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  • Toyota Hilux Invincible 50 – UK-only special edition

    Toyota has released a special edition of its pick-up truck, the Hilux Invincible 50, to commemorate the model’s 50th anniversary. As you’d have guessed, only 50 units will be made, and all examples are bound for the United Kingdom.

    It’s not just another spruced up, run-off-the-mill model either, as the Hilux Invincible 50 has been engineered with Iceland-based specialists Arctic Trucks – the same team behind the Hilux in the Top Gear: Polar Special. Modifications include a performance suspension system by Arctic Trucks and Bilstein, which offers better articulation and increased approach and departure angles

    In other areas, ground clearance is also up by 40 mm up front and 20 mm at the rear. While the setup might sound rather extreme in execution, Toyota claims it doesn’t compromise the vehicle’s on-road performance and comfort.

    Next, the Hilux sits on a unique set of 16-inch ET05 black alloy wheels shod with 265/75R16 BF Goodrich KO2 high-performance all-terrain tyres. Those rubbers are the exact kind used on the Ford Ranger Raptor, which offer top-class traction in the dirt.

    For styling, it gets a bespoke kit starting with wider front and rear aprons. There’s also a double-hoop sports bar that’s fitted over the vehicle bed, which acts as a platform for the quartet of high-power Vision X LED lights. The multi-source LED units project a smooth and powerful light over a great distance, across all driving terrains.

    Other details include Arctic Trucks mudflaps, rear parking sensors, a tough Line-X bed liner and classic Toyota tailgate graphic. A numbered Invincible 50 plaque is featured in the cabin, and a number of chrome trims can be found on the wings, wheels, doors, tailgate, sports bar, lighting and interior. All 50 units are finished in black paintwork.

    In terms of performance, the Hilux Invincible 50 draws power from the 1GD-FTV 2.4 litre turbodiesel mill that delivers 150 PS at 3,400 rpm and 400 Nm of torque between 1,600 and 2,000 rpm. A six-speed automatic transmission is standard.

    Also on are features such as Toyota Safety Sense with Pre-Collision System, Lane Departure Warning and Road Sign Assist, cruise control, dusk-sensing headlights, Toyota Touch 2 with Go multimedia system with GPS navigation and connectivity for accessing web-based apps, automatic air conditioning, keyless entry and start and rear privacy glass. Deliveries are scheduled to begin in December.

     
  • Shell Malaysia launches first Select retail outlet in Malaysia powered by BingoBox Retail Technology

    Shell Malaysia has launched its first Shell Select convenience outlet powered by BingoBox Retail Technology, which aims to provide an improved customer experience by offering access to the outlet at any time of day and accommodating cashless payment methods.

    The unmanned outlet at Shell Tezz Enterprise along Jalan Tun Razak operates 24 hours daily, and in addition to debit and credit card payments, purchases can be paid for using the BingoBox mobile app available for Android and Apple iOS mobile devices.

    Once the BingoBox app has been downloaded into a mobile device, customers will need to scan a QR code on the app, then place their desired items on the checkout counter to determine the amount payable. Alternatively, the Boost e-wallet can also be used for payment.

    “We are proud to be the first in the industry to provide this innovation to our Shell customers. With the help of technology, our Shell site employees now have more time to attend to customers’ needs, thus ensuring that they are able to leave our station a little happier,” said managing director of Shell Malaysia Trading Shairan Huzani Husain.

    BingoBox is based in China, and BingoBox Retail Technology is brought into Malaysia via Scientific Retail, a joint venture between BingoBox and Malaysian shareholders. To date, BingoBox has been installed in more than 400 locations throughout China, where its flagship store was launched in 2016, according to The Edge Markets.

    “We are delighted to be a partner of this unique innovation to provide Malaysians with even more convenience. Through the technology behind BingoBox Retail Technology, we can provide customers with a seamless shopping experience when they are at Shell at any time of the day,” said CEO of Scientific Retail, Ng Seong Ping.

