Latest Stories

  • CC Racing Garage wins Ducati Custom Rumble

    Meant for custom bike builders to show off their prowess with the retro styled Ducati Scrambler 1100, the Custom Rumble contest is now in its third edition. This year’s winner, the Scrambler 1100 FT by Marco Graziani of CC Racing Garage, was decided by online voting with the prize giving broadcast on live streaming.

    Five finalists made it to the final round of Custom Rumble; Ducati Hellas featuring Jigsaw Customs – Rocker category; Nick Tansley of Barcelona – Outside category; Francesco Russo with Moto Design Custom – Cut-down category; and Nguyen Ximong who hails from Vietnam – All-Terrain category. The finalists were winners in their respective categories, decided by Scrambler Ducati fans via online voting.

    Winning the Bully category where there are no restrictions on type of motorcycle or style, Graziani started with a Scrambler 1100 Special that comes with a 1,079 cc, air-cooled V-twin producing 83.5 hp at 7,250 rpm and 90.5 Nm of torque at 4,750 rpm. Installing a custom monoposto (single seat) unit, Graziani welded a custom exhaust for the 1100 FT.

    Graziani also added custom paint and graphics but elected to keep the headlight, rear end and tank close to original, considering them to be key elements in the Scrambler Ducati design. For his efforts, Graziani receives a Beta Tool workbench complete with tools.

    Garnering the highest number of votes in preliminary voting, the 1100 FT won 537 votes from Scrambler Ducati fans. Final judging saw the 1100 FT get 46 votes from the five judges – actor Nicholas Hoult, Ducati Corse riders Chaz Davies and Andrea Dovizioso, founder of BikeShed Dutch Van Someren and customizer Filippo Barbacane of Officine Rossopuro.

    The Scrambler Ducati Special 1100 is a 2018 model and was priced at RM85,900 at the time of its Malaysia launch.

  • G32 BMW 6 Series Gran Turismo LCI debuts – updated styling, mild hybrid engines, revised list of equipment

    After nearly three years, BMW has given the G32 6 Series Gran Turismo a facelift, or LCI (Life Cycle Impulse) if you follow the company’s lingo. The larger, more spacious sibling to the G30 5 Series, which coincidentally has also been given a refresh, sees revisions to its styling, list of equipment and available powertrains.

    In terms of the exterior design, the 6 GT’s kidney grille at the front has been recontoured and slightly widened, complete with a single-piece surround. The grille matches neatly with sleeker headlamps, which adopt the same L-shaped LED daytime running light signature as the new 5er.

    Those headlamps are offered as full-LED units as standard and include an adaptive cornering function and BMW Selective Beam non-dazzling High-beam Assistant with matrix technology. For an additional cost, these can be upgraded Adaptive LED headlamps or BMW Laserlight, the latter identified by blue inlays within each cluster.

    Other changes include a redesigned and more aggressive front apron, where you’ll find the intake below the grille has now been divided into three segments. This is flanked by two vertically arranged inlets in the bumper corners that work with the car’s Air Curtains, accentuated by arrow-shaped structures.

    As for the rear, the updates are a little less pronounced by comparison, with the horizontal contour line below the boot lid made to be more strongly defined and now extends into the flanks of the body.

    Additionally, the exhaust tailpipe finishers integrated into the bumper are made to appear even more trapezoidal in shape than before. Cars fitted with the M Sport package will come with a low-set front bumper lip and a prominent rear diffuser element for better aerodynamics.

    A selection of new exterior finishes like Phytonic Blue, Piedmont Red, Bernina Grey
    Amber, Portimao Blue (for M Sport cars), along with some from the BMW Individual catalogue – Dravite Grey, Tanzanite Blue and Alvit Grey have also been added.

    Those with the M Sport package and prefer a stealthy black look can opt for the High-gloss Shadowline package, and the package comes with two options for the brake calipers, including a blue or red finish with the M logo.

    Inside, the biggest change is the adoption of the Live Cockpit Professional system, which is now standard with two 12.3-inch displays. As we’ve seen in many recent BMW models, one screen acts as the digital instrument cluster display, while the other handles infotainment. This is linked to BMW Operationg System 7.0 (or iDrive 7) and you get the usual gamut of functions like the Intelligent Personal Assistant, smartphone integration and other connected features.

