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  • CMCO in Selangor, KL, Putrajaya extended to Nov 9

    The conditional movement control order (CMCO), which is currently in effect in the state of Selangor as well as the federal territories of Kuala Lumpur and Putrajaya, will be extended to November 9, according to the National Security Council (MKN). This is a two-week extension after the reinstated CMCO was first announced, which was from October 14 until October 27.

    Senior minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob said the decision to extend the CMCO was based on a risk assessment conducted by the ministry of health (MOH), which revealed that there were still high-risk locations for the spread of Covid-19 in the named areas. The CMCO in the state of Sabah as well as the Nilai zone in Negeri Sembilan will also see extensions – the latter until November 10.

    Barring further announcements from MKN, the prevailing standard operating procedures (SOPs) should remain in effect. To control movement, only two individuals from the same household will be allowed to leave their home to purchase food and/or necessities.

    Inter-district travel is not allowed under CMCO conditions, and employees who need to cross district lines will be required to show a work pass or permission letter from their employer. Those who wish to do so but not due to work reasons must first get permission from the police.

    In regards to public transport, services such as stage buses, express buses, taxis and e-hailing will be allowed to operate as usual. For taxis and e-hailing providers, a maximum of two passengers are allowed onboard, and rides can be provided from 6am to 12am.

    For vehicles carrying workers, they can carry passengers as previously prescribed, while those associated with industries, businesses and factories are allowed to travel between districts and states as before. Meanwhile, petrol stations will have limited operating hours from 6am to 10pm, with the exception of stations located along highways, which will be allowed to operate 24 hours.

  • Isuzu Malaysia launches new 3S centre in Taiping

    Isuzu Malaysia has launched a new 3S dealership in Taiping, Perak, which will serve customers in the Matang region. The dealership will be operated by GB Motors and was designed to offer sales and aftersales services for the entire range of Isuzu models, ranging from the D-Max to medium- and heavy-duty trucks.

    Occupying 5,300 square metres of land area and with a built-up area of approximately 1,400 square metres, the outlet boasts a spacious showroom, customer waiting area and well-equipped service bays. It is located along Jalan Simpang, close to the main cross road leading to Taiping town.

    “As one of the largest independent automotive retailers in Malaysia with over 25 years of delivering positive experiences here in the northern region, I believe that this new Goh Brothers outlet will offer excellent professional service and play a key role in developing the Isuzu business here and serving the growing population and businesses around the Taiping area,” said Koji Nakamura, CEO of Isuzu Malaysia.

    “I thank the management of Isuzu Malaysia for choosing the Goh Brothers Group as your business partner. As a member of the Isuzu family, we are committed to enhancing the Isuzu Customer Experience in this region through timely and professional service to customers,” commented Goh Chern Earn, Isuzu dealer principal.

    To celebrate the launch of the new outlet, GB Motors will be holding a month-long test drive campaign until November 23, where the first 100 people to test drive any Isuzu vehicle will receive a special gift bag.


  • New Geely plant in Chongqing to make Polestar EVs

    The Geely Group is planning a new electric vehicle plant in Chongqing, and the factory will produce Polestar EVs. This was reported today by Reuters, with info from two people with direct knowledge of the matter.

    The Hangzhou-based automaker’s new plant in the western Chinese city will have an annual manufacturing capacity of 30,000 premium EVs. The facility will be run by a wholly owned, newly registered company, according to documents on Geely’s website.

    According to the report, the owner of Volvo, Lotus, 49% of Proton and the Polestar brand plans to make low-volume Polestar 1 performance hybrids in Chengdu in the west and Polestar 2 electric fastbacks in Taizhou in the east. Geely has also confirmed plans to put the Polestar Precept sedan into production. Click on the links to see the models in detail.

    The newswire’s report adds that Polestar aims to eventually offer larger, more sporty vehicles. The electrified brand’s network currently has 23 showrooms in nine countries, and the plan is to hit 45 by the end of this year. Polestar CEO Thomas Ingenlath told Reuters that the firm is looking at markets in Asia-Pacific and the Middle East.

