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  • 2021 Perodua Ativa SUV launched in Malaysia – X, H, AV specs; 1.0L Turbo CVT; from RM61,500 to RM72k

    Finally, the Perodua Ativa has been officially launched in Malaysia. Instead of the customary big event, Perodua unveiled the D55L SUV via a virtual launch this evening, finally confirming the Ativa name in the process. If you’re wondering, Ativa is Portuguese for active, which makes sense for an SUV.

    Also announced were the official prices. The Ativa starts at RM61,500 for the base X variant, going up to RM66,100 for the mid H. The top AV is yours for RM71,200, or RM72,000 if you go for the full two-tone paint option (pearl white/red with black roof). These figures, which are on-the-road excluding insurance, are lower than the estimated price range of RM62,500 to RM73,400.

    You’ve seen the spyshots, you’ve read our first impressions review; now it’s time to take in the full details and pore over every nook and cranny of the Perodua Ativa. Make yourself a drink and get comfortable.

    The Ativa is the first model in Perodua’s Transformation 3.0 era, named Perodua Smart Build. In this new era, which focuses on sustainability and globalisation, the Malaysian market leader will work closely with shareholder and technical partner Daihatsu, which in turn is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Toyota, the world’s number one carmaker.

    So it’s a rebadged Daihatsu Rocky?

    Seems so but not quite. Here’s the deal. The Daihatsu Rocky and its Toyota Raize twin were launched in Japan in late 2019. As with most compact models with D and T badges, the compact car specialist develops and builds both models, with a different face for the Toyota. That’s also the case in Indonesia – see the TeriosRush Low MPVs and the Ayla-Agya LCGCs.

    Many might assume that the time difference was what Perodua needed to adapt the JDM car for Malaysia, but this is not the case as the Rocky-Ativa was always meant to be a shared model, and P2 was involved in the development process when it started three years ago.

    Perodua president and CEO Datuk Zainal Abidin Ahmad revealed that there are currently 50 P2 staff living and working at Daihatsu in Japan, and they’re in the design and engineering divisions. Basically, there is Perodua input in this shared model, even in the JDM Rocky, so perhaps the resemblance to the Myvi – especially at the rear – isn’t coincidental.

    To come up with a shared model isn’t the most straightforward, as the end product must satisfy the preferences of different markets – that’s what the P2 people embedded in DMC are for, to provide Malaysia’s POV. This isn’t like Perodua’s early kei car era where Malaysia simply took what Daihatsu already had and gave it new bumpers – this SUV is also meant for overseas markets, and we’re among the most important ones for Daihatsu, if not the most important.

    Bumpers aside, there are a fair amount of minor differences/improvements on the Ativa versus the Rocky, which we’ll get into detail later. Some were shown to us by P2, some are obvious, some less so.

    Why didn’t they launch this model earlier, you ask. Perodua says that there has been no delay to its Ativa plan, even though they had to go through many obstacles brought about by Covid-19 and movement restrictions, which started this month last year.

    They’ve had more to prepare than usual, as the Ativa is the first Perodua to use the Daihatsu New Global Architecture (DNGA) platform, and also the first to utilise a turbo engine and CVT gearbox. Many of the challenges faced in setting up production were unprecedented, just like the pandemic.

    In the end, they managed, and in time too. Perodua is very proud of the work it does with its vendors and the doors it opens for them, and the result is 95% local content on the Ativa, the highest ever for a Perodua model at the launch stage (higher even than the Myvi, a homegrown model). The 1.0T engine is made by Perodua Engine Manufacturing in Rawang, while the CVT rolls off the line at Akashi Kikai in Sendayan, N9. The latter will in the future export the CVT to Daihatsu in Indonesia.

    Perodua’s tech flagship – DNGA, Turbo, CVT

    The Ativa marks many firsts for Perodua. It’s the market leader’s first model to use the DNGA platform, their first turbocharged engine, and the first one to use a CVT instead of the long-serving conventional 4AT.

    We’ve already detailed the DNGA platform, which debut in Japan only in 2019. Like big brother Toyota’s TNGA, but for compact cars, it’s built for today and the future. DNGA is not only bang up to date in rigidity, safety, NVH and performance aspects – it’s modular and CASE-ready, which stands for connected, autonomous, shared and electric. With Perodua’s factories already DNGA-ready, we can expect more high-quality models down the road – the Ativa is the start of a new era.

    You don’t match a modern base with an old heart, and the DNGA was developed to fit the latest powertrain combos. Like the Rocky, the Ativa is powered by a 1.0 litre downsized turbo engine, the first boosted motor from P2. The DOHC VVT three-cylinder 1KR-VET is essentially a version of the naturally-aspirated 1.0L engine in the Axia and Bezza, with a turbocharger.

    The latter makes a big difference. Outputs are rated at 98 PS (72 kW) at 6,000 rpm and 140 Nm of torque from 2,400 to 4,000 rpm. This is a significant advantage of 30 PS and nearly 50 Nm of torque over the NA 1KR-VE, but crucially, max torque is achieved early in the rev range, much earlier than the Myvi 1.5L’s 136 Nm at 4,200 rpm. Perodua says that the 1.0T has performance similar to a 1.5L, and as we all know, the Myvi ain’t slow…

    There’s a Power button on the steering wheel that delivers sharper throttle response. Average fuel consumption is 18.9 km/l in the ECE mode. Daihatsu claims 18.6 km/l for the Rocky in the stricter WLTP cycle, so it’s thereabouts. This good FC figure is no doubt from the downsized turbo engine and CVT combo, which is an efficient one. Eco Idle auto start-stop, which Perodua has been offering since the Bezza, is standard for this engine. For a deep dive into the 1KR-VET’s oily bits, click here.

