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Date: Tuesday, 30 Sep 2014 14:08

DRB-HICOM-ANNUAL-REPORT

We saw something interesting in DRB-Hicom’s Annual Report 2014 which was released earlier this month.

Look at page 93 for the section on HICOM Automotive Manufacturers (Malaysia) Sdn Bhd. HAMM operates a plant in Pekan, where foreign makes such as Mercedes-Benz and Volkswagen are assembled.

There’s a list of future models that are expected to be locally assembled along with their expected Start of Production dates. I’ll list only the passenger cars here, as there are commercial vehicles listed as well.

  • Volkswagen Jetta GP – November 2014
  • Mercedes-Benz E Class Bluetec Hybrid – November 2014
  • Mercedes-Benz C Class W205 – January 2015

mercedes-benz-e300-bluetec-hybrid-0001

The E-Class Bluetec Hybrid is an interesting car. This is not the first time we’ve heard of this car coming to Malaysia. Back in August, a sales advisor posted an ad for it on our classifieds site oto.my in hope of getting some pre-launch bookings.

Under the hood is a 2.1 litre four cylinder turbodiesel engine with 204 hp and 500 Nm, paired to a 27 hp electric motor installed in the 7G-TRONIC gearbox in place of the torque converter. The big exec is no slouch, doing the 100 km/h sprint in 7.5 seconds, but the main selling point here is the combo of the diesel engine and electric motor, which results in a claimed combined fuel consumption of just 4.3 litres per 100 km.

The E-Class Bluetec Hybrid should qualify for 100% duty exemptions under the new NAP just like the S 400 Hybrid. If that’s true, expect an incredible pricetag, or super high equipment levels, or perhaps both at the same time. If the Start of Production date is accurate, it means Mercedes-Benz Malaysia will have just over a year to sell this car until the incentives expire at the end of 2015.

We already know the new W205 C-Class – which was launched as a CBU first as a C 200 Avantgarde and C 250 Exclusive – is expected to be locally assembled, but at least now we have some kind of timeline of when the CKD version of the C-Class will be rolling out of the plant.

2015_Volkswagen_Jetta_facelift_04

We’re not really 100% sure what the Jetta GP is, but given that the URL slug for the facelifted Jetta on the Volkswagen UK website is “jetta-gp”, we reckon it should be the Jetta facelift. It’s already been sighted in Malaysia a couple of times, though those units are probably CBU cars brought in for evaluation purposes.

We contacted VGM to clarify if “Jetta GP” referred to a facelift and the official response is that there are no plans to facelift the Jetta CKD at the moment. Anyway, there are currently some promotions going on for the pre-facelift CKD Jetta if you’re interested.

Of course, we should assume that this information is subject to change and are only accurate up to the date that the annual report was published. You know that term – best effort basis?

But while the dates may move around, the car themselves should be coming, since there’s some lead time required in CKD planning and the mentioned Start of Production dates are very close now.

The post Mercedes-Benz E300 BlueTEC Hybrid and Volkswagen Jetta GP local assembly to begin in November? appeared first on Paul Tan's Automotive News.

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Author: "Paul Tan" Tags: "Cars, Local News, Mercedes Benz, Volkswa..."
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Date: Tuesday, 30 Sep 2014 09:55

diesel-cap

According to a Bernama report, the Domestic Trade, Cooperatives and Consumerism ministry (KPDNKK) expects to implement the diesel subsidy rationalisation plan in early January.

The ministry is awaiting the final decision from the Economic Planning Unit and the Finance ministry, regarding a number of policies, before implementation takes place, said KPDNKK secretary-general Datuk Seri Alias Ahmad.

“The implementation of the subsidy rationalisation for just diesel is expected in January, while that for petrol will take a little longer. This is because the system for diesel is the Diesel Subsidy Control System which is ready, and we are merely ‘upgrading’.

“For petrol, we are starting from zero and it needs time,” he said, adding that the rationalisation of petrol subsidies could happen two to three months after that for diesel.

gst-petrol-diesel

According to Alias, around 780,000 vehicles will be involved in the subsidy rationalisation for diesel, and about 18 million for petrol. He also said the diesel subsidy rationalisation will result in savings of between five and six million litres annually.

Second finance minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Husni Hanadzlah revealed in July that the government is looking at a certain salary level to be eligible for fuel subsidies. He cited, as an example, those with monthly earnings of RM4,000 and below alongside those earning more, and up to a certain level.

Meanwhile, an official decision has yet to be reached on whether RON 95 petrol and diesel will be exempted from the Goods and Services Tax (GST). The tax is scheduled to come into effect on April 1, 2015.

But we’ll know the fate of our fuel prices soon enough, as the final list of zero-rated or tax-exempted items will be gazetted on October 10, when Budget 2015 will be tabled in Parliament.

The post Diesel subsidy rationalisation expected in January appeared first on Paul Tan's Automotive News.

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Date: Tuesday, 30 Sep 2014 08:57

01468f34-c620-4ec1-913b-5d94da40943f

Set to be unveiled at the Paris Motor Show later this week, the Kia Optima T-Hybrid concept previews a future diesel-electric hybrid version of the Korean D-segment sedan. More than that, it’s the first showcase of the brand’s new “mild hybrid” powertrain that could be applied to future Kia models.

The Optima T-Hybrid (for turbo-hybrid) uses the standard (Europe-only) 1.7 litre CRDi turbodiesel engine as its main source of power, but here it’s paired to a small electric motor and a 48 V lead-carbon battery. The latter is chosen over a lithium-ion unit as it requires no active cooling. It’s also easier to recycle at the end of its lifecycle.