    Besides the plant that will roll out Polestar EVs, Geely is also planning a factory in China to make Lotus SUVs, the report added.

    GALLERY: Polestar Precept concept

  • Fisker Ocean – production version to be unveiled 2021 in Los Angeles; Magna manufacturing starts Q4 2022

    Fisker has announced that the production version of the Ocean electric SUV will premiere at the 2021 Los Angeles Auto Show, which is slated to commence in May 2021 following delays due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The firm also announced its strategic cooperation with manufacturing firm Magna, which will produce the Ocean SUV from the fourth quarter of 2022 at its European location.

    The Fisker Ocean will be manufactured exclusively by Magna initially, and the two companies have ‘agreed to work together’ to continue developing new technologies to innovate across multiple automotive systems and architectures for Fisker vehicles, the Los Angeles-based brand said.

    The Ocean will integrate Magna’s electric vehicle archictecture with the firm’s FM29 platform, which will possibly also serve as the basis for future Fisker vehicles, said the company. Fisker has revealed that the Ocean measures 4,640 mm long, 1,930 mm wide and 1,615 mm tall, with 566 litres of luggage capacity, or 708 litres with its parcel shelf removed. This grows further to 1,274 litres with the rear seats folded.

    Fisker Ocean SUV concept

    The base variant of the Ocean employs a rear-wheel-drive powertrain, with other variants set to receive all-wheel-drive, though without other technical details provided; these will presumably be single- and dual-motor configurations, respectively. The standard AWD configuration will offer ‘more than 300 hp’, while an ultra-high performance variant targets a 0-96 km/h time of under three seconds. The total power output for this variant will be announced next year, said Fisker on its website.

    Inside, the Ocean boasts of a head-up display integrated into the windscreen, complemented by a 9.8-inch driver instrumentation panel and a 16-inch infotainment touchscreen. The interior is outfitted with ‘vegan’ materials such as polycarbonate and polyurethane surfaces, with rayon backing and recycled carpeting made from the nylon of abandoned fishing nets, hence its Ocean moniker.

    The Ocean SUV will also get what’s dubbed the California Mode, which opens the nine glass windows and panels with one touch of a button, providing an open-air cabin while maintaining its ‘roll-cage’ safety structure around its occupants, says Fisker. This will be standard on all Ocean variants save for the base RWD model.

    “We are very happy to be able to work with Fisker on such an exciting sustainable product and to see what additional opportunities this cooperation may bring. This is a unique competitive position for us, particularly with new mobility players and OEMs seeking to expand their electrified offerings,” said Magna International president Swamy Kotagiri in a statement.

    At its initial unveiling at CES 2020, the Fisker Ocean claimed a range of between 250 km to 480 km from an 80 kWh lithium-ion battery pack, charged via a Combined Charging System (CCS) Type 2 plug. With the Electrify America setup of 350 kW chargers as a reference, a 15-80% charge can be attained in 30 minutes, for an addition of 320 km of driving range.

    In July, Fisker was reportedly in talks with Volkswagen for the use of the German automaker’s key electric drive components including drive batteries, which would entail the use of the MEB modular electric vehicle platform, according to Automotive News Europe.

    At the time, the company was said to be in talks with several automakers for parts supply contracts, said CEO Henrik Fisker, though Volkswagen was not mentioned by name. Should the talks materialise in confirmed deals, Fisker will not need to manufacture its own air conditioning, steering rack or platform, the CEO said.

    Pricing for the Fisker Ocean will start from US$37,499 (RM156,183), and leasing starts from US$379 (RM1,578) a month with a one-time US$2,999 (RM12,490) activation fee, with full maintenance and service costs covered, says Fisker. Leasing subscribers get up to 30,000 miles (48,000 km) a year with monthly rollover, and users can cancel the lease subscription at any time.

