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  • Maxus G10 – a RM120k MPV that can seat up to 11


    A challenger to the Hyundai Grand Starex is set to come about soon, in the form of the Maxus G10 – word is that Weststar will begin selling the large MPV in a few months time; at present, a launch date hasn’t been firmed up yet, because the vehicle is still pending JPJ homologation.

    As such, pricing hasn’t been confirmed, but the G10 is expected to retail around the RM120k mark, making it very much a cheaper alternative to the Grand Starex Royale.

    What we do know about the vehicle – which was introduced in China last year – is that it will be launched as a ‘passenger car’ as opposed to a commercial offering, and that only one version will be available, a “luxury” variant riding on 16-inch alloys wrapped with 215/65 profile tyres.

    The MPV features two sliding rear doors and can seat up to 11 (the example in the photos has a 10-seat configuration) – rather uniquely, Weststar says that one of the ‘selling points’ of the G10 will be the fact that you can specify how many seats you want, with a minimum configuration of five seats as a baseline. As such, pre-ordering is required, we’re told.

    The G10 measures in at 5,168 mm long, 1,980 mm wide and 1,928 mm tall, and has a 3,210 mm-long wheelbase. It’s powered by a 2.0 litre turbocharged GDI engine with 225 hp and 345 Nm for output numbers. Mated to a six-speed ZF automatic transmission with manual mode, the mill is able to get the G10 all the way up to a 190 km/h top whack.

    Standard kit listed for the Malaysian-spec G10 includes dual-zone auto climate control, rear air-conditioning, passive entry/keyless ignition, cruise control, HID Xenon headlights, LED tail lamps, a moon roof and a DVD player with a seven-inch display as well as a six-speaker audio system.

    The people mover also comes equipped with leather seats, parking sensors, front/rear fog lamps and a reverse camera, and safety kit includes two airbags and ABS with EBD.

    It’s not listed in the equipment part of the spec-sheet, but ESP and brake assist will be available, as clearly seen in a photo of the AC control switchgear. There’s a button denoting the presence of it, and the highest-spec Executive Luxury version sold in China comes equipped with ESC, BA and traction control, so this should well be the case here.

  • SPIED: Hyundai AE HEV caught again, debuts in 2016


    Not too long now before the global debut of Hyundai’s dedicated Prius-fighter, it seems. First spied back in December 2014, and then once more earlier this year undergoing winter testing, the Hyundai AE HEV has now been captured again, the time plying the roads of Germany.

    Scheduled to go into production in the middle of 2016, the Hyundai AE HEV has yet to receive its finalised name – the AE represents its internal codename while HEV stands for ‘Hybrid Electric Vehicle’. Aside from its nomenclature, development of the car appears to on schedule as proven by this batch of spyshots.

    Despite brisk progress on the development of the AE HEV, Hyundai has chosen to retain more or less the same amount of camouflage from previous mules, preventing us from getting a clearer look at the Korean offering. What Hyundai cannot hide, however, is the AE HEV’s wedged, Prius-like silhouette.

    Peer beneath the camouflage and one might be able to notice the car’s front grille, replete with horizontal bars. Other details include the headlight assemblies and its accompanying blue highlights and LED daytime running lights, arranged in a vertical layout. The rear of the car appears to sport a Honda Civic-esque spoiler while a sole interior shot reveals what appears to be two-toned, fabric seats.

    Despite being a completely new model, the Hyundai AE HEV will, reportedly, sit atop the same platform that will underpin the next-generation Hyundai Elantra. Under the bonnet, expect a parallel hybrid setup to feature, comprised of a 1.6 litre four-cylinder petrol engine and an electric motor juiced up by a lithium-ion battery pack. A five-door model will debut first but several body styles are expected to follow soon after.

    Aside from the addition of different physical variants, sources indicate that the Hyundai AE HEV will also be offered as a plug-in hybrid. Said variant will likely be presented to the market a year and a half after the debut of the original, at the earliest.

