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Date: Thursday, 31 Jul 2014 12:20

mazda-2-thailand

The new Mazda 2 has been spotted in Thailand, which could mean that production of the B-segment car will be starting soon. The 2015 Mazda 2 was only revealed two weeks ago, so this sighting comes very soon. It’s a rear shot of a white five-door hatchback (sedan not confirmed or revealed yet, but could look like this) with the Mazda and Skyactiv badges under black tape.

A faithful reproduction of the Hazumi concept from Geneva 2014, the new Mazda 2 (Demio in Japan) will come with 1.3 and 1.5 litre SkyActiv-G petrols, and a new 1.5 litre SkyActiv-D diesel. Expect SkyActiv manual and auto gearboxes, both with six speeds, plus MZD Connect and the i-Activsense suite of safety systems.

The new five-door hatch grows in all dimensions except width, which remains at 1,695 mm. Wheelbase has jumped 80 mm to 2,570 mm, length is up 160 mm to 4,060 mm, and height enjoys a 25 mm leap to 1,500 mm. Compared to the Honda Jazz and Ford Fiesta, the M2 is longer overall, and from wheel to wheel.

The new 2 will come to Malaysia either towards the end of this year (according to a research report) or sometime in the first half of 2015. We have plenty of material for you to pore over, from comparo charts to videos and hi-res pics. Click here to view them all.

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The post New 2015 Mazda 2 Skyactiv spied testing in Thailand appeared first on Paul Tan's Automotive News.

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Author: "Danny Tan" Tags: "Cars, International News, Mazda, Spyshot..."
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Date: Thursday, 31 Jul 2014 09:51

Have you ever wondered what it’s like to design a car from the ground up? Well, today’s your lucky day, because paultan.org was recently granted exclusive access to the innards of Proton’s design studio to provide you with a glimpse of a car’s development from the initial sketch all the way to the final model.

Nestled within the confines of the company’s Shah Alam complex, the Proton Design Studio is sprawling, modern facility, much more relaxed and informal than your usual office atmosphere. It utilises a great deal of advanced technologies to help bring the designers’ ideas to life, such as a virtual reality auditorium, milling machines and several high-performance workstations connected to huge Wacom Cintiq drawing displays.

Of course, every project starts with a brief, which determines the basic parameters for the product, such as body style and number of seats. From there, all the designers are asked to put whatever ideas they have onto paper (or their computer displays) and are given pretty much carte blanche to really get those creative juices flowing, unrestrained by practical restrictions like interior space or powertrain packaging.

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Such restrictions are saved for later, where the stylists are required to translate their initial ideas into realistic renderings that follow the interior, powertrain and drivetrain packaging that has been set. The goal is to create images that are representative of what the actual car will look like in real life.

The designs are then pitted against each other through presentations with a cross-functional team, a group of people from different departments such as engineering, testing and marketing, who will then shortlist these designs based on what meets all their needs. Eventually, the team will end up with up with a handful of designs on which further development and refinement will commence.

The surviving designs get modelled in 3D in stages, each with an increasing amount of detail. The first 3D model, called a C-class model, is a fairly rough model with no engineering or manufacturing considerations and is done purely to visualise the design in a three-dimensional space. The next step up is a B-class model, which is more detailed and includes some input from the engineers.

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Both these models are built using a 3D modelling software called Alias, whereas the final model, an A-class model, is done using CATIA, a computer-aided design and manufacturing (CAD/CAM) software. This model is fully detailed, complete with considerations for manufacturing processes such as tooling and draft angles, and is virtually production-ready.

The resulting A-class model is then imported into a rendering software in order to visualise the car in realistic lighting and settings. The team uses Bunkspeed, a software that is capable of rendering photorealistic visuals in real time. The output is so realistic, in fact, that the company used Bunkspeed renderings as press photos of the Suprima S!

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Indeed, watching a lifelike virtual model of the Suprima being rendered in real time and being able to change colour and materials of each part on the fly was an eye-opener for someone like me, who is used to having to wait for several hours for a 3D model to be rendered, and having to restart the process for every angle or after making modifications the model.

