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  • 2021 Honda CMX1100 Rebel, the metric cruiser returns

    Taking the engine from the CRF1100L Africa twin, Honda, in their infinite wisdom, has released the 2021 Honda CMX1100 Rebel metric cruiser. Going up against the likes of Harley-Davidson Sportsters and Indian Scouts in this segment, the CMX1100 Rebel is, Honda says, designed for the “laid-back” riding experience while able to entertain when the road starts to curve.

    Carrying a Euro 5 compliant, 1,084 cc parallel-twin, SOHC with eight-valves and a 270-degree firing order, the CMX1100 Rebel puts out 85.8 hp at 7,000 rpm and 98 Nm of torque at 4,750 rpm. This compares against the 66 hp at 6,000 rpm and 96 Nm of torque of the Harley-Davidson Sportster Iron 1200 and 100 hp and 97 Nm of torque of the Indian Scout.

    Differing from the way the Africa Twin delivers its power, the CMX1100 Rebel has a flywheel with an additional 32% of mass, keeping the power band low. Additionally the exhaust, valve timing and lift have been adjusted to provide a unique character to the CMX1100’s power deliver delivery.

    Ride-by-wire throttle allows for three-level traction control, with mode switching from the left handlebar pod. There are also four ride modes – Standard, Rain, Sport and User – with the advantage of the User setting being stored automatically ready for use on the next ride.

    There are two options for gearboxes on the CMX1100 Rebel – a standard six-speed box or Honda’s Dual Clutch Transmission (DCT) – with chain final drive. Equipped with the DCT box, the CMX1100 Rebel rider has the choice of automatic shifting or manual with paddle shifts using the left thumb, while the three shift modes match ride modes depending on selection.

    On the handling front, Honda says spirited riding is not forgotten, with a factory-measured 35-degrees of lean angle on either side and 120 mm of ground clearance. Suspension uses 43 mm diameter telescopic forks and twin shock absorbers, with both front and rear suspension adjustable for preload.

    The 18-inch cast aluminium five-spoke front wheel has a single 330 mm brake disc is stopped by a radial mount four-piston monobloc calliper while the rear 16-inch wheel uses a single-piston calliper and 256 mm disc. Inside the cockpit is a round monochrome LCD panel displaying all the information the rider needs to know and a small storage compartment is found under the seat, fitted with USB-C charging port.

    Also standard equipment is cruise control and the low 700 mm seat height will suit most riders while the round, four-element LED headlight is in keeping with cruiser styling language. Seating arrangement on the CMX1100 Rebel is a two-piece affair, with the rear pillion pad easily removable for the rider going solo.

    With 13.6-litres of fuel on board, the CMX1100 tips the scales at 223 kg, 233 kg if you opt for the DCT-equipped version. There are two colour options for the CMX1100 Rebel – Gunmetal Black Metallic and Bordeaux Red Metallic – with a choice between two accessory packs, ‘Street’ or ‘Tour’.

  • BMW 745Le xDrive by BMW Individual Manufaktur – made for the Ellerman House luxury boutique hotel

    BMW Individual Manufaktur has unveiled a new customised version of the BMW 745Le xDrive that will be served as the new Ellerman House (a luxury boutique hotel in Cape Town) chauffeur car. The car was designed by BMW Individual in collaboration with South African artist and botanical sculptor Nic Bladen who is known for his plants cast in precious metals.

    To start, the plug-in hybrid flagship sedan is finished in the exclusive Brass paint, contrasted with BMW Individual High Gloss Shadow Line, 20-inch M light alloy wheels in star spoke design, and M sports package. The brass-coloured door sills feature the “Ellerman House” lettering, and the C-pillars bear the stylised “EH” signet.

    Inside, the car gets BMW Individual Merino full leather upholstery in Tartufo/Cognac colours. The seats are electrically adjustable, of course, and includes massage, heating and ventilation functions. There’s also the Sky Lounge panorama glass roof, ambient lighting, and Ambient Air Package.

