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  • Lexus RZ fully electric SUV – teaser images released

    Lexus has released teaser images of the RZ, an upcoming battery-electric vehicle that is the first from the brand to be built on a dedicated BEV platform. This isn’t the first battery-electric Lexus, however, as that distinction goes to the UX 300e that has been launched in China, Indonesia and Australia.

    Parent brand, Toyota unveiled its own fully electric SUV, the bZ4X in October this year, and though little else has been revealed about the RZ at this point, using the Japanese manufacturer’s dedicated EV platform means that the zero-tailpipe emissions Lexus is expected to share underpinnings with the bZ4X and the Subaru Solterra.

    While the bZ4X produces 218 PS combined from its front and rear axle drive motors, the battery-electric Lexus could be more generously endowed, which could also receive the brand’s Direct4 Wheel Drive Force Control system that is being developed for the next generation of Lexus electric and hybrid models.

    Click to enlarge

    From the details that are visible in the teaser images, the RZ appears to have aggressively styled headlamps like those on the IS, sharp crease lines, ducktail spoiler as well as a full-width tail lamp assembly.

    According to patent filings sighted by Car and Driver, the automaker plans to use RX450e badging for its upcoming electric SUV, and speculates that it will be offered as standard and F Sport trim variants.

    Sharing a base with the bZ4X means that the Lexus RZ could draw from the Toyota’s technical specifications, such as steering-by-wire and a specific drive mode for optimising drive and traction on slippery surfaces. Similarly, it could possible share the bZ4X’s ability to provide electricity through a DC outlet.

  • BSA Motorcycles returns with the BSA Gold Star as part of the Mahindra Group, official launch Dec 4

    Legendary motorcycle brand BSA is returning to the market with the BSA Gold Star. Resurrected under Classic Legends, a company under the Mahindra Group, full details of the retro-styled Gold Star will be revealed during its official launch on December 4 during the Motorcycle Live Show, reports

    Set to be released as a single-cylinder, liquid-cooled 650 cc with DOHC, the Gold Star taps into the trend for retro motorcycles, carrying almost the same lines as the original Gold Star made from 1938 to 1963. Set to be released as a 2022 model, the Gold Star was designed and developed in the UK, said Classic Legends co-founder Anupam Thareja.

    There are also plans to produce the Gold Star in its original home city of Birmingham, from which BSA gets its name, Birmingham Small Arms, as an arms manufacturer that began in 1861 making guns using industrial machines and processes. BSA under Classic Legends currently has a technical facility in Coventry for motorcycle engineering and was recently the recipient of a 4.6 million pounds sterling (RM25.83 million) grant from the UK government for the development of zero-emissions motorcycles.


  • 2022 Toyota GR Corolla gets teased for the US again

    Toyota USA has released a new teaser for the upcoming GR Corolla on its official Instagram page, and just like the one before it, the devil is in the details. The company has already confirmed in the past that the GR Yaris will not be coming stateside, but there will be a proper GR hot hatch for America instead.

    Unlike the teaser posted in October, the Easter eggs are a lot easier to spot this time around, with the most obvious being the camouflaged Corolla Hatchback hidden in the shadows near some shipping containers. The design of the camouflage is identical to the one used for the GR Yaris previously, and there’s even “GR Four” written on it.

    Direct your eyes upwards and you’ll also notice “NA G16 GR Four” on one of the shipping crates, with “NA” referring to North America. Meanwhile “G16 GR Four” points to the GR Corolla’s powertrain, which will likely be the GR Yaris’ G16E-GTS 1.6 litre turbocharged three-cylinder petrol engine and GR-Four permanent all-wheel drive system.

    Based on the previous teaser, the engine could serve up 268 hp (272 PS), which is the same figure provided by the Japan-spec GR Yaris. No hint of what transmission will be used, but expect a six-speed manual to be the only option. We’ll likely see a few more cryptic teasers before the GR Corolla makes its full debut, although there’s still no indication when a reveal will take place.

  • Royal Enfield SG650 Concept shown, Enfield’s future?

    Calling it a celebration of transition, covers were taken off the Royal Enfield SG650 Concept at the EICMA show in Italy recently. Responding to a challenge by Chief of Design Mark Wells, the Royal Enfield Industrial Design Team came up with the SG650 Concept, a vision of what the future holds.

