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  • GALLERY: Mercedes-Benz C350e with full AMG Line

    So far, we’ve seen the Mercedes-Benz C 350 e plug-in hybrid in standard form as well as with AMG Line interior, but a top-of-the-range example with the sportier exterior has remained elusive. Now, however, the full ensemble has become available for us to check out, so we’ve provided you with an in-depth photo gallery to give you a closer look at you’ll get for all that money.

    As intimated during the launch of the car last October, the C 350 e AMG Line is priced at RM299,888, RM10,000 more expensive than the Avantgarde model and RM5,000 more than the one with the AMG Line interior. That price is on-the-road without insurance, inclusive of a four-year, unlimited-mileage warranty.

    Outside, the C 350 e is differentiated from its petrol-powered siblings through blue highlights around the LED Intelligent Light System headlight projectors, as well as blue front brake callipers and blue “Plug-in Hybrid” badging on the front fenders.

    On top of that, the full AMG Line model tacks on more aggressive front and rear bumpers and deeper side sills – the same as you’d find on the C 250 AMG Line – plus the 19-inch AMG multi-spoke alloy wheels already found on the AMG Line interior model (and the short-lived C 300 AMG Line).

    Inside, the only identifiers that this is a plug-in hybrid are C 350 e-specific screens on the COMAND centre display and the instrument cluster’s multi-info display. Other than that, it’s the standard-fare C-Class interior, with the AMG Line models adding an AMG flat-bottomed steering wheel, metallic highlights and an analogue centre clock.

    Standard features on the C 350 e include keyless entry, push-button start, a sunroof, Thermotronic three-zone climate control, a reverse camera and a 13-speaker, Audio 20 infotainment system and 7.0-inch screen and a 590-watt Burmester sound system. Opting for either of the two AMG Line models throws in a panoramic sunroof and a 360-degree camera.

    Power comes from the ubiquitous M270 2.0 litre four-cylinder turbocharged petrol engine that develops 208 hp and 350 Nm of torque – the same outputs as the C 250. Sandwiched between it and the 7G-Tronic Plus automatic transmission is an 80 hp/340 Nm electric motor, resulting in a total system output of 279 hp and a whopping 600 Nm.

    As a result, the C 350 e is capable of sprinting from zero to 100 km/h in 5.9 seconds, as well as delivering a combined fuel consumption figure of just 2.1 litres per 100 km on the European NEDC cycle and carbon dioxide emissions of only 49 grams per kilometre. All-electric range is 31 km, and the car can travel in this mode at speeds of up to 130 km/h.

    Juicing the electric motor is a 6.38 kWh lithium-ion battery that sits under the boot floor, resulting in a stepped luggage bay and reduced space from 475 litres to 335 litres. Charging time is around one hour and 45 minutes via the RM7,500 wallbox, or two and a half hours through the standard household 230 V outlet; the charging port is located under the right tail light.

    Want to know how the Mercedes-Benz C 350 e drives? You can either read our full review or watch the latest episode of the Driven Web Series – where we pitch the three-pointed star against the BMW 330e and the cut-price Volkswagen Passat 2.0 TSI. For a complete look at the different specifications of the C 350 e variants, as well as to get the best deals on a new car, visit CarBase.my.

     
  • BARU: Artikel terkini dalam Bahasa Malaysia

  • Mercedes-Benz GLC 200 – end-August launch, RM289k

    Another locally-assembled Mercedes-Benz GLC variant is set to go on sale in Malaysia – the GLC 200 will soon join the GLC 250 4Matic, which was introduced in August last year, in the local model line-up.

    The variant is only due to be officially launched at the end of the month, but an example is already on show at a MB dealership in Kuala Lumpur.

    When it goes on sale, the GLC 200 will be priced at RM288,888 (on-the-road, without insurance), which is RM37,000 cheaper than the GLC 250 4Matic.

    The GLC 200 features the same M274 DE 20 2.0 litre turbocharged four-pot engine seen in the GLC 250, but with a lower state of output tune – it has 184 hp and 300 Nm compared to the 211 hp and 350 Nm seen on the latter. The mill is mated to a nine-speed 9G-Tronic automatic transmission, but unlike the GLC 250, there’s no 4Matic on this one.

