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    Latest Stories

    • Honda Malaysia gifts Civic Type R escort car to Agong

      Click to enlarge

      Honda Malaysia today presented the Honda Civic Type R to His Majesty Yang di-Pertuan Agong Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah. The hot hatch, which will serve as an escort car, is a gift in celebration of the king’s official birthday.

      The company also handed over a Honda Civic 1.5T to be used as an escort car by Her Majesty Raja Permaisuri Agong Tunku Azizah Aminah Maimunah Iskandariah.

      “At Honda, we are committed to offer products that are of high value and also advanced in technology to provide joy to our customers. On behalf of Honda Malaysia, I am truly honoured to present the Civic Type R to His Majesty The Yang di-Pertuan Agong for his daily use as an escort car. Adding to the celebration, I am also pleased to present another revolutionary Honda model, the Civic 1.5L Turbo to Her Majesty Raja Permaisuri Agong as an escort car,” said Honda Malaysia MD and CEO Toichi Ishiyama.

      The FK8 Civic Type R was the front-wheel drive Nurburgring lap record holder when it was launched in 2017. The six-speed manual-only hot hatch is powered by a 2.0 litre VTEC Turbo engine pushing out 310 hp and 400 Nm of torque to the front axle.

      We love the UK-made, aero-heavy RM330,002 white beast here at Driven, and believe it will serve the Agong’s escort team well. See how the Type R fares against hot hatch rivals Renault Megane RS and Volkswagen Golf R on road and track in the latest episode of Driven Web Series.

    • Audi AI:Trail quattro concept – off-road EV previewed

      Of the many cars that are being displayed at the ongoing Frankfurt Motor Show, the Audi AI:Trail quattro has to be one of the funkiest. Dubbed as the off-roader of the future, the four-seater electric vehicle is tailor made for the adventurous, which is why the cabin is void of big screens with fancy streaming tech.

      As the fourth Audi AI model to be introduced after the Audi Aicon, AI:Race (previously known as the PB18 e-tron), and AI:ME, the AI:Trail quattro looks like it was specifically made to tackle the unimaginably treacherous terrain on Mars.

      Now, let’s get down to the details. There are four electric motors installed near each wheel, thus enabling true quattro all-wheel drive. The maximum system output is rated at 429 PS (320 kW) and 1,000 Nm of torque, which is relatively low for a four-motor vehicle. The reason is because the AI:Trail is not made for extreme speeds, so in real world driving, only a fraction of the total system output will be used to drive one axle.

      Since the wheels are individually powered, there is no need for differentials and locks. Instead, computers determine how much power to send to the gears at any given time, and the onboard electronics also coordinate driving stability and traction. If slip is detected, the computer simply reduces torque supply to the affected wheel. Conversely, if the situation necessitates some slip, such as on low-grip uphill stretches, the system will automatically allow it.

      You must be wondering at this point, how is anyone supposed to charge an EV when it’s made specifically to explore areas without any charging infrastructure? Well, that’s where Audi steps in to flex – the integrated lithium-ion battery provides between 400 km to 500 km of range, which is achievable when driving on roads or easy off-road terrains. On rougher surfaces which demand more torque redistribution, the limit is 250 km. Not too shabby, right?

      In order to meet these requirements, the AI:Trail has a limited top speed of 80 mph (129 kmh). This help preserve battery charge levels, and the electronics continuously monitor energy flow and consumption, thereby ensuring maximum economy even during off-road driving. Structurally, it’s made from steel, aluminium and carbon-fibre, and despite the high-capacity battery (unspecified as yet), the AI:Trail weighs just 1,750 kg.

      On the outside, the AI:Trail is a mammoth. It measures 4.15 metres in length, has a width of 2.15 metres, is 1.67 metres tall and rides on massive 22-inch wheels shod with fat 850-mm tyres. It has a 340-mm ground clearance, and boasts a water wading depth of 500 mm. The height also prevents the battery (integrated into the floor) from coming into contact with the ground, especially on rocky terrain.