    As a “what if” scenario for Royal Enfield, many components on the SG650 Concept are necessarily one-offs and custom fabricated. This includes the tank, machined down from a solid block of billet aluminium, the same applied to the wheels with integrated ABS.

    Further use of aluminium is shown in the upside-down forks, integrated top triple clamp that incorporates the headlamp nacelle and handlebar switch blocks. Nods to Royal Enfield’s classic motorcycle design are seen in the twin rear shock absorbers and hand-stitched black leather seat.

    Displacing 648 cc, the liquid-cooled parallel-twin in the SG650 produces 47 hp at 7,250 rpm and 52 Nm of torque at 5,250 rpm. The blacked-out mill and exhaust is carried in the classic Royal Enfield frame, functioning with the polished aluminium as a “digital transformation” for the firm.

    “We are a company in transition – so long a representation of the analog age and now developing new products that keep that same pure soul yet are fully integrated into the digital present. To celebrate this, we wanted to develop a project that really gave our design team an opportunity to stretch themselves creatively,” said Wells.

  • Lexus UX 300e EV coming to Malaysia in 2022?

    Activity on the electric vehicle (EV) front in Malaysia is expected to climb significantly next year, following the government’s proposal to offer fully-imported EVs complete exemption from import duty, excise duty and sales tax beginning from January 1, 2022. These exemptions, which also include zero road tax, will last for a period of two years.

    A number of auto companies have been gearing up plans to add battery EVs into their local model line-up, and in the premium segment, the likes of BMW and Volvo have already announced or detailed what’s coming our way, while Mercedes-Benz’s planned EV introductions are set to be revealed in 2022, closer to their point of launch.

    With rivals having already announced their plans, it’s apparent that Lexus should follow suit in due course. The only EV the Japanese automaker has in its model range is the UX 300e. Given that the all-electric SUV has already been introduced in regional markets such as Indonesia and Thailand as well as in Australia, Lexus Malaysia should be looking to launch the vehicle here to take advantage of the tax breaks.

    The UX 300e features a single, front-mounted electric motor producing 204 PS (201 hp) and 300 Nm of torque, which drives the front wheels via a two-stage reduction gear. Performance figures include a 0-100 km/h time of 7.5 seconds and a 160 km/h top speed, while operating range on a full charge is 300 km, based on a WLTP cycle.

    The motor is powered by a 54.3 kWh lithium-ion battery, which can be charged in around five to six hours via AC charging at a rate of 6.6 kW from a wallbox. The EV also accepts DC fast charging of up to 50 kW through a CHAdeMO port on the left side of the vehicle, and getting the battery from zero to a 80% SOC takes about 50 minutes.

    In Indonesia, the UX 300e is priced at 1.245 billion rupiah (RM365,600), while in Thailand the SUV goes for 3.49 million baht (RM436,600), sitting just slightly below the UX 250h hybrid in terms of pricing. In Australia, where it is available in two trim levels, Luxury and Sport Luxury, priced at AUD$74,000 (RM221,100) and AUD$81,000 (RM242,00) respectively.

    Presently, the local UX variant line-up is priced between RM236,443 for the UX 200 Urban to RM290,335 for the UX 200 F Sport – with the EV tax and excise duty exemptions, it’s expected that the UX 300e will dip under RM300k in terms of pricing, although it remains to be seen how far it will go below that mark.

    GALLERY: Lexus UX 300e

  • 2022 Kia Carnival open for booking in Malaysia – live photos of CBU 11-seater MPV with 202 PS 2.2L diesel

    Kia distributor Dinamikjaya Motors has officially previewed the new Carnival today – the fourth-generation MPV is open for booking as a CBU import ahead of the start of CKD local assembly in May. Just one model will be offered at launch, the 2.2D, with pricing to be announced later on.

    As before, the Carnival will be sold in 11-seater form, which will allow it to be classified as a commercial vehicle and thus grant it lower taxes. The car will continue to be powered by a 2.2 litre four-cylinder turbodiesel, rechristened the Smartstream D2.2 and equipped with a cast iron block instead of an aluminium one. Outputs are rated at 202 PS at 3,800 rpm and 441 Nm of torque from 1,750 to 2,750 rpm. It’s mated to an eight-speed automatic gearbox with paddle shifters.

    On the outside, the Carnival has been given a comprehensive makeover, sporting a more sophisticated design and a few SUV-style elements such as black body cladding, silver front and rear skid plates and roof rails. At the front, you’ll find a large “tiger nose” grille that ties in the quad LED projector headlights and distinctive LED daytime running lights into a single graphic.

