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  • 2020 Porsche 718 Cayman GT4, Boxster Spyder in Malaysia – 4.0L NA Boxer, 6-speed manual, fr RM970k

    If the recent Porsche 911 Speedster was a little too out of reach for you, then here’s some good news. The Porsche 718 range in Malaysia has just been graced by the arrival of the Boxster Spyder and Cayman GT4, with base prices starting from RM970k and RM999k respectively.

    The pair made their grand debut in June last year and are both the performance flagships of the 718 Cayman and 718 Boxster line-ups. Power comes from a 4.0 litre naturally-aspirated flat-six engine that produces 420 PS and 420 Nm of torque, and the uprated engine revs to 8,000 rpm. Note that this engine isn’t an adaptation of the 991.2 911 GT3‘s lump (which revs to 9,000 rpm), but rather a re-bored and NA version of the 3.0 litre turbo unit from the 992 Carrera range.

    A six-speed manual transmission is the sole gearbox on offer, which sends power from the mid-mounted engine to the rear wheels. Both cars manage the century sprint in 4.4 seconds and would break past the 300 km/h barrier (301 km/h for the Spyder and 304 km/h for the GT4). The engine features cylinder deactivation (a sign of the times) for improved fuel efficiency, while the gearbox gets dynamic rev-matching.

    Porsche’s high-performance GT chassis is standard here, featuring race-derived lightweight spring-strut axles with adjustable camber, ride height, toe angle, and anti-roll bars. Porsche Active Suspension Management is also standard, while the Porsche Stability Management operates at a higher degree of sensitivity.

    On the subject of grip, there’s Porsche Torque Vectoring with mechanical rear differential lock, and the sports cars are shod with mixed ultra-high performance Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tyres. Braking comes courtesy of internally ventilated and drilled rotors, clamped with huge aluminium monobloc fixed calipers. Customers can upgrade to the Porsche Ceramic Composite Brake (PCCB), should they fancy.

    Options for the GT4 include the Clubsport package, which nets an additional rear steel roll bar, hand-held fire extinguisher, and six-point seatbelt harness for the driver. The Spyder Classic pack, meanwhile, comes with a nice two-tone Bordeaux Red/Black cabin for a more exquisite finish.

    In terms of design, both cars get honeycomb mesh inserts up for the intake that maximise air flow, full LED headlights and tail lights with signature four-point DRLs, 20-inch alloys, and optimised aerodynamic parts.

    In the case of the Cayman GT4, the prominent rear wing produces 20% more downforce than its predecessor, or roughly 12 kg more downforce at 200 km/h. The newly-designed single-chamber arch rear exhaust silencer accounts for 30% of downforce on the GT4’s rear axle, and all these yield up to a 50% increase in downforce without adversely affecting drag.

    The Boxster Spyder, on the other hand, gets a retractable rear wing that deploys at 120 km/h. Together with the new diffuser, Porsche says it’s the first Boxster to generate downforce at the rear axle. The fabric soft top is also manually operated, because lightweight. So, between the two, which would you pick?

    Find out more at your preferred dealer: Porsche Centre Ara Damansara, Sungai Besi or Penang.

    GALLERY: Porsche 718 Cayman GT4

    GALLERY: Porsche 718 Boxster Spyder

  • Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 and 718 Spyder Malaysian digital launch – watch the live event online here!

    The Malaysian launch of the Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 and Porsche 718 Spyder will be happening very soon at 8pm, and you can watch the unveiling of these two very special sports cars here, live.

    These two performance flagships of the 718 Cayman and Boxster range need no hyping up – these mid-engined GT babies are truly special. If you’re a car enthusiast (no need to be a Porsche fanboy even), here’s the yummy-sounding recipe – how bout a big NA engine paired to a manual gearbox?

    Both Cayman GT4 and 718 Spyder are powered by a 4.0 litre naturally-aspirated flat-six producing 420 PS and 420 Nm of torque from 5,000 to 6,800 rpm. That’s just a few horses away from the Cayman GT4 Clubsport track car. Max engine speed is 8,000 rpm. As a concession to the times we live in, there’s stop-start and cylinder deactivation.

    The six-speed manual transmission comes with a dual-mass flywheel and throttle-blip function. Both the coupe and roadster are good for 0-100 km/h in 4.4 seconds. Top speed for the Cayman GT4 is 304 km/h, while the “Boxster Spyder” does 301 km/h.

