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  • Volvo XC40 teased with several closeups of materials

    Volvo has begun teasing the arrival of the all-new XC40, soon to be the latest addition to its SUV line-up that includes the XC90 and XC60. The teaser images attached will certainly be welcomed by fans of macro photography, as they show some of the materials that will be used on the highly anticipated small SUV.

    As you can see, there’s plenty of textures on show, with inspiration coming in the form of driftwood, street fashion, city architecture, high-end designer goods and popular culture, among others. Volvo says the XC40 is a new take for the company, allowing its designers the freedom to craft a car that exudes vibrancy, individuality and playfulness – things that it claims are missing in the small SUV segment.

    “We wanted the XC40 to be a fresh, creative and distinctive member of the Volvo line-up, allowing its drivers to put their personality in their driveway. XC40 drivers are interested in fashion, design and popular culture, and often live in large, vibrant cities. They want a car that reflects their personality. The XC40 is that car,” said Thomas Ingenlath, chief design officer at Volvo Cars.

    Therefore, the XC40 will be offered with a broader and more spirited colour palette to reflect the many personalities of its drivers. “Our customer research clearly showed that for the XC40 and for this segment, we needed a wider selection of colours and materials than we usually offer. As Volvo Cars has never designed a car like the XC40 before, we could start from scratch and give it energy and playfulness,” added Robin Page, senior vice president design at Volvo Cars.

    “We took inspiration for the XC40 colour and materials from many different sources, mixing them and putting them back together into something cohesive. What we created is a car with a tough attitude that feels fresh, energetic and confident,” added Ebba Maria Thunberg, vice president of Colour & Materials at Volvo Cars.

    For the XC40, interior colour choices include a Lava Orange carpet, Oxide Red upholstery and many other trims and materials. The cabin also features natural, felt-based carpets, headliners and door inserts to lend a modern touch to things.

    “Our Momentum trim level is the most fashion-oriented of the line-up, with vivid exterior colour combinations, while the R-Design and Inscription trim levels reflect a more dynamic and premium feel,” explained Ebba Maria Thunberg.

    GALLERY: Volvo XC40 spyshots

     
  • BARU: Artikel terkini dalam Bahasa Malaysia

  • 2018 Nissan Leaf to feature e-Pedal – one-pedal driving

    The next-generation Nissan Leaf will not only be a smarter car than its predecessor, it will also come with a “revolutionary technology that transforms the way we drive” called e-Pedal.

    Nissan says the feature will enable something it refers to as “one-pedal driving,” but how does it operate? As the attached video shows us, drivers will need to flip the e-Pedal switch to enable to function, which turns the accelerator pedal into an “e-Pedal.”

    With the feature active, the rightmost pedal is now used to accelerate and also to slow down or come to a stop. To engage braking, simply ease off the pedal, and if you want to come to a stop, release it completely.

    It may sound curious but this operational method has made its way into other cars like the Tesla Roadster and even the BMW i3 (video demonstration provided below). As regenerative braking is prevalent in most electric cars, the system acts as a “brake” of sorts when you are easing off the accelerator. However, the brake pedal can still be used in the event of panic stops or if emergency manoeuvres are required.

    Why bother with such a feature that seems alien to most of the driving population? Nissan explains the feature greatly reduces the need for drivers to shift from one pedal to the other in heavy traffic and during city commutes. The e-Pedal therefore covers 90% of their driving needs and makes driving simpler and more engaging.

    The e-Pedal is just one of what should be many other featured technologies like the ProPILOT Assist driver-assistance suite. Look forward to the reveal of the next-gen Leaf on September 6 (September 5 in the United States).

     
  • Honda opens new R&D proving ground in Thailand

    Honda has announced the opening of its R&D Asia Pacific Prachinburi proving ground in Thailand, its first outside Japan and the United States. Located at Rojana Industrial Park, Prachinburi province, the comprehensive vehicle test course has been specially designed to cater for development work in the Asia & Oceania region.

    The 800,000 sq metre facility has eight test courses to simulate various road conditions and terrains, offering the capability to run handling, stability and overall performance tests for both automobiles and motorcycles.

    The various courses have a total combined length of around eight km, and include a 2.18 km-long oval, a 1.38 km-long winding road course incorporating 17 turns with varying elevation points and blind spots as well as a vehicle dynamic evaluation area. The other test areas offer wet surface testing, ride performance evaluation on different road surfaces and slope/straight courses.

