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  • Govt to clear RM494 million AES summons backlog before starting second phase end-2015


    The government is set to start the second phase of Automated Enforcement System (AES) traffic monitoring, but before that can happen, it will resolve the small matter of 1.65 million pending court cases involving RM494 million in unpaid traffic summonses from the pilot stage, The Sun reports.

    Deputy Transport Minister Datuk Aziz Kaprawi said his ministry and the Attorney-General’s Chambers (AGC) are formulating the best mechanism to resolve the outstanding cases, which were temporarily suspended on Dec 18, 2012 at the direction of the AGC for “technical” reasons.

    “In view of the concerns made by certain quarters on the law and other technicalities, the AGC has decided to look into this matter and directed that all proceedings are to be withheld until the concerns have been addressed. A decision will be made within the next few days on the above-mentioned issues,” the AGC said then, adding however that AES summonses were still valid.

    The ambiguity meant that although the 14 AES cameras continued to capture red light running and speeding offences, it was dismissed by many as a “toothless tiger” due to the above-mentioned AGC freeze. Of the 1.91 million AES summonses issued from September 2012 to April 30 this year, only 264,750 compounds amounting to RM76,647,750 have been paid.

    PJ Traffic Jam

    “The AGC is analysing all the clauses to fine tune and solve this outstanding matter before the government implements the second phase. The AGC wants to ensure that all legal matters are in place,” Aziz added.

    In the meantime, the rollout of the second phase of AES is on track, with locations proposed for the 350 cameras being finalised. The emphasis will be on capturing traffic light violations.

    Based on 2013 stats, there were 205 accidents at traffic light intersections and pedestrian crossings which resulted in 76 deaths and 129 injuries. Based on the latest Malaysian Institute of Road Safety Research (MIROS) studies, AES cameras at traffic light junctions have reduced the light jumping rate by at four locations in KL and Perak. Full story here.

    “Now that the AES operation is fully under a government-linked company and no longer operated by the private firms, we want to beef up the enforcement because (the number of) road crashes and fatalities continue to rise. Red light running and speeding had contributed to 30% of fatal accidents in the past. The government wants to reduce the number of fatalities and deter the people from going against the rules,” the minister explained.

    “We have to take control. We want to make the roads safer for all road users. Effective enforcement is one way to reduce lost of lives on the road and the authorities are serious about reducing fatalities in line with the government’s Road Safety Plan towards 2020,” he added.

  • Sultan Iskandar Highway (Lebuhraya Mahameru) closed due to road cracks, sedimentary soil deposition


    The emergence of cracks as well as deposition of sedimentary soil along the left lane of the Sultan Iskandar Highway (formerly Lebuhraya Mahameru), in particular the portion of road just after the Jalan Damansara-Jalan Parliament turn-off, has caused the closure of said route as of 8 pm yesterday.

    Che Shaari Abdullah of the Wangsa Maju Fire and Rescue department, told Bernama that the cracks first surfaced at around 2 pm yesterday due to road repair works. “The affected section of the road about 3 metres by 4.6 metres, was a risk to road users with the road sinking and worsening cracks because of the rain this afternoon.”

    “We created a detour from Parliament to enter into the city centre for vehicles heading south,” he said. Currently, the said portion of the highway remains closed to the public as works to rectify the situation are still ongoing. “The road will reopen when it is no longer a danger to road users,” added Che.

  • VW top in China; strong growth from domestic brands


    A report from Automotive World detailed the sales performance of the top 20 automotive brands in China, sourced from LMC Automotive, in the first quarter of 2015. It shows that while foreign marques still ruled the roost in the Middle Kingdom, the domestic brands are catching up dramatically, with two in the top 10.

    At the top of the list sits Volkswagen, even though sales have actually gone down from last year – it sold 230,417 units in March (down 8%) and 784,352 units in the first quarter of this year (down 1%). It is also the only brand to register a market share of over 10%, at 14.7%.

    The real story is Changan, which slots just under Wolfsburg in the standings – sales shot up 34% in March over the previous year to 97,752 units, while first quarter sales soared by a staggering 58% to 303,934 units. The phenomenal sales increase has made Changan the fastest growing brand in China, with a market share that has risen from 3.6% at the end of last year to 5.7%.