For an extra boost of power, there’s an electric supercharger linked to the engine (on top of the mechanical turbocharger) for improved torque and engine response at low engine speeds. That is if the engine is on, of course, as the Optima T-Hybrid has a zero-emissions electric-only mode at low speeds and cruising conditions.

Also in the mix is Kia’s new automatic stop/start system with a belt-driven starter generator in place of a conventional alternator, which allows for quick restarts with minimal noise and vibration. The fitment of a smaller battery and starter motor also enhances weight distribution and handling.

Power and efficiency figures have yet to be confirmed, but Kia targets a significant reduction in fuel consumption and CO2 emissions, as well a 15-20% increase in power with the use of this mild hybrid system. The application of this technology is not limited to the Optima alone, of course.

Plans for full mass production (Optima T-Hybrid or other possible models) are still up in the air, but you wouldn’t bet against Kia making it a reality, would you?

01468f34-c620-4ec1-913b-5d94da40943f Kia_Optima_T-Hybrid_0002 Kia_Optima_T-Hybrid_0001 Kia_Optima_T-Hybrid_0003 c4979c07-8f90-4c89-8e6f-621d3731baa9 Kia_Optima_T-Hybrid_0004 Kia_Optima_T-Hybrid_0005 Kia_Optima_T-Hybrid_0006 Kia_Optima_T-Hybrid_0007 Kia_Optima_T-Hybrid_0008

The post Kia Optima T-Hybrid concept – diesel-electric hybrid appeared first on Paul Tan's Automotive News.

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Date: Tuesday, 30 Sep 2014 07:40

IIMS 2014 Mitsu Delica 1

We’re now completing the final lap of our 2014 Indonesia International Motor Show coverage after an intermission in the form of the Proton Iriz. Mitsubishi, which has a decent presence in Indonesia thanks to the Pajero Sport, launched the Delica at the annual Jakarta show.

Dubbed ‘the world’s first Sport Utility MPV’, the fifth-generation Mitsubishi Delica isn’t an easy vehicle to pigeonhole. No longer looking like a standard white van, the fourth-gen car’s rounded shape has been sharpened to create a monobox.

While not Dakar-ready in stock form, it looks pretty robust with a high ground clearance (190 mm) and high-profile tyres. MMC made a point to highlight the Delica’s long stroke suspension at the launch, too.

Like an off-roading MPV, except that the Indonesian market Delica is 2WD. Power comes from a 2.0 litre naturally-aspirated four-pot with 150 PS and 191 Nm. The 4J11 with Auto Stop & Go (auto start stop) is mated to an INVECS-III CVT gearbox with six ratios in manual mode, swappable via long steering paddles that Lancer owners will be familiar with.

IIMS 2014 Mitsu Delica 13 IIMS 2014 Mitsu Delica 7

Inside, the seven-seater Delica is slightly more Alphard than Pajero Sport, with two captain chairs in the middle row. The last row is a slidable bench that side split folds 50:50, with decent room for luggage even with all seats up. Second and third rows get roof AC vents on each side. Access is via powered rear doors on both sides.

Standard equipment include HID headlamps, keyless entry, cruise control, dual-zone auto AC and a touch-screen multimedia head unit. Safety wise, the Delica comes with three airbags (dual front, driver’s knee), ABS, EBD, BA, Active Stability Control (ASC) and Hill Start Assist. The Mitsubishi Delica goes for Rp 409 juta (RM110,235) in Indonesia.

Just before IIMS 2014, MMC’s CEO Osamu Masuko announced that the company will be investing US$600 million to build a new assembly plant in Indonesia. The spend will also involve the development of a new vehicle for the market, and we’re expecting an MPV that competes with the Toyota Avanza, Daihatsu Xenia, Suzuki Ertiga and Honda Mobilio in the country’s Low-MPV segment.

Big JDM MPVs are popular in Malaysia, but will the Mitsubishi Delica, which doesn’t have that desired “VIP look”, work in Malaysia?

IIMS 2014 Mitsu Delica 21 IIMS 2014 Mitsu Delica 1 IIMS 2014 Mitsu Delica 4 IIMS 2014 Mitsu Delica 5 IIMS 2014 Mitsu Delica 6 IIMS 2014 Mitsu Delica 7 IIMS 2014 Mitsu Delica 8 IIMS 2014 Mitsu Delica 9 IIMS 2014 Mitsu Delica 11 IIMS 2014 Mitsu Delica 12 IIMS 2014 Mitsu Delica 13 IIMS 2014 Mitsu Delica 15 IIMS 2014 Mitsu Delica 17 IIMS 2014 Mitsu Delica 18 IIMS 2014 Mitsu Delica 19

The post IIMS 2014: Mitsubishi Delica – it’s a ‘Sport Utility MPV’ appeared first on Paul Tan's Automotive News.

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Date: Tuesday, 30 Sep 2014 07:07

Round 2 of BHPetrol’s Fuel Your Way to Nurburgring is finally here! Enjoy more savings while putting yourself in the running to win monthly prizes equivalent to a year’s usage of fuel worth RM40,000, and an unforgettable experience of a lifetime at the Nurburgring.

As mentioned in our previous announcements, the BHPetrol Fuel Your Way to Nurburgring contest is a three-month-long contest, where in each month, 10 luckly winners will be able to take home prizes equivalent to a year’s usage of fuel worth RM40,000 in total (thirty winners in total), and one winner will be selected to win the ultimate grand prize of heading to the legendary Nurburgring circuit in Germany!

bhpetrol-2

At the Nurburgring, you and a friend will get to enjoy a full motoring experience for three days! You will able to spectate a race, get driven around in a BMW M5 and drive a sports car like a Nissan GT-R around the 20 kilometre-long circuit.

