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  • 2020 Suzuki XL7 launched in Indonesia – seven-seater SUV, 1.5L, 105 PS, 138 Nm; priced from RM70k-RM81k

    Suzuki has finally launched the XL7 in Indonesia, a three-row seven-seater LSUV (Low SUV) that’s assembled at the automaker’s factory in Cikarang. There are three variants on sale, starting with the baseline Zeta, mid-spec Beta, and range-topping Alpha. Prices start from 230 million rupiah (RM70k) to 267 million rupiah (RM81k). Suzuki also plans to export the XL7 to 30 other countries.

    Now, powering the compact SUV is the familiar K15B 1.5 litre naturally-aspirated four-cylinder petrol engine, producing 105 PS at 6,000 rpm and 138 Nm of torque at 4,400 rpm. All three variants get a choice of a four-speed automatic or five-speed manual, both of which send drive to the front wheels only.

    In terms of size, the XL7 measures 4,450 mm in overall length, 1,775 mm wide, 1,710 mm tall, and has a wheelbase of 2,740 mm. Suzuki says the car has a ground clearance of 200 mm, or 10 mm shy of the Honda BR-V‘s ground clearance. But between the two, the Suzuki is certainly the better looking car.

    Design-wise, it sports the typical SUV rugged look, with full plastic claddings that go around the car, complete with skid plates, roof rails, and 16-inch dual-tone wheels. The front fascia features LED headlamps with LED daytime running lights, a Katana-inspired dual-bar radiator grille, as well as LED combination tail lamps. There are six exterior colours to choose from, including Pearl Burgundy Red, Rising Orange, and Brave Khaki. The top Alpha variant can be had in a two-tone finish as well.

    The cabin is more straightforward, with black being the dominant theme. The first and second row seats get armrests, and in the centre dash rests an eight-inch touchscreen infotainment system. The driver gets a regular three-spoke multifunction steering wheel, and there is also a digital multi info display between the two analogue gauges.

    Additional features include a carbon-fibre print on the dashboard, as well as the smart e-mirror. The latter is really unique; it’s basically a front- and rear-facing high-resolution dashcam that’s fully integrated into the rear view mirror. Recordings are automatically done behind the scenes, and the footage can be previewed via a set of buttons along the bottom of the mirror housing.

    There’s also keyless entry with push-start button, automatic climate control with heater, as well as several 12-volt outlets for each individual row. Boot space is rated at 153 litres with the third row up, but expands to 550 litres when folded. Maximum capacity is 803 litres, which is achieved when folding both the second and third row seats down.

    Lastly, for safety, there’s ABS with EBD, dual SRS airbags, Isofix anchor points, Hill Hold Control, Electronic Stability Programme, reverse camera, and an immobiliser key. So, like what you see?

  • MINI Cooper SE now in Thailand, EV goes for RM304k

    The MINI Cooper SE has been launched in Thailand, and the brand’s first fully-electric car that one can buy from showrooms is priced at 2.29 million baht (RM304,422) in the Land of Smiles. Sounds like a good deal when the BMW i3s goes for 3.7 million baht (RM491,976) there.

    Unveiled in July 2019, the MINI Cooper SE doesn’t look like an EV at first glance, but a typical MINI. Based on the classic 3-Door version of the current F56 generation, the electric powertrain is from the BMW i3s, but adapted for front-wheel drive (the i3S is rear-driven and the motor lies at the back), with a T-shaped lithium-ion battery pack located in the floor.

    Designed to fill up the underfloor space vacated by the exhaust system, the battery’s gross energy content is 32.6 kWh (net content is 28.9 kWh; 350.4 volt), and a solid base plate protects it from the elements. The Cooper SE’s ride height has been raised by 18 mm to provide more ground clearance for the battery. Weight wise, the Cooper SE is 145 kg heavier (1,365 kg) than the Cooper S 3-Door automatic, but its centre of gravity is lower.

    The e-motor provides 184 hp (135 kW) at 7,000 rpm and 270 Nm of torque from 100 to 1,000 rpm. The 0 to 60 km/h sprint, vital for a city runabout, is achieved in just 3.9 seconds, while 0-100 km/h is done in 7.3 seconds. Top speed is capped at 150 km/h. The quoted range is up to 270 km.

    For charging, you’ll get a 11 kW onboard AC charger with a Type 2 connection. Juicing up can be done via a 7.4 kW MINI Electric Wallbox for a single-phase AC outlet, and this takes 4.2 hours (or 3.2 hours to 80%). When plugged into a 11 kW three-phase wallbox, a full charge requires 3.5 hours (or 2.5 hours to 80%). DC fast-charging is supported up to 50 kW, and it’ll take just 35 minutes to get 80% from flat, or 1.4 hours from 0 to 100%.

