Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Spotted for Sale: 2010 Toyota Vios 1.5(m) Turbo - No joke

I don't really like writing about the Toyota Vios. It isn't because it is ugly like a Nissan Almera or a half baked effort like the Proton Iriz. It's just a car which is so darn common and every uncle, auntie, grandpa, grandma, fresh grad, college student, ah soh and soh hais actually drive it on a daily basis. Especially the soh hais. These are those that think that the Vios is an AE 86 and they tailgate, beam and overtake on the left like nobody's business.

Being typical Toyota, it attracts Malaysians who seem to think of resale value over anything else when they want to buy a car. And because of this a Toyota is always on top of their list. For anyone selling Toyotas, it is like setting on the auto-pilot. Everything is quite straightforward. But today this used Toyota Vios caught my eye over in

Volkswagen Roadshow over at One Utama and The Curve from October 1-4

The Volkswagen crew are hard at work pushing the brand over here in Malaysia. These dedicated bunch of people will be hitting the One Utama and The Curve shopping malls again this October 2015 with their range of Volkswagen vehicles. From 1 to 4 October, the German automotive brand will be at The Curve and One Utama from 10.00am to 10.00pm. 

Kenanga Investment Bank's KenTrade Trading Challenge II - Volkswagen as grand prize sponsor

I was over at the Curve yesterday where the KenTrade Trading Challenge II by Kenanga (“KenTrade Trading Challenge”)was officially launched.  This is Kenanga's effort to continuously create awareness and education on share trading and the market. So why am I at an Investment bank event? Well, a Volkswagen Beetle 1.2TSI is the grand prize for the challenge winner this time around. 

I managed to squeeze in a question to the people at Volkswagen at the event as regards the 'Dieselgate' issue over in the United States and the change of leadership arising out of this in Europe. They don't really have much to say as Volkswagen Malaysia sells mainly petrol powered vehicles and the issue is on its diesel powered vehicles. There is not much to be said except that whatever Volkswagen Group over in Europe says is what their stand is over here. It makes sense when the issue in question is pretty much irrelevant here. 

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Volkswagen's Dieselgate also affects Audi - So much for 'Truth in Engineering'

The Volkswagen 'dieselgate' crisis has is not limited to just Volkswagen. Audi, who are part of the group has now admitted that 2.1million of their diesel cars use the same emissions decreasing software that lowers the NOx ratings when the cars detect that they are being tested for emissions. Out of the 2.1million cars, Audi claims that only 13,000 of the cars were sold in America and the rest were sold in Europe. This is really shitty news. You can read it in Reuters too if you think that we're just making things up.

This actually could be part of what Volkswagen had already admitted, i.e, that 11 million VW Group diesels are affected by the scandal (especially the Euro 5 EA189 turbodiesel engine). Skoda, Seat, Volkswagen and Audi use this engine and have confirmed that their cars are affected. All we can now see is the shares for these companies tank a little. However, Bentley, Lamborghini and Porsche have denied that they use such defeat tech on their engines. I suppose this is quite obvious as their production numbers are small, they adhere to a stricter set of rules and they don't use tiny four cylinder engines. But we never know.

Monday, September 28, 2015

The special Jaguar F-Type Project 7 will make an appearance at the Asia Klasika Motor Festival 2015

If you're into fast Jaguars keep this coming weekend (October 2nd-4th, 2015) free. The limited edition Jaguar F-Type Project 7 will make an appearance at the upcoming Asia Klasika Motor Festival 2015 at the Pullman Putrajaya Lakeside. This also marks its first ever appearance in Malaysia.

2016 Mini Clubman - A Mini 5 Door Station Wagon in not so many words

The new Mini Clubman has recently been previewed and launched. I think this is a useful Mini Clubman or Mini Shooting Brake (or Wagon) compared to the earlier one which I was first familiar with - the one with the one rear door located at the right side of the car. It wasn't an issue if it were left-hand drive but if the car were in right-hand drive form, it would meant that the people at the rear would also step out into traffic unlike the the left hand driver cars' rear passengers would alight onto the sidewalk.  I didn't quite fancy it. Imagine your toddler exiting the car on that not very safe side of the road if you drive a right hand drive Clubman. This 2016 Clubman has fixed it all by offering proper doors at the rear. You got to thank the normal Mini 5 door for this.