     
  • Lynk & Co 03 Cyan – 500 hp WTCR road car concept

    Lynk & Co has confirmed its participation in the FIA World Touring Car Championship (WTCR) with Cyan Racing, a collaboration that spawned the creation of this 500-hp road car concept called the Lynk & Co 03 Cyan. It’s based on the newly-launched 03 sedan and the race car version, when fully homologated, will go head to head against competitors from Audi, Alfa Romeo, Honda, Hyundai, Peugeot, Seat and Volkswagen in 2019.

    The concept features Cyan branding on the front and sides, as well as a dual-vented bonnet. The wheel arches have been flared out, and it sits on larger wheels with beefier brakes. There are also air curtains aft of the front wheels, whereas the rear gets a huge GT wing, complete with an aggressive rear apron with integrated diffusers and a pair of twin exhaust exits.

    The automaker says the 03 Cyan concept is the racing division’s take on building a TCR racer for the road, which is similar to the 285 hp Volkswagen Golf GTI TCR Concept but severely amplified as the horsepower differential between the two cars clearly show.

    While it’s not a production model, the 03 Cyan marks the company’s first step towards offering a performance oriented line-up, suggesting that the Chinese automaker is planning to produce a high-performance version of the 03 sedan.

    Zhejiang Geely Holding Group’s (Lynk & Co’s parent company) vice president of communications, Victor Yang said. “the fusion between Lynk & Co and Cyan Racing will form the spearhead of our automotive performance debut. The combination of Lynk & Co’s challenge of auto industry conventions and Cyan Racing’s vast motorsport and performance experience are two key elements in this unique cooperation.”

    Swedish champion racing driver Thed Björk has already been confirmed as one of Lynk & Co’s drivers for the Cyan Racing team in 2019. “To once again aim for the World Title when starting my seventh season with Cyan Racing is a dream coming true. Especially combined with this groundbreaking cooperation with Lynk & Co that will include the development of a high-performance concept road car is nothing less than amazing,” Björk said.

    While the Cyan Racing name might sound new, the team has a rich history with Volvo (owned by Geely), developing the C30 Concept and S60 Concept. Previously known as Polestar Racing, the team was renamed following Volvo’s purchase of Polestar Performance, the production car tuning division of Polestar, as well as the Polestar brand in July 2015.

     
  • Ford drops teaser of new Mustang hybrid in a video

    Ford has curiously teased what appears to be an electrified version of the Mustang, showing a rather ambiguous vehicle with a pony badge that glows in blue. The teaser was part of the Built Ford Proud advertising campaign released recently (video below).

    The car in question features a closed grille and dual-projector headlamps, both of which differ quite a fair bit from the standard combustion-engined Mustang. We can’t say for sure that it’s the next-generation Mustang, but one thing looks like a definite – the car will have some form of electric propulsion.

    Previously, Ford has said that it will be introducing an electrified Mustang next year, and the downsized hybrid powertrain will make as much power as the naturally-aspirated 5.0 litre V8. To refresh your memory, the Coyote V8 in the Mustang GT makes 411 hp and 530 Nm of torque.

    Ford has previously announced at this year’s Detroit Auto Show that it will unveil a new, all-electric performance SUV in 2020, which was linked to the name ‘Mach 1’. Given the Mustang’s history with the ‘Mach 1’ name, which denoted high-performance iterations of the pony car in the past,

    If the car in the video isn’t the fabled Mustang hybrid, then it could possibly be the brand’s upcoming all-electric performance SUV that was touted at this year’s Detroit Auto Show. At the time, the project was associated with the name ‘Mach 1’, which has some historical significance with the Mustang as an identifier of high-performance iterations in the past.

    Ford’s electric SUV is said to offer a driving range of 480 km on a full charge, and will share several styling cues as the outgoing Mustang. It will also act as the spearhead for Ford’s venture into the world of electrifying its model line-up. Over to you – what do you think the teaser vehicle actually is?

     
  • paultan.org PACE 2018 – book any Volkswagen model at the event and enjoy a RM2k petrol rebate

    Not long more to go before the first ever paultan.org Premium Auto Car Expo (PACE) powered by Petron Blaze 100 Euro 4M takes place, and here’s another great deal you can look forward to at the event, which takes place on November 3 and 4, 2018 at the Setia City Convention Centre.