Next week, we will look at the rest of the process, including the selection of colours and materials, as well as the final hard model that is signed off for production. And of course, don’t forget to join the Proton Design Competition 2014 – the deadline has now been extended by a week to August 18 – with your vision of a Proton city car in the year 2020!

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The post Proton Design Competition 2014 – we take a behind-the-scenes look at how a Proton is designed appeared first on Paul Tan's Automotive News.

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Author: "Jonathan Lee" Tags: "Cars, Proton, Proton Design Competition ..."
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Date: Thursday, 31 Jul 2014 09:10

X100

The production version of the SsangYong XLV Concept that was showcased at the 2014 Geneva Motor Show will be unveiled in 2015. Word is that an unveiling could happen as early as January.

The production B-segment SUV – rumoured to be called the X100 – will take the fight to other B-segment SUVs in the market like the Ford EcoSport, the Nissan Juke, the Renault Captur and the Peugeot 2008. Ssangyong have confirmed that the production XLV will debut a new family of SsangYong-designed 1.6 litre petrol and diesel four-cylinder engines.

Measuring 4,430 mm long, 1,845 mm wide and 1,600 mm tall, it is slightly longer than the competition, and with good reason too. The XLV concept had three-row seating, with seats configurable in either a 2-3-2 or 2-2-3 arrangement, thanks to a middle seat that can slide between the second and third row.

XLV_023 XLV_022 XLV_020 XLV_005 XLV_009 XLV_010 XLV_002 XLV_003 XLV_004 XLV_018 Ssangyong 1 Ssangyong 3 Ssangyong 4 Ssangyong 5 Ssangyong 6

The post Ssangyong X100 B-segment SUV – production XLV concept to debut new 1.6 litre engine family appeared first on Paul Tan's Automotive News.

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Author: "Paul Tan" Tags: "Cars, Ssangyong"
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Date: Thursday, 31 Jul 2014 07:13

Ford-EcoSport-Malaysia-Showroom-0049

Although it hasn’t been officially launched yet, the Ford EcoSport is now being previewed to the public at SDAC showrooms, so if you’re interested in a new B-segment SUV, you may want to head there to check it out this weekend. We dropped by this afternoon to snap some photos of the EcoSport just for you.

The new Thai-assembled EcoSport – which made its ASEAN debut last year in Bangkok – will be available here in two trim levels, both powered by a 1.5 litre Ti-VCT engine mated to a six-speed Powershift dual-clutch gearbox, driving the front wheels – the same configuration as found in the current B299 Fiesta 1.5.

Official pricing hasn’t been released, but the EcoSport Trend is expected to retail for about RM96k, while the higher-spec EcoSport Titanium will go for about RM104k.

ECOSPORT-BROCHURE-1 ECOSPORT-BROCHURE-2

Click to enlarge the brochure.

Full specs can be seen in the brochure scans above, but we’ll simplify it for you. The Trend trim level starts off with two airbags, ESP stability control, manual air-conditioning, a six-speaker Ford Sync infotainment system, steering wheel audio controls, tilt and telescopic steering adjustment, fabric seats and 16-inch alloy wheels with 205/60R16 tyres.

The rear seat bench can be folded down in a 60:40 split, and they can tumble forward to maximise the luggage area, which increases from 362 litres to 705 litres with the rear seats tumbled forward.

The EcoSport Titanium ups the airbag count to seven, including a knee airbag. The driver seat gets adjustable lumbar, and a centre armrest is added on. The variant gets a single-zone automatic climate control system, and there are also auto lights and wipers as well as a sunroof.

Ford-EcoSport-Malaysia-Showroom-0052

Seats are upgraded to leather, and there’s also leather on the gear lever and the steering wheel. The alloys are also 16-inch units with the same tyre size, but feature a different design. The Titanium also features keyless entry and push-start ignition. You also get an additional 12V power socket at the side of the rear seat. Exterior-wise, there’s a bit more chrome here and there, such as on the fog lamp surround.

We’re told that the Ford EcoSport will be officially launched sometime in the second half of August 2014, so we’ll get the official prices then. Word is that the 1.0 EcoBoost version will eventually be introduced here, when production of the six-speed PowerShift auto variant begins (currently, Thai production only builds it in five-speed manual transmission guise, for the Australian market).

