Latest Stories

  • REVIEW: 2021 Royal Alloy TG250 – riding la dolce vita, RM19,800, made in Thailand, all classic scooter style

    You’re wanting a scooter for around the taman use, maybe the daily commute but the styling of the Japanese and Taiwanese scooters in Malaysia leaves you a little cold, shall we say. In which case, the retro-styled (and you’re not going to get much more retro than this) 2021 Royal Alloy TG250, priced at RM19,800 ex-showroom, RM20,945 on-the-road excluding insurance, might fit into your lifestyle.

    We use the word lifestyle advisedly, as many retro motorcycles and scooters tend to be about looks and style as opposed to performance. This is borne out by the popularity of two-wheelers harking back to an era fifty years ago, enjoying a popularity amongst a segment of the Malaysian riding population.

    Nothing wrong with the classic motorcycle or scooter, of course. If done well, like the Kawasaki Z900RS or Triumph Street Twin, you get a capable motorcycle with all the modern conveniences and, unfortunately, a modern day price tag.

    But scooters are a different kettle of fish. The typical Japanese scooter comes loaded with technology plus the convenience of huge underseat storage in the case of the Yamaha X-Max 250 or for some, the looks of a much bigger two-wheeler like the Honda ADV150.

    The Royal Alloy TG250, on the other hand, doesn’t pretend to be anything other than what it is. But is what it is enough to survive Malaysian roads and traffic and at the same time make the rider irresistibly attractive to the opposite sex? For that is what, at the core of it, two-wheelers are about.

    Read the full review of the 2021 Royal Alloy TG250 after the jump.

  • SPYSHOTS: Kia ProCeed shooting brake facelift seen

    Almost three years on from the debut of the Kia ProCeed comes the emergence of development cars for the shooting brake’s upcoming facelift, pictured here partially concealed and expected to debut in the second half of this year.

    Through the covers we can see that the exterior changes will be applied to grille, which is now deeper, and the headlamps have a revised DRL arrangement. Changes can also be expected for the front bumper, and here we can see the application of the new Kia logo on its wheels, which will also be redesigned for this facelift.

    As par for the facelift course, changes are expected on the rear end of the ProCeed as well, likely with revised tail lamps and tailgate. In terms of powertrain, the ProCeed range will likely be outfitted with a line of engines that includes mild hybrid technology, as featured in the facelifted Hyundai i30 range.

    For reference, powertrains with mild hybrid electrification for the facelifted i30 include the 1.0 litre T-GDI turbo petrol engine, which in the Hyundai is paired with a six-speed Intelligent Manual Transmission (iMT), as well as a 160 PS 1.5 litre T-GDI engine paired with either the six-speed iMT or seven-speed dual-clutch automatic.


  • Porsche Tequipment launches Performance roof box – 480 litres of additional space, stable at up to 200 km/h!

    Porsche has introduced the newly developed Performance roof box from its Tequipment division, one that you can purchase through Porsche Centres starting May 2021. The box was designed in cooperation with Studio F.A Porsche, and it can handle speeds of up to 200 km/h, hence the Performance in its name.

    Unlike your typical roof box, Porsche employed the ‘form follows function’ design principle with this one. It features a slight counter-curve shape, and this was first visualised on a 1:1 scale clay model, before being put through wind tunnel tests for further aerodynamic refinement.

    Porsche Tequipment director, Jochen Schmid said: “The test programme for the roof box was very demanding. On its way to series maturity, it was driven on test tracks for several thousand kilometres as part of overall vehicle testing.” The assessments included aerodynamic behaviour and handling characteristics.

    The driving dynamics tests was done in Weissach, where the focus was on the controllability of the vehicle that’s fitted with roof box, and driven at high speeds. The roof box must be able to withstand demanding conditions on the rough-road track. The aerodynamics and noise development were also tested in the wind tunnel in Weissach.

    According to the automaker, the Performance roof box can be conveniently mounted on all carrier roof transport systems via a quick-fastening system. It has a rather sizeable storage capacity of 480 litres and can be opened from both sides, allowing convenient access for loading and unloading.