      It rides on bulky transverse links and MacPherson struts with coil springs and adaptive dampers, and the tyres with integrated supporting struts contribute a further 60 mm of suspension travel. Besides the obvious gains in off-road capability, this provides onboard passengers with greater ride comfort, Audi says. The tyres also feature variable, sensor-controlled air pressure regulation.

      The moon rover-esque concept features no front or rear overhangs, and this is called the one-box design, which Audi says is becoming the gold standard for the electric vehicle era. The adventure-centric design revolves around huge glass panels for an unobstructed view out. Almost the entire roof, from the top of the windscreen to the rear spoiler, is made of glass – even the vertical Singleframe is glazed, with only the four rings out front.

      Interestingly, both the windscreen and the tailgate can be opened wide, revealing cargo space. The rear bumper gets an integrated compartment for dirty items such as hiking boots, climbing gear or wet clothing. The side sills beneath the suicide doors hide retractable running boards, while horizontal wings above the four wheels take the place of conventional wheel wells, making it easier to see the suspension in action from the cockpit even while driving.

      Inside, the cabin is spacious and uncluttered, complete with just a handful of visible control elements. The front seats feature four-point seat belts, while the driver side gets pedals, a U-shaped steering wheel, and a smartphone attached to the steering column as a display and control centre for vehicular functions and navigation. That’s as far as interactive elements go.

      The second row features two seats designed like hammocks. Audi says they are good for relaxation in more ways than one, and they can even be taken out of the car to be used as mobile outdoor chairs.

      That’s not all. The AI:Trail features five rootless, triangular drones with integrated matrix LED elements as its illuminating source, all of which are capable of landing on a roof rack or directly on the roof of the vehicle, and docking onto the inductive charging elements. These are called Audi Light Pathfinders, which generate lift in the same way as blade-less fans produce their air flow.

      They are lightweight, therefore able to fly ahead of the car, consuming comparably little energy while illuminating the path ahead. The Light Pathfinders can also be used as a spotlight. That explains the lack of headlights now, doesn’t it? If desired, the onboard cameras generate a video image that can be transmitted to the display in front of the driver via Wi-Fi, turning the Pathfinders into eyes in the sky.

      Other features include the Audi Light Companion, which essentially is a light source shaped like a flashlight that is magnetically attached to the front side of the seat. Here, it acts as ambient lighting, but when taken out of the car, it can be used to stand the light in place and turn it into a campfire light or a close-range floodlight. It also features integrated cameras that can take photos or videos for you to upload to social media.

      The Audi Light Pathfinder drones in action

      Since it’s part of the Audi AI family, the AI:Trail is capable of Level 4 autonomous driving, although the functions are limited to highways or in cities equipped with suitable infrastructure. However, when traversing the beaten path, Level 3 automation with reduced speed can be executed, but it’s only possible on dirt roads at low speeds.

      Moving forward, customers will be able to order any of these specialist Audi models and have them leased for a limited period of time. These cars are also highly customisable, even for those who opt for the leasing plan. The exterior colour, interior details, and technical options can be pre-configured online with the app or via the driver details stored in the myAudi system. Even your preferred cabin temperature, seat adjustment, and music library will be activated as soon as you enter the car.

      In the words of Audi’s design chief, March Lichte: “With the AI:Trail, we are showing an off-road concept with an emissions-free electric drive for an innovative driving experience away from paved roads. Consistent with this, we designed a monolithic basic vehicle body with maximum glazing to create an intense connection to the surroundings. A concept for sustainable mobility on demand.” We’re not quite sure how to react to this, but boy that looks cool, no?


    • Wearnes wins exclusive distributorship for Koenigsegg, Pininfarina and Rimac hypercars in Asia

      Where do you go when a Ferrari, Lambhini or Aston Martin seems too mainstream? Wearnes, if you’re in Asia. Wearnes Automotive has announced that it’s the new exclusive partner of Koenigsegg, Pininfarina and Rimac in Asia. The three hypercar brands will be part of Wearnes’ Prestige Division which recently added Alpine and Lotus to its stable of brands that include Bentley and Aston Martin.

