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  • Proton organises marketing competition for university students, centred around the Proton X70 SUV

    Proton has organised a nationwide competition for university students, challenging them to come up with the most creative way to market the Proton X70. The automaker says that it is seeking to find students with leadership qualities to lead meaningful marketing campaigns for the SUV.

    The “Intelligence that Inspires Challenge” competition aims to find out not just how creative young minds are at coming up with marketing ideas for an automotive subject, but will also explore their execution capabilities with regards to large-scale marketing campaigns.

    The contest – which is organised in partnership with the education ministry – began in April and will run until end-July, and is divided into three stages – an Elimination Round, Semi-Final and Final. A total of 51 teams from 20 institutions of higher learning across the country registered for the competition.

    The initial stage required the teams to develop a marketing plan to maintain the leading market position of the X70 as well as explore how the automaker can create a better engagement with the public. The number of teams were whittled to 19 for the second stage of the competition.

    The finale will take place on July 23 at the automaker’s Centre of Excellence in Shah Alam, where competitors will be judged by a panel of experts, which includes our man Hafriz Shah.

    To be crowned as champions, contestants will have to plan and deploy their campaign for the X70 in the city where their university is located in, as well as organise and execute an entire community relations event in their respective city and/or districts. In addition, they are also tasked with preparing an executable sustenance plan that cements the SUV’s sales leadership in various cities across Malaysia.

    Proton CEO Li Chunrong is looking at the competition to unearth hidden gems. “I strongly believe that leadership is cultivated from a young age, and so through this competition we hope to provide the opportunity to our next generation of leaders from established universities in Malaysia to shine on a national level and equip them with the skill-set to excel in the corporate world,” he said.

    “We also hope to instil strong communication skills among our young contestants as this is the foundation to working effectively in a team,” he added.

  • 2019 Lexus NX 300 range officially launched – now with Lexus Safety System+, lowered prices fr RM314k

    Lexus Malaysia has officially launched the 2019 Lexus NX 300, an updated version of the facelifted first-gen SUV that first surfaced in 2017. The facelift has been here since early last year, but the 2019 Lexus NX now combines lowered prices with improved equipment levels (majoring on active safety kit), making it a more attractive proposition.

    The company has dropped the hybrid NX 300h, leaving the Urban, Premium and F Sport as the available trim levels here. All are powered by the familiar 2.0 litre turbo-four with 235 hp and 350 Nm of torque from 1,650 to 4,000 rpm (the NX 300 name replaced NX 200t in the facelift). The twin-scroll turbo 8AR-FTS is paired to Dynamic Torque Control AWD and a six-speed conventional automatic transmission with shift paddles. 0-100 km/h is done in 7.1 seconds and top speed is 200 km/h.

    The biggest news is the addition of Lexus Safety System + (LSS+) on all variants. Lexus says that the suite of safety systems addresses three key areas of accident protection: preventing or mitigating frontal collisions, keeping drivers within their lane and enhancing visibility during night driving.

    LSS+ includes Pre-Collision System (PCS) with Brake Collision Assist, Lane Tracing Assist (LTA) and Lane Departure Alert (LDA), Active Cornering Assist (ACA) and Dynamic Radar Cruise Control (DRCC). The latter, which is a radar and camera-based active cruise control, operates from 0 km/h and has low-speed follow, which means that it can be used in city crawls as well.

    Also new and available across the board is an Adaptive High Beam system (AHS) for the three-beam LED projector headlamps that came with the facelift. AHS has 11 independent LED chips that will turn on/off as and when required to maintain maximum brightness while reducing glare for other motorists. Customers won’t notice this in the showroom, but they would definitely catch the sequential signal lamps (front and back), which moves along the NX’s signature “tick” LED daytime running lamps.

