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E89 BMW Z4 Roadster Prototype Development

E89 BMW Z4 Roadster

BMW Web TV brings us a video featuring Timo Gobel, head of development for the new E89 BMW Z4 Roadster, and other members of the Z4’s development team. We get to see the first prototype of the new retractable hard top Z4 roadster that was made a full 2 years before production, and what kind of tests it goes through before the next stage of prototyping, and various other stages of the prototyping process.

Please enjoy the video after the jump.

JDM Honda Insight Hybrid brochures leaked in a YouTube video?

Honda Insight

A Youtube video seems to have surfaced on the internet with stills of a Japanese market Honda Insight brochure, revealing to us abit more of the production hybrid vehicle that Honda will be exhibiting at the 2009 Detroit Motor Show in January next year.

The shots also reveal that Honda has also gotten ready a Modulo kit for the Insight, for those who want to go green but still look stylish at the same time. Two choices of interior colour are available - something dark and the other is beige.

With the tax-exemption on hybrid cars in Malaysia right now, will Honda Malaysia Sdn Bhd offer this here? It all depends on whether they see a market for it and whether they can get an allocation from Japan. Speaking of Honda hybrids, the Civic Hybrid has still not been priced properly yet!


Click here to read the rest of JDM Honda Insight Hybrid brochures leaked in a YouTube video?

Seatbelt fine of RM300 from 1st January 2009

Rear seatbelt

From the new year onwards, all passengers in a car whether sitting in the front or back have to buckle up or face a RM300 fine. This only applies if the passenger is over 17 years old, but if you are younger, the driver of the car is the one who will be punished as according to Road Transport Director-General Datuk Solah Mat Hassan, it is the responsibility of the driver to ensure the safety of the minors that they are driving.

This new seatbelt ruling includes the rear seatbelts, but excludes the following:

  • Cars registered before 1st of January 1995
  • Cars registered after the 1st of January 1995 but not equipped with rear seatbelt anchorage points
  • Commercial vehicles such as taxis and rental cars
  • Vehicles with more than 9 seats including the driver’s
  • Transport vehicles with capacity above 3.5 tonnes
Wait, that’s not all. The RM300 fine will be in effect only within a “grace period” of between the 1st of January 2009 to the end of June 2009. From the 1st of July 2009 onwards, this fine will be upped to RM2,000 and you could even go to jail for up to 1 year. Yes, it may seem harsh… but if you buckle up, you won’t have to worry. It’s for your own safety anyway

HONDA Civic Type R Collection

 Civic Type R Collection

The Honda Civic Type R is a very high powered and strong performing, new version of the Honda Civic. Civic Type R continues to become a popular automobile alternative to the much more expensive cars in the world today.

Honda Civic Type R version was first introduced and manufactured in Tokyo, Japan in 1997. It has a chassis EK9 type hatchback and shares some physical features of the Integra Type R and has an improved sound omission and reduction of weight principles. The Honda Civic Type R has a B16B type engine, close ratio gearbox, limited slip system differential on the front and an improved rigidity of the chassis as among its many improved features.

Since then the Honda Civic Type R become a popular Civic model, although it is only marketed then in Japan, the next generation Honda Civic Type R vehicles was able to penetrate the international market. Introduced in 2001 by Honda, the 2nd Generation Honda Civic Type R features a strong 200 horsepower, 2.0 L i-VTEC type of engine, close transmission ratios and an upgrade of the breaking system.

As the sales of the Honda Civic Type R increases over the years, Honda was able to market the 3rd generation Honda Civic Type R model on March 30, 2007. For the Japanese market version the Honda Civic Type R now becomes a four door type sedan rather than the old three door version of a hatchback. The Japanese Honda Civic Type R possessed a powerful 225 horsepower and about 8,400 rpm peaking.

The features and the dependability of Civic Type R cars are more than enough to generate interest from car aficionados around the world. Honda Civic Type R will play a major role in the automobile industry for many ears to come.