    An equally important cog in the efficiency wheel is the CVT gearbox. Called D-CVT for Dual-Mode CVT, Perodua’s first use of a CVT is also the world’s first split gear CVT system. Basically, D-CVT combines belt drive with a gear drive for improved fuel efficiency, acceleration feel and quietness.

    From rest to low/medium speeds, the D-CVT functions like any other CVT, with the engine’s torque going through a torque converter (like Toyota and Honda CVTs, should be smoother than systems that use a clutch pack like the Punch CVT in Protons) and into the input pulley, before being transferred to the output pulley via a belt and then to the wheels.

    However, at higher speeds, the D-CVT shifts into its split mode, engaging the gear drive to provide more efficient power transmission (less energy loss), while the rotation to the belt drive is decreased significantly. There’s also a manual mode with seven virtual ratios – push the gear lever left to shift.

    This D-CVT is not to be confused with Toyota’s Direct Shift-CVT, which features in models like the RAV4 and Lexus UX. Not the regular CVT used in the Vios, Direct Shift-CVT adds on a launch gear that acts like a first gear in a conventional AT. We’ve already detailed the Ativa’s D-CVT here, with illustrations on how it works versus a regular CVT, plus all sorts of figures.

    Not for the ‘bigger is better’ types

    Speaking of figures, the Ativa is 4,065 mm long and 1,710 mm wide. At just above four metres long, it’s a compact SUV that’s described as A-segment to small B-segment by the P2 boss. However, these aren’t the Rocky’s figures – the Ativa is actually 70 mm longer than the sub-4m Daihatsu, and 15 mm wider. This is due to the more streamlined design of the bumpers, versus the more abrupt chop of DMC’s knife. The Ativa’s lines look more natural.

    At 1,635 mm, the Perodua is also 15 mm taller than its JDM sister. This is due to the Malaysia-specific suspension, which besides being firmer than Daihatsu’s comfort-focused setup, also raises the ground clearance to 200 mm. Wheelbase is 2,525 mm. The X rides on 16-inch wheels (205/65, Goodyear Assurance Triplemax 2) while the H and AV get two-tone 17-inch alloys with 205/60 Bridgestone Turanza T005A touring tyres.

    To give you a mental idea of the Ativa’s size, its footprint is 170 mm longer and 25 mm narrower than a Myvi, while the wheelbase is 25 mm longer than Malaysia’s best-selling car. Compared to fellow SUV Proton X50, the Ativa is 265 mm shorter and 90 mm narrower, with a 75 mm shorter wheelbase. You can also substitute the X50 for the Honda HR-V for similar results, so the Ativa is smaller than the typical B-SUV.

    But more often than not, exterior dimensions don’t tell the full story on interior space, because packaging matters. How else can you explain why Hondas are usually spacious inside and Mazdas are tight. For instance, the Ativa’s boot space of 369 litres beats the X50’s 330L, and Perodua achieves it with a full size spare tyre with matching wheel (space saver for X50). By the way, the tyre jack is under the front passenger seat.

    Speaking of the boot, the floor has two levels – the “lower ground floor” (my own term) gives maximum height and capacity, while ground floor gives you 303 litres (Myvi’s boot is 277L by the way) and a flat loading bay when you fold down the 60:40 rear seats. It might not be familiar to P2 hatchback owners, but the parcel shelf here is of the soft “foldable sunshade” variety.

    The backbenchers have two levels of seat recline and two USB charging ports (X and AV only). The (manual) front seats are the best-shaped ones we’ve seen from Perodua so far, whether wrapped with fabric or the AV’s black-red leather with suede sides (fabric seats on X and H).

    There’s also a front centre armrest, a first for Perodua. Said armrest and the ones on the door cards are covered with a softer material from the H onwards. We’re not talking about thick padding but slightly more pliable plastic. The steering wheel can be tilted up/down, but there’s no telescopic adjustment, which some tall drivers might require for the optimum position.

    Space wise, it’s decent, but the Myvi feels roomier (a spec check reveals that couple distance is 900 mm vs the Myvi’s 937 mm) and the rear seat base is on the short side. While the Ativa is clearly not one for those who has interior space as top priority, do try it out for size before dismissing it for being too small.

    Bright lights, big screens

    When the first details of the Ativa surfaced, we were shocked by the list of features Perodua managed to include, considering the SUV’s RM60k-70k price range. Safety and driver assist tech is a topic by itself, so we’ll look at the bright lights, big screens and other goodies in this section.

    It was a big deal when Perodua introduced LED headlamps on the Myvi in 2017, and across the variant board too. Over three years on, the brighter and whiter lights still isn’t a given in the B-segment, but P2 isn’t waiting for the others to catch up.

    As with the Myvi, reflector LED headlamps are standard across the range, and the base X variant adds on Auto High Beam. AHB will automatically come on above 30 km/h, or when surroundings are very dark. The system will auto dip the high beam when it detects oncoming traffic, so you don’t have to manually on/off with the stalk.

    AHB is very useful and it’s a P2 first, but the mid-spec H and AV feature automatic LED headlamps with Adaptive Driving Beam. Like Audi’s Matrix LED, ADB is a smart auto high beam that “cuts out” oncoming vehicles from the glare when high beam is on, instead of dipping the high beam completely, as AHB does. This means that you’ll get full shine even when there’s oncoming traffic, but no one gets blinded by it. ADB does this by disabling individual LEDs within the headlamps for precise control over light distribution.

