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Isuzu Malaysia, the market leader in commercial vehicles, recently delivered a batch of Isuzu FORWARD FVR compactor trucks to Environment Idaman Sdn Bhd and their sub-contractor, Warisan Integriti Sdn Bhd. The trucks were procured from Indah Utara Auto Sdn Bhd, an authorised dealer of Isuzu Malaysia.

From the procurement of 10 units, Environment Idaman will receive 6 units for this year while Warisan Integriti will take the other four. The FORWARD FVR compactor trucks are slated to be used for solid waste management, collection and disposal for local municipalities in Perlis and Kedah.

Isuzu FVR Compactor Truck
Isuzu FVR Compactor Truck

During the handover ceremony, Atsunori Murata, Chief Operating Officer of Isuzu Malaysia thanked representatives from the two companies for choosing the Isuzu model. Mr. Murata said he is confident that Isuzu’s reliability and durability will serve both companies well in their pursuit of providing timely services for day-to-day operations.

The newly procured units are expected to replace Environment Idaman’s aging fleet. For Warisan Integriti, the procurement is part of their long-term fleet expansion exercise. Isuzu Malaysia will be providing a training session to allow drivers of both companies to properly familiarise themselves with the vehicles.

For more information on Isuzu’s range of vehicles, visit www.isuzu.net.my.

Click here for other news and articles about Isuzu.

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Use of recycled materials in car parts has gone on for a long time as carmakers have tried to contribute to sustainable manufacturing processes. However, cost has also to be considered and with new technologies, recycling processes have been cost-effective enough to use.

Many disused items are recycled – from old jeans to coffee beans to coffee bean skins – and PET (commonly abbreviated from Polyethylene tErephThalate) bottles are popular for such use. In fact, the fashion industry produces jewelry, clothes and bags from PET bottles.

Audi is also using recycled material for its new fourth generation A3 for the first time as it continues to follow the corporate strategy of sustainability. The A3’s seat upholstery is made from secondary raw materials are being and up to 89% of the textile used comes from recycled PET bottles.

2020 Audi A3

From old to new
In Germany, there are machines which accept PET bottles from the public, for which they get 0.25 euro (around RM1.20) per bottle. The bottles are then compressed for truck transport in order to save space. Once they have arrived at the recycling plant, they are sorted by colour, size and quality. Foreign matter such as the caps are separated.

A mill then crushes the bottles into flakes, which are washed, dried and melted down. Nozzles shape continuous plastic strands out of the mass. Once they have dried, a machine chops them into small pieces. This results in granulate, otherwise known as recyclate, and this undergoes extrusion to create threads. Wound onto coils, these are used in the final stage to manufacture materials.

In Audi’s case, they are transformed into yarn for the seat fabrics. The company says that in terms of look and feel, the quality standards are the same as conventional textile upholstery.

2020 Audi A3

More than 100 PET bottles in a single A3
Up to 45 PET bottles with a capacity of 1.5 litres are used per seating system. On top of this, an additional 62 PET bottles are recycled for the carpet in the new A3. Other components in the interior are also increasingly made of secondary raw materials, eg insulating materials and absorbers, the side panel trims of the luggage compartment, the loading floor and the mats.

At present, the seat upholstery is not yet made completely of recyclable material. “The lower layer of woven material, which is connected to the upper material with adhesive, is what poses the challenge. We are working on replacing this with recyclable polyester,” says Ute Gronheim, who is in charge of material development in the textiles division at Audi. “It is our goal to make the seat upholstery completely from unmixed material so that it can be recycled again. We are no longer very far away from this.”

2020 Audi A3
The latest 4th generation Audi A3

In the long term, all seat upholstery across all model series will be made of recycled material. The goal is clear: the percentage of recycled material in the Audi fleet is to rise considerably in the coming years.

All-new Audi A3 gets more advanced quattro drive

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The opening round of the 2020 Formula 1 World Championship will, as usual, be in Melbourne, Australia and it will go ahead next weekend despite concerns about the COVID-19 epidemic. Australia has not forbidden large-scale events (yet) unlike Switzerland which has stopped events with over 1,000 people. The Geneva International Motor Show was a ‘victim’ of the decree, having to be cancelled at the last minute.