    As you’d expect, there’s a wide range of options made available, incuding Sensatec leather dashboard trim, an electrically powered rear seat bench, massage function for the front seats, BMW Individual trims and upholsteries, four-zone climate control (replaces the standard two-zone system), a panoramic glass sunroof, soft-closing doors, lighting packages, a Bowers & Wilkins sound system and rear-seat entertainment (dual 10.25-inch displays).

    At launch, the 6 GT will come with two petrol and three diesel engine options, all of which feature a 48-volt mild hybrid system with a starter-generator. This provides an additional 11 PS (11 hp or eight kW) boost when needed, and the system works with an 11-Ah battery in the engine compartment to also provide smoother auto start stop and coasting functions.

    In the petrol camp, the range starts with the 630i, which packs a 2.0 litre turbocharged four-cylinder delivering 258 PS (254 hp) and 400 Nm of torque. This is followed by the 640i and 640i xDrive, both using a 3.0 litre turbo straight-six with 333 PS (328 hp) and 450 Nm.

    On the diesel front, the 620d kicks things off with a 2.0 litre turbo-four rated at 190 PS (187 hp) and 400 Nm. A notch above are the 630d and 630d xDrive that pack a 3.0 litre turbodiesel straight-six with 286 PS (282 hp) and 650 Nm, while the most powerful of the bunch is the 640d xDrive with the same engine but tuned to 340 PS (335 hp) and 700 Nm.

    All engines are paired with an eight-speed Steptronic automatic transmission by default, but customers can opt for a Steptronic Sport gearbox for even sportier shift characteristics and faster gear changes, with a launch control function to boot. BMW’s xDrive all-wheel drive system is present too, according to the variant names mentioned above.

    For the chassis, self-levelling air suspension at the rear axle comes as standard, which can be upgraded to an adaptive two-axle setup with active roll stabilisation (under Executive Drive) for better comfort. All-wheel steering (Integral Active Steering) can also be added on, along with a choice of new 19-, 20- and 21-inch light-alloy wheels.

    Lastly, safety and driver assist systems like cruise control with brake function and the Attentiveness Assistant are standard, with plenty of options to bolster the suite. These include Active Cruise Control with Stop & Go function that piles on adaptive cruise control, Speed Limit Info and front collision warning with brake intervention.

    Tick the Driving Assistant box and you’ll get Lane Departure Warning, Lane Change Warning, Speed Limit Assist, the aforementioned AEB, rear cross traffic alert and rear collision warning.

    Going higher, there’s the Driving Assistant Professional Pacakge that further adds Steering and Lane Control Assistant, Lane Keeping Assistant with active side collision protection, Emergency Stop Assistant, Automatic Speed Limit Assist, front cross traffic alert, Evasion Assistant, junction warning as well as wrong-way driving warning.

    Customers also have access to Parking Assistant and Parking Assistant Plus to make parking and manoeuvring easier by way of an around-view 3D monitor, Remote Control Parking via BMW Display Key and a digital video recorder.


  • CMCO: Four-in-a-car rule dropped – vehicles now allowed to have passengers according to capacity

    From today, drivers will be allowed to have the permissible number of passengers according to the capacity of their respective vehicles. This was revealed by senior minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob at his daily conditional movement control order (CMCO) press briefing yesterday, as The Star reports.

    “If the vehicle has a capacity of four passengers, then it is one driver plus three passengers. For multi-purpose vehicles (MPVs), there can be one driver and six passengers, given there’s a capacity for seven passengers,” he said.

    While drivers will be allowed to carry the maximum number of passengers as regulated under the Road Transport Act 1987, he reiterated that the conditions of travel remain in place, which means that all passengers in a vehicle must be from the same family and same household.

    He said the revision is based on the latest No. 6 amendments made under the Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases Act, which was gazetted on May 22.

    Earlier this month, the government had allowed four people to travel in one vehicle when going out to shop for necessities or to seek medical services during the CMCO. Prior to that, the limit was two people, as announced at end-April, and before that, only one person was allowed in a vehicle during the start of the MCO.

  • 2021 BMW 5 Series facelift revealed – G30 LCI gets new looks, powertrains, 545e xDrive plug-in hybrid

    The G30 BMW 5 Series is one of our favourite cars, deftly blending subtly good looks with a supremely comfortable ride and competent handling. But Munich hasn’t been resting on its laurels, and with its chief rival, the W213 Mercedes-Benz E-Class, having already been given a comprehensive revamp earlier this year, the company has seen fit to treat one of its core models with a thorough refresh of its own.