    As a visible and stylish bonus, ADB is packaged with sequential turn signals and side view lamps. The latter – also sometimes called cornering lamps – sits at the edge of the headlamp cluster, lighting up when the driver applies the signal lamps on the same side. This provides additional side lighting at low speeds. When reverse is engaged, both side view lamps light up.

    Sequential turn signals have so far only featured in premium cars; the RM182k Volkswagen Passat is the next most affordable car in Malaysia to have it. Adaptive High Beam and the fancy turn signals were added to the Lexus NX only in 2019 – that SUV is of course much higher up Toyota’s SUV hierarchy. Elsewhere, LED combination tail lamps are standard for all Ativas, while H and AV variants get LED front fog lamps as well. By the way, there are no LED daytime running lights; that’s available as a GearUp option.

    Another nice feature Perodua brought down to the masses was keyless entry and push start, which was standard across the board in the Myvi and available on the Axia. The keyless entry is a level up in the Ativa; there’s no physical button to press here because the driver’s door handle has an electrostatic sensor – just a touch will do.

    Once inside, you won’t miss the large and “floating” 9.0-inch centre touchscreen for the infotainment system. The interface is similar to the Myvi’s system. There’s no Apple CarPlay or Android Auto, but Android phone users can hook up their device to the screen via SmartLink phone mirroring (HDMI port). With this, the driver can press the voice button on the left steering spoke and issue voice commands to the phone via Google Voice. In other words, you’re talking to your phone via the car, and not to the car itself.

    The touchscreen system is packaged with a reverse camera and auto sound levelling. The X variant makes do with a non-touchscreen radio with USB and Bluetooth. The radio looks slightly strange in a dashboard designed for a large floating screen, but that’s the way it is for base models, even on stylish Mazdas. The base speaker count is four, with two tweeters in the AV taking it to six in total.

    The Ativa is the first Perodua and model in its price range to offer a digital instrument panel. Sitting on the left of the digital speedometer, the 7.0-inch TFT screen combines a rev counter and the trip computer. There are four designs that you can choose from. The default style is the velodrome-shaped tachometer, but you can change it to a more traditional dial. Pressing the Power button will introduce some red elements to the picture, whichever theme you’re in.

    The system also has some cute bonus features such as date reminders (never miss a birthday or anniversary again) and even a choice of ticking sound for the indicators. No temperature gauge, though. The digital meter panel is for the H and AV only; the X gets conventional twin analogue dials. Speaking of the X, the steering wheel is free of buttons except for the lonely Power button, there are minimal silver/chrome/red accents and the wing mirrors are not power retractable.

    Unique Ativa features not found in the Rocky

    Perodua owners will immediately eye the front seats for the handbag hook. Unfortunately, that’s not offered in the Ativa, which also doesn’t feature any “tapau hooks”, although the latter can be solved by a trip to Daiso. Also not present is the Myvi AV’s Smart Tag reader, but with the Smart Tag system due to be phased out for RFID, that’s understandable.

    One Perodua special feature that’s present here is air con memory. Daihatsu has a digital automatic AC panel and a manual panel for the Rocky, but the Ativa gets its own AC panel that’s digital, but without the auto function. The M1 and M2 buttons you see here are for the AC memory, which works pretty much like seat position memory. You can preset one for cool days and another for full blast AC on hot days, for instance.

    Also unique to the Ativa is the door lock/unlock buttons on the centre console, next to the handbrake. This is an upgrade over the Rocky, which does not have dedicated door lock buttons. The central position of the lock buttons means that all occupants can access them. Speed-sensing auto door lock is a new-to-Perodua feature.

    Malaysians prefer full size spare tyres over tyre repair kits, and Perodua has provided this, with a matching alloy wheel. There’s a cavity for the Rocky’s TRK in the boot wall, and that’s empty here. The Daihatsu features a plastic tailgate, which like on the T32 Nissan X-Trail, reduces weight. The Ativa’s tailgate is in steel. We sort of understand why P2 has opted to do this – simpler, probably cheaper, and there won’t be an impression of low quality/fragileness that plastic would definitely have invited.

    Lastly, the above-mentioned Malaysia-specific suspension, which raises the ground clearance (now 200 mm) and overall height by 15 mm. Perodua says that the Ativa’s suspension tune is firmer than the Rocky’s, which is typically JDM. That by the way means comfort-oriented. Looking at the way and speeds Malaysians drive, plus our road conditions versus Japan’s, our preference for firmer control is logical.

    The Ativa is also longer (+70 mm) and wider (+15 mm) than the sub-4m Rocky. This is due to the more streamlined design of the Perodua’s bumpers, versus the more abrupt chop on the Daihatsu. It’s obvious if you view both cars from the side profile and three quarters – the Ativa’s lines look more natural.

    Lastly, the Ativa’s side mirrors (painted black to match the A-pillars, standard on all) are from the Aruz, and they’re both larger and more stylish than those on the Rocky. The Perodua also gets stabiliser fins on the A-pillars, which have just been added to the JDM car.

    As we pointed out earlier, spec-for-spec, the Ativa is around RM10k cheaper than the equivalent Rocky 2WD in Japan – this is certainly not a regular occurrence, and Perodua did well. In Japan, buyers can opt for things like a 360-degree camera, Auto Parking Assist and auto climate control, but we don’t think that many would need/miss those features.

