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  • SPYSHOT: New Audi A3, S3 spotted for the first time!

    Seen here for the first time is a prototype mule of the fourth-generation Audi A3, which is set to replace the outgoing Typ 8V model that’s been in service since 2012. The premium compact hatchback will likely be making its debut next year, with the hotter S3 and RS3 to follow in 2020, if not the year after.

    In terms of looks, the new A3 will get a fresh new face, although interestingly the Ingolstadt-based automaker has decided to retain the jagged headlights from the existing model. However, expect the internal graphics to be different, possibly featuring the unique triangular LED daytime running lights, as seen in the photo above.

    Of course, in line with Audi’s latest design language, the singleframe grille will be enlarged, featuring honeycomb-style inserts and underlined by a wide diffuser. Like before, Sportback models will get the optional roof rails, and the side mirrors continue to be mounted on the doors instead of the A-pillars.

    The S3, on the other hand, will feature more aggressive-looking exterior bodykit, notably S-specific front and rear bumpers, larger alloy wheels and the distinctive quad exhaust tips.

    While the overall silhouette looks largely the same, the upper rear deck of the new A3/S3 appears to look more steeply-raked, giving it a more elongated profile. Nothing much can be made of from the back, although it’s obvious that the new model will get brand new LED tail lights that taper inwards into a sharp tip.

    There’s no photos showing the interior though, but expect the cabin to be significantly overhauled, possibly featuring the brand’s second-generation Virtual Cockpit. A centrally-mounted touchscreen infotainment system could also make its way here, either measuring 8.8-inch diagonally (with handwriting input as on the A8) or 10.1-inch MMI navigation plus system (as seen in the new Audi A1) with hybrid route guidance that draws from the cloud as well as Audi connect.

    For powertrain, not much is known, but it’s likely that the A3 will be underpinned by an upgraded version of VW Group’s MQB platform. Expect the existing range of engines to be fine tuned and carried over – the Group’s 1.5 litre EA211 TSI evo engine with Active Cylinder Technology could be offered, as well as a range of advanced electrified powertrains.

    Also, the A3 could possibly be joined by a new four-door coupe, in addition to the current hatch, five-door Sportback, Cabriolet and four-door sedan models. The coupe is said to be modelled after the TT Sportback concept and will go head to head against the Mercedes-Benz CLA.

    GALLERY: Next-gen Audi A3 spyshots

    GALLERY: Next-gen Audi S3 spyshots

     
  • Nissan to recall another 150,000 vehicles in Japan as a result of improper testing done during final inspection

    Nissan has announced that it will recall an additional 150,000 vehicles in Japan due to improper testing being carried out during final inspections.

    The automaker said via a press statement that it had found several non-conformities that may have caused inaccurate pass/fail judgments during the inspection process, which were related to brakes, the steering and speed-related measurements.

    The recall was prompted following cases of misconduct being uncovered during on-site checks by regulators at a major Nissan plant. It was reported that several employees admitted to the regulators that they had not been following protocol in tests.

    Nissan said the issue resulted from ambiguity regarding final vehicle inspection procedures and a lack of understanding of non-compliant practices.

    The automaker revealed that the vehicles involved in the recall were produced at the Oppama and Auto Works Kyoto production plants. Models that are set to be recalled include the Note, second-generation Leaf, Juke, Cube and Sylphy, all produced for the domestic market.

    This is the fourth time Nissan is reporting such misconduct since the issue broke in September last year, leading it to recall over one million vehicles sold in Japan. Then, in July, the company admitted to improper emissions and fuel economy testing on 19 of its models – including the Note and the Juke – sold in Japan.

     
  • Touch ‘n Go eWallet adds TNG Card feature – bypasses physical card balance, pilot rollout on DUKE

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    Touch ‘n Go has added a new TNG Card feature to its eWallet app, which allows users to pay toll fares using the funds in their eWallet. This is not to be confused with the RFID system that also uses the app, as you still pay using a physical Touch ‘n Go card.

