Sime Darby Motors Archive

  • Jaguar F-Pace customer wins BMW G310R at Sime Darby Motors Virtual Grand Finale lucky draw

    Sime Darby Motors (SDM) recently presented its customer with a lucky draw prize of a BMW G 310 R motorcycle, following their purchase of a Jaguar F-Pace 300PS at the company’s virtual sales carnival which was held December 2 to 6, 2020.

    The online event hosted on Sime Darby Motors’ website showcased vehicles from BMW, MINI, BMW Motorrad, Volvo, Jaguar, Land Rover, Ford and Hyundai, as well as a host of pre-owned vehicles courtesy of Sime Darby Auto Selection. The unnamed customer submitted their entry for the lucky draw following their purchase of the F-Pace.

    “The event was out attempt at continuing to cater to the needs and wants of our customers despite the restrictions in place, and we were happy with the response. I would like to congratulate the winner who is bringing home the BMW G 310 R motorcycle,” said SDM Malaysia’s managing director of retail and distribution Jeffrey Gan.

    The 300PS variant of the Jaguar F-Pace packs a 2.0L Ingenium petrol engine producing 300 PS at 5,500 rpm and 400 Nm of torque from 1,500 rpm to 4,500 rpm, paired to a ZF-sourced eight-speed automatic transmission driving all four wheels. Acceleration over the 0-100 km/h benchmark takes 6.1 seconds, and top speed is 233 km/h.

    Meanwhile, the latest 2021 revision of the G 310 R packs a 313 cc liquid-cooled single-cylinder fuel-injected engine with a four-valve head, producing 34 PS at 9,500 rpm and 28 Nm of torque at 7,500 rpm. Transmission is via a six-speed gearbox with wet clutch transmission and chain final drive.

     
     
  • New L663 Land Rover Defender launching in Malaysia on Oct 21 – 110 5-door, 2.0L 300 PS, 3.0L 400 PS MHEV

    We already know that the new L663 Land Rover Defender is coming to Malaysia, but now we have a date. Jaguar Land Rover Malaysia (JLRM) has announced that the all-new Defender will be officially launching here on October 21. An online livestream will happen at 11am on JLRM’s Facebook page.

    The reborn 4×4 icon will be available solely in 110 five-door form for now, without the 90 three-door as speculated earlier. Named the 2021 World Car Design of the Year ahead of the Honda e, the L663’s shape has minimal front and rear overhangs for class-leading ground clearance, breakover, approach and departure angles.

    Signature cues carried over include the upright stance and Alpine light windows in the roof, the side-hinged rear tailgate and an externally mounted spare wheel.

    The new Defender’s biggest change is the move to an all-aluminium monocoque body from the old car’s ladder frame. If that makes you go hmmm, LR says that this is the stiffest body structure that it has ever produced, three times stiffer than the best body-on-frame designs in the market.

    Also, it’s now rather rich in equipment. JLRM has highlighted some features of the new Defender. Kit available here will include a 3D Surround Camera coupled with new 3D exterior perspectives alongside a 360-degree overhead view. The innovative ClearSight Ground View shows feed from the front underside of the car – this is helpful when off-roading.

    Adaptive Dynamics electronic air suspension, Pivi Pro infotainment system with Meridian sound and a wading depth of 900 mm are present. The Defender is the first Land Rover to have a Wade programme within the Terrain Response menu. Here, the air suspension is raised and ultrasonic sensors in the door mirrors alert the driver visually and audibly if water approaches the vehicle’s maximum wading depth.

    Lastly, engines. JLRM will bring in a 300 PS/400 Nm 2.0L turbo-four (P300) and the P400 MHEV, which features an Ingenium 3.0L turbo straight-six with 400 PS and 550 Nm. The MHEV is a mild hybrid with a 48-volt electric supercharger, a belt-integrated starter motor and a 48-volt lithium-ion battery to store captured energy. Both engines are mated to a ZF eight-speed automatic with a two-speed transfer case.

    The latter, permanent all-wheel drive and a maximum towing capability of 3,500 kg plus a maximum static roof load of 300 kg means that the Defender should be capable of any outdoor adventure you can withstand.

    No mention of expected price, but interested parties can visit Jaguar Land Rover showrooms to place their booking. All Land Rover vehicles from the official channel come with the Land Rover Care programme, which includes a five-year warranty, five years of free service and three years of roadside assistance.

    What do you think of the new Defender? Browse our mega gallery below.

