2024 Bangkok Motor Show

  • Bangkok 2024: Maserati Grecale Folgore EV – 557 PS/820 Nm, 501 km WLTP; RM1.02 million in Thailand

    Bangkok 2024: Maserati Grecale Folgore EV – 557 PS/820 Nm, 501 km WLTP; RM1.02 million in Thailand

    Shortly after the Maserati Grecale premiered in fully electric guise as the Grecale Folgore last month, the Italian marque’s electric crossover has been shown at the recent 2024 Bangkok International Motor Show.

    While outwardly similar to its internal combustion stablemates, there are distinct cues that set apart the Grecale Folgore EV; among these are a front grille that has slim oval cutouts in place of the vertical slats on the ICE variants, while the corner intakes are finished in body colour. At the rear, the no longer required exhaust outlets are substituted aurally by loudspeakers, mandated to warn pedestrians of an approaching EV.

    A 400-volt electrical architecture features in the Grecale Folgore, where powertrain is courtesy of two electric drive motors bringing outputs of 557 PS and 820 Nm of torque. Thus equipped, the Grecale Folgore does 0-100 km/h in 4.1 seconds, on to a top speed of 220 km/h.

    A 105 kWh battery brings up to 501 km of range on the WLTP standard, with DC charging supported at up to 150 kW to have a 20-80% state of charge achieved in 29 minutes. AC charging is up to 22 kW, which replenishes battery charge at up to 100 km of range per hour.

    Four driving modes are offered in the Grecale Folgore; Max Range, GT, Sport and Offroad. Sport offers the full outputs possible from the powertrain, while GT caps output at 80%, Max Range at 75%, or 50% if the power output limiter is in use.

    Suspension for the Grecale Folgore is comprised of adaptive dampers and air springs, with wheels ranging from 19 to 21 inches in diameter; shown here are 21-inch alloys in Pirelli Scorpion Zero all-season tyres.

    Infotainment comes courtesy of a 12.3-inch digital instrument display and a central infotainment touchscreen of the same size, an 8.8-inch display for climate controls, wireless Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, and a sound system with either 14 or 19 speakers. For interior trim, recycled and sustainable materials such as Econyl and Feeltek leather are used.

    Pricing for the Grecale Folgore starts from 7,890,000 baht (RM1,018,478) in Thailand, according to Headlight Magazine.

     
     
  • Bangkok 2024: Mazda BT-50 facelift – 1.9L and 3.0L turbodiesel variants, from RM97,363 in Thailand

    Bangkok 2024: Mazda BT-50 facelift – 1.9L and 3.0L turbodiesel variants, from RM97,363 in Thailand

    The 2024 Mazda BT-50 facelift has gone on sale in Thailand last month, and it has also been shown at the recent 2024 Bangkok International Motor Show, from which we can bring live images of the updated pick-up truck.

    Launched in Malaysia at the end of 2021, the BT-50 is based on the third-generation Isuzu D-Max, and so it continues to be so for its facelift.

    Engine choices for Thailand are the RZ4E-TC 1,898 cc four-cylinder turbodiesel that outputs 150 PS at 3,600 rpm and 350 Nm from 1,800 to 2,600 rpm, and the 4JJ3-TCX 2,999 cc four-cylinder turbodiesel that produces 190 PS at 3,600 rpm and 450 Nm from 1,600 to 2,600 rpm. Both 1.9L and 3.0L engines can be paired with either a six-speed manual, or six-speed automatic gearbox.

    The example shown at BIMS 2024 is a double-cab 3.0 S Hi-Racer 6AT; the 1.9L engine variant for the facelifted BT-50 in Thailand is only offered with six-speed manual transmission. According to Headlight Magazine, the BT-50 facelift in Thailand starts from 752,000 baht (RM97,360) for the 1.9C Hi-Racer 6MT single-cab, and 862,000 baht (RM111,611) for the 3.0 S Hi-Racer 6AT.

    For the double-cab variants in Thailand, the range starts at 922,000 baht (RM119,377) for the 1.9 Hi-Racer 6MT, 992,000 baht (RM128,439) for the 3.0 S Hi-Racer 6AT, 1,172,000 baht (RM151,758) for the 3.0 SP Hi-Racer 6AT, and 1,272,000 baht (RM164,706) for the 3.0 SP 6AT 4×4.

    Visual changes applied to the exterior of the BT-50 facelift include a black front grille, and the 18-inch alloy wheels gain a two-tone black finish. The front bumper is finished in the body colour, while gloss black is used for the wheel arch extensions and side mirror covers.

    Inside, the cabin of the BT-50 facelift gets two-tone leather upholstery in brown and black, joined by piano black interior trim, including gloss black trim atop the transmission selector lever. The driver’s seat gets eight-way electrical adjustment, while the front passenger seat is a four-way manually adjustable unit.

    Driver instrumentation is by a combination cluster with a 4.3-inch information display, while infotainment comes courtesy of a nine-inch touchscreen unit that supports wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Also included are voice recognition, Bluetooth connectivity, navigation, auxiliary audio, and USB ports.

    Advanced driver assistance systems that feature on the BT-50 facelift include automatic high beam, full speed range adaptive cruise control, forward collision warning, AEB, turning-across-traffic AEB, and lane departure warning. Also on are blind spot warning, and rear cross traffic alert with reversing AEB.

    Other active safety features are hill start assist, hill descent control, ABS with EBD, electronic stability control, multi-collision brake, emergency stop signal, automatic walk-away door locking, and front and rear parking sensors.

    In Malaysia, the Mazda BT-50 is currently priced from RM92,729 for the 1.9L Single Cab manual, up to RM142,918 for the 3.0L High Plus Double Cab automatic; prices are OTR without insurance.

     
     
  • Bangkok 2024: Changan Deepal L07 sedan, S07 SUV EVs – 258 PS, 66.8 kWh battery; up to 540 km of range

    Bangkok 2024: Changan Deepal L07 sedan, S07 SUV EVs – 258 PS, 66.8 kWh battery; up to 540 km of range

    Launched in Thailand at the beginning of this year, the Changan Deepal L07 sedan and S07 SUV electric vehicles have been displayed at the 2024 Bangkok International Motor Show (BIMS). The L07 sedan will also form the basis of the Chinese-market Mazda EV sedan that is tipped to be called the EZ-6, which will be distinct from the upcoming model that is destined for Japan, Europe, North America and Australasia.

    Differing in bodystyle but sharing a common powertrain, the L07 sedan and S07 SUV are both powered by a 258 PS/320 Nm rear-mounted motor, which draws energy from a 66.8 kWh ternary lithium NMC battery that offers the S07 SUV 485 km of range, and the L07 sedan gets 540 km of range, both on the NEDC testing protocol.

    Likewise, charging capabilities are matched across both the L07 sedan and the S07 SUV, with DC charging of up to 78 KW enabling a 30-80% recharge in 35 minutes. As with the commonly used standard, DC charging is via a CCS2 connection, and AC charging is through a Type 2 connection.

    L07 sedan (above); S07 SUV (below)

    In terms of physical dimensions, the L07 sedan measures 4,820 mm long, 1,890 mm wide and 1,480 mm tall, while the Deepal S07 SUV measures 4,750 mm long, 1,930 mm wide and 1,625 mm tall; both have an identical wheelbase of 2,900 mm. Ground clearance for the L07 sedan is 150 mm, while the S07 SUV stands 165 mm clear of the ground. The L07 rolls on 245/45R19 tyres, while the S07 SUV has 255/45R20 units.

