Driving Excellence
Lavonne Cheah 

Megane GT
Renault’s new Megane GT opens up a whole new world of driving thrills and sportiness thanks to tuning by the French company’s sports division. Featuring a turbocharged 1.6-litre engine with idle-stop technology and paired to a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission (DCT) automatic, the Megane GT generates 151 kW at 6,000 rpm and 280 Nm of torque at 2,400 rpm. The seven-speed DCT may be the same as the mid-spec Megane Zen, but a revised calibration delivers a sportier performance on acceleration.

The GT has a few tricks up its sleeve, the most remarkable of which is Renault’s 4CONTROL four-wheel steering system, a feature typically seen in higher-end performance vehicles. With this system, the car is propelled from the back, aiding turn-in and reducing understeer for a more robust yet stable drive.


M2 Coupé
There is much to love about the new BMW M2 coupé. For one, the sports coupé is refreshed thanks to a modified front apron with large air inlets as well as M-specific twin exhaust tailpipes redesigned to give it a sharper look. Then there are new bi-LED headlights complementing the upgraded all-LED taillights for an even more aggressive appearance.

Aluminium wheels measuring 19-inch each also appear for the first time in this model. The interior is suitably posh, from the M leather ‘Walknappa’ steering to the high gloss carbon fibre trimming. Performance-wise, it lives up to its sports tag with a 3.0-litre M TwinPower Turbo with six-cylinder engine that pounds out a maximum torque of 465 Nm.


Jazz Hybrid
The Honda Jazz Hybrid took home the prestigious Overall Car of the Year title at the 16th Malaysia Car of the Year 2017 Awards (COTY). This is the first time COTY has dedicated categories for hybrid vehicles in view of a growing demand for cleaner, energy-saving cars.

The car itself recently underwent a facelift. For one, it replaced the Integrated Motor Assist hybrid system with the Sport Hybrid i-DID (Intelligent Dual-Clutch Drive) system, which is more advanced, powerful and efficient. Comprising a 1.5 litre petrol engine and a seven-speed (dry) dual-clutch automatic transmission with integrated electric motor, as well as a lithium-ion battery by Blue Energy, the new system is also equipped with an electric servo brake system for improved energy regeneration.

The engine itself is the unique Atkinson cycle DOHC i-VTEC unit with 110 PS and 134 Nm of torque at 5000 rpm. Combined with a 30 PS (22 kW)/160 Nm electric motor, the system is able to produce a combined 137 PS and 170 Nm of torque. The transmission from CVT to a dual-clutch offers a snappier shift change compared with the previous model. At low cruising speed, the car runs on electric motor alone thus saving on expensive fuel.

Volkswagen offers relief to car owners affect by flood

Volkswagen Passenger Cars Malaysia (VPCM) has launched a nationwide Flood Relief programme for all its car owners affected by the recent deluge, especially in Penang. The automaker is offering a 30% discount on repair works, including parts and labour.

“Our customers up in Penang affected by this disaster are already struggling to cope with the loss or damage of their homes and belongings, so we hope our contribution will provide some respite and relieve their burden,” said Erik Winter, managing director of VPCM. “On behalf of VPCM, we would like to offer our thoughts and prayers to them and all affected residents through this difficult period.”

Owners are advised to send their affected cars to the nearest Volkswagen service centre for assessment and repairs. This programme runs until Feb 28, 2018. 

This article first appeared in Focus Malaysia Issue 260.