     
     
  • 2021 Hyundai Kona Electric facelift spied in Malaysia – 39.2 and 64 kWh battery options, EV launching in Q4

    This is the new Hyundai Kona Electric facelift that will be launched in Malaysia this year. Two units of the EV, one in blue and another in white, were spotted by Adi Azri Ari at Petronas Ara Damansara. They weren’t there to fill up with fuel, of course, but to fill up the tyres with air.

    The EV version of the Kona B-SUV isn’t merely here for internal training purposes (cars as weird as the Hyundai Genesis Coupe and i30 Wagon have been spotted on Malaysian roads in the past), as this car is set to hit showrooms before the end of the year. Hyundai-Sime Darby Motors (HSDM) has confirmed to paultan.org that the Kona Electric’s Malaysian launch will happen in the fourth quarter of this year, which we’re in now.

    Late last year, Hyundai gave its Kona range a facelift, and HSDM has already brought in the refreshed B-SUV, first with a 2.0 litre naturally aspirated engine in April, followed by the 1.6 litre turbo and sporty N Line in July. When it arrives, the Kona Electric be HSDM’s first full electric offering in Malaysia, having already done hybrid with the Ioniq.

    The Kona Electric will be available here in two battery sizes, just like in Europe. Like the pre-facelift, the EV can be had with a 39.2 kWh or 64 kWh battery.

    The base model’s single motor is a 136 PS unit while the 64 kWh car gets a more powerful 204 PS motor. Both have the same 395 Nm of torque. The 0-100 km/h sprint is dispatched in 9.9 seconds for the 39.2 kWh and 7.9 seconds for the 64 kWh version. Top speed is 155 km/h and 167 km/h, respectively.

    While there are no changes to the batteries, there are slight changes to driving range on a full charge in the WLTP cycle. The 39.2 kWh version is now rated at 305 km (-7 from 312 km) while the 64 kWh is officially pegged at 484 km (+2 from 482 km), with the slight increase attributed to tyre improvements.

    As for charging, DC fast charging from 10% to 80% with a 50 kW charger takes 48 minutes for the 39.2 kWh model, or 64 minutes for the 64 kWh version. Use a 100 kW charger and it’s 47 minutes for both batteries, Hyundai says.

    Regular AC charging with the single-phase 7.2 kW onboard charger from 10% to 80% will take six hours in the base model and nine hours 15 minutes in the 64 kWh. Charging times go down to four hours 20 minutes and six hours 50 minutes respectively with the optional three-phase 10.5 kW onboard charger. The upgraded BlueLink app displays info such as range, battery state and charging times on a phone.

    In Europe, there are two interior themes – the first is a black interior in cloth, cloth and leather mix or leather upholstery; while the second is a grey interior in a cloth-leather mélange or leather. We can’t see the interior from these pics due to glare.

    The SmartSense driver assist suite has been upgraded and now includes rear cross-traffic collision avoidance assist (RCCA) and blind spot collision avoidance assist (BCA). Basically, these functions add on auto braking to the previous warning. Also new to the Kona Electric are features such as Leading Vehicle Departure Alert (LVDA, like Perodua’s Front Departure Alert), Safe Exit Warning (SEW) and Rear Seat Alert (RSA).

    Lastly, the new face in the facelift. While the pre-FL Kona Electric featured a blocked-off grille (no engine cooling needed) there was still an outline of a traditional grille, with elements within. Here, there’s no hint of a grille and the Hyundai logo has moved up to the level of the LED DRL eyebrows. It’s still easily recognisable as a Kona, but also more “EV looking”.

    For this update, Hyundai introduced two distinct faces for the ICE-powered Kona – one regular and one for the N Line and full N. The Electric’s fascia is unique, making it three different front ends in the range.

    The big question is how much? The base Kona Electric with its 39.2 kWh battery is quite a similar prospect to the Nissan Leaf, which is still the sole EV officially sold here without a premium badge. The Leaf was launched in 2019 with a 40 kWh battery and RM189k price tag. The MINI Cooper SE facelift was launched in June. With the four-year warranty and service package option ticked, and sales tax subtracted, the cute 28.9 kWh EV is yours for RM217k.

    We’re expecting the base Kona Electric – which trumps both Leaf and MINI in range – to start from below RM200k. For those who like the idea of an EV, but can’t spend the equivalent of a house on the BMW iX or Porsche Taycan, one of the best mass market brand EVs coming to town is something to look forward to. What do you think – can do?