    As for the rest of the safety kit list, the 2019 NX comes with eight airbags (including driver’s knee airbag and front passenger cushion airbag, the latter supports seatbelt restraint by lifting the front edge of the seat cushion) and a reverse camera with dynamic guidelines. However, Blind Spot Monitor and Rear Cross Traffic Alert is only available on the Premium – the Urban and F Sport don’t get these.

    We move on to equipment. Besides LSS+ and the LED headlamps with AHS, the NX 300 range gets 18-inch two-tone alloys (225/60 tyres), front LED fog lamps with cornering function, powered steering adjustment, dual-zone auto air con with rear vents, electronic parking brake, eight-inch screen with remote touch controller and the Lexus Premium Audio system. The latter has eight speakers, an eight-channel Class D amp and Miracast/Bluetooth compatibility.

    Going for the Premium over the Urban nets one a handsfree foot-activated rear hatch, smart card key, leather and wood interior trim (silver trim for Urban), electrochromic side and rear view mirrors and smooth leather (synthetic NuLuxe leather for Urban).

    As for the seats, the Urban comes with eight-way powered front seats, while the Premium upgrades the driver’s chair to a 10-way powered one. The Premium also gets ventilated/heated front seats and power 60:40 folding and reclining rear seats. Buttons for the latter are located on the boot wall and below the driver’s AC vent. As mentioned above, BSM and RCTA are reserved for the Premium.

    Colour options include Amber Crystal Shine (dark brown), Red Mica Crystal Shine, Sparkling Meteor Metallic (blue), Sonic Quartz, Sonic Titanium, Graphite Black Glass Flake and Blazing Carnelian. The latter is the new orange-like colour you see in these pics.

    The NX 300 F Sport gets a more sporty appearance, plus a slightly different set of equipment. It does without the Premium’s smart card key, powered rear seats, foot-operated rear hatch, electrochromic side/rear view mirrors and BSM + RCTA.

    What it gains is exclusive F Sport kit, which includes “performance dampers” and Adaptive Variable Suspension (AVS, with 650 auto levels instead of 30 in the pre-facelift), which always comes with an additional Sports S+ mode on the Drive Model Select dial (Custom mode also available). Looks wise, look out for the jet black spindle grille with F-mesh pattern, and the 18-inch rims with Dark Premium Metallic finish, wrapped with wider 235/55 tyres.

    The F-Sport also comes with exclusive colour options, in and out. The cabin comes with “Naguri-style” F-Sport Metal Film trim and can be had in black, Flare Red or Mustard Yellow. F-Sport-only exterior paint options are Heat Blue and Lava Orange. Lastly, this sporty range-topping trim comes with special F-Sport seats; perforated leather for the steering (with F-Sport logo), gear knob and seats; and a unique meter panel with boost gauge and g-map.

    Prices for the CBU Japan-made SUV have been revised downwards. The NX 300 Urban is now priced at RM313,888 (it was RM326,000), while the NX 300 Premium is yours for RM333,888 (previously RM345,000). The NX 300 F Sport gets the biggest price reduction – from RM404,000, it now goes for RM349,888, a drop of more than RM54,000. All prices are on-the-road without insurance. Lexus Malaysia offers a five-year unlimited mileage warranty.

    Understandably, some equipment had to be sacrificed for the lower RRP and addition of new kit. The glass roofs have been deleted (previously, the Urban and F Sport came with a full panoramic glass roof, while the Premium featured a moonroof) and wireless charging in the old Premium and F Sport are no more. The previous RM404k F Sport had a 10.3-inch screen and Mark Levinson audio system, this one doesn’t. Overall, a good trade, we think.

    We also think that the Lexus NX is a good alternative to the usual German SUV suspects. It has been five years since yours truly rode in this car, and a short drive to Port Dickson and back in the latest NX 300 Premium reminded me of the Lexus’ qualities.

