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  • 2022 BMW iX3 EV price in Malaysia leaked – all-electric SUV with 453 km range, two trim levels, from RM317k

    In August, during the launch of the BMW iX, BMW Malaysia had confirmed that the all-electric iX3 would be introduced here. Well, it looks like that moment has arrived, or will very soon, given the emergence of leaked price list brochures of the Malaysian-specification G08 iX3.

    The electric SUV will go on sale here in two trim guises. The first is a standard version called iX3 M Sport Inspiring, with prices starting from RM317,360 (on-the-road without insurance), and the inclusion of a Power Package (essentially a BMW i Wallbox and standard charging cable) brings that to RM322,360. The other version is the iX3 M Sport Impressive, which is priced from RM336,360 (again on-the-road without insurance), with the aforementioned Power Package taking it to RM341,360.

    As is the convention with the brand these days, these prices are with a two-year warranty, and adding on the extended warranty (five years, unlimited mileage) and service package brings the price of the iX3 M Sport Inspiring to RM330,800, without the Power Package – opt to take it and it’s RM335,800 in total.

    BMW iX3 M Sport Inspiring. Click to enlarge images.

    Likewise, going with the extended warranty and service package for the iX3 M Sport Impressive means you’ll have to fork out RM349,800 for it (RM354,800 if the Power Package is added in to the equation).

    Both versions will feature the sole powertrain specification available for the car, in this case a rear motor delivering 210 kW (286 PS) and 400 Nm of torque. Performance specs include a 0-100 km/h time of 6.8 seconds and a 180 km/h top speed.

    A 74 kWh (73.8, if you’re counting) lithium-ion battery provides a travel range of 453 to 461 km on a WLTP cycle. The iX3 accepts up to 11 kW of triple-phase AC charging (7.4 kW for single-phase), which juices the battery in 7.5 hours, but there’s also support for up to 150 kW of DC fast charging. This gets the battery from 10% to 80% SOC in 32 minutes and adds 100 km of WLTP-rated range in just 10 minutes.

    BMW iX3 M Sport Impressive. Click to enlarge images.

    Both M Sport versions are dressed with M Sport front/rear bumpers with iX3 specific design cues, and also come with an M Aerodynamics package and M high-gloss Shadowline accents. They do get different sized wheels – the Inspiring is equipped with 19-inch 842 Bicolour aerodynamic wheels, while the Impressive rides on 20-inch 890 M Bicolour aerodynamic units, shod with runflat rubber. Also, the Inspiring is fitted with Adaptive LED headlights, while the Impressive features Laserlight units.

    Inside, you’ll find an M leather steering wheel, front sports seats and M headliner in anthracite on both cars. There’s also BMW Live Cockpit Professional, and a 205 watt, 12-speaker Harman Kardon HiFi audio system on the Inspiring. The Impressive ups that to a 464 watt, 16-speaker system, and also adds on BMW Gesture Control, among other bits. Expect an official announcement to be made on the BMW iX3 for Malaysia very soon.

     
  • 2021 Moto Guzzi V7 Stone Centenario now in Malaysia, celebrating 100 years of Moto Guzzi, RM72,900

    Honouring the centenary of the motorcycle brand from Mandello, the 2021 Moto Guzzi V7 Stone Centenario is now in Malaysia and priced at RM72,900. The V7 Stone Centenario is inspired by the Otto Cilindri 500 cc Championship Moto Guzzi racing machine of 1955 and comes in a special colour scheme of a matt finish green, complemented by metallic grey fuel tank.

    Power still comes from Moto Guzzi’s traverse V-twin, displacing 850 cc with power going through a six-speed gearbox and shaft final drive. Power has taken a small increase for 2021, from 52 hp to 65 hp at 6,800 rpm and torque being bumped up from 60 Nm to 73 Nm at 5,000 rpm.

    Rolling on an 18-inch front and 17-inch rear wheel, the V7 Stone Centenario gets a larger rear tyre in 150/70 size. Braking is done with ABS-equipped single hydraulic discs front and rear while suspension at the front has non-adjustable telescopic forks and the back end is held up with Kayaba shock absorbers, adjustable for preload.

