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B I - M O N T H LY







Ferrari California Going Topless Has Never Been This Exciting

We are test driving the Ferrari California courtesy of Naza Italia. This is the sexist modern Ferrari drop top for years. With an ask-

ing price from RM1.8 million this is not a car for most Malaysians. Yes, many have already been delivered to wealthy Ma-

laysians but with so many supercar options on sale in Malaysia, the Californian dream is for just a few. This new ‘Prancing Horse’

product offers a new direct injection V8 engine, a 7-speed gearbox with steering wheel-mounted F1-style paddles coupled

with a new dual clutch, a new suspension system and a new evolved F1-Trac traction control system and Brembo brakes with

CCM (carbon ceramic material) discs as standard. Just what we needed to abuse this supercar on the road.


FRIDAY 9 november 2012




Lotus Evora S test drive By Daniel Fernandez

Why does this Lotus offer you an easy entry into the supercar club? Well, its asking price from RM513,000.00 makes it the easiest supercar to own today. The Evora has been tested around the world, from the icy wastes of the arctic to the heat of the desert and even the high altitude of the Alps. It has spent hours on the Nürburgring circuit and has endlessly lapped Lotus's test track at Hethel. This is Lotus’s global car and there is more to come from this versatile chassis. The Lotus Evora utilises premium quality materials and finishes to create a cabin ambiance to compete with the Germans. Precision engineered metal inserts and quality edge-lit switches are brilliantly installed against soft hand-stitched leather surfaces to give a modern interior with a classic twist. The flat bottomed steering wheel, figure hugging sports seat, racy instrumentation and ergonomically positioned controls provide an intuitive environment that instantly forms a connection between driver and car. Much of the switchgear is bespoke, and every metallic component is actually metal. With a range of leather colours available, customers will have the opportunity to personalise their Lotus Evora. The rear seats of This is the 1st Lotus that carries a high quality interior and leather everywhere inside the cabin.

2+2 versions of the Lotus Evora are intended for children and smaller adults. Space is tight. To maximise comfort in the rear, there's a decent amount of foot-room under the seats in front, while both back seats feature ISOFIX mountings for secure child seat fitment. When unoccupied, the rear seats provide a convenient stowage area, adding to the Lotus Evora's appeal as an everyday car. The 160 litre boot, which ingeniously features a fresh air cooling system to reduce the effect of any heat ingress from the engine bay, will also accommodate a full set of golf clubs when needed. The Evora is a mid-engined 2+2. Powered by a Lotustuned Toyota 3.5-litre V6 engine it produces 345bhp which might not sound like

much but it works very well with a car weighing just 1350 kg. Ignite the engine and the Toyota V6 is quiet and unassuming. This is not good as a sports car has to growl a little. We start our drive with little pressure as we get acquainted with the Evora. It is docile, well mannered and easy to drive in traffic and comfort is good. You sit really low with great front visibility. Rear vision is very bad and that is why there is a rear camera with a centre console screen. The engine sits at the back and this is why you can hear the cooling system work when the engine is running at operating temperature. After an hour of relaxed driving we find and open country road with little traffic and we let the revs rip up the tachometer. The gear shifts are short,

PICTURES BY Daniel Fernandez

Lotus Evora SPECIFICATIONS Engine V6-cylinder DOHC 24-valve dual VVT-I Mid-mounted

Power 345hp @ 6400rpm Torque 400Nm @ 4600rpm Capacity 3500cc This Evora offers an easy entry into the supercar club. Price is inspiring and the drive exciting. Test drive one and decide for yourself

clear and precise. It’s easy to keep the clutch on half travel as it is light. The tight lightweight chassis shows its agility and composure at every corner and there is no hesitation from its grip as we increase our speed corner after corner. Aiding the Evora’s handling is Yokohama developed bespoke tyres especially for the Lotus Evora. Its 225/40 ZR18 at the front and larger diameter 255/35

ZR19 at the rear. Yes, they are expensive, but they do the job perfectly. Bringing the Evora up to its governed top speed is quick and easy but the engine lacks the ability to fully exploit the chassis. That is why there is a supercharged version on its way. Fast sweeping corners are easily executed with quick steering inputs and the rear stays planted with our confidence building up. There is more to be enjoyed but we hold back our enthusiasm. On our journey back we take in illegal speeds to feel the limits of the Evora on a

Transmission: 6-speed sports manual

0-100km/h: 4.7secs Top Speed 285km/h Price RM513,000.00 base price

highway run. It needs more horsepower…..more grunt…. more speed as the chassis begs to be abused. It sits on the highway at 225km/h with full confidence and there is little to worry as the steering returns all tarmac inputs to your palms. It’s a driver’s car.To really understand the drive dynamics of the Evora you need to test drive this car for yourself. Call Lotus Cars Malaysia and they will be happy to allow a test drive to any serious prospect.