    In the S07 SUV, in-car features include a driver’s head-up display with AR navigation, a 15.6-inch touchscreen, 14-speaker audio, Bluetooth phone connecitivity, wireless Apple CarPlay, multi-colour LED ambient lighting, gesture recognition, a wireless device charger, online navigation and music streaming, voice control (in Thai and English), mobile remote control and OTA software update capability.

    For ADAS kit, this includes adaptive cruise control with stop-and-go, front collision warning, AEB, lane keep assist, traffic jam assist, and lane departure warning.

    Also part of the suite of advanced safety features in the S07 SUV are blind spot detection, lane change assist, rear collision warning, rear cross traffic alert, rear cross traffic braking, door opening warning, driver fatigue monitoring, automatic high beam, and safe distance warning.

    L07 sedan (above); S07 SUV (below)

    Also on are front, front side and side curtain airbags, brake assist, ABS with EBD, ESP, traction control, hill hold assist, hill descent control, front and rear seat belt reminders, 360-degree camera suite with Transparent Chassis, DVR dashcam, tyre pressure monitoring system and ISOFIX child seat anchors.

    The L07 sedan gets driver assistance systems, safety kit and in-car features which are largely similar to those of the S07 SUV, plus the addition of a 10.5-inch LCD driver’s display.

    The S07 SUV gains rear touchscreen adjustment for the front passenger seat position and roof sunshade whereas the L07 does without, though the the sedan does get dual-zone air-conditioning and a PM2.5 filter, while the SUV adds a PM2.5 monitor and an ion generator air purifier.

    In Thailand, the Changan Deepal L07 sedan was priced from 1,329,000 baht (RM177,020), while the S07 SUV was priced from 1,399,000 baht (RM186,212) as of the models’ launch in January this year.

    Changan Deepal L07

    Changan Deepal S07

     
     
  • Bangkok 2024: GAC Aion Hyper HT – EV SUV bookings open in Thailand fr RM260k; Hyper GT shown

    Bangkok 2024: GAC Aion Hyper HT – EV SUV bookings open in Thailand fr RM260k; Hyper GT shown

    GAC Aion Hyper HT

    The recently concluded Bangkok Internation Motor Show saw GAC Aion display two models from its Hyper series, namely the Hyper GT and HT. We’ll start by focusing on the latter, which was open for pre-booking at the event at an introductory price of around 1,999,900 baht (about RM260k) for the Ultra Version.

    The Hyper HT is an all-electric SUV that was launched in China last November as the third member of the Hyper series after the Hyper GT and Hyper SSR. It is a relatively large five-seat vehicle, measuring in at 4,935 mm long, 1,920 mm wide, 1,700 mm tall and with a wheelbase spanning 2,935 mm.

    That makes it a little smaller than the Tesla Model X, and just like that electric vehicle (EV), the Hyper HT is available with rear gullwing doors. Inside, there’s an 8.8-inch digital instrument cluster and a 14.6-inch infotainment touchscreen – both driven by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 8155P chipset. A sensor suite (with optional lidar) powers ADAS functions such as autonomous emergency braking, lane departure warning, adaptive cruise control and more.

    Bangkok 2024: GAC Aion Hyper HT – EV SUV bookings open in Thailand fr RM260k; Hyper GT shown

    GAC Aion Hyper HT

    In China, the SUV is rear-wheel drive only with different battery capacities and ranges. The smallest battery available is a 70-kWh unit that is paired with a rear-mounted electric motor rated at 245 PS (241 hp or 180 kW) and 355 Nm of torque for 550 km of range following the CLTC standard. Next on the list is a 72.7-kWh battery with the same 180-kW motor for 600 km of range.

    The third option is an 80-kWh battery, which is paired exclusively to an electric motor with 340 PS (335 hp or 250 kW) and 430 Nm – this setup has a range of 670 km. The final option provides the most range at 770 km and pairs the 250-kW motor with an even larger 93-kWh battery. The 0-100 km/h times are either 5.8 seconds (670 km range), 6.2 seconds (770 km) or 6.8 seconds (550 and 660 km variants).

    Bangkok 2024: GAC Aion Hyper HT – EV SUV bookings open in Thailand fr RM260k; Hyper GT shown

    GAC Aion Hyper HT

    We should point out the versions of the Hyper HT with the 180-kW motor and with battery capacities below 80 kWh use a 400V architecture, while all others use an 800V architecture. The Chinese carmaker claims these 400V variants will gain 140 km of range with just 10 minutes of charging.

    The Hyper HT also supports quick battery swap, although this is only available for the variant with 550 km of range. For the 800V variants, those delivering 670 km of range can recover 415 km with just 15 minutes of being plugged in, while the 770-km option takes 10 minutes to gain 450 km.

    Bangkok 2024: GAC Aion Hyper HT – EV SUV bookings open in Thailand fr RM260k; Hyper GT shown

    GAC Aion Hyper GT

    As for the Hyper GT, the fully electric sedan was launched in China in late October last year and measures 4,886 mm long, 1,885 mm wide, 1,449 mm tall and with a wheelbase of 2,920 mm. The powertrain line-up is simpler with just three battery options offered, starting with a 60-kWh unit for a CLTC-rated range of 560 km that is followed by a 70-kWh unit with 600 km of range.

    Both the 60- and 70-kWh units are paired with a rear-mounted electric motor rated at 245 PS (241 hp or 180 kW) and 355 Nm of torque for a 0-100 km/h time of 6.5 seconds. The last battery is an 80-kWh unit that provides 710 km of range and is linked to an electric motor with 340 PS (335 hp or 250 kW) and 430 Nm for a 0-100 km/h time of 4.9 seconds.

    GAC Aion Hyper GT

    Like the Hyper HT, the Hyper GT support battery swapping, but only for the 70-kWh variant. The company states that 80-kWh variants come with “high voltage overcharging technology,” which presumably means they have an 800V architecture and can gain 450 km with just 15 minutes of charging.

    Certain trim levels of the Hyper GT come with front butterfly doors, but the entire range gets the same dual-screen setup and Qualcomm chipset as the Hyper HT. The sedan also gets the ADiGO Pilot suite of ADAS functions in either 3.0 or 4.0 versions, which are a step down from the Hyper HT that gets the 5.0 version.

    GALLERY: GAC Aion HT

    GALLERY: GAC Aion GT

     
     
  • Bangkok 2024: Isuzu D-Max facelift shown – revised styling; 1.9L/3.0L turbodiesel, 6AT/6MT; from RM75k

    Bangkok 2024: Isuzu D-Max facelift shown – revised styling; 1.9L/3.0L turbodiesel, 6AT/6MT; from RM75k

    The third-generation Isuzu D-Max facelift was introduced in Thailand last October and was showcased at this year’s Bangkok International Motor Show, so here’s a small gallery of the updated pick-up truck.

    In terms of styling tweaks, the latest D-Max gets a reprofiled grille and new bumper, the latter with sharper cutouts for the fog lamp enclosures. Another noticeable change are the headlamps that have a sleeker shape and incorporate a new daytime running light signature.

    Moving to the rear, the pick-up truck’s taillights now have a triple-tier configuration to accompany the new tailgate. As for the interior, the instrument panel gets a larger seven-inch multi-info display in higher trims, which also come with paddle shifters. Higher trims come with an ADAS suite that includes autonomous emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning and automatic high beam.

    In Thailand, the D-Max comes in five trim levels, including the Spark, Spacecab, Cab 4, Hi-Lander, V-Cross and X-Series. The engine line-up consists of two inline-four turbodiesel options, which are the RZ4E-TC 1.9 litre and 4JJ3-TCX 3.0 litre.