    Aero revisions on the Cayman GT4 see increases in downforce of up to 50% without adversely affecting drag, says Porsche. Both models benefit from a newly-designed single-chamber arch rear exhaust silencer, which creates space for a functional diffuser – this accounts for 30% of the rear axle downforce on the GT4.

    Meanwhile, the coupe’s prominent rear wing produces 20% more downforce than its predecessor, translating to an extra 12 kg of downforce at 200 km/h. This is balanced at the front end with a front spoiler lip, while airflow along the front wheels is controlled by air curtains.

    As for the 718 Spyder, its rear spoiler is a movable item which deploys at 120 km/h; together with the new diffuser, it’s the first Boxster to generate downforce at the rear axle, Porsche says. The Spyder also comes with a manual roof mechanism for weight saving purposes. Yup, you’ve got to get out of the car and stow away the roof yourself – no push button stuff. Inside door pulls instead of handles, too.

    We’ll find out more about the pricing later. These GT cars won’t be cheap that’s for sure, but as possibly the last of their kind (big NA engine, manual, today’s climate), it’s really a case of now or never. Stay tuned and join us at the digital launch, starting 8pm here. Remember to turn up the volume!


  • Jaguar F-Pace with 300 PS 2.0L Ingenium engine launched in Malaysia – three variants; 20 units only

    Jaguar Land Rover Malaysia has launched a new “limited-edition” F-Pace, which features a more powerful 2.0 litre Ingenium turbo four-cylinder engine. Only 20 units will be offered to customers and they are available in three variants, starting with the base Prestige, followed by the R-Sport Mid-spec and R-Sport Hi-spec.

    This batch of cars do not effectively replace the current F-Pace being offered here, which also sports the same engine mentioned at the start. Instead, they provide an avenue for those who want more power, although they’ll need to hurry to secure a unit for themselves given their limited availability.

    On the “limited-edition” F-Pace, the Ingenium mill makes 300 PS at 5,500 rpm and 400 Nm of torque from 1,500 to 4,500 rpm. The figures represent a 50 PS and 35 Nm improvement over the F-Pace we got back in April 2018, which also had the same engine but was tuned to deliver 250 PS and 365 Nm. Just like that version, a ZF-sourced 8HP45 and all-wheel drive system come as standard.

    In terms of performance, the 300 PS F-Pace will get from zero to 100 km/h in 6.1 seconds and on to a top speed of 233 km/h – the former is quicker than the 250 PS version that takes 6.8 seconds to complete the century sprint.

    Also familiar is the Configurable Dynamics system, which enables drivers to select between Normal and Sports modes for the throttle response, gearbox and steering. There’s also Adaptive Dynamics that modifies damping qualities by analysing acceleration, cornering, throttle and brake pedal activity to optimise the suspension settings, although this is reserved for the R-Sport Hi-spec.

    The standardised kit list for all three variants includes a powered tailgate with hands-free function, a 10-inch Touch Pro infotainment system, Android Auto and Apple CarPlay support, Lane Keep Assist and Driver Condition Monitor.

    On a variant-to-variant basis, the Prestige comes with 20-inch five-split-spoke “Style 5031” alloy wheels in a Grey Diamond Turned finish, LED headlamps, dual-zone climate control, leather upholstery, a tyre pressure monitoring system, rear-seat remote release levers and power-reclining rear seats.

    The R-Sport Mid-spec adds on adaptive LED headlamps with automatic high beam assist, LED daytime running lights, an ambient lighting system for the interior and gloss black roof rails. Meanwhile, the R-Sport Hi-spec gets Adaptive Surface Response (AdsR), which recognises differences between surfaces to maximise grip by adjusting engine and brake settings, along with 22-inch wheels.

    Aside from choosing their preferred variant, customers will also have a choice of six exterior finishes, namely Fuji White, Santorini Black, Eiger Grey, Portofino Blue, Firenze Red and Indus Silver. Pricing starts at RM436,420.82 on-the-road without insurance for the Prestige, which factors in the current 50% sales tax waiver for CBU cars by the government that is currently in effect until the end of 2020.

    Higher up, the R-Sport Mid-spec goes for RM470,212.97, while the R-Sport Hi-spec retails at RM485,433.81. All vehicles sold come with a “Jaguar Care” programme that includes a five-year warranty, five years free service and three years roadside assistance.

