Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Short Test Drive: Proton Iriz 1.3MT Executive

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Proton has just launched its latest compact car and it is called the Iriz. The name, derived from the flower Iris but with a 'Z' is Proton's latest foray into the compact hatchback market. Prior to this we had the Savvy and before that, we were served the Tiara. Both the Savvy and Tiara were hard hit with criticism and in my opinion, were less than average creations. I wouldn't have bought them too. So is the Proton Iriz a compact hatch that any of us would want to buy or let alone drive? Well, I had a go in the Proton Iriz 1.3 Executive Manual and I think that it is better than any Savvy or Tiara out there. But is it better than its biggest competitor here in Malaysia? The Perodua Myvi?

To answer that question you'd have to start with the Proton Iriz 1.3 specs in direct comparison with a Perodua Myvi 1.3 (the 1.6 Iriz has the same dimensions if you are wondering but I am not touching on that variant here). The Proton Iriz  is longer at  3,905mm (3,690mm for the Myvi), wider at 1,720mm (Myvi: 1,665mm) and is 1,550mm tall (1,545 for Myvi). The Proton Iriz has a longer wheelbase at 2,555mm (Myvi 2,440mm.) The 1.3 litre Iriz's engine, a supposedly new VVT based engine has 95 PS and 120 Nm of torque at 4,000 rpm, (Myvi 1.3 litre has about the same horses if you believe Perodua's statement that the Electric Power Steering brings 10hp back to the 86hp engine - 96hp  and 117Nm torque at 4,400 rpm). 

Trucking news: Volvo Trucks Drives Malaysia’s Progress with Launch of the All-new Volvo FM and FMX

Volvo Trucks Drives Malaysia’s Progress with Launch of the All-new Volvo FM and FMX

Launch event also marks a truck handover ceremony to 1st Malaysian customer to receive this new range – FELDA Transport


KUALA LUMPUR, 25 September 2014 – Volvo Trucks Malaysia today proudly unveils its latest cutting-edge truck range to the Malaysian market – the all new Volvo FM and Volvo FMX. Launched in conjunction with the ASEAN Logistics and Transport Show 2014, the new trucks are poised to become the future generation of haulers set to contribute to the nation’s growing economy.

(L to R - His Excellency Mr. Bengt Carlsson, Ambassador of Sweden to Malaysia; Mr. Mats Nilsson, MD of Volvo Trucks Malaysia and Mr. Wan Mohd Zain  Mohd Ismail, CEO FELDA Transport with the Volvo FM)

“Malaysia as a key Asian market is seeing exponential growth in construction, transportation and logistics sector and we are certain that our new truck range addresses the demand for total transportation solutions. The introduction of our new truck range goes to show that we are committed to our customers and we are here to stay, grow and contribute,” said Mats Nilsson, Managing Director of Volvo Malaysia.


Thursday, September 25, 2014

Short Test Drive: The Perodua Axia Advance Automatic - Viva Replacement with so much more value for the Ringgit


I have been busy with a whole lot of things these past few weeks. My family affairs, work and other pet peeves have taken some precedent over writing. I managed to take time in between these various activities to look at new car launches and test drives though. On the higher end of things, I spent some time poking about in the interior of a Mercedes Benz S400 Hybrid and it is everything a Chairman, a CEO or even a Towkay would want in a car. Its interior is so darn impressive that it would give any Bentley a run for its money in terms of ambiance as well as tactility. 

The buttons and knobs are full of feel (very tactile and very important to me personally as if you drive, the switchgear are the things you hold, feel and prod most of the time). The mood lighting, which can be adjusted brings soothing colours to the aluminium, wood and leather trimmed interior. Coupled with its NAP EEV tax breaks, it comes in under RM600,000 with all the bells and whistles, making it a steal for multi-millionaires here in Malaysia. Remember, the previous V221 S300L came in at around RM700,000. As this translated to over RM100,000 worth of savings (equivalent to about four Rolex Submariner or two Hermes Birkin handbags (with some change) these days), it is now fully sold out till the next EEV policy announcement in 2016. So even if you have RM600,000 you can't get a S400 Hybrid from the authorised dealer unless someone lets you take his or her S400. Yup, a RM600,000 hot cake due to its 'value for money'.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

