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  • 2022 Range Rover teased, leaked before Oct 26 debut

    Believe it or not, the fourth-generation Range Rover has been around since 2012, with continuous updates helping to keep the premium SUV fresh and relevant. However, the time has come for the current model to be retired, as Land Rover has begun teasing the next-generation Range Rover that will make its debut on October 26 this year.

    The blurry image provided makes spotting details a tall order, but you can clearly make it out to be a Range Rover, which isn’t difficult considering the SUV has kept to its iconic profile for over 50 years now. There’s also a close-up of the model’s grille, showing a different inlay design compared to the honeycomb-like look of the current model.

    While the teaser images don’t tell us a lot, shortly after the announcement, images of the model from an unreleased issue of France’s 4×4 Magainze were leaked by cochespias on Instagram. These seemingly confirm the evolutionary approach that Land Rover with styling the new Range Rover.

    At the front, we see the new grille design that has the same inlay teased, along with a thicker frame. The headlamps are also sleeker and continue to sport smaller sections that are linked by daytime running lights, while the lower intake is now one big, full-width rectangular piece.

    Along the sides, the Range Rover follows in the footsteps of the Velar and Evoque by adopting flush door handles, while the front doors have a more subtle take on the vertical strakes of the outgoing model. The character line that runs from the front all the way to the rear has also been raised closer to the window line, ending at a trim piece rather than the taillights.

    On that mention, the most significant changes happen at the rear, with the large taillight clusters being omitted entirely. Instead, there are vertical light bars that are bridged by a trim piece running across the more vertical tailgate, with the Range Rover script in the middle. The simplification also extends to the rear lower apron, although there are now two shark fin antennas instead of just one.

    One of the images also show us the revamped interior, which has a somewhat familiar dashboard layout as the current model. Changes here include a new steering wheel design, a larger touchscreen infotainment system, a gear lever instead of a rotary selector, and the secondary touchscreen appears to have been removed in favour of normal HVAC buttons and dials.

    While there’s not much official information on what’s going on underneath the new body, Autocar reports the upcoming Range Rover will be underpinned by a new platform that is said to accommodate regular internal combustion, plug-in hybrid and even fully-electric powertrains. That last one will make the new Range Rover the brand’s first electric vehicle, although we’ll need to wait to see what Land Rover has planned.

    GALLERY: 2022 Range Rover leaked images

  • Bankrupt SsangYong to be sold to Korean EV startup Edison Motors – ‘we will overtake Tesla’ is the motto

    It looks like financially troubled SsangYong Motor has finally found itself a new owner. A South Korean consortium led by local EV startup Edison Motors has been recommended as the preferred bidder to acquire SsangYong, the company said on Wednesday, citing a statement released from the Seoul Bankruptcy Court.

    SsangYong and court-appointed accounting firm EY Hanyoung plan to submit an official document for the selection of Edison Motors within this week, and the bankruptcy court is widely expected to approve the proposal, Yonhap reported. The other known bidders were EV firm Electrical Life Business and Technology (EL B&T) and Los Angeles-based EV maker INDI EV.

    The next steps will see SsangYong and EY Hanyoung sign an MoU with the Edison consortium for the deal by the end of this month. In November, Edison will conduct a two-week due diligence on SsangYong and then sign a deal to acquire the SUV-specialist, the statement added.

    Edison Motors has said that it will set up a special purpose company to raise 800 billion to 1 trillion won (RM2.8 to RM3.5 billion) to acquire SsangYong. Currently an electric bus and truck maker, the company – which has a “We will overtake Tesla” motto and dreams of being an “Apple of the EV industry” – said it aims to transform SsangYong to an EV-focused carmaker. The turnaround is expected to happen in three to five years.

    The very confident company, led by chairman Kang Young-kwon, has plans for a “Smart S” flagship passenger car EV that it vows will be superior to the Tesla Model S. Three motors, 644 hp (480 kW), 0-100 km/h in less than 2.5 seconds and 800 km of range from a single charge are the targets for this “Super Class EV”. Also in the plans are a smaller Tesla Model 3 rival called the “Smart E” and an SUV called the “Smart X”.

