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  • SPYSHOTS: Lynk & Co 01, 02 and 03 seen in Malaysia!

    The entire range of Lynk & Co models, including the 01 SUV, 02 compact crossover and 03 sedan, has been spotted in Malaysia by several readers.

    As with an earlier sighting of the 01, all these cars are barely camouflaged and are marked as left-hand drive vehicles. Their presence further strengthens the belief that Zhejiang Geely will use Proton’s Tanjung Malim plant to build right-hand drive versions of Lynk & Co models.

    These “mules” running around are likely being used to develop RHD conversions that will allow Lynk & Co models to be sold in RHD markets within and outside the ASEAN region. While the evidence may present this as a certainty, without official word from the relevant parties, we’ll have to label this as a rumour for now.

    Currently, production of the 01 has already begun in China, a LHD market, and will reportedly be expanded to Volvo’s plant in Ghent, Belgium and South Carolina, USA – the former caters to RHD countries and markets in Europe. Malaysia’s possible addition to this list should help widen Lynk & Co’s production network further.

    It’s hard to confirm what powertrains are being employed in these test cars, but all three Lynk & Co models are available with 1.5 three-cylinder or 2.0 litre four-pot turbo petrol engines. The former serves as the base for a plug-in hybrid powertrain, which will also be offered for all three models, albeit with different rollout times.

    Another similar trait across the three models is they utilise the Compact Modular Architecture (CMA) platform that also underpins the Volvo XC40.

    Proton has already announced that its Tanjung Malim facility will be transformed into an R&D and production hub for right-hand drive models within the Geely Group, which includes Lynk & Co. However, whether these Malaysian-built Lynk & Co models (if it happens) will be for export only, or for local consumption as well, that remains to be seen.

  • TAS 2019: Star Road flaunts vintage Nissan restomods

    The 2019 edition of the Tokyo Auto Salon saw an incredibly diverse display of modified cars, but for those with an unbridled liking for timeless classics, like our very own Danny Tan, visiting TAS becomes an obligatory pilgrimage. Apparently, over 330,000 visitors thronged the show, but even we think that figure is a tad conservative.

    If you’re a classic Nissan buff, one of the highlights of the show was Star Road’s booth. The Japanese vintage car restomodder fielded four iconic cars – the original S30 Nissan 240Z, the Nissan Fairlady ZG, C10 Nissan Skyline and C110 Nissan Skyline.

    The Z cars needs no introduction – the S30 Fairlady Z, known in some markets as the Datsun 240Z, is one of the most successful GT two-seat coupes of its time. In stock form, it had independent suspension on all corners, and underneath the long nose is a 2.4 litre inline-six that made 153 PS and 198 Nm of torque.

    S30 Fairlady Z (left), Fairlady ZG (right)

    To make things look a bit more special, Star Road widened the wheel arches and dressed them in satin grey fenders with rivets, though interestingly the left side fenders feature a carbon finish. The deep dish six-spoke wheels are shod with slick tyres, whereas the front apron gets a carbon lower lip, and the tailgate gets a raised carbon-fibre spoiler.

    Next up is the evocative Japan-only HS30-H Nissan Fairlady ZG. This model was released in 1971 to homologate the 240Z for Group 4 racing, and it gets extended fibreglass ‘aero-dyna’ nose, wider over-fenders riveted to the body, a rear spoiler, acrylic glass headlight covers and fender-mounted rear-view mirrors.

    It’s an iconic look that defies the passage of time, and the car continues to be a desired collector’s item to this day. In Japan, the Fairlady ZG trades for anywhere between US$50,000 (RM205k) to US$150,000 (RM617k) – if you can’t stomach the asking price, well, you can purchase the “G-nose” kit separately and have it look just as sleek. Hey, as long as it looks good, right?

    C10 Nissan Skyline (left), C110 Nissan Skyline (right)

    Another notable exhibit was the C110 Skyline, or more famously known as the Kenmeri Skyline. The unit seen here bears the GT-R badge, though we’re fairly certain it’s only modified to look like the GT-R KPGC110. That’s because the C110 GT-R is one of the rarest around, with just 197 units made and sold in Japan in early 1973.

    It’s powered by a 2.0 litre engine six-cylinder engine making 160 PS at 7,000 rpm and 177 Nm of torque at 5,600 rpm, and the S20 engine features DOHC and three racing carburettors. Production was cut short due to an oil crisis at the time, and the Kenmeri GT-R would serve as the last GT-R – for 16 years! – before the BNR32 arrived in 1989.

