Latest Stories

  • Ford to put greater focus on electric vehicles – report

    So far, Ford has been pretty conservative with its electrification strategy, with its green car lineup only consisting of the Fusion and C-Max Hybrid and plug-in Energi models as well as the Focus Electric. The Blue Oval confirmed earlier in the year that it was developing a new pure electric SUV built from the ground up, but that’s only coming in 2020.

    A report by Electrek, however, suggests that Ford may be shifting more of its focus (geddit?) towards zero-emissions vehicles, after the appointment of Jim Hackett as CEO. The 62-year-old, who replaced Mark Fields in May, quickly poached former Ford executive Sherif Marakby from Uber, in order to lead its electrification and autonomous driving efforts.

    Although Hackett and Marakby have only been in their new positions for months, Morgan Stanley analyst Adam Jonas has issued a optimistic note to clients saying, “We expect Ford to go ‘all-in’ on EVs. With an emphasis on pure EVs. Hybrids? Not so much. Prior management was vague with how its US$4.5 billion (RM19.3 billion) investment in ‘electrification’ would be allocated. We are hopeful for a significantly upgraded level of transparency, given the pace of change in EV adoption and expenditure worldwide.”

    That US$4.5 billion Jonas referred to was initially announced in 2015, and Ford followed that up in January this year by confirming hybrid F-150 and Mustang models, a Transit Connect plug-in hybrid, a hybrid-powered autonomous vehicle and the aforementioned electric SUV. The latter was the only full EV confirmed for production, out of the 13 electrified vehicles the company promised to bring to market by 2020.

    Even with his optimism for Ford’s upcoming electrification strategy, however, Jonas said that investors may not be so eager to back it. “We expect Ford’s next strategy to be more open to partnerships, new structures and entities, and a far greater emphasis on all-electric powertrains. However, we are not convinced investors are prepared for the required sacrifice to near term profit,” he said.

    Ford’s market capitalisation was recently surpassed by Tesla despite the latter’s annual production being just a fraction of Dearborn’s monthly output. The auto giant still garners a majority of its profits from its F-Series pick-up trucks, and it has not ruled out the possibility of an all-electric F-150.

     
  • BARU: Artikel terkini dalam Bahasa Malaysia

  • Mercedes-Benz to reveal new EQ compact car concept and fuel cell plug-in hybrid GLC at Frankfurt show

    Mercedes-Benz has revealed what it plans to exhibit at the upcoming Frankfurt Motor Show in September, which includes a few alternative-fuel vehicles along with more recent introductions like the new S-Class and X-Class pick-up truck.

    The first is what it describes as the “first, fully electric EQ concept vehicle within the compact car segment,” with EQ being its electric vehicle sub-brand. As you’d expect, further details about the show car is non-existent, although we could be seeing a preview for a future all-electric A-Class or CLA model.

    Last year at the Paris Motor Show, Mercedes-Benz stated its first series-production EQ model will be launched in the SUV segment, and wheeled out the Generation EQ show car as well. The futuristic-looking concept could accommodate lithium-ion batteries with a capacity of over 70 kWh that are charged via the usual wallbox or wireless induction.

    Next up is the production version of a fuel cell plug-in hybrid vehicle, called the GLC F-Cell EQ Power, which will also be making its first ever appearance at the event. The carmaker says the SUV “combines practical advantages such as a long range and short hydrogen fuelling times with locally emission-free driving.”

    The company had previously revealed a GLC F-Cell prototype (pictured here) last year, which features both a hydrogen fuel cell drive system and on-board charging system to supply power to the 9-kWh lithium-ion battery.

    The former is paired with two carbon-fibre encased tanks that hold around four kg of hydrogen, and can be refilled in just three minutes, which is about the same amount of time to refill a regular fossil fuel-powered car. Alternatively, it can also be plugged into a Mercedes-Benz wall box or a public charging station to keep the battery fed.

    When running purely on the battery along, it is capable of an all-electric range of 50 km, and when the fuel cell is factored in, that number goes up to 500 km (figures based on NEDC). The system also features an energy recuperation function, allowing energy to be recuperated and stored in the battery during braking and coasting.

