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  • Alfa QV badge set to rival BMW M and Mercedes-AMG

    150624_Alfa_Romeo_Giulia_1B

    Alfa Romeo’s Quadrifoglio Verde badge, the familiar four-leafed clover graphic, is about to become the hallmark of exclusive performance for the marque. The plans for a more exclusive QV range in the future were hinted by Fiat Chrysler Automobiles Australia CEO Pat Dougherty to CarAdvice.

    “The QV designation will soon be reserved for the Giulia and above, meaning it will come off the Giulietta and models at that end of the Alfa family,” he told the publication. He elaborated that the QV badge will remain unique to the Alfa line-up, saying the Fiat Chrysler experience of splitting SRT into a standalone brand, only to then reinstate it as a Dodge-specific programme as a prime example of what not to do with the QV badge.

    “QV will be synonymous with the likes of BMW M and AMG, and would not operate as a standalone brand,” he stated. The publication goes on to speculate that the future of hot hatches within the Alfa Romeo line looks rather murky, but since the next Giulietta will be rear-wheel driven, expect it to take on the quicker BMW 1 series models soon.

    alfa-romeo-mito-qv-2014-2

    Interestingly, Alfa Romeo’s Quadrifoglio Verde badge was not just a symbol but also a good luck charm for racing driver Ugo Sivocci, who drove the Alfa Romeo RL back in 1923. Sivocci’s car was then painted with the green cloverleaf on a white background, and the motif soon became Alfa’s good luck token.

    Unfortunately, Sivocci tragically lost his life in a testing accident with the Alfa Romeo P1 during a practice session for the Italian GP at Monza in September on the same year. His car carried the number 17, which was never assigned to Italian racing cars ever again.

    Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio

     
  • VIDEO: Lexus Hoverboard to debut on August 5

    You’ve seen the first teaser of it and you’ve also seen skateboarder and official Lexus Hoverboard tester, Ross McGouran, say how it feels like it’s “floating on air.” This time, Lexus has released another snippet of its hoverboard, only this time, you actually see it hovering across your screen – for a full seven seconds, that is.

    Get this, for fans who have been holding on for the much-awaited hoverboard, it’s slated for an August 5 debut! So we’ll get to see it in action at the Lexus hoverpark, a specially-made skatepark that is rumoured to be in Cubelles, a village near Barcelona, Spain.

    On how the the board’s levitation is made possible, well, if you’ve heard of the term “maglev” then you should have some clues as to how it works. In short, it uses superconductors and magnets to achieve the lift that you see in the video.

    Additionally, for the hoverboard to work, it requires the superconductors to be kept cool, very cool, by a whole -210 degrees Celsius, which is why liquid nitrogen is needed here, hence the very-awesome looking smoke that you see being discharged from the sides.

    If you’re still not sure what the Lexus hoverboard is all about, it’s an innovative gizmo that’s part of the Japanese premium brand’s Amazing in Motion series of projects, which also includes the “Strobe” advertisement which was shot here in our own backyard, Kuala Lumpur. We want a hoverboard too, so we can fulfil out Marty McFly fantasies!

     
  • Bus services to be rerouted for KL City Grand Prix

    rapidkl-double-decker-bus

    More news on the upcoming KL City Grand Prix that’s due to take place on August 7-9 in the heart of the city. In a statement issued by the Land Public Transport Commission (SPAD), several bus services operating within the city will be rerouted to make way for the inaugural race from 6 am on August 7 to 6 pm August 8.

    Services affected include the GOKL lines, RapidKL, Setara Jaya and Metro buses along stretches of road that include Jalan Ampang, Jalan Sultan Ismail, Jalan Raja Chulan, Jalan Perak and Jalan P. Ramlee as well as the Ampang corridor and Pandan routes.

    kl-city-gp-bus-service-reroute

    Click to enlarge.

    Diversions on GOKL’s Green Line will see the service commence from the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre before heading towards Jalan Pinang, Jalan Kia Peng, Jalan Bukit Bintang, Jalan Pudu, Jalan Imbi, Jalan Kampung Pandan, Jalan Barat, Jalan Tun Razak, Jalan Stonor to Jalan Kia Peng and back.

    The rerouted Purple Line starts from the Titiwangsa Hub before plying Jalan Pangkor, Jalan Pahang, Jalan Dang Wangi, Jalan Raja Laut and Jalan Ipoh. Refer to the table for a more detailed look at the various stops. GOKL’s Blue Line will be rerouted from the Pasar Seni Hub to Jalan Hang Kasturi, Jalan Tun Tan Cheng Lock, Jalan Pudu, Jalan Imbi, Jalan Raja Chulan, Jalan Tun Perak, Jalan Tun H.S. Lee and Jalan Sultan.

    kl-city-gp-bus-service-reroute-2

    Click to enlarge.