TRUCK NEWS: Full Range of the UD Quester introduced to customers from ASEAN Countries

This bit of news pertaining to UD Trucks is for truckers based in Thailand, Myanmar, Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam and the Philippines rather than for Malaysia (or Singapore) directly - Japanese truck maker UD Trucks, which is wholly owned by Volvo Group, has introduced the full line of its UD Quester heavy-duty truck range for the ASEAN market (there would be something similar for Malaysian UD trucks shortly). 

To commemorate the release of all models in the range, some 780 customers from countries spanning Thailand, Myanmar, Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam and the Philippines were invited to an exclusive test drive event. This was held from 22 to 26 September at the Kaeng Krachan Circuit, just off the Thai City of Hua Hin. A circuit that is now familiar to me.

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Short Drive: The Jaguar XJL 2.0 Ti - If I somehow became CEO of a public listed company, this is what I'd want

I have been a little bit busy enjoying life with my family over this past week. If it's one thing for sure it is with family. So I have decided not to post anything over the past few days and just spend some quality time with them, as well as doing the other things that I like to do in life. I have mentioned before, it isn't just about motoring that interests me. I have pursuits in various other grown men stuff. But do note that it is all about quality of some sort.

I have a certain belief these days. The belief is simple that one should invest in a little quality most of the time in order to lead a fairly fabulous life. The simple motto one should follow is – Quality is remembered long after price is forgotten. And so with quality, there is a price to pay for it. But sometimes, you can get a bit lucky as there are versions of quality that would not break the bank.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Volkswagen Malaysia's sales offers for the Polo Sedan, Jetta, Passat, Tiguan and CC

If you plan on buying a Volkswagen Polo Sedan, Jetta, Passat, Tiguan or CC now's the time. September's promotion for the cars mentioned above includes Cash rebates start from RM9,000 and go up to RM25,000 for each of the respective models. There is also zero instalments for 12 months package. This applies to customers who purchase under the 7 year loan package. Terms and conditions apply obviously.

Volvo Trucks Asia Pacific FuelWatch Challenge 2015 - Mr Nor Rahmat (Malaysian Champion), Prifaria Sdn Bhd & the Malaysian Press Release

Ms. Marriott about to drive...and win the Asia Pacific FuelWatch Challenge 2015

The Volvo Trucks Asia Pacific Fuelwatch Challenge 2015 was held in Hua Hin, Thailand from 15th to 18th September 2015. Following an inspiring performance, Ms. Louise Marriott from New Zealand was announced the most fuel-efficient driver in the on-road category. Ms. Marriott became the first female driver in the competition’s history to achieve a podium finish at the event.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

INDUSTRY NEWS: METALEX 2015 - ASEAN's largest metal working exhibition Press Conference and Panel Discussion

(From L to R) Ms Sirirat Sungvichai, Project Manager, Reed Tradex Company, Dato’ Ir. Haji Noor Azmi Bin Jaafar, Executive Director, Dellyod Venture Berhad, Mr Somkiat Chupukcharoen, President, Thai Subcontracting Promotion Association, Mr John Lee, Chairman of International Business Committee, Federation of Malaysia Manufacturers, H.E Mr Damrong Kraikruan, Ambassador of Thailand to Malaysia, Mr Ir A. K Woo, Federation of Malaysian Manufacturer Council Member, Dr. Yeoh Oon Tean, Chief Executive Officer, Federation of Malaysian Manufacturer. 

Today I attended a press conference held at the Federation of Malaysian Manufacturers which saw the attendance of HE Mr. Damrong Kraikruan Ambassador of Thailand to Malaysia. The purpose of the event was the promotion of METALEX 2015 which is to be held in Bangkok on the 18th to the 21st of November 2015. METALEX 2015 is  ASEAN’s largest Metal working exhibition is among the most prominent exhibition that offers updated technology and networking and sourcing opportunities. Coincidently, I had just returned from Thailand and I get to attend something to do with Thailand again. 