Nurburgring Experience Grand Prize:

  • Spectate an actual race weekend
  • Take part in the BMW Ring-Taxi experience with Sabine Schmitz
  • Score some laps around the legendary Nurburgring circuit in a sports car such as a Nissan GT-R and more!

Monthly Prizes worth RM40,000:

  • 1 x First Prize: RM4,800
  • 1 x Second Prize: RM3,600
  • 1 x Third Prize: RM1,500
  • 7 x Consolation Prize: RM500

bhpetrol steps1

To take part, you just need to head to a BHPetrol station outfitted with a BHPetromart, spend a minimum of RM20, keep the receipt and then head to the Paul Tan’s Automotive News Facebook page and hit on the Fuel Your Way to Nurburgring contest tab. Simply answer the questions and submit your entry! The best part is, you can take part as many times as you like to help increase your chances of winning! To help you with the questions, look for clues in the video above.

You have till October 26 to submit your entries :) The BHPetrol Fuel Your Way to Nurburgring contest is exclusively brought to you by paultan.org and the BHPetrol Infiniti Advanced 2x premium fuel, giving you more mileage, more savings and more power from its 800 ppm double dose of German additives.

BHPetrol (marketed under Bousted Petroluem Marketing Sdn Bhd) is a member of the home-grown Boustead Group of Companies. Click here to head to the contest tab on the Paul Tan’s Automotive News official Facebook page.

The post Round 2 of BHPetrol’s Fuel Your Way to Nurburgring is on! Win an all-expense-paid motorsport experience to the Nurburgring and RM40,000 worth of prizes! appeared first on Paul Tan's Automotive News.

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Date: Tuesday, 30 Sep 2014 06:45

It’s called the Tristar, but it’s not from the brand with that logo. Rather, it’s a pick-up concept from Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles, based on the company’s current T platform. The study, which debuted at the IAA commercial show in Hanover, offers hints of what to expect in the coming sixth-gen Transporter.

The beefy offering features an extended cab, styling bar, a short wheelbase and 30 mm of additional ground clearance over the regulation Transporter. In terms of carrying ability, cargo can be distributed on two separate levels – there’s a regulation flatbed as well as a dust-proof/watertight drawer sitting under it.

Plenty of sharp, wrap-around lines on that exterior, which is further dressed up with 17-inch Rocadura alloys and 245/70 rubbers. The Tristar is powered by a 204 PS and 450 Nm 2.0 litre TDI oil burner, which works with a seven-speed DSG tranny and 4Motion four-wheel drive with mechanical rear-axle differential lock.

Inside, the monolithic dashboard’s styling pays homage to earlier models of the Transporter. Interior design elements include a 20-inch tablet table and state-of-the-art video conferencing and sound systems alongside the turning/sliding driver and passenger seats.

Autodesk VRED Professional 2014 SR1-SP7 Autodesk VRED Professional 2014 SR1-SP7 tristar 5 tristar 4

The post Volkswagen Tristar – no ordinary Transporter, this appeared first on Paul Tan's Automotive News.

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Author: "Anthony Lim" Tags: "Cars, International News, Volkswagen"
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Date: Tuesday, 30 Sep 2014 05:56

CHR2789

This is the Renault EOLAB, a four-door (one on the driver’s side, two on the passenger’s side, one tailgate) supermini concept with a single-minded focus on efficiency. Set to debut at the Paris Motor Show in a couple of days, it is claimed to be able to achieve a fuel consumption figure of just 1 litre per 100 km, as well as emitting just 22 grams of carbon dioxide per kilometre on the NEDC cycle.

Deriving its odd name from Aeolous, god and ruler of winds in Greek mythology, as well as the word “laboratory”, the EOLAB is said to feature nearly 100 technical innovations that will gradually make their way to production Renaults before the year 2020. The car is also the firm’s realistic vision of a B-segment hatch that will be produced within the next 10 years.

To achieve the claimed fuel economy, engineers focused on three key areas. The first was aerodynamics – the EOLAB achieves a drag coefficiency figure of just 0.235 Cd (30% lower than the current Clio), thanks to a flat underbody, an active front spoiler, narrow wheels that close up when brake cooling is not needed, movable aerodynamic flaps at the rear, as well as a ride height that lowers by 25 mm at speed.

CHR2793

Secondly, weight has been pared down to a minimum, with the extensive use of aluminium, magnesium, thermoplastics and a supremely high tensile variant of steel called Very Very High Elastic Limit (VVHEL) steel shaving 130 kg from the body alone. Aluminium has also replaced many of the heavy steel suspension components, while the brakes were able to be made smaller and more compact thanks to the lighter body.

That’s not all – the glass is now 1.5 mm thinner, the rear windscreen is made of polycarbonate, the seats and the interior fittings and trim have been made lighter and the electrical equipment now weighs 20 kg less than before. Altogether the car weighs 400 kg less compared to an equivalent Clio, sitting at 955 kg.

CHR2779

Last but not least, there’s Renault’s Z.E. Hybrid powertrain, combining a 40 kW (54 hp), 200 Nm electric motor, a 6.7 kWh lithium ion battery and a 75 hp, 95 Nm 1.0 litre petrol three-pot. Combining these components is a clutchless three-speed transmission – the first two ratios are reserved for the electric motor, the top ratio for the internal combustion engine (ICE).

