The first pix of the upcoming BMW M3 sedan and BMW M4 coupe have been leaked online, which probably means an official unveiling is imminent – could we be looking at a Detroit debut?
BMW M’s new twins have traditional M car cues – a bespoke front end, wider fenders, quad tailpipes at the rear, and like the last generation where the M3 Sedan was given the front end of the 3-Series Coupe, the 3-Series wears the 4-Series front end.
The interior shot shows us a redline of 7,500rpm, with a 500rpm ‘yellow zone’ just before that. The newly developed S55B30 engine 3.0 litre twin turbo engine will produce 430 horsepower at 7,300rpm and over 500Nm of torque from as low as 1,800rpm up to 5,200rpm. It will be mated to a ZF six-speed manual or an optional seven-speed M DCT with DriveLogic and launch control
Proton handed over the first batch of new Proton Perdana cars over to the Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Abdul Razak today at a ceremony in Putrajaya. The badge on the rear says Perdana and not some other name, making this the second Proton nameplate to get a ‘second generation’ after the Saga.
Just as our previous spyshots of mildly disguised previous generation Accords being tested indicated, the new Proton Perdana is based on the previous generation Honda Accord. And like the Accord, the new Proton Perdana is available with either a 2.0 litre and 2.4 litre engine, both sourced from Honda.
Changes on the front include a new Proton grille and a completely new bumper design. The car also gets a new alloy wheel design. On the rear, we see that the tail lamp elements on the boot lid have been removed, but the chrome that used to run along it at the bottom remains there. This chrome is extended around the sides and bottom of the number plate area.
The big boss man himself gets a stretched version, with the government’s crest in the extended section between the front and rear windows. We wonder what the new wheelbase measurement is.
The Honda Accord already has a huge interior with lots of rear legroom – this will certainly allow the PM to completely stretch out his legs and relax. The window line is different for the long wheelbase Perdana – it has a rather Buick-like dip at the rear to allow for a larger rear window.
Previous reports have indicated that this will be the first phase of the Perdana replacement model project, which will consist of 3,000 units for government use. The initial delivery is 200 units, with the remaining to be delivered on a staggered basis. The car obviously has lots of metal that indicates it is an Accord, but it will be developed further for a general market introduction in two years time.
The mass market car will continue to use this shared platform but will have a completely new exterior and interior, according to Proton Executive Chairman Tan Sri Mohd Khamil Jamil. This short term solution was developed in eight months.
“Even with such short request time, we were up for the challenge – and through sheer dedication and hard work, we are here today to present the completed Perdana. We are truly grateful to the Prime Minister and the Malaysian Government for keeping their faith in Proton, and for giving us the opportunity to once again be the provider of the official Government vehicle. I represent all Warga Proton when I say that this moment serves as inspiration and motivation for us to work even harder than ever, to continue leading the national automotive industry,” added Tan Sri Mohd Khamil.
Is there life after Sebastien Loeb? Citroen Racing would hope so after announcing its line-up for the 2014 FIA World Rally Championship. British driver Kris Meeke and Norwegian Mads Østberg are the men tasked to drive the Citroen Total Abu Dhabi World Rally Team’s DS3 WRC next season.
Having won the World Rally Championship eight times between 2003 and 2012, Citroën Racing is to continue its involvement in WRC with what it describes as two new high-potential pairings. By the way, living rally legend Loeb is off to the FIA World Touring Car Championship, where he will drive the Citroen C-Elysee WTCC next year.
Kris Meeke came through the ranks of Citroen’s promotional formulas, before driving a C2 Super 1600 for the brand in the Junior WRC. IRC Champion in 2009, the Northern Irishman has since made a return to the WRC. His two 2013 appearances saw him put in some impressive performances. Meeke becomes the first British driver to race a full season with Citroen since Colin McRae’s 2003 swansong.
“I have only competed in ten World Championship rallies in a WRC. I think I’ve got some potential, but I still need to get some experience under my belt. The Citroën DS3 WRC is a terrific car and I’m going to be able to use the team’s knowledge to help me improve. I know that I’ll have to be patient in the first half of the season and learn all about the rallies that I haven’t done before,” he said.
