Latest Stories

  • MSF Finale 2017 to feature Malaysia’s only OKU drifter

    Photo credit: Adam Photography

    This is the story of a physically disabled man who drifts cars. He’s a familiar sight at grassroots drifting events, participating competitively in these, mostly around Melaka, and he’s known for his flamboyant drifting style.

    To those in the know, he’s called ‘Pak Busu’. His real name is Halizamri Haji Mustapa – born and raised in Melaka, the son of a martial arts teacher is Malaysia’s one and only disabled drifter.

    He grew up in a large but caring family, but has shaped his life to never expect anything from anyone. When the drifting craze hit the country a decade ago, it inspired him to take up the sport. “I was born deformed, but it’s something that I had to do,” he explained.

    His independent nature and steely determination eventually led to him taking up drifting as more than just a hobby or interest. This drive has kept Pak Busu active in life, and he hasn’t allowed anything to hinder his desire to lead a normal life.

    Photo credit: Adam Photography

    He’s a trained and certified automotive mechanic, and runs his own workshop in Batu Hampar, Melaka. He also runs a stall at nearby night markets where he sells petai. This is a man who gets his hands dirty and pulls out all the stops to make an honest income in order to provide for his family of four.

    At the coming Malaysia Speed Festival (MSF) Finale 2017 on December 2-3, Pak Busu will be taking part in the Street category with his Toyota Corolla GL KE70, which he prepares for competition by himself.

    His Corolla is a pretty highly tuned and specialised drift machine – it features a swapped Nissan SR20-DET turbo engine and five-speed gearbox (along with a higher 4.7:1 final drive ratio) as well as a suspension from the Nissan Silvia S13. The car’s steering rack and ratio have also been modified to offer more angle, important for high-angle slides.

    But it’s the controls that are very obviously altered and highly personalised – some serious thought and welding work went into making it possible for Pak Busu to drift his beloved beast, something that he’s immensely proud of. “These are modifications that I made myself, with the help of some good friends,” he said.

    Pak Busu will be taking part in the MSF Drift Gonzo target-style drift competition at the MSF Finale 2017 that will be held in Sepang International Circuit this December 2-3.

    The MSF Drift Gonzo will take place on December 2 (Saturday) and will preview a full season event in 2018. Those who are interested to participate can register and pay online at the MSF website. Early bird registrations start from RM220 per driver.

    Tickets for Saturday will be from RM10 per adult, and from RM20 per adult for Sunday, for early purchasers. Tickets can also be bought on-site at the SIC. Entry is free for children up to 15 years old. For more information, visit the event information page on the MSF Racing website or its Facebook page.

     
  • BARU: Artikel terkini dalam Bahasa Malaysia

  • Proton Auto Fest this weekend – up to RM8k savings on new models, up to 80% discount on genuine parts

    This weekend (November 25-26, 2017), the Proton Auto Fest will be held the at the company’s Centre of Excellence in Shah Alam. There’s something for everyone at the event, beginning with savings of up to RM8,000 on new model purchases.

    There will also be discounts of up to 80% on Proton genuine parts, and for those who are looking for Proton Lifestyle merchandise, you’ll be glad to know they are discounted up to 30% too.

    The event’s agenda includes an auction for Proton vehicles as well as test drive sessions. Vehicle safety briefings will be conducted on the day, and owners can even send their vehicle for a free safety inspection.

    The young ones will also be treated to fun activities, plus there will be apperances by local celebrities during the event. Once again, the Proton Centre of Excellence is where you’ll want to be this weekend, from 9am to 6pm.

     
  • OKU parking: what are the rules and who can use it?

    A recent viral Facebook video showing a driver in Penang protesting against Majlis Bandaraya Pulau Pinang (MBPP) parking wardens clamping her car for parking in a disabled (OKU) parking spot despite her having a wheelchair-bound mother has been making the rounds. In the video, the driver is seen trying to argue her case that she should be allowed to use the space because her passenger is unable to walk.

    However, the council enforcement officers stood firm by the ruling that only vehicles displaying an OKU sticker, with an official OKU identification card issued by the Social Welfare Department (JKM) are allowed to use disabled parking spaces. Eventually, the officers relented and released the clamp after the driver paid the fine.

