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  • Volkswagen Malaysia launches courtesy car service

    volkswagen-malaysia-courtesy-car-service-2

    Volkswagen Group Malaysia (VGM) has launched its courtesy car service, part of its mobility guarantee programme. In line with several transformation actions revealed earlier, more than 200 Volkswagen vehicles will be available on the road to offer mobility support to customers.

    “Volkswagen is the first OEM in Malaysia to embark on a fully sponsored mobility guarantee programme. We now have a complete mobility service to complement our comprehensive dealer network,” said VGM MD Armin Keller.

    Customers are now entitled to collect a courtesy vehicle from Volkswagen authorized service centres when they send their vehicles for repair or service, should the duration exceed 24 hours.

    “Customer satisfaction is our utmost priority, and we will continue to invest in efforts which will help bring an enriched ownership and brand experience for our customers,” added Keller.

     
     
  • MRT Sg Buloh-Kajang Line – finalised station names

    mrt-stesen

    Mass Rapid Transit Corporation Sdn Bhd (MRT Corp) has revealed the finalised station names for the MRT Sungai Buloh-Kajang Line.

    Approved by the Prime Minister himself, the finalised names were chosen based on several factors – including the locality of the stations – to cater to the situation where an area has more than one station and the need to reduce the similarity of names for different stations.

    The earlier station names were provisional names which were determined prior to the public display of the MRT Sungai Buloh-Kajang Line railway scheme in 2012.

    mrt-finalised-station-names

    Click to enlarge

    “After obtaining feedback from the public during the public display, the proposed alignment underwent some changes resulting in some station locations being changed. However, the original names were maintained, resulting in them having names which did not reflect their locality,” said strategic communications and public relations director Amir Mahmood Razak.

    The above table shows the provisional and finalised station names of the MRT Sungai Buloh-Kajang Line. The names which appear against a grey background are those that have changed.

     
     
  • Proton to offer 20% discount on flood-related repairs

    Proton is offering to help owners whose cars were damaged by the recent floods get back on the road, through the latest iteration of its Proton We-Care Prihatin Banjir programme, which has been going on in one form or another since 2008.

    Available at 67 service outlets nationwide, the service – which runs until March 15 next year – will offer affected owners a 20% discount on the total cost of repair on their vehicles, as well as free inspection, damage valuation and towing assistance to the nearest selected Proton service centre.

    Proton also released a few tips on handling a flood-damaged car, which include:

    • Do not start your vehicle’s engine.
    • Do not use the remote control to unlock the vehicle’s doors. Instead, do this manually.
    • Make sure to remove the negative terminal of the battery to stop the flow of electricity in the vehicle.
    • All three measures above are intended to minimise damage to equipment, in particular to electrical and mechanical components of the vehicle. If these steps are taken, some equipment may still be saved.
    • After turning off the vehicle’s electricity supply, remove valuables from the vehicle, lock the door manually and get the vehicle towed to an authorised Proton service centre.

    Owners can contact Proton’s customer hotline at 1800-888-398 for enquiries, assistance or towing service requests.

     
     
  • 2015 Nissan GT-R – the R35 gets updated yet again, limited-run 45th Anniversary edition also announced

    Nissan GT-R 2015MY

    A year after a facelift was unveiled at the 2013 Tokyo Motor Show, Nissan has announced another set of updates for its mighty R35 – no changes to the VR38DETT powertrain and GR6 DCT ‘box, but the 2015 Nissan GT-R arrives offering significantly improved ride and handling levels.

    The automaker says that modifications to the 2014 model year car has resulted in a dramatically improved ride quality, while noise and vibration levels have also been reduced. Modifications to the damper rates of the shock absorbers and the ECU setting have resulted in improved cornering stability, allowing the driver to trace the desired driving line. The alterations also reduce the amount of steering corrections needed on rough roads.

    Elsewhere, the composition and inner structure of the tyre has been improved to offer better ride quality as well as stability in both straight-line and uneven road surfaces. The braking system – already improved in the facelift – gets more changes to elements in the system, resulting in improved braking feel from initial bite, better overall brake control and reduced brake noise levels.

    Nissan GT-R 2015MY

    In terms of other NVH improvements, there’s new trunk insulation, and both engine and transmission management systems have been retuned. Also revised, the bearings inside the flywheel housing and the car’s steering dynamic damper, the latter to reduce vibration at engine idle.

    Four grade variants are available for the 2015 model in its domestic market, the base GT-R as well as Black Edition, Premium Edition and the Track Edition engineered by Nismo, the latter bearing many of the cues found on the GT-R Nismo introduced last year.

    The Premium Edition also provides the basis for a limited 45-unit edition called the 45th Anniversary, which will come with a special Silica Brass exterior shade. The colour was previously found on the R34 Skyline GT-R M-Spec from 2001. Dedicated novelties include an exclusive emblem on the lower part of the interior centre cluster and an exclusive model plate number in the engine compartment.

     
     
  • 2015 Mitsubishi Triton appears on oto.my – RM92,000?

