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  • 2021 New York International Auto Show (NYIAS) cancelled due to fast spreading Covid-19 Delta variant

    America had a great summer. Thanks to vaccinations and reopening, people got to live life like the old days, for a bit. But this bugger called Covid is proving to be as resilient as some action heroes – the highly transmissible Delta variant of coronavirus is now the dominant strain in the US, and case numbers are shooting up. Likewise hospitalisation and deaths, as some have refused vaccines.

    This development means that planned events have to be cancelled, and one of them is the 2021 New York International Automobile Show (NYIAS), which was supposed to open to the public on August 20 at the Jacob K Javits Convention Center. The 2020 edition was postponed due to the coronavirus.

    This is due to the growing incidences of the Covid-19 Delta variant and the increased measures announced recently by New York state and local officials to stop its spread, according to a statement release yesterday by Mark Schienberg, president of the New York Auto Show.

    “As custodians of the 121-year-old New York Auto Show, we are committed to providing a safe environment for everyone including attendees, exhibitors, and the thousands of men and women who put the show together. Over the past few weeks, and especially within the last few days, circumstances have changed making it more difficult to create an event at the high standard that we and our clients expect,” Schienberg said.

    Another cancelled year is disappointing, more so when things were looking good not too long ago. “At the onset of planning for the August show, we were increasingly excited at the prospect of hosting the event as the number of vaccinations in New York continued to climb and mask-wearing reduced the spread in the city. All signs were positive, and the show was coming together stronger than ever, but today is a different story,” Schienberg lamented.

    “The Covid pandemic has challenged our City, the country and the entire world, but just like the automobile industry, we know that the New York Auto Show will rebound and be bigger and better than before,” he added.

    What now for NYIAS? The Big Apple’s car show will return to its regular spring schedule in April 2022, if…

     
  • 2022 WMoto Xtreme 250 adv-scooter in Malaysia soon

    Following the Malaysian launch of the 2021 WMoto Xtreme 150i adventure-scooter, the 2022 Wmoto Xtreme 250 will be hitting the local market, perhaps as soon as the first quarter of next year. Market reception to the smaller WMoto in Malaysia, priced at RM9,588, has been overwhelmingly positive, and the Penang-based firm intends to build on this success.

    Currently undergoing endurance testing on Malaysian roads and in the process of obtaining Vehicle Type Approval (VTA) from the JPJ, the Xtreme 250 following the same styling cues as its 150 cc sibling. WMoto says the Xtreme 250 will have a higher level of equipment specifications from the Xtreme 150i.

    From what can be seen from the single press photo officially released, front wheel ABS will be standard and following the Xtreme 150i, an LCD screen will be included, along with a manually adjustable windshield. No word on pricing as yet, but based on prior knowledge of Wmoto products, expect the Xtreme 250 to come in at around the RM24,000 price point.

     

  • Italdesign shows Ducati 860-E e-bike concept video

    While not directly sanctioned by the factory, the Ducati 860-E electric motorcycle (e-bike) concept from design house Italdesign is an indication of a possible electric future for the boy from Borgo Panigale. Shown in a short teaser video, the 860-E takes the silhouette of the famed Ducati 860 GT sportsbike of the 70s and translates it into what could be.

    A retro round LED headlight pulls focus to the 860-E with the rest of the e-bike following traditional motorcycle design language. No futuristic shapes or science fiction looks here, just a straight forward motorcycle design that happens to utilise electricity as motive power.

    From the video, the concept design for the 860-E indicates the rear wheel will be driven by belt, with the electric motor located amidship and battery pack occupying the space where a traditional ICE unit would be. The front end is almost boringly traditional, with upside-down fork, twin disc brakes and radial-mount brake callipers.

    Ducati themselves have not indicated any interest in pushing the e-bike agenda preferring to confine electric power to bicycles, though competition such as BMW Motorrad have made moves towards electric two-wheelers including the recent launch of the BMW Motorrad CE-04. Other rivals in the full-size e-bike segment include Zero Motorcycles from the US and Italian firm Energica having recently established a presence in Singapore.

    Italdesign has previously collaborated with Ducati on other projects, notably the Ducati Urban-E folding bicycle and paultan.org will obviously know the name from car designs and styling exercises such as the Nissan GT-R50. Electric vehicles (EV) are not new to Italdesign, a partnership with Williams Advanced Engineering (WAE) producing an EV platform customisable to various vehicle configurations.

     
  • 2022 Lexus RX Black Line debuts in the US, 2,500 units

    The Lexus RX is one of the most sought after models in the Black Line series of cars in the US. In August 2020, the automaker released a limited edition Black Line run for the RX 350 and RX 450h F Sport, and just last month it unveiled the RX L Black Line. Well, since reception is so good, why not have a rerun?

