Latest Stories

  • Restoran Jejantas Sungai Buloh open again after three days HIDE-enforced closure, sanitisation done – PLUS

    It wasn’t just the big malls that were forced to close for three days, the Sungai Buloh overhead bridge restaurant on the North South Highway – better known as Restoran Jejantas Sungai Buloh – was also on the Hotspots Identification for Dynamic Engagement (HIDE) list, and had to stop operations.

    Like other HIDE-listed locations, the Restoran Jejantas is open for business again today, which means that the final buka puasa of this Ramadan at the location is possible. In your vehicle, because there’s no dine-in now.

    PLUS says that sanitisation and cleaning of the premise has been done. “PLUS will co-operate with the authorities to ensure that premises on our highways will no longer be listed on HIDE. The safety and comfort of our customers and business partners at R&Rs are our priority,” the highway concessionaire said, reminding customers to follow the SOPs.

    By the way, if you somehow missed it, the movement control order (MCO) is back today, nationwide. We’ve done this before and the usual MCO rules apply, but what’s new is the three to a vehicle rule. From today, only three people can be in a vehicle (private, taxi and e-hailing), including the driver.

    No change for commercial vehicles and public transport, but if you’re taking trains and buses, remember to bring along the necessary approval documents for interstate and inter-district travel as the cops are checking.

  • AD: Celebrate Raya with Bentley – get service promos and accessory packs for the Bentayga, Continental GT

    Hari Raya is just around the corner now. Festive wardrobe refreshed, home spruced up for the celebrations, what’s next? Don’t forget your faithful set of wheels. Bentley Kuala Lumpur is offering festive promotions that include unique enhancement packs for the Bentayga and Continental GT, as well as limited-edition merchandise from the Bentley Collection.

    While long distance travel may not be happening this year due to the pandemic, it’s still important to keep your ride in tip-top condition, and Bentley Kuala Lumpur is offering complimentary vehicle health checks and 79-point inspections for every car booked in for maintenance or repairs.

    Bentley Bentayga owners have the option to further personalise their luxury SUV with the Comfort and Comfort Plus packs, while Continental GT owners can opt for the Sports and Sports Plus packs. All the enhancement packs come with a special 15% discount.

    The Bentley Bentayga is already a supreme balance of power and craftsmanship, and the Comfort Pack piles on more luxurious and practical refinements, including a versatile Load Assist Tray, footrests and discreet Welcome Lamps, among other things.

    Designed to optimise the boot space of the Bentayga, the Load Assist Tray is integrated into the boot runners with the ability to slide out easily for convenient access to stored items. Crafted from light, strong aluminium with a 300 kg load capacity, the tray also comes with a protective heavy-duty insert. It looks good and works just as well.

    The Comfort Pack also includes mudflaps designed by the Bentley Styling Team at Crewe. Made from durable TPE and secured to the Bentayga’s body, they protect the car’s paintwork and help to maintain its exterior condition.

    An increasingly popular option among owners is Welcome Lamps. Available as a set of four, the lamps are discreetly located and work independently to illuminate the ground when the doors open. Each lamp projects the iconic Bentley wings logo. The logo also appears on the Bentley Jewelled Fuel Cap. Originally designed for a customer who specified the complete personal touch, the gleaming fuel cap is a distinctive and luxurious little touch.

    As for interior appointments, the footrests from the Comfort Pack are upholstered in sumptuous deep pile carpet, providing comfortable support to tired feet. Deep Pile Floor Mats also offer a luxurious alternative footwell appointment. Made from high-quality woven pile, these floor mats have an opulent, durable finish and are a stylish way to protect the footwell carpets.

    Another unique item that’s part of the Comfort Pack is the Jewelled Torch sporting Bentley’s hallmark knurling on its collar and an etched ‘B’ on its lens. A stylish way to improve passenger safety and convenience outside the car, the torch is charged by the car accessory socket and stows neatly in the glovebox.

    Upgrade to the Comfort Plus pack and you’ll also get Fixed Sill Steps and Carbon Fibre Door Mirror Caps. Engineered to withstand a variety of terrain, the Fixed Sill Steps offer a practical way to enter and exit the Bentayga in style. Permanently secured to the car’s side and designed to follow the bodywork’s contours, the steps are finished with black carbon fibre inserts and Bentley wings branding.