    2022 Fisker Ocean concept

  • Red Bull Racing aiming to take over Honda’s F1 engine programme – proposes development freeze post-2021

    With Honda set to exit Formula 1 after the 2021 season, Red Bull Racing (and sister team Scuderia AlphaTauri) will be left without an engine supplier for 2022 and beyond. Since Honda’s announcement in early October, there has been plenty of speculation about what will power RBR’s race cars, and it looks like team principal Christian Horner has presented an answer.

    In an interview with Sky Sports, Horner revealed that RBR are intent on continuing with Honda power units despite the company’s impending exit, which would involve the racing outfit taking over Honda’s F1 engine programme.

    “The more we look, there really only is one option that works. And that would be to try and agree something with Honda where we take on the IP [intellectual property] for the Honda engine,” said Horner.

    However, there is a catch to this move – called “Plan A” – as RBR would only look to maintain Honda’s engines, with Horner saying that this would be reliant on F1 adjusting its rules so that teams freeze the development of their power units post-2021.

    “It would only make sense to be an independent engine supplier, as Red Bull would effectively be, if there was a freeze. Because it would just be impossible to fund the kind of development spend that currently goes on with these engines,” Horner explained.

    “It’s so dependent on what the regulations are going to be. It’s absolutely fundamental that there needs to be an engine freeze with these power units, until the introduction of the new engine [in 2026],” he continues.

    This is certainly a tall ask of the remaining engine suppliers, namely Mercedes, Renault and Honda, with Horner saying it’s up to the FIA to decide. “It’s a big wake-up call for Formula 1 to have a major manufacturer like Honda walk away from the sport at the end of 2021,” he said.

    “That leaves only three engine suppliers, and that’s a very precarious place for the sport to be. So that’s why the governing body really needs to take control of this. For Formula 1, to lose an engine manufacturer is not a good thing. It would be criminal to see those engines just on a shelf somewhere in a Japanese warehouse,” Horner added.

    As it stands, Mercedes lacks the capacity to supply more teams, as it has already committed to McLaren, Racing Point (set to be known as Aston Martin Racing in 2021), Williams and their own works team.

    Meanwhile, Ferrari will provide engines to three teams – Alfa Romeo, Haas and itself – while Renault (to be known as Alpine in 2021) and RBR’s split on acrimonious terms at the end of 2018 doesn’t really sound like grounds for a favourable reunion.

    “At the moment, all focus is on Plan A. Toto [Wolff] has made Mercedes’ case very clear. And obviously Ferrari have their own issues they are dealing with. Renault don’t really want to supply us, their aspirations as a team obviously have changed. It’s inconvenient to supply a team like Red Bull, we’re not a standard customer team, we’re not a small team,” said Horner.

  • Aveta Malaysia to launch budget 110 kapchai in Nov?

    Malaysian-owned brand Aveta Global Marketing is set to release another budget-market underbone motorcycle, possibly this November. Pricing is not determined as yet pending government approval but sources close to Aveta say it is likely “to be around RM3,000.”

    In keeping with the budget-conscious side of things, the engine of the upcoming Aveta kapchai model looks to be a 110 cc air-cooled unit, probably putting out around seven or eight horsepower which would be typical of power plants in this class. A four-speed centrifugal clutch gear box and chain drive gets power to the ground.

    On the right side engine casing is a plate saying “Made in Malaysia” with a housing for an electric starter on the left and it is assumed fuelling is by carburettor, making this engine Euro 3 compliant. However, we are unable to determine the extent of the meaning of the words, “Made in Malaysia” and whether it encompasses the whole bike and a percentage of local content.

    For the photos managed to obtain, the new Aveta comes with a split rider and passenger seat, which would make it easy to customise, say, by adding a large delivery box. The wheels are 17-inch spoked items, using standard size tyres and braking is with mechanical drum brakes front and back.

    While no photos show the front end of the bike, it would be safe to assume front suspension is with conventional telescopic forks while the rear is held up by preload-adjustable twin shock absorbers. A round plastic clad binnacle houses the single headlight while the instrument panel is an analogue affair showing an indicated 120 km/h top speed – closer to 90 km/h would probably be more realistic, with odometer and various warning lights.

