Latest Stories

  • GALLERY: Nissan Qashqai in Ceramic Grey, 20″ alloys

    The third-generation Nissan Qashqai made its formal debut earlier this year, continuing the model’s highly successful run in Europe. During the unveiling, we learned that the popular compact crossover can be had with 20-inch wheels for the first time, and here we get to see what they look like on the Ceramic Grey variant. Pretty handsome, right?

    It is the first European Nissan model to be built on the Common Modular Platform (CMF-C), which also underpins the latest X-Trail. Powering it is a 1.3 litre turbocharged four-cylinder engine shared with the W177 Mercedes-Benz A 200, albeit electrified with a 12-volt mild-hybrid system. It provides some additional torque upon acceleration and can also coast to a stop from 18 km/h when paired to the Xtronic CVT. A six-speed manual is also available.

    The engine has outputs of either 138 hp/240 Nm or 156 hp/260 Nm – the latter is the only option for the CVT, which boosts peak torque to 270 Nm. The CVT version is also the only one offered with an all-wheel drive option, now made more intuitive, intelligent and gets five drive modes – Standard, Eco, Sport, Snow and Off-Road – as standard.

    The Qashqai will also be available with Nissan’s e-Power electric powertrain in Europe for the first tine. It shares the same electric motor as the Note and Kicks, but upgraded to produce 140 kW (190 PS) and 330 Nm. The petrol generator is also bigger, now a 1.5 litre variable-compression engine that produces 154 hp.

    Design-wise, the Qashqai is all sharp lines and angles, slim LED headlights and tail lights, blacked out D-pillars, and chiseled fenders. The tidy cabin gives the car a contemporary feel, accentuated with a freestanding touchscreen display that offers Apple CarPlay and Android Auto functionalities.

    Thanks to the new platform, the crossover is more spacious inside. Rear knee room has grown by 28 mm to 608 mm, while headroom has increased by 15 mm. The boot is also 50 litres larger (due to the lower cargo floor and redesigned suspension) and can be accessed using a new powered hands-free tailgate. The door apertures are reshaped and open up to an impressive 90 degrees, making entry/egress and the installation of child seats much less restrictive.

     
  • Tesla gears up for Singapore debut – Toa Payoh service centre opens next month, showrooms in malls

    We already know that Tesla is setting up shop in Singapore officially. Now, The Straits Times reports that Tesla Singapore’s main base and service centre will be in Toa Payoh. The building along Lorong 8 was formerly a Nissan dealership by Tan Chong Motor. ST says that the Tesla facility is set to open next month.

    The report adds that while the Tesla Model 3 – the only Tesla model for sale in Singapore now – might be displayed at the Toa Payoh service centre, the EV specialist is looking at the model of “experience stores” located at shopping centres. The two malls mentioned are Raffles City and Jewel Changi Airport. Those familiar with American malls might have seen small Tesla showrooms there as well.

    The report reveals that Tesla has appointed a country manager for Singapore. Frenchman Christopher Bousigues, 45, “has just arrived” and is currently serving his stay-home notice (quarantine). The self-confessed geek is a car enthusiast who enjoys track sessions. Previously with software firms SAP and Microsoft, Bousigues has lived and worked in 19 countries, and is fluent in five languages.

    “I hope to bring my experience, from having worked in various markets and industries, to help Singapore in its Green Plan around mass adoption of electric vehicles,” said Bousigues, who has degrees in mechanical engineering and marketing.

    Tesla’s sales portal for the republic went live in February. The estimated price of the Model 3 Standard Range Plus (SR+) rear-wheel drive is S$112,845 (RM348,910), while the Model 3 Performance with dual-motor all-wheel drive is listed as S$154,815 (RM478,650). These prices are excluding COE and options such as full self-driving capability. Where do these prices sit in the Singapore car market? More here.

    The ST report quotes market watchers estimating that Tesla has between 200 and 500 confirmed orders to date. There’s certainly pent-up demand there for Elon Musk’s EVs, and we’re surprised Tesla didn’t enter earlier – Singapore seems like the kind of place that’s well-suited to the company and its products.

