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  • BMW 2 Series Active Tourer coming to Malaysia April

    2015-bmw-2-series-active-tourer

    BMW Group Malaysia MD and CEO Alan Harris today revealed to members of the press at a media briefing that the F45 BMW 2 Series Active Tourer is set to launch in Malaysia in April.

    Munich’s Mercedes B-Class-fighter scored several firsts for the brand when it was unveiled almost a full year ago – besides being the company’s first MPV, it’s also its first front-wheel drive car, and the first Beemer to sit on the UKL platform (currently used by the new MINI and in future, the next-gen BMW X1).

    The five-seater is 4,342 mm long, 1,800 mm wide and 1,555 mm tall, with a 2,670 mm long wheelbase – BMW is working on a seven-seat version that’s yet to be unveiled, and also testing a hybrid eDrive model.

    The tailgate can be optionally specified with electric operation or a Smart Opener function (swing your foot under the rear bumper to open). You can store 468 litres in the boot; fold down the 40:20:40-split back seats for 1,510 litres of space.

    Globally, 218i, 220i and 225i petrol variants are available, along with 216d, 218d and 220d diesels, as well as xDrive all-wheel drive versions. We could be looking at the 225i, which gets a 231 hp/350 Nm 2.0 litre turbo four-cylinder engine and an Aisin-sourced eight-speed auto.

    Sport and Luxury trims are offered globally in addition to the base trim, with an M Sport package bestowing the car with 10 mm-lower sports suspension, 17- or 18-inch alloys and BMW Individual high-gloss Shadow Line window trim.

    Also available worldwide is an M aerodynamics package (with special front, rear and side body parts) and a host of M-based accessories including a high-gloss black kidney grille and Estoril Blue livery. We can’t wait to see what’s in store for us.

    BMW 2 Series Active Tourer

    BMW 2 Series Active Tourer with M Sport package

     
  • Chery Maxime MPV launched in Malaysia; from RM87k

    chery-maxime-mpv-65

    You’ve had the time to browse through our gallery of it, you might even have stumbled across ads of it on our sister classified site. Now, the Chery Maxime has been officially unveiled in Malaysia – the difference this time round is that it’s a world premiere for the seven-seat MPV.

    Why us, you may ask? According to Chery Malaysia, our region is supposedly more interested in MPVs compared to China – resulting in priority given to the development of right-hand drive models. The locally-assembled (by Oriental Assemblers in Johor) MPV goes on sale in two different flavours, the Standard version that begins at RM86,800 while the Premium goes for RM93,800, on-the-road with insurance. A five-year/150,000 km warranty is included. Metallic paint adds RM600.

    An extra RM7,000 for the Premium variant nets you a bodykit, tinted windows and leather seats. From an aesthetic point of view, you’d be forgiven for mistaking it as a heavily-revised Chery Eastar. It shares the Eastar’s wheelbase of 2,800 mm but that’s where the similarities end. The Maxime adds on 68 mm in length, totalling 4,730 mm while width is measured in at 1,823 mm.

    The Chery Maxime is styled by a team comprised of Sergio Loureiro (formerly of BMW and Mercedes-Benz), Hakan Saracoglu (ex-Porsche) and James Brian Hope (ex-Daimler-Chrysler). While styling is definitely a subjective field, the combination of vertical LED daytime running lights (DRL) and an upswept headlight – which feature “Follow Me Home” and height-levelling capabilities – design lends it a distinctive look.

    In profile, both variants get 16-inch alloy wheels, wrapped in 205/55 Goodyear Eagle NCT 5 tyres, while chrome strips help spice things up a little. The rear tailgate features an integrated third brake lamp with LED taillights and a rather thick chrome bar that dominates the number plate frame. Look closer and you’ll be able to spot the three-cell reverse sensors nestled between the rear fog lights/reverse lamps housing.

    Under the hood, the Chery Maxime is powered by a 2.0 litre SQR484F four-cylinder mill with DVVT – variable valve timing on both the exhaust and intake camshafts. The four-banger, developed in conjunction with Austrian firm AVL, pumps out 136 hp at 5,750 rpm and 182 Nm of torque from 4,300 rpm to 4,500 rpm. A CVT with seven ‘ratios’ is the only transmission available while top speed is rated at 175 km/h.

    chery-maxime-mpv-68

    At a constant speed of 90 km/h, official fuel consumption figure is quoted at 12.9 km/litre – the fuel tank holds 62 litres of petrol. In terms of safety equipment, both the Standard and Premium get discs brakes all round (ventilated front discs), two airbags, ABS, EBD, seat belts with pre-tensioners and Isofix seat anchors.