However, for the second round in Bahrain on March 22, spectators will not be allowed into the circuit. Yes, you read that right – no spectators. Due to the COVID-19 epidemic, it will be a ‘closed-door event’ which will only rely on live internet and TV broadcasts. It’s not clear if the public will be allowed to attend the planned concerts which this year have Afrojack, Don Diablo and Khalid performing.

Bahrain Circuit
The Bahrain International Circuit at Sakhir

The statement from the organisers today said: “In consultation with our international partners and the Kingdom’s national health Taskforce, Bahrain has made the decision to hold this year’s Bahrain Grand Prix as a participants-only event.”

“As an F1 host nation, balancing the welfare of supporters and racegoers is a tremendous responsibility. Given the continued spread of COVID-19 globally, convening a major sporting event which is open to the public and allows thousands of international travellers and local fans to interact in close proximity would not be the right thing to do at the present time. But to ensure that neither the sport, nor its global supporter base, is unduly impacted, the race weekend itself will still go ahead as a televised event.”

“Bahrain’s own early actions to prevent, identify and isolate cases of individuals with COVID-19 has been extremely successful to date. The approach has involved rapid, proactive measures, identifying those affected by the virus, of which the overwhelming majority of cases relate to those travelling into the country by air. Aggressive social distancing measures have further increased the effectiveness of preventing the virus’ spread, something that would clearly be near impossible to maintain were the race to have proceeded as originally planned.”

2020 Bahrain GP

The statement went on to acknowledge that many will be disappointed by the development, especially those planning to travel to the event, ‘but safety has to remain our utmost priority’. Up till today, data from the WHO and Malaysian Health Ministry shows that Bahrain has 85 cases of COVID-19 infections with no deaths (Malaysia has 93 cases, no deaths).

On its part, the FIA has not yet made any changes to the F1 calendar other than to cancel the Chinese GP scheduled in April (at the request of the organisers). Professor Gerard Saillant, President of the FIA’s Medical Commission, said an FIA Crisis Cell has been established and convenes every second day to consider the latest developments around the world.

“The FIA continues to closely monitor the situation and its implications, together with its Member Clubs and Promoters, and follows the advice of relevant authorities including governments and the World Health Organization (WHO). The FIA will evaluate the calendar of its forthcoming competitions and take any action required to help protect the global motorsport community and the wider public, including the postponement of competitions where necessary,” he said.

Ferrari
Support teams, especially tyre suppliers Pirelli, may be hampered by strict regulations that prevent them from entering countries where races are held.

There is also growing concern in the F1 community as Italy’s northern region goes into lockdown to try to prevent further spread of the virus. Pirelli, the tyre suppliers, are located in Milan which is within the lockdown area while teams from Italy – Scuderia Ferrari and AlphaTauri F1 – are monitoring the situation. It is hoped that Australia, Bahrain and Vietnam, where the first three rounds are to be held, will be flexible on allowing personnel from Italy to enter.

Ross Brawn, F1’s Managing Director for Motorsport, feels that if any team is prevented from entering a country to participate in the race, then there should not be a race. His remarks to Reuters suggested that the race might still be run but ‘it won’t be a Formula 1 championship race’ because it would be unfair to the teams affected.

2020 F1 Chinese Grand Prix cancelled due to COVID-19 situation

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Motor vehicles are blamed for pollution, the exhaust gases from the internal combustion process sending toxic elements into the air. Since the 1970s, carmakers have been addressing this, pushed by government regulations that became more stringent to protect the environment. The shift to electric cars is partly due to the regulations being too tough for the internal combustion engine to meet, although today’s engines are certainly much cleaner than those of 20 years ago.

Then there’s noise pollution. Studies in 2012 found that 50,000 deaths and approaching a quarter of a million cases of cardiovascular disease every year in Europe were linked to traffic noise. This type of ‘invisible’ pollution is one of the most widespread environmental problems in the European Union and there are regulations that limit noise levels.

Cars
Noise pollution from motor vehicles can also affect health, as studies in Europe have found.

And then there is, believe it or not, pollution from tyre wear which can be 1,000 times worse than what comes out of a car’s exhaust, according to Emissions Analytics, an independent global testing and data specialist for the scientific measurement of real-world emissions.

