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  • Hyundai Genesis previewed in Malaysia with 3.8L V6

    hyundai-genesis-malaysia-11

    The latest Hyundai Genesis has made an unexpected appearance in Malaysia, specifically at Nu Sentral where Hyundai is a co-sponsor of the ongoing CIMB Malaysian Open Squash Championships 2014. There’s no official word yet that the large Korean car is coming to our shores, but the fact that it’s being displayed here says a lot, doesn’t it?

    Massive, unique-looking and certainly imposing, the second-generation Genesis is a premium rear-wheel drive sedan that’s a few rungs above the likes of the D-segment Sonata. There isn’t even a Hyundai logo on it, as it wears its own ‘Genesis’ crest.

    hyundai-genesis-malaysia-4

    It measures in at 4,990 mm long, 1,890 mm wide and 1,480 mm tall, with a 3,010 mm wheelbase. The car on show wears a 3.8 litre V6 Lambda engine with 315 PS and 397 Nm of torque, paired to an eight-speed automatic transmission.

    On the equipment front, it boasts 18-inch wheels, xenon headlamps, keyless entry, panoramic roof, Around View Monitor, head-up display and nine airbags. Whether everything listed in the extensive spec sheet (included in the gallery below) will arrive in the local cars (whenever that may be), remains to be seen.

    In the US, the relatively successful Genesis is known for offering more than Mercedes-Benz E-Class/BMW 5 Series levels of technology and space, but for C-Class/3 Series money. Whether the same “value for money” formula would work here, well, your guess is as good as ours.

     
     
  • SPIED: Hyundai to make its own hybrid Prius-fighters

    Hyundai_hybrid_Prius_fighter_007

    It appears that Hyundai is busy cooking up its own versions of dedicated hybrid vehicles to target Toyota’s Prius and Prius v models. What you see here are not standard i30 hatchback units, but early test bed prototypes of the Korean brand’s future Prius-fighters. Or if you will, prize-fighters.

    What makes us so sure of this? Well, for starters, the fleet of test cars are traveling with not one, but two Toyota Prius models – a standard Prius and the larger MPV-esque Prius v. Looking closely at the mules, there are two models of different lengths on test here – check out the extended portions just above the rear wheel arches (below) – signalling that Hyundai may be planning to take on the Prius pair head on.

    Other clues are not as subtle. Our ever-resourceful European spy photographers managed to get up close and capture very revealing pictures of the prototype’s undercarriage (with a big fat orange high-voltage cable) and even interior (complete with copper cooling wires leading to where the battery pack would be), leaving no doubts that there are hybrid modules under the skin.

    Hyundai is certainly no stranger to hybrid technology – there has been a hybrid version of the Sonata for quite a while now. But making dedicated hybrid models a la the Toyota Prius range is a different ball game altogether. The unique-looking BLUE-WILL Concept from 2009 was the one and only official hint that Hyundai was ever interested in such an endeavour.

    Can the Koreans actually match, or even beat Toyota at its own game? We can’t wait to find out.


    2009 Hyundai BLUE-WILL Concept

     
     
  • SEAT Leon Cupra Sub8 Performance Pack detailed

    SEAT Leon Cupra Sub8 Performance Pack 1

    As silly as it sounds, high-performance hot-hatches are now ranked by how quickly they can lap the Nurburgring’s legendary Nordschleife track. Yeah we know, very relevant to everyday driving, right? But that’s the way it is, and manufacturers are milking it for all they’re worth. Renault, for the longest time, and now VW-owned Spanish carmaker SEAT too.

    A few months ago, SEAT shattered the long-standing lap record for a front-wheel drive car – previously held by the Renault Megane RS 265 Trophy, and before that the Megane R26.R – with its latest Leon Cupra 280. Not only that, it did it in under eight minutes (7 min 58.4 seconds) – the first one to do so with a FWD layout.

    SEAT Leon Cupra Sub8 Performance Pack 2

    Nevermind that Renault came back with a vengeance and took the crown again shortly after (the Megane RS 275 Trophy-R recorded a 7 min 54.36 second-lap), SEAT is celebrating the unprecedented feat. Cue the appropriately-named SEAT Leon Cupra Sub8 Performance Pack, with all the go-faster additions used to achieve that lap time.

    Part of the package are up-sized 370 mm (30 mm bigger) four-pot Brembo brakes, unique 19-inch wheels (in either orange or black) and extended side skirts. Semi-slick Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tyres are available as an option too (at half the price that Renault charges for the same items, as SEAT points out), as are combination Alcantara/leather bucket seats.

