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Mazda CX-5 Facelift Headed For LA Motor Show Unveil, New RX-7 On For 2017

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According to a new report from our friends at Motoring AustraliaMazda will most likely unveil its 2015 CX-5 facelift at the Los Angeles motor show in November, which we hear will benefit from more of an evolutionary styling change rather than revolutionary.

Exterior upgrades are likely to include a new grille with horizontal bars, restyled headlights with integrated LED daytime running lights, new wing mirrors with LED turn signals and new Mazda 2-inspired taillight graphics.

Besides the styling upgrades, nothing else is known about the forthcoming model.

Mazda RX-7

Rotary-Powered Mazda Models

There is also word out that a successor to legendary RX-7 coupe may arrive in 2017, with a turbocharged rotary engine that will send close to 455hp to the rear wheels. The new model is said to be underpinned by an extensively modified version of the obsolete RX-8’s platform.

A host of Skyactiv tech is expected to be used to solve various issues such as the previous model’s poor fuel consumption and weak mid-range torque, which were also present on the RX-8.

Mazda RX-7 Rear Side

Besides that, some rumours suggest that Mazda could introduce an even more hardcore rotary-engined supercar, dubbed as the RX-9 in conjunction with its centenary celebration in 2020.

Mazda Australia marketing chief, Alastair Doak has also hinted to Motoring.com.au that the Japanese carmaker will show more than one model at LA. Could it be a concept previewing the rumoured all-new RX-7?

New 2015 Toyota Camry Unveiled In Moscow: Take Note, Malaysia

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Following the teaser last weekToyota has officially unveiled the international market 2015 Camry facelift at the Moscow Auto Show. The refreshed Japanese sedan gets a new engine along with some styling and equipment list upgrades.

Like its US-spec sibling, the international variant Camry (which is what we get here in Malaysia) facelift gets prominent changes to the front fascia, which includes a protruding lower grille, a restyled front bumper and thinner upper grille that is flanked by a new headlight with built-in LED daytime running lights.

2015 Toyota Camry Facelift International Version Rear Side View

At the rear, the bumper is redesigned and a thin chrome slat now runs across the entire width of the car, into the taillights. Toyota has also announced that the updated model will feature new alloy wheel designs.

Thanks to these upgrades the new executive sedan looks significantly more aggressive and sporty than its predecessor.

2015 Toyota Camry Facelift International Version Interior

The interior design is pretty much similar to the pre-facelift model, albeit a few changes. There is now a new backlit meter cluster with a centre 4.2-inch colour TFT-display, a restyled steering wheel and 6.1 or 7.0-inch multimedia display.

According to the Japanese carmaker, features such as automatic lights and a wireless mobile charger has been added to the equipment list.

2015 Toyota Camry Facelift International Version Front Fascia

Engine options for the Russian market Camry includes a carried over 181hp 2.5-litre four-pot and a 249hp 3.5-litre V6 petrol mill, as well as a new 150hp 2.0-litre inline-four petrol engine with a six speed automatic transmission.

As for our market, there will likely be no changes to the powertrain since we already have aforementioned 2.0-litre 1AZ-FE mill that has just been offered to the Russian market.

We know the new Camry facelift will arrive on our shores, but exact timing is unknown. Do you think the new Camry look less uncle-ish now?

All-New 2015 Volvo XC90 Unveiled: The Benchmark SUV Is Finally Here

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After several teasers and pictures revealed, the Volvo Car Group has finally unveiled its all-new 2015 Volvo XC90. The Swedish flagship seven-seater SUV has finally shown its full form, in the wake of the previous-generation’s end of production. Nevertheless, as we’ve told you before, the all-new Volvo XC90 is here to mark an all-new journey for futureVolvos, with its awesome new looks, and brand-new set of technologies.

Apart from the unveiling of the car’s exterior design, there isn’t much here that we haven’t already told you about, but here’s a quick recap just in case, starting with the new design language:

Volvo XC90

EXTERIOR DESIGN:

From a teaser we’ve seen before, we know all about the XC90 having Thor’s Hammer for daytime running lights, and the car’s vertical-slat grille with its distinctive diagonal slash across it. New to the lot of us is just how pretty Volvo has managed to make its flagship SUV! From every angle (available in the gallery below), it looks plainly stunning, and makes for some excitement considering future Volvos designs will stem from this.