    The clean side profile features a single shoulder line carrying the bonnet shutline, the door handles and the sliding door rail, plus blacked-out A- and D-pillars that give the car a trendy “floating roof” look. A chrome C-pillar fin, which features a subtle diamond pattern, provides some visual drama, while the rear end incorporates full-width bulb taillights to emphasise the car’s stance.

    The Malaysian-market model is fitted with the latest Kia logo introduced this year, which can be found on the bonnet, tailgate, wheel centre caps and steering wheel airbag boss. The car also comes standard with 18-inch Y-spoke two-tone alloy wheels.

    Inside, the Grand Carnival is as much of a step-change over its predecessor as the outside, with a horizontal dashboard design, a tall centre console (incorporating a Jaguar-like rotary gear selector) and a freestanding display panel. The latter houses the 12.3-inch infotainment touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity, as well as an analogue instrument cluster with a 4.2-inch multi-info display.

    Cabin space has been improved thanks to the larger body. The Carnival is 40 mm longer at 5,155 mm, with 30 mm going towards the 3,090 mm wheelbase. The rear overhang has also grown by 30 mm to 1,130 mm, increasing third- and fourth-row space and luggage capacity. Width, meanwhile, is up 10 mm to 1,995 mm.

    Standard equipment includes front and rear fog lights, keyless entry, push-button start, triple-zone automatic climate control, eight-way power-adjustable front seats, Saddle Brown faux leather upholstery, a Qi wireless charger, six speakers, a 360-degree camera system and a hands-free powered sliding doors and tailgate.

    Safety-wise, the Carnival comes with blind spot monitoring and rear cross traffic alert to go with the usual six airbags and stability control. Unfortunately, however, the car does not get driver assistance features of any kind, including autonomous emergency braking. Hopefully the CKD model will address this.

    Under the skin, the Grand Carnival comes with a revamped fully-independent suspension system and reduced noise, vibration and harshness, making for a more relaxed and comfortable drive. To that end, the front of the car features a multi-skeletal cross-member and new geometry to increase stability.

    The rear, on the other hand, gets hydro bushings, longer and lower suspension arms, a revised spring layout and an adjusted damper angle to improve ride comfort. The more rigid bodyshell and increased sound insulation further improve refinement. Lastly, the column-mounted electric power steering increases response and quickens the steering ratio by 5.6%.

  • 2022 Mazda BT-50 in Malaysia – live gallery of D-Max-based pick-up truck; five CBU variants; from RM124k

    Official pricing for the third-generation Mazda BT-50 in Malaysia was revealed earlier this week and we’re now bringing you a live gallery of the redesigned pick-up truck. While the previous BT-50 shared its roots with the Ford Ranger T6, the new one is now based on the latest Isuzu D-Max, which was also launched this year.

    Despite the shared platform and engines (we’ll get to that later), the BT-50 has a classier look compared to the D-Max that is more rugged and aggressive in appearance. Mazda’s Kodo design language is showcased proudly here, with the BT-50’s front end being reminiscent of its CX SUVs.

    Highlights include a square jaw and the brand’s familiar-looking front grille, the latter with chrome slat inserts and flanked by sleek headlamps. The cab body and bed are unchanged from the D-Max, but the rear of BT-50 features a simpler tailgate (less prominent creases) and its own taillight design.

    The visual differentiation continues on the inside, as the BT-50’s dashboard is more car-like in appearance than the bold lines seen in the D-Max. The simpler, horizontal-wide approach sees the air vents being placed on a single plane underlined by a silver trim piece, with the ones in the middle sandwiching the central head unit.

    The top of the dash also forgoes the covered storage space found in the D-Max, but in other areas, you’ll find carryover elements like the climate controls, gear lever, centre stack as well as the centre console with rear vents, although the last bit does gain knee pads on its sides.

    In terms of variants, the entire BT-50 range is fully-imported (CBU) from Thailand and starts with the 1.9L Single Cab MT, which is followed by the double cab 1.9L Mid MT, 1.9L Mid AT, 1.9L High AT and the range-topping 3.0L High Plus AT. For now, Bermaz Motor is only providing pricing for the top two offerings, with the remainder set to be revealed later on.

    Variants with a price tag include the 1.9L High AT that retails at RM124,179.20, while the 3.0L High Plus AT goes for RM143,218.40. These figures are on-the-road without insurance and inclusive of a five-year, 100,000-km manufacturer warranty.