    Top-class safety, Level 2 autonomous

    Spec wise, it’s all very impressive, even before reaching the safety department. But it’s here that the Ativa shines the brightest. Perodua introducing Advanced Safety Assist (ASA) in the Myvi in 2017 was groundbreaking then, and is still unmatched by Proton and some non-national B-segment cars today. An improved ASA 2.0 made its debut in the Aruz in 2019, and we’re now at ASA 3.0.

    The ASA suite – which includes Pre-collision Warning (PCW), Pre-collision Braking (PCB or AEB), Front Departure Alert (FDA) and Pedal Misoperation Control (PMC) – is standard across the Ativa board. In all other Perodua models, only the top variants get ASA, so this is notable. The system has been improved too – there’s two-wheeled vehicle detection for PCW and PCB now (pedestrian detection added in 2.0), and PCW’s operating range is now 4-120 km/h, up by 20 km/h.

    PCB or AEB can now be used for an unlimited amount of times. Previously, after three auto braking stops, the engine has to be restarted to reboot the system. ASA also works at night now, but only for cars and if their tail lamps are on. Also standard from the base X is Lane Departure Warning and Prevention.

    The Ativa AV goes full Level 2 autonomous with the addition of Lane Keep Control (LKC), Blind Spot Monitor (BSM), Rear Cross Traffic Alert (RCTA) and Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC, works between 30 to 125 km/h, no low-speed follow so it doesn’t work in traffic jams). Yup, a Perodua that “drives itself” (remember, hands on the wheel, driver must be alert at all times) and has “Lexus lights” – they’ve come a long way indeed.

    With all those L2 autonomous features onboard, you’d expect passive safety features to be a given for the Ativa, and you’d be correct. Six airbags (front, side, curtain), ABS, EBD, BA, VSC, Emergency Stop Signal, Hill Hold Assist and Isofix child seat anchors and rear seatbelt reminders (roof-mounted) are all standard from the X. The entry variant has reverse sensors, while the H adds on front sensors and a reverse camera. Go for the AV and they’ll throw in a front dashcam and Llumar security window tint.

    Safety is the Ativa’s trump card and the now-confirmed five stars from ASEAN NCAP seems like a mere formality. Across the local pond, the Proton X50 starts at four airbags and reserves all ADAS features for the RM103k Flagship variant, so this is Perodua hitting the ball out of the park.

    Price and colours

    Even in the colours department, there’s plenty of new. The X and H variants can be had in Glittering Silver, Granite Grey and Cobalt Blue, with the mid-spec H also available in Pearl Diamond White and Pearl Delima Red. The “Special Metallic” pearl colours have a RM500 premium.

    Meanwhile, AV buyers have the choice of Glittering Silver, Granite Grey, Pearl Diamond White and Pearl Delima Red, plus a RM300 two-tone option for the two pearl colours. The two-tone option is essentially just a black roof, as the Ativa’s A-pillars and wing mirrors are already in black for all trims and colours. The two pearl hues and Cobalt Blue are new-to-Perodua colours, by the way.

    To recap, the Perodua Ativa is priced at RM61,500 for the X, RM66,100 for the H and RM71,200 for the AV, all on-the-road excluding insurance, with sales tax exemption. The SUV tops out at RM72,000 for the AV with pearl and two-tone paint options. A five-year/150,000 km warranty is part of the package.

    Click to enlarge spec sheet, price list

    Perodua said last week that 75% of bookings were for the range topper, and most AV buyers went for the black roof. Looking at how much more the AV provides in specs and features for the premium P2 is charging, it makes the most sense. The Rawang-based carmaker says that the target market for the Ativa is the mid to high income individual, someone who’s looking for a replacement (upgraders) or additional car with a non-national badge. Families with more than two kids looking for a primary car would be better served by the firm’s three-row MPVs, or even the Bezza.

    So there you go, the Perodua Ativa. What do you think? Here’s our first impressions of the new SUV. Specs and galleries below.

    2021 Perodua Ativa 1.0T X – RM61,500
    Gets as standard:


    • 1.0 litre 1KR-VET VVT-i DOHC engine
    • 996 cc turbocharged three-cylinder petrol
    • 98 PS at 6,000 rpm, 140 Nm of torque from 2,400 to 4,000 rpm
    • D-CVT with seven virtual ratios
    • Front-wheel drive
    • Automatic engine stop/start
    • 18.9 km per litre fuel consumption
    • Ventilated discs brakes (front), drums (rear)
    • MacPherson strut suspension (front), torsion beam (rear)


    • LED reflector headlights with automatic high beam
    • Silver upper grille bar, chrome lower bar
    • 16-inch silver alloy wheels with Goodyear Assurance Triplemax 2 205/65-section tyres
    • Power-adjustable black door mirrors with manual fold
    • Body-coloured door handles
    • Black A- and B-pillars
    • LED taillights
    • Shark fin antenna
    • Silver tailgate garnish
    • Glittering Silver, Granite Grey and Cobalt Blue colour options


    • Keyless entry
    • Push-button start
    • Urethane steering wheel with Power button
    • Silver centre air vent trim
    • Black door pulls and grab handles
    • Digital air-conditioning controls with memory buttons
    • Centre door lock/unlock buttons
    • Fabric upholstery
    • Analogue instrument cluster with multi-info display
    • Radio with Bluetooth connectivity
    • Four speakers
    • Two front USB ports
    • 60:40 split-folding and reclining rear seats
    • Two-step boot floor (303 to 369 litres)
    • Full-sized spare tyre