    Matching the sill steps are the Carbon Fibre Door Mirror Caps. Handcrafted from a specially commissioned, lightweight, high-gloss black carbon fibre, the CF mirror caps add a sporty touch to the SUV’s exterior.

    Moving on, the Sports Pack for the Continental GT complements the grand tourer with sporting and luxurious refinements. The Styling Specification is offered as part of the Sports Pack, a feature that enhances the Continental GT’s design and aerodynamics. The spec consists of a front splitter, rear diffuser, boot-lip spoiler and side sills with the Bentley wings. Each component features a unique weave pattern, mirror-matched like the internal veneer of the car.

    Also included are the Sports Accelerator and Brake Pedals with tough rubber diamond-patterned studs for increased grip, and a prominent Bentley ‘B’ on the centre of the brake pedal. Welcome Lamps and a Jewelled Fuel Cap – similar to that found in the Bentayga Comfort Pack – are also part of the package.

    For the ultimate sporty expression, the Sports Plus pack includes Blackline Specification, which replaces the Continental GT’s body brightwork with high-gloss black painted trim. You’ll find the black pieces on the lower trim, door handles, headlamp surrounds, rear lamp surrounds, tailpipe, number plate surrounds and side window surrounds. No chrome, all black.

    Blackline Specification is matched with the Black Painted Door Mirror Cowl, which replaces body colour-matched cowls with black items on the wing mirrors.

    While we can’t cross state borders this Raya, make sure your Bentley is in tip-top condition for when a road trip opportunity presents itself. Bentley Kuala Lumpur is offering a complimentary vehicle health check and 79-point inspection worth RM1,500 for every car booked in for maintenance or repairs.

    On top of that, a 30% limited-time discount is also being offered on the Wheel Alignment and Balancing package. No better time than now to service your Bentley and maintain its peak performance.

    That’s a long list of festive offers from Bentley Kuala Lumpur, all of which are available up till end of June 2021. For more information on the accessory packs for the Bentayga and Continental GT, as well to book an appointment for servicing, click here.

    GALLERY: Bentley Continental GT Sports/Sports Plus Pack

    GALLERY: Bentley Bentayga Comfort/Comfort Plus Pack

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  • Mitsubishi revives the Ralliart brand – custom-made accessories and re-entry into motorsports confirmed

    Mitsubishi fans will certainly remember Ralliart, which is the brand’s in-house motorsport and tuning division. From around the 1990s right on through to the 2000s, Ralliart has been heavily involved in the world of rallying, with a string of Lancer Evolutions being the most notable cars to wear the name. During its heyday, Ralliart secured 12 Paris-Dakar Rally titles and helped Tommi Makinen secure four driver’s titles in the World Rally Championship.

    Sadly, monetary woes back then forced Mitsubishi to scale down operations of its Ralliart division, with the company announcing in March 2010 that it will stop supporting its customer racing programmes and cease production of Ralliart-branded products.

    After an 11-year hiatus, Ralliart is back! This was confirmed during Mitsubishi’s FY2020 earnings announcement, where the company wants to bring back what it describes as “Mitsubishi-ness driving.”

    “For customers who wish to experience our Mitsubishi-ness, we will launch custom-made accessories for our model lineup as well as re-entering motorsport events around the world,” said Mitsubishi CEO Takao Kato in a report by Forbes.

    Further details about division’s return are scarce for now, but the presentation slides suggest the Triton will be one of the models that will get the Ralliart treatment. A string of new Mitsubishi models could also go through the same process, with electrification likely being involved. Welcome back, The Spirit of Competition.

  • Yamaha Malaysia recalls Yamaha Tracer 900 GT

    A recall notice has been issued to all Yamaha Tracer 900 GT motorcycles in Malaysia by official distributor Hong Leong Yamaha Motor. The recall is to replace the Front Stop Switch Kit for all Tracer 900 GT models with frame numbers PMYRN6110K0000101 to 0000620 and PMYRN6110L0000621 to 0000900.

    This recall is a precautionary measure and owners can continue to ride their Tracer 900GT in accordance to the instructions stated in the owner’s manual. The recall will be conducted by region throughout Malaysia in stages with owners notified individually beginning end of May, 2021.

    Upon receipt of the notice, Tracer 900 GT owners should contact Yamaha Malaysia authorised dealers or any Hong Leong Yamaha Motor branch to make a service appointment for replacement of the Front Stop Switch Kit. For more details, Tracer 900 GT owners can refer to Hong Leong Yamaha Motor’s website or use the Yamaha Motor Malaysia app.