Volkswagen Group CEO shown the door due to US diesel emissions testing debacle

The Volkswagen diesel debacle in the US has hit Volkswagen group hard. Shares have dropped by a whole lot and the market value is now down by a third in just two trading days. And we thought the drop in the Ringgit was bad.

The story is simple. News broke that Volkswagen cheated in its diesel emissions tests in the United States where the pollution controls will only come into full swing when it detects the car is being tested for emissions. If one drives a Volkswagen model fitted with this software, chances are the car is actually between ten to forty times more polluting than when it is tested. Discrepancies relate to vehicles with Type EA 189 engines, involving some 11 million vehicles worldwide and there could be fines in the US hitting billions of US Dollars. In fact Volkswagen have set aside USD$7.27billion to cover any contingencies that may arise from this incident. And you thought RM2.6billion was bad.

Monday, September 21, 2015

MG3 Hatchback in Thailand

Today will be a short one. The now China owned MG brand cars are being sold in Thailand. According to the sales people it is hard to sell over there. The car in the photographs is the MG3 hatchback 1.5. It costs somewhere in the region of RM55,000+-. Quite good value and if you think about it, this is the about the same price as the Great Wall Haval M4 or a Perodua Myvi.

Sunday, September 20, 2015

History made at the Volvo Trucks Asia Pacific Fuelwatch Challenge 2015 - A Motoring-Malaysia Report

I was over in Hua Hin, in Thailand to witness some history being made in the Asia Pacific trucking scene. The Volvo Trucks Asia Pacific Fuelwatch Challenge 2015 saw Ms. Louise Marriott became the first female driver and New Zealander to be named Asia Pacific’s most fuel-efficient driver. This was the first time Volvo Trucks has included women participation, four women, representing the expanding number of female drivers within the Fuelwatch community and the industry-at-large. 

Volkswagen crowned world rally champions* for third time & some stuff about the Volkswagen Polo R WRC

I was a little bit busy travelling around Malaysia and Thailand to write over the past couple of weeks. Last week, Volkswagen made a successful title defence by wining the Manufacturers, Drivers and Co-drivers competitions in the FIA World Rally Championships with a one-two over at the Rally Australia.

The winner was Sébastien Ogier/Julien Ingrassia (F/F) and the Volkswagen Polo R WRC were crowned world champions. This marks he third time in a row that Volkswagen have won all titles for the FIA WRC. The Drivers', Co-Drivers' and Manufacturers' competitions were settled in just three quarters of the way into the season – earlier than any manufacturer before them in the history of the World Rally Championship. Jari-Matti Latvala (the chap that drove me round a circuit in Setia Alam just a few weeks ago) /Miikka Anttila (FIN/FIN) finished runner-up and Andreas Mikkelsen/Ola Fløene fourth to complete a fantastic result for Volkswagen Down Under. They currently lie second and third overall with three rallies remaining.

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Another reason Why the availability of Euro 5 diesel is good for Malaysians

Too tired to write something long today. Just finished dinner, fittung for a sports jacket, driving a Volvo FH Prime Mover, archery, paintball target practice and a ride on a ATV. Not necessarily in that order but you get my point.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Trucking: Volvo FH16 XL 610 at the Hilton in Hua Hin

We don't get many 610 stock from the factory horsepower here in Malaysia or even in Thailand. Usually Volvo Trucks run 400-520 hp.

Couple this figure with at least 2000nm of torque and it could pull the moon. This, is the Volvo FH16 XL.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Volkswagen and Kenanga Investment Bank promotes KenTrade Trading Challenge

The KenTrade Trading Challenge reaffirms Kenanga Investment Bank’s efforts to create awareness and educate Malaysians on share trading and the equity market. The challenge is endorsed by Bursa Malaysia and supported by Volkswagen Malaysia and Berjaya RadioShack Sdn. Bhd

Something from WWII still very relevant today

You'd think the rules of economy and efficiency have changed much over the years have you? No, not really. The automobile is still basically in its current state with the exception of having more electronics than the chap who did the first space flight in the 1950s.

