Piston.my

English

Mercedes-AMG has expanded its GT family with the introduction of the new GT 63 PRO 4MATIC+, revealed around the Goodwood Festival of Speed. Designed for car enthusiasts seeking exceptional driving dynamics, this new model offers a sportier driving experience with enhanced power, improved aerodynamics, and better cooling systems, making it a formidable performer on the race track.

Key Features and Improvements:

  • Enhanced Performance:
    • Powerful Engine: The AMG GT 63 PRO is powered by a 4.0-litre V8 biturbo engine delivering 612hp, 27 hp more than the AMG GT 63. The maximum torque increased by 50Nm to 850Nm, allowing for more powerful acceleration.
    • Acceleration and Speed: It can sprint from 0 to 200 km/h in just 10.9 seconds, 0.5 seconds faster than the AMG GT 63, with a top speed of 317km/h.

  • Advanced Cooling System:
    • Expanded Cooler Package: The high-temperature and low-temperature cooling circuits have been reinforced. Two radiators are positioned in the left and right front wheel arches to enhance cooling performance.
    • Active Cooling: The top-mounted radiators of the differentials and the transfer case of the all-wheel drive system are now actively cooled using electrically operated water pumps, ensuring the drivetrain remains cool under increased load.

  • Aerodynamic Enhancements:
    • Aerodynamic Tuning: The redesigned front apron includes additional air deflectors made of visible carbon fibre and an active aerodynamic profile in the underbody. The aerodynamic lift on the front axle is reduced by over 30 kilograms, improving steering precision.
    • Rear Wing and Underbody Fins: The fixed rear wing and additional air deflectors on the underbody, similar to those on the Mercedes-AMG ONE, increase downforce on the rear axle by around 15kg.

  • Improved Braking and Wheels:
    • Ceramic Brake System: The AMG ceramic high-performance composite brake system includes 420-millimetre brake discs on the front axle, the largest standard ceramic brake discs available from Mercedes-AMG. This system reduces weight and provides greater durability and resistance to fading.
    • Forged Wheels and Cup Tyres: Lightweight 21-inch forged wheels in cross-spoke design are painted in Himalaya grey matt. Michelin Pilot Sport 5 tyres are standard, with Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2R Cup tyres available at no extra charge.

  • Interior and Exterior Design:
    • Motorsport-Inspired Design: The AMG Exterior Carbon Fibre package includes a front splitter, trim strips in the side sills, a diffuser, and a rear wing in high-quality carbon fibre. Black-painted brake callipers, AMG Performance seats with high lateral support, and an AMG Performance steering wheel in Nappa leather/MICROCUT microfibre complete the motorsport feel.

Everyday Usability:

  • The new AMG GT 63 PRO 4MATIC+ offers the same advantages as other AMG GT family members, with improved everyday usability, a generous feeling of space, and good all-round visibility. It is optionally available with 2+2 seats, making it practical for daily use.

The new Mercedes-AMG GT 63 PRO 4MATIC+ combines advanced technology, improved performance, and sophisticated design to provide an exceptional driving experience. With its enhanced cooling systems, aerodynamic improvements, and powerful engine, it is well-suited for both the racetrack and everyday driving.

The 2025 Subaru BRZ has been updated with a dedicated Sport mode, filling the previously blank button on the centre console found in pre-2025 models. This new feature is available exclusively for BRZ models equipped with a manual gearbox.

Sport Mode Features:

  • Improved Throttle Response: Activating Sport mode enhances throttle response for better acceleration.
  • Active Sound Control: Engine noise is artificially amplified through the cabin in Sport mode. While some may appreciate the added engine noise, others might prefer this feature to be optional.

Enhanced Handling and Comfort:

  • Retuned Shock Absorbers and Power Steering: Both the BRZ and the equivalent 2025 Toyota GR86 have received adjustments to their shock absorbers and power steering. Subaru claims these changes improve handling precision and ride comfort.
  • Automatic Transmission Adjustments: For the automatic BRZ, the rpm limit range has been increased to help reduce the risk of over-revving during manual gear changes.

