Stories you can't miss

The market launch of the 1-Series sedan (exclusive to China says BMW) means we now have more info on what is essentially a booted variant of the 2-Series Active Tourer. The four-door sedan has the same wheelbase measurement (2670mm) and near identical width as the Active Tourer, along with familiar TwinPower turbocharged engines in 2.0-litre and 1.5-litre guise. The 125i with 231hp and 350Nm is hot-hatch quick in performance (0-100km/h in 6.8 seconds) while the 192hp/280Nm 120i isnt a slouch either (0-100km/h in 7.5 seconds). Even the most modest of all, the 118i with 136hp/220Nm from its 1.5-litre three-cylinder will dip below 10 seconds for the 0-100km/h dash.

More importantly, will a front-wheel drive BMW four-door compact saloon endear itself to Malaysians?

countersteer.my added 8 new photos.

The market launch of the 1-Series sedan (exclusive to China says BMW) means we now have more info on what is essentially a booted variant of the 2-Series Active Tourer. The four-door sedan has the same wheelbase measurement (2670mm) and near identical width as the Active Tourer, along with familiar TwinPower turbocharged engines in 2.0-litre and 1.5-litre guise. The 125i with 231hp and 350Nm is hot-hatch quick in performance (0-100km/h in 6.8 seconds) while the 192hp/280Nm 120i isn't a slouch either (0-100km/h in 7.5 seconds). Even the most 'modest' of all, the 118i with 136hp/220Nm from its 1.5-litre three-cylinder will dip below 10 seconds for the 0-100km/h dash.

More importantly, will a front-wheel drive BMW four-door compact saloon endear itself to Malaysians?
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As far as recalls are concerned, Honda Malaysias efforts to reach out to owners affected by potentially deadly Takata airbag inflators have been nothing short of exemplary. Here are some updates shared by Honda Malaysia recently:

1) As of 21st February 2017, there is ready stock for all recalled driver side airbags (100%)

2) Stock availability for front passenger airbags is at 75%

2) 75% of all affected airbags (driver side) have since been replaced

Furthermore, owners can now send their cars to selected Petronas stations and mobile hubs for airbag replacements without the need to make an appointment (download location flyer here: https://goo.gl/xu87Xe). Of course, they can also visit the 84 authorised Honda service centres nationwide.

However, Honda Malaysia also issued a new recall of front passenger airbags affecting 24,962 cars (2012 year models) earlier this month. While it is termed precautionary, suffice to say that even after Takata and Honda discovered that they had an airbag issue at the turn of the decade, new cars were still being installed with airbags that could yet maim or kill, so expect more recalls to come. In the meantime, if you own a Honda, go to https://goo.gl/zBtZke to check if your vehicle is affected. This video helps too: https://goo.gl/OnFQIm

As far as recalls are concerned, Honda Malaysia's efforts to reach out to owners affected by potentially deadly Takata airbag inflators have been nothing short of exemplary. Here are some updates shared by Honda Malaysia recently:

1) As of 21st February 2017, there is ready stock for all recalled driver side airbags (100%)

2) Stock availability for front passenger airbags is at 75%

2) 75% of all affected airbags (driver side) have since been replaced

Furthermore, owners can now send their cars to selected Petronas stations and mobile hubs for airbag replacements without the need to make an appointment (download location flyer here: goo.gl/xu87Xe). Of course, they can also visit the 84 authorised Honda service centres nationwide.

However, Honda Malaysia also issued a new recall of front passenger airbags affecting 24,962 cars (2012 year models) earlier this month. While it is termed 'precautionary', suffice to say that even after Takata and Honda discovered that they had an airbag issue at the turn of the decade, new cars were still being installed with airbags that could yet maim or kill, so expect more recalls to come. In the meantime, if you own a Honda, go to goo.gl/zBtZke to check if your vehicle is affected. This video helps too: goo.gl/OnFQIm
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For nature conservation purposes, some countries have banned shark finning and shark fishing altogether, good on them. For the conservation of dwindling Formula 1 fans, we would like to urge FIA - the governing body of motor sports and Formula 1 - to ban unsightly sail fins spotted on newly launched 2017 F1 race cars, they are an eye sore. Thus far, only Mercedes-AMG have resisted introducing the ugly sail fin on top of the engine cowling though this can change as the aerodynamics are still being worked on.

countersteer.my added 6 new photos.

