Bangkok 2023: Honda WR-V RS – live gallery of the 1.5L NA compact SUV, rival to the Perodua Ativa

Bangkok 2023: Honda WR-V RS – live gallery of the 1.5L NA compact SUV, rival to the Perodua Ativa

The 2023 Honda WR-V, which was launched in Thailand earlier this month, is one of the vehicles Honda Thailand is showcasing in its display at the Bangkok International Motor Show (BIMS), which begins today. These live photographs (of the RS variant, with and without the optional Modulo styling kit) offer a first good look at what we can expect when the compact SUV debuts in Malaysia sometime in the third quarter.

When it arrives, the WR-V – one of four new vehicles Honda Malaysia is launching this year – will go head-to-head with the similarly-sized Perodua Ativa, if not exactly in price, then in size.

The WR-V measures in at 4,060 mm long, 1,780 mm wide and 1,608 mm tall, with a 2,485 mm-long wheelbase. Comparatively, the Ativa is 4,065 mm long, 1,710 mm wide and 1,635 mm tall, and has a 2,525 mm-long wheelbase, making it a tad longer and taller than the Honda, but narrower.

As mentioned in our earlier report, there’s no indication yet as to the variants and specifications we’ll be getting, but the Thailand-spec models provide some insight. Additionally, available variants in Indonesia, where the car made its global debut last November, offer further clues of what to expect.

Both markets offer two variants – in Thailand, they are the SV and RS (Indonesia has the E and RS). All share a common powertrain and drivetrain, in this case a 1.5 litre naturally-aspirated DOHC engine with i-VTEC offering 121 PS at 6,600 rpm and 145 Nm of torque at 4,300 rpm. If it sounds familiar, it is, because it’s the same unit as found on the City and entry-level HR-V. Like in those applications, the partnering transmission on the WR-V is a CVT.

Standard equipment on the WR-V in Thailand include automatic LED headlamps, LED DRLs, LED taillights with sequential turn signals, body coloured door handles, black synthetic leather/fabric combination seat upholstery and leather steering wheel (both with blue contrast stitching), remote engine start, walk-away auto lock and keyless entry/push-start ignition.

Also on, automatic air-conditioning, a 7.0-inch touchscreen head unit with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto support, Siri and Android Auto voice control, four speakers, two USB ports, multi-angle rear-view camera, a Honda Smart Key Card and a 4.2-inch TFT multi-info display. The SV rides on 16-inch alloys, wrapped with 215/60 profile tyres.

In terms of safety and driving assistance, there’s vehicle stability assist and hill-start assist, and the SV gets four airbags (front, side), with the RS adding on side curtain airbags to make it six.

Both variants come equipped with Honda Sensing, with the ADAS item list comprising collision mitigation braking (CMBS), road departure mitigation with lane departure warning (RDM with LDW), adaptive cruise control (ACC), lane-keeping assist (LKAS), lead car departure notification and auto high-beam.

That’s on the SV. The RS, besides featuring exterior dress-up elements, gets additional kit, including the automaker’s LaneWatch side camera system and Honda Connect telemetry system. It also adds on LED front foglamps, auto folding side mirrors and rides on 17-inch wheels, shod with 215/55 rubbers.

The RS also gets some extra interior accoutrements, these coming in the form of red contrast stitching on the upholstery and steering wheel, vanity mirror illumination, rear seat armrests, paddle shifters and two extra speakers to six units.

We can expect the RS to be the range-topper for Malaysia, but there is a possibility of there being more than one other variant for our market (entry, mid-spec, RS). This is suggested by the Indonesian E grade, which is the base model in the republic.

The version pares down the kit somewhat compared to the Thailand-spec SV. It comes with halogen headlamps (without auto feature), fabric seats, digital air-conditioning, a MID instrument display, and omits the walk-away auto lock function, among other things.