    Lighting on the V7 Stone Centenario is full LED throughout, including the headlight with LED DRL shaped like the Moto Guzzi eagle logo. Inside the cockpit, a single round binnacle comes with a monochrome LCD screen, in keeping with minimalist retro style of the V7 Stone Centenario.

    Moto Guzzi claims a wet weight of 218 kg for the V7 Stone Centenario, while seat height is set at 780 mm and 21 litres of fuel is carried in the tank. The Moto Guzzi V7 Stone Centenario is available at authorised Moto Guzzi dealers in Malaysia with the first batch sold out. However, orders are being taken for the next shipment.

     

  • VIDEO REVIEW: Toyota Corolla Cross 1.8V – RM129k

    This is the moment many aspiring owners of the Toyota Corolla Cross have been waiting for – a review of the range-topping 1.8V variant. At RM129k, it’s only about RM5,000 more than the 1.8G, but packs quite a bit of extra kit.

    That includes bi-LED projector headlights, LED daytime running lights, larger 18-inch dual-tone alloy wheels with Michelin Primacy 4 tyres, a nicer pair of LED combination tail lights, and Toyota Safety Sense system. Like the 1.8G, it also gets a powered tailgate (with foot sensor), keyless entry system, and a 360-degree surround view camera, so that’s nice.

    In our review, we will take you through the things that we really liked about the car, and touch on other aspects that we feel could use some improvements. But all things considered, the Corolla Cross is a real solid choice, and truly has a place in the cutthroat sub-RM140k car market.

    You may check out CarBase.my to take a closer look at its equipment and specifications, or compare it against many other vehicles of your choosing.

     
  • REVIEW: 2021 Toyota Corolla Cross 1.8V – this one’s it

    Our first stint with the Toyota Corolla Cross took place a little over six months ago. At the time, we only spent the better part of two hours driving the entry-level 1.8G variant along the fringes of the state, which honestly wasn’t enough seat time to properly assess the car and provide you with the most meaningful insights.

    When we learned of the 1.8V’s induction to UMW Toyota’s fleet, we had to give it a second go – that much is owed to you, our valued readers. This time, we spent close to a week with it, and let us tell you why it’s definitely worth the small premium over the 1.8G.

    At RM129k, it only costs RM5,000 over the 1.8G

    Just in terms of styling alone, the V already looks so much better than the G. Extras include bi-LED projector headlights, LED daytime running lights that double as turn indicators, larger 18-inch dual-tone alloy wheels, a nicer pair of LED combination tail lights, as well as a glass-covered front badge for the Toyota Safety Sense system.

    These slightly premium touches really do elevate the look and feel of the crossover, but it’s still far from the best-looking one in its segment. We think the Taiwanese GR Sport variant and Japanese hybrid have a far more likeable front fascia, but this is what we’ll get for now. Like the 1.8G, it also gets a powered tailgate (with foot sensor), keyless entry system, and a 360-degree surround view camera.

    Cabin appointments are pretty similar to the 1.8G

    Save for a few additional buttons on the steering wheel for the ADAS system, the interior between the 1.8G and 1.8V is pretty much identical. There’s not much to get excited about, but what we really liked was how utterly breezy ingress and egress was.

    The car sits at the perfect height, not too tall like full blown SUVs such as the Mazda CX-5, Honda CR-V and Proton X70, and not too low like a typical hatchback. This is especially beneficial for those with a limited range of mobility, plus the door apertures are wide enough for individuals to easily transition from wheelchairs or walkers, and vice versa.

    While the cockpit may not reek of sophistication, it still feels quite solidly built. The steering wheel is almost identical to the one found in the Harrier, which feels premium to say the least. The only difference is the centre boss and bottom spoke design, but otherwise, the leather wrapping and switchgear tactility are top notch. All four windows also feature auto up-down functionality, a quality-of-life feature that somehow continues to elude most Honda cars, including the Accord.

    During our first impressions drive, it was noted that the hard plastics used for the dashboard wasn’t done in good taste. While a soft touch material is still preferred, we do think the harder variety will be far more resistant to heat and UV exposure over, say, the next decade or two.