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    The all-new 2015 Mitsubishi Triton has only just been launched in Thailand last week, but already it has popped up in a listing on our sister classifieds site oto.my, available for “early bird” booking.

    Of course, being so soon since the global unveiling of Mitsubishi’s fifth-generation pickup, there’s very little information actually present in the ad copy, not even a tentative launch period. However, the car was advertised with an estimated starting price of RM92,000, some RM10,000 higher than the current base 2.5 MT STD model, which retails at RM82,185 on-the-road without insurance.

    Available equipment listed on the ad include keyless entry, push-button start, “LED head lamp” (most likely referring to the integrated LED daytime running lights, as the new Triton only comes with xenon headlights on its highest spec), leather seats, Bluetooth connectivity and a multi-function steering wheel.

    According to the ad, the new Triton will come in as a 2.5 litre model, which probably means we will miss out on the new 2.4 litre MIVEC VGT turbodiesel that produces 181 PS and 430 Nm, instead getting an improved version of the existing 178 PS/400 Nm 2.5 litre VGT oil burner.

    In Thailand, the 2015 Mitsubishi Triton is now open for booking in both Double Cab Plus and Double Cab 4×4 guises. Buyers can choose between a 128 PS/194 Nm 2.4 litre petrol with a five-speed manual or the aforementioned 2.4 litre diesel with either a six-speed manual or a five-speed automatic. Nine variants are available, with prices ranging from 791,000 baht (RM80,700) to 1,008,000 baht (RM102,900).

     
     
  • Subaru Forester tS by STI unveiled for JDM market

    FOTP2_Run

    Now this is what we would call a proper performance SUV. Subaru, or rather Subaru Tecnica International (STI), has just unveiled the Forester tS. Now before we can announce we have a legitimate reason to buy a SUV, let it be known that the Subaru Forester tS is only available for the Japanese domestic market (JDM).

    Set to go on sale at Subaru dealerships in Nippon-land on November 25, the limited edition Forester tS will only be available in a total production run of 300 units. Looking very much like a Forester on steroids, it features a bold, blackened grille complete with STI badging and signature cherry red striping.

    FOTP4_run

    Further aesthetic enhancements include silver highlights around the fog light surrounds and a redesigned rear bumper. A black roof spoiler, door mirrors and window frames further provide a tasteful contrast. Wheels are BBS-sourced, 19-inch forged aluminium wheels wrapped in 245/45 Bridgestone Turanza ER33 tyres.

    A turbocharged, 2.0 litre flat-four with a custom engine control unit (ECU) by STI ensures a healthy output of 280 hp and 350 Nm of torque. Transferring all that power is a Lineartronic CVT transmission with an exclusively-tuned transmission control unit (TCU) to Subaru’s trademark all-wheel drive system.

    Retardation comes courtesy of STI-badged four-pot calipers in front and two-pot calipers at the rear, clamping on ventilated discs at all four corners. The suspension layout is an inverted-strut format with a 15 mm reduction in height. A tower bar and draw stiffeners – front and back – increases chassis rigidity.

    Stepping inside, one is greeted by a set of sport seats which feature a combination of leather and Ultrasuede. A new instrument cluster along with a redesigned multifunction display and STI-themed gear knob are presented. An STI-specific steering wheel, ignition button and side sills complete the upgrades inside.

    Additional safety measures include Subaru’s EyeSight technology which packs adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning and an autonomous braking system via cameras mounted in the rear-view mirror. A retuned vehicle dynamics control (VDC) system further expands the Forester’s safety net.

    The Subaru Forester tS is available in four colours – WR Blue Mica, Crystal White Pearl, Ice Silver Metallic and Crystal Black Silica. It costs 4,350,000 yen (RM123,792.67) and is available for order up until April 5 2015 for all colours except WR Blue Mica, which has to be ordered prior to February 8 2015.

     
     
  • Chevrolet Volt second-gen teased ahead of Detroit

    chevrolet-volt-second-gen-teased

    The second-gen Chevrolet Volt has been officially teased on Twitter ahead of its Detroit show debut in January. Garang face, isn’t it? Just like the original Volt, the front grilles are covered to improve aerodynamics – although you can see small openings at the bottom of each intake.

    Great things are expected of the new Volt – a higher electric range, a lighter Voltec powertrain and a new interior. A 13 kg-lighter and more efficient battery pack, developed with LG Chem, should yield a 20% jump in storage capacity. The number of cells have been cut from 288 to 192, and they’re positioned lower in the pack for a better centre of gravity.

    The four-cylinder petrol engine now displaces 1.5 litres instead of 1.4 litres, and features direct injection, a 12.5 compression ratio, cooled exhaust gas recirculation and a variable displacement oil pump.

    GM has always called it the range extender (meaning it is just used to charge the batteries) but according to some reports, in very specific situations, the original Volt’s petrol engine can mechanically assist the electric motor at high speeds.

    Although the likelihood of this happening is very low (80% of all trips are completed without the range extender starting up, Chevy says), in the strictest sense, this makes the first-gen Volt a plug-in hybrid and not a range-extended electric vehicle.