    Changan Raeton

    Elsewhere, perennial Chinese favourite Buick snags fourth place behind Hyundai with a market share of 4.3%, sales staying level in March at 103,785 units and down 4% in the first quarter at 229,015 units. In sixth place is Toyota, which is facing a difficult period – sales have slid by 11% in March this year to 78,566 cars, while first quarter sales fell by 9% to 206,188 units; as a result, market share stands at 3.9%.

    Slotting behind the Japanese juggernaut is Wuling, the GM-SAIC joint-venture brand. The second of the Chinese brands in the top 10, it muscles past Chevrolet with a market share of 3.7%, with March 2015 sales increasing 11% to 70,652 units; first quarter sales, however, have dropped by 6% to 196,742 units. Honda and Kia round up the top 10 with each having a 3.2% market share, and both registering double-digit growth in March (an impressive 20% in the case of Honda).

    If you thought Toyota was having a bad time, Nissan fared worse – sales fell 12% in March to 65,576 units, while first quarter sales are 13% lower this year at 165,225 units. Market share has been reduced from 4.4% to just 3.1%, pushing Nissan off its previous fifth place and sending it plunging a whole six spots, the biggest drop of all the brands here.

    shanghai-2015-weird-wonderful 1405

    Haval, meanwhile, is sure to be laughing all the way to the bank – Great Wall’s SUV brand registered a 94% increase in sales in March to 59,394 units and a 99% jump in the first quarter to 162,271 units; with a 3% market share, it sits in 12th place, five places higher than in 2014.

    But by far the craziest numbers come from 17th-place BAIC (you may remember it as the Chinese brand looking to build EVs in Malaysia from July next year). How crazy? How about a 310% (!) increase in sales in March 2015 to 49,298 units, or a 199% increase in the first quarter compared to the same period in 2014, at 119,630 units? A 2.2% market share vaults it over BMW, Peugeot and Chery in the standings.

    Overall, sales of passenger cars (which accounts for 82.5% of light vehicle sales) in China totalled 1,867,311 units in March, an increase of 12% over 2014, while first quarter sales went up 11% to 5,330,694 units.

  • SPIED: Ferrari F12 M goes testing – more than 750 hp?

    Spy-Shots of Cars

    It’s hard to believe that the Ferrari F12berlinetta has been with us for close to three years now. Revealed in 2012 at the Geneva Motor Show, the F12 superseded the Ferrari 599 GTB Fiorano as Maranello’s leading front-engined GT. The V12 flagship is still, bar the limited edition LaFerrari, the most powerful production Ferrari in the range and is set to remain so with prototypes of a refreshed version already on the prowl.

    As is the case with its ancestor, the Ferrari 550 Maranello (and subsequent 575M Maranello), the updated F12 is expected to be christened the Ferrari F12 M – the letter ‘M’ representing the term modificato. As far as aesthetic modifications go however, the F12 M will likely feature very subtle changes.

    From the spyshots provided, we can deduce that the front end of the F12 M will be a carbon copy of the outgoing version while the rear is set to feature the brunt of the changes. Speculations include the adopting of a restyled rear bumper design along with reworked rear quarter panels.

    Spy-Shots of Cars

    Should Ferrari decide to keep its changes linear across the range, the F12 M will most definitely receive updated taillight designs as per the changes seen on the Ferrari 488 GTB. Should that come true, the F12 M will likely debut with a revised front bumper and slightly restyled headlamps, as well.

    The F12 M is expected to be equipped with an uprated version of its already-potent, naturally-aspirated 6.2 litre V12 engine. Currently, the mill puts out a total of 730 hp and 690 Nm of torque. With those figures on hand, there’s very little chance Ferrari would unleash the F12 M with anything less than 750 hp – a figure that match up with the ones quoted by the Lamborghini Aventador LP 750-4 Superveloce.

    For purveyors of natural-aspiration, there is a sliver of good news as the rejuvenated F12 M will likely arrive sans turbo. Ferrari will most likely employ turbocharging and hybrid technology to its mass-produced V12 battleships only on its next wave of models. With testing already gaining momentum, pegging a 2016 Geneva Motor Show debut for the Ferrari F12 M wouldn’t seem like such a far-fetched idea, after all.