The plug-in hybrid powertrain works in two modes. The “weekday” mode uses electric power as much as possible (the EOLAB has an all-electric range of 60 km), only engaging the ICE beyond 120 km/h. The second “weekend” function activates the engine at a lower speed and also makes use of energy recuperation under braking to boost range and performance.

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The post Renault EOLAB concept – 1 litre per 100 km supermini appeared first on Paul Tan's Automotive News.

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Author: "Jonathan Lee" Tags: "2014 Paris Motor Show, Cars, Internation..."
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Date: Tuesday, 30 Sep 2014 05:36

toyota-langkawi-3s-centre

UMW Toyota has officially opened its latest 3S centre in Langkawi, Kedah. The facility sits on two acres of land with a built-up area of more than 26,000 square feet and is capable of displaying up to 3 cars in its showroom.

Other facilities include a customer lounge with WiFi internet facilities and 12 service bays with a maximum capacity of 30 vehicles a day. The centre employs a total of 20 staff members, operating under Mr. Teh Kian Hui, the branch manager and Mr. Mohd Hilmi Rahmat, Manager of Customer Service Operations.

“Langkawi sales outlet has been expanded as the after-sales service has now moved to this new facility. We have spent close to RM10 million to set up these new facilities in order to deliver our brand promise and Toyota Quality Experience (TQE) to our customers. UMW Toyota Motor is constantly raising standards on dependability, reliability and customer satisfaction which is part of our commitment to quality”, said Datuk Ismet Suki, President of UMW Toyota Motor.

The centre also offers Lexus Service Support (LSS), which will offer the convenience in operating basic services and minor repairs.

The post UMW Toyota opens latest 3S centre in Langkawi appeared first on Paul Tan's Automotive News.

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Author: "Gregory Sze" Tags: "Cars, Local News, Toyota"
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Date: Tuesday, 30 Sep 2014 04:25

jaguar-f-type-coupe-preview

The Jaguar F-Type coupe was recently previewed at the Malaysian International Gourmet Festival which was held at the Sunway Convention Centre. Two variants of the coupe were on display – the F-Type S and the F-Type R.

Interested parties are now welcomed to place their orders at respective Jaguar Land Rover showrooms across Malaysia as the order books are now open. The launch of the car is scheduled to take place in the middle of October.

jaguar-f-type-coupe-preview-4

The F-Type coupe is expected to be available in all three variants when the car is launched, similar what is being offered with its convertible cousin, which is now available in Malaysia.

The base coupe and the ‘S’ variant are powered by a 3.0 litre supercharged V6, pumping out 340 hp and 380 hp respectively. Torque figures measure in at 450 Nm for the base model and 460 Nm for the ‘S’ version.

The F-Type R coupe, on the other hand, gets a 5.0 litre supercharged V8 developing 550 hp and 680 Nm of torque. All models get an 8-speed automatic transmission. As of now, prices are still unconfirmed.

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Jaguar F-Type convertible
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The post Jaguar F-Type Coupe previewed in Malaysia – order books now open, expected launch in October appeared first on Paul Tan's Automotive News.

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Author: "Gregory Sze" Tags: "Cars, Jaguar, Land Rover, Local News"
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Date: Tuesday, 30 Sep 2014 03:16

Kia Rio Facelift_0001

The Kia Rio facelift has made an early appearance before its scheduled show debut in Paris later in the week. As Kia’s global best-selling model, the fourth-generation Rio is vital to the Korean carmaker’s immediate future. But as far as facelifts go, this is a very minor one.

On the front, the updated car receives a new front bumper with reshaped fog lamp inserts, as well as a refreshed grille with a piano black pattern. The headlights and the general shape of the tiger nose grille stay as before, though, forgoing the bolder face used on the Rio Sedan.

A redesigned rear bumper with a wider plastic insert – eschewing the faux-diffuser look of the outgoing model – and new, very Citroen DS-like wheels complete the exterior makeover. The latter drops the current car’s flat-dish design, following the same move on the facelifted Kia Optima K5.

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Inside, the Kia Rio facelift receives a small update, with new chrome accents surrounding the air-con vents. The single photo provided of the centre console shows the optional 7.0-inch Kia AVN (audio-video navigation) head unit, so we don’t know how the standard version will look just yet.

As expected, no mechanical changes will be introduced. The 107 hp/137 Nm 1.4 litre engine stays, mated to either a six-speed manual or four-speed automatic transmission. Kia’s optional automatic start/stop system (called ISG) will be available in Europe, but not elsewhere.

In Malaysia, the current Kia Rio was launched early last year, priced between RM73,888 and RM79,888 (both on-the-road with insurance). No news yet on when the updated version will arrive in our market. You’ll know more when we do.

Kia Rio Facelift_0015 87c6fd7b-5738-4add-ae97-3aefcfdc1e36 f1edf78e-9663-4eb6-b84a-81ce88245c21 a5142896-1a64-40c3-bd88-0f667afcf258 9e5c7937-c508-44c0-832c-21fc57dacb1d 9b7dad7e-6b5b-4235-b1d7-824ff6311dcc 2787e402-1cc6-451f-98c6-de7fbc9e0296 Kia Rio Facelift_0009 Kia Rio Facelift_0001 Kia Rio Facelift_0014 Kia Rio Facelift_0004 Kia Rio Facelift_0005 Kia Rio Facelift_0006 Kia Rio Facelift_0007 Kia Rio Facelift_0008 Kia Rio Facelift_0010 Kia Rio Facelift_0011 8dbef112-0f0f-4838-a1ab-82a662e88466 Kia Rio Facelift_0012 Kia Rio Facelift_0013

The post Kia Rio facelift appears ahead of Paris show debut appeared first on Paul Tan's Automotive News.

