Monday, November 30, 2015

Sony Malaysia just launched their latest in-car lineup

For those that are interested in in-car sound systems, Sony Malaysia recently launched their latest in-car systems - from the powerful RSX-GS9 head unit , the XM-GS4 High-Resolution Audio Amplifier, and the XS-GS1 Hi-Res Audio Super Tweeter.

The RSX-GS9 head unit in a Toyota MR-S

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Kahn Design's latest Land Rover Defender 2.2 TDCI 90 Hard Top - Chelsea Wide Track.

I love it every time I receive new stuff from Kahn Design's PR people. I get material pertaining to chunky, tough, Tonka toy looking 4x4s that look even more chunky, tough Tonka toy than before. This time around we have the Land Rover Defender 2.2 TDCI 90 with what Kahn calls the 'Chelsea Wide Track' spec. I have featured this specification a couple of times but since the pics make the Defender 90 Chelsea Wide Track look even better, let's do it again.

BMW M4 GTS and BMW 3.0 CSL Homage receive 2015 Auto Bild Sports Car of the Year award.

BMW CSL Homage

German magazines seem to love giving out awards to fast BMW cars. I suppose if you're talking about the most balanced, precision tool out there that would get you from A to B the fastest, you can do no wrong if you chose a BMW. The usual opposition wearing the three pointed star is usually a sledgehammer which usually snorts and bellows the road into submission. The BMW would usually dance its way through. Audis tend to understeer a tad bit more which is usually why most serious German performance car journalists prefer to use them for the more relaxing over 250kmh drives on the Autobahn. So BMW wins in two major rating categories for this year's readers' vote organised by the magazine "Auto Bild Sportscars". 


Its readers voted the winner of the "2015 Sports Car of the Year for the "Serial Production Coupés Category" to be the new BMW M4 GTS, while in the "Concept Cars" category, the BMW 3.0 CSL Homage was voted the top dog. In addition to the category winners, there were other BMW models that gained podium positions. In the category "Serial Production Sedans", the BMW M5 "30 Years of the M5" finished second, as did the BMW X6 M in the category "Serial Production SUVs". The BMW M135i came third in the category "Serial Production Compact Cars".

Friday, November 27, 2015

Ford Ranger WildTrak named NST-Maybank 'Pick Up of the Year'!

Unsurprisingly the newly facelifted Ford Ranger WildTrack has been named NST-Maybank's Pick Up of the Year. This is the second time the Ranger has won an award at the New Straits Times-Maybank COTY, with the previous generation Ranger being named ‘Overall Car of the Year’ in 2012.

As streamlined as a whale.

The Bentley Mulsanne is as streamlined as a whale. Now actually the whale is pretty streamlined. It has the efficient teardrop shape that allows it to cut through water. It also has a large mouth which is uses to feed itself with plankton. It is just big. Really big.

J.D. Power Asia Pacific 2015 Malaysia Initial Quality Study (IQS) - Honda, Perodua and Toyota comes up tops

J.D Power Asia Pacific has released their latest survey for the Initial Quality Study (IQS). According to them, as our cars get more sophisticated and filled with tech, the actual knowledge of how to use the equipment affects how the owner perceives the quality of the car. Imagine that, if you were an idiot, who does not read the (now extremely very thick) owner's manual, you may end up thinking that the car you just bought is a dud. So what JD Power adds is that the salesperson can make sure the owner is comfortable with the technology thus significantly reducing the number of problems the owner experienced with their vehicle. Wow. Now you know what manufacturers must deal with most of the time when trying to sell a car.

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Truck News: Volvo Trucks Malaysia offers Engine and Transmission Overhaul Promotions this year end

For those running Volvo Trucks do take note that Volvo Trucks Malaysia is offering an Engine and Transmission Overhaul Promotion for this year end (2015) from the 1st of November 2015 to the 31st of January 2016. Save up to 60%!  For example, the Volvo FM12 overhaul would cost RM29,140.00. But with this promo, the cost goes down to RM16,100, or 45% off the original price. But also note that terms and conditions apply - see the final photo published herein for details.