    SEAT Leon Cupra

     
     
  • BMW X4 launched in Malaysia – xDrive28i, RM439k

    BMW X4 Malaysia- 1

    BMW Malaysia officially launched the BMW X4 this morning at the Sepang International Circuit. No surprise of course – the latest SAV was teased on FB earlier this month. The X4, which can be viewed either as an “X3 coupe” or “baby X6″, is available here in xDrive28i form, priced at RM438,800 OTR without insurance. The xDrive28i M Sport is RM30k costlier.

    This website has had a long journey with the F26 X4. Our man Harvinder introduced the BMW Concept X4 to the world for BMW TV at Auto Shanghai 2013, posing some of your questions to the crossover’s product manager and designer.

    Post Shanghai, we continued to follow the X4′s transformation from concept to production via a series of spyshots, before the car made its debut in Geneva this year, retaining much of the original concept’s looks. Anthony sampled the X4 at its international launch in Spain in June, and you can read our test drive report to learn more.

    BMW X4 Malaysia- 2

    The X4 xDrive28i is powered by a 2.0 litre turbo engine with 245 hp and 350 Nm of torque from just 1,250 rpm. The direct-injected twin-scroll turbo motor is paired to BMW’s eight-speed automatic transmission, and power goes to all four corners via BMW’s xDrive system. Zero to 100 km/h is done is just 6.4 seconds, and the 1,845 kg SAV will go on until 232 km/h. Hot-hatches, don’t try to “smoke” this thing.

    The F26 X4 is based on the F25 X3, and both cars share the same width (1,881 mm) and wheelbase (2,810 mm), although the “coupe” is 23 mm longer (4,671 mm) and 51 mm lower (1,624 mm) than the upright F25.

    Boot capacity is 500 litres, increasing to 1,400 litres with the 40:20:40-split rear seat bench folded flat. The tailgate is automatic and there’s a Smart Opener function where you extend your leg under the rear bumper (no contact required) to open/close the hatch.

    If you don’t see the X3/X4 relationship outside, you will once opening the doors, as both share the same dashboard design. Cabin features include dual-zone auto air con (with rear vents), electric seat adjustment (memory for driver) and Navigation system Professional with 8.8-inch display, among other things.

    BMW X4 Malaysia- 3

    The xDrive28i comes in SAV-specific xLine trim, which includes 19-inch Y-spoke alloys (245/45 tyres front, 275/40 rear) and matte chrome trim for the dual-tailpipes, aluminium matte for the kidney grille and satin window surrounds. xLine door finishers, a nine-speaker 205W “HiFi” sound system, Nevada leather, sports leather steering with paddles and ‘X’ stamping on the headrests are also standard.

    The optional M Sport package adds on 19-inch double-spoke M light alloys (same tyre size), high-gloss shadow line trim and an M aerodynamics package. Melbourne Red is an exclusive M Sport colour option. Inside, you get a colour head-up display, M door sill finishers, M Sport steering, aluminium trim and a 16-speaker 600W Harman Kardon sound system.

    Lastly, both the standard X4 and the M Sport version come with Dynamic Damper Control. Active damping was present in the original CBU X3 but is omitted from the latest CKD X3 facelift, launched earlier this month.

    View full specs and pricing for the BMW X4 on CarBase.my and compare the X4 against its X3 sibling and the Range Rover Evoque Coupe. Also read our test drive report of the BMW X4.

    BMW X4 xDrive28i


    BMW X4 xDrive28i M Sport

     
     
  • DRIVEN: 2014 Nissan Elgrand tested from every seat

    Nissan-Elgrand-Review-3

    You get a job, you get married, and then you have kids. Hopefully in that order. You watch your first child open his or her eyes for the first time and curiously look around the ward. And everything changes – you cease to be a manager or senior manager or whatever fancy corporate title you hold at your office. Your primary job title has now become provider and protector of your family.

    It’s no longer about horsepower, torque and acceleration times from now on. It’s all about making sure your family is able to travel in the most comfortable and safest vehicle you can afford. And for the longest time, the well-to-do family man has been shopping at grey importers for his weapon of choice. It’s not an uncommon sight to see a sea of white or silver MPVs imported from Japan parked at these dealerships. Now, the official importers are having a go to get some market share as well.

    Nissan-Elgrand-Review-6

    Malaysian Nissan distributor Edaran Tan Chong Motor was one of the first to officially enter this segment with the launch of the Nissan Elgrand in Malaysia back in 2012. UMW Toyota followed later with the Alphard this year, and ETCM followed up by quickly bringing in the latest facelift of the Elgrand, which was globally unveiled at last year’s Tokyo Motor Show.

    These large luxury MPVs such as the Toyota Alphard and Nissan Elgrand are displacing traditional choices at the RM300k-RM400k range, which used to belong exclusively to Euro sedans and SUVs.

    Look after the jump for our experience with the new Nissan Elgrand.