 Tyres have gotten better but only slightly. From bias ply to full steel carbon fiber belted radials. But the same basic rules apply. Over fifty years ago as you can see from this British MoD poster.

Monday, September 14, 2015

TOC Automotive College's Car Maintenance 101 Course - A review

I was invited last Saturday by the good people over at TOC (The Otomotif College), Automotive College in Petaling Jaya to participate in their short course called Car Maintenance 101. Now this half day course is basically a beginner's guide towards how one can keep a car in good nick, make basic repairs, give basic driving tips and safety pointers to its participants.

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Smart ForTwo becomes a Smart Limo with six wheels...Errr

So much for being a compact personal transport. will be showcasing this limousine conversion for the Smart ForTwo. It is now the Smart MadeForSix. From less than 3 meters long it is now over 5.5meters in length. It has gull wing doors too. And somehow I think you would need more parking space than before when you go out in one of these. Of course, that problem is now the chauffeur's problem. 

Leaked photos of the 2016 USDM Honda Civic

Someone has leaked photos of the upcoming 2016 USDM model Honda Civic. USDM means United States Domestic Market. What we know is that the car is usually slightly different from global specced or JDM specced cars. Slightly different front and rear lights and bumpers too. 

Test Drive Review: Great Wall Haval M4 AMT (NOW Called the Haval H1) - The most affordable mini SUV in Malaysia now shifts gears by itself

I was recently invited over to Gurun, Kedah by Go Auto to take a look at their automobile assembly facility and to test drive the Great Wall Motors Haval M4 AMT which they distribute (Now called the HAVAL H1). If you folks remember, I managed to spend some time with a Manual transmission M4 in October of 2014 and came away pretty impressed with it.

Friday, September 11, 2015

What Euro 4 petrol and Euro 5 diesel grades really do for you aside from saving the planet

After some thought I will now discuss a little bit about what is really and truly good about the fact that Euro 5 diesel and Euro 4 petrol for RON97 is now on sale in Malaysia. By the way, the cleanest RON95 could very well be from BHPetrol or BHP, which is at the very least Euro 3. So what does this mean for us motor vehicle users actually? 

Sulphur is naturally present in crude oil and usually oil companies process the sulphur out of the oil during refinery process. The extent to which sulphur is removed during the refining process will is partly what makes it Euro 1,2,3,4,5,6 or whatever number compliant. Euro4 now means 50 parts per million (ppm) of sulphur instead 500ppm for Euro 2.

Trucking News: Top drivers in the region compete for first place at the Volvo Trucks Asia Pacific Fuelwatch Challenge 2

Volvo Trucks, a global leader in sustainable transport solutions, will hold its annual Asia Pacific Fuelwatch Challenge 2015 Final from 16-17 September 2015 in Hua Hin, Thailand. The competition will see 17 top drivers from 10 countries in Asia Pacific region contend to be the region’s most fuel-efficient driver. b. The 2015 edition’s cohort of contenders includes four female drivers, and is a testament to the growing number of women within the Fuelwatch community. 

The grand final will see country representatives of the Volvo Trucks Fuelwatch Challenge in the region compete against one another in terms of fuel-efficient driving as well as general vehicle handling, safety methods and overall productivity in on-road and off-road segments. Participants will hone their driving skills, industry knowledge and technological expertise through training sessions and all of this know how will culminate in the grand final on 17 September, where the most fuel-efficient driver will win an opportunity to be immersed in a personalised Volvo experience.

Malaysia is represented by Mr Nor Rahmat Bin Abd Talib from Prifaria Sdn Bhd, of Prai (pictured below, the chap in the middle). He defeated 17 other semi-finalists and now represents the Malaysian challenge this time around. Good luck Mr. Nor Rahmat!


[10 SEPTEMBER 2015, SINGAPORE] Volvo Trucks, a global leader in sustainable transport solutions, will hold its annual Asia Pacific Fuelwatch Challenge 2015 Final from 16-17 September 2015 in the Thai city of Hua Hin. The competition will see 17 top drivers from 10 countries in Asia Pacific contend to be the region’s most fuel-efficient driver. The 2015 edition’s cohort of contenders includes four female drivers, and is a testament to the growing number of women within the Fuelwatch community.

