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  • 2016 BMW Motorrad G310R: RM23,246 in the UK

    BMW G310R preview 1

    The 2016 BMW Motorrad G310R’s price for the UK has been revealed by Motorrad dealer Blade BMW, and the newest addition to BMW’s stable is going for 4,290 pounds sterling (RM23,246). The price of the single-cylinder, entry-level bike was shown on Blade BMW’s website, and is expected to go on sale in October.

    Much anticipated after news first broke last year that BMW was producing its first small-displacement motorcycle in nearly 60 years, the 2016 G310R was developed in conjunction with BMW Motorrad’s Indian manufacturing partner, TVS. The G310R comes with a 313 cc liquid-cooled single-cylinder engine that has a claimed 34 hp and 28 Nm of torque at 7,500 rpm.

    With the cylinder orientation reversed, the G310R’s intake faces forward. This lets the engine be tilted a little further forward to place weight over the front wheel, while giving the exhaust a straight path to the rear.

    A six-speed multi-disc wet clutch transmission, which allows for a 0-100 km/h time of just 7.85 seconds, gets the power to the ground via chain drive. Other bits include adjustable rear suspension, with up to 10 levels of adjustment. A fully digital instrument cluster also displays, aside from various other functions, the current gear selected.

    Weighing in at 158 kg, and with ABS as standard, the G310R is designed by BMW to be marketed worldwide, meaning that there may not be market-specific variants in terms of 250 cc engines to meet local licensing requirements. Rivals to the 2016 BMW Motorrad G310R in Malaysia include the KTM 250 Duke at RM21,021, the Benelli TnT300 at RM20,129 and the Kawasaki Z250SL at RM15,389.

    In Malaysia, BMW Motorrad has begun displaying the 2016 G310R in local dealerships, but has not been forthcoming about a release date or pricing.

  • Volkswagen expected to announce USD$15 billion settlement for United States diesel emissions scandal

    volkswagen logo wm

    Volkswagen AG is expected to pay up to USD$15 billion (more than RM61 billion) as settlement to owners of diesel Volkswagen vehicles, as well as government regulators due to its diesel emissions cheating scandal. This will likely be one of the largest consumer class-action settlements ever in the United States.

    According to reports by Reuters and The New York Times, the settlement includes a maximum of USD$10.03 billion (around RM40 billion) to buy back about 475,000 affected Volkswagens from owners at pre-scandal prices. Additionally, a separate settlement with US state attorneys is expected to be more than USD$500 million (around RM2 billion).

    For vehicle owners, a cash compensation will likely be offered to each, ranging from USD$5,100 (RM20,776) to USD$10,000 (RM40,747). Previous owners who may have sold their diesel vehicles after the scandal became known last year are also eligible for compensation, but at only half the rate of the compensation being offered to current car owners.

    Owners will have until December 2018 to decide whether to sell back vehicles or have their vehicles fixed to meet emissions standards. Even so, regulators have yet to approve fixes for Volkswagen vehicles fitted with the 2.0 litre turbocharged four-cylinder diesel engine. There are three generations of said engine fitted in vehicles from the year 2009-2015, all possibly requiring different fixes.

    Even after the imminent announcement, Volkswagen must still come to a consensus with US regulators on whether it will offer to buy back 85,000 larger Porsche, Audi and Volkswagen cars and SUVs due to the 3.0 litre TDI V6 engine, where it was discovered that the engine’s nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions is up to nine times of the EPA’s standard.

  • Takata CEO to resign once ‘new regime’ is in place

    Takata Honda NSX

    Despite the global airbag scandal that has affected various carmakers and caused deaths, with the latest fatality happening in Malaysia last week, Takata Corp’s CEO Shigehisa Takada has not left his post. He will only resign after a “new management regime” is found, Reuters reports.

    Takada, described by the report as a quiet, bookish presence in contrast to his gregarious, hands-on father who previously headed the company, is the first member of the founding family to take public responsibility. He apologised for the scandal last year, but has also defended the company’s products.

    “I am not clinging to this. My role is to make sure the company does not take a bad turn until there is a passing of the baton,” Takada told an annual shareholders meeting, where he came under fire for failing to deal more effectively with the crisis. It was said that the shy and awkward Takada often mumbled, apologising for his inadequate responses. He was also barely audible when answering questions. The third-generation leader of the company has been at the helm since 2011.

    Takada said details of the management changes would be determined by a third-party committee charged to oversee the company’s restructuring. The committee, which has brought in investment bank Lazard, said last month that it would reform governance and resolve cost issues brought about by the recall.

