Monday, February 29, 2016

Truck News: Major order of 1,000 Mercedes-Benz Actros by Girteka Logistics over in Europe..really major order.


And over in Europe, Mercedes Benz Trucks procures an order for 1,000 Mercedes Benz Actros prime movers. This is Mercedes-Benz Trucks' largest fleet order from Eastern Europe in its history. A framework agreement for the delivery of 1,000 Mercedes-Benz Actros with Euro VI engines has been signed with Girteka Logistics, a Lithuanian logistics company, earlier this month. The agreement will be an important milestone in the partnership between Girteka Logistics and Mercedes-Benz Trucks. The majority of the trucks will be handed over to the logistics specialist within the current year.

Supercar News: Aston Martin DB11 unveiled ahead of its launch at the 2016 Geneva Motor Show



Photos of the upcoming Aston Martin DB11 have found their way to the internet. I do not think these things are leaked just a day or so prior to the car's official launch. It comes from the manufacturer one way or the other as it becomes too much of a coincidence as everyone seems to leak something just before a launch of everything these days.

Ford Unveils the Fiesta ST200 - Hail to the new Junior Hot Hatch King....


 Ford Motor Company has unveiled the Fiesta ST that we've always wanted - the one with more power than the current 180hp/240Nm. I loved the car when I drove it but that car had a chassis that was dying for an engine that had more power. Let's call the old one the ST180 and the new one, as what Ford calls it,  the ST200 (obviously).

TEST DRIVE: VOLVO V40 T4 1.6 - Tested the high specification V40 T5 Cross Country, so how does this entry level V40 fare?

I was handed the keys to a Volvo V40 T4 1.6 automatic recently. The V40 T4 is a C segment sized hatchback that sits on the premium end of what you'd pay for a small family hatchback. It costs from around RM175,888 and actually sits in a spot which could get you a Honda Accord 2.4, an Audi A3, a Hyundai Santa Fe and a lot of cars that come from various categories within this technically higher priced vehicle segment. It however is Volvo's entry level product here in Malaysia and as it is a Volvo, it is premium automotive brand. Hence the entry price.

Saturday, February 27, 2016

Hyundai IONIQ will be launched at the 2016 Geneva Motor Show - Details


Hyundai Motor is introducing the All-New Hyundai IONIQ at the Geneva Motor Show 2016. The line-up will consist of the: IONIQ Hybrid, IONIQ Electric and IONIQ Plug-in. As the world’s first model offering three electrified powertrains, the IONIQ is an attempt to make low-to zero-emission mobility accessible to everyone but it will also try to deliver an uncompromised design and driving experience. This is a very ambitious goal if I may say so.

Volkswagen Cares Programme launched - A Free Car Workshop for VW Owners


Volkswagen Malaysia has launched the Volkswagen Cares Programme recently. This is a series of free car workshops exclusively for Volkswagen owners. The first Volkswagen Cares programme was conducted at Volkswagen Wearnes Sg Besi where a total of 12 Volkswagen owners attended this inaugural session.

Friday, February 26, 2016

Mitsubishi Outlander launched in Malaysia....buy this over a Pajero Sport if you do not go off road!!!!!


Whilst I was busy having coffee with the Missus over at Citta Mall earlier this evening, Mitsubishi Motors Malaysia launched the 2016 Mitsubishi Outlander for the Malaysian market. The 2.4liter petrol powered Outlander comes fully imported from Japan, and for units booked before 31st May 2016, it is priced at RM166,720 on-the-road excluding insurance. Holy crap! It magically falls between the Nissan X-Trail 2.5 and the Honda CRV 2.4! How did they ever manage a feat like that?

Great Wall Malaysia is now HAVAL Malaysia and HAVAL launches the full spec M4 ELITE AMT too!


Some quick bits. Great Wall Motors (GWM) Malaysia is now called HAVAL Malaysia. HAVAL is the name which the Great Wall Motors company wishes to market all of its products globally. HAVAL is short for 'Have All'. Makes sense doesn't it?

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Thoughts on cool Volvo cars (Not their SUVs)- The 850 T5R and the newest cool Volvo - the S90 & V90


Recently Volvo unveiled the wagon version of the also recently launched S90. The V90 is a beautiful, beautiful station wagon that is what I remember Volvo cars were like, big, boxy and full of presence. And they were basically cars. There were no SUVs back then, we had family saloons and wagons basically. Both the S90 and V90 are stunning but they are actually very much a three box design with its edges rounded off. This is actually much like the Volvos of the 1990s. An era where Volvos were still popular everywhere in the world including here in Malaysia. 