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Author: "Hafriz Shah" Tags: "2014 Paris Motor Show, Cars, Internation..."
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Date: Tuesday, 30 Sep 2014 03:01

michelin

michelin-malaysia-d

Michelin has introduced two new truck tyres for the Malaysian market – the all-terrain X Works Z and highway-optimised X Line Energy Z.

The X Works Z (left) features a new uniform-footprint tread design, wider and more open grooves, plus a more robust crown architecture.

The result of all that is more even wear, better lateral grip and water evacuation, as well as higher resistance to crown impacts, providing better casing value for retreads.

The tyre has been designed to carry up to 7.1 tonnes per axle in single fitment and up to 13 tonnes per axle in dual fitment.

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The X Line Energy Z (right), on the other hand, targets long-haul transport companies. Using low-rolling resistance technology, the tyre claims to save fleets up to 515 litres of fuel over 130,000 km, equating to a CO2 emissions reduction of 1,371 kg.

“Michelin X Line Energy Z also provides up to 20% longer tread life which helps our customers gain optimal performance and lower costs of operation from their tyres,” said Michelin Malaysia MD Beltran Yturriaga.

He added that the X Line Energy Z will meet the needs of customers looking to maximise the value of their tyre through long first life mileage, multiple retreads and fuel savings.

Michelin’s X Works Z and X Line Energy Z all-position tubeless tyres are available now in a sole 295/80 R22.5 size.

The post Michelin X Works Z, X Line Energy Z tyres introduced appeared first on Paul Tan's Automotive News.

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Author: "Jonathan James Tan" Tags: "Local News"
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Date: Tuesday, 30 Sep 2014 01:32

Perodua_Kancil_ 001

At the Perodua headquarters in Rawang, we spotted two pristine examples of the Perodua Kancil. The red model is the first car to roll off the company’s assembly line, while the newer blue car is the 500,000th Kancil made. So we thought we’d provide you with a full gallery of both cars to see just how far the new Axia (and Perodua itself) has come since the saga of the brand began 20 years ago.

Based on the L200 Daihatsu Mira, the Kancil was unveiled by then Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad (now chairman of Proton) on August 29, 1994, with a base price of around RM25,000. This price tag made it Malaysia’s most affordable car, a title that has continued to be carried by its successors. Virtually everyone below a certain age with a driver’s licence has driven a Kancil before, as it became the default learner’s car almost immediately, replacing the Nissan Sunny.

Perodua_Kancil_ 004 Perodua_Kancil_ 010 Perodua_Kancil_ 012

Forget safety features like airbags, ABS or even rear seat belts, the red 660 cc Kancil above didn’t even come with power windows, power steering, central locking, a rev counter, a radio or – gasp! – a clock. About the only extra it contained was air-conditioning – it makes the bargain basement Axia Standard E variant look positively luxurious in comparison.

The Kancil went through two minor facelifts in 1997 and 2000 – the latter giving it a large chrome grille and two-tone bodywork. But it wasn’t until 2002 that the car received an extensive makeover that resulted in the blue car you see here.

There were new round headlamps, significantly reworked front and rear ends (including the rear number plate recess that was relocated to the tailgate from its original position on the bumper) and reshaped tail lamps. The interior is also completely new, with an instrument cluster that was moved to the centre of the dashboard. Various creature comforts also crept in over the years.

Perodua_Kancil_ 014 Perodua_Kancil_ 020 Perodua_Kancil_ 022

Perodua churned out this particular example, the 500,000th Kancil, on April 11, 2003. Four years later, the company introduced its successor, the Viva, which was based on the newer L250 Mira. But that car did not become Malaysia’s most affordable car, or at least, not yet – the base Kancil continued to be built to fill in the bottom of the range.

That lasted until July 20, 2009, when the last Kancil – unit number 722,223 – left the factory gates. Superseding the 15-year-old car was the base Viva 660 BX, retailing at exactly RM25,000 (now RM22,000 after prices were slashed in June ahead of the Axia’s launch). The interior is similarly basic (you did at least get a clock), but Perodua equipped all its models with dual airbags and front seat belt pretensioners in 2012, including its most kosong model.

Perodua_Viva_001 Perodua_Viva_002 Perodua_Viva_ 020

The Ozzy Orange Viva you see above is the value-added 1.0 litre S, which retailed at RM35,200 (reduced to RM29,900 in June) and gets a four-speed automatic transmission, power steering, a driver’s side seat height adjuster and a MP3/WMA compatible stereo, among other things.

The latest chapter in the lineage of Perodua’s smallest car began two weeks ago with the launch of the Axia. Based on the Indonesian-market Daihatsu Ayla, the new model – this time powered solely by a 1.0 litre 1KR-DE2 three-pot, the first time all variants use the same engine – comes in at RM24,600 for the base E and features power steering and power windows as standard. A four-star ASEAN NCAP safety rating too!

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This Lemongrass Green example is the G, with a RM32,800 price tag and such niceties as a neatly-integrated stereo, Isofix child seat anchors at the rear and the much vaunted anti-snatch hook.

So there you have it, a look at Malaysia’s most affordable cars – the Perodua Kancil, Viva and Axia – through the years. Did that get your memories flooding back?

First Perodua Kancil
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500,000th Perodua Kancil
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Perodua Viva S-Series
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Perodua Axia Standard G
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The post GALLERY: Perodua Kancil to Perodua Axia, Malaysia’s most affordable car through the ages appeared first on Paul Tan's Automotive News.