Honda Civic Type R, 1st Generation, 1997-2000
Honda Civic Type R 1997-2000

Engine: 1595 cc

Power: 185 HP @ 8200 rpm

Torque: 158 Nm @ 7500 rpm

0-100 km/h: 6,7 sec

Top speed: 232 km/h

Gearbox: 5-Speed MT

Weight: 1090 kg

Wheels: 15"

Honda Civic Type R, 2nd Generation, 2001-2007
Honda Civic Type R 2001-2007

Engine: 1998 cc

Power: 200 HP @ 7400 rpm

Torque: 193 Nm @ 6000 rpm

0-100 km/h: 6,8 sec

Top speed: 235 km/h

Gearbox: 6-Speed MT

Weight: 1210 kg

Wheels: 17"

Honda Civic Type R, 3rd Generation, 2007 Japan
Honda Civic Type R 2007 Japan

Engine: 1998 cc

Power: 225 HP @ 8000 rpm

Torque: 215 Nm @ 6100 rpm

0-100 km/h: 6,0 sec

Top speed: 241 km/h

Gearbox: 6-Speed MT

Weight: 1270 kg

Wheels: 18"

Honda Civic Type R, 3rd Generation, 2007 Europe
Honda Civic Type R 2007 Europe

Engine: 1998 cc

Power: 201 HP @ 7800 rpm

Torque: 193 Nm @ 5600 rpm

0-100 km/h: 6,6 sec

Top speed: 235 km/h

Gearbox: 6-Speed MT

Weight: 1338 kg

Wheels: 18"

Toyota Passo Sette 7-seater MPV

Toyota Passo Sette

Toyota’s latest compact 7-seater MPV has been unveiled in Japan on Christmas day, so let’s check out the full details of the new compact people carrier that will make its way onto Malaysian shores sometime in the second half of 2009 as the new Perodua MPV.

As with alot of other Toyota compact cars, the new MPV is available under both the Toyota and Daihatsu badges as compact cars like these are pretty much mainly Daihatsu-engineered as it is their speciality.

Toyota Passo SetteThe Toyota version is called the Toyota Passo Sette, which essentially means Passo Seven, or a 7-seater version of the Toyota Passo. Sette means seven in Italian. The Daihatsu version is called the Daihatsu Boon Luminas, where Luminas is a combination of the words roomy and luminous.

All variants of the Passo Sette and the Boon Luminas are powered by the 1.5 liter 3SZ-VE engine putting out 109 PS at 6,000rpm and 141Nm of torque at 4,400rpm. Both front wheel drive and 4WD variants use a 4-speed auto, and the front wheel drive version is rated at 15.6km per liter under the 10-15 Japanese test cycle. There is an Eco-Drive indicator light on the dashboard to inform the driver when his driving style is economical.

Toyota Passo Sette

As previously reported, the compact Toyota Passo Sette measures 4,180mm long, 1,695mm wide and 1,620mm tall, with a long 2,750mm wheelbase to maximize the interior space which is 2,550mm long. The Boon Luminas CX with a bodykit is slightly longer at 4,195mm. Other dimensions that Toyota has provided include a 1,630mm space between the front and rear seat rows, a 150mm split seat slide for the middle row, a wide 935mm rear door opening to ease getting in and out, and a 630mm hip point for the driver to also aide ingress and egress.

Despite the car’s relatively long wheelbase its wheels are at the edges of the vehicle so it is compact and it has a 5.2m turning radius.

Toyota has provided the Toyota Passo Sette with some nice features in the interior including a rear seat entertainment system with a 7 inch widescreen monitor, a DVD player with headphone outputs, and the ability to play different media in the front and rear entertainment systems. There is an optional keyless entry and start with a key fob.

Toyota Passo Sette

The Boon Luminas also comes standard with a “music server”, which essentially lets you rip 660 minutes of audio content from your audio CDs and store it onto the car’s on-board entertainment system so you don’t have to carry your CDs around in your car. This is also a specifiable option for the Toyota Passo Sette.

