Upgraded Pajero Sport GS launched

Source from: Star Motoring
Credits To: Anthony Lim

Mitsubishi Motors Malaysia has given the Pajero Sport GS an upgrade, and the seven-seater 4WD SUV gets a number of new standard features in the revision.

New items include auto climate control, cruise control, a rear spoiler and a roof rail. Additionally, the GS gets a new 2-DIN LCD wide touchscreen entertainment system with built-in reverse camera, the latter a boon for easier and safer parking.

No change to the mechanicals, which continues with the 2.5l DOHC 16-valve common rail direct injection turbocharged block offering 134bhp at 3,500rpm and 314Nm of torque from 2,000rpm, mated to an INVECS-II four-speed automatic transmission.

The Pajero Sport GS comes with a choice of four colours, these being Eisen Gray Mica, Dark Blue Mica, Platinum Beige Metallic and White Pearl. The vehicle is priced at RM161,531 (on the road, without insurance), and comes with a two-year or 40,000km free maintenance program.

Sisma Auto launches Mark 4 Jaguar XJ

Source from: Star Motoring
Credits To: Anthony Lim

Sisma Auto last night unveiled the new Jaguar XJ luxury saloon at the Jaguar Lifestyle Gallery in Pavilion during an exclusive media preview.

The X351, the company's four-door flagship, enters the local market in two long wheelbase forms. At point of launch, there's the 5.0L V8 Premium Luxury, which retails for just under RM1mil, and this will be followed by the 5.0L V8 supercharged XJ Supersport.

Both also feature the AJ-V8 block, here in Gen III form, with the pot in the normally aspirated XJ putting out 380bhp at 6,500rpm, with 515Nm of torque at 3,500pm, mated to a six-speed auto transmission. As for the supercharged unit, this one offers 503bhp at 6,000-6,500rpm and 625Nm of torque from 2,500-5,500rpm.

The design features a radical, complete break from the traditional XJ styling as featured on the Mark 3 X350, which essentially evolved and grew from the Mark I. This is a flowing, curvy creature that has more in common with the XF than with its predecessor.

Otherwise, it's all pretty much what you'd expect a Jaguar to be. Key features include an innovative new panoramic roof designed to accentuate the natural space within, as well as a beautifully detailed cabin that is highly customisable. Customers have a choice of fourteen interior colour themes and eleven beautifully crafted veneers to personalise their car.

As found also on the 2010 Range Rover, the XJ features a 12.3-inch high-definition Virtual Instruments Panel complementing an innovative, dual-view technology 8-inch touchscreen that allows the passenger to watch movies while the driver accesses the vehicle’s functions or satellite navigation.

Plenty to sing about too, what with a premium 1200 watt Bowers & Wilkins surround sound system on call, and advanced infotainment features also include hard-drive-based audio and navigation systems, with comprehensive connectivity for portable audio and video devices via the powerful Media Hub.

Elsewhere, there's air suspension, Adaptive Dynamics (continuously variable damping), Active Differential Control and quick-ratio power steering, among other tech gear, as well as LED tail lamps and Xenon headlamps with front LED signature lights.

Nissan recalls 51,100 hatchbacks

Source from: Star Motoring
Credits To: Anthony Lim

Nissan is recalling 51,110 of its Cube hatchbacks in the United States and Canada because of possible problems with fuel spilling during rear end collisions.

In documents filed with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Nissan said on Mon tests conducted by NHTSA safety regulators found more fuel spilled than federal standards allow. The spillage occurred during rear end crash tests at 80kmh where the vehicle also spun onto its side.

Nissan said its own earlier tests did not show any fuel leakage, but it will issue a voluntary recall. It notified dealers last week and will contact owners on Aug 30. Dealers will attach a special protector to prevent leaks. There have been no injuries or incidents reported by drivers, according to Nissan.

The recall covers model year 2009 and 2010 Cubes made between Jan 30, 2009 and July 30. It includes 45,700 in the United States and 5,400 in Canada. Cubes sold in Europe and Japan are not included because they use different parts.

A sporty four-door aimed at urban drivers, the boxy Cube was introduced in Asia before being sold in the US last year. US buyers have snapped up 15,530 through June this year, a 300% increase over the same period a year earlier.

Toyota reported a similar problem last month from NHTSA tests of a Lexus hybrid. The automaker also did not find problems in its own tests, but issued a recall anyway.
- AP

Honda plans electric vehicle, plug-in in 2012

Source By: Star Motoring
Credits To: Anthony Lim

 Honda will start selling an electric vehicle as well as a plug-in hybrid in 2012 in the US and Japan, joining the race to manufacture green cars in which rivals have already taken slight leads.

The plans were disclosed by Honda president Takanobu Ito at the Japanese automaker's facility in the Tokyo suburb of Wako yesterday.

"Honda has no future unless we achieve significant reduction in CO2 emissions," he told reporters. "The next 10 years will be a true test for Honda's survival."

Coming up with good cars quickly and at affordable prices is now crucial to score success in changing times, he said. He added that the world's needs were shifting to small and green vehicles.

Right now, the flag bearer for the movement - the Insight.

Ito declined to give details of the vehicles, including the batteries - the key component - they would use, but said green technology was becoming increasingly important in the auto industry.

The company makes the Insight and CR-Z hybrids, but has not given concrete plans for a plug-in or EV previously.

Under its new strategy, Honda will resume preparations for its Yorii plant in Saitama Prefecture near Tokyo to begin production in 2013 and focus on green models. Honda dropped a previous plan to build a new plant in Yokkaichi, Mie Prefecture, central Japan, it said.

Ito denied Honda was ever disinterested in electric vehicles, as was the impression among some analysts and media reports.

Japanese rival Nissan has already begun taking orders for its Leaf electric car, which is set to arrive in Japan and the US later this year. Toyota is also planning an electric vehicle model for 2012. Mitsubishi Motors began selling its mass-produced electric vehicle, the iMiEV, earlier this year.

The hybrid version of the Fit is set to go on sale later this year.

The Japanese aren't the only ones planning EVs, with American, Chinese and other global makers also developing electric vehicles.

Toyota announced earlier this month it is working with US electric vehicle upstart Tesla Motors to develop an electric version of Toyota's RAV4 small crossover vehicle, with plans to begin selling it in the US in 2012.

Ito also said Honda will beef up its lineup of gasoline-electric hybrid models, while declining to give details. Within the next year, Honda will introduce several hybrid models, mainly small models, including the Fit hybrid set to go on sale later this year in Japan, he said.

Honda has decided to focus on emerging markets such as India, China, Indonesia and Africa to boost growth while not being as aggressive as in the past on expanding Japan production, which will focus on advanced technology, said Ito.

Emerging markets still hold potential for tremendous growth while the Japanese market has been stagnant for years and cannot hope to recover unless North American demand recuperates, Honda officials said.
- AP