    Porsche vice president of individualisation and classic, Alexander Fabig said: “In addition to the permitted speed, the individualisation options for the roof box will also be unique. Like the box, the side blades are available in High-Gloss Black and three other popular colours from our model range: Dolomite Silver Metallic, Carrara White Metallic and Volcano Grey Metallic.” The side blades can also be optionally ordered primed or painted in the individual vehicle colour.

  • VW Arteon R-Line facelift launching in Malaysia soon

    It appears that the facelifted Volkswagen Arteon, unveiled back in June 2020, will be making its Malaysian debut soon. This is after a six-second teaser clip was seen uploaded to Facebook, followed by the caption “The new Arteon R-Line 4Motion coming soon.”

    The Arteon is still relatively new here in Malaysia. In August last year, Volkswagen Passenger Cars Malaysia launched the locally-assembled R-Line with a 2.0 litre TSI turbocharged four-cylinder petrol engine, offering 190 PS and 320 Nm. The sleek D-segment fastback carries a price tag of RM221k.

    The hotter Arteon R-Line 4Motion with 280 PS and 350 Nm of torque appeared shortly after, though that RM270k CBU unit was a one-off by Volkswagen PHS Autohaus.

    What’s interesting is that the caption of the teaser clip mentioned 4Motion, indicating that the facelifted Arteon may arrive in a hotter state of tune. There is the full-fat R variant with the blown EA288 2.0 litre four-potter that dishes out 320 PS and 420 Nm, though it’s very likely we won’t be getting that.

    Upgrades are fairly significant for a midlife update. The dashboard layout gets heavily revised, featuring redesigned air vents and the deletion of the analogue clock. This is good, for those who want a more distinct separation from the Passat, which it is clearly based on.

    There is also a touch-based HVAC controls below the eight-inch infotainment screen (now with the new MIB3 system, with wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto) for a more modern look, while a new steering wheel design (also with touch controls) with a thicker centre boss greets the driver. The fully digital instrument cluster continues to be offered.

    Other niceties include a fancier 30-colour ambient lighting system, a wireless smartphone charging tray, and even a 700-watt Harman Kardon premium audio system for range-topping models. Again, the specifications are market dependent, so don’t get your hopes up just yet.

    On the outside, the design changes are fairly subtle. The huge front grille remains, but the LED daytime running lights are now connected by additional LED strips. Volkswagen’s IQ.Light matrix LED system is available as well, and the rear end gets a brand new LED tail light design.

    The biggest, most obvious change is the addition of the Shooting Brake variant. It is essentially an estate version with a stretched roof, offering 565 litres of cargo capacity (fastback has a pretty cavernous 563-litre space). This expands up to 1,632 litres with the rear seats folded down (1,557 litres for the fastback). In both cases, the load space has a maximum length of 2,090 mm, which is plenty.

    2020 Volkswagen Arteon R

    2020 Volkswagen Arteon R-Line

    2020 Volkswagen Arteon eHybrid Elegance

    2020 Volkswagen Arteon Shooting Brake R

    2020 Volkswagen Arteon Shooting Brake eHybrid R-Line

    2020 Volkswagen Arteon Elegance

  • 2021 Honda Civic Type R facelift launched in Indonesia – technical and styling updates; priced from RM339k

    More than a year after making its debut, the facelifted FK8 Honda Civic Type R has now been launched in Indonesia, where it is offered in a sole variant priced at 1.177 billion rupiah (RM339,282). Buyers will get to choose from three colours, including Rallye Red, Championship White and Brilliant Sporty Blue Metallic.

    Changes that come with the facelift include a revised exterior, which sees the addition of body-coloured fins to the large faux air intakes and vents on the front and rear bumpers. The grille has also been reshaped to promote better cooling of the 2.0 litre turbocharged four-cylinder VTEC engine, which is still rated at 310 PS (306 hp) and 400 Nm of torque. Drive continues to go to the front wheels via an enthusiast-friendly six-speed manual transmission.

    Elsewhere, new two-piece brake rotors and brake pads are designed to reduce fade and improve high-speed braking efficiency. The suspension also gets a reworking to feature updated adaptive dampers, stiffer rear bushings and a retuned steering system to provide improved ride comfort, grip and steering feel.

    Drivers will still get three drive modes – Comfort, Sport and +R – to choose from to alter the characteristics of the car, joined by an Active Sound Control function that generates an interior sound according to the chosen drive mode. Moving inside, the facelift sees the fitment of a new Alcantara-wrapped steering wheel, along with a new shifter that features a restyled knob and shorter shift throws.

