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  • 2024 Peugeot e-2008 EV spied in Malaysia – facelift GT spec with 156PS, 406 km range, coming soon?

    2024 Peugeot e-2008 EV spied in Malaysia – facelift GT spec with 156PS, 406 km range, coming soon?

    It looks like we’re finally getting the Peugeot e-2008, more than a year after we were supposed to get it. The French electric SUV was recently spotted undisguised – save for some taped-up badges – at the Gentari charging station in X Park Sunway Serene, as posted by Facebook user Azlan Mahmud in the Malaysian Electric Vehicle Owners Club (MyEVOC) group.

    The e-2008 was caught in facelifted guise, as denoted by the revised triple-projector LED headlights (marking this out as the sportier GT model), wider grille, massive triple-claw LED daytime running lights and redesigned taillights. Also visible is the Selenium Grey hero colour, black roof (another GT signature) and the optional 18-inch “Evissa” black alloy wheels.

    It’s a good job we’ll be getting the facelifted model, because it means we should receive the new high-powered variant that produces 156 PS (115 kW) and 260 Nm from its front motor, an increase of 20 PS. Meanwhile, a marginally larger 54 kWh (previously 50 kWh) has boosted range from 345 km to a much more usable 406 km.

    2024 Peugeot e-2008 EV spied in Malaysia – facelift GT spec with 156PS, 406 km range, coming soon?

    The e-2008 supports up to 100 kW of DC fast charging, taking 30 minutes to charge the battery from 20 to 80%. As yet, it’s unclear if the Malaysian-spec model will have a single-phase 7.4 kW or triple-phase 11 kW AC onboard charger, the former taking four hours and 40 minutes to charge the battery to the same percentage.

    Other new features on the facelifted model include a revised ten-inch digital instrument cluster, a standard-fit ten-inch infotainment touchscreen (previously seven inches), wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto and new colours for the eight-colour ambient lighting. You also now get three USB-C ports – two at the front, one at the rear.

    We still don’t know exactly when the e-2008 will be launched in Malaysia, but Stellantis has already hinted at it being sometime in the middle of the year. Pricing is also an unknown quantity, but as the car is slated to be CKD locally assembled (and it appears the battery might even be built here, too), we’re expecting it to be competitive.

    GALLERY: Peugeot e-2008 facelift

     
  • Volvo details exit from Polestar – will divest 62.7% of its shares to investors, maintain 18% stake

    Volvo details exit from Polestar – will divest 62.7% of its shares to investors, maintain 18% stake

    It’s never a good look when your own parent is looking to disown you to save your skin, but that’s exactly what’s happening to Polestar. The electric vehicle specialist will cease to receive funding from Volvo, which will hand its responsibility for the firm back to its own parent Geely.

    As part of the move, Gothenburg will be divesting at least some of its 48% stake in Polestar. It’s proposing to distribute 62.7% of its shares – said to be worth a total of SEK9.5 billion (RM4.4 billion) – to its shareholders, retaining a 18% stake and ensuring it retain some form of influence on the company.

    This is despite Geely taking over operational and financial responsibilities for Polestar. Volvo will continue to collaborate with Polestar on R&D, manufacturing, after sales and commercial activities; the latter also still has an outstanding US$1 billion (RM4.8 billion) convertible loan.

    Formerly a Volvo-affiliated racing team, Polestar has gone through many phases since it was bought over in 2015 – first as its performance sub-brand, then spun off as a separate EV-focused outfit. The company has churned out four models – the Polestar 1 hybrid sports coupé, 2 sedan and 3 and 4 SUVs – and is in the midst of developing a fifth based on the stunning Precept concept.

    But it’s been in dire straits as of late, struggling to ramp up production and cut prices to match stiff competition from the likes of Tesla and BYD. This is reflected in the brand’s sales last year – it cut its initial target from 80,000 to 60,000 units, yet still failed to meet it, selling just 54,600 cars globally.

    Just last month, Polestar rang alarm bells when it announced it was cutting around 450 jobs, or 15% or its workforce. It’s not alone – Volvo itself had to trim its workforce by a staggering 1,500 last year, making this move to cut Polestar off somewhat of a necessity.

     
  • Renault 5 EV debuts – 150 PS/245 Nm single motor, up to 52 kWh NMC battery for up to 400 km range WLTP

    Renault 5 EV debuts – 150 PS/245 Nm single motor, up to 52 kWh NMC battery for up to 400 km range WLTP

    After teasing and a prototype showing, the Renault 5 hatchback has now officially made its debut as a battery-electric vehicle.