    GALLERY: 2021 Hyundai Kona Electric facelift

     
     
  • REVIEW: 2021 Hyundai Kona 1.6T N Line – RM157k

    The Hyundai Kona is on the fast lane in Malaysia. First previewed at KLIMS in 2018, it wasn’t until two years later that the B-SUV was launched by Hyundai-Sime Darby Motors (HSDM), in late 2020. Coincidentally, three days later, the Kona facelift was announced internationally.

    But HSDM wasted no time and brought in the 2021 Kona just a few months after it hit the roads in Europe, the model’s main market. First was the 2.0L NA version (base and Active) in April, and then came the 1.6 Turbo and N Line in late July. Next up is the Kona Electric in Q4 2021. The EV would make it five variants in our market, which is rather astonishing for what will be a niche contender.

    Such pace isn’t common in our market, and to make it more impressive, it was all done with Covid and on-off lockdowns in the background, a period where many simply hunkered down. Making up for lost time is putting it lightly. Perhaps the best variant to represent the approach is this – the facelifted Kona N Line in the unmissable Surfy Blue colour. This car is unconventional, and fast.

    Fast and flashy

    The 2.0L NA Kona is a sprightly performer, using an engine size that larger SUVs make do with as a base. But this turbo version is on another level – the Smartstream 1.6 T-GDi engine packs 198 PS and 265 Nm of torque from 1,600 to 4,500 rpm. Compared to the pre-facelift 1.6T, this one gets Continuous Variable Valve Duration (CVVD) and 21 PS more. The advantage over the 2.0L is 49 PS and 85 Nm, plus a turbo’s low end punch.

    Paired to a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission, the front-wheel-drive Kona 1.6T does the 0-100 km/h sprint in 7.7 seconds. That’s two tenths faster than the old Kona Turbo and the Proton X50 Flagship. One second away from hot hatch territory, the Kona 1.6T is the fastest and most powerful B-segment SUV in Malaysia.

    The N Line looks very different from the regular Kona Turbo, but it’s no faster – the engine is the same. What’s different is the face. The N Line’s exclusive front end is more similar to the original Kona’s, with the emblem in the grille and (fake) letterbox vents above it. Below, you’ll find an aerodynamic lip with low-lying corner fins plus larger and “more technical” air intake features.

    The N Line also does away with 4×4-inspired cues such as the black cladding and skid plate-mimicking trim at both ends of the car. The rear bumper has a prominent diffuser and there are twin pipes on one side. Looks wise, this is very close to the full cream 280 PS/392 Nm Kona N, save for a few details such as the real N’s wild spoiler and single big pipe on each side. Lastly, the N Line gets 18-inch alloys with a dedicated (and complicated) design.

    Not very furious

    Does the Kona N Line’s tasty on-paper performance translate to real world satisfaction? It depends on your expectations and where you’re coming from. Here’s a tip – it’s tempting, but don’t view this as a hot hatch in the vein of a Volkswagen Golf GTI. The Hyundai i30 N is even further away in character.

    The Kona Turbo has more power and pace than one would expect from a mainstream small SUV, and that’s a good thing to have in the pocket. With a punchy mid range, passing other vehicles is a breeze, you’ll get to the highway limit in a few blinks, and the Kona is relatively quiet and very stable even when you’re in the final third of the speedo.

    For me, this level of pace is a cool novelty in small crossover, although the engine doesn’t sound sporting or characterful when pulling. That’s not a problem, merely an observation, but I’m not fully with the 7DCT’s decision making – there’s occasional hesitancy when you get back on the power, say after slowing down for a corner. One such corner is the final one before I reach home (an uphill left), so I didn’t have to go flaw hunting.

    I also found the engine braking to be rather excessive on declines; hanging on to a lower gear introduces more noise and resistance. Once again, this is my daily drive to the shops and not some touge route. Quirks aside, the DCT is mostly a good partner to the 1.6T, even if it isn’t as lightning quick as a GTI’s DSG. Still, the performance is there.

    By the way, the above observations are in Normal mode. There are also Eco and Sport modes (the latter has a rather cartoonish red meter theme) as well as steering shift paddles. I rarely use those things, though.

    Car-like, is that a good thing?

    The Kona is a Euro-centric model, and it shows in the drive. The ride around town is on the firm side, but it never gets too uncomfortable. The plus side is a very steady and planted gait at high speeds. The steering is light and easy for daily use; it’s rather quick too, although lacking in grainy feel that absolutely no one expects in an SUV.

