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  • SPYSHOTS: G05 BMW X5 xDrive40i and G02 X4 xDrive30i spotted in Malaysia – both with M Sport kit

    It looks like BMW Malaysia is gearing up to introduce the new G05 X5 and G02 X4, after both models were sighted at Ingress Auto Puchong by reader Sean Leong.

    Starting with the larger of the two SUVs, the latest X5 first made its global debut back in June last year. The G05 is a much bigger car than the F15 model it replaces, with a length of 4,922 mm (+36 mm), width of 2,004 mm (+66 mm) and height of 1,745 mm (+19 mm). The wheelbase has also been increased by 42 mm to 2,975 mm.

    The design is new too, with an enlarged kidney grille, sharper headlamps with trademark hexagonal corona ring daytime running lights, new taillights and a revamped interior. This particular example comes with the M Sport kit, as the aggressive front apron clearly indicates.

    As for the interior, the BMW Live Cockpit Professional system is a standard fitment, and consists of a digital instrument cluster display and a 12.3-inch touchscreen on the dashboard. We also see what is likely Vernasca perforated leather in Cognac being used as the upholstery for the cabin.

    The layout of buttons on the left steering wheel spoke also suggests the X5 seen here doesn’t come with the Driving Assistant Professional package, which includes things like Active Cruise Control with Stop & Go.

    As for the powertrain, the badge at the rear points towards this being the X5 xDrive40i that features a 3.0 litre turbocharged inline-six. The mill makes 340 PS (335 hp) and 450 Nm of torque, paired to an eight-speed automatic transmission and all-wheel drive system. Performance-wise, the variant will sprint to 100 km/h from a rest in 5.5 seconds, and tops out at 243 km/h.

    Moving on to the X4, it too has been completely redesigned since February 2018, sporting more slimmer lighting units at the front and rear. Aimed at those who want a “coupe version” of the current G01 X3, the X4’s characteristic low-slung roofline has been retained.

    Just like the X5 mentioned above, the white X4 spotted also comes with the M Sport kit, with the front apron being divided into three sections by blacked-out portions of the bumper, forming “tusks” in the corner inlets.

    G05 BMW X5 (left), G02 BMW X4 (right)

    The dimensions have been revised too, as the new X4 sees an 81 mm increase in length to 4,752 mm, an extra 37 mm width to 1,918 mm, a height reduction of three millimetres to 1,621 mm, as well as a 52 mm gain in terms of wheelbase (2,864 mm).

    Inside, the G02 looks to come with the same upholstery as the X5, albeit with a different design. The higher-end Professional navigation (with a 10.25-inch touchscreen) is also seen here, while passive cruise control is another standard bit of kit as well.

    This being the X4 xDrive30i, as the “blurry” badging suggests, there’s a 2.0 litre turbocharged four-cylinder with 252 PS (248 hp) and 350 Nm. An eight-speed automatic and xDrive all-wheel drive system are paired with the engine.



  • Opel/Vauxhall Corsa-e – 6th-gen hatch goes electric

    Opel has revealed the sixth-generation Corsa, which will be wearing Vauxhall badges in the UK as before. The new Corsa will be available in electric form for the first time, and the car shown here is the Corsa-e.

    Now under the PSA Group alongside Peugeot, Citroen and DS, Opel/Vauxhall’s B-segment hatchback is underpinned by the French group’s CMP platform, as used by the recently-launched Peugeot 208. The Corsa will share powertrain options with the Peugeot; likewise, the Corsa-e uses the same internals as the e-208 EV.

    The Corsa-e will have a 50 kWh battery that can be fast-charged to 80% of its capacity in 30 minutes. Charging can be done via cable, wallbox or high-speed charging – and the battery is covered by an eight-year warranty. Battery levels can be checked with the “myOpel” app.

    Motor power output is 135 hp (100 kW) and 260 Nm, and the range one gets from a full charge is 330 km according to the latest WLTP standards (provisional figure).

    Unlike many EV press releases, this one claims “fun-to-drive” as one of the Corsa-e’s values. “The Corsa-e’s propulsion system combines emission-free driving with a maximum fun-to-drive factor. The highlights include responsiveness, agility and dynamic performance,” Opel says, pointing out that their EV’s 0-50 km/h sprint time of 2.8 seconds (0-100 km/h in 8.1s) is a match for sports cars.

