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  • 2015 Nissan NP300 Navara – more details revealed: new 2.3 litre diesel, coil spring rear suspension

    navara-thaisite-0011

    The 2015 Nissan NP300 Navara was unveiled in Thailand early last month, which gave us the bulk of information about what Nissan’s next generation one-tonne pick-up is all about. However, it turns out most of the information was related to the Thai market as it was a market launch for the country.

    Thanks to information provided at a media test drive that happened in Thailand this week, we now have new details on the 2015 Nissan NP300 Navara that could be relevant to our market. Our man Jonathan Lee will be publishing his first impressions of the new Navara very soon, but first here’s what we learned at the event.

    First of all, the YD25 2.5 litre turbodiesel engine that was unveiled at the Thai launch will be the engine that will be used for markets that have “Euro 4 and below” fuel. This includes Malaysia. The YD25 has been improved over the unit in the outgoing Navara – it features an upgraded cylinder head. Fuel economy is said to have been improved by as much as 11%.

    navara-engines

    What we won’t get is a new 2.3 litre YS23 engine that’s reserved for markets where Euro 5 fuel is available. Two versions of the YS23 will be available – a single turbo low output version that produces 158 hp and 403 Nm of torque, and a more powerful twin turbo version that does 188 hp and 450 Nm of torque.

    Despite the smaller displacement, the two-stage turbo setup allows for the 450 Nm peak to come in earlier at 1,500-2,000 rpm compared to the 2,000 rpm of the YD25. Fuel consumption for the YS23 engine is said to have improved by 19% over the older YD25 thanks to reduced engine friction, an electrical variable oil pump and a thermo management system.

    navara-dimensions

    Though it was never available in Malaysia – the big 228 hp, 550 Nm 3.0 litre turbodiesel V6 sourced from Renault is now gone as the Navara wouldn’t be able to comply with the stringent emissions regulations in countries where it is offered. With 450 Nm being the range-topping torque figure, the Navara won’t be the most powerful pick-up around as it loses out to the larger engines in the Colorado, BT-50 and Ranger.

    The good news is the Jatco 7-speed automatic transmission seems to be standard across the board and all markets. The expanded amount of ratios should both improve fuel efficiency as well as improve acceleration. For those who opt for a manual transmission, you’ll get a 6-speeder.

    An interesting bit about the chassis – the Navara has the option for an five-link rear suspension with coil springs instead of the usual live axle with leaf springs. The five-link suspension should provide for better car-like handling. The only pickup truck with such a design in Malaysia right now is the Ssangyong Actyon – the rest of the segment use a live axle with leaf spring design.

    navara-suspension

    The Thai Navara will continue with a live axle setup because of tax reasons – the truck will be classified as a passenger car if it employs an independent rear suspension, thus raising the taxes that need to be paid on it. As far as we know, there’s no such restriction in Malaysia, thus the availability of the Actyon we mentioned.

    The Navara will also be available with LED headlamps, LED daytime running lights, rear air conditioning vents, a a 3D colour multi-info display in the instrument panel, but the availability of these features will be market specific depending on what each individual country specs for the variants they have on sale.

    For more information on the new truck, read our Navara global unveiling story from June 2014, and stay tuned for Jonathan Lee’s test drive impressions. You can also refresh your memory on the outgoing Nissan Navara D40 that’s still sold in Malaysia at CarBase.my.

     
     
  • Jaguar XE fuel economy targets – under 4 litres per 100 km combined thanks to aluminium construction

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    Jaguar has unveiled more information about the upcoming Jaguar XE – it will employ extensive use of aluminium in its chassis, which is said to be the first in its class. Jaguar will use a new highly recycled aluminium alloy called RC5754 that was developed specifically for the XE.

    While the company is known for its aluminium construction, we weren’t too sure at first if the XE would get it. This is because its big brother the XF got a conventional chassis instead of an aluminium chassis like the big XJ. The benefits of using aluminium are obvious – just compare the weight of the XF 2.0 Ti and the long wheelbase XJ 2.0 Ti on CarBase.my – they both weigh 1,660kg despite the massive difference in size!

    Thanks to a body that will use over 75% aluminium content, expect the Jaguar XE to be one of the lightest cars in its segment. Because the engine has to lug less weight around, Jaguar is targeting to deliver a fuel economy of less than 4 litres per 100 km (75 mpg) on the EU combined cycle for the most fuel efficient XE.

    The XE will use Jaguar’s new Ingenium engine family, which will also be shared with Land Rover. Ingenium engines will be modular in nature – they share the same bore, stroke, cylinder spacing, 500 cc capacity per cylinder and many common internal components. All Ingenium engines will be turbocharged and feature central high-pressure direct injection, variable valve timing and stop-start systems, and will also support pairing with an electric motor for hybrid drive.

    The Jaguar XE will get its global unveiling in a little more than a month’s time on September 8 2014. It will join many other other new entries to a market has traditionally been a 3-Series and C-Class game. How will it fare? We can’t wait to see how it looks like and experience how it drives.