    GALLERY: Hyundai AE HEV undergoing winter testing

    GALLERY: 2012 Toyota Prius Plug-in Hybrid

  • Mercedes-Benz Malaysia – best ever sales in May ’15


    Mercedes-Benz Malaysia (MBM) has some serious momentum going. On the back of a successful first four months of 2015 (best Q1 ever, followed by 932 units in April), MBM today announced yet another record month for passenger cars, registering 1,143 units in May 2015. That’s an improvement of over 100% compared to the same month last year.

    “Mercedes-Benz Malaysia is on the road to success. We’ve had an exceptional start to 2015 with sound performance in all type classes, and the figures recorded are a direct result of our dynamic market strategy,” said MBM president and CEO Roland Folger.

    “As we further strengthen our leadership position in the luxury segment, our number one priority remains our customers’ satisfaction. Just as we continue to produce quality luxury passenger cars, we are focused on exceeding customer expectations,” he added.

    Mercedes-Benz Q1 results 1

    The strong performance was underpinned by Mercedes’ core models – the W205 C-Class, W212 E-Class and W222 S-Class saloons combined for an auspicious 888 units in May.

    Of the above, main contributors were the E300 BlueTEC Hybrid that was launched in January (we drove it from KL to Bangkok on one tank of diesel – story here), the C200 (now locally assembled) and CKD hybrid tax exemption beneficiary S400L Hybrid.

    The New Generation Compact Cars (NGCC) range comprising the A-Class, B-Class, CLA compact four-door coupe and GLA crossover models posted a total of 254 units. Stuttgart’s intention to reach out to the young and upwardly mobile is obvious with the NGCC family, but the stylish front-wheel drive models are some way from being as successful as Merc’s bread and butter lines, in Malaysia at least. But like those yuppies it’s targeting, the only way is up.

  • MRT Corp says road depression on Sultan Iskandar Highway not related to MRT construction


    MRT Corporation has issued a short press release in response to media reports and social media conversations with regards to the depression that formed on a section of the Sultan Iskandar Highway (formerly Lebuhraya Mahameru).

    Investigations conducted by MRT Corp and its contractors revealed that the incident was not caused by nor related to the construction of the MRT Sungai Buloh-Kajang Line – MRT Corp pointed out in the statement that besides the MRT project, there are other infrastructure construction projects in the vicinity of the Lebuhraya Sultan Iskandar-Jalan Duta intersection.

    It was reported that an emergence of cracks as well as deposition of sedimentary soil had taken place along the left lane of the road, in particular the portion just after the Jalan Damansara-Jalan Parliament turn-off.

    The cracks first surfaced at around 2 pm yesterday due to road repair works, and the affected section of the road – measuring about three metres by 4.6 metres – posed enough of a risk to road users that the decision was made to bring about the closure of route as of 8 pm yesterday.

  • KL City Grand Prix – V8 Supercars, Audi R8 LMS Cup, Porsche Carrera Cup Asia announced


    Not long now until the inaugural KL City Grand Prix, which will take place on August 7-9 – the organiser, GT Global Race, has revealed a number of developments that have taken place in the run-up to the race.

    Firstly, the circuit design – which runs through Jalan Ampang, Jalan Sultan Ismail, Jalan Raja Chulan, Jalan Perak and Jalan P Ramlee – has received formal approval from the FIA, which GT Global Race said is a “huge step forward” in preparations for the race in terms of regulations and safety.

    As part of circuit approvals, track inspector Tim Schenken will arrive in the country next week to physically inspect the proposed 3.2 km track. Preliminary track preparation has already started, with the removal of traffic islands and the reshaping of curbs around Jalan Raja Chulan and Jalan Perak, and the resurfacing of the roads will commence later this month.


    Now, to the fun part – the races. Announced today is the inclusion of the Australian V8 Supercars race series into the fold for the next five years, first as an exhibition race this year featuring former champion Craig Lowndes, Scott McLaughlin, Chaz Mostert, Will Davidson and Todd Kelly. After that, KL City GP will play host to a full championship round starting from 2016.

