All New Optima 2011

Kia has redesigned their mid-size Optima for 2011. The new Optima is a radical departure from the old Optima. Under the handsome styling, the Optima is similar to the Hyundai Sonata, also new for 2011, and it shares the Sonata's powertrain choices: 2.4-liter direct-injected four, 2.0 liter turbocharged four, and a gas-electric hybrid driveline.

“The 2011 Optima incorporates some of Kia’s most advanced safety technologies with head-turning style, performance and comfort to provide consumers with high value and peace-of-mind,” said Byung Mo Ahn, group president and CEO of Kia Motors America (KMA) and Kia Motors Manufacturing Georgia (KMMG).

“As the first Korean-built vehicle to be awarded a five-star crash safety rating under NHTSA’s new, stricter guidelines, Optima creates a new benchmark in the segment and underscores Kia’s commitment to offering consumers the highest levels of quality and safety in all of our vehicles.”


In all, 24 passenger cars, 20 sport utility vehicles, two vans, and nine 2011 model year pickups were rated under the new system that not only includes tougher crash tests, but, for the first time, provides consumers with a single overall safety score per vehicle.

The new testing program also provides consumers with information about new advanced crash avoidance technologies, such as lane departure and forward collision warning systems.

The Optima is sold in the United States in three trims namely LX, EX and SX.

The 2011 Optima comes equipped with a high level of standard safety features, including: six airbags (dual advanced front and front-seat mounted side as well as full-length side curtain), front active headrests, side-impact door beams, height-adjustable front seatbelts with pre-tensioners, three-point seatbelts for all seating positions, Lower Anchors and Tethers for Children and a Tyre Pressure Monitoring System.

Four-wheel antilock brakes, ESC, a Traction Control System, a Brake Assist System and Hill Assist Control also are standard.

Super GSR 750

This is a new suzuki GSR750 for 2011 market. The new GSX-R600 boasts heightened performance levels thanks to MotoGP inspired development that has seen the new bike shed an impressive nine kilograms over its predecessor, thanks partly to an all-new chassis that has a 15mm shorter wheelbase, as well as Showa Big Piston Forks.

With engine technology advances, the new GSR750 also offers heightened performance, due to a host of innovative features taken straight from MotoGP, including lighter, more durable pistons designed with the same Finite Element Method (FEM) and fatigue analysis technology used to develop MotoGP engines. Combined with thoroughly reworked cam profiles and narrow valve angles, the new GSR750 delivers this enhanced performance through a vertically staggered, close ratio gearbox with shorter ratios for good race start performance and better corner exit drive.

To help make the 2011 Suzuki GSR750 easier to ride on city streets, Suzuki has fitted a different camshaft profile, and revised the intake and exhaust valve ports. The result is more torque down low, and a smoother throttle response from the launch. The 2011 Suzuki GSR750 receives the same engine modifications to its 750cc power plant as the 2011 Suzuki GSX-R750, namely a very narrow and compact combustion chamber. With 27.2mm intake valves, 22mm exhaust valves, and a compression ration of 12.3:1, the Suzuki GSR750 make its power in the low and mid-range, and Suzuki is touting better acceleration, fuel economy, and lower emissions because of the modifications, which is just fine by us.

Audi A6

Once AGAIN, Audi sets the standard: the new A6, the successor to the world's most successful executive sedan features groundbreaking solutions in every area of technology.

An intelligent combination of materials renders the body unusually light; operation is easy, despite a wealth of functionality; and the range of assistance and multimedia systems is extensive.

The new Audi A6 series starts with five powerplants generating between 177hp and 300hp of output; two gasoline engines and three TDI units. the Audi A6 hybrid will follow at a later date; it combines the power of a large V6 with the fuel efficiency of a four-cylinder unit.

Audi R18

Audi aims to continue its string of victories at the Le Mans 24 hours with a completely ne LMP1 sports car development. Since its debut in 1999, the brand with the four ring has won the world's most important endurance race as many as nine times with the R8, R10 TDI and R15 TDI models. in doing so, Audi has equaled this feat in the race's roll of honor with ferrari, with the new R18, which was presented at the Audi sportpark in Ingolstadt, Audi is aiming for its tenth Le Mans success in 2011.

The new R18, a closed carbon fiber monocoque coupe specifically developed for Le Mans with a 3.7-liter V6 TDI engine and another first for endurance racing – all-LED headlights.

Orlando Chevrolet

The second all-new Chevrolet model which Naza Quest Sdn Bhd (a member of the NAZA Group) will launch will be the Orlando, a MPV which sits on the same platform as the Cruze sedan. The new model is to make its debut in the Malaysian market during the second half of 2011.

Departing from the typical MPV look that is rounded, the Orlando has a more boxy functional appearance with a low sweeping roofline and tapered rear end. Its membership of the Chevrolet family is signified by the trademark Chevrolet bow-tie emblem and split radiator grille.

