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  • Toyota Alphard facelift spotted with new front fascia

    It may not seem like it, but the current Toyota Alphard is already two years old and ready for its makeover. Right on time, Toyota is preparing a facelift for the luxury MPV, and Twitter user @ArancioAtlas has spotted the revised model in Japan ahead of its unveiling.

    As you can see, the front grille has been redesigned with larger inserts along the top edge and the deletion of the bumper beam that sits across. The headlights are also now connected to that grille and split in the middle, Vellfire-style, while the fog light inserts have been redesigned with the lamps themselves sitting lower down.

    It should be noted that this is the revamped version of the Aero look – characterised by the more aggressive bumper design and smoked headlights – which isn’t offered for sale here. Lastly, the 17-inch alloy wheels shown here get a new design; we get 19s as standard.

    According to the Japanese blog Car Drive, the facelifted Alphard and Vellfire is set to be unveiled on December 25, gaining the Toyota Safety Sense suite of driver assists as standard, as well as the Data Communications Module (DCM) coming to the next-gen Crown. The 3.5 litre V6 model should also gain automatic engine start/stop, while the 2.5 litre four-cylinder and Hybrid models will likely remain unchanged.

    GALLERY: 2016 Toyota Alphard 3.5 V6 Executive Lounge in Malaysia

  • BARU: Artikel terkini dalam Bahasa Malaysia

  • New Suzuki Swift – Thai eco car launching early 2018

    The new Suzuki Swift will be launching in Thailand early next year, the Bangkok Post reports. The fourth-generation B-segment hatchback made its home market debut in December 2016 and the Swift Sport hot hatch surfaced two months ago.

    The new Swift comes with a 1.0 litre Boosterjet triple, but Thais will instead get a 1.2 litre naturally-asprated four-cylinder unit dubbed Dualjet. The K12C 1.2L twin-injector engine will go it alone in the Land of Smiles, without the integrated starter generator (ISG) that a mild hybrid variant gets in Japan.

    This is of course due to cost, as the Swift is an Eco Car playing in Thailand’s entry level market. Nissan’s Note eco car, launched there early this year, also omitted the JDM version’s e-Power hybrid system, making do with a 1.2L NA engine. The recently rebooted Toyota Yaris will be the car to beat.

    The Swift’s K12C makes the same 91 hp/118 Nm as the K12B unit in the outgoing Thai Swift, but it should be more fuel efficient and green to meet Eco Car Phase 2 standards of 23.3 km/l and 100 g/km of CO2 emissions. The new Heartect platform, which is more rigid and less heavy would help the cause – the JDM car’s weight reduction is from 30 to 160 kg.

    Interesting little car, but one that we won’t be getting with Suzuki out of the local scene.

    GALLERY: JDM Suzuki Swift

  • Mitsubishi Triton Athlete unveiled ahead of Thai debut

    The Mitsubishi Triton Athlete has been unveiled ahead of its public debut at the Thai Motor Expo set for the end of this month, and as discovered with earlier leaked images, the pick-up truck will feature cosmetic updates.

    Mechanically the Mitsubishi Triton remains unchanged, with the 2.4 litre MIVEC diesel engine rated for 181 hp at 3,500 rpm and 430 Nm of torque at 2,500 rpm being the sole engine choice. This is paired with either a six-speed manual or five-speed automatic gearbox, with the automatic available as both a 2WD and a 4WD.

    As revealed before, the Triton Athlete will sport black accents with orange highlights, boasting of a blacked-out honeycomb grille, and black cladding on the bumpers and wheel arches. The black accents are further applied to the 17-inch alloy wheels, side steps, side mirror covers and door handles, plus black and orange accent decals along the front and rear bumpers, rear tray-mounted sports bar and sides.

    The black and orange colour scheme continues on the inside of the Triton Athlete, where the black leather upholstery gets inlay panels in orange and ‘Athlete’ embroidery on the front seat backrests and floor mats. Further visual cues include orange stitching on the seats, steering wheel, gear knob, door panels, storage box and centre console. The driver’s seat is eight-way power-adjustable, while the touchscreen head unit supports Apple CarPlay.

    Three variants of the Mitsubishi Triton Athlete will be offered – Double Cab Plus MT, Double Cab Plus AT and Double Cab 4WD, and can be had in three colours; White Pearl, Titanium Grey, and Black Diamond. Pricing for the Triton Athlete has yet to be released, but can be expected at its debut next week.

    In Malaysia, the current model-year Triton was launched in April, bringing Active Stability Control with traction control (ASTC), Hill Start Assist, Trailer Sway Control as well as automatic speed-sensing door locks for all VGT variants. The VGT Adventure and Adventure X get seven airbags (dual front, side, curtain and driver’s knee) and a five-star ASEAN NCAP safety rating.

