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  • SPIED: BMW M5 xDrive prototype becomes reality

    BMW M5 AWD 1

    At first glance, this looks like just any other BMW M5. But our European spy photographers CarPix say there’s something different about this particular M5. According to them, they saw all four wheels of this particular car in action, spinning wildly in the snow, so they decided to follow it until it was parked, where they took the opportunity to peek under the car.

    This revealed front wheel driveshafts – this was basically a BMW M5 with xDrive all wheel drive. Now this isn’t the first M car with xDrive – if you consider the X5 M and X6 M as true M cars – which the M division do – then those would be the first M cars with xDrive.

    But there has never been an xDrive M5, and it looks like the next generation car could be the first. We say next generation because we already see the next generation 5-Series prototype on road tests and the 5-er has already gone past its mid-lifecycle update, so updating the current F10 M5 would not make sense.

    An xDrive M5 would likely feature a rear-biased setup to prevent understeer traits from cropping up – an attribute closely related to AWD layouts. Purists should view this move as more of a necessity than a form of dilution as future M5 and M6 models are most likely to boast much higher power figures.

  • SPIED: Is this yet another new Chevrolet Cruze?


    Our European spy photographers sent us these pix of what appears to be a sedan being tested by General Motors but they don’t seem to be in agreement on what it could be. Some are saying it’s an Opel Astra sedan, and some are saying this is yet another Chevrolet Cruze.

    We say yet another Chevrolet Cruze because we’re not quite sure about the Cruze’s lifecycle at the moment. The current Cruze was revealed in 2008, and facelifted in 2012. It should have gotten a full model change by now, but both left hand drive (in the US market) and right hand drive (Australian market as a Holden) markets have received a second facelift in 2014.

    Left: Chinese market new Cruze, Right: 2014 facelift first gen Cruze

    But at the same time, an all-new Chevrolet Cruze was launched in China, featuring completely different styling. The new design is sharper compared to the current car, featuring a more rakish front end. Shorter front and rear overhangs add further to a tauter visual presentation.

    However, the word after that was that whatever was launched in China was a model developed exclusively for the Chinese market, with the new global Cruze full model change still under development and slated for a possible end 2015 unveiling. Could this be the new Cruze, then?

  • Chery Maxime MPV appears on – RM84,300?

    The Chery Maxime’s official launch should be pretty soon, given that ads for the new MPV has appeared on car classifieds website Malaysia is set to be the first country in the world to get this new Chery MPV, and with the appearance of this ad we suppose the rumoured Chery Maxime name is confirmed.

    The new Chery Maxime is locally-assembled (CKD) at Oriental Assemblers in Johor. It measures 4,730 mm long and 1,823 mm wide with a 2,800 mm wheelbase.

    The ad lists the car for RM84,300, and the ad description reveals a bunch of specs like a 2.0 litre Acteco engine with dual variable valve timing mated to a CVT gearbox, all-round disc brakes, 16 inch alloy wheels, cruise control, ABS and EBD. The ad also mentions a 5 year, 150,000 km warranty.

    We previously featured an extensive pre-launch gallery of the Chery Maxime which we’ve embedded below. You can read the gallery story for extra details which we managed to gather at that point of time.

  • VIDEO: 2015 Nissan X-Trail 2.5 4WD walk-around tour

    With the 2015 Nissan X-Trail still basking in the hype of its recent launch, we can bet that most of you out there are eagerly awaiting a rundown of Nissan’s new seven-seater SUV. In the latest episode of our walk-around series, we delve into what makes the new car tick and what kind of hardware (and software) it’s packing in order to go up against the likes of the Honda CR-V, Mazda CX-5 and Hyundai Santa Fe.

    The new X-Trail comes in two flavours – a 2.0 litre 2WD variant and a 2.5 litre 4WD version with Nissan’s All Mode Intelligent 4×4-i system. Featured in today’s episode is the range-topper, which possesses a power output of 171 PS and 233 Nm of torque, coupled to Nissan’s Xtronic CVT transmission.

    Want to know more, then? Sit back, relax and click on as we explore the new features found on the 2015 X-Trail, inside and out – from its funky Around View monitoring system to whether or not the car really qualifies as a seven-seater per se. As for driving dynamics, stay tuned for our video review coming up soon.

    For those who prefer to do the research themselves, be sure to head on over for a comprehensive analysis of its tech specs and equipment. Or better yet, stack it up against its rivals in a side-by-side comparison and decide for yourself which one comes out on top. If you like (or don’t) the video, drop us a comment and subscribe to our Youtube channel!

  • BYD Tang unveiled – 505 hp, 720 Nm, 0-100 km/h in 4.9


    Forget the Porsche Cayenne Turbo S, the BMW X5 M, the Range Rover Sport SVR. Forget them all. What you’re looking at here is one of the fastest SUVs around – and it’s a (surprise, surprise) hybrid. The BYD Tang has just been unveiled in China, the SUV is slated to go on sale as a China-only model.