    I shared driving duties with colleagues Hafiz (BM) and Jason (CN), and we all agreed that the NX excels as a high-speed cruiser. Sure, it’s fast and responsive enough, but it was the NX’s effortless driving experience and comfort that stood out for us. Compared to its European rivals, the NX’s NVH levels are low. Between this and the similarly-priced and powered Mercedes-Benz GLC 250, the German is a fair bit stiffer, noisier and less friendly as a daily ride, IMHO. The Lexus also has a more comprehensive safety kit package and practical features such as ventilated seats.

    While seat comfort is good, the NX cabin isn’t the largest around. It’s feels nice and compact in front, and while there’s adequate head- and knee-room at the back, it’s clearly not the best for lounging. The electric recline function is nice, though.

    Whether you like the NX’s super sharp exterior design and button-heavy cockpit or not, will depend on personal taste. If you’re agreeable to its unique style, you’ll be happy to hear that the quality of materials used for the cabin are very good for its class. All touch-points are covered in supple leather or substantial-feeling plastics (save for the steering button shrouds), and there’s an overriding sense of solidity that doesn’t always accompany a premium badge.

    The NX’s audio system is notable. There’s no Mark Levinson logo around, but it sounds great. You don’t need to be an audiophile to rate it higher than the equivalent Merc’s Burmester or BMW’s Harman Kardon systems, but I asked one anyway. According to resident ICE-man Jason, the NX’s system is among the best he’s heard in the premium segment, and that’s because it does the basics – such as the “face” – right.

    The final note is with regards to the LSS+ Lane Tracing Assist function, which can tug at the steering wheel pretty hard when you’re out of line. Its tenaciousness can be quite disconcerting if you’re new to steering assist, or slightly annoying if you’re fully sober. Of course, LTA can be dialled down or turned off if you wish. The rest of the LSS suite works as advertised – it’s a good addition to the model.

    GALLERY: 2019 Lexus NX 300 Premium

  • SPIED: 2019 Nissan Leaf on transporters in Malaysia

    It looks like the new Nissan Leaf is on course for its mid-year debut in Malaysia, as announced during the KLIMS18 preview last year – three transporter loads of the second-generation all-electric vehicle were sighted earlier today on the Shapadu Highway leaving Klang by reader Edward Koh, meaning that the market introduction should be around the corner.

    Buyers will be able to pick from a variety of colours, not just the white that has been the usual message colour for the car. Aside from white, the Leaf will be available in grey, red, black and blue here.

    The new Leaf, which measures in at 4,480 mm long, 1,790 mm wide and 1,540 mm tall, features significant gains in performance and range over the first-gen model, the car’s EM57 electric motor now producing 38% more power and 26% more torque than the final version of the first-gen Leaf, at 110 kW (148 hp) and 320 Nm respectively.

    The local specification Leaf should be the standard variant with a 40 kWh lithium-ion battery, and it isn’t expected that the e+ 62 kWh battery version will go on sale here due to pricing constraints. No estimated pricing has been indicated as yet, but without local assembly, the Leaf won’t qualify for incentives under the current Energy Efficient Vehicle (EEV) scheme, so don’t expect it to be cheap.

    Operating range is around 400 km (378 km on a NEDC test cycle), which is well up from the 195 km – and later, 250 km – of the original. Charging-wise, the Leaf comes with two types of connectors located at its nose, these being Type 2 (AC charging) and CHAdeMO (DC quick charging) slots. The max AC charge rate is 6.6 kW, while it is 50 kW with DC quick charge.

    With AC charging through a wallbox, it will take roughly around five to seven hours for a full charge, since the maximum draw is limited to 6.6 kW from the OBC (the automaker initially listed eight hours to full from a six kW source). With a 230V/16A 3.7 kW single-phase public charge point or a 230V/13A 3.0 kW single-phase supply from a conventional domestic power socket, it’ll take roughly around 10-12 hours.

    More on the Nissan Leaf when the car makes its official debut. Read our review of the new Leaf, which we drove earlier this year in Hong Kong.

