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  • 2022 MSBK: MotoGP test rider Tsuda joins Mobilub Suzuki Racing Malaysia for first ever wildcard ride

    Making his debut in the Malaysian motorcycle racing scene is Takuya Tsuda, MotoGP test rider for Suzuki. Currently racing in the All Japan ST1000 class, Tsuda has a wildcard ride for the 2022 Malaysian Superbike Championship (MSBK) final round in Sepang International Circuit this October.

    The last MSBK race of the season will be held in conjunction with the 2022 Petronas Grand Prix of Malaysia and Tsuda will be riding for Mobilub Suzuki Racing Team. The offer of a MSBK wildcard ride was made to Tsuda for the team and Suzuki Malaysia to enhance racing development in Malaysian two-wheeled motorsports.

    “Being a Suzuki rider for more than 10 years, it is important to use this opportunity to share my knowledge and experience. My focus is to quickly adapt to the bike and try my best to help the team improve together,” said Tsuda. No stranger to the Sepang circuit, Tsuda has raced for Suzuki in the Suzuki Endurance Racing Team (SERT) and with Team Suzuki Ecstar in MotoGP.

    More recently, Tsuda set the Motegi racetrack on fire, literally, during his replacement ride for Suzuki Ecstar rider Joan Mir. Tsuda’s Suzuki GSX-RR race machine burst into flames during lap 12 of the Japanese Grand Prix, causing his to pull his bike off to the side of the track as marshals quickly doused the flames.

     
  • 2023 Maserati GranTurismo full details – 3.0L Nettuno V6 with up to 550 hp; Folgore EV with 750 hp, 1,350 Nm

    2023 Maserati GranTurismo Trofeo

    After giving us a taste of the second-generation Maserati GranTurismo last month, the Italian carmaker has now treated its all-new 2+2 grand tourer to a full reveal. Set to go on sale in the second quarter of 2023, the GranTurismo will be offered with petrol and fully electric powertrains, although the former will be what customers will have access to initially.

    The petrol engine is Maserati’s Nettuno, which is a 3.0 litre twin-turbo V6 that first made its debut on the MC20. In the GT, the mill adopts a wet sump oil system instead of the MC20’s more exotic dry sump setup and will be offered in two states of tune.

    The Nettuno in the Modena variant of the GT will deliver 496 PS (489 hp or 365 kW) at 6,500 rpm and 600 Nm of torque at 3,000 rpm, while the Trofeo version offers 557 PS (550 hp) and 650 Nm. For context, the previous GT with its 4.7 litre NA V8 made as much as 460 PS (454 hp or 338 kW) and 520 Nm. Additionally, unlike the previous GT that was rear-wheel drive only, the new model gets all-wheel drive as standard for the first time.

    This is accompanied by a ZF-sourced 8HP75 eight-speed automatic transmission as well as a rear self-locking differential (mechanical in the Modena and electronic in the Trofeo). In terms of performance, the Modena needs 3.9 seconds to get from 0-100 km/h and will hit a top speed of 302 km/h. The Trofeo, with more grunt, completes the century sprint in 3.5 seconds and will hit 320 km/h flat out.

    2023 Maserati GranTurismo Trofeo

    If you’re still not impressed, Maserati also designed the new GT from the start to be an EV thanks to the use of a modular platform. The EV variant is called the Folgore and it will accelerate from a rest to 100 km/h in just 2.7 seconds on its way to the same top speed as the Trofeo.

    This is accomplished by way of three electric motors, with one driving the front axle and two at the rear. Each provides 408 PS (402 hp or 300 kW), with Maserati quoting a total system output at the wheels of 761 PS (750 hp or 560 kW) and 1,350 Nm. The company says the powertrain uses silicon carbide (SiC) inverters derived from Formula E.

    The electric motors operate on an uncommon 800-volt electric architecture and draw power from a T-shaped battery pack with a gross energy capacity of 92.5 kWh (83 kWh usable). According to Car and Driver, Maserati claims a full charge will provide over 402 km (250 miles) of range.