    The prodigious performance comes courtesy of a 2.0 litre, turbocharged petrol engine with 205 hp and 320 Nm of torque, paired to two electric motors – each one producing the equivalent of 150 hp and 200 Nm of torque. Add it all up and you get 505 hp and 720 Nm – in other words, actual mind-blowing numbers.

    Putting all that power to every corner is a six-speed automatic transmission. Look closer and you’ll be able to spot a ‘5-4-2′ inscription right above the front wheel fenders – which stands for a 0-100 km/h time of less than five seconds, four-wheel drive and a fuel consumption figure of 2 litres per 100 km (50 km/l).


    Four driving modes enable the driver to select between an-electric only mode with the rear motor driving the rear wheels. Next up is a range-extender mode in which the petrol engine supports the front electric motor along with the rear-driven motor.

    Curiously, there is an option to disable the rear motor completely, with only the front electric motor powering the front wheels – again with the help of the petrol engine. Finally, an all-out mode powers up both motors and the petrol engine, providing maximum performance.

    The inside is rather different from what we can expect of a China-made car – that is to say, pretty classy. A large touchscreen infotainment system takes precedence on the centre console while a smattering of wood and leather throughout the cabin helps keep things oh-so-chic.


    Additionally, two limited edition variants of the BYD Tang (named after the “Tang Dynasty”) are also available – the Tang Limited and Tang Ultimate. The 98-unit Limited variant adds on red alloy wheels and a refreshed interior while the 200-unit Ultimate version gets a host of performance upgrades.

    The result? A sportier bodykit is included along with a drop in the century sprint time which sees the Tang Ultimate take only 4.4 seconds to hit 100 km/h. Prices for the Tang Limited begin at RMB300,000 (RM172,950) but hybrid exemptions in China could see prices plummet to just RMB220,000 (RM126,830).

  • Peugeot Lounge enters Malaysia Book of Records


    The Peugeot Lounge has etched its way into the Malaysia Book of Records as the country’s “First Automotive Airport Lounge.” Speaking at the certification award ceremony, COO of Nasim, Datuk Samson Anand George, said “the Peugeot Lounge gives our customers one of the best ownership experience by providing a comfortable departure point for our customers to unwind and relax before boarding their flights.”

    Opened in 2013, the lounge provides owners with WiFi connectivity, Astro services, complimentary refreshments, flight information display as well as a meeting and VIP room. Exclusive Peugeot merchandises are also on sale at the lounge.

    Located on the first floor of the Subang Skypark Terminal, owners need only to present their boarding pass along with either a Peugeot Privilege card or car key to enjoy the facility. Owners are also allowed to be accompanied by one guest, provided he/she presents a valid boarding pass.

  • Volvo S60 T5 facelift at Glenmarie showroom – RM269k

    Volvo S60 Facelift 1

    Earlier today, we heard that the yet-to-be-launched facelifted Volvo S60 in T5 trim (a T4 model is also listed on Volvo’s Malaysian website) was on display at Federal Auto’s Glenmarie showroom, so we popped by after the launch of the Nissan X-Trail to get a closer look at the refreshed Swede. Thanks to sudonano for the tip!

    In February 2013, Volvo updated the S60, V60 and XC60 (the last of which is already on sale here). As such, the S60 gets a completely reworked front end – a new, more defined bonnet, more angular headlights, a wider front grille ditching the previous chrome surround and auxiliary lights on either side, plus more stylish lower air intakes.

    The rear bumper insert has also been revised, with the twin round tailpipes on this T5 model now receiving chrome finishers. Also on this car are new 17-inch “Sadia” alloy wheels, compared to the “Njord” rollers on the previous T5.

    Volvo S60 Facelift 5

    Inside, there’s a new gloss black illuminated gear knob that replaces the previous transparent piece, revised interior lighting, new silk metal frames around the air vents and – on the T5 at least – a digital instrument cluster taken from the V40 and facelifted XC60.

    Unlike our facelifted XC60, the updated S60 won’t get Volvo’s new range of Drive-E engines (at least not initially), instead soldiering on with the existing T4 1.6 litre and T5 2.0 litre Gasoline Turbocharged Direct Injection (GTDi) four-pots, derived from Ford’s EcoBoost mills.

    The T4’s B4164T motor produces 180 hp at 5,700 rpm and 240 Nm of torque between 1,600 and 5,000 rpm, while the T5’s B4204T7 mill delivers 240 hp at 5,500 rpm and 320 Nm between 1,800 and 5,000 rpm. As before, both engines are mated to a six-speed PowerShift wet dual-clutch transmission, sending power to the front wheels.