    The driver, when asked to show an OKU card, said the passenger was recently disabled, and the application was still being processed by JKM. Members of the public were also seen trying to convince the officers that an allowance should be made in this situation.

    Checks with both the JKM and disabled advocate Peter Tan showed that JKM rules require a disabled person to be examined, with a letter from a government medical officer stating the nature of the disability – temporary or permanent – and type of disability. The disabled person, or caregiver, should then complete a JKM form and the card will be issued.

    With the OKU card, one can proceed to the Road Transport Department (JPJ) to obtain an OKU sticker, which is only distributed at the department. Find out about the process and required documents by the JPJ here.

    Tan said that for council controlled parking spaces, usage of OKU parking is only with the display of the OKU sticker on the vehicle, and the OKU card must be produced on request or displayed. This also applies to parking located inside government buildings, but according to Tan, the security guards in such buildings do allow abled drivers with disabled passengers to park in OKU spaces, at their discretion.

    We contacted Majlis Bandaraya Petaling Jaya (MBPJ) for clarification and the council confirmed that it has the right to issue summonses to cars without OKU stickers parked in OKU lots. Under the MBPJ traffic ordinance, those wrongly parked in special parking lots (OKU and reserved) can be fined RM100. The rate may be different in other jurisdictions.

    MBPP mayor Datuk Maimunah Mohd Sharif explained to the woman in the viral video that council officers cannot nullify issued compounds on the spot. “We will review the guidelines. There could be room for improvement. Yes, the enforcers saw your mother was in a wheelchair. However, your car could not be unclamped without the need for payment. At the moment, that is not the procedure,” she said, as reported by The Star.

    As the current ruling stands, only disabled drivers, with suitably modified vehicles approved by the JPJ, with a JKM identification card, are allowed to use disabled parking. In many cases though, the disabled rely on abled drivers to move around.

    It should be noted that OKU spaces are designed with extra space so that a driver in a wheelchair is able to move around the car and get in and out easily. Such spaces are located near building entrances with ramps for easy access to the disabled.

    Registration as a disabled person with JKM is voluntary, but does allow access to all the services and privileges provided by the government for OKU. What do you think? Should the ruling stand as it is with OKU parking only for disabled drivers with proper JKM card and sticker, or should an allowance be made for drivers with disabled passengers, despite not having the proper documents and sticker, such as in this recent case?

     
  • Yoshiya Inamori, new vice president of manufacturing at Proton, on current issues and ways to improve

    During a group interview with Yoshiya Inamori, the new vice president of manufacturing at Proton provided some insights into some of the current issues affecting the national carmaker, and how he plans to address them.

    The main objective has been made clear from the start – get Proton back to the top spot in Malaysia. Naturally, this requires sales numbers to be larger than current (5,083 units in October), which Inamori says has made it difficult to secure profits.

    “The Shah Alam and Tanjung Malim (plants), relative to their big area and big capacity, they have very (low) volume. I think in that sense, I see some difficulties to profit here.”

    Inamori also commented the systems within Proton plants were satisfactory as they conform to various ISO certifications (9001 and 14001 for Tanjung Malim; 9001 for Shah Alam). However, the number of model launches is a concern for him, as quality assurance for each model can become an issue.

    He was referring to Proton’s four-model offensive last year, where the new Perdana, Persona, Saga and Ertiga were launched within months of each other.

    “Last year, Proton launched four new models in one year. So, I think it’s causing some quality issues here, because even in Japanese automotive companies, we usually put a six-month gap between model launches. So, four launches in one year, it never happens, even in Japanese automotive companies. It’s very difficult to keep the good quality if we launch four models in one year,” he explained.

    When asked if he thought quick, successive launches should no longer be done, Inamori said, “no, for the future, it should not happen because for customers, quality is more important.

    He elaborated by saying, “for the delivery, we always try to provide perfect quality for customers, but in the plant, it’s still a little bit busy because of the (quick) four models launched. So, I see problems, quality problems in the plant, and we are spending a lot of time to fix this plant. In the factory, I need to improve (things) and reduce the repairing costs.”

    “Actually, we just launched the cross-functional team (CFT) from October, we call it the CFT activity, and we have eight CFT teams. Put simply, for quality, profitability and customer satisfaction, we set up a team for the three months of October, November and December. Within this three months, we are expecting big improvements for not only quality but also the cost and customer satisfaction.”