Design and Pricing:

  • Daytime Running Lights: The 2025 BRZ features slightly revised daytime running lights.
  • Pricing: In Japan, the updated BRZ starts at 3,322,000 yen (approximately RM98,244) and goes up to 3,817,000 yen (nearly RM112,883) for the STI Sport trim with the six-speed automatic transmission.

Special Editions and Track-Only Model:

  • Unlike Toyota, which introduced the Ridge Green Limited variant of the GR86, Subaru has not announced any special edition for the BRZ.
  • Track-Only BRZ Cup Car Basic: This model comes with steel wheels and a manual transmission, priced at 3,722,400 yen (RM110,085).

Public Debut:

  • The 2025 Subaru BRZ will make its public debut on July 14 at the Fuji 86/BRZ Style 2024 event held at Fuji Speedway.
  • Subaru aims to sell about 300 units per month in the Japanese market.

The 2025 Subaru BRZ continues to build on its reputation as an attainable sports car, offering improved driving dynamics and new features to enhance the overall driving experience.

The imminent removal of petrol subsidies has had many Malaysians on edge. With the government holding their cards close to their chest, the eventual price of unsubsidised petrol is anyone’s guess at the moment.

There is no telling who will receive subsidies either, and that has resulted in some pockets of discontent. Some are already planning on what to do next once subsidies are lifted. Some strategies include shifting their mode of transportation to riding a motorcycle and relying on public transportation.

Some are even considering shifting to electric vehicles, but that may not be to everyone’s appetites. EV’s work great if one has easy access to a charger, whether at home or in a public place. If recharging requires going out of one’s way, then it will only be a matter of time that the convenience becomes an inconvenience.

On the other end of the spectrum, hybrids are becoming increasingly popular as well, driven by Japanese marques that have shown that a properly engineered hybrid system can offer efficiency levels that make more sense than having to invest in home charging. Or wasting time plugged in for about an hour or so while the car recharges.

Honda is one of those said marques, and though it does have an impressive line-up of electric vehicles with up to one of them rumoured to be making its way to Malaysian shores very soon, its line-up of hybrid models is also some of the most efficient in the market.

The Honda City and Civic hybrid models (called e:HEV in Honda lingo) have been in the market for a while already and are both capable of some astonishing mileage. The City hybrid for example is theoretically capable of travelling 28km per litre of fuel while the Civic hybrid on the other hand is said to be capable of a range of 25km per litre.

That is some impressive mileage per litre, and even if you subtract five to seven kilometres from that range just to factor in real world challenges, that would still be remarkable.

Honda Malaysia expanded its hybrid line-up late last year with the introduction of the Honda CRV e:HEV RS, or CRV hybrid in short. It is also quite efficient and can travel a claimed 20km on a litre of fuel. And during a recent road trip to Ipoh, we got quite close to that figure, achieving 19.7km on a litre of fuel, and this was on a highway drive over a long weekend. Including the stop start traffic that our highways are infamous for so that means plenty of fuel guzzling acceleration as well.

The all-new sixth-generation Honda CRV has undoubtedly improved by leaps and bounds over its predecessor with an all-new design and technologies that can put some of its more expensive competitors to shame.

In fact, after driving one for a few days, I am of the opinion you don’t really need anything else if fuel efficiency, comfort, tech and seats for five is what you want in a car.

But before we dive into that, let’s get the basics out of the way first. The design of the car has obviously changed tremendously but there are also elements that are a nod to CRV’s of past. Such as the rear lights that stand vertically at the edges of the car, just like that of the first CRV.

It is also bigger in every sense of the word, and Honda did not try very hard to hide that fact. The a-pillars for example have a steeper rake and are placed further back, this makes the bonnet look exceptionally long.

But if you need further confirmation of its size, the numbers don’t lie. As compared to the previous model, the new CRV is 80 millimetres longer, 10 millimetres wider while the wheelbase is longer by 40 millimetres. This does not only make the car look big, but it also results in improved interior acreage.

Besides feeling more premium with high quality materials, the seats are one of the biggest improvements inside the car. The previous generation CRV had smallish and rather hard seats, and this made it difficult for plus sized people to get comfortable.

