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  • Carmakers not ready for eCall system’s July 2019 implementation deadline, prices might go up – MAA

    Carmakers in Malaysia are not ready for the July 2019 implementation deadline for the eCall emergency response system proposed by the government. This was said by Malaysian Automotive Association (MAA) president Datuk Aishah Ahmad at the auto manufacturer and distributor group’s annual general meeting in Sunway today.

    According to Aishah, the government is pushing for July 1, 2019 as the deadline for implementation for the eCall emergency call system in cars, where the system will automatically send an SOS signal to MERS 999 (Malaysian Emergency Response Services), which will forward the call to relevant emergency agencies in the event of an accident.

    Incorporating a new feature in cars isn’t as simple as just “plug and play”, more so when the system isn’t developed by themselves, the reasoning goes, and carmakers need three years lead time to work on this, Aishah said. “Our request was not heard… we hope they hear us,” she added. The auto club head did not explicitly say it, but one gets the feeling that eCall is being forced on the carmakers by the government without much consultation.

    Aishah said that new models that MAA members have planned to introduce in Malaysia might be affected by this eCall development, and there is also the possibility of higher car prices if the system is made mandatory.

    In January, the Malaysian Institute of Road Safety Research (Miros) and Telekom Malaysia (TM) signed a memorandum of cooperation on the implementation of the eCall system. It was reported by The Star that the emergency response system will go on trial ahead of it being a mandatory feature for new vehicles in the future. No date was mentioned then.

    Transport minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai revealed that Miros was in discussions with car manufacturers on the implementation of the system. “With this automatic alert system, it will ensure the ambulance can reach the accident site as soon as possible. The first 10 to 15 minutes is dubbed the ‘golden time’, and if assistance can reach the victim in time, we can save more lives,” he said, adding that the safety feature will not come as an added cost to consumers.

    It is said that data generated from the eCall system will be used by Miros for research and analysis. Malaysia is high up the charts in road accident deaths, and the government is targeting a 50% reduction in fatalities by 2020.

    From the government’s point of view, carmakers should embrace eCall. “The response from car manufacturers has been very good. After all, if carmakers equip their cars with this feature, it will enhance the car’s safety aspects and becomes an added value, which in turn will help their sales,” Liow reasoned.

    Centralised emergency SOS systems aren’t very common globally. Russia has one in place, and even the European Union is only now making it mandatory – from April 2018, all new cars in the continent must have an eCall system that will automatically dial 112 – Europe’s single emergency number – in the event of an accident.

  • BARU: Artikel terkini dalam Bahasa Malaysia

  • Toyota Corolla Hatchback – US-spec Auris unveiled

    Last month saw the unveiling of the new third-generation Toyota Auris, and now it’s the turn of its American twin, the Corolla Hatchback, to take to the spotlight. The new five-door, which will debut at the New York International Auto Show (NYIAS) and replace the Corolla iM, will come with a different engine and transmission options compared to its European sibling.

    As with the Auris, the Corolla Hatchback rides on the Toyota New Global Architecture (TNGA). It measures 40 mm longer than before at 4,370 mm, with all of it going to the 2,640 mm wheelbase; the front overhang is also 20 mm shorter. The car is also 30 mm wider (1,790 mm) and 25 mm lower (1,450 mm), while the cowl is now a massive 47 mm lower, resulting in a lower bonnet, a sleeker shape and better outward visibility.

    The Auris’ extroverted exterior design, a development of the company’s Keen Look and Under Priority design language, has been left intact. The front end features a narrow upper grille flanked by J-shaped full-LED headlights that wrap deep into the front fenders. They are underscored by the massive trapezoidal lower grille that projects further out from the curved edge of the flatter clamshell bonnet.

    Along the side, the beltline kinks upwards towards the rear for a more dynamic look. The rear is more rounded and has a more compact look, thanks to the faster rear windscreen rake and prominent haunches above the rear wheel arches, while the light guides of the full-LED tail lights emphasise the car’s extra width. The tailgate is made from Toyota Super Olefin Polymer (TSOP) and ABS plastic to reduce weight.