    With this Life Cycle Impulse (LCI) facelift, BMW has decided not to mess with a winning formula, unlike what it did with the, ahem, “radical” 7 Series LCI. So the 5 Series retains a “normal” grille, albeit with a more angular octagonal profile and flanked by reshaped headlights. These lamps have a small notch on the bottom edge that is reminiscent of the G20 3 Series, but nothing like as prominent or Peugeot-like.

    Adaptive LED headlights, previously a cost option, are now fitted as standard; buyers can now also specify matrix LED and Laserlight items, both with L-shaped daytime running lights. The front bumper has also been re-profiled, with the standard version featuring slimmer corner air vents bookending the centre inlet, and the M Sport getting larger intakes and a U-shaped contour leading into the headlights, just like the 3 Series.

    Moving to the rear of the car, the L-shaped LED tail lights gain three-dimensional lenses and C-shaped graphics, which now integrate the main lighting and brake light functions. All models now get twin trapezoidal tailpipes, with standard variants housing them in grey surrounds and the M Sport getting a mildly reshaped bumper with more prominent contours.

    Elsewhere, there are new wheel designs measuring between 18 and 20 inches in diameter, plus a red paint option for the M Sport brakes alongside the usual blue. From launch, BMW will also offer an M Sport Edition in Donington Grey (hitherto exclusive to proper M models) with 20-inch two-tone alloys, limited to 1,000 units.

    There are far fewer changes on the inside, with the G30 retaining its basic dashboard design rather than the more angular styling of its newer siblings. Still, there are a few tweaks that include repositioned multifunction controls on the steering wheel, extended automatic climate control, gloss black centre console buttons, redesigned seats and new trim and upholstery options, including perforated Sensatec faux leather.

    As was the case in the months leading up to the facelift, the 5 Series gets the latest iDrive Operating System 7.0, sporting a new interface with larger tiles, over-the-air updates and the Intelligent Personal Assistant voice control, plus standard Apple CarPlay and the new Android Auto functionality.

    The G30 LCI also marks the debut of BMW Maps, a new cloud-based navigation system that promises quicker and more precise calculation of routes and arrival times, more frequent real-time traffic updates and an improved search function. The digital instrument display now measures 10.25 inches as standard, while the 12.3-inch Live Cockpit item is available with an option, with a reverse-direction rev counter.

    The engine range has been revamped with optimised direct injection for petrol engines and twin turbocharging for all diesels. The 2.0 litre four-cylinder makes 184 PS and 290 Nm in the 520i, 252 PS and 350 Nm in the 530i and 190 PS and 400 Nm in the 530d, whereas the 3.0 litre straight-six produces 333 PS and 450 Nm in the 540i, 286 PS and 650 Nm in the 530d and 340 PS and 700 Nm in the 540d.

    Depending on the market, all these models are offered with a 48-volt mild hybrid system, which adds eight kilowatts (11 PS) of accelerative boost. For now, the range is topped by the M550i, which gets a 4.4 litre twin-turbo V8 pushing out 530 PS and 750 Nm. An eight-speed ZF automatic gearbox comes as standard.

    At launch, the sole plug-in hybrid variant will be the 530e, now mating a 184 PS/300 Nm 2.0 litre petrol mill with a more powerful 109 PS/265 Nm electric motor. As before, total system output is rated at 252 PS and 420 Nm, but there’s now an XtraBoost feature that temporarily adds 40 PS, resulting in a heady 292 PS.

    November will finally see the addition of the Touring body style to the 530e, but the biggest news is the 545e xDrive that swaps out the four-pot for a 286 PS 3.0 litre straight-six, giving a total system output of 394 PS and 600 Nm. Integral Active Steering on the rear axle, featuring greater assistance during low-speed manoeuvres, is now also offered on the plug-in hybrid models.

    Safety has also been improved, with lane keeping assist (previously warning only) now added to the Driving Assistant package. The upgraded Driving Assistant Professional gains crossing traffic detection for the autonomous emergency braking system, a navigation-based Lane Change Assistant and the capability of automatically diverting the car to give way for emergency services.

