Latest Stories

  • GALLERY: G30 BMW 530e iPerformance – full details

    BMW 530e iPerformance

    BMW has released full details and more photos of the plug-in hybrid version of the G30 5 Series, the BMW 530e iPerformance. The eco-friendly executive sedan joins the 225xe Active Tourer, 330e, 740e and X5 xDrive40e in Munich’s iPerformance lineup.

    At the heart of the car sits a 184 hp/320 Nm 2.0 litre turbocharged four-cylinder petrol engine, paired with a 113 hp/250 Nm electric motor to produce total system output of 252 hp and 420 Nm of torque – identical in power and an increase of 70 Nm compared to the petrol-powered 530i.

    The electric motor is integrated to the ZF eight-speed automatic transmission, which allows the ratios to be used in all-electric mode and negates the need for a torque converter – helping to offset the additional weight of the electric powertrain.

    BMW 530e iPerformance

    As such, the 530e is capable of sprinting from zero to 100 km/h in just 6.2 seconds (identical to the 530i) before hitting a top speed of 235 km/h. The company has also finally revealed the combined fuel consumption figure on the European NEDC cycle, which is as low as 1.9 litres per 100 km depending on the tyres used. Carbon dioxide emissions are quoted at 44 grams per kilometre.

    Under the rear seats sits a 9.2 kWh lithium-ion battery with highly integrated low-temperature circuit and refrigerant cooling. As such, the 530e is capable of running in electric mode at speeds of up to 140 km/h, and has an all-electric range of 47 km. Real-world range in hybrid mode is pegged at 644 km.

    BMW says that charging the battery takes under five hours from a domestic socket, or under three hours with the 3.7 kW BMW i Wallbox. From next year, the car will also be offered with BMW Wireless Charging, which consists of a base pad with an integrates primary coil, as well as a secondary coil under the car. With a charging rate of up to 3.2 kW, the system can charge the battery in around three and a half hours.

    BMW 530e iPerformance

    As with its other iPerformance siblings, the 530e has three drive modes for the powertrain. The car starts in the default Auto eDrive mode, which optimises the usage of the petrol engine and electric motor and allows for an all-electric top speed of 90 km/h. Meanwhile, Max eDrive uses the electric motor solely, only engaging the petrol mill in when the throttle’s kickdown switch is activated – handy when overtaking, for example.

    Lastly, Battery Control reserves battery charge for later use, for example in city driving. Unlike the 330e, which will only charge the battery up to 50% in its Save Battery mode, the 530e will also be able to charge the battery up to full, using the electric motor as a generator – the target charge level can be set anywhere between 30% and 100%.

    BMW 530e iPerformance

    The 530e also benefits from BMW Digital Charging Service, which optimises battery charging by taking into account electricity tariffs, ensuring lowest possible electricity costs while also keeping cabin temperature pre-conditioned. The system can also use the Wallbox Connect to charge the battery using solar power, using the system’s output data and the latest weather forecast to predict the amount of solar power available.

    The 530e will likely be offered on sale in Malaysia, locally-assembled to reap the tax breaks offered under the Energy Efficient Vehicle (EEV) scheme, following in the footsteps of the 330e, X5 xDrive40e and the recently-introduced 740Le. Just as well, as Mercedes-Benz is also slated to introduce the E 350 e in the third quarter of this year, so it’s set to be quite a battle indeed in the executive market.

  • BARU: Artikel dalam Bahasa Malaysia

  • Bridgestone airless bicycle tyres to debut in 2019?

    Airless tyres have been mooted and brought to life as concepts before, but few have made it into actual production. Bridgestone says it’s aiming to bring a new non-pneumatic tyre for bicycles into the market sometime in 2019.

    The tyre borrows its design from that seen in the tyre maker’s Air Free Concept from 2013. It uses a unique structure of spokes – made from resin – to handle internal movement in a way similar to pneumatically inflated tyres.

    The resin used in the construction of the airless tyre “helps realise more efficient use of resources,” the tyre maker said. This could possibly be translated as a potential elimination of debilitating tyre punctures, while also providing the basis for new bicycle wheel designs.