    The Tarfuto hue is also used on the door panelling frame, the instrument panel, the Alcantara roof liner, the floor trim, the leather-covered door entry trim, seat panels, as well as the A and B pillars. This creates a luxurious two-tone ambiance, but that’s not all.

    The headrests and comfort cushions (also in Tarfuto finish) get an exclusive floral design embroidery, “EH” signet on the front, and “BMW Individual Manufaktur” lettering on the back. Then there’s Bladen’s work.

    Notice the flora sculptures littered along the dash and door inserts? Those leaves and flowers are native to the country. Bladen typically uses plaster casts and liquid gold, silver or platinum to create similarly detailed sculptures, but for this project, he developed a special process tailored to achieve the flattest two-dimensional design possible.

    Bladen found inspiration in the Fynbos region around Cape Town, which is known for its unique biodiversity. Many of the shrubs, trees, grasses and flowers that are indigenous to the area now face extinction. Among the best-known natural treasures of the Fynbos landscape are the rooibos and protea plants.


  • Universiti Malaysia Kelantan releases “Untuk Malaysia Ku” special plate series – bids open until November 30

    Another new special vehicle registration plate series has been announced. Universiti Malaysia Kelantan is the latest institution to come up with a special plate, badging its UMK series under a Untuk Malaysia Ku tagline.

    Bids for number plates in the series, which run from 1-9999, began on November 23 and runs until November 30, and these are open to individuals as well as companies. Bidding can only be made through a dedicated uBIDA online system.

    The highest valued plate is UMK 1, which starts at RM100,000, with subsequent single-digit plates starting from RM20,000. Meanwhile, two-digit plates are priced from RM5,000, while those for double-digits (UMK 11, 22 etc) start from RM15,000.

    Universiti Malaysia Kelantan is the latest in a line of universities to offer special series number plates since the provision to sell such plates – to raise funds for themselves – was given by the transport ministry last year.

    Last month, International Islamic University Malaysia (IIUM) and Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM) also released their own special run of number plates. Earlier this year, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM) and Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM) announced tenders for their special plates, while Universiti Malaysia Terengganu (UMT) did so for its series last year.

  • 2020 Subaru Liberty Final Edition revealed in Australia – swansong Legacy model limited to just 31 units

    Subaru Australia will bid farewell to the Liberty this year, mainly due to the lack of demand for the sedan, which is more commonly known as the Legacy. According to the company, only 2,441 units of the Liberty were sold over the past two years, compared to its jacked-up wagon sibling, the Outback, that registered sales of 13,844 units.

    Given market preferences, the Liberty will be axed from the local line-up, 31 years since it was first introduced in the country in 1989. Over six generations – Australia didn’t get the seventh-generation model – sales of the Liberty amounted to 153,700 units.

    To commemorate the occasion, the company is rolling out 31 examples of the Liberty Final Edition, with each one priced at AUD39,930 (RM120,039) before on-road costs, according to CarAdvice. This makes it AUD1,990 (RM5,982) more than existing 2.5i Premium AWD trim level on which the special edition is based on, although the company says customers are getting AUD6,400 (RM19,240) worth of extra equipment.

    Those items include 18-inch STI alloy wheels, a front lip spoiler, black exterior highlights, a rear boot lid spoiler and a new mesh pattern for the front grille. Inside, the car gets a numbered badge to mark it out as a Final Edition, along with a Harman Kardon sound system, Ultrasuede trim inserts, blue and black stitching, along with black accents.

    The car is offered in three colours, with Magnetite Grey (with black wheels) available for 15 cars, Crystal Black (with silver wheels) for 10 cars and Crystal White (with gunmetal wheels) on just six examples. No mechanical changes, as a 2.5 litre boxer NA four-cylinder still makes 175 PS (173 hp) and 235 Nm of torque, paired with a Lineartronic CVT and Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive system.