    On the inside, the Premium variant receives the aforementioned leather seats while the former makes do with “advanced woven fabric” seats. The instrument cluster is reminiscent of the Eastar, with the addition of an instant fuel consumption readout. Across the board, sun visors with vanity lighting, adjustable headrests on all seats and a keyhole ‘halo’ indicator is featured.

    Further standard equipment on both models include a radio/MP3 head unit with USB connectivity with six speakers and a manual air-con system (with rear under-seat vents). A leather-wrapped multi-function steering wheel (a power-assisted hydraulic unit) with tilt adjustment, an eight-way adjustable driver seat, cruise control, one-touch lane change indicators and four power windows (no one-touch auto function) are to be found.

    chery-maxime-mpv-22

    The second row of seats seats three with the middle occupant having to make do with a lap belt. It features a 60:40 split-folding capability and can be slid fore and aft. By bringing the seat bases forward, they can even be reclined or folded flat.

    As for the third row, they seat two (each occupant gets a three-point belt) and feature a 50:50 split-folding configuration. Additional cargo space comes in the form of 24 storage places scattered throughout the car, including an underfloor storage space in the boot. A full-size spare tyre is to be found underneath the car.

    Six colour options comprising of Snow White, Sapphire Silver, Sunbeam Silver, Brown Silver (yes, three ‘silvers’), Chilli Red and Mystic Black are featured. Need to know more about the Maxime MPV? Head on over to Carbase.my for a full rundown of the car.

     
  • Renault Twizy – a two-seater electric “car” for RM75k?

    Renault Twizy MY 8

    Would you pay RM75k for a two-seater electric vehicle that’s sort of a cross between a motorcycle and a car? Because that’s the price we saw listed for the Renault Twizy in CarBase.my’s Car Market Value Guide, which uses data from the general insurance industry’s ISM database.

    You won’t be able to buy one at that price from Renault Malaysia though, because for the moment, the general public can no longer get duty-free exemption for CBU electric vehicles. It’s likely in the ISM database because a few units have been registered and insured under the COMOS electric vehicle rental programme, which can acquire these cars at a duty-free price.

    cb-twizy

    The Renault Twizy has four wheels and sits two occupants in tandem, one behind the other like on a scooter or a bike, but wraparound bodywork and side deflectors offer some general protection from the elements. There are ‘windows’ which you can zip up, in case of rain.

    It weighs in at 450 kg, and has an operational range of around 100 km per charge. The lithium-ion battery fully charges in just 3.5 hours using a domestic electrical supply via a spiral cable stowed behind a flap at the front – the plug is a British Standard three-pin unit, and with a draw of around 10 amps, is safe for use in any wall power socket.

    You can play around with the CarBase.my car market value database. If you find any other interesting cars listed, do drop us a note in the comments.

     
  • New “60th anniversary” livery for the Citroen DS3 WRC

    2015 Citroen DS3 WRC-01

    You saw the Volkswagen Polo R WRC last week, now here’s the Citroen DS3 WRC that will battle it in the 2015 FIA World Rally Championship (WRC), wearing new livery.

    The Citroen DS is celebrating its 60th anniversary this year, and the DS3 WRC will feature special decals as a nod to the icon. The team’s white, red and gold livery has been simplified to provide greater legibility, and it now includes an eye-catching “60” spread across the rear wings.

    Watchmaker Certina – official WRC timekeeper since 2003 – and Sparco join Citroen as sponsors. The latter is now an official Citroen Racing supplier and the brand will also feature in Citroen’s WTCC and customer racing efforts. Citroen WRC drivers Sheikh Khalid Al Qassimi, Kris Meeke and Mads Østberg will wear watches made by the Swiss brand.