    Thanks to high-voltage system, the GranTurismo Folgore supports DC fast charging (Type 2 connection) at up to 270 kW, with up to 100 km attainable in just five minutes. The Italian carmaker didn’t provide charging details, but it did say that operating on a lesser 400 volts, DC charging at up to 50 kW is possible and with regular AC charging (Type 2 connection), the EV can handle up to 22 kW.

    2023 Maserati GranTurismo Modena

    All variants of the GranTurismo feature double wishbones at the front and a multi-link rear setup as well as a staggered wheel setup with 20-inch alloys (with 265/30 profile tyres) at the front and 21-inch ones (295/30 profile tyres) at the rear. The braking system is identical too, with Brembo six-piston calipers aciting on 380-mm discs at the front, while four-piston calipers clamp down on 350-mm discs at the rear.

    One reason you would want the combustion engine variants is weight, as the Modena and Trofeo both tip the scales (homologated) at 1,795 kg. By comparison, the Folgore’s electric powertrain means it heftier at 2,260 kg.

    Even so, it manages to remain the same height as its combustion engine siblings, measuring 1,353 mm tall. All three variants are 1,957 mm wide and have a wheelbase of 2,929 mm, but the Trofeo has a longer overall length of 4,966 mm compared to the Modena and Folgore that are 4,959 mm.

    Combustion engine variants have four drive modes (Comfort, GT, Sport and Corsa) available, with the option to turn all electronic nannies off completely. The Folgore’s modes include Max Range, GT, Sport and Corsa, with the first dulling the accelerator pedal, climate system and top speed to 130 km/h to preserve precious battery charge when the state of charge falls below 16%.

    2023 Maserati GranTurismo Folgore

    In Corsa mode, drivers can set up the car so all power goes to the rear electric motors a la drift mode, and there’s a launch control function that can also be enabled in Sport mode. Four brake regen levels are also available along with pre-conditioning and optimised navigation that factors in charging needs to complete the route.

    Moving away from technical specifications, the new GranTurismo styling is very reminiscent of its predecessor, with proportions, lines and an overall shape that have an air of familiarity to them and should be sufficient to leave some drooling.

    In keeping with the company’s new design direction, the new GT adopts the MC20’s vertical headlamps, flush-ish door handles and slim taillights. You’ll also notice the bonnet has recessed creases running from the MC20-inspired nose and it now converges on the fender to form a clamshell that Maserati dubs ‘cofango’.

    To differentiate the variants, the Modena’s grille is in black with gloss black slats and a brushed chrome outline, with the colour also used for the handles and accent above the rear Maserati logo. The model badge on the sides and Trident logos are also finished in gloss black, while the window surround and exhaust finishers are plated in chrome.

    2023 Maserati GranTurismo Folgore

    The Trofeo adds on carbon-fibre accents on the bumpers, carbon-fibre side skirts and gloss black grille slats, while the side Trofeo wording and Trident logos come in burnished chrome with a red outline.

    As for the Folgore, it gets its own front bumper design with smaller side apertures and a specific splitter to reduce drag by 7%, while its grille gets glossy black inserts on a slightly anodised silk black base. The splitters, handles, DLO trim and rear handle are also gloss black, while the Trident logo and other badges are in dark copper. Oh, there are no exhaust outlets for obvious reasons.

    Weirdly, Maserati did not provide interior photos but it is said to inspired by the MC20 and Grecale. Features mentioned include a 12.2-inch digital instrument cluster and four more displays – a 12.3-inch unit for infotainment, an 8.8-inch for climate controls, a head-up display and a small digital clock, similar to the Grecale. The company also offers a Sonus faber sound system with 19 speakers and 1,195 watts of amplification as upgrade over the lesser 14-speaker, 860-watt setup.

    Available driver assistance includes Maserati Active Driving Assist providing autonomous emergency braking, active lane assist and emergency lane keeping, among other systems. There’s also Dynamic Road View, rear emergency braking and a surround view camera.

    2023 Maserati GranTurismo Trofeo

    2023 Maserati GranTurismo Modena

    2023 Maserati GranTurismo Folgore

     

  • Blueshark – EPMB granted MITI licence to CKD electric bikes in Malaysia; targets 50,000 units per year

    Automotive parts manufacturer EP Manufacturing has been granted a manufacturing license by the ministry of international trade and industry (MITI) for the assembly and manufacture of electric bikes in the country, the parts manufacturer announced in a statement.