    The company says that the Prachinburi proving ground, developed at a cost of 1.7 billion baht (RM217.5 million), is also expected to be used to test models for other regions in the future. Even its lawns will be put to good use, being called on to test Honda’s lawn care products.

     
  • TuneD teases its upcoming Proton Saga 2 0 rework

    Back in May, local tuning outfit TuneD unveiled its first range of aftermarket bodykits and exclusive packages designed specifically to fit the three Proton models, the Persona, Preve and the Saga. Following comments and feedback about the Saga’s exterior design elements, especially with regards to the front end, the company has come up with a new reinterpretation.

    A short video teaser of the Saga Tuned 2 0 project shows that the rework is bringing about a new grille and bumper in a bid to address the criticism of the initial design. Some alterations to the rear presentation have also been carried out, with a black lid spoiler and redone boot trim plate evident in the video clip.

    Elsewhere, the TuneD car gets new double five-spoke wheels, presumably 16-inch units, to replace the multi-spoke design of the original restyling job. The side skirt also looks to have been redone,
    with a black-coloured splitter now running across the entire length of the unit.

    Otherwise, the Fierce Red exterior colour remains, as does the blacked-out pillar treatment to offer the car a ‘floating roof’ look. The TuneD modification package also introduces LED lighting, daytime running lights (DRL), push-start ignition and hood insulation.

    No view of the interior for the Saga 2 0, but there should likely be very little change in this area, with partial leather upholstery for the seats already on the first time out. Based on the video teaser, the car on show in the preview should contain all the elements in the Premium package available for the Saga.

    GALLERY: TuneD Proton Saga, launch version

     
  • DRIVEN: 2017 Mitsubishi Triton VGT – back in the fight

    Let’s not beat around the bush: time has not been kind to the Mitsubishi Triton. While the original was well-received for its unconventional looks and car-like road manners, the second-gen was deemed off the pace in light of newer, more advanced rivals like the Ford Ranger and Nissan NP300 Navara – especially due to its unrefined carryover engine and stingy safety equipment count.

    In the interim, of course, the competition has only gotten fiercer. The all-new Toyota Hilux was introduced last year, and both the Isuzu D-Max and Chevrolet Colorado have been given makeovers to keep them fresh on the market. Mind you, that hasn’t stopped the Triton from selling well over here, but there has always been a sneaking suspicion that its appeal wouldn’t last for much longer.

    Mitsubishi knows this, and has given its bestseller a number of updates over the years, including the introduction of limited Phantom and Knight Edition models. More recently, the Triton finally received the new, cleaner and more frugal MIVEC engine – already offered in other markets – last year, plus a more rugged-looking Adventure X range-topper.

    But it was only this year that Mitsubishi, at long last, looked serious to bring the Triton up to pace with the rest of the segment, adding a slew of safety features that were sorely lacking before. But is all that enough for the latest iteration to go toe-to-toe with its rivals? We drive it on and off the road in Kota Kinabalu to find out.

    Read our full review of the 2017 Mitsubishi Triton here.

     
  • AD: Own a Jaguar or Land Rover with rebates of up to RM80,000, or as low as 0%* financing!

    Celebrate the Raya festivities in style with a new Jaguar or Land Rover, at the Jaguar Land Rover Raya Weekend Sale event. Enjoy high adrenaline and luxury with rebates of up to RM80,000 on offer, or as low as 0%* financing.

    The Jaguar XF can be yours with as low as 0%* financing, while the Jaguar XE and XJ are available with as low as 0.99%* financing. Looking for something to take you off the beaten track? The Land Rover Discovery Sport can be had with as low as 0%* financing, and the Range Rover Evoque and Range Rover Sport are yours with as low as 0.88%* and 0.99%* financing respectively.

    These rebates or low interest loans can now put you behind the wheel of your next well-deserved drive, be it an elegant and sophisticated Jaguar or a Land Rover with its celebrated capabilities – both easier than ever to own with lower monthly instalments.

    All new models come with Jaguar Care or Land Rover Care package, which includes a five-year/150,000 km warranty, five-year/80,000 km servicing and three years of Jaguar Land Rover Roadside Assistance.

    For more details, including the list of rebates available, contact SISMA Auto Glenmarie at 03-92123105, Sime Darby Auto Connexion Petaling Jaya at 03-92123102, SISMA Kuala Lumpur at 03-92123109 or SISMA Auto Penang at 04-2913079. Alternatively, point your web browser to www.landrover.com.my/offers or www.jaguar.com.my/offers.

