Latest Stories

  • DRIVEN: 2018 Perodua Myvi – full road-test review

    To say that the Perodua Myvi has been a success story would be understating it. Following its arrival on the scene in May 2005, the five-door B-segment hatch quickly became the best-selling car in the country, a position it held for nine consecutive years before the Axia took over the mantle in 2015.

    The default vehicle choice for many Malaysians has gone through two incarnations (the second-gen D54T debuted in June 2011) and a production run of more than a million units (1.024 million, over the first two generations). Now, the baton has been passed to the third-gen 2018 Perodua Myvi, which made its debut last month. In just under a month, orders have surpassed the 20,000 mark, so we can expect this one to continue where the previous two left off.

    We’ve already covered the car in great detail at point of launch and via a first impressions drive report, and also via various galleries and walk-around videos, but there are still observations to be had – we took a range-topping Myvi 1.5 Advance, with all the bells and whistles as well as active safety and a more affordable Myvi 1.3 Premium X out last month to evaluate them in more comprehensive fashion.

    The full road test revealed quite a bit about the new car, from its good/bad points and how it compares to the old one in performance to revealing real-world fuel consumption and NVH figures. It also answers the question of which variant should you go for if you’re looking at one, so without further ado, on to the entire low-down on the new Myvi.

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  • SPIED: Audi e-tron quattro edges closer to production

    Audi presented the e-tron quattro concept way back in 2015, promising an all-electric SUV will make its market debut in 2018. Our spy photographers have managed to snap a few photos of a prototype recently, and it appears to remain pretty true to the concept.

    Features on the exterior include a small front grille, flanked by a pair of sharp headlights. The subtle bonnet strakes appear to be retained from the concept, but the busy bumper appears to have been toned down as it nears production form.

    The side window shape appears to have been carried over as well, contributing to a lovely roofline that leads to a steeply-raked rear window. The wide, two-piece taillights are also present here, and if you look closely, the outline of the charging port can be made out near the vehicle’s front left wheel.

    In concept guise, the SUV packs a two-motor setup that has a total system output of up to 496 hp and 800 Nm. A floor-mounted 96 kWh lithium-ion battery also offers a range of 500 km on a single charge, and can be juiced up again with a 150 kW DC charging point (full charge in 50 minutes).

     
  • Toyota GR Super Sport Concept set for Tokyo debut

    Toyota will be showcasing a range of Gazoo Racing vehicles at next year’s Tokyo Auto Salon in Janaury, one of which is a motorsport-derived concept called the GR Super Sport Concept.

    The teaser image shown here reveals what appears to be a road-going LMP racer, which isn’t surprising as the company says the concept originated from its participation in the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC).

    While it may sport a low-slung profile, the concept doesn’t feature an aggressive aero package like what you might find on the TS050 Hybrid. Prominent cues include a long shark fin leading to a fixed rear wing and mesh grille. The latter is located close to what should be a diffuser with the badge on it.

    No mention of what will power the GR Super Sport Concept, but expect a mid-mounted engine augmented by hybrid tech. The car is meant to showcase “how technological feedback acquired through motorsports activities is incorporated” into a vehicle.

    The concept will join the Yaris WRC and TS050 at the event, along with a range of other production vehicles parked under the Gazoo Racing banner. These include the 86 GR and Vitz GRMN.

    As a reminder, Gazoo Racing vehicles are divided into different tiers, starting with GR Sport variants. These are followed by the mid-range GR models, and at the very top are the Gazoo Racing Masters of Nürburgring (GRMN) cars. It all sounds really nice, but where is the new Supra, Toyota?

     
  • Isuzu MU-X facelift set to gain new interior for China

    The Isuzu MU-X was only recently facelifted, but it appears there are yet more changes incoming for the D-Max-based body-on-frame SUV. According to Chinese portal autohome.com.cn, the Japanese commercial vehicle maker has revealed the new model’s interior ahead of its Chinese-market launch on December 26.

    The sole image shows a completely new dashboard, with a tablet-like infotainment system – which appears to support Apple CarPlay – sitting between the centre air vents. There’s also greater use of wood trim, and the distinctive round air-conditioning controls have been ditched for more conventional knobs and switches. The three-spoke steering wheel has also been redesigned.

    Facelifted models already sport a refreshed exterior with LED head- and tail lights, reprofiled bumpers and a more prominent roof spoiler, plus larger 18-inch alloy wheels. While we get the same 136 PS/320 Nm 2.5 litre turbodiesel as before, other markets gain a new 1.9 litre Ddi Blue Power unit making 150 PS at 3,600 rpm and 350 Nm of torque between 1,800 and 2,600 rpm.

    Thai news portal Headlight Magazine added that the update could see the introduction of a new 2.4 litre RZ engine to replace the current 177 PS/380Nm 3.0 litre turbodiesel. There’s a choice of six-speed manual and automatic transmissions, although we currently get a five-speed automatic.