PICTURES BY Daniel Fernandez

Ferrari California - Going topless has never been this exciting By Daniel Fernandez

on a weekend getaway regardless of whether the top is up or down.

Top Down Attraction

Cabin Attraction

Of course the Ferrari California’s signature feature has to be its retractable hard top. It is made from aluminium panels and has a cast aluminium weight-bearing structure which reduces its overall weight and mechanism. The entire opening/closing process is completed in just 14 seconds and with its original stowage system, the California’s boot space is generous for a couple

Compared with the previous drop top Ferrari’s that we have test driven, the California is built and finished to a much higher standard. The cabin plastics, for instance, are in a different league from those of the older Ferrari’s where Ferrari artisans have worked hard on increasing overall quality, from things like the sound of the doors closing to noise levels, comfort and so on. You im-

mediately notice a better cabin environment if you have driven previous drop top Ferrari’s. Cabin ergonomics are much better and have a very distinct premium car feel all over.

Drive Attraction Driving the California is also a big improvement over older drop top Ferrari’s where the steering is lighter and less intimidating. It is however not too light to lose your drive sensation and city commutes are easy and even possible for the fairer sex whom we think is Ferrari’s immediate target

audience for this car. Previous Ferrari’s were intimidating with heavy clutches, forearm bending steering and gear shifters and so women were drawn to the passenger seat only. When needed it will accelerate till you lose yourself in its speed and return a top speed sensation that is secure and planted. You will also realise that the California is superbly built and classy. All this proves that the California is a more civilised supercar and gets into Porsche territory of being an easy to use daily supercar. Ferrari has added the ‘Manet-

tino’ and ‘F1-Trac’ systems to the California to provide a dynamic drive. The Manettino has now become one of the classic features of our entire range as has its position on the steering wheel which is clearly derived from our Formula 1 experience. The Manettino integrates the gearbox, stability and traction control systems (CST and F1-Trac) to provide the driver with a true super far drive dynamics. Time to work harder or get that business up and running to earn enough money to have a Ferrari California in your garage.

Ferrari California SPECIFICATIONS

Engine V8 Direct Injection Power 181bhp @ 6000rpm Torque 231Nm @ 4100rpm Capacity 4297cc Max Output 460bhp @ 7750rpm Max Torque 485Nm @ 5000rpm Transmission 7-Speed F1, dual-clutch

Top Speed 310km/h 0-100km/h Under 4.0 seconds Price RM1,800,000.00




Hyundai 6-s Automatic transmissions are extremely sophisticated pieces of equipment and as a result, very few car makers design and build them in-house. Most automakers above a certain size build their own engines, but when it comes to gearboxes, the expertise of dedicated transmission specialists

This 6-speed gearbox is designed and built by Hyundai engineers

such as ZF, Aisin, and Jatco are usually called upon. Hyundai is one of few auto makers in the world that cur rently designs and builds its own transmissions. It wasn’ too long ago that the compa ny was still buying transmis sions, but as we have seen in recent years, the people at Hyundai are fast learners and its transverse-mounted 6-speed automatic trans mission that was intro


ors ’t asn e s, d ss -



speed auto - Geared for success



duced in 2008 is rightfully ranked amongst the world’s best torque converter gearboxes. Carrying 300 of Hyundai’s own patents, the A6MF2 transmission took the company four years to develop, and made Hyundai only the third automotive company worldwide to have an inhouse developed six-speed auto after Toyota and a GM-Ford joint-venture. First introduced in the Azera, the transmission is now used throughout