In the meanwhile, read our review of the Ford EcoSport from our Thai drive of the SUV.

GALLERY: Ford EcoSport 1.5 Trend
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GALLERY: Ford EcoSport 1.5 Titanium
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The post Ford EcoSport being previewed at SDAC showrooms – 1.5L Trend and Titanium variants, RM96k-RM104k appeared first on Paul Tan's Automotive News.

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Date: Thursday, 31 Jul 2014 04:44

MIT_0553_ASX_15MY_Brochure_205x290_WEB-1

A new model year has brought minor changes to the Mitsubishi ASX in Australia. The 2015 Mitsubishi ASX made its debut there in May, just eight months after the previous running update was launched Down Under. It boasts more kit and under-the-skin tweaks.

Mitsubishi says that a revised suspension package will deliver significant improvements to ride comfort, handling and steering response. The ASX is now also quieter thanks to improvements in NVH (noise, vibration and harshness), helped by a new standard tyre package and extra sound insulation. Fuel consumption for the 2.0 CVT model is down 4% to 7.4 litres per 100 km.

Changes that you can see include new daytime running lights (DRLs) in the foglamp housing, new 17-inch alloys, black roof rails, chrome trim (in and out), tinted windows and a nice new paint option called Lightning Blue. Emergency Stop Signal brake lights are now standard.

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Top spec variants are now called XLS instead of Aspire, and they get things like a panoramic roof, leather, navi with seven-inch display, auto wipers/headlights, smart key with push start, heated front seats (powered for the driver), and an electro-chromatic rear-view mirror. Pretty much the same as before.

Most of those goodies are on the Malaysian ASX, too, now locally-assembled at Tan Chong’s Segambut plant with attractive pricing. Launched in February, the CKD ASX starts from RM114,744 for the 2WD model. The new 4WD variant is priced at RM128,880 OTR without insurance. Local spec sheet and pics here.

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The post Minor updates for the Australian 2015 Mitsubishi ASX appeared first on Paul Tan's Automotive News.

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Author: "Danny Tan" Tags: "Cars, International News, Mitsubishi"
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Date: Thursday, 31 Jul 2014 03:08

vw-california-01

Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles is celebrating its iconic California camper van breaking a significant production milestone – 50,000 units from the assembly plant in Hanover Limmer.

“The Volkswagen T5 California is the most popular and best-selling camper van in its class. We have completed production of 50,000 T5 Californias since 2004. This year, with a figure of over 8,100 units, we will achieve the highest level of annual production yet,” said Dr Eckhard Scholz, chairman of the board of management for Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles.

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The California is offered in two variants: the entry-level Beach and the range-topping SE (Comfortline outside the UK). To date, 13,000 California Beaches and 37,000 California SEs have been produced. VW says that it’s the only vehicle manufacturer to produce its own camper van, which is compact and convenient enough to be used as an everyday vehicle.

The California’s popularity has grown with every new generation. Production figures for the T3 version totalled 22,000, rising to 39,000 for the T4. Manufacturing for the current T5 continues on a two-shift basis to meet high demand.

Mercedes recently unveiled a classier camper van called the Marco Polo. See the W447 V-Class-based apartment on wheels here.

The post VW celebrates 50,000th T5 California camper van appeared first on Paul Tan's Automotive News.

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Author: "Danny Tan" Tags: "Cars, International News, Volkswagen"
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Date: Thursday, 31 Jul 2014 01:35

toyota gt86 cs-r3 1

Toyota has announced that its prototype GT86 CS-R3 rally car will make its public debut next month at round nine of the FIA World Rally Championship in Germany. It won’t be competing directly in the ADAC Rallye Deutschland however, only being utilised in the event as the zero car.

Engineered by Toyota Motorsport GmbH (TMG) – the folk responsible for the GT86 CS-V3 Nürburgring VLN series racer – and developed to FIA R3 class requirements, the finished race-ready version of the Toyota 86 will begin shipping to its first customers in the first quarter of next year.