    “I see lots of room to improve for costs, but I think if we finish all the quality improvement activities, we can reduce the repair time, and make the factory more efficient which will help in cost reduction.”

    Inamori also responded to a question posed to him, which asked if the number of variants would be reduced to streamline Proton’s line-up. “From a production standpoint, I’m not asking to reduce the number of products. If possible, if one product has too many options or variants, I may ask. For example, if some colours are not selling very well, we can ask to reduce the number of colours for example. Such kind of activity I think,” he said.

     
  • RENDERED: 2018 Perodua Myvi SE – a new hot hatch?

    The new Perodua Myvi lineup has ditched the mid-spec SE trim in favour of the 1.5 High and Advance models, and with that ends a whole line of sportier-looking Myvi variants that has existed in some form or another since 2007. We wondered if the Special Edition tag could perhaps be reserved for a more powerful hot hatch, and enlisted the services of rendering wizard Theophilus Chin to whip up such a car.

    The end result looks really rather good, don’t you think? The additions include a honeycomb grille pattern, larger air intakes and what appear to be LED daytime running lights. There are also larger two-tone wheels, plus silver door mirrors not unlike what you’d see on an Audi S model.

    At the rear, Chin gave the Myvi new tail lights that are slimmer than the previous L-shaped items, giving the rump a more cohesive look. A larger rear spoiler, a full-width third brake light and a small diffuser under the rear number plate recess complete the look.

    Although a more potent Myvi sounds mighty tempting, it’s unlikely that Perodua will actually offer such a thing. The company hasn’t built anything more powerful than the 1.5 models already on sale, and the market for small hot hatches is tepid at best.

    Also, these pocket rockets are best enjoyed with a manual transmission, and the company’s row-your-own ‘boxes aren’t exactly the best in the business in terms of shift feel – even though our man Danny Tan says that the new Myvi’s is better than previous efforts.

    To recap, the new third-generation Myvi has been designed completely in house featuring greater sophistication, equipment levels and safety. Longer, wider but lower than before, it gets items such as standard-fit LED headlights, keyless entry, push-button start and stability control, as well as an integrated Touch ‘n Go reader, up to six airbags and autonomous emergency braking.

    Power comes from new 1.3 and 1.5 litre Dual VVT-i engines from the Toyota NR family. The smaller 1NR-VE is the same engine found on the Bezza, and it makes 94 hp at 6,000 rpm and 121 Nm of torque at 4,000 rpm. The larger 2NR-VE, on the other hand, has been lifted from the Toyota Vios, and it produces 102 hp at 6,000 rpm and 136 Nm at 4,200 rpm. A five-speed manual gearbox and a four-speed auto is on offer.

    What do you think of the new look? Sound off in the comments after the jump. You can also read our comprehensive launch report as well as our first impressions review.

    GALLERY: 2018 Perodua Myvi 1.5 Advance

     
  • Hennessey Venom F5 shows off carbon-fibre interior

    A few weeks back, Hennessey unveiled its latest hypercar, the 1,600 hp Venom F5. With a claimed top speed of 484 km/h, one would imagine its cabin to be completely stripped of all creature comforts, yes? Well, for the sake of securing the title of world’s fastest production car, certain things have to give.

    Seen here is a true-blue no-nonsense cabin, equipped with basic climate control dials, a central head unit and an electronic parking brake. Dominating the dash is a trio of air-con vents, designed to look exactly like the triple exhaust pipes out back. The bucket seats appear to be wrapped in some form of suede/Alcantara material, and it may very likely be bolted to the chassis.

    As you can tell, carbon-fibre sets the theme here, from the dashboard right down to the floor. It’s not all that bad, really, unless you’re not a big fan of the material’s aesthetic appeal. The Venom F5’s party trick however, is the steering wheel(s).

    Two different steering wheel and gauge clusters will be offered to customers, with the first being the standard oblong-shaped carbon wheel with a flat bottom and top. What rests behind it is a fully-digital instrument cluster. The company will also offer a special steering wheel which integrates the digital cluster, much like that seen on the Aston Martin Valkyrie.

