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  • GALLERY: C118 Mercedes-AMG CLA 45S in Malaysia

    Mercedes-Benz Malaysia (MBM) introduced a trio of Mercedes-AMG compact cars yesterday, with two of them hot A-Class hatchbacks. The sole model with a boot is this, the CLA 45 S 4Matic+. We got back to MBM for our usual full gallery with all the details, and here you go.

    It’s an AMG, so we zoom in on the engine first. Under the C118 CLA’s domed hood is a new M139 2.0 litre turbo-four, which replaces the M133 unit used in the previous generation 45 family. In its base form, this motor makes 387 PS and 480 Nm, but the S versions that we get here bumps output to 421 PS (416 hp) at 6,750 rpm and 500 Nm of torque from 5,000 to 5,250 rpm; the increase achieved via higher charge pressure of 2.1 bar (1.9 bar in base form) and the inclusion of a second radiator.

    Mercedes says that this is the world’s most powerful turbocharged four-cylinder series production engine, and the output per litre figure is a scarcely believable 211 hp. Of course, this powerplant is handmade in Affalterbach following the “One Man, One Engine” principle.

    The M139 engine features a reversed mounting position where the exhaust manifold and turbocharger are now located at the rear, whereas the intake system is now at the front. Advantages are mainly in the aerodynamic department. The new position allows for a flatter front design while optimising the air flow in the engine compartment.

    To reduce friction between the pistons and cylinders, the linings are coated with the patented Nanoslide, which gives the linings a mirror-like surface. First used in the AMG M156 V8 engine, Mercedes says Nanoslide is twice as hard as conventional grey cast-iron liners and is much more durable as a result.

    Paired to an eight-speed AMG Speedshift DCT 8G dual-clutch transmission and the AMG Performance 4Matic+ all-wheel drive system and AMG Torque Control in the new rear axle differential, the 0-100 km/h benchmark sprint is despatched in four seconds flat, a tenth slower than the similarly-engined A 45 S hatch. Top speed is 270 km/h.

    By the way, the S models that we get have Drift mode, which is part of the AMG Dynamic Plus package, as standard. Drift mode can be called up in the “Race” driving mode using the shift paddles, provided that ESP is deactivated and the transmission is in manual mode. The hottest CLA rides on AMG Ride Control suspension and 19-inch cross-spoke forged wheels. Behind those black spokes are red-painted six-piston monoblock brake calipers.

    The high-tech screen-rich cockpit in this generation of Mercedes compact cars is dressed with AMG Performance seats (with red seatbelts), AMG Performance steering wheel in Nappa leather and Dinamica microfibre, aluminium AMG Design trim in black and silver, and AMG illuminated door sills and floor mats.

    Other non-AMG/performance goodies include ambient lighting, the MBUX multimedia system that’s on all new Mercedes cars (includes three AMG-specific displays and the AMG Track Pace “virtual race engineer” data logger), Multibeam LED headlamps with Adaptive Highbeam Assist Plus, a Burmester surround sound system, wireless phone charger, 360 degree camera and a LTE communications module for the use of Mercedes me connect services.

    The Mercedes me connect app provides remote access services from remote start to vehicle tracking. It also gives a quick snapshot of the car’s mileage, fuel level, tyre pressure, fluids and more.

    The C118 Mercedes-AMG CLA 45 S 4Matic+ is yours for RM448,888 on the road without insurance. That’s RM11k cheaper than the A 45 S, and if you’re wondering why the car with more metal is priced lower, it’s because the five-door hatch arrives in the highest spec Edition 1 form.

    As expected from MBM, there’s Agility Financing starting from RM5,355 a month. There’s also the AMGPro Financing package which includes Star Protect Plus. Opt for this and insurance, unlimited mileage breakdown and accident towing, plus tyre/rims replacement will be taken care of. AMGPro Financing starts from RM5,588 per month. For detailed specs and to compare the CLA 45 S to other performance cars, visit CarBase.my.

     
  • Confederate Motorcycles rises again with 2020 lineup

    Readers might recall the rebranding of boutique US motorcycle maker Confederate Motorcycles being rebranded as Curtiss Motorcycles, relocating to California and exclusively building electric bikes. The Confederate Motorcycles name and intellectual property has been purchased by venture capital fund Ernest Lee Capital.

    Motorcycles are now being produced in Birmingham, Alabama, under the Confederate Motorcycles name and there is no connection to Curtiss Motorcycles, the two companies being separate entities. The 2020 Confederate Motorcycles lineup comprises of three new models, complementing the existing three bikes in the catalogue.

