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  • 2018 Moto Guzzi V7 III Limited shown at Biarritz

    Unveiled at Biarritz, France, setting for the Wheels and Waves motorcycle event, was the 2018 Moto Guzzi V7 III Limited. Coming in a limited production run of only 500 numbered units worldwide, the V7 III Limited is the latest iteration of the retro styled V7 “seven-fifty.”

    Taking cues from classic motorcycle design, the V7 III Limited comes with numerous chrome plated components, including a chromium fuel tank, secured by a black leather strap for that vintage look. The Moto Guzzi eagle tank emblem is done up with a burnished finish, off setting the reflective chrome.

    Black is also extensively as a design colour on the allow wheels and saddle with “old school” stitching, and complements the carbon-fibre in the side panels and front and rear mudguards. Machined aluminium is used for the locking fuel cap and handlebar risers, onto which the V7 III Limited’s edition number is inscribed.

    The V7 III series of Moto Guzzi motorcycles is powered by an air-cooled transverse V-twin that displaces 744 cc, with power rated at 52 hp at 6,200 rpm and 60 Nm of torque at 4,900 rpm. Coming with a six-speed gearbox, Brembo does the braking with a single 320 mm disc in front grabbed by quadruple asymmetric calliper pistons with a single disc in the rear.

    Fuel is carried a 21-litre tank and the V7 III has a claimed wet weight of 209 kg. Suspension uses conventional non-adjustable telescopic forks up front with an 18-inch wheel and pre-load adjustable twin shock absorbers in the rear, rolling on a 17-inch hoop.

    In Malaysia, there are four versions of the 2018 Moto Guzzi V7 III with prices sans GST and not including road tax, insurance and registration. These are the V7 III Stone (RM63,133), the V7 III Special (67,830), the V7 III Racer (RM77,264) and the V7 II Anniversario (RM76,321).

  • MRT Sungai Buloh-Serdang-Putrajaya line to proceed, but told to reduce costs by CEP – 24% complete

    The MRT Sungai Buloh-Serdang-Putrajaya (SSP) line will not suffer the same fate as the MRT3 a.k.a. Circle Line, which has been scrapped by the new government. The second MRT line will proceed, but MRT Corp has been tasked by the Council of Eminent Persons (CEP) to find ways to lower the price of the project, Malay Mail reports.

    This was revealed by MRT Corp CEO Datuk Shahril Mokhtar after he met the CEP in KL today. “We are working on something, we will have a chat on how to find ways to reduce the cost further for Line 2 (MRT SSP Line). We exchanged ideas but the key is to reduce the cost so we could save the people’s money,” he said, adding that the line is over 24% complete now.

    The 52.2 km MRT SSP line will consist of 38.7 km of elevated tracks and 13.5 km of underground tunnels. The first phase of the line, which cost RM32 billion, is expected to be operational by the Q3 2021 before its full completion in late 2022. The first MRT Sg Buloh-Kajang (SBK) line was fully opened in July last year.

    Prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad announced on May 30 that the government is cancelling the MRT3 project, which was to be a loop line of the Greater KL/Klang Valley integrated transit system. Originally targeted for completion by 2025, the 40 km MRT3 was to have 26 stations with 32 km of it built underground.

  • AD: PETRONAS and the Mercedes AMG PETRONAS team in Formula 1 – pushing forward together for you

    It’s been eight years since PETRONAS was signed on as the title sponsor of the Mercedes AMG PETRONAS Motorsport team in Formula 1. Since then, the duo have stormed to four consecutive drivers’ and constructors’ championships, making the team the most successful in the current hybrid era. That’s quite some feat, by any standards.

    But to call PETRONAS as simply a title sponsor would be to do it injustice – for all intents and purposes it really is a technical partner, working closely with the Brackley-based team to extract maximum performance from its 1.6 litre turbocharged V6 engine and hybrid electric powertrain.

    Fierce competition and a greater emphasis on fuel saving over the years have put extreme demands on these high-tech power units, increasing the risk of mechanical failure and retirements as engines have to deliver on both performance and fuel economy. PETRONAS has expanded its efforts into making sure that its fuels, lubricants and fluids stay cool in the ultra-high-pressure environment of a Formula 1 engine, protecting vital components and keeping them reliable race after race.

