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  • Volkswagen Jetta Special Edition teased on FB page

    Volkswagen_Jetta_SE_ 001

    The Volkswagen Jetta Special Edition has been teased in a sole shot on Volkswagen Malaysia‘s official Facebook page. While the only photo posted up on its social media platform revealed nothing more than the design of its twin, five-spoke wheels, the entire profile of the car was teased earlier on in a series of slides, presented during a recent luncheon held by Volkswagen Malaysia.

    Upon closer inspection, one will likely notice the aforementioned five-spoke wheels along with what looks like a subtle bodykit. Expect a more aggressive set of front and rear bumpers along with more pronounced side skirts should that be the case. While there’s nothing stopping us from hoping for a power bump, this special edition Jetta will likely feature only cosmetic upgrades à la Volkswagen Beetle Bug Edition.

    The regular CKD Volkswagen Jetta was introduced last year, priced from RM134,888 inclusive of GST but sans on-the-road costs. Under the bonnet, a 1.4 litre four-cylinder TSI engine is to be found. Power figures include 158 hp at 5,800 rpm and 240 Nm of torque from 1,500 to 4,500 rpm. Mated to a seven-speed DSG transmission, the Jetta sprints from 0-100 km/h in 8.3 seconds and tops out at 221 km/h.

    GALLERY: Volkswagen Jetta 1.4 TSI

  • Audi on demand car-sharing service launched in US

    Over in the US, Audi has introduced a new mobility programme that will give users a new way to experience the brand’s products without having to go through long-term ownership. The brand’s car-sharing programme is known as Audi on demand.

    Audi on demand allows customers to rent an Audi on a daily basis, with the ability to reserve an Audi by the day for up to 28 days. The service is currently only available in San Francisco as part of a beta programme, but will be rolled out across additional American cities in the coming years.

    A wide range of Audi models are available for hire – the vehicle list includes the RS 5, S5 Cabriolet, A4 allroad, S7, A8 L, R8 V10 and a R8 V10 Spyder. Rental rates begin from US$165 (RM585) per day for an A4 allroad right up to US$1,285 (RM4,555) for an R8 Spyder.

    audi on demand 5

    The service is accessed via the Audi on demand app, downloadable through the Apple App Store. No membership fee is required, but the caveat is that one has to be 25 and older to use Audi on demand. Payment is via credit card, and a vehicle needs to be reserved at least two hours before the start time.

    Customers simply select their preferred Audi model, and the vehicle the customer sees and requests in the Audi on demand app will be the same vehicle delivered to them, right down to the exact colour and trim.

    The vehicle is then personally delivered to the customer at the location of his/her choice by an Audi on demand concierge, who will help the customer get acquainted with the vehicle from setting music preferences to tailoring the navigation system. Operation of the vehicle, from locking and unlocking it to enabling driving is accomplished via a digital key running off the Audi on demand app or a personal key card.

    audi on demand 1

    The programme also offers complimentary use of selected accessories – child safety seats are available for all vehicles, and ski racks and bicycle racks are available for use with the allroad and Q5 models.

    Audi on demand isn’t the only car-sharing initiative planned by the automaker. In the near future, the company says it will be launching Audi at home, which will be located in select premium condominium complexes.

    Through this, residents will have access to a car-sharing service with an exclusive fleet of Audis that will include RS models, cabriolets and SUVs. That initiative is also set to feature the A3 Sportback e-tron plug-in hybrid. Rates will be hourly for Audi at home, and prices will vary by model.

  • Mercedes-Benz offering new wheel designs for 2015


    New shoes for a new season – as car owners elsewhere in the world are switching back to summer tyres for the warmer weather, Mercedes-Benz Accessories are expanding its range of light alloy wheels, with 11 new “big wheels with fine details.”

    First up is a black 18-inch five-twin-spoke design for the A-Class, B-Class and CLA, with the flange available with either a high-sheen or red finish. The GLA crossover has not been neglected, as it gets a similar design (with a red flange), this time measuring 19 inches in diameter.

    Moving up, the C-Class‘ 18-inch rounded five-spoke wheel design is now available in a new black finish, while the 19-inch, 10-spoke turbine-design wheels – painted black with a high-sheen flange – are new. Another set of refinished wheels are the E-Class‘ 19-inch five-twin-spoke rollers – these are now available in a high-sheen finish, with the inner surfaces painted matte black.