    As for parking, the optional Parking Assistant now features the 3 Series’ Reversing Assistant function that enables the car to backtrack where it came. On top of this, the Parking Assistant Professional incorporates the new Drive Recorder function that can record up to 40 seconds of footage using various cameras.

  • Malaysian vehicle sales data for April 2020 by brand

    As reported earlier, the month of April saw what was the worst performing month ever in terms of new vehicle sales, with the country right in the thick of the fight against Covid-19 with the movement control order (MCO).

    According to data from the Malaysian Automotive Association (MAA), just 141 cars were shifted in April. This represents a drop of 22,337 units or a 99.37% decrease from the 22,478 units in March, which was already 44% lower than the February total.

    How then was it possible that 131 passenger vehicles and 10 commercial vehicle registrations were carried out during a period where all car showrooms nationwide were shuttered and road transport department (JPJ) offices remained closed? According to industry sources, with new vehicles not needing Puspakom inspection, all that was needed was registration, and it remained possible to do so online during the MCO period.

    The sources said that in many of these instances, the registrations that were carried out were for vehicle purchases in which car loans had already been approved pre-MCO and a Letter of Undertaking (LoU) had already been issued, and the completion of the registration was so there would be no lapse in the agreement, which would entail needing to go through the whole process again.

    However, the registered vehicles would not have physical documentation or road tax, and with no PDI and facilities closed, owners would have had no avenue to collect the vehicles, making them mere statistics in the system.

    Specifics-wise, only 10 brands had anything to shout about in a month completely full of red arrows, and market leader Perodua again led the way with 57 units, which was a massive drop from the 8,601 units it did the month before. Honda, which is third in the overall standings this year, was the second best performer last month, achieving 27 units.

    It was followed by Proton, which managed 22 units, and Toyota, which recorded 13 units for the month. The fifth-best performer for the month was Nissan, which racked up eight units, while Mitsubishi chipped into the grand total with six units.

    The best performing European brand was Volkswagen, its five units clearly outstripping Peugeot and Volvo, which each recorded one unit. Rounding off the list is Hyundai, which also achieved one unit, which was still better than everyone else on the list. If there’s any consolation to this tale of woe, it’s that May must surely be a better month.

    Click to enlarge.

  • April 2020 Malaysian vehicle sales drop nearly 100%

    The Malaysian Automotive Association (MAA) has released vehicle sales data for the month of April 2020. With the movement control order (MCO) in force, all new vehicular activity was at a complete stop last month. Well, almost, because as it turns out, there were still a handful of registrations despite the Covid-19 outbreak.

    When we mean a handful, we mean a handful. The month saw only 141 units being recorded, a drop of 22,337 units or a 99.37% decrease from the 22,478 units in March, which was already 44% lower than the February total. As a result of that, the year-to-date total industry volume (TIV) stood at 106,601 units, significantly behind to the 192,971 units recorded for the corresponding period last year.

    Of the total, 131 were passenger vehicle registrations, while 10 were commercial registrations. As to why there were even registrations in April, given that the road transport department (JPJ) was closed for the duration, we were told by industry sources that it remained possible to register a car online during the lock-down, but the cars would not have road tax and full documentation, or be able to be collected.

    The sources said that in these instances, the registrations were for vehicle purchases in which car loans had already been approved pre-MCO and a Letter of Undertaking (LoU) had already been issued, and the completion of the registration was so there would be no lapse in the agreement, which would entail needing to go through the whole process again.

    The association expects the sales volume in May to be much higher than in April, but much lower than the traditional number of monthly registrations prior to the MCO. It said that automotive showroom traffic is anticipated to remain slow, and with banks being more stringent in approving hire purchase loans as well as reducing the hire purchase loan quantum, it’s not going to be smooth sailing.

  • May 2020 week four fuel price – RON 95 goes up to RM1.38, RON 97 to RM1.68, diesel increases to RM1.51

    It’s Friday, and as such, time for the regular weekly fuel price update. Not so pleasant news for motorists as fuel prices – which climbed last week following a month where it remained unchanged – have gone up again across the board for the coming May 23-29 week.

    The ministry of finance has announced that Euro 4M RON 95 petrol will be priced at RM1.38 per litre, up by seven sen from the RM1.31 last week. Likewise, there’s a seven sen increase for RON 97, which will now go for RM1.68 per litre in the coming week (RM1.61 last week).

