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  • Malaysia Speed Festival 2018 kicks off this weekend

    The Malaysia Speed Festival Series 2018 (MSF 2018) will get underway this weekend at the Sepang International Circuit with a full day of motorsports activities and excitement.

    This will be the eighth year of the championship, for what is the biggest car racing series in the country, providing affordable door-to-door racing for Malaysians; and is popular among racers from surrounding Asian countries to participate in. The MSF Series is all about motor racing for the masses and has been successful in creating a safe yet highly-competitive affordable racing environment.

    MSF Series 2018 will feature six rounds this year:

    • Round 1 – February 25, 2018
    • Round 2 – April 8, 2018
    • Round 3 – July 8, 2018
    • Round 4 – August 31, 2018
    • Round 5 – October 14, 2018
    • Round 6 – December 2, 2018

    This year, the MSF Series expands further by introducing two new important and popular motorsports disciplines – MSF Superbikes and MSF Drift Gonzo, both of which will commence from Round 2. This brings new exhilaration and entertainment to spectators and fans of the MSF Series, intensifying the excitement of witnessing wheel-to-wheel racing.

    For Round 1 happening this weekend, the cars segment of the MSF Series features new categories – the Super Production category for naturally-aspirated vehicles up to 1,500 cc produced from 2006 onwards, as well as the Street 2000 category for naturally-aspirated production vehicles up to 2000 cc.

    These new categories bring the participating cars in the MSF Series up-to-date with more recent machinery such as the Toyota GT86, Toyota Altezza and Proton Inspira in the Street 2000 category. Meanwhile, you’ll find cars such as the Honda Jazz, Toyota Vios, and Perodua Myvi in the Super Production category.

    The biggest attraction will be the Race Cars Open category, where the most extreme of Malaysian motor-racing machinery take to the circuit for 10 laps of flat out racing in a scramble for glory. There have been urban legends and stories of incredible race car builds, and it is during the MSF Series that these fabled vehicles are put to the ultimate test of both power and reliability.

    The proof of a well-tuned, production-based vehicle is its ability to clock blistering lap times flat-out consistently. This means putting in lap after lap while in the company of the well-known heat that is always evident at the Sepang circuit. Creating big power in a vehicle isn’t difficult, but getting it to last while tackling the corners is what truly marks out an all-round track monster from the rest.

    During the event, the Saga Cup category continues to be the most thrilling and amusingly close quarters racing that you’ll see on Malaysian soil. This year, the category will be split into three sub-categories to accommodate the number of entrants! The top sub-category known as “Saga Cup Pro” is populated by some of the top Malaysian racing drivers such as Damian Dielenberg, Faidzil Alang, and Alif Hamdan as they battle in similarly-specced cars, placing an emphasis on driving skill above all else.

    Another big news is the introduction of the new Hankook RS4 tyre as the control tyre for MSF Series 2018. There’s plenty of expectations placed on the tyre given the favourable reports from overseas, and the teams and drivers are expecting quicker lap times. The MSF Series will be one of the first racing series in the world to run the RS4 as an official control tyre.

    Local Malaysian suspension specialists Fawster Motorsports have also provided support as an official partner for MSF 2018, as they grow their product range and brand as high-performance handling specialists. The MSF Series will also be supported by Fleet Battery, Malaysian manufacturers of high-powered batteries with high output cold cranking energy.

    Spectators are welcome throughout the day, with ticket prices for paddock access at RM35, while access to the grandstand is free. For more information, visit www.msfracing.com.

     
  • BARU: Artikel terkini dalam Bahasa Malaysia

  • Lexus UX teased – crossover to debut at Geneva show

    Lexus has officially teased the arrival of a new crossover called the UX, which will make its debut at this year’s Geneva Motor Show in March. If the name sounds familiar, that’s because the UX shares the same name with a concept from the 2016 Paris Motor Show.

    Unlike the concept that had a pretty outlandish design, the road-going UX looks reserved by comparison. The teaser image gives a look at the car’s rear, which features a wide rear light strip that ends with little “fins” at the edges for dynamic effect.