    The variant also omits the AMG line kit seen on the GLC 250, runs on smaller five-spoke 19-inch wheels (with 235/55 series tyres) and gets LED high performance headlights instead of Intelligent Light System units

    Inside, lighter wood trim and a conventional three-spoke steering wheel (AMG unit on the GLC 250) are to be found, matched to brown or black Artico leather upholstery. The basic Audio 20 unit replaces the 13-speaker Burmester audio system seen on the GLC 250 with a standard audio system.

     
  • Continental unveils integrated wheel and brake for EVs

    Automotive components maker Continental is bringing a strong focus on electric vehicles to the 2017 Frankfurt Motor Show next month – in addition to its inductive wireless charging technology, it is also going to showcase a new integrated wheel and brake concept to rethink the way EVs move and stop.

    Why the need to literally reinvent the wheel? Because electric vehicles are able to utilise regenerative braking to decelerate – recouping the kinetic energy usually lost through mechanical braking – so a physical disc brake system is used less frequently.

    As such, a typical cast iron brake disc could rust, impairing braking performance when it is actually needed, such as under hard braking, or for features such as torque vectoring by braking or autonomous emergency braking. To solve this, Continental has created an aluminium brake disc that resists corrosion.

    The design of the disc is also unique – it is annular and fastened to the star-shaped wheel spoke and hub assembly, which in turn is bolted to the wheel rim; the brake calliper, meanwhile, is upside down and clamps onto the inner edge of the disc. This design permits a larger disc diameter that improves braking performance, and is also said to make brake pad changes easier.

    The use of aluminium brake discs also makes the whole wheel and brake assembly lighter; it has a side effect of being a very good heat conductor, allowing heat generated under braking to quickly dissipate. Continental also claims that the discs do not wear out, with abrasion only happening on the pads – so you’ll only ever have to swap out the latter.

    “Because the brake disk is fixed on the outside and the brake engages from the inside, the brake caliper can be designed particularly light and stiff. The force is transmitted largely symmetrically into the center of the axle, and this has a favorable effect on the noise behavior of the brake,” said Continental brake pre-development boss Paul Linhoff.

     
  • Honda Malaysia celebrates first City Hybrid delivery, launches T3ST DRIV3 R3WARDS campaign for Aug

    To collect the keys to your brand new car is a pretty special experience, but to be the first customer in the whole of Southeast Asia (ASEAN) to do, well that’s a whole new level. That is exactly what happened to Wilson Wong, who became the first customer in the region to receive the new Honda City Hybrid.

    The City Hybrid made its debut in July, and shares the same hybrid powertrain as that found in the Jazz Hybrid. The Sport Hybrid i-DCD system combines a 1.5 litre engine, a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic gearbox with an integrated electric motor, a lithium-ion hybrid battery and an electric driven compressor.

    “The new City and new City Hybrid have been well received by Malaysians alongside other Honda models. We would like to express our heartfelt gratitude to our customers who have supported and placed their confidence in the Honda brand,” said Akkbar Danial, vice president of Honda Malaysia (HM).

    The hybrid variant of the City is priced at RM89,200 on-the-road without insurance, placing it firmly between the mid-spec E (RM82,030) and top-spec V (RM89,240) variants. The only other variant in the City line-up is the base-spec S, which goes for RM75,930.

    According to HM, the E variant is the most popular among customers, accounting for over 40% of more than 11,000 units sales since its introduction four months ago. This is followed by the V variant at 39% and S variant at 21%. Customers also preferred Modern Steel Metallic as their colour of choice (31%), whereas 28% of buyers opted for White Orchid Pearl.

    “I have been searching for a car that is family-friendly yet still offers sporty driving performance. I was very excited when I heard that Honda Malaysia is introducing the New City Hybrid as this model fits my requirements of a spacious model with good safety features, and is fuel efficient and suitable for daily use,” said Wong.

    “After taking it for a test drive, I was even more impressed by the advanced technology in this model and the fact that it is able to provide a powerful and sporty driving performance as well. I am very happy with my new car and the services provided by the dealer,” he continued.

    As a gesture of appreciation, Wong was presented with tickets to the 2017 Formula 1 Petronas Malaysia Grand Prix as well as a Modulo accessories package worth a total of RM5,070.

    HM will also be organising a T3ST DRIV3 R3WARDS campaign, to celebrate the deliveries of the City Hybrid and Jazz Hybrid, along with the launch of the latest CR-V.

