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Porsche scoops two top awards in UK

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LONDON: Porsche is proving it is the benchmark sports car manufacturer once again, with the announcement today of two of its latest models being recognised as ‘best-in-class’. At the UK Car of the Year Awards 2015, the Boxster GTS won ‘Best Open Top Car’ while the Macan took the trophy for ‘Best SUV’. The Boxster was launched with a GTS version for the first time last year. Joining other current Porsche models wearing the highly-revered ‘GTS’ nameplate – the Cayman, 911, Panamera and Cayenne – this benchmark roadster is even more dynamically focussed than other Boxster models. Boasting 330 hp,…

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Start your engines: Geneva show’s powering up

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GENEVA: Automania is in Geneva – international city, financial centre and global hub of diplomacy – for the 2015 Geneva Motor Show. Top marques from around the world are eager to show what they have to offer in production cars and concepts at the first major European car show of the year. Supercars, small SUVs and hot hatches look set to be the big draw when the show opens to the public from March 5-15. (Read Automania’s What to look forward to at Geneva show with lotsa photos) Much of what will be showcased at the most prestigious event on the…

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March fuel prices up 25 sen

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PETALING JAYA: Petrol and diesel prices will go up by 25 sen per litre from March 1, the Domestic Trade, Cooperatives and Consumerism Ministry announced in a statement today. RON95 petrol will be priced RM1.95 (up from RM1.70), RON97 petrol at RM2.25 (up from RM2) and diesel at RM1.95 (up from RM1.70). This follows the ministry’s decision to set the market prices of RON95 petrol and diesel on a managed float, starting from Dec 1 last year. In the statement, Minister Datuk Seri Hasan Malek said prices were determined based on the average cost price of the product during February…

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Mazda bets on diesel-only car for Japan launch of key 2015 model

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TOKYO: Japan’s Mazda Motor Corp will sell only diesel-powered cars in the domestic launch of its key model for 2015, gambling it can convince the country’s army of hybrid petrol-electric drivers that the days of sooty, noisy diesels are long gone. Masamichi Kogai, Chief Executive of Japan’s fifth-biggest auto maker, placed his diesel bet in Tokyo on Friday as he unveiled the CX-3, a compact sport-utility vehicle (SUV). “In Japan, more and more people are choosing to drive diesels,” Kogai said. The CEO also said the greater power offered by diesel engines is a selling point for bigger cars, including…

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Yamaha aims to launch 2-seater car in Europe, says source

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TOKYO: Japanese motorcycle maker Yamaha Motor Co Ltd aims to start making and selling two-seater cars in Europe as early as 2019, targeting environmentally-conscious drivers, a person familiar with the plan told Reuters on Friday. Yamaha will spend “tens of billions of yen” to build a manufacturing plant in Europe, though the location and scale of the investment amount remain undecided. The cars will come in both 1-litre petrol and electric versions, the person said. The person wasn’t authorised to discuss the plan publicly and spoke on condition of anonymity. The news was first reported by the Nikkei business daily.…

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Kia shows off unusual SPORTSPACE Concept

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FRANKFURT: The SPORTSPACE Concept is what Kia calls the ultimate “getaway” car – a practical vehicle for everyday business use, yet a stylish and athletic grand tourer – ready to eat up the miles for business or leisure. Conceived and developed at Kia’s European Design Centre in Frankfurt under Europe chief designer Gregory Guillaume, the SPORTSPACE is a car that attempts to open a new front with a distinctly different and sophisticated car. It is not a sedan, wagon, hatchback or shooting brake. Kia claims it is a sleek, road-eater  that can meet the demands of those who refuse to…

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Here’s the new Mercedes-AMG GT3 track killer

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AFFALTERBACH: Mercedes-AMG will ring in the 2015 motorsport season at the beginning of March with the sonorous sound of the V8 engine: the new Mercedes-AMG GT3. It will be making its debut appearance at the Geneva Motor Show. The Mercedes-AMG GT3 will blaze new trails in customer sports with its intelligent vehicle concept. The excellent racetrack performance of the standard GT already provides the best possible basis for this. Powerful acceleration is ensured by the seasoned and now further enhanced AMG 6.3-litre V8 engine taken from the SLS AMG GT3. The standard Mercedes-AMG GT already provides the ideal prerequisites for…

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2015 Audi R8 heads for Geneva

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GENEVA: At the 2015 Geneva Motor Show, Audi will present the second generation of its high-performance R8 sports car. The mid-mounted V10 and newly developed quattro all-wheel-drive system ensure breathtaking performance, especially in the top-of-the-range version with 610PS, which not only powers to 100kph from rest more rapidly than any series production Audi in history but is also the first to be capable of officially pushing beyond 322kph. “The new R8 V10 plus is the most powerful and fastest series-production Audi of all time. Motorsport is in Audi’s genes, it has always been a permanent feature of our brand’s character,”…

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US Senate panel OKs auto industry whistleblower incentive

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WASHINGTON: A measure that would offer financial incentives for auto industry employees to expose safety defects won unanimous backing from a US Senate panel on Thursday. The vote by 13 Republican and Democratic members of the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee sends the legislation, which would allow whistleblowers to share in auto company penalty payments, to the floor of the Senate. The measure follows controversies over defective General Motors Co ignition switches and Takata Corp air bag inflators. An aide to Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell could not say when a vote might be scheduled. If brought to a…

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Perodua raises awareness with National Kidney Foundation

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PETALING JAYA: National automaker Perodua contributed one unit of its best-selling Axia car to the National Kidney Foundation (NKF) in conjunction with the 10th anniversary of the ‘World Kidney Day’ celebration. Members of the public stand a chance to win the Axia by participating in the ‘Spot & Ride’ contest as well as raise awareness about kidney care and the cause of kidney failure. “This collaboration with the National Kidney Foundation is our way to create awareness about the cause of kidney problems and to encourage people to live a healthier life,” said Perodua president and chief executive officer, Datuk Aminar…

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