Latest Stories

  • New national car may see Perodua participation: report

    It was inevitable that an association would eventually be suggested, and so, here it is – The Edge is reporting that the new national car project might see the involvement of Perodua as the assembler for the car.

    The publication reports that DreamEdge, the Malaysian innovation and digital engineering services company chosen as the lead for the project, has sent out feelers to the second national carmaker to participate in the endeavour, essentially as the contract manufacturer for the car. Apparently, both Nissan and Honda have also been approached with regards to this aspect.

    Another possibility is for Perodua to assist in the design process for the first model. The Edge said it attempted to contact both DreamEdge and Perodua for clarification, but received no response from both parties.

    On August 9, the ministry of international trade and industry (MITI) named Cyberjaya-based DreamEdge as the anchor company for the project, which will see Daihatsu Motor Company providing technological support for the programme. It was stated that the Japanese automaker will not have any equity in the project.

    The idea of going with Perodua as the contract manufacturer sounds like a logical choice, given the Daihatsu association and the fact that the automaker has around 70,000 units of build capacity to spare. However, industry sources say there would be a need to reconcile potential conflicts between both parties in terms of product offerings as well as ownership rights associated with vehicle parts currently produced by Perodua.

    The as-yet-unnamed new national car model will be a plus-sized B-segment sedan (initially mentioned as C-segment, and later corrected), which would not fall very far from the product scope offered by Perodua through its B-segment Myvi. The new national car will feature either a regular internal combustion petrol engine or a hybrid powertrain.

    DreamEdge said an engineering capability model mock-up will be revealed at the end of August, and the first prototype will be shown to the public in March 2020, with the final product scheduled for market introduction in March 2021.

    Last week, the government reiterated that it will not provide any financial support for the new national car. According to minister of international trade and industry Datuk Darell Leiking, there will be no bailout for DreamEdge should the private project not succeed.

  • Go-Jek operation in Malaysia still at conceptual stage

    Transport minister Anthony Loke has revealed that there is currently no decision to allow Go-Jek to operate in Malaysia, as such a proposal must first be presented to the Cabinet, The Star reports.

    “There is no final decision to allow or disallow Go-Jek as it is only at the conceptual stage with the proposal to be brought to the Cabinet for discussions first,” Loke said at a press conference during a flag-off event for KL Monorail’s refurbished four-car trains.

    Recently, youth and sports minister Syed Saddiq expressed his intentions to bring Go-Jek to Malaysia, saying that the presence of the motorcycle-based ride-hailing service would create hundreds of thousands of job opportunities for motorcyclists in the country.

    “Of course the youth (and sports) minister is coming from the viewpoint of the youth and job creation. We are looking at it from the safety and operational aspects. His view will be considered but we will have to look at the proposal more seriously,” Loke explained.

    Should the Indonesia-based company is permitted to offer its Go-Jek e-hailing services in Malaysia, it would not be the only one to do so. “If we ever allow it in the future, we won’t allow a monopoly by a company as it is not meant for one company alone,” said Loke.

    He also confirmed that Syed Saddiq had invited him to attend a meeting with Go-Jek founder Nadiem Makarim and prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad on Monday.

    Would you welcome Go-Jek in Malaysia? Or is a motorcycle taxi service something that isn’t required in our country? Let us know what you think in the comments below.

  • Hyundai Ioniq facelift retains 5-star Euro NCAP results

    Hyundai has announced that the updated Ioniq range maintains the maximum rating of five stars from independent Euro NCAP for crash safety. The trio, which was revealed earlier in May, boasts a number of safety features, including the latest Hyundai SmartSense suite of safety and driver assist systems.

    Euro NCAP has yet to reveal the detailed breakdown of the crash test, but expect improved scores when compared to the results in 2016. In fact, the Ioniq was named the safest car in its ‘Small Family Car’ category at the time.

    In terms of standard safety features, the updated Ioniq gets Front Collision Warning and Avoidance Assist with Pedestrian Detection with Cyclist Detection ability, Driver Attention Warning, Lane Keeping Assist, High Beam Assist, and seven airbags as standard.