    Meanwhile, the GLE receives a new 10-spoke wheel design – also with a high-sheen finish and black inner surfaces – in both 20- and 21-inch sizes; these are also compatible with the previous M-Class on which the GLE is based.

    Rounding out the new range, the S-Class gets palladium silver 20-inch 10-spoke wheels, while the V-Class nets 10-twin-spoke wheels painted black with a high-sheen finish on the spokes. But it’s the SL that takes the cake with dazzling 19-inch turbine multi-spoke alloys – high-sheen spokes, palladium silver inner surfaces.

    All of these wheels have been designed specifically for each model in terms of permissible loads and dimensions. They have also passed a series of tests including traffic simulation and X-ray material tests, as well as highly-corrosive salt water tests and a 28-day climate cycle for high-sheen wheels.

  • Honda EX5 Dream FI launched in Malaysia – RM4,299

    Honda EX-5 29

    Boon Siew Honda has unveiled the its latest addition to its dependable kapcai range – the Honda EX5 Dream FI. Billed as a motorcycle “specially designed” for the local market, the EX5 Dream FI supersedes the EX5 Dream 110, launched in 2013. It is the first model in its class to feature Honda’s PGM-FI (programmed fuel injection) technology for improved fuel efficiency and performance.

    The Honda EX5 Dream FI is powered by an air-cooled, four-stroke 110 cc engine which puts out a total of 8.4 hp at 7,500 rpm and 8.4 Nm of torque at 6,000 rpm. Transmission is that of the four-speed constant mesh variety with a wet-type automatic centrifugal clutch. As for the (adjustable) suspension setup, 81 mm telescopic forks are featured up front with 68 mm twin forks at the rear.

    Compared to its Dream 110 predecessor, the Dream FI boasts a larger 4.3 litre fuel tank. As a result, the Dream FI possesses an operational range of 250.7 km compared to the 214.4 km figure touted by the Dream 110. Fuel consumption is also improved with a 58.3 km/l quoted on the ECE 40 test cycle. The Dream 110 could only manage 53.8 km/l on the exact same test cycle.

    In terms of its dimensions, the EX5 Dream FI measures in at 1,923 mm in length, 696 mm in width and stands at 1,046 mm. Wheelbase is recorded at 1,212 mm. Two variants are available, a kick starter version sits alongside an electric (self) starter model. The former tips the scales at 98 kg while the latter, at 99 kg.

    Honda EX-5 4

    Styling wise, the Honda Dream EX5 FI features a revised headlamp design with the Honda emblem beneath it now marked out in chrome. Elsewhere, a chrome heat cover on the exhaust outlet projects a more premium image while the rear taillamp assembly now feature side indicators with a separate housing – a move made to fulfil UNECE safety regulations for motorcycles.

    Other improvements over the outgoing EX5 Dream model include a reworked instrument cluster for improved legibility in conditions with less than desirable amounts of lighting. Prospective customers can choose from three different colours – Euphoria Red Metallic, Vital Blue Metallic and Mariana Purple Metallic. The latter is a deep violet hue that is almost black under all but the harshest of lighting.

    Prices for the Honda EX5 Dream FI begin at RM4,299 and RM4,529 – the former figure is for the kick starter variant. Prices exclude both GST and on-the-road costs. A two-year/20,000 km warranty is offered. Boon Siew Honda aims to sell 37,200 units of the EX5 Dream FI annually.

  • Volvo V60 facelift spotted in Malaysia – coming soon?


    Reader Ihsan Fadhli has sent in these pics of a facelifted Volvo V60 in Malaysia – the updated S60 estate is far from a new car, having taken the world stage over two years ago, but it’s yet to be launched in Malaysia.

    Its sighting on our soil suggests that it won’t be long before it joins the S60 and XC60 facelifts here. The tailgate badge reads T4F (Flexfuel), a variant available in Thailand, so it wouldn’t be unreasonable to assume this one’s meant for our northern neighbour.

    Those 17-inch Sadia alloys seem familiar to you? That’s because our S60 facelift has them too. The rear features new LED tail lamps and twin circular tailpipes that sit within a mildly-revised rear bumper.


    Like the S60 and XC60 facelifts, the V60 gets a more sharply-creased bonnet, more angular headlamps, a wider grille that loses the previous chrome surround and sleeker lower intakes. Gone are the driving lights flanking the grille of the old car, replaced by LED daytime running lights mounted lower down on the bumper.

