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  • Klang Valley workshops caught selling fake engine oil

    Workshops in the Klang Valley are selling fake engine oil (aka minyak “piau”), whereby used oil is recycled and repackaged as new ones from well-known brands. According to a report by Harian Metro, these “lubricants” are sold by syndicates at nearly half the price of those from genuine sources.

    These syndicates operate by purchasing oil drums used by workshops to dispose of used engine oil, which are reportedly priced between RM40 and RM80 each. The dark-coloured engine oil is then extracted and filtered several times until it appears lighter in colour as though unused. In some cases, vegetable oil is blended in to make it look more “authentic.”

    The “clean” oil is then repackaged under the guise of famous brands before being sold to customers for cheap. Most customers are unaware or ignorant of what they are purchasing given the ludicrously low prices offered.

    The report also adds that most workshops are aware that they are selling fake engine oil, but turn a blind eye in the interest of profit, often times not informing their customers. The scandal involving the sale of recycled engine oil only came to light when three workshops in Kuala Lumpur were raided by the Ministry of Domestic Trade, Co-operatives and Consumerism (KPDNKK) after several months of surveillance and complaints from oil companies.

    During the raid, KPDNKK officers confiscated 517 four-litre bottles of engine oil marketed using famous brands. Aside from engine oil, 34 bottles of imitation transmission fluid and 22 bottles of brake fluid were also taken. The value of the confiscated items was around RM41,430.

    “Acting on the complaint, KPDNKK Kuala Lumpur set up three teams to conduct inspections at three premises located at Taman Segar, Taman Daya and Taman Melati with representatives from the oil companies in the country,” said deputy chief enforcement officer Mohd Shahran Mohd Arshad.

    Investigations revealed workshop owners obtained the engine oil from a supplier knowing full well that it was fake, but continued to sell it anyway. Mohd Arshad added that under Section 8(2) of the Trade Descriptions Act 2011, a company can be fined up to RM15,000 for each item seized, while an individual is fined up to RM10,000, also for each item seized, along with the possibility of imprisonment.

    Suffice to say, you should always ensure only proper, genuine lubricants are used in your vehicle. Therefore, it is advisable to send your vehicle to official service centres or at the very least, reputable independent workshops.

    You should also be suspicious if a workshop is selling engine oil at heavily discounted prices, because “if it seems too good to be true, it probably is.” A good way to source for lubricants is from petrol stations or authorised retailers, where you’ll also be able to get a good idea of how much they cost.

    Using fake lubricants can result in severe engine damage and many other unwanted scenarios, as they are incapable of meeting the requirements set by carmakers. So, please take heed and be aware what you’re putting into your vehicle.

  • BARU: Artikel terkini dalam Bahasa Malaysia

  • Subaru Core Technologies – forging its own path

    Subaru is one of the world’s most well-known car brands and is famous for its legendary exploits in the gruelling race series that is the World Rally Championships. Over the years, the learnings and technical knowhow derived from its motorsports division became a brand ethos, thus forming the very core of what all existing Subaru models rest upon.

    So, what makes a Subaru, you ask? Well, a great deal of things really, but we’ll focus on the three core technologies that define modern and future Subarus to come.

    Subaru Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive

    All-wheel drive is typically a luxury for many mass volume cars and is a more common feature among premium vehicles. But with Subaru, every single car, with the exception of the BRZ, is fitted with a symmetrical AWD system. Subaru is the only carmaker in the world to adopt this system, which allows for a peerless balance of power to be sent to all four wheels.

    Symmetrical AWD equals better traction, balance and control. It provides very precise steering response in corners and gives surefooted stability, especially when traveling at high speeds and in bad weather. Subaru’s all-wheel drive system is permanent, which means it’s unlike other typical 4WD systems that run in 2WD (for efficiency reasons) until wheel slip is detected.