    To take a proper look and experience the vehicles, you’re invited to the Jaguar Land Rover Raya Weekend Sale event at Sime Darby Auto Connexion Petaling Jaya (click here for Waze location) on July 22 and 23 where you can get more details on the promotions, plus have a first-hand experience with the latest Jaguar and Land Rover models.

    *Promotion is valid based on availability and applicable to selected models and units only. While stocks last. Terms and conditions apply.

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  • Opel and Vauxhall Insignia GSi – 260 hp, 400 Nm, AWD

    The hot version of the latest Opel/Vauxhall Insignia, revealed in December 2016, is out. The Opel Insignia GSi (or Vauxhall Insignia GSi in the UK) will make its motor show debut at IAA Frankfurt in September. It will also be available in the US as the Buick Regal GS.

    The Insignia continues a long tradition of sporty Opel models with the GSi badge, which was worn by cars like the Manta GSi and the Kadett GSi (115 hp from 1.8L) in 1984. Four years later the 2.0L DOHC engine in the Kadett 2.0 GSi 16V delivered 150 hp. The first Astra also featured this engine and in 1993 there was a 1.8L 125 hp alternative in the Astra GSi. Various generations of the Corsa received the GSi treatment as well.

    Today’s sport sedan is powered by a 2.0 litre turbo-four with 260 hp and 400 Nm, mated to a new eight-speed automatic transmission with steering paddles. With the transmission shifting automatically, the driver can preselect the shift points in Standard and Sport modes. There will be a diesel option as well.

    Developed at the Nurburgring, the Insignia GSi sports 10 mm shorter springs and unique shock absorbers to reduce body movements. It also comes with four-pot 345 mm Brembo brakes and a mechatronic FlexRide chassis. AWD with torque vectoring is standard, and the hot Insignia rolls on Michelin Pilot Sport 4S tyres and optional 20-inch wheels (18-inch standard).

    Besides Standard, Tour and Sport modes, the GSi gets a Competition mode, which is activated via the ESP button. A double-press gives drivers more yaw and switches off traction control. The Insignia GSi is quicker on the Nurburgring than the more powerful previous-gen Insignia OPC, as it’s 160 kg lighter than the 2.8 litre V6 turbo old car.

    It looks really good as well. Chrome-edged air-intakes are located ahead of the front wheels and the rear carries a functional spoiler. The rear apron is styled like a diffuser and features two chrome pipes. Inside, there are new AGR-certified sports seats. Just like in the Insignia Grand Sport, it offers ventilation, heating, massage and adjustable side bolsters. Here, the chairs have tall backs, integrated head restraints and GSi emblems.

    Matching the seats are a flat-bottomed steering wheel, aluminium pedals and black headlining.

     
  • Ford F-150 Police Responder – laying down the law

    A police car needs to command presence, which is exactly what the newly-revealed 2018 Ford F-150 Police Responder is capable of doing.

    Ford says the vehicle is the industry’s first pursuit-rated pick-up truck, and is well equipped to ensure it is up to the task when operating in rural environments patrolled by sheriff’s departments, border patrol operations and fish and game authorities.

    For starters, there’s an upgraded front stabiliser bar and police-calibrated brake system with upgraded calipers and pad friction material to provide improved braking and handling. The truck rides on 18-inch alloy wheels wrapped with chunky all-terrain tyres as well.

    On the exterior, the F-150 Police Responder is fitted with the usual array of sirens and lights, along with a front bulbar should it need to deliver justice a little more personally. Underneath, the truck has underbody skid plates to protect it from curbs and rough terrain, important in rural settings.

    The police pick-up is based on the F-150 FX4 and comes with a SuperCrew body for maximum practicality – largest passenger volume, payload and towing capacity of any pursuit-rated police vehicle – the last part comes courtesy of a standard class IV hitch that allows for a towing capability of 3,175 kg.

    Inside, there’s now column shifter instead of one mounted on the centre console, police-calibrated speedometer, heavy-duty cloth front seats with slim bolsters and anti-stab plates, vinyl rear seating and heavy-duty vinyl flooring that makes clean-ups easier.

    Under the hood, the F-150 Police Responder is powered by a 3.5 litre EcoBoost V6 with 375 hp and 637 Nm of torque. The engine is mated to a SelectShift 10-speed automatic transmission with a four-wheel drive system, and the pick-up will hit a top speed of 161 km/h. To support the many electrical devices in the car, there’s also a high-output 240-amp alternator, plus engine hour and engine idle hour meters.