The muscular lines will be garnished by a range of new wheel designs in sizes that go up to 22-inchers, with wo major exterior trim options made available. These include:

  • The Urban Luxury package: combining a colour co-ordinated body kit with polished stainless steel details, such as front deco frames, front and rear skid plates and side scuff plates. The 21-inch exclusive polished wheels complete the elegant look.
  • The Rugged Luxury kit: adding on to the XC90 SUV a tech matte black exterior trim, stainless steel skid plates, running boards with illumination and integrated exhaust pipes. This version is supplemented by unique 22-inch wheels.

XC90 Volvo

ARCHITECTURE:

The all-new XC90 is the first Volvo to sit on the company’s new Scalable Product Architecture (SPA). The modular SPA platform will be used to underpin future models from Volvo, of which a whole new range is expected by 2017. You can learn more about there SPA platforms and Volvo’s future use for this here:

2015 Volvo XC90

PERFORMANCE:

Several Drive-E powertrains will makes its way into powering different variants of the XC90. Typically, a host of 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder (petrol and diesel) mills with different tunes will be offered.

And as we’ve reported on before, at the highest end of the spectrum will sit a very special T8 Twin Engine, which features a turbocharger, a supercharger, and an electric motor for power, making some 400hp and 640Nm of torque in the process, also keeping CO2 emissions down to a low 60g/km (NEDC driving cycle).

Without electric power, the same combination of a turbo/supercharged mill equates to the T6 variant, which makes 320hp and 400Nm of torque. There will also be D5 and D4 turbo-diesel options, which offer combinations of 225hp/470Nm and 190hp/400Nm respectively.

Eight-speed Aisin-sourced torque converter automatic transmissions are used across.

XC90

SAFETY:

Expectedly, the all-new XC90 comes equipped with a range of sophisticated standard safety equipment, which include two ‘world firsts’ technologies: the first being a run-off road protection package, the second, an auto brake at intersection capability. We’ve detailed the special safety systems of the all-new XC90 HERE.

In short, the XC90 you see here moves the Swedish carmaker another step closer to achieving its Vision 2020, which is to have zero fatalities or serious injuries in any case a Volvo is involved in. Autonomous driving and online connectivity are two other parts of this vision, as explained by Lex Kerssemakers, Senior Vice President, Product Strategy and Vehicle Line Management of Volvo Car Group”

“With the XC90, we take the first step towards self-driving cars. A new function that automatically follows the vehicle ahead in stop-and-go traffic will provide a radically simplified, semi-autonomous driving experience.”

Volvo XC90

INTERIOR:

Having previewed its interior design and technology several times before, including a cheeky spot in the unveiling of the Volvo Concept Estate we saw way back when, the press materials offered today highlight the car’s all-new tablet-like touch-screen control console – the beating heat of the Volvo’s finest features. Nearly completely button-free, Volvo says that the latest Sensus interface “represents an entirely new way for drivers to control their car and access a range of Internet-based products and services.”

Volvo XC90

“The new interior is pure and uncluttered, while still radiating the sophisticated confidence and formality that luxury SUV customers expect. The simplicity is perfectly in tune with our Scandinavian design heritage. It opens up generous surfaces and gives us the opportunity to create a modern, luxurious interior architecture,” says Thomas Ingenlath, Senior Vice President Design of Volvo Car Group.

Other notable inclusions to the XC90’s interior include a heft of soft leather, and wood with handcrafted details, including a gear lever made of crystal glass from Orrefors, a famous Swedish glassmaker, with diamond-cut controls for the start/stop button and volume control.

Volvo XC90

1,927 limited First Edition cars for online buyers:

The Volvo Car Group has also mentioned that in conjunction with the unveiling of the all-new XC90, it will also be offering 1,927 units of the SUV in a special First Edition trim – celebrating the year Volvo was founded.

The First Edition models will only be available to online shoppers, in an attempt by Volvo to show off its new marketing activities and personal service.