    • Six airbags (front, side, front and rear curtain)
    • ABS with EBD and brake assist
    • Stability control
    • Autonomous emergency braking with pedestrian and cyclist detection (now up to 120 km/h)
    • Lane Departure Warning and Protection
    • Pedal Misoperation Control (PMC)
    • Front Departure Alert (FDA)
    • Front and rear seat belt reminders
    • Rear ISOFIX child seat anchors
    • Rear parking sensors
    • Five-star ASEAN NCAP safety rating

    2021 Perodua Ativa 1.0T H – RM66,100
    Adds on:


    • Automatic LED headlights with sequential indicators, cornering lights and Adaptive Driving Beam (ADB)
    • LED front fog lights
    • Dual chrome grille bars
    • Silver front and rear skid plates
    • 17-inch dual-tone alloy wheels with Bridgestone Turanza T005A 205/60-section tyres
    • Automatic power-folding door mirrors
    • Chrome tailgate garnish
    • Pearl Diamond White and Pearl Delima Red colour options (RM500)


    • Leather-wrapped steering wheel
    • Steering wheel audio controls
    • Silver corner air vent trim
    • Silver centre console trim
    • Silver door grab handles with red trim
    • Soft-touch centre armrest and door trim
    • Seven-inch digital instrument display
    • Nine-inch infotainment touchscreen with Smart Link screen mirroring
    • One front HDMI port
    • Two rear USB ports


    • Front parking sensors
    • Reverse camera

    2021 Perodua Ativa 1.0T AV – RM71,200
    Adds on:


    • Chrome door handles
    • Black roof option for Pearl Diamond White and Pearl Delima Red (RM800)


    • Red corner air vent highlights
    • Chrome door pulls
    • Chrome gearlever surround, silver gearknob trim
    • Chrome handbrake button
    • Red centre console storage compartments
    • Faux leather and suede upholstery with red highlights and headrest strip
    • Six speakers
    • Driving video recorder
    • Llumar security window tint


    • Adaptive cruise control
    • Lane centring assist
    • Blind spot monitoring
    • Rear cross traffic alert

    GALLERY: 2021 Perodua Ativa AV

    GALLERY: 2021 Perodua Ativa H

    GALLERY: 2021 Perodua Ativa X

    GALLERY: 2021 Perodua Ativa official images

    GALLERY: 2021 Perodua Ativa brochure

  • March 2021 week two fuel price – all prices unchanged, weekly cycle now revised Thursday to Wednesday

    The ministry of finance has announced the latest fuel price updates for the week of March 4 until March 10, 2021, which is the second week of the month. All fuel prices remain unchanged from the preceding week.

    This means that RON 95 petrol continues to be priced at RM2.05 per litre, while RON 97 petrol remains the same at RM2.35 per litre. The price cap of RM2.05 per litre for the former means that this rate is the highest that users will pay at the pump for this grade of fuel in Malaysia, even if market forces push the open market rate above that price level.

    Similarly, prices for diesel fuels remain unchanged in the coming week, as the Euro 2M grade of diesel stays at RM2.15 per litre. Correspondingly, the Euro 5 grade of diesel holds position with its 10 sen-higher margin at RM2.25 per litre; Euro 2M diesel is also price-capped at RM2.15 and will therefore not get any more expensive, should market prices go beyond this point.

    This prices take effect from midnight tonight until Wednesday, March 10, 2021, when the next set of fuel price revisions will be announced. This is the 10th edition of the weekly fuel pricing format this year, and the 113th in total since the format was introduced at the beginning of 2019.


  • Mercedes-AMG GT73 confirmed ahead of full debut

    The Mercedes-AMG GT 4-Door Coupe range will soon welcome a new plug-in hybrid variant called the GT 73, which has been spotted for spy photographers previously. However, we now have official photos of the upcoming model alongside the One hypercar as well as this year’s W12 F1 racer.

    Visually, the GT 73 looks pretty similar to the current, range-topping GT 63, but there are some notable differences. For instance, the central intake has new ducting, while the outside inlets at the edges of the front bumper sport angular slats instead of horizontal ones.

    More importantly, the badging on the fender reads “V8 Biturbo E Performance” instead of “V8 Biturbo 4Matic.” The E Performance label is an indicator of the company’s use of electrification to provide greater performance, with all three cars you see before you being primary representatives.

    The company isn’t willing to talk numbers just yet, but the GT 73’s expected PHEV powertrain is said to consist of a 4.0 litre twin-turbo V8 petrol engine, an electric motor and a lightweight battery pack. This setup is similar to the GT Concept that arrived way back in 2017, and said show car was rated at 815 PS (805 hp), allowing it to rocket from zero to 100 km/h in less than three seconds.

    By comparison, the most powerful GT 63 S 4Matic+ on sale now only packs 639 PS (630 hp) and 900 Nm, and that is without any form of electrification.

    One line that stood out in the company’s release talks about the electric turbocharger, which is “standing the test in Formula 1 under extreme conditions and will soon be used in AMG production models.” Given that the release talked about closer ties between Mercedes-AMG and the championship-winning Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 Team, the GT 73 should be quite the machine.

  • Authorised Automotive Treatment Facility project to be implemented for sustainable vehicle disposal – JAS

    The department of environment (JAS) will be implementing a pilot project for the sustainable disposal of vehicles called the Authorised Automotive Treatment Facility (AATF), reported Bernama.

    This facility will carry out the dismantling of components, especially those containing scheduled waste, from vehicles which have had their registration revoked by the ministry of transport, said JAS director-general Norlin Jaafar. “The components will be segregated for the purposes of re-use, recycling or re-acquisition and final disposal,” Norlin said in a statement as quoted by the news wire.

