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At RM499k, the Lexus RX 500h F Sport makes us lust after Japanese luxury SUVs all over again

Auto News

Following the release of the fifth-generation Lexus RX in May, which debuted with the RX 350 Luxury model, Lexus Malaysia has now revealed another version of the SUV for the local market. The 2023 Lexus RX 500h F Sport has been introduced as a new addition to the lineup. Orders for this variant, starting at RM498,888, are now being accepted.

In terms of its exterior, this new range-topping hybrid model maintains the overall visual design of the petrol RX350 variant while incorporating a sportier appearance through the inclusion of the F Sport package. This package entails a revised front bumper featuring larger corner air intakes, along with a glossy black, criss-cross mesh pattern spindle grille.

2023 Lexus RX 500h F Sport

At the rear, the bumper design is altered, replacing the silver insert with two prominent faux outlets at the edges, adorned with covers that mirror the front grille pattern.

The hybrid version shares 21-inch light alloy diameter wheels as the RX 350, but with distinct styling and a matte black finish. These wheels are wrapped in 235/50 Michelin Pilot Sport 4 SUV tires, specially developed for the vehicle. Notable exterior differences include six-piston caliper front brakes and, of course, F Sport badging.

2023 Lexus RX 500h F Sport

Inside the cabin, modifications from the RX 350 include unique Dark Spin Aluminium ornamentation trim elements and full leather upholstery (contrasting with the semi-aniline seats in the petrol model). Ultrasuede accent material is also used on the sides of the hybrid's seats, derived from plant-based raw materials.

Another highlight RX 500h F Sport's interior is the Mark Levinson surround sound system comprising 21 speakers and a subwoofer. Additionally, the cabin features sports aluminum pedals and Active Sound Control, which generates simulated driving sounds in sync with the driving conditions similar to noise cancelling headphones, but on a much larger scale.

2023 Lexus RX 500h F Sport

The vehicle retains the high-definition 14-inch infotainment touchscreen with voice recognition, wireless Apple CarPlay, and wired Android Auto compatibility from the RX 350. Interior displays encompass a digital instrument cluster with a unique racing-style read-out and a head-up display.

Other notable features on RX 500h F Sport includes an e-Latch electronic door release, 3-zone climate control with rear vents, powered front seats with memory, powered 40:20:40 split-folding rear seats, all-seat ventilation and heating, and a hands-free powered tailgate. USB connections are abundant, with four ports in the front (three Type-C and one Type-A) along with the aforementioned wireless charging, and two Type-C USB ports for rear occupants.

2023 Lexus RX 500h F Sport

Beneath that sharply creased bonnet, the RX 500h F Sport is powered by the same T24A-FTS 2.4-liter turbocharged four-cylinder petrol engine as the RX 350 Luxury. It operates within a parallel hybrid system with an integrated front motor and power control unit. The front electric motor generates 85 hp and 292 Nm of torque, while the rear wheels are driven by a 102 hp/169 Nm eAxle electric motor. Both motors are powered by a 288V nickel-metal hydride battery pack positioned beneath the rear seat.

The hybrid system, capable of running in all-electric EV mode, delivers a combined system output of 373 PS (366 hp) and 550 Nm of torque, propelling the RX 500h from 0 to 100 km/h in a hot hatch-like 6.2 seconds. The car also features Dynamic Rear Steering (DRS), where the rear wheels steer up to 4° based on vehicle speed, contributing to stability and manoeuvrability.

2023 Lexus RX 500h F Sport

In terms of safety, the RX 500h F Sport is equipped with the Lexus Safety System+ (LSS+) suite, incorporating various advanced features like Pre-Collision System, Dynamic Radar Cruise Control, Lane Departure Alert, Lane Tracing Assist, Adaptive High-beam System, and more.

Similar to the RX 350 Luxury, the RX 500h F Sport is fully imported from Japan and is offered in four exterior color options. It comes with a five-year unlimited mileage warranty, while the hybrid battery pack is covered by an eight-year unlimited mileage warranty, extendable to ten years as an optional extra.


2023 Honda CR-V price shift: Farewell RM 147k variant, RM 180k likely new starting point

Auto News

The recent unveiling of the sixth generation 2023 Honda CR-V in Indonesia holds significance for Malaysian enthusiasts, providing a glimpse into the potential pricing landscape for the locally assembled variant.

While the Thai market introduction earlier this year sheds light on certain aspects, the Indonesian model offers a more fitting comparison due to its powertrain alignment with Honda Malaysia's offerings.

