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  • Bentley Continental GT V8 and GTC arrives in Malaysia

    Bentley Kuala Lumpur saw the addition of two models into its current lineup with the introduction of the Continental GT V8 coupe and GTC convertible. Both models, which made their debut last night at the marque’s showroom at the Pavilion, are priced on application.

    The GT V8 joins the W12-cylinder variant that made its local debut last year in June, and the 4.0 litre twin-turbo lump – which produces 500 hp at 6,000 rpm and 660 Nm from 1,700 to 5,000 rpm – is mated to a close-ratio eight-speed automatic transmission. Performance numbers include a 4.8 seconds 0-100 km/h sprint time and a top speed of 303 km/h.

    Features include cylinder deactivation technology that ensures a seamless and imperceptible transition from V8 to V4 mode under light throttle load, offering an improvement in fuel economy by 8%.

    The V8 model is identified by a black gloss matrix grille with chrome frame and centre bar, a red enamel Bentley ‘B’ badge, and a black matrix three-segment lower front bumper divided by distinctive body-coloured strakes, while at the rear, unique chromed ‘figure eight’ exhaust tailpipes, a dark lower valance and red enamel ‘B’ bootlid badge help distinguish the variant.

    As standard, the car comes with 20-inch alloy wheels, though an optional 21-inch six-spoke design, in Diamond Black or Diamond Silver finishes, can be specified.

    Inside the cabin, there’s a new Dark Fiddleback Eucalyptus veneer that’s unique to the V8, Eliade cloth headlining and pillar trim, an optional two-tone leather colour split and a choice of four hide colours to pick from. A short centre console in place of the W12′s through-console further identifies the V8.

    Meanwhile, the second-generation form of the GTC, which debuted in Frankfurt last year, arrives in 6.0 litre, twin-turbocharged W12 form, offering 567 hp (up from 552 hp in the previous incarnation) and 700 Nm, and the mill is partnered with a ZF 6HP28 transmission. Performance specs include a 0-100 km/h time of 4.8 seconds and a 314 km/h top speed.

    There’s the promise of a more dynamic driving experience, with a wider track front and rear, sharper steering and retuned suspension offering improved handling performance.

    The new GTC’s cabin features additional rear legroom, new storage solutions and must-have items such as touch-screen infotainment, automatic seat-belt presenters, Naim for Bentley premium audio and a Bentley-designed Neck Warmer for comfortable roof-down motoring.

    The four-seater features a new, even more spacious and sumptuous hand-crafted cabin, and owners can dress up the GTC’s interior from a choice of 17 hide colours, six colour split combinations and seven veneers.

    Twenty-inch ‘Five Spoke’ alloy wheels and Pirelli P Zero 275/40 donuts are fitted as standard, with optional 21-inch wheels being available in three styles, these being Five Spoke Two-Piece, Seven Spoke Elegant and Ten Spoke Propeller, all partnered with 275/35 P Zero rubbers.


  • Chrysler’s next-gen vehicles will be wind-crafted

    The next generation of Chrysler cars may not look like a rendition of a car by a four year old, like the one pictured above. The new cars could be much sleeker.

    Design Chief Ralph Giles said that vehicles such as the Audi A7 and the newly redesigned Toyota Avalon are proof that mid-sized sedans can have aerodynamic designs of a sports car. Which means that the design team will be spending most of the time in the wind tunnel in order to pen a more wind-slicing vehicle.

    Giles said, “We’ll have no choice but to be some of the most wind-swept vehicles that you’ve ever seen.” The team spends between 200 to 300 hours in the wind tunnel to analyze the aerodynamics during the design process. Previously, they would only spend around 100 hours in the tunnel.

    So, the new vehicles will have a more sculptured look. This wind of change might just be what Chrysler needs to revolutionise the brand.

    Source: Automotive News


  • Fiat not buying Mazda, increases stake in Chrysler

    Fiat has put an end to speculations saying that the Italian carmaker will be acquiring shares in Mazda. The speculation was inspired by the announcement made last week of the two carmakers. The announcement stated that Alfa Romeo and Mazda will be working together to produce the next generation of their respective sports cars.

    Fiat Chairman John Elkann, during the annual shareholder meeting of Exor, said that the Italian car company is not interested in buying Mazda. Exor is the Agnelli family’s investment company that controls Fiat and Chrysler.

    Currently, Fiat owns 58.5% in Chrysler and intends to increase its shares by 3% starting in July. Fiat eventually wants full control over Chrysler; no further details were given. Fiat is also expected to add an Asian partner to conclude its global turnaround.

    Source: Automotive News

  • GE-Naza Electric Vehicle Experience takes the electric discussion further afield

    More news from the electric avenue – General Electric and the Naza Group of Companies yesterday hosted the ‘GE-Naza Electric Vehicle Experience’ in KL, bringing together key stakeholders and industry players in the electric vehicle space to discuss EV deployment in the country.