    The campaign, which begins from today until the end of August 2017, will see 300 lucky draw winners walk away with cash vouchers worth RM300 each. To stand a chance to win, all you need to do is test drive either the CR-V 1.5L Turbo Premium, Jazz Hybrid or City Hybrid at any of the 91 Honda dealers nationwide.

     
  • DRIVEN: 2018 Maserati GranTurismo, GranCabrio in northern Italy – form is temporary, class is permanent

    Few car brands in the world have as much heritage associated with its name as Maserati. Founded by the Maserati brothers – Alfieri, Ettore, Ernesto and Bindo (Carlo passed away in 1911) – Officine Alfieri Maserati S.p.A. opened in Bologna, Italy on December 1, 1914.

    A dominant force in motorsports during the early 1930s, even Enzo Ferrari himself saw the firm as one of his fiercest competitors. Like Ferrari, Maserati too had to make road-going cars to fund its involvement in motor racing, and the first was the A6 1500 (1947). This was the firm’s first gran turismo (grand tourer), a car that was penned by Pininfarina, and pays respect to Alfieri, who died in 1932. Designed for daily use and not racing, it would be one of several grand tourers to be produced by the trident brand.

    Next came the tre mila cinquecento (3500) GT in 1957, which unlike the A6, was designed from the ground-up and was made in larger numbers as well. The Mistral, Sebring, Ghibli, 3200 GT and many more followed, until we arrive at the car most of you will be familiar with, the GranTurismo.

    First introduced in 2007, the model was quite the stunner when it was unveiled at the Geneva Motor Show. However, many things have changed since that time, and to ensure its halo car remains relevant, Maserati have updated both the GranTurismo and GranCabrio for the 2018 model year. What is it like? We find out on the roads of northern Italy.

    Read The Full Story ›

     
  • SPYSHOTS: Next-gen Hyundai Santa Fe seen testing

    The next-generation Hyundai Santa Fe has been spotted undergoing hot-weather testing, and this time some of its camouflage cladding has been removed, revealing the front of the SUV. It appears to draw heavily upon the design used on the Hyundai Kona, the Korean manufacturer’s B-segment SUV.

    Here, we can see that the next Santa Fe will adopt the Kona’s narrow headlamp design and a similar grille, albeit with two tiers of front lights to the Kona’s three. It’s poised to be quite a head-turner, from the looks of it.

    Details aren’t thick on the ground yet as far as the Santa Fe’s mechanicals are concerned, though it can be expected to adopt the latest available powertrain combinations, possibly including the Elantra’s turbocharged 1.6 litre petrol mill, along with a diesel. A plug-in hybrid powertrain is also possible.

    The upcoming model is said to further build upon its multi-passenger capabilities, with a larger variant of the future Santa Fe set to accommodate up to eight persons, according to Automotive News. The current model seats up to seven. Question is, do you like what you see so far?

     
  • Dyson poaches Aston Martin key exec, for EV project?

    Dyson, the maker of bladeless fans and vacuum cleaners, is coming up with a car. Yes, you heard right, a Dyson car. The appliance company has been busy recruiting top executives from the auto industry, and the latest is a key man from Aston Martin, Autocar reports.

    The latest to join Dyson is David Wyer, previously the director of purchasing at Aston Martin. Wyer is leaving Aston Martin after 22 years at Gaydon, and he will assume the role of head of procurement at Dyson.

    “So, after 22 years at Aston Martin, today is my last day as I leave one great company to take up an exciting opportunity with another, as head of procurement at Dyson,” Wyer said on Linkedin.

    “I have thoroughly enjoyed my time at Aston Martin and have many great memories that will stay with me for a long time. I firmly believe that you work for people, not a company, so I wanted to take this opportunity to thank a couple of people that I have worked for over the years,” he added.

    Last year, ex Aston Martin product development director Ian Minards moved into the same role in Dyson. The Wiltshire, UK based maker of Cool fans also hired Tesla communications executive Ricardo Reyes earlier this year.

    There have been no official confirmation that Dyson is working on a car, but last year, a UK government document inadvertently spilled the beans. “The Government is funding Dyson to develop a new battery electric vehicle at their headquarters in Malmesbury, Wiltshire. This will secure £174 million of investment in the area, creating over 500 jobs, mostly in engineering,” the document read.

