The Kuala Lumpur International Motor Show (KLIMS 2010) finally happened after a whole year's delay. An event held every three years finally bears fruit and it was quite worth the wait. The event was scheduled to run from the 3rd to the 12th of December 2010 and CarThrottle was present at the event on opening day. KLIMS 2010 was surprisingly devoid of Volkswagen, Audi and other VW Group brands. There was also no sign of BMW or its Mini. There was no sign of Mercedes Benz too. There was no sign of Porsche either. Then again Porsche has become part of VW so their absence isn't too surprising. What was surprising was their total absence especially since VW had recently launched the new Polo 1.2TSI, the Golf 1.4TSI and the Scirocco 1.4TSI and the fact Audi seems to be popular with the locals these days. The only Audi was the one above brought in by a local tuning house. Good news was that Ferrari and Maserati were very present. Ferrari brought out their 458 Italia and the California. No 599 GTO or any of their hybrid concepts though but a booth with the Prancing Horse is better than none at all. Maserati was right beside and previewed the GranCabrio and a black Quattroporte. The GranCabrio is a fairly new model and a proper four-seater cabriolet. It was absolutely nice seeing one in the flesh. And not surprisingly it is a much rarer car compared to the Ferraris in these parts of the world. While there was no official Mercedes Benz representation, it could be said that the company was partly represented by Brabus. The tuning house displayed their Mercedes-AMG E63 variant called the B63S, the very expensive Brabus Smart with all the bells and whistles and a C200 CGI with Brabus tuning parts badged as a B20. The B63S looked fabulous with its carbon fiber add-ons and somehow knowing that there is a stonking AMG V8 tuned by Brabus makes it even more menacing. Local car importers NAZA, were responsible for bringing all of the cars mentioned above. They also displayed a Lamborghini Murcielago LP670-4 SV – a fabulous super light version of the Murcielago, an Aston Martin DBS, a Rolls Royce Ghost and a Porsche Panamera. All these could be considered as gray imports to Malaysia as Lamborghini, Rolls Royce and Porsche have their respective distributors and are actually VW Group brands. Aston Martin does not have an official dealer here at the moment. I hope someone from Aston Martin is reading this. Toyota came out with one very interesting car aside from their usually dull line-up of Corollas and city car concepts. They displayed the FT-HS. This could be a hybrid version of the FT86, the very much awaited replacement to the legendary AE86 rear-wheel drive sports car. A truly amazing piece of kit. It looks very edgy and very Japanese, like a smaller Lexus LFA. Toyota better launch the FT86 soon as the wait is becoming unbearable. Local boys Proton roped in Lotus as part of their extremely large display. Overwhelming the other local manufacturer Perodua which seemed happy displaying a plastic silhouette of their upcoming Myvi supermini replacement which like the current model is based on the Daihatsu Sirion/Toyota Passo. They brought out a concept car called the Bezza (which looked very well executed) and a modified Alza (based on a Toyota Passo Sette) MPV. Back to Proton. They displayed six concept cars. The hybrid EMAS city car looked very feasible for urban dwellers. It sat beside a Lotus small car concept. Both must have been designed by the same people as if you threw away the badging they would look the same. The next interesting concept car was the Jebat. It showcases tuning mods on Proton's newly launched Inspira. The Inspira is basically a badge engineered Mitsubishi Lancer 2.0GT/GLS and this tuned car concept has wheel arches even wider than a Lancer Evo. They also kept the bumpers black and it was quite clear that whoever designed the front and rear bumpers loved the Audi R8 vents as it looked very similar. One more Proton concept car worth mentioning here is the Lekir. It is basically the Lotus Europa with different front and rear bumpers, rims and er, badging. I suppose there could be a plan within Proton to move into the affordable sports car category when Lotus moves upmarket. Speaking about Lotus, they brought down the Esprit Concept all the way from Hethel. This car was first previewed at the Paris Motor Show and it looked so much better in real life than in the press pics. The concept car looked very production ready as it looked like it has a fully operational cabin. They also brought in the supercharged Evora S which was overshadowed by the presence of the Esprit. Maybe Lotus' new business plan may actually succeed with the Esprit IF the car's build quality isn't like the current line up (even though the Evora isn't that bad in the first place). Other notable mentions at KLIMS 2010 were Kia showing off their new Sorento SUV, Optima sedan and Cadenza (Opirus) sedan. These new Kia models look pretty good. Hyundai brought out their new Avante sedan, Nissan displayed their fairly new Terano & Juke SUVs, March supermini and Elgrand MPV. Peugeot displayed their LeMans race car and the newly launched 308Turbo with the 6 speed automatic gearbox, 3008 Crossover and the 5008 MPV. Chevrolet also came and displayed a Transformers movie Bumblebee Camaro and the Cruze. Honda came with the CRZ and the hybrid powered Insight. KLIMS 2010 could clearly be summed up as an event devoid of VW Group and other notable European manufacturers. But there was an automotive presence felt by those mentioned above and a whole lot of concept cars from the brands mentioned above as well as representatives from Mitsubishi, Isuzu (with a concept pick-up truck) and Chery from China (with two Electric powered city cars).
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