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  • Mercedes-Benz V 250 BlueTEC 4MATIC set for Paris debut; first V-Class to feature 4MATIC system

    V-Klasse 4MATIC

    Mercedes-Benz will premiere its new V-class with 4Matic all-wheel drive system for the first time at the upcoming Paris motor show. Initially, only the V 250 BlueTEC variant will be available with the system – plans to offer it on other V-class models will materialise in the near future according to the company.

    The V 250 BlueTEC 4Matic variant will be powered by a 2.1 litre four-cylinder engine capable of producing 190 hp and 440 Nm of torque, mated to a seven-speed 7G-Tronic Plus automatic transmission.

    Performance figures were not disclosed except for the fuel consumption numbers, which is rated at 6.7 litres/100 km or 14.9 km/litre.


    Mercedes-Benzs’ 4Matic system, in a nutshell, is based on the 4ETS Electronic Traction System which works together with the Electronic Stability Program (ESP). Should one or more wheels lose traction, 4ETS automatically distributes power to the wheels with the most grip. The system allows Mercedes-Benz to do without conventional mechanical differential locks.

    Order books for the Mercedes-Benz V 250 BlueTEC 4Matic will open in December, two months after its official global debut.

  • Ferrari to increase annual production to 10,000 cars


    According to a report by Bloomberg earlier in the week, incoming Ferrari chief Sergio Marchionne has plans to increase production capacity to keep up with the growing number of wealthy customers around the world. Among the current models in production at Ferrari, Marchionne is eyeing the Ferrari F12 Berlinetta as a growth model.

    Marchionne’s game plan heavily contrasts with Luca di Montezemolo‘s principle as the latter was always pushing to safeguard Ferrari’s exclusivity by limiting production – a move which saw Ferrari’s profits soar as a result of increased demand from limited availability. Come next month however, things are due for a change as Marchionne will push for 10,000 units annually as opposed to di Montezemolo’s limited run of 7,000 units.

    Fears of oversaturating the market were countered by Fiat-Chrysler Automotive Group (FCA), which believes that entry into new markets will decrease the risk. To further prove his point, Marchionne has also stated that limiting production will lead to potential customers being put off by the long waiting periods between orders and delivery.

    For those who need a refresher course on what has happened at Ferrari recently, it is believed that di Montezemolo and Marchionne have clashed over the direction on the company’s future – with most insiders claiming that it ultimately led to di Montezemolo stepping down. Whether or not the move to increase numbers will prove fruitful for the brand, only time will tell.

  • IIMS 2014: Daihatsu UFC-3 Concept – a junior Avanza?

    Daihatsu UFC-3 IIMS- 18

    Greetings from Jakarta, where the press day of the 2014 Indonesia International Motor Show (IIMS) kicked off earlier today. The annual show in this sprawling capital is as vibrant as the Indonesian car market itself, which is set to overtake Thailand as the largest in ASEAN. It’s still held at the JI Expo in Kemayoran, but the show is fast outgrowing the venue.

    Daihatsu, a big player in Indonesia, has one of the biggest stands in JI Expo, and the small car expert is showing a couple of concept cars here, some of which are pretty large in size. We start off with the Daihatsu UFC-3 Concept, mid-size three-row MPV around the size of a Perodua Alza.

    If the name sounds familiar, the UFC-3 is a development of the UFC-2 Concept that was on show at last year’s IIMS. The original UFC made its debut here in 2012. Compared to the UFC-2, the third concept looks immediately more feasible and less experimental. There’s still plenty of showcar bling, but it’s now possible to envisage a production version of the UFC. By the way, UFC stands for Ultra Function Compact.

    Daihatsu UFC-3 IIMS- 9

    The showcar was locked but we managed to snap some pics of the cabin, which like the exterior, has showcar gloss over a production-looking basic design. The gear knob is located on the centre console, Perodua-style, while the head unit has the “floating” effect that’s in vogue now.

    The local word is that the UFC-3 previews an upcoming “adik Xenia”. The Xenia is a Daihatsu badged Toyota Avanza, the leader in the Low MPV segment that also counts the Suzuki Ertiga, Chevrolet Spin and latest Honda Mobilio as members.

    If Daihatsu is indeed planning a cheaper MPV below the Xenia, the UFC could be a Low Cost Green Car (LCGC) budget-MPV rival to the Datsun GO+ Panca, launched earlier this year with prices starting from 85 million Rupiah (RM23,885). Could it also form the basis of the next Perodua Alza? Like what you see?

  • Bentley introduces Mulsanne Speed, with 1,100 Nm!


    Bentley has massaged the 6.75 litre twin-turbo V8 in its flagship Mulsanne to produce 537 PS and 1,100 Nm of torque – the result is this, the Bentley Mulsanne Speed, a car that weighs 2,685 kg, yet can hit the 100 km/h mark from standstill in 4.9 seconds. It will premiere at Paris 2014.

    The V8 has had plenty redesigned – combustion chamber, inlet ports, fuel injectors, spark plugs, compression ratio, revised variable valve timing, optimised turbocharger control, the works, basically. The peak torque of 1,100 Nm is reached at a low 1,750 rpm, channeled through a recalibrated ZF eight-speed automatic gearbox. The car’s top speed is rated at 305 km/h.