    It all sounds impressive, but they’ve got to develop and build the cars. Perhaps that’s where SsangYong’s assets and capacity come in.

    If you’re wondering how the maker of the Rexton and Stavic got here, China’s SAIC Motor acquired a 51% stake in SsangYong in 2004 but relinquished control of it in 2009 in the wake of the 2008-09 global financial crisis. Two years later, the Korean carmaker fell into Indian hands, when Mahindra acquired a majority stake. They are the current owners of SsangYong with 74.65% holdings, but with sales falling, Mahindra has vowed to no longer inject funds into SsangYong.

    Current models include the once-popular-in-Malaysia Rexton, Korando and Tivoli SUVs.


  • 2022 Proton Iriz vs Persona facelifts – new Malaysian hatchback and sedan get compared side by side

    Proton launched the facelifted Iriz and Persona in August this year, and we’re now bringing you a side-by-side gallery of both in their range-topping guises. In the case of the Iriz, it is the Active which is priced at RM54,800, while the Persona is represented in Premium specification that goes for RM55,800 – these are on-the-road prices without insurance and factor in the ongoing 100% sales tax exemption for locally-assembled (CKD) cars.

    Prior to the latest facelift, the Iriz had its own front fascia where a full-width chrome strip plunges downwards to cradle the Proton emblem. This is different from the Persona of the time that has its chrome strip running down the inner edges of the headlamps and across the base of the grille, which also comes with a different inlay compared to the hatchback.

    With the latest models, both now carry a nearly identical front-end that features Proton’s Infinite Weave grille with the latest round badge. There is still a slight difference though, as the Persona has a chrome grille frame, while the Iriz has a black upper and red lower similar to the X50.

    2022 Proton Iriz Active (left), Persona Premium (right)

    Lower down, the bumper has also been redesigned, with a broader lower grille and slimmer corner air intakes that house the LED daytime running light strips. As for the rear, it’s largely the same as per the previous facelift, but the bumper strip is now red instead of chrome on the Iriz – the Persona keeps the chrome.

    The Active variant is exclusive to the hatchback and comes with SUV-style cues for a more rugged vibe. These include black plastic cladding, silver skid plates on the bumpers, silver roof rails, a black roof and side skirts, while the lower intake at the front is treated to a silver surround and a honeycomb mesh.

    As mentioned in our initial launch post, wheel sizes have gone up an inch across the board, so the two cars you see here are wearing 16-inch alloys, with those on the Iriz being unique to the Active with their two-tone, multi-spoke design.

    2022 Proton Iriz Active (left), Persona Premium (right)

    Moving inside, it’s again a case of similar but not identical, as both sport a revamped dashboard with a freestanding touchscreen measuring eight inches. The infotainment system in the range toppers come with the Geely Key User Interface (GKUI) and an eSIM for online navigation, music streaming, WiFi connectivity and the “Hi Proton” voice control system.

    The placement of the screen forces the centre air vents, previously on either side of the head unit, downwards, sandwiching the hazard light and door lock buttons in the middle. Further down, there’s the manual air-conditioning controls and three USB ports instead of just one, with another being added near the rear-view mirror to make it easier to fit a dash cam.

    Elsewhere, there’s a new centre console with a cleaner, one-piece design and houses the gear lever, three cupholders as well as switches for the front parking sensors, stability control and a new Eco drive mode. Joining this revision is a much-clamoured armrest, two more USB ports at the back of the console and a redesigned steering wheel airbag boss.

    2022 Proton Iriz Active (left), Persona Premium (right)

    Like the front-ends of both models, the furnishings differ between the two, with the Iriz getting black, part-leather seats (with “Active” embroidered on the headrests), red seat belts, alloy pedals and red accents for some trim pieces. By comparison, the Persona goes for the classy look, receiving brown leatherette upholstery, normal black seat belts and silver trim instead.

    The Iriz and Persona variants pictured here are powered by a 1.6 litre naturally-aspirated four-cylinder VVT petrol engine that delivers 109 PS at 5,750 rpm and 150 Nm of torque at 4,000 rpm. The mill drives the front wheels via a Punch CVT, which is the only transmission available – the previous five-speed manual has been dropped.

