Monday, February 25, 2008

Mitsubishi Lancer Prototype-S: upcoming Euro Lancer Ralliart hatchback

Here are a few images of the new Lancer Prototype-S, which previews the forthcoming Lancer Ralliart Sportback (5door liftback). This sports hatch is rumoured to be mainly for the European market where it is slated to go head-on with the new Subaru Impreza WRX.

It is also expected to mechanically similar to the Lancer Ralliart sedan, as such is powered with a detuned version of the EVO X�s 2.0L Mivec Turbo engine, good for 'only' 240ps and 343Nm of torque. Torque is being driven via MMC's Twin Clutch SST gearbox down to a full-time 4WD (S-AWC) among other things.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Peugeot Spider 207 in Malaysia now

The Peugeot Spider 207, developed from the Peugeot 20Cup concept-car is an all out race car. Inspired by the Sport Prototype cars of the seventies, with its short front cowling and no spoiler, the Spider 207 has a very particular style.

Equipped with a six-speed Sadev sequential gearbox, with selection controlled by shift paddles, a 1.6L engine, and double wishbone and spring-damper units front and rear, the car has been built to Peugeot�s traditional racing specifications and looks like a safe bet on the track. The Spider 207�s 1.6L 16v/EP6 DTS engine, designed in collaboration with BMW, is the same as that in the 207 RC. The use of specially modified and configured intake and exhaust systems will bring the Spider 207�s maximum power to 175bhp. The Spider 207 enjoys a considerable benefit due to the imposing rear cowling. Its unusual design not only improves the car�s aerodynamic properties but also makes a vulnerable rear spoiler unnecessary.

A single make series, the Peugeot Spider 207 Cup was developed for the Spider 207 in Europe. This "Intense Sport" cup was a curtain raiser at each of the 5 European meetings of the 2007 Le Mans Series where the 207 Spiders will run 2 qualifying practices and 2 races. Also launched at the last Paris Motor Show, it is no surprise to see the 207 Spider joining the Le Mans Series together with its big sister the Peugeot 908 whose debut within the Series "LM"P1 category was as promising as was expected.

The two official Peugeot Sport development drivers, Eric H�lary & Julien Brich�, have tested the car to improve it. Directly developed from the 3 wheel 20Cup concept-car, but featuring conventional 4-wheel architecture, the 207 Spider is powered by a reliable production engine which offers a high level of torque. Thus, this car is ideal for a single class race championship. Furthermore, an attempt has been made to standardise as many pieces as possible to facilitate their interchanging. The 1,6L engine is totally production configured; only the intake & exhaust were modified. The engine and gearbox, the latter being controlled by "paddles" on the steering wheel, are located in a rear central transverse position. The tyres are from Michelin.

This spectacular car is now on display at the new Peugeot Blue Box in Glenmarie for a limited time. Nasim Sdn Bhd (NSB) would like to have this car participating in the local races. They welcome enquiries as to the running of the Peugeot Spider 207 Cup in Malaysia or use of the car in other local races.

Peugeot and racing fans are encouraged to visit the new Blue Box located at Lot B, No 2 & 4, Jalan Pengaturcara, U1/51, Seksyen U1, Temasya Industrial Park, 40150 Shah Alam to see the fabulous new Spider 207 and also the 207CC which will also be on display for a limited time only.
Also displayed at the centre is the new 2008 edition of the Naza 206 Bestari. A popular seller, the 206 Bestari had been freshened up with enhancements to the exterior and also interior. All these add up to a refreshing new look for the popular B segment hatchback. The best news is that there is no price increase for the enhancements.

For more information on the 2008 edition Naza 206 Bestari, Peugeot owners are advised to contact the Peugeot Careline at 03-2617 7777. Those interested in Peugeot may also visit

At the same time, NSB also announced that they will start collecting bookings for the new 407 from March 15. According to NSB, the new CKD 407 will retail at a very attractive price. NSB will progressively bring in other CKD and CBU Peugeot models to cater to the different segments of the Malaysian market.