    More features such as Lane Following Assist, Intelligent Speed Limit Warning, Smart Cruise Control with Stop&Go, Leading Vehicle Departure Alert, Blind-Spot Collision Warning and Rear Cross-Traffic Collision Warning are available as options.

    Hyundai Europe’s vice president of marketing and product, Andreas-Christoph Hofmann said: “This five-star award from Euro NCAP shows that our strategy of offering safety features in smaller classes and also in combination with alternative drives is the correct one. The New Hyundai IONIQ is a very modern vehicle concept that has everything the customer needs.”

    GALLERY: 2019 Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid

    GALLERY: 2019 Hyundai Ioniq Plug-in

    GALLERY: 2019 Hyundai Ioniq Electric

  • Infiniti Q60 Project Black S prototype completes hybrid powertrain development with Renault F1 team

    It has been several months since Infiniti first revealed the rather exciting Q60 Project Black S prototype, which serves as a test bed for the development of Formula One-inspired powertrain technology for road cars based on the Q60 coupe.

    The company recently announced that it has completed the track-focused testing of the car’s dual-hybrid powertrain at the Salzburgring track in Austria, where two prototypes were put through their paces with Renault F1 team driver Nico Hülkenberg.

    The Project Black S features a VR30 3.0 litre twin-turbo V6 petrol engine that makes 400 hp and 475 Nm in it stock form. This is combined with a dual-hybrid system that consists of two heat-energy harvesting systems – MGU-H (motor generator unit – heat) – that develop electricity under acceleration.

    There is also a kinetic harvesting system – MGU-K (motor generator unit – kinetic) – for generating electricity under braking, and all the harvested energy is stored and discharged when the driver requires it. Doing so spools up the turbochargers instantaneously as the driver opens the throttle, boosting power sent to the rear wheels via the MGU-K over continued periods of acceleration.

    The prototype has three drive modes – Road, Quali and Race – with each altering the way the manner in which the powertrain handles energy recuperation and discharge.

    Currently, Infiniti says the powertrain produces up to 563 hp, or 40% more than the prototype’s donor car, the Q60 Red Sport 400. It adds that powertrain is capable of “sustained and sustainable hybrid performance, delivering electrically assisted acceleration, lap after lap.”

    “There is still work to be done. Now we have two completed prototypes we will fully evaluate the production potential of Project Black S. It is still too early to predict the outcome as we need a solid business case, but the latest rounds of testing have proved its unique performance and underlines our pursuit of electrified performance,” said Mike Colleran, Infiniti Motor Company’s deputy chairman.

    “This is an exciting phase of the process. We will consider every element of the development prototypes to establish the feasibility of volume or limited production in future,” he added.

    You heard right; Infiniti has yet to decide if it wants to put the Q60 Project Black S into production, but has stated it will continue test and validate elements of the car, with a final decision due by the end of this year. “Just make it,” we say.

    GALLERY: Infiniti Q60 Project Black S prototype

  • 2019 GPX Racing Legend 250 Twin and Raptor 180 launched in Thailand – RM10,784 and RM8,071

    Hailing from across the northern border with Thailand is GPX Racing, with the newly launched 2019 GPX Racing Legend 250 Twin priced at 79,500 Thai baht (RM10,784). previously reviewed the GPX Racing Demon 150GR and 150GN, as well as the GPX Racing Gentleman 200.

    Coming into the full quarter-litre class, the Legend 250 features retro naked sports styling with all the design cues you would expect to see from a motorcycle of the 70s or 80s. Carrying an oil-cooled parallel-twin displacing 234 cc, the Legend 250 did not come with any power numbers, but something like 20 hp would be reasonable.

    Power goes through a six-speed gearbox and chain final drive and the engine is fed by GPX Racing’s own EFI system. Fuel is stored in a large for its class 14.5-litre fuel tank – most of the Legend 250’s competition use 10-litre fuel tanks and the whole package weighs in at 154 kg, with the instruments housed in a single round binnacle.