    GALLERY: Mitsubishi Triton VGT Adventure X in Malaysia

  • Nissan introduces Nismo Heritage programme for R32 Skyline GT-R in Japan – 80 parts to go on sale in Dec

    Maintaining an old performance car can be quite a tall order, especially if you need to find replacement parts that may no longer be produced. Nissan is well aware of this, which is why it has introduced the new Nismo Heritage programme.

    The first model to be supported by the programme is the R32 Skyline GT-R, a car that was made between August 1989 and January 1995. The original ‘Godzilla’ was a dominant force on the racetrack, with wins at 24 Hours Nürburgring, Australia Touring Car Championship, Spa 24 Hours and Super GT.

    Outside of motor racing, gamers will have fond memories of the model in the Gran Turismo series, while Initial D fans recognise it as Takeshi Nakazato’s weapon of choice.

    As a first step, Nismo Heritage will offer 80 parts for the R32 Skyline GT-R. These include harnesses, hoses (tubes), emblems and other exterior components, although additional parts may be added to the list in the future, pending consideration.

    Should there be parts that are unable to be reproduced due to operational difficulties at original suppliers, Nismo will consider other methods of replacing these parts with substitute, rebuilt or overhauled products, as well as Nismo-tuned parts.

    The company will also look to broaden the programme’s scope to include more Skyline models like the R33 and R34 GT-R. Sales of the Nismo Heritage parts for the R32 Skyline GT-R will start on December 1, 2017 in Japan.

  • New Perodua Myvi deliveries reach 1,000 units one week after launch, over 80% are 1.5L variants

    Perodua has delivered 1,000 units of the new 2018 Perodua Myvi nationwide, one week after the third-generation hatchback was launched. The Rawang-based carmaker says that over 80% of the first 1,000 units delivered were 1.5 litre variants.

    “We are now focusing our efforts on delivery of the all new Myvi to our customers as we understand their urgent need for transportation,” said Perodua Sales MD Datuk Zahari Husin, who also revealed that the company has received 13,000 bookings as of today.

    “This response so far from the public is overwhelming and we thank our valued customers for choosing Perodua and especially the all new Perodua Myvi as their car of choice. To our customers, we will continue our pledge to launch and deliver and we welcome you to our sales showrooms to speak to our authorised sales advisors to see as well as to test drive the new Myvi for yourselves,” he added.

    The new Myvi has been impressive and surprising, both on paper and on the move. The in-house developed new model is very well-stocked with kit – LED headlamps, keyless entry and push start, digital air-con controls with two memory settings, four airbags and VSC are standard from the RM44,300 base model, which has a five-star ASEAN NCAP rating.

    All 1.5L models get six airbags and the top RM55,300 Advance boasts the Advanced Safety Assist suite of active safety systems, which include Pre-Collision Warning (PCW), Pre-Collision Braking (PCB), Front Departure Alert (FDA) and Pedal Misoperation Control (PMC) functions.

    To learn more about the new Myvi, read our comprehensive launch report and first impressions test drive report, and don’t forget to view our video review, which includes a demo of ASA’s features.

    GALLERY: Perodua Myvi 1.3 Premium X in Peppermint Green Metallic

    GALLERY: Perodua Myvi 1.5 Advance in Granite Grey Metallic

  • Toyota: We lost 2017 WEC championships to Porsche

    The Toyota Gazoo Racing team has admitted that it lost the World Endurance Championship (WEC) titles this year despite winning five of the nine races, practically handing them over to rival Porsche.

    Toyota Motorsport GmbH technical director Pascal Vasselon said this after the team won the 6 Hours of Bahrain finale last weekend, according to The three back-to-back victories scored by the #8 team of Sebastien Buemi, Kazuki Nakajima and Anthony Davidson at the end of the season didn’t stop Porsche from clinching both drivers’ and manufacturers’ titles at the previous race in Shanghai.

    “It’s satisfying because it was our target [to win more races than Porsche],” said Vasselon of the win. “It puts a different light on the season, because we have dominated on performance in six races out of nine and we managed to not win the championship. So basically I can say, we have lost the championship. Porsche did not really win it. But that’s life, that’s motorsport.”

    Vasselon added that the turning point of the #8 team’s title chances – after winning the opening races in Silverstone and Spa-Francorchamps – was at the 24 Hours of Le Mans. There, a hybrid system failure relegated the car to eighth place in a race that saw two other Toyotas and one Porsche retire.

