Latest Stories

  • April 2018 week four fuel prices – unchanged yet again

    It’s Wednesday, bringing us to our mid-week musings for our national fuel prices… which have no changes to show for this week.

    The fourth week of April sees fuel prices remain level from last week, at RM2.20 per litre for RON 95 (unchanged), RM2.47 for RON97 (unchanged) and RM2.18 per litre for Euro 2M diesel (unchanged).

    As par for the diesel course, Euro 5 diesel stays 10 sen pricier than the Euro 2M equivalent and therefore will be pegged at RM2.28 per litre, also unchanged from the week prior. This marks the fifth consecutive week since the last price fluctuation for all fuel grades and types, which saw a 10 sen hike across the board from mid-March.

    This week’s fuel price announcement is the 57th since the system took effect at the end of March 2017. Here, the RON 95 petrol retails for 10 sen cheaper than at the beginning of the weekly fuel price float, while RON 97 is now 13 sen per litre cheaper. Meanwhile, diesel now is two sen cheaper than at the programme’s start, from RM2.20 per litre.

  • BARU: Artikel terkini dalam Bahasa Malaysia

  • Volvo XC40 T5 Twin Engine – PHEV version debuts

    Volvo has chosen this year’s Beijing Motor Show to unveil the new XC40 T5 Twin Engine, the plug-in hybrid version of the compact SUV. With the new variant, every SUV in the Swedish automaker’s line-up is now available as a PHEV.

    For now, the company hasn’t revealed exact specifications of the T5 Twin Engine powertrain, but it should be similar to what was shown to us back in October 2015. The base engine used is a 1.5 litre turbocharged three-cylinder Drive-E unit that makes 180 hp, which is supplemented by a 55 kW electric motor and a seven-speed wet dual-clutch automatic transmission.

    We were told at the time that the total system output was rated at 250 PS and 400 Nm of torque. This setup is almost identical to the one used in the new Geely Bo Rui GE, which is also celebrating its premiere in Beijing.

    There’s not much different in terms of the XC40 PHEV’s design, with the addition of a charging port on the left side being the only notable revision along with the dedicated badges. It’s much the same story on the inside, with the Sensus system now gaining additional drive modes. The example you see in these photos is wearing the R-Design trim.

    The XC40 was recently crowned 2018 European Car of the Year, and has already gone on sale in a number of markets. However, order books for the compact SUV have yet to be opened in China, or in Malaysia for that matter.

  • 2018 Peugeot 5008 launched in Malaysia – RM174k

    Local Peugeot distributor Nasim has introduced the second-gen Peugeot 5008 in Malaysia, the seven-seater C-segment SUV making its official debut today following a public preview earlier this month.

    As mentioned in our preview report, the 5008 – which measures in at 4,641 mm long, 1,844 mm wide and 1,640 mm tall – arrives here in a single Allure THP variant form, powered by a 1.6 litre THP 165 turbocharged petrol engine with S&S automatic stop/start continues, with 165 hp at 6,000 rpm and 240 Nm of torque at 1,400 rpm in the way of output.

    The mill is paired with an Aisin six-speed automatic transmission, driving the front wheels. Performance figures for the 5008 include a 0-100 km/h time of 9.2 seconds and a 206 km/h top speed. The MY-spec 5008 sits on 18-inch Los Angeles shiny Haria Grey alloy wheels and 225/55 profile tyres.

    There’s Advanced Grip Control, which uses the chassis electronics to manage the available grip according to the road surface. Five drive modes are available, in this case Mud, Snow, Sand, ESP Off and Standard, accessible via a rotary dial located next to the hill descent control button.

    The 5008’s interior features a layout that was first seen on the second-gen Peugeot 3008, with a futuristic wraparound dashboard adopting Peugeot’s i-Cockpit layout.

    Highlights include a 12.3-inch digital instrument display above a small, flat-top/bottom steering wheel as well as an eight-inch centre touchscreen for the infotainment system, which comes with MirrorLink, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity and Arkamys 3D sound staging.

    Standard equipment includes full LED headlights, LED fog lights, ‘Claudio’ black leather upholstery, fabric dash/door trim, dual-zone climate control, keyless entry, push-button start, an eight-way power-adjustable driver’s seat with memory, auto lights and wipers, an auto-dimming rear-view mirror, second-row air-con vents, cooled armrest storage and a 180-degree reverse camera. Also on are cruise control and a powered tailgate.