  • Fisker in talks with Volkswagen for MEB platform; shared parts could halve development time – report

    Fisker is reportedly in talks with Volkswagen for the use of key electric vehicle components, including drive batteries, in an electric SUV that is slated for debut in 2022, according to Automotive News Europe. This would entail the use of Volkswagen’s MEB modular electric vehicle platform in order to halve development time for the Ocean, an electric SUV that Fisker revealed at the beginning of this year at CES 2020.

    “Fisker is negotiating a source of battery supply which would provide Fisker with the benefit of one of the world’s biggest battery supply procurement contracts,” said Fisker. The automotive brand in its present guise is a revived one under Fisker Inc., following the California-based firm’s failed efforts in attracting Zhejiang Geely Holding Group and Dongfeng Motor Corp as majority stakeholder.

    According to Fisker CEO Henrik Fisker, the company is currently in talks with several automakers for parts supply contracts, although Fisker did not mention Volkswagen by name, Automotive News Europe reported. Should talks for parts supply culminate in confirmed deals, Fisker will not need to manufacture its own air conditioning, steering rack or platform, the CEO said.

    Fisker Karma

    The maker of the Karma hybrid first unveiled its concept in 2008, and had planned for its production to commence in 2010 after securing a US$529 million loan in 2009 from the United States Energy Department.

    This loan was however frozen two years after that because of delays in launching the Karma. Then-supplier of the Karma’s lithium-ion batteries, A123 Systems went bankrupt, then founder Henrik Fisker resigned in 2013 over disagreements with executive management of the time.

    Back to the present, the Fisker Ocean was also announced at its unveiling in January to be priced from US$37,499 (RM154,000), or US$37,499 (RM154,000) after US federal incentives have been applied. A flexible lease option starting from US$379 (RM1,600) per month was also announced, and Fisker had begun collecting reservations at US$250 (RM1,000) per unit.

  • Givi Malaysia launches Antartica top case – RM420

    Synonymous with motorcycle luggage in Malaysia is the name Givi and the latest product in its range is the Givi Antartica B42N Monolock top case. Priced at RM420 that excludes the necessary mounting hardware and brackets which varies by motorcycle type, the Antartica top box is a Malaysian made product with the design team led by Muhammad Ilhamy Abdul Latiff, assisted by Givi Italy.

    Manufactured in the Givi facility in Bukit Beruntung, Selangor, where the research and design department is also located, the Antartica top case features prismatic reflectors on the corners to enhance visibility to other road users and thus rider safety. Givi intends to manufacture some 30,000 Antartica boxes in the first year of production for the Malaysian, regional and international markets.

    Internal capacity of the Antartica top case is 42-litres, which is enough to accommodate two jet style helmets or one modular helmet and some miscellaneous riding gear. The top case also comes with Givi’s patented Micro 3 locking system that keeps the rider’s belongings secure but is designed for easy one-handed operation.

    Made from high grade polypropylene (PP), the exact mixture of the polymer used in the Antartica is proprietary to Givi, along with the manufacturing technique. This gives the rider sturdy, strong and secure top case designed for long service life with Givi giving a two-year warranty against manufacturing defects with authorised Givi dealer deliveries scheduled to begin in August.

    “We saw that the E43 became one of the most popular top cases among motorcyclists everywhere. They loved the large capacity and shape as it allowed them to carry almost anything in just one place,” said On Hai Swee, managing director of Givi Asia. “That is why the B42N Antartica has a 42-liter capacity and is boxy in shape, but of a revolutionary design and with enhanced visibility,” On added.

  • Kia Telluride Nightfall Edition – stealth look for WCOTY

    Click to enlarge

    Kia has released the Telluride Nightfall Edition, which gives a stealthy dark look to the big SUV, which is the reigning 2020 World Car of the Year. The serial award winner is also the current North American Utility Vehicle of the Year, while garnering accolades from Motor Trend and Car and Driver – all in its debut year.

    The Nightfall Edition package is available on the Telluride EX AWD (with Premium package), SX AWD and SX Prestige package in the US. Black exterior elements include a new design radiator grille and unique 20-inch wheels, which also have black lug nuts and centre caps.

