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MAY 11, 2012 YO U R

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I w S F e T N 8 . s 1 ’ i 4 d A u A ition Ed

p a G e ivals h T p Its R U s n e n p e e O i d u A in Betw Aga

THERE is good news for fans of the Audi A4 as this best selling executive sedan has just been refreshed for 2012 with some significant drive, luxury and safety upgrades, but does the new edition Audi A4 live up to the dream? Let’s fInd out.  MORE STORIES ON PAGEII


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FRIDAY 11 may 2012

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THE MALAY MAIL

TestDrive

Audi A4 TFSI SPECIFICATIONS

Capacity 1798cc Engine 4-Cylinder Turbocharged Horsepower 170hp @ 3800-6200 rpm

Torque 320Nm @ 1400-3700 rpm Transmission 8-speed Multitronic with paddle shifters

0-100km/h 8.3 seconds Top Speed 225 km/h Price RM 235,000.00

Audi Brings Their Game Up By DSF

This new edition Audi A4 has a re-sculpted front bumper, nose and revised headlamp treatment that follows the family resemblance of the bigger A6 and A8 sedans. The Audi A4 I drove was in premium white and it turned a few heads with its daytime driving lights and smart sharp edge corners. This is a good looking car. The first thing you notice from the time you shut the doors is the comfort and luxury appointments. The engine is really quiet even in city driving and the cabin is well equipped offering a high standard of materials with excellent fit and finish. Head and shoulder room is not an issue with plen-

ty of room for the large & tall passenger and the back seats are no different allowing 3 average adults to fit nicely. Under the hood is where this Audi separates itself from its competitors. The extremely torquey 1.8 liter in-line 4 cylinder turbocharged engine can pump out 320Nm of torque from just 1400rpm to 3700rpm with its ultra slick 8-speed Multitronic gearbox. This is a jump of 70Nm of torque from the previous 1.8-liter TFSi engine. Its horsepower has also increased from 160bhp before to 170bhp now at 3800rpm to 6200rpm. It is also surprisingly fuel-efficient too. Audi’s claimed fuel consumption is 5.8 liters/100km and after a test drive we are inclined to believe them. The steering is light with just the

‘right’ feel and the car is easy to get comfortable with. Inner city driving or cruising down

PICTURES BY DSF

the highway in 8th gear this A4 handles confidently and with negligible worry. The sus-

pension setup is perfect and it tracks along the highway or on potholed city roads with ease. Need to hasten your pace and the Audi A4 accelerates with the best of them in its segment and has the torque to power past bigger capacity engines easily. Overall this Audi A4 is a great package. It is roomy, quiet, safe, comfortable and definitely looks the part. It comes with all the bells and whistles you would expect and at RM235,000 it is far better priced than its immediate rivals.

There is no rocket science here in the decison to purchase a new edition Audi A4. Its fully imported, comes with a 1.8-liter turbocharged engine mated to a 8-speed gearbox. Has good fit, finish and quality. Lets no forget it asking price.....just RM235,000.


THE MALAY MAIL

FRIDAY 11 MAY 2012

CLUTCH

III

Lexus GS350F-Sport

Bringing Dynamics Back By ASWAN YAP

THE previous Lexus GS was slowly becoming outdated and falling behind the competition in terms of specifications, so the arrival of this new GS model is suitably timed. When it comes to automotive engineering, Lexus has a few claims to their name. Their engines have almost always been deliriously smooth and refined. The GS 350 is no different with its 3.5 litre V6 engine that puts down 312 bhp and 378 Nm of torque. However, in addition to this Lexus departed from their standard operating procedure and decided to channel more engine noise into the cabin at higher rpm, which in turn