The Japanese specs offers some rather decent safety features, though in the interests of cost and maximizing profit I doubt all of them will make it onto the Perodua specifications. The Passo Sette and Boon Luminas has a total of 6 SRS airbags, vehicle stability control (VSC), traction control, Dynamic Support Headrests which reduce the risk of rear-end collision whiplash, and finally ABS brakes.

Toyota Passo Sette

Now for the Japanese market prices. The Daihatsu Boon Luminas has higher specs so it is more expensive starting from 1,535,000 yen all the way up to 2,073,000 yen, while the lower spec Toyota Passo Sette starts from 1,490,000 yen but can be fully loaded up to a maximum price of 2,033,000 yen.

Please continue reading for a whole load of more photos and videos! It will give you a rough idea of the car to expect next year from Perodua.

The sexy Maserati GranTurismo

Maserati Granturismo

One of things I look forward to whenever I go down to Singapore is watching the seemingly endless amounts of Maserati GranTurismo coupes going up and down Orchard road. If you’re a fan of the Maserati GranTurismo or simply any car with a sexy red leather interior, you’ll enjoy the video after the jump.

Peugeot 308 to enter Malaysia Market in January

Peugeot 308

Malaysian Peugeot distributor Nasim Sdn Bhd has started taking orders for the C-segment Peugeot 308, set to be available in Peugeot showrooms in January 2009. Two variants will be available, the Peugeot 308 VTi and the Peugeot 308 Turbo.

The Peugeot 308 VTi is a C-segment car powered by the 1.6 liter BMW-PSA Prince engine with Valvetronic throttle-less operation, the same unit found in the MINI Cooper producing 120 PS and 160Nm of torque. It will compete against other 1.6 liter C-segment cars, which is basically the 1.6L Mazda 3 and the 1.6L Toyota Corolla Altis.

The powerful Peugeot 308 Turbo is powered by a 1.6 liter engine, but it is turbocharged with direct injection to produce 150 PS at 5,800rpm and 240Nm of torque constantly from 1,400rpm all the way to 5,000rpm. It is a detuned version of the 175hp unit in the MINI Cooper S and the Peugeot 308 GT. This will position the 308 Turbo head to head against 2.0 liter C-segment vehicles such as the Lancer 2.0 and Civic 2.0. Don’t be fooled by its 150 PS output, it’s got really good best-in-class torque levels equivalent to a 2.4L engine and the high torque is also achieved from a low RPM point, so expect the 308 to be a very smooth and easy drive around town.

Of course, one difference between the 308 and its competitors listed above is the fact that both the variants mentioned above are 5-door hatchbacks (only the 308 GT is a 3-door hatch) while all its competitors are sedans, except for the Mazda 3 2.0 hatchback and Ford Focus 2.0 hatchback. But you can expect similiar competitive price levels with 1.6 liter and 2.0 liter cars

Mazda Atenza 2.0 Style Edition Arrived in Japan

Mazda Atenza

Mazda will sell a special “Style Edition” of the Mazda Atenza (we know it as the Mazda 6) in Japan, based on the Atenza 20C model but with various equipment upgrades. These upgrades include LED indicators in the door mirrors, fog lamps, HID headlamps, water-repellent coating for the windows, dark tinted glass for the rear doors and rear window, 17 inch alloys wrapped with 215/50R17 tyres, leather on the steering wheel and shift knob, blackout meters, and an audio-less spec which means the speakers are there but a space is left for you to add your own head unit. Some of these features are probably available on the larger displacement model, so this special version is probably for those who do not want the larger engine but want the little gadgets that the big brother has such as the blackout meters (meters that appear black and only turn on when the car is turned on).

Malaysia to ban half-shell helmets in January 2009

Half-shell helmetRoad Safety Department director-general Datuk Suret Singh says his department is working on plugging a hole in the law that did not define what a proper motorcycle helmet is. As a result, many people are buying half-shell helmets, which Datuk Suret says are illegal and are not approved by Sirim.