    Last but not least, the C10 Skyline. It’s historically significant because the C10 marks the first-generation Skyline under the Nissan brand after the company took over Prince Motor Company. A number of variants were made, including the top KPGC10 GT-R. Again, it’s unclear if the vehicle here is in fact the real deal (we didn’t get to see the engine), but at least it’s neatly modified to look the part. Good stuff, no?

  • McLaren 600LT Spider revealed – 0-100 km/h in 2.9s

    McLaren has introduced a convertible version of the 600LT, which offers similar levels of performance as the coupe that was released several months earlier. The new 600LT Spider is the third model under the McLaren Automotive Track25 business plan, and is the fifth car to carry the Longtail (LT) name.

    Core details? There’s a mid-mounted M838T 3.8 litre twin-turbo V8 with 600 PS and 620 Nm of torque, just like the 600LT Coupe. The mill is paired with a seven-speed dual-clutch Seamless Shift Gearbox (SSG), with drive going rearwards.

    Unlike the hardtop, the Spider has a dry weight of 1,297 kg, which makes it 50 kg heavier by comparison. Despite the heft that comes with the installation of the three-piece, powered retractable roof, the Spider matches the coupe in the century sprint with a time of 2.9 seconds.

    However, in a 0-200 km/h run, the convertible is slower by 0.2 seconds, taking 8.4 seconds to hit that figure. Also, the top speed is just 324 km/h, which is 4 km/h down on the coupe – limited to 315 km/h when the roof is lowered.

    All handling-related bits are identical to the coupe, including the bespoke Pirelli P Zero Trofeo R tyres, the forged aluminium double-wishbone suspension and brakes from the 720S, quicker steering, sharpened pedal response, and significantly firmer engine mounts.

    Revisions to the body to accommodate the folding roof doesn’t come at the expense of aerodynamic performance either, as the Spider will still generate 100 kg of downforce at 250km/h just like the coupe.

    McLaren is pricing the 600LT Spider from 201,500 pound sterling (RM1,066,157), making it more expensive than the coupe. Availability of the model will be limited, with build slots scheduled around other Sports and Super Series models.

  • Proton Perdana recalled for potentially faulty Takata airbag inflators in Malaysia – 6,432 cars affected

    Proton has announced a recall for the Proton Perdana in order to replace potentially faulty Takata passenger airbag inflators. The recall involves 6,432 cars that were built from 2012 to the end of August 2018, and affected customers will be notified.

    In an official release, the national carmaker said the recall is a precautionary measure as the second-generation Perdana (including the pre-facelift model) is based on the Honda Accord, which is also involved in the global Takata service fix.

    No other Proton models are affected by this recall as a different vendor supplies the airbags used in them, the company noted.

    “The safety of our owners is of the utmost importance to Proton. All Proton Perdana owners will be informed of the matter and are advised to call our designated service centres to book an appointment for the replacement of the passenger airbag in their cars,” said Datuk Radzaif Mohamed, deputy CEO of Proton.

    “Cars built after August 31, 2018 are unaffected by the service fix while replacement of the inflator will take approximately one hour and will be performed free of charge,” he added.

  • AD: Usher in the New Year with a BMW from Ingress Auto – complimentary RM1,888 petrol card and coating

    There’s no better way than a new BMW to usher in the New Year in auspicious fashion, and Ingress Auto has just what you’re looking for. Drop by at Ingress Auto Damansara this January 19-20 (from 10 am to 5 pm) to find the ride that’s right for you.

    Besides enjoying attractive rebates* and an exclusive 0.88% rate from BMW Financing, customers can also look forward to a complimentary petrol card worth RM1,888 and a free coating/tint package with their new car purchase.

    Ingress Auto also has a wide selection of vehicles to choose from its BMW Premium Selection line-up, and its exclusive range includes 3 Series, 5 Series and X series models. All BPS vehicles come with a minimum one-year or up to 200,000 km warranty.

    Aside from enjoying a high trade-in on your vehicle, buyers will also get a complimentary BMW privileged card, a petrol card worth RM588 and a Joy Box worth RM500 with every BPS vehicle purchase. The BPS campaign runs until January 31.

    Find out more about Ingress Auto’s BMW New Year promotion by registering your interest here.

