Stories you can't miss

Happy CNY & get home safely.
Firecrackers are illegal in Malaysia, so we had to improvise. #CNY #Mini #JCW
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Its probably no coincidence that the Nissan X-Trail X-Tremer only comes in red body colour, being introduced so close to Chinese New Year (16th February) where the predominant hue of choice is red of course, set against trendy black accents. So for RM4,450 more (over a regular X-Trail), you get the roof (including the rails), alloys, rear spoiler and side mirror covers finished in black, along with black cladding under the front grille that accentuates the X motif inherent in the styling of the X-Trail. On the inside, the seats are lined in black Nappa leather, which means the only X-Tremer-specific item (apart from the body) not finished in black is the chrome bumper protector. The Nissan X-Trail X-Tremer priced at RM141,450 for the 2.0L 2WD and RM163,650 for the 2.5L 4WD. May your CNY be X-Tremely auspicious. #NissanXTrail

It's probably no coincidence that the Nissan X-Trail X-Tremer only comes in red body colour, being introduced so close to Chinese New Year (16th February) where the predominant hue of choice is red of course, set against 'trendy' black accents. So for RM4,450 more (over a regular X-Trail), you get the roof (including the rails), alloys, rear spoiler and side mirror covers finished in black, along with black cladding under the front grille that accentuates the X motif inherent in the styling of the X-Trail. On the inside, the seats are lined in black Nappa leather, which means the only X-Tremer-specific item (apart from the body) not finished in black is the chrome bumper protector. The Nissan X-Trail X-Tremer priced at RM141,450 for the 2.0L 2WD and RM163,650 for the 2.5L 4WD. May your CNY be X-Tremely auspicious. #NissanXTrail ... See MoreSee Less

Mercedes-Benz A-Class 2018
The third generation A-Class will be remembered for spearheading the model assault that culminated in Mercedes-Benz regaining the premium segment crown, so the fourth generation has a lot to live up to. If the new A-Class looks familiar from the front, that would be the new CLS-derived design cues; it looks more grown up now, leaner but meaner at the same time. The outer shell sits on reworked underpinnings with a longer wheelbase, wider front track, powered by new and updated engines; e.g. the 2.0-litre turbo four-cylinder of the A250 is now capable of 224hp (from 218hp and 211hp previously). However, it is the inside that gets the most radical makeover with the adoption of the Widescreen Cockpit architecture from the E-Class, now with touch responsive screens and a Google Assistant-like voice command system courtesy of a new user interface known as the MBUX. Like what you see? Have Mercedes-Benz done enough? #AClass2018 #MBUX
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Opinion: Formula 1 & grid girls

We can comprehend the dismay expressed by certain quarters with regards to Formula 1s decision to stop using grid girls (https://goo.gl/RUXpeD). And yes, we do agree that some colour and pomp will be lost given the long-standing tradition of having attractive ladies holding up grid markers over a race weekend.

But if you are a follower, you would also know that Formula 1 is a progressive sport, one thats sensitive and reactive to changing norms; from the banning of tobacco sponsorship to championing road safety and the switch to hybrid engines. You could say there are more scandals within the White House in a year than in the last decade of Formula 1, such is the level of professionalism in the sport. 

Even casual observers would have noticed that the prominence of grid girls in F1 has waned over the years, particularly in relation to other blue ribbon events such as the MotoGP (even the Tour de France), with pit- and grid-roaming personalities taking to the fore. It is a sign of the times which we live in and has little to do with their attire. We wish the grid ladies well and thank them for making Formula 1 what it is today. #Formula1 #GridGirls

countersteer.my added 6 new photos.

Opinion: Formula 1 & grid girls

We can comprehend the dismay expressed by certain quarters with regards to Formula 1's decision to 'stop using grid girls' (goo.gl/RUXpeD). And yes, we do agree that some colour and pomp will be lost given the long-standing 'tradition' of having attractive ladies holding up grid markers over a race weekend.

But if you are a follower, you would also know that Formula 1 is a progressive sport, one that's sensitive and reactive to changing norms; from the banning of tobacco sponsorship to championing road safety and the switch to hybrid engines. You could say there are more scandals within the White House in a year than in the last decade of Formula 1, such is the level of professionalism in the sport.