    GALLERY: Tesla Model 3 AWD Long Range in Malaysia

     

  • New Porsche Cayenne Coupe performance variant breaks Nurburgring record – 7 mins 38.925 seconds

    Porsche’s upcoming performance variant of the Cayenne Coupe has broken the lap record for SUVs at the Nurburgring recently, setting a time of seven minutes 38.925 seconds with factory driver Lars Kern behind the wheel. This achievement comes before the new model, which is heavily tipped to be called the Turbo S, makes its full debut.

    The new record beats the seven minutes 42.253 seconds laid down by the Audi RS Q8 previously, and places the upcoming model in the vicinity of the BMW M5 as well as the previous-generation 911 Turbo. According to Porsche, a notary public certified the new record in the “SUV, off-road vehicle, van, pick-up” category.

    “Over the first few metres of the Nordschleife in this Cayenne, you’re tempted to turn around to make sure that you’re really sitting in a spacious SUV. Its high steering precision and stoically stable rear axle gave me a lot of confidence in the Hatzenbach section,” said Kern.

    “It changed direction at lightning speed in the fast curves such as between Hohe Acht and Eiskurve, with no wobble and no tendency to understeer. Even in this technical stretch, the Cayenne is a real driver’s car that is easy to control,” he added.

    As before, Porsche isn’t willing to reveal a whole lot about the new performance variant besides that it’s based on the existing Cayenne Turbo Coupe. The record-breaking unit was equipped with a racing seat and roll cage for safety reasons, while the specially designed Pirelli P Zero Corsa fitted to 22-inch wheels will be standard on the production version.

    Referring to a previous report, the upcoming Cayenne Turbo S Coupe is said to be powered by an uprated version of the Turbo’s 4.0 litre twin-turbo V8 that delivers 640 PS (631 hp) and 850 Nm. The engine is paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission with all-wheel drive.

     
  • BMW i Hydrogen NEXT – FCEV begins real-world tests

    After several years of preparing the BMW i Hydrogen NEXT, BMW will finally begin testing a fleet of near-standard hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEV) in everyday conditions on European roads.

    The Bavarian automaker will examine how effectively the CO2-free drivetrain, model-specific chassis technology and vehicle electronics systems work together under real-world conditions. As you can tell, the prototype vehicle is based on the G05 X5, and BMW plans to release it as a small-series model in late 2022.

    For those who are unfamiliar with a fuel cell electric vehicle, it is essentially a fully electric car that gets its power by mixing hydrogen with oxygen. In the i Hydrogen NEXT, this chemical reaction generates 125 kW (170 PS) of power, all of which is sent to an electric motor after going through a series of voltage regulation.

    Energy that is not used gets stored in a performance buffer battery (much smaller and lighter compared to a battery-electric vehicle) that provides short bursts of speed for overtaking. At this stage, the total system output is 275 kW, or 374 PS. The battery is not the primary source of energy required for propulsion. Hydrogen is.

    Like the fuel tank of a regular car model, the hydrogen tank of the BMW i Hydrogen NEXT can also be refueled within three to four minutes, and a single pump almost guarantees a range of several hundred kilometres regardless of weather condition.

    But unlike a regular car’s fuel tank, a fuel cell vehicle stores hydrogen in highly pressurised tanks. In the case of the i Hydrogen NEXT, it has twin 700-bar tanks made from lightweight carbon-fibre reinforced plastic, capable of storing 6 kg of hydrogen. Water vapour is the only emission produced by this drivetrain.

    BMW says hydrogen fuel cell technology has the long-term potential to supplement internal combustion engines, plug-in hybrid systems and battery-electric vehicles (BEV). It can be an attractive alternative to BEVs for customers who don’t have access to a charging network, or for those who frequently drive long distances. Jaguar Land Rover also echoes this sentiment.

    “Hydrogen fuel cell technology can be an attractive option for sustainable drivetrains – especially in larger vehicle classes,” according to Frank Weber, BMW board member responsible for development. “That is why road testing of near-standard vehicles with a hydrogen fuel cell drive train is an important milestone in our research and development efforts.”

    The extensive road testing will help development engineers validate the efficiency, safety, convenience and reliability of all components. It is also for BMW to finetune the driving characteristics of the car, because a BMW should still drive like a BMW, no matter what the source of propulsion is. In case you forgot, the fuel cell system in this i Hydrogen NEXT is the result of a long-term partnership between BMW and Toyota.