    If you’ve been eyeing a Volkswagen vehicle, then this will surely fuel things along. Book any Volkswagen model at PACE and receive a RM2,000 petrol rebate, which you can convert to a cash rebate, in an offer exclusive to the event. You’ll also enjoy the benefits of Volkswagen Passenger Cars Malaysia (VPCM)’s price protection scheme, which runs until November 30. Applications for the JOIN special edition models will also be available at the event.

    Volkswagen will be one of many premium brands that will be present at PACE, and the list includes Audi, BMW, Jaguar, Kia, Land Rover, Lexus, Mercedes-Benz, MINI and Volvo. Aside from the offers by the individual brands, you’ll also enjoy attractive deals from paultan.org, such as a 30% discount on all window tint packages from Llumar and a 15% discount on all car wrap packages by Wrapz63.

    Every booking made at PACE will also come with a combined RM2,000 voucher**, including a RM500 Petron fuel voucher, RM500 Kuziq Glanz car detailing voucher, RM500 Stigo mini electric bike voucher and a RM500 voucher for Llumar’s new Self-Healing Paint Protection Film Door Cups.

    If that’s not enough, the first five customers who secure a purchase (i.e. approved loans) each day (10 over both days) will receive a free Samsung Galaxy Note 9 worth RM3,699**, while one lucky customer (also confirmed) will be able to win a grand prize in the form of a free holiday for two worth RM25,000** via our lucky draw.

    Co-sponsor CIMB is also joining in with preferential financing rates as low as 2.34% p.a. for new hybrid cars*, competitive rates with repayment period of up to nine years, as well as on-the-spot approval with CIMB 1-Minute InstaApproval for salaried professionals. All you need to do is bring along your identification card* and you’re set.

    Finally, there’s also an extended meeting session with us, the paultan.org team. Click here for more details on PACE and to register your interest.

    * Terms and conditions apply.
    ** Valid for new car registrations only. For Volkswagen Passenger Cars Malaysia, valid for all models except the Volkswagen Polo, Volkswagen Vento and Volkswagen Jetta models. For Naza Kia, valid for the Kia Stinger only.

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  • Geely to develop 5G NR solutions for future models

    With connected vehicles being a focal point for most automakers these days, Geely has announced efforts to enhance its existing 4G LTE network services while developing its 5G New Radio (5G NR) solutions for the future.

    The company revealed at the recent Qualcomm 4G/5G Summit that all its models released in 2018 are equipped with 4G LTE connectivity based on cellular products developed by Qualcomm Technologies, with over one million connected vehicles currently on the road.

    According to Shen Zi Yu, vice president of Geely Automobile Research Institute, all Geely models will make the shift to 5G NR networks by 2021. As Qualcomm explains, 5G NR is the global standard for 5G wireless technology that is capable of delivering a faster, more efficient and scalable network.

    The standard will also allow cellular vehicle-to-everything (C-V2X or LTE-V2X) systems to have expanded functionality, and Geely is working closely with Qualcomm to ensure current LTE-V2X systems are forward compatible when 5G NR goes mainstream. Developments made in the LTE-V2X space will help improve not only road safety and traffic efficiency, but also support automated driving with cellular direct communications technology that support vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) and vehicle-to-infrastructure (V2I) communications.

    “It is important that our customers have access to the best and fastest network services in the market. This is why Geely Auto will continue to improve its existing 4G LTE applications, while at the same time start to work on the future of connectivity, which is 5G NR,” said Shen.

    “We are officially taking the next step towards a new era of human travel through intelligent electric travel and network sharing services. This will put us at the forefront of not just being a car maker, but also as a provider of cutting-edge technologies,” he added.

    Geely’s new Smart Ecosystem (GKUI), which is present in the upcoming Proton X70, will also receive its share of improvements. The system developed by ECARX features five core components – a cloud data system, a launcher, an ID, an app ecosystem and an artificial intelligence engine – which tie into a user’s mobile phone, car or home via wireless networks.

    “Over 600,000 Geely Auto car models have been equipped with GKUI to date. This includes Banting, a music app that provides over 14 million copyrighted songs and have just exceeded 45 million total number of plays in September alone,” Shen stated.