    Instead, the system lets you link your cards – up to three in total – to your eWallet account. From then on, whenever you use a card at a toll booth (either by tapping it on a reader or by using a SmartTAG), the toll charge will automatically be deducted from your eWallet, bypassing the balance in the physical card. The fare will only be deducted from the card if your eWallet has insufficient funds.

    Touch ‘n Go says that with the implementation of the TNG Card feature, users will no longer need to queue up at reload lanes at toll plazas. They will also save a bit of money along the way as they will no longer have to pay a 50 sen reload surcharge – top-ups for the eWallet, which are made through your phone via credit or debit card, online banking or TNG Reload PINs come with no additional fees.

    For now, the pilot programme is only being conducted on the DUKE Highway, at the Ayer Panas, Sentul Pasar, Segambut and Sentul Pasar Tambahan tolls. However, the company plans to roll out the service on all highways in the Klang Valley and, subsequently, nationwide. It also wants to make the system available in more places such as public transportation networks and carparks.

     
  • 2019 WMoto Cub Classic in Malaysia – RM4,588

    New entry into the Malaysia kapchai market is the 2019 WMoto Cub Classic, priced at RM4,588 without road tax, insurance or registration. Distributed by MForce Bike Holdings, the Cub Classic is a take on the classic step-through cub, but with modern conveniences.

    Powered by a single-cylinder, air-cooled, SOHC engine displacing 109.22 mated to a four-speed rotary gearbox, the Cub Classic produces some 6.4 hp at 7,500 rpm and 8 Nm of torque at 5,000 rpm. Fuelling for the Cub Classic is indeed classic, using a carburettor but Wmoto claims the engine is Euro 3 compliant.

    Although designed in the traditional kapchai manner, the Cub Classic does come with modern equipment such as LED lighting throughout, USB socket for charging electronics and instrument panel with coloured lighting. Suspension is with upside-down forks in front and twin shock absorbers in the back, adjustable for preload, along with electric starting although a kickstarter is fitted.

    Another convenience for the rider is a parcel rack on the front mudguard, a hook and small cargo basket below the handlebars. A special feature of the Cub Classic that will make it attractive to small businesses is the rear seat can be easily removed, exposing a cargo rack for carrying goods.

    Rolling on 17-inch wheels, the Cub Classic weighs in at 100 kg, with fuel carried in a 4-litre tank under the rider seat. The 2019 WMoto Cub Classic comes in three colours – matte red, matte green and matte black – and a two-year or 20,000 km manufacturing warranty is standard.

     
  • 2019 Mitsubishi Triton in Adventure trim – Malaysian-spec interior revealed; Forward Collision Mitigation

    Following its appearance at the recent Kuala Lumpur International Motor Show (KLIMS 18), the refreshed Mitsubishi Triton is currently on display at My Town Shopping Centre from December 7-9. This time, we are allowed inside the pick-up truck, giving us our first look at the Malaysian-spec interior that customers will get when the model is launched in the first quarter of 2019.

    The unit you see here wears the Adventure trim (based on the badging) – similar to the one at KLIMS – and features exterior items like slim projector headlamps, 18-inch six twin-spoke alloy wheels with 265/60 profile tyres, chrome side mirror caps and door handles, LED taillights, reverse camera, keyless entry, side steps, as well as front and rear parking sensors.

    Meanwhile, the interior equipment list includes a leather-wrapped, multi-function, four-spoke steering wheel; multi-info coloured instrument display; dual-zone climate control with rear ceiling vents; touchscreen infotainment system; leather upholstery; Super Select 4WD II dial; keyless engine start; powered driver’s seat; along with front and rear USB charging ports.

    Based on the visible switches and sensors on the pick-up, the Triton in Adventure trim also gets a suite of advanced safety systems like Forward Collision Mitigation, Blind Spot Warning with Lane Change Assist, which should be accompanied by Ultrasonic Misacceleration Mitigation System and Rear Cross Traffic Alert.

    Other safety features as mentioned before are seven airbags, electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD), Brake Assist (BA), Active Stability with Traction Control(ASTC), Hill-Start Assist (HSA), Hill Descend Control (HDC) and Trailer Stability Assist (TSA).