    Called the Renault 5 E-Tech Electric, as known by its full name, the French hatchback reborn as an EV reprises the angular silhouette of its 1972 ancestor with what Renault dubs a ‘retrofuturistic’ style, with key design features of the ICE-powered original redesigned for its present-day EV application, such as the bonnet vent grille that is now a battery charge indicator.

    The Renault 5 gets a lighting signature that features a pair of rectangles in the corners of the front bumper, located where the fog lamps were on the original Renault 5 Turbo. A floating rectangular design is employed for the full LED headlamps.

    Compact dimensions continue to be the brief for the Renault 5 in its new E-Tech Electric iteration, measuring 3.92 m long, 1.77 m wide and 1.50 m tall with a wheelbase of 2.54 m and wheel track widths of 1.55 m and 1.53 m front and rear, respectively, with a claimed weight of under 1,500 kg. Rolling stock for all versions of the Renault 5 E-Tech Electric are 18-inch alloy wheels, shod in 195/55R18 tyres.

    The Renault 5 E-Tech Electric is the first from the manufacturer to be built on the AmpR Small vehicle architecture, formerly known as CMF-B EV. Renault says that the AmpR Small is an electric platform with an ‘optimised carryover’, and is “in no way a combined ICE-electric platform.”

    For powertrain, the Renault 5 E-Tech Electric will be available in three variants – 110 kW (150 PS/245 Nm), 90 kW (122 PS/225 Nm) and 70 kW (95 PS/215 Nm), with the front-mounted 150 PS motor variant drawing energy from a 52 kWh battery while the 122 PS and 95 PS motor variants are fed by a 40 kWh battery.

    The top variant with the 52 kWh battery offers a claimed range of up to 400 km, while the other two variants with the 40 kWh offer up to 300 km of range; both are based on the WLTP testing protocol. Both are nickel manganese cobalt (NMC) for the best energy density on the market, claims Renault.

    For DC fast charging, the 110 KW (150 PS) version of the Renault 5 E-Tech Electric with the 52 kWh battery can receive up to 100 kW of DC charging, while the 90 kW (122 PS) powertrain with the 40 kWh battery can be recharged at up to 80 kW DC. Both variants take 30 minutes to recharge from 15-80% SoC (state of charge).

    As for AC charging, the 110 kW (150 PS) and 90 kW (122 PS) versions support up to 11 kW, with support for bi-directional charging for vehicle-to-load (V2L) powering of external devices at up to 3.7 kW, and vehicle-to-grid (V2G) feeding of electricity back to the power grid. The base 70 kW (95 PS) variant gets 11 kW AC unidirectional charging.

    Safety kit on the Renault 5 E-Tech Electric is claimed to be on par with vehicles from the segment above the 5’s own B-segment, notably with reverse AEB, emergency lane keeping and safe passenger exit, in addition to assistance systems including intelligent adaptive cruise control with stop-and-go and lane centring assist, and hands-free parking.

    Further safety-led assistance is brought by Safety Coach, which is a tool to “objectively assesses the driver’s behaviour and practices to provide personalised advice for driving and use of the ADAS, in order to suggest possible improvements.”

    Staying with the sustainability theme, the Renault 5 E-Tech Electric gets seat fabric made from fully recyclable material on Techno and Iconic Chiq trim levels, where the latter also gets bio-source materials for its steering upholstery and sound insulation. In a nod to its origins, the EV hatch can also be specified with a baguette holder for when the driver needs their own energy top-up on the go.

    In terms of infotainment, the brand’s OpenR Link multimedia system features with Google built-in, offering access to a range of apps including Google Maps, Google Assistant and more from Google Play. Smartphone integration comes courtesy of wired Android Auto and wireless Apple CarPlay; all versions feature a 10.1-inch central screen.

    The Renault 5 also brings Reno, an avatar to function as a virtual companion with answers for up to 200 pre-loaded questions, such as “Hey Reno, how do I connect my phone to the car?”,or “Hey Reno, how do I change a tyre?”. Artificial intelligence also features, with ChatGPT integrated for Reno to answer a range of questions in a conversational manner.

    At launch, the Renault 5 E-Tech Electric will be offered in two trim levels for the aforementioned 110 kW (150 PS) powertrain – Techno, and Iconic Chiq. Three exterior colours are offered at debut, and these are Pop Yellow, Pop Green, Pearl White, Starry Black and Midnight Blue. The Renault 5 E-Tech Electric starts from around 25,000 euros (RM129,261) in Europe.

     
  • Carro Care body & paint centre promo until March 31 – get 30% off, respray your car from just RM2,100

    Carro Care body & paint centre promo until March 31 – get 30% off, respray your car from just RM2,100

    If you plan to keep your car longer, giving it a brand new coat of paint can make you fall in love with it all over again because it will look like it just rolled off the assembly line.