    Volvo S60 Facelift 3

    From what we can tell, the S60 looks to keep its standard equipment count from before – there’s keyless entry and start, leather upholstery, power-operated front seats with driver’s side memory, dual-zone auto climate control, a Sensus infotainment system and Blind Spot Information System (BLIS, now radar-operated instead of using cameras).

    Also spotted on this T5 are front parking sensors, a grille-mounted radar for the adaptive cruise control as well as sensors and cameras on top of the windscreen for the Collision Warning with Full Auto Brake and Pedestrian Detection. All of these items were reserved for the top-spec car before the facelift, and we expect them to remain so,

    The price list at the dealership lists a retail sticker of RM268,888 on-the-road without insurance for the T5 (over RM10k more than the old car’s RM255,000), inclusive of a five-year warranty, a five-year free service package and a five-year Volvo On Call package. A price for the T4 variant has not been released yet.

  • AD: Auto Bavaria Grand Special continues until January 31 – best time to take home your dream BMW!


    The three-day Auto Bavaria Grand Special event in Bukit Jalil last weekend received an overwhelming response from prospective BMW owners. So much so that Auto Bavaria is extending the Grand Special offers until January 31 at all of its showrooms in the Klang Valley, Penang and Johor Bahru!

    If you missed the big event last week, don’t worry, you can still walk into any Auto Bavaria showroom to explore the attractive cash rebates and financing packages* starting from RM2,988 per month for the BMW 5 Series. Promotional offers on a wide variety of BMW Lifestyle merchandise and accessories continues with other special offers on selected items.

    Little girl playing in the park with her parents

    Furthermore, you get to enjoy up to 5 years’ complimentary BMW Service and Repair Inclusive (BS+RI)* instead of 3 years. This means that you get an extra two years over the standard three years to make your ownership experience enjoyable and worry-free.

    The Auto Bavaria Grand Special 2015 follows the inaugural event held last year. Both events have proven to be successful as hundreds of individuals drove home in their dream BMWs. This year, Auto Bavaria is extending the Grand Special offers beyond the initial three-day period thanks to the overwhelming response. From now until 31 January 2015, just walk in to any Auto Bavaria showroom between 9.00am to 6.00pm to choose the right BMW for you.

    For more information, visit the official Auto Bavaria Facebook page.

    *Terms and conditions apply

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  • New Mazda Body and Paint Repair Centre launched


    In conjunction with the launch of the all-new Mazda 2, Bermaz Motor took the opportunity to unveil the new Mazda Body and Paint Repair Centre. Located just 300 metres down the road from its Glenmarie showroom along Jalan Pelukis, the state-of-the-art centre boasts an extensive built-up area of 67,165 square feet.

    Touted as the latest addition to augment its aftersales services, the new facility offers customers – on top of the usual range of bodywork repairs – the ability to opt for additional paintwork protection and glass tinting services.

    “This centre specialises in Paint and Body repairs and is equipped with the latest equipment to handle body damages that need re-alignment and straightening. Also, complete body spray painting can be undertaken with the availability of the advance spraying booths and computerised paint mixers,” said Datuk Seri Ben Yeoh, CEO of Berjaya Auto, parent company of Bermaz Motor.

    Additionally, the facility will also serve as a new training centre – adding to the automaker’s on-going training regime for its aftersales personnel. The grounding syllabus is conducted in collaboration with Berjaya Sompo and paint/coating specialist, Kansai Paint of Japan.

  • Mitsubishi to exhibit a “legend” at 2015 Chicago show


    Mitsubishi is set to showcase a “legend” at the upcoming 2015 Chicago motor show in February. Now, before Evo fans can start running across the street, screaming in joy, it should be known that Autoblog has revealed the much-awaited “legend” is no more than just the Mitsubishi GC-PHEV concept.

    The concept SUV made its debut two years ago at the 2013 Tokyo motor show and is now slated to have its official unveiling in North America. Alex Fedorak, head of PR at Mitsubishi Motors North America, stated that the vehicle is “a designer’s rendering of what a new Montero (Pajero) could look like.”

    Mitsubishi Concept GC-PHEV 04

    Fair enough, then, as both the Pajero and Evolution nameplate do carry a lot of weight amongst the Mitsubishi faithful. With that said, fans of the latter can keep their fingers crossed as Mitsubishi product chief, Kanenori Okamoto, confirmed that the Evo will live on in the guise of a high-performance SUV.

    Will Mitsubishi stay true to its promise and bring back a jacked-up Evo – maybe as a competitor to the Mercedes-Benz GLA 45 AMG? Perhaps the Pajero will receive a major revamp that will see it move upmarket to compete against the Europeans? Only time will tell.

    GALLERY: Mitsubishi XR-PHEV concept

    GALLERY: Mitsubishi GC-PHEV concept


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