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  • No new Perodua Bezza in 2023 – only one full model change per year, and that’s the Axia, says CEO

    It’s strange that there’s even talk about a new Perodua Bezza when the company’s next all-new product – the 2023 Perodua Axia D74A – isn’t even out yet, and the current compact sedan has a waiting list that goes up to a year. But there’s chatter originating from research analysts.

    It sounds improbable for a company working overtime to fulfil outstanding orders. Also, Perodua president and CEO Datuk Seri Zainal Abidin Ahmad had previously said that the carmaker has the capacity to roll out one full model change (FMC, all-new generation) and two minor change models (MC, facelifts) per year. When asked at today’s 2023 outlook event if that’s still the case, he said yes.

    “Still valid. Our current capability is one FMC and two MC (per year). Because of Covid-19 – 2019, 2020, 2021 – it was disrupted. Last year was our recovery, this year we’ll go back to pre-pandemic levels in terms of capacity,” the P2 chief declared.

    There you go, no new Bezza this year, but the next-generation Axia is now open for booking and the launch is just around the corner – full official details here.

  • 2023 Perodua Axia is more expensive due to bigger size, plus advanced features – not a planned price hike

    Earlier this morning, Perodua announced the start of order taking for the all-new Axia D74A, which will be available in four variants. In addition to preliminary specifications that we’ve detailed in our original post, the local carmaker also provided estimated pricing for its upcoming model.

    The range starts with the G that is estimated to retail for RM38,600 on-the-road without insurance. This is followed by the X at RM40,000, the SE at RM44,000 and the range-topping AV at RM49,500. All variants are powered by a 1.0 litre engine paired with a D-CVT, the latter replacing the previous four-speed automatic.

    Compared to the outgoing Axia that also had a 1.0 litre engine (a naturally-aspirated three-cylinder) and 4AT, the D74A is noticeably pricier. For context, the previous model after the 2019 update was offered in six variants, namely the “driving school-spec” 1.0 E MT (RM24,090), the 1.0 G AT (RM33,490), the 1.0 GXtra AT (RM34,990), the SUV-inspired 1.0 Style AT (RM38,890), the 1.0 SE AT (RM38,890) and the top-spec AV (RM43,190).

    According to Perodua president and CEO Datuk Zainal Abidin Ahmad, the increase in the new Axia’s price is because of the larger vehicle size as well as the inclusion of more advanced features compared to its predecessor.

    “For new prices, like our Axia, the size of this model has increased compared to the current (car). The features are also different. Previously, the Axia was basic and didn’t have ASA (Advanced Safety Assist). The new (car) will be equipped with up to six airbags, including curtain airbags. Safety is very important. We want to make sure that as we grow, we include all the safety features in our line-up,” he said during a Q&A session following a media conference held today.

    “So, with the increased specifications, the increase in safety, the pricing will be different from before. We increased the price of the new model not because of inflation or material costs, but because of additional features that we included,” Zainal continued.

    2019 Perodua Axia 1.0 AV AT

    Based on what we know so far, the Axia D74A is certainly a lot more advanced than before, with the AV coming standard with six airbags, a seven-inch TFT multi-info display, a nine-inch Display Audio head unit, LED headlamps and DRLs as well as Perodua Smart Drive Assist (PSDA) that includes ASA. These upmarket features, along with the larger vehicle size as mentioned, are why the AV has gone up RM6,310 (referring to the estimated price provided).

    It should also be said that while the starting price (RM24k to RM39k) of the Axia sees a huge jump, that’s only because the manual version has been dropped for the new launch. If comparing the G, or more accurately the old GXtra, the increase is relatively less substantial at RM3,610. Only the GXtra onwards came with Vehicle Stability Control (VSC) and traction control, but the new Axia will have VSC, traction control and hill start assist as standard across the range.

    We’ll know more about what else has changed for the Axia when it makes its launch debut, but for now, are you impressed with what Perodua has come up with? Is the increase in pricing justified based on the reasons given?