    GALLERY: 2019 Nissan Leaf

    GALLERY: Nissan Leaf, KLIMS18 preview

  • Kia Seltos teased again – SUV to be unveiled June 20

    Not long now until Kia’s new B-segment SUV, the Seltos, is unveiled. In yet another teaser, the company’s Indian arm confirmed that the car will make its world premiere just two days from now, on June 20.

    The video above shows much of the car’s design, including the distinctive LED headlights that feature two tiers – the slim main unit that flows into the “tiger nose” grille and a larger secondary tier, which as you can see in the thumbnail is used for the indicators. The daytime running lights intersect the grille, which features a mesh pattern that is repeated in the chrome surround.

    Other visible cues include the upswept Volvo XC40-style window line, a black roof, intricate two-tone alloy wheels with red-trimmed centre caps and broad two-piece tail lights joined by a full-width chrome strip. If all these are familiar to you, that’s because we’ve already brought you spyshots of an undisguised unit, caught during a commercial shoot.

    Previously released sketches show a contemporary interior design with a freestanding 10.25-inch infotainment touchscreen, metallic highlights in the air vents and a centre console that features what appears to be a prominent grab handle for the front passenger. Kia says that the Seltos will also get the Soul’s Sound Mood Lighting system, which pulsates according to the music.

    Like the European-market Stonic, the Seltos is expected to be based on the Rio and should be offered with some of the same engines. These include 1.25 and 1.4 litre naturally-aspirated four-cylinder petrol engines, a 1.0 litre turbo three-pot petrol and a 1.6 litre four-pot turbodiesel. Sales of the Seltos in Korea and other markets (except Europe) are slated to commence in the second half of this year.

    GALLERY: Kia Seltos spyshots

  • BMW Malaysia opens revamped 4S Centre in Kedah

    BMW Malaysia, together with distributor Lee Motors Autocare, have opened the doors to the revamped 4S Centre (Sales, Services, Spare Parts and Systems) in Kedah to better serve customers in the northern region of Peninsular Malaysia.

    The 15,000 square feet facility, which also serves as a BMW Premium Selection dealership, is able to display seven BMW vehicles and six BMW Premium Selection cars. It also features a new Grand Klasse (GKL) sales work station to go with the BMW Customer Lounge, Isetta Bar, and BMW Lifestyle merchandise counter.

    Lee Motors Autocare’s managing director, Eugene Lee said: “We have over a decade of experience in delivering Sheer Driving pleasure in the country. We believe and take pride in pushing the BMW brand forward by providing excellent service and enriching driving experience to our customers.”

    “With this refurbished space, we aim to exceed all expectations by giving our customers a fresh glimpse into the BMW brand.” Lee Motors Autocare is located at No. 86-C, Lorong Perak 18, 05150 Alor Setar, Kedah.

  • Renault and FCA remain open to merger, but Nissan and French gov’t issues will need to be addressed

    The conflagration that developed from the failed merger proposal between Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) and Renault may not have reduced everything to a cinder, it seems. The main protagonists still believe that a deal can be struck, although it will certainly need more delicacy to get it going the second time around.

    Renault chairman Jean-Dominique Senard is one of the believers. “The project remains, in my head, absolutely remarkable and exceptional,” he told shareholders last week. The folk at FCA also remain open to the idea, stating it was “firmly convinced of the compelling, transformational rationale’’ of its proposal, as Bloomberg reports.

    That the door remains ajar was fanned by a report that said an attempt to resurrect talks had taken place. Italian publication Il Sole 24 Ore reported that FCA CEO Mike Manley met with Renault executives late last week in order to kick off fresh discussions.

    Nonetheless, two pertinent issues will need to be addressed before any revival in discussions can give the deal any real headway. The first of which is for Renault to repair the strained relationship with Nissan, and the other is to look into the possibility of the French government easing its grip on the French automaker. The state has a 15% stake in the French automaker.

