Flintoff added, “It’s not often you have the chance to do both of your dream jobs, but I’m now lucky enough to say I will have. I’ve always been passionate about cars and I’m so excited to be joining the Top Gear team.”

    “I think you can tell just how much fun we’re going to have making Top Gear with Paddy and Freddie,” said Harris. They’re both brilliant, natural entertainers – and their mischief mixed with the most exciting cars on the planet is sure to take the show to the next level. My dream job just got even better.”

    Some great footage from Reid’s time on the show, in the video above.

     
  • paultan.org PACE is just one weekend away – here’s some of the attractive deals awaiting you there!

    Our first ever Premium Auto Car Expo (PACE), powered by Petron Blaze 100 Euro 4M, is just one weekend away, and we’re compiling some of the exciting deals that you can expect at the Setia City Convention Centre on November 3 and 4, 2018. PACE is the ultimate sales-driven car expo focusing on premium brands and vehicles brought to you by the team at paultan.org.

    As a start, those looking for an Audi will be glad to know that Euromobil is offering a RM25,000 rebate for the Audi Q3 crossover, while the Audi A6 comes with a RM30,000 rebate. If the brand’s sleek five-door coupe is the one on your mind, maybe the RM45,000 discount that is being offered for the Audi A7 might be a tempting one.

    Should you be looking for a vehicle from the Jaguar Land Rover camp, complimentary vouchers for genuine accessories worth up to RM5,000 will be provided with each purchase. There’s also an ongoing offer for the Jaguar XF, with the luxury sedan being available with a RM80,000 rebate*.

    Also available is a complimentary valuation by a team of experts who will be able to provide a trade-in value on the spot, while fans of the brand will also be able to witness the first public preview of the new E-Pace in Malaysia at PACE 2018.

    If a sports sedan is more up your alley, Kia will be presenting the captivating Stinger at PACE 2018. This is your chance to get up close with the rear-wheel drive model that features a chassis developed under the purview of ex-BMW M chief engineer Albert Biermann.

    There’s some grunt to go along with the looks too, with two petrol engines available. The GT Line packs a 2.0 litre turbocharged four-cylinder that makes 251 hp and 353 Nm of torque, paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission for a 0-100 km/h time of six seconds flat. Higher up is the much more exciting GT version, which packs a 3.3 litre twin-turbo V6 that is good for 365 hp and 510 Nm, as well as a 0-100 km/h time of 4.9 seconds.

    For Lexus fans, both the NX 300 (Urban, Premium and F-Sport), RX 300 (Premium, Luxury, F Sport and Special Edition) and RX 350 (Luxury and F Sport) will come with five years free service for better peace of mind. The RX 300 gets extra goodies in the form of a free aerokit worth RM10,000 as well.

    Interested in something decidedly more Swedish? Well, Volvo is offering free five years standard service (VSA 5+) for those who place a booking for either the XC60 T5, S90 T5 and XC90 T5 at PACE 2018, with a minimum deposit of 1%.

    These offers are just a taste of what to expect at PACE 2018, as other brands that will be present include BMW, Mercedes-Benz, MINI and Volkswagen, each with their own end-of-year deals. Beyond the automakers, there will also be 30% discount on all window tint packages from Llumar as well as a 15% discount on all car wrap packages by Wrapz63.

    Every booking made at PACE 2018 comes with a combined RM2,000 voucher***, including a RM500 Petron fuel voucher, RM500 Kuziq Glanz car detailing voucher, RM500 Stigo mini electric bike voucher and a RM500 voucher for Llumar’s new Self-Healing Paint Protection Film Door Cups.

    But wait, there’s more because the first five customers who secure a purchase (i.e. approved loans) each day (10 over both days) will receive a free Samsung Galaxy Note 9 worth RM3,699***, while one lucky customer (also confirmed) will be able to win a grand prize in the form of a free holiday for two worth RM25,000*** via our lucky draw.

    Our co-sponsor CIMB is also joining in with preferential financing rates as low as 2.34% p.a. for new hybrid cars**, competitive rates with repayment period of up to nine years, as well as on-the-spot approval with CIMB 1-Minute InstaApproval for salaried professionals. Just bring your identification card**, and you’re good to go!

    Curious to find out who are the people that type away on a keyboard to bring you automotive news? If the answer is yes, there’ll also be an extended meeting session with us, the writers! We’ll be at PACE on November 3 and 4, 2018 at Setia City Convention Centre, and are open for a chat. We’d appreciate it if you could bring some snacks to feed us with as well – we don’t bite.

    So, come on down to PACE on November 3 and 4, 2018 at Setia City Convention Centre, and you can click here for more details on PACE and to register your interest. Bring your friends, family, or both, and we can’t wait to see you guys there!

