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  • BMW 530e iPerformance plug-in hybrid launched in Malaysia – 252 hp, 0-100 km/h in 6.2 secs, RM344k

    Just under a year after the regular G30 BMW 5 Series arrived on our shores, the plug-in hybrid version, the BMW 530e iPerformance, has finally been launched in Malaysia. The petrol-electric executive sedan arrives in locally-assembled form (CKD) with a much cheaper retail price – owing to tax incentives provided under the Energy Efficient Vehicle (EEV) scheme – but with a slightly lower level of standard kit.

    Available in just a single Sport Line variant, the 530e costs RM343,800 on-the-road without insurance. That’s RM45,000 cheaper than the 530i that was the sole 5 Series model offered up to this point, although that did come in sportier M Sport form. Included in the price is a five-year, unlimited-mileage warranty, five years’ free scheduled maintenance and a two-year tyre warranty.

    Let’s start with the meat and potatoes first, the powertrain. Under the bonnet sits the ubiquitous B48 2.0 litre turbocharged four-cylinder petrol engine, here making 184 hp from 5,000 to 6,500 rpm and 290 Nm of torque from 1,350 to 4,250 rpm. This is paired to a 113 hp/250 Nm electric motor to produce a total system output of 252 hp and 420 Nm of torque – identical in power and an increase of 70 Nm compared to the petrol 530i.

    The electric motor is integrated to the ZF eight-speed automatic transmission, which allows the ratios to be used in all-electric mode and negates the need for a torque converter. This helps offset the additional weight brought on by the motor and the battery.

    All this means that the 530e is capable of sprinting from zero to 100 km/h in just 6.2 seconds (identical to the 530i) before hitting a top speed of 235 km/h. Combined fuel consumption on the European NEDC cycle is rated at 2.0 litres per 100 km, while carbon dioxide emissions are quoted at 46 grams per kilometre.

    Under the rear seats sits a 9.2 kWh lithium-ion battery, enabling the 530e to run in electric mode at speeds of up to 140 km/h, with an all-electric range of 48 km – 13 km further than the smaller 330e. Real-world range in hybrid mode is pegged at 644 km. BMW says that charging the battery takes under five hours from a domestic socket, or under three hours with the 3.7 kW BMW i Wallbox.

    Onwards to standard kit, and to the items the 530e loses compared to the 530i. Aside from missing out on the M Sport appearance package, it also doesn’t get adaptive LED headlights (full-LED headlights still remain, of course), a sunroof, a head-up display, the gimmicky Gesture Control system, the touchscreen-equipped BMW Display Key and the 16-speaker Harman Kardon sound system. Adaptive cruise control, which was deleted from the 530i with the move to local assembly, is also missing here.

    The rest of the equipment remains, including LED fog lights, 19-inch alloy wheels (in a different V-spoke design), BMW Individual satin aluminium exterior trim, Comfort Access keyless entry, power-adjustable sports seats with driver’s side memory, four-zone auto climate control, sunblinds for the rear windows (manual) and windscreen (electric), 11-colour ambient lighting, a hands-free powered bootlid and Dynamic Damper Control.

    You also get the upgraded Professional navigation system with a 10.25-inch touchscreen, along with a full 12.3-inch multifunction instrument display, a reverse camera and Park Assistant for automated parallel and perpendicular parking manoeuvres, plus a 12-speaker, 205-watt HiFi sound system.

    Safety-wise, the 530e comes with the Driving Assistant package that adds Approach Control Warning and Person Warning with City Brake function, operating at speeds between 10 km/h and 60 km/h for pedestrians and 80 km/h for vehicles. Other features included in the pack include Lane Departure Warning, Lane Change Warning, rear collision prevention and rear crossing traffic warning.

    Buyers can choose between Glacier Silver Metallic, Alpine White, Mediterranean Blue Metallic, Carbon Black Metallic and Bluestone Metallic exterior colours, while black (with contrasting white stitching and piping) or Cognac Dakota leather upholstery feature inside.

    Read our in-depth international review of the new G30 BMW 530e iPerformance here, and you can also browse full specifications and equipment, and get the best deals on a new car, on

  • BARU: Artikel terkini dalam Bahasa Malaysia

  • Special offers for fleet sales a normal practice – Proton

    Proton has just issued a statement, saying that the company is currently having a special discount policy for corporate sales and fleet sales customers. The statement added that it’s common business practice in the automotive industry to offer corporate sales discounts based on bulk purchase and fleet sales.