    Enter the 2022 Lexus RX Black Line. This time, there will be 2,500 units up for grabs in the US – 2,100 for the RX 350, 400 for the RX 450h hybrid. Like the RX L Black Line, both models are equipped with the Premium Package. US pricing for the RX 350 Black Line starts at US$49,450 (RM207k), while the MSRP for the RX 450h Black Line is US$52,150 (RM219k).

    New to them are the Eminent White Pearl and Caviar exterior paint colours, the blacked out 20-inch wheels and lug nuts, black spindle grille, mirror caps and lower bumper trim, as well as an exclusive black nameplate in the lower right of the tailgate.


    Lexus RX 450h Black Line

    Inside, the RX Black Line gets black NuLuxe seat upholstery with light grey stitching, black open-pore wood trim, and more light grey stitching on the console, shift boot, steering wheel and upper instrument panel.

    Each model also ships with black floor mats, cargo mat and key gloves. As they are fitted with the Premium Package, all models include the Lexus Memory System for the driver’s seat, side mirrors and steering wheel.

     
  • All driving licences and road tax must be renewed by Sept 30 – JPJ, police enforcement checks begin Oct 1

    The road transport department (JPJ) has reminded all road users that they have to renew their driving licence and road tax (LKM) by September 30, saying there would be no further extension period beyond that date.

    In line with the closure of land transport agencies at the start of the full movement control order (FMCO), a leeway for renewals was announced on June 1, in which those with their driving license, LKM or vocational license (PSV/GDL) expiring between June 1 to July 31 were given an extension to renew the documents from August 1 to September 30 this year.

    In a statement, the department said that the moratorium would not be extended, and that checks on ensuring compliance and enforcement by police and JPJ will begin from October 1. Until that deadline, all vehicles with expired road tax must have valid insurance cover. Motorists will need to print out and keep their insurance e-cover note in the vehicle and present it to the authorities should it be requested.

    It urged road users to do their renewals online via the MySikap JPJ portal or through MyEG. Transactions that cannot be done online can be done at JPJ counters, but only on an appointment basis. Appointments can be made online via the links here.

    The department added it had also discussed with Pos Malaysia the resumption of counter services for JPJ transactions, which had been halted during the FMCO. It said that Pos Malaysia expects to have these services available again at all its 650-plus branches nationwide starting from August 9. It said that it will ensure that stocks of licenses and road tax slips are sufficient to meet the expected surge in demand.

     
  • GoCar launches Gocar Garage – end-to-end vehicle maintenance solution, with pick-up and drop-off

    GoCar Malaysia has grown its mobile app capabilities with the addition of GoCar Garage, which is a one-stop vehicle service and maintenance solution based within the app. The digital platform aims to provide a seamless aftersales experience on par with that provided by OEM service providers, according to the firm.

    The GoCar Garage platform is an end-to-end solution which offers customers the ability to select the services required, payment as well as arrange for pick-up and drop-off transport to and from the location of service, at any time and from anywhere, says GoCar.

    Pricing structures will be transparent to ensure no hefty surprises, which can happen with third-party workshops, it says. Additionally, other benefits for the customer include a free car wash and sanitisation, free 31-point vehicle inspection, door-to-door delivery service via GoValet (within a 50 km radius of a GoCar Hub) at a fee which will be waived for August in line with the launch of GoCar Garage, a six-month warranty for replacement parts, and free two-hour use of GoCar sharing on the day of your service appointment.

    Currently operating from the GoCar Hub along Jalan Kemajuan in Petaling Jaya, GoCar Garage offers its services for any make and model of passenger vehicle. Services provided at GoCar Garage include a “pit stop” service in 45 minutes, with prices starting from RM98. The oil change takes 45 minutes, and customers will have a choice of fully synthetic, semi-synthetic or mineral oils,

    Other services include battery inspection and replacement, free wheel alignment and balancing with the purchase of two or more tyres from GoCar Garage, air-conditioning service and maintenance, brake repair and maintenance, engine cooling system and replacement, electrical diagnostics, as well as body and paint repairs.

    To engage these services, customer will need to have the GoCar mobile app on their devices (available for Android and iOS from the Google Play Store and Apple App Store respectively), and the RM20 one-time GoCar membership fee applies.

    Customers will need to furnish identification details for themselves and for their vehicle, and then services from the menu can be selected. The app will then provide a cost breakdown for the service requested as well as the proposed service appointment schedule. Only after the customer has given their approval, will GoCar Garage proceed with the prescribed job.

