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Car Reviews

Hamming it up with a Mini JCW

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The Mini John Cooper Works (JWC) three-door has arrived in Malaysia and it has more than a few people raving about it. I decided to take up the offer from the folks at BMW to find out what is so great about this small car while burning some rubber in the process in Palma De Mallorca, Spain. The JCW is the ultimate variant of MINI’s hatchback, the British brand’s best-selling model. The engineers and designers at MINI had perked it up aesthetically and placed more power into this cute little fella. So what is under the bonnet? The heart of…

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Track day with Porsche Cayman GTS and 911 Carrera S

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There’s no better reason to get up early in the morning and head out to Sepang to sample all kinds of Porsche cars. It was a day of surprises during the recent Porsche Driving Experience which was held at the Sepang International Circuit. The first was the announcement made by Sime Darby Auto Performance chief executive officer, Arnt Bayer, that we, the members of the media, would get to drive the all-new Cayman GTS. There was also the new Boxster GTS but that was purely for display purposes only. The next surprise was the rain. It wasn’t just a drizzle…

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Kia Cerato impresses with bells and whistles

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The Cerato clears the misconception that Korean-made cars are low on specifications and value. Ever since the Kia Cerato (K3 in Korea) made its debut back in 2013, the C-segment practically scrambled to find an answer to this feature packed ride. It was not our first time in the Cerato, mind you, but rather a revisit to something that still gets plenty of eyeball attention from its sleek aerodynamic design. It’s attractive, no doubt, with its masculine lines, sensual curves, long bonnet and a coupe-like rear end that contributes to its ability to cut through the air with coefficient of…

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Let’s drive the new BMW 6 Series, shall we?

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BMW had enjoyed success beyond its expectations when it introduced the 6 Series a decade ago in 2004 as a Convertible, though it was the recent generation series that commanded better sales with its wider model options. Almost 80,000 examples of the outgoing model were sold globally, half of which were the longer-wheelbase four-door Gran Coupé. The Malaysian market, however, saw a greater preference for the two-door Coupé. The sporty stylish classic Coupé theme had obviously found a soft spot among the well-heeled and with the latest generation 6 Series, BMW decided to introduce all the variants at one go…

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First drive of Jaguar XE

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The premium mid-size Jaguar XE is clearly slated to take on the German brands – BMW 3 Series, Mercedes-Benz C-Class and Audi A4 – and Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) didn’t hold back on coming out with a worthy rival. Developed from a new platform, the XE is a rear wheel-drive car making it a complete change from the front wheel-drive X-Type (which was based on the Ford Mondeo platform as Jaguar was under the Ford Motor group at the time) that it replaces. Now that JLR is under the Tata Group, Jaguar’s new direction is to develop all its models…

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Toyota Camry Hybrid – loaded and loved

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The latest generation Toyota Camry hybrid is loaded with refinement and technology. It’s a sign of the times when the top-of-the-range 2.5 litre Toyota Camry for 2015 now comes exclusively with a hybrid powertrain, leaving only the 2.0L variants – G and E grades – with a new and improved combustion engine. The aptly titled Camry Hybrid is now more powerful, thanks to the assistance of the two electric motors which pushes out 143PS and 270Nm of torque. It also boasts a sportier look with a minor facelift. And it’s slightly cheaper too than the previous generation Camry. Yes, you…

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BMW 2 Series Gran Tourer driven in Croatia

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Now that BMW’s first 2 Series Active Tourer family mover has arrived, it was a matter of time that a bigger alternative would come along and that has surfaced in the 2 Series Gran Tourer less than a year later. As it were, BMW has sold more than 33,000 units of the Active Tourer globally since it was introduced in the second half of 2014 and demand is seen as encouraging and growing. The move is logical as BMW would naturally develop a dimensionally bigger model option given the market that these vehicles are targeted at – flexible family motoring.…

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VW Golf GTI: Fun in spades

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Joy is a many splendoured thing. And it invariably includes a Golf GTI in hand. The promise of fun is why you would feel compelled to pay nearly RM240K to the Das Auto crew. And if you so much as itch for more, Volkswagen wants to hold your attention with its hair-raising Golf R but you gotta cough up RM60,000 more to pump up the whoop-dee-doo. An already pricey model gets even more expensive very quickly, doesn’t it? Let’s assume the GTI is what you are after – a hot hatch without pushing the limits of the turbocharged 4-cylinder mill.…

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First drive of facelifted Peugeot 508

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The local large executive sedan market has been the playground for the “Big Three” Japanese brands for ages. But in recent years, Continental brands have been making some in-roads into this exclusive club with aggressive marketing and new generation models. Introduced locally by Nasim Sdn Bhd in 2011, the Peugeot 508 has made itself a compelling alternative with competitive pricing, sporty design and high levels of vehicle specifications.  Now, this French lion has undergone restyling into a more elegant looking vehicle as it claws deeper into premium car territory. Compared with the previous 508, the new model is now 38mm…

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Ford Fiesta ST driven

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Things have been heating up in the compact hot hatch segment; never before had enthusiasts such a variety of choice available to them locally. The French have been rather aggressive with their offerings of late, but however, one name has been quite the talk of the town – the Ford Fiesta ST. Having owned a Fiesta 1.6 Sport myself, I was much eager to know how improved this hot variant was. Fully-imported from Germany and based on the humble Mark-VI Fiesta platform, Ford’s sports car-beater is available solely here in 3-door form. This makes it immediately recognisable as an ST,…

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