Latest Stories

  • Works Engineering to develop parts for Proton X50, appoints S1K winner Fariqe Hairuman as ambassador

    Since Proton management entered a new era with Geely in 2017, the national carmaker’s performance division, Proton R3 has so far focused its efforts on circuit racing, and its has attained considerable success from its efforts.

    While it doesn’t yet appear that Proton is once again turning its attention to the development of a complete performance parts line for its road-going models, the aftermarket remains active, and the X50 SUV as seen here is next on the radar of Works Engineering.

    The images here from the Works Engineering Facebook page shows an Executive variant of the compact SUV at Proton R3 headquarters in Shah Alam, where it was photographed with Proton R3 team principal Gary Lee and driver Fariqe Hairuman, the latter also appointed as Works Engineering ambassador.

    Works Engineering has prior form with making performance parts for Proton cars, as the firm has previously released a variety of components such as adjustable crankshaft pulleys, induction kits and others for the S4P-based engines in Campro and CFE forms, which serve in models such as the Satria Neo, Preve and Suprima S.

    “We are very excited this year – together with Fariqe – to bring extraordinary, high-end products and a better driving experience to the consumer market and to bring the team to greater heights,” wrote Works Engineering in its Facebook post. The firm has previously put together Satria Neo and Preve project cars in 2011, and the X50 is set to be the latest addition to that list, it said.

    Though the Executive variant of the Proton X50 enlisted here uses the same 1.5 litre, three-cylinder turbocharged engine base across the range, it is slightly down on its outputs compared to the all-singing, all-dancing top Flagship variant; 150 PS at 5,500 rpm and 226 Nm from 1,500 rpm to 4,000 rpm in the Executive plays 177 PS and 255 Nm of torque from the Flagship.

    This can be attributed to differences in the fuelling systems of each variant. While the Executive variant employs multi-point fuel injection, the engine in the Flagship features direct fuel injection.

    While the extent of the Works Engineering programme for the X50 remains to be seen, the prospect of closing the gap between headline output figures of the two factory engine specifications could be a tantalising one, not least for owners of the Standard, Executive and Premium variants.

    Certainly with forced induction, generating numbers considerably greater than those from the factory is possible. For those of you brave enough to forego factory warranty – what do you think is the tuner ‘sweet spot’ for a vehicle such as the Proton X50?

    GALLERY: Proton X50 1.5T Executive

     
  • Mitsubishi Pajero Final Edition lands in Australia – 800 units, extra accessories, from RM176k to RM204k

    Buyers may be shifting more and more towards SUVs, but they are also moving away from hardcore off-roaders and into road-biased crossovers, leaving dinosaurs like the Mitsubishi Pajero with nowhere to go. After nearly 40 years, production of the legendary 4×4 concluded in March, and Australia is commemorating the end of an era with a Final Edition that has just landed Down Under.

    As yet, it is unclear if this Final Edition is the same one that was introduced in Japan to mark the end of domestic sales back in 2019. Given that Australia is getting a larger 800-unit limited run (Japan only received 700 units), however, it is likely that the Antipodean version is a local special.

    Aside from the obligatory “Final Edition” badging, these vehicles will also be differentiated by a range of dealer-fitted accessories, including a tinted bonnet deflector, carpet mats, a rear cargo liner, a rear boot flap and a leather-bound compendium. By contrast, the Japanese model featured illuminated side sill scuff plates with the FE’s serial number, special stickers and a neat Citizen watch with matching serial numbers.

    Beyond that, the Pajero remains unchanged, continuing to be offered in GLX, GLS and Exceed variants. The Final Edition tacks on a AUS$500 (RM1,600) premium, which is quite a saving considering that the aforementioned accessories (minus the compendium and badging) normally cost over AUS$700 (RM2,200).

    As such, the GLX with seven seats, a limited-slip differential, an Apple CarPlay and Android Auto-compatible seven-inch infotainment touchscreen and a reverse camera costs AUS$54,990 (RM176,200), while the AUS$60,490 (RM193,900) GLS adds 18-inch alloy wheels, reverse sensors, powered and heated seats, auto lights and wipers and a Rocker Fosgate sound system.

