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  • SPYSHOTS: Renault Megane IV seen winter-testing

    Spy-Shots of Cars

    The third generation Renault Megane has been around since late 2008. Last updated with a mid-life facelift in 2012, it should see a replacement soon. Today we can show you how the next generation Megane will look like, as it’s been caught cold by our spy photographers in the snow.

    This prototype has the now familiar new Renault family nose up front. We can’t be 100% sure but in general it looks like the Kadjar C-segment crossover scaled down to fit a C-segment hatchback. Word is that the production “Megane IV” could be unveiled at the Paris show this year.

  • 2016 Audi R8 revealed – V10 and S tronic only, 610 hp

    Audi R8 V10

    This is it, boys and girls, the new 2016 Audi R8. Spied, teased and leaked multiple times, we’ve finally got the lowdown on Ingolstadt’s poster boy supercar ahead of its world premiere at the 2015 Geneva Motor Show next week. It will go on sale starting this summer, with prices ranging from €165,000 (RM673,700) for the standard model to €187,400 (RM765,200) for the top-of-the-range plus.

    Looks very…familiar, doesn’t it? Measuring 4.42 metres long and 1.24 metres high, and with a 2.65 metre wheelbase, the dimensions of the new R8 has changed only slightly from the old car, with the exception of being around four centimetres wider at 1.94 metres wide.

    The styling cues are evolutionary rather than revolutionary, too. The six-point single-frame front grille stays on but is flatter, flanked by trapezoidal headlights (LED units as standard, laser-powered ones optional) and large air intakes. The characteristic “side blades” have also been split into two to make the car seem longer and more dynamic.

    Audi R8 V10

    The rear is more angular than before, with trapezoidal exhaust outlets replacing the round pipes on the facelifted original. The standard car gets an extendable rear spoiler, with the plus model getting a fixed carbon fibre unit. As standard, the new R8 is fitted with 19-inch wheels; 20-inch rollers are available as an option for the first time.

    The cockpit-like driver-oriented interior will be familiar to those who own the current R8, but there’s a new configurable 12.3-inch Audi virtual cockpit display in the instrument binnacle from the new TT that replaces the old centrally-mounted MMI display. The standard sports seats have also been redesigned, and there’s are new optional bucket seats that come as standard on the plus.

    Both the start button and the rotary dial to select the four modes (comfort, auto, dynamic and individual) on the Audi drive select system are mounted on the steering wheel. In addition, there’s also an optional performance mode (again standard on the plus) that has specific driving programs for dry, wet and snowy conditions.

    Audi R8 V10

    Gone is the base 4.2 litre V8 on the previous car – from now on the R8 will be V10-only, the same 5.2 litre direct-injected unit as before but with added indirect injection for improved performance and fuel economy. Two variants will be available – the standard car produces 540 hp and 540 Nm, gets from 0-100 km/h in 3.5 seconds, has a top speed of 323 km/h, uses 11.8 litres of fuel per 100 km and emits 275 grams of carbon dioxide per kilometre.

    Moving up, the uprated plus model punches out 610 hp and 560 Nm, propelling it from zero to 100 km/h in 3.2 seconds and 200 km/h in 9.9 seconds before reaching a top speed of 330 km/h. Fuel consumption and CO2 emissions figures are 12.4 litres per 100 km and 285 grams per kilometre respectively.

    The new R8 uses up to 10% less fuel than before, thanks to a start-stop system and a coasting function for the standard-fit S tronic transmission. Yes, that’s right – sorry guys, there’s no more six-speed open-gate manual gearbox for you to enjoy; the only way the car rows its gears is through a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission, with shift-by-wire, three shift modes and launch control.

    Audi R8 V10

    As before, quattro permanent all-wheel drive is fitted on all models, with a hydraulic multi-plate clutch replacing the viscous clutch on the previous R8. The system can now send up to 100% of torque to either axle, and a rear mechanical limited-slip differential ensures maximum traction.

    Under the skin is a new multi-material Audi Space Frame (ASF) that uses copious amounts of aluminium and carbon fibre. Despite torsional rigidity being 40% higher than before, the bodyshell is 15% lighter, resulting in a dry weight of just 1,454 kg.

    Aluminium double wishbone suspension is fitted all-round, while electromechanical power steering replaces the previous hydraulic unit; Audi magnetic ride dampers and variable-ratio dynamic steering are available as an option. As on the RS6, the R8 features lightweight wavy steel brake discs as standard, with carbon ceramic discs being optional (and fitted as standard on the plus).