     
  • Polestar 3 electric SUV to be built in South Carolina; 25 Polestar Spaces to be opened in the US this year

    Polestar has announced that its first SUV model, the Polestar 3 will be manufactured in Volvo Cars’ production facility in Ridgeville, South Carolina. This will give Polestar industrial capacity in the United States as well as in China, in addition to the brand’s headquarters and network in Europe.

    The forthcoming Polestar 3 has been designed from the ground up for full electrification, and it will debut on a new generation of vehicle architecture from the Volvo Car group. Inside, the Polestar 3 will feature “industry-leading connectivity features” from its native Android Automotive OS infotainment operating system, along with high-end autonomous driving features, said Polestar.

    Set to be the brand’s third model following the Polestar 1 PHEV coupe and Polestar 2 pure EV crossover, the Polestar 3 is expected to commence production in 2022. Full details on the forthcoming electric SUV model will be released at a later date, says Polestar.

    The design of the Polestar 3 will be influenced by the Polestar Precept sedan concept (pictured)

    “The Polestar 3 will be built in America, for our American customers. I am proud that our first SUV will be manufactured in South Carolina, and from now on, the USA is no longer an export market, but a home market,” said Polestar CEO Thomas Ingenlath.

    While the Polestar 3 remains under wraps for now, Polestar head of design Max Missoni told Autocar last year that the Polestar Precept sedan concept will influence the design of the forthcoming electric SUV. “The design language o that car is something that you can and should expect in our future cars, starting with the Polestar 3,” Missoni said to the magazine.

    The brand has also committed to growing in the North American market, which will see the opening of around 25 retail outlets this year, which will be called “Spaces”. These will offer facilities such as home test drives of vehicles, free pick-up and delivery servicing, as well as a mobile service for customers who are awaiting the opening of a Polestar Space in their region, said Polestar.

    This announcement of Polestar’s expansion of its manufacturing footprint comes after news that it has raised US$550 million (RM.27 billion) in funding from a group of long-term external investors in April, and Polestar will explore future potential funding opportunities, it said in its statement.

    GALLERY: Polestar Precept

     
  • UMW Toyota sold 7,595 vehicles in May – 34,026 units sold in first five months, on track for 62k sales target

    UMW Holdings has announced UMW Toyota Motor’s (UMWT) sales performance numbers for the month of May, with the company reporting that it sold 7,595 units last month. This is a drop of 1,685 units or 18.1% from the 9,280 units of Toyota and Lexus models it managed in April.

    However, the company said it has now sold 34,026 vehicles in the first five months of the year, which puts it well on track to meet its target of selling 62,000 units this year. In February, a strategy plan revealed its ambition to reclaim the No.1 non-national spot from Honda this year.

    No specific data breakdown for the month’s sales was provided, but the company said that the Toyota Vios, Yaris and Hilux continue to be its best-selling models, cumulatively contributing 78% of total sales for the month. It added that the recently-launched Corolla Cross and Harrier also contributed positively to sales in May. While all CBU units of the Corolla have been accounted for, the company is continuing order-taking for the CKD locally-assembled version, which will be available for delivery by Q4.

    “UMW expects the automotive sales momentum will continue despite the extended MCO, especially with the extension of the sales tax exemption to December 31. We are appreciative of the government’s various measures to support the automotive sector, which will hasten the recovery. We wish to also express our appreciation and thank you to our customers for their continuing support of our products and services despite the challenges,” UMW Holdings president and group CEO Datuk Ahmad Fuaad Kenali said via a statement.

    Earlier this month, the company announced that while its showrooms were closed during the full movement control order (FMCO) period, selected Toyota 3S and 4S centres, including body and paint facilities would be operational. However, customers are required to book a service slot beforehand – unscheduled walk-in requests will not be entertained, as it is by appointment only.

     
  • Lincoln confirms plans to unveil its first EV next year

    Lincoln has announced plans to electrify its entire vehicle range by 2030, and will unveil a new, fully electric SUV to coincide with the brand’s centenary next year. The luxury division of Ford says this is part of the Ford+ roadmap that involves an investment of more than USD30 billion, adding that it expects half of global sales to be zero-emission vehicles by 2025.

    The yet-unnamed EV will join plug-in hybrid versions of the Aviator and Corsair, and will be built on a modular platform that can accommodate rear- and all-wheel drive electric powertrains.