    MMM has already confirmed that the new Triton will come with the 4N15 2.4 litre MIVEC turbodiesel engine, as well as the new six-speed automatic transmission that replaces the five-speed INVECS II unit.

    Order books are now open for the Triton, with prices estimated to be around RM100k to RM140k on-the-road without insurance. The pick-up will next be on display IOI Mall Puchong (December 17-23), Alan Central Mall (January 10-13), IOI City Mall (January 23-27) and other places. The full list of locations can be found on MMM’s official website, here.


     
  • AD: The 2018 Formula 1 season draws to a close – here are our top 10 moments from an exciting year

    It’s safe to say that Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes-AMG PETRONAS Motorsport are on top of the world. The Briton won his fifth Formula 1 world championship this year, putting him on level footing with the late, great Juan Manuel Fangio and just behind seven-time champion Michael Schumacher. He also extended his record of most pole positions held, qualifying first in 11 races – as many as the races he’s won in 2018.

    Meanwhile, the team secured its fifth straight constructors’ title in Brazil, making it only the second team to win five consecutive drivers’ and constructors’ titles, after Ferrari. It also became only the fifth team to reach 100 pole positions. These feats further cemented Mercedes as the dominating team in the sport’s turbo hybrid era, and highlighted the world-beating synergy between Mercedes-AMG and PETRONAS.

    Amazingly, the team accomplished all this in what has become the most exciting, closest-fought season in recent memory, with plenty of tense moments in the title fight. Without further ado, let’s count down the 10 best moments in an exhilarating year.

    10. Hamilton comes out top in crash-crazy Baku

    We start this list with a bang – literally – with the Azerbaijan Grand Prix on the streets of Baku. Where do we start? Crashes on the opening lap saw Force India’s Esteban Ocon and Williams’ Sergey Sirotkin out of the race, the latter also causing two punctures on Fernando Alonso’s McLaren. A few laps later, Renault’s Nico Hulkenberg crashed out from fifth place after what was looking to be a strong weekend for the French team.

    But the biggest chaos of the weekend was to befall Red Bull. Daniel Ricciardo, who had been squabbling with teammate Max Verstappen for the fifth place the Dutchman inherited from Hulkenberg, slammed into the back of the sister car and taking them both out of the race. This brought out the safety car, and it was during this phase that Romain Grosjean inexplicably spun his Haas and stuffed it into the wall.

    With racing resuming just two laps before the chequered flag, Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel made a last-ditch lunge from third into the first corner. However, he locked up, ran wide and gave up places to both his teammate Kimi Räikkönen and Force India’s Sergio Pérez – the latter went on to score a heroic podium finish. Mercedes’ Valterri Bottas looked set for victory but as he came up to the main straight to start the final lap, he ran over leftover crash debris and picked up a puncture, causing him to retire from the race.

    It was a bitter end for the Finn – who has still yet to win a race this year – but Hamilton’s victory, his first for the season, was at least some consolation for the Brackley-based team. And to top it off, the Briton took the lead in the championship over Vettel for the first time in 2018. It wouldn’t be the last time this lead switches hands between the two rivals…

    9. Honda rebuilds itself with Toro Rosso after McLaren departure

    To say that Honda endured a disastrous three years since making a return to the sport in 2015 would’ve been an understatement. The Japanese carmaker stoked memories of world domination in the late ’80s by rekindling an illustrious partnership with McLaren, but the duo languished near the back of the grid for three straight seasons – much to the ire of superstar driver Alonso.

    After years of claiming it had the best chassis in Formula 1 saddled to the worst engine, the British team had enough and switched to Renault power for 2018, while Honda saddled up with Toro Rosso. Although Red Bull’s satellite team performed strongly in testing as McLaren struggled with reliability issues, the situation was reversed in Australia as Toro Rosso suffered a double retirement in the early stages of the race. By comparison, Alonso took a strong fifth place, duly radioing back to the team, “Now, we can fight.”

