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The first generation Proton Saga that came out in 1985 was also the first ever Malaysian automobile production, based on the 1983 Mitsubishi Lancer. 23 years later, Proton finally came up with an all new second generation Proton Saga, also known as the BLM (base line model).

Proton Saga BLM front shot
The 2008 white Proton Saga BLM

While the first generation saga came with a choice of 1.3 or 1.5 liter engine (the later Iswara face lift model only had 1.3), the BLM come with only one engine choice. The 1.3 liter Campro I4 that churns out a respectable 94 bhp at 6000 rpm. For a car that weigh just over 1 tonne (about 100kg heavier than it’s predecessor), this is a pretty reasonable power to weight ratio for city and highway driving with an occasional trip to Genting.

The new car is also bigger and better than the previous version. More interior space as well as new and improved design in every aspects. It is actually quite surprising that the car is based on the same platform with Proton Savvy.

Rear view, Proton Saga BLM 2008
2008 Proton Saga BLM rear view

Proton Saga comes either with Automatic or Manual transmission. Pricing is from RM31,500 to RM39,800 and they are currently selling like hot cakes. Proton is planning to sell about 50,000 to 60,000 Sagas per year. In fact, together with Proton Persona, the car maker has improved it’s financial stage tremendously, announcing a net income in the three months ended March 31 at 236.4 million ringgit.

After a quarter century since the 2nd generation Dodge Challenger stopped production, the the classic muscle car is back again with a vengeance. The 3rd generation Challenger, the SRT8, is bigger, heavier, more luxury, meaner, and way, way more powerful than its predecessors.

2008 dodge challenger action shot
2008 Dodge Challenger, the classic muscle car

This baby churns out 425 bhp with a massive 420 lbs/ft torque off the 6.1-liter HEMI V8. A 5 speed AutoStick automatic transmission is mated with this engine. A set of 20″ wheels complete the package. Although the car weighs a hefty 4140 lbs, it is still able to do 0-100km/h in less than 6 seconds and a 1/4 mile time below 14 seconds. We shall wait for the real world results before the end of this year.

Other than the in-your-face exterior that is both very effective and aesthetically pleasing, the race inspired interior is equally as good. The simple black and blue lume color scheme is a stark contrast with the loud orange exterior, but somehow jives very well.

interior of dodge challenger 2008
luxurious and classy interior

Of course, for the US $40k you pay, the Challenger SRT8 does come with other bells and whistles like GPS, keyless entry and hands-free system. Then again, for a car this impractical with the current fuel price, who cares? All we want is to have some tire-burning fun. I’m sure there aren’t many people from the 6400 cars booked this year who’ll use it as a daily driver.

Toyota LogoContinuing the declining trend of the big three American automakers, Ford is the latest victim overtaken by the unstoppable Japanese machine that is Toyota.

The sales of Toyota vehicles already surpassed DiamlerChrysler last year and now stands roughly at 15%, increased from about 10% from five years ago, while Ford is still struggling after it’s restructuring and predicted that their market share will stabilize at around 14-15% within 2 years.

This is with regards to the American market, Toyota is a very close second to GM globally. Even here in Malaysia, Toyota and Perodua (basically re branded Toyota cars) chalks up about 50% of the local market.

There seems to be no signs of Toyota going stopping their momentum.

source: cnn money