As for pricing, it remains to be seen how the WR-V will stack up in the scheme of things, in relation to the Ativa and also the automaker’s larger HR-V. In Indonesia, the E goes for Rp.271.9 juta, which for the E, which is around RM79,330, while the Sensing-equipped RS is priced at Rp.309.9 juta, or RM90,420. It’s pricier in Thailand, with the SV going for 799,000 baht (RM105,100) and the RS, for 869,000 baht (RM114,300).

What do you think of the Honda WR-V? Share your opinion about it in the comments section.

GALLERY: 2023 Honda WR-V RS, Thailand market specification

GALLERY: 2023 Honda WR-V RS with Modulo kit, Thailand market specification

Tags: 2023 Bangkok Motor Show, Honda WR-V

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Auction Academy Ready to Sign Up Class Group 8 at CAR

Auction Academy Ready to Sign Up Class Group 8 at CAR

Auction Academy graduates from Class 6 each were displayed on portrait easels that surrounded the dinner celebration on Nov. 17, 2021 in Las Vegas. Class 8 registration opens at CAR on March 28.  -  Photo: Martin Romjue / Bobit

Auction Academy graduates from Class 6 each were displayed on portrait easels that surrounded the dinner celebration on Nov. 17, 2021 in Las Vegas. Class 8 registration opens at CAR on March 28.

Photo: Martin Romjue / Bobit

Auction Academy will open formal registration for Class Group 8 at the Conference of Automotive Remarketing, to be held March 28-30 in Las Vegas.  

This class will start its eight-session program in August 2023 in Nashville, Tennessee, following with its second quarterly meeting in November in Phoenix at NRC/Used Car Week.

“We are already adding students to the roster and expect to fill our 8th Class Group quickly,” said Penny Wanna, President of Auction Academy, in a news release. “Positive reviews by previous graduates and the companies they work for have generated great interest and excitement for the upcoming Class Group.”

Auction Academy Class Group 8 will meet in-person quarterly to pursue the academy’s in-depth curriculum, alternating with virtual classroom training on a variety of industry topics. Auction Academy was developed by TPC Management Company after many industry leaders saw the need for formal training of the rising generation of auction industry leaders. The academy structures its two-year training and development like an Executive MBA program. With faculty drawn from expert practitioners around the country, Auction Academy designs its course of study to enhance essential skill sets, promote best practices, and yield better auction performance. The curriculum includes site visits, field trips and work with industry experts in all areas of auction operations. Students see an improved career ROI with the extra credentials.

“To date Auction Academy has graduated 138 students from the two-year program, and with additions to our curriculum, 100% have received certifications for IARA CAR, IARA ACT, NAAA Safety and NAAA Data Security through our instruction and proctoring,” Wanna said. “We are extremely grateful to our sponsors along with auctions and related companies across the country who have opened their doors to host class sessions. Their influence on the curriculum strengthens the industry, and we welcome the support of other companies that wish to participate with us.”


Originally posted on Vehicle Remarketing

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2023 BMW XM is a top-of-the-line powerhouse

2023 BMW XM is a top-of-the-line powerhouse

(Our Auto Expert) – The 2023 BMW XM is a hot rod of an SUV that combines power, performance, and technology. With a sleek and modern design, it has the latest technology features, such as a large, curved display stretching two-thirds of the dashboard. The display serves as both a digital gauge cluster and an onboard infotainment center, and It runs BMW’s latest iDrive 8.5 software interface.

The 2023 XM’s styling is inspired by the XM Concept from 2021. The Concept is pretty wild; BMW just borrowed a few things from the design. The look is still aggressive and detailed. We still get the gaping kidney-shaped grille openings, stacked tailpipes, and a slightly sloped roof that subtly eludes a fastback shape. 

A twin-turbocharged 4.4-liter V-8 has been seen before in the BMW powertrain history, but in the XM, it’s agreed to partner with an electric motor and a battery pack to create a whopping 644 horsepower. You get an extra serving of horsepower that takes you to 735-hp in the limited-edition Label Red model. This allows the car to reach impressive speeds and accelerate quickly. It hustles to an impressive 0-60 time of 4.1 seconds. 