    However, Toro Rosso was the one that fought back in the following race in Bahrain, with Pierre Gasly securing an astonishing fourth place; in a cheeky manoeuvre, he promptly uttered that same phrase to his team. While McLaren now sits two places ahead of Toro Rosso in the championship – largely due to Alonso’s performances – it should be noted that Gasly’s points haul is more than double that of the Spaniard’s teammate Stoffel Vandoorne, showing Honda’s remarkable improvement in performance and reliability.

    While lingering doubts still remain, the team’s results mid-season were good enough for Red Bull itself to sign up for Honda engines for the 2019 season, ending a successful championship-winning partnership with Renault. And with rising star Gasly packing up and moving to replace a departing Ricciardo (more on that later), expectations are running sky high for next year.

    8. Racing Point Force India rises from the ashes

    While the main championship fight raged on throughout the season, there was an intriguing midfield scrap for fourth place in the constructors’ standings and the informal “best of the rest” honour behind the top three. For a long time, one of the frontrunners for that spot was Force India, but behind the scenes the team was embroiled in turmoil as its backers ran into financial trouble.

    Eventually the business collapsed, and ahead of the Hungarian Grand Prix the team was put under administration to enable it to continue racing whilst a new buyer was sought. Although a consortium led by Lawrence Stroll – father of Williams driver Lance Stroll – agreed to purchase the team, it could not get the approval from the team’s creditors, so instead it simply bought the assets.

    Although the new entity, now called Racing Point Force India, was still basically the same as before, it couldn’t race under its old licence, so the FIA excluded the previous Force India entry from the championship. Thus, it had to start afresh with zero points, but that did not stop Pérez and Ocon from immediately opening the books with fifth and sixth places respectively at the following Belgian Grand Prix.

    More importantly, a string of solid results since then has enabled Racing Point Force India to climb to seventh in the championship; had the team kept its old entry and all its previous points, it would’ve now been fifth, just behind Renault. So what’s next? Well, Lance will be joining Pérez for 2019, which unfortunately leaves the talented Ocon without a drive.

    7. Shock victory for Verstappen in Austria

    Mercedes looked to have it in the bag at the Red Bull Ring in Austria, a track that it had traditionally been impervious at – it had won every single race there since the Grand Prix returned to the calendar in 2014. The team backed this up by locking up the front row, Bottas this time picking up pole. But the unexpected searing heat on Sunday was about to throw a spanner in the works.

    At the start, Bottas made a poor start and lost places to Hamilton, Räikkönen and Verstappen, though he immediately clawed his way back past the Ferrari and Red Bull, slotting in behind his teammate. It was looking like business as usual when disaster struck as Bottas pulled over with a gearbox failure. This triggered a Virtual Safety Car and while Hamilton stayed out, the other frontrunners pitted for new soft tyres.

    When Hamilton eventually made his stop, he emerged in fourth ahead of Vettel, but despite being on fresher tyres he suffered from blistering and the German made his way past. Hamilton pitted again and emerged in fifth, behind the also-struggling Ricciardo. The Australian ceded his place with a gearbox issue, but it was the Briton’s turn a few laps later as the world champion lost fuel pressure.

    This marked Mercedes’ first double retirement since the 2016 Spanish Grand Prix, its only black mark in an otherwise perfect reliability record for the team this year. It also ended Hamilton’s 33-race points streak, having finished no lower than ninth since the 2016 Japanese Grand Prix. Verstappen, who made a decisive pass on Räikkönen on the opening lap, went on to win the race, followed by the Finn and Vettel – who took the lead in the championship by a single point. Mercedes, however, would come fighting back…

    6. Ricciardo makes surprise signing for Renault

    There’s no denying that Daniel Riccardo is one of the great talents in Formula 1 at the moment, and the Australian enjoyed a strong first half of the season with hard-fought victories in China and Monaco. The 29-year-old, however, had yet to sign a deal for a race seat for 2019, and speculation was rife about his future – would he stay at Red Bull, or would he search for greener pastures?

    During the Hungarian Grand Prix, reports suggested that Ricciardo had made up his mind to stay in the Austrian team, and was only a few days away from signing a new deal. Just a few days later, however, he announced that he was to move to Renault instead, much to the shock of everyone within the paddock – and reportedly those within Red Bull as well.