    GALLERY: Isuzu MU-X facelift in Malaysia

     
  • Perodua Tweckbot free 50-point checks for Christmas

    Perodua’s Tweckbot free car checks are back, this time for Christmas, which is just around the corner. The mobile vehicle service team will be offering 50-point checks, as they did three other times this year during peak travel periods.

    The Tweckbot team will be stationed at the Giant hypermarket in Kota Damansara this weekend (December 15-17, 10am to 5pm), to provide free checks to all Perodua vehicles. The inspection comprises engine, transmission, coolant (coolant level, fan and temperature), brake (fluid and pad wear), power steering, clutch, tyre, suspension and electrical (battery, lights and water) checks, with each routine taking 10-15 minutes.

    Additionally, a 20% discount on parts and accessories will be given to all vehicles that return to Perodua service branches and dealers.

    “Perodua Tweckbot represents our commitment to customers in providing them with the very best in terms of products and services. It is also one of our road safety campaign initiatives. At Perodua, you matter most, and we want to ensure that during this festive period and school holidays, your Perodua vehicles are in the best possible shape,” said Perodua President and CEO Datuk Aminar Rashid Salleh.

     
  • Continental to bring new battery charging tech to CES

    For next year’s Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Continental will be showcasing two new battery charging systems, which will be of benefit to all-electric and plug-in hybrid cars.

    The first involves inductive charging, a concept that has been explored by other companies as well. The idea is to transfer charging power wirelessly from a ground-based charging pad to a receiver pad on the underside of the vehicle.

    Continental says it has developed a micronavigation solution that uses magnetic field sensors integrated in the ground pad to more accurately position the vehicle. The unit receives signals from the EV, and responds by sending sensor data to the vehicle.

    The location system operates on a long-range frequency band, and works well even if snow or leaves cover the ground pad. The company claims its solution is up to ten times more accurate than a conventional parking assistant.

    It also claims up to 90% better efficiency, with the system being rated at a charging rate of 11 kW. A 20-minute charge can provide up to 20 km of driving range, and the system will “repark” automated electric vehicles when they are fully charged. A single charging station will therefore be able to cater towards many vehicles.

    While wireless charging might sound like the way forward, cables continue to be a more widespread option for now. In light of this, Continental has developed what it calls the AllCharge, allowing any charging point to be used, regardless of charging rate, type of current, or voltage level.

    In the case of cable-based charging, alternating current (AC) from the grid is converted into direct current (DC), which is then used to charge the vehicle’s battery. This conversion is either done in the charging station, or the vehicle’s on-board charger.

    Although DC charging is faster by comparison, high setup costs limit their availability. With higher charging rates being more in demand, Continental’s approach involves turning the electric powertrain itself into a “charger,” instead of installing more and more charging technology into a car.

    According to the company, this requires specially adapting the electric motor and the inverter (used to convert between DC and AC power) to enable them to support charging as well. The only extra component needed in such a system is a DC/DC converter, which ensures that power flows to the battery at the optimal voltage level at all times.

    Since AC charging is no longer affected by the limitations of an on-board charger, with the appropriate AC infrastructure, AllCharge can charge the battery at a rate of up to 43 kW. This will quicken charging times of vehicles with larger vehicles, and Continental expects production of the technology to start in 2022.

     
  • Porsche Museum showcases its oldest 911, from 1964

    What a gorgeous sight, you say. But this “901 No.57” wasn’t always looking so good. After three years of restoration, the Porsche Museum will finally present the newest addition to its collection, and the oldest 911 that it holds, at the special exhibition “A legend takes off” from now till April 8, 2018.

    The red coupe was built in October 1964 as one of the first series-production models of the sports car known back then as the 901. Almost exactly 50 years later, Porsche Museum happened to find this rare item and decided to buy it with a view to restoring it back to its original state.

    Porsche originally developed and presented the successor to the 356 under the type designation 901. However, just a few weeks after starting production in the autumn of 1964, the two-door had to be renamed due to a trademark dispute, and from then on bore the name 911. As they say, the rest is history.

    All of the customer vehicles produced up to that point were manufactured as 901s, but sold as 911s. Amazingly, Porsche’s factory collection had lacked one of these rarities for 50 years – yes, Porsche itself did not have the earliest version of its brand-defining sports car.

    In 2014, while valuing a collection of items long forgotten about in a barn, a German TV crew working on an antiques and memorabilia programme stumbled across two 911s dating back to the 1960s. After making enquiries with the Porsche Museum, it emerged that one of the two sports cars with the chassis number 300.057 was one of the rare models built before the model line was renamed.

    The Porsche Museum decided to buy both 911 models at the estimated price determined by an independent expert, and in doing so closed a key gap in its collection of classic Porsches.

    One of the crucial factors in favour of purchasing No.57 was the fact that the old 911 had not been restored in any way, giving the specialists at the museum the opportunity to restore it as authentically and as true to the original as possible. It took three years to bring the very rusty hunk of metal to its original state, using genuine body parts from the time taken from a different vehicle.

    The engine, transmission, electrics and interior were all repaired following the same principle. The general rule was to retain parts and fragments where possible rather than replacing them. These intricate restoration methods used by the Porsche Museum as the standard approach are precisely the reason why it took so long to bring this highly historically significant sports car back to life.