  • Geely sold 100k cars in April, cumulative sales up 39%

    Geely Automobile Holding Limited has announced that it sold 100,331 units in April 2021, including sales of Lynk & Co cars.

    While this is around 5% lower compared to the same month in 2020, it’s about the same level as March 2021. Of the 100k April total, 3,787 units were new energy and electrified vehicles. The group’s export volume was up by approximately 96% year-on-year to 8,578 units last month. Sales in Geely’s home market of China was 91,753 units, down by around 9% year-on-year.

    However, cumulative sales for the first four months of 2021 was 433,907 units, an increase of approximately 39% from the same period last year. This is equivalent to 28% of the group’s full year 2021 sales target of 1.53 million units.

    Geely Auto Group’s SUV range is its top category; with 58,897 units sold in April, SUVs beat sedans, but with 41,115 units sold, the traditional three-box shape still has a substantial market in China. They only sold 319 MPVs, though. Lynk & Co contributed 19,021 units to the total, which is up by around 87% year-on-year.

    The Hangzhou-based carmaker recently launched the Koi and Blazing Love variants of its futuristically-styled Icon SUV. Geely also gave its flagship SUV, the Xingyue L, a debut at the Auto Shanghai show last month.

    GALLERY: Geely Xingyue L

  • 2021 BMW Motorrad R18 gets Option 719 accessories

    A design throwback to the 1930s, the retro-style 2021 BMW Motorrad R18 and the R18 Classic now gets a range of customisation option from the “Option 719” catalogue. Option 719, in BMW Motorrad nomenclature from some years ago, stands for special requests and unique mods to its vehicles and today is used to denote a special range of premiumquiality accessories and dress up parts.

    For the R18 and R18 Classic, the Option 719 Design Package Aero includes the left and right cylinder head covers, front cover and intake snorkel cover on the left and right. Constructed out of aluminium with a brushed, anodised clear surface, the cylinder heads feature air vents, a design touch taken from the Streamliner motorcycles of the 1920s and 30s.

    The Option 719 Aero package is topped off with a solid copper badge on the front and side covers, chrome-plated and accented in white. The white paint is a nod to the enamel badges found on motorcycle tank emblems from back in the day.

    As an option to the standard seat, the Option 719 seat comes with the standard seat height but features seat heating. The seat top is made from two different shades of black material, finished with diamond-shaped quilted embossing and complemented with embroidered BMW logo and the 719 symbol.

    Also available is the Option 719 Paint, which clads the R18 or R18 Classic in a Galaxy Dust metallic/Titanium Silver 2 metallic paint scheme. The Galaxy Dust metallic shimmer finish changes colour from Galaxy Dust metallic/Titanium Silver 2 metallic depending on viewing angle and position of light striking the surface.

    The Option 719 tank is covered in Titanium Silver with the transition between the Galaxy Dust and Titanium Silver being a smoke fade effect similar to the paint transition used in BMW R90 bikes of the 1980s. Being hand-painted, the entire tank is clear coated and polished to a mirror shine, accentuated by hand=painted double white pin stripes.

    Rounding out the range of Option 719 items for the R18 and R18 Classic are the Aero and Icon wheels finished in matte silver and matte black, respectively. These six-spoke wheels are made from cast alloy and feature milled strakes on the spokes, something BMW Motorrad calls “Contrast Cut.”

    The R18 is powered by an air-/oil-cooled boxer engine displacing 1,802 cc and rated at 91 hp at 4,750 rpm with 158 Nm of torque at 3,000 rpm, BMW Motorrad’s largest ever boxer engine. In Malaysia, the BMW Motorrad R18 First Edition retails at RM149,500 while the R18 Classic First Edition goes for RM154,500, with pricing on-the-road without insurance.

  • Mercedes-Benz will keep combustion engines around while they are still viable – ready for full EV switch

    It’s pretty clear that Mercedes-Benz is heavily committed to electric vehicles, as seen with its growing range of EQ models that currently includes the EQA, EQB, EQC, EQS and EQV. However, the company will still continue to produce vehicles with combustion engines as long as they are commercially viable, revealed Ola Källenius, CEO of Daimler, during the Financial Times’ annual Future of the Car Summit.

