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  • BYD-Daimler’s Denza 400 brings 400 km electric range

    Der DENZA 400 bietet eine Reichweite von bis zu 400 km mit einer Batterieladung. ; The DENZA 400 offers an electric range of up to 400 km on a full charge.;

    First seen at Auto China 2012, the Denza has been upgraded with a new battery, electric motor and electronic control to give it a maximum range of 400 km on a full charge, up from 300 km achieved in its previous iteration, culminating in the Denza 400 seen here. For most Chinese consumers who average 50 km to 80 km per day, the Denza 400 will only require charging once a week, says Daimler.

    Made by BYD Daimler New Technology (BDNT), the first Sino-German joint venture for electric vehicles in China, the Denza featured a battery capacity of 47.5 kWh, which has been increased to 62 kWh (no increase in size) in this upgrade to the Denza 400. It rolls off BDNT’s production line in Shenzhen, which is flexible to accommodate increases in capacity for future market demands, according to Daimler.

    Der DENZA 400 in der Qualitätsprüfung. Daimler erweitert sein Produktportfolio im Bereich der emissionsfreien Mobilität mit der Einführung des DENZA 400. ; The DENZA 400 being quality checked. Daimler extends its portfolio of new energy vehicles with the introduction of the DENZA 400.;

    “We are confident about the future prospect of new energy vehicles in China. Daimler will continue to invest in research and development of efficient and eco-friendly new energy vehicles, which represent a key pillar of our China growth strategy,” said Hubertus Troska, Member of the Board of Management of Daimler AG responsible for Greater China.

    The equal partnership research and technology joint venture between Daimler and BYD involved the use of BYD’s battery technology and electric drive systems, in addition to Daimler’s knowledge of electric vehicle architecture and safety.

    GALLERY: The original Denza EV

  • NAAM number plates introduced, ‘NAAM 1’ for RM500k


    Following recent special-series number plates such as G1M, 1M4U, and PATRIOT, there is now a new series in town – NAAM.

    NAAM, which stands for New Affirmative Action Movement, is a non-government organisation focusing on developing the economy of Indian youths through entrepreneurship, business financing and human capital development. Among the commercial sector focused on by NAM was non-seasonal agricultural activities such as planting chillies and bananas, according to Bernama. NAAM was founded by Datuk M Saravanan and is supported by the Youth and Sports Ministry.

    The NAAM number plates are available through Anan Motor, a company which sources preferred number plates. The leading plate, NAAM 1, is currently priced at RM500,000 and no bids have been placed at the time of writing. The numbers NAAM 2 to NAAM 10 are priced from RM200k to RM300k. Of the VIP numbers, only NAAM 11, NAAM 13 and NAAM 33 have been sold so far, according to the company hawking the plates.

    So far, the “PATRIOT 1” number plate is the most expensive to be sold in Malaysia, fetching RM1.308 million to an undisclosed bidder. The costliest standard series number plate so far is the recently issued “F1”, which went to Sultan Ibrahim Ismail of Johor for RM836,660, topping the RM748,000 he paid for “W1N”.

  • SPYSHOTS: Refreshed 2016 Mitsubishi Triton in M’sia – are we getting Thailand’s 2.4L MIVEC VGT engine?


    This is no ordinary Triton, at least one that’s not yet available from Mitsubishi Motors Malaysia (MMM). Sent in by reader Damien who spotted the truck’s unusual blue paint, we can tell you that this is the refreshed 2016 Mitsubishi Triton that we showed you from the Bangkok Motor Show in March.

    Telltale signs are this truck’s Impulse Blue paint and elaborate 17-inch rims that match those on the Triton Plus Special Edition we saw at Impact Muang Thong Thani.

    Earlier this year, Thai Triton trim levels were reassigned with added equipment, including tilt and telescopic steering wheel adjustment on all models, as well as a second 12V socket on all Mega Cab (a.k.a. King Cab) and four-door Double Cab variants. The highest GLS LTD trim, previously available only on the Double Cab 4×4, were introduced on the Mega Cab and Double Cab Plus 4×2 models.