Related posts:

Thursday, February 21, 2008

All-New Volvo XC60

Volvo has released the first photos of its freshest new model: the all-new 2009 Volvo XC60. "This is not only the safest Volvo ever - it's also the most stunning," says Volvo Cars President and CEO Fredrik Arp. The new XC60 will debut at the Geneva Motor Show on March 4, 2008. Its U.S. launch following shortly thereafter; the first quarter of 2009.

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Volvos' new XC60 crossover steps boldly into what is the motoring world's toughest and fastest-growing segment - the "Small Premium Utility". This car is charged with more emotive form and more energy than any other Volvo," says Volvo Cars Design Director Steve Mattin. "We're elevating our design DNA to an entirely new level by literally turning up the visual volume. If you say that you'd recognise a Volvo from 300 feet away today, I dare say the XC60 radiates a clear Volvo presence from at least twice that distance."

A variety of intelligent safety systems are another important part of the XC60's special character. The big news is City Safety - a unique system that can help the driver avoid or reduce the effects of the type of low-speed impacts that are common in city traffic. If the car is about to drive into the vehicle in front and the driver does not react, the car automatically applies the brakes.

"Volvo is the first in the world to offer this type of feature as standard," says Arp. "City Safety clearly signals that the new XC60 is the safest car Volvo has ever produced. The car is packed with our accumulated safety know-how and technology, both when it comes to preventing accidents and protecting all the occupants in a collision."

The new XC60 will be launched in the U.S. with only one standard engine: the powerful turbocharged T6, which produces 281 horsepower. All Wheel Drive (AWD) with Instant Traction is fitted as standard. The global sales target for the new XC60 is 50,000 units per year. The five largest markets during the peak year 2010 are expected to be the USA (15,000 - 20,000 units annually), Germany, Great Britain, Russia and China.

The Volvo XC60 will be built at the Volvo Cars factory in Ghent, Belgium. Sales will start in Europe during Q3 2008, while sales in North America are targeted to begin in early 2009.

2008 Toyota Crown and new Crown Hybrid in Japan

Toyota�s flagship Crown luxury sedan has undergone a makeover for 2008/09, with the large size executive saloon being offered with Toyota�s famed 'Hybrid Synergy Drive' from May 2008 onwards in Japan.

The petrol-driven Crown Royal series are available in 3.0L V6 and 2.5L V6 forms, while the �sportier� Crown Athlete series are powered by a 2.5 V6 or a top-range 3.5L V6. All petrol engines are mated to an electronically-controlled (super-ECT), 6-speed automatic transmission.

Meanwhile, the new Crown Hybrid is equipped with a 3.5L V6 married to a high performance electric motor. Toyota claims that this RWD luxury limo is able to give the driving performance of a 4.5L saloon with the frugal fuel consumption of a 2.0L sedan!

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Peugeot to launch 308 GT THP 175 at Geneva 2008

Peugeot will unveil two new 308 models at this year�s Geneva Motor Show, the innovative and practical 308 SW and the dynamic 308 GT THP 175.

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This new top-of-the-range petrol-driven 308 will be powered by the 1.6L turbocharged THP 175bhp petrol engine, previously found in the 207 GTi THP 175. It is also fitted with a new 6-speed manual gearbox.

Designed in joint-venture with the BMW Group, the 1.6L turbocharged petrol engine develops a maximum power of 175bhp at 6000 rpm but is characterised mainly by its generous torque output. With a maximum torque output of 245Nm (or 265Nm with overboost!) at only 1600rpm, the engine provides excellent in-gear acceleration and levels of driveability normally associated with a larger capacity engine.

Performance figures are 0 - 100km/h in 8.3 sec, on the way to a top whack of 225km/h. Claimed fuel consumption figure is an impressive 37.1 mpg. The beauty of a modern, high performance small 4-pot with direct injection + turbocharging? Think: Fiat Bravo GT, VW Golf GT TSI and Mitsubishi Colt Ralliart :)

To match the dynamic nature of the engine, the exterior of the vehicle has undergone dynamic aesthetic changes. The lower front bumper panel has a unique appearance which is combined with a rear spoiler and a reduced overall ride height. Inside, the interior gains an aluminium gear knob and foot pedals and a new steering wheel design.