    However, we’ll have to wait for the carmaker to release more details about its fuel cell plug-in hybrid vehicle during the Frankfurt show to really nail down the details. The company has been making a strong push to develop electric vehicles, with its parent company Daimler previously announcing it will invest quite a fair bit to fund the cause.

     
  • Ford signs MoU with China’s Zotye Auto for EV JV

    As deals go, this one makes sense in every way – electric cars and the world’s biggest auto market. Ford today signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Chinese automaker Anhui Zotye Automobile Co to explore the establishment of a joint venture that will build electric vehicles in China.

    The Detroit carmaker said in a e-mailed statement that the vehicles produced would be sold under a brand owned by the new JV, in which both companies will hold a 50-50 stake, Reuters reports.

    Zotye, a privately owned company based in Zhejiang province, is described by Ford as the market leader in China’s fully electric small car segment, although it might be more famous outside of China for its Porsche Macan clone. It sold more than 16,000 EVs this year until July, which is a 56% year-on-year growth. With a new CEO in place, Ford is expected to make a big push in the EV market.

     
  • Proton launches new body and paint centre in Seri Kembangan, announces Amazing 5 Value campaign

    Proton has launched a new body and paint (B&P) centre in Seri Kembangan, Selangor, as part of an upgrade for the existing World Car Care Services dealer outlet at Taman Bukit Serdang.

    The dealer started out as a service centre and parts outlet (2S) in 1997, and was later appointed as a service and B&P dealer in 2002, although it didn’t have dedicated B&P centre. Later in 2016, it began the process of upgrading to include an additional sales outlet (showroom in Bukit Jalil) as well as a B&P centre.

    The centre will allow World Car Care Services to better serve Proton customers in the area with a wider array of services. Customers will also be able to enjoy a more comfortable aftersales experience and benefit from an improvement of processes by the dealer.

    Aside from the new B&P centre, Proton also announced the return of its ‘Amazing 5 Value’ campaign in conjunction with the month of Merdeka, with special deals for customers. These include a five-year/100,000 km free service package (inclusive of parts, engine oil and labour charges) worth up to RM3,700, plus a five-year/150,000 km warranty and five-star safety rating on selected models.

    A national loyalty bonus worth up to RM1,000 is also being offered to current owners of Proton cars. The campaign also includes the ‘Experience the Drive’ test drive and win contest, where weekly winners will walk away with RM500 worth of petrol cards, while RM3,000 cash is up for grabs for monthly winners.

    World Car Care Services is located at Lot 591, Jalan BS 10/6, Taman Bukit Serdang, 43300 Seri Kembangan, Selangor.

     
  • Mitsubishi Xpander bookings close to 7,500 units now

    The Mitsubishi Xpander was the undisputed star of the 2017 Gaikindo Indonesia International Auto Show (GIIAS) that was held earlier this month. The production version of the XM Concept and new entry into Indonesia’s core Low MPV segment was making its world and Indonesian market debut at the annual show.

    The Xpander was mobbed by paying show goers on the first two days that we were at ICE BSD City, and it turns out that many who went there to see, eventually put down their names for one. Dapurpacu reports that Mitsubishi collected 5,281 bookings for the SUV-flavoured MPV from the 11-day motor show. As of August 20, the total number of bookings stood at 7,489.

    “This achievement pushes us to continue to improve the levels of service to our consumers in line with our values and ‘customer obsession’ slogan,” said Kyoya Kondo, president of Mitsubishi Motors Krama Yudha Sales Indonesia (MMKSI).

    MMKSI’s promotion of the Xpander continues in Indonesia with ‘special exhibitions’ in nine cities and over 70 events. The Xpander, which is powered by a 1.5 litre engine with 104 PS and 141 Nm, is available in five trim levels priced from Rp 189,050,000 (RM60,843) to Rp 245,350,000 (RM78,968). Made in Indonesia, it will be exported to ASEAN and Malaysia next year. Fancy a sub-RM100k challenger to the Honda BR-V?

    GALLERY: Mitsubishi Xpander Sport A/T


    GALLERY: Mitsubishi Xpander Ultimate A/T

     
  • Road charge for Thai-reg vehicles still being studied

    The proposed road charge (RC) or Vehicle Entry Permit (VEP) charge for foreign-registered vehicles entering Malaysia via the Thai border will only be implemented after the completion of a technical study conducted by the transport ministry, Bernama reports.