EDITORIAL NOTE

made the driving experience more visceral and enjoyable. The noise is higher pitched than one would expect from a V6 but the note and intensity sets your pulse racing. Rest assured, the GS 350 remains quiet and purrs along when tottering around town, but hit the open road and you can hear the engine sing as it reaches its 6500 rpm redline. There is none of the sudden torque kick of a turbocharged engine, instead having the torque build up progressively as you accelerate. Another key point would be their entertainment system. Bearing in mind that the test unit we had came with the Lexus Premium Audio instead of the fully equipped Mark

PICTURES BY DANIEL FERNANDEZ

LEXUS GS 350 SPORT SPECIFICATIONS ENGINE: DOHC 24-Valve V6 Dual VVT-i CAPACITY: 3456cc MAX POWER: 312bhp @ 6400rpm MAX TORQUE: 378Nm @ 4800rpm TOP SPEED: 250km/h 0-100KM/H: NA TRANSMISSION: 6-speed Super ECT PRICE: RM464,800.00

Levinson audio setup, it still provided some of the clearest notes and beats that I ever had the pleasure of experiencing. The cabin was immersed in the sound with barely a hint of distortion. Despite being one of the latest luxury cars on the

are multiple driving modes available, ranging from ECO to Sport S+. Each mode varies the throttle response and suspension stiffness in order to provide the appropriate driving experience and fuel efficiency- but more often than not you would be keeping the GS 350 in Sport S+ for easier acceleration. The F-Sport package in particular adds a mean, yet subtle touch to the GS 350. Included in the package is a redesigned front bumper, which provides a more aggressive lower lip and swaps out the classic chrome horizontal grill lines for blacked

market, the GS 350 still falls short in a few categories. In terms of driving dynamics, the GS 350 is certainly very capable, but even though the wheelbase is slightly shorter than that of the next closest model, it seems to handle in a slightly unwieldy manner like a much longer car. The fact that the electric power steering seems to be lacking in feel is not confidence inspiring in the least. But as we’ve seen with most cars on the market, driving dynamics are traded away for comfort or efficiency. It’s only a natural progression, which is bad news for driving enthusiasts. There by Daniel Fernandez

|

Consultant Motoring Editor

out mesh. A very subtle bootlid spoiler sits in place at the rear, and the 18-inch stock wheels are swapped for a 19-inch set. But the most important change of all- more important that the more serious interior- is the suspension. The F-Sport comes with a slightly stiffer suspension which will prevent excessive body roll during spirited driving. While still not stiff enough for truly aggressive applications, the way the car reacts in a corner is more reassuring and the ride is not entirely compromised. So as a package, the Lexus GS 350 F-Sport functions well. It has the power necessary to shift its mass with ease and it certainly has the luxuries and comforts required of a luxury car. And while the driving dynamics aren’t entirely sorted out, this is the kind of car that owners are driven in rather than driving the car themselves, so the handling isn’t as big an issue as the ride. For those willing to break away from the standard German luxury sedan fare, the GS 350 should be a viable option.

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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

Joel Miranda

Jenilyn Alexia

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

General Manager

Executive

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.

012-2337394 joel.miranda@redberry.com.my

016-3620331 jenilyn@mmail.com.my

Email us at clutcheditorial@gmail.com.

Please watch out for our next issue on the 25th of May 2012.


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CLUTCH

MOVINGFORWARD

Hyunda By DANIEL FERNANDEZ danielfernandez@ mmail.com.my

THE Hyundai Motor Company has had a successful joint venture in China for a number of years and it celebrated its 10th anniversary this year with a number of new car launches at the 2012 Beijing International Automotive Exhibition, held at the China International Exhibition Center. The 1st car to be launched at the Hyundai stand was the ‘Langdong’, which translated in English means a “dynamic car for the young, new generation.” This car is based on Hyundai Motor’s best-sell-

ing and multi-award winning Elantra, which has been selling very well around the world and in Malaysia. The Langdong (MD Elantra), which will be produced at Hyundai’s new and 3rd factory in Beijing is expected to accelerate the sales run for Hyundai in the world’s largest auto market. Beijing Hyundai Motor Co. (BHMC), Hyundai’s joint venture in China, is currently building a third plant, which will raise its maximum production capacity to one million units. Driver safety is a high priority for Hyundai and the Langdong (MD Elantra) has received the highest safety ratings from government agencies in Europe and the U.S. with its series of active and passive safety features including side air bags, an emergency brake reminder and a tire pressure monitoring system, to name a few. Hyundai will also introduce its advanced ‘Blue Link’ infotainment system in the Langdong (MD Elantra). Blue Link offers