    Leather seat upholstery with white contrast stitching is standard. The seats are plenty comfortable for long drives, although the front ones could use slightly better lower bolster support. We like the treatments done to the rear quarters – four cubby holes, twin centre air vents and 2.1A USB charging ports, two Isofix child seat anchors, and a 60:40 split configuration.

    Now for the things that are not as nice. There is no electrochromic rear-view mirror nor LED map lights, but at least there are faint blue LED mood lighting along the doors. The nine-inch infotainment display is pleasantly responsive, but the overall user experience is a bit of a mixed bag.

    To start, the 360-degree camera feed looks glaringly odd to the point of being useless, and there isn’t a dedicated “back” button that takes you back to the main screen, even after shifting into P. There is Apple CarPlay and Android Auto support, but you’ll have to plug your phone into the USB connection at the bottom right side of the display.

    Yes, you’ll have to live with a dangling cable. In other markets, the port exists below the climate control console, which makes things that much tidier. Honda cars fare better in this regard, usually offering a lot more storage spaces along the centre tunnel. There’s no beating the Mazda CX-30‘s cockpit in terms of absolute build and perceived quality, but the upside is the Toyota is a tad more practical.

    A six-speaker sound system is standard, but audio reproduction is mediocre at best. There’s only so much the custom equaliser can do to fix things.

    Meanwhile, the 440 litres of boot space is class leading. It’s only slightly bigger than the Honda HR-V (437 litres), but the HR-V has magic seats, so it is definitely more practical if you’re always moving stuff instead of humans. Otherwise, the Corolla Cross is sufficient for most people.

    TNGA is the real deal

    As a daily urban runabout, the Corolla Cross is almost impossible to fault. It’s quite a bit bigger than the HR-V or Proton X50, yet it doesn’t feel intimidating to drive in and around old townships or city centres, where roads are narrow and parking lots are cramped. You won’t have to second guess your manoeuvres, too, assuming you’re competently spatially aware.

    It’s also a very easy car to drive. The steering is light, the ride is comfortable, and the engine is very refined. In case you didn’t know, the 2ZR-FE 1.8 litre four-cylinder engine under the bonnet is the same one found in the Corolla sedan, developing 139 PS and 172 Nm of torque.

    A continuously variable transmission (made by Aisin, maker of some of the best gearboxes in the world) is standard, and it has seven virtual ratios that very impressively mimics the gearshifts of a torque converter automatic. At low speeds, the engine feels very eager and responsive, a bit like the Myvi, but with more finesse and restraint.

    That’s a good thing, because getting off the line feels easier, and the engine is silent for the most part. The numbers on paper may suggest some lethargy, but we don’t think it’s underpowered at all. In fact, it gets up to speed at a decent pace, and has enough “in-gear” grunt to swiftly overtake vehicles, even at 100 km/h.

    After driving several Honda cars with Earth Dreams CVT, we find the Aisin CVT drone to be much more muted in comparison, so that was a pleasant surprise. As for the fuel consumption test, we managed an average of 6.7 litres per 100 km (or 15 km/l) on mixed driving conditions (mostly urban and extra urban), which is dang good considering that the car weighs 1.4 tonnes.

    That puts it over 100 kg heavier than the HR-V, and though they both have a torsion beam rear suspension, the setup on the Corolla Cross feels better sorted and less primitive, if you will. Rebounds can at times feel stiff, but it’s nowhere near as crashy as the HR-V. Toyota aced the rear axle design here, and the fact that it rides on the stellar TNGA platform is a win for buyers.

    Refinement is also very good – the 1.8V runs on 18-inch wheels wrapped with Michelin Primacy 4 tyres. Tyre roar on these are much less pronounced compared to the Bridgestone Alenzas on the 1.8G’s 17-inch hoops. Not much else in the way of noise are able to creep into the cabin, so this is probably class leading.

    If the extra kit doesn’t justify the premium, then Toyota Safety Sense will

    Over the course of our testing, the adaptive cruise control and lane centring assist worked flawlessly all the time. The steering, braking and acceleration assistance have a certain grace to it, without feeling alarmingly intrusive when kicking in. There’s a small amount of self-steering when cruising, but you’ll have to keep your hands on the wheel to prevent the system from being disabled.

