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Tuesday, July 10, 2012

BMW X6 facelift xDrive35i was launched in Malaysia

BMW has recently launched the facelifted X6 xDrive35i in Malaysia where the mid-size luxury crossover has a starting price of RM698,800.

After being teased locally on the company’s official Facebook page earlier today, the facelifted BMW x6 has been launched in Malaysia, where the model can be ordered only as the xDrive35i for the moment. The BMW X6 facelift is getting corona rings that aren’t full circles, newly designed bars onthefront grille, standard bi-xenon lights, Adaptive LED headlights, L-shaped LED taillights and more.

The cabin of the facelifted BMW X6 xDrive35i is now coming with the all-new Nevada leather in standard and the model is also getting technology like the BMW ConnectedDrive, the Head-up Display, Bluetooth Audio Streaming, on-board internet, rear-view camera with Top View, Navigation System with Bluetooth functions and those who don’t like the standard leather can order the Vermillion Red finish.

The BMW X6 facelift xDrive35i is getting the company’s 3.0 liter six-cylinder engine, which is developing a total output of 306 horsepower and it has a peak torque of 400 Nm. The unit is mated to an eight-speed sports automatic transmission with steering wheel-mounted paddle shifters. The model is getting the Dynamic Performance Control as part of the xDrive all-wheel drive system which is controlling power distribution in order to optimize dynamic performance, traction and stability. The BMW X6 facelift will arrive at dealerships across Malaysia on the 14th of July.

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Nissan Grand Livina Autech was launched in Malaysia

Nissan Grand Livina Autech was launched in Malaysia

The Japanese based automaker Nissan has recently announced that the Grand Livina Autech MPV has been launched in Malaysia, where the model has a starting price of RM105,800.

According to the car manufacturer, the Nissan Grand Livina Autech is coming with a chrome polished front grille, a redesigned front bumper, a modified rear bumper, some chrome garnishing, a fresh set of 15-inch six-spoke Autech wheels, which are replacing the standard ones, the Autech emblem fitted onto the tailgate and much more.

The interior design of the Nissan Grand Livina is coming with a choice of brown or black leather which can be found on the seats and on the doors. Nissan says that the seven-seater MPV is also getting a 7-inch touch screen with a satellite navigation system and a reverse camera, along with a DVD Player, Bluetooth connectivity, USB connection and an extra 10.2-inch roof mounted LCD monitor.

Nissan says that the Grand Livina Autech multi-purpose vehicle is coming with a new bronze gold color and V-Kool Solargard Armorcoat window tinting. No changes have been made to the MPV’s suspension system or engine and the model has a starting price of RM105,800 on the road. The Nissan Grand Livina Autech will arrive at dealerships across the country between the 11th and the 15th of July.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Lamborghini HK 20th Anniversary Edition Launched With Limited 8 Units

In Malaysia, Lamborghini introduced the Lamborghini Gallardo LP550-2 Malaysia Limited Edition with limited run of 20 units back in May 2012. Previously, we thought the Gallardo MLE is exclusive enough but not until the recent launch of Gallardo LP550-2 Hong Kong 20th Anniversary Edition at the Arcade, the Cyber Port in Hong Kong. This model is specifically to celebrate its 20 years collaboration between Kingsway Cars Ltd. and Automobili Lamborghini as its official dealer in Hong Kong.

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Automobili Lamborghini, the world renowned Italian supercar manufacturer, has operated through its official Hong Kong dealer Kingsway Cars since 1992. Over the past 20 years in Hong Kong, Lamborghini and Kingsway Cars have introduced a series of iconic models, from the ground-breaking Diablo in the 1990’s to the Aventador, Lamborghini’s newest offering. Throughout this period, the brand has also established itself as a leading player in Hong Kong, built on a solid foundation of exceptional sales and after-sales service quality.

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This year, to celebrate 20 years of successful operations, Kingsway Cars is proud to present the “Gallardo LP550-2 HK 20th Anniversary Edition” a special edition model dedicated to the Hong Kong market, with only 8 units to be produced. With a design based on the Gallardo LP550-2, the HK 20th Anniversary Edition boasts the same outstanding features and technical specifications.

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The Gallardo LP550-2 HK 20th Anniversary Edition sports on innovative solid white finish (Bianco Monocerus) on its exterior, with matt gold strips running from its front bonnet to the roof and the engine bonnet. Stamped with the symbolic “HK20”, the front spoilers and rear bumper complement the matt black finish of the rear spoilers and side skirts to create a powerful contrast with the matt white of the side mirrors.

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The predominantly black interior design features seats made with Q-citura on Alcantara, a red transmission shifter offsetting the matt black selector plate, as well as the special “HK20” logo on both headrest and side.

Are you tempted for one of the eight units? Anyway, the retail price for this exclusive Lamborghini Gallardo LP550-2 Hong Kong 20th Anniversary Edition is HK$3,680,000 including tax.