      “There is an increase in demand and a growing appetite among Asian customers for hypercars. Our customers form an exclusive group of automobile collectors in search of the very best. These three new brands will add to the portfolio in our Prestige Division. Coupled with our expertise and experience in the ultra-luxury segment, we are confident of further strengthening our position in this segment,” said CEO Andre Roy.

      To help high-end car collectors enhance, preserve and protect their investments, Wearnes Automotive has also embarked on building a state-of-the-art, climate-controlled bonded car storage facility in Singapore. This will allow luxury car collectors to store their rare, limited edition and classic cars in an exclusive and secure environment.

      What can we expect from Koenigsegg, Pininfarina and Rimac under the new regional distributor? Unveiled at this year’s Geneva show, the Koenigsegg Jesko is powered by a 5.0 litre twin-turbo V8 engine producing 1,280 hp on standard gasoline and 1,600 horses on E85 biofuel.

      As if that’s not crazy enough, the Pininfarina Battista – expected to arrive in 2020 – will be the most powerful road-legal car ever designed and built in Italy. How about 1,900 hp and 2,300 Nm of torque with zero emissions? The Battista is an EV that does 0-100 km/h in less than two seconds, yet capable of 450 km on a full charge.

      Also expected to launch in 2020 is the Rimac C_Two, the world’s most powerful electric hypercar. Powered by a four-motor system with 1,914 hp and 2,300 Nm of torque, the C_Two does the traditional century sprint in 1.97 seconds, before reaching 300 km/h in just 11.8 seconds. Click on the links above to learn more about these oddly-named, crazy-fast hypercars.

      GALLERY: Koenigsegg Jesko

      GALLERY: Pininfarina Battista

      GALLERY: Rimac C_Two

    • Volvo XC40 T5 Twin Engine launched in the UK – 262 hp, 2.1 l/100 km, 46 km EV range; price from RM211k

      Volvo has officially launched the XC40 T5 Twin Engine in the United Kingdom, which will be priced between 40,905 and 42,305 British pounds (RM211,344 and RM218,505), with first deliveries set to begin from February next year.

      With the launch, we now have full specifications of the compact SUV’s plug-in hybrid powertrain, which consists of a 1.5 litre three-cylinder turbocharged petrol engine that outputs 180 hp at 5,800 rpm and 265 Nm of torque from 1,500 to 3,000 rpm.

      This is mated to a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission that integrates an electric motor (82 hp and 160 Nm), with drive going to the front wheels. The end result is total system output of 262 hp, which sees a zero to 100 km/h time of 7.3 seconds and top speed of 204 km/h.

      Following WLTP regulations, the rated fuel consumption is as low as 2.1 l/100 km, with CO2 emissions pegged at 38 g/km with 19-inch wheels. Meanwhile, the all-electric range is as high as 46 km, largely thanks to the 10.7 kWh lithium-ion battery located in the vehicle’s centre tunnel.

      The battery can be recharged via a Type 2 AC connection using a conventional household socket with the included charging cable, with Volvo citing charging times of between 3.5 and six hours.

      Volvo UK also offers an optional fast charging cable to take full advantage of the onboard 3.7 kW AC charger, so with a single-phase or three-phase wallbox, it’ll take as little as 2.5 hours for a full charge.

      GALLERY: Volvo XC40 T5 Twin Engine PHEV

    • Honda e on display at the 2019 Frankfurt Motor Show – two outputs; priced from RM136,108 in Germany

      The Honda e was recently reveled in its final mass production form, and we’re now bringing you photos of the compact electric vehicle while it is on display at the 2019 Frankfurt Motor Show.

      First previewed by the Honda e Prototype earlier this year at the Geneva Motor Show, the EV is powered by a 35.5 kWh lithium-ion battery positioned on the floor of the car, which provides up to 220 km of range on a single charge.

      The Honda e supports AC charging via a Type 2 connection, and the company is offering the Honda Power Charger with 7.4 kW (single-phase power supply) and 22 kW (three-phase power supply) outputs as one home charging solution. Honda says the latter will allow owners to charge their cars to 100% capacity in 4.1 hours.