    It’s not Level 2 or semi-assisted self-driving yet, though. There’s no low speed follow function, and the lane tracing system isn’t the most advanced one yet. Otherwise, there’s autonomous emergency braking, seven airbags, tyre pressure monitoring system, automatic high beam assist, blind spot monitoring, and rear cross-traffic alert.

    These are definitely nice add-ons over the 1.8G, which only get blind spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, seven airbags, and 360-degree surround view camera.

    Verdict

    We don’t know what it is about the Corolla Cross, but there’s a strong sense of charm in the utility and ease of use that it offers. Personally, I kept looking for reasons to want to drive this car instead of the sedans at home. Call it ageing, but I really look forward to driving it every time – it’s just a great comfy cruiser.

    The Corolla Cross’ arrival may be six years too late to take on the HR-V, but it’s no longer about fighting Honda. There is a real place for the Corolla Cross in this market. Some people find the CR-V, CX-5 and X70 too big and intimidating to drive around, and cars like the X50 or Subaru XV a touch too small for their liking. This is a solid middle ground.

    The engine is responsive, it has a big boot, nice plush leather seats, a very refined cabin, and it’s the right size and height. It’s the little things that Toyota gets right, and we really do think it’s an easy car to recommend. Really, get the 1.8V over the 1.8G, because the small premium is just too good to pass on. As for the hybrid, well, let’s save that for another day.

     
  • Land Rover Series I – history at L663 Defender launch

    Tucked away in a corner at the Malaysian launch event of the new 2022 Land Rover Defender yesterday was a piece of history, offering a glimpse into the brand’s heritage and providing a neat visual counterpoint to the new SUV. The vehicle in question? The spiritual ancestor of the L663, a Land Rover, from a time when it wasn’t yet known as the Defender.

    The example is a Series I model, which was first produced in 1948. Based on exterior visual cues, it should be a 80 Mark II from the early ’50s, as denoted by the original Selangor plates it still wears from the period, when the FMS plates moved to its B identifier from 1948.

    When it first debuted, the off-roader was equipped with a 1.6 litre petrol engine and a four-speed manual transmission – a 2.0 litre mill was introduced in the early ’50s. The Series II – with the waistline most are familiar with today – came about in 1958, and the Series III continued the Land Rover Series’ journey from 1971 until 1985.

    By this time, the vehicle had already evolved into the original Defender, which arrived in 1983 as the 110, later joined by the 90, suffixes that continue with the new car. In 2013, it was announced that time would be called on the Defender, and 68 years after the first Land Rover Series came about, the last prev-gen Defender rolled off the production line in Solihull in February 2016, with over two million examples of both types built.

    The display area at the event also showcased the car’s history through a series of framed visual pieces, with local perspective inserted in for good measure, like the Series I that played a significant part during the declaration of independence of Malaya in 1957.

     
  • Zeekr Autonomous Driving tested in busy intersection

    Launched in April this year, the Zeekr 001 fully electric vehicle has now been shown demonstrating its Zeekr Autonomous Driving capabilities in a video released by the Geely Group.

    According to the video’s description, the vehicle seen in the footage was being tested in the Hangzhou bay area near the Zeekr Intelligent Factory in Zhejiang, China, and the video clip of slightly more than one minute’s length depicts the car negotiating a busy intersection on its own, though with a driver present to oversee proceedings.

    There are two different manoeuvres shown here. The first is a left turn (across traffic for a left-hand-drive environment), and the car can be seen to handle steering inputs on its own to cross the junction. The autonomous steering inputs appear somewhat jagged compared to that of a sufficiently experienced human driver, but the system gets the vehicle and its occupant safely across.

    The second manoeuvre is a U-turn at a different intersection. Here, the overlaid graphics suggest that the car detects the pedestrians at the crosswalk as it approaches them and slows down. Like with the earlier demonstration of the autonomously driven left turn scenario, the steering inputs appear to be slightly different compared to what a human driver may execute.

