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  • 2018 race season sees Hafizh Syahrin leave Raceline

    After ten years of competition, the 2018 MotoGP racing season sees Malaysian racer Hafizh Syahrin Abdullah (23) leave Petronas Raceline Malaysia. Currently competing in the Moto2 class, Hafizh, who hails from Ampang, was discovered by Raceline team principal Barry Leong while racing in the pocket bike league.

    Hafizh made his professional racing debut for Raceline in the Petronas AAM Malaysian Cub Prix championship in 2007, before moving up to the Asia Road Racing Championship. Hafizh then stepped up to the Australian Formula Extreme Championships and FIM CEV Championship before making to move to Moto2 in 2011.

    A series of lacklustre seasons then followed, despite a single third place in 2012, before his two podium wins this year in Misano, Italy and Motegi, Japan, where he placed second and third respectively. While no details have been forthcoming, Pescao 55, as Hafizh is popularly known, is expected to join the SIC Racing Team for the 2018 season in Moto2, with the intention of grooming him the enter the top flight of MotoGP in 2019.

    “It truly has been an honour and a privilege for us as a team to have grown together with Hafizh. I have known and guided him since he was 12 years old, racing as a very talented boy, and now, a passionate young adult,” said Leong. Leong added that Raceline will continue to nurture and develop young Malaysian talent in motorcycle racing, saying that the parting between Hafizh and the team was “natural and amicable.”

  • BARU: Artikel terkini dalam Bahasa Malaysia

  • Ex-Ford engineer files one cylinder, one turbo patent

    Former Ford engineer, Jim Clarke, has filed a patent for the installation of an individual turbocharger for each cylinder of an internal combustion engine. Yes, going by this concept, that’s one turbo per cylinder, which means a typical four-banger will get four turbochargers.

    This setup would require two throttle bodies and smaller turbos, which spool much faster. The small packaging also means that it can be installed very closely to the exhaust valves, thereby providing near instant boost. Clarke also went as far as to say that this setup could potentially eliminate turbo lag.

    According to Car and Driver, Clarke’s turbocharged engine design remains theoretical at this point, as there has not been a prototype built. During his tenure at Ford, Clarke was responsible for developing the modular V8 and Duratec V6. He also partnered with Dick Fotsch, who was the former engine divisions president of Navistar and Kohler.

    This, along with Koenigsegg’s camless engine and Mazda’s Skyactiv-X venture, could be proof that the days of the internal combustion engine is far from over.

  • 2017 Ducati SuperSport in Malaysia – from RM80,899

    After its official world premiere at the EICMA show in Milan, Italy, in October 2016, the 2017 Ducati SuperSport is now in Malaysia at a price of RM80,899, including GST but excluding road tax, insurance and registration, while the SuperSport S goes for RM88,899. The SuperSport is Ducati’s take on a road-going sports-tourer in the vein of the Ducati ST-series bikes from the early 2000s.

    Carrying a Testastretta 11-degree V-twin with liquid-cooling and four-valves per cylinder with Desmodromic valve actuation displacing 937 cc, the SuperSport is claimed to put out 110 hp at 9,000 rpm and 93 Nm of torque at 6,500 rpm. Twin Mikuni throttle bodies with ride-by-wire fuel the engine, and power gets to the ground via a six-speed gearbox and wet clutch, with chain final drive.

    The engine is a stressed member carried in the trellis frame attached by the cylinder heads, and suspension is with a pair of fully-adjustable 43 mm diameter Marzocchi upside-down forks, while the rear is propped up by an adjustable Sachs monoshock on a single-sided swingarm. Braking, as is customary for Ducati, is done by Brembo with a pair of radially-mounted M4-32 Monobloc callipers grabbing 320 mm brake discs.

    Weighing in at 210 kg wet, the Supersport carries fuel inside a 16-litre tank, and seat height is set at 810 mm. Inside the cockpit is an LCD instrument panel, and Ducati’s Safety Pack with ABS and traction control is standard equipment, providing ride and power modes, suiting a sports-style motorcycle designed for use as a daily rider on normal roads.

    An adjustable windscreen is also standard equipment, and there are two versions of the SuperSport available, the base model and the SuperSport S. The S version comes standard with fully-adjustable Ohlins suspension, Ducati up/down quickshifter, carbon-fibre parts, articulated racing levers and a pillion seat cover.

    There are two option packs for the SuperSport machines – the Touring Pack with semi-rigid panniers, taller touring screen and heated grips while the Urban Pack includes a tank bag and rubber-lined footpegs, with pricing yet to be determined. Also available is a range of accessories from the Ducati Performance catalogue including Akrapovic exhaust, titanium racing exhaust, Ohlins steering damper and Bluetooth module for the Ducati Multimedia System.