    Design wise, it’s a MINI 3-Door with yellow highlights on the closed grille, wing mirror caps, scuttle plates and wheels. The latter has a unique design for the EV. Inside, the familiar cabin is accompanied by a new 5.5 inch digital instrument panel, a yellow start-stop toggle, eDrive mode (Sport, Mid, Green, and Green+), yellow stitching, and floor mats with the MINI Electric logo. The gear lever is also unique.

    BMW Malaysia is considering bringing in the electric Cooper SE this year. For reference, the BMW i3s is priced at RM278,800 here. MINI, probably the best platform for an EV?

  • AD: Volvo is now in Ara Damansara – up to RM40k rebates at Sime Darby Swedish Auto this weekend!

    Volvo has a brand new home in Ara Damansara, Petaling Jaya, and the 3S dealership – Sime Darby Swedish Auto – is having some really attractive grand opening offers. How does rebates of up to RM40k sound?

    Located at Block 6 of the new Sime Darby Motors City, Jalan PJU 1A/7, Ara Damansara, the official opening of the Sime Darby Swedish Auto 3S centre is on February 20, which is this Thursday.

    As always, early birds get the worm, and that consists of a new opening rebate, Recharged rebate and a complimentary VSA5+ service package. Total rebates can go up to RM40,000, so there’s plenty of savings to be had.

    Visit Sime Darby Swedish Auto’s stylish four-storey facility this weekend and enjoy door gifts, the Volvo Virtual Reality studio – which is the first of its kind in South East Asia – and experience the quality and functionality of this latest Volvo Retail Experience Showroom.

    Of course, the full range of Volvo models will be on display and available for test drives, including the XC40, XC60 and XC90 SUVs, plus the fresh Volvo S60 T8 R-Design. For more info on Volvo and Sime Darby Swedish Auto, visit their official website and Facebook page.

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  • Touch ‘n Go eWallet now usable to purchase KLIA Express, KLIA Transit tix – 15% discount until June 30

    Touch ‘n Go eWallet has announced that it has entered a partnership with Express Rail Link (ERL) for its service to be used as a payment method for purchasing KLIA Express and KLIA Transit tickets. The cashless payment option will be offered over the counter, rather than at the gate as is the case with Touch ‘n Go cards.

    As a celebratory offer, the company is also giving out a 15% discount on selected adult and child fares from now until June 30. The deal is also applicable for certain concession fares on KLIA Transit, specifically for senior citizens, students with Kad Diskaun Siswa 1Malaysia (KADS1M), as well as disabled passengers with a differently-abled person (OKU) card issued by the Department of Social Welfare Malaysia (JKMM).

    “We are proud to have ERL as our partner as we share a similar vision to revolutionise the mobility category in Malaysia,” said TNG Digital CEO Ignatius Ong. “This partnership is in line with Touch ‘n Go eWallet’s ambition to champion safer and easier cashless transactions across every aspect of transportation for Malaysians, beginning with toll payment to street parking and even transit purchases for a seamless journey.”

    Express Rail Link CEO Noormah Mohd Noor said, “ERL has been at the forefront of the cashless movement on public transport in Malaysia as we were the first to implement Touch ‘n Go contactless at the gate in 2011. As the fastest airport transfer in town, our partnership with TNG Digital fits ERL’s mission to provide a seamless travel experience that is fast, convenient, and now even more affordable.”

    Noormah added that ERL is taking precautionary steps in an attempt to safeguard the public against the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) outbreak. “We are taking all necessary measures by tripling the cleaning frequency of high contact areas at stations, and using stronger disinfectants for cleaning and sanitising work. We hope with the precautionary measures in place and this attractive Touch ‘n Go eWallet offer, the public will continue to take the train for their airport transfers and work commuting.”

    Touch ‘n Go eWallet said that its service is currently accepted at over 135,000 merchants nationwide, and that it has signed various partnerships in the field of mobility, including public transportation booking platforms, food delivery companies and car-sharing services.

  • 2020 Kawasaki ZX-25R in Indonesia by April?

    After being unveiled at the Tokyo Motor Show 2019, the 2020 Kawasaki ZX-25R might get its inaugural sales launch in Indonesia as soon as April. This is because Kawasaki Indonesia has been showing a series of detailed teaser videos on its Youtube channel, seven as of this post.

    Although a four-cylinder, quarter-litre is not a new thing for Kawasaki – Malaysian riders will fondly remember the ZXR250 four-cylinder with air intakes referred to as “washing machine hoses” – what will set the ZX-25R apart from the competition is that is uses four pistons compared to the norm of two pistons or singles in this market segment.

    From what is known, the ZX-25R uses an inline four-cylinder mill with liquid-cooling and DOHC. However, from the video, a redline of 17,000 rpm has been revealed, putting it in company such as the 1985 Yamaha Phazer FZ250 with its 20,000 rpm rev limit.