    Ingress Auto Damansara
    2779, Jalan Damansara, Sg. Penchala, 60000 Kuala Lumpur
    Tel No: 03-7721 2288

    Ingress Auto Puchong
    3, Lebuh Puteri, Bandar Puteri, 47100 Puchong
    Tel No: 03-8063 3222

    *Terms and conditions apply.

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  • 2019 Yamaha YZF-R3 gets official accessories – pricing in US starts from USD 4,999 (RM20,566)

    While Malaysian riders await the launch of the 2019 Yamaha YZF-R25 – launched in Jakarta, Indonesia in October, 2018 – the 2019 Yamaha YZF-R3 gets an official accessories package. This includes an additional Sports Pack which features a taller wind shield.

    The YZF-R3 is claimed to be 8 km/h faster than the previous model and carries a 321 cc, liquid-cooled parallel twin that puts out 42 PS at 10,750 rpm and 29.6 Nm of torque at 9,000 rpm. Weighing in at 169 kg, Yamaha says the YZF-R3 has 50-50 weight distribution to give optimum handling.

    New for both the YZF-R3 and R25 is 37 mm diameter upside-down front forks and revised rear monoshock. Fuel for the YZF-R3 is carried in a 14-litre tank and seat height is 780 mm.

    Accessories for the YZF-R3, which will translate to the YZF-R25 when it is launched in Malaysia, include race-style alloy footpegs, swingarm bobbins and LED indicators to complement the LED head and tail lights. Also available is an Akrapovic exhaust and in the Sports Package, taller wind shield, license plate holder and frame sliders.

    There are two colour options for the 2019 Yamaha YZF-R3 – Yamaha Blue and Power Black – priced at USD 4,999 (RM20,566) for the non-ABS version and USD 5,299 (RM21,801) with ABS. Availability of the YZF-R3 in Europe is from January 2019 while it is currently on sale in the US.

  • SPYSHOTS: Next Peugeot 208 sighted on winter trials

    The forthcoming, all-new Peugeot 208 has been spotted testing once again, this time in snow for cold-weather trials as it edges closer to its eventual debut. As at its previous sighting, the next 208 will draw from the design language of the 508 sedan and the 3008 SUV, in contrast with the more rounded lines of the outgoing model.

    As before, the design influence drawn from its larger D-segment sibling is evident in the front, where the headlights and grille help give the B-segment hatch a wider look compared to before. the theme continues at the back, where a more square-cut set of lines gives it a more muscular look.

    The PSA Group’s CMA architecture will form the basis of this upcoming 208, and the platform already underpins the DS3 Crossback. This is a modular platform, one which allows for electrification in the guise of a version named e-CMP; this will also enable the 208 to be among the first within the French marque’s line-up to gain a full-EV model.

    Along with the standard range of variants, there will be a high-performance, GTi version of the new version, which has likely been spotted in the previous sighting as denoted by its roof-mounted spoiler and dual exhaust pipes. Our sources also previously noted that there a pure EV version is on the cards.

    The fully-electric version will employ a 113 hp motor that will also be found in the DS3 Crossback, and which will offer a range of 450 km from a 50 kWh battery. Similarly configured, the 208 can be expected to boast better performance figures thanks to less weight compared to the DS3 Crossback. The Peugeot 208 is the second car to arrive on the CMP platform, and the duo will soon be joined by the Opel Corsa.

  • AD: Hap Seng Star introduces first-ever Mercedes-Benz Services mobile application in Malaysia

    Keeping track of your car’s service appointments can be a tedious affair, but what if there was something that would simplify the process, ensuring that everything is done in a timely and organised manner? For Mercedes-Benz owners, the solution comes in the form of the Hap Seng Star mobile app.

    It’s the first Mercedes-Benz Services mobile application to be introduced in Malaysia. With it, booking and managing service appointments has never been easier. You can book a service appointment at the click of a button, and once the car is in for its scheduled appointment, be able to track your vehicle status anywhere and anytime during the servicing process.

    An information icon details an explanation on work carried out on the vehicle. Hap Seng Star is also offering a complimentary pick up and delivery service called door to door. Offered within a 30 km radius of the nearest service centre, the service will see the vehicle being picked up from a location most convenient to the customer, sent for service and then returned, again at the customer’s convenience.

    The app – which allows multiple vehicles owned to be registered under it – helps you keep track of past appointments via a service booking history feature, and also allows you to stay in touch with Hap Seng Star at all times. There’s access to 24 Hour Emergency Roadside Assistance Service, if the situation ever arises that you need any assistance for your ride.