Twenty-six-year-old Mads Østberg has already taken part in 65 WRC rallies and won the Norwegian Championship four times. With seven podium finishes to his name at world level, he notched up his first WRC victory at the Rally of Portugal in 2012.
Like last year, Khalid Al Qassimi will take part in a selection of World Championship rallies. The driver from Abu Dhabi will line up for the races in Sweden, Portugal, Italy and Spain and will concentrate on taking part in the entire Middle East Rally Championship.
“Our team line-up for the 2014 season is in keeping with our ambitions,” concluded Yves Matton, MD of Citroën Racing. “Kris Meeke and Mads Østberg have followed very different career paths, but both of them are on the cusp of making it into the very top class of world rally drivers. After an initial phase of learning and getting to know each other, our goal will be to help them to improve and turn them into real contenders for victory.”
Always liked the DS3? Naza previewed the Citroen DS3 at KLIMS13 and will launch the three-door hatch in January 2014, with an estimated price of RM125,000. Click here for more info and pics from KLIMS13.
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Perhaps some of us out there are still scratching our heads trying to understand the rationale behind engine downsizing in modern production cars. But with petrol prices surging to near-record levels every now and then in this present reality, and many experts forecasting a steady climb over the next few years, consumers need good solutions to cut their fuel bills. And yes, we need this, like, yesterday!
So, simply put, this fast-growing trend in the automotive world involves using a small-capacity engine boosted by a turbocharger. In decades past, three-cylinder engines were found on only the lowest-cost econoboxes and kei cars. They were rough, slow and generally unpleasant to drive.
Fast forward to the present and Ford’s new 1.0 litre EcoBoost mill actually develops substantially more horsepower and wheel-spinning torque than the current 1.5 litre engine found in the latest ‘conventional’ Fiesta.
And here’s some food for thought: automotive engineers like to talk about “specific output,” essentially the amount of power from a given displacement. The new 1.0 litre EcoBoost does 125 hp per litre of displacement. In contrast, the Lamborghini Aventador‘s 6.5 litre V12 lump produces ‘just’ 108 hp per litre.
So with all this swimming in my head, I arrived at Ford’s media drive event in Chiang Mai, Thailand for the new 2014 Ford Fiesta 1.0 litre EcoBoost.
After a briefing regarding the International Engine of the Year (for two consecutive years now, I might add), the Malaysian motoring press contingent were introduced to a veritable fleet of Ford Fiesta EcoBoost hatches and sedans.
Setting the latest Fiesta apart are a smart five-bar chrome grille and slimmer headlamps that incorporate stylish LED strips for the first time, and these ensure the car looks bigger and wider than before. At the back, new light clusters also add flair to the smart design.
Initially, my car mate and I were assigned the four-door sedan version of the Fiesta, and we then set off on the road. Needless to say that around town, the engine felt smooth and quite peppy – 125hp in a 1,100+ kg B-car is certainly a recipe for big, fat grins all around! We were also handed a route plan that saw the turbo Fiestas on long stretches of highways, long sweeping downhill corners and tight mountain roads.
In the busy urban road conditions in and around Chiang Mai on the first phase of the drive, involving some start-stop traffic, I was really keen on testing was the smoothness of the Powershift transmission. The shift shock wasn’t so obvious, but it’s there.
This is due to the fact that the Powershift transmission makes use of dry clutches and electronic actuation instead of hydraulics like a torque converter in a conventional automatic. The drivetrain at low speed isn’t as smooth as some would prefer, but the lower power output at lower RPMs tends to minimise any jerkiness, and once the engine is revved up, Powershift works perfectly and the three-cylinder lump actually even managed to feel refined and a fair bit bigger!
Ride and noise levels are slightly improved over the not-too-old model. As for fuel economy? Well, for starters, the EcoBoost Fiesta does 100 km/h at 2,250 rpm in sixth gear. After zeroing the trip computer on the level highway with some downhill portions and onto one of the rest stops, the readout stayed at 5.8 litres per 100 km at an average speed of about 75 km/h.
After a bit of math, this works out to about 17.2 km/l! Even better, the stop-start system helps the EcoBoost promise CO2 figures that’s below the 100g/km mark!
In the cabin, there are also signs of this car’s move upmarket. A new gloss black ‘flow through’ insert joins together the dash and centre console, and ensures the feeling of plushness pretty much everywhere inside. Ford has also added some new gadgets, including the SYNC streaming system that pairs to your portable device via Bluetooth.
