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  • Bugatti recalls 47 units of the Chiron for faulty welds

    The Bugatti Chiron may be quite the machine, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t susceptible to recalls. Recently, the French carmaker announced a recall involving 47 units of the Chiron for faulty welds in the front seat recliner brackets.

    Rather than notifying affected customers to bring in their vehicles themselves, Bugatti’s “flying doctors” will instead phone each of them, and arrange to have their cars collected and sent to the nearest dealership for inspections. If a faulty weld is detected, Bugatti will replace the entire seating assembly for free.

    For the curious, these “flying doctors” are part of the ownership experience, and will travel anywhere in the world to carry out a service, maintenance or repairs on your Bugatti. According to the company, the programme is “comparable to the concierge service at a six-star hotel.”

    The technicians are available for contact 24 hours a day, seven days a week. They are also able to remotely monitor cars, and should a repair be needed, they can arrange the necessary, or even fly directly to the owner’s home.

    GALLERY: Bugatti Chiron

     
  • BARU: Artikel terkini dalam Bahasa Malaysia

  • 2019 Mercedes G-Class – official pics of new interior

    Mercedes-Benz has released official interior images of the new 2019 Mercedes-Benz G-Class, which we first saw via leaked pics last month. They confirm that the cabin of the Geländewagen has received a major overhaul, blending M-B’s latest interior design with some tough car cues.

    The two cars could not be further apart in positioning, but there are plenty of similarities between this new G-Class dashboard with that of the next-generation A-Class, which Mercedes released three weeks ago. The simple tiered design contains the side AC vents and a long screen housing that combines the 12.3-inch digital instrument panel with the 12.3-inch main centre screen.

    Immediately below the latter are space for three AC vents, but there are only two in the case of the G-Class, as the centre slot has been reserved for the three buttons that control the off-roader’s mechanical-locking differentials. Further down are two rows of switches and buttons with an analogue clock, as seen on the W213 E-Class. The dash-mounted grab handle is a unique G-Wagen cue.

    We also get to see the Active Multicontour front seats (with heating, ventilation and massage), divided by a high centre console, and the door card. The latter comes in a blocky design to match the dashboard, and contains Merc’s traditional seat controls and two Burmester speakers (out of the 16 available). As before, the window controls sit on the top of the door card, facing the sky.

    Most would agree that the cabin of the new G-Class appears more modern and luxurious than the utilitarian hotchpotch of the outgoing car. There’s also some “design” going on too, finally. The lack of Range Rover-style plushness has not turned away rappers and wealthy Angelenos in the past though, so this new cabin should only boost the boxy 4×4’s strange urban appeal.

    Set to debut at next month’s North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) in Detroit, the 2019 Mercedes-Benz G-Class will retain its trademark boxy shape and ladder-frame chassis, on a larger footprint with extra width and wheelbase length (150 mm extra rear legroom). Engine options should include a 4.0 litre biturbo V8, a new 2.9 litre six-pot diesel and a four-cylinder turbodiesel.

    It is said that fuel economy will improve thanks to cylinder deactivation and the inclusion of 48-volt mild-hybrid tech on selected engines. Merc’s nine-speed automatic transmission will channel drive to both axles via an AWD system with three individually lockable differentials.


    GALLERY: Next-gen Mercedes-Benz G-Class spyshots

     
  • 2019 Volkswagen Jetta – more teaser images shown

    Yesterday, Volkswagen gave us a glimpse at what the next-generation Jetta will look like with a sketch showing the side of the car, and now the world’s largest carmaker has released a few more renderings that leave little to the imagination. Not long now until the sedan’s unveiling at the Detroit Auto Show in January.

    Thanks to these images, we now have a clearer view of the front end, which features a hexagonal front grille connected to the headlights in a manner similar to the T-Roc, plus sculpted fog light surrounds and prominent bonnet strakes. The sweeping coupé-like roofline, as shown in the previous sketch, is clear to see here.