    Renault has said that patching things with Nissan (in which is has a 43.4% stake) is its priority, and it has been quite a fallout. It was reported that Nissan refused to study Senard’s proposed full merger, and the Japanese automaker also abstained from endorsing the FCA-Renault merger plan, which led to the French government blocking a vote and asking for more time to win Nissan’s backing. Eventually, FCA – citing “political conditions” in France – pulled the plug on the deal.

    While overtures to mend are supposedly underway, there still looks to be a fair bit of tussling going on. Renault has signaled that it will block Nissan from adopting an overhauled governance structure at an upcoming shareholder meeting unless it received seats on new Nissan committees. According to Reuters, the Japanese automaker is mulling over giving Renault some seats on planned oversight committees, but a decision has not been reached on the matter.

    Changing the French government’s stance might be an easier task to manage. Finance minister Bruno Le Maire has stated that France was ready to reduce its 15% stake in Renault to win Nissan’s backing. “We can reduce the state’s stake in Renault’s capital. This is not a problem as long as, at the end of the process, we have a more solid auto sector and a more solid alliance between the two great car manufacturers Nissan and Renault,” he said last week.

    Will the union survive the ride through this rocky road and emerge happier? As it goes, this one is shaping up to be a good soap opera, one that looks set to run and run, with plenty of twists along the way.

  • G02 BMW X4 CKD – officially priced at RM364,800

    BMW Malaysia has finally revealed the official price for the G02 BMW X4 xDrive30i M Sport, which goes for RM364,800. The locally-assembled Sports Activity Coupe (SAC) was first introduced at the end of May, and at the time the estimated pricing was set at RM380,000. Included in the price is a five-year unlimited mileage warranty, free scheduled service programme and BMW Tyre Warranty programme.

    To recap, the X4 in its sole xDrive30i M Sport trim is powered by the ubiquitous B48 2.0 litre four-cylinder petrol engine that makes 252 hp at 5,200 to 6,500 rpm and 350 Nm of torque from 1,450 to 4,800 rpm. As the name implies, drive is sent to all four wheels via an eight-speed ZF automatic transmission.

    The 0-100 km/h sprint is achieved in 6.3 seconds before topping out at 240 km/h, and it has an average fuel consumption rating of 7.8 litres per 100 km. As an M Sport model, the X4 gets adaptive suspension, variable sport steering, an electronic differential lock, hill-start assist, hill descent control and performance control.

    In terms of kit, the car gets adaptive LED headlights with LED daytime running lights, M Sport front bumper with horizontal LED fog lamps, body-coloured claddings, M Aerodynamics package, 20-inch double-spoke style 699 M wheels, and twin tailpipes. The brake calipers are painted in blue and come with “M” designation.

    At RM365k, the G02 BMW X4 CKD costs approximately RM35k less compared to its direct rival, the C253 Mercedes-Benz GLC 300 Coupe (also CKD; RM400k). The X4 is available in four colours – Alpine White, Carbon Black, Flamenco Red, and Phytonic Blue. You may watch the video review below, or alternatively read the written piece, here.

  • VIDEO: Toyota GR Super Sport put through its paces

    Toyota has big plans to put its Le Mans-winning technology on the road, coinciding with the upcoming introduction of the new top “hypercar” category in the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC). Its Toyota Gazoo Racing subdivision introduced the GR Super Sport Concept at the Tokyo Auto Salon last year, and now the team has released a video showing the car out on the track.

    The concept at the tuning trade show was simply a mockup, but the company did promise a production version at some point. So it’s good to see that development has progressed to the point that it could be put through its paces at the Fuji Speedway – in the hands of none other than Toyota president Akio Toyoda, together with Toyota Gazoo Racing boss Shigeki Tomoyama.

    Even with the swirly camouflage, we can see that the show car’s race-ready design has been carried over almost unchanged, with a prominent nosecone and large front and rear fenders that house the massive wheels and tyres, plus huge vents that lead out of the front wheels. There’s also a teardrop-shaped glasshouse and a stabilising fin, leading to the sizeable rear wing.