The XM’s 25.7-kWh battery pack is said to be good for about 30 miles of electric-only range per charge. The XM’s onboard charger is capable of juicing the battery at up to 7.4 kW and should be able to charge up to 100 percent in a little over three hours.

The interior of the XM is spacious and comfortable, with high-quality materials. The optional vintage look with leather upholstery that the world saw first in the concept car. BMW omits the sizeable panoramic sunroof for a geometric-patterned headliner with fiber optic lighting that helps set any vibe you would like. An optional upgrade for the audio includes a Bowers & Wilkins Diamond surround sound system with illuminating tweeters. 

Overall, the 2023 BMW XM is a top-of-the-line powerhouse of an SUV that combines style, comfort, and performance in one impressive package. While it may come with a higher price tag (MSRP $159,000), the car is worth the investment for those seeking a powerful and sophisticated ride.

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Used-Vehicle Supply Low for Spring Selling Season

Used-Vehicle Supply Low for Spring Selling Season

Used-vehicle prices slipped again in February to $26,068, down from the downwardly revised $26,324 at the end of January.  -  Graphic: Cox Automotive

Used-vehicle prices slipped again in February to $26,068, down from the downwardly revised $26,324 at the end of January.

Graphic: Cox Automotive

The supply of used vehicles is lean as the spring selling season kicked off early and briskly this year, according to a recent Cox Automotive analysis of vAuto Available Inventory data.

“Used-vehicle sales have been up significantly, causing inventory to fall quickly in recent weeks and leaving dealers with especially tight inventories for the tax refund and spring selling season,” said Charlie Chesbrough, Cox Automotive senior economist, in a news release. Used-vehicle sales typically are strongest when consumers receive tax refunds, which are often used to support vehicle purchases, and through the spring.

The total supply of unsold used vehicles on dealer lots, both franchised dealers and independents, across the U.S. stood at 2.07 million units at the close of February. That was down from a revised 2.19 million at the end of January and down 21% from 2.6 million in February 2021.  

The total days’ supply at the end of February stood at 41, down from the revised 49 days’ supply at the end of January. Days’ supply was 3% below the year-ago levels.

The Cox Automotive days’ supply is based on the daily sales rate for the most recent 30-day period. Sales were relatively strong, just ahead of the spring selling season, up 4% from a year ago. Sales for the full calendar month of February were down 12% but showed strength near the end of the month.

Used-vehicle prices slipped again in February to $26,068, down from the downwardly revised $26,324 at the end of January.

“Prices have been falling, but the tight supply might be providing some price support,” Chesbrough said. “Used prices may fall further, but it seems unlikely a massive decline will happen given the supply situation.” 

As with new cars, the lower the price, the tighter the inventory. Days’ supply for vehicles priced under $10,000 was 31. Days’ supply for vehicles priced between $10,000 and $15,000 was 37, between $15,000 and $20,000 was 40 and $20,000 to $35,000 around 41. Vehicles priced above $35,000 had the highest days’ supply at 49.

Acura, BMW, Buick, Chevrolet, Chrysler, Dodge, Genesis, GMC, Honda, Hyundai, Infiniti, Kia, Lexus, Mazda, Mercury, Mitsubishi and Toyota had days’ supply below 45.

Originally posted on Vehicle Remarketing

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Study: Workplace EV charging could cut need for more power plants

Study: Workplace EV charging could cut need for more power plants



(Green Car Reports) — Thorough planning of EV charging station placement, specifically with a greater emphasis on workplace charging, could cut the need for more power plants, according to a new MIT study.

Published in the journal Cell Reports Physical Science, the study uses data from New York City and Dallas to counter the narrative that an influx of electric cars will create massively higher electricity demand and necessitate more power plants. Researchers argue that smarter planning will both cut the need for additional power plants and utilize excess solar capacity.