    GALLERY: Ferrari F12berlinetta launched in Malaysia

  • Mitsuoka Himiko Roadster launching in UK this month


    This is the Mitsuoka Roadster, and it will be making its European debut as it goes on sale in the UK this month. We first saw the retro-styled roadster as the Mitsuoka Himiko back in 2010.

    Billed as a true modern day classic sports car, the Roadster features a British sporting design of elegant flowing lines, combining timeless styling with advanced levels of modern technology, safety and comfort, Mitsuoka claims.

    The Roadster is powered by a Mazda-sourced 2.0 litre MZR engine with 160 PS and 188 Nm. The proven four-pot unit can be paired to either a six-speed manual or six-speed automatic transmission with steering shift paddles. The manual gets Bilstein dampers. Power goes to the rear wheels, just like the previous-gen Mazda MX-5 that donated its underpinnings.

    Yes, the Mitsuoka Roadster has been seriously stretched; its 4,575 mm length is more than half a metre longer than the third-gen MX-5 NC.

    The last-gen Mazda MX-5-based Roadster last appeared as the Himiko in 2010, a 20-unit special

    The Roadster features what Mitsuoka says is the world’s fastest power-retractable hard top, which opens and closes in 12 seconds with just the flick of a switch. Heated leather seats, auto air con, ABS with EBD, DSC and four airbags are standard.

    The Mitsuoka Roadster is priced at £53,800 (RM302,972) OTR, with metallic or pearlescent paint available for £620 extra. What can you buy for that money? A Porsche Cayman S starts from £48,783 in the UK – more accomplished, yes, but also a lot more common.

    “We share in the philosophy and passion of Susumu Mitsuoka and genuinely believe that the Mitsuoka Roadster can make a real impression on those that want exclusive luxury – albeit at a very competitive price,” said Jen White of UK/Ireland exclusive distributor T W White & Sons.

    Founded in 1968 by Susumu Mitsuoka, Mitsuoka Motor Company hand builds small volumes of cars in Toyama City, Japan. Their cars are typically based on mass market Japanese hatchbacks and saloons (or in this case a sports car), but wear curvy retro sheet metal inspired by the good old days. Mitsuoka is also known for a monster called the Orochi, which is as scary as it sounds.

  • 2015 Honda Civic Type R detailed for the Euro market

    Civic Type R Pan-European launch

    It’s been some time since we heard anything surrounding the 2015 Honda Civic Type R – and it appears the Japanese carmaker is well aware of this. As a result, Honda has decided to release more details regarding its hot hatch prior to it going on sale in Europe this July.

    Launched at the 2015 Geneva Motor Show in March, the Civic Type R has been billed as a “race car for the road”, which may sound like marketing jargon except for the fact that a pre-production mule has lapped the Nurburgring circuit in under eight minutes – 7:50.63, to be precise.

    The five-doored hatch will definitely look the part of the road-going racer as well with most, if not all, of its exterior design cues prioritising aerodynamic efficiency over outright aesthetic values. Up front, a large front bumper, replete with a mesh-type layout, helps to draw as much air as possible into the intercooler. Underneath, an almost-flat underbody and a rear diffuser help to generate additional downforce.

    Also, the massive rear wing employed has been extensively tested at the Suzuka circuit, the Nürburgring Nordschleife and at the Takasu test facility, ensuring optimal amounts of downforce is present whilst maintaining a level of drag that does not hinder the car’s performance at high speed. The Civic Type R also boasts widened wheel arches to accommodate the increased track width, both front and rear.

    Fashioned out of aluminium, the extensions are touted to shave weight by up to 42% should steel be employed instead. Vents surrounding the aforementioned widened front wheel arches serve as a ventilation outlet to aid cooling purposes – the same function is provided by both the large upper and lower front grilles. Said layout allows for the intake of cool air similar to that of a 4,000 square-mm grille, Honda says.

    In profile, 19-inch alloy wheels, shod with specially-developed 235/35 Continental tyres, mask 350 mm front brake discs, themselves clamped down by four-piston front calipers. Lighting the road (or track) ahead gets taken of by the inclusion of LED combination headlamps with the LED DRLs – the latter features the longest lighting element ever produced by Honda. The tail lights feature the same LED combination setup.