  • 2021 Honda N-One – now with Mugen accessories

    The second-generation Honda N-One arrived with most of its retro styling carried over from the previous car, which was itself inspired by the N360 of the Sixties. The kei-class car now gets a sportier slant with parts from Mugen, with parts for its exterior and chassis.

    Exterior augmentations begin with the gloss black front chin spoiler that is fitted to the N-One’s front bumper, joined by a carbon-fibre license plate surround. Further along are side skirt extensions, bookended by a set of 15-inch forged aluminium wheels which also reduce the N-One’s unsprung mass. Up top, the roof spoiler gets an extension piece as well.

    Performance-related upgrades for the N-One include an exhaust system that can be specified with a choice of carbon-fibre, stainless steel or titanium outlets, and two different styles of aluminium oil filler cap in five colours each. A high-performance air intake filter is due to be available in January.

    Also available are carbon-look exterior decals, Mugen badging, license plate bolts, window shrouds and side mirror coating, while inside, the N-One interior can fitted with optional parts such as Mugen floor mats, sports pedals, shift knobs in either carbon-fibre, leather or aluminium.

    The Mugen range of accessories leaves the N-One’s base powertrain untouched, which remains a 658 cc three-cylinder engine that is naturally aspirated in the Original and Premium variants, producing 58 PS at 7,300 rpm and 65 Nm of torque at 4,800 rpm.

    Meanwhile, the Premium Tourer and RS variants gain turbocharging for outputs of 64 PS at 6,000 rpm and 104 Nm at 2,600 rpm. Both engines are paired with continuously variable transmission and front- or all-wheel-drive, with the top RS variant being FWD only and available with a six-speed manual gearbox.

    The N-One is offered with a Rear Seat Reminder to alert the driver to any rear seat occupants, just in case, while additional features include auto high beam and reverse pedal misapplication control, AEB, adaptive cruise control with stop and go, lane keeping assist, lane centring assist and traffic sign recognition.

    What do you think, dear readers? Is the sportier, Mugen-kitted N-One for you, or is the standard, more retro look better suited to Honda’s kei car?

    GALLERY: 2021 Honda N-One

  • Tesla market value passes RM2 trillion after super rally – Elon Musk is now the world’s second richest man

    Crazy stuff. Tesla’s market value shot past US$500 billion (that’s RM2.044 trillion) yesterday, the latest peak in a super rally that has seen the EV maker’s stock jump over 500% in 2020. As investors bought Tesla shares in the run-up to its debut in the S&P 500, the counter rose nearly 5% yesterday, putting its market capitalisation at $519 billion.

    According to Reuters, the frenzy started from November 16, when it was announced Tesla would join the S&P 500 benchmark. Since then, Tesla shares have risen by over 30%. It’ll come down in time, perhaps, but at its current share prices, Elon Musk‘s company is by far the world’s most valuable automaker despite making just a fraction of what traditional big boys Toyota, Volkswagen and GM roll out.

    Never mind the carmakers – currently, Tesla is Wall Street’s seventh most valuable company, just behind Berkshire Hathaway. It could even overtake Warren Buffett’s company in the future, as index funds that replicate the S&P 500 will have to buy more than $50 billion worth of Tesla’s stock ahead of its inclusion to the index on December 21.

    Also, Goldman Sachs has estimated that actively managed mutual funds could buy another $8 billion of Tesla shares after it is added to the S&P 500. Tesla has seen five consecutive quarters of profit after years of losses, so there’s at least some correlation between the share price frenzy and the company’s actual performance.

    Tesla gains have propelled Elon Musk to be the world’s second richest man, overtaking Microsoft founder Bill Gates. Musk, whose personal net worth jumped by $7.2 billion to $128 billion with the share price surge, is now only behind Amazon founder Jeff Bezos.

    While Tesla is grabbing all the headlines, shares of other EV companies have also rallied in recent months. This is due to US president-elect Joe Biden campaign promise of boosting EVs. “One of the core underpinnings of the Biden platform will be around pushing clean energy and zero-emissions vehicles with hopes of accelerating the deployment of electric vehicles and public charging outlets by 2030,” Wedbush analyst Daniel Ives wrote in a research note, reported by Reuters.