Instead of assuming that most EV drivers will charge their cars at home in the early evening, after getting home from work, researchers call for additional workplace charging. This will take advantage of abundant solar generating capacity at mid-day instead of trying to tap into the grid in the early evening, when demand and peak loads tend to be higher.

Atom Power Purpl EV charging station

Home charging still has a place in this strategy, as long as drivers delay charging until later at night. As utilities and previous studies have emphasized, this pushes EV charging into periods of lower demand, utilizing excess grid capacity and potentially rewarding drivers with lower electricity rates.

“Combining delayed home charging and workplace charging can be a particularly successful strategy,” researchers said in a statement, adding that decisions about charger locations should emphasize these two scenarios.

2022 Chevrolet Bolt EUV at EVgo fast-charging station

That conclusion aligns closely with what an Energy Department study pointed out years ago: that focusing charging around homes and workplaces could be more important than just placing chargers everywhere. And California heat waves in 2021 and 2022 helped underscore what best helps avoid the use of “peaker” sources—and prevent brownouts.

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However, part of implementing such a strategy will be changing employers’ attitude toward onsite charging. General Motors has committed to a high number of EV chargers for its employees, but other companies need to see workplace EV charging as more than a perk for its workers, a 2019 report found.

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2023 Toyota Vios launched in Malaysia – DNGA; 1.5L NA, CVT; AEB, ACC; two variants; from RM89,600

2023 Toyota Vios launched in Malaysia – DNGA; 1.5L NA, CVT; AEB, ACC; two variants; from RM89,600

UMW Toyota Motor (UMWT) has officially launched the fourth-generation Toyota Vios, which is being offered in two variants. That’s two less than the outgoing model, with the previous J and GR Sport (GR-S) versions being the absentees.

With the J variant gone, the base option is now the E that is priced at RM89,600 on-the-road without insurance, which is followed by the G at RM95,500. These figures are slightly below previous estimated prices, and when compared to equivalents of the previous generation, prices have gone up by RM4,000 and RM5,100 respectively.

In its latest form, the all-new Vios is built on the Daihatsu New Global Architecture (DNGA) platform and boasts larger dimensions than its predecessor, measuring in at 4,425 mm long (+5 mm), 1,740 mm (+10 mm) wide and 1,480 mm tall (+5 mm). Of more significance is the wheelbase that is now 70 mm longer at 2,620 mm.

For some context, in the B-segment sedan space, only the Nissan Almera matches the Vios in terms of wheelbase, while other notable nameplates like the Honda City (2,600 mm) and Mazda 2 Sedan (2,570 mm) trail closely.

Design-wise, the Vios is immediately identified by its overhauled front end that features a large central intake flanked by air curtains (or vortex generators as they are labelled). A thin black bar just above the gaping mouth visually separates the upper and lower areas of the face, with sharp LED headlamps appearing to be “hanging” by the tip of the L-shaped daytime running lights.

Regardless of variant, the headlamps come with automatic on/off and follow me home functions, although levelling is done manually. Also standard across the range is an aerokit that adds a black bumper lip, side skirts, a boot lid lip spoiler as well as a diffuser-like element for the rear bumper.

UMWT is marketing the Vios as a fastback, with the identifying cue being the gently sloping C-pillars that are accompanied by shiny black trim that serves to visually extend the window area. As for the wheels, the E comes with 16-inch alloy units (195/60 profile tyres), while the G gets 17-inch alloys (205/50 profile tyres), the latter being the same size fitted to the previous GR-S.

Moving to the rear, the bumper mimics the front by adopting the vortex generator bits, although these are purely decorative. The taillights are also more angular than before with modern graphics and are linked by a black trim that houses the reverse camera and boot release. On the G, the taillights come with sequential turn signals, but this is not available for the E.

Inside the black and dark brown interior, the Vios sports a simpler dashboard design with cupholders at the corners in front of the air vents. This is reminiscent of the Perodua Ativa, which is also a DNGA-based product, and you’ll find things like the steering wheel and gear lever are of a near identical design. Elsewhere, the centre console has been raised and features an armrest that hides a Qi wireless charger underneath.