    This comes after the company’s wholly-owned subsidiary, EP Blueshark had received approval by the road transport department (JPJ) for the licensing and registration of its electric two-wheeler products, which itself followed the conditional approval for the construction of its first manufacturing plant in Malaysia. This upcoming plant will be located in Glenmarie, Shah Alam in Selangor.

    The approval from MITI was granted under the Industrial Coordination Act 1975, and has been applied retrospectively from July 25, 2022, the company said.

    This manufacturing license enables EP Blueshark to import electric bike components in semi-knocked down (SKD) and/or completed knocked down (CKD) forms in order to be assembled and manufactured in Malaysia, for distribution into the local and ASEAN markets, the statement continued.

    Blueshark R1 electric scooter

    Having received the manufacturing license from MITI, EP Manufacturing will, in its initial years be on its way to producing 50,000 units of the Blueshark electric scooter per year, it said, and foresees that future demand will call for increased production capacity.

    In March this year, EP Manufacturing signed an agreement with Sharkgulf Technologies Group and CIS Pride Silver Rock Fund for the manufacture and distribution of two-wheeled EVs in Malaysia and other Southeast Asian markets. Sharkgulf makes the Blueshark R1, an electric scooter rated to produce 6.7 hp, powered by two 1.44 kWh batteries for a combined 2.88 kWh of capacity. Total range is a claimed 160 km at 25 km/h.

    The Blueshark R1 weighs 92 kg without batteries, has a payload rating of 200 kg and a seat height of 760 mm, along with linked front and rear disc brakes.

    Its starter system is operated by a fingerprint sensor, while a keyless unlocking system provides access to the underseat storage compartment. There are front and rear recording cameras, and rear-facing ultrasonic sensors monitor the Blueshark R1’s distance from surrounding vehicles.

    GALLERY: Blueshark R1

     
  • 2023 Toyota Corolla updated in Japan – more powerful hybrid system; 1.5L and 2.0L Dynamic Force engines

    Toyota recently updated the Corolla range in Japan a little over three years after the model went on sale in the country. As before, three body styles are offered, including the regular Corolla (sedan), Corolla Touring (wagon) and Corolla Sport (hatchback), all of which benefit from visual, mechanical and equipment revisions.

    Starting with the looks, all three models now sport a revised LED daytime running light signature that is unified as a single element rather than being separated like before. The Corolla and Corolla Touring both share the same face as the Levin sold in China (we get the European look in Malaysia), and this has been tweaked so the large lower intake no longer has a honeycomb insert.

    Instead, there are now horizontal bars and slats running across the lower intake, which continues to integrate circular fog lamps and a wing-like trim piece near its base. The puffed-up cheeks remain a familiar design cue, as do the creased corner section for faux air inlets.

    2023 Toyota Corolla (left), 2019 Corolla (right); Japan market

    As for the Corolla Sport, which matches the hatchback European and United States customers get, it receives a more expressive front apron with more prominent fog lamp surrounds as well as an arrow-themed insert for its lower intake. The rears of all three models appear pretty much identical to before, save for some new trim pieces that are fitted depending on the chosen grade.

    Moving inside, the interiors of the Corolla models appear unchanged, but Toyota points out that the available infotainment systems have been upgraded in terms of software and design. Buyers will still get two display sizes to choose from, including 8-inch Display Audio and 10.5-inch Display Audio Plus units, both now with wireless Apple CarPlay and wired Android Auto support.

    On the driver assistance front, junction support has been added to the Toyota Safety Sense pre-crash system, which now allows detection of oncoming vehicles when turning right at an intersection as well as pedestrians crossing the road when turning left or right. Proactive Driving Assist also joins the suite to support the driver’s steering and braking to avoid getting too close to pedestrians, bicycles and parked vehicles.

    2023 Toyota Corolla Touring (left), 2019 Corolla Touring (right); Japan market

    In terms of powertrains, all three body styles can be had with hybrid power. The setup consists of an Atkinson-cycle 2ZR-FXE 1.8 litre four-cylinder engine that makes 98 PS and 142 Nm of torque, which is now augmented by a more powerful 1VM electric motor rated at 95 PS and 185 Nm (previously 53 PS and 163 Nm).