    Nio, China’s NYSE-listed answer to Tesla, has seen its shares rise 72% in November.

  • Rolls-Royce releases Neon Nights colours for Black Badge models – only four examples of each worldwide

    Rolls-Royce’s Black Badge range is meant to appeal to younger customers who are affluent enough to afford one. Given the name, you might think that these cars are only offered in black, but that’s not the case. In fact, customers can order Black Badge models in any colour that pleases them, with the company’s bespoke programme ready to serve.

    However, there still appears to be a preconceived notion that these cars have to be black, which is why the carmaker is releasing a new Neon Nights paint selection as a counterpoint. The new hues come after the Pastel Collection that was released at last year’s Pebble Beach event.

    Comprising of the Wraith, Dawn and Cullinan Black Badge, the Neon Nights colours were inspired by nature and were initially created for clients in the United States. The first is the Wraith Black Badge in a Lime Rock Green finish, a colour that points towards the Australian green tree frog.

    The creature was first encountered by Rolls-Royce Bespoke paint specialist Sami Coultas on a trip to Tamworth, north of Sydney, and the finish is complemented by an interior that is covered in Scivaro Grey leather, with Lime Rock Green accents in the form of stitching and piping.

    Next up is the Dawn Black Badge with an Eagle Rock Red paintjob that mimics the flowers of ‘Ohi’a lehua, an evergreen tree native to Hawaii, paired with an interior finished in Selby Grey leather with Koi Red stitching and piping details.

    The last example is the Cullinan Black Badge that gets a paint finish reminiscent of Rhetus periander butterfly, resulting in the Mirabeau Blue finish you see here. The inside of the SUV gets an Arctic White leather interior detailed in Lime Rock Green for a dramatic contrast. All three cars have a Technical Fibre fascia embellished with a distinct graphic, where the “paint effect provides an intense neon glow and depicts the distortion of artificial light with speed,” says Rolls-Royce.

    These colours will be extremely rare, as only three further iterations of each colour will be made available for commission worldwide, making a limited run of just four of each colour.

  • 2021 Audi TTS now with 320 PS, competition plus trim

    While the future of the Audi TT still hangs in the balance, Ingolstadt has updated the more potent TTS just in time for the new year. The mid-range performance variant of the ever-stylish two-door gets a mild 14 PS power bump to 320 PS, although peak torque remains identical at 400 Nm.

    Despite the increased output from the 2.0 litre TFSI turbocharged four-cylinder petrol engine, the zero-to-100 km/h sprint times are identical to the outgoing model, rated at 4.5 seconds for the Coupé and 4.8 seconds for the Roadster. The top speed is also still limited to 250 km/h.

    One change is that the combined fuel consumption figures have increased slightly to between 7.3 and 7.6 litres per 100 km, up from 7.1 to 7.3 litres per 100 km before. A seven-speed S tronic dual-clutch transmission, quattro all-wheel drive and magnetorheological dampers continue to be standard-fit.

    In addition to the slightly more powerful mill, Audi has also introduced a new competition plus trim level, giving the TTS a sportier look and increased equipment. On the outside, the car is differentiated through gloss black (instead of silver) exterior trim, door mirrors and badging, as well as a fixed rear wing, red brake callipers, black four-ring side decals and massive 20-inch Y-spoke black alloy wheels.

    Step inside, and you’ll find black quilted Nappa leather upholstery with red or blue stitching, complete with embossed S badging. The centre console and seat trims are also finished in grey as standard and can be optioned in either turbo blue or a Coupé-only tango red, the latter coming with matching carpet stitching. An Alcantara-wrapped gearknob and steering wheel (with contrasting 12 o’clock marker) are fitted as well.