    No numbers have been revealed for the ZX-25R but from historical data, something like 45 hp and 25 Nm of torque would not be out of the question for an engine configuration like this. Kawasaki says, in the video series, the engine is designed to spin up quickly and have sensitive throttle response as well as more torque in the lower and middle bands of the rev range.

    The electronics suite on the ZX-25R is also said to be up-to-date with features commonly found on larger capacity motorcycles costing a lot more. These include a quickshifter, selectable rider modes and traction control, items not usually found below the 500 cc threshold.

    Suspension is of similar quality, with Showa’s SFF-BP (Separate Function Fork – Big Piston) 37 mm diameter upside-down fork making an appearance in the small displacement arena as well as a Horizontal Back_link monoshock at the rear. This is to give the ZX-25R optimum track performance while still being suitable for daily riding.

    With the video series being released one by one, we can assume Indonesian riders are excited about the impending release of the ZX-25R, with the determining factor being the price. In Indonesia, competition for the Kawasaki ZX-24R comes from the Honda CBR250RR, Yamaha YZF-R25 and Suzuki Gixxer SF250.

  • Toyota teases new B-segment SUV – debuts in Geneva

    Click to enlarge

    Toyota has previously stated that it would introduce a SUV positioned below the C-HR, and we won’t need to wait long to see it in full. The Japanese carmaker recently announced that its new B-segment SUV will make its global debut at next month’s Geneva Motor Show.

    Details of the unnamed model are scarce for now, but it is said to blend “Toyota’s extensive small car experience with its strong SUV heritage.” The SUV is also described as having a raised ground clearance, all-wheel drive, and will benefit from the company’s hybrid powertrain technology.

    Based on prior reports, the SUV will be underpinned by the TNGA-B platform, which is also used for the fourth-generation Yaris. As Toyota’s release suggests, the model could receive the same powertrain offerings as the Yaris, including a M15A 1.5 litre M15A Dynamic Force three-cylinder engine that can be mated to either a Direct Shift-CVT or six-speed manual gearbox.

    There’s also a hybrid version that sees the M15A being paired with the Toyota Hybrid System II (THS II) in either front-wheel drive or E-Four (electric all-wheel drive) configurations. A third option is a 1KR 1.0 litre three-cylinder that goes with a Super CVT-i transmission.

    Design-wise, Toyota’s earlier teaser sketch showed a rather angular-looking vehicle with squared-off wheel arches and a distinct window line that is kinked near the C-pillar. This latest announcement comes with a shadowy view of the vehicle in its final form, with notable cues being a rakish rear window and slim taillights. At first glance, there’s certainly an air of the current RAV4 in the SUV’s design, at least from the rear.

    When launched, Toyota’s new B-segment SUV will compete against other models like the Renault Captur, Honda HR-V, Mazda CX-3 and Nissan Juke. Look forward to the Geneva Motor Show, where Toyota will finally reveal all.

  • SPIED: Hyundai 45 – angular production crossover

    Remember the rather fantastical Hyundai 45 Concept from last year’s Frankfurt Motor Show? Well it turns out the car wasn’t so fantastical after all, because it looks like this minimalist crossover is headed to production, as these photos from our European spy photographers show.

    The development prototype that you see here may be covered in copious amounts of camouflage, but that arrow-shaped front end, sharp creases and angular rear hatch mark it out as a car clearly inspired by the show car. The almost beak-like full-width front grille remains, but the headlights are more conventional than the concept’s cubic items, though that may just be for this test mule.

    Shutlines have also been reduced thanks to a clamshell bonnet, while lower down, the bumper sports just a single air intake opening. Along the side, the outlandish quad sliding doors have been replaced by conventional portals and handles, and the side-view cameras have given way to rather basic-looking mirrors. The car will still get SUV-style body mouldings, however, based on the pressings on the front fenders.

    The rear end is heavily disguised, but expect the production car to retain the concept’s heavily creased rump, albeit without some of the fancy pixelated lighting effects. Finishing off the look are the wheels, which may not be quite as intricate as those of the concept, but they still have a radical geometric design that almost has a Ferrari F40 look to it.

    As the 45 Concept was designed as an all-electric vehicle, so should the production version. Currently, Hyundai’s most advanced electric powertrain can be found in the Kona Electric, which is powered by a 204 PS/395 Nm motor juiced by a 64 kWh lithium-ion battery, giving the similarly-sized crossover a range of 482 km on the WLTP cycle. It’s unclear if the 45 will get a more powerful setup, perhaps with all-wheel drive.

