Friday, October 30, 2015

Renault CLIO GT LINE Now Available at Showrooms Nationwide

TC Euro Cars, the sole franchise holder for Renault cars in Malaysia, today announced that the sporty and stylish New Renault CLIO GT LINE is now available in showrooms across the country. It is available at the confirmed retail price of RM118,000, on-the-road inclusive of GST without insurance for private individual registration.

Thursday, October 29, 2015

TOKYO Motor Show 2015: Subaru Impreza 5 Door Concept -

The Tokyo Motor Show 2015 is currently ongoing. Subaru has decided to preview the next-generation Impreza 5 Door Concept there. The concept has a "Dynamic & Solid design with a hexagonal grille and "hawk-eye headlights." The Impreza Hatchback (which is what this really is) concept measures 4,400mm long, 1,880mm wide and 1,440mm tall with a wheelbase that spans 2,670mm. Subaru has decided not to reveal any other details as yet. So we do not know what engine, drivetrain and performance specs so far.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

5 short films celebrating the MIGHTY, but Small Ford Ecoboost engine

C:\Users\cmiles\Desktop\FINAL SMB FILES\Small but Mighty Content for Markets - Light Version v2\3. Sizzle Reel Pitch Note\Images in Pitch Note\2015Mustang_t5e8790.jpg

Downsizing is the keyword with automotive engines these days. The Ford Motor Company has embraced this concept wholeheartedly. It isn't just big and mighty 5.0 V8s that power such cars like the Ford Mustang above, but a 2.3lliter Ecoboost engine. Still making 310hp / 430Nm, it still makes a large American sports car go pretty fast. In fact, the 4.6liter V8 that powered the previous generation Mustang GT made just 300hp / 433Nm. The Ecoboost is a fabulous work of engineering.

The first Ford EcoBoost engine was introduced in 2009 and since then, 5 million EcoBoost-equipped vehicles have been sold globally. In the Asia Pacific region, demand for the EcoBoost engine range is growing and Ford will be launching more vehicles equipped with the fuel-efficient technology. By the end of 2015, Ford will offer EcoBoost in Asia Pacific in more than 20 vehicles.

Some tidbits and news on upcoming reviews on a Truck vs a Bus, a Volkswagen Passat and a Jaguar XJ L

As usual I've been busy. Busy with life. I have also decided to clean up my personal Facebook page of all unwanted and negative clutter. Clutter has been mostly political and anyone who irritates the heck out of me. My Facebook feed is now very positive and I only see what I want to see. Clutter and deadweight holds you back. If you want to achieve more in most things you gotta get rid of it. Life is so much  better without idiots. 

Most of you would also realise that I am bilingual. I speak and write fluently (or decently well) in English and the Malay language. I also know how to swear and curse in umpteen more languages too. Being bilingual is a good thing, but one of the languages must be English if you want to spread your wings globally. I started writing in English because I wanted a broader audience instead of using my mother tongue. I also had the privilege to write for publications elsewhere aside from Malaysia. One of the great things about the knowledge to converse in English and the internet is that it opened up an avenue and a platform for me to share my thoughts to others through a channel that is easily accessible most of the time. And since English is the most widely used medium in most continents (Mandarin could be the most used language but it isn't used on all continents globally), it is the way to go. Look where English has gotten me. I get to drive nice vehicles most of the time.

Monday, October 26, 2015

What handles decently well and is under RM50,000? The Proton Iriz these days.

I was at the Giant Mall in Kelana Jaya and the Proton dealership there is offering the Proton Iriz with a discount of up to RM9,268 (T&C applies obviously). This has to be the fully loaded 1.6 CVT Automatic or the 1.6 Manual. I checked the online adverts for the car and yes, you can get a full monty Iriz for under RM50,000. Compare this with the retail price of RM61,691.31 / Solid CVT or RM58,815.04 / Solid Manual. 

Now the 1.6 Iriz is the ONLY Iriz worth to buy simply because of the performance it gives you. It's engine works better with the CVT and the extra power helps make it so much better to drive. The wider tyres also help the car alot. I have driven both the 1.3 and the 1.6, so I can safely say that until the 1.3 turbo version that supposedly will come with an upgraded manual gear shift, this 1.6 is the one to get. Manual or Automatic. The link to the Iriz 1.6 CVT is here and in there is a link to the Iriz 1.3 Manual.