2023 Honda CR-V Malaysia

Indonesia's 2023 CR-V lineup encompasses a 2.0-litre Hybrid and 1.5-litre VTEC Turbo engine, possibly mirroring Malaysia's options. Notably, the discontinuation of the cheaper 2.0-litre i-VTEC engine has led to a striking 40 per cent increase in the starting price for Indonesia's CR-V, owing in part to the incorporation of Honda Sensing as standard.

2023 Honda CR-V Turbo

Applying a more modest 11 per cent increase in line with comparable variants (1.5-litre VTEC Turbo with Sensing), Malaysia's 2023 Honda CR-V is projected to initiate from around RM 180k. This anticipated pricing shift brings the new CR-V into proximity with the Honda Accord's range, solidfying speculations about the Accord's discontinuation by year-end.

2023 Honda CR-V Malaysia

While the allure of the forthcoming generation persists, the current model remains highly sought after, with dealers noting sustained demand despite awareness of the impending release. This suggests that, for discerning buyers, opting for the 'older' CR-V might prove to be a prudent choice against the backdrop of anticipated price adjustments.


Tesla lowered the prices of the Model Y in China again, this time by up to RM9,000

Auto News

In China, Tesla has announced reduced prices for its Model Y in both Long Range and Performance variants as the American EV maker gets more aggressive in its bid to find new customers.

The starting prices for these variants have been lowered by CNY 14,000 or around RM9,000, perhaps in light of China's uniquely competitive electric vehicle (EV) market.

2023 Tesla Model Y

Specifically, the Model Y Long Range now starts at CNY 299,900 (around RM191k), showing a 4.5% decrease in price, while the Model Y Performance starts at CNY 349,900 (around RM223k), reflecting a 3.8% price reduction.

To further incentivise buyers, Tesla has also introduced insurance subsidies of CNY 8,000 for the rear-wheel drive Model 3 in China between August 14 and September 30.

A recent report from the China Passenger Car Association revealed a 31% drop in sales of domestically-produced Tesla vehicles in July compared to the previous month. This decline, the first since December, has prompted Tesla to take action to stimulate demand and improve its sales performance.

2023 Tesla Model Y

Tesla's CEO, Elon Musk, had previously mentioned the possibility of additional price cuts, even if it impacted the company's profit margins. Tesla has been proactive in adjusting prices, making multiple reductions in the United States, China, and other key markets since late last year.

The company has also implemented increased discounts and other incentives as part of its strategy to manage inventory, stay competitive, and navigate economic uncertainties.


Heartbreaking news as Honda Malaysia confirms the unthinkable, no 2024 Honda Accord for Malaysia

Auto News

A sombre shadow has fallen over the Malaysian automotive landscape as Honda Malaysia confirms the heart-wrenching decision that the much-anticipated 11th generation 2024 Honda Accord will not grace our roads.

In a response to shifting dynamics in the highly competitive automotive arena, Honda Malaysia disclosed that the allure of traditional 3-box sedans, like the iconic Honda Accord, has been eclipsed by the soaring preference for SUVs, exemplified by the resounding popularity of models such as the Honda CR-V.

2024 Honda Accord Malaysia

The reality is that the outgoing 10th-generation Honda Accord, a stalwart presence for nearly half a century, will bow out of showrooms by the year's end.

As we brace ourselves for this bitter farewell, it's not just the end of another car's journey; it marks the conclusion of a legacy.

2023 Honda Accord Malaysia

The 10th generation Honda Accord stands as the last of its kind to grace Malaysian roads, etching an end to a nameplate that has held its head high for nearly 45 years. This chapter also marks the curtain call for locally assembled D-segment sedans, an era now fading away due to the shift in buying behaviour.

With this bit of news, gone are the dreams of those who would like to experience the refined luxury and performance of the 11th-generation 2024 Honda Accord on Malaysian roads.

Honda Malaysia Pagoh,Melaka plant

The assembly lines of Pegoh, Melaka, where the Honda Accord came to life, will soon stand still, and when that happens, the silence will speak volumes, echoing the end of an era in local automobile manufacturing.

This shift also underscores a broader reality that the Thailand-made Toyota Camry, priced at RM 219,800, will stand alone as the solitary mainstream D-segment sedan.

Perhaps the Toyota Camry too will bow out in the near future, and mark the complete death of the traditional Japanese 3-box sedan in Malaysia.