Even casual observers would have noticed that the prominence of grid girls in F1 has waned over the years, particularly in relation to other blue ribbon events such as the MotoGP (even the Tour de France), with pit- and grid-roaming personalities taking to the fore. It is a sign of the times which we live in and has little to do with their attire. We wish the grid ladies well and thank them for making Formula 1 what it is today. #Formula1 #GridGirls
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Rallye Monte Carlo 2018 recap
Citroën's Craig Breen was undone by a nipple early on, Toyota's Esapekka Lappi (bcause it's fun just to say his name) dropped it at the very end, but it's business as usual for Sebastien Ogier and M-Sport Ford at the season-opening Rallye Monte Carlo. #WRC
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New Volvo XC60 raises safety benchmark
The arrival of the all-new Volvo XC60 -- the mid-size alternative to the Audi Q5, BMW X3 and Mercedes-Benz GLC -- brings with it three new fitted-as-standard active safety features previously not seen on the locally-assembled XC90 T8 and S90 T8; City Safety with Steering Support (as demonstrated in this video), Oncoming Lane Mitigation and Blind Spot with Steer Assist (warning alert followed by steering assistance when vehicle strays onto oncoming or adjacent lanes with traffic). Volvo Car Malaysia says that both 2018 model year XC90 and S90 will come with these three new features as standard, and that they are currently working on a possible retrospective upgrade for applicable models.

The XC60 starts from RM299,088 for the 235hp/350Nm T5 petrol-powered variant, up to RM344,088 for the 407hp/640Nm T8 Twin-Engine plug-in hybrid in Inscription Plus trim. If you can't wait till April when CKD units roll out, you may still be able to get your hands on a fully imported XC60 T8 Inscription Plus (at RM374,088) if you hurry on to a Volvo showroom. #VolvoXC60 goo.gl/DmxPZR
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Red Bull Racing Razor Crazy Carts
Teammates in Formula 1 are rarely ever ‘mates’, more like mortal enemies, though we have to say the antics of Red Bull pairing Daniel Ricciardo and Max Verstappen are as fun to watch off track as they are on track. Here are the two genuinely pally millennials clowning around the Milton Keynes office on battery-powered, one-wheel-drive appliances dubbed the Razor Crazy Carts. Let’s hope the MGU-K and MGU-H of the forthcoming RB14 race car hold up as well as these carts come 23rd March in Melbourne. Note: No Aston Martin Valkyrie was harmed in the making of this video. #RedBullRacing #DanielRicciardo #MaxVerstappen
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We reached out to Mercedes-Benz Malaysia (MBM) for a clarification with regards to the usage of the charging stations which were set up last November at Bangsar Shopping Complex, Kuala Lumpur. The following is the official response by MBM’s Vice President of Sales and Marketing, Mark Raine to our query:

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“Mercedes-Benz, the inventor of the automobile, has been at the forefront of pioneering mobility solutions and shaping the automotive industry throughout an illustrious history of over 130 years. It goes without saying that we are proud of our heritage, achievements and the many innovations which underline our leadership claim, both globally and in Malaysia.

“Our flagship, the S 400 h, was the first hybrid luxury car produced in Malaysia and this unique portfolio has more recently grown with the entry of our technology leaders, the C 350 e and E 350 e plug-in hybrid vehicles.

“With our charging facilities at Bangsar Shopping Centre, Sunway Pyramid and Pavilion Kuala Lumpur, we affirm our support of the EEV initiatives of Malaysia and to further secure a seamless transition into the next era of urban mobility. As is well documented and widely known, our latest initiative in this respect are the Mercedes-Benz branded charging stations.

“We are delighted to offer this privilege to our valued customers who drive Mercedes-Benz plug-in hybrid vehicles, alongside presenting it as a warm welcome to new fans into the Mercedes-Benz family who are still driving vehicles of a different brand.

“With this in mind, we are entirely convinced that all users of our charging stations will exercise due consideration and etiquette to allow as many Mercedes-Benz fans as possible to benefit from these facilities.”

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So, apart from Bangsar Shopping Centre, Sunway Pyramid and Pavilion KL will soon have Mercedes-Benz branded charging stations (we are told this could materialise in the coming weeks). More importantly, MBM welcomes not only owners of Mercedes-Benz plug-in hybrids, but also those of other brands.

MBM’s show of goodwill is commendable, we can only hope that users of these charging facilities reciprocate by demonstrating kindness and thoughtfulness to each other. #MYMBPluginhybrid

countersteer.my added 4 new photos.

