Stories you can't miss

The all-new BMW X2
Notwithstanding the slim pickings of the X4, BMW is steadfast in filling up every crevice of a niche in its passenger car line-up, and thus we have the X2 Sports Activity Coupe. Did we mention the X2 is BMW's first ever? There, good to get that out of the way because in layperson speak, this is an X1 with far sportier overtones, made to appeal "primarily to a young and young-at-heart, urban and active target group who are keen to see their personal character reflected on the road through an emotionally-engaging car" (quote from press literature). BMW is only too happy to point out to you that the inverted kidney grilles on the X2 and its C-pillar mounted emblem hark back to the days of the 'legendary' 507 roadster and coupes of the 1970s, whether any of you (under the age of 40) know these cars is another thing altogether. Nevertheless, we think the X2 is probably fetching enough to attract the intended customers, just.

Global availability of the X2 is slated for March 2018, and it would appear that we will be one of the earliest markets to welcome it based on the registration of interest page on BMW Malaysia's website. Information shared points to a sDrive20i FWD variant in M-Sport trim (192hp/280Nm; 0-100km/h in 7.7s, 227km/h tops), fully imported and probably priced around the region of RM250K to RM280K. Game? (goo.gl/Qj8nNk)
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New Porsche 911 GT3
To non aficionados, the 911 GT3 looks a lot like an iPhone 8 -- devised to lightened the over-saturated bank accounts of 911 devotees, but that contention wouldn't be fair to Porsche. For a sports car that blurs the lines between track and road use (and Porsche is so good at that), the 991-generation GT3 got off to a rocky start with an engine recall that necessitated owners from driving them, so for the 911.2 GT3 (or mid-life facelift model), Porsche gave it a new 500hp/460Nm 4.0-litre flat-six (up from 3.8-litre but still naturally aspirated) that would rev up to a staggering 9,000rpm; a motor that's pretty much lifted from a GT3 Cup race car. For RM 1.7 million (GT3 base car with 7-speed PDK), you can cover straight lines faster in a 911 Turbo for less, but if you prefer a scalpel over a hammer on track days (0-100km/h in 3.4s, 318km/h top speed isn't hanging about), the be-winged GT3 is nearly 200kg lighter than a 911 Turbo S and comes with track-optimised suspension kinematics and aero downforce that purists will no doubt revel in. #Porsche911GT3
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countersteer.my is at Audi Motorsport Zentrum Neuburg.

We always try to live up to our name, and who says you can't drift a quattro? #AudiR8V10plus #countersteer
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Mercedes-AMG GT R
This is not a green car; 585hp/700Nm twin-turbo 4.0-litre V8, 0-100km/h in 3.6 seconds, rear-wheel drive with four-wheel steering and active aerodynamics. Making landfall very soon. #AMG50Years #mymbdreamcar
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Mercedes-AMG has clinched its fourth consecutive constructors championship courtesy of Lewis Hamiltons win and Valtteri Bottas fifth place at the US grand prix. Hamilton can seal the drivers title next weekend by finishing no lower than fifth in Mexico. Mercedes-AMGs achievement equals Red Bull Racings streak from 2010 to 2013 and nudges it closer to Ferraris six consecutive constructors title during the Schumacher era (1999 to 2004). You wouldnt bet against them, would you? #MercedesAMG #Petronas

Mercedes-AMG has clinched its fourth consecutive constructors' championship courtesy of Lewis Hamilton's win and Valtteri Bottas' fifth place at the US grand prix. Hamilton can seal the drivers' title next weekend by finishing no lower than fifth in Mexico. Mercedes-AMG's achievement equals Red Bull Racing's streak from 2010 to 2013 and nudges it closer to Ferrari's six consecutive constructors title during the Schumacher era (1999 to 2004). You wouldn't bet against them, would you? #MercedesAMG #Petronas ... See MoreSee Less

