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  1. With its sights set on the BMW 3 Series and the Mercedes-Benz C-Class, Jaguar could be planning a full range of models for its upcoming entry-level car - possibly called the XS. The XS will replace the X-Type, finally giving Jaguar a product in the highly competitive luxury compact sedan segment. According to sources, the car will also be available with coupe and wagon bodystyles (rendered images below). Jaguar's upcoming 3 Series and C-Class fighter seen testing and wearing a modified XF body is also poised to be clad in an all-aluminum monocoque body structure, similar to the XJ, to save weight. According to Adrian Hallmark, Jaguar's Global Brand Director, an aluminium monocoque is a first for this market and on this sort of scale, by the time they go on sale, the new saloon, coupe and estate will be the most efficient, refined and advanced cars in their class. Plus, the car is expected to be offered initially with Jaguar's small capacity turbocharged four and supercharged six-cylinder petrol and diesel engine. This will also mean that entry-level cars are able to emit less than 100g/km of CO2 without the need for hybrid technology. The baby Jaguar is scheduled to be due in 2015 and it sure is one exciting cat. Purr.
  2. Regan_ong

    Infiniti explains name change of lineup

    Infiniti caused quite a bit of hullabaloo late last year when it announced it would be changing its vehicle names so that all of its cars start with Q and all of its crossovers and SUVs start with QX (not the ones on the number plates seen locally). Now, the luxury division of Nissan has posted a video that explains the historically relevant reason for the new Q badge. Well, Infiniti is returning to the Q name to pay homage to its very first model, the Q45, and it's starting with the all new Q50 sedan. Now, however, while most of Infiniti's 2014 models will get the new Q badge, the G37 Sedan will keep its nameplate through model year 2015 (despite the fact that Infiniti already changed the G37 Coupe and G37 Convertible models to the name Q60). Are you getting confused? Watch the video below to understand better.
  3. With a long standing tradition of building compact, open top sports cars that started with the S600 and ending with the S2000, Honda seems intent to get back into the game. After seeing the success Toyota/Subaru has had with the 86/BRZ, Honda is primed to one-up its rivals. According to a source within Honda, a new affordable sports car is being seriously considered, but don't expect something as high-end as the S2000 - think small, quick and light. The car would be small, probably even smaller than the Mazda MX-5, and come equipped with either a 1.3-litre or 1.5-litre in-line four with i-VTEC. Keep your expectations low on its power output, but thanks to its light weight which is rumored to sit around 900kg, the car should have adequate acceleration along with good handling and an overall agile driving experience. There's even talk that the "S1500" may come with a mid-engine layout, in the style of the Honda Beat. As for the car's design direction, Honda would either use the Japan-only N-ONE or make it look more like the current Civic. We reckon the N-ONE's styling would do justice because it pays homage to the iconic S600. Rumours of a new Honda roadster have appeared and disappeared with tide-like regularity since the moment the S2000 died, and none of them have come to pass. The NSX revival was followed by nearly a decade of will-they, won't-they rumours and telephone-game whispers before Honda actually buckled down and built something. It seems like the same thing could be happening here. Either way, let's wait for Honda to come up with this answer to the Toyota 86 and the Mazda MX-5 in 2015 or 2016.
  4. Regan_ong