    Buyers can choose from seven colours, including the new Rival Blue as well as Blizzard Pearl, Silver Metallic, Midnight Black, Galactic Aqua Mica, Scarlet, and Oxide Bronze. Unlike the Auris, the Corolla Hatchback is not available in a two-tone paint scheme.

    We get our first look of the car’s interior here – similar to the C-HR crossover, the Corolla Hatchback’s dashboard has a layered design with a floating infotainment system, and Toyota claims that the lower profile of the upper dashboard and the wider centre console provides an open, harmonious feel.

    Matte silver and piano black accents, coupled with optional contrast stitching, add a premium look and feel, while more uniform materials and the removal of unnecessary switchgear lettering contribute to a cleaner design. Toyota has also expended effort to improve tactility and minimise panel gaps.

    The centre console has been made longer to better accommodate a wider variety of physiques, and comes complete with a centre tray available with Qi wireless charging. The front hip point has also been lowered and the cushioning of the seats revised, providing a more natural posture and a better driving position together with the steering wheel, gearlever and pedals.

    Standard equipment is vast, with the base SE model coming with 16-inch alloy wheels, keyless entry, single-zone automatic climate control, paddle shifters, an electronic parking brake and two front USB outlets. Move up to the top XSE and you get a chrome front grille, LED fog lights and 18-inch alloys.

    Also thrown in are dual-zone climate control, leather-and-fabric upholstery, heated front seats, an eight-way power-adjustable driver’s seat, dash and door stitching and a seven-inch multi-info display. The XSE CVT model comes with adaptive headlights as well.

    For infotainment, the Entire 3.0 Audio system comes as standard with an eight-inch touchscreen, Entire 3.0 App Suite Connect, Safety Connect, WiFi, voice recognition, Apple CarPlay and Amazon Alexa personal assistant integration and six speakers. The XSE gets the Audio Plus system with HD Radio, weather and traffic information, SiriusXM, Entune 3.0 Connected Services, Service Connect and Remote Connect.

    The range-topping Audio Premium system is optional on the XSE CVT, and that bundles in all the aforementioned features together with dynamic navigation and POI search, Destination Assist Connect, dynamic voice recognition and an eight-speaker, 800-watt JBL sound system with Clari-Fi.

    Whereas the Auris is offered with either a 1.2 litre turbocharged petrol engine or a 1.8 litre or 2.0 litre hybrid, the Corolla Hatchback will be available with just one engine at launch – the new M20A-FKS 2.0 litre Dynamic Force naturally-aspirated four-cylinder petrol. Physically lighter and smaller than the previous 1.8 litre engine, it comes with D-4S direct injection and VVT-iE electric variable valve timing.

    The new engine is quieter, cleaner, more powerful and more fuel efficient than before, although Toyota has yet to release output figures or any other numbers at this moment. Transmissions include a new Direct Shift CVT – with a launch gear for better low-speed efficiency and a wider ratio spread – as well as a six-speed Intelligent Manual Transmission (iMT) with automatic rev-matching.

    Under the skin, the Corolla Hatchback’s compact TNGA C platform employs a mix of adhesives, spot welding and additional bracing for improved controllability. An extensive use of aluminium and high- and ultra-high-tensile steel also ensures a low weight while also bumping up torsional rigidity by a whole 60%, benefiting both fuel efficiency and on-road feel.

    The front MacPherson strut suspension has revised geometry and other key changes such as new spring and damper rates and reduced friction in sliding parts, providing a high quality of ride, handling stability and steering feel. At the rear of the car, the multi-link suspension gets updated spring and dampers and modified geometry. All these changes result in 40% lower friction and a 20 mm lower centre of gravity.

    Refinement is another area that has been given a once over, with revised drivetrain efficiencies and increased use of sound insulation, sealants, foams resonator ribs and silencers reducing powertrain drone and road noise. Additional seals in the body panel gaps provide additional noise insulation and enhance air sealing performance, while aero fins in the tail lights reduce wind noise.