We reached out to Mercedes-Benz Malaysia (MBM) for a clarification with regards to the usage of the charging stations which were set up last November at Bangsar Shopping Complex, Kuala Lumpur. The following is the official response by MBM’s Vice President of Sales and Marketing, Mark Raine to our query:

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“Mercedes-Benz, the inventor of the automobile, has been at the forefront of pioneering mobility solutions and shaping the automotive industry throughout an illustrious history of over 130 years. It goes without saying that we are proud of our heritage, achievements and the many innovations which underline our leadership claim, both globally and in Malaysia.

“Our flagship, the S 400 h, was the first hybrid luxury car produced in Malaysia and this unique portfolio has more recently grown with the entry of our technology leaders, the C 350 e and E 350 e plug-in hybrid vehicles.

“With our charging facilities at Bangsar Shopping Centre, Sunway Pyramid and Pavilion Kuala Lumpur, we affirm our support of the EEV initiatives of Malaysia and to further secure a seamless transition into the next era of urban mobility. As is well documented and widely known, our latest initiative in this respect are the Mercedes-Benz branded charging stations.

“We are delighted to offer this privilege to our valued customers who drive Mercedes-Benz plug-in hybrid vehicles, alongside presenting it as a warm welcome to new fans into the Mercedes-Benz family who are still driving vehicles of a different brand.

“With this in mind, we are entirely convinced that all users of our charging stations will exercise due consideration and etiquette to allow as many Mercedes-Benz fans as possible to benefit from these facilities.”

----------------------------------------------------------------------------

So, apart from Bangsar Shopping Centre, Sunway Pyramid and Pavilion KL will soon have Mercedes-Benz branded charging stations (we are told this could materialise in the coming weeks). More importantly, MBM welcomes not only owners of Mercedes-Benz plug-in hybrids, but also those of other brands.

MBM’s show of goodwill is commendable, we can only hope that users of these charging facilities reciprocate by demonstrating kindness and thoughtfulness to each other. #MYMBPluginhybrid
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With more than half of all BMW cars sold in Malaysia being plug-in hybrids in 2017, maybe it should come as no surprise that the new 530e (at RM343,800) undercuts its rivals -- the Mercedes-Benz E350e and Volvo S90 T8 -- in price. The affordably retailed PHEV strategy is consistent with what BMW Malaysia had previously done with other plug-in models, so for now, the petrol-powered 530i M-Sport remains the range topper at RM388,800.

This would mean that the 530e (in Sport Line) will miss M-Sport-specific adornments found on the 530i as well as some creature comforts such as sunroof, premium audio system, keyfob with LCD, gesture control and adaptive headlamps. However, the 530e retains 19-inch alloys, adaptive suspension damping and a host of active safety features that includes blind spot and lane departure warning, rear cross traffic alert and front collision avoidance assistance.

As this is merely the start of the 530e model life cycle, dont be surprised if BMW Malaysia adds an M-Sport model later on (following the lead of the 330e) to supplement the two variants offered currently, which may lead to an all PHEV line-up eventually (M cars excluded). The 530e has a combined system output of 252hp/420Nm, does 0-100km/h in 6.2s and is capable of an all-electric range of 48km from its 9.2kWh lithium-ion battery pack. #BMW530e

With more than half of all BMW cars sold in Malaysia being plug-in hybrids in 2017, maybe it should come as no surprise that the new 530e (at RM343,800) undercuts its rivals -- the Mercedes-Benz E350e and Volvo S90 T8 -- in price. The 'affordably' retailed PHEV strategy is consistent with what BMW Malaysia had previously done with other plug-in models, so for now, the petrol-powered 530i M-Sport remains the range topper at RM388,800.

This would mean that the 530e (in Sport Line) will miss M-Sport-specific adornments found on the 530i as well as some creature comforts such as sunroof, premium audio system, keyfob with LCD, gesture control and adaptive headlamps. However, the 530e retains 19-inch alloys, adaptive suspension damping and a host of active safety features that includes blind spot and lane departure warning, rear cross traffic alert and front collision avoidance assistance.

As this is merely the start of the 530e model life cycle, don't be surprised if BMW Malaysia adds an M-Sport model later on (following the lead of the 330e) to supplement the two variants offered currently, which may lead to an all PHEV line-up eventually (M cars excluded). The 530e has a combined system output of 252hp/420Nm, does 0-100km/h in 6.2s and is capable of an all-electric range of 48km from its 9.2kWh lithium-ion battery pack. #BMW530e
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GE14: Between a rock and a hard place

Choosing to start a 'new Proton' shouldn't be an option on the ballot.

Remember Volkswagen?

Signs of life at Proton