    Does it dampen our excitement for the full unveiling of the sequel, though? Not one bit.

     
     
  • The Great Nissan Buy 1 Win 1 campaign – Round 2

    ETCM Nissan Range

    The first round of Edaran Tan Chong Motor’s (ETCM) ‘The Great Nissan Buy 1 Win 1’ campaign concluded recently with the announcement of six customers winning Nissan cars worth more than RM888,888. The campaign was held in conjunction with Tan Chong’s 57th anniversary and the nation’s 57th year of independence.

    The lucky winners are Raziff Suhairi bin Shabaan (bought a Teana 2.5XV, won a Serena S-Hybrid), Kelvin Ong Wei Chong (bought an Almera, won a Sylphy 1.8E), Aidasuzana bt Md Arshad (Grand Livina 1.6L, Serena S-Hybrid), Arnizah bt Kasbulah (Sylphy 1.8VL, Teana 2.0XE), On Keur Li (Serena S-Hybrid, Teana 2.5XV) and Luhat Jok, who bought a Navara and won a Sylphy 1.8E.

    nissan-contest-prizes

    ETCM says that due to overwhelming response, there will be a Round 2 of the campaign. It’s already underway and will go on till December 31. Five customers who buy a new Nissan car will drive home with two of them, with prizes worth over RM600k up for grabs. Eligible models and the offered prizes are listed above. Good luck!

     
     
  • MITI to provide details on energy efficient vehicle firms

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    The Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI) is set to provide details of an upcoming review of the 2014 National Automotive Policy, along with information on a number of companies who have established facilities for energy efficient vehicles (EEV) in Malaysia, come January next year, The Star reports.

    “Next mid-January, I am going to have a stock take on the NAP. The NAP is one year old and there has been some progress and we will share more details of what has been happening in the next briefing,” the English-language daily quoted MITI minister Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed as saying. He was signing five memoranda of understanding (MoU) with corporations for the vendor development programme.

    Mustapa also voiced his concerns regarding the drop in performance where the export of locally-made vehicles is concerned. Talking to The Star, he commented that the local auto and parts manufacturers “have not done well at all” compared to firms that have pursued business cases abroad.

    Citing export numbers as an indicator for the industry’s performance, Mustapa noted that Malaysian auto makers and its affiliates face stiff competition from more established international players, along with China. “One day we have to face competition coming from China. China will be an important player in the next few years,” he added.

    Carmakers that have either established EEV facilities in Malaysia, have been given an EEV manufacturing licence or produce vehicles that have been granted EEV status so far include Perodua (for the Axia), Great Wall (for the M4 and H6) and Mazda (for SkyActiv cars).

    The W222 Mercedes-Benz S 400 L Hybrid‘s case is unrelated to the EEV programme. Being a locally-assembled (CKD) hybrid, that gets full duty exemptions. NAP 2014 stipulates that as long as a hybrid is produced in Malaysia (like the Honda Jazz Hybrid and Nissan Serena S-Hybrid), it is eligible for full import and excise duty exemption until the end of 2015 – regardless of the size of its internal combustion engine (or its fuel efficiency!).

    nap-2014-eev-specs

    Under NAP 2014’s EEV programme, “customised incentives” – including lower taxes, grants and others – are given to carmakers who are interested to participate. In its simplest form, the EEV is defined as a vehicle that meets a set fuel consumption figure for its kerb weight, regardless of its method of propulsion or engine displacement (see table here).

    If a carmaker builds its EEV(s) locally and wishes to take advantage of the incentives, it has to apply for EEV certification from the government, much like Thailand’s Eco Car programme.

    However, unlike our northern neighbours’ scheme, we have no minimum investment or minimum annual production pre-requisites – but we also don’t know exactly how much carmakers get here in terms of incentives. Perhaps MITI will reveal more in January.

     
     
  • 2014 Super GT clean sweep for the Motul Autech GT-R

    2014 motul autech gtr

    Nismo’s factory-backed Motul Autech team secured the 2014 Super GT Championship at the series’ final race at Twin Ring Motegi recently, coming out tops in a one-point photo finish with Lexus Team KeePer Tom’s. Starting from pole, the driver pairing of Tsugio Matsuda and Ronnie Quintarelli won the race and took home the GT500 Drivers Championship as well, making it a clean sweep for the red GT-R.

    It is Matsuda’s first Super GT title and it comes in his first year back with Nismo following an absence of seven years. For Italian Quintarelli, it’s his second taste of the championship. A sweet and impressive feat for both drivers and team, as they competed in 2014 with an all-new Nismo GT500 car.

    Motul has been a loyal partner of Nismo since 2003 and works closely with Nissan’s racing and tuning arm to constantly upgrade and improve the lubricant technology. The “Nismo Competition Oil by Motul” series, used by the Nissan GT-R in racing, is a result of this collaboration. The range is also available for GT-R owners via the Nismo parts catalogue.

    No Godzillas in the house, but we recently sampled Motul’s 300V Motorsport Line engine lubricant and found a positive difference – read more here.

     

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