    Civic Type R Pan-European launch

    Powering the 2015 Honda Civic Type R is an all-new 2.0 litre turbocharged VTEC engine with 310 PS at 6,500 rpm and 400 Nm from 2,500 to 4,500 rpm. Power goes to the front wheels via a six-speed manual transmission with 0-100 km/h taking only 5.7 seconds while top speed is quoted at 269 km/h. A limited slip differential is available as standard.

    Inside, the Civic Type R features a driver-oriented cabin, suitably trimmed in a combination of black and red accents. The aggressive front bucket seats feature a black suede-like fabric material and contrasting red stitching while a flat-bottom steering wheel features thinner spokes and a red centre marker for improved drivability. In true Type R fashion, the shifter is made from machined aluminium alloy.

    The intelligent Multi Information Display (i-MID) system in the instrument cluster feeds additional information to the driver by providing data on current G-forces and brake pressure along with accelerator angle. Additionally, boost pressure, water and oil temperature as well as lap and acceleration times are projected. Also included is a rev indicator above the tachometer and a display for the selected gear.

    Last but not least is the introduction of the ‘+R‘ mode. Depressing said button, which lies to the side of the instrument binnacle, sharpens the car’s chassis and powertrain setup. Catered for track excursions, +R mode kills the Idle Stop system, remaps itself to provide more torque lower down, cuts assistance on its electric power steering, stiffens the adaptive dampers by 30% and loosens the Vehicle Stability Assist system.

    As standard, the 2015 Honda Civic Type R is equipped with Honda’s Connect infotainment system, automatic air-conditioning and City-Brake Active system – the latter is active up to speeds of 31 km/h. Opting for the GT Pack includes a raft of aesthetic upgrades, driver conveniences and, more importantly, added safety features.

    Under Honda’s Advanced Driver Assist Systems umbrella, the list includes Forward Collision Warning, Lane Departure Warning, Blind Spot Information, High Beam Support System, Cross Traffic Monitor, Traffic Sign Recognition and Intelligent Speed Limiter.

    GALLERY: 2015 Honda Civic Type R in Geneva

  • Honda opens East Malaysia centralised distribution centres in Kota Kinabalu and Kuching

    02 Models posing with the All-New HR-V

    Honda Malaysia (HM) today announced the successful establishment of its East Malaysia centralised distribution centres in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah and Kuching, Sarawak. This marks the first step in HM’s expansion plan into East Malaysia as announced in April.

    The new logistic hubs are expected to smoothen operations for both Honda dealers and HM. The vehicle delivery period to East Malaysian dealers is expected to be reduced from the current nine days to three days. The quality of vehicles delivered will be better maintained – a welcome improvement to reduce issues of damage and minor scratches from transportation, and longer hours of exposure to the sun awaiting delivery.

    HM’s logistics hubs will be operated and managed by established shipping and logistics management company, Giga Shipping Sdn Bhd. Pre-delivery inspection (PDI) management undertaken by Giga Shipping will include standard key management system, washing bays for vehicles to be cleaned before delivery to dealers, security system to prevent theft, parking lot management system, stock monitoring, a kaizen system to ensure that vehicles remain in good condition while in storage, and a thorough inspection facility.

    honda-malaysia-2015-sales-dealers-plans 1070

    Last year, Honda saw an increase in market share in both Sabah (2% to 3%) and Sarawak (3% to 5%). The East Malaysian market contributed 5.6% to HM’s overall 2014 sales, which grew 50% year-on-year to propel Honda to the top of the non-national sales chart.

    Between January and April 2015, EM sales stood at 1,617 units, a 45% increase from the same period last year. Seeing the potential and increasing demand for its cars, HM made the strategic decision to embark on an expansion plan to support and strengthen its operations, and aims to increase total sales in East Malaysia to over 600 units a month by 2016.

    The company is also in the process of setting up a regional office, training facilities and a parts warehouse in East Malaysia, besides planning four new 2S dealers by March 2016 and improvong the services of ten existing 3S dealers.