      Alternatively, the EV can also be juiced up more quickly with DC charging using a CCS2 connection, with the company saying it’ll take just 30 minutes for battery to achieve an 80% state of charge.

      At the show, the company also revealed the Honda Power Manager Prototype, a fully-integrated energy transfer system that is a smaller version of a much larger charging station located at Honda’s R&D facility in Frankfurt.

      Operating on a DC current and with the option of CCS2 and CHAdeMO connections, the system manages energy between the grid, homes and electric vehicles, enabling the efficient usage and storage of energy. The bi-directional charger works by returning energy to the grid whilst the car is charging, which will help to stabilise the grid at times of short energy supply.

      Shifting our focus back on the Honda e, the powertrain also features an electric motor driving the rear axle, with two power outputs – 100 kW (136 PS) and 113 kW (154 PS) – available; maximum torque is rated at 315 Nm. In terms of performance, the Honda e will accelerate from zero to 100 km/h in approximately eight seconds.

      Meanwhile, the avantgarde interior is a mix of pleasant materials, colours and technology, the last of which is showcased by a five-screen setup dominating the dashboard.

      As previously detailed, the driver and front passenger have access to two primary 12.3-inch touchscreen displays, while the remaining three screens are dedicated to the side cameras (two six-inch units) as well as the driver’s eight-inch digital instrument cluster.

      Finally, pricing for the Honda e was also revealed, and in Germany, the EV will start from 29,470 euros (RM136,108) for the 100 kW version, with the 113 kW model costing 32,470 euros (RM149,964). Up until now, over 40,000 expressions of interest have been secured since the prototype made its debut, and first deliveries are slated for summer 2020.

    • 2020 Indian Motorcycle lineup with 1.9-litre V-twin

      As a result of listening to rider feedback, select models in the 2020 Indian Motorcycle lineup will come, for the first time, with its Thunder Stroke 116 V-twin. Displacing 1,901 cc in metric measurement, the Thunder Stroke twin is air-cooled and features 168 Nm of torque.

      The Thunder Stroke 116 mill will be standard in the following Indian Motorcycle models – Springfield Dark Horse, Chieftain, Chieftain Dark Horse, Chieftain Limited, Chieftain Elite, Roadmaster and Roadmaster Dark Horse. The current model Thunder Stroke 111 1,819 cc power plant will also be available for the Chief Dark Horse, Chief Vintage, Chieftain Classic and Springfield.

      Coming with a blacked out finish and chrome accents, the Roadmaster Dark Horse features a streamlined fairing, slammed saddlebags, 19-inch front wheel with open fender and an extended reach Rogue gunfighter seat. Standard fitment on the Roadmaster Dark Horse along with the 116 engine is a touring trunk, lower fairings, heated grips and a mid-adjustable windscreen.

      As Indian Motorcycles top of the line premium market bagger, the Chieftain Elite will come with streamlined fairing and slammed saddlebags for 2020 along with a PowerBand audio system 50% louder than the standard model. For the coming year, the Chieftain Elite comes in a two-tone Thunder Black Vivid Crystal over Wildfire Candy paint job, with matching motor highlights and badging, Precision Machined Elite wheels, Pinnacle mirrors, Select floorboards, and a Flare Windshield.

      Also updated for 2020 is Indian Motorcycle’s Ride Command with Connected Services, a completely redesigned infotainment system for next year’s riding season. Displayed on a 7-inch screen, the 2020 Ride Command comes with a new quad-core processor for better display performance with new features including traffic and weather overlays, predictive destination search and improved customisable displays.

      Handling for the 2020 Springfield and Chief Dark Horse is improved with the installation of a 17-inch front wheel that gives more front end stability. As for the 2020 Roadmaster, weight has been reduced with a redesigned trunk rack for a different style.