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Mercedes Benz celebrates 130! Years of Innovation at the newly renovated Cycle & Carriage Bintang Georgetown Autohaus


Mercedes Benz Malaysia celebrated 130 years of Innovation over in Georgetown earlier today. The celebration pays tribute to the brand's heritage and history, especially the invention of the automobile (by Mercedes Benz) in 1886. It was held over at the newly renovated Cycle & Carriage Bintang Georgetown Autohaus over in Penang. 

SUPERCAR NEWS: A new exhibition is unveiled at the Enzo Ferrari Museum


In celebration of Enzo Ferrari's birthday (il Commedatore would be 118 if he were alive today), a new exhibition will be unveiled at the Enzo Ferrari Museum in the Ferrari capital of Modena. The theme of the new exhibition is titled ' Red Carpet and as per the name, it is a tribute to Ferrari on the silver screen and Hollywood. 

Volkswagen Passat B7 to be the official car for Le Tour De Langkawi 2016

L – R : Mr Emir Abdul Jalal, CEO of Le Tour De Langkawi and Mr Roland Ooi, Sales Director of Volkswagen Malaysia.

The official car for the upcoming Le Tour De Langkawi will be the Volkswagen Passat . A total of 190 units of this large sedan will be used for Malaysia's premier cycling event. It will be used throughout the race by the riders and their team personnel, safety marshals and also the police. 

Monday, February 22, 2016

Cars We Still Adore: The Honda Prelude, especially the third generation BA series


One car that I wish Honda would bring back is the Prelude. The Honda Prelude is a two door coupe that was produced by Honda from 1978 until 2001. The two-door coupe was developed from the Honda Accord and spanned five generations.

Friday, February 19, 2016

Motorsports: RED BULL RACING & PUMA REVEAL NEW TEAM LOOK


Look closely at the shoes, race overalls, shirts and t-shirts in the photos herein. All are PUMA. Then take a look at the new Red Bull Racing Formula 1 car. New colour scheme. New team look. 

Note that this year there would be no more Infiniti as a main sponsor.

Ford Everest Achieves ASEAN NCAP’s 5-Star Safety Rating


I have written about the Ford Everest's perormance in the ASEAN NCAP earlier when it was announced by MIROS, the Malaysian Institute of Road Safety, together with a few other cars (the Hyundai i10, Toyota Innova, Nissan Grand Livina  and a few others). Now we have a video from Ford explaining how the Ford Everest can achieve the 5 star rating a little further.

PROTON ANNOUNCES SERVICE FIX IMPROVEMENT INITIATIVES FOR ITS TURBOCHARGED ENGINE MODELS

The Press Release below is the official statement by PROTON cars on the recall of its turbocharged engine models. PROTON has taken precautionary step to provide a Service Fix on the Oil Cooler Hose in all its turbo-charged powered models. The models involve are the Proton Exora, Suprima S and Prevé. This initiative is undertaken as part of our brand new promise and our continuous commitment in engaging with the customers.

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Hyundai wins 2016 Kelley Blue Book Cost to Own Awards


Over in America Hyundai was named overall brand winner in the 2016 Kelley Blue Book 5 year Cost to Own Awards. The automobile manufacturer was ranked first among mainstream brands for lowest projected ownership costs over a five year period. Some of the models driving Hyundai’s success include the 2016 Accent, Elantra, Sonata, Tucson and Veloster. We do not get the Accent here in Malaysia but we do get the rest. 

Newly Upgraded Cycle & Carriage Bintang Mercedes Benz Autohaus unveiled



Mercedes-Benz Malaysia Sdn Bhd, together with authorised dealer, Cycle & Carriage Bintang Berhad (CCB), today unveiled the all new, upgraded CCB Autohaus in Petaling Jaya. This is the one strategically located Lot 19, Jalan 51A/219, Off Federal Highway, 46100 Petaling Jaya, Selangor. You cannot miss it as it is quite a familiar landmark if you're on the Federal Highway.

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Happenings: First Renault track day for 2016 at the Sepang International Circuit


Last 4th of February,  Renault distributor for Malaysia TC Euro Cars held a track day session for Renault owners at the Sepang International Circuit (SIC). A total of 30 Renault Sport owners attended and drove their Megane RS and Clio RS cars round and round the circuit. Hopefully to their hearts content.