    Details of the Hap Seng Star network can be found within, with branch information as well as navigation sync with mobile navigation apps to get you to the branch of your choice or convenience. Aside from that, the mobile app keeps you up to date with latest events/promotions and provides car care tips, with detailed explanations on how to best care for your Mercedes-Benz.

    There’s also an enquiries feature that gives the customer the convenience to ask any Mercedes-Benz related questions, which will then be directed to the relevant department. The Hap Seng Star Mercedes-Benz Services mobile app is available for download for IOS and Android.

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  • Proton vendors sign second collaboration agreement

    Following the first signing of the collaboration between Proton’s Malaysian vendors and their overseas counterparts, the Malaysian automaker has held a second exchange of collaboration agreements, which is set to bring an initial investment of RM47 million on top of the RM170 million in initial investment from the first agreement signed in October last year.

    The collaboration agreements range from technical agreements and joint ventures to 100% foreign direct investments with overseas vendors investing directly into the Malaysian economy, and the sum invested is set to grow over the years in tandem with increases in Proton’s manufacturing volume, the company said.

    The vendors involved will supply parts to Proton’s manufacturing facility in Tanjung Malim, which is currently undergoing a plant expansion and is expected to be complete soon. This will roll out the first CKD version of the Proton X70 in the second half of this year.

    In this second batch there are seven foreign parties, of which are four joint ventures, one technical collaboration and two 100% foreign direct investments. The four JVs are with Liuzhou Shuangfei Auto Electric Appliances Manufacturing, HSHP Auto Technology, Ningbo Rocket Automobile Parts and Suzhou Prachtig Electronic Material. The two 100% FDIs are by Plastic Omnium China and Changzhou Tenglong Auto Parts, while the technical collaboration is with EcarX (Hubei) Technology.

    “Proton’s vendor development programme is gathering pace and the company has worked hard on its matchmaking activities to find the best alliances that will benefit all vendors, the local economy and Proton as well. We are convinced that by building partnerships with overseas counterparts, it will be possible for local vendors to reach a world standard for technology advancement and quality in a short time frame,” said Proton CEO Li Chunrong.

    “If our vendors achieve their targets, it will enable them to compete internationally, thus leading to the development of a vendor community that will allow the Malaysian automotive industry to compete on a global scale. The participation of these vendors is also vital to Proton’s long-term goals, which ultimately is to lead the industry to develop world-class competencies,” he added.

    Though the agreement is for overseas vendors working with local vendors supplying for Proton vehicles, the reverse is also a possibility. If local vendors can meet the requirements of Geely in China for supply chains in that market, they can be considered for the China market as well, said Proton deputy CEO Datuk Radzaif Mohamed.

  • Child seats, rear seat belts, bus passenger lap belts mandatory from 2020, says JKJR director-general

    While rear seat belt use has been mandatory in Malaysia since 2009, enforcement has been somewhat lacking but that is about to change, says road safety department (JKJR) director-general Datuk Rosli Isa. Speaking at the launch of the Kawasaki Malaysia Road Safety Campaign 2019, Rosli told media enforcement will be stepped up in 2019, with usage being compulsory come 2020.

    Also included in the mandatory use list for Malaysian motorists is child seats for children under age 12 and lap belts for bus passengers. “While the law for use of rear seat belts in cars has been in place since 2009, enforcement has been erratic,” said Rosli.

    “This will change by 2020, and the government is serious about it from the standpoint of safety,” Rosli continued. “There is an accident every minute and a fatal accident every 70 minutes,” said Rosli, citing police traffic accident statistics for 2018.

    However, enforcement will take a soft approach for 2019. “We want people to get used to the idea that use of the safety equipment in the car, including child seats, is important,” he said.

    “This does not mean everyone will get let off easy,” said Rosli, “enforcement officers are doing their job to ensure safety on Malaysian roads, and this requires co-operation from all road users.” Speaking on the issue of motorcyclists being confined to the left lane and speed limited, Rosli said the matter is still under evaluation and no firm decision has been made.

    Meanwhile, during the press conference, Selangor deputy traffic police chief DSP Sahimi Husin said Ops Sepadu will be held over the Chinese New Year holidays to crackdown on traffic offences and reduce road accidents. “Ops Sepadu will begin on January 28 and continue till after the holidays on all major highways and federal roads,” said Sahimi.


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Last Updated 12 Jan 2019


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