    Last but not least, safety. The Corolla Hatchback comes as standard with the second-generation Toyota Safety Sense (TSS) system, incorporating Pre-Collision System autonomous braking with pedestrian and cyclist detection, full-speed Dynamic Radar Cruise Control (DRCC), Lane Departure Alert (LDA) with steering assist, Automatic High Beam (AHB) and the new Lane Tracing Assist (LTA). There’s also a standard reverse camera, while Blind Spot Monitoring (BSM) is fitted on the XSE variant.

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    Customers will get to choose from one of three offers that are part of the campaign, beginning with a low downpayment from just RM11k*. Alternatively, you can opt for either a trade-in assist of RM3,000 or a three-year free service parts package worth RM3,800**.

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  • New Mazda 3 gets a digital display instrument cluster

    The third-generation Mazda 3 has been around since 2013, and was given a facelift back in July 2016. A next-generation model is to be expected, and we now have some preliminary details thanks to PCAuto.

    Photos of the new Mazda 3’s instrument cluster were uploaded by the Chinese publication, and it shows a fully digital display. According to the source, the display is configurable, with two display modes for drivers to choose from.

    The first features a large central dial with the tachometer and speedometer, flanked by smaller dials. A more minimalist setup shows two dials with the engine revs and vehicle speed displayed in separate circles.

    Besides the fancy instrument cluster, the instrument panel surround, steering wheel, buttons and stalks all appear to be lifted from the current car. Just how much the rest of the cabin will be changed remains to be seen.

    Along with an evolved Kodo design language (previewed by the Kai Concept), the next Mazda 3 will also debut the carmaker’s SkyActiv-X engine, which is set to become the world’s first commercial petrol engine to use compression ignition. It will also be underpinned by the new SkyActiv-Vehicle Architecture. Barring any additional details, what do you think of the interior upgrade for the Mazda 3?

    GALLERY: Mazda Kai Concept

  • SPIED: 992 Porsche 911 GT3 hiding in Turbo clothes

    Once again, a 992-generation Porsche 911 test mule has been spotted out in the wild, and this time our spy photographers indicate that it could be the next-generation GT3 hiding beneath what we can determine thus far to be the Turbo body, equipped with the side scoops ahead of the rear wheels.

    Compared between prototypes, the GT3 mule here differs from the 992 Turbo mule seen earlier, where the latter was spotted wearing quad trapezoidal tailpipes as opposed to the one-a-side items here that are much larger in diameter. Further visual cues include the centre-locking wheels, which are standard on the GT3 but optional on the Turbo; the 992 Turbo prototype was seen testing with five-lug wheels.

    The test mule here would likely be powered by turbocharged engine, according to our spy photographers, and the bodywork appears to be in line with that observation as the separate, twin exhaust outlets on this car are akin to those on the GT2 RS rather than the centrally-mounted exhausts on the GT3 and GT3 RS.

    A later test mule should include the GT3 hallmarks of a more prominent front bumper and larger rear wing for model-specific aerodynamics. A GT-class 911 should retain rear-wheel drive, and the now-commonplace rear-wheel steering should feature too.

    The move to turbocharging across the board has been confirmed by an earlier Autocar report, and the adoption of forced induction will bring the next-generation GT3’s output to beyond the 500 hp it produces in its current, naturally aspirated 4.0 litre flat-six guise.

    GALLERY: 992-generation Porsche 911 Turbo spyshots

  • 2018 Volkswagen Golf R debuts in Malaysia – RM296k

    The fourth Volkswagen Golf Mk7.5 variant making its debut in Malaysia is the Volkswagen Golf R. The model was introduced alongside the Golf GTI and Golf 1.4 TSI Sportline/R-Line versions.

    The refresh brings about styling revisions – at the front, the facelift gets a new bumper, a revised lower grille intake design (a rectangular pattern replaces the previous horizontal slats) and new Advanced Adaptive LED headlamps with dynamic light assist.

    The rework also introduces LED tail lights and a revised four-slat diffuser at the rear as well as 19-inch Pretoria Black alloys – and 235/35 profile tyres – for the local specification car.