    The SuperSport comes in Ducati Red with red frame and matte black wheels while the SuperSport S comes either in Ducati Red as per the SuperSport or Star Silk White with red frame and gloss red wheels. Availability at authorised Ducati dealers is from next week and every 2017 Ducati SuperSport comes with a unlimited mileage or two-year warranty against manufacturing defects, with 30,000 km between Desmodromic valve service intervals and two-year Ducati Smart Service ownership programme where owners only pay service charges for scheduled maintenance.

    GALLERY: 2017 Ducati SuperSport

    GALLERY: 2017 Ducati SuperSport S

  • EzCab launches new six-seat Toyota MPV service

    To meet the demand from users who require larger vehicles, EzCab has expanded its fleet to include six-seat Toyota MPVs like the Alphard and Vellfire.

    “We have had several enquiries especially from travellers for a larger car, and to cater to their convenience and travelling needs, we are excited to launch EzCab (6-seater),” said Nor Aleeshah binti Abdullah, executive director of EzCab.

    The new service can be accessed via the EzCab app, and is priced at a competitive rate said to be on-par with the marking pricing of limousines in the country. To mark the launch, a RM50 discount is being offered on all EzCab (6-seater) rides within the Klang Valley from October 15, 2017 onwards.

    Users will be able to book the service in advance (minimum three hours before pick-up time) and the fee charged is inclusive of toll charges. For those who require more seating capacity, eight-seater vehicles will be introduced to EzCab’s fleet in December this year.

    “EzCab is proud to have a diverse group of users, and we are always striving to cater to their varied needs. Travellers, and corporates will require a method of travel that is convenient, reliable, and safe. With the coming of the eight-seater, we will be able to meet all of their wants, ultimately resulting in their satisfaction,” Aleeshah added.

  • Designer Ian Callum wants to resurrect the Jaguar XK

    Now here’s a treat for Jaguar enthusiasts. The British company’s design boss, Ian Callum, was frustrated (his own words) when the XK was discontinued in 2014 following the launch of the new F-Type. “I had quite different ideas on how to carry four people quickly around the world,” he told Autocar.

    If Callum had his way, the XK may very likely make its return as a grand tourer, perhaps with a larger footprint. The F-Type on the other hand is more like a luxury sports car than a true grand tourer. “I want a two-seater and a 2+2. We’re working on something now. There’s nothing approved, but we instigate in design. That’s what we do,” said Callum.

    It won’t be easy though, because at the end of the day it’s down to convincing the board that there is an actual market for a true GT car to be sold alongside a sporty coupe. Apparently, Jaguar had already designed a successor to the XK but was scrapped in favour of the F-Type. “The F-Type was never meant to kill the XK,” added Callum.

    As it stands, the XK, or whatever the Jaguar design team is calling it, remains as an unofficial project, especially for Ian Callum.

    Back at home, Jaguar Malaysia last introduced the XK in XKR-S guise, which had a 5.0-litre supercharged AJ-V8 Gen III, producing 550 hp and 680 Nm of torque, allowing it a 0-96 km/h (60 mph) time of 4.2 seconds and a top speed of 300 km/h. Back in 2014, it was priced at a heady RM1,348,888.

    Any thoughts on the matter, folks?

  • REVIEW: 2017 MV Agusta Brutale – brutally honest

    That Italian motorcycle manufacturers make some of the most beautiful motorcycles in the world cannot be denied. However, whilst gorgeous machines that stir the soul and are works of art in and of themselves are an Italian tradition, Italian bike makes always seem to have an issue with finances, or the lack thereof.

    Even Ducati, today going great guns with its Testastretta engine and the upcoming Desmosedici V-4, has circled the drain more than a few times, and is now under the ownership of the Volkswagen Group, via subsidiary Audi. But one particular Italian motorcycle brand has stuck in the collective memory of Malaysian car and bike enthusiasts, and that name is MV Agusta.

    We are not going to rehash the entire orgy of management decisions, buy-outs, sell-offs and the such associated with the name of MV Agusta, even Mercedes-AMG had to sell off its 20% stake to the Black Ocean group, to say nothing of court orders and work slow-downs. But, putting aside the negatives, MV Agusta is indeed back in Malaysia, under Moto Varese Asiatic, with a new MV Agusta Lifestyle Centre in Batu Caves, Selangor.

    But, what does all this mean? Are the 2017 MV Agustas any good to ride? There is a reason we ask this, of course, after our encounter with the 2016 MV Agusta Stradale 800, and its very sharp throttle response and tremendously quick steering, for what was ostensibly a sports-touring motorcycle.