    A notification will be sent to the customer once vehicle servicing is completed, and payment can then be made through the app; a downloadable official invoice will be provided. Payment options include debit or credit cards, online payments or GoPocket points. Customers can then collect their vehicle from the GoCar Hub in person, or arrange for vehicle drop-off at a location of their choosing via the GoValet service.

    To find out more about GoCar Garage, download the GoCar mobile app for Apple iOS or Android devices, or visit the GoCar Garage webpage here. Alternatively, customers may also call 1-300-30-2633 or e-mail hello@gocar.my to schedule an appointment.

     
  • 2015 Bentley Mulsanne Grand Limousine by Mulliner – longest manufacturer-built limo in the world for sale!

    While the Bentley Mulsanne is no longer in production, the automaker is offering customers the opportunity to own the special Mulsanne Grand Limousine by Mulliner. Only five units of the coachbuilt special are up for grabs, all of which were built in 2015.

    All five were originally shipped to a very special customer in the United Arab Emirates, but the vehicles have remained unused and unregistered since, so they are technically brand new. Each of them is stretched by 1,000 mm (sorry Mulsanne Extended Wheelbase owners), and the roof has been raised to provide an extra 79 mm of rear headroom. Bentley says this Mulsanne is the longest manufacturer-built limousine in the world.

    The Mulsanne limo’s rear cabin design was inspired by luxury private aviation, and thus accommodates four passengers. It includes two rear-facing seats that allow passengers to talk face-to-face, a bottle cooler with crystal flutes, a beverage cabinet with bespoke crystal tumblers, as well as veneered folding picnic tables with iPad docking and charging stations.

    Also on is a custom heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) system with two discrete zones, providing each of the four rear passengers control of their own micro-climates. An intercom system is available, too, along with electrochromic ‘smart glass’. This is the first time the technology was implemented in a Bentley. At the touch of a button, the entire panel can be switched from transparent to opaque for complete privacy.

    The elongated Mulsanne rides on a heavily reworked chassis and suspension, with power coming from Bentley’s iconic 6.75 litre twin-turbo V8 engine that makes 512 PS and 1,020 Nm of torque. All five models sit on 21-inch wheels with colours that match the exterior paintwork, and the stainless steel Flying ‘B’ bonnet mascot is a bespoke commission with the ‘Coachbuilt by Mulliner’ engraving.

    The model shown here is finished in a two-tone Moroccan Blue with Silver Frost top, paired with an Imperial Blue and Linen interior completed by Burr Walnut veneer. There’s also three other two-tone options – Black Crystal/Damson model, Candy Red/Onyx combo, and Light Gazelle with Rubino Red top section. The fifth is a single tone Black Sapphire model with Imperial Blue and Camel interior. So, any takers?

     
  • August 2021 week two fuel price – all unchanged

    Time yet again for the usual weekly fuel price update, with the ministry of finance announcing the retail prices of fuel for the coming August 5 to 11 week.

    Some cheer for RON 97 petrol users, because there is no price increase this week for the fuel, which continues at RM2.74 per litre it was at last week. Elsewhere, RON 95 petrol remains priced at RM2.05 per litre, its capped price as set by the government back in February.

    Likewise, diesel prices continue to hold as they have been – Euro 5 B10/B20 grades remain at its upper limit of RM2.15 per litre, while Euro 5 B7 diesel, which is priced at 10 sen more per litre, remains at RM2.25 per litre.

    These prices will take effect from midnight tonight until Wednesday, August 11, when the next set of fuel price updates will be announced. This is the 31st edition of the weekly fuel pricing format for 2021, and the 134th in total since the format was introduced in 2019.

     
  • 2021 Honda CB1000R 5Four is the Neo Sports Cafe in endurance racing clothes, priced at RM99,904

    In the litre-class naked sports motorcycle arena, not a lot has been heard about the Honda CB1000R Neo Sports Cafe, priced at RM74,999 in Malaysia during its introduction in 2018 but the 2021 Honda CB1000R 5Four serves notice that Hamamatsu’s big naked bike is capable of being dressed up. Priced at 16,954 pounds sterling (RM99,904), the CB1000R 5Four is available for order from any Honda Motorcycles UK dealer by placing a deposit for one of these limited edition motorcycles.

    Taking a 2021 model CB1000R, the CB1000R 5Four is the brainchild of Guy Willison, motorcycle designer and builder, managing director of 5Four Motorcycle and best known for his television appearances on The Motorbike Show, Shed and Buried and Find It, Fix It, Flog It. Taking inspiration from the Honda Racing Corporation (HRC) racers of the beginning of the golden age of four-cylinder motorcycles during the late 1970s and early 1980s, the CB1000R 5Four is decked out like a Bol D’or endurance racer.

