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  • REVIEW: 2016 KTM Adventure 1050 – an alternative to BMW Motorrad’s invincible Gelande/Strasse?

    KTM_Adventure_1050_01

    When the concept of the heavy-duty, long-distance, touring motorcycle was put into regular production as the Gelande/Strasse by BMW Motorrad over three decades ago, no one could have fore-seen what was basically a niche product for European riders wanting to cruise the sand dunes of northern Africa becoming a worldwide phenomenon. These days, all the major manufacturers have a big dual-purpose in their line-up, to cater to every sort of rider.

    From BMW Motorrad’s GS-series bikes of today, to Ducati’s Multistrada 1200 range, the big ‘adventure’ styled motorcycle is not going to go away anytime soon. Not wanting to be left out of its share of the large-capacity off-roader market is KTM, with its “Adventure” series of dual-purpose bikes.

    Most adventure-type bikes are typified by a tall saddle height, over-sized fuel tank, upright seating position and the provision for mounting hard-case bags. Styling of the bodywork tends to be on the edgy side, and the sub-frame is usually exposed, since it will be covered up with the saddle-bags anyway.

    KTM_Adventure1050_02

    In the case of KTM, the Austrian company drew on its roots in moto-crossing and motorsports history to come up with four different versions of the Adventure bike in its range. Starting with the top-of-the-line 1290 Super Adventure, to the 1190 Adventure and Adventure R, there is a KTM Adventure bike to suit everybody.

    Which brings us to the 2016 KTM 1050 Adventure. Positioned as the entry-level dual-purpose bike in KTM’s Adventure range, the 1050 Adventure is a big dual-purpose meant to be affordable, but no less capable, than its bigger-engined siblings.

    Read more after the jump.

     
  • Maserati recalls Quattroporte, Ghibli over gear shifter

    2013-398711-2014-maserati-ghibli1

    Fiat Chrysler Automobiles’ gear selector woes have extended to Maserati, with 13,092 units of the 2014 Quattroporte and Ghibli collectively being recalled to rectify the issue of the confusing gear shifter. The campaign covers models with production dates between June 1, 2013, and February 28, 2014, according to the United States’ NHTSA.

    The issue has been attributed to the monostable gear lever design – one which returns to the same position after a gear has been selected – which may not make it clear to the driver whether or not the transmission has been put into “Park” before the driver alights from the vehicle.

    Maserati will install software to fix this problem, though it says that the new software code is not ready yet. Owners in the US will receive notification regarding this issue by mail on July 1, and later a subsequent letter to schedule the correction.

    This appears identical to the issue that led to the recall of 1.1 million FCA vehicles in the United States in April this year. So far 41 cases of injury were recorded, which may be related to the vehicle moving after the driver had inadvertently left the selector in “Drive,” and exited the vehicle, according to the NHTSA.

     
  • GALLERY: Leopaard CS10 SUV coming to Malaysia early-2017, target price under RM120k – we drive it!

    Leopaard_CS10_Ext_04

    Spyshots of the Leopaard CS10 were sent to us last month; now, we’re having a first proper look at the real thing, as well as a short test drive. The company bringing in the Chinese C-segment SUV, Joylong Auto Sdn Bhd – the official assembler and distributor of Joylong commercial vehicles – is conducting durability testing on the car before introducing it here sometime within the first quarter of next year.

    Don’t be put off by this car’s left-hand drive configuration – it’s a test mule taken straight off the assembly line in China. The car destined for the Malaysian market will be right-hand drive, locally-assembled (CKD) in Gurun, Kedah. In fact, the company plans to make Malaysia the RHD production hub for the car, exporting the CS10 to other right-hook markets – it’s even footing the bill for the conversion.

    Launched at the Shanghai Motor Show last year, the Changfeng sub-brand’s SUV possesses handsome, if unadventurous and derivative styling, with headlights that look to have been nicked from the Volkswagen Touareg and a rear end from a Porsche Macan. Still, in the metal, it at least has a presence of its own, and doesn’t look like a straight copy-paste exercise as with many Chinese cars (I’m looking at you, Landwind X7).

    Measuring 4,663 mm long, 1,875 mm wide and 1,700 mm tall, with a wheelbase of 2,700 mm, the CS10 is smack in the middle of the C-segment SUV class dominated by the Honda CR-V, Mazda CX-5 and Nissan X-Trail, although it is quite a bit wider than those cars.