    It’s a big risk for Ricciardo, especially as Renault is still a step behind Red Bull in terms of performance; perhaps he wasn’t convinced with the latter being able to mount a title challenge with Honda power. Either way, he has since suffered four retirements in eight races – with three of them being due to mechanical issues – so he likely can’t wait to bid goodbye to the Bulls.

    5. Epic title battle as Vettel and Hamilton trade blows

    While dramas were occurring up and down the field, all focus was on the title battle between Hamilton and Vettel. Like any high-profile boxing bout, the stakes were high, as both of them were vying for their fifth world championship. The Fight for Five, as they said.

    Vettel started strongly with back-to-back wins in Australia and Bahrain, but Hamilton pulled ahead with convincing victories in Azerbaijan and Spain. The lead swung back to the German’s favour after he won the Canadian Grand Prix, but the very next race in France saw Hamilton victorious and he snatched it back.

    The following weekend, as Mercedes faltered with a double retirement in Austria, Vettel’s strong third place allowed him to zoom past his rival, and he extended his lead with victory on Hamilton’s home soil at the British Grand Prix. After four changes in the championship lead, Vettel had the momentum and looked unstoppable, but Hamilton would exert revenge at the following race…

    4. Pivotal Germany win swings title into Hamilton’s favour

    Heading into his home race in Germany, Vettel had an eight-point lead in the standings, and while Hamilton suffered a hydraulic issue in qualifying and started 14th, his rival duly took pole and appeared ready for an easy Sunday victory. Vettel remained in the lead in the opening laps, only letting Räikkönen past when he pulled into the pits for fresh tyres. Behind the scenes, Hamilton fought back to take fourth.

    With Räikkönen instructed to let the championship leader through, Vettel appeared set to cruise to his first home win and a commanding lead in the standings. But light rain then started to appear and in the challenging conditions he understeered into the wall, much to the heartbreak of himself and the fans.

    The safety car was called, and while Bottas and Räikkönen – who had swapped places earlier in the race – were called into the pits, Hamilton stayed out and romped home to an unlikely victory. That slim deficit he had over Vettel turned into a 17-point advantage, and while the German would win again in Belgium, the Briton never looked back.

    3. Vettel’s spins transform title race

    Up until the summer break after the Hungarian Grand Prix, the title battle had been tense, with the lead in the drivers’ standing having changed hands five times up until then. Hamilton had the upper hand by securing another victory at the Hungaroring to extend his advantage over Vettel to 24 points, but at the next race in Belgium a dominant win allowed the German to reclaim the points he lost.

    Coming up to the Italian Grand Prix, Ferrari was looking strong, and it claimed the top two grid slots at its home race, with Räikkönen leading Vettel. But at the start Hamilton pushed his way past Vettel, and as the latter tried to fight back he clattered into his rival and spun, putting him at the back of the field. Vettel recovered to finish fourth, but Hamilton went on to take victory and with that a 30-point lead in the standings.

    Vettel had been in similar spins before this year, in China and in France, but being so late in the year this incident proved crucial to the outcome of the title race and sparked an unfortunate trend for the German. Vettel was involved in two more spins in Japan and the US, and coupled with relatively lacklustre performances by Ferrari in Singapore and Russia, it put an end to what was a dramatic bout.

    2. Räikkönen ends race win drought in Austin

    Although the 2018 season got off to a patchy start with a few dour races here and there, it really came to form in the second half, which brought us some of the best racing the sport has ever exhibited. The crowning glory was arguably the United States Grand Prix at the Circuit of the Americas in Austin, with high stakes and high drama as the drivers’ title was within Hamilton’s reach.

    He began proceedings in his usual top form by clinching yet another pole position, but while Vettel got a three-place penalty (he failed to slow down under red flags in practice), started fifth and promptly got into yet another first-lap spin, the popular, nonchalant Räikkönen inherited his front row position and capitalised on a brilliant start to take the lead by the first corner.