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Spotted for Sale: 1984 Honda Civic 1.6(M) - The 'Wonder' Civic

The car that has been Spotted for Sale here today is the third generation Honda Civic. It was produced by Honda from 1983 to 1987. This 1984 model the three-door hatchback version and is one of the more collectible 3rd Gen Civics aside from the CRX that is also derived from this chassis.. Other not so interesting 3rd Gen Civics were a four-door sedan (also known as the Honda Ballade) and the five-door "Shuttle" station wagon - imagine this as something BMW would now make with its 3 series and then call it the 3 series GT, i.e unclecar variant of the 3 series. Honda was so ahead of its time.

Friday, October 23, 2015

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Want a chance to watch Manchester United vs Chelsea live? Test drive and BOOK a Chevrolet NOW

Ever dreamt of watching Manchester United or Chelsea live in front of you? Ever dreamt of watching it at Old Trafford? Ever dreamt of watching Bryan Robson play in front of you? Wait, that was Manchester United a long while ago. I think that fella who looks like Shrek still plays for them. Rooney's his name. Who plays for them now I don't really care. But if you do, here's a chance to go see them play.

It's quite easy, Simply visit any of the 30 Chevrolet showrooms in East and West Malaysia to test drive any 5 models and upon registration , i.e you book a Chevy, you will get instant cash rebates and participation in the ‘Manchester United For Life’ spend and win contest. The offer stands from now till 10th December 2015.

TRUCK & BUS NEWS: A Session with Mr. Mats Nilsson, MD of Volvo Trucks Malaysia - On the Volvo Trucks Fuelwatch Challenge, Hybrid Trucks, B10 biodiesel and more

 Mr Mats Nilsson with Mr Nor Rahmat - winner of the 2015 Fuelwatch Challenge Malaysia)

A roller coaster ride. That's what the past month or so has been to Yours Truly. Trips, launches, visits, business meetings, family, hobbies, other pursuits have made it a very interesting period. I now have to put myself back in time to the Volvo Trucks Asia Pacific Fuelwatch Challenge 2015 finals in Hua Hin, Thailand to give you a short report on the session we Malaysian automotive journalists/reporters/bloggers had with Mr Mats Nilsson, Managing Director of Volvo Trucks Malaysia. 

I'm the chap in blue...trying to look serious and professional during the interview session.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Get Behind the Wheel of the New Ford Ranger This Weekend at the new Auto Connexion dealership in PJ

Interested to try the improved Ford Ranger? You can do so this weekend at the new Sime Darby Auto Connexion dealership located at Lot 3, Jalan 51A/219, 46100 Petaling Jaya (just off Federal Highway, opposite current SDAC PJ dealership). No advance booking is required, and admission is free.

In the meantime, do check out Ford's vid on the Ranger doing a lap in the pool....

Press Release

Get Behind the Wheel of the New Ford Ranger This Weekend at the ‘Tough Done Smarter Experiential Test Drive’

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

MINI John Cooper Works receives “sport auto award 2015”

The current MINI John Cooper Works recently came as top choice in the Sport Auto magazine's annual readers' choice category for Imported Small Car Category. For those who are unaware, Sport auto is a German automobile magazine. More like THE German auto magazine to read when it comes to performance cars.

Sport Auto magazine is one of the most referred to magazine as the magazine publishes its "Supertest" of cars, featuring the laptime of the car(s) the Nurburgring Nordschleife. The laps are usually driven by the former editor-in-chief Horst von Saurma. The magazine also runs a challenge for the fastest lap time driven with a car that is German road legal (TÜV) inclusive of even the tyres and that the car is also registered in Germany.

Monday, October 19, 2015

The Go Auto factory visit - The GWM Haval M4 local assembly and how contract assembly is done properly

A while ago I had a chance to visit the Go Auto assembly plant in Gurun, Kedah. Go Auto is currently distributors and assemblers for the Great Wall Motors (GWM) brand of vehicles here in Malaysia. It isn't just the Great Wall Haval M4 being assembled here actually. But there is more to them than meets the eye. 

The Go Automobile Manufacturing Sdn Bhd plant began operations sometime in 2011 and started out assembling vehicles and 4x4 pickup trucks belonging to Great Wall Motors. These days the plant can assemble slightly more than 300 units of vehicles per month and there are plans to expand the size of the factory so that it may eventually produce over a thousand vehicles per month. At the moment operations are on a smallish scale compared to the NAZA plant located in front of it. The Go Auto plant may be small but what I could see is an efficient system implemented. And they do not only assemble Great Wall Motor vehicles, they also contract assemble for other automotive brands from China too.