    The former is rated at 150 PS (148 hp or 110 kW) at 3,600 rpm and 350 Nm of torque from 1,800 to 2,600 rpm. Meanwhile, the 3.0 litre unit outputs 190 PS (188 hp or 140 kW) at 3,600 rpm and 450 Nm from 1,600 to 2,600 rpm. Depending on the chosen variant-powertrain combination, customers can either get a six-speed manual or automatic transmission, with or without four-wheel drive.

    In terms of pricing, the two-door models which include the workhorse Spark starts from 577,000 baht (about RM75k), while the extended cab is from 650,000 baht (RM84k) for the Spacecab and from 758,000 baht (RM98k) for the Hi-Lander.

    The four-door D-Max starts at 731,000 baht (RM95k) for the Cab 4 and from 865,000 baht (RM112k) for the Hi-Lander. As for the V-Cross, it is starts from 917,000 baht (RM119k) and can be had as a two-door extended cab or a four-door cab. The same is also true of the X-Series that ranges from 748,000 to 1.107 million baht (RM97k to RM144k).

     
     
  • Bangkok 2024: Hyundai Ioniq 5 N makes ASEAN debut – 650 PS, 0-100 km/h 3.4 secs, Malaysia launch soon?

    Bangkok 2024: Hyundai Ioniq 5 N makes ASEAN debut – 650 PS, 0-100 km/h 3.4 secs, Malaysia launch soon?

    Hyundai’s passenger cars only recently made a return to Thailand, but the company has gone from strength to strength with several models already on sale. One of the stand outs is the electric Ioniq 5, launched in the Land of Smiles just last November, and it was joined at the Bangkok International Motor Show (BIMS) by its performance variant, the Ioniq 5 N.

    This hot hatch/SUV made its ASEAN debut at the show, and while it hasn’t gone on sale yet, we can assume a launch will be happening in the not-too-distant future. Which would be just as well, because the N boffins have really worked a number on this car.

    It’s still powered by dual motors, but outputs have near as dammit been doubled over the cooking Ioniq 5 Max range-topper to an impressive 609 PS and 740 Nm of torque. So equipped, this 2.2-tonne beast will get from zero to 100 km/h in 3.5 seconds on its way to a top speed of 260 km/h.

    Bangkok 2024: Hyundai Ioniq 5 N makes ASEAN debut – 650 PS, 0-100 km/h 3.4 secs, Malaysia launch soon?

    But this is an N car, after all, so the Ioniq 5 N comes with several hilariously-named features – chief of which being the N Grin Boost that boosts power and torque to 650 PS and 770 Nm. This shaves a tenth off the century sprint (3.4 seconds) via the N Launch Control.

    Then there’s the 11-step N Torque Distribution that shunts power variably between the front and rear axles, the N Race function with Sprint (full power and cooling for hot laps) and Endurance (maximum range for longer drives) modes, a similarly-configured N Battery Preconditioning with Drag and Track modes and two custom N buttons on the steering wheel.

    But the coolest features are the ones that help bring petrol-powered performance car drama to EVs. These include the N e-Shift that simulates the gearshifts of an eight-speed dual-clutch transmission, paired with the N Active Sound+ that can mimic the sound of the i30 N‘s 2.0 litre turbocharged four-cylinder engine or even a fighter jet. The noise is piped through the eight-speaker Bose sound system and dual exterior speakers.

    Bangkok 2024: Hyundai Ioniq 5 N makes ASEAN debut – 650 PS, 0-100 km/h 3.4 secs, Malaysia launch soon?

    Oversteer enthusiasts, on the other hand, will love the N Drift Optimiser, which helps you maintain a drift for as long as possible and incorporates a Torque Kick Drift function that simulates a clutch kick. Meanwhile, the N Pedal increases regenerative braking to shift weight onto the front tyres, enabling a sharper turn-in, while the powertrain has been configured to support left-foot braking, allowing both the brake and throttle pedals to be pressed at the same time.

    To make sure the Ioniq 5 N isn’t all mouth and no trousers, Hyundai has stiffened the structure with 42 extra welding points and 2.1 metres of additional structural adhesive. You also get a stiffer and quicker steering rack, stronger regenerative braking (pulling up to 0.6 G, claimed to be the highest on any EV), an electronic limited-slip rear differential and larger dampers to widen the performance gamut of the electronically-controlled suspension.

    The Ioniq 5 N is also the first car built on the Electric Global Modular Platform (E-GMP) to receive a fourth-generation 84 kWh battery (fitted to the facelifted Ioniq 5), delivering a claimed range of 448 km on the WLTP cycle. Forged 21-inch two-tone alloy wheels wrapped in 275/35R21 Pirelli P Zero tyres hide larger disc brakes that measure 400 mm in the front (clamped by four-piston callipers) and 360 mm at the rear.

    Bangkok 2024: Hyundai Ioniq 5 N makes ASEAN debut – 650 PS, 0-100 km/h 3.4 secs, Malaysia launch soon?

    Sitting squat on its four fat tyres, the Ioniq 5 N looks far meaner than its regular sibling, riding 50 mm wider and 20 mm lower. Fender flares help hide the wider wheels, while the front bumper has been made more aggressive with large air intakes, a prominent splitter and plenty of black and red trim. A sizeable rear diffuser with unique chequered-flag reflectors complete the look.

    The substantial changes continue on the inside – the Ioniq 5’s loft-like cabin has been gutted and made more purposeful. You’ll find a three-spoke N steering wheel with dedicated mode buttons, as well as metal pedals, N-branded side sill plates and bucket seats with illuminated N logos, just like BMW’s M cars.

    Bangkok 2024: Hyundai Ioniq 5 N makes ASEAN debut – 650 PS, 0-100 km/h 3.4 secs, Malaysia launch soon?

    But the revisions go further than that – even the sliding centre console has been swapped for a fixed unit with knee pads to support your knees under hard cornering. You still get a sliding armrest as well as USB-C ports and a Qi wireless charger.

    Now that the Ioniq 5 N has made its appearance in Southeast Asia, could we see it being launched here soon? While the cooking non-N model was quick to go on sale here owing to tax incentives, the last N model, the i30 N, was a very limited affair over here. That will likely be also the case with this car, as even tax free it will probably cost nearly RM400,000.

     
     
  • Bangkok 2024: Lamborghini Countach LPI 800-4 – jaw-dropping reincarnation of the icon, 1 of 112, RM52 mil

    Bangkok 2024: Lamborghini Countach LPI 800-4 – jaw-dropping reincarnation of the icon, 1 of 112, RM52 mil

    Anyone else struggling to keep up with the wide range of today’s supercar makers? Take Ferrari. Maranello’s range used to be pretty simple with a few core lines – the V8 starter, the V12 model, the halo and maybe a GT – but these days, I can’t draw out the family tree off-hand. It’s not so confusing over at Lamborghini, but there have been quite a lot of specials from Sant’Agata too.

    But there’s no mistaking the new Countach for anything else, such is the strong reference to one of the all-time supercar icons. We look at cars for a living and it takes something truly special to make us stop and stare, but our jaws collectively dropped at the sight of the Countach at the 2024 Bangkok International Motor Show’s separate supercar hall.

    Guarded by burly blokes wearing Lamborghini Club Thailand shirts (we were scolded for touching the glass enclosure, never mind the car), this Countach is owned by Akapat ‘Kim’ Phornprapha, who is the MD of Bangkok Metal Works and a director at AAL Transportation. Crucially, he’s the son of Arnop Phornprapha, the founder of AP Honda Co Ltd and Thai Honda Manufacturing Co Ltd, which manufactures and distributes Honda motorcycles in Thailand.