  • KL MRT: More road closures along Persiaran Surian

    mrt surian pelangi

    Yet more traffic diversion updates on the ongoing construction of the KL Mass Rapid Transit system – MMC-Gamuda has announced there will be three medium-term night road closures along Persiaran Surian in the vicinity of Pelangi Square and The Club@BU from June 3 to July 3, between 12 am to 6 am on these days.

    The traffic management is to facilitate the dismantling of the overhead pedestrian bridge, the installation of noise barrier frames and the carrying out of parapet painting and related works on the Mutiara Damansara Station. They closures will be carried out on an intermittent basis, and will not be conducted simultaneously.

    The first is a full-bound closure in front of Pelangi Astana (Kota Damansara-bound), which takes place from June 3 to June 17. Motorists will be diverted to use the inner road within the parking area of Pelangi Astana, as indicated by purple arrows on the map.

    mrt pelangi

    The second is a full-bound closure in front of Pelangi Square (LDP Highway-bound), also on the same days. Again, motorists will be diverted to use the inner road within the parking area of Pelangi Square, as shown by the green arrows on the map.

    The third closure involves a 500 metre stretch in front of The Club@BU to the traffic light junction at Jalan PJU 3/31 along Persiaran Surian (as indicated in the second map), from June 3 to July 3.

    Motorists from LDP Highway (Kota Damansara-bound) wanting to turn into PJU 3/31 Will be diverted on to the temporary contra-flow lane to turn into Jalan PJU 3/22 next to the Shell station, where they will be able to use Jalan PJU 3/27 then straight to Jalan PJU 3/29 to access Palm Spring Condo and the Sunway Damansara Technology Park. This is indicated by the purple arrows on the map.

    mrt surian june2015

    Motorists from Jalan PJU 3/31 wanting to turn right towards Kota Damansara Will need to turn left and drive one kilometre to make a u-turn at Mutiara Damansara above the Surian Underpass to head back towards Kota Damansara (indicated by the green arrows) or they can use Jalan PJU 3/29 to access Jalan PJU 3/22 to exit back to Persiaran Surian (indicated by the blue arrows).

    With the dismantling of the overhead bridge, a pedestrian crossing will be provided in the same area for the public to access Pelangi Astana and Pelangi Square.

  • PSA Peugeot Citroen’s DS brand to focus more on sedans and SUVs, promises all-new lineup by 2020


    As Autocar UK understands, PSA Peugeot Citroen‘s premium DS brand will be attempting to move further upmarket in the near future by turning most, if not all, of its attention towards sedans and SUVs. Speaking to the publication of the recent ‘DS Week’ exhibition, DS global sales and marketing boss, Arnaud Ribault, said that “…in the B, C and D-segments, the DS brand will concentrate on SUVs and sedans.”

    “These are the most important segments for us. We will also have an SUV model in Europe in the future,” he added, in reference to a Euro-oriented counterpart to the China-only DS 6. Said model will only be offered with a petrol engine, coupled to an automatic transmission. “For European sales, we would also need diesel engines,” added Ribault.

    The shift towards a sedan- and SUV-focussed lineup has been hailed as one of the brand’s key moves to establish itself as a standalone marque under the PSA umbrella. As such, the DS brand will be revamping its current lineup to feature six, all-new models by the year 2020 – including China-only models.

    In the future, all DS models will drop the Citroen badge with the recently-facelifted Citroen DS5 receiving the first round of said updates – the model will now be referred to as the DS 5 (pictured above). In China, the marque offers three models, the DS 5, DS 5LS sedan (below) and DS 6 crossover while European markets get the DS3, DS4 and the aforementioned DS 5.


    As the Chinese-destine 5LS and 6 are built on ageing platforms, said models will most definitely be the first ones to go under the chopping block when the DS brand starts revamping its entire model lineup – including the European range. Expect the Citroen DS3 hatch to be axed and replaced by a compact SUV, then.

    Reports are also indicating that up to four new models in the six-strong new lineup would be sedans – leaving the DS3 and refreshed DS 5 to be substituted by SUVs. As expected, not all six will be on sale in Europe as some will be destined for China and China only – a (possible) bespoke model further reinforces the importance of the Chinese market.