  • LRT Ampang Line operational disruption – Rapid adds another 34 buses to ferry passengers between stations

    Following the operational disruption to the LRT Ampang line due to the discovery of structural damage at an overpass in the area that is believed to be caused by nearby ongoing construction, Rapid KL has announced that additional buses have been deployed to provide free shuttle services.

    The company said that another 34 buses have been added to ferry passengers between the Hang Tuah and Masjid Jamek LRT stations, Bernama reports. These are in addition to the 23 buses that were pressed into service when the disrpution began.

    The bus routes, which run from Plaza Rakyat to Bandaraya, Sentul Timur to Bandaraya, Bandaraya to Sentul Timur, Hang Tuah to Bandaraya and Bandaraya to Hang Tuah, will ferry passengers to bridge that small gap in between the rail service on the line, which continues to operate.

    Rapid said that a total of 348 Prasarana personnel, including auxiliary police and support staff, have also been deployed at the stations to help out passengers. It added that observations at major stations like Hang Tuah and Masjid Jamek during peak hours revealed that passenger movement was smooth and controlled despite a high volume of passengers.

    Yesterday, the public transport operator announced that it has extended peak hours to reduce congestion at several stations. From Monday to Friday, peak hours for the LRT Ampang/Sri Petaling Line and KL Monorail will be from 6.30 am to 10.30 am in the morning, and 4.30 pm to 8.30 pm in the evening.

    During peak hours, the interval for the LRT Ampang/Sri Petaling Line is every five minutes for the CBD and every 10 minutes outside the CBD area. Outside of peak hours, the interval is six and 12 minutes respectively, which also applies to weekends and public holidays.

  • 2023 Perodua Axia D74A open for booking – DNGA, 1.0L NA, D-CVT, LED DRL, digital meter, RM38.6-49.5k

    The most significant car launch of the year is just around the corner now. The 2023 Perodua Axia is now open for booking, and we have the first official details of the all-new Daihatsu New Global Architecture (DNGA) model code-named D74A. It’s a ground-up new model, and there are many changes and surprises, but we’re going to kick off by apologising – sorry, no turbo.

    The 2023 Axia will be powered by an “EEV engine with D-CVT.” That’s all that the official flyer mentions when it comes to the powertrain, and while there’s no explicit mention of the engine being naturally-aspirated, there’s no mention of turbo either, and such a big development would definitely merit a shout. We understand that the 1KR-VE 1.0L three-cylinder VVT-i engine with 67 hp/91 Nm has been carried over.

    The big change is in the gearbox. Gone is the four-speed torque converter auto, and in comes the D-CVT gearbox that was first seen in the Ativa in March 2021, before the Myvi facelift made the 4AT to CVT switch later the same year.

    D-CVT stands for Dual-Mode CVT, the world’s first split gear CVT system. Basically, the unit combines belt drive with a gear drive for improved fuel efficiency, acceleration feel and quietness.

    Click to enlarge.

    From rest to medium speeds, the D-CVT functions like any other CVT, with engine torque going through a torque converter (like Toyota and Honda CVTs; Proton’s Punch CVT uses a clutch pack) and into the input pulley, before being transferred to the output pulley via a belt and then to the wheels. At higher speeds, D-CVT shifts into its split mode, engaging the gear drive to provide more efficient power transmission (less energy loss), while the rotation to the belt drive is decreased significantly. More on the D-CVT here.

    With the new gearbox, fuel consumption is now 25.3 km/l, or up to 27.4 km/l with the Eco Idle auto start-stop system. These claimed figures are in what P2 calls the Malaysian Driving Cycle (MDC), which supposedly follows local road conditions and driving patterns. By the way, in the Myvi facelift, FC was 5% better with the 4AT-CVT swap (engine was unchanged) while 0-100 km/h acceleration improved by a whopping 20%, so expect a more economical and faster new Axia.

    This new 1.0L NA D-CVT combo is standard across the new Axia board, which has four variants – G, X, SE and AV. The latter two variants add on Eco Idle and Power mode (PWR button on the steering’s right spoke, as per the Ativa).

    You can tell the SE and AV apart from the outside thanks to LED daytime running lights, housed in a sideways T-shaped trim, which reminds me of the pre-facelift G20 BMW 320i Sport. Yes, LED DRLs are now available on the Axia. LED headlamps are standard from the X onwards.