The new seats however have improved on that and are bigger and better than before with plush padding that give you the sensation of sinking into the seats rather than sitting on them. Both front seats in the hybrid model also offer electronic adjustability with the driver’s seat offering memory function.

The rear has 16 millimetres more legroom than before and are also reclinable by 10.5 degrees for added comfort over long distances. For real-world reference, my four-year old kid’s legs will be kicking the back of the front seat every time he is in his tethered child seat in the family’s Mazda CX-5. He couldn’t reach the front seat in the CRV, how’s that for perspective?

The dashboard of the CRV is almost identical to the one in the Civic, but that’s not a bad thing as it does not feel like it is lacking on anything. In fact, there are features that more expensive cars don’t have, such as the 12-speaker Bose sound system that brings out the best in classics like Metallica’s S&M album.

The nine-inch centrally mounted infotainment system provides all the necessary updates and access to navigation and entertainment. The 10.2-inch instrument cluster on the other hand provides crystal clear read outs and is also fully customisable, so you can have it show your real time consumption and remaining range on the right while the left shows you what you are listening to. And Google Maps could be displayed on the infotainment screen. That’s how I had it set up and it was perfect.

However, the real magic of the CRV hybrid lays underneath and ahead of you. The CRV hybrid utilises a pairing of an internal combustion engine together and an electric motor. Honda calls it the Intelligent Multi-Mode Drive (i-MMD) and it is quite an intelligent powertrain.

The engine is a 2.0-litre, naturally-aspirated, Atkinson-cycle four-cylinder plant that produces 148PS and 190Nm of torque. The electric motor bumps that figure up to a total of 184PS and 335Nm.

There is no transmission in the traditional sense so both mills can send power independently to the front wheels through a lock up clutch. At lower speeds the electric motor provides propulsion while the petrol driven engine takes over at higher speed. They can also each send it concurrently for extra hauling power. Honda calls it e-CVT since it is easier to name it rather than explain the complicated tech behind it.

It is this ability to switch between the electric motor and engine or utilise both that makes the CRV hybrid such an efficient car. And it does so seamlessly without you even feeling the system switching. There is only that occasional whir of the engine that gives it away, but you will be hard done to notice that too.

You can barely hear the engine working from the inside of the car because the interior is unbelievably quiet. This silence is courtesy of three features that work together to keep noise and vibrations down to a minimum.

The first is the usage of double pane windows all around the car. This means the CRV hybrid utilises two layers of glass rather than just one and this works wonders for sound insulation and noise reduction.

The second is the Active Noise Control feature that works by emitting noise cancellation frequencies. This suppresses ambient sounds before it reaches the human ear, but it is not new technology, just a very good one used in the right car.

And finally, the CRV hybrid utilises noise reducing wheels. The 18-inch wheels of the hybrid variant uses hollow resonators placed inside the wheels to suppress unwanted resonance such as road surface sounds, before it reaches the cabin. The CRV hybrid is the only model in Honda Malaysia’s line-up to come with such wheels.

So, the Honda CRV hybrid has truly matured to become arguably the finest SUV in its segment. However, it is not quite a perfect package, yet. It has one feature that, when offered, would be the icing on a very fine cake.

Hondas sold in Malaysia still do not come with a Blind Spot Monitoring system, and in its place is the Honda Lane Watch Camera. This shows you what is on the left of the vehicle through a grainy video image that is displayed on the infotainment system. It does not show you what is on the right of the car though, so looking over your right shoulder is still recommended.

But considering that Hondas sold in some markets are beginning to offer Blind Spot Monitoring, it is just a matter of time for such a feature to make its way to Malaysia. And when it does, the Honda CRV hybrid would be impossible to fault.

At RM195,900, it is considered a bargain as well for all that you are getting. And with the removal of petrol subsidies around the corner, I suspect that demand for such fuel-efficient cars is bound to increase. So, will we see more Honda CRV hybrids on our roads? I believe so, and now would be a great time for Honda Malaysia to start playing up the fuel efficiency levels of its hybrid range.