    The model’s 2.0 litre TSI engine has 290 PS at 5,500 to 6,500 rpm and 380 Nm from 2,000 to 5,400 rpm for output numbers – the 290 PS power rating (instead of the 310 PS seen in other markets) follows the path taken with the pre-facelift, in which the mill is detuned for our market.

    The unit is paired with a seven-speed, wet dual-clutch DSG transmission, and power is applied to all four wheels via the automaker’s 4Motion all-wheel drive system. Performance figures include a 0-100 km/h time of 5.1 seconds and an electronically-limited 250 km/h top speed.

    Inside, the car features Vienna R leather interior upholstery, an R sports steering wheel with paddle shifters, brushed stainless steel pedals and illuminated scuff plates.

    As standard, the Golf R facelift comes equipped with Adaptive Chassis Control (DCC), an Air Care dual-zone climatronic system, a configurable 12.3-inch Active Info Display virtual instrument cluster and power-adjustable driver’s seat with memory (the front passenger seat is a manual adjustment unit).

    It also features a 9.2-inch touchscreen Discover Pro infotainment system with a gesture control function. Aside from an eight-speaker audio system, there’s a 10 GB jukebox on top of the usual connectivity features, which includes App-Connect, which offers smartphone screen mirroring functionality via Apple CarPlay, Android Auto or MirrorLink. Other items include park distance control and a rear-view camera.

    Like the GTI, the R comes with front/rear fog lamps, driver profile selection, cruise control and automatic headlights/wipers and keyless access lock/start, among other things.

    Safety-wise, the car is equipped with seven airbags, ESC and a Proactive Occupant Protection System. Three colours are available for the Golf R, Lapiz Blue, Pure White and Deep Black.

    The facelifted Volkswagen Golf R is priced at RM295,990 (on-the-road without insurance), and is covered by a Volkswagen Passenger Cars Malaysia (VPCM) package that includes a five-year factory warranty with five years of free roadside assistance and two years free service. Check out the full specifications of the Volkswagen Golf R facelift at

  • 2018 Volkswagen Golf GTI facelift launched – RM240k

    The third of the four Volkswagen Golf Mk7.5 models introduced by Volkswagen Passenger Cars Malaysia (VPCM) is the facelifted Volkswagen Golf GTI. The car was introduced today along with the refreshed Golf R and Golf 1.4 TSI Sportline and R-Line models.

    The variant’s EA 288 2.0 litre TSI unit puts out 230 PS at 4,700 rpm to 6,200 rpm and 350 Nm from 1,500 to 4,600 rpm, a 10 PS increase from the Mk7 and identical to the pre-facelift with a Performance Pack added on.

    The mill continues to be mated to a six-speed, wet dual-clutch DSG transmission. Performance figures for the Golf GTI include a 0-100 km/h time of 6.4 seconds and a 248 km/h top speed.

    Exterior changes include a new front bumper and the inclusion of Advanced Adaptive LED headlamps – which replace the bi-xenons seen previously – with dynamic light assist and dynamic cornering lights, while the rear features full LED tail lights. The latter, being standard fit on all refreshed Golf models, also comes with a dynamic turn signal function.

    The local specification includes Vienna leather interior upholstery with red trimming and accents, 18-inch Milton Keynes alloy wheels and 225/40 series tyres, Adaptive Chassis Control (DCC), an Air Care dual-zone climatronic system and a 1,440 x 540 pixel 12.3-inch Active Info Display virtual instrument cluster, which is configurable and offers five different views.

    Other items on the list are front/rear fog lamps, keyless access start/lock, driver profile selection, cruise control and automatic headlights/wipers, along with dress up bits such as a GTI sports steering wheel with paddle-shifters, brushed stainless steel pedals, illuminated scuff plates and chrome exhaust tips.

    The GTI features an 8.0-inch Discover Media infotainment system with Bluetooth, SD card, USB and AUX-in connectivity and navigation. Park assist and a rear-view camera is also fitted, as is App-Connect, the latter offering smartphone screen mirroring functionality via Apple CarPlay, Android Auto or MirrorLink.

