Peugeot has chosen Catie Munnings as the automaker’s brand ambassador by choosing her to unveil the Peugeot 208 Black Edition. Munnings, is a rising star in the male dominated sport called rallying. At just 18, she became the first female British driver to win a European Rally tittle in nearly half a century. The young rookie is part of the Saintéloc Junior Rally Team, and with the aid of a Peugeot 208 R2, has become a formidable opponent on the rallying stage.

Munnings is working with the French automaker on a number of projects that are said to be in the pipeline, but the 208 Black Edition seems to be the most important of the lot at the moment. Graced with a number of unique exterior styling options to set it apart from the standard car, the 208 Black Edition can be ordered in a number of colours including Nera Black, Bianca White and Hurricane Grey which are complemented by 16-inch Titane gloss black alloy wheels.

The wheels feature white laser engraving which should be to the liking of those from the rallying fraternity. Apart from that, the grille and door mirror shells are painted gloss black but the latter comes with colour accents as well.

Under the hood of this particular Pug is a 1.2-litre PureTech 82bhp engine that is said to offer sprightly performance but still return a decent fuel consumption figure of 22km/L on a combined cycle. It ‘s the same power unit that was awarded “International Engine of the Year” title in the 1.0-litre to 1.4-litre category in 2015 and 2016.

Inside, the car features a 7-inch multi-function touchscreen infotainment system which features DAB Digital Radio, Bluetooth, CarPlay, MirrorLink and androidauto connectivity.

Peugeot expects the car to become a popular variant of the three-door 208 range and is also allowing customers in the UK to configure and order their 208 Black Edition as well as other models, from start to finish using Peugeot’s Order Online facility.

Kia’s Sportage has been named as one of Autotrader’s 2017 Must Test Drive vehicles. The list is made up of vehicles Autotrader thinks consumers need to see and experience before making a decision. The ones that make it on the list are decided by a team of editorial experts who believe that said vehicles have the potential to change customer perceptions on an entire segment or brand.

“Winning an Autotrader 2017 Must Test Drive Award is further testament to the transformation of the Kia brand and marks another accolade for the Sportage, our longest-running nameplate,” said Orth Hedrick, vice president, product planning Kia Motors America (KMA). “Sportage balances world-class craftsmanship and outstanding design, while delivering a host of standard features at a low starting price.”

For a vehicle to be eligible for this title, it has to be currently on sale, be priced under $75,000 and said to offer a significant value – however, that might be somewhat subjective. Apart from that, said vehicle needs to score no lower than a 3.5 on Autotrader’s five-point scale, a tough list of criterias for any vehicle. But that said, since Peter Shreyer took over the reigns of the Kia design team, the automaker has been churning out stunning econoboxes that wouldn’t look out of place parked next a BMW or Audi.

The latest 2017 Sportage has a structure that is stiffer and more spacious when compared to the previous generation. It comes equipped with advanced driver assistance technologies, suspension and steering improvements and an AWD system that Kia says helps improve the vehicle’s driving dynamics. The Sportage with the FWD SX Turbo trim comes equipped with a 2.0-litre turbo engine that produces 240bhp or 237bhp on AWD models and 353Nm of torque. When in LX and EX trims, it is fitted with a normally aspirated 2.4-litre engine that produces 181bhp and 237Nm of torque.

Ford’s new Mustang, the Shelby GT350 isn’t thoroughly enjoying its time in the land of the free. Based on news articles published by Business Wire and Car Throttle, several owners of the Shelby GT350 have qualms regarding the Blue Oval marketing the car as ‘track ready’. Apparently, several owners have found out that their GT350s started overheating after spending just 15 minutes on track. These overheating claims are from customers who have bought the base car and those fitted with the Technology Pack.

Several of them have filed a class-action lawsuit against, what they believe is, Ford’s misleading claims of the Shelby GT350 being track ready. They feel that if Ford approved them for track use, then these vehicles should be able to hold up to all kinds of abuse at racing speeds. The complaints of overheating surrounds that of the transmission and rear differentials. Lawyers of the unhappy owners also say that they require compensation from Ford on behalf of the owners of these vehicles.