    This follows a recent news published by Nanyang Siang Pau earlier today, with regards to the special promotion offered to the Federation of Hokkien Association of Malaysia. “We wish to reiterate that Nanyang also reported that, “Proton always provides corporate/fleets sales promotion to corporate customers, associations, organisations, and institution (including media), therefore, Hokkien Federation is not the special case,” said the company.

    In fact, the Federation of Hokkien Association of Malaysia approached Proton for a discussion and made a commitment to the purchase. “Based on the large number of members of the association and its employees, we are able to custom-make a special package that both parties have agreed upon,” read the statement.

    The special offer given to the Federation of Hokkien Association of Malaysia is part a special corporate sales arrangement, and the national carmaker is currently having similar arrangements with various Malaysian cooperatives, associations, as well as major corporate organisations.

    “Any cooperatives, organisations and associations that buy (a) certain volume of cars are also entitled to this corporate sales special arrangement, although this is subject to terms and conditions between Proton and the said parties.”

    “Proton highly values the support from these corporations and associations, and commit to provide the best services and quality to all our customers. We appreciate the interest on PROTON and we invite any associations and corporations who would like to enjoy these benefits,” added the statement.

  • National Automotive Policy (NAP) 2018 is work in progress, to be announced by mid-year – Mustapa

    The National Automotive Policy (NAP) 2018 is work in progress and will be announced by the middle of the year, minister of international trade and industry Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamad said. He was briefing the media and stakeholders at the Updates on the Automotive Industry 2017 and Outlook in 2018 event held in Kuala Lumpur today.

    The current NAP was announced in 2014, and the main focus then was on Energy Efficient Vehicles (EEVs). That push has been successful – according to data released by MITI today, EEV penetration increased for the fourth straight year in 2017, reaching 52% of vehicles sold in the country. That’s 2% higher than the target set and a jump of nearly 10% from 2016. Adoption rate is expected to touch 60% (350,000 units) in 2018.

    The regulators, MITI and the Malaysian Automotive Institute (MAI), are currently having consultations with auto industry stakeholders and are not yet ready to share details of NAP 2018. However, presentation slides reveal the main pillars of the future roadmap – connectivity, mobility, next-generation vehicles, big data and lifestyle. All very current and very broad terms, so we’ll have to wait for the full reveal.

    Also spotted among the wealth of figures presented today are expected 2018-2022 (likely the NAP 2018 period) committed localisation value of RM15 billion and committed investments of RM3.99 billion. From 2014-2017, the committed localisation value was much greater at RM43.67 billion, which hints at most of the localisation work being already done. Our mature auto market attracted RM7.6 billion of realised investments from 2014 to 2017.

  • FIRST LOOK: 2018 Kia Picanto in Malaysia – RM49,888

    The 2018 Kia Picanto that was launched last week is the only non-national offering left in the A-segment space. This time around, only one variant is offered, the 1.2 litre EX AT – priced at RM49,888 (OTR without insurance) with a five-year, unlimited-mileage warranty.

    Under its bonnet is a 1.2 litre Kappa II naturally-aspirated four-cylinder engine that makes 84 PS at 6,000 rpm and 122 Nm at 4,000 rpm. This is mated to a four-speed automatic transmission – the five-speed manual from before is no longer available – that drives the front wheels.

    Notable features here include the sleek projector halogen headlights with U-shaped LED daytime running lights and LED signal indicators. Kia’s signature “tiger nose” grille has also been widened to meet the headlights. Round the side of this 3,595 mm-long supermini, you’ll find a set of 14-inch alloys, and the back gets a new pair of LED-combination lamps and reverse camera.

    While familiar on the outside, the cabin has been completely revamped, and comes with a seven-inch touchscreen head unit with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto support. Safety is comprised of six airbags, ABS with EBD, brake assist and stability control – all of which were already offered on the preceding model.

    For now, enjoy the short walk-around tour of the new Picanto. And as an added bonus, we’ve got the older model alongside it to see just how much the little Kia has progressed over time. You may also browse the new model’s full specifications and equipment, only on

    GALLERY: 2018 Kia Picanto

    GALLERY: 2018 Kia Picanto with Novus X package

  • SPIED: Mercedes-Benz EQ C wearing production body

    Mercedes-Benz’ testing of its all-electric vehicles have moved to the next stage, with the upcoming EQ C fully electric SUV now spotted testing in Sweden in its production body. A previous development mule was seen wearing the bodyshell of a GLC instead.