    The Exceed, which throws in chrome exterior highlights, leather upholstery, a sunroof and aluminium pedals, costs AUS$63,490 (RM203,500). Power continues to come from a 3.2 litre four-cylinder turbodiesel producing 189 hp and 441 Nm of torque, mated to a five-speed INVECS-II automatic gearbox and a Super Select II all-wheel drive system.

    By ending production, Mitsubishi is calling time on its flagship SUV, which made its first appearance in 1982 and has spawned four generations. Once the favourite of police officers and construction managers all over Malaysia, the last iteration of the Pajero debuted way back in 2006, meaning that the current model is retiring at the ripe age of 15.

    GALLERY: Mitsubishi Pajero Final Edition, Japanese market

     

  • Mazda expects chip shortage to affect production in FY2022 – 1.287 million cars sold in FY2021, 9% drop

    According to Mazda’s managing executive officer Tetsuya Fujimoto, the Japanese carmaker expects global production to reduce by 100,000 units in its current fiscal year (FY2022) due to the ongoing global semiconductor shortage.

    This was revealed during a recent earnings call, where the company also announced its results for the previous financial year (FY2021). From April 1, 2020 to March 31, 2021, Mazda delivered a total of 1.287 million cars, which was 9% less than the 1.419 million cars recorded in FY2020.

    In North America and China, Mazda experienced an increase in sales by 2% and 8% respectively, although dips in Japan (-13%) and Europe (32%) led to an overall decline. The ASEAN region also saw a drop in sales of Mazda vehicles, with Thailand singled out for recording a 23% year-on-year (YoY) reduction to just 40,000 units.

    There were some bright spots, as Vietnam and Australia experienced a 1% and 3% YoY growth, with the latter also securing a higher market share of 9.8% (+1%). Other markets however, were down 13% YoY.

    The decline in demand resulted in a reduced operating income, with 8.8 billion yen recorded in FY2021 compared to 43.6 billion yen in FY2020. Unsurprisingly, the impact from Covid-19 affected Mazda heavily, requiring the company to push for sales recovery, fixed cost reduction and variable profit improvement that saw recovery in the second half of FY2021.

    For FY2022, Mazda expects sales volume to climb to 1.41 million cars, accompanied by an operating profit of 65 billion yen. However, the company is cautious about ongoing issues such as the semiconductor shortage and rising prices of raw materials.

     
  • Hyundai Nexo sets new world record in Australia – 887.5 km travelled on a single tank of hydrogen

    In 2019, a Hyundai Nexo set a new world record for the longest distance travelled by a series production, hydrogen-powered vehicle. The record, which was attempted in France, saw the crossover cover a total of 778 km on a single tank of hydrogen with French aeronaut Bertrand Piccard at the wheel.

    Now, the Korean carmaker has beaten its own record with another attempt in Australia, with local rally driver Brendan Reeves responsible for bringing a Nexo from Essendon Fields in Melbourne to just beyond the country town of Broken Hill. The total distance travelled? According to the trip computer, the vehicle covered 887.5 km over 13 hours and six minutes of driving, at an average speed of 66.9 km/h.

    The distance covered eclipsed the previous record by 109.5 km and exceeded the Nexo’s WLTP-rated range of 666 km. Interestingly, an isolated GPS unit fitted on the Nexo registered 903.4 km, while Google Maps registered 905 km travelled. However, for the purposes of the test, the Nexo’s own trip computer is used as the official distance recorder.

    According to Hyundai, the Nexo’s fuel warning first lit up at 686 km, with over 200 km of range left being shown on the trip computer. Pushing on, the fuel light started flashing after 796 km, with 90km of real range remaining.

    It added that the crossover consumed a total of 6.27 kg of hydrogen at a rate of 0.706 kg/100 km during the trip, purifying 449,100 litres of air along the way – enough for 33 adults to breathe in a day. With water being the only emission, a vehicle with an internal combustion engine would have emitted about 126 kg of CO2 over the same distance.