Globally, Chevrolet offers the Orlando in three trim levels and with three engine options; a 1.8-litre petrol engine (141 bhp) and two 2-litre diesel engines (131 bhp and 163 bhp). Naza Quest has not confirmed which one they will import though the petrol engine version is the most likely.

Versatile layout combinations enable families to adjust according to seating or cargo requirements, with accommodation for up to seven persons. Numerous small compartments within the cabin provide an abundance of storage spaces which will be needed in this age when everyone carried around various devices.

There’s even a storage area hidden behind the front fascia of the audio system. This is ideal for placing items such as sunglasses or wallets. Incidentally, the audio system has an AUX jack and optional USB port for mp3 and iPod connectivity so personalized music collections can be brought along.

“The consumer response to the introduction of the Chevrolet Cruze last year has given us tremendous confidence that the Malaysian market is well ready to welcome the Chevrolet Orlando. With its versatility and unique crossover qualities, we have no doubt that this will be the new MPV of choice for discerning, family-oriented customers,” said Datuk’ Wira Hj. SM Faisal SM Nasimuddin, Joint Group Executive Chairman of Naza Group of Companies.

2011 Aprilia RSV4 Factory APRC: First Ride

Wow! This high tech wonder from Aprilia has got it all; traction control, launch control, wheelie control, quick shifter and three different riding modes. And it all works! The traction control is racing derived and like Ducati’s (DTC) it’s adjustable in eight levels. Where it differs from Ducati’s system is that Aprilia’s traction control feels smoother and several journalists said that they couldn’t feel when the traction control was in action. I started off my first session using level 8 and just to test it’s effectiveness I pinned it in all the tightest corners using first gear. It was very obvious that the traction control was working – otherwise I would have ended up in the gravel trap! The traction control switchgear comes from the Mana and is very easy to use while on the move.

Jerez is a perfect circuit to test motorcycles. The long sweeping corners are super fast and with the Aprilia RSV4 Factory APRC SE you can lay down rubber like the professional racers without risking your limbs. There are also plenty of hard braking areas, low gear corners and technical areas which all suit the RSV4 APRC perfectly. It’s still the mighty little nimble superbike it was from the beginning and is one of the easiest literbikes to change direction quickly from hard left to hard right or visa versa. The new Pirelli 200 section rear tire offers superbike grip even at standstill and when it does go (which happens often enough now that us mortals can slide everywhere courtesy of traction control) it happens in a smooth un-dramatic way. Fun is what it really is.

Wheelie control is adjustable in three levels and like the launch control it’s about limiting torque to a preset level. Again it really works and all I had to think about was letting go off that full throttle opening in time to break before the corners. Launch control is a very special feature to add to a roadbike and really reflects Aprilia’s wishes to make this a true racebike for the road because there’s not much use for it really on the road. Drag racing from lights to light is all well. However, you can’t cancel the launch mode at speeds lower than 100mph, which isn’t handy in town. Due to the complexity and the necessity to cool the clutch down properly after each launch it’s purely a racing feature. I did my three launches and after double checking the setting is correct all I had to do was to keep the throttle wide open and let go of the clutch under modulation. You can’t just drop it because then it could all go wrong either way. Either a big unsalvageable wheelie or you lose all torque. It’s heaven or hell.

The Quick shifter works a treat and makes going faster a whole lot easier.

Porsche 911 Black Edition

Porsche has announced a 911 variant called the Black Edition, and this one is limited to just 1,911 examples globally, available in both Carrera Coupe and Cabriolet guise.

The 911 Black Edition is painted in plain black as standard, with Basalt Black metallic available as an option. For the cabriolet, the electric-folding hood is trimmed in black cloth. Other exterior highlights include 19-inch 911 Turbo II forged alloy wheels, and black-finished, four-piston aluminium monobloc fixed callipers.
There’s also black lettering on the stainless steel door entry guards to identify the version, and the interior continues with the theme – the leather is in black, as is the instrument cluster, though contrast is provided by aluminium-look paint, which adorns the decorative fascia strip, gear lever and air vents. A badge located on the glove compartment lid signifies the limited production variant.

Standard fitment includes a Bose surround sound system, specially coordinated with the interior, and in the Carrera coupe comprises 13 loudspeakers including an active subwoofer and central speaker as well as a seven channel digital amplifier; the cabriolet gets one less speaker, at 12. The Black Edition is powered by a 3.6 litre flat-six pot, offering 345 hp at 6,500 rpm, and coupled to a six-speed gearbox, has a top speed of 289 kph in both body versions, with a 0-100 kph sprint time of 4.9 seconds for the coupe and 5.1 seconds for the cabriolet. With the PDK double-clutch seven-speed gearbox in attendance, this time drops to 4.7 seconds for the coupe and 4.9 seconds for the cabrio. As is the case, add-on options abound – there’s the Sport Chrono Plus package,Porsche Ceramic Composite Brakes (PCCB) and Porsche Active Suspension Management (PASM) to be had, amogn other things, to get the Black even well, blacker.

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