Latest Stories

  • Mercedes-Benz S-Class facelift to arrive in Malaysia mid-2018 – E350e and E63 4Matic+ launching soon

    Mercedes-Benz Malaysia (MBM) is set to introduce two more W213 E-Class variants this year – the E 350 e plug-in hybrid that was announced in April still hasn’t been officially priced, but a market debut is said to be expected soon.

    The other E-Class model is the E 63 4Matic+. Speaking at the sidelines of the C238 Mercedes-Benz E-Class Coupe launch earlier today, Mark Raine, MBM’s vice-president of sales and marketing, intimated that the 563 hp and 750 Nm sports sedan will make its premiere here during a “special occasion,” and we’re surmising that it’ll be sometime in September, in conjunction with the 2017 Formula 1 Petronas Malaysia GP.

    Raine also reaffirmed that the facelifted W222 S-Class will only be arriving in Malaysia in 2018, and gave a more concrete timeline of the car making its way here “towards the middle of the year.”

    Like with the current pre-facelift, it’s expected that the refreshed flagship will be sold here in its eventual plug-in hybrid form, though how that will shape up will depend very much on whether the hybrid incentives in place until the end of the year are extended, with no resolution yet on this front.

    Raine said that the company remains on track for another record year in 2017, with the company expecting to achieve its 12,000 unit target for 2018 (it shifted 11,779 vehicles in 2016). The model introduction count for 2017 is also set to surpass that of 2016, when 17 models were launched – 19 was the number touted at the company’s recent event where its 1H performance results were announced.

    GALLERY: W213 Mercedes-Benz E 350 e plug-in hybrid, second preview

     
  • BARU: Artikel terkini dalam Bahasa Malaysia

  • Police studying use of e-reporting for traffic cases

    The police are studying the feasibility of expanding the scope of the online e-Reporting system to include making police reports for traffic and crime cases, Bernama reports.

    According to Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar, the inspector-general of police, a request had been made to the attorney-general’s chambers to study the plan, as the move will have legal implications.

    “Currently, the e-Reporting system cannot be used for making police reports on crime cases and traffic complaints as this has legal implications. I hope this can be resolved fast for the facility to benefit all,” he said.

    At present, the system is only able to handle reports that do not involve criminal cases or do not require further investigation by the police – it can be used for reporting the loss of an identity card, driving licence, road tax slip, passport, credit or ATM card, mobile phone and laptop, as well as for cases of runaway domestic maids.

    The e-Reporting application, which was launched in March, can only be used in Kuala Lumpur by Malaysians aged 18 years and above, but Khalid said its availability will be extended nationwide soon.

     
  • BMW Motorrad R-series boxer gets VVT and more hp?

    In a quest for more power and better emissions control, it has been reported that BMW Motorrad is developing variable valve timing (VVT) for its iconic R-series boxer twin engines. German publication Motorrad says the liquid-cooled boxer will also get a displacement increase, from the current 1,170 cc to 1,250 cc.

    Most known for being used in its best-selling GS-series dual-purpose and overlander adventure motorcycles, BMW Motorrad’s boxer is the second on the scene with VVT in a twin, the first being the Ducati Multistrada Testastretta 11 V-twin. Benefits from using VVT include increased torque at lower engine speeds without compromising top-end power.

    Powered by an liquid-cooled boxer engine with an output of 125 hp at 7,750 rpm and a maximum torque of 125 Nm at 6,500 rpm, the R 1200 GS carries a catalytic convertor and revised engine management in 2017 to meet current Euro 4 requirements. With the addition of VVT, along with increased displacement, BMW’s boxer can be expected to see a power gain that should bring it close to the Multistrada 1200’s claimed 152 hp and 128 Nm of torque.

    For 2016, BMW Motorrad’s best seller was the ‘R’-series, claiming over half, or 53.6%, of its sales volume, a total of 77,787 units. Of these, the R 1200 GS and GS Adventure sold 25,336 units and 21,391 units, respectively, with the R 1200 RT tourer trailing behind wth 9,648 units.

    In Malaysia, the BMW Motorrad GS Adventure has a recommended retail price of RM113,900, while the base model GS goes for RM102,900. Closest rivals to the BMW GS in Malaysia are the KTM 1290 Super Adventure S at RM115,000 and the Ducati Multistrada 1200 S at RM125,999. All prices include GST but exclude road tax, insurance and registration.

     
  • Britain to ban sales of new petrol, diesel cars by 2040

    Earlier this month, France had announced that it was set to ban the sales of petrol and diesel powered vehicles by 2040, and now, Britain has pledged to do the same, with the same timeline being stated, The Guardian reports.

    The decision – announced via a paper published by the country’s department for environment, food and rural affairs (DEFRA) – will reportedly not affect hybrids and plug-in hybrids, but only involve conventional powertrains.