    Good news – you can enjoy Carro Care body & paint centre’s promo where you can get your car repainted with a 30% discount! All you need to do is click here and fill up the form with your details.

    Here’s the pricelist and promo price. You can respray any car, it does not have to be in the list of models below. The models are meant to be an example of the pricing categories.

    Carro Care body & paint centre promo until March 31 – get 30% off, respray your car from just RM2,100

    Carro Care currently has two Body & Paint centres are located in Taman Perindustrian Subang in USJ and Ulu Tiram in Johor.

    Click here to submit your details to make a booking. Just key in your name and contact details in the form and you’ll be contacted.

    Carro Care body & paint centre promo until March 31 – get 30% off, respray your car from just RM2,100

    Here’s the benefits of using Carro Care for a full car respray package:

    • 3-year warranty – if you notice any defects, you can send it in for rectification
    • High quality Nippon automotive paint used
    • Japanese paint master with 25 years of experience leading the team

    Here are testimonial videos from previous customers who have used Carro Care’s full car respray package:

    VIDEO: Proton Waja full restoration

    Sometimes you don’t wait a new car, as your current car has sentimental value to your family. In this case, why not do a full restoration?

    VIDEO: Perodua Myvi full car respray

    This lady sent her Perodua Myvi in for a full car respray service. Watch the video to see the results.

    VIDEO: Honda Civic FE full car respray

    Unsatisfied with uneven colour matching due to accident repair of his Honda Civic FE, Zee decided to use myTukar’s Body & Paint centre for a full car respray. He also reveals some interesting facts about other full car respray advertisements he found online.

    VIDEO: Audi TT full car respray

    This Audi TT was sent in for a change of colour to yellow and black!

     
  • TNB gets 98 new EVs, plans 30% electric fleet by 2030

    TNB gets 98 new EVs, plans 30% electric fleet by 2030

    As the country’s electricity provider, you might imagine that Tenaga Nasional (TNB) will be spearheading the public sector’s move towards electrification. As it turns out, the utility company is making the first steps in that direction, as it has committed to electrifying 30% of its fleet by 2030.

    That may not seem like such a big percentage, but according to Bernama, that still constitutes more than 1,000 vehicles. Or at least, so says TNB’s president and CEO Datuk Seri Baharin Din, who added that the initiative is in line with government’s goal of achieving carbon neutrality by 2050.

    Baharin said TNB is kicking off the move with the recent rollout of nearly 100 new EVs. “In a significant step towards realising this commitment, Tenaga is accelerating its transition to electric vehicles with the deployment of 98 new units, comprising 78 electric pickup trucks and 20 electric vans,” he said in a statement on Sunday. “This brings the total number of EVs in the TNB fleet to 127.”

    TNB gets 98 new EVs, plans 30% electric fleet by 2030

    He added that the electrification of TNB’s fleet will make a significant contribution to the government’s target of having EV sales make up 20% of the total industry volume (TIV) sales by 2030, in line with the National Automotive Policy (NAP) 2020.

    “The economic benefits of Tenaga’s EV adoption initiative are substantial, with anticipated cost savings ranging from 35% to 86% on repair and maintenance, and 25 to 70% lower energy costs compared to conventional fossil-fuel vehicles. Tenaga also anticipates an annual offset of approximately 6 to 12% in fossil fuel expenditure,” he said.

    We reported last month that TNB received several new Maxus T90 EV pick-ups as part of this push. The company reportedly received initial units sometime in the middle of last year, but this latest delivery hints at the impending launch of the truck, which has yet to go on sale.

     
  • 2024 Proton X70 facelift spied – new wheels from Geely Boyue FL, old dashboard from current model

    2024 Proton X70 facelift spied – new wheels from Geely Boyue FL, old dashboard from current model

    The upcoming 2024 Proton X70 facelift has been spied testing in public once again, this time also by a paultan.org who wishes to remain anonymous. This comes shortly after the most recent sighting of the updated C-segment SUV last week.

    This most recent sighting is claimed to have taken place in Cheras, and while there continues to be some amount of camouflage, we can now see the facelifted X70’s wheels, and here these can be seen to be of the design used on the Geely Boyue update that emerged in 2022.

    Although the exterior of this most recently-sighted development vehicle continues to be camouflaged much as before, our anonymous source tells us that the interior of the upcoming, revised X70 sports the same dashboard design as on the current model.

    Where this differs from the 2022 Boyue update is in its infotainment unit, the newer model sporting a rectangular infotainment screen whereas the existing X70 employs a rounded-trapezoidal design.

    Elsewhere, the exterior of the upcoming X70 facelift test unit appears to be as before, its revised headlamps and L-shaped DRL arc just about visible from this side profile angle. As before, the grille on the upcoming X70 facelift is different from that of the equivalent Geely Boyue, with the Proton getting its own cascading pin design.