For this one, the FA20 2.0 litre four-pot boxer’s output has been upped to around 240-250 hp following software changes as well as revisions to the unit’s cam-lift and compression ratio. A six-speed sequential gearbox, with attendant limited-slip differential with variable ramp settings, drives things along.

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Standard fit kit includes a HJS racing exhaust/exhaust manifold, a 75 litre FT3 safety cell fuel tank, a weight-optimised safety cage designed to FIA requirements, Reiger three-way adjustable shock absorbers as well as four-pot front and two-pot rear brake calipers.

A couple of OZ wheel designs are available for the 1,080 kg offering, these being a 17-incher for tarmac use and a 15-incher for gravel-based applications.

At Rallye Deutschland, rally driver Isolde Holderied will pilot the pathfinder CS-R3, evaluating the testbed for performance while at it – the input from her drive will determine the final adjustments that can be made to the racer’s design prior to its homologation to international R3 competition criteria.

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The post Toyota GT86 CS-R3 – and now, the return to rallying appeared first on Paul Tan's Automotive News.

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Author: "Anthony Lim" Tags: "Cars, International News, Motorsports, T..."
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Date: Wednesday, 30 Jul 2014 10:53

W222_Mercedes-Benz_S_400_Hybrid_020

Mercedes-Benz Malaysia has introduced a new variant to the W222 S-Class line-up in Malaysia – the S 400 L, priced at RM865,888 OTR without insurance, arrives as a CBU import. There has been no official press release so far, but a visit to Cycle & Carriage PJ reveals that the price and equipment list for the new variant is already on display. Don’t get confused now – the S 400 L and S 400 L Hybrid are two different variants.

Under the S 400 L’s hood is a 3.0 litre twin-turbo V6 engine, the same one found in the E400. It produces 333 hp and 480 Nm of torque, taking it to 100 km/h in 6.1 seconds. That’s faster than the S 400 L Hybrid’s 6.8 seconds. Swap a hybrid system for two turbochargers and what you’ll lose in terms of torque from the electric motor, you’ll gain in terms of torque from forced induction.

W222_Mercedes-Benz_S_400_Hybrid_080 S400L-PRICE-SPECS

The introduction of the S 400 L is timely, as the waiting list for the locally-assembled S 400 L Hybrid has gone beyond a year at the moment. If you try to book the RM588k S 400 L Hybrid now, your Mercedes-Benz dealership will tell you you can only get your car after December 2015, which is when the NAP 2014’s duty exemption for locally-assembled hybrids will have ended. There’s no official pricelist for the hybrid model with full duties as of now, but unofficially it is RM899,888, making this non-hybrid S 400 L a little cheaper.

As far as we can tell, specs for the S 400 L are exactly the same as the S 400 L Hybrid, except for the interior wood trim. Where the S 400 L Hybrid uses a fancier designo Sunburst Myrtle wood trim, which has a nice gradient effect on it, the S 400 L uses Burr Walnut wood trim. Another difference is that you’ll save quite a bit in terms of road tax yearly, especially if it happens to be a company purchase, as the turbocharged engine is about 500 cc smaller than the hybrid engine.

For further info, compare the S 400 L against the S 400 L Hybrid at CarBase.my.

The post Mercedes-Benz S400L with 3.0L twin-turbo V6 open for booking in Malaysia – RM866k OTR, fully imported appeared first on Paul Tan's Automotive News.

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Author: "Paul Tan" Tags: "Cars, Local News, Mercedes Benz"
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Date: Wednesday, 30 Jul 2014 10:31

asean-ncap

An update on the New Car Assessment Program for Southeast Asian Countries (ASEAN NCAP). Back in May, the announcement of Phase III results saw the conclusion of the three-phase pilot project, which began in January 2013.

Following this, the agency – which operates under the aegis of the Malaysian Institure of Road Safety Research (Miros) – has now announced that it is moving towards its next stage as planned. According to its road map, the agency is set to operate like other NCAP organisations around the world, in which testing and the release of results are routinely carried out.

Bernama reports ASEAN NCAP secretary-general Khairil Anwar Abu Kassim as saying that the organisation would be fully operational next August and would carry out safety testing on new cars periodically. It was however not revealed how often testing would be carried out.