    Unlike it’s competition, the Legend 250 uses twin disc brakes on the front wheel, clamped by dual-piston hydraulic callipers while the back wheel has a single disc stopped by a single-piston calliper. Suspension is with upside-down telescopic forks in front and twin YSS gas-filled shock absorbers at the back, adjustable for pre-load.

    The two-toned retro styled seat on the Legend 250 is 790 mm from the ground, making it accessible to almost all riders and lighting is LED all round with three colour options available – red, gloss black and matte black. There was no word as to when the 2019 GPX Racing Legend 250 Twin might be coming to Malaysia.

    Meanwhile, the 2019 GPX Racing Raptor 180 is a naked sports bike in true hooligan style, coming with a single-cylinder air-cooled 180.8 cc mill. Fed by GPX fuel injection, power gets to the ground via a six-speed gearbox and chain final drive.

    Coming with a claimed weight of 135 kg, the Raptor 180 carries 11.5-litres of fuel in the tank and GPX Racing says the bike will do 110 kmh. LED lighting is use throughout and inside the cockpit is a full LCD meter panel.

    Seat height is a full-sized motorcycle 820 mm with suspension using upside-down forks in front and a YSS gas monoshock at the back. Braking is done with single discs front and rear on 17-inch wheels and there are four colour options – violet, red, black and white.

    GALLERY: 2019 GPX Racing Legend 250 Twin

    GALLERY: 2019 GPX Racing Raptor 180

  • 2020 BMW M2 CS to debut at Los Angeles Auto Show?

    It appears that the much anticipated 2020 F87 BMW M2 CS could be making its global debut at the Los Angeles Auto Show in November this year, according to a report by BMW Blog. If you’re a fan of the M2, then this range-topping model is one to look forward to.

    For starters, the M2 CS is tipped to receive a revised version of the twin-turbocharged S55 3.0 litre inline-six engine from the M2 Competition, potentially tweaked to the tune of 445 hp. That’s a staggering jump from the M2 Competition’s 410 hp and 550 Nm output, which in itself is already enough for a zero to 100 km/h time of 4.2 seconds.

    Purists will be delighted to know that the car will be offered with a six-speed manual, whereas the seven-speed dual-clutch transmission is available as well. Rear wheel drive is standard, whereas a modified M Sport exhaust system could also be fitted to provide a more sonorous soundtrack.

    Sources indicate that the hottest M2 will get adaptive M suspension, 19-inch 763 M style wheels finished in either gloss black or matte gold, M Sport braking system with coloured calipers, as well as the optional M carbon ceramic brakes. The last item reduces unsprung mass and provides greater braking performance under stress.

    Elsewhere, the M2 CS is expected to carry a number of carbon-fibre parts for weight reduction purposes, such as the bonnet with power bulge, roof, and side mirror caps. Of course, the CS version will get better aerodynamic performance, with more aggressive-looking front and rear bumpers, and a larger rear spoiler.

    Apparently, production of the M2 CS will be limited to around 2,000 units, with several dealerships already revealing the long waiting list for the model. Don’t hold your breath for this one, folks.

    GALLERY: F87 BMW M2 CS spyshots

  • 1994 McLaren F1 LM-Specification sold for US$19.805 million at RM Sotheby’s auction – one of only two units

    The McLaren F1 is a special car, but there are some versions of the iconic sports car that are more special than others, and here is just one of them. This is a F1 LM-Specification, and it recently sold for US$19,805,000 (RM82,816,588) at RM Sotheby’s auction during the Monterey Car Week.

    Surprisingly, the final sum was less than the US$23 million that auction house expected for the ultra-rare hypercar, but it still makes this car the most expensive F1 ever sold at auction. Another 1998 example sold for US$13,750,000 (RM57,497,000) back in 2015, before being purchased by a private seller later on.

    So, what makes this car so special? Well, following the F1’s victory at Le Mans in 1995, the carmaker built just five commemorative cars dubbed the F1 LM, which featured a high-downforce kit and the unrestricted version of the BMW-sourced 6.1 litre NA V12 with 680 hp and 705 Nm of torque.