    Based on the Harley-Davidson FXDR cruiser, two of the new models are the Hellcat and the Hellcat Speedster, priced at USD 45,000 (RM193,380) and USD 75,000 (RM322,300), respectively. Carrying the Scremin’ Eagle 117 Milwaukee Eight V-twin displacing 1,917 cc, the difference between the base Hellcat and the Speedster is the billet machined aluminium girder forks and other machined aluminium accents.

    Joining the 2020 lineup is the Confederate Wraith, priced from USD 155,000 (RM666,090), powered by a S&S X-Wedge V-twin, with the customer given the choice between two mills – a 117 (1,917 cc) or a 132 (2,163 cc) that produces 145 hp and 160 Nm of torque. Standard equipment includes BST carbon-fibre wheels, Racetech suspension front and rear, Beringer brakes and instruments from Motogadget.

    Also available are the F-117 Fighter at USD 90,000 (RM386,513), P-51 Combat Fighter at USD 110,000 (RM472,404) and the FA-13 Combat Bomber, priced at USD 155,000 (RM666,090). All three come with the option of 1,917 cc or 2,163 cc V-twins, with prices adjusted accordingly.

    All Confederate Motorcycles are hand-built to order, with manufacturing and assembly beginning after receipt of the customer’s deposit. Confederate now ships worldwide with the Hellcat homologated for sale worldwide.

     

  • Geometry C debuts in China – brand’s second EV comes with 200 PS and 310 Nm, up to 550 km range

    After being leaked back in January this year, the Geometry C has finally made its debut in China to take on the Nissan Leaf. This is the second vehicle from Geely’s electric vehicle brand after the Geometry A sedan, which made its debut in Singapore back in April 2019.

    As we’ve seen previously, the Geometry C takes the form of a high-riding hatchback with headlamps that are designed to mimic those on its sedan sibling. However, the front end is a lot sportier thanks to the two vertical inlets flanking the centre air intake, while its sides feature a shoulder line that sweeps downwards in contrast with the separate character line lower down.

    Adding to its visual appeal are the blacked-out D-pillars to give the EV a “floating roof” look, and the rear gets full-width taillights with the company script placed just above the light bar linking the clusters.

    Underneath the metal, reports indicate the Geometry C is based on the petrol-powered Emgrand GS, but there’s just enough visual distinction here to distinguish the two models, including those pop-out door handles. There are no shot of the interior just yet, but expect it to be similar to the vehicle it shares its underpinnings with.

    Dimension-wise, the EV measures 4,432 mm long, 1,833 mm wide and 1,560 mm tall, with a wheelbase of 2,700 mm. That makes it about the same size as the Nissan Leaf it competes with in China, and the performance on paper is pretty similar as well.

    Motivation for the Geometry C is provided by a single electric motor driving the front wheels, which is rated at 200 PS (197 hp) and 310 Nm of torque. Interestingly, those figures exceed what the Geometry A offers – 163 PS and 250 Nm – so the sporty looks are not without substance.

    The crossover hatchback will hit a top speed of 150 km/h and like the Geometry A, will be offered in two battery packs. The first is a unit with 51.9 kWh of capacity that is good for a range of up to 400 km, while the second option with 61.9 kWh offers up to 550 km. The Geometry C will go on sale in China in July this year, which is when we’ll know more details like charging specifications and pricing.

     
  • GALLERY: W177 Mercedes-AMG A45S 4Matic+ Edition 1 now in Malaysia – 0-100 km/h in 3.9 secs, RM460k

    Earlier today, Mercedes-Benz Malaysia (MBM) held a closed-door, limited engagement viewing session of the W177 Mercedes-AMG A 45 S 4Matic+ for the media at its headquarters in Puchong. The car was officially introduced yesterday via an online launch along with the A 35 4Matic hatch and C118 CLA 45 S 4Matic+, but here’s a more complete view of it through a comprehensive photo gallery set.

    The hot hatch is being introduced here in Edition 1 guise, which adds an AMG Aerodynamic package into the mix. The pack introduces a front splitter and flics, a different rear diffuser, a large rear spoiler as well as shrouds for the faux rear air vents. The car also comes equipped with an AMG Night package.

    The launch unit is the new hero shade called Sun Yellow, with highlight decals in Designo Mountain Grey Magno on the lower doors providing contrast. The A 45 S is also available in Designo Mountain Grey Magno, which then gets highlight decals in Sun Yellow.

