Latest Stories

  • Ford Ranger Weekend Sales Carnival from Aug to Oct

    Sime Darby AutoConnexion (SDAC) has announced it will be holding a Ford Ranger Weekend Sales Carnival, a roadshow happening at Ford showrooms across Peninsular Malaysia until October. Held over five weekends, it will showcase some of the features of the range-topping Wildtrak and Raptor variants.

    Visitors will be able to experience the Wildtrak’s semi-automated parking assist and take part in a One Finger Challenge that shows off the pick-up’s Easy Lift Tailgate. They will also be able to check out the Raptor’s hardcore Fox Racing Shox dampers using a mirror panel.

    The company is also offering various deals on the Ranger, including a chance to win an athletic bicycle for those who book any variant throughout the campaign period. Meanwhile, customers who book the Wildtrak or Raptor from now until September 30 will receive free maintenance for two years and a RM1,000 Petronas gift card. The Wildtrak variants will also be given a RM3,000 rebate during this period.

    The roadshow, which kicked off in Damansara last weekend, will take place in Klang on August 26 and 27, Petaling Jaya on September 6 and 7, Taiping on September 28 and 29 and Seri Kembangan on October 5 and 6. An East Malaysian roadshow will take place at a later date.

     
  • Gojek gets green light from Cabinet for implementation

    Entrepreneur development minister Datuk Seri Mohd Redzuan Yusof today revealed that the Cabinet has agreed in principle to the implementation of motorcycle-based ride-hailing service Gojek in Malaysia.

    The idea for implementing a motorbike ride-hailing service in Malaysia was first brought up following a meeting involving youth and sports minister Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman, Gojek founder Nadiem Makarim and prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

    In a report by The Star, the minister said the matter was discussed at length during the recent meeting, and that the project has been given the green light to proceed.

    “Cabinet in principle has agreed for this Gojek service to be implemented. The Youth and Sports Ministry and the Transport Ministry have been asked to work together and discuss what laws need to be amended or created to enable this service to be implemented in the country,” said Mohd Redzuan.

    The minister added that it could take one or two months for the two ministries to work on a proper manner to allow motorcycle ride-hailing services to be implemented legally, which must then be approved by the Cabinet. “We want to ensure whatever we implement to develop the economy of our youth, it does not contravene the law,” he said.

    The idea for implementing a motorbike ride-hailing service in Malaysia was first brought up following a meeting involving youth and sports minister Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman, Gojek founder Nadiem Makarim and prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

    Motorcycle taxis have existed in Malaysia in the past, with Dego Ride being one such provider. Dego Ride paid riders who provided the service RM5 for the first five kilometres, and 80 sen for every subsequent kilometre after that.

    However, the service was deemed illegal at the time due to safety concerns, with the Road Transport Department (JPJ) also issuing a stern warning to those that continued to provide such services, saying it will seize any motorcycles involved.

    With this change of heart, and with transport minister Anthony Loke declaring that a single company won’t be allowed to monopolise such services, we could be seeing plenty of other companies joining in on the action in the future. What are your thoughts on the matter? Share them with us in the comments below.

     

  • Big Blue Taxi boss threatens protest over Gojek plan

    During a recent press conference at Big Blue Taxi Services’ headquarters, company founder Shamsubahrin Ismail voiced his displeasure at the proposed introduction of Gojek in Malaysia, FMT reports.

    Rather than bringing in a motorcycle-based ride-hailing service, Shamsubahrin preferred if the government focused on resolving the issues involving e-hailing and taxi drivers in the country, instead of supporting Gojek, a move he deemed a “step backwards.”

    “Syed Saddiq is an educated minister but while other ministers are talking about flying cars and third national cars, he is asking young people to become dispatchers. Gojek as a career will not ensure a promising future, our youths deserve better than that.” Shamsubahrin’s statements come after the youth and sports minister expressed his intent to bring Gojek to Malaysia.

    He also explained that the situation in Malaysia was “totally different” from Indonesia, saying that “Gojek can be done in Indonesia because their poverty rate is very high, unlike in Malaysia. Also, their culture is very different compared with ours. In Indonesia, their women can hug the rider just like that but how about Malaysia? Do we want to see our women hugging the riders here and there?”

    On the matter of job creation, Shamsubahrin stated the government should not encourage youths to provide motorcycle ride-hailing services as a source of income. “Gojek, FoodPanda, GrabFood all offer part-time jobs. Youths should instead be given better job opportunities,” he said.

