Asia

Asia

When the Honda Concept S hit the stage at the 2012 Beijing Auto Show, two models came to mind, the Odyssey and the Jazz. It is slightly larger than your average hatchback, but significantly smaller than the American Honda Odyssey , so the final production name is up in the air. Keep in mind that the Odyssey in some Asian markets has a much lower-slung roof and a shallower windshield rake than the American version, so therein lays the possibility that it could become the new Odyssey.

Of course, production of the Concept S was never a guarantee, as with nearly every concept car. However, when an automaker produces a video on a specific concept car, you can pretty much rest assured that it will hit production in some form or fashion. That is exactly what Honda has done with the above video.

Seeing the video and people actually sitting in the seats, the Concept S really seems to have more of an MPV type of setup. All of that headroom and the spacious rear seats nearly eliminate it as a replacement for the Jazz, which is closely related to the Fit in the States. Then again, maybe Honda is trying to gain an edge by making the Jazz slightly larger than your typical 5-door hatchback.

Either way, we can say that the Concept S’s style is unmistakably awesome and its potential for release just increased 10-fold by Honda releasing this video.

Hopefully we’ll have an announcement on a production model soon. Those in the U.S., you’ll have to sit this one out, as the Concept S looks like it will be an Asian-market model only.

Source: Autoblog.it

An heir to the Red Bull fortune, left behind when its co-creator died in march, was arrested on charges stemming from a hit-and-run death of a police officer in Bangkok. According to the reports, Vorayuth Yoovidhya, the grandson of Red Bull’s co-creator, was arrested for striking a police officer on a motorcycle, while driving his Ferrari FF . He dragged the officer for several meters, before fleeing the scene.

The officer died from his injuries and, initially, a fake suspect was arrested in an attempt by other officers to cover up the crime. After an investigation by higher-ranking officials and a trail of oil leading straight to Yoovidhya’s home and his wrecked Ferrari, the 27-year-old heir was arrested.

He was later released on $15,000 bail and is now roaming the streets again. Yoovidhya claims innocence and that the officer pulled in front of him, causing the accident, but he still faces up to 10 years in prison for “causing a death by driving” and leaving the scene of a crime. Yes, in some Asian countries, causing a death while driving is a crime, regardless of fault, unless there is undeniable evidence of innocence.

An interesting note is that the same family is the sole importer of Ferrari cars in Thailand, so there is no wonder he was whipping a $295,000 Ferrari FF, which likely costs much more in Thailand.

Source: Reuters
Could Volkswagen AG's Next Victim be Lotus?

There has been much speculation in the automotive world about VW looking into buying Proton from DRB-Hicom , and later came the announcement that VW’s labor group would not support additional acquisitions. It looks like - at least the smoke and mirrors make it look like - VW is done buying any more projects for the foreseeable future.

This all comes thanks to a report from Bloomberg, through Handelsblatt, that VW’s CEO, Marin Winterkorn, has said “We have enough to do at the moment in taking our twelve brands to where we want to be” in response to the company possibly buying Proton. He also said “We need to grow in Southeast Asia,” then followed that up with “but that does not mean that we will buy Malaysia’s Proton, like some are speculating.”

In the world of automobile acquisitions, you can always take a CEO’s words with a grain of salt, as they are saying what is true at any given second. At the drop of a hat, that truth can suddenly change, especially if DRB-Hicom decides to offer up Proton at a bargain price. Add in the fact that VW has been very shady with its business tactics lately – avoiding the tax man and sneaking Ducati under Lamborghini’s umbrella to help it meet mpg standards – and you can see why we don’t believe a word of what Winterkorn says.

VW will say what it needs to say in order to keep its labor group happy, but ultimately it is in the automobile manufacturing game to make money. If Proton and/or Lotus are seen as potential profit, VW will tell the labor group to suck it up, as they ink a deal for the Malaysian automotive group.

We’ll keep a close eye on this whole situation and see if VW stays true to it word or reverses ship if Proton falls in its lap.