Hyundai’s line-up, from the Elantra to the Sonata and Santa Fe. Despite having little prior experience in transmission making, Hyundai set impressively lofty goals in the A6MF2’s development and proceeded to achieve them. The transmission is smaller, lighter, and more compact than existing 6-speeders in the market, which gives benefits in packaging and also fuel consumption. Compared to an earlier 5-speed transmission used by the company, the current 6-speeder uses 62 fewer parts,

is lighter by 12.0kg, and is shorter by 41mm. Its torque converter alone helped save 0.7kg of weight and 12mm of space. The transmission’s internals consist of three planetary gear sets and four pinion differential gears. Another demonstration of ingenuity by Hyundai is how it took care of manufacturing deviations — a huge problem for contraptions as delicate and precise as an automatic transmission. The transmission’s hydraulic pressure control unit features adjustment screws for its eight control valves, allowing them to be calibrated at the factory to ensure stable hydraulic pres-

sure and thus enabling the gearbox to deliver smooth gear changes. Perhaps the most important virtue of this transmission is that it is maintenance free for life. Under normal usage, the automatic transmission fluid is good for the lifetime of the vehicle, and it is only under severe usage that a fluid change is required at 300,000km. So, in addition to boosting fuel economy by virtue of having more gears, owners also save money on maintenance costs with this revolutionary transmission. Moving forward, Hyundai has recently upped its game once again with a newer and even more advanced 8-speed automatic transmission for

its rear-wheel drive vehicles. First introduced in the Genesis sedan, this transmission further illustrates Hyundai’s innovative spirit with no less than 130 registered technological patents. Innovations include direct control solenoids for smoother gear changes, and shift-by-wire interface. More is to come in the future, as development of a 10-speed automatic transmission has already been confirmed, possibly hitting the market as early as 2014. Hyundai’s rapid progress in its transmission developing capabilities is indeed impressive, and it further illustrates the drive and determination of the company to be a leading player in the automotive industry.


FRIDAY 9 november 2012




Toyota increases global sales lead over GM Toyota Motor Corp.'s worldwide sales grew 18 percent last quarter on U.S. demand for Camry sedans and Prius hybrids and helped Asia's largest automaker expand

its lead over General Motors, the global volume leader in 2011. Toyota delivered 2.43 million cars and trucks in the quarter that ended Sept. 30, including subsidiaries Hino

Motors Ltd. and Daihatsu Motor Co., up from 2.06 million a year ago, according to figures provided by a company spokeswoman. Its sales rose 28 percent to 7.4 million

units through September. GM had 2.28 million sales in the quarter and 6.95 million this year through September, said GM spokesman Jim Cain. President Akio Toyoda

plans to introduce 19 models this year as Toyota heads toward regaining the title of the world's biggest carmaker. The company is counting on the United States to make

up for falling sales in China, where a territorial dispute with Japan threatens Toyota's goal of selling a record 9.76 million vehicles globally in 2012.

NAZA Italia offers a 7-year maintenance program for Ferrari's

Next generation Nissan GT-R This is the 2013 model year Nissan GT-R that has received some important updates but the most important good news is found under the hood. The 3.8-litre twin-turbocharged V6 engine receives new highoutput injectors that control fuel injection to improve midrange and high-rpm response, a new relief valve for the turbocharger bypass but also a new oil pan that helps main-

tain more stable oil pressure and reduces rotational friction especially during high-performance driving. As a result, the engine, that delivers 550 PS, can push the car from 0 to 100 km/h in just 2.7 seconds (the previous GT-R achieved the same speed in 2.8 seconds). Moreover, the car is even faster on the Nurburgring, lapping the famous racetrack in

7min 19.1 seconds. According to Kazutoshi Mizuno, creator of the GT-R, the car is capable of a 7min 18.6 seconds lap but 0.5 seconds were lost to traffic on that hot lap. Still, this is an improvement comparing it to the 2012MY GT-R that is capable of 7min 21 seconds. The updates don’t stop here as the suspension set-up was also updated with revisions

to the dampers, springs and front anti-roll bar to lower the centre of gravity. New cam bolts have been installed on the front suspension to improve camber accuracy and stability when cornering. Reinforcements were also added to the dash panel bar and instrument panel member resulting in increased body rigidity and better suspension control.