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Driven: 1996 Mercedes Benz R170 SLK230 Kompressor with only 22,000+ miles on the clock

The Mercedes Benz you see above is the 1996 Mercedes Benz R170 SLK230 Kompressor. It is a roadster by definition and is the first of the small compact Mercedes Benz designed to capitalise on the emergence of the compact luxury car market. The car in some ways was to compete with the more affordable Mazda MX5 roadster as well as ending up going head to head with other compact coupes like the BMW Z3 and the Porsche Boxster.


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Just so you folks know, I've published the press release below for everyone's benefit.

To approach the child safety concerns, the New Car Assessment Program for Southeast Asian Countries (ASEAN NCAP), a body that gives ratings to vehicles with child occupant protection, will be organizing an ASEAN NCAP Child Safety Day. The event will be held on 11 November 2015 at Autoliv Hirotako Safety Sdn. Bhd. The objectives of the event are to promote the use of child restraint system (CRS) and to introduce the standards related to CRS to the general public. The highlight of the event will be a demonstration to evaluate the performance of child seat.

You will also find a somewhat details description on how the tests determine the safety standard of the cars tested.

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Volkswagen Beetle Bug edition and Beetle Club edition all sold out in record time

Sometimes cars just sell themselves. Volkswagen Malaysia has just sold out its run of the Beetle Bug edition (above) and the Beetle Club edition (below) . There were 200 Beetle Bug editions made available and 50 Beetle Club editions too. All have been bought by someone. I think even in these trying times iconic cars like the Beetle have their own special pull.

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Industry News: Ford Malaysia announces promising sales numbers for September retail sales

Ford today announced September retail sales in Malaysia of 844 units, driven by continued demand for the Ranger (above - which has been recently facelifted) and Fiesta (below).The September result helped drive third quarter sales up 34 percent from the previous quarter to 2,691 units, as the Ford brand continues to gain momentum. 

Truck & Bus News: Scania Malaysia Launches its Kuala Terengganu Service Centre

From left to right: Chandra Rajan, Scania Region Manager for Region East, Marie Sjödin Enström, Managing Director of Scania Southeast Asia, Dato’ Hj IR Mohamad Dalib, Director of Automotive Engineering Department of JPJ, Gary Archer, Services Director of Scania Southeast Asia, Wan Noaimadudin Wan Mohamad Kamal (Aiman), Branch Manager of Scania Kuala Terengganu, officiating the Launch of the Scania Malaysia Kuala Terengganu Service Centre.

In order to make life way easier for its customers on the East Coast, Scania (Malaysia) Sdn. Bhd. has officially launched its Kuala Terengganu service centre, further strengthening its sales and services for all customers in the East Coast region. Customers can now send their Scania trucks, buses and coaches, marine, industrial and power generation engines to this service centre for regular maintenance. This saves a lot of down time for those who are running Scania vehicles and machinery.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

The New BMW M2 - Slightly less than a BMW M4?

BMW just previewed details and pics about its new M series car. It is based on the BMW 2 Series coupe and isn't that much smaller than the BMW M3/M4. Isn't that much slower than the M3/M4 as it basically runs a detuned M3/M4 engine. It also has the same optional DCT gearbox as the M3/M4. It has a lot of M3/M4 parts inside it.  I think you get what I am trying to say by now.

Monday, October 12, 2015

Drive Experience - The early internet, trucking in the 1970s/1980s, drive experiences & the M151 "Jeep" Truck 1/4 Ton

In 2006 when I first started this website the internet was a slower place to be. Facebook and YouTube was in its infancy. Instagram wasn't even born yet. There was not many places to actually view stuff and waste time online. Those days we had no real smartphones too. So you actually had to go out and do lots of stuff instead of getting totally stuck to the screen all of the time. 

I suppose you could say that I am quite lucky. I get to try new things all of the time. Go on driving adventures and so on. I don't only watch other people's motoring adventures on YouTube or read about them in a magazine. I get to do my own stuff. Recently I managed to cop a drive or two of something with eighteen wheels and also a bus or two. I suppose this is what happens when you have a passion for all things on four wheels - you drive something with more than four wheels stuck on it.

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Sunday Lite: The BMW Seven Hundred and Fifty by Q Branch

Q: It's the insurance damage waiver for your beautiful new car. Now, will you need collision coverage?
Bond: Yes.
Q: Fire?
Bond: Probably.
Q: Personal Injury?
Bond: I hope not, but accidents do happen.
Q: They frequently do with you.
Bond: Well, that takes care of the normal wear and tear. I there any other protection I need?
Q: Only from me, 007, unless you bring that car back in pristine order.