For nature conservation purposes, some countries have banned shark finning and shark fishing altogether, good on them. For the conservation of dwindling Formula 1 fans, we would like to urge FIA - the governing body of motor sports and Formula 1 - to ban unsightly sail fins spotted on newly launched 2017 F1 race cars, they are an eye sore. Thus far, only Mercedes-AMG have resisted introducing the ugly sail fin on top of the engine cowling though this can change as the aerodynamics are still being worked on.
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Its a mouthful, but the race car that Mercedes-AMG Petronas is pinning its hopes on for the 2017 Formula 1 season has been christened W08 EQ Power+. While the name conjures up impressions of an energy drink, the launch of the 2017 challenger also coincided with the debut of a new technical label for all Mercedes-AMG hybrid passenger cars.

EQ, which stands for Electric Intelligence, is the product brand for Mercedes-Benzs electric mobility initiative. The upcoming facelift model of the S-Class limo as well as all future plug-in hybrids will bear EQ Power emblems. As they say, race on Sunday, sell on Monday.

The unveiling of the W08 EQ Power+ at the Silverstone circuit was also an affirmation of Petronas remaining as the teams title sponsor, and that 2017 cars will look more aggressive with a wider stance, wider tyres and also wider front and rear wings (which is also lower). That said, it is early days yet and F1 teams tend to hold back on showing off all the important bits until official testing begins in earnest next Monday at Barcelona, Spain.

Watch the reveal: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DFbvXhjrv90

countersteer.my added 4 new photos.

It's a mouthful, but the race car that Mercedes-AMG Petronas is pinning its hopes on for the 2017 Formula 1 season has been christened W08 EQ Power+. While the name conjures up impressions of an energy drink, the launch of the 2017 challenger also coincided with the debut of a new technical label for all Mercedes-AMG hybrid passenger cars.

EQ, which stands for 'Electric Intelligence', is the product brand for Mercedes-Benz's electric mobility initiative. The upcoming facelift model of the S-Class limo as well as all future plug-in hybrids will bear 'EQ Power' emblems. As they say, race on Sunday, sell on Monday.

The unveiling of the W08 EQ Power+ at the Silverstone circuit was also an affirmation of Petronas remaining as the team's title sponsor, and that 2017 cars will look more aggressive with a wider stance, wider tyres and also wider front and rear wings (which is also lower). That said, it is early days yet and F1 teams tend to hold back on showing off all the important bits until official testing begins in earnest next Monday at Barcelona, Spain.

Watch the reveal: www.youtube.com/watch?v=DFbvXhjrv90
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For RM698,000, the Porsche Cayenne Platinum Edition actually represents a value-for-money proposition given the various pricey options that come as standard over an entry Cayenne that starts life at RM640,000.

So for RM60,000 more, youll get wider wheel arches and 20-inch RS Spyder alloys under them, bi-Xenons with Porsches Dynamic Light System (adaptive headlights in short), high-gloss exterior package, Platinum Edition stainless steel door sills, and the latest generation Porsche Communication System, among others. The Platinum Edition also gets eight-way adjustable leather sport seats inside, along with Alcantara centre panels and headrests that bear a Porsche crest.

Performance is however unchanged for the sporty SUV powered by a 300hp/400Nm naturally-aspirated 3.6-litre V6; with 0-100km/h completed in 7.7 seconds and a top speed of 230km/h.

countersteer.my added 5 new photos.

For RM698,000, the Porsche Cayenne Platinum Edition actually represents a 'value-for-money' proposition given the various pricey options that come as standard over an entry Cayenne that starts life at RM640,000.