    Other items that are standard are a new wireless phone charger and tyre pressure monitoring system, while the rest of the kit list includes 20-inch alloy wheels, sports seats and pedals, a seven-inch TFT instrument cluster with various displays, dual-zone climate control and a seven-inch touchscreen head unit.

  • GALLERY: G12 BMW 740Le xDrive M Sport in Malaysia – priced from RM566,803 with a two-year warranty

    Earlier today, just after we ran the story about its pending arrival, BMW Malaysia officially introduced the G12 740Le xDrive M Sport in the country. Like the 740Le xDrive Design Pure Excellence that went on sale here in 2019, the M Sport version arrives as a locally-assembled CKD model.

    The particular route introduces a M Sport package containing equipment worth RM25,000 to the plug-in hybrid. Externally, there’s an M Sport aerodynamic package, which includes a new, more aggressively-styled front bumper with larger air intakes and an M-specific kidney grille, in which the side sections of the kidney struts and air flaps are done in black, while the front side of the kidney struts is finished in satinised aluminium.

    Also fitted, a more striking rocker panel, M designtation badging on the front fender and M-specific exhaust tailpipe finishers in chrome, as well as BMW Individual high-gloss Shadow Line elements. The car also features an M Sport brake system with blue callipers and a different 19-inch wheel design than the Design Pure Excellence, riding on light alloy double-spoke Style 647 M bicolour units with mixed profile runflat tyres.

    Inside, unique to the variant is an M steering wheel, an M-specific vehicle key and fine-wood trim in Fineline Black with metal effect high-gloss. Individual roof-lining in Alcantara Anthracite and M designation door sill finishers complete the additional kit.

    Elsewhere, the equipment list is similar to its sibling, with Nappa leather upholstery, four-zone climate control, a Sky Lounge panoramic glass roof, ambient lighting, electrically-powered sunshades, a 16-speaker, 460-watt Harmon Kardon surround sound system, dual 10-inch rear seat monitors and a Comfort Access tailgate. Also on, a head-up display and Live Cockpit Professional, along with staples such as gesture control, BMW Connected Package Professional and BMW Navigation system Professional.

    The powertrain remains unchanged, with a B58B30 3.0 litre turbocharged straight-six offering 286 PS (282 hp) from 5000-6,000 rpm and 450 Nm of torque from 1,500-3,500 rpm working together with an electric motor delivering 113 PS at 3,170 rpm and 265 Nm from 0-2,700 rpm. As previously, total system output is 394 PS and 600 Nm, and performance figures include a 0-100 km/h time of 5.1 seconds and a 250 km/h top speed.

    As for safety and driving assistance tech, the car is equipped with six airbags (front, side, head/curtain for the front and rear seats) and a Driving Assistant Professional package, which bundles among a host of items active cruise control with stop and go function, lane departure warning, lane change assistant and warning, front collision warning with brake intervention (AEB) and lane keeping assistant with active side collision protection.

    In June last year, the earlier Parking Assistant with Reversing Assistant was upgraded to Parking Assistant Plus for the 740Le xDrive Design Pure Excellence, while the rear view camera was upped into a unit offering Surround View, and these of course are to be found here as well.

    Four exterior colours are available for the 740Le xDrive M Sport – Mineral White, Bernina Grey with Amber effect, Donington Grey and Carbon Black Metallic. As for interior colour schemes, extended contents Black or Cognac are the two available options for the Nappa leather upholstery, as it was before.

    Click to enlarge.

    Finally, pricing. The G12 BMW 740Le xDrive M Sport is priced at RM566,803 on-the-road without insurance, with SST exemption until June 30. This price is inclusive of the M Sport pack and with a standard two-year warranty. With an extended warranty (five-years, unlimited mileage) and service (five-year/100,000 km) package, the price of the car is RM591,503.

    The actual breakdown of the pricing to get to that is as follows. As shown in the price list, the base 740Le xDrive goes for RM544,352 with a two-year warranty and RM569,052 with the extended warranty and service package. The M Sport pack is listed at RM25,000, but it actually works out to RM22,451 with some form of discounting in both cases when added to the pricing of the car to make it an M Sport version.