    Unlike our XC60 facelift, our S60 facelift doesn’t get the new Drive-E engines, making do instead with the existing 1.6 litre T4 and 2.0 litre T5 GTDi four-cylinder motors. Maybe the same fate awaits our V60 facelift.

    Like on our S60, we expect the T5 variant to get the Digital Instrument Cluster and eight-inch Adaptive Digital Display; also the same enhanced safety aids, which include City Safety and Blind Spot Information System with Cross Traffic Alert (S60 T5 additionally gets Pedestrian Detection, Cyclist Detection and Road Sign Information).

  • 2016 Mazda MX-5 now 25% more efficient than before

    mazda mx-5 2015

    Devotees of the manual transmission will (sort of) have a reason to gloat about the merits of shifting gears yourself as Mazda has announced that its stick shifter-equipped MX-5 is 25% more fuel efficient than the outgoing third-generation NC model with the same transmission.

    With the six-speed SkyActiv-MT manual gearbox, the 2016 Mazda MX-5 records an EPA-estimated 11.4 km/l and 14.5 km/l on city and highway runs, sequentially. As for the optional automatic gearbox, the MX-5 puts down an even more impressive figure of 11.4 and 15.3 km/l for city and highway cycles, respectively.

    mx-5 11

    With Mazda’s ‘Gram Strategy’ weight saving mantra, the 2016 Mazda MX-5 loses roughly 68 kg compared to its manual-equipped predecessor. The new ND-generation MX-5 comes powered by a 1.5 litre high-compression direct-injected SkyActiv-G four-cylinder petrol engine pushing out 129 hp and 150 Nm of torque. The US-spec 2.0 litre mill with 155 hp and 200 Nm of torque is also featured.

    The latter engine choice is, reportedly, the one earmarked for Malaysia when the roadster goes on sale in the country in the near future – exact power figures remain a mystery. Unfortunately for enthusiasts, the CBU-from-Japan junior sports car for Malaysia is expected to be made available with a sole choice of a six-speed SkyActiv-Drive automatic gearbox.

  • BMW Motorsport Car Launch showcases 2015 M4 DTM racecars, M235i Racing; counts down ’15 DTM season


    To kick off the racing season for BMW Motorsport’s 2015 programme, the German carmaker has previewed all eight of its M4 DTM racers at its annual BMW Motorsport Car Launch exhibition, this time held in Nürnberg – hometown of reigning DTM champion, Marco Wittmann.

    The showcase, meant to familiarise fans with the race cars both old and new, saw the unveiling of the aforementioned DTM racers as well as the BMW Z4 GT3 and M235i Racing models. Alongside showcasing the current machines on the 2015 roster, attendants were also treated to taxi rides in the E30 BMW M3 race car as well as the E92 BMW M3 GT2 machine.

    “The BMW Motorsport Car Launch ahead of the DTM season has become an extremely popular tradition for us and for the fans in particular. It’s a real highlight for us to visit the home of our DTM Champion this year,” commented Jens Marquardt, BMW Motorsport director.


    Aside from that, BMW works driver and brand ambassador Alessandro “Alex” Zanardi was on hand to present his race steed for the 2015 24 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps race. Zanardi, who lost both legs in a racing incident in 2001, will share the customised cockpit of the BMW Z4 GT3 with his teammates, Bruno Spengler, and former Formula One driver, Timo Glock.

    “Thanks again to BMW Motorsport for giving me the chance to contest a 24-hour race for the first time in my life,” said the 2012 Summer Paralympics handcycling gold medallist. Apart from showcasing BMW’s race machines, the event also counts down to the start of the 2015 DTM season with the first race slated to take place on May 2 and 3 at the Hockenheimring circuit.

  • First full interior pic of M’sian-spec Mitsubishi Triton!


    Click to enlarge

    Mitsubishi Motors Malaysia has posted on its Facebook page a full photo of the Malaysian-market 2015 Mitsubishi Triton‘s interior. We can see shift paddles, auto dual-zone air-con and the 6.1-inch touch-screen – this is the top-spec, auto-only VGT Adventure then.

    The new Mitsubishi Triton is now open for booking and listed on Mitsubishi Motors Malaysia’s website, with estimated introductory prices from RM71k to RM114k (OTR with insurance and GST). The Thai-CBU pick-up truck will be officially launched in May with a 2.5 litre VGT engine with 178 PS and 400 Nm from 2,000 to 3,500 rpm.