Out of city limits, I had the opportunity to open up the tap a little and really see what the Fiesta EcoBoost could do. It’s respectably quick, being able to do a 0-100 km/h sprint in 9.4 seconds; pretty good for a B-car. On the less-than-busy highway belt around Chiang Mai, even without using the Sport setting for the transmission, the dual-clutch transmission responds instinctively.
Increase pedal pressure during a cruise and the gearbox will kick down a cog or two, matching the foot’s command for more speed; something the spooled-up turbo will oblige as well. Thus, overtaking is a breeze and sustaining speed on the less than busy is easy.
Switching to the five-door hatch after a rest stop about 38 km outside Chiang Mai, it was time for a test on confident handling, stability, precision in steering and flat torque curves of the engine. This leg of the drive was a combination of winding highland roads and highway.
In these surroundings, the Fiesta is flawlessly nimble as always, and cabin noise at extra-legal speeds stayed at a delightfully low level, the torque delivery smooth due to a match with its tranny – most of all, it didn’t feel like a three-cylinder car at all!
From the driver’s seat, the Fiesta hatch is simply a whole lot of fun (not that the sedan was a bore, mind you!), and it so happens to coincide with a stint on a piece of exhilarating mountain road filled with tight, winding tarmac with blind exit corners. It’s a good thing that the Fiesta EcoBoost handles, brakes and accelerates with confidence.
At the end of it all, all who took part in this drive had huge grins. After all, what’s there not to like? Here is a competent platform that bites into corners keenly, has a pleasantly nimble chassis balance and is relaxing to potter around town in as well. The 1.0-litre EcoBoost engine is partly to thank, with its characterful three-cylinder thrum and midrange torque.
It’s not as fast as the power-to-weight ratio suggests though; tall, eco-friendly gearing holds the car’s gusto back. But I guess in this in present reality of expensive fuel and increased environmental issues, compromises have to be made… and the Fiesta has already lost one cylinder!
Of course, there’s the issue of pricing. The current Ford Fiesta 1.5 costs around RM87,000, and word around the campfire is that the EcoBoost variant may cost up to RM12,000 more.
Those already keen on the downsizing of powertrains in cars will jump in and say that you’ll “get the same satisfaction driving it” or “you’ll save on road tax”, or even “you’ll help save the planet”.
But many more, perhaps, will find paying such a premium for a Fiesta, however green and good it may be, a little difficult to comprehend. Yes, you do get more power and you can save on fuel and road tax expenditure, but will Malaysians accept paying around RM99,000 for a one-litre car?
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Brabus is known to be wonderfully over-the-top. Topping its OTT list would be this, the Brabus 850 6.0 Biturbo Wagon, based on the Mercedes-Benz E 63 AMG. The ‘850’ in its name is the power rating. Yes, this five-door family estate has an 850 hp engine – the tuning company’s most decadent motor yet.
That’s just a mere 37 hp short of the Porsche 918 Spyder’s power figure, and unlike the electric motor-assisted hypercar, this one is achieved through pure engine tuning and two (large) turbochargers. Engine capacity has been increased from 5.5 to just over 5.9 litres, complete with tailor-made pistons and crankshaft to match.
Torque is a monstrous 1,450 Nm between 2,500 and 4,500 rpm, though maximum output is limited to ‘just’ 1,150 Nm for reliability’s sake. Despite all its madness, the car is backed by Brabus Tuning Warranty of up to three years or 100,000 km. Not bad for a car capable of getting to 100 km/h in 3.1 seconds, and a restricted top speed of 300 km/h.
Perhaps Amazon should just abandon its Prime Air drone delivery plans and get this load-lugger. It’ll be cheaper, surely (though not by much).
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A new Lexus F model is set to break cover at the 2014 North American International Auto Show in Detroit in January. The image above is the first teaser of the new high-performance car.
Engineered from scratch, the new addition to the F portfolio promises to deliver performance synonymous with Lexus’s heritage of F-designated performance models, according to the Japanese premium brand. More details will be announced soon, including timings of the Lexus press conference at the show, which will be streamed live online.