    Overall, the dynamics is within expectations, given that the Kona is essentially a European car, the sporty brief of this variant, and the relatively large wheels. It has more grip that most will need too, although there’s no hint of the “come on, drive me harder” vibes that emanate from the i30 N, another reminder that this ain’t no full-blooded driver’s car.

    What stood out more for me was the Kona’s height, or rather the lack of. “Car-like” is one of those cliches you find in SUV reviews, but I personally think that’s outdated, simply because most SUVs are car-like to drive these days. Even so, the Kona drives very much like a regular hatchback for me, and that’s before I looked around at the traffic lights. Parked next to a Perodua Ativa, the window line difference is significant enough for me to look up.

    Like a regular hatchback with the trappings of an SUV, the Kona reminds me of the Lexus UX. Once again, this can either be a plus or negative point – if you’re looking for a high perch, there are plenty of regular-shaped SUVs around. The Kona? It’s truly car-like to drive, albeit a rather wide one for its class.

    A sobering thought

    If I did not know this car, I would have been shocked by its interior. Shocked to see how sober it is, after the wild exterior design that’s on par with the original Nissan Juke for unusualness.

    Our Kona N Line comes with a black-on-black interior theme: it’s pitch dark from the headliner to the carpet, with just a sprinkle of red in the stitching and AC vents, and two small N logos for garnish. Even without the extrovert exterior for contrast, this is a very drab cabin.

    We’ve heard it countless times from carmakers, and it’s true that Malaysian carbuyers are a conservative lot with a penchant for safe (read dark) colours when it comes to interiors, but I would think that someone choosing a Kona over an X50 or Honda HR-V isn’t the typical Malaysian carbuyer. Even an Ativa has bigger splashes of red.

    You might be thinking that all-black cabins are quite common, and you’d be right, but usually there are some variations in tone/texture and more bright bits – here, even the door handles are in plain black, which means there’s no distraction from the hard plastics (except for the horizontal passenger-facing piece, not a big issue for me) and slightly dated design. In contrast, both the X50 and HR-V have a more modern minimalist dashboard and a high centre console to create that desirable “cockpit feel”.

    With that out of the way, there’s a lot that’s good about the Kona’s cabin. The seats are very comfortable – soft where you need it to be and supportive enough even though they don’t look very aggressive. There’s (electronic) lumbar adjustment too, but best of all, the two front chairs are ventilated, and this is a lovely little luxury to have in our climate. Goodbye, sweaty back!

    No cutting corners

    Hyundai used the facelift as an opportunity to fit in every latest feature, so the Kona is bang up-to-date in tech and safety. In fact, I struggled to think of what it might lack. Here’s the list: electronic parking brake with auto hold (replaces pre-FL’s handbrake; brake hold is another small but invaluable luxury), head-up display (screen type), Apple CarPlay/Android Auto on the factory touchscreen head unit, Qi wireless charger, auto-dimming rear-view mirror and ventilated seats (a real USP and an intentional repeat by me) are among the goodies.

    The most obvious new feature is the 10.25-inch digital instrument cluster and the least obvious is the latest version of Hyundai’s SmartSense driver assist safety pack. It includes adaptive cruise control with stop and go, AEB with cyclist and pedestrian detection, lane centring assist, lane keeping assist, blind spot monitoring and rear cross traffic alert.

    Leading Vehicle Departure Alert is a new feature, and it works like Perodua’s front departure alert by asking you to drop the phone and get going before you get honked. Safe Exit Warning alerts you when something is coming from behind and it’s unsafe to open the doors.

    The Kona is stuffed to the gills with kit and is a very safe car. I appreciate all these ADAS features and usually leave them all on (even auto start-stop is left on, very fast response here by the way), except for lane keeping, which I feel is too intrusive in daily urban driving.

    However, lane keeping assist is on by default here, which means that it’s activated every time you start the car, even if you turned it off moments ago. The Kona’s insistence meant that I had to dive into the menu each time I start the car, as there’s no physical LKA button. The process is probably around 10 presses long, but it’s most annoying when I forget the ritual and the steering tugs away at my first “misdemeanour”.

    A note on space. To make it simple, the Kona is a European-sized B-SUV, which means it’s on the small side. Rear legroom is snug, and while it’s more liveable than the Mazda CX-3 at the back, the HR-V is a lounge in comparison. But the popularity of Mazda’s small SUV proves that not everyone needs the space, certainly not those stylish single lady drivers. Surprisingly, the boot is bigger than the X50’s. If you do need to ferry humans, this is a car that you’ll need to try for size.