    Bangkok 2024: Lamborghini Countach LPI 800-4 – jaw-dropping reincarnation of the icon, 1 of 112, RM52 mil

    Kim is no stranger to the most exotic Lamborghinis, and his portfolio includes an Aventador SVJ 63 Roadster (one of 63) and a Sian Roadster (only 19 were made), among others. The reborn Countach is a 112-unit limited edition, and the young Thai tycoon’s cream/off-white coloured example is the final one off the production line. It was presented to him at Lamborghini’s HQ in May 2023 by CEO Stephan Winkelmann himself.

    Why 112 units? The number was chosen to honour the LP 112 internal project name used during the original Countach’s development. The Countach LPI 800-4 made its debut at the 2021 The Quail, A Motorsports Gathering event, which is part of the Monterey Car Week. The original Countach celebrated its 50th anniversary that year.

    Apart from the unmistakable wedge shape, the LPI 800-4’s carbon fibre body has many other references to the LP 500 concept, production LP 400 and other Countachs. At the front, you’ll find the LP 500’s sharp face, which features rectangular headlamps. This is accompanied by a horizontal slit higher up with lines that lead into a slim grille, the latter sporting a contemporary Countach badge placed off-centre, just like on the concept.

    Below that, you’ll find air ducts that are a direct reference to those on the LP 400, albeit much larger in shape, along with a deep splitter that hints at the LP 400 S as well as the LP 5000 Quattrovalvole. The 20-inch front and 21-inch rear wheels have a the classic ‘telephone’ design, and check out those NACA air intakes that cut into the sides of the iconic scissor doors.

    Look at the shoulders for the distinctive Countach slatted ‘gills’, which are joined by large air scoops that look like those on the Countach 25th Anniversary. Viewed from above, Periscopio lines that are narrower and more streamlined than the concept can be seen flaring out from the roof toward the back.

    As with the front, the new hypercar’s rear end is recognisable as a Countach from its inverted wedge shape, with the contemporary element being the familiar “hexagonita” lights design – they’re arranged in three-unit clusters here, like on the LP 400. Meanwhile, the upswept rear apron is also a link to the original, with four exhaust tailpipes contained within a carbon fibre rear diffuser.

    Bangkok 2024: Lamborghini Countach LPI 800-4 – jaw-dropping reincarnation of the icon, 1 of 112, RM52 mil

    Under those louvres is a hybrid powertrain similar to the one used in the Sian. A 6.5-litre naturally-aspirated V12 with 780 PS and 720 Nm of torque (5 PS less than the Sian) is paired with a 48-volt electric motor that provides an additional 34 PS/35 Nm. The latter is powered by a supercapacitor that is said to provide three times more power than a regular lithium-ion battery.

    Together, the system is rated at 814 PS, and drive goes to all corners via a seven-speed ISR (Independent Shifting Rod) transmission and Haldex all-wheel drive system. 0-100 km/h is done in 2.8 seconds and one will reach 200 km/h in just 8.6 seconds. Top speed is 355 km/h, which is on par with the Sian and the LP 780-4 Ultimae.

    If you’re wondering, the ‘800’ in the new Countach’s name is just Lamborghini rounding up the power output, while the ‘I’ is for ibrido, Italian for hybrid. Another question you might have is the price of this super rare and coveted car (some specials are rare, but are only known by car nerds – this is a bloody Countach). Well, it’s said to be over 400 million baht with taxes, which is equivalent to nearly RM52 million. Yup, if you have to ask…

    Who else had a poster of the Countach on his bedroom wall as a child? Next to a Ferrari Testarossa and Porsche 959 perhaps?

    GALLERY: Lamborghini Countach LPI 800-4 at BIMS 2024

    GALLERY: Lamborghini Countach LPI 800-4 official images

     
     
  • Bangkok 2024: Toyota Hilux Champ – workhorse truck; SWB and LWB; petrol/diesel; 5MT/6AT; from RM59k

    Bangkok 2024: Toyota Hilux Champ – workhorse truck; SWB and LWB; petrol/diesel; 5MT/6AT; from RM59k

    The Toyota Hilux Champ was launched in Thailand last November and is currently on display at the ongoing Bangkok International Motor Show (BIMS). Based on the IMV platform, the Hilux Champ was previewed by the IMV 0 concept and serves as a low-cost, multi-purpose utilitarian vehicle alternative to the Hilux.

    Prices start from just 459,000 baht (about RM59k) and tops out at 577,000 baht (about RM75k), with eight variants being made available. Customers can choose from versions with a two-seat cab and chassis (C&C) only, which can then be configured to suit their requirements through upfitter companies, or opt for a pick-up truck configuration with a flatbed that can be opened on all three sides.

    Toyota says the modular design approach is meant to make it easy for owners to modify their vehicles as well as reducing maintenance costs should certain parts require replacing. As you can see in the photos, there are plenty of ways to outfit the Hilux Champ, be it a cargo transport or even a recreational vehicle (RV).

    Bangkok 2024: Toyota Hilux Champ – workhorse truck; SWB and LWB; petrol/diesel; 5MT/6AT; from RM59k

    Customers are given a number of options as a starting base, including three engines and two transmissions to choose from. On the former, the first engine is a 1TR-FE 2.0 litre naturally-aspirated inline-four petrol unit making 139 PS (137 hp or 102 kW) at 5,600 rpm and 183 Nm of torque at 4,000 rpm – this Dual VVT-i mill is only paired with a five-speed manual transmission.

    Next up is a 2TR-FE 2.7 litre NA inline-four petrol engine serving up 166 PS (164 hp or 122 kW) at 5,200 rpm and 245 Nm at 4,000 rpm, also with Dual VVT-i that is mated exclusively to a six-speed automatic gearbox with a sequential shift function.

    Only one turbodiesel option exists for the Hilux Champ, and that is the Hilux’s 2GD-FTV 2.4 litre inline-four that outputs 150 PS (148 hp or 110 kW) at 3,400 rpm. This engine has two peak torque figures, with the lower output being 343 Nm from 1,400 to 2,800 rpm that can only be had a five-speed manual. The high-output version provides 400 Nm from 1,600 to 2,000 rpm, and this comes with a six-speed automatic. All powertrains are rear-wheel drive only.

    In addition to the many engine-transmission combinations, the Hilux Champ is also available in two wheelbases: 2,750 mm and 3,085 mm. Standard wheelbase (SWB) models with the flatbed measure 4,970 mm long, 1,785 mm wide and 1,735 mm tall, while variants in the C&C configuration have an overall length of 4,705 mm while maintaining the same width and height.

    As for long wheelbase (LWB) models, they measure 5,300 mm long, 1,785 mm wide and 1,735 mm tall with the flatbed, but the C&C version is 5,040 mm long. For those curious about the flatbed’s dimensions, it is 1,711 mm wide and 327 mm tall, while the length is either 2,312 mm (SWB) or 2,647 mm (LWB).

    Other notable figures include a turning radius of between 4.9 (SWB) and 5.4 (LWB) metres, a minimum ground clearance of between 164 to 180 mm as well as a fuel tank capacity of between 55 and 70 litres.

    Bangkok 2024: Toyota Hilux Champ – workhorse truck; SWB and LWB; petrol/diesel; 5MT/6AT; from RM59k

    Given its purpose, the Hilux Champ doesn’t come with a lot of luxuries and the available equipment includes LED projector headlamps (instead of halogens), 14-inch steel wheels, manual air-conditioning, two airbags, ABS and EBD. Four colours are available, namely Super White, Off White, Dark Grey Metallic and Silver Metallic.

    The Hilux Champ is certainly an interesting utility workhorse and is a perfect fit for pick-up truck-loving Thailand – the company that makes it even refers to it as “the latest national car by Toyota” in its press release. However, would you want something like this to be sold in Malaysia?