    The 45 is inspired and named after Hyundai’s first ever concept car, the 45-year-old Pony Coupé Concept. It’s also so named because the exterior styling, exhibiting a unique version of the company’s Sensuous Sportiness design language, features 45-degree cuts at the front and rear, which is set to be a feature on Hyundai’s future EVs.

  • SPIED: 2021 Range Rover Sport cold-weather testing

    The next-generation Range Rover Sport has commenced road testing, here seen running cold weather trials. The heavy camouflage indicates that the luxury SUV has quite a distance to go before it is ready for debut, though an official unveiling is estimated for the end of 2021 or early in 2022.

    The forthcoming Range Rover Sport, like the next full-sized Range Rover, will be built upon Jaguar Land Rover’s MLA platform that will first underpin the next Jaguar XJ. and this architecture will accommodate petrol, diesel, hybrid and fully electric powertrains.

    These should include the current range of inline-six petrol engines, possibly along with a a BMW-sourced V8 engine for the higher performance versions. The development vehicle here wears quad exhaust tailpipes, and with ‘a really nice sound’ observed by our spy photographers, this unit could feature the V8 engine.

    The battery-electric versions of the forthcoming Range Rover Sport could feature battery packs with capacities approaching the 90 kWh expected to go into the EV version of the fifth-generation Range Rover, and like its big brother, use electric drive components resulting from collaborative work between Jaguar Land Rover and BMW.

    Development of these electric drivetrains are based on progressing BMW’s fifth-generation, or Gen 5 technology, and this new family of EV powertrains can be installed in front- or rear-wheel-drive-based platforms, the latter being the application for the Range Rover Sport.

    Behind the camouflage is likely to be a blend of Velar and current Range Rover Sport styling, though specific design cues are hidden for the time being; more developments for the next-generation Range Rover Sport can be expected in the coming months.

  • Vega EVX to debut at Geneva Motor Show – Sri Lankan electric sports car with 804 hp; 0-100 km/h in 3.1s

    Vega Innovations, a Sri Lankan-based company, has announced that it will introduce its first electric sports car at next month’s Geneva Motor Show. Called the EVX, the two-seat coupe is billed as “South Asia’s first all-electric super car,” and it has the specifications to back up that claim.

    The EVX features two electric motors to give it all-wheel drive as well as a combined output of 804 hp and 760 Nm of torque. The dual-motor setup allows it to accelerate from zero to 100 km/h in just 3.1 seconds, and this is despite its weight of 2,090 kg.

    Powering the motors is a 55-kWh lithium-ion battery, which is said to provide a range of up to 300 km. If that isn’t enough, the company has previously said it would offer a more substantial 130-kWh battery from 2021 to bump the range up to 750 km.

    The EVX uses advance traction control inverters that use patent pending technology for lightweight, high power density requirements. These are capable of 350 kW of peak power and operate at up 900 volts and 600 amps, with liquid cooling based on pin-fin structure baseplate proprietary technology to reduce cost and enhance longevity.

    As for the styling, the front fascia bears some resemblance to the Ferrari 488, while the rest of the body is accentuated by bulging fenders, large side air scoops and a high rump. Other cues include LED daytime running lights, exposed carbon-fibre accents, a large rear diffuser, full-width LED taillights and a pulled-back cabin.

    This isn’t the only project that Vega has planned, as it is also looking at “developing alternative, mass market, transportation vehicles with its international partners.” More details will only be revealed when the EVX makes its debut in Geneva.

  • 2020 Yamaha YZF-R25 colour change, RM19,998

    Donning new colours for this year is the 2020 Yamaha YZF-R25, much favoured sports bike amongst the young Malaysian rider and priced at a recommended retail of RM19,998, excluding road tax, insurance and registration. The new colour schemes for the YZF-R25 are Matte Silver and Matte Blue.

    With new bodywork following the lines of the Yamaha YZF-R1 superbike, the R25 is said to be faster by 8 km/h in top speed. Mechanicals remains the same as the previous generation R25, with a two-cylinder 249 cc, DOHC, liquid-cooled mill mated to a six-speed gearbox producing 35.5 hp at 12,000 rpm and 22.6 Nm of torque at 10,000 rpm.

    The 2020 R25 comes with upside-down forks with gold-anodised fork tubes and at the back is a preload-adjustable monoshock that delivers better performance. Seat height for the R25 is 758 mm, down 22 mm from the previous model while fuel is carried in a 14-litre tank that resembles that on the R1.

    LED lighting is used both front and back for the R25 and inside the cockpit, the LCD instrument panel displays all the necessary information and includes a shift light. Braking is done with dual-piston callipers on a single disc on the front wheel and single-piston calliper on the rear wheel.

    Weight for the R25 is 166 kg. The 2020 Yamaha YZF-R25 is available at authorised Hong Leong Yamaha Motor dealers from February 17.


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Last Updated 15 Feb 2020


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