    Expensive! Really?

    You know the Jackie Chan meme? That was me seeing comments that the Kona N Line is expensive. Sure, RM156,888 is no small sum, but you can’t be expecting a 200 hp CBU import from Korea (with almost every option available ticked) priced the same as a Melaka-made HR-V, can you? Even the lightly-equipped, Thai-made Toyota C-HR was RM150k a couple of years back.

    In fact, I’d argue that the Kona N Line is fantastic value for what it offers, in both specs and performance. But this is not the kind of car that one buys because it’s good value. The defining factor here is the Kona’s design. Whether it’s this N Line face or the regular facelift look, people will either see crazy and ugly, or crazy but cool – there’s no sitting on the fence with intentionally oddball designs such as this.

    If you’re in the latter camp, the Hyundai Kona offers a chance to stand out in a sea of Honda, Mazda and Proton SUVs (this is not hyperbole, just a mall carpark). Not only will you be making a statement, you’ll also be treated to a long list of equipment, and in the case of the N Line, performance that – unlike the design – is undebatable.

     
     
  • Sime Darby Motors launches Employee Mobility at Ease Programme – 1-year subscription for group staff

    Sime Darby Motors (SDM) today announced the Employee Mobility at Ease Programme (EMAEP) for all staff of Sime Darby Berhad and its and its subsidiaries in Peninsular Malaysia. The scheme is described an innovative mobility solution for greater accessibility and flexibility to owning selected SDM franchise cars and used cars, with minimal or no downpayment.

    Under the programme, Sime Darby employees can enjoy the convenience of a car without the hassle of traditional car ownership by paying a fixed monthly fee for a short lock-in period of only one year. The monthly fee will also include insurance, road tax, maintenance and wear and tear. Like rental or subscription, EMAEP takers won’t have to worry about depreciation costs.

    Another benefit is that with a short one-year commitment, Sime Darby employees get to upgrade or change cars according to their needs regularly once the car is returned to Sime Darby Auto Selection, SDM’s used car arm.

    “The modern marketplace is asking for mobility solutions, not just transportation and EMAEP is the logical response to society’s changing mobility needs. EMAEP guarantees mobility and the joy of experiencing a new car every year, with peace of mind,” said Jeffrey Gan, MD of SDM Malaysia’s retail and distribution.

    “SDM is constantly looking at ways in which we can leverage on our expertise and customer know-how to elevate our value proposition. This programme addresses customer’s wants for convenience and choice but also complements our existing initiatives by SDAS to provide consistent and quality used car supply,” he added.

    Sounds like a scheme that benefits not just Sime Darby Group staff, but also the car brands distributed by the conglomerate, and SDAS, which will get a good supply of stock. Keeps things flowing that’s for sure. By the way, SDAS does not only sell used cars from marques under SDM, but all brands. It even has a multi-brand service centre in Glenmarie.

     
     
  • 2021 Hyundai Kona Electric facelift confirmed for Malaysia – 39.2 and 64 kWh, 484 km range, Q4 launch

    You’ve seen that unicorn – the one and only Hyundai Kona Electric in Malaysia – and are impressed by the KLIMS 2018 demo car’s specs, but would prefer something brand new? Hyundai-Sime Darby Motors (HSDM) has confirmed to paultan.org that the 2021 Hyundai Kona Electric facelift is set for Malaysia, and the launch will happen in the fourth quarter of this year.

    Late last year, Hyundai gave its Kona range a facelift, and HSDM has already brought in the refreshed B-SUV, first with a 2.0 litre naturally aspirated engine in April, followed by the 1.6 litre turbo and sporty N Line in July. When it arrives, the Kona Electric will make it four powertrains in the family. It will also be HSDM’s first full electric offering in Malaysia, having already done hybrid with the Ioniq.

    The eagle eyed among you might have thought that you spotted a mistake, but it is indeed four powertrains in total, because the Kona Electric will be available here in two battery sizes, just like in Europe. Like the pre-facelift, the EV can be had with a 39.2 kWh or 64 kWh battery.

    The base model’s single motor is a 136 PS unit while the 64 kWh car gets a more powerful 204 PS motor. Both have the same 395 Nm of torque. The 0-100 km/h sprint is dispatched in 9.9 seconds for the 39.2 kWh and 7.9 seconds for the 64 kWh version. Top speed is 155 km/h and 167 km/h, respectively.