    Leopaard_CS10_Ext_25

    Inside, there’s a dashboard and switchgear that’s reminiscent of a facelifted W204 Mercedes C-Class, a four-spoke multifunction steering wheel with a Range Rover-esque “Leopaard” badge, an Android-based navigation system with eight-inch touchscreen, six speakers and five seats.

    Surprisingly for this Chinese entry, there are soft-touch plastics on the dashboard and door tops, replete with faux stitching – and despite the fact that this car has encountered over 10,000 km of hard testing, the cabin shows little signs of wear or rattles. The driving position takes a little getting used to, however – despite the steering wheel being adjustable for reach and rake, it still sits a touch too low.

    Under the bonnet sits a turbocharged Mitsubishi-derived 2.0 litre 4G63T four-cylinder petrol engine, producing 174 hp at 5,250 rpm and 250 Nm of torque between 2,400 and 4,800 rpm – Changfeng is so proud of the Japanese connection that the engine cover says “Mitsubishi Power” and even sports the three-diamond logo. Power is sent to the front wheels via a six-speed dual wet clutch transmission.

    Leopaard_CS10_Int_26

    Setting off, the mule exhibited noticeable sluggishness at low revs – a problem the company attributed to a malfunctioning stability control system, which was being stress-tested at the time, and which won’t be replicated in customer vehicles. Once above 2,000 rpm or so, power came in freely and smoothly – and with that much power and torque, the engine made light work of pulling the CS10’s 1,661 kg kerb weight.

    Our route to the photo spot featured little in the way of corners, so we did not get a chance to test out the car’s dynamic capabilities to the full. What we did notice was that the car had decent directional stability at speed and a steering with a nice weight to it – although the latter was devoid of feel.

    These do not seem like much, but you’d be amazed how many other Chinese cars get the basics wrong. One small niggle – the suspension felt fairly compliant, but felt brittle and lacked the final polish in damping of its more accomplished rivals. Still, not a bad effort.

    Leopaard_CS10_Ext_35

    So, how soon can we expect this? Well, the company intends to begin work on right-hand drive conversion and production as soon as it has accumulated 30,000 km of testing and ironed out any problems that have arisen from it. That process is said to take around nine months – that would put the completion in March, but the company hopes that it could complete the process faster and launch the car at the beginning of 2017.

    As for pricing, the company is gunning for the CS10 to retail at under RM120k, or even RM110k. That’s still quite a bit for a Chinese car, but the company promises that it will be offered pretty much as specced here.

    This car, by the way, is the highest-spec variant offered in China, coming with LED daytime running lights, LED tail lights, 18-inch alloy wheels, keyless entry and start, power-adjustable leather seats, six airbags and stability control. The company could omit certain items like the sunroof to get pricing to the desired level.

    So, what do you think of the Chinese big cat?

     
  • New 2017 Porsche Panamera – official images leaked

    2017 Porsche Panamera Leaked-02

    Here are what looks like official images of the 2017 Porsche Panamera, circulating online. The second-gen Panamera, claimed to be “the fastest luxury sedan on earth”, is set to make its debut next week in Germany.

    These leaked studio pics are of the Panamera Turbo model, which we now know will be powered by a 4.0 litre turbocharged V8 engine. That’s downsized from the current Turbo’s 4.8 litre V8, which puts out 520 hp and 700 Nm, or 570 hp/750 Nm (800 Nm overboost) in Turbo S form.

    There may or may not be a power hike, but the new Panamera set to be lighter. Following Porsche’s latest trend, the second-gen Panamera, which sits on a new MSB platform, is set to use plenty of aluminium in its body to reduce weight. The ratio will be at least as high as that of the latest 911.

    2017 Porsche Panamera Leaked-06

    “Weight is our enemy and we are looking for the same percentage of aluminium as on the new 911. If you do nothing, the car becomes heavier and heavier. Comfort always equals weight, too,” Porsche technical head Wolfgang Hatz told Autocar.

    From what we can see, the new Panamera will not be mistaken for any other car on the road, but it does appear slimmer and significantly sleeker. “You have to recognise it is the new one, but as well recognise that it is the successor. So the car will look different. It will look better, but you will immediately see that it is the Panamera,” Porsche design boss Michael Mauer was quoted as saying. Agreed.

    Plenty of LEDs up front, including the four-point LED DRLs seen in the latest crop of Porsches. At the back, the slim 911-style tail lamps are joined by a red strip and four exhaust pipes show intent.

