Ah, here we go with leaky stuff once again. The first official photos of the BMW 3 Series Gran Turismo have surfaced on a French car forum. The Geneva debutant is set to follow the path set by its larger F07 5-Series GT sibling and add a ‘hatchback’ form to the 3er lineup.
The images are of a M-Sport variant, pretty much in line with that seen in the spyshots of the car that came about last month
As mentioned previously, the 3-Series GT is likely going to have a longer wheelbase than the regular 3-Series Sedan/Touring model, probably something like the long-wheelbase 3-Series that’s on sale in China.
Design cues will include a bimodal rear hatch, like that seen on the 5 GT. No word on tech specs and accompanying powertrains, but the last shouldn’t veer from that available on the F30. More when Geneva comes, of course.
Honda Malaysia has announced the facelifted Freed MPV, first launched here back in April 2010 as the “premium compact MPV”. No change mechanically, so say hello to the familiar 1.5 litre SOHC i-VTEC engine (118 PS/148 Nm) and five-speed automatic gearbox.
With a thick chrome strip across the logo, the grille is new, as is the front bumper. At the back, there’s a chrome garnish above the number plate, and the rim design is also fresh.
Inside, the higher spec Grade E now comes with leather seats, and fold-down armrests for both front seats are now available across the board (previously only the driver and two mid-row chairs had armrests). A driver’s seat height adjuster is another new addition. The instrument panel has a new colour scheme, too.
The Freed now comes with a five-year warranty with unlimited mileage, only applicable when regular preventive maintenance is performed at set intervals. Customers are entitled to a Free Service Coupon with up to six times free labour charge during service. The FSC is applicable for the 1,000 km, 10,000 km, 30,000 km, 50,000 km, 70,000 km and 90,000 km service.
The lower spec RM99,800 Grade S is available in Brilliant White Pearl, Polished Metal Metallic and Crystal Black Pearl. The RM113,500 Grade E can only be had in Brilliant White Pearl. Click here for a test drive report of the Freed, and to see how the original face looks like.
Volkswagen has added a new variant to the Mk7 Golf range, the expected 4Motion all-wheel drive model. We don’t need such a car here, but it snows in Europe, and VW has made Golfs with four driven wheels since 1986.
VW says that the new Golf’s permanent 4WD system is one of the most modern and efficient of its kind, featuring the enhanced, fifth-generation Haldex coupling. The 4Motion drive weighs 1.4 kg less than the previous system, requires no pressure accumulator and reacts “extremely quickly to every conceivable influence exerted on it.”
VW is offering the new Golf 4Motion in three trim levels (Trendline, Comfortline, Highline) and with two turbodiesel engines. The 105 PS and 150 PS TDIs consume just 4.5 and 4.7 litres of fuel respectively per 100 km. Compared to the Mk6 140 PS 4Motion, the 2013 car consumes 0.8 litres (15%) less diesel despite being more powerful.
Like the front-wheel drive Golf, Stop/Start and battery regeneration come standard. Also included as standard even on the base version are features such as the four-wheel EDS (electronic differential locks on both axles), XDS front and rear axle transverse lock, ESP, Automatic Post-Collision Braking System, seven airbags and DRLs. To have 4Motion with their Golf, Germans need to add €1,800 (RM7,471).
Click here to read all about the Mk7 Golf and here for a 360 walkaround video of the car.
Watch out European hot hatches – the Koreans are coming after you! The Kia cee’d GT and Kia pro_cee’d GT hatchbacks are Kia’s 2013 Geneva Motor Show debutants, and they’ll be powered by the same 1.6 litre turbocharged four cylinder motor, which producies 204 PS and 265Nm.
Both the 5-door Kia cee’d GT and it’s 3-door sibling the Kia pro_cee’d GT will transmit their 1.6 litre turbo engine’s power to the front wheels via a 6-speed manual gearbox, which will allow them to do the 100km/h sprint in 7.9 seconds. These numbers aren’t blistering high, but perhaps Kia’s making room for the group’s more powerful 278 PS 2.0 litre turbo?
After sorting out factors like looks and quality, Hyundai-Kia is looking at driving feel next, and we should expect more hot hatches like this new GT duo. The company is building a 10,000 sq ft test centre at Nürburgring at the cost of US$7.3 million, which will provide a stomping ground for the Korean carmaker to evaluate its new cars.
In December 2012, we told you that the Kia Rio will be launching this month, and Naza Kia Malaysia has now confirmed the date – January 30.
“2012 was a strong year for Kia in Malaysia with sales growing 13% to 12,309 units. For 2013, we expect our sales volume to expand by double digits and the all-new Rio will play an integral part in achieving this target,” said Datuk Hafiz Syed Abu Bakar, COO of Naza Kia.
“The all-new Rio was Kia’s best-selling model outside of Korea in 2012 with 466,826 units sold, and we are confident it will be just as successful in Malaysia,” he added.
Key features of the B-segment Rio include LED daytime running lights, sunroof, LED rear lamps, Arkamys audio system, motor-driven power steering (Hyundai and Kia’s term for EPS), electronic stability control (ESC) and six airbags. Click here to read more about the Rio’s specs from our previous post.
The hatchback is powered by a 1.4 litre MPI Gamma engine. The DOHC with CVVT unit makes 109 PS and 136 Nm of torque. Naza Kia Malaysia is keen to highlight the car’s trendy design – it has won the International Design Excellence Award in the USA and the Product Design Award at the 2012 Red Dot Design Awards in Europe.
Specs and pics can be found in our previous post.