    “For car #8, we clearly lost it at Le Mans,” he said. “For the manufacturers’, we have made too many mistakes. We could have had two one-twos in the last two races, but we had a couple of accidents.” Vasselon was referring to the #7 car’s collisions with GTE Pro class Porsches in the Shanghai and Bahrain rounds, preventing it from finishing behind its sister car on both occasions.

    Toyota has said that a development push late in the season – which enabled a flow of new aerodynamic parts starting from the Fuji round – was the reason behind its last-minute successes. The team will be the last manufacturer-backed outfit in the top class next year, after Porsche announced earlier in the year that it would pull out of the 2018/2019 championship.

  • Harley-Davidson Malaysia moves into new home?

    After the recent news that Harley-Davidson ended its near decade long partnership with Naza Prestige Bikes, spotted the famous bar-and-shield logo going up in The Gasket Alley, Petaling Jaya. While news about the new distributor behind the iconic American brand is still under wraps, we can reveal that it does come under the same umbrella as the current Malaysian distributor for Italian make Moto Guzzi.

    This means that The Gasket Alley will be home to both retro and cruiser brands, which addresses a specific demographic in the Malaysian riding community. During a visit to the premises, our source revealed that a showroom and proper six-bay workshop facility for both Harley-Davidson and Moto Guzzi was in the process of being installed, with room for an additional four bays.

    As evidence, we were shown several large boxes, said to weigh in the neighbourhood of 3.8 tons in total, both in storage and in the process of being unwrapped. We were also informed that selected models from the 2018 Harley-Davidson range, including the Milwaukee 8 bikes, will be brought into the country “within the first quarter, if not sooner.”

  • VIDEO: Stunt driver auditions for The Grand Tour slot

    As it turns out, Mark Webber wasn’t a very suitable candidate to be the new test driver at The Grand Tour. However, Richard Hammond thinks he may have found the perfect fit in the form of a stunt driver – fast, precise, fearless and unknown.

    Unfortunately, stunt drivers are wired very differently from others, and it clearly shows in the first audition attempt. Rather than completing an entire lap of the test track, the anonymous person behind the wheel of the Renault Clio goes for the spectacular instead.

    This may have been an unintentional mistake, so with a new car (a Megane this time), and some stern talking to, the stunt driver is allowed a second chance to prove his worth. As you can tell, “this really hasn’t gone well.”

    With season two of The Grand Tour returning to the small screen on December 8 this year, the race is on to find a replacement for The American. So, who will be next to try out for the position?

  • Mitsubishi Motors Malaysia offers flood relief programme – 40% discount on parts and labour prices

    Mitsubishi Motors Malaysia (MMM) has joined other manufacturers in offering a flood relief programme to customers affected by recent flood disasters. The company is offering Mitsubishi vehicle owners a 40% on spare parts and labour prices from now until December 31, 2017 for vehicles damaged by flood.

    “We hope that this flood relief effort will help ease the burden of our customers through this difficult period. Our prayers and best wishes go out to our customers and their families who have been affected by the floods,” said Tomoyuki Shinnishi, chief executive officer of MMM.

    The company will also customers free towing services for flood-affected vehicles to the nearest authorised Mitsubishi service centre. All that is needed is to lodge a police report and then make a call to Mitsubishi Motors Customer Careline at 1-800-88-2166 or 03-7803 1566 to obtain the free towing service.

    Aside from offering discounts and a free towing service, MMM also worked together with 120 Triton Tuners Club members and authorised Mitsubishi dealers to organise a clean-up programme in flood-hit areas.

  • Renault SM3 Z.E. – Fluence EV gets increased range

    Renault Samsung Motors has unveiled the new SM3 Z.E. at the Daegu International Future Auto Expo in South Korea, which now comes with an enhanced electric powertrain and some minor visual changes.

    The electric vehicle’s battery capacity has been bumped up to 36 kWh from 22 kWh (2013 model), but without any weight penalty. As a result, the carmaker claims a 57% increase in all-electric driving range to 213 km based on the Korean type approval cycle.

    According to a Korean Transportation Safety Authority (KOTSA) report, the average daily trip in South Korea is around 40 km in 2016. Therefore, the SM3 Z.E. should theoretically be able to run for about five days on a single charge.

    As for the updated design, the EV gets a revised front grille and lower apron, the latter with more prominent fog lamps and LED daytime running lights. The interior is largely unchanged, save for new trim and upholstery, plus the omission of grab handles on the door cards.

    The rebadged Fluence Z.E. is a pretty popular model in the country, and is favoured by state-run fleets as well as taxi operators. The carmaker also revealed 1,200 cars were purchased by South Korea’s Ministry of Health and Welfare last April, and the model is a popular EV taxi in Seoul, Daegu and Jeju Island.


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Last Updated 23 Nov 2017


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