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  • VIDEO: Porsche launches What is Courage? campaign featuring the latest Panamera and Michelle Yeoh

    What is Courage? is the name of Porsche’s newly-launched marketing campaign, which features the carmaker’s all-new Panamera, along with three famous personalities from the culinary and entertainment industry.

    The campaign uncovers the inspiring stories of these accomplished personalities, and fosters the belief that “Courage changes everything” in each of them. Porsche explains that this spirit of courage is reflected in its latest Panamera, which combines a sedan that offers a comfortable driving experience with 911 genes.

    Among the personalities that star in the campaign include Hollywood actress and Malaysian-born Datuk Michelle Yeoh, who says: “Courage is doing things that are out of your comfort zone. You have to be brave enough and believe in yourself enough to say whatever the odds, I’m going to give it my best shot. Courage is to chase your dreams, because courage changes everything.”

    Joining Yeoh is Hollywood actor and race car driver Patrick Dempsey (also known as McDreamy to Grey’s Anatomy fans). Dempsey’s show of courage is exemplified when he decided to pursue careers in both acting and racing, with the latter being a whole lot more dangerous than the former. Despite the dangers of motorsport racing, he has participated in three 24 Hours of Le Mans races, and is currently the co-owner of Dempsey Proton Racing, which operates a Porsche 911 RSR race car.

    Lastly, we have Taiwanese chef Andre Chiang, a former head chef of the three Michelin star restaurant Le Jardin des Sens in France and winner of multiple accolades. Despite his Asian roots, Chiang spent a lot of time learning French cuisine abroad, bringing back the knowledge he has acquired back to Asia.

    As for the car itself, the new Panamera rides on the Volkswagen Group’s new MSB platform, and in its most potent form, packs a 4.0 litre biturbo V8 that develops 550 PS and 770 Nm. The model is slated to arrive in Malaysia in March this year, according to Sime Darby Auto Performance (SDAP).

  • VIDEO: BMW 5 Series – G30 vs F10, what’s new?

    Now that the all-new G30 BMW 5 Series has been revealed, the German carmaker wants to make sure that everyone knows exactly what has changed on the new car when compared to its sixth-generation predecessor, the F10.

    To do that, the company has released this informative video that takes you on a tour around both generations of the 5 Series, inside and out. Naturally, it starts with the exterior, where at the front, the trademark kidney grille has been redesigned so that it links to the new headlamps, which now feature a similar look to those seen on the latest 3 Series.

    Said grille also features an active shutter function for better aerodynamics, opening when extra cooling is required, and closing to reduce drag-inducing airflow. Moving on, the profile continues to feature the well-known Hofmeister kink, while certain lines have been accentuated to project a more athletic look for the sedan.

    As for the rear, the wider taillights not only feature new graphics, and wraparound the sides of the body as well. Below that, the 5 Series in 540i guise comes with dual trapezoidal-shaped exhaust pipes as well. For those curious how the new lighting elements look like while driving at night, skip over to the 1 minutes 45 seconds mark and you’ll find your answers there.

    Moving inside, the 5 Series’ living space has been thoroughly revamped to offer an even more premium feel than before with better materials and an updated layout. Among the key changes from the previous car is the free-standing display that is linked to BMW’s latest iDrive system with Gesture Control.

    In other areas, you’ll notice the brand-new steering multifunction steering wheel, 8.8-inch Dynamic Instrument Cluster, start/stop button, switchgear and ambient lighting. Passengers in the rear will also benefit from the new car’s slightly larger wheelbase, as well as the optional Rear-Seat Entertainment Professional system seen here.

    Of course, this video is just a quick run-through of what’s new on the G30, and there are certainly many other new features that are available not shown here. Show of hands, how many of you are interested in the brand-new 5 Series, which as you know, is the star in the latest instalment in BMW Film’s The Hire series?

    GALLERY: G30 BMW 5 Series

  • MYPerodua Carnival at Aeon Shah Alam this weekend – free movies, concert; view and win the Axia facelift

    We’re reporting live from the MYPerodua Nation Carnival at the Aeon Shah Alam mall, where the Axia facelift was officially launched this morning. The event will be here from today till Sunday (January 20-22) from 10am to 10pm daily.