    The compact footprint of previous Corsas has been retained. The new one is 4.06 metres long and its roof line is described as “coupe-like”, being 48 mm lower than its predecessor without detriment to headroom. The driver sits 28 mm lower, and Opel touts a low centre of gravity that benefits handling and dynamics. There are three driving modes – Normal, Eco and Sport.

    Tech highlights include IntelliLux LED Matrix lights, which aren’t common in this segment. The adaptive, glare-free lights contain eight LED elements controlled by a high-res front camera, which continuously adapts the light beam to traffic and surroundings.

    In the advanced driver assistance systems department, the new front camera traffic sign recognition now detects additional information, such as LED signs. Radar supported adaptive speed control and a sensor-based flank-guard make their debut in the Corsa.

    Order books for the all-new model will open in a few weeks, beginning with the Corsa-e, followed by the diesel and petrol versions. Check out the Corsa-e’s Peugeot sister here.

  • May 2019 week five fuel price – RON 97 goes up again

    It’s Friday, and as such another weekly fuel price update. If you’re a RON 97 user, not so good news, because the price of the fuel is going up for the coming week, and it’s quite a hike once more.

    As of tomorrow, May 25, RON 97 will be priced at RM2.76 per litre (up eight sen from RM2.68 last week). There’s no change in the price of RON 95 petrol, which continues to be pegged at RM2.08 per litre, the maximum price consumers pay no matter how high market prices push pump prices.

    Likewise, the pegged Euro 2M diesel continues to be priced at RM2.18 per litre, while Euro 5 diesel – which is always 10 sen more – continues to retail at RM2.28 per litre.

    Based on Automatic Price Mechanism (APM) calculations, RON 95 petrol would cost RM2.46 per litre while diesel would be priced at RM2.52 per litre without the price cap in place. The government added that it will absorb an estimated RM126.52 million in fuel subsidy costs for the period May 25-31.

    These prices will remain in effect until May 31, when the next set of fuel pricing adjustments will be announced. This is the 21st edition of the weekly fuel pricing format, which is announced every Friday. The weekly prices are in effect from Saturday until the following Friday.

  • 2019 Skoda Superb facelift revealed – updated styling; new Scout variant; plug-in hybrid powertrain option

    Skoda has finally unveiled the facelifted Superb, which receives a number of subtle styling updates since the third-generation model made its debut way back in 2015. Revisions to the available equipment and powertrains are also part of the facelift, and the Czech carmaker also brought back a rugged estate version as an alternative to the regular sedan and estate body styles.

    In terms of design changes, the Superb’s grille is now slightly larger, portrudes further down the bumper, and now features double slats. This results in an eight mm increase in length for the sedan (4,869 mm) and six mm for the Combi estate model (4,862 mm).

    The matrix LED headlamps are new too, and they sport updated graphics and sequential turn signals. Below them, the slim LED fog lamps on the redesigned lower apron double as cornering lights. Around back, the Skoda badge has been replaced with lettering instead to ensure similarity with other models like the Kamiq. There’s also a full-width chrome trim that extends into the taillights.

    The rugged estate version is called the Superb Scout, and it is essentially a successor to the Superb Outdoor that was offered with the second-generation model. Think of it like Skoda’s version of the Volvo V90 Cross Country, with plastic body cladding, a raised suspension (+15 mm) and underbody protection.

    Moving inside, the primary revisions for the Superb are chrome highlights on the instrument panel and door trims, illuminated storage compartments, a digital insturment cluster display, updated infotainment systems, along with new upholstery options depending on the selected trim level – Ambition, Style, Sportline, and Laurin & Klement (L&K).

    The L&K is considered the top trim level available to customers, and is available with an Alcantara roof lining, dedicated trim pieces and panels, trim-specific lettering and a Canton sound system. Additionally, it also gets chrome details on the exterior to make it out from a standard Superb.

    Skoda also noted the Superb comes with “Simply Clever” solutions to make it more practical, adding on wireless phone charger and a Space Organiser below the false boot floor for the Combi model.