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Date: Monday, 29 Sep 2014 07:57

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Thanks to tight regulations, Lotus currently sells only one road-legal car in the US – the Lotus Evora, and even that has stumbled into issues now thanks to increasingly tight safety regulations in the country. The Elise S Cup R and Exige V6 Cup R are sold in the country for track usage only.

There will be no 2015 model year Evora, because Lotus isn’t allowed to sell one as it does not meet strict airbag safety standards. However, the company has a limited number of 2014 model year cars to last the entire 2015, and cars fitted with a new improved airbag system would be ready for 2016.

Lotus Evora

Lotus previously had an exemption from complying with the airbag regulations up to March 8, 2014. This exemption has now expired. The regulation in concern is FMVSS No. 208 S14.7.

The regulation calls for the airbags to be validated in a 56 km/h belted crash to work with multiple crash test dummies. This previously required a 50th percentile male crash dummy but was then updated to include a 5th percentile female crash test dummy as well.

Before this update to include the female crash test dummy, the Evora was fully compliant with FMVSS No. 208. After the update, the Lotus Evora required an exemption from this regulation for the front passenger seat (fully forward seat position) to be on sale.

Lotus Evora

Now that it no longer has the exemption, Lotus has to change the seatbelt buckles, switch to a new airbag ECU, and resubmit the Evora for type approval. The current airbag ECU does not have the capability to monitor whether the seat belt is buckled, and the buckle supplier does not have a suitable buckle switch.

A buckle switch would allow the ECU to fire only the first stage of the air bag inflator for buckled occupants while firing two stages for unbuckled occupants, allowing the stiffness of the air bag to be different for belted and unbelted occupants.

The post Lotus Evora to skip 2015 model year in the US because of strict advanced airbag requirement appeared first on Paul Tan's Automotive News.

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Date: Monday, 29 Sep 2014 07:50

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Subaru US will debut a new Impreza for the 2015 model year later this year. The refreshed model will come with Subaru’s “EyeSight” technology, making it the first Impreza sold in the States to feature it.

Apart from the inclusion of said system, the new Subaru Impreza will sport slightly redesigned front grille, bumper, head lights and fog light covers. The design of the side mirrors have been altered to reduce blind spots and allow for better forward visibility.

For the sedan body style, a spoiler has been integrated into the edge of the rear boot lid, which is said to improve aerodynamic performance as well as serve as a cosmetic upgrade. Newly-designed 16-inch aluminium wheels are also offered.

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Interior changes are limited to a new boot-type shift lever and a 3.5-inch LCD display with a new-generation interface that promises easier accessibility and a higher level of readability – again for increased safety. The car is powered by a 2.0 litre four-cylinder engine with Subaru’s trademark boxer layout.

Performance figures include 148 hp at 6,200 rpm and 197 Nm of torque at 4,200 rpm, mated to either a 5-speed manual or a ‘Lineartronic’ CVT transmission. Other safety features include the addition of a reverse camera with a wider vision angle and Steering Responsive Fog Lights (SRF) – which automatically illuminate on one side when cornering.

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The post Subaru Impreza US-spec facelift – first Impreza to receive “EyeSight” Driver Assist Technology appeared first on Paul Tan's Automotive News.

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Date: Monday, 29 Sep 2014 06:51

ops-cermin-gelap-55

According to a Berita Harian report, the Road Transport Department (JPJ) will be enforcing new vehicle tint regulations from November 1.

The new rules specify minimum permissible visible light transmission (VLT) levels of 70% for the windscreen, 50% for the front side windows and 30% for all other windows (rear side windows and rear screen), the report says.

The current rules stipulate 70% VLT for the windscreen and 50% VLT for all other windows (all side windows and the rear screen). This means that under the reported new rules, your rear side windows and rear screen may now wear darker tint.

JPJ director-general Datuk Seri Ismail Ahmad told BH that the revised tint regulations are in line with international standards. They apply to all Malaysian-registered vehicles, with exceptions given to certain parties.

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Current (left) and reported new tint regulations effective November 1.
VLT expressed in percentages; the lower the number, the darker the tint

“(Translated) Exceptions are given to the Yang di-Pertuan Agong, the Prime Minister and his Deputy, Chief Ministers, Menteri Besar, Chief Justice and Ministers,” Ismail was quoted by BH as saying.

“The same goes for high-risk departments like the Royal Malaysian Police and the Royal Malaysian Customs.”

A few months back, amidst the whole Ops Cermin Gelap malarkey, JPJ proposed minimum permissible VLT levels of 25% for the rear side windows and rear screen.

The post New tint rules from Nov 1: windscreen 70% VLT, front side windows 50%, rear side windows and rear screen 30%, exceptions given to certain parties – report appeared first on Paul Tan's Automotive News.

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Date: Monday, 29 Sep 2014 06:50

Iriz_ADAS_04

Here’s another prototype that was on display at the Alami Proton carnival last weekend – a Proton Iriz prototype fitted with an Advanced Drive Assistance System (ADAS) stereo camera, an effort by LG Electronics.

You might recall that the Proton Iriz Active concept had the same stereo camera fitted behind the windscreen near the rear view mirror – it was used to showcase pedestrian detection in that car.

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Screen Shot 2014-09-29 at 2.52.53 PM

The stereo camera allows many safety features to be implemented such as Autonomous Emergency Braking, Forward Collision Warning, Lane Departure Warning, Traffic Sign Recognition, Adaptive Cruise Control, High Beam Assist, Cross Traffic Assist, and others.