    Instead of straightening out towards the right-hand-side lane and making the lane selection further down the road, the system continues applying full left lock to bring the car into the middle lane immediately, with some minor steering corrections before straightening out.

    The video description notes that the footage is one of a product being tested, and may differ from the final product and service that will be made available to the end user. The description also notes that initial deliveries of the Zeekr 001 has already begun.

    Originally set to go on sale in China this month, the year’s allocation for the Zeekr 001 had already been sold out by June, Reuters reported at the time. Two powertrain options are on the table, with the same 272 PS/384 Nm motor offering single-motor RWD or dual-motor AWD layouts. The dual-motor AWD variant does 0-100 km/h in 3.8 seconds, and tops out at 200 km/h, says Zeekr.

    There are also two battery options – capacities of 86 kWh or 100 kWh are offered, with the larger of the two offering 606 km of range in the dual-motor AWD and 726 km of range in the single-motor RWD. Charging at up to 360 kW DC can be supported thanks to its 400-volt electrical architecture, and this can allow the topping up of 120 km of range in just five minutes, claims Zeekr.

    GALLERY: Zeekr 001

     
  • 2022 Range Rover teased, leaked before Oct 26 debut

    Believe it or not, the fourth-generation Range Rover has been around since 2012, with continuous updates helping to keep the premium SUV fresh and relevant. However, the time has come for the current model to be retired, as Land Rover has begun teasing the next-generation Range Rover that will make its debut on October 26 this year.

    The blurry image provided makes spotting details a tall order, but you can clearly make it out to be a Range Rover, which isn’t difficult considering the SUV has kept to its iconic profile for over 50 years now. There’s also a close-up of the model’s grille, showing a different inlay design compared to the honeycomb-like look of the current model.

    While the teaser images don’t tell us a lot, shortly after the announcement, images of the model from an unreleased issue of France’s 4×4 Magainze were leaked by cochespias on Instagram. These seemingly confirm the evolutionary approach that Land Rover with styling the new Range Rover.

    At the front, we see the new grille design that has the same inlay teased, along with a thicker frame. The headlamps are also sleeker and continue to sport smaller sections that are linked by daytime running lights, while the lower intake is now one big, full-width rectangular piece.

    Along the sides, the Range Rover follows in the footsteps of the Velar and Evoque by adopting flush door handles, while the front doors have a more subtle take on the vertical strakes of the outgoing model. The character line that runs from the front all the way to the rear has also been raised closer to the window line, ending at a trim piece rather than the taillights.

    On that mention, the most significant changes happen at the rear, with the large taillight clusters being omitted entirely. Instead, there are vertical light bars that are bridged by a trim piece running across the more vertical tailgate, with the Range Rover script in the middle. The simplification also extends to the rear lower apron, although there are now two shark fin antennas instead of just one.

    One of the images also show us the revamped interior, which has a somewhat familiar dashboard layout as the current model. Changes here include a new steering wheel design, a larger touchscreen infotainment system, a gear lever instead of a rotary selector, and the secondary touchscreen appears to have been removed in favour of normal HVAC buttons and dials.

    While there’s not much official information on what’s going on underneath the new body, Autocar reports the upcoming Range Rover will be underpinned by a new platform that is said to accommodate regular internal combustion, plug-in hybrid and even fully-electric powertrains. That last one will make the new Range Rover the brand’s first electric vehicle, although we’ll need to wait to see what Land Rover has planned.

    GALLERY: 2022 Range Rover leaked images

     
  • Bankrupt SsangYong to be sold to Korean EV startup Edison Motors – ‘we will overtake Tesla’ is the motto

    It looks like financially troubled SsangYong Motor has finally found itself a new owner. A South Korean consortium led by local EV startup Edison Motors has been recommended as the preferred bidder to acquire SsangYong, the company said on Wednesday, citing a statement released from the Seoul Bankruptcy Court.

    SsangYong and court-appointed accounting firm EY Hanyoung plan to submit an official document for the selection of Edison Motors within this week, and the bankruptcy court is widely expected to approve the proposal, Yonhap reported. The other known bidders were EV firm Electrical Life Business and Technology (EL B&T) and Los Angeles-based EV maker INDI EV.