Harmful particle matter from tyres – and also the brakes – is a very serious and growing environmental problem, one that is worsened by the increasing number of larger, heavier vehicles such as SUVs. Electric vehicles (EVs) may have lighter bodies but they carry heavy battery packs, which also contributes to the problem.

SUV
SUVs can generate more particles from tyre wear due to their greater weight.

So far, perhaps because legislators have not realised it, vehicle tyre wear pollution is completely unregulated. However, there is growing concern around ‘non-exhaust emissions’ (NEE) which are particles released into the air from brake wear, tyre wear, road surface wear and resuspension of road dust during on-road vehicle usage.

NEEs are currently believed to constitute the majority of primary particulate matter from road transport, 60% of PM2.5 and 73% of PM10. In its 2019 report – Non-Exhaust Emissions from Road Traffic – by the UK Government’s Air Quality Expert Group, it recommended that NEEs are immediately recognised as a source of ambient concentrations of airborne particulate matter, even for vehicles with zero exhaust emissions of particles – such as EVs.

To understand the scale of the problem, Emissions Analytics performed some initial tyre wear testing. Using a popular family hatchback running on brand new, correctly inflated tyres, it was found that the car emitted particles amounting to 5.8 gms per km.

Traffic jam
Test have found that a car can emit 5.8 gms of particles from its tyres for every km it travels – imagine the amount of pollution from millions of vehicles daily!

Compared with regulated exhaust emission limits of 4.5 milligrams per km, the completely unregulated tyre wear emission is higher by a factor of over 1,000! Emissions Analytics notes that this could be even higher if the vehicle had tyres were under-inflated, or the road surfaces used for the test were rougher, or the tyres used were from a budget range – all very recognisable scenarios in real-world motoring.

Tyre

“The challenge to the industry and regulators is an almost complete ‘black hole’ of consumer information, undone by frankly out-of-date regulations still preoccupied with exhaust emissions. In the short term, fitting higher quality tyres is one way to reduce these NEEs and to always have tyres inflated to the correct level,” suggests Nick Molden, CEO of Emissions Analytics.

“Ultimately, though, the car industry may have to find ways to reduce vehicle weight too. What is without doubt on the horizon is much-needed regulation to combat this problem. Whether that leads to specific types of low emission, harder wearing tyres is not for us to say – but change has to come,” he urged.

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What was presented as the ID. CROZZ showcar by Volkswagen earlier will become a production model known as the ID.4. The two letters, ‘ID’, indicate it as being part of the ID family that will use all-electric powertrains.

The ID range is part of the carmaker’s electric mobility strategy and following in the tracks of the ID.3, the countdown has already begun for this second model based on the new modular electric drive matrix (MEB). The new ID.4 will also be launched this year, possibly after the ID.3 which is scheduled to be in showrooms from mid-2020.

Volkswagen ID.4

Volkswagen ID.CROZZ concept
The ID.CROZZ concept displayed in 2017.

“Just like the ID.3, the ID.4 will also come onto the market as a carbon-neutral vehicle,” said Ralf Brandstätter, Chief Operating Officer of the Volkswagen brand. “We will produce and sell the ID.4 in Europe, China and the U.S.”

The design of this zero-emission SUV is particularly aerodynamic. This is especially necessary for EVs that need every advantage to maximise energy use. More efficient aerodynamics will reduce drag and the electric motor won’t have to work so hard to achieve a desired speed. This can help boost the ID.4’s range to up to 500 kilometres, depending on the drive package.

 Volkswagen ID.4

The ID.4 will initially be launched with rear-wheel drive, while an electric all-wheel drive version will be added at a later date. The high-voltage battery is positioned near the centre of the underbody to create a low centre of gravity and optimise driving dynamics, along with an extremely well-balanced axle load distribution.

Related story: Volkswagen’s electric vehicles will use a 1-speed gearbox!

VW MEB platform

Just like all other MEB models, the ID.4 will offer plenty of interior space as its electric drive technology is compactly packaged. The fully digital cockpit of the SUV has been clearly structured and is operated primarily using touch surfaces and intelligent, intuitive voice control.

Volkswagen ID.4

For Volkswagen, the ID.4 and ID.3 represent important milestones in the brand’s bid to become entirely carbon-neutral by 2050 – in line with the Paris climate agreement. Plans have been put in place to reduce the Volkswagen fleet’s CO2-emissions by a third by as early as 2025.