    According to road transport department (JPJ) director-general Datuk Seri Nadzri Siron, the study on the installation of VEP in states bordering Thailand was still ongoing.

    “We will then be able to implement the VEP charge as that already implemented in Johor Bahru. However, for now, we have not decided on the timeframe as the study is still in progress. We will also discuss with the state government to work on the appropriate time to implement VEP charge at Kedah’s border with Thailand,” he explained.

    The move to implement the road charge, which has been approved by the cabinet, was originally set to begin from the end of 2017. It was reported earlier this year that the system was slated to start running from June.

    He reiterated that the fee will be RM20 per entry for foreign registration vehicles coming in from Thailand. Nadzri added that the RM9.1 million had been collected from Singaporean-registered vehicles from November 2016 until July this year.

     
  • Next-gen Porsche Cayenne teased, debuts August 29

    It is one of Porsche’s most important models, with more than 760,000 sales since it was first introduced way back in 2002. We are referring to the Cayenne, the brand’s first SUV that has been around long enough to go through two generations. Come August 29, 2017, Porsche will unveil the third-generation Cayanne, and to get the hype ball rolling, the carmaker is discussing the endurance testing it has undertaken to ensure its upcoming SUV is a capable one.

    This meant travelling all around the world to subject the SUV to a multitude of conditions, including temperatures ranging from minus 45 degrees in Alaska, USA to plus 50 degrees in the sand dunes of Dubai (UAE). All in all, the prototypes and pre-series vehicles have completed a total of around 4.4 million test kilometres.

    The Cayenne test mules also had to endure numerous laps of the several test tracks (in Germany, Sweden, Finland and Spain), high-speed runs on the Nardo test track in Italy as well as stop-start traffic in the hot and humid conditions of Chinese cities. That’s not all, as the SUV was transported to South Africa, Japan and New Zealand to complete extensive on- and off-road testing.

    Porsche also subjected the Cayenne to tough endurance tests on Hydropuls units, a hydraulic testing facility that applies artificial vibrations to both the chassis and body. The machine simulates a vehicle life under conditions that are beyond what it will face with customers, with the vehicles covering up to 240,000 km within a few months.

    For now, Porsche is referring to the third-generation Cayenne as the ‘E3’, stating that the SUV will feature an all-new chassis, likely the Volkswagen Group’s MLB Evo platform used in the Audi Q7 and the Bentley Bentayga. Motivation will come from a range of six- and eight-cylinder engines, with hybrid models being a very strong certainty.

    As for the styling, the new SUV adopts the recent design language found on the Panamera, most noticeably in the front bumper with those intakes. The trademark four-point LEDs in the headlights are also seen here, along with 3D-effect taillights. Even the tailgate features a less fussy design compared to the second-generation model.

    We’ll receive more information once that third-gen Cayanne makes its global debut in a few days’ time, so stay tuned.

     
  • MRT has served 7.4 million passengers since Dec 2016

    The Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) Sungai Buloh-Kajang line has ferried around 7.4 million passengers since it began operating, Bernama reports. Phase one of 51 km-long stretch of urban rail began operations in December, and phase two was opened to the public in July.

    According to Rapid Rail CEO Datuk Zohari Sulaiman, during the period, an average of about 100,000 commuters used the MRT each day on working days while on weekends, the number rose to around 140,000.

    “The station getting the most number of passengers is Bukit Bintang, which takes people to the Kuala Lumpur Golden Triangle area where there are well-known shopping complexes like Pavilion and Lot 10,” he said. He added that the number of passengers is expected to increase during the 2017 SEA Games (KL2017), which runs until August 30.

    The MRT is projected to reduce traffic entering KL daily by 160,000 vehicles, based on an estimated 400,000 riders per day. It’s also expected to reduce up to 34,400 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions yearly, and the train service is also capable of reducing the cost of living for Klang Valley folk, according to domestic trade, cooperatives and consumerism (KPDNKK) minister Datuk Seri Hamzah Zainudin.