Mazda 6 Malaysia 2023

The Mazda 6 sedan is still on Mazda Malaysia's website, but the 2.0-litre variant of the Japan-made Mazda 6, priced from RM 180,359, and the 2.5-litre option at RM 240,848 is an ageing model, only receiving various updates since its original debut here in 2013.

Volkswagen Passenger Cars Malaysia, has already silenced the Passat earlier this year, replacing it with the more upscale Arteon, completing a tale of transformation that echoes across the industry.

As we mourn the departure of the Honda Accord from our shores, we're reminded that the wheels of change are ever-turning, leaving behind footprints that SUVs are now without a doubt king of the road. 


Honda HR-V too common? Check out the new 2023 Mitsubishi Xforce compact SUV

Auto News

Mitsubishi Motors has finally debuted its all-new 2023 Mitsubishi Xforce compact SUV in Indonesia.

Making its first-ever global appearance at the 30th Gaikindo Indonesia Auto Show, the Xforce will be scheduled to launch in Indonesia first followed by other markets in the ASEAN countries as well as South Asia, Latin America, the Middle East, and Africa.

Why Indonesia? Because the all-new Xforce compact SUV will be built at Mitsubishi Motors Krama Yudha Indonesia.

2023 mitsubishi xforce launch indonesia compact suv

The five-seater compact SUV is designed based on the 'Silky & Solid' concept for both the exterior as well as interior resulting in a modern-looking and stylish yet powerful SUV with a huge dose of practicality to match.

2023 mitsubishi xforce launch indonesia compact suv

From the front, the new Mitsubishi Xforce grabs the attention of onlookers thanks to the evolved Dynamic Shield front face with prominent-looking bumpers that are portrayed to protect the front grille. They are then flanked by a couple of L-shaped LED DRLs with slitted accents that resulted in the iconic T-shape luminance.

2023 mitsubishi xforce launch indonesia compact suv

More muscular accents can be seen from the side via the front and rear sculpted fender flares to enhance the Xforce's sense of agility. Riding on a set of 18-inch wheels, it also offers a top-class ground clearance of 222mm to tackle rough roads with greater peace of mind (also contributed via its tuned suspension package for enhanced comfort).

Rounding things off at the rear with strength and dynamism in mind, the Xforce also comes with the same T-shaped LED taillights as the front to compliment an SUV look that is both wide and stable.

2023 mitsubishi xforce launch indonesia compact suv

Step inside the cabin and you're welcomed with the Horizontal Axis concept instrument panel that runs all the way to the door trim which is said to offer greater visibility for the driver, even when driving on rough terrain.

Padding for the instrument panel is also wrapped using mélange fabric (a first for Mitsubishi) which not only provides continuous coverage thanks to its design, but also offers a greater sense of sophistication and comfort that's also resistant to stains.

2023 mitsubishi xforce launch indonesia compact suv

For the rest of the occupants in the Xforce, they can not only enjoy the roomy interior space but also the large display panel contains the 12.3-inch Smartphone-link Display Audio (SDA) with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto and the eight-inch digital driver display for a more 'cutting-edge' look and feel.

Other highlights include the Dynamic Sound Yamaha Premium audio system which comprises eight speakers thanks was designed and tuned to provide the best of sound qualities with four selectable sound types - Lively, Signature, Powerful, and Relaxing.

As for firepower, the 2023 Mitsubishi Xforce is fitted with a 1.5-litre DOHC 16-valve MIVEC engine that produces 103hp (77kW) and 141Nm of torque powering the front-wheel-drive system via a high-efficiency CVT transmission.

Tuned to provide maximum fuel efficiency, the setup in the Mitsubishi Xforce also allows it to tackle more difficult driving scenarios like hill climbs. There are four different driving modes to choose from, including 'Wet', which is a first for Mitsubishi.

2023 mitsubishi xforce launch indonesia compact suv

Mitsubishi also integrated the Xforce with the Active Yaw Control (AYC) that adjusts drive force between the front left and right wheels for better control and feel while driving in all sorts of road conditions.

As for safety, the 2023 Mitsubishi Xforce comes with:

  • Six SRS airbags
  • Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC)
  • Forward Collision Mitigation (FCM)
  • Automatic High Beam (AHB)
  • Lead Car Departure Notification (LCDN)
  • Blind Spot Warning with Lane Change Assist function (BSW/LCA)
  • Rear Cross Traffic Alert (RCTA) + more

No news on price, specs, and availability yet. Stay tuned for more info.


The Joy Of Underpowered Cars

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Live Life Drive
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