After a few teasers and some leaked images of a particularly aggressive looking variant, the Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class finally makes its world premiere at the Detroit 2013 show happening this month. The CLA-Class (codenamed C117) is Mercedes-Benz’s new four door coupe, what Mercedes-Benz calls a ‘style rebel’. It’s based on the same front wheel drive platform as the A-Class and B-Class.
At least three variants are known – a C250 with a 2.0L turbocharged direct injection four cylinder engine producing 208 horsepower and 350Nm of torque, a C220 CDI and a powerful C45 AMG. The Detroit car is the petrol-powered turbocharged C250, which has a sports suspension and the option for 4MATIC all wheel drive, but we know the C220 CDI exists from the EXIF data of the red car you see in this story’s gallery. The CLA-Class features a 7-speed Dual Clutch Transmission.
The aerodynamic four-door coupe body has a Cd figure of 0.23. Mercedes-Benz also claims that the frontal surface area, Cd x A – which is crucial to aerodynamic resistance – also leads the field at 5.49 sq. ft.
Features that contribute to good aerodynamics are a low A-pillar shoulder with adapted A-pillar geometry, aerodynamically optimized exterior mirrors, low-drag wheel trims and serrated wheel spoilers on the front and rear wheel arches. Extensive underbody cladding, additional cladding at the center of the rear axle, an aerodynamically optimized muffler and a diffuser improve the flow of air beneath the underbody.
The CLA-Class has an advanced electromechanical power steering system which uses ESP control unit data to facilitate various steering assistance functions such as counter-steering in the event of oversteer, corrective steering when braking on road surfaces with differing levels of grip (split-friction braking), minimization of torque steer and compensation for crosswinds and road gradients.
Other safety features include ATTENTION ASSIST drowsiness detection and radar-based COLLISION PREVENTION ASSIST with adaptive Brake Assist, which offers collision protection in the CLA from speeds of just 6.5km/h. The optional Driver Assistance package also offers DISTRONIC, as well as familiar safety systems including Blind Spot Assist and Lane Keeping Assist. Optional is PARKTRONIC with Advance Parking Assist, enabling autonomous parking in parallel and perpendicular parking spots
The GRMN Sports FR Concept Platinum seen at the Tokyo Auto Salon over the weekend wasn’t the only offering from GRMN, Gazoo Racing’s customisation and tuning arm. There was also the GRMN Yaris Turbo Concept, a race-fettled version based on a three-door Australian-spec’d model.
The car is powered by a turbocharged 1.5 litre mill offering 148 hp and 205Nm of torque. Exterior and interior changes include new aluminium wheels, sports seats, race pedals and a modified rear bumper, among other things. Also tucked in is a tuned suspension, uprated disc brakes and a bodyshell that has been strengthened for track use.
Nearly a year after its debut here, the Toyota Prius c gets a set of minor improvements, and the occasion also marks the market debut of the Prius c TRD Sportivo, of which order-taking began back in November.
As the suffix suggests, a TRD Sportivo aerokit package gets plonked on to this Prius c. Items include a new front bumper spoiler with integrated daytime running lights, and the bumper nose has been given a black garnish job to add some sportiness to things.
Side skirts are on too, as is a sports stripe along the lower edge of the doors, and a rear lower lip, rear lamp garnish and a TRD Sportivo emblem finishes off the exterior dress up job. Inside, the only change comes in the form of TRD Sportivo floor mats, replete with blue stitching.
According to UMW Toyota, the TRD items aren’t available separately, so if you must, the variant is the only way to snag them. Four colour choices – Lime White Pearl CS, Black Mica, Silver Metallic and Super Red V – are available for the Prius c TRD Sportivo, which goes for RM103,990 on the road with insurance, a premium of RM6,690 over the standard Prius c’s RM97,300.
As for the enhancements for 2013, no mechanical changes or revisions to the powertrain and drivetrain, but rather small refinements – both Prius c variants now come with an upgraded audio system, which features a redesigned two-DIN head unit fascia and Bluetooth connectivity.
Also standard fitment is a bag hook – fitted under the passenger headrest, the design has spring-loaded hooks which can be retracted when not needed. In addition to the bag hook, a plastic luggage tray for the rear trunk space is also provided.
It’s promising to be a very active year in terms of new vehicles entering our market, and by the looks of it, the fourth-generation Nissan Serena may be one of the many entries. Reader Richard saw this C26 heading towards Salak South from Sungai Besi earlier, and duly snapped a trio of photos. Tip of the hat to you, sir.
Indonesia is getting the C26, so it wouldn’t stretch things too much to get it in here as well. Over in that market, the eight-seater MPV is going up against the likes of the Mazda Biante, which debuted at the Jakarta show last September, as well as the Toyota NAV1, the local variant of the Noah minivan.
The Serena is powered by a MR20DD 2.0 litre direct injection mill offering 147 hp at 5,600 rpm and 210 Nm of torque at 4,400 rpm; it’s paired to a Xtronic CVT gearbox.
The JDM version features an Idling Stop system, VDC, TCS, ABS and EBD plus Brake Assist, Hill Start assist as well as curtain and side airbags on its equipment list.
Our friends at funtasticko have put up these spyshots of what appears to be a Proton Prevé hatchback, codenamed P3-22A. Not much is clear to the eye as the back is heavily masked, but there certainly is no mistaking it for a five-door hatchback.
The masking covers the area aft of the C-pillar and the rest of the car looks the same as the sedan, down to that rising character line, which perhaps suggests that the car’s panels are new from the C-pillar backwards.
Proton revealed to us at the Thai and Australian launches of the Prevé that we can expect the hatchback variant to debut sometime next year. We can also expect more details (and sightings!) to trickle in as time goes by.
You can also check out Theophilus Chin‘s rendering of the Proton Prevé hatchback here.