Nasim Sdn Bhd (NSB) has earlier indicated that the new Peugeot 308 will probably debut in the middle of 2008 in Malaysia. The 308 GT may be just one of the special models that are brought in to further excite the Malaysian market. Those who are interested in the new 308 may call the Peugeot Careline at 03-2617 7777 for more information.

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2008 Honda Accord: TV Ad in Thailand

Expect to see the same version here in Malaysia the meantime, enjoy this! :)

All-New Acura TSX for U.S. market (Euro Accord)

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The second-generation Acura TSX will debut at New York International Motor Show 2008. The 2009 Acura TSX is larger but is claimed to be more agile, with higher performance and more luxuriously equipped than before. Marketed as a world-class sports sedan, the new TSX has significantly evolved to offer more comfort, convenience, driving performance and safety.

Honda's all-aluminum 2.4L DOHC i-VTEC 4-cylinder produces 201hp and 233Nm, with five percent more torque further strengthens the engine's pulling power at mid-rpm range. This allows the 2009 TSX to be more responsive off the line and out of corners, and stronger in the middle of the rpm range where the engine operates most of the time.

This newfound performance and flexibility is due in part to a higher compression ratio, revised valve timing applied to i-VTEC, and improved intake and exhaust gas flow. Two transmissions are available, both as standard equipment � a 6-speed close- ratio manual with new performance-oriented ratios for 2nd through 6th gears, and a Sequential SportShift 5-speed automatic with a new lock-up torque converter assembly. The manual transmission features a short-throw shifter with a precise, light action that makes it highly rewarding to use, while the Sequential SportShift automatic permits fully automatic operation with intelligent features such as Grade Logic Control and Shift Hold Control, which make driving the TSX on hilly or winding roads more enjoyable. If the driver desires, the automatic transmission can also be operated manually via new steering-wheel mounted paddle shifters.

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Monday, February 18, 2008

New Euro Honda Accord for 2008/09

Click on all images to enlargeSet to debut at Geneva 2008 will be Honda�s new Euro Accord (also Accord Touring /Wagon) for 2009 model year. Interestingly, this new Honda is rebadged as the new Acura TSX over in the U.S., with shield plus mesh grille treatment - in place of the multi-louvred item - applied to Acura's new sport sedan.

The Euro Accord will have three engines options, all Euro-5 emission standards compliant. Significant to the Europen market is the second generation i-DTEC diesel producing about 148hp and a twisty 350Nm of torque at a low 2,000 rpm. The petrol motors include the carried over 2.0L i-VTEC churning out 154hp and 192Nm; with another 2.4L i-VTEC 4-pot good for about 200hp and 233Nm. Transmission options are 5 A/T or 6-speed manual �box.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Toyota iQ: Watch out smart fortwo!

Toyota will unveil a production-ready version of its super super-mini iQ at the upcoming Geneva 2008. Having debuted as Toyota Concept iQ at Frankfurt Show 2007, the iQ has been planned for production by Q3/Q4 2008.

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The iQ will most likely derive propulsion power from a 1.0L petrol engine featuring engine shut-down/auto-start at stop lights or in traffic jams. It remains to be seen if there will be Toyota�s Hybrid Synergy Drive application to make it even more frugal. As with the concept, the production version spans no more than 3m (18ft) from bumper to bumper.

Ford Kuga

Based on the Iosis X Concept vehicle, the Ford Kuga crossover SUV is set to make another appearance at Geneva 2008, after its preview in Frankfurt Show 2007.

Riding on Ford's C-vehicle platform which spawned models ranging from Ford Focus, C-Max, Volvo C30, S40/V50 and even the Mazda3, the new Kuga will only be available with a 2.0-litre Duratorq TDCi diesel engine � good for 136ps and 320Nm - mated to a six-speed manual transmission. Torque is transferred then on through a full-time Haldex intelligent AWD system or plain 4x2 (FWD). Manufactured at Ford's Saarlouis plant in Germany the new Kuga will begin sale in Europe by Q3 2008.