    In the case of the 2013 Air Free Concept, Bridgestone said that the airless tyre concept is able to achieve even higher levels of environmental friendliness with extremely low rolling resistance, which contributes to reductions in CO2 emissions, which the current Air Free Concept builds upon.

    Other tyre manufacturers have come up with their own airless tyre concepts, too. Hankook had the iFlex which was said to be eco-friendly and easily recycled, while Michelin unveiled its Tweel concept a decade before that, which was said to be able to accommodate different levels of stiffness vertically and laterally.

  • Skoda Karoq – Yeti replacement to debut on May 18

    Skoda’s new Yeti replacement has been named – the Karoq, as it’s called, derives its moniker and spelling from from the language of the Alutiiq, an indigenous tribe who live on an island off the southern coast of Alaska. The automaker says that the naming convention also follows on that given to the Kodiaq, thereby creating a consistent nomenclature for its current and future SUV models.

    The compact SUV, which sits on Volkswagen’s MQB platorm, measures in at 4,382 mm long, 1,841 mm wide and 1,605 mm high, with a 2,638 mm-long wheelbase. Available in two- or four-wheel drive forms, the Karoq is said to promise exceptional interior and boot space, and the company has thrown in volumetric numbers to support that claim.

    With the rear seats in place, boot capacity is 521 litres, and with these folded down, the scope goes up to 1,630 litres. If the optional VarioFlex rear seat is specified, boot space is variable abd offers 479 to 588 litres of cargo carrying space. Removal of the seats transforms the Karoq into a compact van, with 1,810 litres of usable space.

    At point of launch, there will be five engine variants – two petrol and three diesel engines – on offer. These will range from 1.0 litre to 2.0 litre in displacement, with outputs starting from 115 hp right up to 190 hp. Transmission choices are either a six-speed manual gearbox or seven-speed DSG.

    Features include full LED headlights, a remote hands-free boot opening function, LED ambient interior lighting and a digital instrument panel, the latter being seen for the first time on a Skoda. A range of driver-assistance systems will also be available, and items include parking assistant, blind spot detection, front assist with predictive pedestrian protection, lane assist and traffic-jam assistant.

    The Karoq is set to make its official debut in Stockholm on May 18, and will enter the market in Europe sometime in the second half of the year.

    GALLERY: Skoda Karoq spyshots

  • VIDEO: BMW Driving Experience – driving on track

    Driving a car on a track is certainly an exciting experience but there are some lessons that should be heeded before you attempt to set a quick lap time. Thankfully, Colin Turkington, a BMW racing driver in the British Touring Car Championship, is on hand to explain some basic principles when it comes to track driving.

    As part of a five-video series, the first focuses on the topics of understeer and oversteer. The former is when the car steers less than what is required by the driver, and could send a vehicle off the road. Meanwhile, oversteer is when the vehicle turns sharper than intended, which if not controlled, could cause the car to spin.

    So, how do you deal with each scenario? As Turkington explains, in the both events, do not slam on the brakes! Instead, unwind the steering the steering lock and turn the car in the direction of travel again if the car is understeering.

    On the other hand, if the car is oversteering, turn into the slide and point the front wheels in the direction you want to go. In the second video, viewers are given a brief introduction on how to maintain a controlled slide, something that should never be done on public roads.

    Moving on, Turkington presents the topics of racing lines, smooth driving as well as how to execute the perfect launch off the line. The individual videos provide some handy tips, which may be of use to you next time you find yourself driving on a track. Safe driving.

  • Illegal for motorcycles to use the fast lane in Malaysia?

    In March last year, deputy transport minister Datuk Aziz Kaprawi said the transport ministry would request that the relevant road transport authorities deny motorcyclists use of the fast lane on gazetted highways and expressways. Intended as a measure to reduce fatalities amongst motorcyclists, there was no further information as to whether the deputy minister’s request was forwarded or acted upon.

    We recently received an email from reader N.C., who asked the Road Transport Department (JPJ) the same question, and received an affirmative answer. The matter transpired when N.C. was involved in an accident along the Lebuhraya Damansara-Puchong (LDP).