No change in this driver focused interior

Ferrari owners now have a free 7-year scheduled maintenance program. Terms and conditions apply

NAZA Italia Sdn Bhd, the official Ferrari Importer and Dealer in Malaysia has announced an exclusive new customer care service offering a free 7-year scheduled maintenance programme to customers. This service will ensure that Ferrari cars are maintained to the highest standards to meet the company’s strict requirements for safety, performance and reliability. The programme is unique and this is the first time a car manufacturer offers such cover and is evidence of the attention paid by Ferrari to ensuring its clients enjoy the maximum peace of mind.

The programme covers the scheduled maintenance at standard service intervals (20,000 km, or once a year, with no restriction on total kilometres) along with the relative original spare parts, engine oil and brake fluid. The advantage to the owner is the assurance that the vehicle will be subject to regular annual inspection by Ferrari-trained personnel using factory-approved dedicated diagnostic equipment. The Maintenance programme covers each individual vehicle, and thus extends to any eventual subsequent owner during the entire seven-year period.





TESTDRIVE Honda Malaysia celebrates its 10,000th Honda Hybrid owner There are more than 10,000 Honda Hybrid vehicles now on Malaysian roads and the 10,000th Honda Hybrid owner was Tengku Mohd Ean Nasrun (Ean), the popular Hitz.FM radio announcer who purchased the hot-hatch Honda CR-Z hybrid. Honda has already introduced a total of 4 exciting new models; the Insight, Jazz Hybrid, CR-Z and Civic Hybrid in the Honda Hybrid Family to Ma-

laysians. With the launch of the Insight at the end of 2010, Honda has successfully captured 54.4% of the hybrid market share in 2011 and it has increased to 66% as at August 2012. The good acceptance of hybrid vehicles in Malaysia became the catalyst for Honda Malaysia to be the first car manufacturer to assemble hybrid vehicles locally. This is also in line with Honda Mo-

tor’s direction of providing good products with speed, affordability and low CO2 emissions to maximise the joy of ownership to customers. In conjunction with Honda’s global direction, Honda Malaysia is committed to reduce carbon emissions significantly.

Hitz FM DJ goes green with a new CR-Z Hybrid

Volvo Car Malaysia welcomes Clear Marque to the Volvo family Volvo Car Malaysia has appointed Clear Marque Sdn Bhd as its newest authorised dealer in Kuala Lumpur. Clear Marque, headed by Dato' Tan Hoe Pin, Executive Director of Wawasan TKH, will begin operations as early as midNovember with a dealership on Jalan Kuching that will initially concentrate on servicing, with a full sales centre to follow on the same site. A second dealership is expected to open in Kota Damansara by the start of 2014. As the investment umbrella of the Tan family, Wawasan TKH Sdn Bhd has diversified holdings in four main industries, the automotive section of which Dato’ Tan Hoe Pin has firmly specialized in. “We have every faith that Clear Marque will be an asset to our operations in Malaysia, as Volvo Car Malaysia and Clear Marque share the common vision of offering better service to Malaysian customers,” said Goran Larsson, President of Volvo Car Malaysia.

There is a new place to service and buy your favorite Volvo. Wawasan TKH starts operations this November in Jalan Kuching

MediaCorp Subaru Challenge 2012 Asian Face-off sees a WINNER AFTER 78 HOURS AND 30 MINUTES The MediaCorp Subaru Challenge 2012 — The Asian Face-Off came to a sensational close last week, with 42-year-old Singaporean Gan Yu Shen Tholmas taking top honours in a gruelling 78 hours 30 minutes

It is not easy to win a free car and Motor Image has shown this for 11 years running with their Subaru challenge

face-off, clocking the second longest winning time in the 11 years of the Challenge. The three-time participant, Mr Gan, was a direct entry contestant who was selected from an online competition organised by Motor Image on the “I Love Subaru’ Facebook fan page. Mr Glenn Tan, Executive Director, Tan Chong International Ltd and Ms Dahlia Z,

Vice President, English Programming (Music), MediaCorp, presented the coveted prize, a Subaru XV 1.6 worth S$80,800 (without COE) to a surprisingly still-lucid Mr Gan. Runner up, Mr G Jaishanker received a S$5,000 cash prize. The 47-year-old catering officer is a first-time participant in the challenge and he promised to return to the next year.