    The ongoing sales tax exemption doesn’t apply here because pick-up trucks are classified as commercial vehicles and do not qualify for it. Colour options for the BT-50 include Rock Grey Mica, Gunblue Mica, Ice White, Red Volcano Mica and True Black Mica.

    All “1.9L” variants are powered by Isuzu’s RZ4E-TC 1.9 litre four-cylinder turbodiesel making 148 hp (150 PS) at 3,600 rpm and 350 Nm of torque from 1,800 to 2,600 rpm. The top variant gets the updated 4JJ3-TCX 3.0 litre four-cylinder turbodiesel that serves up 188 hp (190 PS) at 3,600 rpm and 450 Nm from 1,600 to 2,600 rpm. Selectable four-wheel drive and a rear differential lock are standard across the board, but depending on the variant, there’s either a six-speed manual (MT) or a six-speed automatic (AT) transmission fitted.

    Standard equipment on the workhorse 1.9L Single Cab MT include 16-inch steel wheels, LED headlamps and front fog lamps, bulb-type DRLs and rear fog lamp, automatic wipers, a 3.5-inch monochrome instrument cluster display, a basic head unit with two speakers, manual air-conditioning, manual seats, fabric upholstery, a 4WD transfer dial, a rear differential lock, two airbags, ESC, traction control, Hill Launch Assist, ABS, EBD and brake assist.

    The double cab 1.9L Mid MT and AT are identical in terms of kit and improve upon the single cab variant by including 17-inch alloys, keyless engine start, powered side mirrors with indicators, rear parking sensors, a 4.2-inch coloured multi-info display, a seven-inch touchscreen infotainment with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, six speakers, rear air vents, a reverse camera, Isofix child seat anchors, passive cruise control as well as blind spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert.

    Moving on to the 1.9L High AT, it builds upon the Mid duo with its auto-levelling bi-LED headlamps, LED DRLs, keyless entry, front parking sensors, roof rails (100 kg load limit), side steps, an auto-dimming rear-view mirror, a nine-inch touchscreen infotainment system, dual-zone climate control, and eight-way powered front seats. Safety kit also gets a bump too, as the 1.9L High AT comes with seven airbags and hill descent control to go along with items mentioned above.

    2022 Mazda BT-50 Malaysia spec sheet (left), Peninsular price list (right); click to enlarge

    As the most expensive variant, the 3.0L High Plus AT naturally gets the most goodies. It is the only one that gets 18-inch alloys, a remote engine start function, eight speakers and brown leather upholstery on top of all the 1.9L High AT’s features.

    That’s not all, as the range-topper (pictured here) is also the only variant that comes with a comprehensive suite of safety and driver assists, including the aforementioned blind spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert, along with multi-collision brake, adaptive cruise control, automatic high beam, lane departure warning, forward collision warning and automatic emergency braking.

    The BT-50 will face stiff competition in the pick-up truck segment here, with rivals like the D-Max, Toyota Hilux, Nissan Navara and Mitsubishi Triton all having flagship variants priced closed to the RM150k mark, while the Ford Ranger’s top option (if you don’t count the Raptor and Raptor X Special Edition) is a little over the price point. Which one gets your money?

    Check out for full specifications of the new Mazda BT-50.

  • Toyota Corolla Cross launched in Europe and United Kingdom, customer deliveries from second half 2022

    The Toyota Corolla Cross has made its debut in Europe and the United Kingdom, joining the hatchback, Touring Sports (estate) and sedan bodystyle variants on the continent. Based on the on the GA-C version of the Toyota New Global Architecture (TNGA) platform, the Corolla Cross measures 4,460 mm long, 1,825 mm wide, 1,620 mm tall with a wheelbase of 2,640 mm.

    A single powertrain variant is offered for the European and UK markets, where a 2.0 litre Dynamic Force naturally aspirated inline-four petrol engine produces 176 hp at 6,600 rpm and 202 Nm of torque from 4,400 rpm to 4,900 rpm. In FWD guise, the internal combustion engine is paired with a 113 hp/206 Nm motor. Supplying electric drive is a 180-cell lithium-ion battery pack rated at 4.08 Ah.