    However, we do see a number of tweaks that have already been made. One can now spot the triple hexagonal headlights, along with proper wing mirrors that replace the concept’s side-view cameras. We also get our first glimpse of the interior of the car, although it looks to be in its early stages with plenty of carbon fibre, race-spec switches and dials and a small display for the rear-view camera.

    The Toyota GR Super Sport Concept was shown at the Tokyo Auto Show last year

    Toyota has already confirmed that the car will share plenty of parts with the championship-winning TS050 Hybrid race car, including a 2.4 litre twin-turbocharged petrol V6 and a version of the Toyota Hybrid System-Racing (THS-R) to deliver a total system output of around 1,000 hp.

    The company will be required to build at least 20 cars to conform with the WEC’s new “hypercar” regulations to be introduced in the 2020-2021 season, which Toyota already committed to on the eve of the 24 Hours of Le Mans last weekend. The new race cars, which will be based on road-going machinery, will feature a power output of 750 hp and weigh 1,100 kg, with an optional hybrid system not exceeding 270 hp.

    There will also be restrictions on the how a four-wheel drive hybrid system is deployed to pare back the traction advantage compared to two-wheel drive entries, while a GTE-style Balance of Performance (BoP) system will also be employed to keep racing close.

    Aston Martin will also be contesting with a works-prepared version of its new Valkyrie. Exciting times.

    GALLERY: Toyota GR Super Sport Concept

  • Porsche 718 Cayman GT4, Boxster Spyder unveiled

    It is the return of the range-topping Cayman GT4 and Boxster Spyder for the Porsche 718 series of mid-engined sports cars, and according to Porsche, both top iterations of the Cayman and Boxster now share a technical base.

    For starters, both are powered by a 4.0 litre naturally-aspirated engine producing 420 PS at 7,600 rpm and 420 Nm of torque between 5,000 rpm and 6,800 rpm. Drive is sent to the rear wheels exclusively via a six-speed manual transmission, and the rear axle includes a limited-slip differential with Porsche Torque Vectoring (PTV). These outputs are 5 PS/5 Nm less than the track-going 718 Cayman GT4 Clubsport‘s.

    Thus equipped, the 718 Cayman GT4 and 718 Boxster Spyder both do the 0-100 km/h acceleration benchmark in 4.4 seconds, from a standstill to 160 km/h in 9.0 seconds and to 200 km/h in 13.8 seconds. Top speed for the Cayman in 304 km/h, while the Boxster attains a maximum of 301 km/h.

    In both the Cayman GT4 and Boxster Spyder, fuel consumption is rated at 10.9 l/100 km, with CO2 emissions at 249 g/km. The naturally aspirated powerplant features adaptive cylinder control, which cuts fuelling to one of the two cylinder banks on partial load for reduced fuel consumption, while a gasoline particulate filter takes care of further emissions.

    This engine isn’t an adaptation of the 9,000 rpm-capable unit from the 991-generation facelift GT3, but rather a re-bored and naturally aspirated version of the 3.0 litre turbo unit from the Carrera range, here forming a new engine family called 9A2 Evo, Autocar reports. The GT3 powerplant was left out for a number of reasons, according to head of Porsche GT cars Andreas Preuninger as told to Road & Track. The first is packaging, as the GT3 unit wouldn’t fit in the mid-engined Cayman and Boxster.

    Secondly, Preuninger told the magazine that the GT3 engine does not react very well to power reduction. ” A detuned version does not make sense, especially considering the packaging constraints,” he said. Meanwhile, the next consideration was cost; using a GT3 engine would have pushed prices even further upwards, he added.

    Aerodynamics revisions applied to the 718 Cayman GT4 see increases in downforce of up to 50% ‘without adversely affecting drag’, says Porsche, and both models benefit in this regard at the rear end from a newly-designed single-chamber arch rear exhaust silencer which creates space for a functional diffuser; this accounts for 30% of the rear axle downforce on the 718 Cayman GT4.