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Monday, July 2, 2012

All-new Ford Ranger rolls in

KUALA LUMPUR - A Brazilian 'capoeira' performance kicked off Ford's introduction of the new Ranger in Kuala Lumpur on Friday.

The skill and energy on display was almost palpable and to which Ford seemingly would like people to associate its latest product for Malaysia. The all-new Ranger was also introduced to the Sultanate by Premier Automobiles Sdn Bhd.

Ford designers call the new Ranger (pictured) styling "21st Century Tough" defining it as a vehicle with a taut and muscular body, while offering a contemporary look and feel with features and comfort normally found in passenger cars.

The latest Ranger is based on a new global compact
pickup truck platform. As a result, everything is new engines, gearboxes, frame, suspension, steering system, brake system, chassis, exterior sheet metal and vehicle interior.

The list continues with brand-new features for safety and passenger comfort.
The truck is available in three variants: a Duratorq TDCi1 2.2L Variable Geometry (VG) Turbo diesel engine with six-speed automatic transmission (6-AT) or manual transmission (6-MT) or a Duratorq TDCi 3.2L VG Turbo diesel engine 6-AT.

The Ranger's Duratorq TDCi 2.2L VG Turbo engine delivers 150 PS and 375Nm of torque. It offers fuel consumption of 8.1L/100 km2.

Equipped with the Duratorq TDCi 3.2L VG Turbo engine, the Wildtrak offers a power output of 200 PS with a hefty 470Nm of torque. The fuel consumption of the five-cylinder diesel engine in a combined cycle is among the leader in its class with fuel consumption at 8.91L/100 km2.

What's also notable about the Ranger is its water-wading capability.
Ford said it is among the best in the segment, with the Hi-Rider, XLT and Wildtrak models being able to wade through up to 800mm of water even when fully laden. It also boasts outstanding payload capacity of more than 1,400kg on some variants.

Safety is also improved this time around.
In addition to Anti-lock Braking System (ABS) and Electronic Brake Force Distribution (EBD), other standard safety features include:
Load Adaptive Control (LAC): Optimal vehicle stability to help drivers manage their load
Emergency Brake Assist (EBA): Provides additional brake pressure in emergency stopping manoeuvres
Emergency Brake Light: Signals to other drivers by flashing the indicators when the vehicle decelerates quickly

In addition, the premium Ranger 3.2L Wildtrak is equipped with Electronic Stability Program (ESP), which uses advanced sensors to continuously monitor the path the vehicle is travelling on and compares it to the path the driver wants to follow, as indicated by the steering wheel.
Other features in the Wildtrak that assist vehicle stability and control include:
Hill Descent Control (HDC): Helps the driver on steep downhill grades
Hill Launch Assist (HLA): Helps the driver pull away on steep climb

Roll-Over Mitigation (ROM): Helps prevent the vehicle getting into a roll-over situation.
New and standard on on XLT variants are Bluetooth with Voice Control connectivity while the Wildtrak variant has a Dual Zone Climate Control as an added feature.

Ford Export & Growth Operations (Asia Pacific) regional manager David Westerman said "the all-new Ranger is the first pickup truck to be built under the One Ford strategy and has benefited tremendously from the full engineering expertise of Ford around the world."

Using the latest computer technologies, the product development team conducted about 30,000 computer-aided assessments on areas such as safety, durability, ergonomics, vehicle dynamics and aerodynamics during the virtual phase.

Of these, 7,500 virtual assessments were carried out in the under-body to ensure a robust vehicle foundation and more than 10,000 virtual assessments on the upper-body to align styling and functional requirements.
Once the all-new Ford Ranger prototypes were ready, they were tested extensively in 15 countries around the world during which they had to face severe heat and cold, monsoon rains, high altitudes as well as rushing rivers, arid deserts and potholed roads.

The prototypes clocked more than a million kilometres on the road supported by countless hours of exhaustive testing in state-of-the-art laboratories.

"The all-new Ranger is brought to you by Ford, a company that knows trucks, and can take on anything you throw at it. That's why we say it's 'all-new Ford Ranger versus the world'," said Westerman.
There is a waiting period of one year for the Wildtrak variant while it's three months for the XLT.
In Malaysia, Ford's 2011 retail sales soared 145 per cent partly driven by the strong performance from full-year Ranger sales, which rose more than 17 per cent from the previous year to 2,347 units. Since the Ford Ranger entered the Malaysian market in 1999, a total of over 35,000 Rangers have been sold.

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Honda Confirms 2013 Civic Updates, Mum on Specifics


As we've expected for a few months, Honda will update its Civic for 2013, just one model year after redesigning the popular compact. It's a response to criticisms, including ours, over the car's lackluster handling and cheap interior, though we still recommend the Civic for its roomy cabin and comfortable seats.
The criticism fell on receptive ears. John Mendel, head of American Honda, acknowledged the missteps in the Civic's quality late last year. Honda says the Civic now has "interior and exterior refinements" for 2013.
What exactly are they? The automaker remains mum.

