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  • Volkswagen takes over Audi completely after buyout

    Audi has long been associated with Volkswagen, with the Volkswagen first acquiring the then Auto Union from Daimler back in 1964. Initially securing a 50% stake in the business, that figure has since grown to 99.64% in the years since, but Volkswagen does not technically fully own Audi. However, that is all set to change following Audi’s 131th annual general meeting recently.

    The meeting saw a vote on a so-called squeeze-out under stock corporation law, which will result in the transfer all Audi shares owned by remaining shareholders to Volkswagen. “The Volkswagen Group is now consolidating all its strength. We are positioning ourselves competitively throughout the Volkswagen Group and lifting Group synergies and economies of scale to a new level,” said Markus Duesmann, chairman of the board of management of Audi AG.

    As a result of the move, Volkswagen will own 100% of Audi, with Duesmann being moved to the position of Group research and development lead, as well as being responsible for making the new Car.Software organisation. The latter serves to increase the proportion of in-house software development at the Volkswagen Group from 10% today to 60% by 2025.

    Volkswagen had previously submitted a share transfer request on February 28, 2020 and specified the details of that transfer request on June 16, 2020. The minority shareholders will be handsomely compensated by this buyout, as Volkswagen will pay 1,551.53 euros (RM7,702.18) per Audi share.

    The company says that in the relevant three-month period before the announcement of the squeeze-out request, the average share price was 813.15 euros (RM4,036.23) per Audi share. This means that the fixed cash compensation paid to minority shareholders is approximately 90% above that average price.

  • Face mask not required when in private vehicles, any saman already issued will be cancelled – Ismail Sabri

    The wearing of face masks in crowded public places is now compulsory by law, but many have gone into overdrive, from the aunties spreading caution on WhatsApp to even the police it seems.

    The new face mask ruling, which is to prevent a second wave of Covid-19, is for crowded places and public transport. However, there have been instances where overzealous police officers have issued summonses to people not wearing masks in the own vehicles. This is wrong and will be overturned, senior minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob said today.

    “I already spoke to the police and the ministry of health (MoH), and the police will cancel the fines. If they already paid to MoH, they can claim back the payment from MoH,” he said, acknowledging public complaints on social media.

    “That is not right. Like I said, public vehicles. Very clear. Private vehicles are not public transport. If we are bringing our family in our cars, there is no need to wear face masks inside the car, because that is a private vehicle,” he stressed.

    Besides at home and in your own vehicles, mask wearing is not compulsory for when doing physical activities (exercise) and for children below two years of age. The same applies for those who are not able-bodied or those who are unable to remove the mask without help. Remember to dispose face masks appropriately and do not litter.


  • AD: Enjoy attractive discounts on your favourite Volvo merchandises this Merdeka month – RM1,957 bundles!

    As part of the upcoming Merdeka celebrations, Volvo Car Malaysia will be offering attractive discounts for some of its merchandises. These offers are valid throughout the month of August, and customers can enjoy the same discounted price across all authorised Volvo dealerships in Malaysia.

    They say children are God’s expression of hope, but in this day and age, most of them are glued to the various smart devices that are strewn around the house. With the Volvo S90 Electric Ride-On Car, there’s hardly a better way to persuade them to play outdoors, and these cost just RM1,957 (from RM2,302!). Like the real S90, there’s a choice of red, blue or grey colours to match your own.

    Enthusiasts of the Volvo brand can also look forward to purchasing gold or silver cufflinks, as well as a 40 mm Reimagined Watch in black or beige. The price for both is RM1,957, but these can be had separately at RM651 for the cufflinks and RM1,306 for the 40 mm wrist watch.

    Click to enlarge

    The ladies are not being left out as well. In fact, the same 40 mm Reimagined Watches can be had in a more elegant 36 mm case, and comes complete with the same design and matching colours.