    While the 1.6 litre engine is the only engine fitted across the Persona range, the base Iriz variant – the Standard – can be had with a 1.3 litre VVT unit that makes 95 PS at 5,750 rpm and 120 Nm, also paired with a CVT.

    GALLERY: 2022 Proton Iriz Active

    GALLERY: 2022 Proton Persona Premium

  • Australian state approves RM9.3k EV purchase rebate; commits RM530m on chargers, RM102m on govt fleet

    The New South Wales state parliament in Australia has passed an electric vehicle incentives package, at a cost of AUD$490 million (RM1.52 billion) to the 2021-2022 New South Wales state budget that was announced in June, reports Car Expert.

    Car buyers in the Australian state who have registered for new electric cars priced below AUD$78,000 (RM243,181) after September 1 may apply for a refund on stamp duty, while those who are purchasing EVs priced below AUD$68,750 (RM214,340) are eligible for a AUD$3,000 (RM9,353) rebate, and 25,000 of these rebate grants are being made available. Applications will open November 1, said the report.

    Additionally, eligible electric vehicles in the Australian state will also be permitted to use Transit T2 and T3 lanes from November 1 this year until at least October 31, 2022.

    New South Wales will also spend AUD$171 million (RM532.6 million) on charging infrastructure. This is comprised of AUD$131 million (RM408 million) on ultra-fast chargers to be delivered by the private sector, AUD$20 million (RM62.3 million) in grants for destinations chargers in aid of regional tourism, and AUD$20 million (RM62.3 million) for public transport hubs.

    On top of those, a further AUD$33 million (RM102.8 million) has been earmarked to help the New South Wales state government transition its fleet of passenger vehicles to EVs “where feasible,” with the aim of making its fleet a fully electric one by 2030. The state government’s vehicles are typically sold after three to five years of use, stimulating the used car market, notes Car Expert.

    While New South Wales has committed to a road user charge – as neighbouring Victoria state has done – that will cost NSW EV users 2.5 cents (7.8 Malaysian sen) per km in place of a fuel excise placed on internal combustion vehicles, NSW has committed to defer the EV user charge to 2027, or at any point prior when EVs have reached 30% market share.

    “This is a comprehensive suite of measures which ensures we have the right mix in place to boost the take-up of electric vehicles and give people access to the latest technology. The strategy also starts us down the road of long-term tax reform as we embark on phasing out stamp duty on EVs and making sure everyone who drives on our roads contributes to their funding and maintenance, NSW premier Dominic Perrottet said.

    The Electric Vehicle Council market report found that 7,248 EVs were sold in Australia between January and June 2021, in addition to 1,440 PHEVs. The combined 8,688 sales in that time accounted for 1.57% market share, up from 0.78% in 2020. More EVs were sold in the first half of 2021 than in the full year of 2020 in Australia, it said.

  • Mercedes-Benz signs long-term lease for new regional after-sales logistics centre in Johor, to open in 2024

    Mercedes-Benz has announced that it is finalising the planning for a regional after-sales logistics centre in Malaysia. The carmaker has signed a long-term lease agreement for the location, which is in Senai Airport City in Johor. Operations is expected to start in early 2024.

    For the development of the new building, the German premium carmaker has found a partner in Tiong Nam Logistics Solutions, which will be the lead for developing the approximately 1,000,000 sq.ft location, as well as the owner of the new warehouse. A newly established company – Mercedes Benz Parts Logistics Asia Pacific (Malaysia), a 100% subsidiary of Mercedes-Benz AG – will operate the facility.

    “With our planned after-sales logistics centre, Mercedes-Benz is committed and will invest to strengthen our foothold in Malaysia. We have found excellent conditions and great support in cooperation with MIDA and the related ministries. Located strategically in Johor Bahru, this new centre will enable us to reaffirm our position as a global and regional distribution hub whilst creating new jobs for the region,” said Thomas Schulz, VP of global service and parts operations.