ASEAN NCAP P-3 Toyota Corolla Altis 2 ASEAN NCAP P-3 Isuzu D-MAX-2 ASEAN NCAP P-3 Peugeot 208-2

The three phases of pilot testing saw 30 vehicles, including variants of particular models, being evaluated. The first phase saw eight test results being announced in February last year, followed by Phase II test results for 11 vehicles coming about in August 2013. Phase III testing saw an additional 11 vehicles being rated.

Evaluation saw the cars being subjected to an offset frontal collision test, which involves striking a deformable barrier with an overlap of 40% at 64 km/h. In Phase III, a UN R95 side impact test was added, consisting of a mobile deformable barrier striking the side of each car at 50 km/h.

The tests were carried out at two laboratories – Miros’ Provisional Car Crash Centre in Malacca and the Japan Automobile Research Institute (JARI) laboratory in Tsukuba, Japan, the latter in Phase III testing. The JARI facility is an appointed ASEAN NCAP official test lab, and the programme’s first test lab outside the ASEAN region.

Read all about our ASEAN NCAP coverage, including Phase I, II and III test results, here.

The post ASEAN NCAP set to move on to routine crash testing appeared first on Paul Tan's Automotive News.

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Author: "Anthony Lim" Tags: "Cars, Local News"
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Date: Wednesday, 30 Jul 2014 09:30

5522
Three new Citroens will be coming soon, but the baby C1 is unlikely to be one of them

A hat-trick of Citroens will be coming to Malaysia soon. Official distributor Naza Euro Motors (NEM) told The Star that the three new models will be from Citroen’s mainstream C-range of cars, as opposed to the more upscale DS range.

“From the end of this year into next year, you will see three new models from the C-range. We are hoping to price this more competitively from RM100,000 onwards,” NEM’s COO Datuk Samson Anand George said.

NEM has been selling the DS4 and DS5 since the Citroen brand was relaunched here in February 2013. The DS3 joined the party in February this year, before NEM opened order books for the Citroen Grand C4 Picasso MPV in June. The 207 hp DS3 Racing is in town, but is not for sale.

So what’s coming next? Current models starting with a C and available in RHD include the C-Zero (a rebadged Mitsubishi i-MiEV), C1 (city car), C3 (supermini), C3 Picasso (small MPV), C4 (C-segment hatch), C4 Cactus (an odd looking thing), C4 Picasso (smaller version of the one we have now), C5 (sedan) and C5 Tourer (wagon).

Citroen_C4_Cactus_01
Want a cactus in your garden? The Citroen C4 Cactus may be too odd for Malaysia

You can pick three from the above, although we can safely rule out the electric car, and the C1, since the new cars will priced from RM100k. The two small Picassos also don’t make much sense as we already have the Grand. No prizes for guessing correct :)

NEM aims to sell 600 Citroens this year, and the figure is set to grow with the new models. “We only had two models, the DS4 and the DS5, last year. If all goes well, we are looking at over 10% growth to 700 units next year. We expect sustainable organic growth. When there is a sudden spike, the back-end may not be able to catch up so fast,” Samson said.

Speaking of back-end, two more sales outlets (Puchong and Ampang) will open by the end of this year, with three more slated for 2015. The French brand now has five sales/service outlets nationwide, two in Klang Valley, two in Penang and one in Johor.

The post Three new Citroen models coming to Malaysia – Naza appeared first on Paul Tan's Automotive News.

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Author: "Danny Tan" Tags: "Cars, Citroën, Local News"
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Date: Wednesday, 30 Jul 2014 08:00

As revealed in our exclusive behind the scenes preview, BMW has been busy cooking up a new product feature video showcasing the feisty BMW M235i – no M2 Coupe here, despite what some may have thought from BMW M’s Facebook teaser earlier. The video, called The Epic Driftmob, is now completed and had its online-exclusive debut via BMW’s YouTube channel moments ago.