    Either one pairs well with the Nividas Sunglasses, which is available in three styles – Hong Kong, Paris, or Vienna. Again, the bundled price is RM1,957 for a pair of watch and sunglasses, and if you haven’t guessed by now, the prices are a direct nod to the Malaysian year of independence.

    So, if you’ve been eyeing these accessories, there’s no better time to spring for them. You may click here for more details.

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  • 2020 Kawasaki Ninja ZX-25R in Philippines, RM35,692

    Following the launch of the 2020 Kawasaki ZX-25R in neighbouring Thailand, the next ASEAN country to the Kawasaki’s quarter-litre screamer is the Philippines. Priced at 410,000 php(RM35,692), this compares against the Indonesia price of the ZX-25R at 96 million rupiah (RM27,876) for the standard and 112 million rupiah (RM32,783) for the SE version.

    In Thailand, the ZX-25R was launched last July at a price of 269,000 baht (RM36,798) with only the SE version available in that market. This begs the question as to when, if ever, the ZX-25R might make it to the Malaysian market.

    There are two colour options for the ZX-25R available in the Philippines market – Candy Plasma Blue and Kawasaki Lime Green – as per a report from Top Gear Philippines. As per the SE specification of the ZX-25R, ABS braking, up-and-down quick shifter and pillion seat cover should be offered as standard, along with a smoked windshield, frame sliders and wheel graphic stickers.

    The ZX-25R comes with an inline four-cylinder, liquid-cooled DOHC mill displacing 249.8 cc and produces 51 PS at 15,500 rpm (with Ram Air) and 22.9 Nm of torque at 14,500 rpm. According to Kawasaki, the ZX-R with its six-speed gearbox and assist and slipper clutch will get to a top speed of 197 km/h on the race track.

    Other riding aids included with the ZX-25R include ride modes – Full or Low – as well as traction control. Upside-side down SFF-BP forks hold up the front end while the rear of the ZX-25R uses a preload-adjustable mono shock.

  • 2021 Toyota Land Cruiser Heritage Edition for the US – 5.7 litre V8 now with third-row seating, new colours

    Toyota has introduced the three-row seating configuration for the 2021 Land Cruiser, adding to the range of United States market variants of the Land Cruiser Heritage Edition. Initially introduced for the 2020 model year with two rows of seats to maximise luggage capacity, the latest iteration gains a third-row for additional passenger accommodation.

    For the United States, the 2021 Land Cruiser Heritage Edition is powered by the firm’s venerable 5.7 litre naturally aaspirated petrol V8 that produces 381 hp and 544 Nm of torque. Full-time 4WD features on the Land Cruiser, as befitting an off-roading workhorse, and this is paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission along with a Torsen limited-slip centre differential and two-speed transfer case.

    The classic body-on-frame construction for the chassis of the Land Cruiser, here featuring double wishbone suspension for the front axle and a four-link coil-spring arrangement for the rear axle. The Kinetic Dynamic Suspension System (KDSS) enables hydraulic adjustment of the stabiliser bars, to provide both a smoother ride on paved roads and greater wheel articulation when off-road.

    The United States version of the Land Cruiser Heritage Edition appears to get a richer safety equipment list, here including the Toyota Safety Sense P (TSS-P) that comprises Lane Departure Alert with Sway Warning System, Dynamic Radar Cruise Control and Automatic High Beams, while adding a blind spot monitor and rear cross traffic aleart systems as standard.

    Inside, the 2021 Land Cruiser Heritage Edition packs a nine-inch touchscreen with navigation, a 14-speaker JBL sound system, split-screen capability, voice recognition, Siri Eyes-Free mode, satellite radio, Bluetooth and wireless charging for compatible devices. Also included are ventilated front seats, heated steering wheel with power tilt and telescoping and memory, power moonroof, four-zone automatic climate control with 28 cabin air vents and Smart Key keyless entry with push-button start.