Volvo XC90 First Edition

Reserved for the 1,927 units will be a T6 All-Wheel Drive drivetrain or a D5 twin-turbo diesel engine, an Onyx Black exterior with eight-spoke 21-inch wheel designs, nappa leather interior with the seats in Amber, a Charcoal leather dashboard and Linear Walnut inlays.

The fronts seats are equipped with ventilation, while the second-row will get a heating system, and the third-row will be power-operated.

The very special Bowers & Wilkins audio system is include, for all its 1,400 watts Class D amplifier, 19 speakers, and one of the first-ever air-ventilated subwoofers seen on a production car.

Volvo XC90

2014 Ford EcoSport SUV Launched In Malaysia: RM93k To RM104k For Two Variants

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Sime Darby Auto Connexion has finally launched its all-new 2014 Ford EcoSport SUV. Here to directly compete with the 2014 Peugeot 2008 and the 2014 Mitsubishi ASX introduced earlier this year, we’ve pretty much shown you all you need to know about the car in our previous posts, but officially, we can now tell you of its confirmed prices. In two trim levels, here they are:

  • Ford EcoSport 1.5L Trend: RM92,888
  • Ford EcoSport 1.5L Titanium: RM103,888

KEY SPECS:

  • Engine: 1.5-litre Ti-VCT DOHC petrol
  • Transmission: PowerShift six-speed dual-clutch automatic
  • Power: 110PS @ 6,300rpm
  • Torque: 142Nm @ 4,400rpm

Buyer’s Guide: Glossing over the essentials

PRODUCTION: If you aren’t yet familiar with the EcoSport, here’s a few essentials to get you started. Based off the same platform as the B-segment Fiesta hatchbackFord’s second-generation compact SUV is produced in Thailand, at the AutoAlliance Thailand production plant in Rayong, where the Fiesta is also made.

Ford EcoSport

DIMENSIONS: Of course, its dimensions are jacked up to be slightly larger than the Fiesta, measuring in at 259mm longer, 43mm wider and 169mm taller. Of course, much of this increase in length is also contributed by the spare wheel. Its 2,521 mm wheelbase is 32 mm longer than the Fiesta, so legroom is marginally better than a Fiesta. The taller roofline also gives it a more airy ambience.

To give you a feel for its actual dimensions against its crossover peers, put an EcoSport next to a popular Mitsubishi ASX, and you’ll see that it’s actually 43mm taller than the ASX, while being just 54mm shorter in length, and 5mm narrower in width. Not that small a car after all, especially with a 200mm ground clearance, and 550mm water wading capability.

Ford EcoSport

INTERIOR: Inside, the car’s cabin doesn’t feel all that much more larger than a Fiesta, although Ford claims that the raised seating position is for a better surrounding view. With 362 litres of boot space, the rear split-folding 60:40 seats offer a maximum cargo capacity of 705 litres when folded – for comparison’s sakes, Peugeot’s 2008 has a total of 360 litres with the seats upright, and 1,194 litres when folded.

POWER: Only one powertrain is shared between the two variants, and that’s a 1.5-litre Ti-VCT DOHC petrol engine, that sends 110PS and 142Nm of torque to the front wheels via a six-speed Ford PowerShift dual-clutch automatic transmission.

The tale of two trims:

Two variants of the Ford EcoSport SUV have been made available in Malaysia, with one typically getting more equipment and features than the other. However, there really isn’t too much different.

Ford EcoSport

TREND: Detailing the base ‘Trend’ variant from the outside first, the most notable differences include the lack of a sunroof, and the inclusion of black roof rails and a painted silver front grille. Inside, and tech-wise, the car’s highlights differ a lot more, so here’s a list of that:

  • Remote flip key
  • Manual air-conditioning
  • Electronically-controlled wing mirrors
  • Fabric seats (Black)
  • Steering wheel with audio control buttons
  • Multi-function display
  • MP3, CD, Aux, Bluetooth, USB connectivity
  • Six-speaker system
  • Ford SYNC for Voice Command & Bluetooth mobile controls