    Click to enlarge.

    The wing mirrors on all Axias are electric, but those on the SE/AV are auto retractable. Keyless entry is standard from the X onwards, and the graphic shows an electrostatic sensor, where just a touch will do instead of a button press. This is as per the Ativa and an upgrade from the Myvi’s black button.

    Another feature highlight is the digital meter panel. The range-topping AV gets a 7.0-inch TFT instrument panel. That’s the same size as the MID in the Ativa and Alza, and the flyer shows a “3D ring” tachometer, so it’s probably the same unit coupled with a digital speedo. Also exclusive to the AV is a floating-style 9.0-inch display audio. Once again, that’s the same size as the Ativa’s and the graphics look similar as well. Every other variant gets a non-touchscreen radio.

    Moving on, there are two levels of seats, divided between G/X and SE/AV. The cheaper variants get “standard” front seats and rear seats with “pillow headrests.” The higher end variants get “semi-bucket” front seats and “separate headrests” for the rear seats. As for upholstery, only the AV gets two-tone semi-leather covers. Solar and security window tint is reserved for the SE and AV.

    These days, we kind of expect new Perodua models to have massively upgraded safety over previous versions, and the Axia doesn’t disappoint. The top variant will have six airbags (dual front, side and curtain), a big jump from its predecessor, which maxed out at two front airbags.

    Perodua Smart Drive Assist (PSDA) is also available. Advanced Safety Assist (ASA, which includes autonomous emergency braking, AEB) made its debut in the 2019 Axia facelift, and it should also be available here – we’ll have to wait to see which variants get ASA. Meanwhile, VSC is standard across the board.

    By the way, the PDSA umbrella also covers the “Driving Assist” pack, which has lane keeping functions, blind spot monitoring and adaptive cruise control – it remains to be seen if the new Axia has these semi-autonomous features in the AV, or will it be just ASA. In any case, it’s a lot of safety for the money, and this being a new DNGA product, expect five stars in the ASEAN NCAP crash test.

    Finally, colours. The new Axia can be had in five shades – Granite Grey, Lava Red, Glittering Silver, Ivory White (solid) and the new Coral Blue. The latter is the launch hero colour for the D74A and it has hints of the pre-facelift G3 Myvi’s cheerful Peppermint Green.

    Estimated prices are from RM38,600 for the G, RM40,000 for the X, RM44,000 for the SE and RM49,500 for the AV, all on-the-road without insurance. That’s higher than before, so you do pay more for a better product and the new features. For reference, the launch prices of the 2019 Axia facelift were RM34,990 for the GXtra with VSC and RM43,190 for the AV.

    No mention of a cheap and kosong E spec, but perhaps P2 will come back to this variant later. We understand that the “driving school spec” has the lowest demand among all variants, so it’s the easiest to put on hold. Also not in the new line-up is the SUV-inspired Style variant; later, perhaps.

    So, what do you think of the preliminary specs and features of the all-new Axia? Expect a raft of teasers from now till launch, which will most probably happen in mid-February. Stay tuned.

  • Malaysia and Singapore ink cooperation agreements, including that for EV standards, charging point collabs

    Malaysia and Singapore have inked three agreements, including two frameworks of cooperation in the digital economy and green economy. The agreements were signed earlier today between the ministry of international trade and industry (MITI) and Singapore’s ministry of trade and industry (MTI).

    The signing of the agreements was witnessed by Singapore prime minister Lee Hsien Loong and prime minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, who made an official one-day visit to Singapore, the Straits Times reports.

    The cooperation in green economy will, among other things, explore collaboration on electric vehicles and autonomous vehicle standards as well as the deployment of charging points for EVs for cross-border utilisation.

    Both countries are also set to jointly look into the development of new and renewable energy-related technology standards and explore projects in low-carbon solutions. According to the MTI, the green economy framework agreement is Malaysia’s first green economy agreement signed with any country.