    In terms of technical specifications, however, not much can has been revealed as of now but Ribault has commented that future DS models will be tuned for “dynamic hyper-comfort” – a setup the brand describes as a “subtle balance between dynamic handling and extreme comfort.”

    China-only Citroen DS 6WR (left) and 2015 DS3.

    Separately, DS car development chief, Eric Apode, told Top Gear UK that future DS models will be first in line to receive cutting-edge technology – even ahead of Peugeot and Citroen. Tech bits will include the adoption of “plug-in hybrids, driver assistance systems and eventually near-autonomous driving, and market-leading connectivity,” Apode said.

    Additionally, future large DS models are expected to be equipped with a mechanical 4WD system. In a tech-led nod to the past, the new DS models will also feature “advanced suspensions using electronics and cameras. We will be at the forefront of comfort,” added Apode.

    Furthermore, DS models will also aim to possess class-leading economy and CO2 figures – a fact made concrete by Apode when he said that “…we never had a V8 or W12 and that’s the territory of the Germans – they’re the best, and we won’t go there. We’ll look for power, but not 500bhp, not even 400.”

    GALLERY: 2015 DS 5

    GALLERY: 2015 DS3

  • Toyota WOW Road Tour in Penang, Kota Kinabalu this weekend – thrill rides, great prizes, irresistible deals!

    Toyota_WOW_Road_Tour_Bkt_Jalil_ 037

    Last weekend saw 40 lucky Toyota WOW Road Tour visitors walk away with RM500 worth of prizes after participating in the WOW Thrill Rides – nothing could better complement an adrenaline rush than the prospect of winning something, right?

    Missed the first Bukit Jalil gig? Don’t fret, for the Toyota WOW Road Tour will be in Penang and Kota Kinabalu this weekend! Expert drivers will give you a taste of a Hilux over a challenging obstacle course, stunt driving in a Vios, and last but certainly not least, drifting in a rear-wheel drive Toyota 86!

    Take part in your choice of WOW Thrill Rides and you could win one of the 20 shopping vouchers worth RM500 given out daily – all while experiencing Toyota in ways you won’t get to in a regular showroom. Of course, the newest models will be on display, too.

    Toyota_WOW_Road_Tour_Bkt_Jalil_ 044

    Irresistible deals are to be had – until June 21, buyers of the Vios 1.5 TRD Sportivo or 1.5 G AT will get a DVD infotainment system with GPS navigation and reverse camera thrown in for free, while buyers of the Vios 1.5 E AT and 1.5 J AT/MT will receive Toyota Premium Solar and Security Tint. Vios buyers this month will also enjoy up to RM6,000 cash rebates.

    Meanwhile, the Hilux Double Cab will be offered with even more free accessories, including a DVD infotainment system with GPS navigation and reverse camera, sports bar, hood protector, red body stripe and B-pillar carbon fibre print. The accessories package is worth RM5,200. Hilux Double Cab 2.5 G, 3.0 G and TRD buyers will also enjoy up to RM6,000 cash rebates.

    And that’s not all – for a limited time, the flagship Alphard is offered with an up to RM39,000 cash rebate. The Corolla Altis and Avanza can be had with attractive deals too, while anyone who buys a Toyota at the Toyota WOW Road Tour will take home a RM500 e-service voucher and also stand a chance to win a Vios 1.5 J AT.

    Toyota_WOW_Road_Tour_Bkt_Jalil_ 023

    The Toyota WOW Road Tour will be in Juru Auto City, Penang (Sat 11 am – 11 pm, Sun 11 am – 10 pm) and Likas Sports Complex, Kota Kinabalu (10 am – 7 pm) this weekend, June 6-7. It’ll then move on to Kuantan East Coast Mall and Sutera Mall Johor Bahru (June 13-14) before winding up in Batu Kawah New Township (MJC), Kuching (June 20-21).

    Until July 26, you can also visit indoor road shows at major shopping malls nationwide, details and locations of which can be found at Note that the 86 drift demo will not be conducted in East Malaysia, while the Vios drift demo will not be conducted in Kuantan.

    Toyota WOW Road Tour Bukit Jalil, May 30-31


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