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Next Audi A4 unmasked

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INGOLSTADT: The new Audi A4 and A4 Avant (wagon) is putting the heat on its German rivals with a series of innovations to refine and enhance every aspect of the driving experience. Technological highlights of the new car include the Audi virtual cockpit, the Audi Matrix LED headlights, the Audi smartphone interface, the Bang & Olufsen Sound System with 3D sound, the Audi phone box with wireless charging, the head-up display, and new driver assistance systems and Audi connect services. The focus here is on two innovations. The optional Audi virtual cockpit, a fully digital combination instrument, features a 12.3-inch…

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Facelifted Mercedes A-Class comes blazing in

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STUTTGART: Mercedes-Benz has revealed the newwhich promises better comfort and sporty performance. It comes in a dizzying array of 17 versions with the A160 at one end and the A 45 4MATIC at the other. In combination with the 7G-DCT dual clutch transmission, the A-Class now has “Launch Assist” for even faster acceleration from standstill. The new-generation A-Class is also the first Mercedes-Benz model to be sold with comprehensive smartphone integration: from the beginning of 2016 the infotainment systems Apple CarPlay (for iPhone owners) and MirrorLink will become available. Striking lines, dynamically curved surfaces and coupé-like window lines characterise the exterior…

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Toyota upgrades virtual crash dummy in safety research

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TOYOTA CITY: Toyota’s latest virtual crash dummy software has introduced a new muscle model that is able to simulate changes in occupant posture prior to collisions. Until now, the Total Human Model for Safety (THUMS) virtual human model software was only able to simulate changes in posture after a collision. THUMS Version 5 can simulate a variety of states from relaxed to braced, thus enabling more detailed computer analysis of injuries caused by collisions. This makes it possible to more accurately study the effectiveness not only of seatbelts, airbags and other safety equipment, but also of active safety technologies such…

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You can now book the Ford Mustang

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PETALING JAYA: Ford in Malayisa has started pre-launch order taking for the iconic Mustang ahead of its arrival in December. Malaysians can choose between the new turbocharged, fuel-efficient 2.3-litre EcoBoost variant priced from RM435,000 to RM450,000, and the classic 5.0-litre V8 from RM550,000 to RM565,000. Both engines are mated to a six-speed automatic transmission. The new 2.3-litre EcoBoost engine, which produces an impressive 310 horsepower, was designed specifically for Mustang to meet the needs of drivers looking for outstanding performance and fuel efficiency. “This 2.3-litre EcoBoost fastback is a perfect fit for Malaysia, because it delivers the legendary power and…

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Porsche wants journalists in on its driving programme

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SINGAPORE: Porsche Asia Pacific is targeting journalists to spread the good word about its cars via the Porsche Media Driving Academy. The Porsche Media Driving Academy, an annual driving programme for journalists in the region, is designed to highlight the performance of Porsche cars through different courses of active driving with emphasis on Porsche’s roots in motorsports. The programme comprises three performance courses – Individual, Professional and Elite. In each course, Porsche instructors will guide participants on how to drive the cars properly. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ifn7Mfu51IE “The Porsche Media Driving Academy offers journalists the right amount of attention and guidance that heighten the…

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Volkswagen to launch budget car family in 2018

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FRANKFURT: Volkswagen plans to launch a family of low cost budget cars in China and possibly elsewhere starting in 2018, its chief executive said in a newspaper interview today. “We will bring a budget-car family to market in 2018, with an SUV, saloon and hatchback,” Martin Winterkorn told Bild am Sonntag newspaper. Europe’s largest automaker had for years been pondering a budget car but difficulties in hitting internal cost targets had thwarted approval of the project. The vehicles – to be built in China – will cost between 8,000 euros (RM34,000) and 11,000 euros (RM47,000), Winterkorn said. Previously, the company…

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Mercedes-Benz Malaysia wants safer roads for children

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KUALA LUMPUR: Mercedes-Benz Malaysia is offering 110 units of child car seats to members of the public during this festive season – rent free. Available on a first-come-first-served basis from now till the end of the year, the company is intent on making road travel safer for children with its free child car seat rental programme. While we encourage motorists to ensure that their vehicles are in good condition before a long drive, we also urge those travelling with young children to take advantage of this added safety feature to safeguard the occupants in the vehicle, especially children,” said Mercedes-Benz…

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Volkswagen keen on bringing brand closer to Malaysians

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KUALA LUMPUR: Volkswagen Malaysia is bringing the German brand closer to people with a showcasing of its models at a few malls around the Klang Valley. The showcasing is currently at Ikano Power Centre till June 28 and will move on to One Utama (July 1-5) and finally to Paradigm Mall (July 9-12). Visitors to the road show will be able to get up close and personal with the recently launched limited edition versions of the Volkswagen Beetle Bug as well as other selected models. For each day of the road show, one winner of an Instagram competition will be provided with…

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VIDEO: The hoverboard is no longer fiction

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CALIFORNIA: Believe it or not, but the hoverboard has literally become a reality, thanks to the efforts of Lexus and its world leading partners in super conductive technology. The biggest question remains – how? The Lexus hoverboard operates using magnetic levitation to achieve its grand feat of frictionless movement via a combination of liquid nitrogen cooled superconductors and permanent magnets. It’s been shaped like Lexus’ signature spindle grille and uses materials found in the Japanese luxury car brand, ranging from high technology to natural bamboo. Over the next few weeks, Lexus will be testing its hoverboard in places like Barcelona,…

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Last 918 Spyder leaves Zuffenhausen

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STUTTGART: The last Porsche 918 Spyder has rolled off its Zuffenhausen assembly line, marking 21 months of production for this high performance hybrid plug-in. First seen at the 2010 Geneva International Motor Show as a concept, Porsche AG subsequently gave the green light for the production of 918 units (hence part of its nomenclature) and was then launched in late 2013. With a kerb weight of 1,700kg (1,640kg with optional Weissach package), the car uniquely combines a high-performance combustion engine with two electric motors on the rear axle – providing an efficiency-oriented drive or maximum performance. There’s 4,593cc of displacement…

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