It was shot in Cape Town, South Africa slightly over a month ago, and we were privileged to be the only media outlet from Asia to check out the production. The Epic Driftmob features the nimble 326 hp coupe being put through a drift sequence on public roads by some of the world’s best stunt drivers, including Rhys Millen, Rich Rutherford, Samuel Hubinette, Conrad Grunewald and Daijiro Yoshihara.

These drivers have worked on many Hollywood blockbusters including The Fast and The Furious franchise, Iron Man 2, Transformers 3 and Drive, among other movies. The entire sequence was choreographed by the experienced Riley Harper and Mic Rodgers. By the way, the action is 100% real, without any camera tricks, as witnessed by yours truly on location.

The objective of this video is to help reinforce the position of the BMW M235i as one of Munich’s best driver’s cars. We’ll just let the video do the talking from here. Trust me, you’ll want to hit the play button, as this is one of the best drift choreographies ever made!

BMW also released two spin-off videos, including the making of The Epic Driftmob and another clip featuring drift champion Ryhs Millen behind the wheel of the coupe. After viewing them all, check out our behind the scenes report here, from our time at the ground on the production location.

The hottest 2 Series is not on sale in Malaysia, but the 220i is, available in both base and Sport lines. Check out specs, prices and photos here: BMW 2-Series Coupe at CarBase.my

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Exclusive behind the scenes images from Cape Town
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The post VIDEO: BMW’s The Epic Driftmob video features the BMW M235i smoking and sliding in Cape Town appeared first on Paul Tan's Automotive News.

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Author: "Harvinder Sidhu" Tags: "BMW, Cars, Feature Stories, Videos"
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Date: Wednesday, 30 Jul 2014 06:08

jaguar xe s

Jaguar has announced the Feel XE campaign, a series of collaborative projects with artists and personalities to usher in the arrival of its new XE sports sedan. British singer-songwriter Emeli Sandé will kick off the project with an audio-video spectacle in London on September 8 ahead of the car’s official debut.

In announcing this, the automaker has released a teaser image of Sandé together with the XE, showing off its face. The company has already teased the car’s tech and advanced aluminium chassis in recent weeks, and now something else has been uncovered – a little S badge that resides on the corner of the grille in the photo suggests that a XE S variant may premiere alongside the baseline XE.

jag_xe_image_040314_01_(82425) jaguar-xe-twitter-teaser

No details have yet surfaced on an S variant, but it stands to reason that the F30 BMW 3 Series, B8 Audi A4 and W205 Mercedes-Benz C-Class competitor will have a hotter version – likely in six-cylinder guise – to take the fight to the likes of the 335i, S4 and C 400.

The XE is slated to utilise Jaguar’s new Ingenium family of engines, which will also be shared with Land Rover. The modular mills – in V8, V6 and four-cylinder forms – will share the same bore, stroke, cylinder spacing, 500 cc capacity per cylinder and many common internal components as well as feature turbocharging.

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Jaguar XE spyshots
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The post Jaguar XE – ‘Feel XE’ project teaser reveals S variant appeared first on Paul Tan's Automotive News.

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Author: "Anthony Lim" Tags: "Cars, International News, Jaguar"
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Date: Wednesday, 30 Jul 2014 03:10

Driven 2014 Ep3 D-Segment Battle- 3

Selamat Hari Raya, everyone! Driven Web Series is on a break this week, so if you haven’t already, do catch up on the three episodes we’ve released so far this season. Honda City vs Toyota Vios vs Nissan Almera? MINI Cooper vs Citroen DS3 vs VW Beetle? Nissan Teana vs Honda Accord vs Kia Optima K5? Check, check, check, and then some.

We have four more exciting episodes lined up for your viewing this season. No, we haven’t forgotten the C-segment, or the premium brands – we’ve got all that and more in store. Next week, we’ll feature close to 1,000 hp between Harve, Hafriz and Jonathan. Trust us, you won’t want to miss that one :)

Episode 1 – 2014 Honda City 1.5 V vs Toyota Vios 1.5 TRD Sportivo vs Nissan Almera 1.5 VL

Episode 2 feat. Megan Tan – F56 MINI Cooper Chilli vs Citroen DS3 vs Volkswagen Beetle 1.4 TSI

Episode 3 – 2014 Nissan Teana 2.0 XL vs Honda Accord 2.0 VTi-L vs Kia Optima K5 2.0 Facelift

The post Driven Web Series Season 2 – The episodes so far appeared first on Paul Tan's Automotive News.