Euro NCAP recently made Autonomous Emergency Braking mandatory for a car to get a 5-star safety rating. Real world claims data suggests these systems can reduce accidents by up to 27%.

The post Proton Iriz prototype fitted with LG ADAS camera appeared first on Paul Tan's Automotive News.

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Date: Monday, 29 Sep 2014 05:45

PAULTAN_Proton_Iriz_Exterior_04

Proton has said that it will focus on the domestic market for six months where sales of the new Iriz is concerned. However, Proton chairman Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad has stated that the United Kingdom will be the first country that the Proton Iriz will be introduced to outside of Malaysia.

Proton is currently in the midst of engineering cars for the European market, where left-hand drive will be required as well as a host of other features necessary for approval. Recently, Proton previewed the Iriz Active concept with the ADAS system – an autonomous braking system.

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This feature could be included in versions for the export market as EU road safety legislation will require cars to have autonomous braking systems in the near future in order to qualify for a five-star Euro NCAP safety rating, vehicles will have to include the aforementioned feature when the legislation gets enforced.

As for the Australian market, Proton chief operating officer Kaye Aimes told CarAdvice that the local division would “dearly love” to introduce the Iriz. Proton executives are already headed for Australia in the coming weeks to assess the local market and come to a decision.

Should everything run smoothly, the Iriz would be introduced into the Australian market by the second quarter of 2015.

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The post Proton Iriz for export markets: UK first to receive cars, Australian and European markets set to follow after appeared first on Paul Tan's Automotive News.

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Date: Monday, 29 Sep 2014 04:52

volkswagen-passat-gte-plug-in-hybrid-1

Here’s Wolfsburg’s third plug-in hybrid model after the limited-run XL1 and the Golf GTE – the Volkswagen Passat GTE, which is going to next month’s Paris motor show. Sedan and estate versions will be available when it goes on sale in Europe next year.

It packs the same modular petrol-hybrid system used by the Golf GTE, only there’s more grunt on tap here. In the Passat GTE, a 154 hp 1.4 litre TSI engine joins forces with a 113 hp/330 Nm electric motor for a combined output of 215 hp and 400 Nm of torque. This beats the Golf GTE’s total system output by 14 hp and 50 Nm.

Like in the Golf GTE, the electric motor is housed within the six-speed DSG, but here it’s fed by a 9.9 kWh lithium-ion battery (Golf GTE 8.8 kWh). That gives the Passat GTE an all-electric range of 50 km (same as the Golf GTE) and a total petrol+electric range of nearly 1,000 km (Golf GTE 933 km).

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A full charge takes around four-and-a-quarter hours if you’re using a standard 240-volt system, or two-and-a-half hours from an optional wallbox. Four driving modes are available: E-mode, Hybrid, Battery Charge and GTE.

In E-mode, the Passat GTE can travel up to 130 km/h solely on electric power. Hybrid mode automatically switches between petrol and electric motors, while Battery Charge mode prioritises energy recuperation.

In GTE mode, the petrol and electric motors come together for maximum performance – here the vehicle is capable of reaching 100 km/h from rest in under eight seconds before hitting a 220 km/h top speed.

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NEDC combined fuel consumption is quoted at an astounding two litres per 100 km, and CO2 emissions aren’t any less impressive at under 45 grams per km.

Externally, the Passat GTE sports blue elements within the front grille, a new front bumper with C-shaped LED DRLs and GTE badges on the front wings. More blue inside – on the dashboard and door trims, the gear knob and gaiter, as well as the stitching on the flat-bottomed steering wheel.

Hybrid-specific instruments too – the conventional rev counter has made way for a charge/assist gauge, while energy flow, range and other information can be monitored through a colour display between the dials.

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The post Volkswagen Passat GTE plug-in hybrid unveiled appeared first on Paul Tan's Automotive News.

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Date: Monday, 29 Sep 2014 03:51

It looks like the Mercedes-AMG moniker won’t be limited to the recently-unveiled GT, but will filter down to the rest of the cars fettled by Affalterbach. The new naming scheme will start with this – the Mercedes-AMG C 63, based on the W205 C-Class.

The hardcore makeover starts from the exterior. At the front, the C 63 gets a deeper front apron derived from that of the E 63, joined by a unique AMG grille and twin bonnet power domes. The wheel arches have also been pumped up and the side sills made wider, while the rear is graced with a more aggressive rear bumper housing quad exhaust exits, as well as a small spoiler on the bootlid (tailgate on the Estate).

The interior is dominated by the twin heavily-bolstered front bucket seats, while the driver also gets a small contoured steering wheel ahead of AMG-badged dials. Controls for the AMG Ride Control, optional active performance exhaust system and three-stage gearbox modes flank the standard touchpad controller for the COMAND infotainment system, while the central clock is now made by IWC.

Mercedes-AMG C 63 S (BR 205); 2014

Powering the C 63 is AMG’s new 4.0 litre biturbo V8 that made its debut in the GT. The engine is actually more powerful here than in the firm’s new sports car, making 476 PS from 5,500 to 6,250 rpm and 650 Nm from 1,750 to 4,500 rpm. Mated to a revised AMG SPEEDSHIFT MCT seven-speed automatic transmission, it goes from 0-100 km/h in 4.1 seconds (4.2 for the Estate) before reaching its limited 250 km/h top speed.

There is also a more hardcore C 63 S variant that boosts power up to 510 PS and torque to a heady 700 Nm. This cuts the 0-100 km/h sprint time to just 4.0 seconds (4.1 for the Estate).