     
     
  • New Infiniti Q40 – last generation G Sedan lives on

    2015 Infiniti Q40

    Infiniti USA has an odd model line-up where two generations of a particular car are on sale concurrently. Yes, the new Infiniti Q50 has been launched there but the previous generation Infiniti G37 Sedan is still on sale, with just over US$4,000 separating them in terms of starting price tag.

    Today we learn that the G37 Sedan will continue to be on sale for at least another year as an entry level model. And to bring it up to speed with Infiniti’s new naming scheme it will be renamed the Infiniti Q40, reflecting its positioning between the new Q50 sedan and the upcoming Q30 hatchback.

    The G Sedan was never sold here in Malaysia officially by Infiniti Malaysia, although there are grey importers that have brought Japanese market cars in, where it is known as the Nissan Skyline sedan. The G Coupe (which was renamed the Infiniti Q60) is available officially though, priced at RM415k with a 3.7L V6.

     
     
  • New Daihatsu Copen roadster is a hit in Japan – first month sales of six times monthly target

    Daihatsu-Copen-0041

    The new Daihatsu Copen is selling like hot cakes! Order books for Daihatsu’s new K-roadster have reached 4,000 in just one month after it started taking them, which is equivalent to six times its monthly sales targets.

    According to the statistics, 80% of the buyers are male. The CVT automatic model which is priced at 1,798,200 yen (RM57k) accounts for 70% of bookings, with the balance being the 5-speed manual, which goes for 1,819,800 yen (RM58k).

    The new Copen is powered by a 660 cc turbocharged KF engine, producing 64 hp and 92 Nm of torque. There’s an optional LSD, and power is sent to the front wheels. It measures 3,395 mm long, 1,475 mm wide and 1,280 mm tall. For rainy days, you have an electrically-controlled two-piece folding hardtop.

    copen-frame-panel

    One unique feature of the Copen is that the body panels on its D-Frame chassis can be replaced by the owner in order to customise it to his or her liking. A total of 11 parts of the car can be replaced – this includes the front hood, luggage area, front/rear bumpers, front/rear fenders, locker and fuel filler lid.

    Perodua is in the business of making basic transportation for now, but what if they started selling something like the Copen too? Would you be interested in one?

     
     
  • 2015 Kia Sorento sketches revealed with video teaser

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    sorento-2

    Here are more sketches of the next generation Kia Sorento, and unlike the fan-drawn sketches we previously featured, this time they’re officially released by Kia.

    The new Sorento adopts styling cues from other large Kias such as the Kia Quoris and most recently the Kia Sedona. The front end is dominated by an extra large interpretation of Kia’s Tiger Nose and the headlamps meet exposed side edges of the grille in a style very much like what was first seen on the F30 3-Series.

    Kia also released a teaser video along with the two sketches above which show a designer sketching out the new Sorento with a digitizer. The video offers a less ‘blacked out’ view of the new Sorento. The video sketch also reveals a Y-spoke design for the alloy wheels, something we can’t really see in the sketches.

    A global reveal should be happening next month in South Korea, with a more international premiere happening at the Paris Motor Show later this year.

    GALLERY: 2015 Kia Sorento spyshots

     
     
  • Malaysia increases Johor Causeway toll to RM16.50 for a round trip – Singapore to match new rates

    singapore-coe

    The latest in rising costs for Malaysians travelling to Singapore and vice versa comes in the form of a toll hike for motorists using the Johor Causeway effective August 1 2014. The toll hike is imposed on all vehicles passing through the Sultan Iskandar Customs, Immigration and Quarantine (CIQ) building.

    The current toll charges are RM2.90 for private passenger cars, and this is a one way charge. The new toll charges for cars is RM6.80 when you leave Malaysia and RM9.70 when you re-enter Malaysia, effectively increasing the toll charge from RM2.90 to RM16.50 for a round trip.

    But this is not all – you also have to pay toll for crossing over at the Singapore side. The current toll charged at the Singapore side is S$1.20 (approximately RM3.07). But that will not be for long.

    In response to this increase in toll at the Malaysian side, Singapore’s Land Transport Authority said Singapore will be matching them in due course. According to the LTA, it has been Singapore’s practice to peg its tolls to match those set by Malaysia at the Causeway and the Second Link.

    Other than the RM16.50 and S$1.20 toll charges, Malaysia motorists will also have to pay S$35 (RM90) for a Vehicle Entry Permit. Thankfully, the VEP is exempted on Saturdays, Sundays and Singapore Public Holidays, 10 normal weekdays per calendar year, and between 5pm to 2am on all other days.

     
     
  • Infiniti Q50 appears on Malaysian website – RM250k

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    The Infiniti Q50 has appeared on Infiniti Malaysia’s website with an estimated price of RM250k for the Infiniti Q50 2.0t Standard model, along with a preliminary equipment list.

    The rear-wheel drive Q50 competes in the same class as the Mercedes-Benz C-Class, BMW 3 Series and Lexus IS. Under the car’s hood is a 2.0 litre turbocharged four-cylinder engine from Mercedes-Benz, similiar to the one in the W212 E-Class facelift and the upcoming W205 C-Class. In Q50 tune, it does 211 hp at 5,500 rpm and 350 Nm of torque from 1,250 to 3,500 rpm.