Specification:
Engine: 2.0-litre, 4-cylinder, 16-Valve, i-VTEC (Atkinson Cycle) with electric motor
Power:184PS @ 5,000rpm (Combined)
Torque: 335Nm @ 0-2,000rpm (Combined)
Transmission: e-CVT
Suspension: MacPherson Strut (Front) / Multi Link (Rear)
Price (as tested): RM195,900

We like: Interior look and quality, sound system, fuel efficiency
We don’t like: No blind spot monitoring system

There are a handful of cars that have come to define the enthusiasts of the 80s and 90s, and among the Skyline’s, Evolution’s and Impreza’s is the Supra.

Of course there are others as well such as the Mazda RX7 and Honda NSX, but one could argue that the four mentioned above are the ‘four heavenly kings’ of the era.

The Nissan Skyline needs no introduction and even the most self-confident Ferrari or Porsche driver will overtake one with caution. You don’t ever risk upsetting Godzilla, which, for the unaware, is what the Skyline GT-R is fondly known as.

The Skyline GT-R even dominated race series in Japan, America and in Europe. It was so quick that there are instances of race officials having to force the car to carry weight ballasts of up to 140kg just so that the competition had a chance of winning. Such bending of rules would have made the Verstappens proud.

The Mitsubishi Evolution and the Subaru Impreza made their name in the amazing world of rallying. In the hands of such legends as Colin McRae and Petter Solberg (among many others of course), Subaru was nearly untouchable in the World Rally Championship.

But Mitsubishi gave them a proper headache with the three-diamond marque having had its fair share of legends behind the wheel as well, such as Ari Vatanen and Tommi Makinen.

The Toyota Supra also made its name in motorsport but just like the Skyline, it competed in track events rather than in rallying. Though there have been instances where the Supra competed in rallying, however, it made a name for itself in sports car racing, particularly in the Japanese GT Championship, Super GT and even the iconic 24 hours of Le Mans.

The iconic sports car was born in 1978 as the Celica Supra. It got its name from the Toyota Celica, from which it also received its design inspiration. However, the Supra that gripped the world is the fourth-generation model which enthusiasts know as the Supra A80.

Despite its capabilities, the model was immortalised by pop culture when it appeared in the first instalment of the Fast & Furious movie franchise back in 2001. In the hands of Brian O’Conner (played by the late Paul Walker), the modified Supra out dragged and outclassed a Ferrari 355, and that not only sealed the Supra’s reputation, but also introduced it to a whole new generation of fans.

The fourth-generation Supra, or Mk4, was one of the finest sports car the world had ever seen, and just like the Nissan Skyline GT-R, it could do no wrong. Until the fifth-generation model was introduced in 2019, which is when all hell broke loose and the Supra went from the darling of sports cars, to arguably the most hated.

The fifth-generation Supra has been the subject of taunts, jokes and online hate ever since it was introduced. The negativity does not stem from the car or how it drives, in fact it drives rather nicely, and the design has aged quite well. But the hate stems from what underpins the car rather than the car itself.

Fans loved for the Supra for its design, the powertrain and of course, its performance. All of which was engineered and built in-house by Toyota.

And this is where the hate for the fifth-generation model stems from, the fact that it is not entirely made by Toyota but is a result of a collaboration between BMW and Toyota. The underbody for the Supra, the drivetrain, the electronics and even the interior fittings are all BMW. Only the design of the car and some of the performance bits are by Toyota.

In the modern world where billions are needed to create an entirely new model from scratch, it is quite understandable why Toyota would take that route. But for the enthusiast and keyboard warriors at home, it does not make sense. For some of them, it is more of a “make it a pure Toyota, or don’t make it at all”.

And after driving it quite extensively, I can see where the irritation comes from.

Toyota did very little to mask BMW’s presence around the car. You can spot BMW logos around the engine bay without breaking a sweat, the entire dashboard is identical to a Z4, the gear shifter and even the seats and their memory switches are by BMW.

Some argue that buyers are effectively paying for an over glorified BMW Z4, which curiously is built alongside the Supra in Austria by Magna Steyr.

However, it has been five years since the fifth-generation Supra was launched, and though there is still some glimmers of hate online in forums and comment sections, the Supra may just be starting to win some hearts.