    As part of efforts to not burning through an entire tank of fuel from Sri Hartamas to Bangsar, the V8 has the ability to turn into a V4 engine by shutting down half the cylinders on light loads. The normal Mulsanne V8 can of course do this, but for the Speed, Bentley says it has retuned the system for smoother transitions. Even then, the car is rated to consume 14.6 litres per 100 km on the EU NEDC combined cycle.

    The Mulsanne Speed’s air suspension has also had its Sport mode tuned to be more driver-focused. The other two modes are Bentley and Comfort, and the driver can also choose his own Custom mode to individually match steering, chassis and engine tunes.


    To differentiate the Speed from a regular Mulsanne, Bentley has applied a dark tint finish to the headlamps, tail lamps, radiator grille, lower bumper grilles and wing vents on this one.

    The 21-inch alloy wheel design is for the first time on a Bentley directional, which means there are separate designs for the left and right side of the car. Finally, there are twin-rifled exhaust pipes and polished stainless steel Speed badging on the front fender and door tread plate areas.

  • Proton opens its gates with Alami Proton open day; stand a chance to win a new Proton Compact Car

    alami proton 1

    National car manufacturer Proton Holdings Berhad is organising an open day called Alami Proton this September 27-28, at its Centre of Excellence in Shah Alam.

    Aside from test drives of Proton vehicles, R3 and Lotus cars, the event will offer visitors the rare opportunity to view Proton’s manufacturing methods as well as get a closer look at the company’s latest technological developments. On the cards are tours of the Research and Development (R&D) facilities and Medium Volume Factory (MVF) at the automaker’s Shah Alam manufacturing plant.


    Other exhibits will include a display of products and services from Proton vendors such as Robert Bosch, TRW, Delloyd Industries and KYB-UMW Malaysia. Visitors will be able to get up close with the various technologies used to develop a Proton car, from performance and styling to the safety aspects.

    To keep families entertained, plenty of activities are planned, and these include wall-climbing, kart racing, laser tag and face painting. Proton’s upcoming Proton Compact Car (PCC) will also be featured at the event, with the highlight being a lucky draw for visitors to win the PCC. Other lucky draw prizes include various bicycles and motorcycles.

  • Opel/Vauxhall Adam S – production car debuts in Paris

    AS 2

    The Opel/Vauxhall Adam S was previewed in “near production” form at the Geneva 2014 show earlier this year, and will now make a world premiere in production form at Paris 2014.

    The Adam is a city car built on a shortened version of the B-segment Corsa platform, competing with cars such as the Fiat 500, smart fortwo, Renault Twingo, Volkswagen up! and Toyota iQ.

    While the Adam tops out with a normally-aspirated 1.4 litre engine, under the hood of this ‘hot’ Adam S version is a 1.4 litre Turbo ECOTEC engine, which produces 150 PS and 220 Nm. The cast iron engine has a plastic intake manifold, dual continuously variable valve timing and a manifold-integrated turbocharger. The 0-100 km/h sprint is done in 8.5 seconds.

    The Adam S features large VXR S brakes and standard 17-inch alloys with an optional 18-inch upgrade. On the interior, the driver and front passenger can choose between four different seat arrangements, including Recaro Performance seats in Morrocana or Nappa leather.

  • SPYSHOTS: Qoros SUV prototype spotted testing


    Chinese-Israeli auto manufacturer, Qoros, has a mystery new SUV in the works. Spotted testing in Europe, the prototype gives almost nothing away as it is heavily camouflaged, but what we can possibly gather is that the new SUV is probably based on the Qoros 3’s modular platform and would likely share the same drivetrain options as well.

    Judging from the photos, the overall styling of the car seems to be in line with the current Qoros design language. The front of the car appear to feature head lights similar in style to the ones on the Qoros 3, even sharing the wide honeycomb front grille. The prototype also appears to feature a metal skid plate on its lower front end.

    At the rear, the car features LED tail lights that are obviously inspired by the 3, albeit with a more bulbous look. Twin exhaust pipes at each end of the car remain, again taking another styling cue from the Qoros 3. The company currently employs ex-MINI designer Gert Hildebrand, who has been serving as Head of Design since 2011.

    Qoros, a relatively new name in the auto industry, stunned everyone when the 3 received not only a five-star Euro NCAP rating but also held the highest score in that year. Since then, the new brand has expanded on its 3 lineup with the Qoros 3 Hatch – a car which was awarded the prestigious Red Dot Award.

    Qoros 3

  • Take part in BHPetrol’s Fuel Your Way to Nurburgring contest and win an all-expense trip to the Nurburgring – also to be won, RM40,000 worth of prizes!


    Your ultimate driving experience is even closer than you think – imagine being on the legendary Nurburgring circuit, also known as the Green Hell, for a full motoring experience where you can spectate a race, get driven around in a BMW M5 and drive a sports car like a Nissan GT-R around the 20 kilometre-long circuit. This can be a reality thanks to BHPetrol’s Fuel Your Way to Nurburgring contest, which is running exclusively on the network!

