Saturday, February 28, 2009

Chery S18

Chinese auto manufacturer Chery claims the new Chery S18 (it’s not wrong for you to see a resemblance to the Suzuki Splash) to be Chery’s first self-developed electric car, capable of hitting a top sped of 120km/h and a maximum range of 150km on a full charge. The Chery S18 uses iron-phosphate-based lithium-ion batteries which can be charged in between 4 to 6 hours, and 80% charged in half an hour.

This makes Chery the 2nd Chinese manufacturer to unveil an electric car after BYD unveiled its plug-in hybrid BYD F3DM last year. Chery also demonstrated its hybrid systems as part of the Beijing Olympics fleet. Hybrid versions of the Chery A5 with electric motors and hybrid systems developed by supplier Ricardo were used as part of transportation arrangements. Its rival BYD on the other hand, has the confidence, support and investment of Warren Buffet’s Berkshire Hathaway.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Mazda 6 scores 5 Star in Euro NCAP 2009

The Mazda 6 (called the Atenza in Japan) has scored the 5-star maximum rating in the European New Car Assessment Programme (Euro NCAP) 2009 combined safety performance test. The 2009 performance test combines scores achieved in 4 areas - Adult Occupant Protection, Child Protection, Pedestrian Protection and Safety Assist and is more stringent compared to the tests of the previous years.

“Mazda6’s maximum safety rating from Euro NCAP is a reflection of the progress Mazda has made in harmonizing driving pleasure with safety and environmental performance under our Sustainable Zoom-Zoom plan. Going forward, we will strive to fulfill our corporate social responsibilities by further advancing Mazda’s eco-friendly and safety technologies,” said Seita Kanai, Mazda senior anaging executive officer in charge of R&D and Program Management.

Some other Mazda vehicles have also gone through Euro NCAP testing albeit the old version of the crash test framework. The Mazda 5 and Mazda 2 were tested in 2005 and 2007 respectively and both scored 5-stars for Adult Occupant Protection rating.


Thursday, February 26, 2009

B8 Audi A4

Here is an initial batch of 6 photos of the latest variant of the B8 Audi A4, the allroad quattro. Much like its larger sibling the A6 allroad quattro, the A4 allroad quattro is essentially an A4 avant that gets offroader styling, two tone flared wheel arches, underbody guards and a raised suspension.

The engine offering will be similiar to the rest of the A4 range, a varied bunch of excellent motors that range from the 211hp EA888 2.0 TFSI to a diesel V6 with 3.0 liters of displacement, putting out 240hp and a massive 500Nm of torque. All allroad models will have permanent quattro all-wheel drive to justify its offroader looks, but unlike Volkswagen who sticks with a 6-speed auto for its SUVs for better offroading capabilities, the A4 allroad quattro uses an S-Tronic dual clutch transmission.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Skoda Fabia

Skoda has released a set of 3 images of their new Skoda Fabia Scout, an alterative to the 5-door wagon variant if its B-segment Skoda Fabia hatchback. The two tone paintwork and roofrails lend the Fabia Scout a slight softroader look, and standard wheels are 16 inch alloy with the option for larger 17 inch ones, rather large for a B-segment hatch, which shows the Fabia Scout’s positioning is not too far from Volkswagen’s CrossPolo.

A few economical engines are available - a 1.4 liter 85 horsepower unit, a 1.6 liter 105hp unit, and two diesels - 1.4 liter unit with 80hp and a 1.9 liter unit with 105hp. The fuel consumption for the oil burners are both less than 5 liters per 100km, while the petrol units only manage 6.5 liters and 6.9 liters for the two engine sizes respectively, clearly showing the abilities of diesel engines to be extremely fuel efficient.

So when is our beloved Malaysian government going to bring our diesel standards below the current MS123 and proposed Euro 2 upgrade to something even better so that we can be assured of running these economical cars reliably?

source from:

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Audi A5 and Audi S5

The Audi A5 Cabriolet and Audi S5 Cabriolet have already been unveiled back in early December last year, but here’s a mega photo update with tons of photos of both standard and warm versions of the car. No word of the RS5 yet though, and it’s not confirmed yet if the RS5 will be available in a Cabriolet body, but since there was an RS4 Cabriolet I don’t see why.

The A5 comes with your usual bunch of Audi/Volkswagen Group engines such as the 2.0 TFSI inline-4, the 3.2 FSI V6 and your usual plethora of TDI diesel engines. The S5 gets something more exciting, the second newest engine to be introduced by Audi, a 3.0 liter supercharged V6 with 333 horsepower and 440Nm of torque mated to a 7-speed S-Tronic twin clutch transmission. The honour of the newest engine is of course the 2.5 liter inline-5 turbo set to debut with the TT-RS.

Monday, February 23, 2009

240bhp Alfa Romoe MiTo GTA

Alfa Romeo has unveiled more details on the Alfa Romeo MiTo GTA. It’s still called a concept right now but I reckon it’s quite close to a production version. For those of you who aren’t familiar with Alfa Romeo nomenclature, GTA actually stands for Gran Turismo Alleggerito and is associated with mad and scary cars full of torque steer such as the 147 GTA.

Under the hood of the MiTo GTA is a 1.8 liter turbocharged engine with dual variable valve timing and direct fuel injection producing a nice 240 horsepower. Although torque figures were not given you can probably expect between 300 to 350Nm of torque. The MiTo GTA has been lowered by 20mm, and the front suspension uses new geometry for the aluminium leading arms, and all-new bushings for the rear suspension. The dampers also have active damper control for a better balance between handling and comfort.

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