Based on the feature line that dives down under the headlamps, and the headlamp elements, we’re guessing that it’s the Lexus RC-F. Spied in action before, the RC-F will be the F performance flagship of the Lexus RC Coupe that made its world debut at the recent 2013 Tokyo Motor Show.
Enjoyed Driven Web Series’ hot-hatch special last week? If you haven’t, do find out why the VW Golf GTI Mk7 still towers over the Merc A 250, BMW 125i and Volvo V40 T5 here. It may not be the result you want to see – the breathtakingly pretty A-Class coming in last surprised us too – but that’s the ugly truth.
The same goes with our first episode’s shock verdict, where the Toyota Vios beat the Proton Suprima S and Honda Jazz Hybrid to the RM90,000 crown. Sometimes, models topping the sales charts really are the best cars in their classes. But that’s not always the case.
This week, we’re looking at the C-segment contenders. Does the Honda Civic’s market-leading, best-selling status automatically make it the class-leader? Driven Web Series finds out, as we compare it to the Kia Cerato and Ford Focus in a 2.0 litre sedan shootout.
It’s here in this segment that the Japanese brands’ recent market domination has somewhat translated to complacency. The current Civic, itself barely a year old, has very little in its utility belt to go against its newer rivals’ arsenal of toys and bevy of modern touches. Can it still come out on top? Watch the video above to find out.
In classic Driven Web Series-style, there’s not one, but two surprises in store within this episode. Be sure to watch it till the end and tell us what you think of it in the comments below. Enjoy.
Proton’s upcoming B-segment hatchback has been sighted again, this time in Malaysia. The above spyshot which was posted in the Cari Forums shows two Proton P2-30A Global Small Cars on test in Malaysia.
We first saw the Proton GSC on test in Europe at a supplier’s test track. The car sighted in Europe featured alloy wheels that could preview the alloy wheel design of the future product while this Malaysian car wears steel wheels. Curiously, if you look at the far right side of the photo, you can see a Honda Brio in front of the P2-30A. The Brio has trade plates as well. Does the Brio have anything to do with the P2-30A, or is it just a benchmark car being driven together for comparison? Note that DRB-HICOM briefed research houses earlier this year that it would be embarking on this project on its own and not with a JV partner.
Proton is targeting to launch this new car in the first half of 2014. They also launched a Nama Siapa Hebat contest earlier this year, inviting Malaysians to contribute to the naming process of the new car. The Grand Prize winner will walk away with the Premium variant of the car that he or she helped name.
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The next-gen G11 BMW 7 Series – due in 2016 – could come with an ‘extended wheelbase’ version as a response to the upcoming Mercedes-Benz S-Class Extended Wheelbase, according to BMWBlog.
The current F01/F02 7 Series LCI (pictured) is available in short- and long-wheelbase configurations, but the new W222 S-Class sedan will spawn short-, long-, extended-wheelbase and six-seater Pullman versions.
While the S-Class Pullman will be in a class of its own, the introduction of an extra-long 7er could divert the S-Class Extended Wheelbase’s crosshairs away from BMW’s Rolls-Royce Ghost. Unsurprisingly, the main markets are likely to be China and the Middle East.
Thanks to more extensive use of carbon fibre, plus a roof, bonnet and boot lid that are likely to be made out of CFRP (carbon fibre reinforced plastic), the G11/G12 BMW 7 Series is set to be lighter than the current car. The base 740i is said to weigh “dramatically” less than 1,900 kg, BMWBlog reports.
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Kia Motors America has announced its first special edition for the 2014 Kia Soul, the Red Zone edition, of which only 2,000 units will be made available. Inspired by the Track’ster concept from the 2012 Chicago Auto Show, the Soul Red Zone will go on sale during the first quarter of 2014.
Based on the 2014 Soul Plus, the Red Zone Soul’s extrovert personality is amplified by a body kit featuring red accents throughout, including treatment on the front grille, front and rear fascias, and side skirts. Those are custom 18-inch alloys.
Inside, the cabin features black cloth seats with red stitching, leather steering wheel, black-leather dash hood with red stitching, black carpeted floor mats with red piping, and sport pedals. The shift knob ring, air vent ring, dash speakers and console tray trim have all been dipped in red paint, continuing the Red Zone theme.