    For validation purposes, A representative from the Royal Automobile Club of Victoria (RACV) was on hand to seal the Nexo’s tank at the start of the journey, and a National Roads and Motorists’ Association (NRMA) representative confirmed the tank remained seal at the end.

    “Being a rally driver, I’ve always wanted to achieve a world record, but I could never have guessed it would come about this way. As we set out from Essendon Fields in the early morning, I found NEXO immediately familiar and easy to drive – the controls are intuitive and easy to use, the driving position excellent and seats very comfortable,” said Reeves.

    “Nexo is in its element on the open road, with its long range, peaceful and refined cabin, and smooth, near-silent fuel-cell electric powertrain. I was constantly checking the Nexo’s efficiency readout to maximise the distance I was getting per kilogram of hydrogen. I found that by using techniques from rally driving, such as looking as far down the road as possible, as well as tips I have learned from my dad for driving a truck efficiently over long distances, it’s actually possible to go way beyond Nexo’s official range,” he added.

     
  • paultan.org official merchandise now with 50% Shopee Coins cashback until June 12 – no minimum spend!

    Loving the official paultan.org merchandise that is available exclusively through the paultan.org Official Store on Shopee? You’ll now be able to get even better deals, thanks to cashback that is now available with purchases of merchandise for a limited time.

    Here’s how you can get the cashback deal. Use the new voucher code, PAULTC and get 50% Shopee Coins cashback up to 300 coins. Here’s the kicker – there is no minimum spending required in order to make use of the voucher. The offer is valid until June 12, 2021.

    Two t-shirt designs are available, starting with the “Drive It Like You Stole It” t-shirt, in black. Made from premium 210 gsm cotton (an average cotton tee is around 180 gsm) for better, longer lasting comfort, this is first of many original designs in the pipeline.

    There is also the limited edition, “Work Hard Drive Harder” t-shirt in white, capped at a run of just 200 units! This is part of our OneIn200 limited edition series that will feature completely new and original designs, issued quarterly. These will truly be limited, so when each run of 200 is out, that’s it.

    Our official tees are treated with a silk screen effect. Meanwhile, each limited edition tee will feature a paultan.org label on the sleeve, a OneIn200 label on the front, and a special rubber dye high density effect for the main “Work Hard Drive Harder” lettering print – as with garments of this type, remember to never iron on any printed part of these t-shirts.

    Once again, these t-shirts have been created in-house, by the talented designers we have on our team. To get a hold of these wearable creative works, get yours today exclusively from our Shopee store, and make use of the cashback deal that is available until June 12, 2021.

     
  • Nissan to make 500,000 fewer cars due to lack of chips

    Nissan CEO Makoto Uchida has revealed that the company will be making fewer cars this year due to the global semiconductor shortage. According to a CNBC report, the problem is also compounded by a steady increase in raw material prices.

    Uchida-san said Nissan’s global production output will be down by approximately 500,000 units, but the automaker is planning countermeasures to get production back up on track. It’s unclear how Nissan plans to overcome this hurdle, but other automakers like those within the PSA Group and GM have resorted to omitting high-end features and using conventional, tried-and-tested systems instead.

    Analysts predict that the semiconductor crisis will last well into 2022, possibly into 2023. The historic shortfall in chips supply has forced many automakers to cut back on production, and experts believe this will result in millions of vehicle sales to be lost this year alone.

    Earlier this month, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) chairman Mark Liu told CBS that his company can only begin to meet auto clients’ minimum requirement by June. With no cars to produce, Jaguar Land Rover has temporarily halted manufacturing operations at its Castle Bromwich and Halewood plants, two months after announcing that it was going to cut 2,000 non-factory jobs.

    Meanwhile, Daimler said it was pausing production at two of its plants in Germany for at least a week, and that it would be cutting the hours of up to 18,500 workers.

     
  • Volvo Cars is evaluating a potential IPO later this year

    Volvo Cars has announced it is evaluating the possibility of an initial public offering (IPO) on the Nasdaq Stockholm stock exchange later this year. The Swedish automaker previously floated the idea back in 2018, but concerns about its valuation and trade tensions between the United States and China (as well as Europe) resulted in the plan being shelved at the time.