The GR Supra is the second coming of the fifth-generation Supra, and while the first was available with a two and 3.0-litre straight-six engine, the GR is only available with the six pot engine but now offers a choice of manual or automatic transmission.

I recently drove the automatic version of the GR Supra, and I believe people should just get over the fact that it is a BMW in a Toyota suit. Because it is not just a suit, it is an MMA fighter in a sharp suit. For all you movie buffs, think of it as Jason Statham in the Transporter movies.

When I first drove the Supra some years ago, the design was not to my liking. It was too outlandish, and my mind kept thinking about the fourth-generation Supra and tried hard to find some connection between the two. There isn’t, and that led to some disappointment.

This time, I tried to forget that it was a Supra or a BMW underneath and approached it for what it is – a modern sports car. And it began to make sense.

The design, though unchanged, is still rather outlandish, but the Dawn Blue Metallic colour that you see here is just the right colour for the Supra’s curves. The blacked out 19-inch wheels suits the car as well, and are 1.2kg lighter at all four corners to reduce un-sprung weight, giving the GR Supra more ferocious acceleration than before. The car now sees off the 0-100kmh sprint in 4.1 seconds, which is faster than its German cousin.

The interior feels small and cramped, and taller drivers may find it difficult to get in and out of. But once inside, the sitting position is spot on, and you feel like your spine has been livewired to the car. That is something that I love, particularly the GT style driving position with the long front end.

But the interior is small, it does not have space to store something as simple as a smart tag. You could keep it in the glove compartment but that is quite a stretch away. Mix that up with storage for your phone and the cables to charge your devices, and suddenly the interior feels too cluttered. And that wreaks havoc for my OCD.

All that disappears as soon as you start the car and listen to the sweet melody of the 3.0-litre, inline six-cylinder turbocharged engine. It is a sound that is slowly being relegated to the ages of history, so I always allowed myself a minute or two to properly absorb it. You know, in case I wake up tomorrow to find that the Europeans have decided that anything more than four-cylinders are bad for their earth worms and have had no other choice but to introduce an overnight ban on new multi-cylindered engines.

The world is a weird place these days, so multi-cylindered engines are a great way of reconnecting with the good old days.

The engine creates 388PS and 500Nm of torque, which may not seem like much, but the joy is in the way the power is delivered. The steering wheel feels alive in your hands with tiny nuggets of information telling your palms exactly what is happening with the tyres at ground zero.

The suspension is also remarkably clinical, and the car reacts to every twitch of the steering wheel. However, your spine also picks up on all the tiny bumps, dips and ruts that litters our roads. You can say that that is the character of a sports suspension and I would agree with you, but when you’re a 40-year-old with a back problem, that is not a lot of fun.

Performance is, simply put, brilliant. It is not blinding or mind numbing, and the fact is some EV’s with their lightning quick sub-four second acceleration might put you to shame. But the car comes alive in the corners with its perfect 50:50 weight distribution. That means that you can dive late into corners and get on the power early without risking any under or oversteer. In the right hands and on the right roads, the GR Supra could put some supercars to shame. Particularly some fast EV’s like a Tesla Model 3 Performance.

And that is the point of the GR Supra. You may not like how it came about or how it looks like, but when it comes to driving it, the driving experience is still intoxicating, like that of the original Supra. Different of course but still intoxicating.

Having said that, just like the Supra’s of the past, the fifth-generation Supra is already proving its worth in motorsports around the world. In fact, it is not only racing, but it is also winning entire championships, and though haters may not like it, but the new GR Supra is definitely making its ancestors proud.

Specifications
Engine: 3.0-litre, turbocharged, inline-six cylinder
Power: 388PS @ 6500rpm
Torque: 500Nm @ 5000rpm
Transmission: 8-speed automatic
Price (As tested): RM655,000

We like: Driving position, styling
We don’t like: Small interior

Proton has been lauded for its exemplary learning and development programs, sustainable human resources (HR) practices, and employer development initiatives. The company received four prestigious awards at the Employee Experience Awards 2024 and People & Purpose Awards 2024, held in May and June respectively. These accolades highlight Proton’s dedication to talent nurturing and fostering a sustainable work culture, crucial for its ongoing growth and development.