    By the end of the F1’s production run in 1997, McLaren had built 106 examples of the F1, including 64 production road cars, 28 F1 GTR race cars, five F1 LM examples, and two F1 GTs, as well as seven prototype and development cars.

    However, the company later decided to convert two regular F1s to LM specification, with car chassis #073 and #018 being commissioned for the upgrade – the latter being what you see here.

    Originally, this F1 was built in 1994 with a Midnight Blue Pearl exterior paint finish and black interior for a customer in Japan. It was then sold to a collector in Germany in 1999, who would sent the car back to McLaren’s facility in Surrey to be upgraded to LM specification.

    The two-year process included installation of the high-downforce kit, a transmission cooler, two additional radiators, and a modified exhaust system. The car’s air-conditioning system was also upgraded, a radio was added to the CD player, the headlamps were changed to gas-discharge units, and the steering wheel was swapped for a 14-inch unit.

    Additionally, the car was given a Platinum Silver Metallic paintjob, while the interior was re-trimmed with cream leather along with beige and brown Alcantara. This were complemented by cream Wilton carpets, and a beige Alcantara headliner.

    The engine was also tuned to LM specification, while the dampers and springs were race-spec units, albeit adjusted to their softest setting to make road use more comfortable. Finishing touches include replacing the 17-inch wheels for 18-inch GTR units with Michelin Pilot Sport tyres.

    A few years later in 2004, a Singapore collector acquired the car before selling it in 2007 to another person in New Zealand. The car was then returned to the factory for a thorough evaluation to ensure everything is up to par, and has been used for several events, hence its 21,500 km mileage at the auction block. This example is well documented and comes with invoices dating to 2007, plus written history and evaluation by McLaren Special Operations.

    While not a true F1 LM, which does away with luxuries like sound insulation and audio system, the F1 LM-Specification offers a similar level of performance as the limited-edition model it closely matches. It certainly is a treat for motoring enthusiasts to see one, and it’s no wonder that collectors are willing to pay an exorbitant amount of money.

  • Porsche Taycan proves long-range drivability – covers 3,425 km over 24 hours, average speed 205 km/h!

    When it comes to pure electric driving, one of the biggest concerns is range anxiety, especially when someone is accustomed to driving long distances before making a quick stop for fuel. It’s a real problem, but the folks at Porsche, who tirelessly worked on the forthcoming Taycan, have proven that the brand’s electric drivetrain is more than ready for real world use.

    To demonstrate this, Porsche deployed six test drivers to drive a pre-production Taycan at the Nardò high-speed track in Italy to prove its point. The result is quite simply astonishing – the Taycan covered exactly 3,425 kilometres in the span of 24 hours, a distance equivalent to driving from Singapore to Georgetown, Penang a total of five times.

    This was achieved under the scorching Italian summer heat (track temperature rose up to 54 degrees Celsius), with speeds averaging between 195 km/h and 215 km/h – both are conditions which would drain battery capacity by a significant amount. The test was carried out without interruptions, with the Taycan merely requiring quick stops for charging and driver changes. There was also a quality assurance test as part of the endurance and hot climate test.

    The biggest factor that enabled this feat is Porsche’s 800-volt electrical system, as well as several 800-volt high-power charging stations by Porsche Engineering Group. At launch, the Taycan will be the first fully electric production vehicle to benefit from the state-of-the-art tech, one which helped the 900-hp 919 Hybrid win the 24 Hours of Le Mans three times in a row.

    When plugged into an 800-volt charger, four minutes of charging yields 100 km of range

    Porsche claims that the 800-volt system enables consistent high performance while reducing charge times and decreases the weight and packaging space for wiring harnesses. It also boasts sophisticated thermal management, thanks to an advanced network of computers that manage heating and cooling of the high-voltage components.