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Relaunch of 2008 Peugeot 407: Registration for priority bookings open now

Following the successful launch of the new Blue Box at Glenmarie, Nasim Sdn Bhd (NSB) � franchise holder, sole importer and distributor of Peugeot vehicles in Malaysia - has announced that those who are interested in the soon-to-be-launched CKD (locally assembled) Peugeot 407 may register their interest in the model via the website The website is open for registrations from Saturday, 16 February 2008 onwards.

NSB will officially start to collect bookings in March but those who have registered online will be able to get a head start for the car. With uprated specifications from the version previously sold under the last distributor, the new 407 sold by NSB is expected to be well received by local motorists, being the only European offering in the price range. The car is expected to retail at not more than RM135,000.

The EuroNCAP (maximum) 5 star rated 407 is among the best in vehicle safety with the following comments by EuroNCAP, �The 407 has a very strong and stable passenger safety cage. It scored close to the maximum number of available points in the frontal impact (test). The restraint systems and airbags � protected occupants and kept the driver�s chest and head away from the steering wheel.�

For more information on the 2008 edition Peugeot 407, Peugeot owners are advised to contact any of the NSB branches or call Peugeot Careline at 03-2617 7777. Those interested in Peugeot may also visit

The 407 is just one of many exciting models that NSB will be introducing into Malaysia. NSB has in an earlier statement mentioned that they will also introduce several iconic Peugeot models into Malaysia to maintain interest in the Peugeot brand; the 207GTI, 207CC and other fabulous models. NSB will also progressively bring in other CKD and CBU Peugeot models to cater to the different segments of the Malaysian market.

Friday, February 15, 2008

New Peugeot Blue Box in Malaysia

Peugeot�s new franchise holder and distributor in Malaysia, NASIM Sdn Bhd has officially opened its new flagship Blue Box in Glenmarie, Shah Alam, Malaysia. Renovated at a cost of more than RM2 million, it has 11 service bays, manned by 11 highly trained technicians. The latest state-of-the-art and online Peugeot Planet System (PPS) diagnostic equipment is used to service all Peugeots that come in. Up to RM3 million worth of spare parts are stocked at any one time. There are another 21 service centres nationwide to complement the servicing and repair of Peugeot vehicles, as well as the rebadged Naza 206 Bestari.

In conjuction with the launch of the new Peugeot Blue Box, Tan Sri SM Nasimuddin SM Amin said that Nasim Sdn Bhd has already reduced parts prices for Peugeot by up to 20%. It was also revealed that a locally assembled Peugeot 407 will be available soon.

2008 Mercedes-Benz SL-Class loses peanut-shaped (ameboid) headlamps

Here is another facelift Mercedes-Benz model (dubbed �new generation� in Merc speak) that loses its peanut-shaped headlamps, following a trend spearheaded by the W204 C-Class in 2006/07 and recently the �new� C-Class coupe aka CLC-Class.

The new SL-Class will be unveiled at Geneva 2008 this March. This premium sports roadster is claimed to deliver even more athletic performance, thanks to the new direct-steer system and improved fuel efficiency. As an example, the SL350 is powered by a newly developed, extremely high-revving sports engine boasting an impressive output of 316 hp yet returns a fuel consumption figure that is 0.4litre per 100 kilometres lower than that of its predecessor.

Mercedes-Benz SL range will now feature two six-cylinder models in the guise of the SL350 and the new SL280 (170 kW/231 hp), as well as the familiar SL500 with a V8 engine. At the top-end is the SL600 with a V12 powerplant.

Passive safety kit counts include bi-xenon headlamps incorporating the Intelligent Light System whose light functions are designed specifically for typical driving situations. Further new features on board include AIRSCARF neck-level heating. This system - invented by Mercedes-Benz and available as an optional extra - enhances comfort when driving with the roof down in those cold climates. SL passengers are kept informed and entertained by the standard-fit COMAND multimedia system, which has also been fully redeveloped and features additional functions e.g. Sat-Nav.

The new-generation SL caps a glorious history of Mercedes sports cars, which began in 1954 with the introduction of the legendary 300 SL "Gullwing", followed in 1957 by the launch of the first SL Roadster. To date, the Stuttgart manufacturer has produced a total of over 630,000 SL sports cars.

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