    A full expense-paid, three-day trip to the circuit in Germany with a friend is up for grabs, but there are also other very attractive prizes to be won. There are monthly prizes awating 30 lucky winners, worth RM40,000 in total. The BHPetrol Fuel Your Way to Nurburgring contest offers the chance to win prizes equivalent to a year’s usage of fuel on a monthly basis for a total of three months, and of course put you in the running to bag that ultimate Nurburgring experience.

    Nurburgring Experience Grand Prize:

    • Spectate an actual race weekend
    • Take part in the BMW Ring-Taxi experience with Sabine Schmitz
    • Score some laps around the legendary Nurburgring circuit in a sports car such as a Nissan GT-R and more!

    Monthly Prizes worth RM40,000:

    • 1 x First Prize: RM4,800
    • 1 x Second Prize: RM3,600
    • 1 x Third Prize: RM1,500
    • 7 x Consolation Prize: RM500


    To take part, all you need to do is head to your nearest BHPetrol fuel station (nationwide) that’s equipped with a BHPetromart store, purchase any item worth at least RM20 in a single receipt and then head to Paul Tan’s Automotive News Facebook page and hit the contest tab. Once you’re there, simply answer the questions and slogan and you’re good to go. To help you with the questions, check out our contest launch report and watch the video above. Furthermore, you can take part as many times as you like to help increase your chances of winning!

    We are currently halfway through Round 1 / Month 1 which ends on September 28 before Round 2 / Month 2 begins on September 30. The BHPetrol Fuel Your Way to Nurburgring contest is exclusively brought to you by and the BHPetrol Infiniti Advanced 2x premium, giving you more mileage, more savings and more power from its 800ppm double dose of German additives.

    Click here to head to the contest tab on the Paul Tan’s Automotive News official Facebook page.

  • Honda Mobilio MPV launched in Thailand, from RM60k

    Honda Mobilio Thai Official-03

    The Honda Mobilio has made its market debut in Thailand, joining the imported Odyssey, Stepwgn Spada and Freed MPVs in the Kingdom. The budget MPV, which shares a platform with the Brio, was first seen in ‘prototype’ form at last year’s Indonesia International Motor Show before officially debuting in the republic early this year, where it challenges the Toyota Avanza/Daihatsu Xenia. The three-row MPV was launched in India in July.

    The Thai-market Mobilio rolls out from Honda’s plant in Ayutthaya province. It is available in three trims – a basic S, regular V and the sporty RS. Only the lowest trim is available with a five-speed manual gearbox option; the rest are auto-only.

    All are powered by a 1.5 litre i-VTEC unit with 120 PS at 6,600 rpm and 145 Nm of torque at 4,600 rpm. The SOHC motor is paired to either a stick shift or an Earth Dreams CVT transmission, as found in the City/Jazz.

    To accomodate three rows, the Brio platform has been stretched to make a 4,386 mm long body (4,398 mm for bodykitted RS) with a 2,652 mm wheelbase.

    Honda Mobilio Thai Official-08

    Interestingly, the Thai Mobilio is also available in two-row form – the base S is a five-seater with a huge boot while the V and RS are seven-seaters. Second row seats split fold 60:40 and tumble with a “One Motion” mechanism. The middle row bench slides fore and aft, too. Speed-adjustable rear AC blower is standard.

    Check out the pics below (thanks to Thai-based reader Ziwen for the showroom snaps) to see the available equipment, such as a touchscreen head unit with reverse camera, Bluetooth and HDMI link. This one has some physical buttons on it, unlike the unit on the City and Jazz.

    Prices start from 597,000 baht (RM59,378) for the S M/T and 642,000 baht (RM63,843) for the S A/T, rising to 682,000 baht (RM67,823) for the auto-only V. The bells and whistles RS will set one back 739,000 baht (RM73,500). There’s also a Modulo accessories package for the MPV – see the brochure scan below to see what’s offered.

    Will the Mobilio work in Malaysia? If yes, at what price?

    Honda Mobilio RS launched in Indonesia

  • Daihatsu Sirion facelift to arrive in Indonesia next year – report, will our Perodua Myvi facelift come sooner?

    sirion sport 01

    PT Astra Daihatsu Motor marketing director Amelia Tjandra has told detikOto that next year could see the arrival of the facelifted Daihatsu Sirion in the country.

    “(Translated) At present, there hasn’t been any update, but there will be. Next year we will have an update (facelift),” she said to the Indonesian motoring portal. Tjandra added that the update will involve the exterior as well as the interior, but remained coy on other details, like whether the car would be launched early-, mid- or late-2015.

    Indonesia’s Sirion is of course a rebadged Perodua Myvi, exported from the Sungai Choh plant in Rawang. As a result, we’ve always gotten the latest Myvi/Sirion before our neighbours did.

    So might we expect the Perodua Myvi to get a facelift soon – maybe before the year ends, or is that too much to hope for? After all, something needs to fend off the upcoming Proton Compact Car


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