    Honda airbag

    Takata, one of the world’s largest suppliers of vehicle safety parts, has been searching for a financial backer to help it overhaul the business and shoulder ballooning costs. Up to 30 potential investors have indicated initial interest, and a solution is expected by November, it has been reported.

    Takata posted its third annual loss in four years in the past financial year, with shares down by some 90% since early 2014. The Japanese company, which started in 1933 as a textiles maker, is struggling to supply enough replacement inflators, as around 100 million units have been classified as defective.

    It has been pointed out that the recall costs for Takata have been relatively small as automakers have shouldered most of the burden, so far. If Takata was found to be solely responsible for the fault, it could face a bill of more than US$10 billion, based on a rough calculation that each replacement kit costs around US$100. The company also faces US lawsuits.

    Which models in Malaysia are involved in the multi-brand recalls, and what to do if your car is affected? Full details here for you to take action immediately.

  • KESAS Highway users get 10% discount this Raya

    KESAS highway

    Konsortium Expressway Shah Alam Selangor (KESAS), the concessionaire of the Shah Alam Expressway (E5 or better known as the KESAS Highway) has announced a 10% discount for all users of the highway on July 6, the first day of Hari Raya Aidilfitri.

    The discount will start at 12:01am and end at 11:59pm on July 6. With the discount, Class 1 (vehicles with two axles and three or four wheels excluding taxis) vehicle owners will pay a toll rate of just RM1.80 instead of RM2.00 on the day. Keep in mind that toll collection is fully electronic on the KESAS Highway as of March this year.

    “This discount is a token of our appreciation to Kesas motorists. Motorists are also encouraged to make electronic toll payment to benefit from the discount as well as to help smoothen traffic flow,” said KESAS CEO Imran Gulcharan Abdullah in a report by The Star.

  • Lotus 3-Eleven, Elise Cup 250 roll off the line in Hethel

    Lotus 3-Eleven Elise 250

    The Lotus 3-Eleven and the Lotus Elise Cup 250 have driven off the production line for the first time at the famous Hethel factory. The Malaysian-owned sportscar maker, which is on its way to being profitable for the first time in its 68-year history, describes the lightweight duo as “two of the greatest, most extreme Lotus models ever produced.”

    “The lucky owners of these will be the first to find out just how special the latest Lotus cars really are. We’ve raised the bar yet again, to produce two vehicles which the competition cannot hope to match. From the outright firepower of the 3-Eleven, to the sublime handling of the Elise Cup 250, these cars, better than any other, encapsulate our ‘light is right’ mantra,” said CEO Jean-Marc Gales.

    The 3-Eleven, announced earlier this year, is Lotus’ quickest and most expensive series production car ever. It utilises a new lightweight composite body and a bespoke chassis based on the proven Lotus design of extruded and bonded aluminium sections.


    With a revised 3.5 litre supercharged V6 engine developing 466 PS and 525 Nm of torque having just to haul 890 kg, the over 500 hp per tonne machine is capable of sprinting from 0-100 km/h in three seconds flat. Top speed is 290 km/h. With an open cabin and no windscreen, helmets are a must.

    As part of its development, the 3-Eleven spent time at the Nurburgring, where it was one of the fastest road going cars to ever tackle the track, capable of setting a sub-7 minute lap time. It also set the fastest lap time ever recorded by German car magazine sport auto at Hockenheimring in March.

    Meanwhile, the Elise Cup 250 is the faster Elise ever. Announced in February, it’s powered by a new higher-output version of the familiar supercharged 1.8 litre Toyota engine. With 243 hp and 250 Nm hauling just 931 kg, 0-100 km/h is done in 4.3 seconds on to a top speed of 248 km/h.

    lotus elise cup 250 01

    It laps Hethel’s test track in 1 minute 34 seconds, four seconds less than the Elise Cup 220’s best time. Customers wanting to cut weight still further can select the optional Carbon Aero Pack to reduce the flyweight’s mass to 921 kg. Limited to 200 units a year.

    The arrival the new cars coincides with the 50th anniversary of the founding of the famous factory in Norfolk. In 1966, Lotus founder Colin Chapman moved the company to the purpose-built Hethel facility. Lotus is marking this milestone in the company’s history with special edition cars and events throughout the year.

    GALLERY: Lotus 3-Eleven

    GALLERY: Lotus Elise Cup 250

  • Toyota patent for shapeshifting flying car revealed


    Toyota’s idea for a flying vehicle goes beyond fixed wings or even ones that retract to the side of its body; in this patent filed back in December 2014, but just published this month by the United States Patent and Trademark Office, the vehicle in Toyota’s patent hides its wings within its fuselage when retracted.