    The hybrid powertrain comes with an e-CVT to send drive to the front wheels, although the Corolla and Corolla Touring can also be had with the E-Four all-wheel drive system that adds a rear 1WM electric motor with 41 PS and 84 Nm.

    2023 Toyota Corolla Sport (left), 2019 Corolla Sport (right); Japan market

    In addition to the revised hybrid powertrain, the Corolla and Corolla Touring also receive a new 1.5 litre Dynamic Force naturally-aspirated three-cylinder petrol engine to replace the previous 2ZR-FAE 1.8 litre NA four-cylinder unit.

    The M15A-FKS powerplant is already found in the latest Sienta as well as the Yaris and Yaris Cross. In the non-hatchback Corolla models, the mill serves up 120 PS and 145 Nm, which is less than the 2ZR-FAE that made 140 PS and 170 Nm. To go along with the Dynamic Force engine, the Super CVT-i has been replaced with a Toyota’s Direct Shift-CVT.

    2023 Toyota Corolla interior (left), 2019 Corolla (right); Japan market

    Meanwhile, the Corolla Sport also gets a Dynamic Force engine to replace the previous 8NR-FTS 1.2 litre turbocharged four-pot (116 PS and 185 Nm). The new M20A-FKS is an Atkinson-cycle 2.0 litre four-cylinder that makes 170 PS and 202 Nm, with the only transmission pairing being a Direct Shift-CVT – the turbo engine was previously available with the Super CVT-i or six-speed Intelligent Manual Transmission (iMT).

    The Corolla retails for between 1.99 and 2.998 million yen (RM63,756 and RM96,050) in Japan, while the Corolla Touring is from 2.07 to 3.048 million yen (RM66,319 to RM97,652) and the Corolla Sport is priced between 2.2 and 2.89 million yen (RM70,485 and RM92,592).

     
  • MyCRS child seat subsidy programme for B40 concludes – 61,957 recipients, RM8.8m disbursed

    The Keluarga Malaysia child seat subsidy programme (MyCRS) has concluded. MyCRS, which was announced in Budget 2022 to provide subsidised child car seats to the B40 group, ran from March till September this year and received 527,254 applications. From that, 61,957 people received the subsidy and a total of RM8.8 million was disbursed.

    The MyCRS subsidy is 50% and the maximum subsidy amount is RM150 for a child seat. The government’s original allocation for the programme was RM30 million for 188,000 recipients, so it looks the programme wasn’t fully subscribed despite best efforts of the Malaysian Institute of Road Safety Research (MIROS), which even went on tour to educate parents on the importance of child seats, as well as to get more to purchase the subsidised seats with on-the-spot approval.

    The Program Jelajah Subsidi MyCRS went to Kedah, Kelantan, Terengganu, Pahang, Perak and Johor, visiting locations with high concentration of B40 with young children such as government clinics. MIROS and the transport ministry (MoT) also participated in the federal government’s Jelajah Aspirasi Keluarga Malaysia nationwide roadshow, including in Sabah and Sarawak.

    “This programme is a responsibility of the government to Keluarga Malaysia to fight for and improve the level of safety of children in vehicles. It also supports businesses and the economic recovery of the country,” said MIROS director-general Datuk Khairil Anwar Abu Kassim, thanking the prime minister, transport minister and MoT for the initiative.

    MyCRS was supported by child seat distributors Koopers Distribution, Quinton Baby, Crolla Baby, Little One Group and SNS Products.

    Perhaps the B40 group feel that there are more important things to spend their money on, or perhaps affordability is still an issue despite the subsidy. We won’t know, but it’s still great news that there are nearly 62k new child seats on the road now, providing extra safety for the little ones.

    We’ve said it many times before – child seats are vital safety equipment, and if you have a limited budget, it should be prioritised over other car options. Watch the video above to learn more.