    As for RapidKL (U26, U27, U28, U29, U30, U332), Metrobus (M28, M79) and Setara Jaya (SJ79) services, the rerouting will see buses depart from Jalan Ampang towards Persiaran Binjai, Lorong Kuda, Jalan Tun Razak and back. The U24 RapidKL service will be rerouted from Jalan Raja Chulan to Jalan Tun Perak.

    Additionally, Metrobus (M30) and Setara Jaya (SJ30, SJ32) services will be redirected from Pandan towards Jalan Pudu, Jalan Brunei, Changkat Thambi Dollah, Jalan Sultan Ismail, Jalan Raja Chulan, Jalan Pudu and back. Throughout the period, services will utilise existing bus stops along the alternative routes. Services are expected to return to normal on August 9.

     
  • Jazeman Jaafar offered an F1 seat for 2016 season

    jazeman mercedes

    Malaysia is set to have its second-ever F1 race driver in 2016 – Jazeman Jaafar has been offered a race seat with one of the Mercedes-powered teams in Formula One next season, The Star reports.

    Aside from reigning world champions Mercedes AMG, the company also supplies engines to three other teams – Force India, Lotus and Williams. It was not reported which of these three the 22-year-old will be driving for.

    “This is the pinnacle of motorsports. I’ve got an offer to do a full season next year. I’m ready to take it up a notch – my results over the last few years speak for themselves,” Jazeman said.

    The move to F1 will cost him a fair bit though. Jazeman, who obtained his FIA Super Licence in Portugal last September, will have to secure his own sponsorship backing in order for the dream to become reality. The report adds that on the average, a driver will need an annual budget of around 15 million euros (RM63 million) per season.

    “This kind of opportunity only comes once. I may not get the chance next time. It’s all about having the funding to make it happen and that’s something I hope the relevant parties can come in and support me,” he said.

    Jazeman began competitive racing in 2006, starting off in the Formula Renault Asia series before progressing on to Formula BMW Asia the following year, where he emerged as champion at the end of the season.

    In 2010, he made the switch to the British Formula Three championship, competing in the series until 2012. He finished as runner-up in the championship that season. Since 2013, he has been racing in Formula Renault 3.5, and in May this year notched his first win in the series at Monaco.

     
  • SPYSHOTS: Next-gen Honda Civic captured in detail!

    Civic.sd02

    Get hyped, everyone! The latest batch of spyshots of the next-generation Honda Civic has landed on our desks and this time, it looks to be one heck of a detailed set. While the entire car appears to be wearing a load of camouflage still, our photographers have managed to capture the details on the new Civic thanks to the presence of a pair of parked prototypes.

    While several body styles have been mooted for the tenth-generation Civic, the pair caught on camera today are of the sedan variety so we’ll focus on that instead. Beginning at the front, one can see that the all-new Honda Civic will adopt a more aggressive outlook, reminiscent of the face first seen on the Honda Civic Concept. Also, LED headlights will be available on higher-end models as proven by one of the two mules.

    Elsewhere on the outside, one will be able to spot a small camera, mounted at the very tip of the front passenger side mirror. As such, the next-generation Honda Civic will feature Honda’s LaneWatch blind spot safety feature as the driver will be able to activate the camera via a small switch located on the left-hand stalk. We’ll get to the interior in a bit.

    In profile, one should be able to notice that the duo were captured with different sets of wheels and tyres. This would indicate a higher-end trim plus a more affordable, basic variant. The cheaper model gets 16-inch wheels with spiral motifs wrapped in 215/55 Hankook tyres while the more upmarket version receives 17-inch units with twin, five-spoke designs, wrapped in 215/50 Firestone rubber.

    Aside from that, the new Honda Civic appears to have adopted a fastback-like roofline for a more streamlined silhouette. At the rear, not much can be gathered as copious amounts of camouflage were still in the way. What we can see, however, are the stylised arrangement of the rear lamp assemblies that should cut deep into the boot assembly, a cue echoed on the Civic show car.

    Also, the pair appear to have been equipped with contrasting exhaust systems – one unit with a single outlet while the other possesses a twin outlet arrangement. Perhaps the twin outlet model is equipped with Honda’s sportier, all-new turbocharged 1.5 litre VTEC engine – figures rumoured to be as high as 201 hp/260 Nm – while the entry-level model gets powered by the same 1.8 litre mill with 139 hp/174 Nm.

    Civic.sd18

    The next-generation Honda Civic is expected to be offered with a choice of either a CVT or an eight-speed dual-clutch transmission – the base model will likely be sold with a manual transmission. Speaking of the different trims, it should be noted that the prototype with LED headlights is also equipped with an interior trimmed in leather and heated rear seats.