    Essentially paving the way for a production version of the Generation EQ concept, which also marked the birth of the Mercedes-Benz electric vehicle sub-brand. The EQ C will be underpinned by the German automaker’s EVA scalable EV platform, which itself is based upon the firm’s MRA (Modular Rear wheel-drive Architecture) platform – body, suspension and basic electrical components.

    Motive power is tipped to be from either a 402 hp electric motor driving the rear wheels only, or which is supplemented by a 122 hp or 204 hp motor driving the front wheels. Energy will come from a 400 kg battery pack, and total range of at least 500 km on a single charge.

    Features such as adaptive suspension, regenerative braking and electric torque vectoring are all tipped to be standard equipment on all EQ models to come, according to our spy photographer sources.

    As for the bodyshell itself, we can see that the EQ C sports a shape that still largely resembles that of the GLC, although certain cues such as the headlamp detail point towards a new design direction more akin that of the Generation EQ concept.

    Around the back, the tail lamps still have a strong GLC flavour about them with their slim, horizontal layout, however further aesthetic detailing should be revealed later on when the EQ C sheds more of its camouflage. The interior has yet to be seen, however it will almost certainly be far more restrained than the Generation EQ concept’s; those individual rear buckets will surely yield to a conventional bench.

    Also in the EQ pipeline – or pylon, figuratively speaking – is a smaller model in the form of the EQ A, though that remains at the concept stage for the time being.

    GALLERY: Mercedes-Benz Generation EQ Concept

  • 2019 Jeep Cherokee fully revealed – new 2.0L turbo

    After revealing a few images and barely any details of the new 2019 Jeep Cherokee last month, Jeep has finally released the floodgates, providing us with a mega gallery and all the information you’ll ever need about the facelifted mid-size SUV.

    The biggest change is that the controversial styling has given way to a more homogenous look, clearly inspired by the new Compass. Out goes the polarising dual-tier headlights, replaced by larger single-piece bi-LED units sitting where the LED daytime running lights once were.

    While the raked seven-slot grille remains, the bumper has been redesigned for a more modern and sophisticated look, and incorporates LED fog lights. The wider bonnet is now made from aluminium, and Overland models receive new chrome tow hooks as standard.

    At the rear, there’s a reprofiled rear bumper and new tail lights with a red LED light strip. The number plate recess has been moved up to the composite tailgate, with the handle to open the tailgate now easier to reach as a result. For even more convenience, there’s an optional kick-activated hands-free opening function, as well as a push-to-open fuel filler door and a capless filler.

    The more off-road-biased Trailhawk retains its rugged look, with a more aggressive front fascia, steel skid plates, an anti-glare bonnet decal, red tow hooks and an increased approach angle, plus 17-inch alloy wheels shod in off-road tyres. All other models are available with a choice of five new wheel designs, including 19-inch polished rollers for the Overland model.

    Inside, the new centre console gets piano black trim and satin chrome highlights, while the transmission tunnel has also been redesigned with a larger storage compartment. Meanwhile, lighter colours on the lower half of the interior enhance the feeling of space, and there are two new colour schemes on offer – Storm Blue on the Latitude and Latitude Plus models and Dark Sienna on the Overland. The boot is also over 75 mm wider, resulting in more than 760 litres of cargo space.

    In terms of infotainment, the Uconnect system is available with either a 7.0- or an 8.4-inch touchscreen, the latter with or without navigation. All get Apple CarPlay and Android Auto as standard, and are available with SiriusXM satellite radio, emergency and assistance services and a Send & Go function to push the destination directly to the navigation system before setting off.

    Safety-wise, the Cherokee retains ParkSense parking assist, all-speed Adaptive Cruise Control-Plus, Forward Collision Warning-Plus, LaneSense lane departure warning, blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic detection and eight standard airbags.

    Power comes from a new 2.0 litre turbocharged and direct-injected four-cylinder petrol engine, producing 270 hp and 400 Nm of torque. Funnily enough, unlike on the new Wrangler, there’s no eTorque mild hybrid system offered here, but you do get automatic engine stop/start.

    The standard 2.4 litre naturally-aspirated Tigershark mill gains MultiAir2 electro-hydraulic variable valve timing and lift to boost fuel efficiency by 7.5%; a new intake design also reduces noise, vibration and harshness (NVH). The 271 hp/324 Nm 3.2 litre Pentastar V6 has been retained as well, while the standard nine-speed TorqueFlite automatic transmission has updated software for improved drivability.