     
  • 2022 BMW 330i M Sport Runout Edition in Malaysia – fr RM289k; 19-inch wheels, sunroof, Harmon Kardon

    Here’s a full gallery of the BMW 330i M Sport Runout Edition, which is one of two limited edition variants of the G20 3 Series introduced by BMW Malaysia in July this year. The asking price for the 330i M Sport Runout Edition is RM288,680, making it RM5,000 more than a regular 330i M Sport that retails at RM283,680.

    The figures are on-the-road without insurance and inclusive of a standard two-year warranty, and if you want the five-year extended warranty and service package, the Runout Edition’s price goes up to RM304,800.

    For the RM5,000 premium paid over a standard 330i M Sport, the Runout Edition gains additional features like a Harman Kardon sound system instead of the default HiFi loudspeaker system, as well as a powered sunroof.

    Elsewhere, the Runout Edition is fitted with 19-inch M double-spoke (style 791 M) alloy wheels, which are an inch larger than the regular variant’s 18-inch (style 790 M) alloys. Available exterior paint finishes include Alpine White, Black Sapphire, Mineral Grey and M Portimao Blue, all paired with a Vernasca Black leather interior.

    The rest of the kit list is identical to the 330i M Sport, including adaptive LED headlamps, an M Sport styling package, M Sport brakes with blue-painted calipers, M Sport suspension interior trim finisher Aluminium Tetragon with highlight trim finisher in Pearl Chrome, BMW Live Cockpit Professional with a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster and 10.25-inch touchscreen, ConnectedDrive services, Comfort Access, three-zone climate control and an ambient lighting system.

    Also present are the Driving Assistant (lane departure warning, lane change warning, front collision warning with brake intervention, rear cross-traffic alert and rear collision prevention), along with Attentiveness Assistant, cruise control with braking function, Parking Assistant with Reversing Assistant and a rearview camera.

    Mechanically, you’ll still get a a 2.0 litre turbocharged four-cylinder engine making 258 PS (255 hp) from 5,000 to 6,500 rpm and 400 Nm of torque from 1,550 to 4,400 rpm. The mill is paired with an eight-speed Steptronic Sport automatic transmission that sends drive to the rear wheels.

    With the 3 Series facelift already revealed as of May, the Runout Edition is likely a swansong offering ahead of the revised executive sedan’s arrival. When that will take place remains to be seen, but if you’re curious about the changes made, we have a detailed comparison for your consideration.

     
  • Shell Motorsport Collection limited edition set of 7 Bluetooth remote control cars in Malaysia; RM30 each

    Shell Malaysia has today launched the Shell Motorsports collection of remote controlled cars, which are modelled after the racing cars of teams in partnership for various high-level international motorsport series.

    Here, the Shell Motorsport Collection offers a selection of Bluetooth remote control cars representing various marques campaigning in partnership with Shell in motorsport, joining storied Italian supercar marque Ferrari in this collection of remote control scale models.

    A total of seven Bluetooth remote control cars are on the Shell Motorsport Collection roster, which consists of:

    • Ferrari SF90 F1
    • BMW M4 Motorsport
    • Nissan Formula E Gen 2
    • Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC
    • Australian Supercars Shell V-Power Racing Team Ford Mustang GT
    • Team Penske Indycar
    • NASCAR Team Penske Ford Mustang GT

    In a similar fashion to previous scale model collections offered by Shell Malaysia, the complete set of seven cars in the Shell Motorsport Collection will not be offered for sale all at the same time; instead, the models will be offered one at a time on a weekly basis, from October 8 until December 8, 2022.

    These die-cast 1:41 scale models have been developed with BrandBase, and all are products officially licensed by their respective constructors and teams. The remote control aspect is via Bluetooth control, which enable users to control the scale models through their mobile devices.

    What will these cost? To purchase these scale models individually, customers will need to purchase a minimum of RM50 in Shell fuels, in order to be eligible to purchase the models at RM30 each. These however do not include the smart battery which is sold separately at RM30, which enables Bluetooth remote control of the models.

    With the purchase of a four-litre pack of Shell Helix engine oil, customers will receive the exclusive Ferrari SF90 F1 scale model for free, along with the Bluetooth smart battery. Meanwhile, purchasing a minimum of RM80 worth of Shell V-Power Racing petrol (at participating stations) will make the buyer eligible to purchase the exclusive collector’s box for RM80.

