I was just at the most crowded Kia showroom I’ve ever seen. Local distributor Naza Kia was celebrating the arrival of the Stinger GT, which was quite the milestone. As the most powerful car in Kia’s line-up to date, the Stinger GT is naturally the Korean marque’s priciest offering in Malaysia. But the shoulder-to-shoulder experience at the launch party suggested there are more minds open to the idea of a RM300k Kia than most would have predicted.
A couple of weeks earlier, I was at the Sepang International Circuit to witness 10 units of Porsche’s new 911 GT2 RS being delivered to their owners all at once. That’s over RM30mil worth of cars in a single paddock, not counting a bigger group of Porsches that turned up for the high-octane spectacle.
It wasn’t very long ago when we were in the same place welcoming the first AMG models to be locally assembled in Malaysia, the C43 and GLC43 4Matic (see Page 144). Malaysia and Thailand are the only two countries outside Germany to assemble AMG models – it’s because the appetite for old-school performance in this region is real. Not convinced? Mercedes-Benz Malaysia sold 88 AMGs in June alone. That’s roughly one new AMG for every 20 new Mercs sold in a month.
Obviously, the thrill of driving is still something most Malaysians hold dear to their hearts. So, to celebrate our love for all things fast and impractical, we’ve paired the Honda Civic Type R with the ridiculously quick BMW S1000RR for an R-rated cover story from Page 68 you probably never saw coming.
Like the Stinger GT, the RM300k Civic Type R is essentially an overpriced product expected to please the masses. At least that’s what the layman sees. But Honda has invested many decades into giving the Type R brand its own sporting identity, one that’s highly revered in certain motoring circles. And we’re sure the Koreans (let’s keep our fingers crossed for Hyundai’s N sub-brand) can perform similarly in due time. AMG and M weren’t invented overnight anyway.
As things stand, the future looks bright for these flagbearers of good old, petrol-driven thrills. But the future is also electric and clean in the eyes of many. Our high-octane antics are balanced by the work of our UK colleagues, who shine the light on some of the industry’s most promising electric vehicles in existence and under development today.
Forgive us if this looks like a repeat of the ‘saints versus sinners’ issue we published in May, but the automotive scene is on a technological tightrope now. We just want to continue enjoying the joys of driving whichever way the pole may sway.
Enjoy the issue.
BMW S10000RR VS Honda Civic Type R