    As for the digital economy, the framework of cooperation covers areas such as trade facilitation, cross-border data flows and electronic payments. Besides the two framework agreements, the two countries also inked a memorandum of understanding (MOU) that will enable them to cooperate on issues such as personal data protection as well as cybersecurity.

  • Malaysia needs more long term incentives, cash rebates for trade-ins and new EV purchases – ZEVA

    While sales of electric vehicles in Malaysia jumped by around 860% last year to 2,631 units compared to 2021’s tally of 274 vehicles, much more needs to be done in order for the country to meet its electrification targets as outlined in the Low Carbon Mobility Blueprint (LCMB), according to the Zero Emission Vehicle Association (ZEVA).

    The association, made up of a number of stakeholders – such as Tenaga Nasional, BMW Malaysia, Gentari, Pekema and chargEV, among others – working on developing a battery electric vehicle ecosystem in Malaysia, said that the aim of having EVs making up 15% of new car sales annually by 2030 would mean that 700,000 EVs would be on the road by 2030, based on its calculations running off the EV scenario in 2022.

    As of end-2022, the association estimated that aside from around 2,200 battery EVs, there are almost 40,000 plug-in hybrids (PHEVs) as well as 2,600 electric motorcycles and over 100 electric buses, which is a mere 6% from the 700,000 units expected to be in place by 2030. With only eight more years to go, ZEVA said that if there was no intervention, the country would fall 15 times behind its national target.

    Click to enlarge.

    While it appreciates the incentives announced by the government in Budget 2023, the association believes that additional, longer term incentives are needed to catalyse the expected EV growth trajectory. It said that while more approval permits are being issued for foreign EV to be sold in the country, it believed that the charging industry also needs to step up.

    At present, the number of EV chargers in the country is estimated to be close to 800 for AC units and 100 for DC fast chargers, which is less than 10% of the target of having 10,000 chargers by 2025, as outlined in the LCMB. This issue needs to be solved, as the top two concerns in EV adoption are driving range anxiety and the lack of a destination charging infrastructure.

    Following a series of internal discussions and engagements with the automotive industry, end users, public transportation providers, fleet companies and several government agencies, ZEVA realises that in order for the charging industry to grow, the ‘hidden cost’ of doing business needs to be resolved. This includes that for facilities, such as the cost of land for the new power supply sub-station, new cable trenching as well as mechanical, civil and electrical consultancy work, among other things.

    Asking the government to step in with support, it said first movers will appreciate the assistance, as their asset will only be utilising a fraction of the full capacity of these facilities. Subsequent players looking to deploy their chargers nearby will be able to easily leverage these existing facilities, thus encouraging more to invest, ZEVA said.

    The association has proposed incentives for the government to consider in the formulation of the revised Budget 2023, which will be tabled on February 24. These include start-up cost incentives for any local/city councils interested in setting up public charging catering to 20 vehicles in a city, funding allocation capped at RM500k for each rest area catering for six DC chargers on highways, and a grant for non-landed property managers for the installation of an EV charger, capped at RM10,000 each.

    Besides the above, ZEVA also proposes a matching grant for R&D on EVs, specially catered for the automotive industry, as well as a cash rebate for trade-ins of petrol/diesel vehicles for EVs and cash incentives for the purchase of a new EV on top of the tax exemptions already in place (EVs are already on sale at virtually tax-free prices, with free road tax until end-2025 to boot).

    Additionally, as the government has been talking more and more about targeted fuel subsidy restructuring, ZEVA said that the savings gained from the T20 group fuel subsidy can be used to incentivise the charging infrastructure. It said that its initial calculations indicated that all the incentives it is proposing above will only take up a small percentage of the fuel subsidy savings, at around 16.5%.

    The association has also proposed that the government extend the existing incentives to 2030 to give room for the industry to respond. It said that with all these in place, the country will be able to attain the 700,000 unit mark with EVs by 2030.

  • Audi activesphere concept – off-roader with AR interface, pick-up truck bed, 600 km EV range, 442 PS

    Audi has revealed another one of its ‘sphere’ concepts with the debut of the activesphere, which joins past efforts like the skysphere, urbansphere and grandsphere. The new concept is an amalgamation of different segments and takes the form of a sportback crossover with a coupe-like roofline and a pick-up truck-like bed, while also being focused on off-roading.