    At present, there are around 60,000 vehicles nationwide which have been abandoned in a state of disrepair due to difficulty in acquiring spare parts, and also because the vehicle owners are unaware of the vehicle disposal process, according to the road transport department (JPJ).

    Abandoned vehicles contained scheduled waste such as lead-acid batteries, lithium batteries, electronic components, asbestos from brake pads, used engine oil and cooling fluids, which need to be well managed in order to ensure environmental sustainability.

    There have been 15,019 cases of abandoned vehicles reported to the public complaints bureau between 2014 and 2017, said minister of environment and water Datuk Seri Tuan Ibrahim Tuan Man as reported by Berita Harian. The growth in new vehicle registrations have also contributed to the rise in the number of abandoned vehicles, according to the bureau.

    As of November 2017, there were no fewer than eight million abandoned vehicles across the country in total, the natural resources and environment ministry (NRE) said at the time. In 2018, the government said it was planning to devise a new standard operating procedure for abandoned vehicles to be scrapped within a month of being served notice.

  • 2021 Harley-Davidson Pan America 1250 for Malaysia – pricing from RM99,900 base, RM115,900 for Special

    Recently unveiled to the world, the 2021 Harley-Davidson Pan America 1250 adventure-tourer now has a price for Malaysia, with base model pricing are RM99,000 and the Pan America 1250 Special at RM115,900. Pricing does not include road tax, insurance or registration and will depend on accessories selected.

    The Pan America 1250 is Harley-Davidson’s (H-D) attempt to penetrate a new motorcycle market following falling sales in its traditional domain on large capacity cruisers. The two Pan America models on offer are differentiated by the use of semi-active electronic suspension on the Pan America Special.

    Motive power comes from H-D’s Revolution Max 1250 V-twin, which pumps out 150 hp and 127 Nm of torque from 1,250 cc, with power coming at a peak of 9,500 rpm. The Revolution Max mill follows modern engine design with liquid-cooling, four-valve per cylinder, twin spark plug heads and variable valve timing.

    Gearbox design also moves away from H-D’s traditional design language, with the six-speed gearbox now combined in a single case with the engine, instead of separate engine and gearbox cases. Weight also matches the competition in its class, with the Pan America 125 weighing 242 kg, with the Special tipping the scales at 254 kg and 21.2 litres of fuel is carried onboard.

    Braking uses radial-mount Brembo four-piston mono block callipers grabbing twin floating brake discs. Wheel sizing is with a 19-inch front wheel wearing 120/70 rubber, while the back is fitted with a 17-inch unit, shod with a 170/60 Michelin Scorcher.

    Instrumentation is also fully up-to-date, with a 6.8-inch TFT-LCD full-colour display, including Bluetooth connectivity. LED lighting is used throughout, with the six-element headlight fitted with cornering lights.

    Delivery of the 2021 Harley-Davidson Pan America 1250 – in both base and Special versions – is expected in Malaysia around April or May. Pre-orders are now being taken at Harley-Davidson of Petaling Jaya.

  • Volvo Cars to be fully electric by 2030, no ICE & PHEVs

    Over the past few years, Volvo has shown that it is a company that cares for Mother Nature and its inhabitants. The reason for hard limiting the top speed of its cars to 180 km/h wasn’t because it wanted to prevent people from driving too fast and dying, but rather to start an in-depth dialogue about speeding. Humans aren’t programmed to comprehend speed at a high level, Volvo said.

    Now, following the launch of the Volvo C40 Recharge, the automaker is announcing its pledge to go fully electric by 2030. At the turn of the new decade, the Swedish automaker will only sell EVs and phase out any car in its global portfolio with an internal combustion engine, including hybrids.

    The move is part of its ambitious climate plan to reduce the life cycle carbon footprint per car, that is from a vehicle’s manufacturing phase to the day it’s scrapped. But there’s a bit of a conundrum. In September last year, a study conducted by Polestar found that manufacturing the Polestar 2 created 24 tonnes of CO2e (carbon dioxide equivalents), compared to the 14 tonnes created when manufacturing an XC40 with an ICE.

    This is an irrefutable fact, because the bulk of the CO2 emissions come from producing the battery pack. However, the study also showed that there are breakeven points, and that the initial CO2e deficit can be made up over many years of active use. Read more on that, here.

    The next XC90 will likely still get an ICE, but it will be the last

    Another step that contributes to Volvo’s climate neutral plan is to change the way customers purchase its pure electric cars. From now on, electric Volvos can only be purchased online through its website, where customers can choose specifically the features they want (which will be made to order), or simply purchase a pre-tailored model. This frees up the logistical chain of emissions, and customers get a convenient purchasing experience with transparent pricing.

    Volvo CEO Hakan Samuelsson said: “To remain successful, we need profitable growth. So instead of investing in a shrinking business, we choose to invest in the future – electric and online. We are fully focused on becoming a leader in the fast-growing premium electric segment.”

    Company chief technology officer, Henrik Green added that “there is no long-term future for cars with an internal combustion engine. We are firmly committed to becoming an electric-only car maker and the transition should happen by 2030. It will allow us to meet the expectations of our customers and be a part of the solution when it comes to fighting climate change.”

  • Honda 1 Million Dreams March Special – up to RM7k off Accord, RM15k off Odyssey, chance to win cars

    Last week, Honda Malaysia announced its 1 Million Dreams Campaign, giving Malaysians a chance to drive home one of seven special edition models for free as it counts down to its one millionth vehicle produced locally since its establishment in 2001. That opportunity has now opened up with the 1 Million Dreams March Special, with buyers able to win one of the three cars the company has reserved for itself.