    Which brings us to the interior, which is touted to be just as revolutionary. While the dash remains covered in this batch (it’s uncovered here), we can deduce that the two-tiered centre stack seen in the current Civic will seize to feature. The instrument cluster itself is now shielded under a single, sculpted hood for a cleaner layout while the parking brake lever has disappeared altogether, replaced by an electronic unit.

    Honda’s renowned skills in packaging are also evident in the way the centre stack flows to reveal two large storage bins fore and aft of the gear shifter. Also, the fabric-covered centre arm rest appears to be hiding even more storage space beneath it. A multifunction steering wheel is captured here but expect the full array of buttons to be present only on the top-spec model.

    Throughout the cabin, it is clear that the new Civic is aiming higher than ever with higher-quality materials such as leather employed liberally. An added sporting touch is added via the inclusion of sewn-in “carbon-fibre” strips. Rear occupants will be delighted to know that legroom has been increased while buttons to control the climate system are to be found just below the front arm rest.

    With all that has been mentioned, it certainly looks like the all-new, tenth-generation Honda Civic will be ready to take on the opposition when it receives its global debut in the near future. What do you think? Does the new Civic have what it takes to outgun the rest of the pack?

     
  • Volkswagen overtakes Toyota in 2015 first half sales

    Der neue Volkswagen Passat

    Strategy 2018 seems to be right on track for the Volkswagen group – the German automaker has surpassed Toyota in terms of total vehicle deliveries in the first half of 2015. The numbers suggest that competition between Wolfsburg and its Japanese rival is expected to intensify for the remainder of the year.

    Volkswagen – including sub-brands such as Scania and MAN – moved an accumulative total of 5.04 million vehicles worldwide, while Toyota (including Daihatsu and Hino) trailed slightly behind with 5.02 million vehicles delivered, a mere 20,000 vehicles separating the brands.

    Bloomberg reports that Europe was one of the greatest contributors to Volkswagen’s achievement in the first six months of the year. The report adds that the boost in demand for automobiles in its own domestic market has helped cushion the impact from increasingly challenging markets such as China, Russia and some South American and South-East Asian countries.

    The figures, however, are lower when compared to that for the corresponding period last year – the German automaker’s sales have fallen by 0.5% compared to first six months of 2014.

    porsche macan s-1

    It was reported that the new Volkswagen Passat and the Porsche Macan helped the brand’s sales in Western Europe, boosting it by more than 6%, while Toyota’s market demand was propelled by the Lexus NX and the Toyota RAV4 compact SUV in the US.

    Last year, Toyota took the honours as the world’s top automaker with total sales of 10.23 million units sold worldwide. Volkswagen finished second with 10.14 million, with General Motors in third with 9.92 million vehicles.

    On the local front, Volkswagen has also managed higher figures for the first six months – the company registered an increase of 38.1% vehicles sold to date this year compared to the total number of vehicles sold for the first half of 2014.

     
  • AD: Get a BMW demonstrator model from RM1,928 a month* at the Wearnes Autohaus Raya Open House

    Wearnes_Raya_Digital_PaulTan_630x448 150728

    Perfection is never just for display. Well, you can now own BMW demonstrator models from just RM1,928 a month* at the Wearnes Autohaus Raya Open House this August 1 and 2 in Segambut (Kuala Lumpur), and August 8 in Tebrau (Johor Bahru).

    Just like new, these low-mileage beauties will be available at both Wearnes Autohaus showrooms. As always, BMW Credit schemes will be available, with various financing solutions to fit your needs.

    Best yet, all new BMW models now come with a five-year unlimited mileage warranty with free scheduled service*. Those interested can contact the Segambut (03-6259 8221) or Tebrau (07-361 9888) showrooms to book a test drive.

    wearnes exterior

    Other than showroom sales, Wearnes Autohaus provides a long list of aftersales services too. These include BMW Service + Repair Inclusive*, Condition Based Servicing, Fast Lane Service, BMW Shuttle Service, 24-hour Drop-off Service, Wearnes Autohaus Body and Paint Shop, wheel alignment and balancing service, air-condition service, tyre replacement, vehicle polishing and interior detailing.

    On top of that, BMW Original Parts Accessories plus BMW Lifestyle Merchandise can also be purchased from all Wearnes Autohaus showrooms.

    Interested? You can email your enquiries in, visit Wearnes Autohaus online or check out their Facebook page for more information. You may also drop by the showrooms or call them at:
    wearnes maps
    * Terms and Conditions apply.

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  • Renault Captur previewed in Malaysia, fr RM118k est

    Renault Captur MY preview 1

    As promised, TC Euro Cars is now previewing the Renault Captur at the Bangsar Shopping Centre in KL. The cars on show here, brought in from Japan, are not 100% identical to what we’ll be getting in Q4 2015, but it’s close we’re told.