Spotted for Sale: 1997 TVR Chimaera 4.0 - This used to be Made In Port Klang

The early to mid 1990s was a burgeoning time for the automotive sector. Everywhere around the world manufacturers were busy launching new innovative models and cars that actually made us Petrolheads want it so badly. It was a time where things happened in a big way even in Malaysia. Proton just launched the Wira to great acclaim (and a waiting list of over five months). Bufori decided to start producing cars in Malaysia and we had the great British sportscar manufacturer TVR deciding to build cars in Malaysia too.

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Truck news: Images from the Volvo Trucks Asia Pacific Fuelwatch Challenge 2015 : Real people, lots of emotion and energy.

Most of the pics below would basically tell the tale of the Malaysian Volvo Trucks contingent to the recent Asia Pacific Fuelwatch Challenge 2015 which was recently held in Hua Hin, Thailand. There were lots of pleasant memories made over there. The pictures will tell the story as an online record to what happened then - meeting new friends, new challenges, new experiences, the laughter and more. 

News: Volkswagen Malaysia sponsors 100 units of Volkswagen vehicles to GPEC Asia

L-R  (front row) : YBhg. Dato' Sri Adenan bin Ab. Rahim, Timbalan Ketua Setiausaha (Dasar Keselamatan), YBhg. Datuk Nur Jazlan bin Mohamed, Timbalan Menteri Dalam Negeri and Mr Armin Keller, Managing Director of Volkswagen Group Malaysia.  

Volkswagen Group Malaysia recently announced its participation as the official car sponsor this year at the General Police and Special Equipment Exhibition & Conference (GPEC) Asia 2015. Volkswagen Group Malaysia will be sponsoring and registering a total of 100 units ranging from the Volkswagen CC, Sharan and Tiguan which will be used for and by delegates throughout the three day conference held at PWTC in Kuala Lumpur on the 21st to the 23rd of October 2015.

Thursday, October 08, 2015

New Ford Ranger officially launched in Malaysia

The burnt orange one is the 3.2 WildTrak, 2.2 XLT is in grey

The Ford Motor Company together with local distributor Sime Darby Auto Connexion launched the new Ford Ranger earlier today. This is a very facelifted version of the Ford Ranger we see on our roads. It features a new front end design as well as more equipment and stuff.

The 1.2liter Turbo Renault Clio GT Line - A budget Clio RS?

Whilst I was over in Thailand driving a truck, interviewing truck drivers and eating lots of tom yam, TC Euro Cars launched the New Renault CLIO GT LINE. The car will be available in Malaysia at the estimated price of RM118,000, with an additional RM5,000 for the Flame Red colour. Launch availability is slated for Q4 2015. The spirited and sporty five-door hatchback will be available in four colours – Flame Red, Diamond Black, Glacier White and Malta Blue.

Truck News: IVECO at the Czech Truck Prix VIDEO

Have a look at this video with the IVECO's vehicles of the Schwaben Truck Team at Czech Truck Prix. After driving some trucks around a track (albeit much slower than this) recently this could be fun actually.

Wednesday, October 07, 2015

The new BMW M4 GTS - Do you want one? I do.

BMW has a new GTS model. The BMW M4 GTS is a 700 unit limited edition that celebrates the 30th anniversary of the BMW M3 (Essentially the M4 is a two door M3 as BMW names its two door coupes in even numbers). 

Schools in Melaka and Negeri Sembilan to benefit from CALTEX FUEL YOUR SCHOOL CAMPAIGN

 Top row (L-R) Mr. Mohd bin Janis, Assistant Director, Registration and Relation Unit of Malacca Education Department; Mr. Shahid Ahmed, Chevron Malaysia Country Chairman; Puan Siti Khairon Shariff, Trustee of MyKasih Foundation; Mr. Haji Rashid bin Abdul Hamid, Alor Gajah District Education Officer alongside teachers from Malacca and Negeri Sembilan at the launch of Caltex Fuel Your School campaign.

Chevron Malaysia Limited, which markets the Caltex brand here in Malaysia, is allocating a total sum of RM250,000 to continue on its annual Caltex Fuel Your School campaign (“the campaign”) in partnership with MyKasih Foundation. This campaign is now in its fourth year and it aims to fund eligible classroom projects – an approach to deliver inspiring classroom sessions for students to further promote the learning of Science, Technology, English and Mathematics (STEM) subjects, this year in Malacca and Negeri Sembilan. 