    If the competition plus moniker sounds familiar to you, that’s because the standard TT was given the same treatment earlier this month, with much of the same accoutrements.

    GALLERY: Audi TTS Coupé competition plus

    GALLERY: Audi TTS Roadster competition plus

  • Europe climate group calls for PHEV subsidies to end, says the cars emit a lot more CO2 than advertised

    “Plug-in hybrids are fake electric cars, built for lab tests and tax breaks, not real driving,” said Julia Poliscanova. She is the clean vehicles senior director of the European campaign group Transport and Environment (T&E), which recently commissioned emissions tests on several PHEV models.

    The tests were conducted by Emissions Analytics on three PHEVs – the G05 BMW X5, Volvo XC60, and Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV. Results showed that, even under optimal conditions, the trio emitted far more CO2 than advertised, Reuters reports.

    T&E has since called for an end to subsidies and tax breaks for these “fake electric cars.” “Governments should stop subsidising these cars with billions in taxpayers’ money,” Poliscanova said.

    PHEVs are often referred to as a “gateway technology” designed to get motorists comfortable with electric vehicle (EV) technology. The tech allows them to experience the benefits of pure electric driving by taking range anxiety out of the equation. It has also helped carmakers stretch returns on their investments in combustion engine technologies.

    According to the report, PHEV sales comprise of nearly half of electrified vehicle sales in the European Union in the first three quarters of 2020. More people are buying PHEVs to take advantage of government subsidies.

    T&E and other climate groups have been especially critical of plug-in hybrid vehicles because when their battery runs out of juice, the combustion engine will have to work harder to move “dead weight” and recharge the battery at the same time. This, of course, directly correlates with its tests findings.

    Earlier in February, the Daily Mail stated that PHEVs emit at least three times more CO2 in the real world compared to advertised figures, and some of the cars are even more polluting than lighter petrol vehicles.

    In response to requests for comment, a Volvo spokesperson told Reuters in an email that “all Volvo cars are certified and fully comply with existing emissions legislation.”

    Mitsubishi spokeswoman Amanda Gibson also said that independent tests can produce unreliable or variable figures depending on conditions and “we naturally contest any findings where we have no oversight of the testing or methodology.” BMW has yet to provide an official statement.

    Recently, the European Union proposed tighter emissions limits for carmakers to hit, in order for their activities to be classified as a “sustainable investment.” Under those rules, hybrid vehicles would lose their “green” label from 2026 onwards.

  • Audi TT Coupe and Roadster ‘bronze selection’ edition

    Besides the Audi TTS competition plus, the four rings also unveiled a ‘bronze selection’ special model for the TT and TTS, available for order by Europeans in the spring of 2021.

    Bronze has been a thing in the world of watches for some time now, and here is the warm tone in a car. No patina here though, thankfully. The bronze selection package by Audi Sport GmbH sees the TT Coupe and Roadster get bronze elements on the seat trim, centre console and air vents. Besides the fine paint finish, there are also copper contrasting stitching on the sports seats. No interior pics were supplied, so we can only imagine for now.

    Choose from chronos gray, glacier white and mythos black exterior colours, which match the bronze hue of the 20-inch 5-V-spoke star design wheels. The Audi rings in the same colour on the side sills is a simple but nice touch.

    Bronze accents aside, the bronze selection comes highly specified. In addition to LED lights front and rear, buyers will get a B&O sound system, ‘aluminium drift’ inlays and an expanded leather package with contrasting stitch. The honeycomb insert of the Singleframe grille is painted in gloss black for the TT and matte titanium black for the TTS. The regular car gets two exhaust pipes while the TTS comes with its usual quad tips.

    The bronze selection package will cost 6,190 euros including 19% VAT (RM30,128) for the TT and 4,490 euros (RM21,854) for the TTS. The regular TT Coupe and Roadster is powered by a 2.0 TFSI engine in 197 PS or 245 PS tunes, while the TTS packs in 306 PS in a small body.


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Last Updated 21 Nov 2020


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