Employee Experience Awards 2024

The Employee Experience Awards, organised by Human Resources Online, recognise employers who significantly enhance the employee experience. Proton’s Human Capital Division (HCD) was honoured with Gold in two categories: Best First-Time Manager Programme and Best Learning and Development Programme. The Best First-Time Manager Programme award underscores the company’s initiatives to ensure new leaders thrive and contribute effectively. Meanwhile, the Best Learning and Development Programme award acknowledges Proton’s efforts to equip employees with essential skills and knowledge for career advancement.

People & Purpose Awards 2024

At the People & Purpose Awards 2024 by SEEK, which celebrates passionate and purpose-driven HR practitioners in Malaysia, Proton’s HCD earned Platinum in Best Sustainable HR Practices and Gold in Best Employer Development Program. The Best Sustainable HR Practices award recognises Proton’s balanced approach to aligning business objectives with employee well-being, driving organisational goals. The Best Employer Development Program award validates Proton’s in-house training programs and career development initiatives aimed at professional growth.

(more…)

Mini Malaysia announces the arrival of the New Mini Family. Unveiled at the New Mini Family Launch Event, four new models epitomise the brand’s new design language, “Charismatic Simplicity,” and include two fully electrified vehicles, marking a significant stride towards emission-free urban mobility.

Highlights from the Launch Event

The New Mini Family Launch Event featured the Malaysian debut of the New Mini Cooper SE, the latest all-electric member of the Mini lineup. This model continues the legacy of the iconic Mini Cooper, known for its quintessential charm and modernised design. Also showcased were three other new-generation Mini models, previewed at the Malaysia Autoshow 2024: the New All-Electric Mini Countryman SE ALL4, the New Mini John Cooper Works (JCW) Countryman ALL4, and the New Mini Cooper S.

New Mini Cooper SE: Classic Charm, Modern Performance

The New Mini Cooper SE, the star of the event, boasts a puristic design honouring the brand’s heritage. It features a striking octagonal front grille with intricate contouring and houses the smallest radar sensor among all BMW Group models. LED headlights with high-beam assistant offer three distinct light signatures and unique welcome/goodbye animations. The side profile showcases short overhangs, a short bonnet, and a long wheelbase, creating an athletic silhouette. Minimalistic design elements like flush door openers and the absence of traditional side scuttles emphasise the vehicle’s modernity, complemented by 18-inch Night Flash spoke 2-tone wheels.

Interior Excellence: A Focus on Essentials

Inside, the New Mini Cooper SE focuses on essentials with high-quality, cleverly designed components. The driver is greeted by a three-spoke sport steering wheel in Vescin and a dashboard featuring a two-tone houndstooth pattern. A 9.2-inch full LCD high-definition instrument cluster, a 10-inch full-colour head-up display, and a 12.8-inch central control screen form the cabin’s centrepiece. The interior also includes Mini Experience Modes, a Harman Kardon surround sound system, Vescin sport seats, electric seat adjustment with memory, and an ergonomically redesigned centre console.

 

Performance and Range

The New Mini Cooper SE delivers 218hp and 330Nm of torque, accelerating from 0-100 km/h in 6.7 seconds, with a top speed of 170km/h. Its gross battery capacity of 54.2 kWh ensures a zero-emissions range of 387 to 402km on a single charge. The battery can be charged with an 11 kW AC charger or up to 95 kW DC charging, reaching 80% in under 30 minutes.

Safety and Digital Advancements

Safety features include the Driving Assistant and Parking Assistant Plus, providing comprehensive driver assistance systems. The Mini Interaction Unit visualises all driver assistance functions in real time. The new Mini Operating System 9 and Mini Intelligent Personal Assistant enhance the digital experience, offering voice-controlled navigation and vehicle functions. The Mini App provides additional functions like Remote 3D View, Remote Engine Start, MyTrips, and e-mobility features. The Mini Digital Key Plus transforms a smartphone into a vehicle key.