    At the rear, the trapezoidal tail lights, broad number plate recess on the bootlid and integrated twin exhaust exits are reminiscent of the newly-launched Virtus (née Polo Sedan/Vento), which means it bears a striking resemblance to recent Audi models like the B9 A4. Meanwhile, the interior has shades of Alfa Romeo Giulia in its design, with a horizontal dashboard layout, integrated centre display and three-spoke steering wheel.

    Again, the car shown here is clearly different to the Jetta that was teased on the company’s Canadian website last month, which had a more traditional three-box profile. This leads us to suspect that there could be two versions of the Jetta that will be introduced worldwide, with the sleeker, more stylish model you see here reserved for the United States market.

    This would follow the template set by the Passat, which has had an identically named but larger sibling in North America since 2011. In any case, this new Jetta will be larger than before, according to first drive reports from US media, being 43.5 mm longer, 20 mm wider and five millimetres taller than before. The wheelbase is also 33 mm longer at 2,685 mm, which should result in greater legroom.

    Under the skin, the Jetta will finally move to the modular MQB platform already underpinning the Golf, Polo, Passat (rest of the world) and even the three-row Atlas SUV. Power will come from a 1.4 litre turbocharged petrol engine making 150 hp and 249 Nm of torque, paired to an eight-speed torque converter automatic transmission rather than a dual-clutch DSG. A six-speed manual will also be offered.

     
  • SPIED: Next-gen Mercedes-Benz B-Class seen again

    The second-generation W246 Mercedes-Benz B-Class has been around for some time now, having first made its debut back in 2011, and receiving a facelift later in 2014. We already know an all-new replacement (reportedly called the W247) is on its way, based on an earlier test mule sighting. Now, our spy photographers have managed to spot another prototype, this time undergoing cold-weather testing.

    Set to be based on the upcoming 2018 A-Class, the compact people mover’s redesigned exterior sports a higher roofline compared to the hatchback. At the front, the headlights are sharper in shape than those on the current B-Class, and a lot larger than the new A-Class’ units too.

    Moving towards the rear, the B-Class further differentiates itself from the A-Class as being the more practical of the two with a wider aperture to the boot. The taillights still appear to be two-piece units although they aren’t as slim as those on the hatchback.

    No shots of the interior but if the new A-Class is anything to go by, the B-Class should undergo a major makeover in that department as well. Other improvements will likely include the latest Mercedes-Benz infotainment system, reportedly called the Mercedes-Benz User Experience (MBUX).

    Engine options should also be pretty similar to the A-Class, given the front wheel drive platform (reportedly called Modular Front Architecture 2) shared between the two. This includes a mix of petrol and diesel engines, as well as plug-in hybrid technology being another possibility.

     
  • Boon Siew Honda celebrates 60 years, 5 million bikes

    Boon Siew Honda, official manufacturer and distributor of Honda motorcycles, today clocked a milestone of 60 years in the Malaysian market. In addition, this year also marked the production of 5 million motorcycles from its manufacturing facility in Penang.

    “For over 60 years, Oriental Holdings Berhad had developed a strong relationship with Honda Motor and we have unified our vision to offer innovative and reliable motorcycles to the public through their latest agreement. This bond between Oriental Holdings Berhad and Honda Motor reflects on the business relationship between Malaysia and Japan in the automotive industry,” said Dato’ Seri Loh Cheng Yean, Chairman of Boon Siew Honda.

    Beginning in 1957 with the establishment of a showroom in Pitt Street, Penang, with 50 units of the Honda Cub, local production of Honda motorcycles started in 1969. The first million motorcycle production milestone was achieved in 1986, with the second million being achieved just three years later.

    Boon Siew Honda currently produces motorcycles in a RM200 million, 23.7 ha plant located in Batu Kawan, Penang, which began operations in 2013. Motorcycle models produced are the Wave Alpha, EX5 Dream Fi, Wave Dash Fi, Wave125i, RS150R, Honda BeAT, Honda PCX and MSX 125.