    The latter can be supplemented with what it calls a Flexible Organiser to better partition the available boot space. Speaking of which, the Combi (and Scout) offers between 660 to 1,950 litres of cargo space, and the sedan between 625 to 1,760 litres.

    Engine options include three diesel TDI and three petrol TSI powerplants, all of which meet the Euro 6d-TEMP emissions standard. The TDI camp consists of the 1.6 litre (120 PS), 2.0 litre Evo (150 PS) and another 2.0 litre TDI (190 PS, 400 Nm) unit,

    As for the petrol options, they include a 1.5 litre (150 PS) and a 2.0 litre in two states of tune (190 PS and 272 PS, 350 Nm). Available transmissions for these engines are a six-speed manual or seven-speed dual-clutch DSG, with all-wheel drive being an option (standard for the Scout) in place of the standard front-wheel drive.

    For those who want something even more Earth-friendly, there’s the Superb iV that comes with a plug-in hybrid powertrain. The system consists of a 1.4 litre TSI engine (156 PS), an electric motor (115 PS or 85 kW), a 13 kWh lithium-ion battery and six-speed DSG.

    The total system output here is 218 PS and 400 Nm, with three drive modes on tap – Sport, E-mode and Hybrid. When running on electricity alone, the WLTP-rated range is up to 55 km, and up to 850 km when the petrol engine is brought into action.

    Recharging the battery with a will take three and a half hours when the vehicle is plugged into a 3.6-kW wall box via the Type 2 connector located at the front grille. A smartphone app allows for pre-conditioning and other telematic functions to be performed.

    There are some compromises with the plug-in hybrid model, and that is a smaller boot capacity due to the battery’s position on the chassis floor, just ahead of the rear axle. In the case of the sedan, the figure is down to 485 litres (with all seats in their normal position), and 510 litres in the estate.

  • Toyota RAV4, Mazda3, Volkswagen Touareg, Lexus UX, Range Rover Evoque all obtain 5-star ANCAP rating

    The Australasian New Car Assessment Programme (ANCAP) has evaluated five more vehicle models for 2019, and all have been awarded with a five-star rating. The models tested were the new Mazda 3, Toyota RAV4, Volkswagen Touareg, Lexus UX and Range Rover Evoque, with the maximum star rating being given to all variants of each model.

    The Mazda 3 scored a 98% rating in adult occupant protection (AOP), the highest of the five vehicles tested, and its high level of physical protection was praised by ANCAP CEO James Goodwin. The car scored 37.54 points out of a possible 38, and aced the full width frontal, side impact and oblique pole tests.

    In terms of child occupant protection (COP), the Mazda scored 43.81 points out of 49, while its road user protection returned a score of 39.22 out of 48 points. As for safety assist, its autonomous emergency braking (AEB) system also scored highly, although its lane support system (LSS) only retured adequate results in lane keep assist (LKA) tests.

    The Toyota RAV4, which went on sale in Australia and New Zealand this month, scored 35.7 out of 38 points in the AOP, giving it a 93% rating in the category. It did well in most of the AOP tests, although engineers noted an issue with the deployment of the side curtain airbag during the oblique pole test, incurring a penalty for that. For COP, the Toyota managed 43.85 points out of 49, while its road user protection score was 40.95 points out of 48.

    Next, the Volkswagen Touareg obtained a AOP score of 34 points out of 38, offering good protection of occupants in side impact testing but marginal levels of protection were noted for the chest of the driver in both frontal crash tests and the oblique pole test. Its COP was 43.37 points out of 49.

    The SUV didn’t fare so strongly in terms of road user protection, registering 34.61 points out of 48, with some marginal or adequate results being noted in some areas during pedestrian impact tests.

    As for the Lexus UX, the SUV scored well in AOP tests, managing 36.69 points out of a maximum 38, and received full marks for its side impact and oblique pole performance. It registed a score of 43.13 points in COP performance, while its road user protection obtained a 39.44 point rating.

    Finally, the new L551 Range Rover Evoque, which only goes on sale in the two countries from next month, but which already has an Euro NCAP five-star rating, as revealed last month. This has been carried over to the ANCAP result. To recap, the second-gen Evoque received 35.96 points out of a possible 38 for its AOP score, and the resulting 94% achievement is the highest ever achieved by any Jaguar Land Rover product.