    To recap, the Venom F5 is powered by a 7.4 litre twin-turbo V8 that makes 1,600 hp and 1,762 Nm of torque, and all of it is sent to the rear wheels via a seven-speed single-clutch automatic sequential transmission. That’s quite a bit more than the Chiron‘s numbers (1,479 hp and 1,600 Nm), which has a top speed of 420 km/h.

    With that, the Venom F5 certainly looks to be on track to be “the absolute fastest road car on earth.” Now, in case you’re wondering what the car will cost, the base price starts from US$1.6 million (RM6,773,600) in the US. Only 24 examples of the car will ever be made.


    GALLERY: Hennessey Venom F5

     
  • Infiniti teases all-new model for LA show, likely QX50

    This is an official teaser image of an all-new model that Infiniti will be unveiling at the 2017 Los Angeles Auto Show next week. The premium brand says that the new car will come with world-first technologies, stand-out design and class-leading interior space. That class should have the BMW X3, Mercedes-Benz GLC and Audi Q5 because we’re expecting it to be the new Infiniti QX50 SUV.

    Infiniti says that the new model will see a fresh interpretation of the brand’s “Powerful Elegance” design language, characterised by flowing sculptural lines and strong, muscular proportions. The end result presents a purposeful aura, while hinting at its dynamic capabilities. We’ll see.

    “As with all Infinitis, we have been inspired by our desire to drive, expressed with power and artistry. With this all-new model, inspiration comes from striking the perfect balance between lust and logic. At a glance, seamless and sculptural, getting closer to the car reveals an ingenious blend of proportion and space,” said Alfonso Albaisa, senior VP of global design.

    What’s shown here is the standard Infiniti grille and the adjoining headlamps, which are squares arranged from big to small – matching what we’ve seen in spyshots. That’s different from the “scales” seen on the concept, but look more elaborate than the simple beam on the just-launched QX80.

    GALLERY: Infiniti QX50 spyshots


    GALLERY: Infiniti QX50 Concept

     
  • Subaru Ascent seven-seat SUV teased, debuts Nov 28

    Subaru has dropped yet another teaser image of the Ascent, this time showing us in full the SUV’s seven-seating configuration. At launch, the Ascent will be the brand’s largest SUV to date. The original concept had an overall length in excess of five metres.

    Riding on the new Subaru Global Platform, the concept’s footprint measured 5,050 mm long, 1,989 mm wide, 1,839 mm tall, with a 2,972 mm wheelbase. That’s about as large as the second-generation Audi Q7! Subaru says the Ascent is “family-sized, versatile and capable,” so expect similar dimensions for the final product.

    As for the car, the teaser image clearly shows the resemblance it bears with the concept (pictured above). Visible are headlamps with C-shaped LED daytime running lights, muscular wheel arches, raised roof rails and a rear spoiler. Previously, Subaru dropped another teaser showing the brushed aluminium boot lip guard and the Ascent badge. We’re fans of the concept’s rugged looks, but the massive 21-inch two-tone alloy wheels will likely not make it to production.

    In the powertrain department, one can expect a turbocharged and direct-injected boxer engine to perform propulsion duties, coupled with the brand’s proprietary symmetrical all-wheel drive system. The Ascent will make its North American debut on November 28 at the upcoming Los Angeles Motor Show. The SUV will be produced in Lafayette, Indiana.

    GALLERY: Subaru Ascent Concept

     
  • Proton working to close quality gap to competitors

    One of the primary concerns for Proton’s new vice president of manufacturing, Yoshiya Inamori, when assuming his new role, is quality. The national carmaker has been experiencing less than satisfactory market sentiment as of late, some of which are attributed to customers’ perception on the quality of its vehicles.

    “Because the reputation or variation of the market outcome (involving) customers (relating to) our Proton vehicles for quality, I see (it as) not so good,” he said.

    In an attempt to rectify the issue, Inamori revealed a number of steps that have or will be taken. He acknowledges that there is a gap in terms of quality from Proton’s competitors. Efforts include carrying out surveys to better establish the difference in quality between market players to gauge Proton’s position. This will allow it to better set quality targets, which he can then strive towards.

    “Now, we are doing some survey work, checking the competitor’s quality. We see some of the gap between the competitors, so in order to overcome the competitor’s quality issue, we are setting the quality target,” he explained.