     
  • Lucid Air electric sedan will get all-wheel drive option, Launch Edition – deliveries to kick off in 2019

    Electric vehicle startup Lucid Motors took the opportunity to reveal more details of its Air sedan at last week’s Monterey Car Week, as well as showcasing the Launch Edition model that will make up the first 255 units.

    First off, the company has confirmed the headline figures that were bandied about during the initial reveal late last year – the Air will be capable of a range of 640 km from launch, a zero-to-100 km/h acceleration time of under 2.5 seconds and a top speed of at least 250 km/h.

    That’s with the range-topping model, which will get twin electric motors providing all-wheel drive and up to 1,000 hp. There’s also a base model that will get a single 400 hp motor, rear-wheel drive and a smaller battery, which has a range of 385 km. A mid-range battery option will get a range of 505 km.

    Standard kit includes LED headlights, 19-inch alloy wheels, a five-seater cabin, 12-way power-adjustable front seats, four screens (including three touchscreens), 10 speakers and 10 airbags. Buyers will also get a front and rear boot that will provide combined luggage space of over 900 litres, plus over-the-air updates.

    On top of that are options such as 21-inch wheels, a panoramic glass roof and front seats with 22-way power adjustment, heating, ventilation, massage and dynamic bolster functions. Also on the list are rear reclining executive seats, expanded leather trim, a 29-speaker sound system and a fully-active suspension, which Lucid Motors claims offers a “world-class ride.”

    The Launch Edition you see here is fully kitted-out, and will come with unique colours such as this dark grey hue. It won’t be cheap at over US$100,000 (RM428,000), but the range will start at US$60,000 (RM256,800) for the base model, before federal and local tax credits.

    No matter which variant you choose, the Air will come with “all hardware necessary for autonomous driving,” including camera, radar and lidar sensors all around. These will initially provide Advanced Driver Assistance System (ADAS) features at launch, transitioning to full autonomous driving via software updates. Deliveries of the Air will begin in 2019, a year later than when the car was initially slated to enter production.

     
  • Nissan rolls out three Midnight Edition trucks during total solar eclipse – Titan, Titan XD and Frontier

    Nissan chose the total solar eclipse to roll out three new Midnight Edition trucks – Titan, Titan XD and Frontier – which come with a more laden equipment package for improved aesthetics. In the United States, the Midnight Edition line-up also includes the Altima, Maxima, Murano, Pathfinder, Rogue and Sentra.

    Starting with the larger trucks, the Titan and Titan XD Midnight Editions heavily feature the colour black as these photos clearly show. Said colour is found on the grille and its inserts, headlights, fog lamp finishers, fender louvers (Titan XD only), side mirrors, door handles, step rails and the 20-inch aluminium-alloy wheels.

    There’s also model-specific badging applied liberally, a charcoal interior trim as well as Midnight Edition floor mats. The Titan trucks can be ordered in a choice of three exterior colours – Magnetic Black, Gun Metallic and Pearl White – and is available on Crew Cab SV and SL grade 4×4 and 4×2 variants of the Titan. Meanwhile, the equipment package is available for the Titan XD Crew Cab SV and SL grade 4×4 models with a Cummins 5.0 litre turbodiesel V8 engine.

    As for the smaller Frontier, the Midnight Edition package is largely similar to what is found on the Titans, except for the smaller 18-inch wheels. It is available in Crew Cab SV 4×2 and 4×4 automatic transmission variants, with a choice of Magnetic Black, Gun Metallic and Glacier White exterior body colours.

    Nissan also allows buyers to order these items separately, although they are on average 50% cheaper if offered as a complete package. It also adds Midnight Editions sell on average two times faster than standard models.

    “Following the tremendous response to the original Maxima SR Midnight Edition, we’ve created a complete portfolio of the popular blacked-out Midnight Edition look among our core Nissan sedan, crossover and SUV models,” said Billy Hayes, division vice president of Nissan Sales in Nissan North America.

    “A great custom look straight from the factory is what buyers really appreciate,” said Hayes. “We’re finding that buyers in the millennial age group especially are attracted to the Midnight Editions. Last year, Nissan was ranked as the number one brand for millennial purchases,” he added.

    2018 Nissan Titan Midnight Edition

    2018 Nissan Frontier Midnight Edition

     
 

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