    “Both our customers and our dealer networks will enjoy a good service and high-quality standards through this new infrastructure,” he added.

    The new distribution centre will be a part of Daimler AG’s global after-sales supply chain network and will serve as a distribution site for spare parts in the Asia Pacific region and other countries. It will handle the importation, storage and regional management of spare part and accessories.

  • 2022 Perodua Myvi facelift – new D51A to get D-CVT instead of 4AT, plus the Ativa’s ASA 3.0 active safety

    The Myvi GT concept from KLIMS 2018.

    The third-generation Perodua Myvi turns four years old next month, and as such a facelift for the D20N is considered well due. Speculation has been that the refresh would be introduced this year, and based on recent information, that’s going to be very soon, with word on the ground being that the car is set to be officially revealed next month.

    Details about the D51A facelift remain sparse, but recent communication from the company to its dealer network reveals that there is a major change to the car, in the form of a new transmission – the current E-AT four-speed automatic is being dropped, replaced by a CVT, with this being across the entire model range.

    According to documents sighted by this publication, the Myvi FL line-up will continue to be made up of four variants – a 1.3 G and three 1.5 litre variants, the X, H and range-topping AV, but all the descriptions list CVT as the partnering transmission.

    Initial rumours had already ventured a CVT as the replacement, but supposedly only for the 1.5 litre range, so it’s now confirmed that the 1.3 litre model is also going that same route. It also looks like the five-speed manual for the car is no more. Meanwhile, while not stated, the new transmission in question should be the dual-mode D-CVT as seen on the Ativa.

    There should be no changes to the current powertrains, which are a 1NR-VE 1.3 litre offering 94 hp at 6,000 rpm and 121 Nm of torque at 4,000 rpm, and a 2NR-VE 1.5 litre, which puts out 102 hp at 6,000 rpm and 136 Nm of torque at 4,200 rpm. Exterior revisions are of course to be expected, but obviously not styled in the same vein as the Myvi GT concept as seen in the images here.

    Another significant change is the confirmed introduction of new safety features, based on “Ativa technology,” which means that the Advanced Safety Assist (ASA) 2.0 will transition to ASA 3.0 on the facelift. As it is on the current car, the ASA 3.0 suite – which includes Pre-collision Warning (PCW), Pre-collision Braking (PCB or AEB), Front Departure Alert (FDA) and Pedal Misoperation Control (PMC) – should make its way on to the H and AV variants on the facelift.

    Finally, a new colour will be introduced to the line-up, but it’s available only for the 1.5 AV – a new Cranberry Red shade replaces the existing Lava Red (which is still available for the rest of the range). The other colours in the Myvi palette are Ivory White, Glittering Silver, Granite Grey and Electric Blue.

    The switch to a CVT is also expected to see a price increase for the car – the communication suggests “there is a possibility of (a) price increase,” and word on the grapevine expects the change to be in the tune of a few thousand Ringgit, but we’ll know for sure when the car is revealed. Dealerships have already been asked to order demo units of the Myvi FL, so not long to go. What do you think of the change to a CVT for the car? Share your thoughts in the comments section.

  • 2022 Hyundai Creta facelift teased in sketches ahead of first debut and start of production in Indonesia

    Hyundai has released sketches of the second-generation Creta facelift, which will make its first debut in Indonesia, likely during next month’s Gaikindo Indonesia International Auto Show (GIIAS). PT Hyundai Motors Indonesia (HMID) also confirmed that the B-segment SUV will go on sale in the country as the brand’s first locally-assembled SUV.

    Assembly will take place at a newly established plant operated by PT Hyundai Motor Manufacturing Indonesia (HMMI), which is located in Cikarang, Bekasi Regency of the Indonesia’s West Java Province. Both HMID and HMMI are wholly owned subsidiaries of the Hyundai Motor Company, replacing the previous, locally-owned PT Hyundai Mobil Indonesia and PT Hyundai Indonesia Motor.

    The current Creta was revealed in 2019 in China and has since gone on sale in other markets like India, Russia, Brazil and Mexico. The SUV was never offered in Indonesia, but this will change with the facelifted model, which gets some notable styling changes.