    Fuel prices across the border increase

    Malaysia has raised the retail price of diesel and RON95 petrol by RM0.20 a litre (S$0.08) each. But what has that got to do with Singaporeans since they are only entitled to pump RON97 petrol and above? The price hike, effective from 3rd September 2013, is in line with the government's initiative to cut costly subsidies. "Currently, the government bears an RM0.83 (S$0.32) subsidy for a litre of RON95 petrol and RM1.00 (S$0.38) for a litre of diesel. The RM0.20 subsidy reduction means the government still provides a RM0.63 (S$0.24) subsidy for a litre of RON95 and RM0.80 (S$0.31) for a litre of diesel," said Prime Minister Najib Razak, who is also the Finance Minister. "The subsidy cut will save the government an estimated RM1.1 billion (S$422,682,700) this year and another RM3.3 billion (S$1,268,048,100) in 2014," he added. RON95 petrol is now priced at RM2.10 (S$0.81) per litre and diesel at RM2.00 (S$0.77) after the hike, up from RM1.90 (S$0.73) and RM1.80 (S$0.69) respectively. Well, for Singaporeans who travel frequently up North to fill up, here's the not-so-good news. The price per litre of RON97 petrol has also been increased by RM0.15 starting 4th September 2013, bringing its price to RM2.85 (S$1.10), up from RM2.70 (S$1.04) previously. On the other hand, the good news is that the increase in Malaysian fuel prices is still incomparable to the skyrocketing prices at local pumps - diesel retailing at $1.71 per litre, RON92 at $2.20 per litre, RON95 at $2.24 per litre and RON98 at $2.38 per litre.
  5. Regan_ong

    Zouk's anti-drink driving campaign

    A night of partying may be all in good fun, until it's time to go home that it. All too often, late night revelers get behind the wheel after a one drink too many. Accidents caused by drunk driving is a major problem all around the world, and the city state of Singapore is no exception. But one nightclub is taking an unconventional approach to prevent drunk driving. The solution - a 'Pee Analyser'. Working with marketing agency DDB Group Singapore, popular nightspot Zouk came up with the charmingly named Pee Analyser, a urinal-based system that detects the amount of alcohol in a punter's pee before issuing a warning if they're over the legal limit. And here's how it works. When a driver arrives at the club, they hand over their keys in exchange for an RFID parking card. Once activated, the card is capable of identifying a driver and recording information regarding the driver's alcohol level. It does this by way of a urine testing device fitted in the urinal, a device that its maker says will instantly reset to accommodate consecutive readings, thereby avoiding any mix-ups with the pee of previous urinal visitors. The urinal-based testing device is paired with an RFID reader that detects, tags and reads information from the cards, so if a patron's pee contains too much alcohol, a message will flash up on a screen directly in front saying - "Maybe you've had one too many to drive. Call a cab or use our drive home service." Of course, there's a chance the person peeing may be too drunk to focus on the words in front of them, or simply too wasted to compute the information, so when they hand in their card at the end of the night in exchange for their keys, an RFID reader at the exit will convey the information from the tagged card to the valet, who'll once again suggest the car-owning clubber to make alternative arrangements for getting home. The pee analyser may be the most technologically advanced approach, but some experts have called urine testing an unreliable method for determining alcohol impairment. And although the system is only installed in male toilets, we reckon it still does some magic in curbing the numbers of drink drivers. Good work there, Zouk. Check out the below video from DDB Group Singapore to learn more about the system.
  6. Regan_ong

    Toyota 86 could get a new engine

    Fans of the 86 listen up. Rumour has it that Toyota is preparing a power boost for its popular 86 sports coupe. The Japanese brand has teased numerous concepts of its two-door cult car with upgraded engines, including a supercharged TRD version (above) built in the U.S.A and a twin-charged version (below) created by its in-house skunkworks Gazoo Racing. But those were designed to showcase the ability for aftermarket tuners and were not really suitable for mainstream production. Now, the Chief Engineer of the 86, Tetsuya Tada, has finally admitted that his team is developing a number of ways to increase performance of the showroom version - one of which will definitely make it to production when the 86 receives its mid-life upgrade in 2015. "I hope to make an engine upgrade at least one time with this car. We have already tried all possibilities and there are several types of 86 prototypes at the Toyota proving ground now; one is a turbocharger, one is bigger displacement and the other is a special hybrid system," said Tada. Tada did not divulge any further details, but inside sources claimed that the most likely option is an increase in displacement, bumping the 2.0-litre horizontally opposed engine up to a 2.5-litre and increasing power from 200bhp to around 260bhp. It is understood that this option would be the most cost-effective solution, which not only maintains the integrity of the lightweight concept but prevents placing additional stress on the drivetrain that a turbo charger would, or the complexity and weight penalty of a hybrid system. However, both alternatives are not being tested in vain, as they are likely to be introduced on the next generation 86. Either way, it is almost certain that the hybrid system Toyota is currently working on will make its way into the next generation 86. However, it is unlikely to be a conventional and heavy battery pack but rather a road-going development of the super capacitor system employed in its Le Mans sportscar racers, which are not only smaller and lighter but can store and deliver energy quicker for rapid bursts of acceleration. Come on Toyota! We certainly hope to see a more powerful 86.
  7. SYF77