"This is the only info we are going to release," company spokesman Chuck Schifsky said in an email. "Our plan is to hold a media briefing regarding the changes to the Civic for the '13 model year close to the on-sale date late this fall."

The Civic's downfalls have done little to stop sales, which are up 23% through May with slight dealer incentives. Naturally, we'll detail what’s changed once Honda releases more info.
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Sunday, July 1, 2012

Car review: VW Beetle

VW Beetle

Certain cars wrap themselves around your heart and no matter how many miles you drive, you never forget them. Same for songs, lovers, films…

The first VW Beetle I travelled in belonged to Birgit, my friend's German mother. It must be 35 years ago, but I can picture that car so clearly. It was a biscuity beige with woven plastic seats. I can still hear that distinctive rasp from its rear-mounted engine and hear Birgit cursing in German as she wrestled with its knackered gears. One day she turned to us in the back and abruptly said: "Listen, boys, when you are married, if there is ever anything strange you want to do in the bedroom, don't ask your wife…" We sat in silence as her voice trailed off. A few minutes later I saw her wipe a tear from her cheek with the back of her hand.

It seems like another life, but the latest Beetle VW has just launched to replace the New Beetle of 1998 (that in turn replaced the original Beetle of 1938) is so reminiscent of the original that anyone over the age of about 30 will soon be accelerating straight down memory lane. The car is such a return to form that when I first fired up the 160PS TSi petrol engine I was amazed it didn't rattle the windows with that familiar old clatter. To be honest I was a little disappointed, too.

Retro cars are big business these days – just look at the Fiat 500 and the Mini (I'm still hoping Citroën will do the same with its 2CV) – but we mustn't let gorging on nostalgia confuse the picture. The old cars these new vehicles replace share a name and a cultural identity with their ancestors, but that's as far as it goes. These newbies are safe, usable, reliable and comfortable, while their progenitors were little more than gussied-up death traps.

Before you throw away your Janis Joplin tape and flush the LSD down the toilet, you'll be pleased to hear the new Beetle brilliantly captures the spirit of Herbie and Woodstock while also packing plenty to convert a new generation of Beetlemaniacs.

More than 22.5m Beetles have been sold – it's the third most successful car of all time, just behind the VW Golf and Toyota Corolla. So this new design has some big shoes to fill. It's front-engined, front-wheel driven, and has three doors and four seats. It's longer, wider and lower (aren't we all) than the outgoing model, but it is also sportier and more masculine. There's no sign of that hellish "bud vase". The bonnet and roof lines are less curved and the windscreen is inclined at a much steeper angle – which again harks back to the flat screens of the old cars. The new car has also achieved a 5-star safety rating and comes with a choice of three petrol or two diesel engines. I drove the 1.4-litre Sport, which packed more vim and verve into its handling than you should rightfully expect from a bunchbacked Beetle.

There are so many faithful design points – from the top-hinged glovebox to the running boards and hooded lights – that you feel the car has been created by a bunch of sunkissed old hippies with the Love Bug ringtone on their phones. It's almost a surprise it doesn't come with a big 53 on the doors.

A word of warning

Planning a road trip to France? Breathalysers are to be compulsory from 1 July. As of today,France is taking a new approach in battling drink driving by legally requiring every driver, including visitors from the UK and elsewhere, to carry a single-use breathalyser kit. However, under the new rule, drivers caught without a breathalyser will only be cautioned until November – after that point anyone caught without the kit will face an €11 fine.

The single-use breathalyser kit needed under the new rule can be used to check the driver's blood alcohol level. The legal limit in France is 0.5 grams per litre (50mg per 100ml of blood – lower than the 80mg limit in the UK). The new kit will allow people to test themselves as well as others if they suspect they are over the limit.

Single-use breathalysers cost between €0.50 and €1.50 and the authorities are trying to make sure there are enough available before the law comes into force. Breathalyser tests carrying the blue circular "NF" logo are recommended in France to comply with the legislation (this is the equivalent of the BSI kite mark in Britain), and they can be purchased online ahead of travelling. However, there are many products being sold as French breathalysers, but these won't necessarily satisfy the French police known as the Gendarmerie unless they are on an approved list. Green Flag, the breakdown service, is advising motorists to carry at least two NF-certified breathalysers at all times, so that one can be used if necessary while the other is kept to produce if requested by police.

Green Flag reminds us that anyone driving in France is already required to carry a warning triangle and a fluorescent safety vest. The vest should be carried inside the car and not the car boot. Failure to have these in the car can lead to a fine of €90. Other items required are a first aid kit, fire extinguisher and spare bulbs for car lamps, lenses and reflectors.

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