    The F-150 Police Responder is one of many law enforcement vehicles offered by Ford, and it joins a broad line-up that includes the industry-first Police Responder Hybrid Sedan, Police Interceptor Sedan and Utility, Special Service F-150 and Expedition, Special Service Police Sedan and Transit Prisoner Transport Vehicle.

     
  • Volvo to set up joint venture tech company with Geely to share platforms, engines; buys stake in Lynk & Co

    It’s been seven years since Volvo was bought over by Geely, but the two companies are finally coming together to facilitate greater technology sharing between each other. Plans have been announced for a new joint venture technology company, aimed to deepen synergies and provide economies of scale that will allow a more rapid development of next-generation electric vehicle technology.

    The signed Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) states that Volvo, Geely and the latter’s Lynk & Co startup will share vehicle architecture and engine technologies via cross-licensing agreements managed by the new company, owned 50:50 by Volvo and Geely. It is said that the brands will also deepen cooperation through the common sourcing of components and the reduction of procurement costs.

    As such, licence agreements will allow Volvo, Geely and Lynk & Co to use each other’s technologies, although the intellectual property rights will remain with the company that originally developed it. The companies already share the new Compact Modular Architecture (CMA), which will be used on Volvo’s upcoming 40 Series cars and Lynk & Co models.

    In the future, modular vehicle architectures and other tech will be shared and developed based on cost sharing agreements, reducing overall development costs. The collaboration is expected to be expanded later on to include electrified vehicle components such as battery cells, motors and charging systems, in order to maximise synergies across the greater Geely group.

    Volvo has also announced that it will purchase a significant minority share in Lynk & Co, reflecting the latter’s use of Volvo technology both now and in the future.

     
  • BMW iPerformance plug-in hybrids – big in Malaysia

    BMW’s iPerformance range of plug-in hybrids have been quite a hit with Malaysians shopping in the premium segment. BMW Group Malaysia delivered over 2,300 units of the BMW 330e, BMW X5 xDrive40e and the BMW 740Le up in the first half of 2017.

    Since the introduction of the first BMW PHEV in the country – the X5 xDrive40e at in June 2016 – the premium brand has delivered over 3,200 units of the electrified cars. That’s a share of over 44% of its total volume mix in the country, the highest in the world. The current world average is 3% while in Nordic countries, the figure is 14%.

    “Malaysia is leading the way! The growth and take up rate of the BMW iPerformance vehicles here indicates that Malaysians are ready for the newest technology in the automotive industry and the BMW hybrid vehicles with eDrive Technology are the best offerings for customers to get into vehicles that are not only dynamic and beautifully designed but are also responsible and frugal in terms of fuel consumption and CO2 emissions,” said Han Sang Yun, MD and CEO of BMW Group Malaysia.

    The BMW 330e, launched in August 2016, has been well received. Currently, more than 60% of F30s delivered in Malaysia are the 330e, while over 40% of 7 Series buyers have opted for the 740Le xDrive.

    Charging infrastructure in important. “We must also look at ensuring necessary infrastructure is made available to support the new technology. This is what increases consumer confidence in the viability of plug-in hybrid vehicles and eventually electric vehicles in the future,” Han added.

    Referring to BMW and GreenTech Malaysia’s partnership to offer the former’s customers access to ChargeNow mobility services via the ChargEV platform, Han said: “To date, there are more than 200 ChargEV stations available nationwide and this will continue to grow to a target of 25,000 ChargEV stations by 2020.

    “We are pleased to share that over 600 BMW plug-in hybrid vehicle owners have also signed up for the BMW ChargeNow program on the ChargEV platform. This is another confidence on the progress of the take up of these new technologically advanced vehicles and Malaysian’s move in adopting electro-mobility will continue to be positive,” he added.

    BMW Malaysia is also expanding the accessibility of charging stations through its dealership network. Only recently, Seong Hoe Premium Motors, a BMW dealership in Melaka, installed a dedicated BMWi Wallbox at the Holiday Inn with another similar project in progress at Equatorial Hotel due next month. In East Malaysia, dealer Regas Premium Auto Sarawak will also be installing two BMWi Wallbox units at CityONE Megamall in Kuching, the first public chargers in the state.

    The BMW ChargeNow service is offered as part of the BMW 360° Electric programme for customers of the BMW i8, 330e, X5 xDrive40e and 740Le xDrive. The ChargeNow card grants straightforward access to ChargEV’s growing network.

     
 

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