    With the more frequent sighting of development vehicles for the Proton X70 facelift, with a growing level of detail becoming visible, a formal debut could be taking place soon. Would you be shopping for a C-segment SUV, and be waiting for the facelifted X70?

    GALLERY: 2024 Proton X70 facelift spied

    GALLERY: 2022 Geely Boyue facelift

     
  • Myvi driver who went against traffic on PLUS highway in Johor arrested – 74-year old uncle got lost in JB

    The driver of the silver Myvi caught driving against traffic on the PLUS highway in Johor has been arrested. According to Iskandar Puteri district police chief Rahmat bin Ariffin, the driver, a 74-year-old uncle, was arrested at Taman Nusa Bayu, Gelang Patah, yesterday morning.

    According to the cops, the man was from Segamat and this was his first time in Johor Bahru. At the time of the incident, he was on his way to a friend’s house in Gelang Patah, but was unfamiliar with JB roads, which led him down the wrong path. The case is being investigated under Section 42 of the Road Transport Act 1987 for dangerous driving.

    In the viral video, the dashcam car was driving on the fast lane on the North South Highway in Johor when the Honda City Hatchback in front of it slowed down drastically before coming to a near stop. The Honda then evaded an oncoming Myvi, which the camcar had to do as well. Fortunately, both cars managed to evade the intruder safely.

    PDRM has stated before that driving against traffic is an offence under Section 42 (1) of the Road Transport Act (Amendment) 2020.

    Those found guilty of reckless and dangerous driving can be punished by imprisonment for a term of not more than five years, and with a fine of not less than RM5,000 and not more than RM15,000. The person can also be disqualified from holding or obtaining a driving license for a period of five years from the date of conviction.

    While we feel for the old uncle who probably got disoriented in an unfamiliar place, this isn’t the first time that an elderly driver has been caught on camera driving lawan arus. Instances of driving against traffic has resulted in death and injury.

     
  • 2024 Honda CR-V in Malaysia – nearly 6,500 bookings received, 1,500 units registered as of February 22

    2024 Honda CR-V in Malaysia – nearly 6,500 bookings received, 1,500 units registered as of February 22

    Honda Malaysia has revealed booking figures for the sixth-generation Honda CR-V, that was launched on December 14 last year. The company has stated that nearly 6,500 bookings for the SUV, and registrations of nearly 1,500 units were received; both figures were as of February 22, or two months on from its Malaysian launch.

    Four variants of the 2024 CR-V were announced from launch, with pricing for the hybrid, the e:HEV RS, announced in January. The petrol combustion powertrain variants made up the bulk of demand for the CR-V, with the 1.5L Turbo V AWD commanding 45% of bookings; the 1.5L Turbo E is next with 30%, and the range-topping e:HEV RS hybrid in third with 14%, rounded up by the base variant, the 1.5L Turbo S with 11%.

    2024 Honda CR-V in Malaysia – nearly 6,500 bookings received, 1,500 units registered as of February 22

    Honda Malaysia has also provided a rundown of demand for the sixth-generation CR-V by colour. Canyon River Blue Metallic leads comfortably with 36%, followed by Platinum White Pearl at 24% and Meteoroid Gray Metallic at 23%. Next is Lunar Silver Metallic at 8%, rounded up by Ignite Red Metallic at 8%.

    To recap, pricing for the 2024 Honda CR-V in Malaysia starts at RM159,900 for the 1.5L Turbo S, RM169,900 for the 1.5L Turbo E, RM181,900 for the 1.5 L Turbo V AWD, and RM195,000 for the 2.0L e:HEV RS.

    For more on the sixth-generation Honda CR-V, check out our full Malaysian launch report, here.

     
  • Gentari partners SEDC Energy for Sarawak H2 Hub, a global-scale hydrogen production hub in Bintulu

    Gentari partners SEDC Energy for Sarawak H2 Hub, a global-scale hydrogen production hub in Bintulu

    Clean energy solutions provider Gentari has signed a heads of agreement (HoA) with SEDC Energy (SEDCE), a subsidiary of the Sarawak Economic Development Corporation, for the joint development of a centralised hydrogen production hub in Bintulu, to be known as the Sarawak H2 Hub.

    The document exchange happened yesterday at the Borneo Energy Transition Conference in Kuching, witnessed by Sarawak premier Tan Sri Abang Johari Tun Openg. SEDCE has been tasked to kickstart the new energy ecosystem in Sarawak, which is positioning itself to be a commercial hydrogen producer by 2027 with the vision of transitioning the state into a hydrogen economy.