    The next steps will see SsangYong and EY Hanyoung sign an MoU with the Edison consortium for the deal by the end of this month. In November, Edison will conduct a two-week due diligence on SsangYong and then sign a deal to acquire the SUV-specialist, the statement added.

    Edison Motors has said that it will set up a special purpose company to raise 800 billion to 1 trillion won (RM2.8 to RM3.5 billion) to acquire SsangYong. Currently an electric bus and truck maker, the company – which has a “We will overtake Tesla” motto and dreams of being an “Apple of the EV industry” – said it aims to transform SsangYong to an EV-focused carmaker. The turnaround is expected to happen in three to five years.

    The very confident company, led by chairman Kang Young-kwon, has plans for a “Smart S” flagship passenger car EV that it vows will be superior to the Tesla Model S. Three motors, 644 hp (480 kW), 0-100 km/h in less than 2.5 seconds and 800 km of range from a single charge are the targets for this “Super Class EV”. Also in the plans are a smaller Tesla Model 3 rival called the “Smart E” and an SUV called the “Smart X”.

    It all sounds impressive, but they’ve got to develop and build the cars. Perhaps that’s where SsangYong’s assets and capacity come in.

    If you’re wondering how the maker of the Rexton and Stavic got here, China’s SAIC Motor acquired a 51% stake in SsangYong in 2004 but relinquished control of it in 2009 in the wake of the 2008-09 global financial crisis. Two years later, the Korean carmaker fell into Indian hands, when Mahindra acquired a majority stake. They are the current owners of SsangYong with 74.65% holdings, but with sales falling, Mahindra has vowed to no longer inject funds into SsangYong.

    Current models include the once-popular-in-Malaysia Rexton, Korando and Tivoli SUVs.

     
  • 2022 Proton Iriz vs Persona facelifts – new Malaysian hatchback and sedan get compared side by side

    Proton launched the facelifted Iriz and Persona in August this year, and we’re now bringing you a side-by-side gallery of both in their range-topping guises. In the case of the Iriz, it is the Active which is priced at RM54,800, while the Persona is represented in Premium specification that goes for RM55,800 – these are on-the-road prices without insurance and factor in the ongoing 100% sales tax exemption for locally-assembled (CKD) cars.

    Prior to the latest facelift, the Iriz had its own front fascia where a full-width chrome strip plunges downwards to cradle the Proton emblem. This is different from the Persona of the time that has its chrome strip running down the inner edges of the headlamps and across the base of the grille, which also comes with a different inlay compared to the hatchback.

    With the latest models, both now carry a nearly identical front-end that features Proton’s Infinite Weave grille with the latest round badge. There is still a slight difference though, as the Persona has a chrome grille frame, while the Iriz has a black upper and red lower similar to the X50.

    2022 Proton Iriz Active (left), Persona Premium (right)

    Lower down, the bumper has also been redesigned, with a broader lower grille and slimmer corner air intakes that house the LED daytime running light strips. As for the rear, it’s largely the same as per the previous facelift, but the bumper strip is now red instead of chrome on the Iriz – the Persona keeps the chrome.

    The Active variant is exclusive to the hatchback and comes with SUV-style cues for a more rugged vibe. These include black plastic cladding, silver skid plates on the bumpers, silver roof rails, a black roof and side skirts, while the lower intake at the front is treated to a silver surround and a honeycomb mesh.

    As mentioned in our initial launch post, wheel sizes have gone up an inch across the board, so the two cars you see here are wearing 16-inch alloys, with those on the Iriz being unique to the Active with their two-tone, multi-spoke design.

    2022 Proton Iriz Active (left), Persona Premium (right)

    Moving inside, it’s again a case of similar but not identical, as both sport a revamped dashboard with a freestanding touchscreen measuring eight inches. The infotainment system in the range toppers come with the Geely Key User Interface (GKUI) and an eSIM for online navigation, music streaming, WiFi connectivity and the “Hi Proton” voice control system.