    While there are no changes to the batteries, there are slight changes to driving range on a full charge in the WLTP cycle. The 39.2 kWh version is now rated at 305 km (-7 from 312 km) while the 64 kWh is officially pegged at 484 km (+2 from 482 km), with the slight increase attributed to tyre improvements.

    As for charging, DC fast charging from 10% to 80% with a 50 kW charger takes 48 minutes for the 39.2 kWh model, or 64 minutes for the 64 kWh version. Use a 100 kW charger and it’s 47 minutes for both batteries, Hyundai says.

    Regular AC charging with the single-phase 7.2 kW onboard charger from 10% to 80% will take six hours in the base model and nine hours 15 minutes in the 64 kWh. Charging times go down to four hours 20 minutes and six hours 50 minutes respectively with the optional three-phase 10.5 kW onboard charger. The upgraded BlueLink app displays info such as range, battery state and charging times on a phone.

    In Europe, there are two interior themes – the first is a black interior in cloth, cloth and leather mix or leather upholstery; while the second is a grey interior in a cloth-leather mélange or leather.

    The SmartSense driver assist suite has been upgraded and now includes rear cross-traffic collision avoidance assist (RCCA) and blind spot collision avoidance assist (BCA). Basically, these functions add on auto braking to the previous warning. Also new to the Kona Electric are features such as Leading Vehicle Departure Alert (LVDA, like Perodua’s Front Departure Alert), Safe Exit Warning (SEW) and Rear Seat Alert (RSA).

    Lastly, the new face in the facelift. While the pre-FL Kona Electric featured a blocked-off grille (no engine cooling needed) there was still an outline of a traditional grille, with elements within. Here, there’s no hint of a grille and the Hyundai logo has moved up to the level of the LED DRL eyebrows. It’s still easily recognisable as a Kona, but also more “EV looking”.

    For this update, Hyundai introduced two distinct faces for the ICE-powered Kona – one regular and one for the N Line and full N. The Electric’s fascia is unique, making it three different front ends in the range.

    On to the big question then – how much? The base Kona Electric with its 39.2 kWh battery is quite a similar prospect to the Nissan Leaf, which is still the sole EV officially sold here without a premium badge. The Leaf was launched in 2019 with a 40 kWh battery and RM189k price tag. The MINI Cooper SE facelift was launched in June. With the four-year warranty and service package option ticked, and sales tax subtracted, the cute 28.9 kWh EV is yours for RM217k.

    We’re expecting the base Kona Electric – which trumps both Leaf and MINI in range – to start from below RM200k. For those who like the idea of an EV, but can’t spend the equivalent of a house on the BMW iX or Porsche Taycan, one of the best mass market brand EVs coming to town is surely good news. What do you think?

    GALLERY: 2021 Hyundai Kona Electric facelift

     
     
  • Hyundai Kona Electric now on sale in Malaysia – HSDM’s KLIMS 2018 demo EV going for RM180k

    Click to enlarge

    The Hyundai Kona Electric is now on sale in Malaysia, but this is not our usual new car launch announcement. The car you see in the Facebook ad above is a used car, and one can’t just walk into Hyundai-Sime Darby Motors (HSDM) to buy a new Kona Electric or any EV. Not yet at least.

    Advertised by Nicole Yap from HSDM’s sister company and used car division Sime Darby Auto Selection, this Kona Electric is listed as manufactured in 2018 and registered in September last year. The EV has 18,000 km on the clock and they’re asking RM180,800 for it.

    UPDATE: The 2021 Kona Electric facelift is confirmed for Malaysia, launch in Q4

    Seen this car before? We checked with HSDM and they’ve confirmed that this is the exact unit that they brought in for the Kuala Lumpur International Motor Show (KLIMS) in 2018. After performing its duty as a tech showcase for the brand at KLIMS alongside the Nexo hydrogen fuel cell SUV and i30 N hot hatch, the EV has since been used internally by the company.

    According to HSDM, this unit has been driven by its tech team and management as a test for both EV performance/suitability in Malaysia as well as reliability. Range anxiety is a major concern with EVs, and the Hyundai distributor says that the Kona Electric’s mileage per charge has been both satisfactory (they even managed to surpass the claimed range by 60 km) and accurate. The latter is important because range fluctuations are not good for building trust in your EV.

    Launched in February 2018, the Kona Electric started off in the European market, like the compact B-SUV range that it’s a part of. Still recognisable as a Kona, the EV is characterised by a closed grille and a unique centre console sans gear lever. It was launched with two battery options – 39.2 kWh and 64 kWh, delivering WLTP driving range of 312 km and 482 km on a full charge, respectively.