Volkswagen ID
Prototypes of the initial ID family

Volkswagen is currently investing one billion euros to electrify its model range while also offering an increasing number of hybrid vehicles. This is based on the fact that, just like electric powertrains, new mild and plug-in hybrid drives in high-volume product lines such as the Golf will significantly help to reduce fleet exhaust emissions in the future.

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2020 Volkswagen ID.3 makes global debut

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GoCar Malaysia, the car-sharing platform that has been around since 2015, has a large fleet of cars to manage and obviously, it has to ensure that they are always in good condition for customers’ use. ‘Good condition’ doesn’t just refer to mechanical condition (although that is certainly important) but also the interior cleanliness of the vehicle – more so in these times of the COVID-19 epidemic.

To encourage community cleanliness and advocate car-hygiene, GoCar Malaysia has a campaign, called ‘GoClean’ which emphasizes that maintaining a clean and healthy environment is a collaborative effort. This is all the more important as many different individuals will be using the same vehicles which they can book for an hour or for longer periods.

Go Car
Unlike single-owner vehicles, many different people will use the same GoCar vehicle so it is important that it is kept hygienically clean, especially in these times.

To provide passengers with a comfortable and hygienic driving environment, GoCar Malaysia is constantly expanding its Fleet Maintenance team, increasing maintenance scheduling, and even uses customised algorithms that track which cars need to be maintained. In addition to this, GoCar members can be rewarded if they clean or wash their GoCar before returning it.

GoCar

“GoCar is a car-sharing platform, which means users after users will be using the car after one another. We have users leaving burger wraps, unfinished drinks – once even chicken bones – and many other unsavoury things in the car. Nevertheless, we will continue to make more effort to maintain the cleanliness of GoCars, and we have to work together to make that a reality,” said Alan Cheah, CEO of GoCar, explaining the reason for the ‘GoClean’ campaign,

With the coronavirus epidemic evolving in the country, the need for preventative measures and healthy environments has never been felt more strongly. In the spirit of community cleanliness, GoClean is to implement a few actions to help make this possible.

GoCar GoClean

Firstly, antibacterial wipes with Benzalkonium Chloride (BC) are placed in the glovebox of each vehicle for users to wipe down the steering wheel, the seats, and door handles. Antibacterial wipes are said to be some of the main preventative measures the public can take against the spread of any illness. GoCar members are thus urged not to remove the antibacterial wipes from the vehicles. If they are not present, the member can contact GoCar.

There are also reminders on the windscreen to ensure that users maintain the cleanliness of the vehicle and subsequently, reimbursement will be given for taking a GoCar for a car wash before returning it via the GoPocket points.

GoCar, which offers an alternative to car ownership for Malaysians, is available in over 400 locations at 72 towns and cities in 7 states. Depending on the requirement, there are sedans, SUVs, MPVs, and even pick-up trucks to choose from. Since February this year, the company also accepts P-licence holders as members.

How motorists can help to prevent the spread of COVID-19

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Conceived a little over 12 months ago, the Aston Martin V12 Speedster has undergone an intensive development programme, going from drawing board to production reality within that short period. Demonstrating the skills and meticulous planning of ‘Q by Aston Martin’ and Aston Martin Design, the V12 Speedster is a living showcar, using engineering ingenuity and advanced materials.

2021 Aston Martin V12 Speedster

Denied of a global debut at the Geneva International Motor Show which was cancelled at the last minute, Aston Martin nevertheless went ahead with an announcement of the car’s debut at its UK headquarters.

“It makes me enormously proud to reveal Aston Martin’s latest, most exciting special model. The V12 Speedster is an incredible demonstration of the breadth of capability and determination from the ‘Q by Aston Martin’ team, who have worked tirelessly to create this stunning, two-seat sports car aimed at our most demanding and enthusiastic customers,” said Aston Martin Lagonda President & Group CEO, Dr. Andy Palmer.

Inspiration from a jet fighter
The V12 Speedster draws inspiration from both the brand’s rich racing history and aeronautical design. The debut model, for example, has a conceptual F/A-18 Super Hornet jet fighter livery which will be available to customers. Born from an exciting new collaboration with Boeing and created by the brand’s bespoke customisation service, this striking car is finished in Skyfall Silver, with contrasting satin black on the exhaust tips, vent grilles and vanes.