    All GLS LTD Tritons received the four-spoke multifunction steering wheel from the new Pajero Sport. The leather-wrapped wheel has a stitch pattern on the boss. In addition, the top Double Cab 4×4 GLS LTD 5AT swapped the standard Easy Select 4WD system for the Pajero Sport’s Super Select 4WD II. The system added a new 4H full-time AWD mode, with a viscous coupling centre differential that shuffles power between front and rear axles.

    It appears that MMM is readying an updated Triton, but we’re not sure if the all of the above will apply to the Malaysian-spec truck. Thai Tritons are powered by a 2.4 litre MIVEC VGT turbodiesel with 182 PS and 430 Nm. Malaysia didn’t get this all-new engine with the model change, but an improved version of the familiar 2.5 litre VGT unit with 178 PS and 400 Nm.

    The reason given by MMM at the Triton launch in May 2015 was that our fuel quality isn’t ideal for the 2.4L “Clean Diesel” engine, which is more powerful and up to 20% more efficient. But with Euro 5 diesel now available here, will we finally get this new-generation engine?

    GALLERY: 2016 Mitsubishi Triton Plus Special Edition, Thai-spec

  • Ayala Corporation to make self-driving cars in Philippines with USD 100 million investment by 2019

    google self driving 1

    Giant Philippines conglomerate Ayala Corporation, via its vehicle division AC Industrial Technology Holdings (ACITH), is ready to invest up to USD 100 million (RM403 million) in an effort to make the Philippines a hub for manufacturing self-driving cars in Southeast Asia.

    The company is currently in discussion with “more than three” foreign car companies to form a joint-venture with the sum representing AC Industrials 50% initial share. This was said by Arthur Tan, ACITH head, in an interview with Nikkei Asian Review.

    While refusing to reveal the names of the companies ACITH is negotiating with, saying that he was bound by non-disclosure agreements, Tan revealed discussions begun with Volkswagen in 2013 are still on-going. Tan said the joint-venture (JV) will manufacture autonomous cars, and he hopes to conclude negotiations and begin project preliminaries in three years.

    Uber self-driving Ford Fusion-01

    Tan also said the JV would not make ‘conventional cars’, a market already populated by Thailand, Indonesia and Malaysia. “We saw an opportunity where the automotive industry itself is being disrupted. The established manufacturing facilities are not set to produce these next-generation vehicles,” he said.

    Ayala Corp also has Integrated Micro-Electronics (IMI), a business unit that manufactures automotive electronics, including cameras for autonomous cars. IMI recently acquired German firm VIA Optronics that manufactures optical bonding and display solutions that could find a place in vehicles.

    “Ayala, with an ASEAN footprint, has an opportunity to now leapfrog the current established players in the region and set us apart in being the partner of choice for (car) companies,” said Tan.

  • Malaysia ranked sixth in the world in vehicle theft; Proton Wira the most stolen car, Hilux second

    Proton Wira Special Edition

    Surprised, but not surprising somehow. Malaysia was ranked sixth in the world for auto theft last year, according to The Star, although no detailed stats were given.

    General Insurance Association of Malaysia (PIAM)’s CEO Mark Lim said that an average of 60 vehicles get stolen everyday in Malaysia, and for the first half of 2016, the industry incurred claims amounting to RM2.41 billion.

    “This equates to a staggering RM13.2 million per day payout in motor claims for property damage, bodily injury and vehicle theft,” he said, adding however that there had been a drop in cases for the first half of 2016.

    “The total number of stolen vehicles for all classes in the first half of this year was 11,796 vehicles compared with 12,412 for the same period in 2015. This represents a 5% reduction in the number of vehicle thefts,” Lim said.

    Of the total, 4,472 private vehicles, 6,502 motorcycles and 821 commercial vehicles were reported stolen in Jan-June this year. No break down for H1 2016 available, but the top cars in 2015’s most stolen list were the Proton Wira (1,214), Toyota Hilux (595) and Proton Iswara (552).