    Additional features to aid off-roading include downhill assist control, hill start assist, crawl control and off-road turn assist. Skid plates are in place for the protection for the front suspension, radiator, fuel tank and transfer case, while a Multi-Terrain Monitor offers near-360-degree visibility. With the trailer towing package as standard, the Land Cruiser has a towing capacity of up to 3,677 kg, says Toyota.

    Toyota Land Cruiser Heritage Edition for the United Arab Emirates

    The United Arab Emirates’ own version of the Heritage Edition is limited to just 20 units for that market, and started from AED169,900 (RM201,274) for the 4.0 litre V6-engined version, while the higher-specification 4.6 litre V8 with a six-speed automatic transmission is priced at AED 224,900 (RM266,434).

    The 4.0 litre V6 produces 271 hp at 5,600 rpm and 393 Nm of torque at 4,400 rpm and gets a five-speed manual gearbox, while the 4.6 litre V8 outputs 304 hp at 5,500 rpm and 448 Nm of torque at 3,400 rpm.

    In terms of safety kit, the 4.0 litre V6 features ABS with EBD, brake assist, dual front airbags, front and rear parking sensors and tyre pressure warning, while the 4.6 litre V8 adds hill-start assist, a tyre pressure monitoring system, crawl control, rear view camera and the Kinetic Dynamic Suspension System (KDSS).

    As for the United States version of the 2021 Land Cruiser, pricing starts from US$85,515 for the base version, stepping up to US$87,845 for the Heritage Edition. Pricing is yet to be confirmed for the three-row variant of the Heritage Edition at this time. Here, two new exterior colours join the palette, adding Classic Silver Metallic and Magnetic Gray Metallic to the existing colour choices of Midnight Black Metallic and Blizzard Pearl.

    GALLERY: Toyota Land Cruiser Heritage Edition for UAE

  • Bentley Bentayga gets a new range of accessories

    With the debut of the facelifted Bentley Bentayga, the British carmaker has now released a new range of accessories for its popular (and only) SUV model. These accessories are divided into four packages, namely Exterior, Interior, Touring and Protection, fulfilling the different needs of Bentley’s distinguished customers.

    The Exterior range is highlighted by an Akrapovic exhaust system for those who want to enhance the sound coming from the Bentayga’s 4.0 litre twin-turbo V8. Made from high-grade titanium, the setup consists of a set of link pipes, a muffler and two sets of oval tailpipes that are coated and engraved with the which are engraved with the Bentley and Akrapovic logos.

    Besides the exhaust, the package also includes high-gloss carbon-fibre side mirror cowls that complement the Blackline Specification, the latter replaces all exterior bright chrome with gloss black versions. Bentley also provides a fixed side step option with a diamond-quilted rubber tread, which can be ordered with either a Black Gloss, Carbon or Moonbeam painted finish.

    For the Interior package, it comes with leather-trimmed cushions and additional footrests at the rear seats that match the leather and carpet colour theme. A set of bespoke luggage available in Beluga calf leather is also being offered, along with a set of water-resistant golf bags.

    Those who are a bit more adventurous with their Bentayga can opt for the Touring package, which is aimed at increasing the stowage and utility capabilities of the SUV. Items here include a roof box and rails that provide an additional 320 litres of storage and 75 kg of load capacity.

    Adding to this is a multi-functional boot stowage box with a drawer that reveals two separate sections to store valuables (up to 100 litres), surrounded by durable and waterproof thermoplastic elastomer (TPE) and an integrated drain plug.

    An optional load assist tray with a load capacity of 300 kg can also be specified, which integrates into the boot runners and slides out easily for easy access. The carmaker also offers two versions of the bike carrier, dubbed as the Bentley Cycle Carrier, which allows you to bring up to three bicycles and can be easily folded away for easy stowage.

    Lastly, the Protection range of accessories includes a choice of two car covers – one for indoor storage and an outdoor version that offers additional waterproofing. Other items are heavy duty interior mats, mud flaps and a durable bumper protector at the rear.