    CATS Classified Car-nival 2013

    The annual CATS Classified Car-nival took place at the Singapore Expo on 7th July. The event showcased both new and pre-owned cars, car-related accessories and other services. In addition, there was a Race Queen Pageant, games and what's a carnival without free goodies! While I was at the event, happily snapping away photos, I indulged in a packet of Oregon Fresh potato chips and a can of Orchard Fresh Grape Float that were distributed freely. Below are snippets of the models - both four-wheeled and two-legged - that were on display.
  8. Kia Singapore is staging a special preview event for the new Forte K3 on 6th July at the Turf Club for its Facebook fans. The 2013 Forte K3 is powered by a 1.6-litre D-CVVT engine which churns out 130bhp. Mated to a six-speed automatic transmission, the Korean sedan takes 11.6 seconds to hit 100km/h from standstill. The new K3 has grown in size and measures 4,560mm by 1,780mm by 1,435mm (L x W x H). For the Singapore-bound version, the car is loaded with goodies such as Smart Welcome Lighting System, ventilated driver's seat, powered front seats with memory function for the driver's side and HID projector headlamps with LED daylight running lights. The five-door version is rumoured to be available locally towards the end of the year.
  9. There's no doubt that Swedish automaker Koenigsegg knows how to make some of the world's fastest production cars that ever exists. The company even makes sure that the twin-turbo 5.0-litre V8 engine of its production cars will run on E85 fuel. However, unfortunately, some places in this world just aren't quite ready for such fuel yet, just like in Singapore. So, keeping that in mind, it seems that despite the total power output of 927bhp offered by the Agera or 1,124bhp offered by the Agera R, neither of the models is really quite of our interest here in Singapore. That's not to mention the highly demanding price tag of the super car. However, realising that, Koenigsegg has finally produced the Agera S. Unlike its elder brothers, the Koenigsegg Agera S doesn't need ethanol to be mixed into its fuel. It'll run just fine with the fuel we already have here. In addition to that, this fine super car is quite powerful as well, offering the power of up to 1,040 horses. With all the advantages that it has, the Koenigsegg Agera S comes with a demanding price tag of around USD$4.2 million (approximately S$5.3 million). Yet, despite the price tag, the fourth example in the world has already met its new owner, who is a Singaporean. Yes, Koenigsegg recently introduced the Agera S here, at a special reception which was attended even by the founder of Koenigsegg Automotive AB himself, Mr. Christian von Koenigsegg. The reception took place at the Hotel Ritz Carlton Millenia on 14th June 2013. As it was private, the reception was only open to 200 VIPs and guests. The lucky person to have the fastest production car on our shores happened to be Ms. Angela Tan, wife of Mr. Denis Chua, an investor. According to Mr. Chua, he and his wife bought the car after having test-driven it personally in Sweden. Hand-crafted by Swedish skilled artisans with enhanced aerodynamics in mind, the Swedish luxury super car can go from 0-100km/h within a mere 2.9 seconds. In addition to that, the car will stop climbing speed only after it has reached a speed of at least 400km/h. How does that sound? The Koenigsegg Agera S super car was introduced to us here by the Motorway Group of Companies. This is a rental car company that also serves as a pre-owned luxury car specialist. If you are wondering, the car is available in both right and left-hand drive. Photo credits: Nicholas TJR