    In conjunction with the launch of this Shell Motorsport Collection, Shell Malaysia will be holding events at KL Sentral from October 17 to 23, as well as at the Mid Valley Megamall from October 26 to 30, and these venues will be where the public will get to try out all seven remote control scale models on a specially designed course.

    Ferrari SF90 F1

    BMW M4 Motorsport

    Nissan Formula E Gen 2

    Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC

    Australian Supercars Shell V-Power Racing Team Ford Mustang GT

    Team Penske Indycar

    NASCAR Team Penske Ford Mustang GT

     
  • Three-day discount campaign for outstanding traffic fines nets Johor police RM1.3 million in revenue

    You know how it works – Malaysians will wait for discounts on anything before parting with their money, and this also applies to paying up for the traffic offences they commit.

    Following a three-day 50% discount programme that ran from last Friday to Sunday, Johor police said that it collected a total of RM1.3 million in payment for outstanding summonses, The Star reports. The fines were for traffic offences such as speeding, not wearing a seatbelt, blocking traffic and cutting queues.

    The move was aimed at clearing a huge backlog of unpaid fines. Earlier, it had been revealed that a total of 2.3 million traffic summonses had been issued by Johor police since 2014 until now. So far, only 600,000 have been paid.

    During the period, a total of 109,758 summonses were issued to Singaporean drivers, and records show that only 23.5% of Singaporean vehicle owners have paid their outstanding summonses.

    Despite the revenue, state police chief Datuk Kamarul Zaman Mamat said that collecting that amount is not something that the police can be proud of. “Instead, it is a clear signal for us to continue to advocate and spread awareness to the public on the importance of following road regulations,” he said.

     
  • My50 Rapid KL monthly travel pass – buy 1, free 1

    Click to enlarge

    Klang Valley residents who want to try out public transport for daily commuting now have a great opportunity to do so on the cheap. Rapid KL is offering a buy one, free one promo for the My50 monthly travel pass in conjunction with 10.10, in a repeat of the B1F1 promo of last month.

    That’s right, a month of unlimited travel on the rail and bus network for two people for just RM50. To take advantage of this “My50 Buddy 2 Untuk 1” deal. New users must first download Rapid KL’s Pulse journey planner app to register. Fill in the details of both the recipients in the app. If your application is successful, you will receive an email confirmation before the October 10 redemption date.

    Redemptions can be made at the KL Sentral LRT station (East Wing) and the Pasar Seni Bus Hub on October 10. Both recipients must be present during redemption, with their MyKad and the confirmation email. The window to apply is from now till October 7. Note that this deal is only for new My50 users. Good luck!

     
  • Audi Malaysia announces #ReadyToDrive campaign – free 30-point vehicle check, 20% off parts and labour

    PHS Automotive Malaysia (PHSAM), the new official distributor of Audi vehicles in the country, has announced its #ReadyToDrive initiative. With a focus on safety, reliability and peace of mind of Audi owners, this marks the first aftersales initiative by PHSAM after it was announced that the company would represent the brand from July.

    Running from October 1 to December 31 this year, the #ReadyToDrive campaign includes a complimentary 30-point vehicle condition check for Audi owners who have not visited an authorised service centre in the past 12 months.

    Other benefits are complimentary a vehicle pickup and delivery service as well as a 20% discount on service labour charges (capped at RM300), selected wear and tear parts and batteries. According to the company’s website, customers can also receive a free disinfectant kit and exclusive Audi merchandise, subject to terms and conditions.

    “Customer satisfaction is very important to us. As such, we are levelling up our efforts across the board. We want to ensure Audi are running at their best, always. Audi owners can leverage our latest customer care package which has been designed to offer reliability and safety. In view of the upcoming school holidays and festive breaks, and with the monsoon season around the corner, we want our customers to have a safe and reliable journey,” said Deenan Nadar, aftersales director of PHSAM.

    “This will be a period of peak drives with more cars on the road, road trips and possibly hazardous drives with unexpected heavy rains, floods or thunderstorms, and we want to enable Audi owners to have pleasant journeys with peace of mind,” he added.

     
 
 
 

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Last Updated 29 Sep 2022