Colours and Variants

The New Mini Cooper SE is available in Blazing Blue, Nanuq White, Chili Red II, Legend Grey, Sunny Side Yellow, Midnight Black II, British Racing Green, and Melting Silver. The New Mini Cooper S comes in Ocean Wave Green, Legend Grey, Nanuq White, and Chili Red, with a Black and Grey interior featuring blue textile inserts. The New Mini Countryman SE offers colors like Smokey Green, Legend Grey, Nanuq White, Melting Silver, Blazing Blue, and Chili Red, with interior options in Vintage Brown or Dark Petrol. The New Mini JCW Countryman is available in Legend Grey, Nanuq White, Melting Silver, and Midnight Black, with JCW Black upholstery.

Price:

Cooper SE: RM193,888

Countryman SE: RM258,888

Cooper S: RM279,888

JCW Countryman: RM389,888

Mini JCW Countryman ALL4

Mini Countryman SE ALL4

New Mini Cooper S

smart Malaysia has officially launched the highly anticipated #3 with an event-themed ‘Chase the Thrill,’ aiming to ignite excitement for this stylish and performance-driven vehicle.

The smart #3 has already received international acclaim, winning both the iF Design Award and the Red Dot Design Award, highlighting its exceptional design quality and innovation from the Mercedes-Benz global design team.

Brabus Variant

Available in various configurations, including the top-of-the-line Brabus version, the smart #3 offers impressive performance capabilities. The Premium and Pro variants feature a single rear-wheel-drive motor producing 268hp and 343Nm of torque. Accelerating from 0-100km/h in 5.8 seconds, it reaches a top speed of 180km/h.

For enthusiasts seeking even more power, the Smart #3 Brabus boasts a twin-motor setup generating 422hp and 543Nm of torque. It accelerates from 0-100km/h in just 3.7 seconds, also topping out at 180km/h.

Pro Variant

Equipped with a front MacPherson and rear five-link suspension, the #3 delivers enhanced controllability and precise steering response, ensuring a flexible driving experience. The AWD variant includes thicker stabiliser bars that minimise body roll and improve cornering capabilities.

Premium variant

Charging options vary across models, with higher-spec variants supporting up to 22kW AC and 150kW DC charging. The base “Pro” model offers 7kW AC and up to 130kW DC charging. These charging options provide driving ranges of 455km for the Premium and 415km for the Brabus variant and 325km for the Pro.

With aerodynamic enhancements contributing to its 0.27 ultra-low drag coefficient, the #3 achieves a 15km longer driving range compared to its predecessor, the #1. These optimisations include aerodynamic rims, front and rear wheel wind deflectors, an active air intake grille, and wind blade air curtains.

Inside, the smart intelligent cockpit features a multi-function leather steering wheel, turbine-style air vents, and sporty seats with integrated headrests and ventilation (available in Brabus and Premium variants). The cabin is equipped with a 9.2-inch full LCD high-definition instrument cluster, a 10-inch full-color head-up display, and a central 12.8-inch control screen.

Reflecting the vehicle’s sportiness and speed, smart Malaysia has introduced a cheetah as the AI partner for the #3, replacing the fox from the smart #1. For premium audio enthusiasts, the Brabus and Premium variants offer a 13-speaker Beats sound system. Additional features include a 64-colour dual-zone ambient lighting system, wireless charging with four USB ports, and a centre console with a chiller.

The pricing for the smart #3 starts at RM175,000 for the Pro, RM215,000 for the Premium and RM255,000 for the top of the line Brabus variant.

Standard warranty includes 8-year 200,000km high voltage battery warranty, 8-year 150,000km high voltage component warranty, 4-year unlimited mileage vehicle warranty, 2-year unlimited mileage spare parts warranty, 24/7 roadside service assistance.

Additionally, there is a launch package with an all inclusive premium ownership that consists of complimentary smart home charger (22kw) worth RM3,200 with 2-year warranty, complimentary accessories package of 6-item worth RM2,500, complimentary V2L (vehicle to load) adaptor worth RM800 with 2 year warranty and 5 year internet data of total 60GB.