  10. The Land Transport Authority (LTA) has setup a website to seek feedback from the general public on how COE and car ownership schemes should be tweaked. The government is trying to inject some form of social equitability in car ownership in our land-scarce island. The feedback will help the government to better delineate CAT A from Cat B, so that buyers of mass market models do not have to compete directly with luxury car buyers. However, luxury brands' penetration into CAT A is only part of the equation in contributing to the astronomical rise in COE price in the 'mass market' category. The reduction in supply of COE and ever increasing population numbers would ensure that COE prices would remain sky high. If you are interested to air your views, do visit the website
  11. In the early 1990s when I became a young automobile fan, my only source of automotive information was 'Motoring' magazine as I was a subscriber. It's recent demise was quite sad but not unexpected. The number of motoring publications in the Singapore market has been increasing over the past few years and perhaps one of the great threats to their survival is free publications. 'CarBuyer' has been distributed freely via petrol stations for a few years now, recently joined by another complimentary publication. Like paid publications, they offered reviews on new models, comparison between models, interviews and analysis on hot issues such as COE. Although they are free, the print quality and paper quality is pretty good. I believe these free publications earn their revenue mainly through advertisements. Currently, I do not buy printed publications as often as before. I obtain the latest news of the automotive world from the internet, and this news is hot from the oven. However, when it comes to car reviews and comparison studies, I still enjoy reading hardcopy as I prefer to flip the pages rather than scrolling down the page using the mouse. To satisfy such needs, publications such as 'CarBuyer' are serving me well.
  12. In an otherwise monotonous and 'traditional' local insurance industry, DirectAsia.com aims to inject a little dose of excitement and freshness with its new advertising campaign. Inspired by similar and successful campaigns overseas, DirectAsia.com will be represented by folk hero Robin Hood in its promotional and advertising materials. The award-winning insurer is natural with stirring new business methods and models within the industry and the firm believes the use of the iconic figure will accelerate and further establish the firm's standing as an innovator. An animated Robin Hood in real world settings will be featured heavily in the insurer's marketing campaigns, with the first adverts addressing the insurer's 'Best Price Guarantee' message. The advert will be aired on local TV and cinemas, as well as YouTube and the other internet platforms. Commenting on the new concept, Simon Birch, CEO of DirectAsia.com, said, "So far, advertising for insurance here has remained traditional and rather boring. You know the ones with impossibly good looking families with perfect teeth standing under umbrellas etc. Our latest campaign aims to change all that, as well as change people
  13. SYF77