    That’s a lot to take in, so let’s start with the basics. The activesphere rides on the Premium Platform Electric (PPE) platform – also used for the upcoming A6 e-tron – and carries a battery with an energy capacity of 100 kWh. Audi says this is good for a range of 600 km, and thanks to an 800-volt electrical architecture, there’s support for DC fast charging at a max of 270 kW.

    With just ten minutes of being plugged into a DC charger capable of that power, the battery is charged with enough energy for more than 300 km. In less than 25 minutes, the battery can also get from a 5-80% state of charge, which is impressive.

    The battery powers a pair of motors that make up the electric quattro all-wheel drive system, with a total system output of 442 PS (436 hp or 325 kW) and 720 Nm of torque. Other parts of the powertrain include front and rear five-link suspension as well as adaptive air suspension, which can raise the ride height by 40 mm from the basic height of 208 mm, or lowered if needed. Audi says the vehicle has an approach angle of 18.9 degrees and departure angle of 28.1 degrees.

    In terms of size, the activesphere measures 4.98 metres long, 2.07 metres wide and 1.6 metres high, with a wheelbase that spans 2.97 metres – about the size of a Q8. Monolithic is the word used by Audi to describe the concept, and it’s hard to argue against that.

    The activesphere a new interpretation of the brand’s Singleframe grille, which is designed as a transparent glazing so passengers can get an unobstructed view through the large frunk of the road in front of the vehicle. Sleek headlamps, large 22-inch wheels (with 285/55 profile tyres), frameless doors (the back ones are rear-hinged) add to the visual drama.

    If that isn’t enough, there’s also the active back, which is essentially a split tailgate that has a lower section that folds down like on a pick-up truck, while the rear glass slides upwards to reveal the small bed large enough for a pair of bicycles. Other utility features include a motorised bulkhead behind the rear seats to keep the cabin separated from the outdoors, plus a ski rack integrated into the roof.

    For even more unconventional features, you’ll need to enter the cabin, which appears normal at first with the presence of a steering wheel a pedals. However, these fold away when autonomous driving is activated when you don’t have to navigate over trying terrain.

    The dashboard itself is simple in its execution, sporting vertical and horizontal surfaces, along with right angles here and there. There’s also a full-width sound bar and air vent, but you’ll notice there aren’t huge touchscreens stapled onto the dash.

    Audi says that’s because the interior, through extensive use of augmented reality, becomes the visual interface for passengers when Audi dimensions is engaged. This requires the use of a dedicated headset, of which there are four – one for each individual seat.

    The system layers information and controls over what passengers see, kind of like how Iron Man does when he is in his suit, although you’ll only be seeing the vehicle status, navigation and infotainment instead of priming the repulsor rays. Since there are no physical buttons to touch, you’ll be using gestures to get things done.

    The AR headsets also allow information to be projected outside the cabin, including a topographical map when off-roading, traffic information, and safety warnings. The system also provides passengers with their own feeds and adjustable settings, or even look up information on their destination.

    Audi also says the headsets can be used outside of the car, expanding their functionality further. Of course, the sci-fi interior is likely not due for production anytime soon, but the idea does sound really cool and provides a hint as to what Audi is developing for the future.

  • Akio Toyoda to step down as Toyota CEO, president on April 1, 2023 – Koji Sato named as his successor

    From L-R: Koji Sato, Akio Toyoda

    Toyota’s president and CEO Akio Toyoda will step down from his post on April 1, 2023, the Japanese carmaker announced recently in a surprising reshuffle of its executive structure. The 66-year-old, who is grandson of Toyota founder Kiichiro Toyoda, first took over the company in 2009.

    Aside from his business duties, Toyoda is also an avid racer, competing under the alter ego ‘Morizo’. In early 2017, he announced that there would be “no more boring cars,” which led to a revamp of the brand’s line-up. Examples include the latest Prius as well as several Gazoo Racing (GR) models like the GR Supra, GR86, GR Yaris and GR Corolla.