Over the two days, participants will hone their driving skills, industry knowledge and technological expertise through training sessions. This will culminate in the grand final on 17 September, where the most fuel-efficient driver will win an opportunity to be immersed in a personalised Volvo experience.

Volvo Trucks is committed to championing fuel efficiency as a means to effect positive and tangible change, from individual drivers to customers, businesses, society at large and the natural environment. Since its inauguration in 2007 in South Korea, the Fuelwatch Challenge has offered more than 15,000 participants across the region an accessible platform to pick up fuel-efficient driving skills and best practices. The competition is recognised today as a standard bearer in fuel efficiency and driver competency.

Christophe Martin, President of Volvo Trucks in Asia Oceania, noted: “We are very excited to hold the 2015 edition of the Volvo Trucks Asia Pacific Fuelwatch Challenge. As one of our mainstay events, it continues to attract the very best in the industry. It is also great to see more and more female drivers demonstrating their skills to optimise fuel efficiency at the highest level, and to contest for the top prize.”

“Notwithstanding the competition, the Fuelwatch Challenge wholly reflects our commitment to champion fuel efficiency in the industry. At Volvo Trucks, we believe that enhanced technical capabilities of individual drivers can complement state-of-the-art engineering and technology to optimise fuel efficiency. Participants of the Fuelwatch Challenge return home as ambassadors of fuel efficient driving, and we look forward to supporting them beyond the competition to influence positive change in their home markets”, Mr. Martin added.

Finalists that will be competing in the 2015 Volvo Trucks APAC Fuelwatch Final:

On Road final

Mr. Scott Chandler
Mr. Jian Zong
Ms. Jie Liu
Mr. Pepen Effendi
Mr. Kwangjong Yu
Ms. Jaeyeon Kim
Mr. Nor Rahmat Abd.Talib
New Zealand
Mr. Phil Thomas
Ms. Louise Marriott
Mr. Jee Ben Soh
Mr. Tsu-Wen Cheng
Mr. Suthep Pakkruk
Ms. Rotsukhon Krokruam

Off Road final

Mr. Ravi Poleboina
Mr. Johan Sampe Toding
Mr. Donghyuk Nam
Mr. Thomas Sek

Tuesday, September 08, 2015

2016 Renault Megane revealed. Looks good. Can't wait for a RenaultSport version.

The 2016 Renault Megane has been revealed ahead of its official preview at the Frankfurt Motor Show later this month. It looks good. It is larger. The wheelbase is longer by 28mm and it is also wider as well as longer in body length too. Good news for us car enthusiasts is that the car is 25mm lower. Now why would that be good news then?

Made in China Super Slow Electric Car Called the Yogomo 330 - RM18,000+ ...Can't we get one of these too?

This is not a Kia Picanto. It is a Yogomo 330. This was highlighted by a friend of mine who travels to China often. We are all mostly aware that China's automobile manufacturers clone every other manufacturer's vehicles all of the time. Some are ridiculous copies, some have the front of one make and the rear of another. And then there are those like these - near copies, like the recent Landwind Range Rover Evoque clone. 

This one differs in one aspect. It is fully electric. It has a range of 160kilometers and get this, a maximum speed of 60kmh. Wow. Yes, 60kmh. Try driving that in Kuala Lumpur especially on the NKVE. But at least this looks like a proper car. Even the quad bike-like Renault Twizy can cross 80kmh. So this is purely an electric city car.

Sunday, September 06, 2015

Spotted for Sale: 1990 Wine Red Nissan Skyline GT-R R32 - The original Godzilla

Welcome to another round of 'Spotted for Sale', where we troll the want-ads on for something worthy of petrolheads to buy or dream of. This time its another classic. It's the Nissan Skyline GT-R R32, the first of the all-wheel drive Skyline GT-R that all JDM lovers go weak in the knees for. A 1990 vintage, and recently brought into Malaysia from Japan. This is one among 6 or so R32 Skyline GT-R that are currently on sale in the Klang Valley ranging from RM118,000 to RM150,000. Oh, prices stated are not inclusive the 6% GST. Ho Ho Ho.