Under the skin, the four-link front and multi-link rear suspension has also been tweaked with a wider front track and higher rear negative camber, while AMG Ride Control allows the driver to adjust the electronically-controlled three-stage dampers. The regular C 63 gets 18-inch wheels, while the C 63 S receives 19-inch rollers. Sports tyres are available as an option.

A mechanical limited-slip rear differential comes as standard for the C 63, while the C 63 S gets an electronic unit. The S is also the only one that comes as standard with dynamic engine mounts that stiffen to improve steering response when needed, as well as a “Race” setting on the AMG Dynamic Select system. Ceramic composite brake discs are an option also reserved for the more powerful version.

Like many recent Mercedes-Benz models before them, the C 63 and C 63 S are also available in Edition 1 trim with 19-inch cross-spoke forged alloys, a night package with high-gloss black exterior trim, black tailpipes, red grille and wing mirror accents, matte grey stripes, black quilted Nappa leather upholstery, red interior trim, red seat belts and “Edition 1″ lettering on the steering wheel.

The Mercedes-Benz C 63 and C 63 S sedans will go on sale beginning next February, with Estate models following suit in April.

Mercedes-AMG C 63  (BR 205); 2014 Mercedes-AMG C 63  (BR 205); 2014 Mercedes-AMG C 63  (BR 205); 2014 Mercedes-AMG C 63  (BR 205); 2014 Mercedes-AMG C 63 S (BR 205); 2014 Mercedes-AMG C 63  (BR 205); 2014 Mercedes-AMG C 63  (BR 205); 2014 Mercedes-AMG C 63  (BR 205); 2014 Mercedes-AMG C 63 S (BR 205); 2014 Mercedes-AMG C 63 S (BR 205); 2014 Mercedes-AMG C 63  (BR 205); 2014 Mercedes-AMG C 63  (BR 205); 2014 Mercedes-AMG C 63 S (BR 205); 2014 Mercedes-AMG C 63  (BR 205); 2014 Mercedes-AMG C 63  (BR 205); 2014 Mercedes-AMG C 63  (BR 205); 2014 Mercedes-AMG C 63  (BR 205); 2014 Mercedes-AMG C 63  (BR 205); 2014 Mercedes-AMG C 63  (BR 205); 2014 Mercedes-AMG C 63  (BR 205); 2014 Mercedes-AMG C 63 S (BR 205); 2014 Mercedes-AMG C 63  (BR 205); 2014 Mercedes-AMG C 63  (BR 205); 2014 Mercedes-AMG C 63  (BR 205); 2014 Mercedes-AMG C 63 S (BR 205); 2014 Mercedes-AMG C 63  (BR 205); 2014 Mercedes-AMG C 63  (BR 205); 2014 Mercedes-AMG C 63 S (BR 205); 2014 Mercedes-AMG C 63  (BR 205); 2014 Mercedes-AMG C 63 S (BR 205); 2014 Mercedes-AMG C 63 S (BR 205); 2014 Mercedes-AMG C 63 S (BR 205); 2014 Mercedes-AMG C 63 S (BR 205); 2014 Mercedes-AMG C 63 S (BR 205); 2014 Mercedes-AMG C 63 S (BR 205); 2014 Mercedes-AMG C 63 S (BR 205); 2014 Mercedes-AMG C 63 S (BR 205); 2014 Mercedes-AMG C 63 S (BR 205); 2014 Mercedes-AMG C 63  (BR 205); 2014 Mercedes-AMG C 63  (BR 205); 2014

The post Mercedes-AMG C 63 and C 63 S – full details released appeared first on Paul Tan's Automotive News.

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Date: Monday, 29 Sep 2014 02:35

IIMS 2014 Sirion Grey 1

As mentioned in a previous story, the Daihatsu stand at the 2014 Indonesia International Motor Show is pretty relevant for Malaysians, with Daihatsu and our local market leader Perodua being sisters. The Daihatsu Sirion sold in the archipelago is the best example – launched at IIMS 2011, it is a Daihatsu-badged Perodua Myvi that is made in Rawang, Malaysia.

The Sirion isn’t as popular in Indonesia as the the Myvi is here, but it hasn’t escaped the tuning and customisation scene. Seen here are two winning cars that participated in the local Sirion Dress-Up Challenge. They have been worked on extensively, inside and out. The grey car is done up in a sporty “street racing” way, while the one in army camouflage follows an “adventure” theme.

IIMS 2014 Sirion Army 4 IIMS 2014 Sirion Army 8

The latter is more interesting to us, with a roof rack, front and side metal bars, a tow bar and off-road tyres for the full 4X4 effect. The interior has a jungle theme too, with a leafy pattern on the seats, door cards and dashboard. Pretty creative, no?

The sporty, wide-bodied one is fronted by a bold bumper with curves outlined in orange, looking very aggressive as a result. There’s also a previous-gen Honda City-style louvered grille and big 17-inch wheels with giant Brembo calipers holding small stock discs. At the back, the big bumper accomodates large “air intakes”, a diffuser and twin pipes. This writer nearly suffered from retinal burn photorgaphing the interior.

Like the Daihatsu Ayla GT2 Concept for future Axia owners, this Sirion duo could inspire some Myvi owners looking to stand out. Daihatsu also showed the UFC-3 and CUV-2 concepts in Jakarta, which could be previews of the next Alza and a new Kembara, respectively.

Daihatsu Sirion “Adventure Concept”

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Daihatsu Sirion “Street Racing”

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The post IIMS 2014: Daihatsu Sirion – modded Indonesian Myvis appeared first on Paul Tan's Automotive News.

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