    There are two interior shots and one shows the new instrument panel. While the layout is typically Porsche with cascading dials, the new Panamera sports only one analogue dial – the central tachometer – flanked by digital meters that should be customisable.

    The other pic is of the rear section’s two individual seats, which sandwich a control panel. The latter is a combo of physical buttons and a touchscreen. Speaking of that, the dashboard could get a large central touchscreen that looks like this.

    Porsche has officially released a new teaser video of the Panamera, which is inserted below. Not long now.



    GALLERY: Spyshots of the new Porsche Panamera

     
  • AD: Ford Hari Raya special promotions – Fiesta from RM588/mth, lucky draws, service discounts and more

    CNYmy_BorneoPost_W33xH27cm_ENG2

    Ford and local distributor Sime Darby Auto Connexion (SDAC) have a series of promotions to help Ford customers celebrate the upcoming Hari Raya festivities. From now until July 15, SDAC is offering attractive cash rebates for selected models nationwide, and montly repayment rates go as low as RM588 for the Fiesta, RM908 for the EcoSport and RM1,258 for the Kuga!

    In addition, customers who book any Ford model from now until June 30 will be in the running in Ford’s Ramadhan Raya lucky draw. Five lucky winners will each walk away with a 10 gramme gold bar, while 50 winners will each receive a GPS navigation unit. To qualify, customers simply need to complete the contest entry form during the delivery process and submit it at any authorised Ford dealer nationwide.

    Current Ford owners, meanwhile, will be able to enjoy the benefits of the Ford Riang Ria after-sales promotion, which runs until July 9. If you spend RM350 or more on service and/or parts replacement at authorised Ford service centres, you’ll receive complimentary Ford merchandise.

    ford riang ria

    After-sales customers will also be eligible to enter a lucky draw, which will have prizes such as Apple iPhone 6, iPad Mini 2 and iPod Shuffle units. Customers simply need to complete the contest entry form, and submit it along with their original or certified true copy tax invoice.

    Ford is also offering discounts of up to 20% on selected parts including brake and timing belt packages, 10% labour discount on lubricant, brake and timing belt packages, while those who choose the Fuel Saver Package can enjoy a 10% discount on oil filters.

    For additional peace of mind during the festive season, customers can also opt for a free 27-point vehicle health inspection by a Ford-certified technician. For more information on these promotions, check out www.ford.com.my or visit a Ford dealer today.

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  • VIDEO: Kid sparks a lighter inside a car while it is being refuelled, setting the entire cabin ablaze

    An incident that occurred at a petrol station in Kelantan has served as a stark reminder that one should take every precaution while refuelling a vehicle.

    In the incident, which took place at a station in Kuala Krai, a fire broke out inside a car during refuelling – apparently, a young boy sparked a lighter in the cabin, igniting the fumes that were present. As the CCTV footage shows, it didn’t look pretty. The boy is said to have been admitted to hospital for treatment, but there was no mention of his condition.

    Here's what NOT to do when you're at a fuel station…

    Posted by Paul Tan's Automotive News on Thursday, February 4, 2016

    We’ve previously said that care and caution needs to be exercised while refuelling a vehicle. In an earlier post this year, we ran a public service announcement video that highlighted the do’s and don’ts when refuelling at a petrol station.

    Fuel is obviously flammable. In fact, it’s not just the fuel itself; even the fumes are flammable, as the incident in Kuala Krai showed. The last thing you want is to ignite it. So, make sure the lighters are tucked away, and remember to keep those engines switched off.

     
  • Droupr – local intercity ride-sharing service debuts

    droupr 1

    Tired of trying to scour and secure transportation back to the hometown during festive seasons? Buses and trains not cutting it for you? Well, the introduction of a new ride-sharing service may be just the thing, then. It’s called Droupr, and it’s a local web-based, mobile-friendly service for Malaysians to share a ride together with someone driving a car and heading to the same destination.

    Pairing together car owners about to make the journey to a specific location with passengers who are also looking to head to the same place, Droupr is essentially a car-pooling resource, with everyone sharing the cost of travel.

    The system – which aims to give everyone a community-based, safe travelling experience – matches the available seats in cars with a real search engine, and its developers say it has been engineered to create a secure, trust-based community with declared identities and full member profiles.

    droupr 2a

    Here’s how it works. Users register in the system using their real name with a valid e-mail address and phone number. To ensure passengers safety, the system offers members the option to include their Identity Card and house address verification.

