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Car Reviews

Panamera S E-Hybrid: Call it frugally fast

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As stricter emissions laws and increasing environmental awareness sets in, many carmakers have pressed on with their efforts at giving the world clean and efficient cars. Unsurprisingly, even performance carmakers have marked a shift, dabbling into the idea of incorporating green and eco-friendly technologies in their creations. And the result is sometimes surprising as some of these technologies also allow the creation of even better performance cars. In Porsche’s case, the proof of point to this concept has to be the Stuttgart brand’s flagship 918 Spyder hybrid hypercar, and its 919 Hybrid Le Mans racer. Both the 918 and 919…

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Weekend out with Audi A8 L

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Audi is going places. When it’s not busy trying to outsell its other German peers, it’s making news on other fronts. Volkswagen’s money-spinner is hopping on the self-driving bandwagon, with the A8 flagship tasked to lead the charge. Audi figures that is two to three years away from reality as it sorts through the technical hurdles. Meanwhile, moviedom beckons and Audi just couldn’t resist plugging itself silly with a vehicle like the  Transporter series, which is basically an extended commercial for the brand. Come September, the Transporter rides again, with a newcomer replacing Jason Statham to take down baddies like…

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Mercedes hybrid makes KL-Bangkok run

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Single tank challenge – take-two! And this time around it’ll be done in a Mercedes-Benz E 300 BlueTEC Hybrid priced at RM338,888 (OTR including GST without insurance) that’ll be driven from Kuala Lumpur to Bangkok, Thailand. In the past, we haven’t been too lucky when it comes to these types of fuel runs; in fact, we had the misadventure of being disqualified at the very start of our attempt. Disheartened, we made the best of the situation – but still, the memory remains. Seizing the opportunity to set things right, we went off for one of the longest ordeals we’ve…

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First drive of new Toyota Camry

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The Toyota Camry sedan has been ever-popular with Malaysians since the Japanese marque introduced it way back in 1994. Fast-forward to the present and the latest 2015 edition Toyota Camry has updated its looks, powertrain and features which makes this premium sedan even more attractive. The Camry is available in three variants 2.0E, 2.0G and 2.5L Hybrid and is priced at RM149,900; RM159,900 and RM174,900 respectively. (All prices are on-the-road with insurance). The most obvious change to the 2015 Camry is the top-of-the-range 2.5L which is only available as a hybrid. Its updated looks features an all-new front that has…

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Infiniti QX80: A behemoth experienced

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The Incredible Hulk, sans the green hue, comes to mind upon seeing this behemoth of a sport utility vehicle (SUV), which is billed as an eight-seater. As a friend remarked, when seated in the Infiniti QX80, which is almost 2m in height, people have to “look up to you.” During the three days spent with the QX80, it certainly drew attention wherever we went. Nissan’s luxury marque is frank about what customers appreciate about the QX80 – it is designed to attract attention, and convey power and strength. There are few vehicles in the country that come close to the…

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BMW 2 Series Active Tourer driven in Austria

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BMW finally goes front-wheel drive (FWD), not counting the MINI, with the new 2 Series Active Tourer. BMW has drawn on its existing front drive technology with MINI and developed a common platform shared by the new MINI and the 2 Series Active Tourer. The 2 Series Active Tourer is a standalone model that is more of an MPV (multi-purpose vehicle) than an SAV (Sport Activity Vehicle) that the X1 is designed to be, leaving the X1 to continue serving its intended role. In that respect, BMW has not only taken the first step into the world of front-wheel drive…

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Jeep Wrangler shaken and stirred

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When it comes to having an off-road pedigree, there is one car that takes the cake. This car doesn’t just have good breeding, it created a whole pedigree of its own. I’m of course talking about the Jeep Wrangler. To cut a really long story short, this go-everywhere-take-everything-on machine first started life as a special project by the US army. The onset of World War II saw these proto-Jeeps spread out across the globe. It was during this time that American G.I.’s gave it the Jeep monicker, possibly after a character from Popeye or by slurring the military designation given…

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To Terengganu and back in Peugeot 308

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It’s so stylish it can walk down the runway and make heads turn (and in fact it did). That’s how the new Peugeot 308 THP (Turbo High Pressure) was presented during the car’s officical launch in Kuala Lumpur recently. Before the hatch was launched however, the French marque’s local distributor Nasim Sdn Bhd invited members of the media to take the 308 THP for a drive to Tanjong Jara Resort in Trengganu and back. The French do know how to make a statement and the 308 THP is dressed to impress. It’s completely new and sleek exterior design and lightweight…

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Lexus NX F Sport is automania-tested

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The Lexus NX F Sport has upped the ante to stay ahead of the compact sports utility vehicle (SUV) pack and with stiff competition in this segment, especially from premium European marques, Lexus is giving its line of luxury models a bunch of bells and whistles to stand out from its rivals. The Japanese luxury marque seems to have found a winning formula in the NX F Sport. There is no lack of front and rear legroom, as this sporty SUV has a 2,660mm wheelbase. While the NX F Sport is a tad on the heavy side with 1,860kg of kerb…

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We drove the Porsche Cayman GT4 in Portugal

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Porsche has worked its new compact Cayman GT4 into a sports car that performance purists would love. There appears to be a growing trend of extending prestigious and exclusive models down the line to expand appeal and market share. From Porsche, this has surfaced in the Cayman GT4, the entry-level model to purist sports car driving for those who might find the newly launched 911 GT3 RS too big for their liking. This GT family model is not to be confused with the Cayman GTS, which is provided as a sportier option to the standard one with merely a bigger…

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