    “Besides that, a version of AMAP (a Chinese navigation service) that is customised for infotainment head units in cars have garnered a large population of daily active users, half of whom are GKUI users. There are also more than 1,200 kinds of smart home devices that are readily connected to GKUI,” he explained further.

    Moving forward, GKUI will gain an improved in-car smart voice assistant that employs a natural language understanding (NLU) mechanism, which allows for multi-turn conversations, interruptions and can even adopt a self-learning process. These update, among others, will arrive via over-the-air updates.

    “We look forward to feature Qualcomm Technologies solutions in providing our users with premium experiences when it comes to connectivity and safety, as well as improved traffic efficiency. Being leaders in our respective fields, we believe that combining our talents and resources should yield on overall positive outcome for our users”, concluded Shen.

     
  • SPYSHOTS: S213 Mercedes-Benz E-Class Estate facelift caught – W213 gains A-Class-inspired look

    The W213 Mercedes-Benz E-Class may still look relatively fresh, but at nearly three years old it’s pretty much due for the usual mid-cycle refresh. It’s just as well, then, that our spy photographers have caught the facelifted version of the S213 Estate variant, and quite a bit looks to have changed on the outside.

    Despite the disguise it’s clear that this executive express will have a completely new front end, headlined by the trapezoidal front grille. These are joined by reshaped headlights with arrow-shaped LED daytime running lights, a look that appears to have been inspired by the new A-Class, CLS and GLE. Fewer changes at the rear, but the camouflage around the tail lights suggest mildly restyled internal graphics.

    Don’t expect many changes inside apart from the usual new trim. The E-Class has already received a few running updates over the past couple of years, with the latest adding bits from the facelifted C-Class, such as the redesigned steering wheel and a mild update to the infotainment system. You won’t find the A-Class’ Mercedes-Benz User Experience (MBUX) here, as that requires a different electrical architecture.

    No powertrain changes expected, either, as the E-Class already gets the latest mills, including a 299 hp 2.0 litre mild hybrid turbo petrol in the E 350, a 2.0 litre turbodiesel in the 150 hp E 200 d, 194 hp E 220 d and 245 hp E 300 d, and a 3.0 litre straight-six diesel in the 286 hp E 350 d and 340 hp E 400 d. There’s also the new 320 hp E 300 e and 306 hp E 300 de plug-in hybrids, both with around 50 km of pure electric range.

    The AMG E 53 and E 63 models should remain unchanged as well. The former gets a 3.0 litre twin-turbo mild hybrid petrol straight-six making 435 hp and 520 Nm of torque, while the E 63 is powered by a fire-breathing 4.0 litre biturbo V8 making 571 hp and 750 Nm (or a whopping 612 hp and 850 Nm in the E 63 S).

     
  • AD: Get the new Mercedes-Benz A-Class with Plan A financing packages from only RM1,988 per month!

    Mercedes-Benz ownership at its most accessible begins with the A-Class, and Mercedes-Benz Services Malaysia (MBSM) strives to usher new owners into the fold with Plan A financing by Mercedes-Benz Financial – the all-in-one financing plan offering vehicle financing, insurance, service packages and A+ carbon fibre accessories packages for the new Mercedes-Benz A-Class.

    Through Plan A financing, you get to enjoy lower monthly instalments, guaranteed future value for your car, flexible end-of-agreement options, innovative insurance products and comprehensive service packages, conducted by trained and experienced technicians with genuine spare parts at their disposal – great for the individual who seeks value and benefits to go with the driving experience of their new A-Class.

    Mercedes-Benz Services Malaysia also recognizes that a car’s rims and tyres are vulnerable to all manner of debris and hazards, and which may sustain damage leading to compromised safety, not to mention the car’s diminished resale value. To that end, MBSM offers complimentary tyre and rim insurance for the first year of every Agility contract signed and activated by December 31, 2018.