Power comes from Hyundai-Kia’s 2.0 litre gasoline direct injected four-cylinder engine with 164 hp, mated to a six-speed automatic transmission. Speaking of GDI tech, the Korean giant’s naturally-aspirated GDI engine recently made its Malaysian debut in the Hyundai i40. In that Euro-flavoured D-segment car, the ‘Nu’ 2.0 GDI makes a healthy 178 PS and 214 Nm – click here to read more about that one.
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Customisation is all the rage today among premium car makers. Mercedes has its designo programme, while BMW and Audi have their Individual and exclusive lines respectively. For McLaren customers, there’s McLaren Special Operations (MSO). This latest McLaren MSO 12C Concept showcases the possibilities offered by its bespoke programme.
Additions include a revised bonnet, front wing louvres, rear wing vents, a unique Airbrake and a new roof featuring an integrated snorkel channelling air to the engine, all crafted in carbon-fibre. Titanium wheel bolts, along with oil and water filler caps, shed weight too. Inside, there’s a carbon-fibre instrument cluster with integrated shift lights.
McLaren Special Operations offers a unique kind of customisation for Macca customers – so much so that instead of MSO outlining what it can do for you, it simply asks, “what would you have MSO produce?” After all, when you’re already spending North of RM2 million on a new 12C, what’s another hundred thousand or two to you, right?
People say that money can’t buy individuality. With MSO, apparently you can.
Malaysian drivers want parking space detection and full automatic parking assist systems in their cars, a global survey by Accenture has found. They also want a system that, in an emergency, stops the car and automatically sends out an emergency call.
The ‘Connected Vehicle: What Drivers Want‘ survey asked over 14,000 drivers in Brazil, China, France, Germany, Indonesia, Italy, Malaysia, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, the UK and the US about their current use of connected vehicle technologies and expectations for future use.
Tech and services covered in the survey encompassed navigation, traffic, autonomous driving aids, entertainment, work tools, safety services, driving-pattern monitoring and more, with 39% of the respondents saying their primary consideration in choosing a new car was in-car tech. Only 14% said driving performance had the biggest influence on their choice.
Click to enlarge
The survey found drivers in Malaysia, China, Brazil and Indonesia to be the most interested in connected vehicle tech and digital services that are currently available in more mature markets. Among respondents in emerging markets, Chinese drivers have the highest usage of such tech, followed by drivers in Brazil, Indonesia, Malaysia and South Africa.
While Malaysian drivers preferred parking-related systems, their Indonesian peers were keen on real-time entertainment content such as social media and gaming, as well as productivity services such as e-mail and calendar content, the survey revealed.
On average, a staggering 90% of respondents were interested in safety-related driving aids which included lane departure warning systems, collision-warning systems, lane-keeping systems, automatic braking systems and full automatic parking.
In all regions, at least 1,000 interviews were completed, with the exception of China, where 3,000 interviews were undertaken. All respondents had a car at their disposal and either had, or were planning to buy, a smartphone. View the full results of the global survey here, or the results for Malaysia in the gallery below.
Another global survey by Accenture early this year called for a more customised online experience in the auto industry – read our report on that here.
Honda Malaysia has switched to rail-based transport for delivery of parts between Thailand and Malaysia, via Thailand National Railways (SRT) and Keretapi Tanah Melayu (KTM). With this move, HM becomes the first Honda outpost to switch to rail-based delivery for optimal logistics.
Honda Malaysia’s production volume is anticipated to increase from the current 50,000 units to 100,000 units annually by 2016. Currently, 25 to 30 containers are being transported from Thailand to Malaysia on a daily basis. And this is expected to increase to 120 containers per day in line with HM’s future production plans.
This initiative is also in line with Honda’s global environmental target of 30% reduction in CO2 emissions by Honda products by 2020. Just by changing the mode of transportation from trucks/ships to trains, CO2 emissions have been reduced by 60%. Honda says that rail is also more cost effective (logistics cost to be halved within two years), with lower logistic risks, wastage and damages. KTM uses a GPS tracking system.
Delivery time will be shortened, too. It takes 2.5 days for goods to be delivered from Thailand to Malaysia via rail, half a day faster than using trucks. Shipping takes seven days. This helps increase efficiency and shorten the waiting period for customers, and Honda gets to reduce stock in hand by six days.