    Aside from observing its competitors, internal key performance indexes (KPIs) have also been revised to promote improved quality. These improvements will be introduced as running changes from model to model (as opposed to through major facelifts), as the company is selling cars every day, according to Inamori.

    “My job for the coming months is to overcome the competitor’s quality level. I setup KPIs for the quality, internally, so we have already started to improve our quality KPIs,” said Inamori.

     
  • GALLERY: Perodua Myvi Advance 1.5 – 2018 vs 2015

    With the new Perodua Myvi now launched, attention will invariably turn to how it fares against the outgoing model. For contrast and clarity, we’ve brought the brand new car together with its predecessor, a 2015 Myvi 1.5 Advance from the nameplate’s second generation.

    It’s an all-new design for the third-generation Myvi, one that has been penned completely in-house at Perodua. Here in range-topping Advance guise, the 2018 Myvi wears a bodykit comprising deeper front and rear bumpers with side skirts, and it rolls on 15-inch two-tone alloy wheels.

    As for the physical dimensions, the 2018 Myvi is expectedly larger overall when compared to the previous, second-generation car – an overall length of 3,895 mm for the new car plays 3,685 mm for its predecessor (210 mm longer), width is 1,735 mm compared to 1,665 mm previously (70 mm wider), and wheelbase spans 2,500 mm versus the old car’s 2,440 mm (60 mm longer). However, the new car is 55 mm lower in overall height at 1,515 mm, compared to the previous car’s 1,570 mm.

    Under the hood is an all-new engine, though both second- and third-generation range-toppers displace the same 1.5 litre capacity. A new, 2NR-VE 1.5 litre naturally-aspirated petrol engine produces 102 hp at 6,000 rpm and 136 Nm of torque at 4,200 rpm, and replaces the old 3SZ-VE from before (same output figures, but peak torque delivered at a higher 4,400 rpm).

    A four-speed automatic transmission – driving the front wheels – remains; it’s now the sole gearbox of choice for the top 1.5 variant – no 1.5 litre manual. Fuel consumption is rated at 20.1 km/litre of fuel with Eco Idle engine stop-start activated, compared to a claimed 15.4 km/litre for the old model.

    Inside, the 2018 Myvi gets worked on too, to good effect for these eyes at least. The overall sculpting of the dashboard cuts a more angular shape, with a more pronounced drawing of lines towards the lower part of the centre console, which is where the gear lever is now located (higher up towards the dashboard on the previous car).

    Controls for the air-conditioning have been updated with more push-buttons instead of rotary dials for a more modernised look. The steering wheel is also new with revised brightwork surrounding the multi-function controls, also sporting a more rounded, bulbous look. In this top Myvi variant, the dashboard features a built-in Touch n’ Go card reader located on the right-hand-side of the steering wheel.

    Further along the cabin, the new top Advance variant gets revised leather upholstery, while the front seats have more pronounced bolstering. On the infotainment front, a radio player with MP3/WMA playback feature alongside USB and Bluetooth connectivity, plus navigation and a reverse camera.

    Safety is where the the latest Myvi makes great strides. The new model now includes electronic stability control, traction control and Advanced Safety Assist (ASA), which comprises of Pre-Collision Warning (PCW), Pre-Collision Braking (PCB), Front Departure Alert (FDA) and Pedal Misoperation Control (PMC) to prevent or mitigate low-speed collisions. Advance variants of the 2018 Myvi now get six airbags, versus two before.

    How do the price tags compare, then? The 2018 Perodua Myvi 1.5L Advance is priced at RM55,300, compared to RM56,118.88 for the previous-generation car of the same variant (both prices OTR without insurance). Interested to know more about the 2018 Perodua Myvi? Read the first impressions drive report by our man Danny Tan, and learn more about each variant of the 2018 Myvi, here.

    There’s also the Myvi walk-around for an audio-visual summary, which we recorded on the day of the 2018 Myvi’s launch, below. We will also publish a detailed video review of the car soon, featuring a drag race, NVH test and real-world fuel economy test against the 1.3 and old 1.5. For full specifications of the 2018 Myvi, check out CarBase.my.

    GALLERY: 2018 Perodua Myvi 1.5 Advance


    GALLERY: 2015 Perodua Myvi 1.5 Advance

     
 

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Last Updated 16 Nov 2017


 

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