    It was previously reported that Rivian’s stakeboard electric platform would underpin Lincoln’s EV SUV, but that plan was cancelled due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Lincoln did not provide any details about its platform, but it said the architecture will also be used for “four new and distinct fully electric vehicles.”

    Along with the announcement, Lincoln also dropped a few teasers of what its upcoming EV SUV will look like. The design is said to be inspired by the Zephyr Reflection concept car that was unveiled at Auto Shanghai in April, which showcased the brand’s “Quiet Flight” philosophy.

    Based on the images provided, the SUV’s face will feature LED lighting that stretches across the grille and extends into the headlamps. Meanwhile, the lower apron sports vertical inlets at the sides that meet with black trim that helps to frame what should be a bumper guard.

    As for the interior, sketches show a flat floor and four individual seats, along with plenty of glass to help create an open and airy feel. The dashboard is dominated by a coast-to-coast display that showcases the brand’s Constellation digital design language.

    The company also took some time to discuss some of the technologies that will make its way into Lincoln vehicles, including the cloud-based Lincoln Intelligence System. Vehicles with SYNC 4 will also receive updates to provide new features, while future plans include using an Android-based operating system.

    Lincoln Active Glide, which is the brand’s new semi-autonomous driving mode with hands-free highway driving capability, will also make its debut soon, supported by a suite of advanced camera, radar and driver monitoring technologies.

    GALLERY: Lincoln Zephyr Reflection

     
  • 2022 CFMoto 800MT adventure touring range in Malaysia soon – pricing to be “around RM50,000”

    Coming to Malaysia in the near future, likely next year, is the 2022 CFMoto 800MT adventure touring motorcycle range. Born out of a technical and manufacturing partnership between Austrian motorcycle maker KTM and China manufacturer CFMoto, the 800MT has three variants across a two model range, the 800MT Sport and 800MT Touring.

    In the engine room is a KTM designed Euro 5 compliant 799 cc parallel-twin, twin-spark, liquid-cooled with eight-valves and DOHC, fed by EFI with ride-by-wire throttle. Power is claimed to be 95 hp at 9,000 rpm with torque rated at 77 Nm at 7,500 rpm, numbers identical to the KTM 790 Adventure.

    Power gets to the ground via a six-speed gearbox and slipper clutch, with chain final drive. For the interested, the engine is built in CFMoto’s China facility under license, and is based on the previous generation KTM 790 two-cylinder mill that was superseded by the 890 engine.

    Differences between the 800MT Sport and 800MT Touring include wheel type, the Sport rolling on alloy wheels while the Touring gets spoked wheels. Wheel sizing is 19-inch front and 17-inch, indicating the 800MT is biased more to the touring rather than the adventure side of things.

    Braking is done by J Juan, with four-piston radial-mount callipers grabbing twin 320 mm steel brake discs. Cornering ABS is standard equipment as is cruise control and while no mention was made about riding aids, we assume traction control and ride modes is included in the electronics suite.

    The 800MT Touring also comes with an up-and-down quick shifter, type pressure monitoring system, steering damper, hand guards, heated grips and heated seat, features omitted from the 800MT Sport. Also standard for the Touring is an engine sump guard and centre stand, with the 800MT Touring having a model variant with keyless start.

    Seat height is set at 825 mm across the 800MT range and weight is claimed to be below 231 kg, with fuel carried in a 19-litre tank. Inside the cockpit is a 7-inch TFT-LCD screen with Bluetooth connectivity to the rider’s smartphone and navigation function.

    For Malaysia, competition in this market segment includes the Benelli TRK802 and the Yamaha Tracer 900 while rivals from the continent include the Triumph Tiger 900, BMW Motorrad F850GS and the Ducati Multistrada 950 along with KTM’s own Adventure 790/890. With regards to pricing, paultan.org was informed that efforts are being made to bring the CFMoto 800MT in at “around RM50,000, maybe a little lower.”

     
  • Volkswagen Arteon R-Line 2.0 TSI 4Motion facelift open for booking – 280 PS, 350 Nm, RM245k-255k est

    A few days after releasing a teaser of the facelifted Volkswagen Arteon, Volkswagen Passenger Cars Malaysia (VPCM) has announced that bookings have been opened for the refreshed five-door coupé. As previously reported, the car will be available in a new R-Line 2.0 TSI 4Motion variant, offering more power and all-paw traction over the previous front-wheel-drive model.