2015 Chevrolet Colorado Sport & Cruze Sport revealed for the Malaysian market

NAZA Quest Sdn Bhd, official distributor of Chevrolet cars here in Malaysia has launched the Chevrolet Colorado Sport (above) and the Chevrolet Cruze Sport (below) recently. These new variants see enhancements in exterior, interior and performance. Both of these cars will be showcased at One Utama Auto Fair from 2nd - 6th December 2015, Highstreet zone. 

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Spotted for Sale: 2012 Honda CR-Z 2.0 - It should have been like this all along

It's been a while since I did any 'Spotted for Sale' articles. I suppose it's because there haven't been anything truly interesting out there when I was checking out the want ads. This time we have a winner folks, a 2012 Honda CR-Z with a nice big fat VTEC inside. By nice I mean a 2.0liter with 2.4liter stroker kit Honda K20a Type R engine plonked into it instead of the standard lethargic 1.5liter with a tiny electric motor for assist. 

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

BMW Group supports 500 refugees with social and professional intergration

Anette Farrenkopf, CEO of the Jobcenter in Munich; Milagros Caiña-Andree, member of the Board of Management of BMW AG; Manfred Schoch, Chairman of the General Works Council of BMW AG and Dr Markus Schmitz, CEO Regional Directorate Bavaria Federal Employment Agency with WORK HERE participants und their BMW mentors. (11/2015)

BMW has something called a refugee initiative. They have something called 'WORK HERE!'. This is a nine week practical work programme to help qualified refugees with social and professional integration over in Germany. It is organised by BMW in conjunction with the Federal Employment Agency of Germany. The BMW Group’s “WORK HERE!” training programme teaches skills that will give refugees better prospects in Germany and help them start a new life. The goal is for around 500 refugees to participate in practical work training and entry qualification.

Friday, November 20, 2015

BMW previews the Concept Compact Sedan - the upcoming BMW 1 Series Sedan ????

This folks, could be the upcoming BMW 1 series sedan. It will be previewed at the Auto Guangzhou 2015, China in concept car format for the moment. Read on for more details in the press release which I have put below. The thing about concept cars is that even though they are nearly production ready, they don't really interest me to the extent that I need to put some extra energy into writing something that the manufacturer has done so nicely. If the car was a production model I'd be interested. As I might get to drive the darn thing. So read on, about what the future 1 Series sedan may look like....

Munich/Guangzhou. The BMW Group has chosen Auto Guangzhou 2015, one of the largest international motor shows in China, to present a very special new development to the global public: the company’s vision of a four-door sedan for the compact segment. “The BMW Concept Compact Sedan reveals the potential we see in a compact sedan,” says Adrian van Hooydonk, Senior Vice President BMW Group Design. “It not only gives the driver and passengers generous amounts of space within a compact area but does so while providing the sporting ability you’d expect from BMW and an elegance otherwise only available in large BMW sedans. The quality and intrinsic value of the BMW Concept Compact Sedan are clear signals of our premium intentions for the car.”

Caltex Fuel Your School creates impact for students in Negeri Sembilan

 10th from left: Pn. Nor Baizura Kamaruddin, Student Affairs Supervisor of Seremban School District,  11th from left: Mokhtar Ali Ismail, Policy, Government & Public  Affairs Manager, 12th from left En. Pkharuddin Bin Hj. Ghazali, Deputy Director of Education, Education Department of Negeri Sembilan and 13th from left:Jeffrey Perera, Managing Director of MyKasih Foundation with Caltex retailers, teachers and students of the winning schools in Negeri Sembilan

After finishing off with schools in Melaka, Caltex has now completed its annual community campaign in Negeri Sembilan, the land of masak lomak cili api. Caltex Fuel Your School in partnership with MyKasih Foundation. In its fourth consecutive year, the Campaign had once again further raised the awareness in driving change and providing equal self-development with proper classroom facilities for students of high need schools in Negeri Sembilan and Malacca by enhancing a better environment and further promoting the learning of Science, Technology, English and Mathematics.

Remember folks, it is always a good thing to give back to society, especially our rural folk who somehow lag behind when it comes to education and the necessary tools to compete.

