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  • Lorry crashes into two cars at Kesas toll booth

    kesas accident fire

    An accident earlier this evening on the Kesas Highway at the westbound Sunway toll booth involving a lorry and two vehicles, a Toyota Estima and a Proton, resulted in a fire.

    The incident was tweeted by Lembaga Lebuhraya Malaysia, which advised users to avoid the Kesas Highway. No casualties were reported in the accident, which was reportedly caused by the lorry.

    According to The Star, a Kesas spokesperson said that “the driver must have lost control of the lorry and rammed into the toll booth and both cars. The lorry driver fled the scene. The drivers from both cars managed to escape the fire. The accident caused a jam which is clearing up right now,” he said.

    Internet users and those on social media also shared photos of the incident, which caused a crawl in both directions.

  • Vietnam approves new automotive industry development strategy – focus on trucks and vans

    Automotive manufacturing output in Vietnam is expected to rise to meet domestic as well as export demand through a new development strategy for the country’s automotive industry.

    According to Vietnam News Agency, the 10-year plan, which has been approved by prime minister Nguyen Tan Dung, is focused on building trucks, specialised vans and nine- and 10-seater vans. The strategy will also encourage the production of small and multi-purpose vans for agricultural and rural use. In addition, exports of Vietnamese-made cars is targeted to reach 900,000 units by 2035.

    The auto parts industry has not been left out, either, with the introduction of advanced technologies and partnerships with major global brands expected to produce world-class parts. The industry is projected to meet 35% of domestic spare parts and accessories demand by 2020 and 65% in 2035.

    The plan places emphasis on the need for collaboration among carmakers and assemblers, parts makers and research and training centres in all economic sectors.

  • VW’s Safe & Stylish Balik Kampung – winner found


    Volkswagen Malaysia and fashion designer Melinda Looi recently came together to offer Malaysians a chance to drive home a VW Polo Sedan in conjunction with the Safe & Stylish Balik Kampung campaign. The month-long campaign, launched concurrently with the ‘emel by Melinda Looi’ Raya collection, saw good response from fans of both the fashion and automotive scenes.

    A winner has been found from over 6,000 entries, and he is Ahmad Amirul Ehsan bin Alias from Rawang. “I was really surprised and excited when I found out that I had won a brand new Polo Sedan. I’ve been eyeing a Volkswagen car for a while now, so it’s amazing that my dream has come true this Raya. I’m so grateful for getting this opportunity to own my very own Volkswagen,” he gushed.

    Petra Schreiber, director of marketing and communications at VW Malaysia said: “We embarked on a campaign themed around style and safety as these two elements are in line with the Volkswagen brand. We are truly delighted to be able to share the joy of owning and driving a Volkswagen with this lucky winner in conjunction with this joyous festive celebration.”

    The locally-assembled Polo Sedan was launched here in October 2013. The B-segment sedan, a rival to the Toyota Vios and Honda City, is powered by a 1.6 litre MPI normally-aspirated engine (105 PS/153 Nm) paired to a six-speed torque converter automatic transmission with Tiptronic. It sells for RM85,888.

  • VIDEO: Honda Jazz in action – official Malaysian ads

    Here are two videos of the 2014 Honda Jazz, launched in Malaysia last week. They are official ads for the new Jazz by Honda Malaysia, and one is a longer version showing the B-segment hatchback’s notable features. Check Jazz Town out to see if you agree that “it’s everybody’s kind of car”.

    The new Jazz is powered by a 1.5 litre SOHC i-VTEC engine developing 120 PS at 6,600 rpm and 145 Nm of torque at 4,600 rpm, mated to an ‘Earth Dreams’ CVT gearbox, the same drivetrain combo found in the City sedan. Claimed fuel consumption is 17.81 km/l.

    The new car is 55 mm longer than its already-roomy predecessor at 3,955 mm. The wheelbase has been extended 30 mm to 2,530 (70 mm less than the City). Width and height maintain status quo at 1,695 and 1,524 mm respectively. Boot volume is now 400 litres instead of the previous 337 (all seats up).

    The model’s signature rear Ultra Seats are present, of course. Apart from folding flat, the seat bases can also be lifted up to make space for tall items. The front seats can also be reclined flat.

    Locally-assembled at Honda Malaysia’s No.2 Line at its Pegoh plant in Melaka, the 2014 Honda Jazz is priced, OTR with insurance, as follows: S RM72,800, E RM79,800 and V RM87,800. Modulo and Mugen kits are officially available, too.

    Honda Jazz Main Pic

    Full details and specs can be found in our comprehensive Honda Jazz launch report. We also had a chat with the car’s Assistant Large Project Leader, Daisuke Uragami, and gave the hatchback a preview spin in Hua Hin, Thailand. The Jazz wasn’t launched in time for Driven Web Series 2014, but we featured its sedan sister in Episode 1.