    The new look DS3 WRC made its debut at the just concluded Monte Carlo Rally, with a certain Sebastien Loeb behind the wheel. Yes, the living legend was back for a one-off appearance, but he failed to win Monte for the eighth time. Seb Loeb was duelling with defending champ Seb Ogier in the opening stages, but a crash put paid to the senior driver’s chances. Loeb finished the season opener eighth while Ogier led teammates Jari-Matti Latvala and Andreas Mikkelsen to an all-VW podium.

    We recently had the chance to live our Loeb dreams with the Citroen DS3 Racing, the limited-edtion 202 hp, six-speed manual hot hatch. Review here.

     
  • Ford CNY promo – 0.88% interest rate, cash rebates

    Ford CNY Promo

    To help usher in the Year of the Goat, Ford – together with local distributor Sime Darby Auto Connexion (SDAC) – has come up with the Ford CNY Promo, which sees a 0.88% interest rate per annum and cash rebates being offered on selected models.

    Valid until February 28, the promotion sees Fiesta, Focus, Kuga and selected Ranger T6 models bagging the special interest rate, and Focus and Fiesta buyers are set to receive a cash rebate on top of that – for the Focus, it’s RM1,888, while Fiesta 1.0L EcoBoost customers get a RM3,888 cash rebate.

    For existing customers, an aftersales promotion – which runs from February 1 to March 31 – offers a free multi-point inspection and a 10% discount off Ford, Motorcraft and Castrol parts and lubricants.

    The promotion is applicable for all Ford models and can be redeemed with a minimum spend of RM1,000 on mechanical repairs (accident and body repairs are excluded from this promotion). To participate, customers simply need to register for an e-mail coupon at www.fordconsumer.com and present it at any authorised Ford service centre.

     
  • Jiangling T7 – a VW Amarok clone made in China

    jiangling-t7

    It looks like they’ve gone and done it again – this time, the Volkswagen Amarok pick-up truck is the unlucky recipient of having its design plagiarised. The Jiangling T7, a shameless copy of its German counterpart, will go on sale in the near future in the People’s Republic.

    Technical specifications are limited for the time being. An Isuzu-sourced, 2.8 litre turbocharged diesel producing 100 hp will feature alongside a 2.2 litre petrol mill with 110 hp. A six-speed manual transmission appears to be the only gearbox available, judging from photos by auto.sohu.

    As generic as it may look, no amount of camouflage can disguise that distinctive Amarok-esque front end. At least the interior of the Jiangling T7 is decidedly reminiscent of a China-made vehicle – that is to say, rather low rent. Jiangling Motors Corporation markets passenger cars via a joint venture with Chang’an Automobile Group, itself responsible for the Range Rover Evoque counterfeit, the Landwind X7.

     
  • UMW introduces new range of Grantt lubricants

    grantt new range

    Lubricant manufacturer UMW Grantt International, a wholly-owned UMW Group subsidiary, has introduced a new range of Grantt lubricants. The in-house brand has been around for a couple of years now, but the products that make up the new lineup have been enhanced – the lines have also been renamed.

    Formulated from premium-quality base oil and fully blended at UMW’s ISO 9001:2008-certified plant in Shah Alam, the full range of Grantt lubricants include Passenger Car Motor Oil (PCMO), Motorcycle Oil (MCO), Diesel Engine Oil (DEO), Auto Transmission Fluid (ATF) and industrial oil.

    grantt launch

    The new passenger car motor oil range is called the Stellar, and consists of a number of synthetic, semi-synth and mineral oil formulations, all tested to meet the American Petroleum Institute’s API-SN requirements as well as the European Automobile Manufacturers Association ACEA A3/B4 standard.

    The range supercedes the previous Forza/Prime/Syntimax/Platimax PCMO lineup. Its new MCO and DEO range are respectively known as the Quadra and Quasar. Aside from its own Grantt brand of lubricants, UMW also markets Pennzoil Repsol products.

     
  • SPIED: Toyota Camry facelift in Msia, launching soon?

    camry-hybrid-spy-white

    Last week, an ad of the Toyota Camry Hybrid appeared on oto.my, and the car featured was in facelift form. Now, these pics from reader Chong show a facelifted Camry racking up miles on the KESAS Highway, strengthening belief that the promised Camry Hybrid will make its Malaysian debut with a new face. Alongside the facelifted regular car, possibly.