  • Rapid KL reduces rail and bus frequency due to CMCO – from today; MRT, LRT, Monorail, feeder bus involved

    Prasarana has announced that all rail services under Rapid Rail – MRT, LRT and Monorail – as well as Rapid KL and MRT feeder buses, will have reduced frequency from today until the end of the conditional movement control order (CMCO) imposed on Selangor, KL and Putrajaya. The current CMCO runs till October 27, pending an extension.

    This was announced by Prasarana group COO Datin Hjh Norlia Noah yesterday. She said that the public transport operator has received the green light from the transport ministry to balance train frequency with passenger demand following a big drop in ridership due to the CMCO. She added that the rail services will still operate from 6am to midnight, and only the frequency will be reduced.

    “However, this frequency serves as just a guide. Operation of all rail lines are closely monitored by the operations control centre, which has the authority to deploy more trains if needed,” she said.

    There will also be reduced frequency for buses. “Based on our data, the trend shows a reduction in total passengers including during peak hours. Ridership during non peak hours are constant, but very low. Therefore, Rapid Bus services will follow the weekend schedule, which has 20% less trips compared to a working day,” she added.

    Best to check on your bus ride in real time on Moovit or Google Maps.

  • Subaru Forester gets turbo power in Japan – 1.8 litre unit with 177 PS, 300 Nm; Lineartronic CVT and AWD

    The fifth-generation (SK) Subaru Forester has been without a turbocharged engine since its debut in 2018, with only two naturally-aspirated mills and a hybrid powertrain available. This decision wasn’t well received by some fans, as previous generations of the Forester were offered with turbo power.

    However, those fans can now rejoice as Subaru has decided to bless the Forester with a turbocharged engine once again. The company recently launched the new Forester Sport in its home country of Japan, which will be priced at a tax-inclusive 3,289,000 yen (RM130,387), making it the most expensive variant in the local line-up.

    Under the bonnet, you won’t find the FA20F 2.0 litre from the WRX or the FA24F 2.4 litre from the Ascent – both are four-cylinder engines. Instead, the Forester Sport uses the same CB18 1.8 litre turbo-four as the latest Levorg, which is rated at 177 PS (174 hp) from 5,200 to 5,600 rpm and 300 Nm of torque from 1,600 to 3,600 rpm.

    For comparison, the Forester’s FB25 2.5 litre NA engine makes 184 PS (182 hp) and 239 Nm, while the smaller-capacity FB20 2.0 litre NA – what we get here – serves up 156 PS (154 hp) and 196 Nm. The “e-Boxer” hybrid uses a FB20D 2.0 litre NA that puts out 145 PS (143 hp) and 188 Nm, helped along by an electric motor rated at 13.6 PS (13.4 hp) and 65 Nm.

    As with most Subaru models, the Forester Sport sees a Lineartronic CVT paired with its engine, with drive being directed to all four wheels via the company’s Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive system. No performance figures were provided, but expect it to be quicker than the NA and hybrid models.

    From the outside, the Forester Sport is identified by its black grille as well as grey-painted fog lamps covers, side mirrors and rocker panels. There’s also a set of dark 18-inch wheels, while the rear fascia sees additional trim around the tailgate window. The most obvious giveaway are the dual exhaust outlets, which are part of a redesigned and sportier lower apron.

    Inside, the SUV sports a mix of leather and suede upholstery with black or silver contrast stitching, while the instrument cluster and integrated display get a Sport-specific look. Other touches include a leather-wrapped steering wheel and aluminium pedals.

  • G82 BMW M4 Competition x Kith – 150-unit limited run

    Well, that didn’t take long. Just one week after BMW debuted a concept version of the new G82 M4 in collaboration with New York streetwear retailer Kith, Munich pulled the wraps off the car that ordinary people can buy. Limited to just 150 units, the M4 Competition x Kith bears a number of bespoke flourishes on top of the already outlandish standard car.