    The longer range version has 204 PS over the base car’s 135 PS, but both have the same 395 Nm of torque and 167 km/h top speed. The 0-100 km/h sprint is dispatched in 7.6 seconds for the 64 kWh and 9.3 seconds for the 39.2 kWh version.

    Charging the lithium-ion polymer battery up to 80% takes about 54 minutes using a 100 kW DC (CCS) fast charger. With the 7.2 kW on-board-charger, charging with AC (Type 2) takes nine hours 40 minutes for the bigger battery pack and six hours 10 minutes for the base car.

    HSDM’s demo car is the 64 kWh version and the standard charging cable is included (see the boot pic). Other fast charging paraphernalia can be ordered via the company. The Hyundai distributor confirmed to paultan.org that it will be extending full after sales support to the buyer of this Kona Electric. For those who are interested in EVs but find the new premium offerings too expensive, surely over 450 km of electric range for RM180k – with factory support – is a decent deal? What do you think of this one-of-a-kind catch?

    The Kona Electric’s stats were very impressive for an affordable mass market EV back in 2018, and is still very good today (more than double the range of a 2021 MINI Cooper SE). It has been a success for Hyundai, with 100,000 units sold worldwide in just over two years from its debut.

    Late last year, Hyundai gave the Kona range a facelift (launched in Malaysia this year), and the Electric was similarly refreshed. No big changes to the tech bits, but tyre improvements have raised WLTP range slightly for the 64 kWh to 484 km (+2). Click on the link for the full story on the Kona Electric FL, or check out the gallery attached below.

    HSDM is a very active company these days and has been quick in launching the Kona facelift, now with a sporty N Line range topper. Will the latest 2021 Kona Electric join the family as HSDM’s first full electric offering? Stay tuned.

    By the way, if you’re wondering or lamenting why are all the EVs in Malaysia premium and expensive, leaving nothing for Mr. Average Joe, here’s a full explainer.

    GALLERY: 2018 Hyundai Kona Electric at KLIMS

    GALLERY: 2021 Hyundai Kona Electric facelift

     
     
  • Sime Darby Motors partners Trevo for Fund Your Drive – gain additional income, guaranteed resale value

    Sime Darby Motors has partnered with car sharing service Trevo for the Fund Your Drive programme, which provides customers who purchase vehicles from the Sime Darby Auto Selection (SDAS) range with a means of generating income by listing their vehicles on Trevo.

    From now until November 18, 2021, the Fund Your Drive programme offers the option to purchase a refurbished vehicle from SDAS, as well as guaranteed resale prices for these vehicles if they are sold back to SDAS within a period of 12 months through the BuyBack option.

    The guaranteed income through listing the vehicles on Trevo will cover at least 70% of the vehicles’ monthly loan repayments, and will provide owners with loan instalment support for a period of 12 months, said SDAS.

    On top of this, SDAS is offering free vehicle servicing for a period of 12 months for participating Trevo “hosts”, or drivers, in order to get substantial savings on maintenance and ownership,” said Sime Darby Auto Selection managing director Vi Thim Juan.

    For example, a Trevo host who owns a 2015 Hyundai Grand Starex may earn approximately RM850 a month if their vehicle is booked by vehicle-sharing customers seven days in a month, while the vehicle remains with the host- the vehicle’s owner – for the remaining 23 days of the month. This supplemental income is estimated to cover nearly the full amount of the vehicle’s loan repayment, according to SDAS.

    “During this time of uncertainty for many, those who need to own a vehicle may be thinking twice due to the financial outlay required. Through this programme, owners not only have a variety of vehicles from SDAS to choose from; Trevo also offers them additional means to fund the expenses associated with owning a vehicle,” said Socar Mobility Asia CEO Leon Foong.

    Customers interested in this programme can choose from vehicles on the SDAS website marked with the Trevo logo to partake in the Fund Your Drive programme.

     
     
  • Sime Darby Motors and Domino’s Pizza partner up to reward frontliners in Malaysia – #LoveOurFrontliners

    During the Covid-19 pandemic, frontliners have been working tirelessly to take care of patients, often risking their own health as well as working extended hours and being apart from their families. In light of this, Sime Darby and Domino’s Pizza have teamed up to show their appreciation to those who place duty above all else with the “Love Our Frontliners” initiative.