    In the incident, N.C. was driving in the outermost, or fast lane, on the LDP, with a concrete barrier on his right. A motorcyclist attempted to overtake N.C.’s car on the right by squeezing into the gap, but obviously misjudged the distance. This resulted in damage to the vehicle, and the wing mirror being broken off.

    According to N.C.’s account, the police did not take any action against the motorcyclist, and classified the case as “refer to magistrate”. This meant that N.C. had no recourse to an insurance claim against the rider, pending new information.


    Unsatisfied with the police response to the matter, N.C. sent a query to JPJ, asking if motorcycles were allowed in the fast lane of highways. A reply was received from a JPJ Putrajaya officer, stating that motorcycles were not allowed on the fast lane of highways.

    N.C. believes that such a situation, where no fault is found against the motorcycle rider, should not be allowed to happen. He then received a recommendation from the JPJ officer to file another police report in order to pursue further action.

    We reached out to both the JPJ and police to determine the ruling on whether motorcycles are forbidden from using the fast lane on highways, but were unable to obtain an official statement. However, perusal of the government gazette up to 2011 did not reveal any ruling specifically forbidding bikes from the fast lane, as would have had to happen if Kaprawi’s request had actually been tabled.

    Further research into the Road Transport Act 1987 showed there is no specific rule or regulation forbidding the use of the fast lane by motorcycles. Credible sources mentioned that motorcycles are forbidden to use the highway only when there is a gazetted (dedicated) motorcycle lane alongside the highway, such as the Federal Highway, the Guthrie Corridor Expressway and Kajang-Seremban Highway (LEKAS).

    In all other cases, motorcycles are entitled to the use of any lane on the highway. Our source did say that slow motorcycles are suggested to keep to the left-most lane, or use the emergency lane, as circumstances permit. In short, technically, it isn’t illegal for motorcycles to be on the fast lane on Malaysian highways.

    Obviously, overtaking in the fast lane when there is a only concrete divider next to you is not a smart move, because you have nowhere to run if the car on your left decides to move suddenly. Over to you, dear readers. What do you think – should motorcycles be banned from the fast lane? Leave a comment with your thoughts and opinions below.

  • VIDEO: Audi lunar quattro to star in Alien: Covenant

    In September 2015, Audi revealed its lunar quattro rover, which is part of a new venture with a team of German engineers called the Part-Time Scientists. The goal is to send the lunar rover on an actual mission to space, which the brand says will happen soon. Before that, the lunar quattro will celebrate its film debut in Ridley Scott’s sci-fi blockbuster Alien: Covenant.

    According to Audi, the lunar quattro is an “integral part of the Covenant mission and is deployed to help Faris (Amy Seimetz) navigate and assess the challenging, unknown terrain of a new planet.” The brand has also presented a suspenseful short film featuring the vehicle, which showcases the lunar quattro’s other duty in the film – patrolling the ship for unseen dangers.

    Audi experts have supported Part-Time Scientists, a Berlin-based start-up, with its quattro all-wheel drive expertise, lightweight construction, developing vehicles with electric and plug-in hybrid motors (e-tron), as well as design optimisation. The space mission in question is to get the lunar quattro to the Moon, which should make Audi the first to carmaker to bring its proprietary all-wheel drive system “out of this world.”

    Speaking of the latest entry in the Alien franchise, the Driven Movie Night is back again and thanks to the folks at Twentieth Century Fox Film (Malaysia), we have a contest that will see winners catch a new, gripping sci-fi thriller before everyone else in the country. All you need to know, here.

  • VIDEO: Hennessey Exorcist hits the dyno – 959 rwhp

    Remember The Exorcist, Hennessey Performance’s answer to the Dodge Challenger SRT Demon? Here it is again, this time strapped to a chassis dynamometer (or dyno) so the company can find out if the car has “enough to cast out The Demon?”

    What follows is a series of dyno runs, whereby the LT4 6.2 litre supercharged V8 and its holy engine note can be heard very, very clearly. The mill churns out 1,014 hp (or 1,000 bhp) and 1,310 Nm but the rolling road measures the power output at the wheels, which is normally less because power is lost in the driveline.