    Members then proceed to key in details of where they want to go and when, and will get a list of drivers heading to the same destination, with their journey history and a price – which is a fraction of a ticket on public transport. The system will notify of the charge for the journey so that there are no overcharging issues.

    A trip with Droupr allows the driver to offset their costs but not make a profit. Each passenger simply makes a fair contribution for his/her seat, and the driver covers the fuel and toll costs.

    For example, a car with a full load of travellers heading from KL to George Town will only cost each passenger on a Droupr trip somewhere between RM30 to RM45, the cost being to cover travelling expenses. Car owners keep 100% of the contributions from their passengers. Droupr says it only charges a small booking fee from passengers to cover overhead costs.

    Car owners will be able to set their own terms and preferences. One unique feature the system offers is the ability for members to choose “Ladies Only” for cars where both the drivers and passengers are female.

     
  • Uber and Grab drivers should keep low profile – SPAD

    Syed-Hamid-Albar

    The Land Public Transport Commission (SPAD) has condemned the attack on an Uber car by cab drivers on Monday. SPAD chairman Tan Sri Syed Hamid Albar advised taxi drivers not to take the law into their own hands and create problems for Uber users, adding that the commission is working towards the best solution to resolve the spat between cabbies and Uber/Grab, The Sun reports.

    “As Malaysians who are known for being a peaceful and harmonious race, we should not take matters into our own hands,” Syed Hamid told the media at SPAD’s buka puasa event at KLGCC yesterday. “That incident involves tourists and it has given the nation a bad name,” he added, referring to the Iranian female passenger who was injured in the attack.

    Syed Hamid reminded that the government is interested in legalising Uber, and the commission is working to find the best solution to provide a fair return to both taxi and app-based ride-hailing drivers. “They are interested in this, many countries have introduced this IT-based service, we must compete, we cannot be left out,” he said.

    Malaysia-Taxi-02

    In the meantime, the SPAD head advised Uber and Grab drivers to keep a low profile. “Don’t go ‘oh I was a Uber driver today’ and boast about your services. Before their applications (the legalisation process) are approved, Uber and Grab should keep a low profile. We cannot stop them (Uber drivers), but I advise them not to go boasting about their services,” he said.

    Answering questions on whether action will be taken against the aggressive cabbies, Syed Hamid said SPAD will only take action against the taxi drivers if they are found guilty. “We will wait and see. We will hear from the police before we take any action, whether it’s suspending the drivers or revoking their licences.”

    Yesterday, police denied reports of a mass attack on an Uber car at KL Sentral, where over 50 angry cabbies reportedly pulled out a tourist before damaging the car. The cops said that “only one or two cab drivers were involved” and the Iranian woman was a student from Skudai and not a tourist.

    “If passengers choose to use e-hailing app services, then it is their choice. I believe the government is studying the issue before making a decision. Until then, disgruntled taxi drivers should simply wait for the decision or take their grouses to the relevant authorities and not turn to violence. We will have no choice but to take action against them if they vent their frustrations by resorting to violence as it concerns public safety,” KL police CID chief SAC Rusdi Mohd Isa said.

     
  • Impressed with Tesla’s Ludicrous mode? Student project electric car does 0-96km/h in half the time

    Electric vehicles, by nature of their powertrains’ instantly accessible torque, are capable of some rather brisk acceleration. In fact, some of the quickest machinery at the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb are electric vehicles.

    When it comes to passenger cars, the Tesla Model S P90D is remarkable, with 762 hp propelling the big four-door from 0-60 mph (0-96 km/h) in 2.8 seconds, or 0-100 km/h in just under 3.0 seconds. A university project, however, has gone even quicker.

    Students from Swiss universities ETH Zurich and Hochschule Luzern – who are part of Academic Motorsports club Zurich (AMZ) – created “Grimsel,” an electric single-seater in 2014 for the Formula Student engineering competition.

    Now, Grimsel has just established itself as the fastest accelerating EV from 0-96 km/h, with a time of 1.513 seconds. The previous record was set July last year by another Formula Student electric vehicle in Germany, with a time of 1.779 seconds.