    To sweeten the deal, there are offers for several models during the promotional period, which runs until March 31. The biggest deals are for 2020 units, with the City getting a RM1,000 “appreciation bonus” and a RM1,000 cash rebate for a total saving of RM2,000. The range-topping (for now) 1.5 V variant gets slightly lower rebates of RM500, bringing the total to RM1,000.

    The savings vary by trim level for 2021 models – the 1.5 S and V both get RM500 rebates for a RM1,000 overall discount, while the mid-range 1.5 E gets a RM1,500 bonus and a RM500 rebate for a total of RM2,000 off. Moving up the range, all Civic models get RM1,000 rebates (RM2,000 total) for 2020 units and RM500 rebates (RM1,000 total) for 2021 cars.

    For the Accord, only the top 1.5 TC-P trim is available for the 2020 model year, offered with a RM6,000 bonus and a RM1,000 rebate; add those up and you’re looking at a saving of RM7,000. The 2021 TC and TC-P variants get a RM2,000 bonus and a RM500 rebate for a RM2,500 discount.

    Click to enlarge

    Moving on, the 2020 CR-V receives a RM1,500 bonus and a RM1,000 rebate for a total of RM2,500 off, while the 2020 Jazz gets a RM3,500 bonus and a RM1,000 rebate for a RM4,500 discount overall. The 2020 HR-V and BR-V are next up with a RM2,000 bonus and a RM1,000 rebate for a total saving of RM3,000.

    All four of these models get a RM1,000 bonus and a RM500 rebate for 2021 units, with a total of RM1,500 off. The 2020 Odyssey rounds off the list with the biggest saving of them all, receiving a RM14,000 bonus and a RM1,000 rebate for an overall discount of RM15,000.

    Booking and registering a new Honda gives you the best opportunity to win one of Honda Malaysia’s three special edition models, with three and four entries respectively. The entries increase fivefold to 15 and 20 respectively for users of the HondaTouch app. You can also gain entries by downloading the app and signing up, playing the 1 Million Dreams Quiz game on the official website, test driving a Honda and servicing your Honda at authorised dealers. Those entries can be submitted via either the dealers or the website.

    Beyond that, Honda has also partnered up with Cuckoo, Shopee and Watsons to offer their customers a chance to win one of the special edition models. Customers who purchase selected Beyond Standard Cuckoo products or the new A-Series mattress will be in the running to get a City, while those who play the Shopee Lucky Prize game on the Shopee app will stand a chance to win a HR-V.

    Watsons members who spend a minimum of RM50 in a single receipt will also be entered to win a BR-V. Frontliners who participate will also have a specially-allocated unit for them to win, as recognition of their efforts during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. There are also one million Shopee coins to be given out to 150 weekly winners, plus prizes worth five million Shopee coins to be won.

    The one-off models are specially designed with unique exterior and interior touches. On the outside, they are all dressed in white with a black roof, accented with red highlights on the front fascia, gloss black door mirrors and black wheels. Inside, the cars will feature a “1 Million Dreams” embossed leather front headrests as well as leather steering wheel with red stitching and 12 o’clock marker; they will also come with a special edition leather key pouch.

    Honda Malaysia will announce the lucky winners of the 1 Million Edition cars at a grand finale event in late March. For more information on the 1 Million Dreams Campaign, customers can log on to the official website or visit any of the 102 Honda authorised dealerships nationwide. You can also call Honda Malaysia’s toll-free number at 1-800-88-2020.

    GALLERY: Honda 1 Million Edition models

  • Ford Ranger Raptor X Special Edition – unique True Red exterior and additional equipment, RM216,888

    Sime Darby Auto ConneXion (SDAC) has introduced the Ford Ranger Raptor X Special Edition, which comes dressed in a unique True Red exterior finish. Aside from the distinct colour, the variant – which is a Malaysian exclusive – comes fitted with a Raptor X lightning bolt decal on the rear sides.

    Inside, a special edition carpet mat identifies the variant, but there are also other bits unique to it compared to the standard Raptor. It comes with a 360-degree camera, which provides real-time, full coverage of the area surrounding the vehicle, as well as a dual-channel Kenwood digital video recorder (DVR).

    The unit comes with a built-in polarised filter and offers a range of functions, including quad high-definition (HD) recording, wide-angle viewing and night view recording. Via a mobile app, the camera can be connected to a mobile phone for viewing recorded videos.

    No mechanical changes to the 2.0 litre biturbo diesel four-cylinder engine, and so that continues to offer 213 PS and 500 Nm of torque, paired with a 10-speed Getrag 10R80 automatic gearbox.

    The 2020 update for the variant, which arrived here in April last year, introduced new features such as autonomous emergency braking (AEB) with pedestrian detection and lane keeping assist, LED headlights with new square projectors, front parking sensors, a front passenger seat belt reminder as well as a USB port near the rear-view mirror.

    The Ranger Raptor X is priced at RM216,888 (on-the-road, without insurance), and now comes with a five-year/160,000-km manufacturer’s warranty, which was introduced for the entire Ranger line-up in February. This makes the special edition RM6,000 more than the standard Raptor, which had its price increased to RM210,888 for the 2021 model year.

  • Kia K8 interior leaked ahead of official debut in Korea

    Last month, Kia revealed the first official photos of the all-new K8 sedan, which replaces the previous K7/Cadenza that has been around for a number of years. While the bold exterior styling was proudly shown at the time, the Korean carmaker chose not to provide any interior shots.