6th from left: Pn. Nor Baizura Kamaruddin, Student Affairs Supervisor of Seremban School District, 7th from left: Jeffrey Perera, Managing Director of MyKasih Foundation, 8th from left: En. Pkharuddin Bin Hj. Ghazali, Deputy Director of Education, Education Department of Negeri Sembilan,  9th from left: Mokhtar Ali Ismail, Policy, Government & Public Affairs Manager along with teachers of the winning schools in Negeri Sembilan

Thursday, November 19, 2015

The Tesla Model S 85 as a passenger at the Green Tech EV Experience, CyberJaya

Last Saturday I was invited to experience some electric cars (courtesy of Cyberview Sdn Bhd - the people that has the task to develop Cyberjaya as a global tech hub) at the GreenTech Malaysia EV Experience over at Cyberjaya. The 'EV' here stands for Electric Vehicles. No hybrids or fossil fuel power vehicles were present on that day. Only fully electric or to put it crudely, battery operated vehicles. So that day I saw electric powered bicycles, electric Go-karts (very nice to drive with bucketloads of lowdown torque) and most importantly, electric cars.

Ford's 48th and largest showroom and service centre officially open in Petaling Jaya

Ford Motor Company and its Malaysian distribution partner, Sime Darby Auto Connexion (SDAC) has officially opened its new showroom and service centre in Petaling Jaya. The centre, the Sime Darby Auto Connexion, Petaling Jaya 2 is strategically located at Lot 3, Jalan 51A/219, 46100 Petaling Jaya. It is actually just off Federal Highway and is on the opposite side of the current SDAC PJ dealership. 

Mark Kaufman, president, Ford ASEAN, signs a plaque to mark the opening of the new Ford showroom, SDAC PJ2

The new centre is part of Ford and SDAC’s two-year RM140 million network expansion and customer service enhancement plan. Ford Malaysia is basically making it easier for customers to interact with them by opening dealerships and expanding existing dealerships so they incorporate sales, service and spare parts under one roof. 

Scania Malaysia (Scania) and Malaysia Innovation Agency (AIM) collaborate to exploring viable commercial opportunities for biofuels from municipal waste in Malaysia

From left to right: Dato’ Azman Mahmud, CEO of MIDA, Dato’ Mah Siew Keong, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Malaysia, Mark Rozario, CEO of AIM, Marie Sjödin Enström, MD of Scania SEA, HE Mrs Kristina Persson, Minister for Strategic Development & Nordic Cooperation of Sweden, HE Mr Bengt G Carlsson, Ambassador of Sweden to Malaysia after the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between Scania Malaysia and Agensi Innovasi Malaysia (AIM).

I was recently invited to do some coverage at the Sweeden-Malaysia Innovation Day 2015 ministerial level round-table discussion here in MIDA, Kuala Lumpur a few days ago. There I witnessed the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between Swedish manufacturer Scania and the Malaysia Innovation Agency (AIM). The MoU's purpose is the collaboration by the Malaysian Government, via AIM and Scania to explore viable commercial opportunities for biofuels from municipal waste in Malaysia in line with Malaysia's National Biomass Strategy 2020 (NBS 2020).Scania was represented by the Managing Director of Scania Southeast Asia, Marie Sjödin Enström, and AIM, represented by its Chief Executive Officer, Mark Rozario.

Now biofuels turn waste into clean energy, increase security of fuel supply and improve local economies, help create local job opportunities and industrial development. The collaboration study includes identification of possible project locations, price and market demand projections and economic and operational feasibility. Scania has the technology to catalyse this project as it has been one of the main contributors to the development and adaptation of biofuels, developing and producing commercial biofuel-based transport solutions for over 20 years in Sweden and in around the world. 

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

CALTEX FUEL YOUR SCHOOL completes its 2015 campaign in Melaka

Photo 1 (Top Row): Jeffrey Perera, Managing Director of MyKasih Foundation (6th from left) and Mokhtar Ali Ismail, Policy, Government & Public Affairs Manager along with teachers of the winning schools in Malacca (6th from right)

This is more CSR from an automotive industry player that deserves some coverage. 