    The planned global-scale hydrogen production hub in Bintulu is intended to serve as the sole supplier of green hydrogen for downstream facilities in the Bintulu division, managed by a JV company to be formed by Gentari and SEDCE, which will also be responsible for optimising all hydrogen production projects within the region.

    Gentari partners SEDC Energy for Sarawak H2 Hub, a global-scale hydrogen production hub in Bintulu

    Sarawak premier Tan Sri Abang Johari Tun Openg rides in a hydrogen fuel cell-powered Toyota Mirai

    “Malaysia is well-placed to be a clean hydrogen hub in ASEAN, led by states such as Sarawak with its ample sustainable resources. At Gentari, we have been focused on pursuing collaborations with partners such as SEDC Energy to develop the local hydrogen economy, which will create economic value for the state while positioning the country as a hydrogen export hub,” said Michèle Azalbert, chief hydrogen officer at Gentari.

    “We believe that hydrogen is the way forward and we are committed to contributing towards Sarawak’s Hydrogen Economy Roadmap, in addition to the Malaysian government’s Hydrogen Economy and Technology Roadmap (HETR). Hydrogen’s role in decarbonising sectors like energy, transportation, and petrochemicals globally cannot be understated, and the demand for low carbon hydrogen-derivatives is a testament to its rising significance,” he added.

    “This strategic partnership will be a significant undertaking as this will spur more developments and attract new investments especially in the new energy sector. Hydrogen will play a role in the energy transition and as highlighted in the National Energy Transition Roadmap, Sarawak’s role in advancing this development is worthwhile to note. It resonates well with our approach to collaboration internationally and domestically,” said Robert Hardin, CEO of SEDCE.

     
  • Malaysian gov’t to begin switch to EVs in 2024, financial implications to be assessed – Nik Nazmi

    Malaysian gov’t to begin switch to EVs in 2024, financial implications to be assessed – Nik Nazmi

    Last year, during the tabling of Budget 2024, prime minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim announced the federal government will replace its official cars with electric vehicles. The minister of natural resources and environmental sustainability Nik Nazmi Nik Ahmad has since reiterated the premier’s comments, saying the transition will begin this year.

    According to The Star, Nik Nazmi said the government will need to consider the financial implications on each agency before it is fully implemented. “As announced by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim last year, the government fleet will include EVs within this year.

    “However, the implementation will not be done fully as it involves a huge number. We need to consider the financial implications as well,” he told reporters at the launch of the International Greentech & Eco Products Exhibition & Conference Malaysia (IGEM) 2024 yesterday.

    Malaysian gov’t to begin switch to EVs in 2024, financial implications to be assessed – Nik Nazmi

    As yet, it is still unclear whether the transition will be applied only to cars belonging to ministers or to lower government positions as well. We also do not know which EVs the government will be procuring for official use, although we can speculate.

    Given that Tesla is a big part of the government’s push to encourage the widespread adoption of EVs, we wouldn’t be surprised to see Model 3s and Ys wearing official badges. The move could also dovetail nicely with the launch of Proton and Perodua’s EVs, which are slated to be on the market by 2025.

    However, the government’s propensity for using larger vehicles – at least for ministerial purposes – may count these cars out. It may also want to consider locally-assembled CKD models like the Mercedes-Benz EQS500, but that car is prohibitively expensive at RM648,888 – and that’s tax-free.

    In fact, there’s only one car that we can think of when it comes to a straight swap from the ministers’ beloved Toyota Vellfires, and that’s the Maxus MIFA 9. We’ve already speculated on the government’s use of the luxury electric MPV – particularly when we saw that the November launch was attended by Anwar and four other cabinet ministers.

     
  • GAC appoints nine new dealerships in Pen. Malaysia – Selangor, Pahang, N.Sembilan, Johor, Penang, Kedah

    GAC appoints nine new dealerships in Pen. Malaysia – Selangor, Pahang, N.Sembilan, Johor, Penang, Kedah

    Distributor of GAC vehicles in Malaysia, Warisan Tan Chong Automotif has appointed nine new dealerships for Peninsular Malaysia.

    The nine dealers are:

    • Evolution Autotech
    • Gem Utara
    • Ju Brothers Motor
    • Klinik Kereta Tampin
    • Kuantan Motor
    • Mercu Usaha Automobile
    • Motion Beyond
    • Sincere Scope
    • SV Auto Selection

    These will be positioned in key locations in Peninsular Malaysia, namely Cyberjaya, Alor Setar, Butterworth, Seremban, Kuantan, Sungai Petani, Setia Alam, Johor Bahru and Balakong.

    “We are excited to welcome these nine esteemed dealerships to be part of our growing team. Their expertise and dedication to excellence align perfectly with our values, and together we are poised to offer an enhanced automotive experience to customers across Malaysia,” Warisan TC Holdings group CEO Tan Keng Meng said in a statement.