  • 2020 MV Agusta Brutale 800 RR SCS, Dragster 800 RR and RC SCS released, from RM84,627 to RM97,077

    Perhaps taking a leaf from Proton’s old playbook about getting maximum mileage out of a specific platform, MV Agusta has released the 2020 MV Agusta Brutale 800 RR SCS, priced at 16,990 euro (RM84,627). It is accompanied by the 2020 MV Agusta Dragster 800 RR and Dragster 800 RR SCS, going for 18,490 euro (RM92,096) and 19,490 euro (RM97,077), respectively.

    If you’re wondering, the SCS designation in the Brutale and Dragster model names stands for Smart Clutch System. This requires the rider to only engage the clutch during starting off with the system engaging automatically when coming to a stop and adds only 36 grammes to a non SCS equipped gearbox.

    The same inline three-cylinder engine displacing 798 cc with 12-valves and DOHC from previous iterations of the Brutale and Dragster 800 is carried over, producing 140 hp at 12,300 rpm and 88.7 Nm of torque at 10,100 rpm. The Dragster 800 RC SCS also has an optional race kit, which bumps power to 150 hp at 12,800 rpm with the addition of an SC Project titanium exhaust and revised engine mapping.

    While being mechanically and visually unchanged from the previous year’s model, both the Brutale and Dragster sport new colour schemes for 2020. For the Brutale 800 RR SCS, the rider can choose between Shock Peal Red/Avio Grey or Avio Silver/Dark Metallic Grey.

    The Dragster 800 RR and Dragster 800 RC SCS have two options – Night Grey/Solar Beam/Metallic Carbon Black and Ice Pearl White/Neon Green/Metallic Carbon Black. Key difference between the Brutale and the Dragster are the wheels, the Brutale and Dragster RR using alloy wheels while the Dragster RC comes with spoked wheels, accented with gold-anodised spoke nipples.

    Across the board, braking for both MV Agusta’s three-cylinder naked sports are done by Brembo four-piston callipers on twin 320 mm diameter floating steel discs. At the back, a single 220 mm disc is clamped by a two-piston Brembo calliper, with Bosch 9 Plus ABS with rear wheel lift-up mitigation as standard.

    MV Agusta claims the dry weight of the Brutale is 175 kg while the Dragster 800 in both RR and RC flavours comes in at 168 kg dry. Suspension uses Marzocchi upside-down forks, fully-adjustable with adjustment for rebound/compression and spring preload in separate fork legs while the rear uses a fully-adjustable Sachs mono shock.

    Also standard equipment is a manually adjustable steering damper with eight levels of adjustment. Fuel is carried in a 16.5-litre tank and seat height is 830 mm.

    GALLERY: 2020 MV Agusta Brutale RR SCS

    GALLERY: 2020 MV Agusta Dragster 800 RR SCS

  • UMWT introduces Toyota Service Savers maintenance package – prepay five years in advance, with savings

    UMW Toyota Motor (UMWT) has introduced Toyota Service Savers (TSS), a maintenance package which can be purchased along with your new vehicle. It can also be included in the Toyota EZ Beli Plan.

    Basically, the TSS package is something like a prepayment of scheduled service costs, with some savings factored in. If you opt for it, just send your car in for regular servicing and collect it without having to fork out anything – you’ve already paid with TSS.

    The TSS package can be used at all 85 authorised Toyota service centres nationwide over a period of five years from the date of purchase. Prices range from RM3,220 for the Vios (savings of RM469) to RM6,030 for the Hilux (savings of RM922).

    The TSS package covers all servicing requirements for the car at recommended intervals, and includes all fluids and replacement parts. As an added benefit, TSS buyers are entitled to a 10% discount for selected parts and 20% discount on wheel alignment and balancing, as well air con servicing packages at Toyota service centres. You can find out more from the showroom.

  • Donut Media runs Up To Speed episode on Geely – would you know about Geely if it wasn’t for Proton?

    The Geely brand is only about 33 years old now, but in the seemingly short time since its founding days of making copycat cars, the brand has grown to be a global powerhouse. But, would any of us know of its existence had it not taken a 49.9% share in Proton?