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FRIDAY 11 MAY 2012

THE MALAY MAIL

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CHINAAUTOSHOW2012

PICTURES BY DANIEL FERNANDEZ

ai Motor Company At The Beijing Motor Show 2012

wide variety of features such safety and maintenance erts, navigation and remote ntrol, all with minimum drivdistraction. Starting from e first half of this year, Hyuni plans to expand its lineup cars in China offering the ue Link service. lso at Beijing, Hyundai unled its all-new Santa Fe, hich made its world premiere the 2012 New York Internanal Auto Show a month earr. The new Santa Fe showses the brand’s cutting-edge pabilities through its new den, impressive fuel economy d a host of advanced feaes. The exterior of the Santa invokes the impression of epressible motion through own design concept called orm Edge, which captures e strong and dynamic imes created by nature during e formation of a storm. The uristic and urban-style den, with its bold hexagonal nt grille lets people know mediately that the Santa Fe

is a Hyundai. Hyundai believes the all-new Santa Fe, which will start selling in China in the second half of this year, will be the immediate answer for families with two or more kids who are look-

ing for the size, flexibility and capability of a crossover in one good looking vehicle. Together with its new third-generation Santa Fe, Hyundai aims to boost its mid to large-sized vehicle offerings in China and

raise its brand image at the same time. “A decade ago, Hyundai was known for making only compact cars. Today, our Equus and Genesis* (badged as Rohens for China) luxury cars

compete with the best vehicles that Europe can make,” SeungTack Kim, Executive Vice President & COO of Hyundai Motor’s Global Business Division, said at the launch in Beijing. “Ten years ago, we were a follower

in the auto industry. Today, we are a leader and ready for the future.” Alongside the Langdong and the new Santa Fe, Hyundai also displayed its top luxury vehicles, as well as its latest powertrain technologies and eco-friendly lineup, including its Extended Range Electric Vehicle concept car i-oniq, the Sonata Hybrid, BlueOn and its ix35 FCEV (Fuel Cell Electric Vehicle).


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FRIDAY 11 may 2012

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THE MALAY MAIL

TestDrive

Taking The Established Tuners By Surprise By Aswan Yap

When it first came to our shores, the Passat CC featured the turbocharged 2.0 litre from the Golf GTI and a DSG gearbox. This year, in addition to the Golf R and Scirocco R, Volkswagen Malaysia has introduced the Passat CC R variant using a larger engine and the 4Motion allwheel drive system. The engine is a 3.6 litre direct injection V6 block which puts out roughly 300 horsepower. This is one of the few cars in Volkswagen's range that is normally aspirated. The torque band is quite impressive, starting from a very low 2400 rpm and maintaining all 350 Nm of torque until

Volkswagen Passat CC ‘R’ V6 SPECIFICATIONS Engine: V6, DOHC Capacity: 3600cc Transmission: 6-speed DSG, 4-MOTION