    This appointment of nine dealerships in Peninsular Malaysia follows an earlier statement by Tan at the Malaysian market preview of the GAC GS3 Emzoom, which stated Warisan TC aims to establish more than 20 showrooms and service centres nationwide for the brand by the end of this year.

    Previewed at the end of January, the GS3 Emzoom is a B-segment crossover that will be priced under RM130,000 and will be offered in two variants – Exclusive and Premium-R – and will first enter the market as a fully imported (CBU) model. Locally assembled (CKD) units will roll of the production line from the Tan Chong Motor Assemblies (TCMA) plant in Segambut, Kuala Lumpur in April 2024.

     
  • 2024 GWM Tank 700 Hi4-T launched in China – PHEV off-roader with 523 PS, 800 Nm; 100 km EV range

    2024 GWM Tank 700 Hi4-T launched in China – PHEV off-roader with 523 PS, 800 Nm; 100 km EV range

    Following its debut at last year’s Auto Guangzhou show, the Tank 700 Hi4-T has now been officially launched in China by Great Wall Motor (GWM). The Tank 700 joins the rest of GWM’s off-road-focused SUVs such as the Tank 500, Tank 400 and the Tank 300, the last of which is set to be launched in Malaysia soon.

    Pricing starts at 428,000 yuan (RM284,180) for the base variant, which is followed by a range-topping option at 468,000 yuan (RM310,739). There is also a launch edition that comes with a whole load of carbon accessories and additional equipment for a whopping 700,000 yuan (RM464,838).

    GWM’s Hi4-T, or Hybrid Intelligent 4WD, is a plug-in hybrid system specifically developed for off-road use. Already in use in other Tank models, the system in the Tank 700 features a 3.0 litre turbocharged V6 petrol engine serving up 354 PS (349 hp or 260 kW) and 560 Nm of torque.

    This is augmented by an electric motor rated at 163 PS (161 hp or 120 kW) and 400 Nm, which is integrated into a nine-speed hydraulic automatic transmission (9HAT) to form a P2 hybrid layout.

    The total system output is 523 PS (516 hp or 385 kW) and 800 Nm, and the SUV’s 37.1-kWh battery will provide up to 100 km of electric-only range. GWM also claims fuel consumption as low as 2.97 litres per 100 km, which is impressive for a vehicle of this size.

    On that mention, the Tank 700 measures 5,113 mm long, 2,061 mm wide, 1,952 mm tall and has a wheelbase of 3,000 mm. It also has a water wading depth of 970 mm when put in a specific drive mode or 900 mm in normal mode, which is made possible thanks to the vehicle’s air suspension system (drops the car by up to 50 mm).

    For off-road use, the rear stabiliser bars can also be disconnected to allow for 60 mm more wheel articulation. There’s also an electric trailer hitch that is available as an option – the towing capacity is 2.5 tonnes.

    In terms of design, there’s some semblance to the Mercedes-Benz G-Class, with highlight cues being the boxy shape, robust wheel arches and plenty of sharp creases and angles. GWM was keen to point out the Tank 700’s LED headlamps, which feature an opening aperture for a dramatic start-up process – this alone has 32 patents attached to it.

    For launch edition cars, you’ll find a few exterior components made from carbon-fibre, including the front lip, rear diffuser element, roof spoiler and bonnet garnish. The interior also gets a headliner like Rolls-Royce’s Starlight, with lights integrated to create the look of a night sky – a sunroof is also available as an option.

    2024 GWM Tank 700 Hi4-T launched in China – PHEV off-roader with 523 PS, 800 Nm; 100 km EV range

    The cabin of the Tank 700 is trimmed in plenty of leather and other premium materials, which are accompanied by a large central touchscreen and digital instrument cluster, the former with dedicated buttons to control off-road functions like locking differentials and low gearing. Other functions include powered, ventilated and heated front seats, along with four-zone climate control as well as 26 advanced driver assistance systems.

    Given the Tank 300 will soon be launched here, there’s a chance that the Tank 700 will also come our way. We checked with Michael Zhang, GWM ASEAN’s vice president of brand and communication, and he told paultan.org that if the Tank 700 comes to Malaysia, it won’t be so soon as production has only just begun in China. Would you want this premium off-roader?

    GALLERY: GWM Tank 700 Hi4-T

     
  • Toyota Gazoo Racing family in Malaysia – GR Corolla meets sports car siblings GR86 and GR Supra

    Toyota Gazoo Racing family in Malaysia – GR Corolla meets sports car siblings GR86 and GR Supra

    Not everyone can claim to be the champion of the enthusiast driver, but Toyota is certainly in with a shout. The image of unfailingly beige Camrys are well and truly behind us – Toyotas are now (mostly) cool and fun to drive, and even the Prius has been touched by the hand of Akio Toyoda. But the former CEO’s greatest legacy is undoubtedly the success of the Toyota Gazoo Racing banner.