    Last year, Lewis Hamilton was the only driver to finish every race in the season and score points in each one on his way to winning his fourth world title. In fact, the British driver still holds the record for the most consecutive points finishes, having finished no lower than ninth place between the 2016 Japanese Grand Prix and the recent 2018 Monaco Grand Prix – that’s an astonishing 31 races.

    This incredible reliability record underscores PETRONAS’ ability to develop world-class fluids at the pinnacle of motor racing – a true winning formula. All this expertise goes back into producing products that enhance and protect modern passenger car technologies, such as downsized turbocharged engines and advanced hybrid electric powertrains, that bear a striking resemblance to what you’ll find on Formula 1 cars today.

    In short, PETRONAS and the Mercedes AMG PETRONAS Motorsport team are pushing forward in Formula 1 together to deliver high-performance products that work for you and your car. The complete range of Primax fuels, Syntium lubricants and Tutela fluids have all been developed in the crucible of intense racing, and you can try them today at the nearest PETRONAS fuel station.

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  • Mercedes-AMG C53 name trademarked – over 400 hp?

    Daimler has applied to reserve the ‘C 53’ nameplate with the World Intellectual Property Organisation, a move that falls in line with Mercedes-Benz’s efforts to replace the existing AMG 43 suffix with AMG 53. This, according to AutoGuide, signals the eventual arrival of the Mercedes-AMG C 53, which may either be introduced soon, or in the next W206 C-Class.

    Currently, the AMG 53 line-up consists of the CLS 53, E 53 Coupe and E 53 Cabriolet, all of which are powered by the tristar’s new M256 3.0 litre inline-six petrol engine. It’s turbocharged to make 435 hp and 520 Nm of torque, and the petrol motor is augmented with an electric compressor. Expect the C 53 to share the same setup, though it may be downtuned as to not show up its bigger brothers (the C 43 has less power than the E 43).

    In the larger 53 models, the engine also features a 48 V mild hybrid system and EQ Boost starter-alternator, the latter offering an additional 22 hp and 250 Nm. Power goes out to all four wheels (4Matic+) through a nine-speed AMG Speedshift TCT 9G automatic.

    The new M256 3.0 litre straight-six as shown in the new CLS 53

    This mild hybrid setup produces more power than the 3.0 twin-turbo V6 found in the C 43 (385 hp/520 Nm in its upgraded facelift form), so it makes sense to think that the C 53 will be positioned between the base C 43 and top-of-the-line C 63. Alternatively, Mercedes could also offer a non-AMG C 450, leaving two AMG-badged variants – C 53 and C 63 – to top the range.

    Which direction would you prefer, dear readers?

    GALLERY: W205 Mercedes-AMG C 43 4Matic facelift

  • SDAC opens upgraded Ford centre in Kota Kinabalu

    Sime Darby Auto Connexion (SDAC), Ford’s official distribution partner in Malaysia, today announced the opening of its newly upgraded Ford showroom and service centre in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah.

    Located at Jalan Limau Manis, the 3,216 square metre Sime Darby Auto Connexion Kota Kinabalu is designed with Ford’s global Brand@Retail standards. It has six additional service bays with vehicle hoists, which make up a total of 13 service bays.

    The facility is equipped with the latest diagnostic equipment and maintains a full supply of spare parts, SDAC says. There’s also a dedicated customer service lounge with free WiFi, hot beverages and snacks.

    “Sime Darby Auto Connexion Kota Kinabalu is designed to offer an unmatched customer experience, with convenience, efficiency and comfort. This upgraded facility is part of Ford and SDAC’s network expansion and customer service enhancement plan aimed to offer the very best sales and aftersales services to better serve growing number of Ford customers in East Malaysia,” said Syed Ahmad Muzri Bin Syed Faiz, MD of SDAC.

    “The quality of the ownership experience we provide is just as important as the quality of our world-class Ford vehicles. The newly upgraded Sime Darby Auto Connexion Kota Kinabalu demonstrates our joint commitment to offer Ford customers an even better experience,” said Truong Kim Phong, MD of Asia Pacific Emerging Markets at Ford.

    Sime Darby Auto Connexion Kota Kinabalu is located at Jalan Limau Manis, off Jalan Lintas. The showroom (contact number 088 425 255) is open from 8:30am to 5.30pm from Monday to Friday, and from 8:30am to 12:30pm on Saturday. The service centre’s (088 427 666) opening hours are 8:00am to 5:00pm on weekdays and 8:00am to 12:30pm on Saturday.

  • Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance reports cost savings of €5.7 billion from improved cooperation

    The Renault–Nissan–Mitsubishi Alliance has reported that as a result of closer cooperation between alliance members, annual synergies climbed to €5.7 billion (RM26.5 billion) last year from €5 billion (RM23.2 billion) in 2016, an improvement of 14%. It said that consolidation and convergence resulted in cost savings, incremental revenue gains and cost avoidance.

    “The Alliance has a direct, positive impact on the growth and profit of each member company. In 2017, the Alliance turbo-charged the performance of all three companies including Mitsubishi Motors, which saw its first full-year of synergy gains,” said chairman and CEO Carlos Ghosn.

    “We expect to generate growing synergies in coming years as the Alliance accelerates convergence through increased utilisation of joint plants, common vehicle platforms, technology-sharing and our combined presence in mature and emerging markets. We reaffirm our synergy goal of more than €10 billion by the end of 2022,” he added.

    Engineering-based gains came from shared R&D costs and investments, while in manufacturing, shared platforms such as the Datsun redi-GO and Renault Kwid in vehicle production resulted in lower production costs. Significant cost reductions were also obtained via a more centralised sourcing of parts, equipment/tooling and common utilities for facilities around the world.

    Shared spare parts warehouses between Renault, Nissan and Mitsubishi Motors in Europe, Japan and Australia also contributed to the cause, as did reduced costs associated with vehicle transportation, an example being Nissan and Mitsubishi Motors combining shipments of finished vehicles from plants in Thailand to their respective dealers.

    The Alliance reported total sales of more than 10.6 million vehicles for 2017, and under its Alliance 2022 strategic plan, combined annual sales are expected to climb to more than 14 million vehicles by the end of the plan. Nine million of these will be built on four common platforms including electric and B-segment vehicles, and the use of common powertrains will be extended from one third to 75% of the total.

  • Volvo XC40 EV confirmed, due 2019; XC90 EV by 2021

    Volvo’s electrification aspirations will soon reach another level. According to Autocar, company design chief Thomas Ingenlath has confirmed that Volvo’s first fully electric car will be a version of the XC40, and it will be introduced next year following the launch of the Polestar 2.

    Ingenlath, when speaking at the reveal of the all-new S60, said the company would only produce electric versions of its current cars, rather than making entirely new EVs, citing the Volkswagen ID range as an example. After launching the XC40 EV in 2019, Volvo will introduce the new XC90 EV in 2021, the latter set to be produced at Volvo’s new factory in Charleston, South Carolina.

    “It’s not a secret anymore that the first full electric Volvo is on its way with the XC40. It will arrive very soon after the Polestar 2. That [XC40] is the first to come that’s not exotic. We’ll start with [the] XC40. The next car will be the next-generation XC90,” explained Ingenlath.

    “That will be the masterplan of how electrification will come to the Volvo product range. We will not establish products beside our hybrids, we will introduce electrification as a powertrain variant within the existing portfolio.

    “You could say that is different to a lot of the mass-production brands. But I have a hard time understanding how their plan will work in the long run. Electrification is the future of the automotive industry, so how do you handle that as soon as you come to the majority of electric cars? How do you handle it in your portfolio? I think it’s much more natural to say it’s a powertrain variant that over time will take up the majority of the sold vehicles,” he added.

    The XC40 and XC90 EVs will utilise lithium ion battery power, just like the Polestar 1 and 2. The former will be offered alongside the XC40 T5 Twin Engine (plug-in hybrid). By 2025, Volvo aims to have 50% of its sales volume contributed by fully electric models.

    While Volvo continues to expand its electrification portfolio by introducing additional variants of its current line-up, Ingenlath said Polestar, a company which he also heads, could be used to develop bolder EVs.

    “We definitely don’t want to bring something that we’ve so successfully just launched like the XC40 to an end just because combustion engines will disappear. To look at new formats, new bodystyles and non-traditional elements, we founded Polestar to take care of that end of the scope. We developed that strategy: full electrification of the Volvo range, making it a natural part of the offer, and at the same time developing new, unconventional elements in the Polestar brand,” he said.