    The 5008 is equipped with three individual second-row seats, and the 40:20:40 split-fold units can slide forward/backwards and are reclinable (five different angles). A one-touch tilt-and-slide function provides access to the 50:50-split third row that also fold flat and can even be removed.

    Boot space is marginal with all seven seats deployed, but with the third-row seats folded it is 702 litres. With the second row also folded, it becomes 1,862 litres, increased even further to 1,940 litres with the removal of the third-row seats.

    Safety-wise, the 5008 comes equipped with six airbags, ABS with EBD and brake assist, Dynamic Stability Control (DSC), ESP, hill assist descent control (HADC), hill start assist, lane departure warning, traffic sign recognition, tyre pressure monitoring, driver attention alert and front/rear parking sensors.

    The fully-imported (CBU) Peugeot 5008 is available in four exterior colours, these being Emerald Green, Amazonite Grey, Nera Black and Pearl White. It’s priced at RM173,888 (on-the-road, without insurance), and comes with a five-year/120,000 km warranty as well as three years’ free 24-hour Peugeot Assistance.

    Check out the complete specifications of the new Peugeot 5008 at

  • FIRST LOOK: Range Rover Velar in Malaysia – RM530k

    Here’s a quick all-you-need-to-know walk-around video of the Range Rover Velar, just launched here in Malaysia. Priced from RM530k, the premium SUV asks for a lot, but as you’ll see in this clip, it offers a whole lot in return too.

    The Velar is meant to slot in between the smaller Evoque and larger, more luxurious Range Rover Sport in the Range Rover line-up. Size wise, it’s half a size larger than compact exec-based SUVs such as the Mercedes-Benz GLC and BMW X3.

    Under the hood is JLR’s 2.0 litre Ingenium turbo four with 250 PS and 365 Nm of torque. Being a Range Rover, power is sent to all four wheels through an eight-speed automatic transmission. Zero to 100 km/h takes just 6.7 seconds, and it goes up to 217 km/h.

    So, what do you think of the Range Rover Velar – does it have as much wow factor as the Evoque did in 2011?

    GALLERY: Range Rover Velar P250 R-Dynamic

  • BMW Concept iX3 unveiled at Beijing Motor Show – based on the X3, 268 hp, 400 km all-electric range

    BMW is presenting its new Concept iX3 at the 2018 Beijing Motor Show, which was first teased not too long ago. The all-electric SUV, or Sports Activity Vehicle (SAV) in BMW speak, is based on the G01 X3 but gets its own distinct styling which we will get to later.

    Like the X3, the concept rides on the Cluster Architecture (CLAR) that is used on current models like the G11 7 Series and G30 5 Series, and will also feature in the next-generation G20 3 Series and G05 X5. BMW says the Concept iX3 showcases the versatility of the platform, which can accommodate a pure combustion engine, plug-in hybrid drive system or battery-electric solution.

    The Concept iX3 adopts the last item, and showcases the fifth generation of the brand’s eDrive technology. Aside from more powerful batteries, the electric motor, transmission and power electronics are now contained a single electric drive unit for a more compact packaging.

    According to BMW, the concept features a 268 hp (200 kW) electric motor, which is supplied by a 70 kWh battery. The battery comes with a new charging control unit that supports fast charging of up to 150 kW, allowing it to be charged in just 30 minutes from specific DC charging stations – the car appears to use a standard Type 2 socket instead of a Combo CCS plug, however. When fully charged, a range of more than 400 km (WLTP cycle) is possible.

    Visually, there are some notable differences between the all-electric concept and the regular X3. The most obvious of which is seen at the front, where the kidney grilles are now joined – a cue seen on the i Vision Dynamics from last year.

    The lower apron is also more angular in appearance, especially in the bottom intake that is highlighted by high-gloss black trim. There are also small side inlets at the corners of the bumper, but we still see the near-identical bonnets lines as on the X3.

    Along the sides, the Air Breather on the left is now joined by a dedicated charging port and has been garnished with the BMW i logo. As for the rear, the X3’s standard taillights remain untouched, although the exhaust outlets have been omitted to reflect the zero emission powertrain. In their place is a diffuser element that features the same blue accents scattered around the exterior.

    The production version of the Concept iX3 will be built in Shenyang, China by BMW Brilliance Automotive, a joint venture between BMW and Brilliance Auto. When it launches, it will compete against the likes of the Jaguar I-Pace, Audi e-tron and Mercedes-Benz EQC.