    More importantly, the AWD system continuously monitors all wheels and adapts to provide maximum traction and control at every turn. With the left and right sides of the drivetrain completely balanced, plus an even 50:50 split of power routing to the front and rear wheels, you get double the traction at all times. Fun fact: Subaru outsold Audi in global all-wheel-drive car sales during the April 2015 to April 2016 financial year.

    Subaru Global Platform

    Working hand in hand with the symmetrical AWD system is Subaru’s brand new modular platform. Dubbed the Subaru Global Platform (SGP), it enhances all things related to driving experience. For example, overall vibration has been significantly reduced, resulting in a quieter and more comfortable cabin.

    It’s much safer as well, with the XV and Impreza both scoring a full five-star ANCAP crash safety rating. This can only be achieved through a more rigid framework – SGP improves crash absorption by a whopping 40% and provides 50% less body roll than before.

    A rigid framework is fundamentally the reason for great handling cars, and that’s precisely what SGP offers on top of all the comfort and safety benefits. What’s more, the upgraded architecture also offers a more stable ride regardless if you’re driving on tarmac, or off the beaten path. In short, the SGP takes comfort, safety and performance to the next level, and every Subaru car from now on will be built on it.

    Horizontally-opposed (Boxer) engine

    Just like its AWD system, each and every Subaru model comes with a Boxer engine, and the automaker makes no exception when it comes down to this. As a matter of fact, the engine has been the core of every Subaru vehicle for the past 45 years, something not even Porsche can match. Suffice to say, this particular technology has come to define Subaru for nearly half a century.

    Unlike a typical inline or V engine, the boxer engine is equipped with horizontal thrusting pistons, which means the engine can be very easily connected to the transmission. The flat design also allows for a lower centre of gravity, thereby improving responsiveness and control. Better yet, in the event of a front-end collision, the flatter engine is designed to move under the passenger compartment, making it much safer than a taller engine setup.

    Another benefit of the Boxer engine is that it vibrates less, helping the car run more efficiently and smoothly. That will, in turn, help lengthen the lifespan of the vehicle as well. According to Subaru, 96% of its cars built within the last 12 years can still be found on the road to this day.

    So there you have it, the three core technologies that define the modern day Subaru. So, tell us, which is your favourite Subaru model?

  • 2019 Porsche Mission E confirmed to have over 600 hp, 500 km EV range, 0-100 km/h below 3.5 seconds

    Porsche has shared some info and images of the upcoming Porsche Mission E in the “tribute to tomorrow” section of its Annual and Sustainability Report 2017. The Mission E electric concept, revealed at Frankfurt 2015, will make its debut as a production model in 2019.

    Porsche says that the Mission E will have output of over 600 hp, and can do the 0 to 100 km/h sprint in less than 3.5 seconds. It will have a range of 500 km in a single charge, and will only need 15 minutes for an 80% charge. Clearly, this car takes aim at Tesla, which has made the performance EV segment its own, with traditional carmakers only recently waking up to the electric challenge.

    With a 100 kWh battery pack, the most potent Tesla Model S P100D does 0-96 km/h (0-60 mph) in 2.5 seconds and has a range of 613 km in the NEDC cycle. The Mission E’s stats aren’t as good on paper, but Zuffenhausen is promising “reproducible performance and a top speed which can be maintained for long periods,” according to Porsche EV chief Stefan Weckbach in a previous interview.

    The Porsche exec also touts the Mission E’s dynamics. “The longitudinal and lateral dynamics of the Mission E will be typical of a Porsche and represent a real treat for any driver,” he said.

    “With Mission E, Porsche provides convincing answers to the challenges of e-mobility. Sustainability, electromobility, performance and driving pleasure are not contradictions. Porsche and electromobility fit together perfectly,” the company stresses.

    It goes on to say that the four-door EV offers “a highly emotional driving experience in an exclusive sports car which sets new standards as the sportiest and, at the same time, most technologically sophisticated car of its class.”

    The recent Mission E Cross Turismo Concept previews Porsche’s plans beyond the sleek, low-slung Mission E. It all sounds very impressive, but we’ll have to wait till next year for the match to start.