    As it is with all the Golf models in the range, the GTI features seven airbags, ESC and the Proactive Occupant Protection System, which uses sensors to detect situations in which an accident is likely to occur and prepares the vehicle and its occupants for an impending collision.

    Five exterior colours are available for the Golf GTI, and these are Deep Black, Pure White, Iridium Grey, Tornado Red and Dark Iron Blue.

    The facelifted Volkswagen Golf GTI goes for RM239,990 (on-the-road without insurance) and is covered by a VPCM package that includes a five-year factory warranty with five years of free roadside assistance and two years free service. You can check out the full specifications of the Volkswagen Golf GTI at

  • Volkwagen Golf 1.4 TSI facelift introduced in Malaysia – Sportline and R-Line trims, RM156k to RM170k

    Volkswagen Passenger Cars Malaysia (VPCM) has officially introduced the new Volkswagen Golf Mk7 facelift in the country, and four variants (including the Golf GTI and Golf R) give the facelift its working debut here. Let’s start with the first, the Golf 1.4 TSI Sportline.

    The baseline model in the local line-up is equipped with a 1.4 litre turbocharged four-cylinder engine offering 150 PS at 5,000 to 6,000 rpm and 250 Nm of torque from 1,500 to 3,500 rpm.

    Motive power is transferred to the front wheels via a seven-speed dual-clutch DSG transmission. Also present is the automaker’s XDS electronic differential lock. As for performance, the Golf 1.4 TSI has a 0-100 km/h sprint time of 8.2 seconds and a 216 km/h top speed.

    The facelift introduces a new front bumper with a wider radiator grille and new air ducts on the front apron. The Golf Sportline is equipped with halogen headlights (the R-Line features adaptive LED headlights), but LED daytime running lights and LED tail lamps (which are standard fit across the entire facelifted Golf range) are present, as is a new rear bumper.

    Standard equipment and features on the Sportline include Zoom fabric upholstery, 16-inch Hita alloy wheels, an Air Care dual-zone climatronic system, a Premium on-board computer multi-function display, front/rear fog lamps, automatic headlights and wipers and a start/stop system with regenerative braking.

    Also on, an 8.0-inch Composition Media, eight-speaker infotainment system with App-Connect, which offers smartphone screen mirroring functionality via Apple CarPlay, Android Auto or MirrorLink, as well as an electromechanical parking brake with an Auto Hold function, tyre pressure loss indicator and an auto-dimming rear view mirror.

    The R-Line, meanwhile, adds on Vienna leather upholstery with integrated R-Line logos on the front seat backrests, the aforementioned adaptive LED headlights and a 12.3-inch Active Info Display virtual instrument cluster, which is configurable and offers five different views.

    It also comes with R-Line design elements such as dedicated front and rear bumpers and a sports rear diffuser with trapezoidal chrome exhaust trim. The Golf R-Line rides on 17-inch Singapore alloy wheels wrapped with 225/45 series tyres.

    Safety kit includes seven airbags, ESC and the Proactive Occupant Protection System, which made its debut in the latest Polo. The system uses sensors to detect situations in which an accident is likely to occur and prepares the vehicle and its occupants for an impending collision, for example by automatically tensioning the safety belts as well as closing the side windows and sliding sunroof.

    The facelifted Volkswagen Golf 1.4 TSI Sportline is priced at RM159,990, while the 1.4 TSI R-Line will go for RM169,990 (both on-the-road without insurance). Like all Volkswagen models sold here, the Golf 1.4 TSI is covered by a VPCM package that includes a five-year factory warranty with five years of free roadside assistance as well as two years free service.