    Powering the A 45 S is the automaker’s new M139 2.0 litre turbocharged four-cylinder engine, which replaces the M133 unit used in the previous W176-based A 45. In its S model designation, the mill delivers 421 PS (416 hp) at 6,750 rpm and 500 Nm of torque from 5,000 rpm, a 34 PS and 20 Nm increase from that seen on the base A 45.

    Paired with an eight-speed AMG Speedshift DCT 8G dual-clutch transmission, with an AMG Performance 4Matic+ all-wheel drive system and AMG Torque Control in tow, the A 45 S does the 0-100 km/h dash in just 3.9 seconds and has a 270 km/h top speed.

    Standard fit items include Multibeam LED headlamps with Adaptive Highbeam Assist Plus and an AMG Ride Control suspension system. The S also comes with an AMG Dynamic Plus Package that adds a new Drift Mode as well as larger front brakes with six-piston monoblock callipers (instead of four on the standard A 45), and sits on 19-inch five-twin-spoke aero-wheels painted in matte black.

    Inside, the A 45 S features AMG Performance seats with a high-end seat package, an AMG Performance steering wheel dressed in Dinamica microfibre, specific dark aluminium Edition 1 trim elements as well as AMG floor mats and illuminated AMG door sill panels. On the Sun Yellow example, the black seats are dressed with yellow highlight inserts and contrast stitching.

    Aside from the now familiar Widescreen Cockpit, which is made up of two 10.25-inch widescreen displays and features three selectable AMG displays for the intrument cluster, the car is equipped with Keyless-Go, a head-up display and a control touchpad.

    Also on, the automaker’s Mercedes-Benz User Experience (MBUX) infotainment system, which includes hard-disc navigation, smartphone integration, wireless charging, Apple CarPlay/Android Auto support as well as a Burmester surround sound system in its specifications list.

    The MBUX also integrates AMG Track Pace into its workings. This provides continuous monitoring of more than 80 vehicle-specific data such as speed and acceleration, handy for reference when blazing around on a circuit. Additionally, there’s an LTE communications module for link-up with the mercedes me connect service.

    In terms of safety and driver assistance equipment, the A 45 S comes with a reverse camera, active parking assist with Parktronic, blind spot assist, active brake assist and active lane keeping assist, among others.

    The Mercedes-AMG A 45 S 4Matic+ Edition 1 is priced at RM459,888 on-the-road, without insurance, which makes it RM80k more than the A 35 hatchback, and RM11k more than the CLA 45 S, due to the fact that the latter is not an Edition 1 version.

    The A 45 S is however set to become a cheaper proposition once the Edition 1 model runs out and the regular variant goes on sale in the future. According to MBM’s head of sales and marketing Michael Jopp, the price of the A 45 S will then be slightly lower than the CLA 45 S.

     
  • 2020 Toyota RAV4 teased for Malaysia – launch soon?

    The fifth-generation Toyota RAV4 appears to be set for entry into the Malaysian market, as indicated by a teaser on the Toyota Malaysia website. Clicking the link leads to a ‘page not available’ error; webpage glitch regardless, it appears that the first steps for the RAV4’s Malaysian debut are in motion.

    The XA50 RAV4 made its debut at the 2018 New York International Auto Show with a pair of 2.5 litre Dynamic Force petrol engines, while other markets such as Australia and the United Kingdom additionally receive the 2.0 litre engine option, with either manual or automatic transmissions. It is still early days for determining what the Malaysian market will find under the bonnet, though the 2.0 litre unit could be a safe bet.

    In overseas markets, the RAV4 has been pitched against the likes of the Honda CR-V and the Mazda CX-5, which are contenders within the same segment. In Malaysia however, the smaller C-HR is priced at RM150,000, compared to the CR-V at RM151,100 in base 2.0 2WD and the CX-5 at RM137,269 in 2.0 Mid Skyactiv-G 2WD forms, respectively, so we can expect the larger RAV4 to be priced above this range.

    2019 Toyota RAV4

    At the other end of the power output scale is the RAV4 Prime plug-in hybrid, which mates the 2.5 litre Atkinson-cycle engine with more powerful electric motors for a total system output of 302 hp. Might this figure into Toyota Malaysia’s plan for the RAV4 in this country? Time will tell.

    The latest model, codenamed XA50 joins the Camry and C-HR in adopting the Toyota New Global Architecture (TNGA), and featuring multi-link rear suspension, which has been claimed to offer better ride and handling as well as improved noise, vibrations and harshness (NVH) performance.