    It’s exactly this that allowed the Taycan to perform the 0-200 km/h full acceleration test a total of 26 consecutive times. The average acceleration time was just under 10 seconds, and the difference between the fastest and the slowest attempts was 0.8 seconds. The 800-volt system also prevents potential power losses due to excessive heat generation and ensures that the optimum temperature for the most efficient charging process is achieved when the vehicle arrives at a charging station.

    “The Taycan mastered this ambitious endurance run without any problems. The result achieved in Nardò highlights the advantages of the unique 800-volt technology and its high maturity level. Before the Taycan is launched on the market at the end of the year, we will have covered over six million test kilometres across the globe,” said Stefan Weckbach, vice president of product line Taycan. The Taycan will debut on September 4.

  • Toyota to introduce anti-acceleration safety feature

    Toyota is reportedly planning to roll out a new feature to prevent accidents caused by pressing the accelerator instead of the brake pedal, resulting in unintended acceleration. The safety function will suppress engine output if the gas pedal is mistakenly pressed when there is a person in front of the vehicle, thereby preventing the vehicle from accelerating towards the pedestrian.

    Retrofit safety devices that can suppress such cases of unintended acceleration caused by pressing the wrong pedal are already available on the market, but only work when sensors detect an obstacle such as a wall or another car in the direction the vehicle is travelling and often do not respond to pedestrians or bicycles.

    The Toyota system would gradually decelerate the vehicle when the accelerator is pressed suddenly, even if there are no obstacles out in front, making it the first major domestic automaker to incorporate this kind of function.

    According to sources, the function may be added to Toyota vehicles that have already been sold to customers, the Yomiuri Shimbun reports. The sources add that the company plans for the new feature to be retrofittable into already sold vehicles for a fee, which it aims to set at 50,000 yen (RM1,960) or less, as it believes that response and take-up will be poor if it is too expensive.

    The feature is to be introduced starting with models such as the Prius and Aqua hybrids, which are popular among elderly drivers, and will eventually be opened up to other models.

    The move has its critics – some in the auto industry believe that suppressing engine output could be dangerous when rapid acceleration is needed, such as moving from an on-ramp to the main lanes on an expressway or trying to avoid a crash in an emergency situation.

    However, Toyota has concluded that such a function to suppress engine output is necessary to prevent accidents involving pedestrians and bicycles, and the system will only be installed only for those who want it, the sources said.

    The introduction of the new function comes following a spate of high-profile accidents involving elderly people who made mistakes using the gas and brake pedals. In early July, the country’s land, infrastructure, transport and tourism ministry asked Toyota and seven other major domestic automakers to take urgent action regarding sudden acceleration caused by mistakenly pressing the accelerator.

  • BMW Concept 4 Series to appear in Frankfurt – report

    The forthcoming G23-generation BMW 4 Series will make its official appearance at this year’s Frankfurt Motor Show as the Concept 4 Series ahead of the production car’s launch next year, along with the expected showing of the marque’s Sports Activity Coupe, the G06-generation X6, Autoblog has reported.

    The ‘Concept’ name that BMW applies to a new model usually means that it is already approaching production, such as the Concept 8 Series which became a full production model. So far, we know that the two-door model will come as both a coupe and a fabric-roofed convertible, and will be powered by a selection of four- and six-cylinder engines.

    Recent public sightings of the G22/23 4 Series still saw its grille concealed, though current form dictates that the two-door will be styled to give the impression of greater width as compared to the 3 Series. Certain cues will still tie it back to the G20 3 Series, such as in the design of its headlamps and hexagonal LED DRLs. Inside, the latest dual digital screen layout is expected for the 4 Series.

    The 4 Series range in full attendance is expected to comprise of the coupe, convertible and four-door Gran Coupe versions, and running gear is expected to mirror that of the G20 3 Series for both petrol and diesel powerplants, as well as possible plug-in hybrids. The top of the 4 Series range will be crowned by the M4, which might follow the next M3’s two-transmissions, two-output-levels approach.

    GALLERY: G23 BMW 4 Series spyshots


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Last Updated 10 Aug 2019


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