    The rest of the Cherokee remains mostly unchanged, retaining front MacPherson and rear multilink suspension, electronic power steering and a choice of three four-wheel drive systems. The Active Drive I permanent system features a new rear-drive module that is nearly 7.7 kg lighter and 50% less low-speed system drag torque, improving fuel economy.

    The Active Drive II part-time system on the Latitude, Latitude Plus, Limited and Overland models has been recalibrated and provides a 25 mm ride height increase, while the Trailhawk models retain the Active Drive Lock rear differential for increased low-speed traction in severe off-road conditions.

    GALLERY: 2019 Jeep Cherokee Limited
    GALLERY: 2019 Jeep Cherokee Trailhawk

  • Malaysian automotive industry outlook for 2018 – growth expected on all fronts, EEVs to climb to 60%

    At today’s updates on the Automotive Industry 2017 and Outlook in 2018 presentation held by the ministry of international trade and industry (MITI), projections for the coming year were offered along with the statistical overview for 2017.

    In 2018, growth is expected on all fronts. Total production volume (TPV) is expected to grow by around 4% to 530,000-535,000 units, while total industry volume (TIV) is anticipated to climb to around 586,000-591,000 units, effectively a 2% growth from 2017.

    In terms of Energy Efficient Vehicle (EEV) penetration, 2018 will see another increase, going up from the 52% in 2017 to 60%, with production of EEVs rising to around 350,000 units from the 308,807 in 2017.

    He added that the government expects to see higher achievements in 2018, especially in line with future global trends in the sector, including electric and hybrid vehicle growth.

    One new vehicle assembler will join the list this year, bringing the total to 28, and the industry will see nine new parts and component manufacturers (vendors) this year.

    The automotive workforce is also anticipated to increase, with more than 29,000 new jobs expected to come about in 2018, and this year the industry is set to employ more than 755,000 people and increase the contribution of the country’s GDP to 4.5% from the 4% registered last year.

    In 2018, RM12.5 billion is targeted for the exports of parts and components, around half a billion more than the RM12 billion mark for 2017.

    Exports of remanufactured parts are also expected to increase to RM800 million this year (in 2017, RM516.4 million as of November).

    Vehicle exports are also targeted to climb to 34,000 units this year (in 2017, 18,887 as of November), but minister of international trade and industry Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamad said that he was “disappointed” with the performance of CBU car exports, which has hovered around the RM1 billion mark for a few years without much progress.

    “Exports of CBU vehicles have been disappointing, but parts and components exports have showed good progress, so from NAP 2018 more focus will be put on the exports of parts and components,” he said.

    A more detailed projection beyond 2018 is expected to be outlined in the review of the National Automotive Policy (NAP) roadmap that is set to be announced in the middle of 2018.

  • SPYSHOTS: Mercedes-Benz GLC facelift interior seen

    When the Mercedes-Benz GLC F-Cell was revealed at last year’s Frankfurt Motor Show, it was suggested that many of the revisions to the interior would make its way to the facelifted GLC, and possibly the C-Class as well.

    Those suspicions appear to have been confirmed, according to these spyshots of a GLC test mule. While the overall layout of the dashboard is unchanged, there are quite a number of new items that are present.

    For starters, there’s a much larger display for the car’s infotainment system, likely measuring 10.25 inches as it does in the GLC F-Cell. It isn’t known if there is touchscreen support, but a new touchpad on the centre console will be one of the means of interfacing with the system, along with touch-sensitive buttons on the steering wheel.

    On that mention, the steering wheel is also of a new design here, and has more in common with the one found in the all-new G-Class. There also appears to be a digital instrument display in place of the conventional analogue dials, which could be a 12.3-inch unit like in the GLC F-Cell. Another tweak is a new push-start button that looks like the one you’ll find in the W213 E-Class.

    As for the exterior, there doesn’t appear to be any significant changes on this prototype, which looks to be the base trim level. Expect more changes to be implemented as development continues.