  • 2016 Toyota Innova leaked: all-new looks for next-gen


    A solitary pic of what is allegedly the next-gen 2016 Toyota Innova has been posted by FlyWheel. Looking worlds apart from the MPV we’re familiar with, the new Innova has taken on a rather angular appearance, with discernible body creases, a strong shoulder line and an interesting kick-back D-pillar.

    The face will divide opinion – a huge front grille contains two chrome bars that intrude into slim headlamps (appear to be projector units). Sources have told FlyWheel that the interior will get a completely new design, whilst being more upmarket and luxurious compared to the current car.

    Reports speculate the new Innova to be based on a new ladder-frame platform that will underpin the yet-to-be-unveiled all-new Hilux and corresponding Fortuner. There’s also talk that a new diesel engine is in store – if this is so, we can expect the motor to feature in the new Hilux and Fortuner too.

    Malaysian-spec 2013 Toyota Innova facelift

  • New Renault Sport Trophy model teased for Geneva


    Renault Sport certainly knows how to get the motoring public grovelling for more. The fabled performance arm of Renault has just released this sole teaser shot of a new Trophy model that is set to make its debut at the upcoming 2015 Geneva Motor Show.

    As of now, nothing about the car has been revealed but speculations suggest that it could very well be a hotter version of the Clio RS, likely to be dubbed the Renault Clio RS Trophy. As a Trophy variant of the Megane hatch already exists, it would make the most sense for the little Clio to receive the same treatment.

    Should the Clio RS Trophy happen, expect it to arrive with more power from its 1.6 litre, turbocharged four-cylinder engine and weigh less with the inclusion of more specialised equipment. Also, enthusiasts around the world will be keeping their fingers crossed for the manual transmission to make a return.

    The exclusion of the latter was partly responsible for most of the criticism lobbied at the current Clio RS, with quite a number of drivers lamenting the loss of the previous Clio’s manic personality.

    GALLERY: Renault Clio RS 200 EDC driven

  • Jensen is back with limited-run GT, Interceptor 2 next


    Jensen is back! The brand famous for the Interceptor returns with the first officially sanctioned model in 13 years, paving the way for a new Interceptor.

    Marking the rebirth of the brand, the formation of the Jensen Group is the start of the next chapter in the brand’s story, following the collapse of the car manufacturer in 2002. The man responsible for the return of Jensen and the force behind defending the trademark for almost four years is Tim Hearley.

    “This represents the next chapter of Jensen and, as we look to the future, we want Jensen enthusiasts to help us celebrate as we unveil a completely new car and outline our plans for the future,” said executive chairman Hearley.

    From top: The original Jensen Interceptor from the 70s; clay model of the limited-edition Jensen GT

    The Jensen Group is currently working on an Interceptor 2 for 2016, which may involve collaboration with an established automotive group. For now, the Jensen GT will fill the gap between the the Interceptor of 1976 and the Interceptor 2, which will take design cues from the classic grand tourer.

    Despite several companies claiming to be the spiritual home of Jensen, the GT is said to be the first new car to legitimately bear a Jensen badge since the demise of the S-V8 in 2001. This “extremely limited edition” will be built under an agreement between the Jensen Group and Jensen International Automotive (JIA), known for their modified Interceptor R models. The GT will be available exclusively through JIA.

    Aren’t those tail lamps from the Jaguar F-Type?

  • Mitsubishi Concept XR-PHEV II heading to Geneva

    mitsubishi concept xr-phev ii

    Nearly one and a half years after showing off the Concept XR-PHEV in Tokyo, Mitsubishi has come up with a new interpretation called the Concept XR-PHEV II – the second form of the compact plug-in hybrid SUV study is set to break cover in Geneva.

    At 4,490 mm long, 1,890 mm wide and 1,620 mm tall, the PHEV II is slightly larger than its predecessor, which measured in at 4,360 mm, 1,870 mm and 1,570 mm. The general outlook has been retained, from the front face to the overall line disposition, but things look far better resolved and flows better.

    The interior features an aluminium frame that spreads out sideways from the central console and a minimalist horizontal instrument panel. As for drive and powertrain, things are very much like the first one, the XR-PHEV II utilising a front-engine/front-wheel drive PHEV system made up of a MIVEC engine, electric motor/generator and a new power drive unit.

    No specifications for the engine in use, but the unit should be the 100 PS 1.1 litre three-cylinder turbo seen in the original concept. Likewise the motor, which has the same 120 kW output. Battery capacity has been reduced, now 12 kWh compared to the 14 kWh previously.