     
  • Volkswagen Automotive Academy launched in M’sia

    Volkswagen Passenger Cars Malaysia (VPCM) has launched its Automotive Academy in Glenmarie today, in its ongoing efforts toward fortifying its sales and after-sales operations, via enhancing its training of staff. Located off Jalan Pelukis, the automotive academy is also nearby the brand’s Federal Auto dealership in the area.

    The facility boasts of 14,117 sq ft of built up area over four levels, comprising a workshop area on the ground floor, offices on the mezzanine, six classrooms on the first floor and a cafeteria on the second floor. Maximum personnel capacity is 150 trainees a day, who will be under the tutelage of up to 13 training staff in programmes covering Volkswagen’s products and services.

    Training modules include soft and hard sales skills, technical simulations, diagnostics, and functions, according to Volkswagen. On the workshop level, four work bays and two technical service centre (TSC) bays host equipment which include a laser wheel alignment machine, headlamp adjusters, in-ground hoist, electronic systems training board and diagnostics systems.

    These tools are certified by Volkswagen AG and cater specifically for the Malaysian market, the company says. Additionally, there is a room dedicated to parts system management, where trainees are taught practical and simulated training on managing, storing and categorising parts and equipment as one would in an actual after-sales operation.

    “The Volkswagen Automotive Academy was established with the mission to achieve excellent standards of quality education and create technical manpower of global standards with the capabilities of facing new challenges in the automotive industry,” said managing director of VPCM, Erik Winter.

    The company did not divulge the total monetary investment into its automotive academy, however it did reveal that the cost for training a master technician is in the ballpark of RM20,000, across a duration of 36 months. Responding to a question on staff retention, Winter said that it is a joint effort amongst its dealers and the greater Volkswagen network towards retaining the staff already trained and invested in.

    Last year, the Volkswagen Group announced that it is moving its Asia-Pacific regional after-sales centre from Singapore to Malaysia, which will be operational in Johor Bahru next year.

     
  • Abandoned vehicles to be dealt with via new policy

    See an abandoned car on the roadside on your way to work every morning? Apparently, that car will be gone if the Natural Resources and Environment Ministry’s new policy comes into being, according to The Sun.

    Minister Datuk Seri Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar told the press that he intends to solve the problem of abandoned vehicles being left to rot, because in addition to being an eyesore they also become a breeding ground for mosquitoes and rats.

    He also mentioned that it’s important to rectify the issue even though it’s a tedious task to develop new policies, adding that gaps between authorities such as state governments and local councils have stymied similar initiatives in the past. “We learn from the previous failed initiatives. This time we will engage all relevant stakeholders to tackle the problem,” he said.

     
  • Pay AES summonses received after April 15 as soon as possible to avoid court action, warns JPJ

    Do you have an outstanding AES saman? Listen up, because the Road Transport Department (JPJ) has warned those who have Automated Enforcement System (AES) summonses received after April 15 this year to pay up ASAP, or face court action, the New Straits Times reports.

    According to JPJ director-general Datuk Seri Nadzri Siron, motorists who fail to settle their AES compounds of RM150 can be fined a maximum of RM2,000 should their case be taken to court. “Those who received their AES summonses after that date (April 15) will have to pay up. We will not hesitate to take them to court if they fail to do so,” he said.

    AES offenders before April 15 – the date that the Automated Awareness System (AWAS, which AES is now under) and Kejara demerit points system kicked off – will only be charged a levy. “The levy imposed by the government (without threat of court action) is only applicable to those who received their AES summonses before April 15 this year,” Nadzri added.

    Currently, there are 21 AES cameras across the country, with 50 more to be installed this year according to JPJ. In June, deputy transport minister Datuk Abdul Aziz Kaprawi said that 100 more AES cameras will be installed at strategic spots nationwide in 2018.

    Nadzri denied that JPJ is just out to make money, and also the rumour that AES cameras have been installed at toll plazas.

    “Our intention is to educate people on good driving ethics. It’s not true that we have the AES cameras at the toll plaza as alleged. The cameras are installed in hotspot areas and they’re only one-way. The images captured will be either of the front or rear of your car. We only want to see your car plate number,” he said.

    By the way, AES cameras will now “shoot from behind”. This applies to all AES cameras and the move, which started quietly last month, is for better image clarity and a higher chance of catching errant motorcyclists in the act.

     
 

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