     
     
  • Bangkok 2024: Neta V-II – heavily-revised budget EV gets new design, Apple CarPlay, AEB, from RM71k

    Bangkok 2024: Neta V-II – heavily-revised budget EV gets new design, Apple CarPlay, AEB, from RM71k

    We continue our coverage of the 2024 Bangkok International Motor Show (BIMS) with a car that is looking for some form of redemption. This is the Neta V-II, a heavily revised version of the Neta V that was launched in Malaysia back in October.

    The V sells reasonably well in Thailand, but in Malaysia with its RM100,000 price floor for fully-imported EVs, the Chinese electric hatchback is finding itself to be a bit of a hard sell. Yes, it’s the cheapest of its type in the country, but when a much more substantial and well-equipped BYD Dolphin is barely a few hundred ringgit more, you can see why it hasn’t flown off the showroom floor. I mean, when was the last time you saw one?

    Think of the V-II, then, as an attempt to redress the balance somewhat, giving the V a more sophisticated design and adding loads of kit that should’ve come with the car in the first place. The rather bulbous shape remains – as does much of the front end, upswept window line and black D-pillars – but the new front bumper with a larger “starlight” grille and (fake) corner air inlets give the car a more focused appearance.

    Bangkok 2024: Neta V-II – heavily-revised budget EV gets new design, Apple CarPlay, AEB, from RM71k

    But the biggest changes can be found at the rear, where the gawky inverted L-shaped taillights have given way to far more agreeable full-width units, sitting above a cleaner rear bumper with slimmer reflectors. Chrome accents around the lower perimeter complete the exterior revisions.

    There are fewer visual updates on the inside, which is still blocky looking and features the headline 14.6-inch portrait touchscreen, a slimline 12-inch instrument display and a floating centre console. You do, however, get a slew of new functions, including the addition of Apple CarPlay (no Android Auto, unfortunately) and a Qi wireless charger. But perhaps the biggest improvement is the inclusion of height adjustment for the front seats, addressing a key complaint of the outgoing model. The steering column is still fixed, however.

    Another area where the V-II gets a substantial upgrade is in terms of safety. You get plenty of driver assists on the high-spec Smart variant where there previously was none, including autonomous emergency braking, adaptive cruise control with stop and go, a front departure alert and automatic high beam. You still only get two airbags, however, so crash safety still isn’t this car’s strong suit.

    Bangkok 2024: Neta V-II – heavily-revised budget EV gets new design, Apple CarPlay, AEB, from RM71k

    There wasn’t anything particularly wrong with how the Neta V actually drove, so the mechanicals have been left well alone. The V-II continues to be powered by a single front motor that produces 95 PS (70 kW) and 150 Nm of torque, and despite a slightly smaller 36.1 kWh battery, the range has actually increased slightly to 382 km, still on the lenient NEDC cycle.

    Where the V-II still has an advantage over its immediate competition is in charging. It can accept up to 100 kW of DC fast charging, topping up the battery from 30 to 80% in 30 minutes; AC charging, meanwhile, takes eight hours for a full charge using a 6.6 kW wallbox. The V-II is also notable in that it features a vehicle-to-load function at up to 3.3 kW.

    Despite the redesign and added kit, the starting price has been retained at 549,000 baht (RM71,200) for the base Lite version, rising up to 569,000 baht (RM73,800) for the Smart. Will the Neta V-II come to Malaysia soon? We certainly hope so, and the starting of CKD local assembly in the first quarter of next year seems like a perfect opportunity to introduce it, allowing it to be priced under RM100,000 for the first time.

     
     
  • Bangkok 2024: BYD Bao Leopard 5 – rugged 1.5T PHEV off-roader with 687 PS, 760 Nm, 125 km EV range

    Bangkok 2024: BYD Bao Leopard 5 – rugged 1.5T PHEV off-roader with 687 PS, 760 Nm, 125 km EV range

    Fang Cheng Bao is a sub-brand of BYD that was announced in June 2023, and the first model to be introduced is this, the Bao 5, in August the same year. Marketed as an off-road SUV, the Bao 5 (also known as the Leopard 5) is currently on display at the ongoing Bangkok International Motor Show (BIMS), joining models from BYD’s other brands like Denza and Yangwang.

    In terms of size, the Bao 5 measures 4,890 mm long, 1,970 mm wide, 1,920 mm tall and has a wheelbase spanning 2,800 mm. Built on the Dual Mode Off-road (DMO) Super Hybrid platform, the Bao 5 takes on a boxy shape with rugged details like chunky bumpers and body cladding – kind of looks like a Land Cruiser Prado with a hint of Land Rover Defender, don’t you think?

    The theme continues on the inside, with robust-looking controls on the centre console for various vehicle functions such as the four-wheel drive system and climate system. Despite being off-road-focused, the Bao 5 isn’t short on screens, with three of them spread across the dashboard.

    For the driver, there’s a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster while the front passenger gets a 12.3-inch touchscreen. In the middle is a massive 15.6-inch touchscreen that sits above the central air vents and a air-cooled wireless charging pad. The triple-screen setup is standard for higher-end variants sold in China, along with a head-up display with a projection area spanning 50 inches.

    Bangkok 2024: BYD Bao Leopard 5 – rugged 1.5T PHEV off-roader with 687 PS, 760 Nm, 125 km EV range

    On that mention, there are three variants (Discovery, Pilot and Yunnian Flagship) of the five-seat Bao 5 available in China that are priced from 289,900 to 352,800 yuan (about RM190k to RM232k). All variants come with the same plug-in hybrid powertrain with a total system output of 687 PS (677 hp or 505 kW) and 760 Nm of torque.

    The setup consists of BYD476ZQF 1.5 litre turbocharged inline-four petrol engine making 194 PS (192 hp or 143 kW) and 273 Nm that is mated to an electronic continuously variable transmission (E-CVT). The cool thing here is there are two electric motors to augment the internal combustion engine (ICE), with the one at the front rated at 272 PS (268 hp or 200 kW) and 360 Nm, while the rear outputs 387 PS (382 hp or 285 kW) and 400 Nm. Fang Cheng Bao claims a 0-100 km/h time of 4.8 seconds.

    Power for the electric motors is supplied by a Blade lithium iron phosphate (LFP) battery with an energy capacity of 31.8 kWh. This is good for an electric-only range of 125 km following the CLTC standard, and with the ICE factored in, the company claims a cruising range of up to 1,200 km.

    The battery support DC fast charging at a max capacity of 100 kW, which can get it from a 30-80% state of charge in just 16 minutes. There’s also a vehicle-to-load (V2L) system that can supply up to 6 kW to power devices and accessories.

    Bangkok 2024: BYD Bao Leopard 5 – rugged 1.5T PHEV off-roader with 687 PS, 760 Nm, 125 km EV range

    Figures relevant to off-roading include a ground clearance of 220 mm or 310 mm for the top-spec Yunnian Flagship which comes with BYD’s DiSus-P hydraulic body control system. The Bao 5 has approach and departure angles of 35 and 32 degrees respectively – the DiSus-P system (also equipped on the Yangwang U8) bumps these up to 39 and 35 degrees.

    There are also plenty of drive modes to cycle through along with low-speed four-wheel drive, a rear differential lock, water wading system and towing up to 2.5 tonnes. The Bao 5 also comes with Level 2+ driver assistance systems such as lane keep assist, traffic jam assist, autonomous emergency braking and adaptive cruise control, just to name a few.

    For now, the Bao 5 is only being showcased at BIMS and there is no official word that the SUV will be sold in Thailand. In any case, what are your thoughts on the Bao 5? Is this off-road SUV something that you might buy here?