    For that to work, the flexible wings are housed in the rear portion of the vehicle, covered by movable panels. These panels open and close in a gullwing door type of manner, hinged at the vehicle’s roof. The wings can then fold or unfurl once the movable panel make way for the wings. It also appears in the patent drawings that parts of the fuselage can be altered by telescopic struts, possibly to adapt to airflow characteristics when in flight.

    There was no mention of the type of engine the car will use, but the diagrams show a rear-mounted propeller for propulsion. There isn’t a visible second propeller, nor is there a vertical surface such as a rudder for directional control in flight; presumably those duties are handled by flaps or ailerons on the flexible wings.

    From Toyota’s patent filing in 2014 until the present, there has been more development in the area of flying cars; Slovakian company Aeromobil has developed three generations of a flying car, while Google co-founder Larry Page has reportedly invested in two separate companies, each running a flying car programme in parallel.

    Aeromobil’s concept is built around a retractable wing design with variable angle of attack, which enables take-off within a “few hundred metres,” according to Aeromobil, while the tough suspension is intended to allow operation from less than ideal runways.

    Meanwhile, both companies funded by Page work independently and do not speak to each other; the first, named Zee.Aero, has been working on a fixed wing, narrow fuselage design with propellers at the rear of the vehicle, while the second, smaller operation named Kitty Hawk has been working on a design similar to that of a quadcopter.

  • Mercedes-AMG GT R revealed – 577 hp and 699 Nm

    Der neue Mercedes-AMG GT R: Entwickelt in der „Grünen Hölle“

    Just revealed at the Goodwood Festival of Speed, the Mercedes-AMG GT R has been conceived as a leaner, faster incarnation of the AMG GT S. It’s powered by a fettled version of the marque’s 4.0 litre twin-turbo V8, producing 577 hp and 699 Nm of torque for this guise, a significant bump over the GT S’ 503 hp and 650 Nm.

    Channeling all that output to the driven wheels at the rear is a seven-speed transaxle dual-clutch transmission, optimised for the application in the GT R. The first gear ratio is a longer one now, while seventh gear is shorter for stronger acceleration at the car’s upper reaches. Further along the driveline, the GT R comes standard with an electronically-controlled limited-slip differential on the rear axle.

    Pictured here is the GT R-exclusive “AMG green hell magno” paint, and the first thing most will notice about the face of the car is the AMG Panamericana grille derived from the GT3 race car; slats are now vertical as opposed to the GT and GT S’ horizontal spar grille. Enlarged air intakes feed more air into the uprated engine, and the revised carbon fenders add 1.8 inches to the car’s width.

    Der neue Mercedes-AMG GT R: Entwickelt in der „Grünen Hölle“

    A more aggressive front splitter reduces lift on the front axle, while the enlarged rear wing adds downforce over the rear, and there’s more aerodynamic trickery beneath the car: the GT R also features a carbon component which lowers by 1.6 inches when the car attains 80 km/h in Race mode.

    Mercedes-AMG have managed to attain weight savings of 90 kg compared to the GT S, and when combined with the increased engine outputs, the GT R achieves the 0-96 km/h sprint in 3.5 seconds, 0.2 of a second quicker than the GT S. Part of that weight saving comes from the new exhaust system, which is 5.9 kg lighter than in the GT S, whilst aiming to provide a harder-edged soundtrack.

    Increased agility comes courtesy of a new rear-wheel steering system, which improves both response and stability while cornering. At speeds up to 100 km/h, the rear wheels turn in a small angle opposite to the fronts for sharper steering response, whilst above 100 km/h the rear wheels do the same but in the same direction as the front wheels, for better high speed stability.

    Der neue Mercedes-AMG GT R: Entwickelt in der „Grünen Hölle“

    Speaking of wheels and tyres, the AMG GT R is shod with 19-inch front and 20-inch rear forged wheels, wrapped with 275/35 front and 325/30 rear Michelin Sport Cup 2 tyres. The weight reduction theme carries on throughout the car; an upgraded carbon fibre torque tube shaves off 13.8 kg compared to that on the existing GT, while the optional carbon-ceramic brake kit reduces weight by a further 16.7 kg.

    Inside, AMG performance seats are finished in Nappa leather and Dinamica microfibre fabric, and yellow seatbelts are optionally available. Yellow highlights continue, applied to the instrument dials and contrast stitching, while the centre console is finished in piano black lacquer.