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Renault plans to revive the Alpine brand by starting with the beautiful Vision Alpine prototype


Renault have announced plans for a new Alpine sports car. This is very good news to me. The last Alpine was sometime in the 1990s and they were like the French's answer to a Porsche 911. They had their engines like the Porsche, slung way back at the rear behind the axles. They looked good too, but this new one takes after one of the earliest and nicest looking model, the Alpine A110 - which I happen to think as one of the nicest small sized coupe ever built. Aside from some small, tiny, obscure Italian Fiat Abarth,  an Alpine A110 in French Racing Blue is awsome. Too bad they are showing it in white.

Ah...here's a proper pic of it below....

2016 Proton Perdana - Teased and previewed. An opinion.


And so, after unveiling their latest plan in order to make PROTON successful again, Chairman Tun Mahathir and CEO Dato' Abdul Harith showed us the new 2016 PROTON Perdana in top spec 2.4liter form. All of us who attended the press conference were forced to put away all forms of camera when they showed us the new car. Of course, they have already been teasing us with bits during the presentation - like the headlights above and in the presentation slide below. So there will be no full pics here but an writeup on what I think about the car after viewing it for the first time.

PROTON unveils new logo, new service assist, new aftersales initiatives and the It's in the Drive campaign + Opinion

CEO Dato' Abdul Harith Abdullah explaining to the media the new plan for PROTON


In order to bring back confidence in the Proton Cars brand, Proton Holdings Berhad held a press conference unveiling a new look (and logo), its transformation plan and its promise to provide a much better experience to its customers. 

Spotted for Sale: 2005 BMW 318i 1.8 (A) SPORTS UNCLE CAR - Yup. The E46 can be considered an UNCLE CAR


Usually when we say the car is an 'Uncle Car' it means that the car is super dull looking. Something like a two generations ago Toyota Camry or the A33 Nissan Cefiro. These are super boring to look at cars and usually driven by slightly elderly people who are as super dull looking as the car. However, sometimes even a somewhat interesting car like this E46 BMW 318i  gets called  an uncle car by the people trying to flog it off.

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Ramblings on a Sunday - The upcoming Proton-Suzuki Ertiga collaboration model and what might have been

Imagine if Suzuki had brought this into Malaysia in 2012.....

I had recently heard that one of the first few collaboration vehicles under the Proton-Suzuki joint venture is the Suzuki Ertiga small SUV. Recent in this case was about a week or so ago but since it was Chinese New Year and I had opinions and news about other things to write about I have now decided to say a bit more on what I think the of this Suzy MPV and some background stuff about Suzuki in Malaysia.

Saturday, February 13, 2016

An English lesson: The meaning of 'Grand'....but when it comes to cars....

The Suzuki GRAND Vitara....


Recent test results of the ASEAN NCAP has got me thinking. Not about the results but about cars that use the word 'GRAND' in their name.

grand
ɡrand/
adjective
1.
magnificent and imposing in appearance, size, or style.

Friday, February 12, 2016

ASEAN NCAP Results for Quarter 1, 2016 - Hyundai i10, Ford Everest, Toyota Fortuner, Nissan Grand Livina results


 Ouch!!!! The 1st generation Hyundai i10 with some crash test dummies....and a flying side skirt.

 MIROS / ASEAN NCAP recently performed several crash tests on the 1st generation Hyundai i10, 3rd generation Ford Everest, the current Toyota Fortuner, the Nissan Grand Livina and the Toyota Innova. 

Road Safety: Shell Malaysia partners MIROS on iRAP Programme to improve road safety in Malaysia



Shell Malaysia together with the Malaysian Institute of Road Safety Research (MIROS) will be partnering through the International Road Safety Assessment Programme (iRAP) in order to improve road safety in Malaysia. The partnership was marked with a signing ceremony witnessed by YB Dato' Sri Liow Tiong Lai, Minister of Transport Malaysia. Also present were Tan Sri Lee Lam Thye, Chairman of MIROS, Datuk Seri Hj Saripuddin Hj Kasim - Deputy Secretary General Ministry of Transport Malaysia, Datuk IAIN Lo - Chairman Shell Malaysia, Mr Rob McInerney - CEO of iRAP, Datuk Azman Ismail - MD of Shell Malaysia and Prof Dr Wong Shaw Voon - Director General of MIROS.