    The AWD version gets a similarly-sized ICE unit rated at 152 hp at 6,000 rpm and 190 Nm of torque from 4,400 rpm to 5,200 rpm, and additionally gets a rear electric motor rated at 41 hp and 84 Nm of torque. Total system output for the FWD powertrain version is 197 hp, and drive is transmitted through an eCVT; its 0-100 km/h sprint time is a claimed 8.1 seconds.

    Inside, the European-market Corolla Cross gets a configurable 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster as well as a 10.5-inch touchscreen infotainment display. Smartphone connectivity in this crossover comes courtesy of wireless Apple CarPlay for iOS devices, and wired Android Auto for Android mobile devices, along with the Toyota Smart Connect Package.

    The Corolla Cross offers cloud-based navigation, road events reporting, a voice agent as well as over-the-air software update capability. Additionally, the MyT app offers connected services that include driving analytics and vehicle location, as well as remote operation features such as climate schedule and door locking.

    In terms of safety, the European-market Corolla Cross receives the latest Toyota Safety Sense pack, and here its pre-collision system adds Acceleration Suppression at low speeds and Intersection Cut-In Traffic Assist, in addition to improved oncoming traffic detection and Intersection Turn Assist.

    The Toyota Safety Sense pack on the Corolla Cross for Europe also includes an emergency driving stop system, plus improved full speed range adaptive cruise control, lane trace assist and road sign assist.

    Joining the range of assistance systems from T-Mate are a blind spot monitor with safety exit assist, auto high beam, parking assistance with Toyota Teammate Advanced Park, panoramic view monitor, rear cross traffic alert with automatic braking and intelligent clearance sonar.

    For European customers, deliveries of the Corolla Cross will commence from autumn 2022, depending on each market, says Toyota.

  • John McGuinness to race Honda CBR1000RR-R Fireblade SP at 2022 Isle of Man TT in Senior TT

    Returning to the Honda Racing Corporation fold is John McGuinness, who will ride the Honda CBR1000RR-R Fireblade SP at the 2022 Isle of Man TT. Scheduled to take place between May 28 and June 11 next year, McGuinness will be teaming up with Glenn Irwin with the CBR1000RR-R making its Isle of Man TT debut.

    McGuinness, popularly known as “McPint” to race fans in reference to the alcoholic beverage, will be making his 100th TT race start. McGuinness has been instrumental in Honda Racing’s record at the TT, giving them 12 of 20 wins on a Honda CBR1000RR.

    “What can I say really, it’s like coming back home to the family! I’ve been in talks for a while with Neil and Harv and it’s just something that feels right; it’s the 30th anniversary of the Fireblade, I’ll be 50 years old and also celebrating my 100th TT start, so it feels like it’s meant to be. I’ve enjoyed a lot of success on the roads with the Honda and worked with Harv back in the day with HM Plant Honda, so I’m looking forward to getting back into the set-up and getting going,” enthused McGuinness.

    With the Fireblade name celebrating its 30th anniversary, Honda’s wins at the Isle of Man with McGuinness go back to 2006 in the Senior TT and Superbike categories. The Honda CBR1000RR-R SP 30th Anniversary Edition was recently unveiled at the 2021 EICMA show, while in Malaysia, the CBR1000RR-RR SP retails at RM198,800.

    GALLERY: 2022 Honda CBR1000RR-R SP 30th Anniversary

  • Polestar 3 electric SUV teased, set to debut in 2022

    Polestar has released a teaser image of its upcoming Polestar 3, which is slated to make its debut next year. Having previously been shown draped under a cover, the lines of the brand’s third model reveal a nicely proportioned shape, despite camo still obscuring details.

    No tech details yet about the SUV, which will be underpinned by Volvo’s second-generation Scalable Product Architecture (SPA2) platform, but it is expected to feature both single- and dual-motor drivetrains like the Polestar 2. The automaker did however reveal that the Polestar 3 will eventually offer autonomous highway piloting, utilising “the best-in-class lidar sensor from Luminar and centralized NVIDIA computing power.”

    Production of the 3 is set to take place in Ridgeville, South Carolina, which will make it the first Polestar model to be built in the US. The 3 will be followed by the 4, expected in 2023, and the 5, which will arrive on the scene sometime in 2024.

    The brand expects to sell around 29,000 vehicles this year, but is aiming to increase that volume ten-fold by 2025. According to Polestar CEO Thomas Ingenlath, the arrival of three new cars will also see Polestar increase its presence from 14 markets currently to at least 30 by the end of 2023.


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Last Updated 02 Dec 2021