    Ricciardo survived his clash with Vettel but disappointingly retired just a few laps later, resulting in a Virtual Safety Car that changed the course of the race. While Hamilton pitted for fresher tyres, Räikkönen was able to make a one-stop strategy work, and with Verstappen charging from the back of the grid and Hamilton needing to stop again it turned into a titanic three-way scrap for victory.

    In the end it was Räikkönen that came out on top, as Verstappen held off a desperate last-minute attack from Hamilton. The Finn ended a five-year race win drought to take his first victory since rejoining Ferrari in 2014, in his final year before handing over the reins to Sauber’s Charles Leclerc. Elsewhere, Vettel fought back and overtook Bottas in the closing stages to finish fourth, so Hamilton’s title would have to wait just a bit longer…

    1. Hamilton and Mercedes-AMG PETRONAS Motorsport clinch fifth titles

    As you can gather by now, the second half of the season was a dream come true for Hamilton, as Vettel’s implosion saw his title hopes all but fade away. But while the championship was again within sight for Hamilton, Mexico didn’t make it easy as his team struggled throughout the weekend.

    This came to a head during the race – as Verstappen beat polesitter Ricciardo on the opening lap to secure a second straight victory at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez, Hamilton was again stung by excessive tyre wear. But despite Vettel putting in a strong performance by passing his rival en route to second, Hamilton managed to limit the damage, cruising to a distant fourth. And just like that, the crown was his.

    The fight for the constructors’ title rolled on to the following race in Brazil, and Hamilton repeated his fine qualifying performance to score Mercedes’ 100th pole. But amidst the tricky conditions, Ferrari’s well-timed gamble to qualify in Q2 (and therefore start the race) with the more durable soft tyres, rather than the supersofts employed by the others, meant that the Italians weren’t giving up without a fight.

    However, Ferrari failed to capitalise come Sunday and Räikkönen and Vettel languished in third and sixth respectively. At the front, Verstappen clawed his way up from fifth before passing Hamilton on lap 40. He looked set to take his first back-to-back win, but backmarker Ocon – who wanted to unlap himself – punted into Verstappen, pitching both of them into a spin. The controversy raged on, but Hamilton sailed to victory – and with Bottas finishing fifth, it was enough to seal the title for Mercedes-AMG PETRONAS Motorsport.

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  • Honda Malaysia opens its 12th dealership in Johor

    Honda Malaysia today launched its 97th (and latest) 3S centre in Pasir Gudang, Johor, which is operated by Yong Ming Motor. The four-storey facility is the twelfth in the state, and was built with an investment of RM18.5 million.

    With a build-up area of 77,000-square foot, the building houses 14 bays that can accommodate up to 30 cars per day. These include nine service bays, three for general repairs and two tyre service bays.

    Customers will also get to enjoy a comfortable waiting lounge with complimentary Wi-Fi, kids corner, merchandise corner, and a cafe. The centre is staffed by 43 personnel – 17 sales advisors, 24 service advisors, technicians, and two administration and support members.

    “With customer satisfaction being our main priority, it is very important for Honda Malaysia and our dealership partners to work together closely in order to serve our mutual customers better. This can only be achieved with strong support from our partners such as Yong Ming Motor,” said Honda Malaysia managing director and CEO, Toichi Ishiyama.

    “We believe this dealership expansion in Johor will provide more convenience to our customers, particularly in Pasir Gudang. Customers will be able to enjoy high quality service and after-sales offerings at an authorized Honda dealership nearer to them with upgraded facilities to enhance their joy of buying,” he added.

    Yong Ming Motor has a long history with Honda that stretches back 48 years, beginning with its first dealership in Skudai – the new Pasir Gudang 3S centre is the company’s second dealership.

    “We are grateful for the opportunity given to us by Honda Malaysia to grow our customer base in this area. Previously customers in this area had to travel far to view the latest models or to service their cars but with our new dealership we aim to offer them the best Honda experience closer to where they are. This showroom that we are opening today represents our continuing commitment to Honda Malaysia,” said director of Yong Ming Motor, Kenneth Cheng.