    Which Ford can you find here?

    Ford Singapore has posted a Word Search game on its Facebook page. Names of Ford models, not restricted to those on sale in Singapore, are camouflaged in the array of alphabets. I've managed to locate the Focus, Fiesta and Mustang. However, I believe there are a few more models waiting to be discovered. Have fun! Focus Fiesta Mustang
  14. A recent visit to Honda Singapore's Facebook page revealed the impending arrival of the all new Honda Accord. The ninth generation Accord already went on sale in the North American market back in September 2012. Since the past two generations of the Singapore-bound Accord hail from Thailand, the factory source of the latest version is almost a forgone conclusion. The specifications of the Thailand Accord will tell a lot about the model that we will be getting. The new Thailand Accord is available with a 155bhp 2.0-litre i-VTEC engine or a 174bhp 2.4-litre i-VTEC Earth Dreams Technology. The 2.4-litre unit is a brand new engine from Honda that employs VTC (Variable Timing Control) and direct injection technology with extensive friction reduction measures. This is in addition to the usual DOHC and VTEC technologies. Both engines are mated to a five-speed automatic transmission. This may sound a tad disappointing as class competitors such as the Kia Optima and Mazda 6 have already adopted a six-speed setup. Measuring 4,870mm by 1,850mm by 1,465mm (L x W x H), the new Accord is shorter but wider and sits lower than the outgoing model. The front double wishbone suspension has been replaced with a MacPherson strut design while the rear retains a multi-link setup. It is the first Accord to use a strut suspension since the second generation. From a safety aspect, the new Accord is available with Collision Mitigation Brake System (CMBS) that alerts the driver of an imminent front end collision and applies the brake automatically. The Honda Lane Watch Blind Spot Display provides an enhanced view of the passenger-side roadway. The 2.4-litre variant comes equipped with six airbags while the 2.0-litre makes do with four. Vehicle Stability Assist is standard across all models. The complete specifications of the new Thailand Accord can be found below.
  15. Jpop fans rejoice. 16 members of Japan's number one girl group - AKB48 - will be performing at the upcoming Tokyo Auto Salon Singapore 2013. An hour's live performance will occur at the performance stage on the 13th April at 06:00pm where the hit group will perform their hit singles like 'Heavy Rotation' and 'Aitakatta', among others! A meet and greet session will also be organised at the performance stage on the 12th April 2013 at 1515hrs and the 13th April 2013 at 1630hrs during the Tokyo Auto Salon Singapore 2013. Visitors who have purchased their tickets online can redeem limited first come, first served moshpit passes at the event and watch the performance up close. The 16 members from AKB48 are: 1. Maria Abe 2. Sayaka Akimoto 3. Rina Chikano 4. Nana Fujita 5. Rina Kawaei 6. Ayaka Kikuchi 7. Ami Maeda 8. Natsumi Matsubara 9. Sakiko Matsui 10. Tomomi Nakatsuka 11. Amina Sato 12. Sumire Sato 13. Haruka Shimada 14. Shihori Suzuki 15. Juri Takahashi 16. Yuuka Tano Do note the organiser reserves the rights to change the schedule and the list of members coming to the event.
  16. The current car loan restrictions will be lifted by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) for a period of 60 days for the purchase of used cars that were part of car dealers' inventory before 25th February 2013. Used cars registered as of 4th March 2013 will also be eligible for this concession as dealers have up to seven days to register used cars under the LTA's Temporary Transfer Scheme (TTS). The inventory of used cars acquired by dealers at relatively high in-built Certificate of Entitlement (COE) values has made it particularly challenging to adjust to the new market conditions. Demand has also fallen more sharply in the used car market compared to that for new cars. Thus MAS has therefore decided to temporarily lift the restrictions for the limited pool - comprising less than 7,000 cars. This concession takes effect from 6th April 2013 and will be in place for a period of 60 days, after which, the financing restrictions will apply. Also, the previously announced loan restrictions has been extended to all entities that finance car purchases - including those not regulated by MAS. MAS also announced it will continue to monitor developments in the car market and COE premiums, and will recalibrate the financing restrictions for new and used cars when appropriate.
  17. For those who have been waiting for the arrival of the all new Kia Forte K3, the good news is that you can pre-book yours for S$89,999 now. The stylish Korean sedan will arrive locally in July 2013 according to Kia Singapore's Facebook page. Based on the same underpinning as the Hyundai Elantra, the 2013 Forte measures 4,560mm by 1,780mm by 1,445mm (L x W x H). The Singapore-bound K3 will also be equipped with the same 130bhp 1.6-litre D-CCVT engine mated to a six-speed automatic gearbox. Century sprint is quoted as 11.6 seconds. Based on a conversation that I had with a Kia sales personal, the new Forte will be equipped with 17-inch alloys and factory-fitted leather seats. The electric driver's seat will have two memory settings. In terms of safety, the compact sedan will be fitted with no less than six airbags. From the sales person's catalogue, the new K3 can be selected in 10 different colours. The OMV of the car is said to be about S$17K and the COE rebate at launch price is S$40K. If that sounds like good value to you, it is time to head down to Cycle & Carriage's Kia showroom.
  18. Newgnib