    This is an improved version of the current 178 PS/350 Nm DI-D motor, not the new 2.4 litre turbodiesel MIVEC VGT engine with 182 PS, 430 Nm of torque and 20% better efficiency that Thailand gets.

    Click to enlarge

    Apart from the interior equipment you see above, the range-topping VGT Adventure gets a five-speed auto, HID projector headlamps with LED DRLs and 17-inch wheels.

    One rung below, the VGT AT and VGT MT (five-speed manual) come with keyless entry and start. Both also get the touch-screen, but without the reverse camera. There’s a new rotary selector for the Easy Select 4WD system (2H, 4H, 4L) to replace the old vibrating stick, but only for the VGT Adventure and VGT AT.

    There are also two non-VGT (variable geometry turbo) workhorse variants, namely the Triton 4X4 MT and the Triton Quest 4X2 MT. The latter’s ‘Quest’ name replaces the old ‘Lite’ moniker. Tilt and telescopic steering is available on all 4WD models.

    Full price and equipment lists for all variants, plus roadshow schedules, are in the gallery below. Do also browse our 2014 Thai Motor Expo gallery for an accurate preview of the new Triton. The truck recently scored a five-star Australasian NCAP (ANCAP) safety rating.

    Malaysian-market 2015 Mitsubishi Triton

    Malaysian-market 2015 Mitsubishi Triton Quest 4X2 MT

  • Ford recalls 390,000 cars in the US, including 2012-2014 Ford Fiesta – ASEAN model not affected

    ford fiesta mc 10

    Late last week, Ford announced it was issuing a safety recall in North America for nearly 390,000 vehicles over a faulty door latch. Vehicle models involved in the recall are the 2013-2014 Ford Fusion and Lincoln MKZ as well as the 2012-2014 Ford Fiesta sold in the US, Canada and Mexico.

    A check with Ford’s ASEAN office has revealed that the recall concerns only North American models – ASEAN production Fiestas are not affected by the faulty part and are not involved in the recall exercise.

    Ford Fusion_2

    The affected 2012-2014 Ford Fiesta vehicles were built at the Cuautitlán Assembly Plant in Mexico, and the 2013-2014 Ford Fusion (known elsewhere as the Mondeo) and Lincoln MKZ vehicles at the Hermosillo Assembly Plant, also in Mexico, all built in 2012 to 2013.

    The issue concerns the door latch in these vehicles that may experience a broken pawl spring tab, whereby a condition may arise where the door will not latch. The automaker says that if a customer is then able to latch the door, there could be a possibility that the affected door may unlatch while driving, increasing the risk of injury. All four door latches on the affected cars will be replaced at no cost to the customer.

  • Toyota Camry facelift starts OZ production, ends 2017

    Toyota Camry facelift Australia 4

    Production of facelifted Toyota Camry has officially begun in Australia at the Altona plant in Melbourne. The locally-built D-segment sedan takes after the US-market version and hence gets the more comprehensive and sportier American revamp unveiled in New York last year, rather than the supposedly classier global facelift that we received at the beginning of the month.

    As such, the OZ-market Camry now has a more aggressive face with a gaping front maw and sharper headlights, while at the rear, more rounded wraparound tail lights join a new chrome number plate trim and a more sculpted bumper with a diffuser-like insert.

    Even the doors are new, with a more pronounced character line joining the front fender with the tail lights, while the side glass area has been visually extended with a decorative garnish. Only the roof panel is carried over from the outgoing model.

    Toyota Camry facelift Australia

    The facelifted Australian Camry should retain the same powertrain choices as before – a 178 hp/230 Nm (181 hp/235 Nm on the Atara variants) 2.5 litre Dual VVT-i four-cylinder engine mated to a six-speed automatic transmission, as well as a 202 hp 2.5 litre petrol-electric hybrid with an eCVT. The smaller 2.0 litre engine (which receives VVT-iW, D-4S direct injection and a six-speed auto for 2015) is absent here.

    It should be noted that this Camry is not the only Camry Australia receives (and produces) – the continent also gets the global version that we have, badged as the Aurion and positioned above this car, powered solely by a 268 hp/336 Nm 3.5 litre V6. The facelift for that is expected to arrive within the next few weeks.

    The facelifted Toyota Camry and Aurion will be the final models produced at Altona – the last cars will roll off the line in 2017 as the factory shutters its doors. The next-generation Camry will be sourced from overseas, likely from Thailand to leverage on the Free Trade Agreement between the two countries.

    US-market Toyota Camry facelift


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