    Meanwhile, its rear wing produces 20% more downforce than its predecessor, translating to an additional 12 kg of downforce at 200 km/h. This is balanced at the front end with a large front spoiler lip, while airflow along the front wheels is calmed by air curtains. As for the 718 Boxster Spyder, the rear spoiler is a movable item which deploys at 120 km/h, and with its functional diffuser, is the first Boxster to generate downforce at the rear axle, says Porsche.

    Chassis setup on the 718 Cayman GT4 and 718 Boxster Spyder features the Porsche Active Suspension Management (PASM) system which sits the cars 30 mm lower than their mainstream siblings, while the Porsche Stability Management (PSM) can be deactivated in two steps. The 718 Cayman GT4 and Boxster Spyder have identical wheelbase and track widths, with the top Cayman 56 mm longer overall.

    Both the Cayman GT4 and Boxster Spyder feature aluminium monobloc fixed caliper brakes, with PCCB ceramic composite brakes optionally available. The top Boxster now also gets ‘specially adapted’ ultra-high performance tyres which are also used by the Cayman GT4, which add up to a 10-second quicker laptime around the Nurburgring Nordschleife for the coupe compared to its predecessor.

    The 718 Cayman GT4 can also be optionally specified with the Clubsport pack, which includes a steel roll bar, a hand-held fire extinguisher and a six-point seat belt for the driver. The 718 Boxster Spyder uses a manually-fitted roof mechanism for weight savings, and the lightweight convertible top ‘can cope with top speeds’, says Porsche.

    Both the 718 Cayman GT4 and 718 Boxster Spyder are now ready for orders, with prices starting from £75,348 (RM394,605) for the Cayman GT4 and £73,405 (RM384,424) for the 718 Boxster Spyder in the UK, and US$100,450 (RM420,041) for the Cayman GT4 and US$97,550 (RM407,915) for the Boxster Spyder in the United States.

  • BMW Motorrad R NineT Type 18 by Auto Fabrica

    Designed to be modded, customised and generally hacked around is the BMW Motorrad R nineT and the latest fevered dream to come out of the Auto Fabrica facilities is the R nineT Type 18. Based in the UK, Auto Fabrica is a custom motorcycle shop founded in 2013 by brothers Bujar and Gazmend Muharremi who produce cafe racer and flat tracker style bespoke bikes.

    Their latest creation is the Type 18 Design Study, based on the R nineT Scrambler, giving a nod to BMW’s history in aviation, and combines both traditional fabrication methods such as an English Wheel together with high-tech 3D printing. The minimalist styling of the Type 18 is very much a cafe racer but evokes a sci-fi flying machine feel at the same time.

    “The bike is a retro-modern, conceptual design study that pushes the limits of vehicle design,” says Bujar. In terms of the Type 18’s design, the Muharremi brothers started from sketches and 3D models before beginning work in 2018.

    The R nineT engine – 1,170 cc, air-cooled, producing 110 hp and 115 Nm of torque – is left mostly standard save for the addition of custom fabricated stainless steel exhaust pipes. Hand-finished aluminium plates adorn the cylinders while a quartet of winglet plates on either side of the Bi-Xenon LED projector headlight and the front forks house the turn signals.

    Aluminium as a fabrication material continues into the handmade fuel tank which contains an aluminium fuel cell and the Alcantra clad seat unit. Completing the build is suspension using BMW Motorrad S1000RR front forks containing Maxton SD25 cartridges and Maxton GP10 monoshock at the back, custom branded with the Auto Fabrica name.

    Finished off in BMW Sapphire Black, the R nineT Type 18 also features a custom speedometer by Gauge Watch Instruments with wheels taken from the R nineT Racer and braking by Brembo using BMW Motorrad Option 719 levers. In Malaysia, the BMW R nineT Scrambler retails for RM89,500 while the R nineT Racer goes for RM90,500.


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Last Updated 15 Jun 2019


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