>Perodua

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Toyota Passo Sette-based Perodua Alza MPV launched in Malaysia


Perodua has officially unveiled the Alza MPV for the Malaysian market. The Alza is 5+2 seater MPV that is based on the Toyota Passo Sette. Although based on the Japanese version, the Alza has its own front and rear ends as well as a modified interior and after looking at it in real life, I must give credit to the guys over at Perodua as I feel that the Alza looks better than the Passo Sette.
Highlight features include projector headlights, LED tail lamps, a 2,750 mm wheelbase that is slightly longer than the Proton Exora’s, as well as a 3SZ-VE engine that can output 104hp and 136Nm of torque. I managed to take a quick spin in it recently and I am pleased to say that the MPV has decent handling capabilities and its 1.5 liter engine has just about enough power. On the inside, both the second and third rows can be folded down and the final row is just enough to accommodate children, unless you are okay with being uncomfortable.

Nevertheless, the MPV is positioned as a 5+2 and its not trying to become something it isn’t, however it would be better if the third row has split-fold. There is also nothing to shout about the luggage space. Its just adequate. There are a total of four versions to choose from and prices in Malaysia range between RM 55,490 for the Standard (with manual transmission) and RM 64,190 for the Premium (with automatic).
There is also an Advanced version with a sporty bodykit, leather seat covers as well as a 5 inch touchscreen LCD which has a Windows CE-based GPS navigation system with a SiRF Atlas IV chipset and 500MHz CPU. The LCD also displays a feed from a 150 degree lense reverse camera. The range topping Advanced version with an automatic transmission costs RM69,990. So when is it coming to Singapore? Unfortunately a Perodua official revealed that the company will concentrate on local demand first and exports may be performed later. A possible date was not specified. Look for an image gallery after the jump.

>Toyota Concept Bike

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Is Toyota developing a motocross bike? Well, the short answer to that is, ‘No.’ But what has everyone talking is the Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota MX Concept Bike. Built exclusively for the 2009 SEMA (Specialty Equipment Market Association) Show, the JGR/Toyota Concept Bike is based on a 2009 Yamaha YZ450F and features some very unique modifications. Check out photos of the concept bike, engineered by the Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota NASCAR group and sporting an array of specialty aftermarket accessories.

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Following is from Toyota USA Newsroom…

The Joe Gibbs Racing Motocross/Toyota (JGRMX/Toyota) Concept Bike is a special one-of-a-kind project built specifically for the 2009 SEMA show. The JGRMX/Toyota motocross partnership, in conjunction with the Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota NASCAR group teamed up to make the special bike a reality. The group logged more than 100 man hours on the project, and received modifications and accessories provided by 17 contributors to create a truly unique machine. The JGRMX/Toyota Concept Bike illustrates how far customizing can be taken, when combining a creative style concept with the latest in MX hardware, and some dedicated and talented technicians.

The project started out using a 2009 Yamaha YZ450F as the base platform to work from. The group utilized a specially lightened and polished frame, and installed carbon fiber body panels, and a custom fuel tank. Titanium and other exotic metals were used, where appropriate, to further reduce weight and provide an exotic appearance.

Cycra Racing supplied the front and rear fenders, and the front number plate. Lightspeed Performance Products pitched in with a carbon fiber chain guide, rear brake caliper cover, and fork guards to follow the carbon fiber body design theme. N-Style contributed the seat cover and exterior graphics.

The YZ450F engine was treated to a reversed location valve train from Xceldyne. Reversing the intake and exhaust valves on the cylinder optimized the bikes balance point. Further induction modifications included a fan-driven forced air intake system with fuel injection. A Carillo rod coupled with a JE piston and rings were installed to complement the top end work. Conventional radiators were dismissed in favor of a custom aluminum extrusion cooling system. The use of a special air driven starting system with an air tank integrated into the frame was another departure from tradition.