    So, head down here to check out the refreshed Axia (full details and galleries of all the variants here) and other models (there’s even a concept car) in Perodua’s range. But there’s more than just cars on display, as the event will also have exclusive offers, “movies and action-packed fun” (Boboiboy The Movie and Ice Age) and a concert featuring artistes such as Faizal Tahir, Tomok, Bunkface, De Fam and Ezad Lazim, among others. There will be a fireworks display on Saturday night as well.

    Daily lucky draws will see gadgets such as the Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge, iPhone 7 and GoPro cameras given away, plus a grand prize of the new Axia. Those from Shah Alam Section 13 (Shah Alam Stadium, Giant area) can catch a free bus to Aeon Shah Alam.

  • AD: Enjoy financing rates from 1.68% this CNY@BMW

    Driving enthusiasts, you’re invited to ignite your good fortune with a new BMW this Chinese New Year. Embrace the power and exhilaration of the BMW 3 Series and BMW 5 Series – all yours with special repayment rates and financing rates from 1.68%, along with exclusive privileges.

    You can now get the BMW 3 Series with monthly repayment starting from RM2,058* for the BMW 318i, from RM2,178* for the BMW 320i Sport and from RM2,408* for the new BMW 330e Sport plug-in hybrid. The BMW 5 Series, meanwhile, can be yours with monthly repayment starting from RM3,108*.

    These new BMW vehicles come with BMW 5 Years Warranty, 24-month BMW Tyre Warranty, BMW Concierge Services and the BMW Ultimate Protection Programme. On top of all this, owners will enjoy exclusive BMW White Card privileges.

    From now until February 12, 2017, you can also win cash rebates worth up to RM88,888 in the Test Drive Lucky Draw contest. All you have to do is book a test drive at your nearest BMW Authorised Dealer before the end date to stand a chance to win exclusive prizes.

    As part of the BMW Dine & Win offer, you can win a weekend away with BMW and BMW Merchandise when you dine at any Oriental Group restaurants.

    May luck and good fortune accompany you this festive season. Click here for more information on the CNY@BMW offers.

    *Terms and conditions apply

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  • Perodua Concept X – showcasing design capabilities

    At the MYPerodua Nation Carnival, Perodua is presenting a scale model that showcases a new bespoke design from the national carmaker. Called the Concept X, the car is not specifically meant to preview any upcoming model; rather, it is merely supposed to be a demonstration of the in-house design team’s skills.

    Taking the form of an MPV (with similar proportions to the Alza), it’s certainly a very attractive design, even though it carries all the typical concept car cues such as slit-like headlights, large wheels hiding Brembo-branded disc brakes, a massive panoramic roof, flush door handles, a minimalist interior and the lack of any B-pillars or door mirrors.

    At the front, there’s a slimline grille linking the headlights, with the Perodua badge mounted separately below. The bumper has an aggressive design with honeycomb-motif air intakes, while the sides feature a stepped window line and a character line that droops past the front wheels before rising up to meet the tail lights.

    Moving rearward, the rear wheel arches are blown to provide added muscle, and the D-pillars are blacked out to provide a floating roof look. The tail lights are angular and C-shaped (much like Subaru’s newer concepts), linked by a red bar. The rear bumper design mirrors that of the front.

    Inside, there’s a driver-oriented, cockpit-like dashboard, as well as doors with a red colour scheme that links to the deep crimson exterior. There are six seats, but the rearmost pews are folded; the rest of the seats are sporty individual buckets with headrest-mounted monitors.

    As mentioned, Perodua personnel present at the event say that the car does not preview any forthcoming model, but seeing as the Alza is due for a replacement, the next-generation model could incorporate a few cues present here. In fact, Daihatsu has already showcased a number of Ultra Function Compact (UFC) concepts that are supposed to preview an Alza-sized MPV, so this car could be Perodua’s own version.