So for RM60,000 more, you'll get wider wheel arches and 20-inch RS Spyder alloys under them, bi-Xenons with Porsche's Dynamic Light System (adaptive headlights in short), high-gloss exterior package, Platinum Edition stainless steel door sills, and the latest generation Porsche Communication System, among others. The Platinum Edition also gets eight-way adjustable leather sport seats inside, along with Alcantara centre panels and headrests that bear a Porsche crest.

Performance is however unchanged for the sporty SUV powered by a 300hp/400Nm naturally-aspirated 3.6-litre V6; with 0-100km/h completed in 7.7 seconds and a top speed of 230km/h.
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Peugeot 208 GTi
There will be no excuses not to remember how many horses your new 208 GTi has, now that Peugeot's junior hot hatch comes with a name-matching power output of 208hp (8hp more than before) from its revised 1.6-litre turbocharged four-cylinder. There's also more torque, 25Nm more to be precise, for a tidy sum of 300Nm. All of which means that the 208 GTi will do the 0-100km/h in 6.5 seconds (0.3 second swifter), topping out at a max velocity of 230km/h. At RM143,888, the 208 GTi is pricier than before by RM4,000 but remains a bang-for-buck option for enthusiasts. Oh, six-speed manual only, and rightly so.
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When the most indestructible and robust of trucks starts mimicking accessorising trends of passenger cars, its telling us that more pick-up trucks are being used by urbanites than ever. Either that or farmers and builders alike are becoming more fashion conscious. Whichever the case, for RM126,000 or RM4,100 more than a regular Hilux 2.4G automatic, you can get yourself a Hilux that rivals a Mini Countryman for customised add-ons. 

The tasteful darkening treatment - black grille, bumper guard, dark headlamp, fog lamp and tail-lamp covers, black wing mirror covers, door sash with carbon-fibre finish, dark roof, dark overfenders, dark racing stripes...you get the drift - easily makes this limited edition 2.4G auto the the coolest of all Hilux-es.

countersteer.my added 4 new photos.

When the most indestructible and robust of trucks starts mimicking accessorising trends of passenger cars, it's telling us that more pick-up trucks are being used by urbanites than ever. Either that or farmers and builders alike are becoming more fashion conscious. Whichever the case, for RM126,000 or RM4,100 more than a regular Hilux 2.4G automatic, you can get yourself a Hilux that rivals a Mini Countryman for customised add-ons.

The tasteful 'darkening' treatment - black grille, bumper guard, dark headlamp, fog lamp and tail-lamp covers, black wing mirror covers, door sash with 'carbon-fibre' finish, dark roof, dark overfenders, dark racing stripes...you get the drift - easily makes this 'limited edition' 2.4G auto the the coolest of all Hilux-es.
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The facelifted version of Malaysias best-selling B-sedan will be launched next month. Expect the updated Honda City to come with more features than before including vehicle stability assist, smart entry with push-button ignition and hill start assist to be made standard across the new three-variant line up (trimmed from four currently). Prices were not revealed during the media preview though if you like what you see, you can make a booking at any authorised Honda dealership.

Honda Malaysias target for 2017 is 100,000 units, with four new models to drive sales - the BR-V seven-seater, the updated City and two unnamed models which we believe will be the all-new CR-V and Jazz hybrid.

countersteer.my added 7 new photos.

The facelifted version of Malaysia's best-selling B-sedan will be launched next month. Expect the updated Honda City to come with more features than before including vehicle stability assist, smart entry with push-button ignition and hill start assist to be made standard across the new three-variant line up (trimmed from four currently). Prices were not revealed during the media preview though if you like what you see, you can make a booking at any authorised Honda dealership.

Honda Malaysia's target for 2017 is 100,000 units, with four new models to drive sales - the BR-V seven-seater, the updated City and two unnamed models which we believe will be the all-new CR-V and Jazz hybrid.
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Remember Volkswagen?

Politics should not be allowed to get in the way of a Proton deal again.

Signs of life at Proton