    Mind you, it won’t come cheap, with pricing estimated to hover between RM245,000 and RM255,000; for comparison’s sake, the outgoing model retailed at RM221,065 on-the-road without insurance. Given that the 4Motion model is locally assembled in Pekan, its price will include a full exemption of the sales and service tax (SST) until the end of the year.

    Ahead of its official launch, VPCM also confirmed the specs of the car, which will be powered by an uprated EA888 2.0 litre TSI turbocharged four-cylinder engine. Outputs are rated at 280 PS from 5,100 to 6,500 rpm and 350 Nm of torque between 1,700 and 5,600 rpm, which is 50 Nm down on European models.

    Still, it’s a damn sight higher than the previous car’s 190 PS and 320 Nm, and when combined with the seven-speed DSG wet dual-clutch transmission and all-wheel drive, its plenty enough for the car to get from zero to 100 km/h in just 5.6 seconds.

    Standard equipment remains largely identical and includes full LED headlights, LED taillights with sequential indicators and the same 19-inch Montevideo two-tone alloy wheels as before. Inside, the Arteon continues to be trimmed in Nappa carbon-print leather upholstery and comes with a rebranded 12-speaker, 700-watt Harman Kardon sound system.

    Also fitted are keyless entry, push-button start, power-adjustable front seats with driver’s side memory, triple-zone auto climate control, auto lights and wipers, an auto-dimming rear-view mirror, a 9.2-inch Discover Pro infotainment touchscreen with gesture control, wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity, Dynamic Chassis Control (DCC) adaptive dampers, a 360-degree camera and a hands-free powered tailgate.

    Safety-wise, the Arteon gains lane keeping assist, blind spot monitoring and rear cross traffic alert, joining the usual six airbags, ABS with EBD and brake assist, stability control, post-collision braking and ISOFIX rear child seat anchors. However, even with the new front-facing camera for lane keeping, the car still won’t be offered with autonomous emergency braking, which is a shame especially in 2021.

    Visually, the Arteon has been updated with a redesigned grille that incorporates an LED light bar linking the daytime running lights, along with new taillights graphics with “dashes” and an inverted L-shaped design. The R-Line model gets a more aggressive front bumper design with body-coloured air intake blades and a black rear diffuser with fake quad tailpipes.

    A comprehensive remodelling of the interior sees the addition of new angular air vents and a silver strip that runs around the front half of the cabin, plus the ditching of the analogue centre clock. There are also new touch-sensitive switches for the climate controls and the redesigned steering wheel, as well as an expanded 30-colour palette for the ambient lighting system. The ErgoComfort seats, meanwhile, feature a more aggressive design with integrated headrests and an embroidered R logo.

    The Arteon also sports the new Volkswagen and R badges, making it the first model in Malaysia to do so. Colours include the new Lapiz Blue and the existing Oryx White, Deep Black, Pyrite Silver and Manganese Grey; the previous hero colour Turmeric Yellow has been removed.

    GALLERY: Volkswagen Arteon R-Line facelift official press images

     
  • PDRM offering up to 50% discount for saman – starts tomorrow for 1 month, for individuals and companies

    Click to enlarge

    The PDRM’s traffic investigation and enforcement department (JSPT) is having a bayar saman campaign offering up to 50% discount. One can pay via PDRM’s MyBayar Saman online portal and smartphone app. The campaign starts tomorrow (June 18) and will go on for one month till July 18.

    According to a statement released by JSPT chief Datuk Azisman Bin Alias today, the discount offer is for both individuals and companies. It is applicable to traffic summonses that are compoundable, including saman in the blacklist category.

    However, the campaign does not cover cases mentioned in court, main offences that happened in 2021, heavy vehicle offences and exhaust modification saman. An example of the not-included summonses are those for traffic lights, emergency lane, potong queue, double line overtaking and accidents. Full list in the image above.

    We are of course in a full MCO now and physical payment counters are closed. The easy way to pay is via PDRM’s online portal (mybayar.rmp.gov.my) or download the app from Google Play, the Apple App Store or Huawei’s AppGallery. The app has been updated to allow companies and business entities to register as users.

     
 

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Last Updated 10 Jun 2021