  • Everus EV Concept debuts – all-electric Honda HR-V?

    Honda has unveiled a new concept at this year’s Beijing Motor Show called the Everus EV Concept, which previews the first mass-production EV model Honda will introduce exclusively in China in the future.

    At first glance, it certainly looks like a futuristic version of the Honda HR-V, with almost all the same lines as the B-segment crossover and even the high-mounted rear door handles. However, the front fascia features 3D-effect headlamps, the Everus badge and the grille has been redesigned to accommodate what should be a charging port.

    The lower apron now sports a prominent intake, with the “mouth” being flanked by slim LED strips in the corners of the bumper. Blue lighting strips are also aplenty here, as seen at the base of the bonnet, bumper lip and side skirts.

    For now, the release doesn’t include any details about the electric powertrain that is used, but we are told the production version will go on sale this year. The crossover will be marketed under the Everus brand owned by Guangqi Honda, a joint venture between Honda and Guangzhou Automobile Group (GAC Group).

  • 2019 Lexus ES debuts in Beijing – TNGA platform, hybrid and petrol powertrains, F Sport package

    After giving us an early look at the all-new 2019 Lexus ES, the carmaker has now released full details of its BMW 5 Series, Audi A6 and Mercedes-Benz E-Class fighter.

    The seventh-generation (XV70) ES rides on the Toyota New Global Architecture (TNGA) GA-K platform, which is also used for the latest Camry. This has resulted in some dimensional changes, with the sedan now 66 mm longer and 46 mm wider, but sees 5 mm removed from its height. The wheelbase has also grown by 51 mm, as do the front (+10 mm) and rear (+38 mm) tracks.

    Design-wise, the ES follows in the footsteps of its larger sibling, the LS, with a significant revision to brand’s trademark spindle grille that now extends further. Depending on the variant – ES 250, ES 260 (China-spec), ES 350 and ES 300h – the grille comes with vertical slats or a cross-hatch pattern arranged in parallel.

    The Z-shaped, triple-element headlamps are also new, although they aren’t as slender in appearance as those on the LS. The lighting units come with a two-stage adaptive high beam system, where its 24 individual LED light array is capable of adapting the light pattern to provide better illumination while reducing glare for oncoming drivers.

    Moving towards the rear, the ES’ haunches are now more prominent, with a distinct line that originates from the top of the new taillights, and progresses towards the front headlamps. The side window kink is also significantly sharper here, and notable creases play with light and shadow to create a more dynamic three-quarter view.

    This trend is continued when viewing the car from the back, with the bumper and boot lid coming together to mimic the “X look” seen at the front. Part of the taillights are also covered by a wide trim piece that plays host to the car’s reverse camera, and there’s a small spoiler on the boot lid, with the Lexus logo positioned below it.

    There are three different wheel designs (17 to 18 inches in size) for the ES 350 and ES 300h, but those who opt for the F Sport package get standard 19-inch units with a design similar to those on the LC. The F Sport package also comes with a more pronounced rear spoiler, a darker lower rear valance and an exclusive Heat Blue metallic paint shown here. The standard palette consists of 12 colours, including two new ones – Moonbeam Beige Metallic and Sunlight Green.

    Moving inside, the ES’ cabin has been overhauled with the instruments now housed within a binnacle that isn’t unlike those in the LS and LC, with control dials within easy reach reminiscent of the LFA. There’s also the theatrical digital display in the instrument cluster that changes its appearance depending on the selected drive mode.

    For infotainment needs, there’s a standard eight-inch screen, or an optional 12.3 inch unit – both are paired to the Lexus touchpad controller in the centre console. Elsewhere, the centre stack has been tidied up with a neater layout of buttons for the climate control and media systems. The analogue clock has also been shifted to beside the infotainment screen and the gear lever is new as well.

    Passengers in the rear will enjoy a lower hip point and the headliner has been configured to preserve headroom while the longer wheelbase delivers uncharacteristically generous legroom. There’s also a number of Interior colour combinations to choose from, including Black, Chateau, Topaz Brown and a new Rich Cream.

    Models with the F Sport package get a unique Hadori metallic cabin trim that features fluctuating wave patterns for a 3D look, inspired by the making of a traditional Japanese sword. Other models will continue to offer traditional materials like bamboo and Shimamoku wood for a hand-crafted feel.