    The event, supported by the Malaysian Green Technology Corporation (MGTC), a government agency under the umbrella of the Ministry of Energy, Green Technology and Water, saw public and private sector collaboration in discussing ways to promote clean and energy efficient transportation for the country, in line with the National Policy on Green Technology.

    There was also a plenary session, and among the topics broached in were EV technology applications, infrastructure requirements as well as incentives, regulations, policies and strategies needed to accelerate the growth of EVs in Malaysia.

    Aside from the discussion and debate, there was also a practical application aspect to proceedings, with guests and customers at the event given the opportunity to test drive the Chevrolet Volt, which was also seen on display at the entrance to the seminar area.

    The development is an extension of GE and NAZA’s collaboration in the EV space that began last year, when a Memorandum of Understanding was signed between the two companies.

    The MOU provides a platform for both parties to collaborate in joint-lobbying and education to raise public and government awareness, engage in further opportunities such as utilising GE technologies in Naza’s electric vehicle manufacturing line as well as running EV pilot tests in several cities across Malaysia. Will we now see a speeding up of the implentation process?

  • Chevrolet Captiva now with diesel engine from RM165k

    Well, this SUV was supposed to have arrived in Q4 of 2011. But, as a wise man once said, “Better late than never.”

    Here’s the Chevrolet Captiva with a new heart; a 2.0 litre diesel VCDI engine that produces 163 PS at 3,800 rpm and 360 Nm from 2,750 rpm. The oil burner has 2 PS less than its petrol counterpart, but makes 135 Nm more than the 2.4 litre engines. The transmission is a six-speed automatic that features Driver Shift Control (DSC) and ECO mode, which is the same you get in the petrol variant.

    The diesel engine Captiva comes in two trim – LT and LTZ. You’ll know the cosmetic differences from the size of its wheels. The LT comes with 18 inch alloys while the LTZ wears the 19 inch alloy wheels.

    The LT shares the same interior decorator with the petrol version. So the SUV comes with leather, electric parking brake, three-dimensional sound staging system and a multi-function four-spoke steering wheel. The LTZ has add-ons to the inside. This comes in the form of an electrochromic rear-view mirror and its leather upholstery is perforated for better comfort.

    In terms of safety features, there’s no compromise. The all variants get dual front airbags, curtain airbags, ventilated front disc brakes (all four are disc brakes), ABS, EBD, traction control, ESP, anti-rollover protection (ARP), self-levelling suspension system (Self-Leveliser), Hill Start Assist and Hill Descent Control.

    The Captiva comes at a price (without insurance) of RM165,888 for the LT and RM168,888 for the LTZ. The new Chevy also comes with a three-year warranty and three-year free labour and parts.

    By the way, the petrol version also has its price updated. It is now RM158,888 without insurance.

  • Toyota Camry XV50 snapped with aerokit at showrooms

    The new XV50 Toyota Camry may not be officially launched yet (it will be by the end of this week – watch out for our launch report), but it appears that a few showrooms already have them on display to whoever wants to see them. Two nice readers Puven and Zaim sent in these photos of a white and black Camrys respectively, snapped from the Segambut and USJ showrooms. The white one here is a 2.0 litre model and has an aerokit, while the black car is the 2.5V model.

  • Hyundai i10 full test drive review – a fun econobox

    To be completely honest, I had sort of pre-written this review of the Hyundai i10 even before stepping into the small car. For some odd reason, I seem to find myself frequently behind its wheel and this means that driving it will be all too familiar.

    This is after all not a new car. Danny has tested the i10 before and in comparison, the one that I have is just a minor model change – a new face and an upgraded engine. And the rest of the car relatively remains the same. But somehow, it is not. So, into the bin goes my pre-written review.

    What changed my mind is this – the acceleration. This car runs with a reworked 1.25 Kappa engine. Reworked because it now has CVVT engineered into it. Power is up by nine to 86 hp, with a torque of 119.7 Nm. It is able to accelerate to 100 km/h and will eventually arrive at the electronically limited top speed of 160 km/h sometime later.

    The engine sends power to the wheels through a four-speed automatic transmission box. Which is enough to get the car up and running around town. The gearshifts are gentle comparing to the other four-speeders from other makes, and this also makes the car comfortable to drive. While highways is dispatched with relative ease, I keep wishing there is an overdrive gear to bring the revs down without dropping speed.

    I remembered the i10 to have more spunk than this. The compact car does not rev as freely or go at a snap as how I remembered it. Nevertheless, the engine feels smoother and more matured than pre-CVVT.

    But Hyundai maintains that this engine is more economical and efficient than the one it replaces. The 1.25 litre Kappa does 5.3 l/100km and stores petrol in a 35 litre tank.

    Ride is comfortable, as it should seeing that this car would spend most of its life running the school-shop route. The suspension does a nice job in smoothening out the road and it does not crash hard into potholes. Passengers going on interstate road trips will have to contend with some wind noise, although it is nothing to get upset about.