    There’s more. You can also compare the Honda with rivals such as the VW Polo, Suzuki Swift, Ford Fiesta and Kia Rio via‘s car comparison feature. Want to read in Bahasa Malaysia instead? Launch report by our sister site is here.

    2014 Honda Jazz 1.5 E with Modulo package

    2014 Honda Jazz 1.5 E with Mugen package

    2014 Honda Jazz studio shots

  • Proton Design Competition 2014 – our coverage so far

    proton design contest 2014

    Hey, budding designers! Have you submitted your designs for the Proton Design Competition 2014? We and the design team are eagerly awaiting your entries, and you’d better hurry as submissions close August 11!

    While you guys are busy working on your entries, let’s have a look at some of the our stories related to the competition over the past few weeks.

    Proton’s past concepts


    We started with a look at a selection of Proton’s previous concept cars to get an insight into what the design team had done before as well as to provide inspiration for the contestants. Among the cars we looked at were the Tuah, which previewed the eventual Prevé, as well as the EMAS from Geneva 2010 which kickstarted Proton’s current design direction.

    Entry formats and submissions guide

    espire-tuah sketch 630px

    Those who need clarification on the exact rules and regulations of the competition would do well to check out our guide on submissions and entry formats, including paper size, views of the exterior to render and the type and the number of seats of the car itself. This should allow you to focus on your design without having to worry about disqualification.

    The design guide

    Still scratching your head over how to design a Proton city car for the year 2020? The company issued a set of guidelines for the contestants, based on what the judges are looking for in each design. We also tried our hand at our own city car design, as seen above, though we’re sure you can do better…

    Interview with Azlan Othman, Proton’s head of design


    Last week, we spoke to Proton’s chief designer, Azlan Othman, about what actually goes on behind the scenes of the design studio, how cars such as the Prevé and the Suprima S were designed relative to their target market and how Proton’s design language will evolve over the coming years. He also gave some tips for the competition, so it’s something you should not miss!


    Don’t forget, there’s still time to join the Proton Design Competition 2014, which is looking for your vision of a Proton city car for the year 2020. Up for grabs are RM58,000 worth of prizes, including MacBooks, cash rewards, an internship at the Proton R&D Creative Design Centre and even a chance to have your design immortalised as a quarter-scale model at the Proton Gallery.

    This is great opportunity for Malaysian youths to be part of something that could define their future as well as that of the local automobile industry. Visit Proton’s Facebook page for the entry form and contest details.

  • LEGO Mini Cooper – the little classic goes plastic

    lego mini 01

    Danish toy manufacturer Lego is adding a car to its Creator Expert series – the classic Mini will begin selling online exclusively via from August 1.

    The 1,007-piece kit is an accurate replica of the legendary small car, with the body finished in British Racing Green and a transversely-mounted four-cylinder mill to be found under the operable hood, among other things.

    Fully assembled, the right-hand drive Lego Mini measures in at 25 cm long, 14 cm wide and 11 cm tall, keeping in line with the model’s characteristic proportions.

    lego mini 02

    Providing contrast to the British Racing Green exterior is a roof, exterior mirror caps and bonnet stripes finished in white. The wheels, bumpers, door hinges as well as headlamps and taillights fully reflect the original’s design. A spare wheel is also to be found, located in the bottom compartment of the boot.

    Emblems on the rear side body sections indicate that the Lego replica is based on the Mini Cooper produced from August 1997 to July 1998, to mark the 40th anniversary of the classic Mini.

    The doors and tailgate can be opened, offering a view of the interior, which features checked-pattern beige seats and movable steering wheel, gear lever, handbrake handle, backrests and headrests. A fully packed picnic basket, complete with a checked blanket, is tucked away in the boot.

  • Chevrolet Malibu sighted at Naza Automall PJ


    We’ve known that the Malaysian D-segment market would be stirred up a bit by a Chevrolet for some time now. When this generation of Chevrolet Malibu was first unveiled in 2011, GM said that it would be a global car like the C-segment Chevrolet Cruze.

    In January this year, we found brochure scans teasing the arrival of the Malibu in Malaysia, and this was followed by the sighting of an ad on car classifieds website listing the Malibu for RM163k.

    We sighted the Chevrolet Malibu with our own eyes for the first time yesterday evening when a colleague saw this black unit parked outside the Naza Automall PJ along the Federal Highway. A quick check with a sales advisor revealed an estimated price of RM175k and a RM15k discount for the first 500 early bird buyers. The car is a CBU import from South Korea.

    This car isn’t the latest facelift version, which had an early debut in mid 2013, just one and a half years after the original design rolled off the line in October 2011. It could be a US market specific thing, as the latest generation of US market cars seem to be getting early facelifts due to some kind of mass misreading of market tastes or perhaps stiff competition – the US market Honda Civic received a similiar fast track facelift.