These helmets are bowl-shaped and are lighter and more comfortable compared to normal proper helmets, and some even consider them to be fashionable because of their unique bowl-like shape. It is also cheaper than normal open-face helmets. Datuk Suret likened wearing these to not wearing any helmet at all as half-shell helmets do not offer adequate protection, and may flip up with strong winds because of inadequate support behind the head.

Not only will the laws defining what a proper helmet is be revised to properly define what can be used, the RSD is also working on banning the sale, and distribution of these half-shell helmets, and this ban could come into effect as early as January 2009.

Aston Martin Rapide’s rear end revealed!

Aston Martin Rapide

This is apparently a new rendering of the production version Aston Martin Rapide that has found its way onto the internet. The rendering shows that it’s pretty much very near to the concept car that was displayed at the 2006 Detroit show. A previously released rendering of the front end of the production car (you will find this image after the jump) shows the futuristic headlamps have been replaced with conventional projector headlamps.

Now seriously, this is how a sedan based on sports car design language should look now. An Aston Martin’s coupe-like form is much easier to transform into a sedan compared to a Porsche’s frog-hatch stance. Expect a price range of between US$160,000 to US$175,000 in markets with realistic prices, and add the necessary taxes and etcetra for the Malaysian price.

New Sports Pack and “Power Pack” available for 4.3 liter Aston Martin V8 Vantage

Aston Martin V8 Vantage

The Aston Martin V8 Vantage now comes with a 4.7 liter engine, but lucky drivers of the 4.3 liter V8 Vantage who may not feel as lucky as they should be because they feel left out thanks to their now “outdated” car can hop along for the ride tanks to a new power enhancement upgrade which boosts their engine power from 380hp to 400hp and torque from 410Nm to 420Nm. Of course, this is still lower than the new V8 Vantage’s 420hp and 470Nm figures of course, thanks to its larger engine.

This power upgrade uses a new induction system based on the technology used in the Aston Martin DBS. It uses a pair of switching airbox-valves that open at 5,500rpm to allow more air into the engine, resulting in more power produced in a controlled manner. The ECU has also been reprogrammed with new software with revised ignition timing, and the ability to recognise higher octane fuel to maximise performance.

Another upgrade available is the Sports Pack, which comprises of uprated springs and Bilstein dampers which improve the car’s handling. Also included in the Sports Pack are lightweight forced aluminium wheels in a 5-spoke design to reduce unsprung mass.

Petrol and Diesel Price Slashed 10 sen

It’s the middle of the month again, which means it’s time to revise the fuel prices! In line with the lower average prices for crude oil over the past month, the government has decided to slash prices of RON97 petrol, RON92 petrol and diesel in Malaysia by another 10 sen across the board.

The following are the new prices of fuel in Malaysia effective 16th of December 2008:

Fuel Old Price Reduction New Price
RON97 RM1.90 RM0.10 RM1.80
RON92 RM1.80 RM0.10 RM1.70
Diesel RM1.80 RM0.10 RM1.70

Mercedes-Benz Vision SLA Concept

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Mercedes-Benz SLA to make it into production?

Mercedes-Benz Vision SLA Concept

Mercedes-Benz may be revisiting the 2000 Mercedes-Benz Vision SLA Concept, a 7 year old concept that portrayed a small, compact and fun two-seater roadster.

At that time the concept was to remain a concept because Mercedes-Benz had no economical way of building the car. Something as small as that would translate into a small price tag and small profit margins, and the A-Class and B-Class small car platform could not be used because of its sandwich construction, which meant it would be too tall to make something like a roadster.

Now that Mercedes-Benz is going for a new platform that’s much more flexible for the next generation A-Class and B-Class, it opens up new possibilities for something like the Vision SLA to be build. Going down the vehicle segments in terms of size seems to make the most sense right now even for premium carmakers.

Even BMW is said to be working on a Z2 roadster based on the 1-Series chassis which would end up being a head-on competitor to this new production SLA-Class. But still, for those who want to have a bit of fun during these troubled times, are there going to be many people willing to fork out for the “German luxury premium” on the car’s price tag when you can have all the qualities that make a good roadster in the Mazda MX-5?