    He also warned that taxi drivers, e-hailing drivers and bus drivers would be affected if the government approved Gojek. Shamsubahrin added that he would not hesitate to organise a protest if the government ignored the company’s standpoint. “I will lead the protest myself, we will go to Putrajaya, and if possible, we will do it in front of Syed Saddiq’s house and Loke’s house,” he said.

     
  • SPIED: 2020 Hyundai Tucson with Le Fil Rouge face

    Hyundai is readying a new version of its Tucson SUV, as these spyshots show. The Korean mid-sized SUV will move into its fourth generation in 2020, five years after the outgoing TL model made its debut.

    Although this test mule is wearing heavy camouflage, we can already see that the new car will be a stylistic departure from the current model. The contours of the front end indicate that the slim upper headlights and the large grille will be integrated into a single mask-like graphic, tapering towards the outer edges.

    Together with the triangular inserts for the grille, the look is reminiscent of last year’s Le Fil Rouge concept, which previewed a new design language for the brand. As with other recent Hyundai SUVs like the Santa Fe and Kona, the headlights are split, with the main lamp units sitting lower down. While the rest of the car is obscured by disguise, one can spot the upswept window line and square wheel arches, just like the Santa Fe.

    Under the bonnet, the Tucson is expected to be offered with a wide range of powertrains, depending on the market. In the United States, the car will likely feature the new third-generation Theta petrol engine, which made its debut in the latest Sonata. Part of the Smartstream family, it will be offered in turbocharged and naturally-aspirated guises.

    As for Europe, the Tucson should receive smaller 1.6 litre Smartstream turbocharged petrol and diesel mills. The former was introduced on the Sonata Turbo in the US, while the latter – which comes with a 48-volt mild hybrid system – is fitted to the current facelifted model. Also expect the Smartstream 2.0 GDi HEV hybrid mill from the Sonata Hybrid in the US, which makes a total of 192 hp in the D-segment sedan.

     

  • Toyota Supra to get a manual swap kit for US$12,000

    Without any confirmation if the latest A90 Toyota GR Supra will be offered with a manual transmission, and with people on the Internet demanding for such an option, a Texas-based tuning company has emerged as a saviour for the three-pedal movement.

    In an interview with CarBuzz, European Auto Group revealed it will offer a manual swap for the Supra and is currently taking customer deposits for US$6,000 (RM25,058). The company’s owner, Art Bartosik, revealed that the swap would take up to 45 days to complete, with a final cost of around US$12,000 (RM50,116), inclusive of parts and labour – you’ll need to supply a donor car.

    That’s quite a sum, especially when you consider the retail price of the Supra in the United States starts from US$49,990. However, if the idea of using the standard ZF eight-speed automatic gearbox isn’t as appealing as rowing through the gears yourself, there’s no other way but to pay.

    The company states that the manual transmission used will be an original BMW OEM part, so it should pair perfectly with the Supra’s B58 3.0 litre turbocharged inline-six engine. Bartosik also expressed interest in using a shifter inspired by the GR HV Sports concept (pictured below), which features a flip-up cap with a button underneath to engage the car’s Sport mode.

    Of course, the swap will most likely/definitely void the car’s warranty but Bartosik says EAG is looking into offering a four-year/ 80,467-km (50,000-mile) warranty to cover all of the cars that undergo the procedure.

    In addition, customers can also order other modifications including an aero kit, a carbon-fibre roof and mirror caps, wheels, as well as suspension and exhaust systems. There will also be power upgrade packages offered in collaboration with BMW tuning firm ProTuning Freaks, with a tuned car expected to make up to 430 hp – the stock engine makes 335 hp.

    If you haven’t heard of EAG before, the company is responsible for other projects like slotting in manual transmissions into the Ferrari F430 and 430 Scuderia. Aside from the Supra, the company is also working on a manual swap kit for the 458 Italia that was sold with a dual-clutch gearbox only.

     
  • Mercedes-Benz EQV all-electric MPV – 405 km range

    Mercedes-Benz Vans has taken the wraps off the series production version of the all-electric EQV ahead of its debut in Frankfurt next month. The EV, which was shown in preview form in Geneva earlier this year, is based on the W447 V-Class facelift and will be offered in two different wheelbase forms – one at 3,200 mm-long, and the other at 3,430 mm.

    The technical elements and specifications for the EQV remain unchanged from that seen in the study. Motive power comes from a compact electric drivetrain (eATS), located on the front axle and driving the front wheels. The unit integrates the electric motor, the transmission (with fixed transmission ratios), the cooling system and the power electronics in a compact housing.