    Also introduced for this year are the Porsche Carrera Cup Asia and Audi R8 LMS Cup one-make series, joining the Lamborghini Super Trofeo Cup that was announced late last year. Audi’s Asia-based championship will be particularly interesting for Malaysians, as it features our very own Alex Yoong, reigning champion and current championship leader.

    There will also be a GT City Cup race that, as the name implies, will make use of GT racers – details and regulations of the new race will be announced soon. With Formula Masters also on the agenda, there’s no room for the Scirocco Cup which was mentioned last year, so that has been dropped.

    The race is expected to be a biggie – according to a PricewaterhouseCoopers independent evaluation carried out last year, the KL City Grand Prix is expected to draw an estimated 100,000 new visitors to the country, create over 6,300 jobs from the first event and raise RM750 million in national income. By 2020, it expects 150,000 visitors, over 10,000 jobs and RM1.2 billion in national income for that year.

  • BMW Malaysia now offers five-year unlimited mileage manufacturer warranty, 5-year/100,000 km free service

    BMW Malaysia 5 years warranty

    Excellent news, Bimmer fans! BMW Malaysia has just announced that from June 2015 (that’s now), all new BMW models sold through official authorised channels in the country will come with a five-year unlimited mileage manufacturer warranty and a five-year/100,000 km free scheduled service package as standard. This includes all the BMW M models, as well as the i8 plug-in hybrid supercar!

    The complimentary maintenance programme is in accordance to the on-board BMW Condition Based Service (CBS) status, and includes service vehicle checks, oil, air, fuel and micro filters, spark plugs and brake fluid. However, brake discs, pads and windscreen wipers (previously covered under BS+RI) have been excluded from the service programme.

    Still, this is a huge upgrade over the two-year unlimited mileage warranty plus three-year/60,000 km BMW Service + Repair Inclusive (BS+RI) coverage offered previously.

    This move elevates BMW Malaysia from having the shortest warranty coverage among premium brands in the country to become a clear class-leader is this aspect. Mercedes-Benz Malaysia offers a four-year unlimited mileage warranty, while Audi Malaysia gives a four-year/120,000 km coverage.

  • PSA: Do not use your mobile phones while driving

    Screen Shot 2015-06-03 at 6.48.03 PM

    Marion Caunter on Instagram.

    Using your mobile phone while driving? Don’t. Just don’t. Doing so not only endangers yourself, but other road users as well.

    Countless studies have been carried out on this subject, all with similar conclusions. Distracted driving, be it from being on the phone with someone or God forbid, texting, significantly increases the risk of getting into or causing a crash. Readers, drivers, please be aware of the dangers of distracted driving.

    Most drivers think that the act of talking on the phone is not such a big distraction, but the reality is, engaging in the visual-manual tasks (such as reaching for a phone, dialling and texting) associated with the use of mobile phones is the biggest offender. Volkswagen’s Eyes on the Road video below explains this very well.

    In Singapore, it is now illegal for a driver to use or hold any type of mobile device while the vehicle is on the move. Texting or making a call on a mobile phone has always been deemed an offence, but recent changes to the law makes it an offence to use or hold a mobile device while driving.

    The penalties are severe too – first-time offenders will face a fine of up to SGD$1,000 (RM2,730) and/or a six-month jail term, while repeat offenders are set to be slapped with a fine of up to SGD$2,000 (RM5,460) and/or up to 12 months in jail. This applies to Malaysians driving in Singapore too, of course.

    So folks, do you think that a similar rule should be implemented here in Malaysia, or should sheer common sense be enough to deter such infractions? Do drop your thoughts in the comments section below.

  • SRT Tomahawk Vision Gran Turismo concept unveiled


    Let’s just clear one thing out of the way – the SRT Tomahawk Vision Gran Turismo is so fast that the “driver” has to don a G-suit for his/her protection. Well, one variant of the Tomahawk, at least. Unveiled recently, the SRT Tomahawk Vision Gran Turismo is the latest addition to the stable of virtual race machines presented by numerous carmakers as part of the Vision Gran Turismo campaign.

    Available exclusively for Gran Turismo 6 on PlayStation 3, the SRT Tomahawk Vision Gran Turismo comes in three different flavours – a regular variant is followed by a racing version, dubbed the GTS-R. At the very top of the range sits an unhinged X model, said to employ “experimental” technology.

