TMT has confirmed that it will have a bi-fuel version of the 10th generation Corolla Altis by the end of 2008. The car will retain its regular E20 fuel system and tank, adding to it a CNG (compressed natural gas) system with a 70-litre tank in the boot. As with current Taxi conversions this will result in about 1/4 - 1/3 reduction in boot space.
The tank will also increase the weight of the vehicle by around 100 kg, and Toyota will replace the rear coils springs with stiffer coils from the Corolla wagon which is around the same weight as this CNG version.
Every once in a while something interesting happens in the Thai motoring world, but mostly the industry is boring. For the vast majority of main-streme car buyers in Thailand, the new car decision will come down to a choice of which letter they would rather have on the front of their car: a "T" or an "H".
Hyundai started their campaign in Thailand with the side-by-side launch of 3 models: the Sonata, the Santa Fe, and the Coupe. Since then sales have been slow enough, with the Sonata notching up a modest 70 orders, while the Coupe sales are similarly low, with just 6-8 units a month.
No, bkkAutos.com is not shifting focus to pick-up trucks, although the last several stories have been related to pick-up trucks! There is just more news about the truck market at the moment. Mazda have just launched the update to their BT-50 with highlights including a new suspension set up that apparently allows the Mazda BT-50 to fly, and engines that are compatible with B5 biodiesel.
Full details and more images follow:
In Thailand, Nissan have been successful in attracting a large portion of pick-up truck buyers to its Navara. The Navara has many qualities that make it worth considering. For a start it is the largest truck in the one-ton class and, although rated to carry the ton, it can easily carry heavier loads thanks to its size, strong chassis and powerful engine.
The Navara was also the first to market with a 6-speed transmission, and is still alone on that front, while the 5-speed auto is up there with Ford and Mazda offerings. Next is the engine line up. Nissan offer two 2.5 litre engines in the Navara, a 144 hp unit for the two-wheel-drive models, and a class leading 174 hp unit powering the four-wheel-drive models.
The last time I wrote about the Tata Xenon I said the next time would be less speculative. Well, some details are more solid now so here is the latest on the Tata Xenon in Thailand.
First, the launch at the 29th Bangkok International Motor Show in March is confirmed. Visitors to the Motor Show, which runs from 28th March to 6th April, can expect to see Tata's new one-ton challenger in the metal. And the metal is perhaps of more interest that usual. But we'll get to that later...
Test drive reports are really not all that useful. I would never buy a car simply because I read a review from someone who thought the car was great. Yet sometimes it is useful to read other opinions to help us form our own thoughts more completely, and make well rounded decisions.
In the past I'd avoided testing cars, but since I'm currently looking around for a car myself, I might as well present some of my opinions here, as they might be of some help. But to make this one a little more interesting (or even less useful) I would like to present it in the form of a poem.
Just a quick update. It seems that we might be getting the same 1.8 litre engine as the US Corolla, and it might be Dual VVT-i After all?
I previously wrote about the Corolla Altis engine issue and at the time I thought that we were not getting Dual VVT-i units. This was an assumption based on some data in a Toyota presentation pack at a Toyota Dealer in Bangkok.
Now there is some new information which makes everything clearer, the launch detailed specifications of the US model Corolla.
A few months ago Honda showrooms had CR-V, Jazz, Civic and City cars on display, and the notable absence of Accords at that time looked like a clear indication that the space was waiting to be filled with the all-new Accord.
Well, that proved to be accurate, and a few weeks after I noticed the lack of Accords, the new ones popped in. Well, right now there are less and less Honda showrooms that feature the Jazz, which leads me to believe that we are probably getting very close to the launch of the new 2008 Jazz.
"All New Toyota Altis" time again! The E20 compatibility is confirmed, as are the engine sizes. As we previously understood, we will see the same displacements of 1.6 and 1.8 litre in the new Altis, although the power ratings have not been confirmed, but it is most likely that they will not be the Dual VVT-i units that they're getting elsewhere.
However, the good news is that both engines will be E20 compatible and even if this won't amount to the Altis being substantially cheaper than the outgoing model, it should allow Toyota to be very competitive in the market, since all competition apart from Chevrolet have also confirmed E20 capable versions so the pricing is down across the segment in Thailand........
Suzuki Motor Corporation was one of the companies to submit an application to participate in the Thai Eco Car project, and now they are moving forward and have plans to build a plant in Rayong Province.
Production at the plant is expected to start in 2010.
Suzuki will invest USD 90 million in order to establish a manufacturing company in Thailand, and a further USD 287 million in the construction of the plant. The plant will create 1200 jobs.
The 2008 Toyota Corolla Altis is going to land in showrooms any day now. Although details are still not officially released, there are some banners on display outside some Toyota dealers. One of these showed the "E20" logo next to the Altis, so I assume that means that the new Altis will be E20 compatible, and this should translate into a reduction in price compared to the outgoing model.
Apart from that, it will obviously lead to cheaper running costs give then lower price of E20 fuel.
More details on the new Altis soon!
How about this for an amazing feat of stingy design and cost cutting measures? Tata seem to have done it, and after 4 years of head scratching the Indian giant has come up with a car that costs around US$2,500. That is less than THB 75,000!!
The Nano is designed to allow Indian families to move up to four wheels, and whatever you might say about the safety or comfort levels of the Nano, when considered next to a motorbike, this thing is a big improvement. For a start it probably won't go very fast with its tiny 623 cc two cylinder engine.
Tata Motors are billing the Nano as a "People's Car".......
Volkswagen has applied to participate in the Eco Car project and the German auto giant submitted its application right on time for the November 30th deadline. Volkswagen is the 7th manufacturer to apply for the Eco Car project, joining Honda, Nissan, Suzuki, Toyota, Mitsubishi and the Indian newcomer: Tata.
What will Volkswagen bring to the Eco Car field? Eco Car project details are still sketchy but speculation is fun. Let's have a look at the VW Eco Car contenders.....