    Volvo, now fully owned by Chinese giant Geely, will launch an electrified version of every model in its line-up from 2019. Every Volvo will eventually be offered with a mild hybrid, hybrid or battery-electric powertrain option. With the launch of the S60, the Swedish carmaker has also ceased to offer diesel variants.

    GALLERY: Volvo XC40 T5 Twin Engine

    GALLERY: Volvo XC90 T8 Twin Engine Inscription

    GALLERY: Polestar 1

  • AD: RAYA@BMW showroom events – complimentary BMW i Wallbox Plus and AC Fast Charging Cable

    The Hari Raya celebrations is now in full swing. It is undoubtedly the best way to spend valuable time with loved ones, and it is also to proclaim victory after a month-long process of discipline and self-resistance.

    Well, BMW is looking amplify that sense of elation through its RAYA@BMW showroom events this June (refer to the schedule below), featuring the latest iPerformance plug-in hybrid range. You can now own your favourite electrified BMW model with a low interest rate from 1.22%, and each purchase of the BMW 530e Sport, BMW X5 xDrive 40e and BMW 740Le comes with a complimentary BMW i Wallbox Plus and BMW i AC Fast Charging Cable.

    Through the BMW Full Circle Programme, you can drive home a brand new BMW 330e M Sport from just RM2,918 a month. Those wanting the business athlete can go with the 530e Sport from RM3,908 monthly, whereas the X5 xDrive 40e can be had from RM4,718 a month. The flagship BMW 740Le, or the crème de la crème, can be yours from RM6,668 a month.

    Of course, each purchase is backed with a five-year unlimited-mileage warranty that is bundled with a 24-month BMW Tyre Warranty package for your peace of mind. There is also the BMW Ultimate Protection Programme, which is a comprehensive insurance package for you and your beloved new ride.

    Click here for more information, or visit your preferred BMW Authorised Dealer for a test drive today.

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  • Ops Selamat 13 – drop in accidents, deaths this Raya

    Here’s some good news. The nationwide road safety operation dubbed Ops Selamat 13 for this Hari Raya travel period showed a 9% drop in fatal accidents, with 189 cases recorded from 207 cases in the corresponding period last year, Bernama reports

    Bukit Aman Traffic Investigation and Enforcement Department director SAC Shahrul Othman Mansor said motorcyclists and pillion riders were still the major contributors to the fatal accidents. He said the number of deaths also went down by 11%, with 200 cases recorded this year compared to last year’s 225.

    “The number of accidents causing severe injuries also decreased by 34 cases, which is 72 cases compared to 106 last year,” he said during a press conference in conjunction with a special operation at the Sungai Besi Toll Plaza.

    However, Ops Selamat 13, which ends today, saw the number of summonses issued increase by 40% to 201,835. The traffic cop said revealed that exceeding the speed limit was the top offence recorded, with 175,745 cases.

  • Singapore’s EV push continues – SP Group announces public charging network, to have 500 locations by 2020

    The push for electric vehicle (EV) adoption in Singapore continues to widen with the introduction of another public EV charging network. Earlier this week, utility company Singapore Power (SP) Group announced plans to have a network of 500 charging points up and running across the republic by 2020.

    The charging locations will be made available in public areas such as shopping malls, residential areas, business parks and industrial sites. The company said that the first 30 charging points will be rolled out and operational by the end of this year.

    The network will be fully compliant with the country’s national charging standards and will comprise both alternating current (AC) and direct current (DC) chargers, with power ratings ranging from 22 kW to 50 kW.

    It added that out of the 500 charging stations, more than 100 will be 50 kW DC charging points, which will offer the ability to fully charge an EV in as little as 30 minutes. At present, there are less than five DC chargers in operation in Singapore.

    The company also announced the launch of two tenders for the EV charging network, the first for the procurement of both AC and DC charging hardware and the second for the installation of the chargers.

    It will also be introducing a mobile application that will aid EV users in locating available charging points across the island. Additionally, the app will provide automated updates on charging progress/completion and the means to make payment electronically for the use of the charging facilities. According to news reports, SP has not yet revealed the pricing plan, but is set to do so closer to the network’s introduction.

    The SP network isn’t the only EV charging initiative available in Singapore. In December last year, EV car-sharing programme BlueSg announced plans to have 2,000 charging points across the island by 2020, with 400 of these being available for public use. Other small-scale players with publicly accessible charging points include Greenlot and Red Dot Power.


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Last Updated 21 Jun 2018


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