    At present, the Captur is the most popular B-segment SUV in Europe, where it competes against the Peugeot 2008, Opel Mokka, Ford EcoSport and Nissan Juke. Based on the Clio supermini, the Captur has a compact footprint – at just 4,122 mm long, it’s visibly smaller than compact SUVs such as the Honda HR-V and Mitsubishi ASX.

    The Captur is powered by a 1.2 litre TCe 120 turbocharged engine with 120 hp and 190 Nm at 2,000 rpm. The downsized motor is paired to a six-speed EDC dual-clutch gearbox and power goes to the front wheels. 0-100 km/h is done in 10.9 seconds while top speed is 192 km/h.

    Renault Captur MY preview 2

    There’s an ECO mode that restricts torque, alters the gearbox mapping and controls the climate for up to 10% better fuel consumption. Claimed combined fuel consumption is 5.4 litres per 100 km.

    Nothing unusual under the skin – MacPherson struts up front and a torsion beam at the back, with front ventilated discs brakes and rear discs. The two-tone exterior is a big part of the Captur’s styling and it will be available in four body/roof combos – orange/black, blue/ivory, beige/black and ivory/black. Wheels are 17 inches in diameter (205/55 tyres) and are in dual-tone as well.

    Standard equipment include auto headlights and wipers; a MediaNav system with a seven-inch touchscreen and AUX, USB and Bluetooth connectivity; reverse camera; keyless entry and push start; and climate control. Safety wise, the five-star Euro NCAP French crossover comes with four airbags, ESC and Hill Start Assist.

    Renault Captur MY preview 3

    The Captur’s removable, multi-position boot floor is reversible, with carpeting on one side and plastic on the other. The boot holds up to 455 litres of cargo. The rear bench slides 160 mm fore/aft, while large front door bins can hold 1.5L drink bottles. The Captur also comes with removable seat covers in various themes, easily “wearable” and removed via velcro and zips.

    The made-in-Spain Captur is an interesting new addition to our market, and the price is pretty attractive at an estimated RM118k to RM123k too. It will come with a five-year unlimited mileage factory warranty and the service interval is 10,000 km or one year.

    After its stint at BSC, the car will be touring Renault showrooms nationwide – starting with Renault PJ, Glenmarie and Puchong from August 6-9 – if you want to have a closer look.

    We’ll have more live gallery photos of the Renault Captur in a while.

     
  • Next-gen Mercedes-Benz and Infiniti premium compacts to be jointly developed, built in Mexico

    A new Mexican manufacturing joint venture between Daimler and Renault-Nissan called Compas (Cooperation Manufacturing Plant Aguascalientes) is being set up to build the next-generation of Mercedes-Benz and Infiniti premium compact vehicles.

    According to reports, the 50:50 joint venture was originally announced last year – production of Infiniti models are due to begin in 2017, while the first Mercedes is going to roll off the line in 2018.

    Indications have it that the plant will have a production capacity of more than 230,00 vehicles per year, though both companies will look into adding additional capacity if necessary.

    Both automakers are cagey about which models will be manufactured in Mexico, but stress that these next-generation of compact models will be jointly developed with ‘close collaboration at every stage of the creative process.” Nonetheless, both marques will have their own distinctive designs, driving characteristics and overall specifications.

     
  • Proposed Penang tram service gets vote of confidence

    melbourne-australia-yarra-tram-service

    Following the announcement of the Land Public Transport Commission’s (SPAD) intention to table a proposal which could lead to the return of tram services in the state of Penang, a urban studies expert has provided his vote of confidence on the subject, theSun reports.

    Stuart MacDonald, Penang Institute Fellow and Urban Studies head, commented that this “was what the state was working for in the last four years as seen by the Penang Transport Master Plan (PTMP).” MacDonald stated that he was confident that the implementation of a tram network in Penang could help lower traffic congestion as it offered an alternative that could help commuters get to their destinations faster.

    He went on to add that the three key ‘Cs’ that make up an effective public transport network should be observed – comfort, convenience and cost-effective. “Convenience means the frequency should be as regular as possible as there is no point in waiting 30 minutes for a tram,” he told the daily. The tram service, should it come into service, should be comfortable and “not too pricey for commuters.”

    As mentioned, SPAD is to submit a proposal for amendments to the Land Public Transport (PAD) Act 2010 as the current version does not contain any form of provision for such a service. SPAD CEO, Mohd Nur Ismail Kamal, clarified that such a move was required as the trams would run alongside vehicles on the road.

    Aside from MacDonald, the move was also applauded by Chow Kon Yeow, Local Government Committee chairman, who commented that “the state welcomed the initiative” undertaken by SPAD to amend the legislation. “We shall work on the matter after the appointment of the project delivery partner (PDP) of the PTMP,” he concluded.

     
 

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