    Barring any additional photos, the rest of the UX will likely be equally bold, including the brand’s trademark spindle grille and aggressive-looking headlights. Based on the filename, what we’re looking at here is likely the UX F Sport model.

    Lexus hasn’t revealed where exactly the UX will be positioned within its crossover/SUV line-up, although it will likely go below the NX. The similarly-named concept served as a preview for a compact SUV with a wheelbase of 2,640 mm, which is less than the NX’s 2,660 mm. The concept’s wheelbase however, is closer to that of the Toyota C-HR.

    As for powertrains, a hybrid is a definite based on what we see in the image, where a few adjustments show the ‘UX 250h’ badging in the lower right. Other likely variants include the UX 200 and UX 250, if trademarks filled with the United States Patent and Trademark Office are to be believed.Likely contenders for the UX include the Audi Q3, BMW X1 and the Mercedes-Benz GLA.

    GALLERY: Lexus UX Concept

     
  • 2018 Kawasaki Rouser NS160 in Philippines, RM6,340

    While Kawasaki Motors Malaysia prefers to focus on the quarter-litre and above market, in the Philippines, the 150 cc category attracts a lot of market interest, with the launch of the 2018 Kawasaki Rouser NS160 at a price of 85,000 piso (RM6,340). If paultan.org readers think the Rouser NS160 looks familiar, it should be, being based on the Bajaj Pulsar NS160, which Malaysia gets in the form of the Modenas Pulsar NS200.

    Using the same frame as its 200 cc sibling, the Rouser NS160 comes with a twin-spark, SOHC, air- and oil-cooled, four-valve, single-cylinder engine displacing 160.3 cc. Power is claimed to be 15.2 hp at 8,500 rpm with maximum torque rated at 14.6 Nm at 6,500 rpm.

    This compares against the NS200, which is also sold in the Philippines as the Rouser in NS and RS versions, with its 199.5 cc liquid-cooled thumper with three spark plugs and 24.13 hp at 9,750 rpm and 18.24 Nm of torque at 8,000 rpm. Other differences include the six-speed gearbox and front and rear disc brakes of the 200 cc version of the Rouser.

    Power gets to the ground via a five-speed gearbox and chin final drive, and fuel is carried in a 12-litre tank. The Rouser NS160 comes with telescopic forks in front, with a single hydraulic brake disc, while the rear is suspended with a monoshock, and the single disc from the NS200 is omitted, substituted with a drum brake.

    There are three colour options for the 2018 Kawasaki Rouser NS160 – red, silver and blue. In the Philippines, the Rouser NS160 goes up against the Suzuki GSX-S 150, Honda CB 150R, Yamaha SZ 16 and the TVS Apache 200. As for the Malaysian market, the Modenas Pulsar NS200 retails at RM9,222, while the RS200 goes for RM11,342.

     
  • Volkswagen I.D. Vizzion – self-driving EV, 665 km range

    Volkswagen has previewed the I.D. Vission concept ahead of this year’s Geneva Motor Show – a fully autonomous concept vehicle propelled by a purely electric powertrain. This is the Wolfsburg manufacturer’s latest in a line of electrification and autonomous driving initiatives, and is another step in the Group’s projected tally of offering more than 30 fully electric vehicles by 2025.

    This is the brand’s first fully autonomous driving concept, with the goal of extending value for future mobility, including considerations for customers who are no longer able to drive, such as elderly folk. The I.D. Vizzion boasts of an interior without any traditional interfaces such as a steering wheel or visible controls, instead receiving input from its occupants via voice and gesture control.

    Actual vehicular control is the purview of the vehicle’s systems, with a digital chauffeur assuming control of the I.D. Vizzion. Motive power for the I.D. Vizzion comes courtesy of a two electric motors on each axle driving all four wheels, producing 225 kW (302 hp) in total system output. A 111 kWh lithium-ion battery pack provides up to 665 km in driving range, with braking regeneration taken into account.

    The I.D. Vizzion concept assumes a fastback silhouette with room inside for four, seated in individual chairs. Coach doors are employed here to improve access and egress, and the 5.11 metre-long vehicle aims to capitalise on interior space afforded by the use of its all-electric powertrain.