    According to Honda Malaysia, the southern region has been experiencing steady growth in both the number of customers and service intakes. Referring to the latter, 235,000 service intakes were recorded from January to November 2018, an increase of 13% compared to the same period last year.

    Meanwhile, the southern region contributed the second highest number of sales with more than 17,000 units sold from January to October this year, a 2% gain from the same period in 2017. The City was the best-selling model in the region, making up 24% of total southern region sales, which is then followed by the Civic (11%) and CR-V (9%).

    Yong Ming Motor’s Pasir Gudang 3S centre is located at PTD 209607, Jalan Bandar, Business Centre II, 81700, Pasir Gudang, Johor.

     
  • Goodyear Eagle F1 Asymmetric 5 – new UHP tyre

    Goodyear’s Eagle F1 is probably the American tyre company’s most recognisable brand, and the Asymmetric model has been given a revamp with the new Eagle F1 Asymmetric 5. Replacing the Asymmetric 3, the ultra high performance (UHP) tyre boasts improved wet braking and dry handling performance without any detriment to ride comfort or road noise.

    The company says that the new “highly-refined” compound combines wet weather capabilities without sacrificing endurance or dry handling performance, and it also touts a contact patch that is designed to extend under braking. This increases the tyre’s contact with the road to a similar level as a track tyre, resulting in four percent shorter stopping distances in the wet compared to the Asymmetric 3.

    Meanwhile, the reduced tread pattern flex resulting from lateral forces is claimed to improve dry handling, offering crisp, precise turn-in, higher grip levels and efficient, clean acceleration. Steering feedback has also been enhanced for a more communicative and confidence-inspiring driving experience.

    In Europe, Goodyear will introduce 51 SKUs between February and March next year, plus another 10 between June and December. Sizes will range from 17 to 22 inches in diameter, 205 to 315 mm in width and 25 to 50 in side profiles, with the intent of fitting cars from the Volkswagen Golf to standard versions of the Porsche 911, with premium models like the BMW 3 Series and Mercedes-Benz C-Class also included.

     
  • 2019 Skoda Scala debuts – new MQB A0 platform, high-tech 1.5L TSI EA211 evo engine, nine airbags!

    Czech carmaker Skoda has finally pulled the wraps off its new hatchback, the Scala. The name comes from the Latin word ‘stairs’ or ‘ladder’, which represents the brand’s evolutionary step forwards in the segment. The Scala incorporates a new design language first shown on the Vision RS, and the sporty look will gradually be shared with upcoming models.

    First off, the design. The new dynamic look is impressive from nearly all angles, but none more so than the front fascia. With a pair of slim, angular LED headlights (standard, full LED is optional), wide radiator grille with vertical slats and thick chrome surrounds, as well as wheel selection from 15- to 18-inches, the Scala appears significantly more athletic than the Rapid it replaces.

    The profile gets a dramatically contoured shoulder line (Skoda calls it the tornado line), which begins from the edge of the headlights and guides the eye all the way to the sleek LED tail lights. The Scala is the first Skoda model to get dynamic rear turn indicators (optional), and it works by flashing outwards in a sweeping motion.

    Other notable exterior features include side air curtains, dynamic roofline, aerodynamically-optimised rear spoiler and rear diffuser, all of which help the Scala achieve a low drag coefficient of 0.29 Cd. The hatch is also the first Skoda model in Europe to get the Skoda lettering featured on the tailgate, as opposed to having the firm’s badge. The full panoramic glass roof with electrically retractable sunblind is optional.

    Dimensions-wise, the Scala boasts an overall length of 4,362 mm, width of 1,793 mm, height of 1,471 mm and a healthy 2,649 mm wheelbase. That makes it longer than the VW Golf, which is 4,258 mm (-104 mm) long, 1,799 mm (+6 mm) wide, 1,452 mm (-19 mm) tall and a wheelbase of 2,620 mm (-29 mm).