    Like AMZ’s previous projects, Grimsel was named after a traditional Swiss Alpine pass. Motive power comes from four wheel hub motors developed in-house, collectively giving an output of 200 hp and over 1,700 Nm of torque. Built around a carbon monocoque chassis weighing 14 kg, the complete vehicle weighs 168 kg, which means Grimsel has a power-to-weight ratio of 1,190 hp and 10,000 Nm per tonne.

    Though Grimsel was driven in a straight line for the purposes of the record run, it appears to have a comprehensive chassis management package. Individual wheel hub motors means all-wheel-drive, and each wheel is managed individually by a traction control system. The independent motors also allow for torque vectoring for directional response in addition to the conventional steering on the front axle.

    In terms of suspension, Grimsel adopts magnetorheological adaptive damping, like in certain, more exotic performance cars. When activated, a magnetic flux passes through the damping fluid which contain iron particles, thus changing the viscosity of the fluid and consequently altering the suspension’s damping characteristics.

    Formula Student, for which Grimsel was developed, is a high-performance engineering project run by the Institution of Mechanical Engineers which challenges university students to conceive, design, build, cost, present and compete as a team with a small single-seat racing car in a series of static and dynamic competitions.

     
  • 2017 Toyota Corolla facelift introduced in Russia

    2017 Toyota Corolla Facelift Russia-04

    Besides Turkey, Russia has also received the facelifted 2017 Toyota Corolla that we first saw in March. By the way, this is the Corolla for the “rest of the world”, not to be confused with the North American facelifted car that was also recently revealed. The US market has been getting bolder designs for the Corolla and Camry that might not be preferred elsewhere.

    The smart-looking facelift is as per what we’ve seen so far, with a slimmer grille and headlamp treatment. LED headlamps are available, and they are underlined by a strip of LED daytime running lights. The front bumper is also new, now featuring vertical slits on the edges for a bolder, more aggressive look. New LED tail lamps and a slimmer chrome garnish adorn the rear. Turbine-style multi-spoke rims complete the package.

    The Corolla, which is Russia’s best-selling nameplate, gets unique adaptations for the local market. It comes with higher ground clearance (150 mm) and a bigger washer tank, among other things.

    2017 Toyota Corolla Facelift Russia-01

    Inside, the basic architecture of the dash remains, but the centre stack has been redesigned and the side air con vents are now round items. Also new are the meter panel (with a new 4.2 inch colour multi-info display), the gearshift panel and the AC control panel. The digital clock, a Toyota trademark of sorts, has been moved down from between the central AC vents to a position next to the head unit.

    That’s new too. The Toyota Touch 2 infotainment system touchscreen size has grown from 6.1 inches to seven inches wide. New and softer materials are reported, and the soft panel with stitching underlining the AC panel is obvious. Rear vents and a 12V outlet cater to those at the back. Curiously, the new dash design is similar to the North American model’s, but US cars retain the high digital clock position.

    The top Russian-spec Corolla gets keyless entry with push start button, a reverse camera, heated front seats and a heated steering wheel, which is valuable in that region.

    Three engines are available there, a 1.3 litre Dual VVT-i unit with 99 hp/128 Nm, a 1.6 litre Valvematic with 122 hp/157 Nm and a 1.8 litre with 140 hp and 173 Nm. The 1.8L can only be had with a CVT gearbox, the 1.3L is six-speed manual only, but 1.6L buyers have a choice between MT or AT. The 1.8L CVT does 0-100 km/h in 10.2 seconds. The slowest to 100 km/h is the 1.3L MT, at 12.6 seconds. Not in Russia, but Turkey gets a 1.4 litre D-4D diesel motor with 90 PS and 205 Nm from 1,800 to 2,800 rpm.

    Earlier, Toyota said that it has improved the ride quality of the Corolla thanks to softer dampers and new springs. The sedan’s electric power steering has also been tweaked for sharper turn-in and better feedback. Cabin insulation has also been improved upon

    The Russian-market Corolla will be imported from Toyota’s Turkish plant. Prices have not been announced, but commentators expect higher prices than the outgoing pre-facelift car, which sells for 891,000 (RM54,445) to 1.2 million roubles (RM75,294). ASEAN will also get this version of the Corolla Altis to fight the tenth-gen Honda Civic that’s stealing all the C-segment limelight. Should be reaching our market in 2017.

    Pics from Artemachkasov.com via Drive2.ru


    GALLERY: Toyota Corolla facelift, European-spec

    GALLERY: Current Toyota Corolla Altis

     
 

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