F/A-18
The F/A-18 Super Hornet which inspired the designers of the V12 Speedster

2021 Aston Martin V12 Speedster

Utilising Aston Martin’s latest bonded aluminium architecture, the V12 Speedster incorporates elements from both the DBS Superleggera and Vantage model lines to create its own unique platform. With independent double wishbone front, and multi-link rear suspension with coil springs and adaptive damping offering Sport, Sport+ and Track modes, the V12 Speedster also benefits from standard 21-inch forged centre lock alloy wheels. Carbon Ceramic Brakes of 410 mm diameter on the front axle and 360 mm at the rear are also standard equipment.

Aston Martin V12 Speedster

Over the V12 Speedster’s unique chassis is a bespoke body constructed almost entirely from carbonfibre. No roof or screen, a big engine, low, with broad shoulders and exaggerated and emotional styling with twin humps and the spine separating the driver and passenger. The light, low, rear end contrasts with the bold, enlarged grille, unique headlights and bonnet nostril at the front.

2-seat interior with purposeful look
The dark theme is carried through to the interior, with satin dark chrome, machined aluminium, black leather, black technical textile, black carpets and vivid red Aston Martin scripted door pulls, creating a purposeful look.

Aston Martin V12 Speedster

Aston Martin V12 Speedster

The interior specification pushes new boundaries, using a mix of traditional and modern materials. Structural satin carbonfibre contrasts with traditional hand-crafted Saddle Leather, chrome, aluminium and even 3D-printed rubber.

Aston Martin V12 Speedster
The seats do not eject (at least Aston Martin didn’t say so) but you probably need a helmet when going at 300 km/h with no roof on the car!

Aston Martin V12 Speedster

Visually and physically, the interior reduces mass, for a leaner, efficient style but one that retains all the emotion and craftsmanship Aston Martins are renowned for. In front of the passenger is a removable leather bag in place of a traditional glovebox, while there’s additional storage space under the rear bumps for luggage.

3.5 seconds to get to 100 km/h
Powering the V12 Speedster is Aston Martin’s 5.2-litre, Twin-Turbo V12 engine with peak output of 700 bhp/753 Nm. Front mid-mounted, the all-alloy, quad-cam 48-valve engine is mated to a ZF 8-speed automatic transmission with a limited-slip differential driving the rear wheels. Aston Martin says the V12 Speedster can accelerate to 100 km/h from standstill in 3.5 seconds. After that, it can continue to a top speed of over 300 km/h but is electronically limited to that maximum speed, which is about the speed at which the F/A-18 starts to leave the ground.

Aston Martin V12 Speedster

Orders are now being taken for the 88 units that will be built, with prices starting at £765,000 (about RM4.15 million). The first customers are expected to have the V12 Speedster in their driveway during the first quarter of 2021.

DBX – the first-ever Aston Martin SUV is unveiled today, priced from RM798,000 (w/VIDEO)

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Just a few days before its opening, the Geneva International Motor Show 2020 was cancelled by force majeure – the coronavirus outbreak – following an order by the Swiss government forbidding events 1,000 or more people. An annual event which has always been looked forward to for the unveiling of new models and concept cars, it was a disappointment.

One of the events for the motorshow was the announcement of the European Car of the Year 2020 (ECOTY), perhaps the oldest COTY as it began way back in 1964 with the first winner being the Rover 2000. However, the management at Palexpo, where the motorshow has been held for a long time, allowed the announcement of Car of the Year 2020 as scheduled.

Seven finalists were nominated by the jury which consisted of almost 60 motoring journalists and experts from over 20 countries (including Russia). They were the BMW 1-Series, Ford Puma, Peugeot 208, Porsche Taycan, Renault Clio, Tesla Model 3 and Toyota Corolla.

2020 Peugeot 208
The 2020 winner – Peugeot 208

It was the Peugeot hatchback that collected the most points – 281 – followed by the Tesla Model 3 with 242 points. Third was the Porsche Taycan with 222 points. It is notable that all three models are EVs (the Peugeot also has an all-electric variant). The first EV model to win the ECOTY was the Nissan LEAF in 2011 although the first electrified model to get the top award was the Toyota Prius Hybrid in 2005.