      2020 colour options for Indian Motorcycles with the Thunder Stroke 116 include the Chieftain in Titanium Smoke, Chieftain Dark Horse in Thunder Black Smoke, Ruby Smoke and Titanium Smoke, while the Chieftain Limited comes in Thunder Black Pearl, Radar Blue and Thunder Black Pearl with graphics package. Meanwhile, the Chieftain Elite can be had in Thunder Black Vivid Crystal over Wildfire Red Candy, as mentioned earlier.

      The Springfield Dark Horse comes in Thunder Black Smoke, Sagebrush Smoke and White Smoke for 2020, while the Roadmast has four colour choices – Thunder Black, Burgundy Metallic, Pearl White over Titanium Metallic with black pinstripe and Titanium Smoke over Thunder Black Smoke with silver pinstripe. Rounding out the stable of Thunder Stroke 116 Indian Motorcycle cruisers is the Roadmaster Dark Horse which comes in three paint options – Thunder Black Smoke, White Smoke and Ruby Smoke.

    • KTM introducing business class coach on ETS trains

      KTM is set to introduce a business class coach in its ETS2 train service next month. The premium section will be one of six coaches on the nine new ETS2 train sets, which KTM will receive in stages until Q1 2020.

      According to KTM’s CEO Mohd Rani Hisham Samsudin, the business class coach will be fitted with “conducive features that fits the business class branding.” Passengers get to enjoy wider and more comfortable seats, a travel kit, audio/video on demand, and USB charging ports. The coach will also have its own steward/stewardess.

      Tickets for travel from October 11 will go on sale from 8.30 am tomorrow, September 12. There’s a promotional price of RM50 for an adult one-way ticket from KL Sentral to Ipoh, and RM112 for the ride from KL Sentral to Padang Besar. The promotion is valid for trips from October 11 to November 30, 2019. The usual concession discounts apply for those who are eligible.

      The ETS has been successful for KTM, with 3.91 million passengers recorded in 2018. The first seven months of 2019 saw 2.15 million riders, which translates to 10,400 passengers per day on average. With the addition of these two services, there will 38 ETS services a day across Peninsular Malaysia.

    • 2020 Land Rover Defender debuts – aluminium monocoque, 3.0L mild-hybrid, OTA software support

      An all-new model has been a long, long time in the making, but its finally here – enter the 2020 model-year Land Rover Defender.

      The off-roading workhorse is now built upon the company’s D7x architecture of an all-aluminium monocoque construction, boasting a torsional rigidity of 29,000 Nm per degree, or three times more rigid than traditional body-on-frame designs, according to Land Rover.

      The longer-wheelbase Defender 110 is the launch version with the Defender 90 set to follow shortly after, and while the numbers no longer approximate their respective wheelbase measurements in inches, they do however still distinguish the two in terms of dimensions and number of doors.

      The 2020 Defender 110 measures 5,018 mm long including its tailgate-mounted spare wheel, wheelbase of 3,022 mm, 1,967 mm tall and 2,105 mm wide, while front and rear track widths are 1,704 mm and 1,699 mm respectively. Wading depth for the Defender 110 is 900 mm, while the approach, rampover and departure angles are 38, 28 and 40 degrees respectively.

      Comparatively, the 2020 Defender 90 three-door measures 4,583 mm long with its spare wheel and a wheelbase of 2,587 mm, while height is 1,969 mm on air springs and 1,974 mm on coil springs. Front track widths are 1,706 mm for air spring-equipped variants and 1,704 mm for coil-sprung versions, and rear track width is 1,702 mm for both air- and coil-sprung versions.

      Wading depth for the Defender 90 is 900 mm on air springs and 850 mm on coil springs, while approach, rampover and departure angles are 38, 31 and 40 degrees respectively. The larger of the two, the D200 ad D240 Defender 110 tips the scales at 2,248 kg, 2,271 kg and 2,305 kg for the five-, six- and seven-seat versions respectively, while the P300 Defender 110 weighs 2,186 kg, 2,209 kg and 2,243 kg on those counts. The 3.0 litre straight-six mild-hybrid Defender 110 weighs 2,286 kg, 2,309 kg and 2,343 kg along those lines.

