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Mercedes-Benz To Introduce Plug-In Hybrids Across Its Model Range?

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Not too long ago, we showed you a video showcasing the green technologies in the new Mercedes-Benz S500 Plug-In Hybrid: impressive stuff, but with its relevance strictly limited to the flagship S-Class, you could argue that it wasn’t all that concerning to many.

Now, however, a new report from Automotive News states that the German carmaker will start introducing plug-in hybrid variants throughout its entire model range next.

The new S-Class was the first model in the carmaker’s line-up to get a plug-in hybrid version. Mercedes-Benz’s R&D chief, Thomas Weber has told the publication that the marque will launch ten plug-in hybrid models by 2017, but the exact timing of each model is unspecified.

2014 Mercedes-Benz S500 Plug-In Hybrid

This will include electrified versions of the W205 C-Class, next-gen E-Class, successor to GLK-Class (to be named GLC-Class) and also on the replacement model for the M-Class (to be called the GLE-Class).

The new plug-in hybrid range will be based on Daimler’s rear-wheel-drive architectures, but the system is also said to work with an all-wheel drive layout. Hybrid-specific parts will be shared amongst the models.

In order to provide an even loading floor, the wagons and SUVs will be fitted with a redesigned flatter battery pack.

We also hear that plug-in hybrid variants of compact front-wheel drive models such as the 2014 Mercedes-Benz A-Class, CLA-Class and GLA-Class will arrive by 2020.

IIMS 2014: Daihatsu CUV-2 Compact SUV Concept Previewed

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Just like the UFC-3 Concept, the CUV-2 Concept is another interesting model that was revealed by Daihatsu at the 2014 Indonesian International Motor Show.

But unlike the near production-ready UFC-3, the CUV-2 and its radical styling will need a bit more time before it can become anything near a production Daihatsu model.

2014 Daihatsu CUV-2 Concept Front Fascia

Back to the car at hand, and this tough B-segment SUV model is a follow up to the original CUV Concept that was shown at last year’s IIMS.

Daihatsu hasn’t revealed any details about the CUV-2, but from what we can see, there are some minor changes on this concept compared to last year’s one. The biggest being the layout of the rear doors.

2014 Daihatsu CUV-2 Concept Side View

On the original CUV, the doors were rear-hinged; this CUV-2 however has been updated with more conventional opening doors. Besides that, the front fascia has been reworked to provide the car a much more aggressive look.

If the Daihatsu CUV-2 Concept makes it into production, it will likely rival cars like 2014 Ford EcoSport and Peugeot 2008.

2014 Daihatsu CUV-2 Concept Rear Side

When the original CUV Concept made its debut, it was largely speculated as a concept that previews the new ‘Terios’. If Daihatsu decides to produce a new Terios, then a new compact Perodua SUV is very likely, since the defunct Perodua Kembara and Nautica were based on the Daihatsu’s B-segment SUV.

ETCM Opens New Nissan 3S Centre In Tawau, Sabah

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Edaran Tan Chong Motor Sdn. Bhd. (ETCM) has officially opened its 18th 3S (Sales, Service, and Spare Parts) Centre in Tawau, Sabah today.

With a built-up area of 3,458 square feet, the new 3S centre has a capacity to service 40 cars per day with a lounge for Nissan customers to wait for their car to be ready. The lounge has amenities for light refreshments, wireless internet connectivity, and a Kid’s Corner for children. Additionally, customers can also purchase new Nissan models and obtain spare parts for the cars as well.

Dato’ David Chen, Executive Director of ETCM said, “As our product line-up continue to grow and improve, it is important that we strengthen our after-sales support for our customers. We believe that 3S Centres are able to provide our customers with a complete Nissan experience and ETCM is always improving to achieve No.1 Customer Satisfaction.”

With a network of 106 showrooms and 59 Tan Chong Express Auto Service (TCEAS) workshops nationwide, ETCM is maintaining its charge to create more 3S centres, including one in Glenmarie, Shah Alam.

Paris 2014: Peugeot Quartz Concept Packs 500hp, Hybrid Power

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Crossovers need not be dull to look at, nor should they be boring to drive, and Peugeot is determined to drive that point home with this, their new monstrous 500hp Peugeot Quartz Concept hybrid.