The Shelby GT350 is a rear-wheel-drive muscle car from Ford that features a 5.2-litre V8 engine that puts out about 526bhp and 429Nm of torque. Considered as a well balanced muscle car when compared to previous generations, the latest Shelby GT350 has been a hit in the US and abroad. If the GT350 nameplate seems familiar, it should because it was used back in the days of the original car, which was also pushed to its limits on tracks all around the US.

How Ford responds to this lawsuit remains to be seen but as of now, Ford has not offered to rectify these issues albeit internal investigations are probably underway to figure out the root cause of the problems.

Source: Business Wire, Car Throttle

Following in Porsche’s footsteps, McLaren too have decided to introduce a new range of options and accessories that have been developed for the 540C, 570S and 570GT.

The latest additions to the automaker’s option list are meant to provide protection to the vehicle when on the road and provide more visual appeal then when in standard form. Available for all McLaren Sports Series models, this new collection can be purchased from, and fitted by McLaren retailers.

The protection options include indoor and outdoor vehicle covers, branded floor and luggage bin mats, as well as front skid plates which are said to protect the diffusers from contact with the ground.

Apart from that McLaren is also offering a plethora of visual upgrades including a number of forged alloy wheel designs in stealth, silver and diamond cut finishes as well as a number of lightweight coloured brake calipers.

There are also three carbon fire packs to choose which come with the following:

Carbon fibre side intakes
Carbon fibre mirror casings
Carbon fibre side skirts
Carbon fibre aero blades
Carbon fibre front splitter
Carbon fibre rear bumper
Carbon fibre rear wing
Carbon fibre rear diffuser
Carbon fibre rear deck and plenum cover

McLaren says that these additions save a noticeable amount of weight compared to the trim that’s available as standard. Having said that, the supercar maker isn’t content with offering just exterior tweaks, as it is also offering a slew of interior options that are decked out in Carbon Fibre. These options include switch packs and IRIS surround, upper speaker surround, sill finisher with McLaren branding and side tunnels, all in carbon fibre.

In addition to these new add-ons, more special bits come from the McLaren Special Operations (MSO) section that have been designed and engineered by the MSO team which include a front splitter, rear wing and rear bumper. All these options as well as those mentioned earlier can be fitted to existing customers’ cars, if they so choose.

For the full comprehensive list of options on offer by the manufacturer, visit the McLaren website at www.retailers.mclaren.com/.

At the upcoming London Motor Show, which will take place from 4th to 7th May 2017, something rather special will be on display. A customized McLaren 650S built by Japanese tuning company Liberty Walk. The same car that received a lot of attention at the recent Geneva Motor Show in Switzerland.

Compared to the original, this supercar’s exterior has been extensively reworked to include unique Liberty Walk body styling and livery as well as a new front bumper, side diffuser, rear bumper, massive elevated rear wing and wide fender. Though many supercar fans might consider modifying an already perfect exterior as pure sacrilege, the new look and striking paint scheme does grab one’s attention, somewhat.

Speaking of the latest addtion to the London Motorshow, Alec Mumford, Chairman of The London Motor Show, said: “We are delighted to welcome Liberty Walk and can’t wait to see the McLaren 650S in Battersea Park in all its glory. These guys really know how to add drama to an already dramatic car, and they certainly have enough in their armory to be a star of the show. Liberty Walk will invite a new, youthful audience to The London Motor Show and we are very excited for them to set up here.”

The 650S won’t be the only vehicle representing Liberty Walk, two other models will also be on display as well as something special. Exactly what that entails is completely open to debate but to know more, we will have to wait for the London Motor Show. For more information on the show visit the London Motor Show website at www.thelondonmotorshow.co.uk.

Porsche has made some changes for 2017 with regards to the optional extras for its vehicles which include new colours for the exteriors and interiors as well as power upgrades for the 911S range.

Starting with its new colour palette for this year, Crayon is a colour that’s available for all 911 and 718 models. Reserved for the 911 range is the four-coat paint in Saffron Yellow Metallic with intermediate sanding. If you opt for the optional sports exhaust, Porsche can paint the tailpipes in high-gloss black. As for the interior, the company has expanded the range to include Sport-Tex equipment in Black or Graphite Blue/Crayon.