FRIDAY 9 november 2012




Lexus Malaysia launches new Lexus ls Luxury Sedan Lexus Malaysia has unveiled the new Lexus LS featuring a host of meticulous technological improvements over its predecessor but the most prominent difference would be its design. The interior has been updated with a clean, elegant dashboard divided into two distinct zones; an upper display zone with the ultra-wide 12.3 inch LCD multi-display screen, the industry’s largest. And a lower operation zone, which allows access to system controls such as the second generation of Lexus’ award winning Remote Touch Interface (RTI). The all new LS Sport features a more exclusive exte-

This Lexus LS now comes with a sporty option. The F SPORT. With 19-inch wheels, 6-piston Brembo brakes and a more aggressive look, its singing a new tune

rior, 19-inch wheels with 6 piston Brembo brakes and tops it off with an intake sound creator for a sportier

engine note. This new LS also features five different driving modes to cater to the driver’s mood. These modes

Damping (FAD) shock absorbers as well as the Adaptive Variable Suspension (AVS) air suspension system to control pitch and bounce rates for an even flatter, road hugging ride or a more supple ride if the driver so wishes, all available at fingertip by simply turning a knob. Silence and refinement has always been a Lexus trademark, but the LS has taken it up a level by the clever use of advanced sound deadening

are ECO, NORMAL, COMFORT, SPORT S and SPORT S+. These modes work with the Frequency Adaptive

materials used in the front and rear wheel arch liners, around the floor of the car as well as the the boot. The seats are now bigger with better cushioning and thigh support. Both front seats feature an integrated airconditioning system as standard and work in unison with the Lexus Climate Concierge air conditioning system. The new Lexus LS is now available in four different models. The LS 460 which is priced at RM 788,000, the LS 460 F SPORT is priced at RM 818,000, the long wheel base LS 460L which is priced at RM 878,000, and the top of the line LS 600h L which is priced at RM 1,068,000.

Volkswagen Touareg TDI launched in Malaysia From RM488,888.00 The premium Volkswagen Touareg (SUV) TDI (Turbo diesel), is now available in Malaysia, for both luxury on road and off road use. This is the first time that the Volkswagen brand has introduced a diesel — powered vehicle

to the Malaysian market. The TDI joins the currently available Touareg line up of the 3.6 V6 and the Touareg Hybrid which was launched in Malaysia last month under the Volkswagen brand’s environmental umbrella,

'Think Blue'. The Touareg TDI has a combined fuel consumption of just 7.2 l/100 km, the Touareg TDI sets new standards among full-fledged SUVs. This 3.0 litre V6 TDI engine cranks out 245PS and generates 550Nm of torque, between 1,750rpm and 2,750rpm. This enables the car to reach 100km/h in 7.6 seconds and goes all the way to its top speed of 220kph. More than just a power upgrade, the engine's overall weight is now about 25 kilograms lighter. The powerful and fuel efficient engine can also tow 3,493 kilograms without hesitation, despite its downsized engine. As for trim,


this variant is equipped with an 8-speed automatic gearbox that contributes to the vehicle’s already impressive benefits. With an engine that is over 25 percent more fuel efficient compared to petrol engines in its class, the TDI consumes 7.2 litres/ 100 kms on a combined urban and extra urban cycle. The petrol consumes 9.9 litres/ 100 kms. The Touareg TDI is available in Graciosa Brown, Cool Silver, Deep Black and Pure White.

VW Malaysia has taken a bold step forward into the luxury diesel SUV segment with this Touareg TDI

by Daniel Fernandez


Consultant Motoring Editor


A motoring pullout is a common feature with most newspapers… but Clutch will be different. How different? Well just like the rest of the all new The Malay Mail, Clutch will be informative and true to its editorial integrity. Clutch will be a bi-monthly (every other Friday of the month) motoring pullout that will give straight-to-the-point car reviews and relevant motoring information for the Malaysian car enthusiast in a simple language. We will not confuse you or ‘smoke screen’ you with technical terms and instead offer our views on each and every test drive. In this first issue, we at Clutch hope that the car reviews presented will be able to move you to personally take a test drive of the cars reviewed at the nearest showrooms and see for yourself what we experience in each and every test drive. Your feedback is needed for us to improve in every area. Email us at

Please watch out for our next issue on the 23rd of November 2012

Joel Miranda

Lim Ee Mae

General Manager




9 November 2012  

The Malay Mail, Clutch

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