The wireless charger is standard for both variants, as is the nine-inch Display Audio touchscreen head unit with support for wireless Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, which is rare in this segment. Other shared equipment is an RFID tag, front digital video recorder, a multi-function steering wheel, illuminated scuff plates, auto-folding side mirrors, keyless entry (touch sensor) and engine start, acoustic windshield glass and the Vehicle Telematics System (VTS) with a free three-year subscription.

Kit specific to the E includes intermittent wipers, black exterior accents, a urethane shift knob and steering wheel, tilt steering adjustment, an Optitron instrument cluster with a 4.2-inch multi-info display, manual air-conditioning, a manual handbrake, four speakers and fabric seat upholstery. Paying the premium for the G nets you more features, which we’ve talked about in our review of the Vios.

The extra RM5,900 over the E brings with it rain-sensing wipers, chrome exterior accents, a leather steering wheel and shift knob, a seven-inch digital instrument cluster, a 64-colour ambient lighting system, automatic air-conditioning, tilt and telescopic steering adjustment, soft-touch material on certain areas of the cabin, six speakers and an electronic parking brake (with auto brake hold).

Both variants come with six airbags, which is one less than before (the driver’s knee airbag is gone), and the usual array of passive systems like Vehicle Stability Control (VSC), traction control, ABS, EBD, brake assist, hill start assist, auto door lock, ISOFIX child seat anchors as well as parking sensors (two front and four rear).

Driver assistance systems for the E include the pre-collision system (autonomous emergency braking), lane departure warning, lane departure prevention, lane keeping control, pedal misoperation control, blind spot monitor with rear cross traffic alert and a 3D panoramic view monitor. This list of systems is already an improvement over the previous model, but the G takes things a step further by also adding lane keeping control, auto high beam and adaptive cruise control.

Powering the Vios is a 2NR-VE 1.5 litre naturally-aspirated four-cylinder petrol engine that serves up 106 PS (104 hp) at 6,000 rpm and 138 Nm of torque at 4,200 rpm. Compared to the 2NR-FE used previously, the 2NR-VE shares the same engine capacity, DOHC and Dual VVT-i, but the output figures are down by 1 PS (1 hp) and 2 Nm.

The new mill drives the front wheels through a CVT, specifically Daihatsu’s D-CVT split-gear system that combines belt drive with a gear drive. This combination is said to provide quicker acceleration and a fuel consumption of 5.2 litres per 100 km. Drivers will have three drive modes to play with, including Normal, Power and Eco.

2023 Toyota Vios spec sheet and price list; click to enlarge

The Vios continues to feature MacPherson struts at the front, a rear torsion beam and electric power steering. Ventilated brake discs are also standard for both variants, but the E uses drums at the rear, while the G needs solid discs for its electronic parking brake. Other notable technical specifications relate to the size of the fuel tank (40 litres now instead of 42 litres previously), and the E has a smaller turning radius of 4.8 metres compared to the G’s 5.2 metres due to the different wheel sizes.

UMWT offers five colours for the Vios, including Silver Metallic, Nebula Blue Metallic, Spicy Scarlet, Attitude Black and Platinum White Pearl, the last of which is a RM400 option. On that mention, a rear digital video recorder can also be specified for an additional RM380. A five-year, unlimited-mileage warranty comes standard with each Vios purchased.

The first-generation Vios arrived in Malaysia two decades ago in 2003, so the nameplate is celebrating its 20th anniversary here this year. The latest iteration is produced at the Toyota Assembly Services (ASSB) plant Bukit Raja and replaces the third-generation model that has been around since 2013. What do you think of the all-new Vios? Will you choose it its closest rival, the Honda City? We’ve already had a go in the fourth-generation Vios and you can find our thoughts on it here.

GALLERY: 2023 Toyota Vios 1.5G

GALLERY: 2023 Toyota Vios official launch photos

GALLERY: 2023 Toyota Vios brochure

Tags: Toyota Vios 2023

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