    UPDATE: The white car above, with LED headlamps and taped-up badges on the front wing, is most probably a Camry Hybrid, although this is the first time we’re seeing this intricate grille pattern. The JDM car has standard horizontal slats.

    If the launch happens soon, it could even be an unlikely ASEAN debut, as this facelifted XV50 Camry is not yet available in Thailand and Indonesia, two large markets that are traditionally first in line for new products.

    Click to enlarge

    Previously previewed at KLIMS 2013 and spotted last year – first at JPJ Putrajaya, then again out on the open road – the Camry Hybrid is expected to be CKD locally-assembled to take advantage of the duty exemptions offered by the government. Unlike the previous tax breaks for CBU hybrids (which ended in 2013), there is no 2.0L limit now, meaning that the 2.5 litre Camry will be eligible.

    Powering the Camry Hybrid is a 160 PS/213 Nm 2AR-FXE 2.5 litre Atkinson-cycle VVTi four-cylinder petrol engine mated to a 143 PS/270 Nm electric motor and an eCVT – the same combo as on the Lexus ES 300h. Combined power output is 205 PS, resulting in a 0-100 km/h sprint time of 8.6 seconds, 1.1 seconds faster than a Camry 2.5V. Claimed fuel economy is 19.6 km/l.

    The oto.my ad quoted a price of RM199,990, meaning that previous indications by UMW Toyota – that the car would be priced slightly higher than the top-spec RM181k Camry 2.5V – could be pretty much spot on.

     
  • Highway Code test to be shared by car, motorcycle licence applicants, fees may be lower as a result

    driving-test

    The Transport ministry has decided that car and motorcycle licence applicants will only have to take one Highway Code theory test, according to various reports.

    “Currently, those who wish to get a car or a motorcycle licence have to study the car and motorcycle modules separately, and have to sit for two tests. After receiving complaints (from driving schools), we decided that they would still need to study both the modules separately, but only take a single test,” Transport minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai told The Star.

    He added that the director-general of the Road Transport Department (JPJ) has already been requested to issue the directive to all driving schools.

    As a result, JPJ expects the licence fees to go down. “JPJ will implement the system as soon as possible for the convenience of all parties and I think the fee for driving licences will be lower after this,” Bernama quoted director-general Datuk Seri Ismail Ahmad as saying.

     
  • Hyundai Elantra facelift spotted, ads appear on oto.my

    hyundai-elantra-facelift-spotted-trailer-8

    A trailer load of the yet-to-be-launched Hyundai Elantra MD facelift has been spotted near the Juru toll in Seberang Perai by reader Derrick Ooi (cheers mate!).

    While Inokom has been assembling the car in Kulim, Kedah for export to Thailand since last year, oto.my ads have begun appearing, and we hear the car is already in showrooms, so it should be our turn soon.

    Various ads on our sister classifieds site mention 1.6 Elegance, 1.6 Premium and 1.8 Premium variants, with indicative prices ranging from RM84k to RM119k.

    Click to enlarge

    The listings also suggest that the top two variants will get six airbags, with 17-inch alloys for the 1.8 model as opposed to 16s for the smaller-engined models.

    The Hyundai Elantra MD facelift debuted in South Korea in August 2013, packing reshaped front and rear bumpers, new projector headlamps with LED light guides, vertical fog lamps that sit within L-shaped housings, chrome door handles and LED combination tail lamps, amongst others.

    The interior sees the previously awkwardly-positioned air vents move upwards. The climate control cluster has been revised for a more modern look, and the gear lever is now a leather-gaitered in-line-type (previously gated and without gaiter).

    Click to enlarge

    Also new is a 3.5-inch OLED Supervision display, and we wouldn’t be surprised to see the Sonata LF’s Android-based touch-screen here on higher-spec cars.

    Everything underneath maintains status quo – 130 PS 1.6 litre Gamma and 150 PS 1.8 litre Nu four-cylinder engines, connected to a six-speed auto gearbox.

    Interestingly, at the point of its launch in 2012, the original Elantra MD was one of the very few C-segment sedans to be available with a manual gearbox in Malaysia (1.6 MT Standard), but, as you would’ve guessed, we’ll have to do without a clutch pedal option this time.

    Hyundai Elantra MD facelift spotted in Malaysia

    Malaysian-assembled Thai-spec Hyundai Elantra MD facelift

     
 

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