    More recently, Volvo ruled out a full merger with Geely Auto, although if an IPO were to happen, holding company Zhejiang Geely Holding (ZGH) will remain its biggest shareholder. “We have supported the transformation and growth of Volvo Cars for the last 10 years, enabling the company to become a true premium brand with improved profitability,” said Eric Li, chairman of ZGH

    “As we look ahead, Volvo Cars is especially well positioned to deliver continued growth and harness the full potential of electrification and the delivery of safe autonomous drive functions. After a potential listing, Geely Holding would remain a major shareholder,” he added.

    In an official release, Volvo says a public listing would enable new shareholders to be a part of its continued “transformation into a technology driven, fully electrified car brand.” “A potential listing on the Nasdaq Stockholm stock exchange could create an opportunity for global investors to participate in our journey to become a leader in the fast-growing premium and intelligent electric vehicle segment while continuing to deliver on what customers expect from the Volvo brand,” said Håkan Samuelsson, CEO of Volvo Cars.

     
  • 2021 Yamaha XSR125 retro commuter bike for Europe

    Joining Yamaha’s European motorcycle lineup is the 2021 Yamaha XSR125, a retro-style naked sports designed for the commuter market. Pricing for the XSR125 is listed on the Yamaha UK website as 4,450 pounds sterling (RM25,926) which does make it a touch on the pricey side for a 125 cc motorcycle in Europe.

    Falling into the A1 motorcycle category for young riders aged 17, the Euro 5 emissions compliant XSR 125 gets 14.75 hp at 10,000 rpm and 11.5 Nm at 8,000 rpm from a SOHC 124 cc, single-cylinder, liquid-cooled mill with Variable Valve Actuation (VVA), fed by EFI. For comparison, the Yamaha MT-125 with the same engine configuration gets the same power numbers but is priced at 4,650 pounds sterling (RM27,079).

    Two motorcycles in the same class that ar available in Malaysia, the Yamaha YZF-R15 and the Yamaha MT-15, are identically priced at RM11,988 with a 155 cc, single-cylinder engine putting out 19.3 hp and 15 Nm of torque. Which does beg the question if a Yamaha XSR155 might be joining R15 and MT-15 in the Malaysian market.

    Styling wise, the XSR125 follows the path set by the Yamaha XSR900, with a round headlight in the traditional style, but using LED lighting. The tank, side panels and rear mudguard are distinctly separate items, unlike the MT-125/MT-15 with the folded planes and blended panels of the modern streetfighter style.

    Power goes through a six-speed gearbox with chain final drive and 11-litres of fuel is carried in the tank. Wet weight, ready to ride with a full tank is claimed to 140 kg and seat height on the XSR125 is set at 815 mm.

    Braking is done with single hydraulic brakes front and rear, with the front using a 267 mm diameter disc and the rear a 220 mm diameter unit, while two-channel ABS is standard. Suspension uses 37 mm diameter upside-down telescopic forks for the front end and preload-adjustable monoshock for the back, with the 17-inch wheels shod 110/70 and 140/70 block pattern tyres for that retro scrambler look.

    A round digital LCD meter with white on black display is found inside the cockpit and like the headlight, the tail light is also an LED unit. For Europe there are three colour options for the XSR125 – Redline, Impact Yellow and Tech Black.

     
  • 2021 Kia K9 flagship sedan revealed in early images

    The Hyundai Motor Group has released this pair of initial images for the updated Kia K9 flagship sedan, otherwise known as the K900 outside its home market of Korea. Three years on from the debut of the current-generation model, the updated K9 sedan brings the latest iteration of the carmakers’ design language, including the latest logo that was revealed at the beginning of this year.

    At its front end, the dual-tier ‘Duplex’ LED headlamp arrangement has made way for a slimmer, more angular pair of headlamps somewhat more alike the setup used on the K8, though here the K9 continues to wear a more traditional application of brightwork on its grille along the lower edge of its front bumper. Rolling stock for the new K9 is a set of 19-inch multi-spoke wheels.