    * For selected units only.
    ** Terms and conditions apply.
    *** Valid for new car registrations only. For Volkswagen Passenger Cars Malaysia, valid for all models except the Volkswagen Polo, Volkswagen Vento and Volkswagen Jetta models. For Naza Kia, valid for the Kia Stinger only.

     
  • Aston Martin Valhalla – new name for Project 003?

    Aston Martin has filed a trademark application with the World Intellectual Property Organisation for the name ‘Valhalla’ to be used on “passenger cars, racing cars, parts and fittings therefore,” according to Autoguide. While unconfirmed, indications point to it being the name of the car until now known as Project 003, with the Valhalla sitting below the Valkyrie in Aston Martin’s line-up.

    The Valhalla will be powered by a hybrid powertrain featuring a turbocharged V6 petrol engine producing approximately 900 hp, and will have performance levels comparable to those of the Ferrari LaFerrari and Porsche 918 Spyder.

    Why Valhalla? In Norse legend, a Valkyrie is a female figure that determined which warriors would be slain in battle and carry them to the afterlife in Valhalla. As such, the naming convention would effectively tie the cars in nicely.

    The Aston Martin Valkyrie AMR Pro

    “The mythology behind the name is perfect, because you are chosen to come to Valhalla. For me, it is very much about being the chosen one, and everything tied into place as we knew we’d have to go through a choosing process too with our customers,” Aston Martin chief creative officer Marek Reichman had said to Australian publication Drive last year.

    There’s more to come starting with the letter V, Reichman had also said, explaining that the company has a bunch more of V-based names that it has thought of and hasn’t used.

    Indeed, a future Aston Martin model name is Varekai, which appears set to be used on an upcoming ultra-luxury SUV. This model will go up against the likes of the Bentley Bentayga, Lamborghini Urus and the Rolls-Royce Cullinan. There will be a higher-volume mid-engined rival, added Reichman, though production for this likely won’t start until all road-going Valkyries and its track-only versions are built.

    GALLERY: Aston Martin Valkyrie concept

     
  • New Mitsubishi Triton spotted ahead of Nov 9 debut

    Mitsubishi has previously announced that the new Triton would make its debut on November 9, and we’ve already been shown a few teasers of the pick-up truck already. Now, a member of the New Triton Club Thailand Facebook page has managed to snap a photo of an undisguised unit ahead of the model’s official reveal.

    We already know that the Triton will features the brand’s Dynamic Shield design language at the front but there has been little indication what the rear will look like, even in previous spyshots. Thankfully, the uploaded photo gives us a rather good look at exactly that, and it is rather reminiscent of the GR-HEV Concept from the 2013 Bangkok Motor Show.

    Based on the photo, the outgoing model’s large taillight clusters are now gone and replaced with slender light bars that are inspired by the concept and to a further extent, the Pajero Sport as well. Aside from the taillights, it also appears that the corners of the bumper are now more angular compared to the roundish look of the current model.

    For now, Mitsubishi has yet to reveal any details about the pick-up truck’s specifications, specifically if it will continue on with the familiar 4N15 2.4 litre MIVEC turbodiesel engine that makes 181 PS and 430 Nm of torque. The 4N15 mill is available with a six-speed manual or five-speed automatic.

    GALLERY: New Mitsubishi Triton spyshots

     
  • Porsche Mission E Cross Turismo – production confirmed for all-electric jacked-up Taycan wagon

    Earlier this year, Porsche threw a curveball with the Mission E Cross Turismo Concept, a jacked-up wagon version of the all-electric Mission E. Since then, the production version of the original sedan show car, now called the Taycan, has edged closer to its 2019 debut, and it was only a matter of time before the Cross Turismo got the green light. And so it has.

    The company said that the concept was well received by the media and the public, and that the new model will create 300 new jobs at its Zuffenhausen headquarters. Both the Taycan and its Cross Turismo sibling are part of Porsche’s plan to invest more than €6 billion (RM28.8 billion) in electric mobility by 2022.

    The Cross Turismo will use the Taycan’s running gear, including a pair of electric motors providing a total of 440 kW (590 hp) of all-wheel thrust, plus an 800-volt battery of unspecified capacity. It is quoted to sprint from zero to 100 km/h in just 3.5 seconds before hitting 200 km/h in under 12 seconds; it also has a range of over 500 km and will be able to get 400 km of range from just 15 minutes of charging.

    The car will also feature all-wheel steering, adaptive air suspension that raises ground clearance by up to 50 mm, and Porsche Dynamic Chassis Control (PDCC).

     
 

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