    Others were the Perodua Kancil (550), Proton Waja (538), Perodua Myvi (379), Proton Saga (318), Proton Satria (238), Nissan Vanette (208) and Honda Civic (200).

  • GALLERY: Proton Persona spec-by-spec comparison

    Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’d have known that the 2016 Proton Persona was launched two days ago. You’ve read our usual comprehensive launch report and watched our walk-around video tour, but if you’ve been looking for a detailed breakdown on the specifications and equipment of the cars on offer, now’s your chance, as we have a full spec-by-spec gallery for your perusal.

    The Persona is available in Standard, Executive and Premium variants – standard kit includes 15-inch wheels, height-adjustable reflector halogen headlights, power-adjustable wing mirrors and Bluetooth connectivity. Items like keyless entry, push-button start, a touchscreen infotainment system, rear USB charging ports and a reverse camera are available further up the range.

    What’s more, all models get Vehicle Stability Control (VSC) as standard – making the entire range eligible for a five-star ASEAN NCAP safety rating – with six airbags on the top Premium variant.

    Under the bonnet sits a 1.6 litre naturally-aspirated VVT engine from the Iriz, making 107 hp at 5,750 rpm and 150 Nm of torque at 4,000 rpm; it’s mated to either a five-speed manual gearbox or a CVT. Only the Standard is available with the manual option, while the Executive and Premium models are offered exclusively with the stepless automatic transmission.

    So, let’s get to it then:

    Proton Persona 1.6 Standard – RM46,350 (M/T), RM49,350 (CVT)

    • 1.6 litre naturally-aspirated VVT engine, five-speed manual gearbox or CVT
    • 107 hp, 150 Nm, claimed fuel consumption 5.6 l/100 km (M/T) or 6.1 l/100 km (CVT) at 90 km/h
    • Two airbags
    • ABS with EBD and brake assist
    • Vehicle Stability Control (VSC), Traction Control (TC), Hill-hold Assist
    • Halogen reflector headlights, manual height adjustment
    • 15-inch alloy wheels in grey, 185/55-section tyres
    • Wing mirror indicators
    • Black door handles, wing mirror caps
    • Body-coloured B-pillar
    • Rear fog light
    • Front and rear parking sensors
    • Remote key fob and manual key start
    • Dual-tone black-and-grey interior
    • Fabric seats
    • Height-adjustable driver’s seat
    • Power-adjustable wing mirrors
    • Matte black interior trim
    • Single-DIN radio/CD player with Bluetooth connectivity, two speakers
    • ECO Drive Assist indicator
    • Fixed rear seat
    • 510-litre boot with space saver spare tyre
    • ISOFIX rear child seat anchors with top tether
    • Alarm and immobiliser
    • Front disc brakes, rear drums

    Proton Persona 1.6 Executive CVT – RM55,350

    All of the above, plus:

    • CVT only
    • Follow-me-home lighting
    • Front fog lights
    • Body-coloured door handles, wing mirror caps
    • Rear spoiler
    • Remote boot release
    • Titanium chrome interior trim
    • Fabric door trim
    • Steering wheel audio switches
    • Double-DIN head unit, four speakers
    • Rear USB charging ports
    • 60:40 split-folding rear seats

    Proton Persona 1.6 Premium CVT – RM59,350

    All of the above, plus:

    • Six airbags
    • Automatic headlights
    • 15-inch alloy wheels in silver
    • Black B-pillar trim
    • Keyless entry, push-button start
    • Leather seats
    • Leather-wrapped steering wheel, door trim
    • Power-folding wing mirrors
    • Touchscreen infotainment system (Android-based) with navigation, DVD player
    • Reverse camera
    • All-around two-tone bodykit (RM1,000 option)

    NOTE: Metallic paint is a RM450 option across the range – these include Sterling Silver, Graphite Grey, Midnight Black, Fire Red and the new hero colour for the Persona, Carnelian Brown. Cotton White is the only solid colour available.