    This offers a glimpse into what may be a fourth – or later – model from the I.D. range to enter production, which will be preceded by production versions of the I.D. Buzz microbus, I.D. Crozz coupe/SUV crossover and the Golf-sized I.D. hatchback.

    GALLERY: Volkswagen I.D. concept

     
  • Mazda now benchmarks Toyota instead of BMW

    It isn’t uncommon for carmakers to benchmark their cars against other competitor products to see how they stack up against them. Mazda is no exception to this, and has held BMW as a benchmark for some time, seeing how both brands share similar philosophies in creating engaging driving machines (or ‘Ultimate Driving Machine’ in the case of the German marque).

    However, many things have changed over the past few years, so has Mazda decide to review what it considers to be a good benchmark? Well, the folks from AutoGuide posed such a question to a Mazda engineer while trying out the company’s latest SkyActiv-X engine technology, and the answer is yes.

    Apparently, Mazda isn’t very encouraged by BMW’s “new” approach to vehicle dynamics, and has now swapped for a new yardstick. The vehicle in question? Try the new Toyota Camry. Yes, the big T’s well-known nameplate that some would call uninspiring to drive is now Mazda’s inspiration for driving joy.

    “If the Camry sold so well before when it was so boring to drive, they now actually have a good handling car on their hands,” said the Mazda engineer. It’s certainly high praise for Toyota that their sedan is more of a concern compared to a BMW. This is considering Mazda is a company with a history of making exciting cars. Of course, time changes everything, and Mazda may seek a new benchmark later on.

     
  • VIDEO: Honda Civic Type R takes on its virtual equal

    How close is a video game to real life? Well, that’s the question Honda and Forza Motorsport 7 are attempting to answer in a new video titled R vs R. The premise is pretty simple – pit a racing driver in a real car against an experienced Forza player in a virtual one, and see what happens.

    For the experiment, IndyCar driver Graham Rahal will take on professional gamer Peter “the SLAPtrain” Jeakins, with both driving the latest Civic Type R. The drivers will attempt to lap the Road Atlanta race track – in physical and virtual forms – as fast as they can to see who is quickest.

    The twist here is Rahal’s car is fitted with a “mixed-reality” windshield, giving him the ability to see a “ghost” version of Jeakins’ virtual CTR. Think of it like the “ghost car” from the Gran Turismo series or other racing games.

    As it turns out, the results are a lot closer than you think, and it is certainly interesting to watch the “race” between the two. There’s some wisdom from this stunt too. “In simulation, you don’t have fear. In real life you do,” says Rahal.

    GALLERY: FK8R Honda Civic Type R in Malaysia

     
  • Malaysia looking to India to improve automotive sector

    Second international trade and industry minister Datuk Seri Ong Ka Chuan is looking to India to strengthen the Malaysia’s automotive industry, according to a report by The Sun Daily.

    “This is the latest venture, as for now Proton is on the right track and now we have to go further,” he said, referring to the national carmaker’s partnership with China’s Zhejiang Geely (ZGH).

    “We are looking at India’s largest multinational automotive manufacturer Tata Group, which acquired English premier car manufacturers Jaguar and Land Rover. The purchase of the world’s well-known manufacturers will definitely contribute to the country’s automotive industry,” he added.

    “We want them set up a plant in Malaysia (Tanjung Malim). Our idea is to create an automative hub. With a population of 1.3 billion, India has vast potential,” he explained. Ong also said Malaysian prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Abdul Razak and Perak menteri besar Datuk Seri Zambry Abdul Kadir have expressed their support for the idea.

    However, he stressed that attractive incentives must be offered to foreign investors in order to convince them to come to Malaysia. “We will offer the industrial park next to Proton City for them to set up the plant,” he noted.

     
  • Shell FuelSave Diesel Euro 5 launched in Sarawak

    Shell has introduced Euro 5 diesel in Sarawak with the launch of its FuelSave Diesel Euro 5, which is now available at stations in Bintulu. The fuel will then be rolled out to other major cities in the state, including Miri, Kuching and Sibu.