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Author: "Hafriz Shah" Tags: "Car Reviews, Cars, Videos, Driven TV"
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Date: Wednesday, 30 Jul 2014 02:20

Mercedes-Benz-AMG-GT-teaser

The upcoming Mercedes-AMG GT sports car will have at least two variants – the ‘basic’ GT – if you could ever use such a word for the car – will be accompanied by a more powerful GTS. It turns out that the 510 horsepower (503 hp SAE) and 650 Nm numbers released earlier for the AMG M178 4.0 litre twin-turbocharged V8 represents the GTS tune. The GT variant’s power output is lower at about 456 horses.

None of these output figures are as highly strung as the motor in the A 45 AMG though – that one does 360 horses and 450 Nm of torque from 2.0 litres of displacement. Since AMG tends to liken the new 4.0 litre V8 to two of the 2.0 litre four cylinder AMG engines joined together, it wouldn’t be wrong to expect at least over 700 horsepower and 900Nm of torque in the engine’s most powerful form? Sounds crazy right? But that’s exactly how much power to displacement ratio the 2.0 litre AMG engine has.

Could there be room then, for an even more powerful variant of the Mercedes-AMG GT positioned above the GTS? Even with 510 horsepower, the AMG GTS is powerful enough – selected media joined AMG boss Tobias Moers at the Bonneville salt flats and came back with reports of a speedo eventually showing 311 km/h and a 100km/h sprint time that ‘felt’ like under 4 seconds.

The post Mercedes-AMG GT to get higher powered GTS variant appeared first on Paul Tan's Automotive News.

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Author: "Paul Tan" Tags: "Cars, Mercedes Benz"
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Date: Wednesday, 30 Jul 2014 01:37

LR Discovery Sport Camo-04

Land Rover has released pics of the upcoming Land Rover Discovery Sport wearing a new camouflage wrap. Not your usual camo, the wrap covers the SUV, while showing its cabin at the same time! Basically, LR wants us to know that the Disco Sport will come with seven seats as standard.

Big bro Discovery is a full seven-seater, so this Freelander-replacement is more of a 5+2. The occasional third-row seats will give the Sport an extra versatility point in a segment that includes the BMW X3 and Audi Q5, although the Land Rover will have a smaller footprint.

“As you would expect from a Discovery, the versatile Discovery Sport will feature 5+2 seating in the UK, offering spacious load space and configurable seating, while still retaining a more compact footprint than traditional five-seat SUVs,” said Gerry McGovern, design director and chief creative officer for Land Rover.

When announcing the new model in April, McGovern said that the Discovery Sport “will be the most versatile and capable SUV in its segment”. If you’re wondering about its positioning vis-a-vis the Evoque, this is a full-fleged “proper” SUV as opposed to a fashion item.

Set for a Paris debut in October, the Discovery Sport will go on sale in 2015. For an idea of how it could like without the camo, see pics of the Discovery Vision concept from New York 2014 below.

LR Discovery Sport Camo-01 LR Discovery Sport Camo-02 LR Discovery Sport Camo-03 LR Discovery Sport Camo-04 disco-sport-rear-seats
Land Rover Discovery Vision concept at the 2014 NYIAS
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Land Rover Discovery Sport spied testing
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The post 2015 Land Rover Discovery Sport to come with 7 seats appeared first on Paul Tan's Automotive News.

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Author: "Danny Tan" Tags: "Cars, International News, Land Rover"
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Date: Tuesday, 29 Jul 2014 10:37

The 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 pickup truck is all about. However, it turns out most of the information was related to the Thai market.

Thanks to information provided at a media test drive that happened in Thailand this week, we now have new details on the 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 with fuel grades below Euro 4, including Malaysia. The YD25 has been improved over the unit in the outgoing Navara, with an upgraded cylinder head. Fuel economy is said to have been improved by as much as 11%.

navara-engines

The YD25 will be available in two states of tune – a low output spec with 160 hp and 403 Nm of torque, as well as the higher output version dispensing the full 188 hp and 450 Nm of torque.