     
     
  • Bangkok 2024: Vinfast enters Thailand – VF e34 June launch; VF3, VF5, VF6, VF7, VF8, VF9 EVs previewed

    Vinfast had its brand launch for the Thailand market at the 2024 Bangkok International Motor Show (BIMS), and the Vietnamese carmaker said it signed partnership agreements with 15 dealers at the show. They must have been impressed by the range of EVs – Vinfast brought out everything it had, from a Suzuki Jimny-style city car to a wild (literally) concept truck, with some production SUVs in between.

    According to local media, the brand’s launch model for Thailand is the VF e34, which is set for a June debut. The compact SUV will be followed by the VF 5 two to three months later, while the VF 6 and VF 7 are planned for the end of 2024. That’s four models in half a year, an aggressive strategy that is perhaps vital to keep up with the Chinese carmakers in Thailand’s EV market.

    But the model mix is not set in stone. “Our initial focus is to gauge the response of the Thai market. We are keen to understand which of our car models resonates most with Thai consumers. Flexibility is key to our distribution plans, and we are prepared to adapt based on the feedback and demands of the Thai market,” Vinfast Thailand CEO Vu Dang Yen Hang told Khaosod. There will also be electric scooters.

    Bangkok 2024: Vinfast enters Thailand – VF e34 June launch; VF3, VF5, VF6, VF7, VF8, VF9 EVs previewed

    Vinfast VF e34

    Let’s take a look at a couple of EVs from Vinfast’s BIMS booth, starting with the VF e34. The B-segment SUV (about the size of a Honda HR-V, although Vinfast markets it as a C) was unveiled in 2021 as the company’s first electric-powered car, and the first EV to be made and sold in Vietnam. Domestic deliveries started in December 2021, so the VF e34 has had two full years of sales now.

    The VF e34 is powered by a 147 hp/242 Nm motor that takes juice from a 42 kWh battery. Range is a modest 285 km, and that’s in the older NEDC cycle. Vinfast says that 18 minutes of fast charging can yield 180 km of range.

    Looking more modern and interesting is the VF 5, which is an A-segment crossover that’s smaller than a Perodua Ativa. It went on sale in Vietnam last year as Vinfast’s most affordable EV. Powered by a 134 hp motor and a 37.23 kWh battery, range is quoted as 326 km on the NEDC cycle and DC fast charging from 10-70% SoC takes 30 minutes. With the battery, the VF 5 is priced at 548 million VND in its home market, which is RM104,854.

    Vinfast VF 5 top, Vinfast VF 6 bottom

    Next up is the VF 6, which kicks off Vinfast’s electric SUV range in the US. Under that eye-catching B-SUV body is a motor with 201 hp/310 Nm, and a 59.6 kWh battery that provides 381 km of range, this time in the more realistic WLTP cycle. Features include available vegan leather, a panoramic glass roof, Level 2 ADAS, head-up display and a 12.9-inch touchscreen that’s heavily tilted towards the driver. Interestingly, gear selection is piano key-style below the screen.

    The VF 7 is a C-segment SUV with sharper lines. At 4,545 mm long and 1,890 mm wide, it’s about the size of a Mazda CX-5 but slightly wider and a fair bit lower. It looks good, with Vinfast’s signature ‘V’ LED light bars at both ends, flush door handles and the same cockpit style as the VF 6, but with plusher materials and a larger 15-inch screen.

    The higher Plus version of the VF 7 has a 75.3 kWh battery that’s good for 431 km WLTP range. Paired to a 348 hp/500 Nm motor, 0-100 km/h is done in a brisk 5.8 seconds.

    Bangkok 2024: Vinfast enters Thailand – VF e34 June launch; VF3, VF5, VF6, VF7, VF8, VF9 EVs previewed

    Vinfast VF 7

    Next up is the VF 8, which unlike the other SUVs you see here, is already on sale in the US. Launched there last year, the Pininfarina-designed VF 8 swiftly gained notoriety for being the ‘worst reviewed car ever’ in the States, and it was an unanimous voice too. Anyway, the VF 8 has a 87.7 kWh battery and two motors – in the more powerful 402 hp version, range is 391 km, measured by the US EPA. 0-100 km/h is done in 5.5 seconds. What stands out there is the lengthy 10-year/200,000 km (125,000 miles) warranty.

    The Vietnamese firm’s largest SUV is the VF 9, which is a three-row behemoth with a 123 kWh battery. With two motors and 402 hp, the 5,115 mm flagship gets to 100 km/h in 6.5 seconds and has a range of 468 km (US EPA).

    We saw plenty of Chinese EVs at BIMS and it became confusing after awhile, as many of the sedans and SUVs have very generic design – swap badges and park one in another booth and not many would realise, we feel. Vinfast is not guilty of same-same though, as its cars have a distinct front and rear look, replete with V-shape LEDs. The latest generation design seen on the VF 5, 6 and 7 is an improvement over previous efforts too.

    Bangkok 2024: Vinfast enters Thailand – VF e34 June launch; VF3, VF5, VF6, VF7, VF8, VF9 EVs previewed

    Vinfast VF 8

    What I like best from the stand is the VF 3, a tiny city EV that looks like a scaled-down Suzuki Jimny. Designed specifically for the Vietnam market, the two-door VF 3 measures just 3,114 mm long (the Japanese kei car limit is 3.4m) but Vinfast says that there’s sufficient space for up to five people. Truly for the local market then – have you seen anyone who isn’t slim in Vietnam?

    Vinfast talks about the VF 3’s potential to become a ‘national vehicle’ for Vietnam, putting millions of families into a car and helping to boost EV adoption in the country – what a cool-looking car to push the national agenda! Vinfast plans to start delivering VF 3s in the third quarter this year. By the way, those 16-inch rims look suspiciously similar to the R32 Nissan Skyline GT-R factory alloys

    Finally, the Vinfast Wild. The concept electric truck was unveiled at CES 2024, hinting at the ambitious carmaker’s range expansion plans beyond SUVs. At 5,324 mm long and 1,997 mm wide, the Wild’s dimensions places it in the mid-size pick-up truck category in the US.

    Vinfast VF 3 top, Vinfast Wild concept bottom

    Jointly developed by VinFast and Australian design studio GoMotiv, the Wild features a flexible bed that combines the practicality of a power-folding mid-gate to provide class-leading bed length, which can expand from five to eight feet with the rear seats folded down automatically. No specs yet, this is just a concept.

    What a range! Interestingly, all the SUVs at BIMS save for the VF 3 (which is not yet in production) are in right-hand drive. That means that the EVs are ready for Thailand and Indonesia, the two RHD markets Vinfast is entering in ASEAN this year. Speaking of Indonesia, the republic is the first country to receive RHD cars from Vinfast with the just-launched VF e34. The other promised models are the VF 5, VF 6 and VF 7, covering A to C segments.

    More than just selling EVs there, Vinfast has announced an EV plant in Indonesia with a projected capacity of 50,000 units per annum. When operational, the plant will be a key link in VinFast’s global EV supply chain, the company says. In Asia, Vinfast also has plans for India and the Philippines, but not Malaysia. What do you think of the Vietnamese firm’s products and design?

    GALLERY: Vinfast VF 3

    GALLERY: Vinfast VF 5

    GALLERY: Vinfast VF 6

    GALLERY: Vinfast VF 7

    GALLERY: Vinfast VF 8

    GALLERY: Vinfast VF e34

    GALLERY: Vinfast Wild concept

     
     
  • Bangkok 2024: Honri Boma EV launched – up to 200 km EV range; mini Alphard from RM65k in Thailand

    Bangkok 2024: Honri Boma EV launched – up to 200 km EV range; mini Alphard from RM65k in Thailand

    If you want something that looks like a Toyota Alphard but prefer something a lot smaller, maybe this will interest you. This is the Honri Boma EV, a mini electric vehicle (EV) that is being presented at the ongoing Bangkok International Motor Show and will be sold in Thailand by Hai Thua New Energy Vehicle for approximately 500,000 baht (about RM65k).