    This is 30 Nm more torque than the Q50’s 320 Nm figure for other markets, and we wonder why. The engine is mated to a seven-speed automatic transmission with Downshift Rev Matching and Adaptive Shift Control.

    infiniti-q50-17-inch

    Other features of note include LED headlamps, LED foglamps and LED brake lights, keyless entry and start, power-folding heated wing mirrors, dual-zone automatic air conditioning, rear air vents, a 10-way power adjustable driver’s seat with two-way power lumbar, eight-way power adjustable front passenger seat, heated front seats and 60/40 split backrest.

    Also included are a six-speaker audio system with Bluetooth support, Infiniti InTouch dual screen infotainment system, 17-inch wheels with 225/55 runflat tyres, ESP, VDC, Active Trace Control and six airbags. For a full list of specs and equipment, click here.

    Last we heard, three models will be available – a 2.0t Standard, a 2.0t Premium and a 3.5 Hybrid Sport. The RM250k estimated price for the 2.0t Standard matches what we wrote earlier.

    The Hybrid Sport will eventually get a pricetag of under RM400k, while the 2.0t Premium remains a question mark at the moment. We’re wagering somewhere between RM270k to RM300k, depending on what kind of equipment is added over the Standard.

     
     
  • JDM Subaru WRX S4 teased ahead of August 25 debut

    WRXS4_teaser

    Fuji Heavy Industries (FHI) has teased the Subaru WRX S4, the Japanese-market version of the Subaru WRX that is already on sale in other countries, ahead of its unveiling on August 25.

    The S4 in the name, says Subaru, comes from “Sports performance”, “Safety performance”, “Smart driving” and “Sophisticated feel”. To that end, the S4 will come with the third generation of the EyeSight camera-based driver assistance system for “unique overall safety performance”, and the car has been developed to provide “superior environmental friendliness” and a “high-quality feel”.

    No other details have been released so far, but it is rumoured that the Japanese will be compensated for the car’s late arrival on home soil with a few more horses from the 2.0 litre direct-injected turbo flat-four. Power is expected to rise by 32 PS to a round 300 PS and torque by 50 Nm to 400 Nm, which if you recall are the same figures as on the Japan-only Levorg estate.

    Like the Levorg, the S4 will reportedly be available solely with a CVT, presumably to leave some space for the also upcoming manual-only WRX STI, which as before is expected to be powered by a 2.0 litre MPI turbo mill for the Japanese market, rather than the 2.5 litre unit found elsewhere.

    2015 Subaru WRX

     
     
  • Ford Falcon – XR8 and XR6 reveal final FG facelift

    2014 ford falcon xr8

    Ford Australia has revealed the final iteration of its Falcon sedan, with the XR8 and XR6 models taking the wraps off the facelifted seventh-generation FG. The company had earlier unveiled its final GT-badged Falcon, the FPV GT F 351, last month.

    The facelift brings about a new face with more than a passing resemblance to the new Mustang. There’s a new bonnet, complete with revised power dome, a new trapezoidal grille and slimmer headlamps in the mix, while the rear gets fresh wraparound LED tail lamps.

    2014 ford falcon xr6

    The duo, along with the rest of the Falcon and ute range, will make their way into the market sometime in the fourth quarter this year. Full specifications haven’t been announced, but the powertrain lineup will consist of EcoBoost four, in-line six – including the EcoLPi liquid-injection LPG – and V8 petrol choices.

    Elsewhere, features and kit are unlikely to differ very much from that currently available, given that this is the final chapter of the car as well as Australian production – the company is slated to cease local manufacturing operations at its Broadmeadows and Geelong plants in October 2016.

     
     
  • Shell Helix contest winners head to Belgian GP at Spa

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    Five Shell Helix users will be on their way to Belgium after beating five others in the Shell Helix ‘The Ultimate Ferrari Experience’ finale at the Speedway PLUS Go-Kart Circuit recently.

    They will join winners from around the world for a 5D4N all-expenses paid trip to Spa-Francorchamps to watch the 2014 Belgian Formula One Grand Prix at the end of August. There, they will have access to the Shell hospitality suite, spend time with the Ferrari team and enjoy a behind-the-scenes paddock tour.

    The lucky five are Kok Tuck Choon, 45, from Kuala Lumpur; Low Ken Chin, 29, also from KL; Mohammad Sukhri Hadafi bin Mohammad Hanif, 29, from Perak; Dr Muhammad Yusuf bin Abdurrahman, 30, from Johor; and Wong Ken Hou, 28, from Selangor. They accumulated the highest scores in a quiz, go-kart hunt and time trial at the event.

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    At the event, Shell Lubricants also presented prizes to winners of the ‘Guess the number of Shell Helix Ultra bottles in a car’ contest and the #cleanmyengine Instagram contest held in conjunction with the Shell Helix global promotion roadshow.

    The global promotion featured a two-tier contest from April 1 till June 30, and was opened to customers who purchase a four-litre pack of Shell Helix Ultra with Pureplus Technology or any product from the Shell Helix HX7 range. Tier-one winners took home cash prizes.

     
     
 

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