What we won’t get is a new 2.3 litre YS23 engine, derived from the 2.3 dCi engine in the Renault Master van, that’s reserved for markets where Euro 5 fuel is available. As with the YD25, two versions of the YS23 will be offered – a single turbo version that produces 158 hp and 403 Nm of torque, and a more powerful twin-turbo version that does the same 188 hp and 450 Nm of torque as the top YD25 mill.

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

The big Renault-sourced 228 hp, 550 Nm 3.0 litre turbodiesel V6 – never available in Malaysia – is now gone as the engine was unable to comply with the stringent emissions regulations in countries where it was previously 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 Chevrolet Colorado, Mazda BT-50 and Ford Ranger.

The good news is the Jatco seven-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 acceleration. For those who opt for a manual transmission, you’ll get a six-speeder with wider ratios than before.

An interesting bit about the chassis – the Navara will be fitted with five-link rear suspension with coil springs instead of the usual leaf springs. Such a setup is more commonly used on truck-based SUVs such as the Toyota Fortuner and Mitsubishi Pajero Sport, and should provide for better ride and handling. The only pickup truck with such a design in Malaysia right now is the Ssangyong Actyon – the rest of the segment stick with a leaf spring design.

navara-suspension

The Thai-market Navara will continue with a leaf spring setup due to tax reasons – the truck will be classified as a passenger car if it employs coil spring 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 may 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.

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The post 2015 Nissan NP300 Navara – more details revealed: new 2.3 litre diesel, multi-link rear suspension appeared first on Paul Tan's Automotive News.

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Author: "Paul Tan" Tags: "Cars, International News, Nissan"
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Date: Tuesday, 29 Jul 2014 08:25

jaguar-xe_aluminium_-infographic_29071

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.

Jaguar XE Ring Spyshots-01 Jaguar XE Ring Spyshots-02 Jaguar XE Ring Spyshots-03 Jaguar XE Ring Spyshots-04 Jaguar XE Ring Spyshots-05 Jaguar XE Ring Spyshots-06 Jaguar XE Ring Spyshots-07 Jaguar XE Ring Spyshots-08 Jaguar XE Ring Spyshots-09 Jaguar XE Ring Spyshots-10 Jaguar XE Ring Spyshots-11 Jaguar XE Ring Spyshots-12 Jaguar XE Ring Spyshots-13 jaguar-xe-twitter-teaser jag_xe_image_040314_01_(82425)

The post Jaguar XE fuel economy targets – under 4 litres per 100 km combined thanks to aluminium construction appeared first on Paul Tan's Automotive News.

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Author: "Paul Tan" Tags: "Cars, Jaguar"
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Date: Tuesday, 29 Jul 2014 06:46

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.

2015 Infiniti Q40 2015 Infiniti Q40 2015 Infiniti Q40 2015 Infiniti Q40 2015 Infiniti Q40

The post New Infiniti Q40 – last generation G Sedan lives on appeared first on Paul Tan's Automotive News.

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Author: "Paul Tan" Tags: "Cars, Infiniti"
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Date: Tuesday, 29 Jul 2014 04:10

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?

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The post New Daihatsu Copen roadster is a hit in Japan – first month sales of six times monthly target appeared first on Paul Tan's Automotive News.

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Author: "Paul Tan" Tags: "Cars, Daihatsu"
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Date: Tuesday, 29 Jul 2014 03:41

sorento-sketch-1
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 Kia-Sorento-4 Kia-Sorento-6 Kia-Sorento-5 Kia-Sorento-3 Kia-Sorento-7 Kia-Sorento-2 Kia-Sorento-1 Kia-Sorento-Bonus-Image Kia-Sorento-007 Kia-Sorento-006 Kia-Sorento-005 Kia-Sorento-003 Kia-Sorento-004 Kia-Sorento-002 Kia-Sorento-001

The post 2015 Kia Sorento sketches revealed with video teaser appeared first on Paul Tan's Automotive News.

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Author: "Paul Tan" Tags: "Cars, Kia, Koreans"
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