    Honri, or Hongri Automobile Group, markets the Boma EV under the Weiao (Viauto) brand in China, where it retails for between 39,900 to 51,900 yuan (about RM26k to RM34k). With seating for up to four passengers, the Boma EV measures 3,517 mm long, 1,495 mm wide, 1,660 mm tall and has wheelbase spanning 2,495 mm – the ground clearance is listed as 130 mm.

    The Boma EV is equipped with a front-mounted electric motor rated at 41 PS (40 hp or 30 kW) and 84 Nm of torque, which is enough for a top speed of 100 km/h. In terms of range, there are two nickel manganese cobalt (NMC) battery packs to choose from, with the first having an energy capacity of 11.9 kWh for a CLTC-rated 130 km.

    As for the second option, it packs 18.5 kWh for 200 km of range. Charging information is limited but it is reported the standard range model takes seven hours to fully charge through AC charging, while the higher-range model needs 10 hours – no DC fast charging was mentioned.

    Thailand gets 200 km-range version of the Boma EV, which comes with a three-year, 100,000-km vehicle warranty and an eight-year, 120,000-km warranty for the battery. In the future, a new variant with 300 km of range will be added to the line-up.

    If you don’t like the Alphard-inspired grille, the Boma EV can also be had with a largely closed-off face, both with an integrated charging port and halogen headlamps accompanied by prominent chrome trim. Inside, you’ll find a basic interior with a 5-inch digital instrument cluster that is joined by a 10.25-inch touchscreen head unit.

    The Pro version of the Boma EV sold in China gets two conjoined screens that include a 7-inch instrument panel and 9-inch central touchscreen, along with more controls for the air-conditioning system – the base model gets a more basic three-dial setup. Safety features reported by Thailand media include ABS, EBD and autonomous emergency braking.

    So, what do you think of the Boma EV? Is this something you might consider buying if it was offered here? Share your thoughts on this EV with Alphard looks at a budget price (but with some compromises) in the comments below.

     
     
  • Bangkok 2024: Mitsubishi Pajero Sport SUV facelift gets 2.4L 6AT powertrain from new Triton – 184 PS

    Bangkok 2024: Mitsubishi Pajero Sport SUV facelift gets 2.4L 6AT powertrain from new Triton – 184 PS

    It doesn’t look like one, but the Mitsubishi Pajero Sport at the 2024 Bangkok International Motor Show (BIMS) is a facelift for MY2024. The refreshed three-row SUV was announced for the Thai market last month, and although not much has changed aesthetically, there’s a raft of updates under the skin, including a new engine.

    Under the Pajero Sport’s hood is a 2.4-litre turbodiesel with 184 PS and 430 Nm of torque from 2,250 to 2,500 rpm. This is the 4N16 used in the latest Triton pick-up truck; the medium state of tune between the 204 PS/470 Nm version and the 150 PS/330 Nm tune.

    The DOHC unit with VGT is paired with a six-speed automatic transmission, which is two ratios less than the previous eight-speed automatic. Drive goes to either the rear wheels or all corners via MMC’s Super Select 4WD-II system. New to the SUV is off-road driving mode selection, where the driver can choose from Gravel, Mud/Snow, Sand and Rock presets.

    Bangkok 2024: Mitsubishi Pajero Sport SUV facelift gets 2.4L 6AT powertrain from new Triton – 184 PS

    That’s a major change for the model year, and the cosmetics pale in comparison. Anyway, there’s a new front grille and new-style 18-inch alloys. Note that the showcar you see here is wearing aftermarket alloys and not the new factory blade-design items.

    Inside, there’s a new steering wheel with three spokes and a round boss – once again, this follows the new Triton. There’s also a new digital instrument panel for the top-spec Elite Edition. Finally, the ground clearance of the already-tall Pajero Sport has been raised by five millimetres to 222 mm.

    The 2024 Mitsubishi Pajero Sport is available in four variants in Thailand – the Prime 2WD at 1,389,000 baht (RM180,196), the Ultra 2WD at 1,529,000 baht (RM198,383), the Elite 2WD at 1,579,000 baht (RM204,870) and the top Elite 4WD at 1,689,000 baht (RM219,128). Prices are up by 4,000 to 10,000 baht. All variants get the 2.4L 6AT powertrain.

    This generation of Pajero Sport never made it to Malaysia, but the latest Triton is coming soon – check out our BIMS coverage of the truck.

    GALLERY: 2024 Mitsubishi Pajero Sport at BIMS

     
     
  • Bangkok 2024: Xpeng enters ASEAN market – G9 SUV and P7i sedan EVs showcased with X2 flying car

    Bangkok 2024: Xpeng enters ASEAN market – G9 SUV and P7i sedan EVs showcased with X2 flying car

    The launch of Xpeng in Thailand at this year’s Bangkok International Motor Show (BIMS) marked the brand’s entry into ASEAN, with Singapore (through Premium Automobiles) and Malaysia (through Bermaz Auto) set to follow in the coming months.

    At the event, it was announced that Neo Mobility Asia, a joint venture between between Arun Plus Mobility Holdings (a subsidiary of PTT) and MGC-Asia GreenTech, would be responsible for distributorship of Xpeng vehicles in Thailand. The Xpeng G6 is the first model to be offered there, with two variants currently available for pre-booking.

    In addition to putting the G6 on display, the Xpeng booth at BIMS also featured other electric vehicles (EVs) from the brand, including a sedan, an SUV and even a flying car. The company isn’t revealing if these products will be offered in ASEAN markets for now, so this is merely a showcase of what Xpeng can offer.

    Xpeng G9

    Bangkok 2024: Xpeng enters ASEAN market – G9 SUV and P7i sedan EVs showcased with X2 flying car

    The Xpeng G9 was first unveiled back in November 2021 during the Guangzhou Auto Show and is built on the company’s Smart Electric Platform Architecture (SEPA) 2.0 platform. This is also shared with the G6 but the G9 is a larger vehicle, measuring in at 4,891 mm long, 1,937 mm wide, 1,680 mm tall (1,670 mm with air suspension) and with a wheelbase spanning 2,998 mm.

    In China, the G9 is available in five variants with prices ranging from 263,900 to 359,900 yuan (about RM172k to RM235k). The range includes the 570 Pro and 570 Max, both of which are equipped with a 78.4-kWh battery for 570 km of range following the CLTC standard.

    The ‘570’ variants are rear-wheel drive with a single electric motor rated at 313 PS (308 hp or 230 kW) and 430 Nm of torque. This setup is good for a 0-100 km/h time of 6.4 seconds and top speed of 200 km/h.

    Next up are the 702 Pro and 702 Max variants that get the same motor configuration and performance as the ‘570’ variants, but offer up to 702 km of range (CLTC) thanks to an increased battery capacity of 98 kWh. At the top of the heap is the 650 Max, which features a dual-motor setup for all-wheel drive and a total system output of 551 PS (543 hp or 405 kW) and 717 Nm. The added grunt sees the century sprint time drop to 3.9 seconds, although the top speed is the same as other variants.

    Bangkok 2024: Xpeng enters ASEAN market – G9 SUV and P7i sedan EVs showcased with X2 flying car

    According to Xpeng, the G9 uses an 800V architecture with silicon carbide technology and supports DC fast charging at a max of 315 kW to get the battery from a 10-80% state of charge (SoC) in about 20 minutes.