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We hope you enjoyed our coverage of the new 2015 Ford Mustang last week, which will for the first time officially be available in right hand drive. That’s right folks, there’s a chance that the 2.3 litre Ecoboost Ford Mustang will be available in Ford showrooms in Malaysia. As a final round-up, we’re posting up new studio and live images of the Mustang that Ford released over the weekend.
How much would you pay for a Mustang 2.3 Ecoboost? Based on the price premium that the Focus ST has over the regular Focus, we’re estimating a similiar premium for a Mustang over the already powerful Ford Mondeo, which should place it at about the RM300k to RM350k mark.
Building a successor to the legendary F1 wasn’t going to be easy, and McLaren dutifully laid out a few performance targets for the new P1 to achieve, apart from being the best driver’s car on both road and track, of course. A rigorous development programme was planned including testing in the harshest conditions around.
The sold-out McLaren P1 – all 375 units of the RM4.4 million (before tax) hypercar have been accounted for – has hit all of its performance targets so far: it does 0-100 km/h in 2.8 seconds, 200 km/h in 6.8 seconds and 300 km/h in 16.5 seconds. The last figure is a full 5.5-second quicker than the F1, and the quarter mile run is demolished in under 10 seconds.
Last but not least, is for the 913 PS/900 Nm road and track monster to lap the Nurburgring-Nordschleife – with all of its 150 corners, 300 metres of elevation change and 20.8 km length – in under seven minutes. It’s the toughest challenge of them all, according to McLaren, not discounting that the Porsche 918 Spyder achieved it with ‘just’ 887 hp.
Without giving exact numbers, McLaren has just confirmed that the P1 has dipped below the magic seven-minute barrier, lapping the circuit with an average speed in excess of 178 km/h. Whether it beat the 918’s all-time lap record of 6 minutes and 57 seconds is not yet clear, though you’d think that McLaren would be more than happy to announce it had it done so.
To set the lap time, the P1 was primed to its ultimate track-friendly setting – ‘Race’ mode, which extended the active rear wing by 300 mm, dropped the ride height by 50 mm, while the RaceActive Chassis Control suspension system stiffened up by 300%. Stock tyres, though bespoke ones tailor-suited to the P1, were used, so there’s no tyre trickery in play.
Behind the wheel was McLaren chief test drive Chris Goodwin (you may recognise him from his days as an F1 commentator), and apparently he reached the P1’s electronically-limited 330 km/h top speed through the straights, and pulled no less than 3.9 g through the turns. Watch the short video above to see the McLaren P1 at its absolute best.
A Hyundai i10 Colourz and five Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 are up for grabs in the Hyundai Mission Impossible Facebook Contest, which runs from now until January 26, 2014.
The contest is organised in conjunction with the screening of the movie Ah Beng Mission Impossible, a Chinese New Year production by Jack Lim. The movie opens in cinemas nationwide from January 23, and Hyundai-Sime Darby Motors (HSDM) is the main presenter of the movie.
This contest tests participants on their knowledge of Hyundai car models as well as their creativity in photography. Participants will be given one mission to accomplish, which includes solving a clue and completing a task. The clue will lead them to a Hyundai model, which they will then need to pose with for a photograph, according to the theme given.
A total of three missions will be announced via Hyundai Malaysia’s Facebook page throughout the contest period. Thirty finalists will be shortlisted for the three missions based on the highest votes (10 finalists to be shortlisted for each mission). The winner of the i10 1.1L Colours grand prize, which is worth RM52,888, as well as the runner-ups will be selected by a panel of judges made up by the cast and crew of the movie.
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The Proton Bola! Bola! Bola! Mega Test Drive Carnival that ran two weekends ago attracted 9,000 visitors to the event, with more than 1,500 visitors taking part in the test drives, in which a fleet of 79 Proton cars was on call.
The event, which saw the debut of the Proton Persona SV, also had the biggest names in Malaysian football making special appearances – fans had the chance to get up close with Khairul Fahmi “Apek” Che Mat, Mohd Badri “Piya” Mohd Radzi, Mohd Amirul Hadi and Razman Roslan, along with veterans Dollah Salleh, Azman Adnan, Mubin Mokhtar, Subadron Abdul Aziz and Mohd Zamri Mazleh at meet-and-greet sessions.