This year’s campaign reaches out to public schools in Malacca and Negeri Sembilan, with a total of 50 classroom projects to be awarded – 25 projects from schools in Malacca and 25 projects from schools in Negeri Sembilan. The selection of projects will be based on the creative and innovative use of requested project materials which promotes a hands-on learning experience in the classroom and meets the existing classrooms curriculum objectives. 

Shell officially introduces the latest and greatest Shell Helix Ultra ECT C2/C3 0W-30

I was at the official launching of Shell's latest Helix Ultra motor oil yesterday. It was a fabulous event where distinguished guests included valued customers as well as members of the media. The Shell Helix Ultra ECT C2//C3 0W-30 is Shell Lubricant's latest and most advanced product in the Shell Helix With PurePlus Technology range. It is the highest grade that Shell has and offers up to four times better wear protection than the industry standard.

We were entertained with food and drink whilst being briefed on the virtues of Shell's latest and greatest engine oil. Some of the food was as cutting edge as the engine oil as it was quite a fusion of different flavours that confused the heck out of our palettes. Anyway, back to the engine oil at hand, Shell Lubricants General Manager for Malaysia and SIngapore, Mr Leslie Ng (above- the chap in the tuxedo holding the Helix Ultra pack) told us that the Shell Helix Ultra ECT C2/C3 0W-30 is also our most advanced formulation to date.

Tuesday, October 06, 2015

Hyundai Motor is the 39th biggest brand in the WORLD

Hyundai is currently the fourth largest vehicle manufacturer in the world. Hyundai operates the world's largest integrated automobile manufacturing facility in Ulsan, South Korea, which has an annual production capacity of 1.6 million units. The company employs about 75,000 people worldwide. Hyundai vehicles are sold in 193 countries through some 6,000 dealerships and showrooms. The company first started in 1967 as an assembler. It is now the 39th biggest brand in the world and the 7th biggest automobile brand in the world according to Interbrand.

MICHELIN Launches its new mid-range SUV tyre - the Michelin Primacy SUV

Mr. Chandan Thakur (in the suit), MD of Michelin Malaysia with his regional counterpart and Bibendum, aka Michelin Man

Today I met with a few of the tyre guys from Michelin over at a hotel in Petaling Jaya. We were all there for the launch of their latest tyre that will cater for the up and coming SUV market which right now is about 9% of the total volume for the passenger car market and climbing. The tyre in question is the new Michelin Primacy SUV.

This exclusively designed all-weather on road tyre for SUVs is available from 16 inch and above sizes. These are in the common sizes for most popular and family oriented SUVs in the market like the Honda CRV, the Nissan X-TRAIL and the Mazda CX-5 to name a few. 

Monday, October 05, 2015

Spotted for Sale: 1995 BMW M3 E36

This is something nice to dream about. A 1995 BMW M3 E36. This was the first six cylinder M3 and it had a 3.0liter straight-six engine that made about 280bhp. This was something everyone who loved cars dreamt about owning in the 1990s. So this could be a dream come true for some of you out there. This blue car has the 3.0liter engine with the 5 speed manual gearbox. A purist's spec. But those days, most of these performance BMWs had a manual gearbox.

Saturday, October 03, 2015

TRUCKS: Short Drive: The Volvo Trucks FH 440 Prime Mover With Tanker Trailer - I drive one on a Racetrack in Thailand

The Kaeng Krachan Circuit on the outskirts of Hua Hin, Thailand is a wonderful place to be driving anything. It is about 3.2km in length and has tight turns and undulations. It has nicely cambered corners, dips and crests that one can play with whilst driving on it. 

Volvo Trucks let me drive one of their prime movers on this race track. I would have liked a nice hot hatch but beggars can't be choosers. So thank you so very, very much whilst we are at it. The Volvo Truck in question was the latest Volvo FH 440 Sleeper Cab. The 440 means 440hp and about 2200nm torque from a Volvo D13A 13,000cc in-line 6 cylinder turbocharged engine. It runs the power it makes through a Volvo I-shift automated transmission unit that has 12 forward speeds. There are a heck of a lot of power and drivetrain configurations for the Volvo FH, from the 13liter 400hp engine to a 16liter 610hp /2800nm  trucker's dream machine special coupled with either the I-shift automatic, a 12 speed and a 14speed manual transmissions to play around with.