Ford EcoSport

TITANIUM: For a few extra Ringgits, you can up your EcoSport’s exterior look with a black front grille with chrome surrounds, silver roof rails, and a sunroof. Inside, more equipment is of course spec-ed, and you get from it:

  • Full leather seats in black
  • Auto headlamps and rain-sensing wipers
  • Electronic Automatic Temperature Control
  • Smart Keyless Entry with engine push start button
  • Rear 12Vpower socket
  • Adjustable lumbar support for the driver’s seat
  • Armrest for the driver
  • Auto-dimming rear-view mirror
  • Leather wrapped-steering wheel

Ford EcoSport

Safety Features:

Apart from the total airbag count, the EcoSport’s safety features are as impressive as they come, featuring just what’s needed in modern mobility. The more expensive Titanium version gets seven airbags (driver, passenger, side, curtain, driver’s knee), while the base Trend gets just two airbags (driver, front passenger).

The rest of the safety kit included is shared, and includes an Electronic Stability Program, Anti-locking Brake + Electronic Brake-Force Distribution system, Traction Control, Electronic Brake Assist, Hill-Launch Assist, and an electronic passive anti-theft alarm system with immobiliser. ISOFIX child-seat anchors are also standard for all seats, while there is also an immobiliser system installed as standard.

Ford EcoSport

Other information:

A total of five colour options will be offered, and you can have them depending on which variant you choose: The Titanium variant gets Mars Red, Midnught Sky, Frozen White, and Winning Blue, while the Trend variant will come in either Midnight Sky, Frozen White or a unique Candy Red.

The 2014 Ford EcoSport SUV also comes with Ford’s Extended Service Plan (ESP) that’s inclusive of a three-year or 60,000km free maintenance program. In addition to the routine inspection and maintenance services, Ford’s ESP also covers free replacements for selected wear-and-tear items like your spark plugs, shock absorbers, engine belts, brake pads and wipers.

Check out the launch here:

Related stories:

All-New 2014 Chevrolet Cruze Launched In Shanghai, New Ecotec Powertrains Unveiled

By 1 day ago 0 comments

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Previewed earlier this year, seven variants of the all-new 2014 Chevrolet Cruze have just made their debuts in Shanghai, with prices there ranging from RMB109,900 to RMB169,900 (Chinese Yuan). For the first time also, Shanghai GM is introducing its “segment-first” 1.4-litre direct-injection turbo petrol engine, which will be offered alongside a naturally-aspirated 1.5-litre mill.

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CNG-Powered 2014 Honda City Launched In Thailand

By 1 day ago 1 comment

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Honda has added a CNG-powered variant of the Honda City to its line-up in Thailand. The Honda City CNG’s bi-fuel 1.5-liter i-VTEC engine has been adapted to run on either petrol or CNG. The CNG system is installed at the Honda factory.

When running on petrol, the engine generates up to 120 horsepower at 6,600 rpm, with a maximum torque of 145 Nm at 4,600 rpm. Switching to CNG lowers the output to 102 horsepower at 6,600 rpm with maximum torque of 127 Nm at 4,800 rpm.

2014 Honda City CNG

The 65-liter CNG tank is made from high-quality steel that is highly resistant to gas pressure. It is bolted firmly in place on a steel mounting bracket and the body structure is strengthened in line with safety standards. A solid cover separates the CNG fuel tank and storage area, protecting it from rear impact. The CNG gas cap is designed to be installed right next to the fuel cap and has a safety lid to prevent the reverse flow of gas.

2014 Honda City CNG

Inside, the City CNG has an additional control switch (allows the driver to switch between petrol power and CNG power) and a CNG fuel level display.

Unlike after-market converted CNG-powered cars, the City CNG’s engine control system has been adapted to do precise calculation for proper CNG fuel injection and there is a cut-off in case of emergency. The front and rear suspension have also been adapted to suit the car’s different weight distribution.

There are three variants of the City CNG – S CNG MT, S CNG AT and V CNG AT, priced at THB 612,000, THB 651,000 and THB 711,000 respectively. In comparison, a regular petrol-powered City is priced between THB550,000 (S MT) and THB 749,000 (SV+).

2014 Honda City CNG

This story first appeared on our sister-site Live Life Drive.