    The eATS offers 205 hp (150 kw) and 362 Nm of output, and is juiced by a 100 kWh lithium-ion battery – with 90 kWh of usable energy – housed on the vehicle’s underfloor, the placment of the unit meaning there is no impact on the interior space of the vehicle. As with the concept, the series production EQV has a 160 km/h top speed.

    Operating range for the production unit is up slightly, the provisional figure now quoted as up to 405 km on a full charge (for the Concept, 400 km). As standard, the EQV is equipped with a water-cooled on-board charger (OBC) with a capacity of 11 kWh, making it suitable for AC charging at home via a Mercedes-Benz Wallbox or at public charging stations. Via AC charging at 11 kW, the battery can be charged to full in under 10 hours.

    With DC charging using the series-standard CCS (Combined Charging Systems) port, charging time drops significatly. An integrated rapid charging function means that the battery can be charged at 110 kW from 10 to 80% state of charge (SoC) in around 45 minutes, and sufficient energy for approximately 100 km of travel can be provided in just 15 minutes.

    To ensure that the technical operating range is used to the maximum, the EQV also charges its batteries when on the move, through recuperation, with an automatically-activated ECO Assistant helping the driver to achieve the best possible efficiency.

    The EQV can be specified as a six-seater with premium seating or with seven or eight seats for use as a heavy-duty family people mover, and there’s up to 1,030 litres of luggage space, depending on configuration.

    Styling elements that differentiate it from the regular V-Class include a high-tech silver exterior and a black panel radiator grille with chrome fins. The wheel size has however been scaled down from the 19-inch units seen on the Concept – the production EQC still rides on specific EQ design lightweight wheels, but in 18-inch guise.

    Inside, the Midnight Blue leather upholstery scheme previewed by the Concept makes its way on, as does rose gold trim. The latter colour, which the company says stands for value and electrification, is featured on infotainment and sound system frame components, while the air vents are finished in Silver Shadow surrounds. Rose gold is also the chosen shade for the decorative contrast stitching for the seats.

    Kit on the EQV includes a MBUX (Mercedes-Benz User Experience) infotainment system, which combines a 10-inch high-resolution touchscreen display with learning voice operation and innovative connectivity features.

    Aside from displaying the charging current, departure time, energy flow and consumption histogram, the system will also – in combination with the Mercedes me app – offer EQV drivers the ability to plan their destinations from the home or office, enter a departure time and bring the interior to the desired temperature.

    The Mercedes-Benz EQV will be produced at the automaker’s plant in Vitoria, Spain, where the V-Class and Vito are also made.

     
  • Two new Mountune kits for Focus RS – 520 PS, 700 Nm

    A hot hatch with 520 PS and 720 Nm? That’s the Ford Focus RS tweaked by Mountune. The famous Ford tuner has introduced two new power upgrade packages called the m450 and m520. Both upgrade kits replace the original turbocharger with a specifically engineered BorgWarner EFR Series turbocharger to dramatically increase outputs.

    The m450 package sees the OE turbo replaced with the Mountune configured BorgWarner EFR-6758 turbocharger for a 50 PS boost to the 2.3 litre EcoBoost engine. Utilising the unique “Low Inertia Gamma-Ti Turbine Wheel”, the m450 takes max output to 450 PS and 580 Nm of torque. The stock car makes 350 PS/470 Nm.

    The inclusion of “Dual Row Ceramic Ball Bearings” delivers quicker acceleration and higher speeds thanks to lower friction and increased response rates from the new turbo.

    Click to enlarge

    Also in the m450 kit are the Mountune Ni-resist Cast Turbo Adapter, V-band high flow sports cat and downpipe, Turbocharger Gasket Set, Mountune 5-Ply Compressor Outlet/Inlet Silicone Elbow and Stainless-Steel Hose Clamp Set.

    The m520 package takes the discontinued all-wheel-drive RS to a whole new level. While some of the m450 package remains for the m520, the turbo has been upgraded again, to a Mountune configured BorgWarner EFR-7163 unit.

    In addition, the m520 also includes an XtremeDi uprated Di fuel pump and revised/uprated camshafts and valve train, which together with the turbo and a revised ECU calibration, take headline figures to 520 PS and 700 Nm.

    With the m450 and m520 packages including all hardware, fittings, and hoses needed for the installation, both kits are an easy addition to those already running the m400R or m400X.