    Plan A is offered in four versions – Plan A v1.0 with Agility Financing from RM1,988 per month, Plan A v1.1 with the service package from RM2,288 per month; Plan A v2.0 with the A+ carbon fibre accessories package from RM2,388 per month and Plan A v2.1 with the A+ carbon fibre accessories package and service package from RM2,688 per month. By comparison, conventional financing would set you back RM5,293 a month.

    Financing your new A-Class, then, is simple – just choose a Plan A financing package that suits your needs, and the rest will be taken care of! For more information, contact the Mercedes-Benz Customer Care line at 1-800-88-1133 or speak to a Finance and Insurance Executive at your nearest Mercedes-Benz Autohaus. You can also fill up the form here to register your interest and click here to know more.

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  • FCA sells its Magneti Marelli automotive parts business to Calsonic Kansei for 6.2 billion euros

    Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) has announced that it is selling its Magneti Marelli automotive components business to Japanese automotive component supplier Calsonic Kansei’s holding company, CK Holdings. The deal, worth 6.2 billion euros (RM29.57 billion), will create Magneti Marelli CK Holdings, the seventh-largest independent car parts supplier in the world based on total revenues.

    The transaction is expected to be completed in the first half of 2019, and the new combined company will be led by Beda Bolzenius, who is currently the CEO of Calsonic Kansei. Magneti Marelli CEO Ermanno Ferrari, meanwhile, will join the Magneti Marelli CK Holdings board.

    The new entity will maintain the existing Magneti Marelli operational headquarters in Corbetta, Milan, and operate out of nearly 200 facilities and research & development centres across Europe, Japan, America and the Asia-Pacific region.

    It was reported that FCA will not have a stake in the new business, but FCA said it had agreed to a multi-year agreement with the new concern for the supply of components, which will ensure the sustainability of Magneti Marelli’s Italian business operations and employment levels.

    Magneti Marelli, which was founded in 1919, has been a subsidiary of FCA and its predecessor companies since 1967. The company specialises in lighting, powertrains and electronics components. Calsonic Kansei is a global manufacturer of a comprehensive product line of auto parts specialising in thermal products, exhaust systems, interiors and electronics. The Saitama-based company is owned by US private equity firm KKR, which purchased it from Nissan and other shareholders two years ago.

     
  • VW begins construction of electric car plant in China

    China isn’t just the world’s biggest auto market, it’s also by far the biggest market for electric vehicles. There are no shortage of local startups making EVs, but the market leader is coming in big.

    Volkswagen has started building its first factory specifically designed for the Modular Electric Drive Kit (MEB) platform in Anting, Shanghai. The first model that will roll out from the SAIC Volkswagen facility is a Volkswagen brand SUV in 2020. Together with the FAW-Volkswagen factory in Foshan that opened this summer, SAIC-VW’s plant will start producing EVs on the MEB platform directly after the first worldwide MEB-production starts in Zwickau, Germany.

    VW says that the new factory will adopt a production network based on Industry 4.0, and will be equipped with over 1,400 Industry 4.0 standard robots, as well as a range of tech including AI, AR and VR. Covering 610,000 square metres, the plant for new energy vehicles (NEV, China’s term for green cars) includes function areas such as pressing equipment and battery assembly workshops, in addition to an elevated stereoscopic warehouse, a proving road and more.

    It will utilise 27 types of environmentally-friendly technologies with a special focus on water preservation, energy saving and the reduction of carbon dioxide, VW adds.

    The Anting plant will start operations in 2020 with a planned annual capacity of 300,000 vehicles. It will produce full EVs including medium and large SUVs, as well as battery systems.

    MEB is Volkswagen’s first pure electric automotive modular platform developed for mass production. The carmaker says that MEB vehicles will have a more dynamic design, additional space, expanded battery capacity, and all-new integrated digital services, while being fully prepared for future autonomous driving implementation. As part of the group’s Roadmap E, 50 full EVs will be on the market worldwide by 2025, with one in four new vehicles to be powered solely by electric. Read more about MEB and VW’s electric plans here.

    In June, VW’s other Chinese JV (FAW) opened a second plant in Foshan that will double capacity to 600,000 units per annum. By 2020, production of MEB vehicles and battery systems is also set to start there.

     
 

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Last Updated 01 Oct 2018



 

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