Max power: 300bhp @ 6000rpm Max torque: 350Nm @ 2400 5300rpm

Acceleration: 5.6 seconds Max Speed: 250 km/h restricted Price: RM388,800.00

5300 rpm. This is a surprising characteristic for a normally aspirated car as this kind of torque range is usually associated with the boost of a turbocharger. We’re still not complaining- the acceleration is very linear and progressive. The weight of the car also factors into the equation: while the torque figure is the same of that as the Golf R, the acceleration is much less aggressive. Plant the pedal from a standstill and you will reach 100 in 5.6 seconds. The Passat CC R-Line will easily cruise at extra-legal speeds and without any discomfort. The sports and comfort mode settings vary the throttle response and steering weight, but the latter still seems overassisted for any purpose other than blitzing down an open highway. Installing the 4Motion allwheel drive system was necessary to overcome problems like torque steer and heavy understeer, as sending all 300 horses to only the front wheels would be a recipe for disaster. The 4Motion system does its best to sort out which wheel is slipping and divert power away in order to maintain traction, but at the end of the day the system is front biased so you can’t expect to be sliding sideways

PICTURES BY Daniel Fernandez

The Passat CC has a big following in the executive sedan market. Now comes a Passat CC with a heart and driveline from 'R', the tuning division of Volkswagen. Test drive it before ignoring it!

out of every sweeper. Drive aggressively into a corner and you will find that the car has some mild initial understeer (with the heavy 3.6 litre block at the front, you cannot fight physics). Either braking or accelerating will tuck the car into the corner, with the latter ensuring you have a much faster cornering pace.

It is hard to tell the Passat CC R-Line and the regular Passat CC apart if you were to put them side by side. There are practically no exterior changes between the two, save for aluminium scuff plates and the small R badge stuck on the back of the R-Line model. This can be viewed in two ways: you can either be dis-

appointed that the car isn’t flashier and more attention grabbing than it already is, or you can be happy that you now have an extremely effective sleeper car to use at the occasional traffic light showdown. The interior is also left largely unchanged, although sports seats with slightly higher side-

walls are included to hold you in place when you’re throwing the car around. Other than this, it’s practically the same as a regular Passat CC. Does the larger engine and 4Motion justify the RM 150,000 premium over the regular Passat CC? It’s hard to say, but if you’re a fan of speed you definitely can’t complain.


THE MALAY MAIL

FRIDAY 11 MAY 2012

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VII

LOCALLAUNCHES

Limited Megane RS 250 Cup Special Edition In Town WITH only a limited run of 10 units this exclusive Megane RS 250 Cup is being sold by TC Euro Cars quickly. It was launched on F1 weekend at the newly opened Renault Flagship showroom in Section 13, Petaling Jaya. Using the highly acclaimed Megane RS 250 Cup as a base, selected enhancements were made to the exterior and interior to give the vehicle an

added level of desirability. Already with 250 hp and 340 Nm from the proven 2.0 L turbo engine, this Special Edition brings performance and style together in an already unbeatable package. Sold only in Alpine White, the exterior is distinguished by metallic gray accents in the front and rear diffuser, adding a touch of sophistication to the sporty exterior of the Megane RS. All

this is complemented by stylish 19-inch aluminium rims to showcase the track-proven Brembo brake system. New for the cabin is leather upholstered Recaro seats and a panoramic glass roof has been added together with yellow and grey accents throughout the interior. Each car comes with a serial numbered stainless steel plaque, personally signed by a Wil-

liams F1 Driver to make this cars even more rare. All trackready equipment such as the Performance Hub, Mechanical LSD, RS monitor and Cup Chassis are included and as with all other Renault vehicles, the Special Edition is also Euro NCAP 5 Star rated. The Megane RS 250 Cup Special Edition retails at RM 245,000 (OTR without Insurance).