    As for the oily bits, all ES 350s are powered by a 3.5 litre V6 petrol engine with updated D4-S fuel injection, which sends drive to the front via an eight-speed Direct Shift automatic transmission. The mill itself now makes 300 hp and 355 Nm of torque, which is 32 hp and 19 Nm more than the V6 in the previous-generation model. In selected markets, the ES 250 is powered by a 2.5 litre four-cylinder petrol engine featuring Variable Valve Timing with intelligence (VVT i) and an overall thermal efficiency of 38%.

    In the ES 300h, a 2.5 litre Atkinson-cycle four-cylinder petrol engine works with a lighter, more compact, more power dense electric motor, self-charging hybrid system and electronically controlled continuously variable transmission with intelligence (ECVT-i). The total system output is rated at 205 hp, with the powertrain capable of delivering a claimed 17 km/l.

    As mentioned earlier, the ES now uses the front-wheel drive TNGA-K platform, which Lexus says rivals the Global Architecture-L rear-wheel drive platform used for the LC and LS in terms of rigidity. The chassis features an all-new double wishbone suspension design, rack-mounted electric power steering and a V-brace mounted behind the rear seat.

    An Adaptive Variable Suspension (AVS) system with adjustable dampers is offered for F Sport models, which also comes with an exclusive Sport+ drive mode. Select that and the most aggressive engine, transmission and suspension settings are delivered to you for maximum performance, along with a new Engine Sound Enhancement feature.

    Lastly, all versions of the ES come with the Lexus Safety System+ 2.0 as standard equipment, which adds new capabilities like daytime bicyclist detection which is part of the comprehensive Pre-Collision System (PCS) that already detects oncoming vehicles and pedestrians. Sales of the new ES is slated to start later this year.

    GALLERY: 2019 Lexus ES 300h

    GALLERY: 2019 Lexus ES 350 F Sport (US-spec)

    GALLERY: 2019 Lexus ES 260 F Sport (China-spec)

    GALLERY: 2019 Lexus ES

  • Beijing 2018: Geely Bo Rui GE hybrid variants unveiled – PHEV and MHEV D-segment sedans, 1.5T 7DCT

    Geely Auto has unveiled its flagship new energy sedan at the 2018 Beijing International Auto Show. The Geely Bo Rui GE is the hybrid version of the existing Bo Rui sold in the Chinese market. The Bo Rui, a large D-segment sedan, is Geely’s existing flagship model.

    There are two variants of the Bo Rui GE – the PHEV plug-in hybrid and MHEV, M for mild. The PHEV powertrain combines a 1.5 litre three-cylinder turbocharged engine and seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission. Jointly developed with Volvo, which Geely owns, this powertrain’s fuel consumption is rated at 1.6 litres per 100 km. Geely is proud of the powertrain, which it says surpasses international brands in FC and performance.

    Volvo’s version is called the T5 Twin Engine, where the engine puts out 180 hp and the electric motor 55 kW. The T5’s total system output is 250 PS and 400 Nm. The DCT used here is Volvo-designed and not the previously employed Ford Powershift (Getrag) unit. More details on the Bo Rui GE’s PHEV unit soon, as we navigate Geely’s packed stand.

    Besides the PHEV, the Bo Rui GE also gets a new regular (non plug-in) hybrid MHEV variant that uses the same 1.5 litre turbo engine. This 48V mild hybrid employs a battery starter generator (BSG) unit to give it fuel consumption of 5.8 litres per 100 km, which is 15% lower than what the engine alone will do alone.

    Launched in 2015, the Bo Rui is a D-segment sedan designed by Peter Horbury, the former Volvo designer who is now Geely’s senior VP of design. The three existing petrol engines are a 1.8T, 2.4 NA and 3.5 V6.

    This debut is part of Geely’s green mission, which is to be China’s leader in new energy vehicles.

    “China will ultimately become the global centre of a new energy revolution that will reinvent the car as we know it, hence making its automotive industry stronger and more resilient. As a leading Chinese automotive brand, we’ve realised that competition in this new era will come in the form of a technology war and that we must lead through technological innovation to become the vanguard of this new age,” An Conghui, president and CEO of Geely Auto, said at the Bo Rui GE’s unveiling in Beijing.

    “Geely realised this 12 years ago as we began our foray into the new energy sector by investing heavily in research and development, integrated our global resources, as well as strengthen the strategic collaboration we’ve had with Volvo. We’ve employed about 2,500 brilliant minds globally in new energy engineering to focus on the development of hybrid, pure electric, fuel cell and alternative fuel technologies,” he added.