    Browse full specification and equipment of all Proton Persona variants on

    GALLERY: Proton Persona 1.6 Premium with optional bodykit

    GALLERY: Proton Persona 1.6 Premium
    GALLERY: Proton Persona 1.6 Executive
    GALLERY: Proton Persona 1.6 Standard

  • Mercedes-Benz GLE Coupe prices, equipment revised

    2016-mercedes-benz-gle-450-coupe-launch-official- 057

    The Mercedes-Benz GLE Coupe has received price revisions as well as new equipment, with the GLE 400 Coupe now priced at RM636,888, and the GLE 450 AMG Coupe now priced at RM705,888.

    These prices represent increases of RM6,000 respectively, where previously the GLE 400 Coupe was priced at RM630,888 and the GLE 450 AMG Coupe stood at RM699,888.

    With the price increase, the GLE 400 Coupe gains an electric panoramic sliding glass sunroof, while the GLE 450 AMG Coupe also adds the electric panoramic sliding glass sunroof, as well as Apple CarPlay and Artico leather for the upper dashboard trim. Apple CarPlay in particular will be gradually rolled out to the rest of Mercedes-Benz Malaysia’s passenger car range; it already features in the W213 E-Class.

    To recap, the GLE 400 and 450 AMG Coupe and both powered by a 3.0 litre biturbo V6 petrol engine, producing 333 hp and 480 Nm of torque in GLE 400 guise, while the GLE 450 AMG gets 367 hp and 520 Nm of torque. Both variants channel their engine output to the road via a 9G-Tronic nine-speed automatic gearbox and a 4Matic all-wheel-drive system.

    Resulting performance for the GLE 400 Coupe is 0-100 km/h in 5.9 seconds, onwards to a top speed of 247 km/h, while the GLE 450 AMG Coupe does the century sprint in 5.7 seconds and reaches an electronically limited top speed of 250 km/h.

    In terms of safety equipment, the GLE 400 includes Collision Prevention Assist Plus and a Lane Tracking Package (Blind Spot Assist, Lane Keeping Assist). The GLE 450 AMG adds Distronic Plus with Pre-Safe Brake, Rear Impact Warning and Protection System, Steering Assist, Cross Traffic Assist, Pre-Safe Plus and Pre-Safe Brake.

    GALLERY: Mercedes-Benz GLE 450 AMG Coupe

  • RM9 bil LRT3 project launched – 37 km from Bandar Utama to Klang, 26 stations, completion in 2020

    LRT3 Launch-02

    The Light Rail Transit 3 (LRT3) project was officially launched by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak at the Malawati Stadium in Shah Alam yesterday evening. Construction of the RM9 billion project, which will be undertaken by Prasarana, is scheduled to begin early next year. It is set to be completed in August 2020.

    The 37 km line will connect Bandar Utama in Petaling Jaya to Johan Setia in Klang. It will have 26 stations, including five integrated ones and 10 with park and ride facilities. LRT3 is expected to serve 74,000 commuters daily (36,720 passengers per direction per hour capacity) and over two million people by year 2025.

    Prasarana, which owns and manages existing LRT lines, is promising a feeder bus service to expand LRT3’s catchment area. The buses will serve areas that are 3 km away from stations and travelling time will take a maximum of 30 minutes.

    LRT3 proposed route map

    Click to enlarge.

    LRT3 Line integration map
    Click to enlarge.

    “I understand that a new technology known as ‘U-Trough’ will be used, which is an improvement over the conventional system currently being used in our country. This is expected to speed up the process and timeframe in terms of its implementation,” said the PM, who added that LRT3 is expected to be completed on schedule, despite the cost limitations.

    Prasarana appointed Malaysian Resources Corporation Berhad (MRCB) and George Kent Sdn Bhd as the Project Delivery Partner (PDP) for the LRT3 project in September last year.