Friday, September 04, 2015

Volkswagen WRC team Jari-Matti Latvala & Miikka Anttila launch limited edition Volkswagen Polo Trophy Edition

Volkswagen World Rally Championship (WRC) driver Jari-Matti Latvala together with his co-driver Miikka Anttila made a visit to Malaysia courtesy of Volkswagen Group Malaysia before heading off to compete in the Australian rally leg of the WRC. The two very sporting men were fresh from an amazing one-two-three win on Volkswagen’s home turf, the Rallye Deutschland. 

Messrs Latvala and Anttila graced the grounds of Setia City Convention Centre in Shah Alam to meet specially invited Volkswagen owners, fans and members of the media as well as launch the limited edition Volkswagen Polo Trophy released in conjunction with Volkswagen’s success in the World Rally Championship (WRC) arena. The event today, marked the start of the Polo Rally Weekend scheduled for the 5th and 6th of September 2015. Visitors could go for a ride with two of Malaysia’s top female drifters – Leona Chin and Azrina Jane Abdullah. They could also take a closer look at the newly launched Polo Trophy (some trim and stickers differentiate it from the normal version) where only 100 units are available. It is priced at RM89,888 while stocks last. 

Thursday, September 03, 2015

ASTON MARTIN DB9 GT BOND EDITION ....and a little bit on what happened to Aston Martin in Malaysia

Well, here is something that any secret agent, much less the most famous in the world, would never been seen in. The Aston Martin DB9 GT Bond Edition has been launched celebrating the release of the upcoming James Bond movie, Spectre. 
If you were a spy, you would firstly be inconspicuous and understated when undercover. This one is ostentatious and flamboyant. And if you are called Mr. Bond, it calls unwanted attention to yourself. A spy driving an Aston only works in the movies. Obviously.

Wednesday, September 02, 2015

The Scania Driver Competition - AMH D’Gala Nite 2015 Edition

 From Left to right: Mr Vissnu s/o Rengasamy, Organising Chairman of Association of Malaysian Hauliers (AMH), YBhg Tan Sri Dato’ Seri Dr Syed    Hamid Albar, Chairman of the Public Land Transport Commission (SPAD), YBhg  Datuk Che Azizuddin Che Ismail, President of Association of Malaysian Hauliers  (AMH) and Tuan Haji Idros Puteh, Sales Director of Scania Southeast Asia.

Scania (Malaysia) Sdn Bhd, as the Platinum Sponsor of the Association of Malaysian Hauliers (AMH) D’Gala Nite 2015, revved up the excitement of the annual dinner this year with a very special edition of its Scania Driver Competition, which allowed the gala dinner guests to experience a small part of what their drivers have to do on a daily basis. 

Tuesday, September 01, 2015


Shell Malaysia Trading has launched its flagship motorcycle oil, the Shell Advance Ultra with PurePlus Technology, in limited edition packs in conjunction with the upcoming 2015 Shell Malaysia Motorcycle Grand Prix.

The limited edition packaging comes in different designs. The Shell Advance Ultra 10W-40 features Malaysian Shell Advance Asia Talent Cup riders (the riders pictured below) and also Malaysian Moto3 rider Zulfahmi Khairuddin. The Shell Advance Ultra 15W-50 features the Ducati Corse MotoGP team on the packaging. Both fully synthetic motorcycle engine oils retail for RM68.30 per one liter pack.

The British High Commissioner gets the first Land Rover Discovery Sport in Malaysia & JLR Roadshow details

HE Mrs Victoria Treadell, British High Commissioner to Malaysia at the rear of the new Discovery Sport

Jaguar Land Rover Malaysia delivered its first Land Rover Discovery Sport in conjunction to its Malaysian debut to a customer recently. Quite a special customer too - Her Excellency Mrs Victoria Treadell, the British High Commissioner to Malaysia. 

Obviously thrilled to receive the vehicle, HE Treadell stated that the Discovery Sport would be perfect for her as Britain's most senior representative in Malaysia. Whilst being capable and versatile, it is also a British product (Made at the Jaguar Land Rover plant in Halewood, Liverpool). Hence an extension of the nation she represents.