    The once underperformer of endurance racing (anyone remember Le Mans 2016?) is now a multiple champion and Le Mans winner, and its success extends to the World Rally Championship too, where it has won five drivers’ titles on the bounce.

    Distilling all that racing pedigree into a commercial product was not the work of a moment, but the GR road car lineup is now four-strong and includes rally-bred hot hatches and purpose-built sports cars. Here, the new GR Corolla joins two of its formidable siblings, the GR Supra and GR86, although unfortunately the GR Yaris couldn’t make it to the family reunion.

    But no matter, because the GR Corolla takes all the best bits from the smaller three-door. Except here, its beating heart been dialled up to 11 – the 1.6 litre G16E-GTS turbocharged three-cylinder engine has been strengthened and fettled with a freer-breathing exhaust, so it now makes 300 PS and 370 Nm of torque.

    Also shared with the GR Yaris is the GR-Four all-wheel-drive system, the torque split of which can be set either to 40:60, 50:50 or 30:70 front to rear at a twist of a dial on the centre console. Malaysians are fortunate enough to receive the Circuit Edition as standard, which adds Torsen front and rear limited-slip differentials and a bulging bonnet with functional air vents.

    All this means the GR Corolla shares little with your uncle’s Corolla sedan. It sits on the same Toyota New Global Architecture (TNGA), yes, but uses the five-door Corolla hatch – unavailable in Malaysia – as a base. Toyota then added more welding points, structural adhesives and bracing to make the GR version super stiff. It also swapped the electronic parking brake with a mechanical handbrake; the car will even disconnect the rear axle so you can pull those sweet rally-style slides.

    The GR86 may have been launched at the same time as the GR Corolla, but its lineage stretches back to 2012 with the original 86 (much farther still if you include the AE86 Corolla Levin/Sprinter Trueno of Initial D fame). Like its forebear, the GR86 was developed by Subaru alongside the BRZ and is a back-to-basics sports coupé with an engine at the front, drive at the rear and four seats in the middle.

    While the basic formula has been left well alone, the two companies have worked to revamp the anaemic 2.0 litre naturally-aspirated flat-four, now punched out to 2.4 litres in FA24D form and producing a healthy 237 PS (up 29 PS) and 250 Nm (up 38 Nm). The body shell has also been stiffened and lightened using high-strength steel and aluminium body panels, helping to make this an even more engaging steer.

    The GR Supra is the least changed here, essentially the same car that was revealed back in 2019. As such, it’s a known quantity by now – built by BMW, based on the current Z4 and powered by Munich’s venerable 3.0 litre B58 turbo straight-six, producing 387 PS and 500 Nm. But this swoopy two-seater has recently been refreshed with some eye-catching upgrades.

    Firstly, the adaptive suspension has been retuned for a more comfortable ride, while the electric power steering and anti-roll bar bushings have been tweaked to give you more feedback through the rim. But of course, the biggest difference is the addition of a six-speed manual gearbox for the first time, Toyota (and BMW) finally capitulating to the horde of enthusiasts clamouring for a row-your-own transmission.

    Unfortunately, this particular Supra doesn’t get that – it still has the (admittedly brilliant) ZF eight-speed automatic. Rather more heinously, this GR86 is also an auto, this time Aisin’s anodyne six-speed ‘box. No such issues with the GR Corolla, which comes solely with a six-speed manual. It’s that or walking.

    Toyota Gazoo Racing family in Malaysia – GR Corolla meets sports car siblings GR86 and GR Supra

    The GR Corolla is the only one here with an honest-to-goodness manual shifter

    Despite being five years old, the Supra still looks fresh, albeit less purposeful than the other two with its showy curves and countless fake vents. By contrast, the GR86’s design is pure businesslike sports car, even though it’s been beefed up and modernised quite a bit over its predecessor, with a more aggressive front end, muscly rear haunches and a svelte boot lid spoiler.

    The GR Corolla, on the other hand, is pure rally car theatre with its gaping air inlets, angular fender flares, forged carbon fibre roof (here unencumbered by a silly faux carbon wrap, unlike the GR Yaris) and enormous rear diffuser with distinctive triple exhausts. The one design cue that ties all three of these cars together is the dark grey multi-spoke alloy wheels that measure 19 inches in diameter on the Supra and 18 inches on the GR Corolla and GR86.