Now, iRAP is an international award winning charity organisation dedicated to creating a world without high risk roads through research and evidence.

Spotted For Sale: 2001 Nissan Cefiro 3.0 Auto A32 - VIP dirt cheap...road tax is the only issue


The thing about large capacity cars in Malaysia is the road tax. The annual cost of road tax climbs steeply after 2,000cc (RM380 at 2,000cc) with another jump after 3,000cc (3000cc costs around RM2,130) which actually makes 3.2liter car's road tax cost RM3,030. So cars that are over the 2.5liter barrier are usually shunned unless they are collectible sports cars. Even so, if you can spare about RM2,100 worth of road tax per annum, you can start playing with entry level big bruisers and cruisers like this dirt cheap 2001 Nissan Cefiro 3.0 Brougham here.

Kahn Design releases photos and a video of their upcoming Vengeance supercar


Kahn Design of the UK, who are famous for modding Range Rovers and Land Rovers will unveil their latest car called the Vengeance. I believe it is based on the Aston Martin DB9 with a different front and rear end. The front end has a very toothy evil grin and the rear reminds me of a Ferrari. The overall effect seems to be close to a Zagato Aston Martin actually. But with a tad less flair than the Italian Coachbuilder. But I think this will be opinion dividing. Of course, controversy is sometimes a very good marketing tool. More people talk about it, the better. 

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Short Test Drive: The Jaguar XE 2.0 Prestige & XE 2.0 R-Sport

R-Sport on the left, Prestige on the right

Today I wanted to start off this article with something witty and anecdotal but I somehow cannot find anything interesting to say. Well actually I have a lot to say, but then we'd never get to the car that is supposed to be featured in this article.

XE Prestige 2.0 20T 

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

BMW M Performance Parts for the new BMW M2 Coupé.- I think the 'M' stands more for Marketing than Motorsports



Sometimes I fail to understand stuff. You go out and buy the ultimate BMW 2 Series called the BMW M2 Coupe. It is obvious this car isn't as cheap as a Proton Saga SV. This means that it should have the volume button for the car's looks, styling, performance, handling and more to be up to level Maximum when you sign the dotted line. 

Motorsports: Ford participates in this year's Le Mans - 50 Years on from their Historic Victory in 1966


Ford will run four Ford GT cars in the Le Mans this year. This is an anniversary of sorts for Ford. The cars will compete at the Le Mans 50 years on from their historical 1, 2 and 3 finish in 1966. All four GTs will be running with team Ford Chip Ganassi Racing and will compete for GTE Pro class glory at the world’s greatest motor race, which takes place on June 18-19.

Tuesday, February 09, 2016

Used Car Tips: Best Affordable 5 year old Used Car in Malaysia - Circa 2016


In 2014 I wrote about what's the best 5 year old car you could buy then. One and a half years have passed and I have been requested to do another one for this year. So let's see what we can get for about five or so years old with a budget of under RM20,000 circa February 2016.

Friday, February 05, 2016

Can You Afford To Maintain It? 1998-2005 Mercedes Benz S-Class (W220)


Early last year (2015) I was asked by a reader whether it was alright for him to buy a first generation Porsche Cayenne. As you folks know, the Cayenne is a luxury SUV that was made by Porsche to save Porsche from an early death. It sold by the bulk carrier loads and you can see them in every large city in Malaysia. But after doing some research, by doing a lot of reading, calling up friends who have or had such a vehicle the reply (which is here) was that you could, if you have money. Lots and lots of money. Really lots of money. Anyway, this time I'd like to talk about the best car in the world, circa 1998 to 2005 – the Mercedes Benz W220 series S-Class.

Happenings: Volkswagen Malaysia CNY Lion Dance Blessing Ceremony

Bless you, my car!!!

It really is that time of the year again. The time of the Lion Dance in conjunction with the Chinese New Year. But do note that the Lion dance isn't 100% exclusive to the new year celebrations,  it may also be performed at important occasions such as business opening events, special celebrations or wedding ceremonies, or may be used to honour special guests by the Chinese communities. One such occasion was last weekend when Volkswagen Malaysia hosted a Lion Dance Car Blessing ceremony for its customers. 