    Concern over rising nitrogen oxide levels brought about by increasing vehicle volumes has brought about the decision to go the route. It’s a move the British government says is needed because of the impact that poor air quality is having on public health.

    Heading towards the two-decade plus targeted date, the government says it is determined to take strong action in the shortest time possible, with a number of new measures being implemented.

    Plans include the retrofitting of buses and other public transport, the remapping of roads as well as altering roundabouts, speed humps and the reprogramming of traffic lights.

    Though not detailed, a scrappage scheme is also expected to be included in these plans, and local councils are set to be heavily involved in the action. The report added that £255 million of funding will be put down to ramp up development of local plans, the sum being part of an ambitious £3 billion programme to clean up the country’s air.

    The air quality package includes £1 bn in ultra-low emissions vehicles, including investing nearly £100 million in the country’s charging infrastructure. Money will also be pumped into propagating low-emission taxis as well as towards a green bus fund.

    The British and French move follows on that announced earlier by a number of other countries – Norway, the leader in the use of electric cars, has said it wants to phase out sales of conventional vehicles by 2025, likewise the Netherlands. Similar measures and a 2030 target have been proposed by Germany and more ambitiously, India.

     
  • SPIED: Rolls-Royce Cullinan SUV at the Nurburgring

    Goodwood’s first, upcoming SUV has been spotted running trials again, this time at the fabled Nurburgring Nordschleife for chassis development. Here, it appears that the Cullinan’s state of disguise remains largely the same as before when it was spotted winter testing, where the front bumper details are still concealed beneath square-cut openings for the air intakes on each side.

    Along its sides and around the back, it also still wears similar amounts of camouflage as before, where its tail lamp clusters are still the prototype-stage items which probably aren’t representative of the eventual production model’s. It’s the same story with the exhaust outlets, which – as before – are twin tailpipes which exit via each end of the rear bumper.

    Under the skin, the Cullinan will be based on the BMW Group’s aluminium architecture which will be shared with the upcoming BMW X7, including possibly the BMW’s twin-turbocharged V12. In terms of powertrain, it still remains to be seen if the Cullinan will stick with the current Rolls-Royce line-up which consists of V12 petrols, or if it will adopt a petrol-and-diesel approach which Bentley has done with the Bentayga.

    Incidentally, there is a hybrid variant of the Bentayga in the works, which we have also spotted doing the rounds while testing. Will the Goodwood luxury carmaker follow suit? Time will tell.

     
  • SPIED: Aston Martin Vanquish Zagato Volante and Vanquish Zagato Speedster take to the track for tests

    When Aston Martin and Zagato get together, beauty happens. At the 2016 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, the British carmaker announced it would be producing limited units of the Vanquish Zagato Volante.

    Now, we get our first look at the road-going (and production) version of the show car, where only 99 will ever exist in the world. As you can see, almost every aspect of the Vanquish Zagato Volante concept is faithfully recreated here, save for a few tweaks. The most obvious involves the car’s rear deck, which now features an active rear spoiler.

    Details such as the round tail light reflectors with ‘bladed’ LEDs from the Vulcan, twin cowls on the rear deck and carbon-fibre sills around the lower portion of the body continue to feature here as well. The soft-top’s mechanism is derived from the standard Vanquish Volante, and is raised in this instance.

    For those who can do without a roof altogether, Aston Martin offers the Vanquish Zagato Speedster instead. Essentially an open-top version of the Vanquish Zagato coupe, the model shares much in common with the DB AR 1 from 2003, in that it has no convertible top at all. Based on the DB7 Vantage Volante, the DB AR 1 is also born from Aston Martin’s partnership with the Milan-based coachbuilder.

    Visually, the Speedster differs from the Volante with a different rear deck design that reflects its lack a roof. Beyond that, it is almost identical to the rest of its Vanquish Zagato siblings. However, the Speedster will be even more exclusive, with only 28 units being offered to customers.

    All Vanquish Zagato models are powered by Aston Martin’s 5.9 litre naturally-aspirated V12 engine (marketed as a 6.0 litre), which has been uprated to 600 PS. The Volante is capable of delivering a projected 0-96 km/h (0-60 mph) time of 3.7 seconds, two tenths slower than the coupe. Expect the roofless Speedster to be quicker than soft-top model.

    GALLERY: Aston Martin Vanquish Zagato Volante spyshots

    GALLERY: Aston Martin Vanquish Zagato Speedster spyshots

     
  • SPIED: BMW 8 Series goes testing on the Nurburgring

    The BMW 8 Series has been spied again, this time as it undergoes testing at the Nurburgring. The prototype seen here is in the form of a coupe, which will be one of two body styles for the 8 Series, the other being a cabriolet.