    Also in gloss black are the SUV’s roof rails, greenhouse trim/lower door side moulding, skid plates and front bumper side air-duct garnish. The more sinister look is completed by gloss black emblems, including unique Kia logos, and LED headlamps/fog lamps with black inner bezels.

    Click to enlarge

    While the example here is fully in black, one can in fact have the Nightfall in eight colours – Black, Sangria, Black Copper, Dark Moss and the Nightfall-exclusive Wolf Gray.

    The Kia Telluride is a seriously handsome SUV. Designed at Kia’s California studio and assembled in Georgia, the big SUV provides seating for up to eight, and is powered by a 291 hp/355 Nm 3.8 litre V6. The Atkinson cycle GDI motor is paired to an eight-speed automatic transmission with available active on-demand all-wheel drive.

    Together with sister car Hyundai Palisade, the big Korean SUVs are a step up in size from the Kia Sorento and Hyundai Santa Fe (both were recently refreshed) that we’re familiar with, and in markets like the US, they rival cars such as the Toyota Highlander, Honda Pilot, Nissan Pathfinder and Ford Explorer.

    GALLERY: The regular Kia Telluride

  • AD: Book a new Volvo online to receive a free Polestar Optimization package worth RM5,250 – only in July!

    How does booking a Volvo this month net one more power and response? That’s actually possible because Volvo Car Malaysia is now having a promo where those who book a new Volvo online are entitled to receive a complimentary Polestar Optimization package worth RM5,250.

    Bookings can be done online at Volvo’s website. All you have to do is to fill in the form and your car will be ready in no time. Volvo reps will get in touch with you to guide you through the next steps. The campaign is from now till July 31, and customers are to take delivery of the booked unit by August 31, 2020.

    The Polestar Optimization package improves the powertrain in five areas, including throttle response, off-throttle response, gearshift speed, gearshift precision and gear hold, and engine performance. The latter sees an increase in output (more horsepower and torque) in the Drive-E engines found in Volvo’s T5 and T8 models.

    The complimentary Polestar Optimization package will be in addition to any current promotions. Subject to stock availability, and terms and conditions apply. Click here to find out more.

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  • 2021 Toyota Corolla Apex Edition launched in the US – styling and suspension upgrades; only 6,000 units

    This is the new 2021 Toyota Corolla Apex Edition, which is a limited-edition model that will be sold in the United States as part of the Corolla’s 2021 model year update. Only 6,000 Apex Editions will be offered and it is available on either the SE or XSE grades of the Corolla Sedan – the US gets a different face from us.

    So, what makes the Apex Edition special? Well, the company says it “has a message to driving enthusiasts looking for a head-turning, corner-carving affordable sport sedan,” so let’s break that down bit by bit.

    To turn heads, the model gets a sporty, aerodynamic black body kit that consists of a front splitter, fog lamp covers, side mouldings and a rear diffuser, along with some bronze accents. The car also comes with black mirror caps, a throatier catback exhaust system with a 3.5-inch stainless steel tip, and smoked taillights to give it a more menacing look.

    Those who want to “display even more attitude” can also specify an optional boot spoiler as well, while the list of body colours includes Cement, Super White and Black Sand Pearl – the first two options are paired with a Black Sand Pearl roof.

    Meanwhile, to carve corners, the Apex Edition comes with new coil springs that lower the vehicle by 15 mm (0.6 inches) and boast an increased spring rate to reduce vehicle roll and better steering response. To ensure the lowered ride height doesn’t hinder ride quality, jounce bumpers have also been fitted.

    Further upgrades include dampers with internal rebound springs provide increased damping force that controls vertical and roll movement, while stabiliser bars help increase rigidity. Altogether, the suspension changes increase roll stiffness by 47% in the front and 33% in the rear.

    If that isn’t enough, a set of 18-inch flow-formed cast aluminium wheels in gloss black help to reduce unsprung mass by one kg (2.2 lbs) per wheel, and they can be paired with either all-season or summer tyres. The car’s electric power steering also gets a retuning to comply with the aforementioned suspension enhancements.

    Moving side, the Corolla SE Apex Edition will feature premium fabric upholstery, while the XSE Apex Edition gets black SofTex-trimmed fabric upholstery. The XSE Apex Edition will also feature heated front seats, including an 8-way power-adjustable driver’s seat with power lumbar support.