    Toyoda will remain with Toyota as the chairman of the board of directors, with current chairman Takeshi Uchiyamada set to become a member of the board instead. Despite not heading the company moving forward, experts says Toyoda will still be a dominant force inside the world’s largest automaker.

    Akio Toyoda aka Morizo

    “The new appointment is less about a change in direction and more about careful consideration of the best possible way to organise the handover, avoiding disruption and chaos,” said Julie Boote, an analyst at Pelham Smithers Associates in London, as reported by Reuters. “It’s likely that he’ll remain active as chairman for a long time and continue to put his mark on Toyota,” she added.

    Toyoda will be replaced by 53-year-old Koji Sato, who has been the president of Lexus and Gazoo Racing since 2020. Sato will become Toyota’s 12th president and joins a handful of people without the Toyoda family name to head the company.

  • A police permit is not permission to hold a motorsports event in Malaysia, says MAM

    After the recent tragedy in Pasir Salak, Perak, where a spectator was killed while watching a motorsports event, Motorsports Association of Malaysia (MAM) president Tan Sri Mokhzani Mahathir has come out to say the approval process for local motorsports events is flawed.

    Speaking at a motorsports event in Subang Jaya, Selangor, Mokhzani said the approval process needs to be improved and tightened, reports the Mokhzani said MAM was not involved in the racing event in Pasir Salak as organisers did not get approval from the sports body which sanctions motorsports events in Malaysia.

    Mokhzani explained if MAM sanctions an event, the safety of participants and spectators is prioritised, and the event will also be insured. He added many motorsports events only get approval from the police but under the pretext of organising a gathering and not a motorsports activity. contacted a spokesperson from MAM to clarify the issue of a motorsports event application and was informed the process requires two permits and one final approval. “Any motorsports event organiser needs to contact MAM and forward an application. There is a set of safety standards to be adhered to,” said the MAM spokesperson.

    This will be the permit to hold a motorsports event which comes with the assurance there is insurance for the event. In addition to this, a police permit must be obtained to hold a public gathering. The application is then forwarded to the Sports Commissioner’s Office of Malaysia for final approval.

    “If any party does not approve the permit then the event cannot be held, or if held, be deemed illegal,” said our source, “which means if anything happens, the liability is on the organiser.” Touching on a list of approved motorsports venues circulating in Malaysian motoring media, the MAM spokesperson said, “yes, that list is correct but it is for 2022.”

    “Approval for motorsports venues is given by MAM on a yearly renewable basis, and the inspection for 2023 only begins in mid-February to March,” our source said. The MAM spokesperson added if no major works are done to the venue in the interim the approval is usually carried over for 2023, provided all safety requirements are in place.

  • 2023 Yamaha GT150 Fazer enters China market

    Something of an engineering throwback is the 2023 Yamaha GT150 Fazer for the China market, priced at 13,390 Yuan (RM8,398). Nowhere near as sophisticated as other 150 cc models such as the Yamaha MT-15 and Yamaha XSR155, the GT150 Fazer nonetheless addresses a need in that market for a simple, budget friendly motorcycle.

    With an air-cooled, SOHC engine fed by EFI displacing 149 cc, the GT150 Fazer is somewhat similar to the Fazer FZ15 sold in India. Power is rated at 12 hp at 7,500 rpm with 12.4 Nm of torque at 6,000 rpm, with a five-speed gearbox and chain final drive.

    With styling reminiscent of a 1970s scrambler motorcycle, the GT150 Fazer comes with slightly oversized 18-inch wheels. The wheels are shod with what looks like chunky 70/30 rubber, the front with a 90/90 tyre while the rear gets 100/80 sized rubber.

    Braking for the GT150 Fazer is done with single hydraulic disc brakes front and rear. Inside the cockpit a round LCD panel displays the necessary information with a 12 colt power socket located adjacent.

    Suspension is done with non-adjustable telescopic forks in front and twin shock absorbers in the rear. Weighing in at 126 kg, theGT150 Fazer carries 12.litres of fuel in the tank and seat height is set at 800 mm, and is available in your colour choices.


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Last Updated 26 Jan 2023