Switching Gears
Lavonne Cheah 
Price: From RM788,800 (OTR without insurance)


Meet the Maserati Levante S, the Italian brand’s first SUV that promises superior sporty performance to navigate all terrains with great ease.

At its core is the twin-turbocharged V6 engine that features the latest Gasoline Direct Injection (GDI) technology designed by Maserati Powertrain. Torque reaches 194Nm and it accelerates from 0 to 100km/h in 5.2 seconds, with a top speed of 264km/h.

The hydraulic power steering has been replaced with electric power steering for improved handling and driving comfort. The newly-introduced Advanced Driving Assistance System also boasts more active functions.

The Levante S features a state-of-the-art braking system that matches superbly with the car’s high performance. The front system adopts the Brembo 6-piston aluminium monobloc calipers working on 380mm drilled discs while the rear is fitted with aluminium 42mm floating calipers with 330mm x 22mm ventilated drilled discs.

The eight-speed automatic ZF gearbox provides seamless comfort and fast gear-shifting among the four drive modes.

The Maserati Levante S comes in two trim options: GranLusso and GranSport. The former emphasises on luxury riding with an interior choice of Ermenegildo Zegna silk or full premium Italian upholstery with a Radica open-pore wood trim and leather steering wheel.

The latter features an array of innovative solutions and power-adjustable sport steering combined with a carbon trim to create an exciting, sporty interior. Both SUVs boast Maserati’s signature lush aesthetic and spacious interior that sits five people comfortably.


Price: RM320,000 (OTR without insurance)

HONDA Civic Type R

The Honda Civic Type R is hailed as the most powerful Honda model to be introduced in Malaysia. This hot hatch received the “Champion of Champions” title for successfully setting a new lap time record of slightly over seven minutes at the Nürburgring Circuit in Germany earlier this year.

An icon in its own right, the Civic Type R is designed to be race-ready, inside and out. For one, it is powered by a 2.0L VTEC turbocharged engine that offers a high output of 310PS and a maximum torque of 400Nm. The high performance engine is mated with 6-Speed manual transmission for a highly precise shift feel experience.

Civic Type R’s 3-Way Driving Modes, COMFORT, SPORT and +R, allow drivers to experience different dynamic performances including race car-like performance as well as the desired comfort required for daily commute.

Designed with a low and wide stance, the Civic Type R was developed on the Honda Civic Hatchback platform with high rigidity body frame. Safety-wise, the car is equipped with Vehicle Stability Assist (VSA), Anti-Lock Braking System (ABS), Traction Control, Electronic Brake Distribution (EBD) and Dynamic Guidelines. It is also fitted with ISO Fix and a total of six airbags.

Available only in Championship White colour.


Price: RM183,588 (OTR without insurance)

HYUNDAI Grand Starex Royale

Although the Hyundai Grand Starex Royale is not new, it has been given a makeover. While the Grand Starex Royale is a favourite family MPV because of its affordability and reliability, the main motivation behind the facelift is to appeal to the younger generation.

The front chrome grille has moved further down to become part of the bumper design. The fog lights too have to be redesigned to accommodate this change, and thankfully, the result looks more powerful than ever.

Nothing much has changed under the hood. The advanced 2.5L CRDi diesel engine is coupled with a Variable Geometry Turbocharger (VGT) and a turbo intercooler. This unleashes a potent maximum output of 125kW (170PS) at 3,800rpm and a massive maximum torque of 392Nm at 2,000 to 2,500rpm for instantaneous response and exhilarating performance.

Other standard features of the Grand Starex Royale remain, including the Cruise Control, Safe Drive Recorder and Electronic Stability Programme (ESP). There are three colours to choose from – Creamy White, Timeless Black and Hyper Silver.

This article first appeared in Focus Malaysia Issue 262.