    In the first half of 2017, Boon Siew Honda sold more than 400 units in the large displacement motorcycle category, an increase of 12% from 2016. For 2018, Boon Siew Honda will be aiming to garner 50% market volume in Energy Efficient Vehicles (EEV), up from 42.8% in 2017.

     
  • VIDEO: Ford Ranger Raptor teaser reveals Baja and Sport drive modes; diesel engine a strong possibility?

    A second teaser for the Ford Ranger Raptor has been released, which now focuses on one of the drive modes that will be available on the “ultimate performance off-road truck.”

    In the 16-second clip, we are introduced to the Ranger Raptor’s Baja mode followed by plenty of sliding around in the dirt. Prior to the switch, we also get to see the truck’s multi-info instrument display screen, where Sport mode is also listed, available only when the four-wheel drive system is in 2H.

    Four other drive modes are also shown, although their exact names aren’t provided for now. More importantly, the redline marker on the tachometer (about 4,500 rpm) to the left of the display, highly suggests a turbodiesel engine will be used in the Ranger Raptor.

    The Australian-market Ranger is available with two Duratorq turbodiesel engine options from the Puma family – 3.2 litre and 2.2 litre – the smaller of the two offering 158 hp and 385 Nm. The 3.2 litre unit meanwhile, serves up 197 hp and 470 Nm, and could be uprated for Raptor duty.

    There’s also the possibility that Ford’s 2.0 litre EcoBlue mill will be used, with the Panther unit progressively replacing the Puma oil burner. Should that be the case, the Ranger Raptor will be the first to debut the engine in the region. Outputs are claimed to go as high as 240 PS, and the engine is said to deliver 20% more torque from as low as 1,250 rpm compared to the Puma 2.2 litre.

     
  • BlueSG EV car-sharing service begins in Singapore

    Singapore has officially launched its first large-scale electric vehicle (EV) car-sharing programme with the introduction of the BlueSg service, with initial deployment through a fleet of 80 cars and 32 charging stations being available for public use.

    The company, a subsidiary of France’s Bollore Group, said it aims to progressively roll out 1,000 EVs and 500 charging stations – offering 2,000 charging points in total – across the island by 2020. Four hundred of these charging stations will be opened to public use.

    It added that the Singapore service, which it has a licence to run for a decade, will become the world’s second-biggest electric car-sharing programme after Paris. Apart from these two cities, the Bollore Group operates EV car-sharing programmes in Bordeaux and Lyon in France, Indianapolis and Los Angeles in the US, Torino in Italy and London.

    Last week, the company unveiled its subscription plans for the programme – there’s a premium yearly membership costing S$15 (RM45) a month, in which members are charged S$0.33 (RM1) per minute for a minimum duration of 15 minutes.

    The other plan is a weekly membership, which has no recurring fee, with the rate being S$0.50 (RM1.50) per minute. The company said that 2,000 members had registered with the service ahead of its launch.

    The vehicle featured in BlueSG’s programme is the Bollore Bluecar, a two-door hatchback designed by Pininfarina and built by Italian company Cecomp. The Bluecar can carry four occupants and has an operational range of around 200 km on a single charge of its 30 kWh lithium-metal polymer battery, with propulsion provided by a 50 kW (67 hp) electric motor.

    The BlueSG programme comes at a time when the republic is looking to trim down its vehicle population. In October, the country’s Land Transport Authority (LTA) announced that the growth rate for cars and motorcycles in categories A, B and D would be cut to zero from the current 0.25% beginning February next year.

    The cut, according to the LTA, is primarily driven by land constraints and an ongoing push to improve the public transport system.

     
  • China’s BAIC will stop making internal combustion engine vehicles by 2025, going fully electric

    Some of us, me included, are still hoping that the internal combustion engine will go on to live a long and prosperous life. But that looks increasing unlikely, as all signs point to our beloved lump of metal containing explosions and many moving parts heading into the sunset. Darkness is fast approaching.