    GALLERY: Porsche Mission E test mule and concept

  • SPYSHOTS: Kia Sportage facelift seen in South Korea

    The fourth-generation Kia Sportage is set to receive a facelift, after another test mule was sighted in South Korea recently. These photos from Motorgraph show the refreshed SUV making a pit stop for a refuel, and give us a closer look at the revisions made.

    Despite the substantial effort made to mask the Sportage’s new face, we can still see the new headlamps, which feature four-point DRLs like on the latest Forte and Ceed. The ‘tiger nose’ grille and lower apron will be tweaked as well, the latter featuring a larger air intake and new fog lamps.

    At the rear, there are new LED taillights and based on the heavy camouflage, the bumper will gain a new look as well. No interior photos, but you can expect improved trim and materials, plus updated infotainment systems and a range of vehicle systems to bring the SUV up to speed with its siblings.

    An updated engine line-up is also likely, with a range of naturally-aspirated and turbocharged petrol engines displacing 1.6, 2.0 and 2.4 litres, along with 1.7 and 2.0 litre turbodiesels. These engines will continue to be paired with six-speed manual and automatic, as well as seven-speed dual-clutch transmissions.

    GALLERY: Kia Sportage facelift spyshots

    GALLERY: Kia Sportage 2.0 AWD GT CRDi in Malaysia

  • 2019 Subaru Forester – images leaked ahead of debut

    Not long before the covers officially come off the 2019 Subaru Forester, with the fifth-generation due to make its world debut at the upcoming New York International Auto Show (NYIAS) at the end of the month. But like many things these days, it’s hard to keep things under wraps, and so it is with the new SUV – images of the vehicle have been leaked ahead of its full reveal.

    These offer a three-quarter angle front and rear view of the new car, but they’re tetchy at best. The images – which were revealed via Allcarnews – look like they’re captured off a print mag, and so physical folds mean that only the front and rear ends are cleanly depicted.

    Based on what’s seen, there’s no radical departure from the current fourth-gen Forester from an exterior design viewpoint, and though some cues look derived from the Viziv Future Concept from 2015, the front end of the new car is less edgier. Among other things, there’s a new grille design and more contrast cladding on the bumper, along with restyled headlights.

    The rear continues on the C-shaped tail light theme seen on the current car, but the new unit has a smaller footprint and a more dynamic shape, joined by a horizontal chrome strip trim. The tail lid is also a sharper looking affair.

    No interior look or tech details as yet, but there should be very little deviation from a powertrain and drivetrain aspect – the brand’s four-cylinder boxer engines (including hybrid), CVT and Symmetrical All Wheel Drive system are likely to be seen, as will the automaker’s EyeSight driver assistance and safety systems.

    The Subaru Global Platform, seen on the latest Impreza and XV, will underpin the new Forester. More when the SUV is revealed in New York at the end of the month.

    GALLERY: Fourth-gen SJ Subaru Forester 2.0i-S

  • Petronas invites F1 fans to its Australian Grand Prix live viewing event this weekend – activities galore

    The 2018 FIA Formula One world championship season kicks off this weekend, and Petronas is inviting F1 fans to join it in celebrating the start of the F1 season at a live viewing event of the season opener, the Australian Grand Prix, this Sunday, March 25.

    The live viewing of the race will take place at Petronas Jalan Kolam Ayer Lama, and the event will run from 11 am to 5 pm. Besides the chance to watch the Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 team in action on the big screen at the live viewing arena, there are plenty of activities in store.

    Besides the chance to get up close with special guests Syafiq Kyle and Aeril Zafrel, attendees can look forward to plenty of fun games and activities as well as lucky draw prizes. There will also be the chance for fans to purchase special merchandise at the event.

    Best of all, to avoid the hassle of parking and traffic, you can ride with Grab to the event and get a rebate for doing so – the first 100 customers will get RM5 off on Grab rides to/from the event venue.