The scores for the other finalists were 221 points for the Renault Clio, 209 points for the Ford Puma, 152 points for the Toyota Corolla and 133 points for the BMW 1-Series.

Three powertrain choices for 208
The jury was impressed by the Peugeot’s engine range – electric, petrol and diesel – which gives customers more choices. It also appreciated the bold design and technology of the car which was launched in October last year. Nearly 110,000 customers have ordered a Peugeot 208 and 15% of them have chosen the all-electric version.

ECOTY

The latest award for Peugeot makes it six for the French brand, putting it among the top three of the ECOTY list. The first Peugeot model to win the ECOTY title was the 504 in 1969. Fiat currently leads with nine awards since the 124 model in 1967.

Eligible models for each year’s ECOTY are selected from the many newcomers over the previous 12 months. They must be new models, not simply changed cosmetically or by the installation of a new powertrain. They must also be in production and sold in at least 5 European countries when the jury starts voting.

1964 Rover 2000
Rover 2000 was the first Car of the Year winner in 1964.

PREVIOUS ECOTY WINNERS

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This is the rarest two-door Bentley of the modern era, a definitive Grand Tourer that spearheads a return to coachbuilding by Bentley Mulliner – the oldest coachbuilder in the world. Just 12 examples of this striking, limited edition model – called the Bacalar – are being created, guaranteeing rarity and exclusivity.

This exceptionally rare car is appropriately named after Laguna Bacalar in Mexico’s Yucatan peninsula, a lake renowned for its breathtaking natural beauty, continuing Bentley’s strategy of naming cars after remarkable landmarks which started with Bentayga in 2015.

The Bacalar has a roofless Barchetta design with all-new and highly muscular coachwork. With a myriad of options and materials, each Bacalar will be truly unique, the result of direct interaction between the Bentley Mulliner design team and the individual customer.

The most exclusive two-door Bentley of the modern era also launches a new Bentley Mulliner operation, part of a new strategy that will see the division offer three different portfolios: Classic, Collections and Coachbuilt.

Bentley Mulliner Bacalar

“The Bentley Mulliner Bacalar is our ultimate expression of an open-top, luxury grand tourer, and of the immense capabilities of our team in Crewe. In Bacalar, we have created a fully bespoke Bentley, orientated towards a two-seat open-top experience, and carrying a number of the forward thinking elements of future luxury, first heralded in our EXP100GT as part of our Centenary celebrations last year,” said Adrian Hallmark, Chairman & CEO of Bentley Motors.

Truly exclusive bodywork
The Bacalar shares no body panel with any other car in the Bentley model line-up and derives inspiration from the EXP 100 GT concept car. Indeed, it only shares one exterior component with a Continental GT – the door handle, simply because it contains the keyless entry system.

Pure in line and execution, the distinctive, wraparound cockpit flows from a new, steeply angled centre console seamlessly into the dashboard and doors. These then wrap rearwards towards the semi-enclosed luggage compartment behind the two seats.

Bentley Mulliner Bacalar

Bentley Mulliner Bacalar

Bentley Mulliner Bacalar

At the heart of the centre console is the now famous Bentley Rotating Display. This digital MMI display has been elegantly designed by Bentley with a customer-configurable home screen. The system involves 40 moving parts and revolves the Riverwood veneer when the engine is started to reveal the high-resolution touchscreen.

5,000-year old wood
Sustainable, ethically-sourced materials previewed in the EXP 100 GT concept car last year have now become reality in the Bacalar – just 8 months after first being previewed. These include paint containing ash from rice husks, which provides a sustainable way of delivering a rich metallic finish, natural British wool and 5,000-year-old Riverwood sourced from the ancient Fenlands of East Anglia.

Bentley Mulliner Bacalar

The Bacalar is powered by an enhanced version of Bentley’s 6.0-litre, W12 TSI engine. Claimed to be the most advanced 12-cylinder engine in the world, it produces 659 ps/900 Nm. An advanced Active All-Wheel-Drive System varies the torque split between front and rear wheels. It allows the Bacalar to use rear-wheel drive as much as possible during normal driving for optimum efficiency and dynamic performance.

All 12 cars have already been allocated to customers around the world, each of whom would have paid a deposit based on a price believed to start from £1.5 million (around RM8 million).

Bentley Mulliner Bacalar

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