• 2012 Honda Civic Sedan in Australia with 1.8, 2.0 and 1.5 Hybrid IMA

    It is undeniable that the eighth-generation Honda Civic has been the most popular Civic of all time. Last month, the all-new ninth-generation Honda Civic Sedan was launched in Australia with 3 variants – 1.8-litre VTi-L (Manual & Auto), 2.0-litre Sport (Auto) and 1.5-litre Hybrid IMA (CVT).



    To further gain on fuel efficiency, the Eco Assist Display and Econ Driving Mode from the hybrid models have been inherited to the new Civic across all variants. As you might know, ECON mode helps maximise fuel efficiency by adjusting the performance of the engine, transmission, heating and cooling system, and cruise control.



    The Civic VTi-L come with 1.8-litre SOHC i-VTEC engine with max power of 104kW @ 6500rpm and max torque of 174Nm @ 4300rpm. For the Civic Sport, 2.0-litre SOHC i-VTEC engine with max power of  114kW @ 6500rpm and max torque of 190Nm @ 4300rpm. On top of that, the Sport model come with 17-inch alloy wheels instead of 16-inch on VTi-L, auto headlights, electric sunroof, front fog lights, leather-appointed seat trim and rain-sensing wipers.



    For Civic Hybrid, now upgraded to 1.5-litre SOHC i-VTEC engine (from 1.3-litre) with Integrated Motor Assist (IMA). Now max output 82kW @ 5500rpm and 172Nm of max torque between 1000rpm-3500rpm. The Civic Hybrid comes with 15-inch alloy wheels as factory standard.





    The all-new Honda Civic VTi-L manual remained using 5-speed manual transmission. The Civic VTi-L and Civic Sport automatic come with 5-speed automatic transmission. While the Civic Hybrid features continuously variable transmission (CVT). Instead of conventional hydraulic power steering on 1.8-litre variant, the Electric Power Steering (EPS) system is now standard across the board.



    On safety aspect, all the new Civic come with 5-star ANCAP safety rating. SRS airbags on dual front, side and full-length curtain, Anti-lock Braking System (ABS) + Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD) and Vehicle Stability Assist (VSA) are standard as well.



    According to Honda Australia, the new Civic has more sound-proofing insulation around the engine, doors and wheel wells. It is claimed to be the quietest Civic yet. Based on fact figures, it seems the new Civic is now better than before in all aspects. Before I recommending, let me test drive it first. So, keep your feedback in to share further before my test report.


    In Australia, the all-new 2012 Honda Civic sedan manufacturer’s list prices (excluding government and dealer charges):

    – VTi-L five-speed manual – AUD 20,990

    – VTi-L five-speed automatic – AUD 23,290

    – Sport five-speed automatic – AUD 27,990

    – Hybrid CVT – AUD 35,990


    The new Honda Civic sedan is covered by a standard 3-year/100,000km warranty and the Civic Hybrid’s lithium-ion battery is protected by warranty for 8 years from Honda Australia.


    Check out the Photo Gallery of the all-new 2012 Honda Civic Sedan.


  • 2012 Malaysian GP Front Row Lock-out For McLaren-Mercedes

    Today, I have a pit lane walk session and have a close up view to all F1 cars. The experience is excellent and a special thanks to Infiniti and Red Bull Racing. The qualifying of Malaysian Grand Prix has concluded with front row lockout for McLaren-Mercedes. The atmosphere of 2012 Malaysian GP in Sepang was impressive.



    Lewis Hamilton took his first Malaysian GP pole position, his teammate – Jenson Button second, Michael Schumacher third. Red Bull Racing’s Mark Webber and Sebastian Vettel will start from fourth and fifth respectively.


    Michael Schumacher produced the best qualifying performance of his F1 comeback, while Sebastian Vettel chose to run the harder Pirelli tyre and will start fifth for Red Bull.


    “Today went a bit better than we thought in terms of pace,” Webber said. “We’re still not quick enough to challenge for the pole position, yet. There are areas where we need to improve – straight-line speed and a few things like that – but in general we had a better showing here today and I think we’ll be better in the race tomorrow.


    “Our short run performances yesterday: we had a very poor balance, on lower and medium speed to high speed the car was very disconnected,” he added. “Today we managed to pull that together a lot better on low fuel and we have experience that on Sundays the car balances a bit better when we put the fuel in.”