    Compared to previous sightings of BMW’s upcoming model, the test mule in these photos has a different front fascia. Sporting a more conventional bumper with a three-section layout, the double kidney grille also appears to be conjoined within a single frame, like on the Concept 8 Series.

    The transition to production form also sees the fitment of new headlights, with amber corner markers visible. However, these could just be development units, as are the taillights, and could be altered when the car makes its global debut.

    We still haven’t seen any shots of the car’s interior, but expect it to be packed with the latest technologies in BMW’s arsenal. It remains to be seen how much of the concept’s minimalist design will make it to the finished product.

    Expect the 8 Series to ride on BMW’s multi-material Cluster Architecture (CLAR), and be fitted with a range of six-, eight- or even twelve-cylinder engines. A high-performance M8 will also be part of the line-up, adopting the all-wheel drive powertrain in the latest M5.

    GALLERY: BMW Concept 8 Series

     
  • PSA to set up ASEAN hub in Vietnam; plant by 2018

    Groupe PSA has big plans afoot for the ASEAN market, and it will incorporate an SUV-centric product offensive. The French automotive group of brands has sealed a joint venture partnership for this year, with plant operations in Vietnam set for commencement in 2018.

    Previously, we reported in 2015 that a Dongfeng-PSA joint venture Dongfeng Peugeot-Citroen Automobile Limited (DPCA) was set to begin production of its cars in Vietnam. The Dongfeng-PSA joint venture targeted a sales volume of 70,000 units in the year 2020, according to a statement by Dongfeng-PSA then.

    Back in 2010, Peugeot made Malaysia its right-hand-drive production hub via its partner Naza, which set up its manufacturing plant in Gurun, Kedah for the assembly of models such as the Peugeot 408 sedan. Groupe PSA’s move into Vietnam could signal a move away from Peugeot’s assembly presence in Gurun, Kedah, which currently also assembles the Peugeot 408, Citroen DS 4 and DS 5.

    Recently, the PSA Group was also in the running to form a strategic partnership with Proton, a move which would have granted the former access to the Malaysian carmaker’s Tanjung Malim plant. Had it gone through, it was said that PSA planned to use Proton’s underutilised facilities as its ASEAN production and export base. Ultimately, however, Proton formed a partnership with China’s Zhejiang Geely instead.

    GALLERY: Citroen C5 Aircross

     
  • VW Arteon could spawn shooting brake, V6 – report

    The Volkswagen Arteon has only recently been unveiled, but that hasn’t put a damper on considerations for future variants. “I would like to make an Arteon shooting brake — these plans are underway but it’s not yet final,” head of Volkswagen’s medium and large vehicle programs Dr Elmar-Marius Licharz told Auto Express.

    “If we build a six-cylinder engine – we are discussing it for the Arteon, we have built one already in a prototype vehicle – it will be one which you can also use in the Atlas and vice versa,” Licharz added, in reference to the MQB platform’s flexibility, also suggesting that it will be a new unit rather than the long-running narrow-angle 3.6 litre VR6 unit which powers the Atlas, also an MQB-based model.

    The new V6, if confirmed, will top the Arteon range which currently employs a range of four-cylinder petrol and diesel engines; these currently come in 148 hp 1.5 litre TSI, a 2.0 litre TSI in 187 hp and 276 hp states of tune for petrol, and 148 hp, 187 hp and 236 hp forms in 2.0 TDI diesel guise.

    GALLERY: Volkswagen Arteon

     
  • Time to restore discipline on roads – MIROS chairman

    It is time to restore road use discipline, and have no compromise in dealing with reckless road users and habitual offenders, said Malaysia Institute of Road Safety Research (MIROS) chairman Tan Sri Lee Lam Thye, adding that the installation of seven new Automated Enforcement System (AES) cameras are timely, according to a report in The Star.

    “Those who are taking the authorities to task must be more balanced in their views. Nobody likes to be given a summons, and no one likes to pay a fine. There are drivers who disobey rules, and reckless road users are not only endangering themselves but also other law-abiding dri­vers,” Lee said, believing that the country will succeed in reducing road accidents when road users embrace a culture of road safety, the report wrote.

    Countries with low road accident rates enjoy those due to ‘no-nonsense’ enforcement measures put in place, Lee said. “In Australia, for example, you can go to jail for a traffic offence. In our country, you only get a fine of up to RM300, and yet you have people saying they will wait to get a discount. We are on the right track by imposing new road safety measures to restore discipline on the roads,” he added.

    Earlier this month, 21 more offences were added to the Kejara list for a total of 23 punishable infringements; these include using mobile phones while driving, not wearing safety belts, drink driving, using the emergency lane, driving under the influence and commercial vehicle overloading.

     
 

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