      The Defender 110 arrives with two diesel engines and two petrol engines. The diesels are 2.0 litre inline-four cylinder units in different states of tune, producing 200 PS or 240 PS at 4,000 rpm and an identical 430 Nm of torque at 1,400 rpm in D200 and D240 forms, respectively.

      The petrol versions are represented by a P300 2.0 litre four-cylinder unit producing 300 PS at 5,500 rpm and 400 Nm of torque from 1,500 rpm to 4,000 rpm, alongside a P400 3.0 litre Ingenium inline-six mild-hybrid engine producing 400 PS at 5,500 rpm and 550 Nm of torque from 2,000 rpm to 5,000 rpm. All power units are mated with an eight-speed automatic gearbox with two-speed transfer case sending drive to all four wheels, while locking centre and rear differentials are optional.

      In terms of efficiency, the D200 and D240 diesels are rated for combined fuel consumption of 7.6 l/100 km and CO2 emissions of 199 g/km on the combined cycle. The P300 four-pot petrol is rated at 227 g/km for CO2 emissions, while the P400 MHEV is rated for combined fuel consumption of 9.6 l/100 km and Co2 emissions of 220 g/km; all figures are NEDC-equivalent, according to Land Rover.

      Suspension for both the Defender 110 and Defender 90 are handled by SLA (short-long arms, otherwise known as unequal-length double wishbones) on the front and multi-links at the rear. These are mated to either coil springs or electronic air suspension, the latter responding to conditions at up to 500 times per second.

      The air suspension setup raises the Defender by 75 mm in off-road mode, along with an additional 70 mm of lift for a total of 145 mm when required. Conversely the Defender also has what’s called Elegant Arrival, which lowers the vehicle by 50 mm to make for easier boarding and egress. The setup has a maximum suspension articulation of 500 mm, while the Defender is also rated for 45-degree side slopes.

      Terrain Response 2 now features six modes in the 2020 Defender – Normal, Mud and Ruts, Grass/Gravel/Snow, Sand, Rock Crawl and the latest addition, Wade. This adds to the Defender’s aforementioned water-wading capability of up to 900 mm with a setting that automatically softens throttle response, sets HVAC to recirculated air, raises ride height to the off-road setting and locks the driveline.

      Alternatively, the Terrain Response 2 setup can be customised with a choice of three settings for throttle and gearbox response, steering and traction control respectively, and allows for up to four individual selection profiles to be saved. On the other hand, the Auto mode can be selected for the Terrain Response 2 setup to recognise the surface encountered and configure the Defender as required with no further input from the driver.

      Payloads-wise, the Defender 110 has a rated towing capacity of 3,500 kg (3,720 kg for the US market), while the roof is capable of taking up to 168 kg in dynamic load; static roof load is rated at 300 kg. The optional remote control electric winch generates a maximum force of 4,536 kg, and comprises 40 m of synthetic rope; this can be wireless operated up to 45 m away from the vehicle for convenience and safety. The 2020 Defender’s monocoque construction can withstand 6.5 tonnes of snatch load through its recovery points, says Land Rover.

      Inside, the 2020 Defender 110 holds 646 litres behind the second row up to the waistline (464 litres in the 5+2 configuration), 1,075 litres behind the second row loaded to the roofline (916 litres for the 5+2), and up to 2,380 litres with the second row seats folded, up to the roofline (2,233 litres in the 5+2); the 5+2 holds 231 litres up to the roofline with the third-row seats in place.

      The 2020 Defender operates on Land Rover’s new Electronic Vehicle Architecture, or EVA 2.0 which support software over-the-air (SOTA) updates, which supports the new Pivi Pro infotainment system. This central hub controls 85 individual electronic control units (ECUs) in total, and the always-on 4G network connectivity is ready for 5G developments, also doing away with the need for dealer visits for software updates.

      The Pivi Pro system is accessed via a 10-inch central touchscreen, while the customisable layouts help reduce the number of steps by an average of 50% compared to previous systems to reduce distraction, says Land Rover. Wireless device charging is included, as well as Apple CarPlay and Android Auto mobile device integration; the onboard Bluetooth system enables two smartphones to be connected at the same time.