    The m450 and m520 upgrades are available to purchase now starting from £2,950 (RM14,966) and £5,975 (RM30,313) respectively, including UK value added tax (VAT). The new products will soon be available on the Mountune online store, the Brentwood-based company says.

    “Please be aware that both kits require engine internal hardware modifications to ensure the RS achieves the desired performance safely and reliably,” the disclaimer states. Crazy stuff!

    GALLERY: Ford Focus RS

     
  • 2020 Audi RS6 debuts – mild-hybrid, 600 PS, 800 Nm

    Audi Sport, the high-performance division at Audi has unveiled the latest in the super-wagon stakes, the C8-generation RS6 Avant. This marks the first to bear the nameplate with a mild-hybrid powertrain, as well as being the first to be offered in North America. Following previous form, the latest fast Audi debuts in a station wagon bodystyle.

    Traditionally the star attraction within the RS6, the C8-generation RS6 boasts of 600 PS and 800 Nm of torque, the latter produced from 2,100 rpm to 4,500 rpm from its 4.0 litre biturbo petrol V8 engine. This enables the RS6 Avant for a 0-100 km/h sprint time of 3.6 seconds, and 0-200 km/h in 12 seconds.

    As standard, top speed is limited to 250 km/h, with a further two levels courtesy of optional packs – the Dynamic package allows 280 km/h, while the Dynamic package plus grants even more headroom for a maximum of 305 km/h.

    Electrification comes courtesy of a belt starter-generator which provides up to 12 kW of electricity regeneration that is stored in a lithium-ion battery. When the RS6 Avant is driven at speeds between 55 km/h and 160 km/h with no throttle input, the car’s drive management can either recuperate energy or let the car coast for up to 40 seconds with the combustion engine switched off.

    Drive is sent to all four wheels via an eight-speed automatic, and torque distribution is handled by a mechanical centre differential, starting with 40:60 front-to-rear split. Distribution is varied according to available traction, where the differential can send up to 70% drive to the front axle, or up to 85% to the rear axle as required. A sport differential is also present on the rear axle to aid traction and handling, while torque control applies braking to individual inside wheels when cornering to curtail wheelspin.

    Chassis features on the C8 RS6 Avant include five-link suspension at the front and rear, where these and the car’s subframes are made mostly out of aluminium. RS6-specific settings see the fast estate ride 20 mm lower than the mainstream A6 Avant, and the RS sport air suspension enables varying ride heights; it can lower itself by 10 mm at speeds above 118 km/h, or raised by 20 mm in a lift mode at low speeds.

    Rolling stock on the C8 Audi RS6 Avant is comprised of 21-inch cast aluminium wheels shod in 275/35 sized tyres as standard, while RS-specific 22-inch 5-spoke wheels are paired with 285/30 sized tyres in Vorsprung specification, says Audi.

    These can house an optional RS ceramic brake system with discs measuring 440 mm in front and 370 mm at the rear, with the standard steel brake system using discs measuring 420 mm and 370 mm front and rear, respectively. Calipers on the optional ceramics can be specified in grey, red or blue, while those on the standard steel brakes are in black.

    The C8 RS6 Avant driver gets a choice of six driving modes from Audi drive select setup, comprising comfort, auto, dynamic, efficiency and two more user-configurable settings – RS1 and RS2. Its sedan-only competitor, the F90 BMW M5 offers a similar selection with its M1 and M2 buttons, with the Audi enabling the selection via a steering wheel-mounted RS Mode button.

    The drive select controls in the RS6 configure parameters for the engine and transmission management, power steering assistance, suspension, all-wheel steering, the quattro sport rear differential, engine sound and the automatic air conditioning, says Audi. The RS2 mode adds pre-selected switching of the electronic stability control, which can offer more relaxed reins in Sport mode or be switched off completely.

    The Audi virtual cockpit gains RS graphics for the RS6 Avant, and can display tyre pressures, torque and power outputs, engine oil temperature, boost pressure, lap times, acceleration measurements and g-forces. The RS monitor also provides an overview of drive component temperatures, while shift lights help prompt upshifts when peak engine speed is reached.

    The C8 RS6 cabin takes advantage of the Avant body’s dimensions, similarly offering 565 litres with the rear seats up and 1,680 litres with the seats folded, and thus granting a 1.99 m load length. A powered tailgate and luggage compartment cover come standard. Front row occupants get RS sport seats trimmed in Valcona leather with honeycomb patterns and RS embossing, with perforations giving passage to seat ventilation.