    Elsewhere, its COP score was 43.74 points out of 49, and its road user protection (34.79 points) and safety assist (9.49 points out of 13) gave the SUV a 72% and 73% rating respectively in those categories.

    GALLERY: Mazda 3, 2019 ANCAP test photos

    GALLERY: Toyota RAV4, 2019 ANCAP test photos

    GALLERY: Volkswagen Touareg, 2019 ANCAP test photos

    GALLERY: Lexus UX, 2019 ANCAP test photos

    GALLERY: Range Rover Evoque, 2019 Euro NCAP/ANCAP test photos

  • AD: Cycle & Carriage, Petronas celebrate Raya festive season with Balik Kampung Like Never Before drive

    It’s nearing the Hari Raya Aidilfitri holidays, which means it will soon be time to balik kampung to your loved ones. The yearly experience is a joyful one for many, which was why Cycle & Carriage Bintang decided to rekindle it with its Balik Kampung Like Never Before drive.

    Held in partnership with Petronas, the drive whisked Mercedes-Benz owners and fans away on a whirlwind tour of Selangor, covering a distance of 120 km. The guests took the wheel of Mercedes-Benz vehicles to replicate the balik kampung experience, putting the latest Petronas Primax 95 with Pro-Drive to the test.

    “Malaysia is a vibrant country where diversity is celebrated all year round. The common underlying theme of the various cultural festivities celebrated is travelling back home and celebrating with our loved ones; in other words, to balik kampung.

    “The Ramadan month and Hari Raya celebration carry the same theme, as we travel back to our hometowns in the spirit of togetherness. We are thrilled to be a part of today’s adventure as a trusted partner of Petronas to bring to you an exhilarating experience you will not forget,” said Cycle & Carriage CEO Wilfrid Foo.

    The event, which kicked off at the Mercedes-Benz City Store at TREC, featured nine pitstops along the way, with participants even getting to play games that were popular when they were younger. These included Tapak Gajah (walking using coconuts as foot wear), Batu Seremban (playing with five stones) and Baling Selipar (bowling with slippers).

    Participants at the event had plenty good to say about Petronas Primax 95 with Pro-Drive, remarking on the performance, smoothness and efficiency of their cars on the fuel. Watch the video above to learn their responses in full, and don’t forget to catch the next instalment where these drivers push the cars to the limit!

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  • Honda Civic Type R track, rally concepts debut in UK

    The FK8 Honda Civic Type R may already be a potent piece of kit out of the box, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t scope for greater performance with a number of handy tweaks. The Japanese carmaker’s UK arm knows this, which is why it has unveiled two radically different tuner concept cars at the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) Test Day 2019 at the Millbrook Proving Ground.

    The first one is fairly straightforward. Developed by Team Dynamics Motorsport, which runs Honda’s successful British Touring Car Championship (BTCC) campaign, it takes the standard turbo hot hatch formula and turns it up to 11.

    Changes include a Superchips ECU, an ITG induction system, a PWR intercooler, a Dream sports catalytic converter and a Scorpion exhaust, altogether providing a 25% performance boost. Outputs from the 2.0 litre VTEC Turbo engine have jumped from 316 hp and 400 Nm of torque to a whopping 400 hp and 500 Nm.

    All that power still goes through the front wheels, so to keep the car on the road there are Eibach Pro performance springs, adjustable anti-roll bars and rear camber arms and Goodridge stainless performance brake hoses. It rolls on 19-inch Team Dynamics Pro-Race lightweight competition alloy wheels shod in sticky Dunlop DZ03G track tyres.

    But the more eye-catching project comes from Ralph Hosier Engineering in the shape of the Civic Type OveRland. Even though it’s only due to be ready in a month, the car has already been given a substantial makeover, turning it into an off-roading monster. The company says it was inspired by rally raid, overland and safari racers, and with the big arches and fat 255/55R18 BFGoodrich tyres it certainly looks that way.

    The suspension has been raised by over four inches (three inches at the rear) but retains the standard car’s torque steer-quelling Dual-Axis strut arrangement, while the rear end gets bespoke trailing arm mountings and modified transverse links. Both cars are built using pre-production units, wear signature Championship White paint and retain the standard six-speed manual gearbox and safety features.