    “The pandemic has demonstrated the commitment and dedication of our medical frontliners. As a service-driven organisation, Sime Darby Motors is passionate about upholding our core values. We are pleased to partner up with Domino’s, who share our passion. At the heart of it, this collaboration strives to provide relief and comfort to our brave frontliners,” said Jeffrey Gan, managing director of retail and distribution at Sime Darby Motors.

    As part of the initiative, Sime Darby Motors will reward chauffeur-driven rides to a few selected frontliners, which will allow them to wind down and enjoy a safe journey to visit and reunite with their loved ones that they haven’t seen in a while.

    In addition, the company’s fleet of vehicles from the brands it represents are also used to deliver pizzas prepared by Domino’s, with 4,200 pizza set to be delivered over two weeks. This has already begun on Merdeka Day, with the first delivery of 400 pizzas being sent to the Covid-19 quarantine centre at MAEPS in Serdang as well as other designated hospitals in the Klang Valley.

    These include Sungai Buloh Hospital, Hospital Selayang, Hospital Serdang, Hospital Kajang, Hospital Kuala Lumpur, Ampang Hospital, Hospital Canselor, University Malaya Medical Centre, MSU Medical Centre and Hospital Tengku Ampuan Rahimah. Domino’s Pizza is also including an all expenses paid grocery shopping trip to go along with its pizza treat, supported by specially commissioned vehicles from Sime Darby Motors.

    “We are grateful to all our frontliners as they stand fearless to save lives and show strong courage to deal with everyday dramas and tragedies. They truly are our heroes. We could not imagine our life without their sacrifice and contribution. We have heard and read stories of their tragedies and triumphs in this fight,” commented Shamsul Amree, CEO of Domino’s Pizza Malaysia.

    “As frontliners’ themselves, our abang and kakak Domino’s understand the struggle. We don’t take this responsibility for granted. From one frontliner to another, we appreciate all your hard work and perseverance. Your courage is inspiring to us to keep fighting! Guided by our ‘Count on Domino’s’ promise, we aim to serve the community responsibly while protecting the safety and well-being of all,” he added.

    Hygiene and health are the number one priority for Sime Darby Motors and Domino’s Pizza in ensuring that the collaboration is carried out safely and efficiently, with stringent standard operating procedures in place for the end-to-end delivery and food preparation processes.

     
     
  • Porsche confirms CKD operations in Malaysia from 2022 at Sime Darby plant – first outside of Europe!

    Breaking news! Porsche has officially announced that it will set up CKD operations in Malaysia, which will be the first outside of Germany. According to the carmaker, the move is aimed at strengthening its presence in emerging markets within Southeast Asia that has seen encouraging growth.

    Local assembly will be done together with Porsche’s long-standing partner Sime Darby, who is the official distributor of Porsche vehicles in the country via Sime Darby Auto Performance (SDAP). Currently, Sime Darby Motors has the Inokom vehicle assembly plant in Kulim, Kedah, which also assembles BMW, Hyundai, Mazda and MINI cars, with an annual production capacity of 38,000 vehicles.

    For now, there’s no mention of what Porsche models will be CKD, but it is said that “the vehicles will specifically match local requirements and will be available for Malaysia only,” with operations set to begin from 2022 onwards. A previous report tipped the Macan and Cayenne as leading candidates, which makes sense given the popularity of SUVs these days – the Cayenne is Porsche’s top-selling model on the regular.

    “We’re fortunate that, due to careful planning, our existing factories are more than up to the task of meeting current and future global demand for our cars,” said Albrecht Reimold, member of the executive board for production and logistics at Porsche. “However, the new assembly site in Malaysia meets specific market needs and, although a standalone project and modest in size and capacity, it signals our willingness to learn and adapt to specific local market conditions,” he added.

    “Malaysia and the whole ASEAN is a region of great potential and we look forward to the first locally assembled models reaching our Malaysian customers next year,” said Detlev von Platen, member of the executive board for sales and marketing at Porsche. “As Porsche is moving into a new era of mobility, Malaysia and the ASEAN region are gaining an increasing importance. This step now is part of a long-standing initiative to keep pace with rapidly evolving customer and market demands,” he added.

    Besides announcing CKD operations in Malaysia, Porsche also revealed that it will set up a new permanent research and development centre in China, its largest single market that it won’t set up an assembly plant in. The satellite facility will serve to increase the company’s understanding of its Chinese customers and their requirements, and to improve the local product development.

    With Porsches set to be CKD in Malaysia, will we be seeing more affordable models coming our way soon? Let us know what you think below.

     
     
 
 
 

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Last Updated 14 Oct 2021