Caltex Fuel Your School creates impact for students in Malacca. in partnership with MyKasih Foundation. In its fourth consecutive year, the Campaign had once again further raised the awareness in driving change and providing equal self-development with proper classroom facilities for students of high need schools in Malacca and Negeri Sembilan by enhancing a better environment and further promoting the learning of Science, Technology, English and Mathematics. By reaching out to schools in Malaysia one state at a time the Caltex Fuel Your School campaign has made a difference and this is especially important for high need schools as more than 50 percent of the students are from low income household



Shell Advance has another CONTEST for you folks out there. This time, simply whip out your smartphone or camera, or simply dig through your photo album and choose a photo of your most memorable road trip moment, caption it and share it on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram with the hashtag #Advance2Langkawi.

Based on the most creative entry, five lucky winners will be able to bring one riding buddy each to an all-expense paid 4-day 3-night road trip to Langkawi! The winner and the friend will get to ride their own bikes on the trip lubricated by Shell Advance, and fueled by Shell V-Power


Jaguar Land Rover Malaysia (JLRM) has launched a Land Rover Defencer Limited Edition here today. This is essentially a tribute to the truly iconic 4x4 that will no longer be in production by the end of this year. A truly bittersweet moment, as it is sad to see an icon leave us but it also leaves us in anticipation of its successor. 

Volkswagen Malaysia roadshows are making their way to you this year end!

Here are Volkswagen Malaysia's upcoming roadshows making their way to you this year end. Expect lots of rebates and discounts on various models. First up is Mahkota Parade in Melaka on the 19th to the 22nd of November 2015 and then to the Atria Shopping Gallery in Petaling Jaya on the 10th to the 13th of December 2015. 

Details for both events are below: 

Monday, November 16, 2015

NST-MAI Autoshow 2015 - Highlights of the Autoshow - Proton Pick Up Truck, Haval H2, Mazda CX-3, Cam Caravan and HRH Sultan of Selangor's Vintage cars

The NST-Malaysian Automotive Institute Autoshow 2015 was held over the last weekend. The main purpose of this show was to crown the NST/CBT/MAI's cars of the year 2015. So there were lots of participation from car manufacturers and authorised distributors. Aside from the usual cars displayed, these were the highlights of the show as well as cars that are slightly different and worth mentioning simply because they are new and/or haven't been launched yet.

1. The Proton Pick-up Truck Concept (above) - 
This is here because this is the first time I am viewing this truck. Nice chunky styling and you can see that it is based on the Proton EXORA SUV. It keeps the A pillar and B pillar with a new front end and a truck flatbed at the rear. It still keeps within the Exora's chassis dimensions, hence the short flat bed at the back but if it can fit a pair of bicycles I think this short style is okay. Don't think this would be a challenge to something like the Ford Ranger or an Isuzu as this is smaller than those.. But with these sort of looks, this small pick-up could be a niche market success for Proton. If priced right this truck can succeed. It has looks, some practicality and since its based on something proven like the Exora, should be able to generate sales volume for Proton. I mean, look at it. It does look good!!!!! Niche market remember this and work on it.

EcoBoost Small But Mighty!


Seven Malaysians who participated in the Shell Rimula global promotion contest held on 15th April 2015 to 15th July 2015 won a money can't buy experience. They were among the more than 180 participants from 19 countries who gathered in Budapest, Hungary recently not just to watch the FIA European Truck Racing Championship teams at the Shell Hungary Truck Fest, but also take part in the exclusive Shell Rimula Truck Racing Challenge.

The Truck Racing Challenge was designed by Shell Rimula to let participants from all over the world put their truck racing team skills to the ultimate test. They navigated their way through a series of obstacles and trials with the guidance of expert instructors as they attempted to master truck control and accuracy tests, mechanical tasks, engineering skills and teamwork challenges in a bid to be crowned the Shell Rimula Truck Racing Champion!