    Diesel engines in passenger cars, now public enemy in a continent that once championed it, will be the first to go. Petrols will outlive the oil burners, but it’ll be a matter of time before the world goes electric in terms of transportation. That’s what the script reads today, with governments – national and local – falling over themselves to outlaw ICE.

    Now, China’s BAIC (Beijing Auto International Corporation) has announced that it will stop the production and sales of vehicles with internal combustion engines by 2025. BAIC chairman Xu Heyi said that one major step towards that goal will happen in 2020, when the carmaker will halt sales of all ICE-powered cars in Beijing.

    Xu said this in Beijing last week, at the opening of the BAIC’s new technical centre for electric vehicles. The Beijing-based state-owned carmaker started making EVs in 2009 and is now China’s largest producer of EVs. It doesn’t make any hybrid or plug-in hybrids, so when BAIC says no more ICE, it means all EVs.

    BAIC delivered 66,714 EVs in China from January to October 2017, and has sold a total of 146,000 battery-powered cars. The company sells cars under its own brand, but is also a local joint venture partner of Daimler and Hyundai.

    Recently, fellow Chinese brand Changan announced that it will stop selling cars with ICE from 2015. The Chongqing carmaker also pledged to invest more than 100 billion yuan (US$15.2 billion) in its new energy strategy.

    Heard of BAIC before in the local context? The Chinese brand unveiled two models here in November 2016 – the EV200 electric-powered sedan and the D20 hatchback – and talked about local assembly and sales starting in 2017. BAIC and its local partner Amber Dual have since gone quiet.

    GALLERY: BAIC EV200 in Malaysia

     
  • 2019 Toyota Avalon teases aggressive front grille

    The current fourth-generation Toyota Avalon has been around since 2012, and in that time the full-size sedan market in the United States has declined sharply even with newer rivals such as the Kia Cadenza and Nissan Maxima. The Japanese carmaker clearly believes that adventurous styling is what’s needed to jumpstart the market, as its teaser of the next-generation model shows.

    From the sole image provided, it’s clear that the next Avalon will feature a bold front end, one that’s perhaps even more aggressive than the new US-market Camry. The full-height grille protrudes outward as it goes down, in a manner similar to the Japan-only Crown Athlete. Flanking it are slim, sharp headlights with Y-shaped LED daytime running lights, giving the big sedan a rather distinctive sporty look.

    Powertrain details have yet to be released, but Motor Trend reports that the new Avalon should retain the use of a large-capacity V6 (likely a redevelopment of the current 3.5 litre 2GR-FE unit), albeit this time pushing 300 hp, up from the current model’s 268 hp.

    A hybrid model is also expected to return for the 2019 model year, which should combine the new 176 hp/221 Nm 2.5 litre Dynamic Force four-pot from the Camry with a 118 hp/202 Nm electric motor to produce a total system output of 208 PS. The new Toyota Avalon will make its debut at the Detroit Auto Show in January.

    GALLERY: 2016 Toyota Avalon

     
  • Mercedes-Benz to unveil new MBUX infotainment system in Las Vegas, debuts in next-gen compact cars

    Mercedes-Benz has announced it will unveil a new infotainment system at the next year’s Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, which it calls the Mercedes-Benz User Experience (MBUX). The company says the system will be fitted as standard equipment in its next-generation compact cars from as early as 2018.

    The upcoming A-Class is likely the model being referred to in this instance, although Mercedes-Benz has yet to confirm anything of the sort. Last month, the carmaker provided an early preview of the model’s interior, revealing a pair of display screens and a new multi-function touchpad, among other things.

    The company only states in its release that the MBUX will feature “innovative technology based on artificial intelligence and an intuitive operating system.” With AI-based infotainment, improved human-machine interface is possible, allowing systems to better interact with users via deep learning.

    Aside from the MBUX, Mercedes-Benz will also display the Concept EQ A, smart vision EQ fortwo and the Mercedes-AMG Project One show cars in Las Vegas.

    GALLERY: 2018 Mercedes-Benz A-Class interior preview

     
 

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