    So, bring your family and friends for a day of fun by catching the excitement of the live race at the station. Visit for more info.

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  • Volkswagen Polo R Supercar – 570 hp rallycross car

    Defending world rallycross champion Johan Kristofferson will get a new ride this year in the shape of the Volkswagen Polo R Supercar, marking Wolfsburg’s fourth year of involvement in the FIA World Rallycross Championship. As with last year, PSRX Volkswagen Sweden – owned by Petter Solberg, who will also be racing – is the works team, but it will now be supported by the Volkswagen R division for the first time.

    The Polo R Supercar is still based on the previous Polo three-door (the latest model is five-door only), but the dummy head- and tail lights sport new graphics that give the car a closer resemblance to the new sixth-generation Polo. Volkswagen says that the biggest changes can be found at the front of the car, where the air intakes have been redesigned for better aerodynamics, making the car more efficient.

    Also fitted is a new rear wing that creates more downforce and provides greater freedom in setting up the car. The mechanicals have received further development as well, making it better suited to the series’ short, close racing. There’s still a 2.0 litre turbocharged four-cylinder engine making 570 hp, along with all-wheel drive.

    “Volkswagen R has always drawn inspiration and passion from motor racing,” said Volkswagen R GmbH managing director Jost Capito. “We will now actively build on these qualities in close cooperation with our colleagues at Volkswagen Motorsport and the PSRX team. The FIA World Rallycross Championship will be really exciting and we are looking forward to working with our partners.”

    Volkswagen Motorsport director Sven Smeets said, “There is no question about it, the new season promises to be very exciting. The opposition will do everything in their power to take our title. Our goal is obviously to provide Johan and Petter with a good car, which will allow them to challenge for the world title. I am confident that we will achieve this, and that the new partnership with Volkswagen R will give us even more power.”

  • Video of self-driving Uber car killing woman released

    Tempe police have released footage from the onboard cameras on the self-driving Uber which was involved in a fatal self-driving car crash in Arizona recently. The video casts a different light on the incident, and has raised new questions about why the autonomous car failed to stop in time.

    “While we recognize two media outlets have attributed exclusive interviews with the [police] chief, we respectfully disagree with how their claim of interviews have been characterised,” said Sgt. Ronald Elcock, a spokesman for Tempe police, in a statement.

    In the video, the self-driving XC90 is shown driving on what looks like a dimly-lit road. Around the 3-second mark, we see the shoes of the victim, 49-year-old Elaine Herzberg, and a second after that is when the collision took place. According to reports, the vehicle was moving at 61 km/h (38 mph) in a 56 km/h (35 mph) zone.

    Switching over the interior camera, we see backup driver 44-year-old Rafael Vasquez glancing down often for about 10 seconds leading up to the crash. Sylvia Moir, police chief in Tempe, Arizona, previously said, “it would have been difficult to avoid this collision in any kind of mode (autonomous or human-driven) based on how she came from the shadows right into the roadway.”

    “The video is disturbing and heartbreaking to watch, and our thoughts continue to be with Elaine’s loved ones. Our cars remain grounded, and we’re assisting local, state and federal authorities in any way we can,” said an Uber spokeswoman in a statement. Uber has already stopped testing its autonomous vehicles throughout North America.

    Tempe police will continue working with the National Transportation Safety Board and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration on the matter. A case will then be submitted to the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office once the investigation is finished to decide if charges will be filed.

  • Three new Tata models, CKD programme for Malaysia

    DRB-Hicom Commercial Vehicles (DHCV), the authorised importer and distributor of Tata commercial vehicles in Malaysia, has announced the introduction of three new models for 2018 and a CKD local-assembly programme in the mid-term.

    Since the brand’s relaunch here in 2015, DHCV has sold 654 units of Tata commercial vehicles, consisting of pick-up trucks, light trucks and prime movers. That puts Tata in tenth place amongst a total of 28 competing brands in the commercial vehicle (CV) category, which includes pick-up trucks, trucks, prime movers, panel vans and buses.