  • Ford Transit window van launched – 14-seat, RM149k


    Local Ford distributor Sime Darby Auto Connexion (SDAC) has launched the new Ford Transit window van in Malaysia. The 14-seater is available solely in white and priced at RM148,888 on the road without insurance (RM151,888 in East Malaysia).

    The latest Transit takes over from the fifth-gen van launched here in July 2014. It comes with a new trapezoidal grille face and a dashboard that’s a lot more car-like than before, a design that Ford passenger car owners will be familiar with.

    “The new Transit 14-seat van is also now longer, wider, taller and offers a refreshed cabin, giving the driver and passengers alike a more comfortable, car-like experience,” said David Westerman, Ford’s MD of Malaysia and Asia Pacific emerging markets.


    The Transit is powered by the same proven 2.2 litre Duratorq turbodiesel engine, offering 155 PS and 385 Nm of torque. Drive is channeled to the rear wheels via a six-speed manual transmission. Ford says that the driving position is more comfortable than before (steering adjustable for rake and reach), and that the Transit’s driving dynamics is now more confident and car-like.

    The Blue Oval claims that the new Transit’s interior is significantly more refined, with reduced noise levels and improved ride comfort for passengers. The van also has a range of stowage solutions including a large hidden compartment under the front passenger seat and door storage pockets that can fit an A4 clipboard and a two-litre drink bottle.

    Safety kit includes dual front airbags, ABS, ESP, Hill Launch Assist, Emergency Brake Assist and Warning, rollover mitigation, front and rear parking sensors, three-point seatbelts for all passengers and second row Isofix child seat anchors. There’s an emergency release hammer and power operated side steps that automatically extend/retract when the sliding door is opened and closed.

  • 2017 Indian Motorcycle line-up shown at Sturgis Rally

    2017 Indian Motorcycles Scout

    Sturgis, South Dakota, US, is the scene for an annual motorcycle rally that is always well-attended by bikers riding American iron, notably machines emblazoned with the initials “H-D”. What many may not know is that the Black Hills Motor Classic, now popularly known as Sturgis, was started by an Indian Motorcycle dealer named J.C. “Pappy” Hoel, back in 1938.

    At this year’s event, said to be attended by over 400,00 bikers, Indian Motorcycles unveiled its 2017 line up of cruisers, baggers and tourers. For the coming year, there will be nine motorcycles in the range, covering various cruiser riding styles.

    For the entry-level into Indian motorcycles, there are two variants on offer, the Indian Scout at US$11,299 (RM45,600), and Indian Scout 60 at US$8,999 (RM36,300). Both bikes are powered by a liquid-cooled 60-degree V-twin, with the Scout coming with a 1,130.7 cc engine producing 100 hp and 97.8 Nm, while the Scout 60 displaces 983.2 cc with 78 hp and 88 Nm.

    Indian has a pair of cruisers on offer, which can be suitably kitted out from the range of accessories in its catalogue. They are the Chief Dark Horse, which goes for a base price if US$17,499 (RM70,600) and the Chief Classic at US$18,499 (RM74,600). Both cruisers share a 1,811 cc Thunder Stroke V-twin with 161.1 Nm torque.

    Baggers – a cruiser with hard- or soft-shell panniers and fastback styling – are represented in Indian’s range by the Chief Vintage at US$19,999 (RM80,700), Springfield at US$20,999 (RM84,700), the Chieftain Dark Horse at US$21,999 (RM88,700) and the Chieftain USD23,999 (RM96,800). All come with the 1,811 cc Thunder Stroke mill.

    At the top of the heap is the Roadmaster, Indian’s full-dress tourer which starts at US$28,999 (RM117,000). Also using the Thunder Stroke, the Roadmaster comes with Indian’s Ride Command infotainment system. The system integrates navigation, sound and bike information on a seven-inch touchscreen display.

    Besides the Roadmaster, the system also comes standard on the Chieftain and Chieftain Dark Horse. USB and Bluetooth connection is set for compatible devices, and the nav system is driven by TomTom.


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