    By the end of the noisy and car-shaking (literally) test, The Exorcist was rated at 959 rwhp (rear wheel horsepower), which is certainly no small figure. By comparison, the Demon’s 6.2 litre supercharged HEMI V8 makes 840 hp and 1,044 Nm, and no whp figures were given. So it looks like, on paper, good triumphs over evil once again.

    Of course, the only way to see which is best is with a good ol’ fashion drag race. Dodge claims its car will complete the standing quarter mile (400 m) in 9.65 seconds, while Hennessey is a little more coy by claiming a time of “less than 10 seconds.” Who wins?

    GALLERY: Hennessey Exorcist

  • World’s largest Lamborghini showroom now in Dubai

    Dubai certainly has no shortage of man-made wonders, what with The World Islands and the Palm Jumeirah. Not only that, the world’s tallest building since 2008 can be found there in the form of the Burj Khalifa. Now, the city gets to add another record to its books with the launch of the largest Lamborghini showroom in the world.

    The new showroom and service centre, operated by Dubai Automobili Lamborghini, was built to prepare its international dealer network for the future. This includes the imminent addition of the new Urus SUV in 2018 to the brand’s model line-up, which will see a significant increase in sales volume.

    The facility covers 1,800 square meters over three floors, and for there’s even a dedicated area where visitors can purchase official Lamborghini merchandise. Therefore, even if you’re not going there to order a Huracan or an Aventador, there’s still something for everyone.

    “The Middle East is a strong market for Lamborghini”, says Automobili Lamborghini chairman and CEO, Stefano Domenicali. So, if you’re planning a trip to Dubai, and want to check out the largest Lamborghini showroom in the world, head on over to Sheik Zayed Road, exit 41, Dubai, UAE.

  • Hap Seng Star opens its 8th Mercedes-Benz Autohaus

    Mercedes-Benz Malaysia (MBM) has announced that its authorised dealer Hap Seng Star (HSS) has launched its eighth Autohaus in the country. Hap Seng Star Bukit Tinggi Autohaus is a full-fledged 3S centre located in Jalan Batu Nilam, Bandar Bukit Tinggi, Klang, catering to customers in Klang and Banting.

    Built with an investment of RM3.6 million, the new HSS Autohaus incorporates key aspects of the Mercedes-Benz Presentation System II (MPS II). It is staffed by 29 personnel and has a showroom floor capable of displaying six vehicles, while its service centre – located at Jalan Permata 2A/KS9, Taman Perindustrian Air Hitam – has eight work bays and is able to service 450 vehicles a month.

    The new facility is part of HSS’s ongoing RM184 million investment to expand its customer touchpoints nationwide. Aside from HSS Bukit Tinggi, the company has four other Mercedes-Benz Autohaus locations in the Klang Valley – HSS Kinrara, HSS Balakong, HSS Kuala Lumpur (Jalan Sultan Ismail) and HSS Jalan Ipoh.

    Hap Seng Star also has a presence in East Malaysia, with Autohaus facilities located in Kuching, Miri and Kota Kinabalu.

  • Tesla Model S receives Prior-Design S1000 aero kit

    Prior-Design has revealed a new styling kit for the Tesla Model S, which improves the aesthetics of the all-electric vehicle to better highlight its ludicrous performance levels. Called the PD-S1000 Aero-Kit, the German tuners decided to use a Model S P100D to showcase its latest work.

    The kit introduces a new bumper and spoiler lip at the front, while the rear gets a more prominent diffuser as well as a spoiler to reduce lift. Side skirts are also part of the package, and a set of 21-inch PD5 alloy wheels further adds to the visual drama.

    Mixed-size tyres are paired with the wheels, with 245/30 front and 295/25 rear rubbers fitted. The lowered ride height comes courtesy of an H&R electronic lowering module. According to the company, all the parts applied are made from a high-quality Fiberglass-Duraflex mix that provides a nice surface finish.

    There are interior enhancements available as well, although they are not shown in the photos. Available items include Nappa leather, Alcantra upholstery, and carbon-fibre trim inserts to match the more aggressive look of the exterior.


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