    Under the bonnet, the 2.0 litre four-cylinder Dynamic Force engine remains unchanged, as it continues to deliver 169 hp at 6,600 rpm and 205 Nm of torque at 4,800 rpm. The mill is mated to either a Dynamic-Shift CVT or six-speed Intelligent Manual Transmission (iMT), although the latter is severely limited in its availability, as only 120 Apex Editions will come with it.

    Aside from the Apex Edition, the 2021 Corolla line-up will retain the same 1.8 hybrid and non-hybrid powertrains as before. Equipment updates for the range includes Android Auto compatibility, joining the Apple CarPlay and Amazon Alexa systems that were already standard on the 2020 model, while new rear side airbags bring the total count to 10.

    All Corolla models for 2021 also gain Automatic Engine Shut-Off, which will automatically turn off the engine after a pre-determined period of time in the event the vehicle is left running. The LE grade can also be ordered with a new Convenience Package that adds on a blind spot monitor, keyless entry and 16-inch alloys. Rear cross-traffic Alert with blind spot monitoring will be standard on the XLE and XSE grades and optional for the LE and LE Hybrid and SE grade with CVT.

    Other improvements include an Audio Plus infotainment system for the XSE, which is optional on the SE grade with CVT and includes Service Connect and Remote Connect. A Premium Audio package for both grades adds a nine-speaker, 800-watt JBL sound system and navigation function with connected services.

    For the SE grade, a Nightshade Edition returns for the 2021 model year, sporting black accents to contrast the Super White, Classic Silver Metallic or Black Sand Pearl exteriors. These can be seen on the 18-inch alloy wheels, black bumpers, front grille surround, mirror caps, side rockers, door handles, rear spoiler, shark fin antenna and exterior badges.

  • Audi to lead software development at Volkswagen Group following imminent departure of division chief

    Volkswagen Group will shift leadership for software development over to Audi, according to CEO Herbert Diess. “The centre of gravity for software development will move from Wolfsburg to Ingolstadt,” Diess said at a virtual conference, Automotive News Europe reported.

    The Wolfsburg-based automaker was reported by Handelsblatt earlier this week to be replacing its head of digital car and services Christian Senger following clashes with the company, and concerns for the software problems faced with the fully-electric ID.3 as well as the eighth-generation Golf.

    Previously having worked in BMW for development of the i3, Senger was enlisted by Diess as part of a network of external managers who were brought in to reform the company, according to Automotive News Europe. Senger’s role was pivotal to the development of the MEB electric vehicle platform that underpins the ID.3 as well as other EVs in the group, it said.

    The software development position is one of the most important in the development of new generation electric vehicles, the site noted, as the latest EVs are far more reliant of computing power than conventional internal combustion engines.

    Senger was also leaving his position as boardmember of the Volkswagen brand, the report quoted the German newspaper saying, though it added that Diess had hoped Senger would remain with the company.

    Separately, the Volkswagen brand has been reported to have frozen the hiring of new staff until the end of 2020, according to Automotive News Europe. Despite recovery in demand, car sales remain below levels before the coronavirus pandemic, said Volkswagen brand CEO Ralf Brandstätter in an interview published in an internal VW newsletter, which was seen by Reuters.

    “We remain under substantial cost pressure. Deliveries and therefore revenue have dropped sharply. At the same time a large amount of costs remain. This is why we have decided not to add new people,” Brandstätter said.

  • PSA and FCA merger group to be called Stellantis

    Last year in December, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) and the PSA Group announced that they would enter into a 50:50 merger deal to form one of the world’s largest automakers. Both companies have now announced that the company formed from that deal will be called Stellantis.

    According to a joint press release, the name is rooted in the Latin verb “stello” meaning “to brighten with stars”. It adds that the name’s Latin origins “pay tribute to the rich history of its founding companies while the evocation of astronomy captures the true spirit of optimism, energy and renewal driving this industry-changing merger.”

    However, the name will be used exclusively as a corporate brand name, with the next step being the unveiling of a logo to go along with it. The names and logos of the merged group’s various brands, of which there are 14 of them, will remain unchanged.

    Both companies are expecting the completion of the merger project to happen in the first quarter of 2021, subject to customary closing conditions, including approval by shareholders as well as antitrust and other regulatory requirements.


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Last Updated 11 Jul 2020