Thursday, November 12, 2015

BMW Malaysia launches the 3 Series Facelift

Newly launched this evening is the BMW 3 Series Facelift. In a nutshell you get this - 

BMW 318i Luxury Line: RM208,800  - Effectively replacing the 316i but with one cylinder less. But with better equipment inside. It gets luxury spec instead of normal spec.  3 cylinder turbocharged 1.5liter - 136 hp / 220 Nm  torque 0-60mph 8.9secs. You can now tell your friends you bought a BMW with a Perodua Axia type of engine (3 cylinders). That three cylinder thrum would make it a different sounding BMW. Tell your friends this is half a BMW M3 (the M3 has a 3.0liter engine with turbos so do the math 3.0 divided by 2 = 1.5. Yay!!!! But heck, RM208,000 for a engine relation of the Perodua Viva clad in a larger body and more luxury clothing. Of course, road tax would be cheap. Under RM90 per year. 

BMW 320i Sport LIne: RM238,800 -  4 cylinder 2.0liter - 190hp /290Nm torque 0-60mph 7.2secs. The one that most will strive to buy.

Hyundai Training Academy Reopens at an All New Enhanced Facility in Mutiara Damansara

Aside from launching the all-new Hyundai Tucson with the Hyundai distributor in Malaysia, Hyundai Sime Darby Motor, Hyundai Motor Company (HMC) itself officiated the grand opening of its new Hyundai Training Academy (HTA) in Mutiara Damansara earlier today. 

This new facility measures 17,965 sq ft.  The facility is optimally designed to simulate in-dealer situations through its practical training environment and also includes online training equipment such as remote vehicle diagnosis tool and video conference system for remote training. Four experienced local training professionals certified by Hyundai Motor Company Headquarters will manage training operations at this new training academy on a regular basis.

All New Hyundai Tucson officially launched

Hyundai Sime Darby Motors (HSDM) has officially launched the all-new Hyundai Tucson here at Hyundai Motor Company's (HMC) brand new Asia Pacific Training Academy in Petaling Jaya today. The third generation Tucson was developed from the ground up as an urban SUV with an emphasis on ensuring affordability and drivability. Hyundai Motor’s latest design philosophy, the Fluidic Sculpture 2.0 was employed as the guideline for both the interior and exterior design. So the Tucson looks like a shortened, slightly smaller Santa Fe. This is a good thing as the Santa Fe is one of the nicer looking affordable SUVs on sale in Malaysia today.

This locally assembled C segment -SUV is currently only available in a 2WD. So its actually all 'wayang' or all show with its SUV body and looks. Of course, being an urban SUV, All-wheel drive would actually never be used by 99% of the buyers out there.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Newly launched Ford Ranger gets 5 star ASEAN NCAP Rating

The newly launched (facelifted) Ford Ranger has scored highest in Adult Occupant Protection (AOP) with the strongest evaluation score of 15.45/16 points in the ASEAN New Car Assessment Program (ASEAN NCAP). The class-leading safety features loaded into this pickup truck has helped the Ford Ranger raise the bar on safety in the pickup segment by leveraging Ford's global engineering resources and advanced safety technologies. Even the two airbag version scores highly too.

Ford Ranger receives maximum 5-star safety rating from ASEAN NCAP. (From L-R): Prof. Dr. Wong Shaw Voon, ASEAN NCAP Chairman, YBhg. Tan Sri Lee Lam Thye, Chairman, MIROS, David Westerman, managing director, Malaysia and Asia Pacific Emerging Markets, Ford Motor Company.

Ferrari Finali Mondiali 2015 at Mugello

Last weekend Ferrari had the Finali Mondiali (World Finals) of the Ferrari Challenge at Mugello Circuit in Italy. About 50,000 spectators came to the circuit owned by Ferrari. The event was a carnival which had races. The Ferrari Challenge world title. The winners were three drivers from the European series, probably also due to the fact that they are accustomed to racing at the Mugello circuit - the Coppa Shell went to the experienced Erich Prinoth, Matteo “Babalus” Santoponte triumphed in the Trofeo Pirelli and the Pirelli Am title went to Alessandro Vezzoni.

Aside from that there was an exhibition by Formula 1 team Scuderia Ferrari and the Ferrari exhibition which included the brand new F12tdf series which opened the exhibition hour (pic below). This car pays tribute to the famous Tour de France Automobile; it is produced in 799 units and is equipped with a V12 engines with a power of 780 HP.