      This navigation system is self-learning and dynamic to optimise routing, and the Smart Voice guidance knows when to cancel verbal prompts when the driver is in familiar surroundings; maps will be continually updated via the SOTA system. The driver gets a 12.3-inch interactive display which can be configured for traditional instruments, full-screen 3D navigation or a combination of the two.

      This is augmented by a full-colour TFT head-up display, and around-vehicle visibility is aided by a 3D Surround Camera which offers on-screen visualisation with Tow Sensing and Wade Sensing modes, and Land Rover’s Clearsight Ground View technology which enables drivers to ‘see through’ the Defender’s bonnet.

      Variants fitted with the front jump seat also include the Clearsight Rear View technology which ‘removes’ the rear pillars and spare wheel from view for better rearward visibility. Further driver assistance systems include automatic emergency braking, lane keep assist, traffic sign recognition, cruise control and speed limiter, driver condition monitor as well as front and rear parking aids.

      Audio systems start from a six-speaker setup, through to 10- and 14-speaker Meridian configurations, the latter two with a subwoofer each, with up to 700 W of amplifier power. Power for mobile devices in the Defender comes courtesy of two 12-volt and two USB outlets in each of the first two rows, and an additional USB socket and 12-volt outlet when third-row seats are fitted. The loadspace adds another 12-volt outlet, and a 230-volt domestic socket can be specified.

      For added convenience, the second-generation Activity Key can be specified in addition to the standard key fobs. This wearable device now does away with the previous need for the electronic ‘handshake’ in order to lock or unlock the vehicle.

      Click to enlarge

      Four accessory packs are available for the 2020 Defender – Adventure, Country, Explorer and Urban, all of which can be specified across all six trim variants, namely the base Defender, S, SE, HSE, First Edition and the top Defender X. This is also the first Land Rover model to be available from the factory with satin protective film, and can be removed at any time for easier repair than standard paint finishes.

      The satin-finish wrap is polyurethane-based, solvent-free and contains no volatile anic compounds, says Land Rover. This is available on the Indus Silver, Gondwana Stone and Pangea Green paint finishes. The latter two colours are unique to the Defender, along with Tasman Blue, joined by Fuji White, Eiger Grey and Santorini Black from the standard Land Rover palette.

      The 2020 Defender 110 starts from £45,240 (RM233,612) in the United Kingdom, with the Defender 90 starting from an estimated £40,000 (RM206,540). When the commercial version of the Defender 90 debuts, it is estimated to start from £35,000 (RM180,723).

    • Hyundai 45 EV Concept unveiled at the Frankfurt show

      Another day, another concept car. Here we have the Hyundai 45 Concept, a pure electric concept car that previews the Korean automaker’s take on its future cars. This particular model puts a twist on its 45-year-old icon, the 1974 Hyundai Pony Coupe Concept.

      There’s more to the number 45 than the name suggests – the diamond-shaped front and rear silhouette are cut at a 45-degree angle, a visual cue which Hyundai claims to foreshadow its future EV cars. This, it says, strips away complexity, celebrating the clean lines and minimalistic structure of the original coupe concept.

      Styled based on the Sensuous Sportiness design language, the 45 gets a distinctive lattice radiator grille with a ‘kinetic cube lamp’ design. No cascading grille here, so make of that what you will. Over to the back, the concept features a steep fastback profile, which signifies stability and dynamism. The tail lights take after the same style as the headlights, and the massive two-tone wheels complete the modern retro look.

      Other visual details include a special garnish on the bottom of the door which highlights the car’s long-distance battery capability, as well as active LED lights that inform the driver of the remaining drive range. These elements are said to be designed for someone who is experience an electric car for the first time.

      As typical of a concept car, there are no physical side mirrors, because Hyundai says they collect dirt over time and hampers visibility. Instead, they are replaced by embedded turntable modules, which rotate the camera lens past a brush to ensure perfect visibility at all times. Unseen to the eye is the Camera Monitoring System (CMS), which enables self-driving features.