    The Chevrolet Malibu will take on D-segment in Malaysia, dominated by Japanese competitors like the Toyota Camry, Honda Accord and Nissan Teana. It looks pretty handsome, and there’s a hint of muscle in the ‘inspired by Camaro’ rear end.

    Underpinned by GM’s Epsilon II platform, the Malibu comes with a range of engines, depending on market. There’s a 2.4 litre Ecotec (165 hp/225 Nm), a 2.5 litre with 197 hp/259 Nm, a 3.0 V6 with 260 hp/290 Nm, or even a 2.0 turbo with 260 hp and 353 Nm. A 160 hp/350 Nm 2.0 VCDI diesel engine is also in the range. The Malaysian car will most likely get the 2.4 litre Ecotec.

    We’ll be back with more news, while you can follow Chevrolet Malaysia’s Facebook page for updates.

    Chevrolet Malibu at the 2013 Seoul Motor Show

  • Ford EcoSport sighted in JPJ Putrajaya – launch soon

    Click to enlarge

    The Ford EcoSport has landed in Malaysia – regular contributor ApexKit sent us pictures of the Fiesta-based B-segment crossover at JPJ Putrajaya, indicating that a launch is imminent.

    This intriguing Midnight Sky example looks to be in mid-spec Trend trim judging by the plainer four-spoke 16-inch alloys and black fog light surrounds, rather than the six-spoke wheels and chrome fog light surrounds of the Titanium model. This indicates that there will be at least two trim levels that will be offered locally (we probably won’t get the base Ambiente variant).

    Inside, it appears that the Trend model will feature a traditional manual key start and a manual air-conditioning system – niceties such as keyless entry and start as well as automatic climate control are expected to be reserved for the Titanium.

    Click to enlarge screenshots

    The EcoSport will be powered by the same 110 PS/142 Nm 1.5 litre Ti-VCT four-cylinder engine and six-speed PowerShift dual clutch transmission combo as on the Fiesta 1.5, with the 125 PS/170 Nm 1.0 litre EcoBoost turbocharged three-cylinder mill coming in later.

    Local distributor Sime Darby AutoConnexion (SDAC) gave an estimated price range of between RM98k and RM108k when the EcoSport was previewed at KLIMS13 last year, but a recent listing showed a price tag of RM96,888. While we wait for the final prices, you can read our review of the 1.5 litre model from Thailand.

    GALLERY: Ford EcoSport test driven in Thailand

  • SPYSHOTS: Volkswagen Jetta facelift seen on trailer


    Is Volkswagen preparing for the launch of the Volkswagen Jetta facelift in Malaysia? Reader Hugo from VW Jetta Club Malaysia sent in this set of photos of a single covered up Jetta being transported on a trailer along the Gombak highway today.

    We recognise it as an update to the Jetta from the tail lamps, which have been reshaped on the inside edges, with the lower line now cutting more steeply upwards. There are also new alloy wheel designs, which now add thinner spokes in between five thicker spokes.

    This is actually quite a surprise since the facelifted Jetta has not even been launched in important right-hand drive markets such as the UK yet, with it having been unveiled in left hand drive form in the US just a few months ago. VW claims improved efficiency across the facelifted Jetta range, thanks to improved aerodynamics and newer, more advanced engines.

    The North American 2015 Volkswagen Jetta facelift was unveiled in April this year

    The 160 PS twincharged TSI motor has been replaced by a turbo-only 150 PS version of the 1.4 litre TSI petrol engine, which also get with automatic stop-start and battery energy recuperation systems as standard.

    Other updates inherited from the latest Golf Mk7 include an updated steering wheel, instrument cluster and automatic air con controls, and safety features such as Blind Spot Detection, Rear Cross-Traffic Alert, and Frontal Collision Warning to go along with the new piano black and chrome trimmings.

    North American 2015 Volkswagen Jetta facelift

  • Proton’s P2-30A GSC hatchback spotted near KLIA


    We’ve been saying this for quite some time now, but Proton’s upcoming Global Small Car (GSC) is really coming soon. It has been spotted testing again, this time by reader Jaggat who saw two examples at the KLIA mosque compound.

    Both cars are still heavily camouflaged and there’s nothing here we haven’t seen before, except for the blue exterior paint colour on one of the units here. It should be the same Atlantic Blue offered on the Suprima S.

    Don’t expect the B-segment five-door hatchback, codenamed P2-30A, to be bargain basement cheap though – it is after all made for the world, judging from the “global” in its pre-production project name.

    “Now Proton wants to produce cars which are of world standard, but you have to pay a higher price. You can’t have a good car and pay a bad car price,” Proton chairman Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad was quoted as saying last month.

    “The new model was expected to be cheaper compared to other models in the same segment, because that is what a Proton is supposed to be. However, the prices have to be raised a little because customers are paying for something better,” he said last week, adding to the same topic.


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