    The placement of the screen forces the centre air vents, previously on either side of the head unit, downwards, sandwiching the hazard light and door lock buttons in the middle. Further down, there’s the manual air-conditioning controls and three USB ports instead of just one, with another being added near the rear-view mirror to make it easier to fit a dash cam.

    Elsewhere, there’s a new centre console with a cleaner, one-piece design and houses the gear lever, three cupholders as well as switches for the front parking sensors, stability control and a new Eco drive mode. Joining this revision is a much-clamoured armrest, two more USB ports at the back of the console and a redesigned steering wheel airbag boss.

    2022 Proton Iriz Active (left), Persona Premium (right)

    Like the front-ends of both models, the furnishings differ between the two, with the Iriz getting black, part-leather seats (with “Active” embroidered on the headrests), red seat belts, alloy pedals and red accents for some trim pieces. By comparison, the Persona goes for the classy look, receiving brown leatherette upholstery, normal black seat belts and silver trim instead.

    The Iriz and Persona variants pictured here are powered by a 1.6 litre naturally-aspirated four-cylinder VVT petrol engine that delivers 109 PS at 5,750 rpm and 150 Nm of torque at 4,000 rpm. The mill drives the front wheels via a Punch CVT, which is the only transmission available – the previous five-speed manual has been dropped.

    While the 1.6 litre engine is the only engine fitted across the Persona range, the base Iriz variant – the Standard – can be had with a 1.3 litre VVT unit that makes 95 PS at 5,750 rpm and 120 Nm, also paired with a CVT.

    GALLERY: 2022 Proton Iriz Active

    GALLERY: 2022 Proton Persona Premium

     
  • Australian state approves RM9.3k EV purchase rebate; commits RM530m on chargers, RM102m on govt fleet

    The New South Wales state parliament in Australia has passed an electric vehicle incentives package, at a cost of AUD$490 million (RM1.52 billion) to the 2021-2022 New South Wales state budget that was announced in June, reports Car Expert.

    Car buyers in the Australian state who have registered for new electric cars priced below AUD$78,000 (RM243,181) after September 1 may apply for a refund on stamp duty, while those who are purchasing EVs priced below AUD$68,750 (RM214,340) are eligible for a AUD$3,000 (RM9,353) rebate, and 25,000 of these rebate grants are being made available. Applications will open November 1, said the report.

    Additionally, eligible electric vehicles in the Australian state will also be permitted to use Transit T2 and T3 lanes from November 1 this year until at least October 31, 2022.

    New South Wales will also spend AUD$171 million (RM532.6 million) on charging infrastructure. This is comprised of AUD$131 million (RM408 million) on ultra-fast chargers to be delivered by the private sector, AUD$20 million (RM62.3 million) in grants for destinations chargers in aid of regional tourism, and AUD$20 million (RM62.3 million) for public transport hubs.

    On top of those, a further AUD$33 million (RM102.8 million) has been earmarked to help the New South Wales state government transition its fleet of passenger vehicles to EVs “where feasible,” with the aim of making its fleet a fully electric one by 2030. The state government’s vehicles are typically sold after three to five years of use, stimulating the used car market, notes Car Expert.

    While New South Wales has committed to a road user charge – as neighbouring Victoria state has done – that will cost NSW EV users 2.5 cents (7.8 Malaysian sen) per km in place of a fuel excise placed on internal combustion vehicles, NSW has committed to defer the EV user charge to 2027, or at any point prior when EVs have reached 30% market share.

    “This is a comprehensive suite of measures which ensures we have the right mix in place to boost the take-up of electric vehicles and give people access to the latest technology. The strategy also starts us down the road of long-term tax reform as we embark on phasing out stamp duty on EVs and making sure everyone who drives on our roads contributes to their funding and maintenance, NSW premier Dominic Perrottet said.

    The Electric Vehicle Council market report found that 7,248 EVs were sold in Australia between January and June 2021, in addition to 1,440 PHEVs. The combined 8,688 sales in that time accounted for 1.57% market share, up from 0.78% in 2020. More EVs were sold in the first half of 2021 than in the full year of 2020 in Australia, it said.

     
 
 
 

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Last Updated 21 Oct 2021