Visitors to the carnival also enjoyed numerous activities catered to adults and children alike, with performances by artists from KRU Studios and drive displays by the Proton R3 team and Lotus Cars Malaysia. The two-day event was held in celebration of Malaysians’ love for football, and also as a means for the brand to thank Malaysians for their support.
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Nissan Thailand has released a sportier looking variant of the latest Nissan Sylphy. The Nissan Sylphy SV (we’re not sure what it stands for, but not Super Value for sure!) comes with a bodykit and a black interior to replace the standard light coloured cabin.
The mild bodykit consists of front, rear and side skirts, plus a boot spoiler with integrated third brake light. There’s also an SV badge on the boot. Not quite Sentra Nismo, but it does look a touch sportier. Those alloys, painted in Hyper Black, look similar to the rims on the Nissan Pulsar. The five-door Pulsar is the hatchback version of the new Sylphy.
The 852,000 baht (RM82,500) SV is based on the 1.6L Sylphy, and there are no technical changes. Under the hood is a HR16DE four-pot with 116 PS and 154 Nm of torque, mated to a CVT transmission. Nissan Thailand also sells a 1.8L Sylphy with 131 PS/174 Nm. We were in the Land of Smiles in August last year for the ASEAN debut of new Sylphy – click here to see the pics and read a mini test drive report.
If you’re wondering when it will come to Malaysia, the answer is Q2 2014, according to a site visit report by HLIB Research.
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After our very own Perodua’s release of the limited-edition Myvi F.E.M. comes another one targeted towards the fairer sex – Citroen UK and San Francisco-based Benefit Cosmetics have bonded to create the one-off Citroen DS3 by Benefit.
On display at the ongoing Clothes Show Live (of which the French carmaker is a main sponsor) at the UK’s Birmingham NEC, the concept, based on the range-topping 155 hp/240 Nm DS3 THP 155 DSport, “marks the start of a new partnership between the two brands.”
The Citroen DS3 by Benefit takes its colours from the Benefit palette, with the brand’s signature pink and yellow ‘Candy Stripes’ motif and a graphic of the San Francisco skyline along the body. The white and pink alloys sport the Benefit logo on the rims, alongside the Citroen chevron centre caps.
More ‘Candy Stripes’ are to be found inside – on the seats, headrests and parcel shelf, amidst Italian leather upholstery. The steering wheel, dashboard and centre console feature pink detailing, while the dashboard greets the passenger with a ‘hello gorgeous‘ cursive graphic.
Also on are bespoke LED lighting, deep pile floor mats with pink leather edging and Benefit ‘Iconic words of wisdom’ scatter cushions at the back, while the armrest houses a custom makeup kit. There’s also a handbag hook, fragrance dispenser, and an ornate vanity mirror mounted on the dashboard.
Previewed at KLIMS13, the Citroen DS3 (without Benefit, sadly) is expected to arrive in Malaysia next month. It should come with a 120 hp/160 Nm 1.6 litre VTi engine, 17-inch ‘Bellone Black Diamond’ alloys, active headlamps, auto wipers and lamps, leather upholstery, LED DRLs, six airbags and ESP.
Infiniti will be bringing a Q50-based, Formula One-inspired concept car to the 2014 Detroit show in January. Christened the Infiniti Q50 Eau Rouge, the concept points towards a high-performance variant of the Japanese luxury carmaker’s newest 3 Series fighter.
The name should sound familiar to F1 fans – it’s taken from a famous corner at Belgium’s Spa-Francorchamps circuit. The Eau Rouge-Raidillon section comprises a collection of bends with a blind crest, and is one of the track’s most challenging corners, having seen some of the most incredible driving feats in F1 history. Eau Rouge (French for “red water”) is the name of the stream the track crosses over.
We’ve brightened the sole teaser image above to reveal a new front apron design and what looks like subtle twin bonnet louvres. We’ll probably have to wait for Detroit to loom closer to see the rest.
The Infiniti Q50 is set to arrive in Malaysia during the second quarter of 2014 with a Daimler-sourced 2.0 litre four-cylinder turbo engine. See the compact exec on Infiniti’s KLIMS13 stand here.
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