    The company has been steadily increasing its input in the design and engineering of its Daihatsu-based vehicles; last year’s Bezza sedan was its first car to feature an upper body designed completely in house. Perodua has also embarked on a five-year Transformation 2.0 plan this year, with one of the pillars being an increase in its research and development capabilities.

  • Perodua Myvi 1.5 SE, Advance get standard GearUp kit

    The Perodua Myvi 1.5 SE and Advance have now been upgraded for the 2017 model year with standard-fit GearUp front and rear skirting at no extra charge. The full aerokit, which also included sportier side skirts, was previously offered as a RM2,045 option.

    Aside from that, specifications and equipment are identical, and include projector halogen headlights with LED positioning lights, sportier front and rear bumpers, side skirts, a rear spoiler, clear lens LED tail lights and 14-inch turbine-design two-tone alloy wheels.

    Inside, there’s silver interior trim, red instrument cluster lighting, semi-bucket fabric seats, an anti-snatch handbag hook, a Bluetooth-enabled head unit and four speakers. The Advance adds door visors, leather seats, coiled floor mats and a touchscreen infotainment system with a reverse camera. All models get dual airbags, and the SE and Advance also gain ABS with EBD and brake assist.

    Power comes from a 3SZ-VE 1.5 litre DVVT four-cylinder engine that produces 102 hp at 6,000 rpm and 136 Nm of torque at 4,400 rpm. The SE model gets a choice between a five-speed manual gearbox and a four-speed automatic; the Advance is auto-only.

    As mentioned, prices have been retained – the SE is priced at RM49,968 (RM50,368 metallic) for the manual model and RM52,968 (RM53,368 metallic) for the auto, while the Advance auto is priced at RM56,178 (RM56,578 metallic). All prices are on-the-road inclusive of insurance and a five-year/150,000 km warranty.

    GALLERY: 2017 Perodua Myvi 1.5 SE

    GALLERY: 2017 Perodua Myvi 1.5 Advance

  • Shelby Mustang 50th Anniversary Super Snake – only 500 units; 750 hp; 0 to 97 km/h in just 3.5 seconds

    In 1967, the late Carroll Shelby introduced the world to the Super Snake version of the Ford Mustang. Fifty years later, Shelby American is celebrating that occasion with this, the new Shelby Mustang 50th Anniversary Super Snake, which makes its debut during the Barrett-Jackson Scottsdale auction.

    Only 500 units of the Super Snake will be built, all based on the 2017 Mustang (not that new one). As you’d expect, there’s plenty of performance enhancements done by Shelby to make sure it lives up to its heritage.

    Under the hood, the 5.0 litre Coyote V8 has been supercharged to provide 670 hp, a significant gain from the stock engine’s 435 hp. For those who can do with more power, Shelby also offers an optional Whipple or Kenne Bell supercharger to provide over 750 hp.

    In terms of performance, the Super Snake will accelerate from 0-97 km/h (0-60 mph) in just 3.5 seconds, and on the drag strip, will finish the quarter mile in only 10.9 seconds. Shelby also points out that its new creation is capable of generating up to 1.2 g on the skip pad thanks to exclusive dampers, sway bars, springs, bushings, 20-inch forged aluminium wheels and performance tyres.

    Other improvements include Wilwood brakes (six-piston front; four-piston rear) with its own cooling system, an improved cooling system for the engine, Ford Performance half shafts, one-piece drive shaft and revised gearing.

    Visually, the Mustang gets Shelby-engineered body components, including a new hood, grille, rockers, rocker splitters, front splitter, rear spoiler, rear tail panel, rear diffuser and lower rear splitter. The car also comes with unique light assemblies and the obligatory 50th anniversary badging and stripes.

    The interior also follows a similar theme, with additional anniversary logo on the seats and floor mats, special door sill plates, a new gauge cluster by Autometer and serialised dash plaque. The Super Snake starts at USD69,995 (RM311,268), and each car is documented in the official Shelby Registry.

  • Honda City facelift spotted in Malaysia – launch soon?