    The Japanese SUV clicked into the 10 million-unit sales milestone in April, and collected the 2019-2020 Japan Car of The Year award last December, beating the Mazda 3 and BMW 3 Series to the top spot.

    GALLERY: Fifth-generation Toyota RAV4

     
  • Perodua registers 7,886 cars in May, 41% market share

    Despite Covid-19 and the economic damage the pandemic has wreaked, people still need cars, and pent-up demand from the movement control order (MCO) has seen Perodua record 7,886 units in May. This brings its year-to-date (YTD) sales total to 52,920 units. Against an estimated YTD total industry volume of 129,401 units, Perodua’s market share is 41%.

    Of the May total, 2,612 units were Myvis, and there were 2,028 Axias, 1,820 Bezzas, 950 Aruz and 476 Alzas. Perodua sold 8,601 cars in March before the MCO came into effect on March 18.

    “The ongoing Covid-19 situation has had a significant impact on car sales in Malaysia over the past two months, but we are thankful that in just three weeks since we restarted operations nationwide, we have managed to come close to the level of our March figures pre-MCO,” said Perodua president and CEO Datuk Zainal Abidin Ahmad.

    “In this age of social distancing and heightened hygienic awareness, the role played by personal transport becomes all the more important. Vehicles are still needed for short, quick trips out for household essentials, and e-hailing drivers have begun using their vehicles to deliver goods instead of just transporting passengers.

    “Perodua cars are very suitable for such purposes, being compact, affordable, fuel-efficient, dependable, spacious and easy to drive,” he added.

    Throughout June, Perodua’s Meaningful Raya campaign is offering cash redemptions of up to RM1,300 for the Aruz and selected Myvi variants, while buyers of other models will get a RM300 e-voucher redeemable for the purchase of selected parts and accessories at authorised service centres.

     
  • Porsche 911 Speedster to be launched in Malaysia – 4.0L NA, 510 hp, six-speed manual only; from RM2.7m

    Sime Darby Auto Performance (SDAP), the authorised importer of Porsche vehicles in Malaysia will be launching the Porsche 911 Speedster, and the event will take place virtually on its social media platforms at 8 pm tonight. You may click here to tune in via the company’s Facebook page, or through its Instagram profile – whichever platform of your preference.

    Now, the 991-based 911 Speedster is unique in that only 1,948 units will be made for the global market. It’s the first GT-based Speedster that’s conceived to commemorate the 70th anniversary of Porsche building sports cars, and is powered by a naturally-aspirated 4.0 litre flat-six with 510 hp and 470 Nm of torque (same as that found in the outgoing 911 GT3 and GT3 RS).

    This engine revs up to 9,000 rpm and is paired exclusively with a six-speed manual transmission. Drive is sent to the rear wheels (with rear-axle steering), propelling the Speedster from zero to 100 km/h in four seconds, before maxing out at 310 km/h. The engine is enhanced with individual throttle bodies that improve responsiveness, which Porsche says feels “just like the 911 GT3 R race car.” It weighs just 1,465 kg – 5 kg less than the BMW 330i M Sport.

    Notable features include Porsche Torque Vectoring (PTV), Porsche Stability Management (PSM) and PASM with sports tuning (lowers the car by 25 mm), and the car comes with 20-inch forged Speedster alloys with central locks and internally vented PCCB brakes (Porsche Ceramic Composite Brake) as standard.

    SDAP didn’t reveal the exact number of 911 Speedsters bound for Malaysia, but each purchase comes with a unique Porsche Design 911 Speedster Chronograph watch. The high-performance flyback-chronograph with the in-house Werk 01.200 movement features Speedster specific design elements such as a carbon-fibre dial and a rotor modelled after the Speedster centre lock wheel. Genuine Porsche interior leather and thread are also used for the perforated black leather.

    For aspiring owners, Porsche also offers the optional Heritage Design package. This features classic Porsche design elements from the 1950s and 1960s, such as Black and Cognac interior colour scheme, special “spears” paintwork in white, historic motorsports decals for the doors and front lid, as well as gold-coloured logos and “PORSCHE” lettering on the sides of the vehicle.

    If you’re planning to add this to the collection, well, be prepared to part with at least RM2.7 million (sans options). SDAP says the new 911 Speedster will be exclusively displayed at the Porsche Centre Sungai Besi from June 13, 2020. Visitors are encouraged to make prior appointments and exercise basic hygiene practices, of course.