    As part of the mid-cycle update, the Creta takes inspiration from the latest Tucson, adopting the brand’s signature parametric grille with integrated daytime running lights, flanked by rectangular headlamps.

    Based on the sketches, the SUV appears to retain the prominent creases of the pre-facelift model, which are seen above the wheel arches and across the doors. Similarly, the rear looks similar to the mildly updated version of the Creta sold in Russia, with a tweaked boomerang taillight configuration that forgoes the plastic trim linking the clusters.

    On the inside, the general dashboard layout appears to be untouched, with Hyundai highlighting things like 3D-patterned speaker grilles, a silver bezel that wraps around the gear knob, vertical air vents at the corners, a flat-bottomed steering wheel and an eight-inch touchscreen infotainment system.

    India-market Hyundai Creta (left), Russia-market (left)

    Powertrain details will be provided later on, but as a reference, the pre-facelift Creta sold in India is offered with a Smartstream 1.5 litre NA four-cylinder engine (115 PS and 144 Nm) that is paired with either a six-speed manual or Hyundai’s Intelligent Variable Transmission (IVT).

    There’s also a Kappa 1.4 litre turbocharged four-cylinder with 140 PS and 242 Nm, which gets a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission instead. On the diesel front, the India-market Creta gets a 1.5 litre U II CRDi turbodiesel with 115 PS and 250 Nm, mated to a six-speed manual or automatic.

    Other available engines for the Creta in other markets include a Kappa II 1.0 litre turbocharged three-cylinder petrol, a Gamma 1.6 litre four-cylinder, a Nu 2.0 litre four-cylinder and a Smartstream 2.0 litre four-cylinder.

  • Round 2 of the 2021 Toyota Gazoo Racing Festival, Vios Challenge race happens at Sepang this weekend!

    The 2021 Toyota Gazoo Racing Festival and Vios Challenge is back for Round 2, which will be held over this weekend (October 23-24) at the Sepang International Circuit.

    The racing is back after a seven month hiatus due to the Covid lockdowns. Round 1 was held in March after a year’s sabbatical due to the pandemic, and it was closed to live fans for the first time since the TGR Fest started here in 2017. This second round of Season 4 will once again go on without the presence of spectators, in adherence to strict SOPs.

    The Vios Challenge one-make race now has four classes – the Rookie Class featuring five graduates of the Gazoo Racing Young Talent Development Program who are stepping up from karting and sim racing to racing in a car for the first time; the Promotional Class with 10 local celebrities; the Sporting Class for amateur drivers; and the Super Sporting Class for Malaysia’s best pro drivers.

    The battle of the rookies is being led by Naquib Azlan, whose transition from simulator racing to real racing is nothing short of amazing. Naquib won the first two races of the season, just like he always does in front of a screen. In hot pursuit are 17-year-old teenagers Amer Harris and Mika Hakimi. Also in the class are Jwan Hii (18) and Putera Adam (14).

    Also in command of his class is Gazoo Racing Ambassador and Prince of Drift Tengku Djan Ley, who won the first two Super Sporting Class races in Round 1. The likes of last season’s runner-up Mark Darwin, last season’s second runner-up Freddie Ang, and veterans such as Boy Wong, William Ho, Kenny Lee, Keifli Othman, Syafiq Ali and former Sporting Class champion Brendan Paul Anthony are all eying an upset this weekend. Also competing in the top class is teenager Hayden Haikal, last year’s Sporting Class champion.

    The Promotional Class follows the theme. Actor Zizan Razak also has two wins in the bag from Round 1, and this is the Abang Long Fadil star’s first ever season in the Vios Challenge. The other famous people in the class are actor Shukri Yahaya, my girlfriend Janna Nick, presenter Nabil Ahmad and singers Wany Hasrita, Nabila Razali and Khai Bahar. They are joined by two cool ladies in singer-songwriter Talitha Tan and TV presenter Ahirene Ahirudin. The latter (pic below) finished on the podium in the first two races.