    While the combustion engine still has a place in the Mercedes-Benz’s future (for now), Källenius said that the company will be ready to completely switch to EVs when it makes sense. “On the journey to zero-emission, we will come to a point where the scaling changes, where electric drive becomes our dominant drive, and eventually you actually lose the scale on combustion,” he said.

    “It is good, then, that from an asset point of view, the cash investment lies in the past. You can, in an economical way, use those assets as long as the market carries it and it makes sense,” he added. As reported by Autocar, this could see the German automaker further develop its existing power units to comply with new Euro 7 regulations with electrification in mind, rather than investing on its own to create a new range of petrol and diesel engines.

    Unlike other brands, Mercedes-Benz has not chosen a specific time to go fully electric, although it does plan to have over 45 electrified models by 2030. “That is why we have not artificially picked a point [for a full transition to electrification], but when a new technology takes over, you come to a point on that S-curve where the exponential growth becomes so fast that it happens on its own,” Källenius explained.

    “When that point comes, we will be ready, and we will not hesitate for nostalgic reasons to switch over to the new technology 100%,” he continued.

    The company has already agreed to partner with Geely on the development and production of combustion engines, as part of a partnership between both parties, Mercedes-Benz’s smart brand is also involved in the partnership, with products planned for global markets.

    “With Geely, we have a very good partnership. The projects we do have a clear rationale: win-win. If both sides can win on an economical, timing and technical basis, we go for it,” said Källenius “The scaling effect of doing that together was smarter than doing it alone, especially in a decade of transformation when some of the volume gets shifted over to electrification only,” he added.

  • Volkswagen’s high-voltage electric car battery detailed

    Volkswagen’s modular electric drive architecture, or MEB for short, is a platform that was unveiled back in September 2018. It will be shared group-wide across all brands under the Volkswagen Group, but the company is also in talks to supply MEB to rival automakers.

    Since then, a range of new MEB-based electric cars have been introduced, starting with the ID.3 hatch, ID.4, the soon-to-be-unveiled ID.5 SUV Coupe and ID.Buzz, as well as the Audi Q4 e-tron and Q4 Sportback e-tron. To roll out that many new EVs in such a short period means they share largely the same underpinnings, from the number of electric motors and their output, as well as fixed battery sizes.

    Since the unveiling of the ID.3, Volkswagen has made it clear that customers can choose from three battery sizes, starting with the base 45 kWh that provides up to 352 km of range (WLTP cycle), or 58 kWh with up to 426 km of range, or the range-topping 77 kWh pack with a maximum range of 549 km. But the truth of the matter is, the battery system has a scalable design, so the kilowatt-hour ratings can vary depending on the vehicle model.

    The battery system is made up of aluminium profiles, and each compartment holds a battery module comprising 24 cells, encased with a flexible outer shell. For example, the 45 kWh battery contains seven modules, the 52 kWh unit has eight, and the 58 kWh battery nine modules. These are all spread out in 10 compartments in each case.

    The largest 77 kWh battery is made up of 12 modules, taking up all 12 compartments. It measures 182 cm long, while the smallest battery measures 142 cm length-wise. Both versions have identical width profile of 145 cm and a height of 14 cm, which simplifies the vehicle design process because these dimensions are more or less fixed.

    These battery packs weigh between 320 kg and 500 kg, so they are often mounted skateboard-style, meaning they occupy the bulk of the space between the two drive axles for the best weight distribution. They will all be mounted at the lowest point of the car (lower centre of gravity means better stability and driving dynamics), and bolted onto the body for extra rigidity.

    A strong frame shrouds the battery compartment from damage in the event of a crash, and closed off by an aluminium cover. There is also a cooling plate and another aluminium sheath positioned under the battery cell compartment.

    What if you do end up in an accident? Well, there is another fail-safe function to ensure that the battery won’t catch fire. The main control unit and the connection box (with fuses) are mounted at the rear of the battery system. They will instantly de-energise the vehicle in the event of a serious accident. There are other sensors in the battery management controller to monitor cell voltage and temperature.

    The battery supports both AC (Type 2 interface) and DC fast-charging (CCS connection) as standard. A home wallbox provides a maximum charging rate of 11 kW, while the charge rate for DC charging is dependent on the size of the battery pack. For instance, the 45 kWh battery pack can be charged at up to 50 kW; the 58 kWh battery can take up to 100 kW, and the largest 77 kWh battery pack is capable of up to 125 kWh. At full tilt, a 30-minute charge yields 320 km of range (WLTP).