Porsche Boxster and Cayman Review

Porsche unveiled the facelifted Porsche Boxster roadster and the facelifted Porsche Cayman coupe at the 2008 Los Angeles International Auto Show. The duo now offers the PDK dual clutch transmission replacing the outgoing Tiptronic S slushbox, and the Boxster S and Cayman S now has direct fuel injection on its 3.4 liter engines.

Other than a folding soft top on the Boxster and a coupe roof on the Cayman, the two cars also have some differences in design such as the extra diffuser inserts on the Boxster and the wind deflector plate on the Cayman. On the front end, each have their own front bumper design. Even the front signal lamps are configured differently. While both use LED signal lamps, the Cayman’s LEDs are arranged in a square like the face of dice while the Boxster gets a horizontal row of 4 LEDs.

The base engine in the Boxster and Cayman is the 2.9 liter boxer engine, producing 255hp in the Boxster and 265hp in the Cayman. This mean other than being a roadster and coupe version of the same car, the coupe is now more powerful than the roadster across the range as even in the S versions, the direct fuel injected 3.4 liter engine in the Cayman makes 320hp, a 10hp advantage over the 3.4 liter unit in the Boxster S which makes 310hp.

The new cars are more fuel efficient than the pre-facelift versions. The 2.9 liter version does 8.9 liters per 100km according to the EU4 standard, which is 11% less than the outgoing Tiptronic S model.

Volkswagen Scirocco Study R

Volkswagen Scirocco Study R

We’ve previously heard news of the 3.2 liter V6 engine making its way out of Volkswagen’s Golf and Scirocco and instead being replaced with a high-powered version of Volkswagen’s 2.0 TFSI engine.

In this design study that previews the upcoming Volkswagen Scirocco R20T (rumoured naming conventional similiar to the existing R32 and R36), the 2.0 TFSI engine produces a good 270 horses, mated to a 6-speed DSG gearbox.

Also featured in the design study is an adjustable coilover suspension

, big brakes with 4-pot calipers and a performance exhaust system.

Second generation BMW Z4 spotted undisguised!


Jason of BMW Z4-centric forum zpost managed to get his hands on this shot of the second generation BMW Z4 due to be unveiled just before the end of the month.

The sDrive monikers will probably first appear on this car, as evident from the sDrive badge you can just barely make out on the front fenders because the photo resolution isn’t high enough. The Z4’s sDrive will be rear wheel drive but will feature a torque vectoring device that can vary torque distribution between the two wheels on the rear axle without having to apply brakes.

Source :

BMW To Bring Double-Clutch transmission To 3 Series Next Year

 BMW 3 series

The new M DCT transmission that the M3 will offer this summer. It’s a Dual Clutch transmission that promises to be all things to all people. Apparently BMW has so much faith in the technology that they will be replacing the automatic in the 3 Series altogether next year for a non-M version of this dual clutch transmission.

Based on their technical similarity, you could expect the transmission to potentially find it’s way to both the 1 Series and the X3 in the near future as well.


Artega GT powered by VW’s 3.6L FSI V6

Artega GT

The Artega GT is a German-born competitor to the Porsche Cayman S that weighs only 1,100kg (though over 10k UK pounds more expensive than the Cayman S for a weight advantage of 250kg) thanks to an aluminium spaceframe and a carbon composite bodyshell.

With that kind of weight it’s really not necessary for oversized engines to be plonked into the mid-mounted engine bay. All that’s needed is the Volkswagen Group’s 3.6 liter FSI V6 engine producing a standard 296 horsepower to give the car a sub-5 second 0 to 100km/h acceleration time. This engine is mated to the smooth and quick-shifting 6-speed DSG transmission from BorgWarner.

The 2-seater mid-enginened sports car is 3,950mm long, 1,180mm tall and 1,880mm wide and was styled by Henrik Fisker.

Look after the jump for a couple of more shots of the sports car.

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