    The above pricing factors in the ongoing sales tax relief, which is at 100% for the CKD model, valid until June 30. After which, the 740Le xDrive will retail at a base price of RM574,100, which when added with the M Sport pack becomes RM599,100. With the extended warranty and service package, the car will be priced at RM598,800. Add in the M Sport pack and the final price for the M Sport variant is RM623,800.

  • VIDEO: Petronas’ fully animated Raya 2021 depicts the new normal – no balik kampung, homesick in the city

    After experimenting with animation in its previous festival ad, Deepavali 2020’s Vattam, Petronas has gone the fully animated route with this year’s Hari Raya ad. Titled Syukur Raya, it’s a story presented in a fun and cheeky seloka that explores themes of compassion and kindness.

    It’s different for sure, and rather cute. Syukur Raya is narrated by a spotted dove named Syuk-kur, a wordplay of syukur (thankfulness) and tekukur (the Malay name for dove). The singing bird is a witness to everything that goes on in Taman Bawang, where presumably gossip is the favourite pastime.

    The story, which has the Covid-19-enforced new normal as backdrop, begins with main character Poji feeling homesick. The young and hardworking delivery rider is missing his hometown so much that he begins to envision his neighbour, Mak Jah, as his own mother. Problem is Mak Jah is fierce and isn’t really fond of Poji and the noisy youngsters next door.

    Giving up hope on family celebrations, a sad Poji and his friends are resigned to a lonely Raya until Mak Jah shares her rendang (I can smell it from the screen) in a surprise gesture, thus reviving their festive spirit and belief in community togetherness. If you’re in the same boat as Poji (if you’re not, just put yourself in those skate shoes), hang on in there.

    Syukur Raya is inspired warmth and friendliness, values that are rooted in the nation’s culture. Through this webfilm, Petronas is encouraging all Malaysians to embrace the joy of festivities despite the movement restrictions forced on us by Covid-19. This may be a second Hari Raya that we can’t balik kampung to be with the family, but it still can be a joyful affair.

    “Petronas is continuing with its 2020 festive theme, ‘our unique family’, taking it one step further by expanding from the family we know to the family we discover. The fully animated film, set in a familiar neighbourhood with relatable characters, focuses on going beyond our differences to give, and forgive each other in celebrating Hari Raya,” said Petronas senior GM of group strategic communications, Datin Anita Azrina Abdul Aziz.

    “Despite the current challenges, if we are to open our hearts and minds, the people around us can be our source of joy this Aidilfitri, ultimately reflecting the true spirit of togetherness and generosity of the celebration,” she added.

    The Syukur Raya webfilm is available for viewing on Petronas’ official YouTube channel and Facebook page. The national oil company’s ‘Raya Joy Pack’ comprising Syukur Raya stickers and backdrop scenes to be used on WhatsApp and social media can also be downloaded from the Petronas Facebook page. Selamat Hari Raya!

  • Brabus 800 revealed – tuned Mercedes-AMG E63S 4Matic+ with 800 PS and 1,000 Nm; 0-100 km/h in 3s

    Last year saw the debut of the Mercedes-AMG E 63 4Matic+ facelift, so you know it is only a matter of time before Brabus gets its hands on one. Well, the German tuner has indeed got to work on the revised model after a few months, the end result is this, the new Brabus 800.

    It’s not the most imaginative of names, but the Brabus 800 is described as a “wolf in sheep’s clothing” and gets the typical enhancements you’d expect. Based on the range-topping E 63 S 4Matic+ variant and available as a sedan or wagon, the big changes, as always, take place under the bonnet.

    In stock form, the M178 4.0 litre twin-turbo V8 serves up 612 PS (603 hp) and 850 Nm of torque, which is sent through a nine-speed AMG Speedshift MCT 9G transmission and an AMG Performance 4Matic+ variable all-wheel drive system. This setup allows for a 0-100 km/h time of 3.4 seconds and top speed of 300 km/h.

    These figures are pretty impressive, but Brabus decided to take things further by boosting the M178 to make 800 PS (788 hp) and 1,000 Nm. The top speed remains unchanged as a result, although the century sprint time is now reduced to just three seconds (a tenth more for the wagon).