    The out-of-this-world creation was penned by Paul Hoste, a newbie designer at FCA, who “grew up” with the fabled franchise. Looking like a car from the year 2035 (the brief was to design a car from said year), the front of the Tomahawk features a plethora of aesthetic cues designed to convey “an aggressive, almost menacing character” while the rear employs “angular graphics and an asymmetric look to the fenders.”


    Ultra-light graphene “skins” are used primarily in the construction of all of transparent elements, including the cockpit and engine cover. The Tomahawk also features active aerodynamics in the form of panels mounted on the front and rear fenders – said panels are pneumatically-assisted and work to form the optimal balance of downforce required for braking and acceleration.

    A single-seater layout is touted by SRT. Inside, the driver (pilot?) receives vital information regarding the car’s operations via a “clear digital overlay”, projected onto the car’s graphene-based windscreen. The rear of the car is dominated by streamlined LED tail lamps and five exhaust outlets integrated into the rear diffuser.

    In the starter variant, performance comes courtesy of a mid-mounted 7.0 litre 144-degree V10 engine producing a total of 792 hp – said power gets sent to the rear wheels. The “pneumatically-driven” front wheels, on the other hand, contribute 215 hp for a tally of 1,007 hp. Using a composite chassis for the lowest weight possible, the base Tomahawk is capable of a top speed of 250 mph (402 km/h).


    Moving on to the racing GTS-R version, said model employs a more aggressive setup for a total of 1,450 hp (1,137 from the engine and 313 hp from the front wheels). Significant dieting results in a kerb weight of just 662 kg – the lightest of any variant. As a result, top speed is quoted to be “in excess of 300 mph (483 km/h).”

    Finally, the “experimental” X variant stays true to its namesake by cranking up the rev limit of said V10 to 14,500 rpm, resulting in a power output of 2,168 hp. The pneumatically-driven front wheels now contribute a further 422 hp – total power output is rated at 2,590 hp. With a maximum velocity of 404 mph (650 km/h), the dare devil behind the wheel will be required to don earlier mentioned G-suit due to the extreme conditions.

  • Hyundai Creta compact SUV confirmed – HR-V, CX-3 fighter debuts in 2015 for India, goes global soon after


    Hyundai ix25 Concept.

    Looks like Hyundai wants a slice of the success cake currently getting wolfed down by the Honda HR-V – not surprising when you consider that said model has chalked up more than 13,000 bookings in Malaysia since its launch in February 2015. The latest South Korean entrant to the hotly-contested B-segment SUV genre was recently confirmed and will arrive in India in the second half of 2015.

    Christened the Hyundai Creta, as a nod to the Greek island of Crete, said compact SUV will be based on the Hyundai ix25. Following its Indian debut later this year, the Hyundai Creta will be launched for global consumption – word on the vine indicates that emerging Asian markets are more likely to receive the Creta, though. Under the skin, expect the Creta to employ a similar drivetrain setup as the ix25.

    As such, a 1.6 litre or 2.0 litre petrol engine will be offered, mated to either a six-speed manual or an automatic transmission. The smaller engine pumps out a total of 123 hp and 151 Nm of torque while the 2.0 litre mill displaces 158 hp and 192 Nm of twist – the latter variant can be paired to an all-wheel drive setup.

    For the Indian market, a 1.4 litre diesel mill from the Hyundai Verna (Accent) could feature alongside the petrol powerplants. “The Creta has been designed and developed in Korea while our engineers in Hyderabad and Chennai have played an important role in customising it for the Indian conditions,” said Hyundai Motor India senior VP of sales and marketing, Rakesh Srivastava, to the Press Trust of India.

    Should the Hyundai Creta make it to Malaysia, it will go head to head with the aforementioned Honda HR-V, Mazda CX-3, Ford EcoSport and Peugeot 2008. Let the games begin!

    GALLERY: Hyundai ix25 Concept

    GALLERY: Production-spec Hyundai ix25 leaked


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