    Production of the battery systems takes place at the Volkswagen Group Components plant in Braunschweig, where they were also developed. The plant can produce up to 500,000 MEB batteries a year, an area equal to nine football fields. Other sites that produce the battery systems are Foshan and Anting (China), but new ones in Chattanooga (USA) and Mlada Boleslav (Czech Republic) will supplement the chain.

    Since VW is aiming to be a carbon-neutral company, its European supplier manufactures the battery cells using renewable energy. And like many other leading electric vehicle manufacturers, Volkswagen is developing solid-state battery together with QuantunScape. In addition, preparations are underway for Volkswagen to start its own battery cell production in Salzgitter.

    Many people discredit the benefits of electric vehicles because the batteries are brushed off as being completely unrecyclable. That isn’t true. As a matter of fact, Volkswagen said the battery can be repurposed under second-life schemes as energy storage units for quick-charging stations.

    Otherwise, used batteries can even be recycled and used as a source of raw materials. A pilot plant for the recovery of valuable battery components has already been put into operation at the Volkswagen Group Components site in Salzgitter. By the way, Volkswagen guarantees a minimum battery capacity of 70% for eight years or 160,000 km.

  • 2021 Honda Dio now in the Philippines, RM4,297

    For the budget conscious commuter, the 2021 Honda Dio scooter is now in the Phillipines, priced at 49,900 pesos (RM4,297). Very popular with riders in our ASEAN neighbour, it would be unlikely the Dio will come to Malaysia, the the budget market equivalent would be the 2021 Honda Beat scooter, priced at RM5,555.

    The Dio is powered by a 109 cc, single-cylinder, air-cooled, SOHC engine, fed by carburettor and puts outs a claimed 7.89 hp at 7,500 rpm and 8.91 nm of torque at 5,000 rpm. Equipped with both electric and kick starter, the Dio gets power to the ground with an automatic transmission and belt final drive.

    As the Dio is targeted to the budget conscious end of the market, the fitted equipment list reflects this. Aside from the carburetted mill, the Dio comes with mechanical drum brakes front and rear, stopping 10-inch wheels.

    Not lacking in conveniences for the rider, the Dio has a 14.4-litre storage compartment under the seat, a parcel hook under the handlebars as well as under the seat. The wide seat ensures pillion comfort along with the wide floorboard, while the fuel tank contains 5.3-litres of fuel.

    Overall, the Dio weighs in at 104 kg and gets 58.3 km per litre of fuel, running at a speed of 40 km/h. There are three colour options available for the Honda Dio in the Philippines – orange, red and blue.

  • Gordon Murray Automotive T.50 to go into production in 2022 – another supercar due, then a hybrid in 2026

    Gordon Murray Automotive has announced that its T.50 supercar, which was unveiled last August, is expected to go into production next year. The company said that prototype testing of the supercar, of which only 100 units will be made and are already sold out, has begun.

    It also revealed that it has plans to launch one more fossil-fuel supercar after the T.50, followed by a hybrid model around 2026. The focus will then shift on to electrification, with a fully-electric supercar expected sometime in 2029 or 2030, Reuters reports.

    It won’t be the only electric solution to come from the company, which is helmed by legendary race car designer Gordon Murray. It is aiming to develop electric SUVs and delivery vehicles for interested clients. “Electric is what we’ve been missing and that’s where the future is,” Murray told the news agency.

    He described the supercar as a brand-building product at the upper end of his business, “while at the customer-facing end, we’ll focus on lightweighting and electric cars.” He said that the company has been working on an EV architecture that will provide the means for a lightweight SUV and a delivery van, which it aims to sell to traditional manufacturers or start-ups.

    “We’re hoping to pick up a customer or two along the way. And it doesn’t have to be a carmaker, it can be a post office, or a company like Amazon,” Murray said. It is in the process of developing a small test fleet of these vehicles to international standards.

    Separately, Murray told Autocar that the platform will be “a highly flexible EV skateboard designed to form the basis of a B-segment vehicle.” At under four metres long, he said the design would yield “a practical small car rather than a tiny city car” unlike the T.25 that he designed a decade ago.

    The group also announced plans to expand its manufacturing and design divisions over the next five years with a £300 million (RM1.74 billion) investment.

    GALLERY: Gordon Murray Automotive T.50


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Last Updated 06 May 2021