    However, we now have our first look at the K8’s cabin thanks to images of an early development unit going around Korea, which were posted by Car Secrets on Instagram. Right off the bat, the K8 is a lot more modern than the model it replaces, with a massive widescreen unit sitting on top of a minimalist dashboard.

    Both the digital instrument cluster and infotainment touchscreen are integrated into this unit, and it appears drivers will have to use the latter to access most vehicle functions, as there are few buttons located on the dash.

    The centre stack appears to house the engine start/stop button, along with two knobs, while the centre console has a raised section for the rotary gear selector (like on Genesis cars) and controls for other driving-related functions. Other notable parts of the cabin include a three-spoke steering wheel, which has quite a large centre boss with the latest Kia logo on it, along with generous use of wood trim.

    The K8 is set to go on sale in Korea later this year and will likely be offered with a range of Smartstream engines. The only technical specifications we have so far is the vehicle’s overall length, which measures 5,015 mm, making it 19 mm longer than the K7/Cadenza.

  • Hyundai Bayon B-segment SUV for Europe – 1.0 litre mild-hybrid T-GDI petrol, SmartSense safety suite

    After some teasing, the Hyundai Bayon has made its debut in the European market with an engine line-up that mirrors that of the Hyundai i20 N Line; a 1.0 litre T-GDI direct-injection with 48-volt mild-hybrid assistance in 120 PS and 100 PS states of tune, the same engine without the mild-hybrid electrification and a naturally aspirated 1.2 litre MPi petrol engine producing 84 PS.

    The range-topping mild-hybrid petrol unit can be paired with either the automaker’s six-speed intelligent manual transmission (iMT) or a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic, while the purely internal combustion 1.0 litre T-GDI engine can be paired with either a conventional six-speed manual or seven-speed dual-clutch automatic. The NA 1.2 litre MPi engine comes paired with a five-speed manual.

    Like its fellow B-segment SUV stablemate, the Kona, the Bayon for Europe has two tiers of front-end lighting, where the daytime running lights bookend a slim horizontal intake on top while the three-part main lights just below are of an angular shape, somewhat mirroring the lines of i20 N Line front bumper. Exterior lighting is by LEDs throughout.

    The rear end of the Bayon exterior continues the arrow-like motif in the tail lamp elements, with similarly angular lines where the C-pillar meets the roof. In now-commonplace SUV style, the Bayon gets black plastic cladding along the lower sections of the body, from the front bumper, through the side sills and wheel arches, to the lower section of the rear bumper. At both ends, the skid plate-style trim is finished in matte silver.

    In terms of rolling stock, the Bayon gets alloy wheels in diameters of 16 or 17 inches, or a a set of 15-inch steel wheels. The Hyundai Bayon measures 4,180 mm long with a 2,580 mm wheelbase, 1,775 mm wide and 1,490 mm tall, or 10 mm taller when specified with the 17-inch wheels. The largest available wheels also yield a ground clearance of 183 mm, which is more than offered by most in the SUV B-segment, says Hyundai.

    Inside, the Bayon offers 411 litres of luggage capacity, while occupants get 1,072 mm of leg room in front and 882 mm of leg room at the back. The driver gets a 10.25-inch digital instrument panel while infotainment comes courtesy of either a 10.25-inch AVN screen or an eight-inch Display Audio unit, the latter offering wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity. A full black cloth interior is standard, with optional combinations of dark grey and Safari Grey, or dark grey with Safari Green stitching and inserts.

    Hardware connectivity is offered via two USB ports for the front row and one for the back row, with one of the USB ports in the front offering data transfer to enable the connecting of phones to the car’s infotainment system. A wireless charging pad is available for compatible devices, too.

    The Bayon also gets Hyundai Bluelink, the automaker’s suite of connected car services that includes Connected Routing and a new User Profile feature. Also new in the latest generation of Bluelink is calendar integration, which enables the driver to mirror their Google or Apple calendar in the infotainment unit.

    The Bayon’s navigation system can also import an address from a scheduled appointment if one is listed, says Hyundai. Also included as part of Bluelink are live parking availability information, online voice recognition, a Find My Car function, remote locking, unlocking and viewing of vehicle status through the Bluelink app, security as well as maintenance notifications.

    Hyundai claims a best-in-class safety package for the Bayon with the inclusion of the Hyundai SmartSense active safety suite. Here, the new B-segment SUV gets Lane Following Assist for keeping the vehicle centred in its lane, Forward Collision Avoidance Assist that alerts the driver to hazards (including car, pedestrian and cyclist detection) and if necessary, applies the brakes to avoid collision.

    Also included as part of the SmartSense suite is Junction Turning, which can apply the brakes to avoid collision with oncoming vehicles when turning across the centre line at an intersection. Meanwhile, navigation-based smart cruise control draws data from the car’s onboard navigation system to adjust speed autonomously when driving on a highway.

    The pack also includes Driver Attention Warning, Leading Vehicle Departure Alert, Rear Occupant Alert Parking Collision-Avoidance Assist-Reverse, Rear Cross-Traffic Collision-Avoidance Assist as well as Parking Assist for semi-autonomous parking.

    The Hyundai Bayon comes in a palette of nine exterior colours, which includes Aurora Grey Pearl and Phantom Black Pearl, while a two-tone scheme is available with Mangrove Green Pearl (pictured), Polar White, Sleek Silver Metallic, Elemental Brass Metallic, Dragon Red Pearl, Aqua Turquoise Metallic and Intense Blue Pearl when paired with a contrasting Phantom Black roof paint finish.


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Last Updated 27 Feb 2021