    Toyota Gazoo Racing family in Malaysia – GR Corolla meets sports car siblings GR86 and GR Supra

    The Supra’s new forged alloys are a work of art

    Inside, these three could not be any more different. Cobbled together from BMW parts that are now at least two generations old, the Supra looks and feels the least special, even though it probably has the best quality out of all of them. The GR86 continues its no-nonsense aesthetic here, punctuated by bold red trim, some recognisable Subaru switchgear and a brand-new seven-inch digital instrument cluster that mimics the shape of the characteristic boxer engine.

    Being based on a Corolla, the GR version is unmistakably Toyota on the inside. But while the dashboard will be familiar to those who have sat in a Corolla sedan or Corolla Cross, the hot hatch has some notable unique features, such as a drive mode selector and a knob to choose the GR-Four torque split. Of course, there’s also no missing the chunky bucket seats, manual shifter, three pedals and, right between the seats, a sizeable…handbrake lever (don’t laugh).

    Clockwise from left: GR Corolla, GR86, GR Supra

    By virtue of it having five doors and five seats, the GR Corolla is by far the most practical car here, even though its 213 litre boot is hardly commodious. The GR86 may seat four, but the rear seats are tiny and its boot is severely compromised by having a spare tyre literally sitting in the middle. The GR Supra is a strict two-seater, but without a spare tyre (typical BMW), its boot measures a reasonable 290 litres.

    As expected, none of these cars come cheap, but the GR86 comes closest to being affordable, even though prices have crept up over the years and now start at RM295,000. The GR Corolla is up next at RM355,000, while the GR Supra is considerably dearer, costing a heady RM645,000. All prices are for the manual versions (as you should), but which would you buy? Sound off in the comments after the jump.


    GALLERY: Toyota GR Corolla in Malaysia
    GALLERY: Toyota GR86 in Malaysia
    GALLERY: Toyota GR Supra in Malaysia

     
  • Hong Leong introduces Tekhne, OEM parts supplier for two- and four-wheels in Malaysia and SE Asia

    Hong Leong introduces Tekhne, OEM parts supplier for two- and four-wheels in Malaysia and SE Asia

    Entering the Malaysia OEM parts supply market is Tekhne, under the aegis of Hong Leong Industries (HLI). Tekhne is positioned as an original equipment manufacturer (OEM) and replacement equipment manufacturer (REM) to both the two-wheel and four-wheel vehicle market, which not only includes motorcycle and cars but bicycles as well.

    Products are made under the Tekhne brand name with the partnership and collaboration of reputable local and foreign manufacturers. This includes manufacturers not only in Malaysia but also South East Asia and Europe.

    Although specific brand names were not divulged, it was seen during the Tekhne launch products resembling those produced by AHM, Akron, Vee Moto and Profender. Tekhne stressed the fact that despite partnerships with other manufacturers, it has its own in-house research and design team.

    The team provides specific input for products made for Tekhne’s partners, inline with consumer needs and preferences for that specific market. “Our journey into the automotive spare parts industry reflects not only our dedication to innovation and growth, but also our steadfast commitment to providing our customers with the highest standards of quality and reliability,” said Datuk Dr Jim Khor, HLI group managing director.

    Tekhne general manager Chong Chee Keong said, “our commitment lies in providing a premium range of products tailored to meet the needs of our Malaysian customers. Through collaborations with esteemed partners, both locally and internationally, we ensure that our products uphold the highest standards of excellence and customer satisfaction. Looking ahead, we are poised to expand our footprint into the broader ASEAN region and subsequently tapping into global markets.”

     
  • JPJ collected a record RM5.07 bil in revenue for 2023

    JPJ collected a record RM5.07 bil in revenue for 2023

    Annual collection by the road transport department (JPJ) has always made the agency one of the highest revenue earners for the government, and it continues to be the case with the announcement of its revenue collection for 2023, which set a new record for the department.

    Transport minister Anthony Loke revealed that the department managed RM5.07 billion in revenue last year, up 3.53% from the RM4.90 billion (initially reported at RM4.89 billion, then RM4.92 billion) it achieved in 2022.

    The final total more than met the department’s 2023 projection of expecting to collect above RM5 billion in revenue for the year. Revenue collection by the department has jumped significantly since 2022 – prior to that, it collected RM 4.004 billion in 2021, RM4.31 billion in 2019 and RN4.23 billion in 2018.

    According to Loke, revenue from the tender of vehicle registration plates amounted to RM569.6 million in 2023, marking a 13.6% increase from the RM501.5 million recorded in 2022. This included that generated by the FF and M_M (Malaysia Merdeka) special plate series announced in May and August last year. Given the performance of the GOLD special series plate, 2024 looks like it will continue to rake in the money on that front.

     
 
 
 

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