    “We are ready to move up and be a bigger player in the commercial vehicle category and in selected segments. The last three years have been a learning curve for us. Come 2018, we are confident we have the right products in terms of technology, affordability and durability to be truly competitive in the commercial vehicle category,” said Datuk Abdul Harith Abdullah, COO, automotive, distribution, manufacturing and engineering, DRB-Hicom.

    “We will be offering three all-new products – two in the light commercial vehicle segment and one in the small pick-up segment,” the former Proton CEO added.

    “Small pick-up constitutes 2% of the total pick-up segment. Our objectives are to offer customers an alternative and a highly competitive product. The Tata small pick-up is a highly successful product, many of which are reliably plying the roads in other regional markets. We are confident it will help us gain a fair share of this promising and growing segment,” said Chin Tan Hee, COO of DHCV. The company’s current pick-up truck offering is the Tata Xenon.

    DHCV says that plans for local assembly are in place and will be implemented “at the appropriate time in the near future.” Having CKD models will also open up DHCV/Tata to business opportunities in the public sector. Local assembly will be carried out at DRB- Hicom’s assembly plant in Pekan, Pahang. DHCV also aims to expand its network across Malaysia, including in Sabah and Sarawak. Tata customers are currently served by a network of 24 outlets nationwide.

    GALLERY: Tata Xenon pick-up truck

  • Replace Formula One with more rewarding races – SIC

    With the Formula 1 Malaysian Grand Prix now absent from Malaysia’s motorsport calendar, Sepang International Circuit (SIC) is preparing a variety of programmes and initiatives to replace it. This includes developing local talent in several racing disciplines.

    SIC CEO Datuk Razlan Razali, said in a report by Bernama that other forms of four-wheel motor racing are needed to fill the void left by F1, and they should not only be well supported by motorsport fans but also provide returns to the country.

    “We need races that have an impact on the economy. Before organising these races, we should raise awareness and interest in the races among local motorsport fans. It’s meaningless if the races attract more foreign audiences compared to local fans,” said Razlan during a press conference after announcing SIC’s 2018 programme for local talents in two- and four-wheel motorsports.

    Among those in attendance include Jazeman Jaafar, Afiq Ikhwan Yazid, Weiron Tan and Nabil Jeffri, who will compete in the World Endurance Championship (WEC) and 24 Hours of Le Mans. Meanwhile, Mitchell Cheah will be a part of the 2018 TCR Asia Series.

    As for those competing on two wheels, there’s Hafizh Syahrin Abdullah (MotoGP), Zulfahmi Khairuddin (Moto2) and Adam Norrodin (Moto3). Participants in SIC’s talent searching programme ‘Impian ke MotoGP’, Danial El Fahim, Muhammad Hrith Hazziq, Muhammad Izam Ikmal, Mohd Daniel Syahmi and Muhammad Idil Fitri were also present at the event.

    “SIC just signed an agreement with a good and formidable team, Jackie Chan DC Racing X Jota, this year. All Malaysian racers will continue to compete with this team after making their debut at the end of the 2017-2018 season, and will compete in the prestigious Super Series WEC 2018/19, which includes two Le Mans 24 Hours races beginning this July,” Razlan said.

    The Jackie Chan DC Racing team was founded in 2015, and is co-owned by Asian Le Mans champion David Cheng and actor Jackie Chan. The team found success in last year’s 24 Hours of Le Mans, coming in first in the LMP2 category, as well as in the Asian Le Mans Series 2017-18 season. “Besides having a good team, skilled engineers are also necessary to assist in technical matters, plus the presence of Jackie Chan himself can help promote the races,” noted Razlan.

    Previously, SIC had considered hosting the Australia Supercars Championship (also known as V8 Supercars), with a potential race said to take place somewhere between the April and June this year. The idea was pitched after an exhibition race at the inaugural KL City Grand Prix. So, what races do you think would be a good addition to the local motorsports calendar?


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Last Updated 22 Mar 2018


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