    The only class with two different winners from Round 1 is the Sporting Class, with Adam Khalid and Haji Sutan Mustaffa Salihin each with one win. There are 19 drivers in this competitive class.

    “We are extremely grateful that the season can continue, and I am sure that all the racers are eager to get back into action. I do not foresee the long break having an adverse impact on their performance, instead like Round 1, the competition will be even stiffer and closer all the way to the chequered flag,” said Gazoo Racing Malaysia’s chief motorsport officer Akio Takeyama, who himself races in the Promo Class (that’s him on the podium above). By the way, Takeyama’s day job is deputy chairman of UMW Toyota Motor, so he’ll be swapping racing suit for business suit come Monday morning.

    As with Round 1, all of the action from this weekend will be broadcast live on as well as the Toyota Malaysia and Toyota Gazoo Racing Malaysia Facebook pages.

    GALLERY: 2021 Toyota Gazoo Racing Festival, Round 1

  • 2022 BMW M135i xDrive gets some minor upgrades

    BMW has given the M135i xDrive a few updates for the 2022 model year, although this isn’t a complete facelift (or Life Cycle Impulse if you want to sound like them). Instead, the hot hatch receives upgraded suspension, an improved interior sound generator and a paint finish.

    Starting with the mechanical tweaks, the M135i now comes with increased camber for the front wheels to better deal with lateral forces when cornering. There’s also a new hydromount to attach the front suspension wishbones, while the mounts for the trailing and control arms at the rear axle have also been redesigned.

    BMW also recalibrated the spring and damping systems to match, resulting in a significant improvement in roll behaviour in corners. This provides a further beneficial effect on steering feel when the “car’s sporting abilities are put to the test,” it added.

    Beyond these revisions, the rest of the powertrain remains unchanged, with a 2.0 litre turbocharged four-cylinder engine churning out 306 PS (302 hp) and 450 Nm of torque. This is sent to all four wheels via an all-wheel drive system as well as an eight-speed Steptronic Sport automatic transmission with a built-in mechanical limited-slip differential at the front axle.

    You’ll get to hear the engine thanks to the twin-tailpipe exhaust system, but if you want even more acoustics, BMW has readied a revised soundtrack for the interior sound generator. Piped into the cabin through the sound system’s speakers, this “conveys the signature four-cylinder engine note of a BMW M model to those on board more authentically than ever.”

    As the 1 Series range is now supported by BMW Individual, the M135i can now be ordered with special paints, including this Sao Paulo Yellow hue, with Frozen Pure Grey and Frozen Orange also available.

  • SST exemption for cars: extension into 2022 expected

    The Malaysian government is expected to once again extend the sales tax exemption through next year in the upcoming Budget 2022 announcement, reports Berita Harian.

    Budget 2022 is expected to further extend the sales tax exemption for vehicles in light of disappointing sales this year, even if it has already been in place following the movement control order that resulted in the closure of showrooms as well as production plants, group chief economist Sailesh K. Jha of RHB Group was reported as saying.

    The sales tax exemption currently in place for Malaysian consumers was first announced in June 2020, which came as part of the Penjana stimulus package to mitigate the effects of the first movement control order which took place from March last year.

    Car showrooms reopened to fully vaccinated individuals from August 16, which the Malaysian Automotive Association (MAA) saw as a much-welcomed decision by the government as the local automotive industry has suffered huge losses since the full movement control order (FMCO) was implemented from June 1.

    Data from MAA saw a 153% increase to 44,275 units in new vehicle sales for the month of September 2021, or 26,775 more vehicles sold last month compared to the 17,500 units sold in August. Sales were down 13,483 units or 23.3% in September year-on-year compared to 2020, while total industry volume for the year to date stood at 318,874 units, or 25,145 units (7.3%) down from the same period last year.

    Further, subsequent relaxations of restrictions saw the return of test drives in Phase 2 of the national recovery plan, while Phase 3 allowed unvaccinated individuals to visit showrooms and car washes. Interstate travel has once again been permitted from October 11, and the use of a vehicle’s full seating capacity was allowed again from October 18.


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Last Updated 21 Oct 2021