Final engine additions included Filtron air and oil filters, an FMF Racing exhaust system tipped with a light-weight carbon fiber muffler, Brown & Miller Racing Solutions brake and oil lines, a custom Toyota logo clutch cover, and clutch internal parts (basket, plates and springs) from Hinson Clutch Components.

The group fabricated a specially made swing arm with the Toyota logo machined into it. The rear shock included a custom reservoir mount location to move it further away from the heat coming off of the exhaust system. Clutch and front brake actuation were accomplished using levers by ARC Levers, and Motion Pro cables. Hammerhead Designs provided the shift lever and rear brake lever. The brake rotors were custom pieces with the Toyota logo engraved into them. Wheels from Spinergy Wheels utilizing Fiber Spoke Technology completed the chassis modifications. Sprockets, bars, and grips from Renthal finished the operational modifications.

An on board data acquisition system from Pi Research was the final touch to the project. This system was set up to provide real time information on functions such as suspension travel, engine temperature, and vehicle speed.

JGR/Toyota Motocross Bike Concept Features

Partners/Contributors

Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A.
Joe Gibbs Racing Motocross Group
Joe Gibbs Racing NASCAR Group
Yamaha Motor Corporation

Modifications and Accessories


Cycra Racing

Front number plate
Front and rear fenders

Hinson Clutch Components

Clutch cover, basket, plates, and springs

ARC Levers
Front brake and clutch levers

Hammerhead Designs
Rear brake, and shift levers

Motion Pro
Cables

Pi Research
On board data acquisition system

Lightspeed Performance Products
Chain guide
Rear brake caliper cover and front fork covers

Renthal
Handlebars and grips
Sprockets

Spinergy Wheels
Wheels

FMF Racing
Exhaust system

N-Style
Seat cover and graphics

Carillo
Connecting rod

Brown & Miller Racing Solutions

Brake and oil lines

Xceldyne
Valve train

Filtron
Air and oil filters

JE Pistons

Piston and rings

>Toyota Corolla vs. Honda Civic

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Performance
Both the Corolla and Civic feature two engines with the Civic having the more powerful on both fronts. The Civic features a standard 1.8-liter, 140-horsepower engine and a 2.0-liter, 197-horsepower engine in the Si trim. Compare those to the Corolla’s base 1.8-liter, 132-horsepower engine or the optional 2.4-liter, 158-horsepower engine.

Utility
If you’re looking for spacious interiors and tons of cargo space, the Civic and Corolla are not for you. But when comes to legroom, headroom, cargo volume and seating capacity, the Corolla and Civic are neck-and-neck. Because the Civic is available as a sedan and a coupe, the coupe offers slightly less passenger volume. Both have approximately 12 cubic feet of trunk space.

Fuel Economy/The Green Effect
One of the most appealing features of the Civic and Corolla is their exceptional fuel economy. They are neck-and-neck when it comes to mileage with 22-27 mpg in the city and 30-35 mpg on the highway for the Corolla. The Civic receives 21-26/29-34 mpg city/highway. The Corolla emits fewer carbon emissions with 6.1-7.3 metric tons, while the Civic emits 6.3-7.7 metric tons of carbon dioxide.

Technology

If you love the latest and greatest in technology, you will enjoy both cars. Bluetooth connectivity and navigation systems are optional in both vehicles. The Civic EX and EX-L trims offer a USB Audio Interface, which lets you control your music library through a 350-watts and seven-speakers with XM Satellite Radio, while the Honda Satellite-Linked Navigation System with voice recognition proves to be a nice touch. The Corolla boasts an optional touch screen DVD navigation system and a 440-watt, eight-speaker JBL 6-disc in-dash CD changer with XM Satellite Radio capability. Both have a standard MP3/AUX jack.

Safety
When it comes to safety, both are Top Safety Picks of the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). They both rate well in various impact tests with the Civic edging the Corolla when it comes to head/neck injuries. Other than optional vehicle stability assist and traction control, both have a copious amount of standard safety features.