    So, when Moto Varese asked if we would give the 2017 MV Agusta Brutale 800 a go, we took the naked sports machine for a spin. A hard one. Read the full review of the Brutale 800 and find out what we thought of it.

    Full review of the 2017 MV Agusta Brutale 800 after the jump.

  • Kia Stinger receives widebody kit for SEMA show

    The rear-wheel drive Kia Stinger is set to make an appearance at this year’s SEMA show in Las Vegas, and the Korean automaker has put together a one-off show car in collaboration with West Coast Customs for an imposing, wide-body sedan.

    Unfortunately the rear of the customised Stinger is all that’s available to look at for now, but from this we can see that it certainly has the wide-body look thanks to flared rear fenders, chunky rear diffuser and trapezoidal quad exhaust pipes which, from this image, appear to be as big as the car’s tail lights.

    As par for the show car course, the wide-body Stinger GT will be kitted with lowered suspension, carbon-fibre aero bodykit, 21-inch forged alloy wheels and a gloss black front grille. Changes have also been made to the Stinger’s cabin, though like the rest of the car’s exterior, those details remain to be seen.

    No word on mechanical changes to the Stinger show car, if there are any, but SEMA exhibits have always had great emphasis on looks. What do you think of this wide-body Stinger, dear readers?

    GALLERY: Kia Stinger

  • Mechanical Automated Parking System (MAPS) in KL

    The heart of Kuala Lumpur is set to receive a premier parking tower on Jalan Tun Razak soon, aimed at solving the perennial shortage of parking spaces in the city centre. The Mechanical Automated Parking System (MAPS) towers will be able to meet the needs of consumers with the diversity of services offered, said M.A Intelligent Parking (MAIP) chief executive officer Datuk Seri Dr Muhammad Isa Kasim.

    The multi-storey car park uses an integrated multi-level parking system from Japan, and includes valet services, as well as provision for seasonal parking and premier parking. The multi-level parking system consists of an array of hoists which allows parked cars to be stacked one atop another, thereby populating the car park vertically in a more space-efficient manner.

    When the parking tower opens to the public within two months, parking rates start from RM13 per entry, and RM2 for each subsequent hour. The parking tower has 199 parking bays and operates 24 hours. Efficiency of space is an advantage of the parking tower, as this particular building takes up just one acre of land, Isa said.

    “We will use our expertise, as well as our counterpart in Japan to implement the system all over the country. The project revolves around places like hospitals and shopping malls where parking is in demand,” he added, saying his company has already started similar multi-level parking building projects in Kedah, Perlis, Pahang and Terengganu. According to Bernama, MAIP aims to build 20 MAPS in the country next year, at an investment of RM1.8 billion.

  • Mercedes-AMG G65 Final Edition debuts – 65 units

    The Mercedes-AMG G 65 is certainly a vehicle with presence, not just because of the way it looks, but also due to what lies under its bonnet. With a hand-built 6.0 litre biturbo V12 engine, the G 65 has at its disposal 621 hp and 1,000 Nm of torque, enough to get the big brute from a rest to 100 km/h in just 5.3 seconds and on to a top speed of 230 km/h.

    Alas, all good things must come to an end, as AMG will soon discontinue the G-Wagen variant. As a last hurrah, the company will offer the G 65 in an exclusive Final Edition, which will be limited to just 65 units worldwide. Each unit will be priced from 310,233 euros (RM1,549,334) if you want one.

    For the money, you’ll get the aforementioned V12 engine that is paired with an AMG Speedshift Plus 7G-Tronic automatic transmission and permanent all-wheel drive system. The off-roader’s characteristic high ground clearance and long suspension travel also makes it pretty handy when traversing difficult terrain.

    Among the important figures include a maximum fording depth of 60 cm when driving through water and mud, slope climbing ability of up to 80% on suitable surfaces, driving stability at angles of 28°, angle of approach/departure of 27° and breakover angle of 22°.

    The Final Edition comes fitted with 21-inch five-twin-spoke alloy wheels in bronze, silver brake callipers and AMG Sport trim strips on the sides. Other details include a matte bronze finish for the underride guard, trim elements in the bumpers, grille surround and side mirrors. There’s plenty of black bits too like the radiator grille mesh, running boards, tailpipes and exterior protective strips.

    While it may look menacing from the outside, the Final Edition retains the G-Class’ luxurious approach when it comes to the interior. The designo Exclusive package introduces designo black nappa leather with seat side bolsters in a carbon-fibre look and topstitching in light brown.

    You’ll also find carbon-fibre trim elements, bronze decorative stitching, AMG Performance steering wheel in black nappa leather and multicontour and climatised seats for driver and front passenger. Last but not least, milled Edition lettering can be found on the grab handle plus floor mats with leather edging in light brown and topstitching in black.