Powertrain

Power comes from a combination of a petrol engine and two electric motors which work together to put out the ridiculous amount of power the crossover has. From the petrol side, a 1.6-litre turbocharged engine makes 270hp and 330Nm of torque. The two electric motors, one on the front axle, another on the rear of the Quartz, help the petrol engine with an additional 114hp each, which makes for a total of 498hp!

Three driving modes help to control the power unit with ‘ZEV’ being the all-electric motor option, good for 50km before needing a recharge. Next up is ‘Road’ mode which combines the petrol engine with the front electric motor, good for typical day to day driving. Finally, there’s the aptly named ‘Race’ mode, where the petrol engine is boosted by both the front and rear axle electric motors for maximum power.

Exterior, Styling, and Dimensions

Built on the same EMP2 platform found on the new 308, the Quartz is a combination of an SUV body with the cabin of a saloon with dimensions stretching not much further than the 308 wagon, at4.5m long and 2.06m wide.

The aggressive looking LED headlights frame the lion badge which has a unique feature. The chequered pattern on which the badge rests on, shifts depending on the angle from which it is viewed from.

The long sloping glass roof gives the Quartz a sports coupe sort of profile. It extends all the way to the back where a double rear spoiler is attached on the roof. Look a little lower and you’ll see the massive 23-inch wheels which have composite flaps that provide aerodynamic performance.

Interior

Inside, the driver sits in a wraparound i-Cockpit cabin that we’ve seen in more recent compact Pugs like the 208 and 2008 models. The upholstery feature ‘digitally woven’ textiles made from recyclable materials with the individual bucket seats adding to the sporty appeal of the Quartz.

IIMS 2014: Daihatsu UFC-3 Showcased, Is this The Next-Gen Alza?

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Dubbed the ‘Daihatsu Xenia’s sister’ (a rebadged Toyota Avanza) in Indonesia, this is the Daihatsu UFC-3 Concept: a stylish and modern looking seven-seater concept that’s about the size of our 2014 Perodua Alza.

2014 Daihatsu UFC-3 Concept Side View

But what makes this model so important? One simple reason stems from the fact that quite a lot of Perodua’s vehicles are based on Daihatsu products (the latest being the Axia, which is based on a Daihatsu Ayla), and that the UFC-3, may one day take its places as the next-generation Perodua Alza.

2014 Daihatsu UFC-3 Concept Rear Side View

The UFC-3 is a third version of the original Ultra Function Concept (UFC) that Daihatsu showed us at the 2012 IIMS. Last year, the marque showcased the futuristic looking UFC-2 Concept that had a coupe-like silhouette.

According to the Mark Widjaja, the designer of the UFC-3, this concept’s theme was focused on family. Therefore things like flexible seating and space were given first priority.

2014 Daihatsu UFC-3 Concept Interior

This three-row MPV model actually looks quite handsome. The interior design is contemporary and realistic, but you still get a few bits that gives it away as a concept model – it’s still pretty close to production-ready though.

2014 Daihatsu UFC-3 Concept Front Fascia

From what we hear from our friends at Mobil123.com, favourable market response is still needed before Daihatsu can bring this to the “next stage”. If the UFC-3 makes it into production, chances are that the successor to our Alza, will be based on this model.

IIMS 2014: Nissan X-Trail Debuts In Indonesia, With Prices From RM95k For Now

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The all-new 2014 Nissan X-Trail has made its debut in Indonesia, at the on-going international motor show, with prices starting from Rp 355 million to Rp 403 million (that’s RM95k to RM108k) for a total of three variants to choose from: a 2.5-litre CVT, 2.0-litre CVT and a 2.0-litre manual option.

These prices are however just introductory rates for now, and will go up from what’s asked to Rp 383 million to Rp 431 million (RM102k to RM115k). PT Nissan Motor Indonesia also told members of the media that in just one week, up to 2,000 units of the all-new X-Trail were booked.

*FULL DETAILS: All-New Nissan X-Trail Revealed At The Frankfurt Motor Show

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Malaysians interested in the all-new car need not wait very long either, with Edaran Tan Chong Motor’s Executive Director, Datuk David Chen, revealing that a locally-assembled version of the third-gen all-new 2014 Nissan X-Trail will “be available by the end of this year.”

Nissan X-Trail