    Amazing, and it reminds us of this 1972 BMW 2000 Touring restored by BMW Classic Customer Workshop. Even Japanese modern classics can enjoy such factory help, by Mazda for the NA MX-5 and Nissan for the R32 Skyline GT-R. Old is gold, most of the time.


    GALLERY: Fifty years of the Porsche 911

     
  • Formula 1’s use of grid girls under “strong review”

    In a world that is seeing greater female participation in all forms of motorsport, Formula 1 is conducting a “strong review” on its use of female promotional models or grid girls, according to BBC Sport.

    In an interview with BBC Radio 5, F1 managing director Ross Brawn said that it was a “delicate topic,” adding, “We’re trying to respect all parties. There’s a lot of people [who] respect the tradition of the grid girls and there’s people who feel that it has become a bit dated, so we’re addressing that.”

    Chief executive officer Chase Carey, who took over from Bernie Ecclestone when American corporation Liberty Media bought the sport early this year, added, “What we need to do is get as many points of view as possible and make a decision right for the future of the sport.”

    Carey said that the matter wasn’t high on the priority list when he took on his job. “On the list of things I have been dealing with, grid girls wasn’t really up there on top, with all respect,” he said. Even so, he said that he wanted the sport to “engage everybody” regarding the matter, adding that he would “love” to see a female Formula 1 driver.

    “Is it something from the past, or is it something distinct that should be part of the future?” he said. “I don’t think it will be a personal decision for me. I may have a point of view but, when you have a sport, you are dealing with teams and a large ecosystem and a large fanbase that is very passionate. There is never going to be a consensus, but a set of views.”

    The usage of grid girls has been debated as social attitudes have changed, and certain venues have begun to experiment with other alternatives, such as using male models instead of female, as well as children as mascots. In a poll conducted by BBC Sport, 60% of voters said that grid girls should remain in Formula 1.

    This follows a greater trend that has already seen other top racing series scale down or completely end their use of grid girls. The World Endurance Championship (WEC) stopped having female promotional models on the grid since the 2015 season, a move that has been followed by a number of MotoGP teams and venues.

     
  • Lamborghini Urus makes launch debut in Singapore

    The Lamborghini Urus recently celebrated its global premiere at the company’s headquarters in Sant’Agata Bolognese, and has now made its launch debut in Singapore, just a week later. Reservations for Lamborghini’s second SUV model (first being the LM002) are now open in Singapore (price not given), with deliveries set to take place in 2018.

    The Urus’ Singapore debut marks the SUV’s first appearance outside Italy, with the event taking place at the ArtScience Museum in Marina Bay Sands. To celebrate the occasion, 122 Lamborghini cars assembled to break the record in Asia for the largest number of Lamborghini cars in a convoy.

    Under the bonnet, the Urus is powered by a specially-developed 4.0 litre twin-turbo V8, which outputs 650 PS and 850 Nm of torque. An eight-speed automatic gearbox is paired with the mill, along with an all-wheel drive system to divert torque appropriately frontwards and rearwards.

    Performance wise, the sub-2,200 kg SUV will make the century sprint in just 3.6 seconds, with the next 100 km/h arriving 9.2 seconds later. The top speed is pegged at 305 km/h, and it’ll only take 33.7 metres for the Urus to come to a full stop from 100 km/h.

    Dubbed the “world’s first super sport utility vehicle (SSUV),” the Urus’ styling is as you’d expect of a Lamborghini – striking, and yet retaining certain cues of the similarly-named concept that previewed it five years ago.

    The angular theme of the exterior is reflected inside the cabin as well, which comes with a mix of leather, Alcantara, aluminium, carbon fibre and wood. Customers will also have a plethora of personalisation options to browse through to create their dream Urus.

    GALLERY: Lamborghini Urus

     
  • LDP, KESAS, Sprint, Smart Tunnel Xmas toll discount

    Klang Valley highways under the Gamuda Group will have toll discounts on Christmas Day. Users of the Lebuhraya Damansara-Puchong (LDP), Lebuhraya Shah Alam (KESAS) and Sprint Highway will pay lower rates from midnight of December 24, while Smart Tunnel users get the discount from 6am on December 25 to 6am on December 26.

    The discounts range from 20 sen to 60 sen, and is expected to benefit nearly 800,000 users. See the chart above for included classes and the exact discount for each highway.

    “For Litrak and Sprint, we have carried out this proactive move yearly especially for major festive seasons, where we highly believe in the act of giving back to the community,” said Sazaily Bin Saidi, CEO of Litrak and Sprint.

    KESAS, Litrak, Sprint and Smart also teamed up to organise a “Back to School” corporate social responsibility programme, where 90 less fortunate children received pocket money and a set of school supplies for the upcoming school year. Persatuan Kanak-Kanak ini Disayangi Subang Jaya, Pusat Jagaan Penyayang Nur Iman Kuala Lumpur and SK Pulau Indah 2 Klang were beneficiaries.

     
 

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Last Updated 14 Dec 2017



 

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