    I am looking forward for tomorrow’s race and wishes best of luck to Red Bull Racing – Webber and Vettel.




  • New Toyota Camry H and HL with Hybrid Synergy Drive in Australia

    Toyota’s new seventh-generation Camry Hybrid introduced in Australia. The car is impressive in terms of power, economy and value. The hybrid sedans deliver a power surge of 7.8% over their predecessors, with a fuel-economy improvement of up to 17% on the city cycle.



    In Australia, Toyota Camry Hybrid now has more equipment and enhanced styling, aerodynamics, interior space, safety, ride comfort, handling and luggage space. The starting price for the Camry Hybrid starts from AUD 34,990 (H Grade) to AUD 41,490 (HL Grade).



    New Camry Hybrid incorporates several measures to improve fuel economy and lower emissions, including a new EV (electric vehicle) drive mode.


    Toyota Australia’s executive director sales and marketing Matthew Callachor said the new Camry Hybrid demonstrated the benefits of Toyota’s long history with petrol-electric hybrid vehicles. “New Camry Hybrid is a leap forward in performance, refinement and efficiency,” Mr Callachor said.



    Camry Hybrid debuts a highly revised version of Toyota’s Hybrid Synergy Drive powertrain, including a new 2.5-litre Atkinson cycle four-cylinder petrol engine and a high-torque electric motor which combined output to 151kW, the previous model was 140kW instead.



    The fuel consumption reduced approximately 17.4 % further in the city to just 5.7 litres/100km (from 6.9 litres/100km). On the highway, fuel use drops approximately half a litre to 4.9 litres/100km (down from 5.4 litres/100km) while the combined fuel-economy figure improves to 5.2 litres/100km (down from 6.0 litres/100km).



    Exclusive exterior and interior designs and badges differentiate the Camry Hybrid from other Camry models. The front of the Camry Hybrid has a “hybrid blue” Toyota badge is flanked by headlights with blue-accented extensions. The rear design expresses a solid stance and a wide feel, featuring the hybrid blue Toyota badge and, for the HL grade, a bootlid spoiler and chrome garnish.



    Interior wise, there are refined touches with attention to detail, including soft-touch padding, quality stitching and a three-dial Optitron instrument panel with chrome-accented outer rings and metallic-blue meter gradations.


    A comprehensive safety package includes stability and traction control, anti-lock brakes with brake assist, 7 airbags and a reversing camera with the image displayed on a 6.1-inch touch-screen.


    Compared with the current model, the Camry HL variant also gains a 10-speaker JBL premium audio system with a 7-inch touch-screen display, satellite navigation with live traffic updates, digital radio, 17-inch alloy wheels, an electric rear sunshade, exterior mirrors that dip when reversing and memory settings for the electric driver’s seat.


    Moreover, the new Camry Hybrid is covered by Toyota Service Advantage in Australia with the cost of services capped at AUD130 for each of up to 5 services in the first 4 years or 75,000km (whichever comes first).


  • Honda Insight 1.3 Hybrid IMA Facelift in Malaysia

    Last September, Honda unveiled the facelift model of Honda Insight during the 2011 Frankfurt Motor Show. Now, the 2012 Honda Insight is now available in Malaysia and still remained RM 99,800 OTR including insurance.



    According to Honda, the facelift model has a series of technical enhancements to improve its efficiency and comfortability. From its engine tuning, CVT transmission, IMA system, air-conditioning system and revised suspension settings.



    After my inspection to the new 2012 Honda Insight, I found the exterior styling on the bumpers are bolder than before. The front (including the front grille, fog lamp) and rear facades (added a silver tailgate garnish) are noticeably restyled. After the facelift, the rear visibility is now improved with larger glass area and longer rear wipers. Though, the alloy wheels remained the same design as the 2011 cars.


    There are no major changes for the interior except improved insulation materials to further reduce NVH. However, the fabrics used for the seats and door panel are revised. The instruments cluster is also changed compared to the 2011 models. In addition, the ‘wave key’ has also been changed to a more compact ‘jack-knife’ key to make it easier to keep in the pocket.There are 4 colour choices are available – Super Platinum Aqua Metallic, Premium White Pearl, Crystal Black Pearl and Alabaster Silver Metallic.


    The Honda Insight comes standard with 3 years or 100,000km warranty plus 5 years or 140,000km warranty on hybrid battery pack. Not to forget, it also includes 3x free service in first 6 months or 10,000km.