The VW Scirocco now wears the 'R' badge THE most powerful Scirocco makes its debut in Malaysia for the first time as a roadgoing car, having successfully featured in the Scirocco R-Cup series at the Sepang International Circuit last year. This new Scirocco R consumes just 8.0 litres/100km in the combined fuel consumption and produces a maximum power of 255PS at 6,000rpm with a maximum torque of 330Nm from 2,400 to 5,200rpm. The

Scirocco R will sprint from a standstill to 100 km/h in just 6.0 seconds. Top speed is limited to 250kph and comes standard with Adaptive Chassis Control (DCC), R-specific 19-inch alloy wheels with size 235/35 tyres. The front end of the Sci-

rocco R is characterised by three large air intakes in the bumper customised for the Scirocco R. Integrated as standard equipment on the right and left in the area of the two outboard air intakes are LED daytime running lights. In front, as at the rear,

the Scirocco R is identified by an R logo. Providing for perfect illumination of the roadway, meanwhile, are standard bi-xenon headlights. The rear of the Scirocco R is dominated by a considerably larger roof edge spoiler and a prominent glossy black dif-

fuser in the lower section of the bumper that reflects typical R-design. The Scirocco R is offered in six different colours; Candy White, Viper Green, Rising Blue, Reflex Silver, Iridium Grey and Deep Black. Inside, the car’s seats are wrapped

in sporty Vienna leather. Priced at RM279,888, the Scirocco R is available at all Volkswagen authorised dealerships nationwide. For more information, visit our website at www.volkswagen.com.my or the R-models microsite at www.r-series.my.


VIII CLUTCH

FRIDAY 11 MAY 2012

THE MALAY MAIL

REGIONALMOTORINGNEWS

Ford Has A New USD450 Million Manufacturing Facility in Thailand FORD MOTOR COMPANY last week celebrated the official grand opening of Ford Thailand Manufacturing, a new USD450 million state-of-theart passenger vehicle manufacturing plant in Rayong, Thailand. This is where the latest Ford Focus will be built for the region. This is Ford’s second

plant in Thailand and it has an initial production capacity of 150,000 vehicles increasing the company’s annual capacity in Thailand to 445,000 making Ford one of the largest producers and exporters of vehicles in the country. The new Thailand facility is fully integrated to support

stamping, body assembly, paint, trim and final assembly. It is equipped with state-ofthe-art automation that showcases Ford’s global manufacturing processes and systems and is designed for maximum flexibility, enabling it to produce 6 different types of vehicles simultaneously.

Great Wall In Malaysia With Green Oranges Sdn Bhd By DANIEL FERNANDEZ

YOU will be hearing a lot about Great Wall Motors in the coming months. Already China’s biggest SUV manufacturer, they have a wide range of cars and MPVs ready for glob-

al sale. Working with Malaysian company, Green Oranges Sales and Services Sdn Bhd, they have already launched a pickup truck (Wingle) and a SUV in Malaysia. With 18 appointed 3S dealers the ‘Wingle’ pickup truck has sold well as it shares a number of engineering components with the Isuzu D-Max. This allows after

sales and parts replacement to be relatively easy for owners. Green Oranges Sdn. Bhd. and Great Wall have been talking about this partnership for more than 10 years, but it was only in 2011 that Great Wall’s two main models (a SUV and the Wingle pickup) entered the Malaysian market. About 120,000 Wingle pickups are sold in China each year, and more than 700,000 have been sold since it was introduced in 2006. There is more

This allows the company to bring new vehicles to market faster and test new vehicles while maintaining full production speed. It is equipped with the world’s fastest stamping presses, and the latest in automotive manufacturing robot technologies in the body shop.

PICTURES BY DANIEL FERNANDEZ

to come from Great Wall and Green Oranges in the coming months. China is no longer a producer of sub standard vehicles. Great Wall showed us their facilities and commitment to produce world class vehicles.

The paint shop utilises Ford’s environmentally-friendly and revolutionary 3-Wet high-solids paint process, which improves paint quality, depth and durability, and significantly reduces volatile organic compounds, CO2 emissions and waste. Buildings at the new facility are naturally ventilated with

louvers that allow daylight to provide illumination. Energyefficient LED bulbs are used instead of incandescent bulbs, producing energy savings and reducing heat generation. The plant also features an on-site waste water treatment facility, and makes use of local and recycled materials.


Clutch 11 May 2012