    These appear to be complemented by chrome trim on its door handles, window frames, front fenders and lower door trims, as well as on its rear bumper and exhaust outlet surrounds. This has also been applied to the central section bridging the tail lamps, which themselves echo the horizontal design cue used within the headlamps. This also means the rear license plate mount has been relocated to the rear bumper.

    Mounted on the bootlid is what appears to be a ‘4X’ badge, which suggests the availability of all-wheel-drive. The Korean carmaker has yet to release technical details for its revised flagship sedan, though for reference, the outgoing iteration of the K9/K900 was offered with three petrol engines.

    For the outgoing car, these were comprised of a 3.3 litre Lambda II T-GDi V6 producing 370 PS and 510 Nm of torque, a 3.8 naturally aspirated Lambda II V6 with 315 PS/397 Nm and a 5.0 litre Tau GDi V8 with outputs of 425 PS and 520 Nm of torque, paired to an eight-speed automatic transmission and either rear- or all-wheel-drive.

    Meanwhile, the recently unveiled K8 fastback employs relatively smaller engines, namely a 198 PS/248 Nm 2.5 litre inline-four petrol, a 300 PS/359 Nm 3.5 litre V6 with AWD, and an LPG version with 240 PS and 314 Nm; both engines are paired with an eight-speed automatic. An entry-level 1.6 litre T-GDI turbocharged four-cylinder engine is also on the cards, and this will get a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic.

    As with the outgoing K9/K900, the updated K9 flagship sedan is likely to be manufactured in Korea for selected markets, most likely its domestic market as well as North America. More details on Kia’s flagship sedan will follow.

    GALLERY: 2020 Kia K900, US market

     
  • All-new Honda Civic launching in Singapore soon

    It has only been a few weeks since the 11th-generation Honda Civic was revealed globally, but the C-segment sedan will soon be launched in Singapore, with local distributor Kah Motor currently accepting registrations of interest from customers in the country.

    Official pricing and specifications are not readily available just yet, but the Civic should come with either a 2.0 litre NA four-cylinder and/or a 1.5 litre VTEC Turbo engine, both with a CVT driving the front wheels. These configurations are similar to what is available in North America.

    The latest Civic is significantly different from its predecessor in terms of styling, with a revised exterior that features an Accord-like sweeping roofline and kinked window line. Toning down the aggression, the more mature design also sees a body-coloured notch on the front intake, flanked by sleek headlamps with L-shaped daytime running lights.

    Meanwhile, the rear sports a small ducktail spoiler on the boot lid, with angular taillights that carry the same L-shaped lighting signature as the front clusters. The cleaner side profile also features just two distinct lines, with one seen above the door handles to link the front and rear lighting clusters, while the other is upswept from the front wheel arches towards the rear deflectors.

    The new body also results in some dimensional changes, as the Civic is now 33 mm (1.3 inches) longer than before at 4,674 mm (184 inches), while the wheelbase is up 36 mm (1.4 inches) to 2,736 mm (107.7 inches). The width (1,801 mm or 70.9 inches) and height (1,415 mm or 55.7 inches) remain unchanged from the tenth-generation FC Civic.

    Like the exterior, the Civic’s interior has gets a total makeover, highlighted by a honeycomb mesh spanning the width of the dashboard, hiding the air vents behind it. A central touchscreen sits above this space, while the climate controls are positioned below, joined by a simpler centre console design. The driver gets a new steering wheel and a digital instrument cluster, the latter standard on higher trim levels.

    While Singapore are set to welcome the latest Civic this year, we aren’t left out either. As previously reported, Honda Malaysia president and COO Sarly Adle Sarkum hinted that the model could be previewed here later this year, although further details are scarce for now.

    GALLERY: 2022 Honda Civic (US market)

     
 

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Latest Fuel Prices

PETROL
RON 95 RM2.05 (0.00)
RON 97 RM2.60 (0.00)
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VPR RM3.50
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Last Updated 13 May 2021