    MINI Track Day - Johor Circuit

    MINI recently held its Track Day at the Johor Circuit in Pasir Gudang to demonstrate the abilities of some of the hottest models in its range. The event featured cars such as the Cooper S, Cooper S Coupe, Cooper S Bayswater as well as the star of the event, the John Cooper Works Hatch. Participants were assigned to groups of five and we took turns to sample the cars in two segments - Skidpan and Track. First up, we headed to the skidpan and joined up with the Cooper S Coupe and Bayswater to try out three different activities. These activities were primarily designed to showcase the safety and stability of the cars and in order to do so, electronics on the cars, such as Anti-lock Braking System (ABS) and Electronic Stability Control (ESC) were switched off. The first activity was the 360 degree spin where we got a better understanding of how the Anti-lock Braking System (ABS) works. Jamming the brakes on a slippery surface (with ABS off) will put the car into a 'merry-go-round'. Then, we switched the ABS on and tried slamming the brakes again. The car stops normally like it should. ABS's effectiveness. Check. Next, we had a go at being stunt drivers, first with the J-Turn and lastly, the Handbrake Turn. Well, you should have seen this in James Bond movies or in The Fast and The Furious series. The J-Turn is used to flick a reverse-moving car around while moving in the same direction. Three easy steps - 'Reverse, Lift off throttle, Flick'. J-Turn. Check. The last activity was the Handbrake Turn. This technique is used if you need to change the vehicle's direction of travel very quickly. Turning the vehicle in the direction intended and then pulling the handbrake will cause the rear end to swing out. Handbrake Turn. Check. On a side note, please don't try these activities without professional guidance. With our helmets on, it was time to hit the track. We had a go with the Cooper S first. This car was awesome on tracks and screamed for more everytime we eased off turns. Next up, the JCW Hatch. Blazing down the straights and engaging turns like race car drivers, we felt that this hell of a hatch was made for the tracks. At the end of the day, participants were awarded with some goodies from MINI and a plaque for joining the Big Boys
  19. Here's a guide that helps you understand how to calculate the de-registration value of your vehicle and the relationship between OMV & ARF. De-registration value / Paper Value You must have heard of the term 'de-registration value' or also known as 'paper value' being thrown around when the casual chat of cars arises between friends or colleagues. More often than not, you would be surprised at the innocence of many local motorists who do not know what it actually means. What is De-registration value? [COE rebate + PARF rebate] = De-registration value The de-registration value simply refers to the returns you are entitled to from the Land Transport Authority (LTA) when you de-register your vehicle. The de-registration value is calculated based on the COE rebates and the PARF rebate value of your car. *Do note that COE cars (cars more than 10 years old) do not have any PARF Rebate, therefore the de-registration value for COE cars are based on the Prevailing Quota Premium paid. COE Rebate If a vehicle is de-registered before the end of the 10-year COE cycle, the registered owner can be granted a rebate based on the number of months and days remaining on his vehicle's COE. COE Rebate = (Quota Premium Paid x Number of months left) / 120 months For example if your COE costs $16,897 and expires on the 5th June 2015 but was de-registered on the 2nd January 2013. Unused period of the COE: From 3/1/2013 to 5/6/2015 = 2 years, 5 months and 3 days = 29.1 months Thus COE Rebate = ($16,897 x 29.1) / 120 = $4,097 PARF Rebate Calculating the PARF rebate value of your car is relatively simple as there are only two factors contributing to the PARF rebate value - age of vehicle and ARF value. As you can refer from the table above, the PARF rebate is a certain percentage of your ARF value
  20. PetrolHead

    A look at the new tiered ARF structure

    [extract] On Monday, the 25th of February 2013, the annual Budget statement was announced by Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Finance Tharman Shanmugaratnam. He announced a lot of stuff to what people call 'Robin Hood' budget, taxing the more affluent people to aid the poor. Among the announcements, one was regarding the tiered ARF structure
  21. PetrolHead

    Auto loans capped at 5 years and up to 60%

    [extract] Motor loans will be capped to a five year loan period in a new ruling by the MAS. Moreover, the loan-to value amount will be dependent on the OMV of a vehicle and could range between 50
  22. PetrolHead

    Auto loans capped at 5 years and up to 60%

    [extract] Motor loans will be capped to a five year loan period in a new ruling by the MAS. Moreover, the loan-to value amount will be dependent on the OMV of a vehicle and could range between 50
  23. [extract] The 2013 Mazda6 was previously reported to arrive before Christmas of 2012 but it did not happen. However, the wait is over. I happened to take a bus along Eunos Link and saw a batch of spanking new Mazda6 saloons in Trans Eurokars showroom at Ubi Close. A visit to Mazda Singapore
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