    The 2017 Honda City facelift was recently launched in Thailand not too long ago, and it appears the updated B-segment sedan could soon be introduced here as well, thanks to this photo (taken in Putrajaya) sent in to us by reader KC Lee.

    Never mind the foliage and the tree, the car seen here is no doubt in the guise of a City, albeit with some wrapping applied. The main giveaway that this is indeed the facelift can be seen at the front, where the Solid Wing Face grille is significantly different in shape. Look even closer, and you’ll realise the Honda logo is positioned further downwards and protrudes outside the chrome bar compared to the current car.

    Other clearly visible items include the 16-inch two-tone alloy wheels, which look nearly identical in terms of design to the car launched in Thailand. Expect other changes to include reshaped headlights (LED daytime running lights standard, LED headlights optional), new bumpers and a lightly revised cabin.

    On the Thailand-spec City, the kit list remains largely unchanged with keyless operation, a Display Audio infotainment system with a seven-inch touchscreen, a multi-angle reverse camera and steering wheel audio control buttons. The City also retains up to six airbags, Vehicle Stability Assist (VSA), Hill Start Assist (HSA) and Emergency Stop Signal (ESS).

    Under the bonnet, the new City should retain its 1.5 litre i-VTEC four-cylinder petrol engine produces 118 hp at 6,600 rpm and 145 Nm of torque at 4,600 rpm, sent to the front wheels via a CVT. As with the current City, the new one will most likely continue to be a locally-assembled model as well.

    GALLERY: Honda City facelift (Thailand-spec)

    GALLERY: Current Honda City (Malaysia-spec)

  • 2017 Perodua Axia facelift officially launched – 1.0L VVT-i engine, two new faces and features, from RM25k

    The 2017 Perodua Axia facelift, which appeared in Malaysian showrooms this week, has been officially launched at the MYPerodua Nation carnival at Aeon Shah Alam. The event is being held at the mall’s outdoor car park for this weekend, and it’s free for all to attend.

    The Axia, Malaysia’s most affordable car and Perodua’s most popular model, has been with us since September 2014, which makes it nearly two and a half years old. This mid-life refresh brings more than just altered faces for the hatchback’s two designs; there’s also an improved powertrain as well as some useful new features.

    Let’s start under the bonnet, where the 1KR-VE 1.0 litre engine now gains VVT-i. The addition of variable valve timing to this three-cylinder engine was first seen in the Bezza sedan last year, and the Axia now gets the update. Outputs are up by 1 hp and 1 Nm to 67 hp at 6,000 rpm and 91 Nm at 4,400 rpm.

    Perodua claims a fuel consumption figure of up to 22.5 km per litre with the manual, up from the original Axia’s 21.6 km per litre and just a hair under the Bezza’s 22.6 km per litre figure with the 1.0 litre engine and stick shift. No change in transmissions – one can choose between a five-speed manual or a four-speed automatic.

    As facelifts go, this is quite a big one that’s immediately noticeable. The original Axia came with two faces – one for the Standard and another for the SE/Advance – and both get updates here. Now, the Standard E and G variants get the pre-facelift SE/Advance model’s projector headlamps (an upgrade), paired with a redesigned front grille (with a silver bar) and bumper. The Standard face is much bolder as a result.

    The side signal repeaters on the front fenders and 14-inch wheels (steel items on the Standard E, eight-spoke alloys on the Standard G) remain unchanged, along with the rear bumper design and red tail lamps. A new addition is a tailgate handle where there was none before, in place of an external keyhole on the pre-facelift car.

    The more expensive and sportier-styled Axia SE and Advance models receive get a bigger design revamp. Gone is the ‘Angry Birds’ look, replaced by a new chrome two-bar grille, new design projector headlamps and a bumper that looks like it came from a Honda Jazz, which is no bad thing. The foglamp housings now feature chrome highlights and faux carbon-fibre surrounds.

    On the profile, the Axia SE/Advance gets wing mirror LED signal repeaters (as before), new “spiral design” 14-inch wheels from the top Bezza Advance variant and chrome door handles with a keyless entry button on the driver’s side. The sharper rear bumper and clear rear lights are unchanged. The new tailgate handle gets a keyless entry button here.