News: VW spare parts discounts to those in their 6th year of ownership


A press release from Volkswagen Malaysia states that they will be giving their long term customers discounts on clutch replacements which should include DSG clutch replacements too. Note that DSG means a dual clutch gearbox and they require clutch changes eventually (aside from what ever complaints we may have heard over time). Even the reliable VW Golf GTI Mk5, which does not suffer much problems at all would need clutch changes eventually - Yes, very reliable as I know a chap who has one and has over 160,000km on it. Oh. The Golf Mk6 would need it too. Its dry clutch DSG system needs a little more TLC than a wet clutch DSG.

PRESS RELEASE

"Volkswagen customers in their 6th year of ownership will be able to enjoy savings of up to 50% for clutch replacements at any Volkswagen authorised service centres nationwide. The offer which guarantees genuine parts from as low as RM1,888 comes as a showcase of Volkswagen’s fervent commitment and continuous efforts to improve the ownership experience of existing customers."

News: The new BMW 518d & 520d.

We should see (at least) the BMW 520d with the BMW's new diesel engines soon hopefully. Nothing more to say actually (Just that I hope these new BMW diesels are quieter than what we get here in Malaysia these days - they're pretty clattery)

PRESS RELEASE
Setting the pace, showing the way: The BMW 5 Series builds further on its efficiency lead in the executive class.

New generation of four-cylinder diesel engines with BMW TwinPower Turbo technology increase the driving pleasure offered by the worldwide bestseller and achieve further reductions in fuel consumption and emissions – The new BMW 520d outclasses its segment rivals in the efficiency race: engine output rises to 140 kW/190 hp, average fuel consumption drops to as little as 4.1 l/100 km [68.9 mpg imp] and CO2 emissions to 109 g/km.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

The Mercedes-AMG GT

I am not going to say much about this new Mercedes-AMG sports car as I simply think that its fabulous. It looks smaller, lighter and svelter than the Mercedes AMG SLS. It changes the game slightly from a bruiser of a GT to a smaller, more nimble one for Mercedes-AMG. The SLS may have had more presence, this is more compact.


Thursday, September 04, 2014

All-New Mazda MX-5 "Miata" previewed

Mazda has just previewed the all-new Mazda MX-5. The 'Miata' or MX-5 Roadster as it is known to us keeps the tradition going. Supposedly a 2016 model year car, you get the same open top motoring available to you except that it now has edgier styling than previous generations. This fourth generation MX-5 is supposedly also 100kg lighter on some models and it will still be normally aspirated. The largest engine would be the 2.0liter GDI SkyActiv and it should still come with a manual (six speed) transmission as well as an automatic for lazier people (like the previous one).

Wednesday, September 03, 2014

Spotted for sale: 2013 Honda N-One - Honda's latest retro look Kei Car

There is a dearth of pretty interesting Honda as of late here in Malaysia. You see, now that Honda Malaysia cannot sell the Honda CRZ Hybrid coupe at a reasonable price due to the fact that the Malaysian government has decided to discontinue tax breaks for imported hybrid cars and only give such tax exempts for locally assembled cars. Aside from that slightly sedate, not that fast coupe, there are no interesting Hondas on sale today over here.

Monday, September 01, 2014

A tale about the original Mini and more

Today I've decided to do something different.  I am showcasing the talents of an acquaintance of mine, Mr. Mo Halim. He brings to us a tale about the original Mini (appropriate since it too celebrates its 55th year of existence) and more. One that happened years and years ago and over in ol' England I presume. 

The story
by Mo Halim

My guardian bought one of the first Minis. She loved cars and had been driving since the early 30s in pre-war Malaya. She drove with panache and verve; fast and precise yet so relaxed. She had bought one the first Minis after she was invited to its public debut at a theatre in Birmingham. But after a succession of MGs it was too pedestrian for her driving style. So when the Mini Cooper came out, she immediately bought one.
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