Thursday, February 04, 2016

Motorsports: Renault launches a complete motorsports programme

 Groupe Renault Chairman and CEO Carlos Ghosn (second from right) with drivers (from right) Kevin Magnussen, Jolyon Palmer and Esteban Ocon and, in front of Renault R.S. 16 Formula 1

Carlos Ghosn, Chairman and CEO of Group Renault, has announced Renault's new motorsport strategy. Two pillars form its basis - Renault Sport Racing and Renault Sport Cars. This is something most of us would say as a Race on Sunday, Sell on Monday part of a car maker's marketing plan. 

 2016 Renault R.S. 16 Formula 1

Renault Sport Racing takes responsibility for Renault’s extensive racing activities, including the newly-created Renault Sport Formula One Team and Renault e.dams (electric racing car team for the Formula E series) as well as the current Formula Renault 2.0, Renault Sport R.S.01 Trophy, plus further customer racing and rallying programmes.

Wednesday, February 03, 2016

Automotive Corporate Social Responsibility: Ford Expands ‘Driving Skills for Life’ Programme to More Students

DSFL Participants from Taylor’s University

Ford Motor Company has continued its efforts to raise road safety awareness in Malaysia through its global Driving Skills for Life (DSFL) programme, expanding the programme to two more higher education institutions – German Malaysian Institute and Taylor’s University.

FREE SAFETY CHECKS BY PROTON THIS CHINESE NEW YEAR AT PETRONAS STATIONS


After some slightly depressing mood as regards the increase of Proton car prices after the 15th of February, here is some good news for Proton owners. They can get free 30 point safety inspection at selected PETRONAS stations. Free. The key word here is 'FREE'.

Some light reading for you folks - Ferrari 2015 Financial Results


I've decided to post this 2015 Ferrari Financial Results for you folks. It looks like very good reading especially when you need something to read just before going to bed. This is the nitty gritty details of a car company. Underneath all that glamour and red paint, there are numbers. Lots of numbers. So many numbers. Hello, wake up!

News & Opinion: Proton Cars to increase prices for all models effective 15th February 2016

As expected, Proton car prices will see a marginal increase of RM312 to a maximum of RM2,021 depending on model variants, effective 15 February 2016. This comes after an earlier announcement at the end of last year that they would do so.

Tuesday, February 02, 2016

Spotted For Sale: 2015 "Ferrari FF 3.0 (A)"


Seriously folks...how the heck did this go through in the car sales section of mudah.my?

Volkswagen Malaysia and Swire Motors officially open the Volkswagen Puchong 4S Centre


Another Volkswagen 4S Centre is officially open for business. Volkswagen Malaysia and Swire Motors is pleased to announce the launch of the latest addition to the Volkswagen network – the Volkswagen Puchong 4S Centre. This outlet is also the country’s third Volkswagen Technical Service Centre.

INDUSTRY & TRUCK NEWS: FIRST BATCH OF IKBN STUDENTS COMPLETE TRAINING AT MERCEDES-BENZ MALAYSIA’S APPRENTICE TRAINING CENTRE

Celebrating the graduation of National Youth Skill Institute (IKBN) students from the FUSO Training Program, a collaboration between the Ministry of Youth and Sports Malaysia, and Mercedes-Benz Malaysia. (sixth from left) Secretary General, Ministry of Youth And Sports Malaysia, Datuk Jamil Bin Salleh; (seventh from left) Minister of Youth And Sports Malaysia YB Encik Khairy Jamaluddin; (eighth from left) Mercedes-Benz Malaysia President and CEO, Dr Claus Weidner; and (ninth from left) Vice President, Commercial Vehicles, Mr Albert Yee, with the graduates.

Mercedes-Benz Malaysia (MBM) today awarded eleven students from the National Youth Skills Training Institute (IKBN) with a certification of completion following a successful training stint of the Mercedes Benz Malaysia-IKBN FUSO Training Program at its Apprentice Training Centre in Shah Alam. The event held earlier today in Kuala Lumpur was attended by  Minister of Youth And Sports Malaysia YB Encik Khairy Jamaluddin, Mercedes-Benz Malaysia President and CEO Dr Claus Weidner as well as the senior management of Mercedes Benz Malaysia, officials from  the  Youth and Sports Ministry of Malaysia and those from IKBN.

Caltex Rewards the First 46 Lucky Winners from the ‘Big Fuel Giveaway’ Promotion - Just in time for the Chinese New Year


Chevron Malaysia Limited (“Chevron”), which carries the retail brand Caltex, announced the first 46 lucky winners of the Caltex Big Fuel Giveaway promotion, which kicked off on 1 December, 2015.

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