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Order book opens for new Lexus ES

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PETALING JAYA: LEXUS Malaysia has started order taking of the new facelifted ES model that is available in three variants. For Peninsula Malaysia, the on-the-road without insurance prices (private registration) for the ES 250 Premium is RM259,200, ES 250 Luxury (RM278,600) and the ES 300h Hybrid (RM355,100). The model now features a large spindle grille and chrome accents for the foglamps, and a more aggressive styling for headlights and taillights among its improvements. Powertrain remains the same 2.5-litre Dual VVT-i engine with six-speed transmission for the ES 250 Premium and ES 250 Luxury, while the ES 300h Hybrid reprises the…

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Clarkson and ‘Top Gear’ presenters sign with Amazon for new car show

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LONDON: Britain’s former BBC “Top Gear” host Jeremy Clarkson has signed an exclusive deal with Amazon to present a new motoring show for the online retailer’s subscription service alongside co-presenters Richard Hammond and James May. Clarkson had generated both controversy and profits for Britain’s publicly-funded broadcaster. His BBC contract was not renewed after he physically attacked a member of the “Top Gear” production staff in March. The 55-year-old had become the popular face of the programme by mixing a passion for cars with a swagger and blunt commentary that offended numerous groups over the years, including environmentalists, mental health charities…

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Researcher says can hack GM’s OnStar app, open vehicle, start engine

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BOSTON/DETROIT: In a sign that automotive connectivity is not without its share of woes, a researcher is advising drivers not to use a mobile app for General Motors Co’s OnStar vehicle communications system, saying hackers can exploit a security flaw in the product to unlock cars and start engines remotely. “White-hat” hacker Samy Kamkar posted a video on Thursday saying he had figured out a way to “locate, unlock and remote-start” vehicles by intercepting communications between the OnStar RemoteLink mobile app and the OnStar service. Kamkar said he plans to provide technical details on the hack next week in Las…

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Audi goes OLED

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INGOLSTADT: Audi’s Matrix OLED lights will be presented at this year’s Internationale Automobil-Ausstellung (IAA – International Motor Show) in Frankfurt this September. The Vorsprung durch Technik (Advancement through Technology) brand and its Matrix OLED lights are being touted by the company as the perfect synthesis of high-tech engineering and design. The company is currently trying to implement OLED technology in production rear lights and will be shown for the first time in a concept car at the IAA. In each Organic Light Emitting Diode (OLED) unit, two electrodes – of which at least one must be transparent – incorporate numerous thin…

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VIDEO: Jaguar F-Pace tested to extremes

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NEW YORK: From the searing heat and dust of Dubai to the ice and snow of Northern Sweden, the new Jaguar F-Pace has been thoroughly tested to the limit in some of the most inhospitable environments on earth. As the first performance crossover from Jaguar, the F-PACE offers a blend of performance, design and practicality. To ensure that every system functions perfectly under the most extreme conditions, the new F-Pace has been subjected to one of the most demanding test programs the company has ever devised. At the Jaguar Land Rover test facility in Arjeplog, Northern Sweden, average winter temperatures…

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Renault Captur previewed 

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KUALA LUMPUR: TC Euro Cars, the sole franchise holder of Renault in Malaysia, has previewed the French-made Captur urban crossover. The vehicle is estimated to be priced from RM118,000 to RM123,000 and will make its official debut in Malaysia sometime in the fourth quarter this year. The new crossover looks to provide something safe, sporty and versatile to new owners by combining a high SUV-like driving position with the space of a multi-purpose vehicle and a car’s driving enjoyment. The French carmaker built the Captur on its new Clio hatchback’s platform while rolling on 17-inch wheels with 205/55 series tyres…

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VW Polo R vs skiing

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WOLFSBURG: A ferry that waits for nobody, breath-taking fjord scenery in Norway and a unique race. That is what you get when Aksel Lund Svindal – Norway’s downhill gold medallist – meets compatriot and Volkswagen rally driver Andreas Mikkelsen. The result was a wonderfully wild preparation for round eight of the FIA World Rally Championship (WRC) – the Rally Finland, which gets underway on Thursday – and provided some captivating videos and photos. Svindal and Mikkelsen were embroiled in a spectacular head-to-head sprint on the world-famous Lyseveien road in the southwest of Norway, which features 27 hairpins spread over 29…

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Fire and ice for the Jaguar F-Pace

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LONDON: From the searing heat and dust of Dubai to the ice and snow of Northern Sweden, the new F-Pace has been tested to the limit in some of the most inhospitable environments on earth. Jaguar’s performance crossover offers an unrivalled blend of performance, design and practicality. To ensure that every system functions perfectly even under the most extreme conditions, the new F-Pace has been subjected to one of the most demanding test programmes the company has ever devised. “We developed the F-Pace to offer the ride, handling and refinement demanded from a Jaguar, together with exceptional levels of ability and composure on…

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Jazeman offered F1 drive next season

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PETALING JAYA: Jazeman Jaafar’s Formula One dream has come true – albeit with one last hurdle for him to clear. The 22-year-old Malaysian, who impressed everyone by winning the Monaco round of the Formula Renault 3.5 Series from pole position in May, has been offered a race seat with one of the Mercedes-powered teams in Formula One next year. Apart from reigning world champions Mercedes AMG team, the German-based engine manufacturer also supplies engines to three other teams – Force India, Lotus and Williams. The race seat, however, comes with a hefty price tag. Like any unproven new driver, Jazeman,…

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Malaysian Automotive Association lowers vehicle sales outlook

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PETALING JAYA: The Malaysian Automotive Association (MAA) has revised its total industry volume (TIV) for this year to 670,000 from 680,000 units earlier, owing to declining vehicle sales in the first half of this year. According to MAA, sales from the start of the year to June fell to 322,184 from 333,156 units in the previous corresponding period, mainly due to subdued business optimism and moderation in consumer spending as a result of the economic uncertainties and increased cost of living. MAA president Datuk Aishah Ahmad said on Tuesday that stringent lending practices, especially for hire-purchase loans, also had an…

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