    In terms of technologies, the G9’s infotainment is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 8155 chipset that is linked to a 10.25-inch digital instrument cluster as well as a pair of 14.96-inch touchscreens. As for driver assistance technologies, Pro-designated variants have a single Nvidia Drive Orin platform paired with five millimeter-wave radars, 12 ultrasonic radars and 12 cameras. Meanwhile, Max variants add two lidars to the sensor suite along with an additional Drive Orin platform.

    On the practicality front, the five-seat G9 provides 660 litres of boot space, expandable to 1,576 litres with the rear 60:40 split-folding seats down. There’s also a frunk with 71 litres of storage space at the front.

    Xpeng P7i

    Bangkok 2024: Xpeng enters ASEAN market – G9 SUV and P7i sedan EVs showcased with X2 flying car

    The P7i is essentially a refresh of the P7 sedan with updated styling, improved power and range as well as an upgraded sensor suite. Launched in China last year, the P7i is offered in ‘550’, ‘610’ and ‘702’ variants with pricing starting from 223,900 yuan (about RM146k) and peaking at 339,900 yuan (about RM222k).

    The P7i pictured here is a more recent variant announced this month called the 702 Max Wing Edition, which differs from the rest by having powered front scissor doors. Like the G9, the variant name corresponds to the CLTC range offered.

    Unlike the G9, the P7i is built on a 400V architecture that can charge the battery from a 10-80% SoC in 29 minutes. For the ‘702’ variants, the battery is a ternary lithium pack with an energy capacity of 86.2 kWh that provides up to 702 km of range. These come with a rear-mounted electric motor rated at 276 PS (272 hp or 203 kW) and 440 Nm for a 0-100 km/h time of 6.4 seconds and top speed of 200 km/h.

    The ‘610’ variants use the same battery as the ‘702’ variants, but with a dual-motor setup rated at 473 PS (467 hp or 348 kW) and 757 Nm for a faster 0-100 km/h time of 3.9 seconds at the expend of range that tops out at 610 km. Lastly, there’s the ‘550’ variants which use a lithium iron phosphate (LFP) battery with a capacity of 64.4 kWh for up to 550 km of range, but with the same motor setup as the ‘702’ variants.

    The Nvidia Drive Orin platform powers the P7i’s driver assistance functions (bundled under the Xpilot banner), with higher-end variants getting two units instead of just one. Following the G9, a Qualcomm Snapdragon 8155 chipset handles infotainment, with the cabin sporting a 10.25-inch digital instrument cluster, but just one 14.96-inch touchscreen.

    Xpeng Voyager X2

    Bangkok 2024: Xpeng enters ASEAN market – G9 SUV and P7i sedan EVs showcased with X2 flying car

    Xpeng has a flying car division called Xpeng AeroHT, which completed a cross-river flight in China with the Voyager X2 in August 2023 and over Dubai a year before that in October. More recently, the two-seat eVTOL (electric vertical take-off and landing) aircraft flew over Guangzhou for the first time last month.

    The X2 has eight electric motors, one for each of its eight propellers, and is capable of a maximum speed of 130 km/h. Four independent battery packs power the electric motors and provide about 35 minutes of flight time. The XPENG X2 is equipped with manual and autonomous modes, the latter allowing passengers to enjoy a safe flying experience with simple start, return and landing operations at the touch of a button.

    Featuring a carbon-fibre structure, the X2’s empty weight is 360 kg and has a maximum takeoff weight of 560 kg. It can cruise at altitudes of up to 500 metres and is expected to begin production this year, with expected pricing of between USD126,000 and USD236,000 (about RM596k to RM1.11 million).

    GALLERY: Xpeng G9

    GALLERY: Xpeng P7i

    Xpeng Voyager X2

     
     
  • Bangkok 2024: BYD YangWang U9 – 1,306 PS electric supercar, “jumping” suspension, RM1.1mil in China

    Bangkok 2024: BYD YangWang U9 – 1,306 PS electric supercar, “jumping” suspension, RM1.1mil in China

    One of the most interesting cars shown at the Bangkok International Motor Show (BIMS) was the BYD Yangwang U9, the brand’s first electric supercar. Part of the company’s luxury YangWang sub-brand, this outlandish-looking thing only recently went on sale in China in February, so its appearance in Thailand is a bit of a surprise.

    And while the BYD brand commands a far greater premium in the Middle Kingdom than it does here, the U9 is still a bit of a stretch, retailing at an eye-watering 1,680,000 yuan (RM1.1 million). Thankfully, it does have plenty of tricks up its sleeve to help justify the high price, especially where performance is concerned.

    Powering the U9 are four motors (one for each wheel), each producing 326 PS (240 kW). Together, they produce a staggering 1,306 PS (960 kW) and 1,680 Nm of torque, enough to propel the car from zero to 100 km/h in just 2.36 seconds, on its way to a top speed of 309 km/h.

    Bangkok 2024: BYD YangWang U9 – 1,306 PS electric supercar, “jumping” suspension, RM1.1mil in China

    But the U9 is not just about the performance. It’s the first Chinese car to come with a carbon fibre monocoque, as well as BYD’s DiSus-X active body control suspension, which the company says has been developed in-house. It uses cameras to scan the road and then counters body movements with electric motors, reacting in as little as 40 milliseconds and lifting each wheel by as much as 75 mm at up to 500 m/s.

    These capabilities are what allow the U9 to perform its infamous party tricks, such as dancing, driving on three wheels and even jumping in place. Its quad motors, meanwhile, enable the car to do a tank turn (spin in place), much like the U8 SUV.

    The U9 continues to use BYD’s lithium iron phosphate (LFP) battery technology; with a capacity of 80 kWh, the car has a claimed range of 450 km. That’s on the notoriously lenient CLTC cycle, which means the real-world range is likely less than 400 km.

    The car also features an 800-volt architecture and can support up to 500 kW of DC fast charging power. This can be achieved via dual charging through the ports on both sides, topping up the battery from 10 to 80% charge in just ten minutes; it will presumably also make you very popular at busy charging stations. Incredulously, like many BYD models, the U9 still only supports 7 kW of AC charging power, taking seven hours to charge the battery from 10 to 80%.

    It’s certainly a very striking-looking thing, the U9, with lots of slashes and scoops and a pair of butterfly doors. At the front, you’ll find distinctive C-shaped “interstellar” headlights, while the rear sports full-width taillights that extend upwards in the middle along the “spine” of the car.

    The car also has an active rear spoiler and diffuser as standard, although the car you see here comes with a fixed swan-neck wing instead, paired with a Le Mans prototype-style dorsal fin. The wheels measure a massive 21 inches and are shod with Pirelli P Zero tyres – 275/35 at the front, 325/30 at the rear. Behind them you’ll find carbon ceramic discs with six-piston front and four-piston rear callipers.

    Bangkok 2024: BYD YangWang U9 – 1,306 PS electric supercar, “jumping” suspension, RM1.1mil in China

    Inside, there’s a double-bubble dashboard to give occupants a cockpit-like feel, enhanced by the 127-colour ambient lighting system. In front of the driver sits a 10.25-inch mini-LED digital instrument display, while another mini-LED 12.3-inch portrait touchscreen (not rotatable, unfortunately) controls the infotainment. Music is piped through a 12-speaker Dynaudio Evidence Platinum sound system.

    Unlike the rest of the cars being shown at the BYD stand – including the Sea Lion 07, Seagull and 2024 Atto 3 – don’t expect the YangWang U9 to be sold in Southeast Asia anytime soon. Apart from anything else, the luxury EV market in the region just isn’t there yet – how many Rolls-Royce Spectres have you seen on the road? Then again, given the current might of BYD, you can never say never.

     
     
 
 
 

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Last Updated May 23, 2024