    For further load-lugging ability, the C8 RS6 Avant can be optioned with a swivelling trailer hitch, and camera-based trailer assist for helping in reversing and maneouvring with a trailer. The exterior colour palette for the latest RS6 features 13 colours including two RS-specific choices; Nardo Grey and Sebring Black pearl effect, as well as five matte effect finishes and even more choice from the Audi exclusive customisation range.

     
  • Porsche Taycan dashboard shown before Sept 4 debut

    With the Porsche Taycan (pronounced tie-can) set to make its debut soon, the German carmaker has given us our first glimpse of the electric sports car’s dashboard, along with details of the in-car experience that customers will benefit from.

    In terms of layout, the Taycan’s dashboard takes a page out of the latest 911, albeit with a few differences. Similarities include a largely featureless top section with only an analogue clock at the top of dash that Porsche has cheekily set the time set to “9:11” in this instance.

    Just below the clock is a touchscreen for the infotainment system and digital instrument display, with both forming the Porsche Advanced Cockpit. Based on the photo, the driver-specific display contains three circular dials, with a speedometer placed in the middle, and the available drive modes to its right, together with the “transmission” indicator.

    These display and dials are most likely configurable by using the controls on the steering wheel, and while not seen here, the leftmost dial should provide information on the car’s electric drive system.

    An interesting thing to note is the placement of the controls for the car’s stability and suspension systems, which are located right beside the instrument cluster as opposed to the centre console, as is the case with the 911.

    As for the in-car experience, Porsche has fully integrated Apple Music into its infotainment system, providing owners with access to over 50 million songs ad-free, thousands of curated playlists, and the Beats 1 global livestream, with three-year complimentary in-car internet data.

    The company says the subscription-based service is free for new and existing owners for up to six months, so other models with the Porsche Communication Management system should enjoy the service as well.

    “Porsche and Apple Music fit perfectly – we share common values, and the same relentless attitude to user experience, to quality engineering, to design, and to innovation. Together, we bring innovative digital entertainment technologies in our high-performance sports cars, starting with our fully electric Taycan,” said Detlev von Platen, member of the executive board for sales and marketing at Porsche.

    Also available is an optional Burmester High-End Surround Sound System with Apple Digital Masters to ensure music lovers are treated to “studio-quality sound for an unparalleled listening experience.” The Taycan also comes with the Porsche Voice Assistant and support for Apple CarPlay.

    The Taycan will debut on September 4 ahead of market launched at end of the year, and will be powered by an electric all-wheel drive powertrain with over 600 PS. Thanks to an 800-volt electrical system and fast charging, the car is capable of offering around 100 km of range with just four minutes of charging.

    GALLERY: Porsche Taycan prototype

    GALLERY: Porsche Taycan prototype testing at the Nardò Ring

     
  • JPJeBid online number plate bidding system has raked in RM15.6 mil – Johor next with JTR plate series

    The JPJeBid online vehicle number plate bidding system has raked in RM15.6 million in revenue from the five states it has been introduced in, within the last four months, The Star reports. According to road transport department (JPJ) vehicle registration numbers unit director Datuk Mohd Rusdi Mohd Darus, Putrajaya and Federal Territory plates have led the way in terms of revenue generated so far.

    “In Putrajaya, the department collected RM3.1 million in revenue, followed by Federal Territory (RM1.56 million) and Sabah (RM1.1 million),” he said. The online bidding system has been rolled-out in Putrajaya, Federal Territory, Kedah, Penang and Sabah. It has just been introduced in Johor, and Mohd Rusdi said that Negri Sembilan will be the last state designated for the system, with the introduction there slated for November 28.

    He said that the JPJeBid system had been well received so far by the public as it was hassle-free. “Our online system is user-friendly and there is no requirement for documents and bank drafts when bidding for numbers manually, ” he said.

    “So far, about 57,165 individuals have registered as bidders under the JPJeBid system,” he revealed, adding that he department expects the revenue collection through the system will to increase by the end of this year.

    Meanwhile, Johor JPJ director Razali Wagiman said the state was targeting to collect more than RM1 million in revenue through the system for the JTR plate series. He said that the results of the five-day bid, which starts at midnight today until 11.59 pm on Sunday, will be announced next Monday.

    The system began as a pilot project in April with the Putrajaya FC plate series, and the new format was then adopted for serial use starting with the Federal Territory, with the VDN plate series in June. This was followed by its introduction in Kedah. The procedure for registration and the bidding process remains unchanged from that detailed earlier.

     
 

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