    Although there are obviously no plans to put these cars into production, Honda UK says that both Team Dynamics and Ralph Hosier Engineering claim they will build one-off versions for “discerning” customers. So, get those chequebooks ready…

  • Proton Putra WRC – the Prodrive-built racer, up close

    We’ve previously seen images of Proton’s World Rally Championship contender, the Putra WRC that never made to the competition stages, though now we can see the rally car up close and in detail.

    A brief recap – rumour was that British racing outfit Prodrive was commissioned by Proton to build the Putra WRC to contest the 1998 season of the World Rally Championship, and though the national automaker had competition experience and success in the national championship with the Petronas EON Rally Team (PERT), top-flight rallying was another game, and thus Prodrive entered the picture.

    Given the Putra’s Mitsubishi bones, the Prodrive-built 4G93T would be a natural fit, and to that a six-speed sequential gearbox and four-wheel driveline was mated. Perhaps it was no surprise that the Putra WRC would bear more than a passing resemblance to the Subaru Impreza WRC98 racer, as both were Prodrive builds from a coupe base.

    Reasons for the Putra WRC project’s untimely demise remains conjecture, though now we have images of the car up close, and it appears to be receiving restorative attention. Check out the images here courtesy of Jay’s Speed-graphy.

  • Nissan Leaf Autech debuts with styling enhancements

    Autech, a tuning company that has a long history with Nissan, has unveiled its latest creation based on the latest Nissan Leaf for the Japanese market. Set to go on sale in July, the Leaf Autech boasts a number of styling enhancements, and can be ordered with either a 40 kWh or 62 kWh battery.

    Customers will also get six exterior colour options to choose from, including the Autech brand’s signature Aurora Flare Blue Pearl. Other choices are Super Black, Radiant Red, Brilliant White Pearl, two-tone Brilliant White Pearl/Super Black and Sunlight Yellow/Super Black.

    Certain parts of the car have also been given a metallic finish, like on the front apron, side mirrors, side sill trim and rear diffuser. In other areas, the LED headlamps also adopt a dot pattern, which is a common cue found on all Autech-brand cars. There’s even a set of 17-inch aluminium wheels with 215/50 profile tyres, along with Autech emblems.

    Inside, the Leaf Autech appears to be more upmarket than the standard car, with crystal suede and blue leatherette upholstery being used for seats. The leatherette material is also applied on the door cards and centre console, with finer details being the use of blue stitching.

    This theme is also followed for the black/blue leather sterering wheel, and to cap things off, there’s a dark wood dash inlay and the Autech emblem on the centre stack. Extra options that are available include floor mats, door visors, illuminated sill plates, license plate holder, license plate lock bolts and even a key case.

    Prices start from 3,931,200 yen (RM150,358) for the smaller-capacity battery model, while the e+ option is from 4,432,320 yen (RM169,528). Meanwhile, the price of the options range from 2,700 yen (RM103) to 39,150 yen (RM1,497).

  • Electric motorcycles only in India by 2025?

    Currently, India is the world’s largest market for motorcycles, with some 21 million motorcycles and scooters sold from 2018 to March 31, 2019, compared to 3.3 million cars and other vehicles. However, a draft proposal from policy think tank Niti Aayog might see only electric motorcycle and scooters in the 150 cc and below class allowed to be sold in the sub-continent by April 2025.

    This is a measure to cut down on pollutants and improve on energy consumption efficiency said Niti Aayog chief executive officer Amitabh Kant, who proposed a similar measure for three-wheelers which are ubiquitous on Indian roads as public transport and utility vehicles. The proposed implementation date for electric only three-wheelers in India is April 2023.

    A similar proposal is being forwarded for delivery vehicles and school buses, although reception from India’s automotive industry has been lukewarm, with most manufacturers expecting government incentives and subsidies for such energy saving measures reports Reuters.

    Electric vehicles of all types make up less than 1% of the traffic population in India, with the government expecting that number to rise to 15% in five years time. If accepted, the proposal includes incentives for the sale and manufacture of electric motorcycles and scooters while applying penalties for petrol driven models.


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Last Updated 18 May 2019


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