    “We are proud to announce the availability of our Shell FuelSave Diesel Euro 5 in Sarawak. Here at Shell, our customers are at the heart of everything we do, and we are on a mission to make their life’s journeys better. Hence, we are bringing our best diesel fuel to Sarawak that will give our customers one less worry on the road and help them leave happier for their journey ahead,” said Shairan Huzani Husain, managing director of Shell Timur.

    Shell FuelSave Diesel Euro 5 is formulated with Dynaflex to clean and protect key fuel system components, such as fuel injectors, from build ups that may reduce engine’s performance. The fuel also contains less than 10 mg/kg of sulphur, making it suitable for modern diesel engines that require low-sulphur diesel fuel.

    With the launch of FuelSave Diesel Euro 5 in Sarawak, Shell now offers Euro 5 fuel in both East Malaysian states, with Sabah being the first to receive it since February last year. Shell is also the first petrol retailer to introduce Euro 5 diesel in East Malaysia.

     
  • MRT Sg Buloh-Serdang-Putrajaya Line development on track – expected to be launched by July 2022

    The Sungai Buloh-Serdang-Putrajaya line of the Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) is on track to be completed within its stipulated timeframe, according to project director Datuk Amiruddin Ma’aris as reported by the Sun.

    The company is expected to achieve another milestone in its development of the rail line when the first of its 12 tunnel boring machines (TBMs) go into service next month, he said. The project director also expressed confidence that the line would be opened to public by July 2022; Phase 2 of the Sungai Buloh-Kajang line and therefore the line in its entirety was operational from July last year.

    “Going by the current rate, we are quite confident we can achieve (completion of the SSP Line) similar to what we did with the SBK Line,” he told the daily. The first TBM for the SSP line’s underground works will commence boring by next month, with the first machine being assembled at the Bandar Malaysia North station in Kuala Lumpur, according to the report.

    “Once assembled, we will do some testing before finally starting our boring. We expect Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Abdul Razak to launch the TBMs some time in March,” he said. Twelve TBMs are required for the SSP Line, compared with eight required for the SBK Line due to having more underground stations (11 for the SSP compared to seven for the SBK), with a longer underground alignment (13.5 km compared to 9.5 km).

    Regarding safety concerns, MRT Corp has taken all aspects into consideration prior to commencing work on the underground line, Amiruddin said. The most common concerns among the public included traffic diversions which may cause congestion, along with noise from the construction sites, he added.

    The final tunnel boring machine for the SSP Line is expected to be launched in the middle of next year. Rewinding to its beginning, Phase 1 of the MRT Sungai Buloh-Kajang (SBK) line commenced operations at the end of 2016.

    GALLERY: MRT Sungai Buloh-Kajang (SBK) Line Phase 1, Sungai Buloh to Semantan

     
  • Rapid Penang to introduce spoke-hub model to combat traffic congestion within the next two months

    Rapid Penang is hoping a new strategy in commuting will help reduce traffic congestion by between 20% and 40% in high density areas in the state. The plan is expected to be launched within the next two months pending approval from the Land Public Transport Commission (SPAD), according to a report by The Sun Daily.

    Rapid Penang chief operating officer Mohd Azmi Abdullah said the strategy uses the same approach as the spoke-hub distribution model, where smaller feeder buses will gather passengers from various points in one locality hub before dropping them off at a centralised bus stop.

    From there, a fleet of bigger buses will pick up the passengers in stages before driving to the final interchange stop, which is the main public bus terminal located in Komtar. This approach, Azmi explained, would help lower the frequency of all public buses travelling into town during peak hours.

    “If there are no passengers at that juncture, the buses will not ply the route. The main pick up would be before, during and after office hours,” he said. Rapid Penang would also be able to free up space on congested roads in town as there would be a bigger load of passengers aboard its larger buses.

    The spoke-hub method’s success in other countries served as the inspiration for Rapid Penang to try it out in the state, and has been known to improve logistical needs in the aviation and shipping industry. A pilot programme will first be introduced in April at Air Itam, which is notorious for its traffic crawls and narrow roads.

     
 

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Last Updated 15 Feb 2018



 

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