All-new Audi A7
Audi had a lot riding on all-new A7, not so much in engineering or technology (that's a given), but in showing the way forward in design. The carmaker from Ingolstadt regards 2017 as the beginning of a 'new design era for Audi', with a new process called 'digital design manufactory'. Audi will probably never be in the business of 'shock and awe', but progression in automotive design should never be reduced to 'shoe-sizing' cars either. In the new A7, Audi may have struck just the right balance. What do you think? #AudiA7
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When Volvo showed the Concept Coupe at the 2013 Frankfurt Motor Show, little did anyone know that it would become the first model under its new electric performance division, Polestar, in 2017. Maybe Volvo didn’t either. One thing is for sure, the Volvo management would’ve deliberated long and hard on whether the beautiful coupe concept would become a Volvo C90 (or S90 Coupe) or otherwise. The latter won and the economically-dubbed Polestar 1 will start production in the middle of 2019 at its factory in Chengdu. Volvo is owned by Geely Holding of China. 

It’s easy to get drown by the numbers touted during the 1’s unveiling – 600hp and 1000Nm – but Polestar is merely calling it a GT within the performance car segment. As should always be the case, the combined outputs of plug-in hybrids on paper (yes, it has a combustion engine) have to be read with care, in essence the Polestar 1 is a 2+2 AWD S90-based two-door coupe (front axle powered by the now familiar Drive-E 2.0-litre turbocharged engine, rear by twin electric motors), sitting on a modified SPA platform. Polestar omitted a few key specs, namely kerb weight and performance while claiming a weight reduction of 230kg through carbon-fibre embeds in the body construction, we can still do some math of our own. 

Since a Volvo S90 T8 plug-in hybrid weighs around 1800kg, which is about 200kg more than a S90 with a petrol engine, the engineers must have targeted to trim the weight ‘penalty’ incurred by the battery pack and related on-board charging components by the same amount. An educated guess would then put the Polestar 1 between 1600kg to 1700kg in kerb weight, with a 0-100km/h time of 4.0-second. Now, Polestar also says that the 1 is capable of 150km in pure electric range, which should mean a battery capacity of 30kWh (+/-) since a S90 T8 offers 50km from 10.4kWh. #Polestar

countersteer.my added 8 new photos.

When Volvo showed the Concept Coupe at the 2013 Frankfurt Motor Show, little did anyone know that it would become the first model under its new electric performance division, Polestar, in 2017. Maybe Volvo didn’t either. One thing is for sure, the Volvo management would’ve deliberated long and hard on whether the beautiful coupe concept would become a Volvo C90 (or S90 Coupe) or otherwise. The latter won and the economically-dubbed Polestar 1 will start production in the middle of 2019 at its factory in Chengdu. Volvo is owned by Geely Holding of China.

It’s easy to get drown by the numbers touted during the 1’s unveiling – 600hp and 1000Nm – but Polestar is merely calling it a GT within the performance car segment. As should always be the case, the combined outputs of plug-in hybrids on paper (yes, it has a combustion engine) have to be read with care, in essence the Polestar 1 is a 2+2 AWD S90-based two-door coupe (front axle powered by the now familiar Drive-E 2.0-litre turbocharged engine, rear by twin electric motors), sitting on a modified SPA platform. Polestar omitted a few key specs, namely kerb weight and performance while claiming a weight reduction of 230kg through carbon-fibre embeds in the body construction, we can still do some math of our own.

Since a Volvo S90 T8 plug-in hybrid weighs around 1800kg, which is about 200kg more than a S90 with a petrol engine, the engineers must have targeted to trim the weight ‘penalty’ incurred by the battery pack and related on-board charging components by the same amount. An educated guess would then put the Polestar 1 between 1600kg to 1700kg in kerb weight, with a 0-100km/h time of 4.0-second. Now, Polestar also says that the 1 is capable of 150km in pure electric range, which should mean a battery capacity of 30kWh (+/-) since a S90 T8 offers 50km from 10.4kWh. #Polestar
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Why Mercedes-Benz has got your back

“At the end of the day, every electric car is only as sustainable as the electric it uses.”