Source: Bloomberg

Just in case living in Singapore isn’t expensive enough for you and your supercars, a new high-rise residential tower is offering the kind of living arrangements only those with obscene amounts of money can afford.

Forget about the actual home, really. What makes the Hamilton Scotts “Sky Garage Apartments” so unique are the built-in garages that come connected to the actual homes. That’s right, no more worrying about parking spaces on the street because you can take your exotics up to your house with you!

High-tech elevators are in charge of bringing your cars straight from the ground floor all the way up to your home and straight into a glass-enclosed garage. With this kind of set-up, you won’t have to worry about leaving your high-priced exotics where you can’t see them, thus eliminating the dangers of these cars getting stolen.

So what’s the trade-off to have the opportunity to live in one of these homes? A home with a two-vehicle garage will set you back $7.5 million while a penthouse suite with a four-car garage will loosen up your pockets by a whopping $24 million.

Posted on by Alexander + 1

Unfortunately, in our line of work, we see a ton of crash videos that leave us shaking our heads in despair and hoping that the driver and passengers of the vehicle are okay. The latest video to come across our inbox is probably the most disturbing video we have seen.

If the thought of a horrible crash has already begun to sicken you, then you may want to stop reading right here. This video is the outcome of a rollover crash that shows two of the passengers getting ejected out of the car in a cloud of dust and smoke. It’s disturbing, sick, and not the only one we have.

After the jump, you’ll find another video that seems to be a harmless crash, until the camera pans back to catch a driver as he arcs through the sky and lands on the pavement.

The only video of a crash that we recommend for viewers with a weak stomach is the third video which shows what happens when a Toyota Hilux wants to imitate being on a pogo stick. As far as we know, no one was hurt in the making of that video.

WARNING: These videos contain NSFW footage. In fact, it’s not suitable for anyone that does not have a thick skin (Children, please do NOT watch this).

Hit the jump for videos 2 and 3.

Saab 9-4X

We reported just a few days ago that despite twice being bumped out of the bidding war for Saab, Zhejiang Youngman Lotus Automobile, reentered the bidding with a $552 million bid. Apparently, this was still seen as an unsafe bid and the Chinese firm was again stuck with the highest bid, but no car company to show for it.

This time around, it looks as if Saab has finally found itself a home. Sweden-registered and Hong Kong-based firm, National Electric Vehicle Sweden AB, has been awarded the folded automaker and what’s left of its assets, according to a Swedish newspaper. The winning bid is estimated to be between $208 million and $250 million. That is less than half of the last reported bid by Youngman, which really shows that the Chinese firm was either demanding the parts operation, which the NEVS AB deal does not include, or just not seen as a trusted bidder.

The deal is expected to be finalized and pen is expected to hit the “Sign Here” line in about a week, if the reports are accurate. After that, NEVS AB can take complete ownership of what’s left of Saab, which is little more than an S, a pair of As, and a B. We are not aware of NEVS AB’s plans with Saab, but we can say with a lot of certainty that it will involve alternative fuels (i.e. electric, hydrogen, hybrid, etc.)

We have yet to receive official confirmation on the deal, but this looks to be the real deal, FINALLY. We will keep you updated as more information becomes available on the ongoing Saab saga.

It’s a mundane and tedious task that no one likes to do and everyone avoids like the plague, regardless of the fact that we all had to learn it before getting our driver’s license. That’s right; we’re talking about the squeezing your car between the front bumper of one car and the rear bumper of the other, also known as parallel parking.

Some people are really good at this task, especially those that live in larger cities that have primarily street parking (see: New York City) and some of them are really bad. The guys in the above video are definitely in the former category, as they set the Guinness Books record for the tightest parallel parking job multiple times, constantly one-upping each other.

The first driver of the red Mini Cooper manages to perfectly drift this sub-compact ride into a space that is just 21 cm (8.3 inches) longer than his car, which sets the record. He then gets beaten by a second driver that hits 20 cm (7.9-inches). The back and forth continues until the record is finally set in stone at 15 cm (5.9 inches).