    On the outside, very little separates the Kith model from the regular M4. There’s the 1970s-style BMW Motorsport roundel atop the still-divisive full-height kidney grille, as well as the Kith badge in M colours at the back. Oh, and a giant Kith graphic on the carbon fibre roof. This optional branding is not a decal, by the way – it’s been woven into the fibres themselves.

    The unique touches continue on the inside. Here, the M carbon bucket seats echo the M colours with light blue and red trim, while the Kith logo has been embossed into the headrests and centre armrest. The illuminated panels on the seats also sport Kith branding instead of the M4 emblem.

    Otherwise, it’s the same M4 Competition, powered by the same S58 3.0 litre twin-turbocharged straight-six. It churns out 510 PS at 6,250 rpm and 650 Nm between 2,750 and 5,500 rpm, sent to the rear wheels via an eight-speed automatic transmission. So equipped, it gets from zero to 100 km/h in just 3.9 seconds. An M xDrive all-wheel-drive system is optional, complete with a drift-friendly rear-wheel-drive mode.

    The M4 Competition x Kith is available in three matte finishes – Frozen Black, Frozen Dark Silver and Frozen Brilliant White, apparently mirroring the E30 M3‘s most popular colours. And if you’re wondering if you can get your hands on one, well, too bad, because all 150 were sold out within the day of the unveiling on Friday.

  • 2020 MotoGP: Morbidelli masters Motorland – 2nd win

    Second win in the pandemic hit 2020 MotoGP season for Petranas Yamaha Sepang Racing Team (SRT) rider Franco Morbidelli in Aragon, Spain. Taking the lead after Takaaki Nakagami of LCR Honda Idemitsu crashed on the first lap, Morbidelli – “Franky” to fans – took the chequered flag for the Gran Premio Liqui Moly de Teruel in emphatic fashion.

    Followed closely behind in second place by Alex Rins of Team Ecstar Suzuki, Morbidelli held off Rins’ challenge all the way to the finish, making the most of his medium-medium tyre choice. Rins, who went for a hard compound rear, took the fight to the last few laps before deciding to back off and save his position instead of courting disaster through a high side.

    It was the same for Rins’ team mate Joan Mir, currently leading the MotoGP world championship. With a third place win at Aragon, Mir wisely decided to get on the podium for the precious championship points instead of chasing for the top step on the podium.

    With a two-three finish, Suzuki, who started the season without much a chance, have now shown they have what it takes to be championship contenders. Mir, who now has 137 points after 12 races with three races left in the calendar, could technically be MotoGP champion winning the trophy without ever having won a single race.

    However, it was heartbreak for Morbidelli’s SRT team mate Fabio Quartararo, who started the 2020 racing season strongly with back-to-back wins and leading the table for the season until last week, when tyre pressure issues caused him to finish 18th, losing him the championship lead. This weekend, more issues with the YZR-M1 caused him to finish in eighth position despite starting on second row of the grid in sixth.

    Similarly for Nakagami who showed strongly all through free practice and qualifying, starting the race in pole position. Leading into the first corner Nakagami, strongly tipped to win his first ever MotoGP, lost the front end of his Honda RC213-V at turn 5, putting him into the gravel and all hopes for his first ever podium place.

    There was yet more drama on the first lap, when both Brad Binder of Red Bull KTM Factory Racing and Jack Miller Pramac Racing had a scuffle that saw both ending up in the kitty litter. Alex Marquez of Repsol Honda Racing Team, charging through the pack from his tenth place start on the grid, was well in sight of another podium finish when he crashed, ending his campaign for the day.

    MotoGP championship standings ate the finish has Mir in first with Quartararo second with 123 points. Maverick Finales of Monster Energy Yamaha Racing is in third with 118 points while Morbidelli moves up to fourth on the chart with 112 points, Andrea Dovizioso making it in fifth for Ducati Racing with 109 points.

    On mathematical possibility, any one of these men has the chance to be MotoGP world champion in 2020, making this season one of the most exciting and closest fought ever. Racing moves to Circuit Ricardo Torma, Spain on November 8 for the European Grand Prix.


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Last Updated 24 Oct 2020


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