    The tweaks to the engine, which comes with a factory warranty by the way, include new turbochargers with a larger compressor unit as well as a modified core assembly with reinforced axial bearings, producing a maximum boost pressure of 1.6 bar.

    Joining the new turbos is the company’s plug-and-play Brabus PowerXtra module that is connected to the electronic engine management system and introduces special mapping for injection, ignition and boost pressure control. Meanwhile, new carbon air intakes are integrated into the grille to ensure the engine is properly fed with air.

    Aside from the engine upgrade kit (called the Brabus B40S-800), the company also offers its stainless-steel exhaust system with carbon-fibre-accented tailpipes. This system not only reduces exhaust backpressure but provides a more exciting exhaust note, which can be set to a discreet “coming home” mode if needed.

    As for the styling modifications, the company offers a range of naked-carbon aerodynamic components that can be ordered with either a high-gloss or matte coating. Aside from the additional air intakes in the grille, the other pieces include a front spoiler lip, a rear trunk lid spoiler and a diffuser insert.

    A range of wheels up to 21 inches in diameter are also available., which can be paired with the Brabus Sports Unit for the standard air suspension. The latter drops the ride height by 10 or 20 mm, depending on the selected drive mode at the time.

    Lastly, the interior of the Brabus 800 can be specified with stainless-steel scuff plates with backlit logos to match the interior lighting, along with aluminium door pins and pedals. A selection of fine leather and Alcantara are also part of the catalogue, all tailor-made according to the customer’s preference, including wood or carbon inlays.

  • SPYSHOTS: BMW M5 mule – 50th anniversary variant?

    There appears to be another iteration of the F90 BMW M5 in the works – or so it seems, based on the bodywork of this development mule sighted by our spy photographer sources.

    Let’s start at the rear. The otherwise standard-looking bodywork on this development car wears rear wheel arch extensions to house the even more enlarged rolling stock, while in front, headlamps and the rest of the car’s front end appears to be from the pre-facelift (LCI) F90 M5.

    Close-up images – included in the gallery below – show the rear tyres to measure 295/35R21, while the front wheels are shod in tyres measuring 285/40R20. These gain 10 mm in width over the tyres fitted as standard to the 635 PS, four-seater M5 CS, which use wheels of a 20-inch diameter all around.

    The use of even larger wheels and tyres, along with the extended rear wheel arches on this development car suggest an uprated chassis for an upcoming variant of the F90 M5 that could be a 50th anniversary edition with increased outputs from its 4.4 litre biturbo V8, which is paired with an eight-speed automatic gearbox and rear-biased all-wheel-drive.

    The wheel arch extensions seen here would make way for revised bodywork in that area. This would be a considerable undertaking, which leads our spy photographer source to suggest a second possibility, which is that this vehicle sighted could be a test mule for a future platform clothed in the current car’s body.

    Either way, there will likely be future sightings of what could be a wide-bodied M5 in the coming weeks or months.

  • Malaysian police to check toll payments during Raya

    If you’re thinking of sneaking across state borders during the upcoming Raya holidays while certain states like Selangor and Kuala Lumpur are under movement control order (MCO), forget about it. Perak police chief Datuk Mior Faridalathrash Wahid said highway users with a high toll charge and invalid reason for travel will be issued a compound and turned back, reports

    “Sometimes there are those who exit the highway at various tolls to avoid being detected cross state lines. They have various tactics,” said Mior. He also said Perak police will be tightening 27 road blocks around the state to prevent unauthorised order crossings during the Aidilfitri celebrations.

    Asking for cooperation from the public, Mior said, “we will have checks at toll plazas, but we cannot check everyone, that would cause traffic congestion.” Instead, police would check the toll charges for random vehicles at the exit.

    “For example, if there is a high toll charge from somewhere like Jalan Duta, we will stop the vehicle to issue a compound and the vehicle turned around, unless they have a permission letter. This is one strategy we will implement,” said Mior. During a monthly gathering at the Police Air Mobile training base, Mior also said the 15 Perak police headquarters receive up to 3,000 applications daily for permission to cross state borders.

    “We evaluate each application thoroughly. We usually reject about 100 applications a day. Many applications are for cases of bereavement but this is found to be not the case. Funerals are permitted but only for close relatives while many applications are received for travel during weekends,” added Mior.


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Last Updated 06 May 2021