Guinness uses the term “parallel parking” pretty loosely in this sense, as there is no attempt to pull the car out of the tight space, which is a part of parallel parking. We definitely think that the record should be set by the person that can get the car into the tightest space then out of it without contacting another car, but we are sticklers for reality.

Enjoy the video as these high-performance parkers slide their way into curb-side-parking fame.

Recently deceased automotive master and all-around great person, Carroll Shelby , has a history that few can compete with. Not only was he one of the best American road racers, but was also a legendary car designer. But his legend is seemingly endless in the automotive field, as even racers in drift series races are influenced by him.

The most recent evidence was when American driver Vaughn Gittin Jr. took home 1st place in round 1 of the World Drift Series in China while driving his Mustang RTR. Though Mr. Shelby never had a hand in drifting, it is obvious that he had a huge influence on Gittin, as he dedicated this victory to the memory of Mr. Carroll Shelby.

After being declared the winner, Gittin was quoted saying “I would like to dedicate this to win to a very special man that we lost recently, someone I had the opportunity to meet just a few times, and someone that was a true inspiration to me personally and to the automotive world as a whole. That man is Carroll Shelby. He is someone that always did what he wanted to do no matter what anyone thought and I know he would be proud to know we are drifting Mustangs in Olympic stadiums here in China and bringing home a huge first place trophy back to the USA!”

Our congratulations have to go out to Gittin for his victory, but the victory pales in comparison to his heartfelt dedication to the man that helped make the Mustang that won the race what it is today. To say that Gittin has our support throughout the rest of the WDS is an understatement.

Somewhere, Mr. Shelby was smiling as this Ford Mustang slid its way around imports and into first place…

Click past the jump to read the full press release.

There are two things that are a part of nearly every auto show: sexy cars and equally appealing women. With the latter often comes clothing that leaves very little to the imagination. Well apparently, the Capital Ethics Development Office of China – the morality police, per se – decided that it wanted none of it, as they reprimanded the Beijing Auto Show officials for such scantily clad women, per a report from Bloomberg.

From what we saw of the Beijing Auto Show , the number of skin-flaunting women wasn’t nearly as high as we are used to, so we are left wondering what exactly the Chinese government wants. There were, of course, the obligatory more-skin-than-clothes models, but for the most part the women were dressed pretty moderately for an auto show, and the video from Bloomberg (above) shows them.

We totally understand that the Chinese government is more reserved than most, but c’mon, it’s an auto show. Who is mostly drawn to auto shows? The answer is, primarily men in their 30s and 40s. What do most men in their 30s and 40s like just about as much as cars? Well, we think you can figure it out…

We guess we’ll just have to see what happens next year at the Beijing Auto Show. We certainly hope the women aren’t prancing around in pant suits – eek. If so, we will all use a lot less space on our digital cameras.

Source: Bloomberg

Lamborghini is the kind of brand that likes to appease their customers. So when the opportunity came for the Italian automaker to gain traction in a new Southeast Asian market, they decided to give its local clientele a special edition model to commemorate the occasion.

This, ladies and gentlemen, is the Lamborghini Gallardo Malaysia Edition.

Based on the Gallardo LP 550-2 and limited to only 20 units, the Gallardo Malaysia Edition comes with a choice of three unique colors: Arancio Borealis, Verde Ithaca and Blanco Monocerus. The car will also carry a Superleggera exterior kit that includes a more aggressive front bumper, new carbon fiber side skirts, a new diffuser, a titanium exhaust system, and an ’MLE Limited Edition 20’ plaque to highlight its special edition status.

As far as performance credentials are concerned, the Gallardo Malaysia Edition will carry the same 5.2-liter V10 engine as the LP 550-2 Balboni Edition . This model is capable of producing 550 horsepower with a 0-60 mph time of just 3.9 seconds and a top speed of 199 mph.

Granted, the limited run nature of the Gallardo Malaysia Edition makes it a punch on the pockets of anybody looking to buy one of the 20 available models. Converted from local currency, the supercar will cost a tidy $554,000 and will be made available on a per-order basis.


Back to top