     
     
  • BHPetrol & Partners contest – lucky winners rewarded

    BHP Air Asia Celcom Contest Winners

    Lucky winners of Stage 1 of the “BHPetrol & Partners” contest recently received their prizes. Lucky customer Mohammad Zaini bin Khalib from KL took the grand prize – AirAsia X tickets for two – home. Another 15 won a Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 Lite each, all presented by Baba Tan, BHPetrol’s senior marketing manager and reps from contest sponsors.

    Held for three months ending July 15, the contest was supported by AirAsia X, Celcom, F&N Beverages and Nestle. Customers were required to reload their Celcom X-Pax account (minimum RM30) or purchase selected products in a single receipt. Winners were picked via lucky draw from purchases made at BHPetrol stations from April 15 to May 15. Winners for the other two stages will be announced soon.

     
     
  • Lotus SUV and sedan planned, says new group CEO

    lotus-apx

    A Lotus SUV and a sedan are in the plans of the Malaysian-owned British brand. Yes, you read that right. Not one, but two completely new, completely uncharacteristic body styles are to be developed by the highly-regarded but troubled sportscar-maker.

    As unlikely as it may sound, Utusan Malaysia reports that this revelation came from the boss man himself, new Group Lotus CEO Jean-Marc Gales, in a Proton board meeting yesterday. Proton’s chairman Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, CEO Datuk Abdul Harith Abdullah and Lotus COO Aslam Farikullah were said to have been present in the meeting.

    This is all part of Gales’ future action plan for Group Lotus. The former PSA head took over the vacant position (since Danny Bahar’s dismissal in 2012) from May 1 this year. He had previously held senior posts at Daimler, General Motors, Fiat and Volkswagen.

    Before any speculations rise, the upcoming SUV model will not be related to the 2006 Lotus APX concept (pictured up top) at all. It will have an all-new design, apparently. Speaking of the sedan (a large D-segmenter, according to the report), Gales said that Lotus has had prior experience in building such a vehicle – the 1990 Lotus Carlton/Omega super-sedan that was co-developed with Vauxhall/Opel. How that is of any relevance today, well, we’re not quite sure.

    Is Lotus moving in the right direction with this decision? Do share your thoughts in the comments.

     
     
  • Llumar Diamond 6 – utmost security, solar protection

    llumar-diamond-6 095

    Automotive window tints were recently the source of much debate in Malaysia, amidst the so-called Ops Cermin Gelap, the proposed revision of acceptable Visible Light Transmission (VLT) levels and the ensuing reactions of both the public and select parties. Be that as it may, omnipresent issues surrounding security and protection from the unforgiving heat (which seems to get even more unforgiving by the day) make the adoption of window films an attractive proposition to many.

    And the choices on offer to the Malaysian motorist who wants to take the plunge are not only many, but easily sought, and practically anywhere. With a dizzying array of brands and products available, the sales of which have yet to be officially regulated, how is one assured of the quality, durability and legality of their chosen product?

    Well, the brand’s background is a good starting point. Take Llumar for instance. Born in the US in 1977, the brand’s window film is manufactured by Eastman Chemical Company, a 94-year old Fortune 500 specialty chemicals company founded by George Eastman (of Eastman Kodak fame), after it bought Llumar’s parent company Solutia Inc in 2012.

    llumar-diamond-6 094

    Today, Llumar serves nearly 100 countries around the world, with its range of films having quickly developed a reputation for safety and security. The films hold the glass intact, keeping the shards in one piece. This serves to delay and deter break-in attempts, as well as reducing the likelihood of injury to vehicle occupants caused by shattering glass.

    Additionally, Llumar films are claimed to block out up to 99% of harmful ultraviolet rays, thereby protecting passengers from skin damage, guarding against deterioration of the vehicle’s interior and reducing blinding glare. Of course, this also helps to keep interior temperatures in check, allowing the cabin to cool faster and resulting in less load on the air-conditioning system.

    In the case of the Diamond 6 package, the films swap out metal for high-performance chemicals that disperse rather than reject heat; similar in principle to a wet towel. Heat enters and escapes the vehicle, preventing a build-up. Because no metal is present in the film, there is no expectation of corrosion nor rust, and they’re scratch resistant, too.

    llumar-diamond-6 096

    Green in hue, the six-mil (150 micron) thick films have a VLT of 63% and a TSER (Total Solar Energy Rejection) of 59%. Out of Llumar Malaysia’s JPJ-compliant tint packages, only the premium Palladium 9 betters these figures, with super-strong nine-mil (225 micron) thick films of 75% VLT and 63% TSER.

    We had the opportunity recently to try the Diamond 6 package out. The installers carefully removed the Santa Fe’s previous tint, ensuring the windows weren’t scratched in the process, and applied cleaning agents to expel any left-over adhesive. After making sure all the windows were dirt- and dust-free, the films were cut to size and carefully applied to the glass.