    Inside, the Scala gets a 10.25-inch fully digital Virtual Cockpit with five different configurations, a free-standing touchscreen infotainment display (available in 6.5-inch, 8.0-inch and 9.2-inch units; top-end unit gets Skoda Connect mobile services), as well as red or white ambient lighting. It has a class-leading boot space of 467 litres, and expands up to 1,410 litres with the rear bench folded down.

    Higher-specced models are equipped with an eight-speaker sound system, Wi-Fi hotspot, 3D satellite navigation, wireless smartphone charging, 64GB of internal SSD storage, and downloadable apps for the infotainment system.

    Another first for Skoda is the fact that the Scala now rides atop the MQB A0 platform from VW Group. The said platform is used for models such as the Seat Ibiza and Volkswagen T-Roc. More importantly, MQB A0 brings many advantages such as cabin spaciousness, reduced weight thanks to its modern chassis design and extensive use of high-strength steel, as well as flexibility in terms of powertrain compatibility.

    Having said that, the Scala is available with three TSI petrol engines, one 1.6 litre four-cylinder TDI engine, and a 1.0 litre three-cylinder G-TEC mill that’s specifically designed to run on environmentally friendly natural gas (CNG). However, the G-TEC engine, which makes 90 PS and 145 Nm of torque, will only be available sometime next year.

    The gasoline trio is comprised of a 1.0 litre TSI three-potter engine, making two states of tunes – 95 PS/175 Nm and 115 PS/200 Nm. A hotter 1.5 litre four-cylinder TSI (basically the VW 1.5 litre TSI EA211 evo, comes with Active Cylinder Technology) making 150 PS and 250 Nm is also available. The 1.6 litre TDI unit makes 115 PS and 250 Nm of torque. Transmission choices include a five-speed manual (entry-level model only), six-speed manual and seven-speed dual-clutch DSG.

    Those familiar with the MQB platform will know the breadth of its performance and exemplary ride capabilities. The Scala shares the same benefits, but keener drivers can opt for the new Sport Chassis Control, which lowers ride height by 15 mm. It features four drive modes – Normal, Sport, Eco and Individual.

    In terms of safety, the Scala is said to be one of the safest vehicles in the segment. The MQB A0 platform also allows Skoda to offer a wide range of active and passive safety systems, and this includes up to nine airbags and crew protect assist (optional), which quickly and automatically closes any open windows and pre-tensions the front seat belts in the event of an impending collision.

    There’s also multi-collision brake, side assist, blind spot detect, rear traffic alert, lane assist and front assist with city emergency brake (standard, detects pedestrians as well). Other safety systems that can be had are driver alert fatigue detection system, adaptive cruise control (up to 210 km/h), park assist with optional rear-view camera and manoeuvre assist.


     
  • Six roads to be closed on Dec 8, bus routes changed

    There will be an anti-ICERD rally in Kuala Lumpur tomorrow (December 8) and six main roads around Dataran Merdeka will be closed to traffic. This was announced by KL police chief Datuk Seri Mazlan Lazim.

    The roads are Jalan Hishamuddin (before the tunnel), Leboh Pasar, Jalan Tun Perak (from the Masjid Jamek LRT station onwards), Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman (near Sogo), Jalan Raja Laut (near Summit Hotel) and Bulatan Dato Onn.

    “The roads will be closed from 6am onwards on Saturday. The rally participants are only allowed to converge at Jalan Raja in front of Dataran Merdeka,” Mazlan said.

    Meanwhile, Rapid KL has announced changes to bus routes to avoid the blocked areas. The public transport operator says that buses number 170, 171, 173, 190, 191, 200, 202, 220 and 250 (from Jalan Ipoh and Jalan Pahang corridors) heading to KL will go as far as Sogo. As for now, there will be no route changes for buses from Cheras and Sungai Besi corridors entering KL, but routes may be subject to change under instruction from the authorities.

     
 

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Latest Fuel Prices

PETROL
RON 95 RM2.20 (0.00)
RON 97 RM2.50 (-0.31)
RON 100 RM3.20
VPR RM3.40
DIESEL
EURO 2M RM2.18 (0.00)
EURO 5 RM2.28 (0.00)
Last Updated 01 Dec 2018



 

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