Brabus

Premium

Pro

Subaru Motorsports USA today officially revealed “Project Midnight,” the fastest and most powerful WRX ever built, set to make its debut at the 2024 Goodwood Festival of Speed from July 11-14. Inspired by the record-breaking “Airslayer” Gymkhana car, Project Midnight is designed with a singular focus on achieving outright speed, further pushing the boundaries of the WRX platform.

Building on the legacy of Airslayer, which was based on a 2020 Subaru WRX STI and gained fame for its viral stunts in Gymkhana 2020, Project Midnight takes performance to new heights. Airslayer’s notable achievements included a 230-foot jump with active rear wing control, setting records at events like the Mt. Washington Hillclimb and Car & Driver Magazine’s Lightning Lap. However, Airslayer was a versatile performer built for various challenges. Project Midnight, in contrast, is reimagined for pure tarmac speed, piloted by the experienced Subaru Motorsports USA driver Scott Speed, known for his diverse racing background from Formula 1 to rallycross.

(more…)

Despite efforts to rationalise diesel subsidies, the government continues to shoulder a substantial burden, amounting to RM10 billion annually, as disclosed by the Finance Ministry in a parliamentary written reply.

Breakdown of Subsidies

According to NST, the ministry revealed that this annual subsidy includes RM4 billion earmarked for the public transport and logistics sectors. Diesel prices are maintained at RM1.88 per litre for 10 types of public transport vehicles and RM2.15 per litre for 23 types of logistics vehicles.

In addition, RM3.3 billion is allocated for diesel users in Sabah and Sarawak, who benefit from the RM2.15 per litre rate. Fishermen receive RM1.2 billion in subsidies, with diesel priced at RM1.65 per litre. Another RM1.8 billion is provided through the cash assistance programmes Budi Individu and Budi Agri-Komoditi.

(more…)

The Bugatti W16 Mistral marks a significant milestone as the first open-top model from the brand since 2015 and the swan song for the legendary W16 engine. This car is now entering its final evaluation phase, underscoring Bugatti’s relentless pursuit of excellence and performance.

An Engineering Marvel

At the core of the Mistral lies the ultimate iteration of the W16 engine, complemented by meticulously refined aerodynamic features and a completely reengineered monocoque. Achieving a top speed exceeding 420km/h while maintaining unparalleled performance, acoustic excellence, and luxury is a feat of engineering precision.

Bugatti’s dedication to the highest standards of performance, safety, and durability has driven an exhaustive testing program for the Mistral. Every aspect of its design has been rigorously evaluated to create Bugatti’s ultimate roadster.

Stringent Safety and Performance Testing

The Mistral has successfully undergone stringent crash tests, ensuring occupant protection in the event of a collision. These tests, essential for homologation in various markets, comply with international safety standards for North America and Europe.

Following aerodynamic evaluations in October and rigorous dynamometer testing of the W16 engine and transmission, Bugatti is now conducting a series of tests to assess the Mistral’s performance under various driving conditions. These tests cover safety, emissions, endurance, and drivability.

Endurance and Durability

The road tests for the Mistral are comprehensive, with Prototype 2 having already covered 32,000 km. These tests span diverse terrains, from high altitudes to sea level, and heavy traffic conditions. Looking ahead, Bugatti plans to add another 5,000 km on the track, pushing the total distance to 40,000 km – a milestone not often reached by modern Bugatti customer cars.

One of the most challenging aspects of the testing process is verifying the Mistral’s top speed. Finding a suitable track to safely reach over 420 km/h presents a logistical challenge. However, Bugatti remains confident in the Mistral’s ability to break records and exceed expectations.

A New Benchmark

“We are planning to run the final high-speed test on one of the few tracks worldwide that allow us to run the test safely. Once we have access to that track, achieving the top speed will no longer be a problem,” said Emilio Scervo, CTO of Bugatti Rimac.

Bugatti’s commitment throughout the Mistral’s development has been to deliver a car that not only meets but exceeds performance standards. The W16 Mistral sets new benchmarks for safety, reliability, and luxury in a hyper sports roadster. With the Mistral nearing the end of its testing journey, production at the Molsheim Atelier is expected to begin later this year.

Archive

Follow us on Facebook

Follow us on YouTube