    As expected, there’s less change inside. All variants now get the Eco-drive Mode light (including the Standard E) and a revised instrument cluster design, with white illumination on the SE and Advance. The costlier/sportier two also receive a push start button, located next to a new off switch for the front parking sensors.

    Click to enlarge price list

    The top Advance gains a new touchscreen infotainment system with “Smart Link” screen mirroring for Android phones (the SE retains a simple radio/CD head unit with Bluetooth, while the Standard G omits the CD player). Other changes include new fabric seat designs for Standard and SE models, as well as new grey (previously red) seat stitching/piping and steering wheel stitching on the Advance.

    No change on the safety front – no ESC for the cheapest new car one can buy in Malaysia, but ABS is standard from the Standard G above. All Axias get dual front airbags for a four-star ASEAN NCAP rating. Prices have been revised upwards by up to RM2,773 spec-for-spec, and now range from RM24,900 to RM42,900. Gear Up accessories are available, too. Full price list above.

    Two offbeat colours – Lemongrass Green and Cherry Blossom – have been discontinued, leaving Ivory White, Glittering Silver, Ebony Black and Midnight Blue in the colour options list. The SE and Advance have two additional hues – Solid Sunflower Yellow and Metallic Lava Red.

    Since order books for the Axia facelift opened on January 13, Perodua has collected around 3,000 names for the car, Perodua MD Datuk Dr Zahari Husin revealed. The company’s sales target for it’s “new baby” is 6,000 units per month. Perodua has sold a total of 214,700 Axias since September 2014.

    GALLERY: Perodua Axia 1.0 Advance facelift

    GALLERY: Perodua Axia 1.0 SE facelift

    GALLERY: Perodua Axia 1.0 Standard G facelift with GearUp bodykit

    GALLERY: Perodua Axia facelift official images

  • Singapore willing to lift higher road charge, once Malaysia implements new policy at Thailand border

    According to a report by The Star, Singapore will lift its reciprocal road charge (RRC) of SGD6.40 (RM20), once Malaysia begins imposing its RM20 road charge (RC) at the Thailand border as well.

    This was revealed by Malaysian High Commissioner to Singapore Datuk Ilango Karuppannan after he was informed by Singapore’s Transport Minister Khaw Boon Wan that Singapore had always viewed the implementation of the RC at the Johor border as being aimed at vehicles entering Malaysia from the republic.

    As such, Malaysia’s RC implementation was deemed “discriminatory,” as vehicles coming through its other border from Thailand were exempted from it currently. “They see the RC as a type of toll collection and they will match it whenever Malaysia increases the toll charges at the Causeway or Second Link,” said Ilango.

    However, Singapore has since been informed that the RC was for all foreign-registered vehicles and not just Singapore-registered vehicles, with local Transport Minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai saying that Malaysia was looking at implementing it at the Thailand border by mid-2017.

    Singapore’s current toll charges (left), VEP fees (right)

    Liow also welcomed Singapore’s decision to lift its RRC once Malaysia implements the RC at its other entry points bordering Thailand, and stressed that the move was not meant to discriminate Singaporeans.

    Ilango also justified the need for the RC, as Malaysia did not respond to Singapore’s implementation of the VEP policy in 1973. “It makes sense for Malaysia to charge foreign-registered vehicles the RC, especially for the maintenance, and wear and tear of our roads,” Ilango said.

    When asked about the impact of the RC on Malaysians, Ilango stated only those driving Malaysian-registered cars would be affected, as there were also many Malaysians who were driving Singapore-registered cars to avoid paying VEP fees.

    On Monday, Singapore announced that it would increase its RRC to SGD6.40 (RM20) beginning February 15 in response to Malaysia’s RM20 RC that was implemented November 1 last year. Foreign-registered vehicles entering the republic would be required to pay the RRC on top of the daily Vehicle Entry Permit (VEP) fees, toll charges and fixed Electronic Road Pricing (ERP) fees upon departure at the Tuas or Woodlands Checkpoints.


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