      On the inside, the dominant theme is ‘Style Set Free’, otherwise known as Hyundai’s strategy for future mobility that emphasises personalisation of design and function. With that, the cabin becomes more of a living space, with swivelling front seats and ample use of wood, fabric and leather, much like home furnitures.

      Rear occupants benefit from a lounge chair-style bench, whereas the driver and front passenger get to fiddle with the projection-beam infotainment system. This replaces a single central touchscreen with a series of displays and functions integrated into the dashboard itself. The door pockets are large enough for tablets and laptops to be stored, and the material is transparent.

      As you would’ve guessed by now, the battery which provides power to the electric motor is stored underneath the carpeted floor, thus maximising interior space. So far, no technical details have been revealed as yet, so watch this space for more updates.

    • Hyundai i30 N Project C – hardcore LE dripping in CF

      Hyundai has revealed the i30 N Project C at the IAA show in Frankfurt. The Project C is a more extreme version of the top 275 PS spec i30 N hot hatch. Available only to European customers, the lighter, lower and more aggressive Project C is limited to 600 units.

      The ‘C’ in the name stands for three things: the ‘Area C’ high performance test circuit at Hyundai Namyang R&D centre (the birthplace of N), the use of carbon fibre (a Hyundai first), and the lowered centre of gravity. To that, this hardcore i30 N is 50 kg lighter than the standard car, and its CoG is 8.8 mm lower.

      The Project C comes with clearly visible carbon-fibre reinforced plastic (CFRP) body parts lacquered smooth to show the CF weave. The front splitter, rear diffuser, bonnet and N-branded side sills are all made from CFRP. Despite featuring a larger frontal area and lower ground clearance (it sits six mm closer to the road), the Project C’s drag coefficient remains unaffected at 0.32. Dedicated aero touches help.

      Here’s where the 50 kg savings come from. The fed 19-inch OZ wheels alone account for 22 kg of shed weight, with the bonus of it being unsprung. Elsewhere, the CFRP bonnet (-7.2 kg), both side sills (-499g each), front splitter (+240g of aero function and good looks), new design integrated rear diffuser (-386g) and the manually operated Sabelt competition front bucket seats with CFRP backs (-7.5 kg each) do their part.

      The lower ride height and lower CoG is from new calibrations for the existing i30 N dampers and shorter springs. The rear wheel hangers – or knuckles – at the hubs together remove 4.66 kg as here they are made from aluminium and not steel. There’s a stiff bar in the boot, as per the i30 N’s Performance Package.

      Meanwhile, all driving modes have been specifically calibrated for the Project C – both Sport and N drive modes provide greater direct feedback, while N mode has been tuned for the “required agility and predictability while on race-track quality tarmac in the hands of more experienced drivers.”

      The Project C’s interior features Alcantara highlights around the steering wheel, handbrake and gear lever boot. And just look at that brushed aluminium billet manual shift knob that’s shaped like a pistonhead. Deep Orange is the accenting colour found on the seat belts, stitching and stripes for the seats, and the drive mode and N-mode buttons on the steering wheel. A numbered limited edition badge on the passenger side wraps things up.

      The hot i30 N’s exterior is dominated by dark matte grey and the high gloss weave of the CFRP parts. The brake calipers stand out in Deep Orange.

      Previewed at KLIMS 2018, the Hyundai i30 N is powered by a 2.0 litre Theta T-GDI engine, which in standard tune offers 250 PS and 353 Nm from 1,450 to 4,000 rpm. With the Performance Package, output is bumped up to 275 PS. Paired with a six-speed manual gearbox, 0-100 km/h takes 6.1 seconds and top speed is 250 km/h.

      GALLERY: Hyundai i30 N at KLIMS 2018


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    Latest Fuel Prices

    RON 95 RM2.08 (0.00)
    RON 97 RM2.50 (-0.01)
    RON 100 RM3.02
    VPR RM3.18
    EURO 2M RM2.18 (0.00)
    EURO 5 RM2.28 (0.00)
    Last Updated 31 Aug 2019


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