  • Proton Preve offered with up to RM8,000 discount


    Like clockwork, Proton has announced its CNY offers for the Preve. As with the Iriz and Suprima S models, the C-segment sedan gets discounts of up to RM8,000, RM1,000 more than what’s offered on the Exora.

    The full RM8,000 off can be had if you settle for a 2014 model year Proton Preve. That means you’d pay RM50,531 for the Executive MT, RM53,531 for the Executive CVT, and RM64,449 for the top-spec Premium CVT. Newer 2015 models are RM3,000 more expensive (RM5,000 discount).

    Do read up on our review of the Preve (but note that the whole range is now fitted with six airbags and electronic stability control), and as always, you can refer to to see all the differences between the three variants.

    Proton Preve Premium CVT

  • Volkswagen Sport Coupe Concept GTE teased ahead of Geneva debut, previews CC replacement

    Volkswagen CC replacement teaser

    Yet another VW will make its debut at the Geneva Motor Show next week – joining the facelifted Sharan, Passat Alltrack and Touran will be the Volkswagen Sport Coupe Concept GTE that previews the replacement for the CC. The Passat B8-based four-door coupe has been teased here in a couple of official sketches.

    Although references to its more humdrum cousin can clearly be seen, the concept does appear to carry more dynamic styling to go with the low-slung roofline. The grille extends lower down than on the Passat, neatly blending into the LED headlights, while C-shaped LED lights frame the large lower air intakes.

    Volkswagen CC replacement teaser 2

    Bulging wheel arches and large wheels mark out the side profile, and a strong character line (as seen on the new Touran) spans from behind the front wheels to the wide tail lights. The roofline also looks to extend further back than on the Passat, terminating at a shorter rear deck.

    VW has reportedly confirmed that the concept will feature a turbocharged petrol engine paired to two electric motors, forming an “innovative” all-wheel drive system. Specific technical details have yet to be released, but the powertrain is expected to be an evolution of the Passat GTE‘s plug-in setup, with another electric motor at the back to power the rear wheels.

  • Second-gen Audi R8 – is this the first official image?


    The first official image of the next-generation Audi R8 has apparently been leaked online prior to its public unveiling at the upcoming 2015 Geneva Motor Show in March. The image, first seen on Motor Pasion, could not be verified but comparisons between it and earlier spyshots indicate a rather close resemblance.

    Looking back at the official teaser image released earlier on by Audi, one can see that the layout of the air intake as well as the head lamp assembly does indeed match up quite closely. Furthermore, the design of the Singleframe grille up front does appear to tally up with a shot of the camo’ed mule featured in a video released by Audi, which shows the second-generation Audi R8 speeding around the Ascari circuit.

    Audi zeigt Laser-Scheinwerfer des neuen R8

    As reported, the 2016 Audi R8 is expected to debut with a naturally-aspirated 5.2 litre V10 engine pumping out at least 540 hp in its mildest state of tune. A ‘Plus’ variant is expected to top the range with the same engine, albeit in a higher state of tune – around 610 hp has been touted.

    Another novelty on the new R8 would arrive in the form of its (optional) laser head lamps. By employing high-intensity laser diodes, the system is able to generate a lot more light energy and therefore, be able to project a beam that is nearly twice the range when compared to conventional LED head lamps.

    GALLERY: Next-gen Audi R8 prototype driven around Ascari

  • Apple Titan EV gets parodied in new product video

    As of late, you may have stumbled upon reports regarding Apple’s plans to introduce an autonomous electric vehicle, dubbed the Apple Titan. Proving the firm is serious on taking on a project this large, multiple sources close to the Cupertino-based firm have “revealed” that Apple has embarked on a campaign to hire as many engineers and technicians to aid in the development.

    Mass production of the car has been slated to begin in the year 2020, with sales commencing soon after. If that sounds a little too ambitious, note that Apple has already amassed a team of around 50 individuals specialising in mechanics, manufacturing as well as robotics to develop the car. Nothing succeeds like excess, as good ol’ Oscar once said.

    To further cement its intentions, a product video illustrating the Apple Titan has now emerged. In the two and half minute-long video, Apple’s senior VP of design, Jonathan Ive, walks viewers through the key details of the car as well as it standout features – including a sapphire crystal windscreen! Now, if you’re thoroughly excited by all that promise, may we also interest you in a bridge, going cheap?


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