    GALLERY: Mercedes-Benz GLC F-Cell

    GALLERY: 2016 Mercedes-Benz GLC 250 4Matic AMG Line (CKD)

  • 2018 Moto Guzzi Le Mans Mk II “Airforce” by DMOL

    While many know the name Moto Guzzi in connection with a very eclectic collection of tranverse V-twin motorcycles, less obvious is its connection with aviation, in the person of its co-founder, Giovanni Ravelli. To acknowledge this fact, and commemorate Ravelli’s birthday 130 years ago, Death Machines of London (DMOL) has released “Airforce”, a custom cafe racer based on the Moto Guzzi Le Mans Mk II.

    Starting with a 1982 Le Mans Mk II, DMOL – previously featured on with the Triumph-based DMOL02 “Up yours copper”, a tribute to journalist and author Hunter S Thompson – rescued it from a yard in southern Italy, where it had been lying after a disagreement with a truck, rusting away outdoors in the sun and salt air.

    Finding the engine to be in fairly good condition, DMOL replaced the bearings, seals and gaskets, with the cylinder heads completely refurbished and gas-flowed. A pair of 36 mm Dell’Orto carburettors were fitted, coupled with velocity stacks and open slash cut headers made in-house.

    Attention then turned to the legendary Moto Guzzi “Tonti” frame, which, in its day, rated right alongside Ducati’s famous trellis for handling prowess. A custom head stock was made, increasing the rake by 3 degrees to 30, and a Moto Guzzi California swing arm was braced and mated to the frame with a cantilever monoshock.

    Bodywork for Airforce is hand-built and custom-made, and the entire affair was then coated in “Airforce Grey”, a custom colour created specifically for this build. The wheels are from California hubs in 21 x 3.00, and modified to carry a hand-spun aluminium cover on the rear wheel.

    The front end is taken from an Aprilia RS250, highly modified, customised, re-valved and re-finished, while the rear monoshock is sourced from suspension specialists Hagon. For front end braking, Airforce uses Brembo four-piston callipers, coupled with an RCS master cylinder, clamping custom 300 mm diameter steel discs made by DMOL to resemble a drum brake.

    As with everything DMOL makes, the devil is in the details, and the specifications list for Airforce is very extensive. As is their wont, DMOL makes a lot of stuff in-house, including the clip-on tubes, grips, and internal throttle, along with pegs and controls working on a modified Stucchi gear change linkage.

    Reverse levers, also made by DMOL and dubbed Inverse Levers IN01, are precision machined from aircraft grade aluminium, and will soon be available for purchase from the DMOL catalogue. Inside the cockpit, the speedometer was redesigned, then precision etched in nickel silver and brass, with dimmable radial illumination and starting Airforce is done with a quarter-inch guitar jack with immobiliser.

    Going old school for the bodywork, all the aluminium panels on “Aircraft” are hand-beaten on wooden bucks, in the traditional manner. All the bodywork was left unfinished to show the dimples and dents left behind by hand-forming, something usually covered up with body filler and paint.

    However, the inside of the front-fairing was painted in high-gloss, and the concave lower of the fuel tank is polished to reflect this. A double-skinned belly pan covers the exhaust pipes, and an Italian leather seat features a hand-stitched with an air-flow pattern to give the impression of movement.

    In Malaysia, Moto Guzzi, located at The Gasket Alley in Petaling Jaya, carries the V7 III Stone (RM66,900), V7 III Racer (RM81,900), V7 III Special (RM71,900) and V7 III Anniversario (RM80,900). Also available is the Moto Guzzi V9 Roamer at RM73,900 and V9 Bobber at RM74,900.

  • New Suzuki Swift to launch in Thailand on February 8

    The new Suzuki Swift will be launched in Thailand on February 8, 2018, according to a new teaser video posted on Suzuki Motor Thailand’s YouTube page. The model made its home market debut in December 2016 while the Swift Sport hot hatch was revealed in September 2017.

    In the video, we see glimpses of various areas of the car, including the LED headlights and rear signature lighting. There’s even a shot of the interior, where a touchscreen infotainment unit is visible, along with the gauge cluster.

    No details on what will power the hatchback, but as the Swift will be a Phase 2 Eco Car, it will likely get a Dualjet 1.2 litre naturally-asprated four-cylinder engine. The K12C makes 91 hp/118 Nm, and should be efficient enough to meet Eco Car Phase 2 standards of 23.3 km/l and 100 g/km of CO2 emissions.

    As the new car weighs a lot less than before – up to 160 kg – this should help in those efforts. The Swift will go up against models like the Nissan Note and the updated Yaris in Thailand.

    GALLERY: Suzuki Swift (Japan market)


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Last Updated 18 Jan 2018


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