    Tidying the up the rear end of the CB1000R, the 5Four version of the CB1000R has a slim LED tail light fitted, allowing the number plate to be tucked up as high as possible. This reveals the entire rear tyre, a look much favoured by motorcycle street racers and sports riders, and mimics that race bike silhouette that 5Four is aiming for.

    At the front, a headlight cowl commissioned by 5Four is made from composite and flows into the existing design lines of the CB1000R. While diminutive, the cowl does give some shelter to the 5Four CB1000R’s rider and also carries the edition number in the form of a Limited Edition badge.

    Complementing the CB1000R’s single-sided swingarm is a Racefit Growler X titanium exhaust while the standard brake and clutch levers are replaced with adjustable dog-leg levers with anodised red adjusters, matched to billet machined mirrors. The dual seat of the CB1000R is gone, making the 5Four CB1000R a solo affair, with the seat made out of leather stitched in 5Four’s trademark diamond studded pattern.

    Finishing the build is paintwork following HRC racing colours, in candy red, blue and pearl white while the Honda flying wing logo on the tank is hand-painted. Each 5Four CB1000R comes with a certificate of authenticity and buyers have the option of having Willison’s signature painted on the tailpiece.

     
  • Carsome Group appoints former AirAsia tech chief Vishnu Nambiar as CTO ahead of possible US listing

    Carsome Group, Southeast Asia’s largest integrated car e-commerce platform, has announced the appointment of Vishnu Nambiar as chief technology officer (CTO). Nambiar, a former CTO at AirAsia, takes over from Chet Sin, who will now be Carsome’s chief architect to lead the design, implementation and governance of the company’s tech architecture.

    As CTO, Nambiar will drive Carsome’s next stage of transformation by leading the tech team and spearheading the strategy on deploying tech to address the automotive industry’s most pressing needs. His addition to Carsome’s executive management team will aid the company’s drive to become Southeast Asia’s most valuable digital automotive marketplace, the company said.

    Prior to joining Carsome, Nambiar led the technology function of AirAsia and the group IT function of the AirAsia Group. In the announcement, Carsome says that the seasoned tech exec rolled out multiple game-changing initiatives that ensured the sustainability of the low-cost airline during the Covid-19 pandemic, digitising the passenger experience while improving efficiency.

    Carsome co-founder and group CEO Eric Cheng (right in the pic above, with fellow co-founder Teoh Jiun Ee) said that Nambiar adds significant strength to the company’s growing executive leadership bench. “Vishnu’s experience in transforming business operations through technological innovations means he is perfectly placed to bring us to the next level as a technology-driven marketplace for all things automotive in the region,” he said.

    At Carsome, Nambiar’s role is to digitise the entire car ownership journey, while creating an integrated and engaging ecosystem. He is also empowered with providing greater trust and transparency for consumers and stakeholders through providing convenience and access to the right data, to help them make the best decisions along the automotive chain.

    “Carsome is at a pivotal point in its development, and the timing couldn’t be better for me to join. I’m seeking to build the best technology team in Asia at Carsome that will solve some of the biggest pain points in the used automotive industry. It’s full speed ahead for us as we reach toward these goals,” said Nambiar, who also had a stint at Lazada.

    Nambiar is the fourth C-suite executive management team appointment reporting to Cheng since 2020. The others are Piyush Palkar as chief data officer; Mei Han as CEO of Carsome Certified, Carsome’s business-to-consumer (B2C) arm; Benjamin Koellmann as COO and Juliet Zhu as CFO.

    Carsome is the market leader in the online used car buying and selling platform across Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia and Singapore. Founded in 2015 in Malaysia, the company has grown by leaps and bounds, expanded regionally into ASEAN, and is now looking at a US listing.

    It was recently reported that the deal, if it happens, would make Carsome Malaysia’s first unicorn, which is what the business world calls startups valued over US$1 billion (RM4.22 billion). It was said that Carsome is seeking a valuation of about US$2 billion (RM8.44 billion) in the US listing, which could be via a merger with a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) or a conventional initial public offering (IPO). The company could go public as soon as the end of 2021.

     
 

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Latest Fuel Prices

PETROL
RON 95 RM2.05 (0.00)
RON 97 RM2.74 (0.00)
RON 100 RM3.35
VPR RM3.57
DIESEL
EURO 5 B10 RM2.15 (0.00)
EURO 5 B7 RM2.25 (0.00)
Last Updated 05 Aug 2021