    The i10 handles well, no changes here. The steering may feel loose and detached, but it is quick to respond. Due to its small frame, the i10 is also throws itself willingly into the corners.

    It does not take much for the i10 to reach the limits. In fact, you don’t even have to consciously attack corners to make the tyre squeal or make the body feel as it is if going to tip over. It won’t, the i10 is built of sterner stuff, which makes it all the more hilarious to just swing it around the bend.

    Who says you need a sports car to have fun? The i10 version of fun comes at a price of RM53,400.80 on-the-road without insurance. The Hyundai i10 also comes with a 300,000 km or 5 years warranty, which is a long time.

    For that kind of money, the i10 also comes with redesigned for lamps, wing mirror indicators, an integrated double-DIN MP3 compatible and connectable stereo system and four speakers. As for safety, the i10 offers reverse parking sensors, ABS with EBD and two air bags for the meatbags in the front.

    So if you’re in the market for a car that’s zippy to drive and easy to maintain, perhaps this i10 is worth your consideration.

  • Drag race unsanctioned, says MAM and AAM

    If you’re up-to-date with the news and especially to topics regarding last weekend’s 2012 Million Youths Rally, then you know what has happened.

    For those who don’t know, let’s bring you up to speed, and the best way to do it is to show you what happened during the event. This video, sourced from YouTube, shows both angles of the accident, from the front and from the rear. Go ahead and watch it, I’ll wait.

    Let’s continue. MUSC Drag Racing, the organiser of the drag race, has issued a rather emotional press release on Facebook stating that measures were taken to keep the spectators from going too close to the drag strip. The measures include frequent announcements to the crowd to move away from the barricades, which fell on deaf ears. He also said that the spectators will behave the same even if they were sanctions imposed.

    MUSC Drag Racing said that the accident was caused by an engine oil leak from a competitor’s car. The accident occurred when a 600 hp Mitsubishi Lancer lost control and veered into the thicket, subsequently putting 17 spectators in the hospital.

    In a Bernama report, Youth and Sports Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Shabery Cheek was quoted as saying that “the race was arranged by experienced organisers but he had been made to understand that there were no sanctioning body to monitor and supervise competitions of such nature.”

    Following the tragedy, the Motorsports Association of Malaysia (MAM) and the Automobile Association of Malaysia (AAM) have issued separate press statements saying otherwise.

    MAM, who are under the purview of the Ministry of Youth and Sports, said that they have been tasked with the responsibility to oversee, advice and sanction all motorsport activities. AAM also underlines the fact that they are the sole sanctioning body for all forms of motorsports in the country. The drag race was one of several motorsports-related events that were not sanctioned by AAM or its affiliates.

    The take back is simple. When there’s only a thin piece of metal or a thick greenery that separates you and a high horsepowered, one-ton rocket of steely death, it is very much advisable that you remove your person from the scene as far as possible.

  • Perodua Wolfrace Design Limited Edition – UK Only

    Oh hello. It seems that Perodua in the UK is not done with the previous generation Myvi just yet because they have just launched the new Myvi Wolfrace Design. This comes from the concept car that was unveiled last year.

    The car will be fitted with 17-inch Wolfrace Brooklands alloy wheels and adorned with a silver and red graphics kit including stripes along both sides of the vehicle with chequered flags. Wolfrace Design logo will be displayed on the rear doors and tailgate. The exclusive black and silver front entry guards will be individually numbered from one to ten.

    Future owners can have their car painted in either Ebony Black or Medallion Grey. The car is available with manual transmission.

    The Myvi Wolfrace will be exclusive, only 10 units will be built and it will be on your driveway for just £7,999. Top up an additional £1,000 and your limited edition car will be further tricked out with a sport style leather/Alcantara interior. All owners will also take home a Wolfrace travel mug courtesy of Wolfrace Wheels (UK) Limited.

  • Ford Fiesta Sedan facelift sighted testing on public roads near the Nurburgring!

    We’ve seen disguised spyshots of the upcoming facelift for the Ford Fiesta hatchback earlier this year, where we first saw a glimpse of what could be a completely revamped front end based on Frankfurt 2011′s Ford Fiesta ST Concept, which featured a big Aston Martin-like gaping mouth.

    This is the first time we’ve got photos of the facelifted Fiesta sedan on test, and it’s got less disguise on the front end, revealing what appears to be a big gaping grille similiar to the ST Concept, but with more conventional horizontal bars instead of the sporty mesh on the ST, a look that we expect to be reserved for the production Fiesta ST once it is launched.

    The rear end looks to have been completely revamped – almost uncovered here are a new tail lamp design that’s wider and sharper than that on the pre-facelift Fiesta sedan. This helps the Fiesta sedan’s tail end look alot less like an oddity.

    Frankly I think this new design makes so much more sense as it helps soften the tall tail look of the sedan and help it appear to be wider, and Ford didn’t even have to look far for inspiration as a similiar design is already used on the Mondeo.

    Spypix licensed from SB-Medien.