    Compare the specifications of the new Volkswagen Golf 1.4 TSI Sportline and R-Line at

    GALLERY: 2018 Volkswagen Golf 1.4 TSI Sportline

  • 2019 Cadillac CT6 V-Sport with new 4.2L twin-turbo V8

    Here’s an American answer to the super saloons from AMG and M, and as always, it’s a Cadillac. GM’s luxury brand has unveiled the 2019 Cadillac CT6 V-Sport, the first-ever V-Performance model of its range-topping sedan. The introduction of the high-performance variant coincides with a facelift of the CT6 range that incorporates the design language from the Escala Concept.

    The CT6 V-Sport is powered by a 4.2 litre twin-turbo V8 estimated at 550 hp and 850 Nm. That’s definitely in the ballpark currently occupied by the Mercedes-AMG E63 S (4.0 V8, 604 hp, 850 Nm) and BMW M5 (4.4 V8, 600 hp, 750 Nm). The motor is mated to the 10L90 Hydra-Matic 10-speed automatic transmission. Performance figures were not released.

    The clean-sheet design V8 has a Euro-sounding “hot V” configuration that transposes the conventional layout of the cylinder heads’ intake and exhaust systems to mount the turbochargers at the top of the engine — in the valley between the heads — to virtually eliminate turbo lag and reduce the engine’s overall packaging size.

    The latest CT6 is distinctly Cadillac in appearance, with front and rear vertical light signatures, but the V-Sport looks extra menacing. Lower aero components and gloss black window surrounds give a dark look, and it rides on 20-inch V-Sport wheels with summer-only UHP tyres.

    The V-Sport also gets a mechanical limited-slip rear differential, V-Sport specific suspension, new 19-inch monoblock four-piston Brembo brakes, modified steering and Magnetic Ride Control damper settings, and an exhaust system with active valves. The latter offers reduced back pressure and more sound character, Cadillac says.

    It might be strange to see “Cadillac” and “track” in the same sentence, but here it is. The new CT6 V-Sport gets track-tuned Active Rear Steer, revised AWD torque split and unique, track-focused stability controls.

  • Toyota C-HR – first 50 M’sian customers get their keys

    The first 50 customers of the Toyota C-HR have received the keys to their brand-new cars during a handover event organised by UMW Toyota Motor (UMWT) before the start of the final round of the Toyota Gazoo Racing Festival. The crossover model is offered in a sole 1.8 litre variant that comes fully imported (CBU) from Thailand, priced at RM145,500 before insurance.

    Malaysians first got up close with the C-HR back in July 2017, where it later went on tour at various showrooms across the country as well as Toyota Gazoo Racing Festival events. It was later previewed for a second time in November, where final specifications were nailed down.

    “Since being previewed last year, interest in the all-new Toyota C-HR has been high. To date, we have received around 1,500 bookings for the model and because this is a unique model, we wanted to personally hand over the vehicle to our first 50 customers,” said Ravindran Kurusamy, president of UMWT.

    Under the hood, the C-HR is powered by a 2ZR-FE 1.8 litre naturally-aspirated engine with Dual VVT-i, which is rated at 140 PS and 171 Nm. Drive is directed to the front wheels via a CVT with seven virtual speeds and a manual mode.

    In terms of equipment, the C-HR comes with halogen projector headlights with LED daytime running lights, front and rear fog lamps, 17-inch five-spoke alloys shod with 215/60 profile tyres, keyless entry and start, dual-zone climate control, black leather seats, a 4.2-inch multi-info instrument cluster display and a seven-inch DVD-AVX unit (upgradable to a DVD-AVN navigation system).

    Safety-wise, there are seven airbags (including one for the driver’s knee), ABS with EBD and brake assist, Vehicle Stability Control (VSC), Traction Control (TRC) and Isofix rear child seat anchors, plus Blind Spot Monitor and Rear Cross Traffic Alert (RCTA).

    There are five exterior colour options to choose from, including two-tone options that feature a black roof – Blue Metallic and Red Mica. These two, along with White Pearl CS, will cost an additional RM848 on top of the retail price. The other two colours – Metal Stream Metallic and Attitude Black Mica are excluded from this requirement. For detailed specifications of the Toyota C-HR, head on over to

    GALLERY: Toyota C-HR previewed in Malaysia


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Last Updated 22 Mar 2018


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