As far as the Cayenne is concerned, the colour range now includes Purpurite Metallic and Palladium Metallic. It’s baby sister, the Macan, receives leather interior in Black/Luxor Beige. New exterior and interior colours are also available for the Panamera which gets Burgundy Red Metallic and Ristretto Brown Metallic as well as leather interior with Black/Luxor Beige. But if you’ve decided on the club leather, then you can also choose to have it in either Cohiba Brown or Truffle Brown.

And now for the power bit. Porsche say that for all new 911 Carrera S, 911 Carrera 4S and 911 Targa 4S models, it offers a kit that will offer a power bump of 30bhp to 450bhp. The kit is said to include larger turbochargers, the Sport Chrono package including dynamic engine mountings, a modified brake cooling system and the sports exhaust system with two central tailpipes. What might excite those who’ve already purchased an S model 911 with a Chrono pack, starting from June 2017, this power increase is available for purchase via Porsche Tequipment as a retrofit option.

Leading up to its big reveal at the upcoming New York International Motorshow, Dodge has released a series of teaser videos of its Challenger on steroids, the Challenger Demon performing a number of heroic feats. The latest of the series, called “Lock and Load” is one that demonstrates/advertises the automaker’s drag focused launch system.

In conventional cars, to get a perfect launch from a standstill, one would have to keep one foot firmly planted on the brake pedal while the other coerces the accelerator pedal to raise the engine rpm to the optimal level for launch. Well, with the Dodge Challenger Demon, most of the process is automated.

Named the TransBrake, this system enables the Demon to accelerate from standstill at the optimum level that both engine and transmission would allow. It is said to “deliver power delivery and higher engine launch torque potential by locking the output shaft of the automatic transmission to keep the vehicle stationary until launch”. Basically, its engineering jargon for preventing the vehicle from moving until the optimum engine speeds are achieved.

The automaker says that, over the conventional method, TransBrake provides improved (30 percent quicker) reactions times and more consistent launches. Once you’ve prepared for the launch, you only need to flick the steering wheel mounted paddle shifter to engage the launch and the Challenger Demon will start accelerating like a rocket.

When it is eventually unveiled next month, the Dodge Challenger SRT Demon should still have a 5.7-litre Hemi V8 engine but the state of tune may differ from that of the original and more potent Hellcat. But for the rest of the specifications, we will have to wait until the actual reveal date to know for sure, till then, enjoy these videos:

If you are one of those car buyers who considers unique number plates as an extension of your car’s personality and to a certain extent even your own, well this news should intrigue you. Jabatan Pengangkutan Jalan Malaysia (JPJ) has introduced vehicle registration numbers beginning with “VW” for cars registered in Wilayah Persekutuan. This would be good news for those considering a Volkswagen as their next purchase. Such a number plate would not only stand out and be considered unique, but could prove to be a valuable investment.

Unique number plates are a sought after item these days. Many a car buyer, superstitious or not, pay top dollar for vehicle registration numbers such as these. Even if you aren’t into that type of thing, a VW series number plate for your VW should fit very nicely.

As a mean to allure potential car buyers even further, Volkswagen have announced that they are still conducting their trade-in programme for the Jetta and Passat until the 31st of March 2017. The programme allows you to trade in your VW and purchase a new one at a lower cost than usual. Apart from that, the automaker is also offering a limited early bird discounts until the 31st of April for the all-new Tiguan which will be launched soon. The small and cheerful Polo is also being offered at RM69,888 for a limited time and so are a number of other VW models.

So, if you are in the market for a new VW and reside in KL, you should be in for a real treat because it will be sometime until such a unique sequence of alphabets come along again in the near future.

The Driving Skills for Life (DSFL) programme by Ford, which it has organised in Asia for the past 10 years, is meant to educate drivers of the importance of road safety. This year, organised in conjunction with local distributor of Ford vehicles, Sime Darby Auto Connexion (SDAC), saw over 140 Malaysian drivers taking part to better understand how to deal with different types of situations whiel driving.