     
  • Infiniti to adopt “Nissan-plus” strategy for its future

    As Nissan embarks on revitalising itself for the future, what will become of its luxury division Infiniti? According to the Nissan’s chief operating officer Ashwani Gupta, who spoke to Automotive News, the plan is to turn Infiniti into something called “Nissan-plus” and to stop chasing after brands like Mercedes-Benz.

    Part of this plan will see the use of more Nissan platforms and technologies, which could see the retirement of Infiniti’s existing rear-wheel drive cars. However, this transition will take a while as the first of these new-generation products will reportedly only arrive by 2023.

    In the case of the Q50, the sedan could be replaced by a model based on the same platform used for the Altima and Maxima. On a shorter timeframe, the company plans to start production of the new QX55, which was teased last year, in November 2020. The crossover is meant to evoke memories of the FX35 and FX50, slotting in between the existing QX50 and QX60.

    “Infiniti will be great again,” Gupta told the publication, who added that the rebooted brand will focus on the United States and China markets. Currently, the brand’s line-up in the US consists of the Q50, Q60, QX50, QX60 and QX80, with the Q70 being dropped for the 2020 model year.

     
  • Volkswagen Malaysia launches Home Delivery Service

    Volkswagen Passenger Cars Malaysia (VPCM) is taking online shopping to another level with the launch of its Nationwide Home Delivery Service. From now on, customers get the option to have their brand new Volkswagen delivered to the doorstep, and this service is provided by every VW dealership nationwide.

    According to the company, delivery is free if the customer’s location is within 20 km radius of the dealership. VPCM managing director, Erik Winter said: “With the introduction of this service, we are closing the loop and making it easy for our customers to buy a Volkswagen from the comfort and safety of their own homes.”

    “It is as simple as selecting their preferred model on the eShowroom, finalising the sales process and having the new car delivered right to their doorstep,” he added.

    All the new cars will be delivered on a single flatbed truck and covered in canvas. In fact, the move is part of VPCM’s Safe Hands campaign, where contactless procedures for sales and aftersales activities have been implemented. The delivery service also adheres to strict safety measures, where the truck itself gets disinfected before and after every trip.

     
  • Toyota Hilux, Fortuner facelift to launch June 4; 2.8L turbodiesel updated to get 204 PS/500 Nm – report

    The Toyota Hilux pick-up truck and Fortuner SUV facelifts are set for their simultaneous debuts this week on June 4, reports Headlight Magazine.

    As indicated within a teaser video released by Toyota UK, the latest Toyota Hilux facelift will feature a more powerful version of the 1GD-FTV 2.8 litre turbodiesel engine. This will boast of increases in power and torque to 204 PS and 500 Nm, or up 27 PS and 50 Nm from the 177 PS and 450 Nm of torque offered by the current 2.8 litre turbodiesel.

    The Fortuner that will launch at the same time as the Hilux will also get the revised, higher output 2.8 litre turbodiesel engine, while the 2.4 litre turbodiesel engines carry over the same output figures of 150 PS and 343 Nm of torque for the manual-equipped versions, while the 2.4 litre diesel with the six-speed auto gets 400 Nm of torque in both the Fortuner and the Hilux, according to Headlight Magazine.

    During last year’s training in Spain for the 2020 Dakar Rally in which they scored a 13th place finish on their first attempt, Fernando Alonso and five-time Dakar Rally motorcycle class winner Marc Coma tested an early prototype of the forthcoming Hilux facelift, which Toyota says will feature the aforementioned new 2.8 litre turbodiesel engine and new suspension geometry.

    It remains to be seen if this new suspension geometry will also apply to the Fortuner that will be launched at the same time. While the Hilux update will bring 18-inch wheels for the higher trim levels, the Fortuner SUV will get rolling stock measuring up to 20 inches in diameter for the top variants. These will also get bi-LED headlights, as well as revised designs for the grille, front bumper, side steps, tail lamps and rear bumper.

    In terms of safety, the Fortuner will reportedly also get the Toyota Safety Sense suite of driver assist systems such as on the forthcoming Hilux update which includes autonomous emergency braking with pedestrian protection, adaptive cruise control, traffic sign recognition and more.

    GALLERY: 2021 Toyota Hilux facelift leaked details

     
 

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Latest Fuel Prices

PETROL
RON 95 RM1.43 (+0.05)
RON 97 RM1.73 (+0.05)
RON 100 RM2.18
VPR RM2.46
DIESEL
EURO 2M RM1.61 (+0.10)
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Last Updated 30 May 2020



 

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