    In the Blue Geely Initiative announced in late 2015, the company aims to mass produce new energy vehicles by the year 2020, targeting a 90% sales rate for electrified vehicles. In the masterplan, 35% of the green cars will be full EVs, with the rest made up by hybrids and PHEVs.

    Of the two new green variants of the Bo Rui, An said. “These cars serve as a prelude of Geely’s entry into an age where new energy vehicles will dominate our roads. This year alone, we shall be launching a whole array of new energy models and in the not so distant future, all of our platforms and product series will be fully electrified.”

    Design highlights include the Geely signature “expanding cosmos” grille – which represent the company’s expanding universe – and front/rear lamps with 3D graphics inspired by traditional Chinese fans and the twirl of a gymnast’s ribbon.

    The cabin is rather spectacular. The main event is the Full Vision dashboard that was first previewed on the Emgrand Concept in 2015, now in a production car. Also included in the flagship model are Geely’s recently launched GKUI smart ecosystem and the Energy Hub, which offers wireless charging for mobile devices. The Bo Rui GE PHEV and MHEV will be officially launched in China on May 28.

    The Geely Bo Rui would be a good base for a next-generation Proton Perdana, no? What do you think?

    GALLERY: Geely Bo Rui GE PHEV

    GALLERY: Geely Bo Rui GE MHEV

  • Geely Concept Icon unveiled at Beijing Motor Show

    Geely is presenting a new concept car at this year’s Beijing Motor Show, which was developed at its design studio in Shanghai under the lead of Guy Burgoyne, vice president of Geely Design China. The company calls it the Concept Icon, and the design language you see here adheres to two main themes, namely “high tech” and “inspiring.”

    “What is an icon?,” asks Burgoyne. “To some, an icon represents their generation and embodies the spirit of an era. Today, in the 21st century, the term icon has taken on a new meaning. It is where an application starts on a digital journey. We took all these meanings together and applied them into our mobility solutions,” he explained.

    While it may take the shape of crossover, the concept’s upright contour gives it a blocky, almost 8-bit-inspired design. To match up with the minimalist nature of electronic gadgets these days, the exterior surfaces and graphics have been kept at a minimum.

    Highlights include the use of infinity loops on the front and rear lights, and they can also be seen in other areas including the glass roof. The brand’s signature cosmos grille has also gone through a thorough minimalist makeover for a flatter look that still remains recognisable, although there is a screen accompanying it for displaying messages and images.

    Opening the double clam shell doors, we have access to an interior that is simple in appearance but hides a number of technologies. The central binnacle blends in neatly with its woven surroundings, while a large central infotainment screen allows users to alter vehicle settings. Rear passengers meanwhile, can fiddle with individual rear screens for their own infotainment needs.

    “A simplified interior also provided us with greater amounts of storage space, which proves to be useful as users today carry multiple devices on a daily basis. The Energy Hub floating console that was introduced in the Geely Bo Rui GE can be seen here, allowing users to wirelessly charge their devices on the go and exchange information via the in-car screens”, explained Burgoyne.

  • Cycle & Carriage Bintang sells more Mercedes-Benz cars in Q1, but compressed margins result in losses

    Cycle & Carriage Bintang (CCB) has reported that it sold more Mercedes-Benz passenger vehicles in the first quarter of 2018 compared to the corresponding period last year, but compressed margins have affected its financial performance for the quarter, The Star reports.

    The Mercedes-Benz dealer said its trading operations made a net loss of RM2.69 million in the first three months of the year, on a revenue of RM388.6 million. While sales rose by 21% in Q1 2018, CCB said that there was a consumer shift towards lower-end models, with the sales mix moving from the S-Class to the C-Class, GLC and E-Class, resulting in compressed margins for the company.

    According to CCB chairman Haslam Preeston, the company was able to deliver better results in both retail and after sales for the period despite intense competition.

    “This increase was, however, offset by higher operating expenses and financing costs. While higher sales volumes reflected early results from the group’s business improvement programme, margins remain highly compressed as a result of demand shifting to lower-priced models,” Haslam said via a statement. He added that markets are expected to remain challenging for the rest of the year.

    Earlier this month, Mercedes-Benz Malaysia announced record sales for Q1 2018, where it sold 3,335 vehicles, an increase of 13.2% compared to the same period in 2017. The company also said that its sales in January and February were the best on record.


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Last Updated 19 Apr 2018


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