    This took a lot of skill, patience and dedication – more so with the curved windscreen and rear window, which necessitated the use of a device not unlike a hair dryer to shrink-wrap the film into shape first. Meticulous care was taken throughout to ensure no pockets of air were trapped under the films.

    llumar-diamond-6 106

    The finished product has served the Santa Fe well for four months now, and I am happy to report that it does a good job of keeping the heat at bay – the cabin cools faster, even after the vehicle is parked under the sun for some time. The reduced day or night glare is definitely appreciated by driver and passengers alike, and SmartTAGs, gate remotes and access cards work with no problem at all.

    The Diamond 6 package cost RM3,900 for the Santa Fe; for smaller passenger cars, you’re looking at the low- to mid-three thousands. Included is an impressive 10-year warranty, which covers any discolouration, peeling or bubbling. The warranty is also one-time transferable to the next owner, and should JPJ-compliant tints be removed by the authorities for whatever reason, they will be replaced for free.

    Llumar products have been exclusively distributed in Malaysia by Tint Auto Sdn Bhd for the past eight years. Today, the company has 27 branches nationwide, including the country’s first 3S tint centre, which opened on Jalan Chan Sow Lin in 2010.

    This is an advertorial sponsored by Llumar.

     

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  • VIDEO: Land Rover Discovery Sport cabin previewed

    Land Rover has released this video, previewing the upcoming Discovery Sport’s interior. This gives us our first real glimpse of the Freelander-replacement’s new seating configuration, as well as a quick look at the dashboard. For a car that will rival the five-seat BMW X3 and Audi Q5, this looks rather impressive indeed.

    It’s not quite big enough to be classified as a full seven-seater. There’s the full-size Discovery for that role, anyway. Land Rover itself calls it a 5+2, but promises that it “will be the most versatile and capable SUV in its segment.”

    From the short clip, we now know that the second-row seats can be adjusted front and back, and that the seat backs have a 40:20:40-split. That’s MPV-esque flexibility there. The last two seats, meanwhile, have comically-large folding headrests, much like those on the Range Rover Sport.

    The Land Rover Discovery Sport will be revealed in full on September 3, just two weeks from now. We’ll have more on this when the time comes.


    Land Rover Discovery Vision concept at the 2014 NYIAS

    Land Rover Discovery Sport spied testing

     
     
  • Karamjit Singh wins Malaysian Rally C’ship Rd2, Johor

    karamjit johor rally

    Karamjit Singh won Round 2 of the Malaysian Rally Championship in Johor last weekend. The victory was all the more special as his 2WD 1.6 litre Proton Satria Neo R3 Rally overcame 4WD turbocharged cars from Mitsubishi and Subaru. It was the first time a 2WD 1600 car has won the overall Malaysian Rally in the 10-year history of the MRC in Johor.

    The Flying Sikh dominated proceedings by winning nine of the 14 special stages of the rally, which ran over three days in Johor Bahru and Kota Tinggi. Known as one of the world’s toughest rally events, conditions were made worse by torrential rain turning the gravel trails into a slippery mudfest, causing many accidents.

    Karamjit won six out of eight stages in Leg 1, building a 1:45 lead over Chinese driver Fan Fan in an Evo X. 23-year old Proton R3 Team junior driver Kenneth Koh in the other Neo put in an inspired drive to climb up to fifth from last place after incurring a five minute penalty in the first stage. He later retired from fourth due to a broken driveshaft.

    Karamjit started where he left off by winning one of three stages in Leg 2. As the stages were drying out, Fan Fan clawed back three stage victories only to lose more time after a big spin. The leader went on to win two more stages to seal victory with a huge 2 minutes and 47 seconds lead.

    “I never drove so intense in a rally in a long time. It was very hard work. The Proton R3 team did a fantastic job and provided me with a car that was trouble-free and performed well even under challenging conditions,” he said. With a win each between Karamjit and Fan Fan, the championship is very open. The third round of the MRC will be held in Negeri Sembilan in October.

    The Malaysian Rally in Johor was also the fourth round of the 2014 FIA Asia-Pacific Rally Championship. Indian driver Gaurav Gill won the APRC event in his Team MRF Skoda Fabia S2000. He beat Australian Mark Pedder (Evo) and China’s Jun Xu (Fabia S2000). With the win, Gill is back in the title race, and he now trails leader Jan Kopecky by just eight points.

    Watch Karamjit Singh in action in Driven Web Series, where he takes on our own (fake) Flying Sikh. Like in the rally, he took on, and beat, more powerful turbocharged machines handled by less skilled drivers :)

     
     
 

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