According to the Malaysian Institute of Road Safety Research (MIROS), 7,152 people were killed out of the 521,466 road accidents that were reported last year. And as such, the automaker and its local distributor believe programmes such as this will help drivers be more vigilant while on the road which would in turn, reduce the number of road accidents reported each year.

Those who attended this year’s DSFL included members of the CitiCLub by CitiBank, employees of Sime Darby Berhad, fans of Ford Malaysia’s social media channel, as well as members of the general public. The six half-day training session workshop was conducted by a panel of safety experts and was held at the Malaysia Agro Exposition Park Serdang (MAEPS).

“Driving Skills for Life is designed to equip drivers with the skills they need to be better and safer on the road. Road safety is a very serious issue and we feel it is our responsibility to help reinforce this message among Malaysian motorists,” said Syed Ahmad Muzri Syed Faiz, Managing Director, Sime Darby Auto Connexion.

During the workshop, attendees were made aware of the risks that drivers face while on the road, dealing with unexpected situations, the peril of distracted driving such as the use of mobile phones while behind the wheel, hands-on driver training that covers hazard recognition, vehicle handling, speed/space management, and distraction awareness.

DSFL is free-of-charge and is part of Ford’s global corporate social responsibility programme. Besides Malaysia, the automaker conducts this awareness programme in a number of countries such as China, India, Myanmar, Philippines, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam.

Lotus has introduced a new variant to its featherweight Elise family. Named Sprint edition, the new car adopts new clever weight saving measures that are reminiscent of the good old days when Colin Chapman was running the shop.’

Engineered in and out to be the lightest of the Elise family, the Sprint edition receives new distinctive styling to the exterior and interior of the car. It gets new front and rear aesthetics which are in line with the company’s design language including the lightweight open-gate gear selector mechanism seen on the Exige Sport 350. Other visual changes include bodywork keyed colour inserts for the sports seats, transmission console and HVAC surround, along with Sprint badge stitching. In addition to that, the car also receives an array of optional Alcantara trim panels on the doors, sills, seats and vents surrounds with contrasting stitching.

Improvements to the body include redesigned lightweight front clam panel, wider radiator apertures and mesh pattern grille, rear transom panel with two rear light clusters with reversing and fog lights mounted inboard. Aerodynamics have been tweaked too, with the addition of rubber elements on the flat underside ahead of the front wheel and an additional diffuser vane at the rear to improve air flow.

Lotus boasts that through various weight saving measures, it was able to bring down the overall weight to a mere 798 kg (dry). This was done by utilising lightweight components which include a Lithium-Ion battery (Saves 9kg), carbon race seats (saves 6kg), new lightweight forged alloy wheels (saves 6kg) as well as a carbon access panel, roll hoop cover, engine cover and polycarbonate rear screen that saves 6kg.

Comparatively, the Sprint edition is about 26kg lighter than the previous Sport and Sport 220 models even when fitted with optional two-piece brake discs (4kg lighter). Buyers can either opt for a 1.6-litre engine (134bhp and 160Nm of torque) or a supercharged 1.8-litre (217bhp and 250Nm of torque) one. As such, 0-100km/h for the Elise Sprint is 5.9 seconds and 4.1 seconds for the Elise Sprint 220. Lotus’s acoustic engineers have made some improvements to make the engine note more appealing to the 6 year old in all of us.

Stopping power comes courtesy of AP racing twin-piston calipers and Brembo single-piston rear calipers, however, a lightweight two-piece brake disc setup is also available as an option. Lotus does offer a number of ESP driving modes which are Drive, Sport and Off. The new Elise range which includes the Sprint, retain the same suspension configuration with fully independent double wishbone setup and a front anti-roll bar as well as Bilstein high-performance gas dampers and Eibach Coaxial coil springs for the front and rear.

Despite the lightweight measures, Lotus has still given the Sprint edition a new in-car entertainment system that offers Bluetooth and iPod connectivity, but like most Lotus buyers, the engine note is all the music we need.

The Sprint Edition sits above the the rest of the Elise line up but slots under the Elise Sport 220. Lotus plan on delivering cars to respective customers in April of this year and we hope it lives up to all the weight saving measures Lotus says it has.the hypeLotus says it deserves.


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