    For most lay people, that may be the case. However, longtime followers of this site (or fans of the Ford or Volvo brand) would learn of the Geely brand a little over a decade ago when Ford, then owner of Volvo, decided to put the Swedish brand up for sale. This would be Geely’s first major acquisition, and the sale amounted to US$1.8 billion, which really wasn’t much, all things considered.

    The first Proton-Geely tie-up didn’t actually take place in 2017. Instead, former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak first spoke of a partnership in 2014, one that would see Proton expand its foothold in China. The two parties reached an agreement over the deal, which included vehicle design, sourcing, manufacturing, marketing, import and distribution for ASEAN and the China market, and was even witnessed by two-time former PM and Proton founder, Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

    However, Proton’s outlook continued to remain gloomy in Malaysia, troubled with slowing sales and growing debt. In mid 2016, it requested for a RM1.5 billion soft loan in order to pay vendors, which the government approved, but on the condition that it form a strategic partnership with a foreign brand to rehabilitate the business. This is where Geely really started gaining prominence in Malaysia.

    Tun M was saddened by the Proton-Geely agreement. Read more, here.

    Geely’s initial plan was supposedly to acquire loss-making Lotus Cars from DRB-Hicom, but in a quick turn of events, it became the leading choice for Proton as its strategic partner. There were five other notable parties that were interested in the deal, including the PSA Group, who wanted majority stake in Proton’s Tanjung Malim plant.

    From this point on, well, you pretty much know how things turned out. After the launch of the X70, Proton went on to introduce three updated models, and in 2019 managed to sell more than 100,000 vehicles – the first time it did since 2015.

    Its current focus is to continuously improve the model range, and hopefully meet the Q4 deadline for the launch of its most anticipated car yet, the Proton “X50.” You may check out our walk-around tour of the Geely Binyue, of which the “X50” is based on, here. Also, check out Donut Media’s coverage of the Geely brand, below. *Some pronunciations may hurt.

  • Cristiano Ronaldo purchases a limited-edition Bugatti Centodieci to celebrate Juventus’ Serie A title win

    Cristiano Ronaldo has rewarded himself with a brand-new Bugatti Centodieci to celebrate Juventus’ ninth successive Italian Serie A title, which he had a huge part in securing thanks to his 31 goals in the league, as reported by Corriere della Sera.

    The Centodieci (Italian for “110”) was first unveiled in August last year as a homage to the EB110 and to celebrate the carmaker’s 110th birthday. Based on the Chiron but with significant styling revisions to celebrate the model from the 90s, only 10 units will be built, with each priced at around 8.5 million euros (RM42 million).

    Like the Chiron, the Centodieci is powered by an 8.0 litre quad-turbo W16 engine that makes 1,600 PS (1,578 hp). This enables it to get from zero to 100 km/h in 2.4 seconds, zero to 200 km/h in 6.1 seconds and zero to 300 km/h in 13.1 seconds, with a top speed of 380 km/h.

    Of course, the sum shouldn’t be a big deal for Ronaldo, given Juventus paid 100 million euros (RM498 million) to sign him to a four-year contract. However, the football GOAT won’t receive his new ride so soon, as deliveries will only begin next year.

    Ronaldo is a regular customer for Bugatti, as his other purchases include a Chiron, Veyron and La Voiture Noire – the last of which is even more expensive at 11 million euros (RM55 million) and more exclusive, as it is a one-off model.

    Besides Bugatti cars, he also owns a Ferrari F430, a Rolls-Royce Phantom, a Lamborghini Aventador, a Maserati GranCabrio, a Bentley Continental GTC and a McLaren Senna. For his 35th birthday in February, his significant other, Georgina Rodriguez, surprised him with a Brabus G V12 900 that is limited to just 10 units.

    GALLERY: Bugatti Centodieci


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Last Updated 01 Aug 2020