    At the launch of the AMG GT R, head of Mercedes-AMG Tobias Moers said the plan is to further expand the line-up by adding more models, both road-going and track-only ones. It could include an open-topped variant of the GT, though there hasn’t been clear confirmation from Moers about this.

  • Jaguar F-Pace rides up Goodwood Hill on two wheels

    The Jaguar F-Pace is a surprisingly agile and nimble SUV, as we found out during our escapade in Montenegro. For this year’s Goodwood Hillclimb event, the British carmaker has decided to push the big cat’s capabilities further, by having it complete the route on just two wheels.

    To accomplish the feat, Jaguar teamed up again with stunt driver Terry Grant, whose previous outing in the F-Pace involved setting a new Guinness World Record for the biggest loop-the-loop. This time, he’s not alone because professional freestyle motorbike stunt rider Lee Bowers will join him to upset the insurance agents further, as you’ll see in the video.

    While it may look easy, even for an expert like Grant, the two-wheeled drive required hours of planning. Final preparations were completed at Santa Pod Raceway in Northamptonshire just days ahead of the live event.

    “When Jaguar gave me the opportunity to reunite with the F-Pace used to break the world’s largest loop record, I couldn’t say no. Its light, stiff aluminium body and precise controls make it the perfect wheelie vehicle, and it was great to have Lee Bowers along for company – even if he did climb out halfway through our run!” said Grant.

    The F-Pace is Jaguar’s first-ever SUV, and uses the same aluminium-intensive architecture employed by its XE and XF sedan siblings. Engine options include diesel units from Jaguar Land Rover’s (JLR) Ingenium modular engine family, and petrol powerplants. The Jaguar F-Pace is expected to arrive in Malaysia in the fourth quarter of 2016.

  • DRIVEN: 2016 Volkswagen Vento 1.2 TSI Highline

    2016 Volkswagen Vento 1.2 TSI Highline ext 2

    The B-segment sedan market is a highly demanding one. For some car buyers, it’s the next step after they’ve gotten that raise, and want to give up their preloved Perodua Kancil. For others, it’s the sweet spot in terms of manoeuvrability and size, without having to dive into the C-segment market.

    Aside from having to excel in urban driving, interested parties also have other expectations when shopping in this segment, including looks, equipment, handling, practicality and safety. The challenge for any automaker is to meet these needs, while slapping on a price tag below the psychological RM100,000 mark, which is where a large chunk of the market is at.

    The Volkswagen Vento is the latest entrant to this battleground, ready to take the fight against established nameplates like the Toyota Vios, Honda City and Mazda 2 Sedan. Does the European contender have what it takes to stand out from the crowd? Well, we went on a trip to Penang in the top-of-the-line Vento 1.2 TSI Highline to find out.

    Read The Full Story ›

  • Petronas Coffee Break to serve 900k cups this Raya

    petronas coffee break

    Hari Raya Aidilfitri is just around the corner, and many will be heading back to the hometowns to celebrate. It’s good to punctuate long drives with breaks, and the Petronas Coffee Break is now a regular companion during festivals.

    This round, the number of participating stations have been greatly increased to 147 from last year’s 40. The Krew Petronas will serve a total of 900,000 cups of freshly brewed hot coffee and an assortment of snacks on July 2-3 from 6pm onwards and on July 9-10 from 3pm onwards.

    Petronas is also contributing RM20,000 worth of Primax 95 with Advanced Energy Formula fuel to St. John Ambulance of Malaysia (SJAM) to fuel 50 ambulances that will provide emergency response services along major highways this festive season. This is the 22nd year that Petronas is partnering with SJAM.


    “Over the years, Petronas Coffee Break has become a campaign synonymous with the ‘balik kampung’ travelling period and our customers look forward to it every time. In response to the positive feedback received, we have increased the number of participating stations since the last campaign as well as the amount and variety of goodies to be given away,” said Mohd Ibrahimnuddin Mohd Yunus, MD and CEO of Petronas Dagangan Berhad.

    “We understand that the long hours on the road can be taxing for the person behind the wheel. Thus, Petronas invites all motorists to drop by, rest and relax with some light refreshments on the house, before resuming your journey. Staying alert on the road is critical in ensuring the safety of yourself and others. We want you to be safe for the journey home,” he added.

    In addition to the goodies from Petronas and its partners, Petronas Coffee Break – now in its 17th year – will include safety-related services such as 20-point safety inspections on Proton cars. Hot coffee and snacks will be provided while stocks last. For a list of participating Petronas stations, visit


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