  • 2018 Audi A7 Sportback – all models hybrid, Audi AI

    Audi has finally revealed its second-generation A7 Sportback, featuring some of the company’s latest cutting edge driving assistance technologies like that found on the Audi A8. In terms of looks, the A7 retains the familiar Sportback silhouette as its predecessor, but the rest of the grand tourer is new.

    The front fascia is flanked by Audi’s signature Singleframe grille that’s wider and lower than the A8’s and a much sleeker pair of headlamps. It’s available in three versions: LED, Matrix LED and Matrix LED with laser light – the latter two featuring 12 individual LED bars with dynamic lighting. Primary illumination (low beam) is provided by twin LED projectors – the top-end laser spot tech is for the high beam only.

    The back is entirely new and, according to Audi, is tapered like that of a yacht. Within its tailgate is an electronic spoiler which automatically protracts at 120 km/h (like the TT). The long, new tail lights underscore its chiselled rump, now with a flat LED strip – a feature Audi wants to make common for its top models – spanning the car’s width. Like the front, it gets 13 separate LED bars with varying sets of animations from the minute you unlock the car.

    Audi offers up to 15 colour choices – eight of which are new – with wheel sizes up to 21 inches in diameter. The A7’s proportions however, tread really close to its predecessor with a measurement of 4,969 mm long (same as before), 1,908 mm wide (three mm narrower), 1,422 mm tall (two mm shorter) and a wheelbase of 2,926 mm (-12 mm). As usual, an S line pack is optional, with gloss black enhancements done to the front grille and air inlets, side sills as well as the front and rear diffusers.

    While the exterior remains familiar to most, it’s the cabin that gets the biggest revamp. Let’s start from the driver’s seat. There’s a new three-spoke leather steering wheel with the usual integrated controls, behind which rests the 12.3-inch Audi virtual cockpit that the company is becoming well known for. Next to it you’ll find the headlamps control, now in the form of a touchpad instead of the good old dial.

    The centre dash is now home to two touchscreen displays. The upper unit is a 10.1-inch screen (with haptic feedback!) that is tilted towards the driver for ease of view and is designed to “disappear” into the dashboard when switched off. The lower 8.6-inch touchscreen unit is for the climate control, heated/ventilated seats, lane-keep assist and engine start/stop disabler. It also doubles as a touchpad for text input. Below that you’ll find the electronic gear rocker that’s wide enough for the driver to rest his/her wrist on.

    MMI radio comes as standard, but this can be upgraded to MMI navigation and MMI navigation plus for a small fee. There’s also a choice of four sound systems – the Bang & Olufsen Advanced Sound System with 3D sound is the range topper.

    At its debut, a 3.0 litre twin-turbo V6 (A7 55 TFSI; learn Audi’s new nomenclatures here) will take first charge, pushing 340 hp and 500 Nm of torque. It’s paired to a seven-speed S tronic dual-clutch transmission and is good for a century sprint time of 5.3 seconds with an electronically-limited top speed of 250 km/h. All engines used in the new grand tourer will be electrified with Audi’s new mild hybrid system (MHEV).

    MHEV is a 48-volt electrical system which lends a hand in efficiency. Audi says it helps reduce fuel consumption by 0.7 litres per 100 km (it freewheels between 55 and 160 km/h while coasting), bringing the combined rating down to 6.8 litres per 100 km while emitting 154 grammes of CO2. Other four-cylinder and six-cylinder engines – both petrol and diesel – will be offered in due course, as well as a 4.0 litre twin-turbo V8 for the S and RS variant.

    Customers can choose between four suspension setups: conventional hydraulics with steel springs, sports suspension (lowers ride height by 10 mm), electronically-controlled damping or self-levelling adaptive air suspension. The steering wheel also gets a quicker ratio (between 9.1:1 to 16.5:1), but it’s a progressive rack, which means it can be even quicker in Sports mode. Options include all-wheel steering with electronic chassis program (ECP) and sports differential.

    Lastly, the A7 Sportback is fitted with Audi AI, now split into three packages: Audi AI parking pack (remote parking with remote garage pilot), City assist pack with crossing assist and Tour assist pack. The last comes with efficiency assistant and adaptive driving assistant, both of which work in tandem with adaptive cruise control. Owners can also auto-park the new A7 through the myAudi smartphone app. Depending on the variant, there can as many as five radar sensors, five cameras, 12 ultrasonic sensors and a laser scanner.

    The A7 Sportback will be built at Audi’s Neckarsulm plant and will go on sale in Germany by February 2018. The starting price in Europe/Germany for the A7 55 TFSI quattro is €67,800 euros (RM340k).


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Last Updated 19 Oct 2017


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