    As for Euro 2M diesel, that sees a six sen increase to RM1.51 per litre (RM1.45 last week), so this means that Euro 5 diesel, which costs 10 sen more than Euro 2M diesel, will now be priced at RM1.61 per litre for the coming week.

    These prices will remain in effect until May 29, when the next fuel price update is announced. This is the 20th edition of the weekly fuel pricing format for 2020 and the 72nd edition in total for the format, which runs from Saturday until the following Friday.

  • Jaguar Land Rover predicts RM2.7 billion in parts import tariffs p.a. in event of no-deal Brexit – report

    British automaker Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) would have to fork out an additional £500 million (RM2.7 billion) in parts import tariffs alone, should the United Kingdom leave the European Union with no deal, chief financial officer Adrian Mardell was reported as saying by Autocar.

    The remarks made by Mardell were discovered from records of a meeting between the CFO and investment banks back in January, where Mardell said he ‘fully expects’ the transition period to last until January 1, 2021, after which there will be a ‘different relationship’.

    “We’ve gone through two versions of potential crash-outs already, in the end of March 2019 and at the end of October, and what we did was to protect ourselves by closing the plant for a week. We will decide at the back end of this calendar year whether that’s an appropriate measure. If we do crash out (of the EU), if we go to WTO (World Trade Organisation) rules, it will be about a £500m duty hit, or £40m (RM213 million) a month,” said Mardell.

    That said, should the United Kingdom find itself in this position, it would not remain so for long, said Mardell. “I don’t personally believe that we’d really be at those WTO levels for a significant period of time. I think it would be a negotiating position which is negotiated away by one side or the other,” he said.

    Jaguar Land Rover has furloughed around half, or 20,000 of its non-critical workers during the Covid-19 crisis, although the firm is paying their salaries in full this month, the magazine reported. Meanwhile, board-ranking executives have deferred their salary payments for three months, while CEO Ralf Speth has taken a 30% pay cut.

    Latest figures show that JLR sold 508,659 vehicles for the 2019-2020 financial year, representing a 12.1% drop from the same period a year prior. The last financial quarter between Janurary and March saw a 30.9% drop year-on-year to 108,869 units, Autocar reported.

    Jaguar suffered more than Land Rover in this time, the former charting a 22% drop overall for the year and down 42.6% to sell 28,288 units in the last quarter, while Land Rover recorded a 7.7% dip overall for the year and down 25.6% for a total of 81,581 units sold in the last quarter.

  • Nissan may cut 20,000 jobs as part of its restructuring

    The woes continue for Nissan. Japan’s third-largest automaker, which has said it is planning to restructure its operations and cut costs, may have to further reduce its global workforce as it seeks ways to restore its business to profitability.

    Last July, it had said that it was set to cut 12,500 jobs at 14 production bases across the world by March 2023 as part of a restructuring. Now, as Kyodo News reports, the number of cuts may increase to over 20,000, which would represent a 15% reduction of its 139,000 global workforce.

    Sources told the publication that slumping sales due to the Covid-19 pandemic is necessitating a revision of the restructuring plan, and the company is considering cutting jobs in Europe and some emerging economies as it seeks to streamline production operations and restore its battered business.

    The deepening business slump, exacerbated by the pandemic, has pushed Nissan to work on additional reform measures. It has already announced plant closures in Spain as well as Indonesia and some other emerging markets, and the phasing out of its Datsun sub-brand.

    Downsizing plans, which were reported last month, are expected to be revealed in a new medium-term management plan that will be announced. This will likely include a cut of global output capacity by 20% by fiscal 2022.

    The company is set to release its earnings results for the year ended March, and has already said it expects to report a group net loss of 85 billion yen (RM3.4 billion) to 95 billion yen (RM3.86 billion) in fiscal 2019. Global sales amounted to 4.79 million vehicles, marking a progressive slide from the record high of 5.79 million units it achieved in fiscal 2017.

  • 2022 Ford Ranger and Everest to get plug-in hybrid?

    The current Ford Ranger, codenamed the T6, has been around for a massive nine years now. Not that its age has slowed it down at all, with the myriad of facelifts, added technologies and even a high-performance Raptor variant ensuring that the Blue Oval remains at the sharp end of the one-tonne pick-up market.

    But nips and tucks won’t stop it from eventually going away, and the indication is that the next-generation Ranger will be revealed sometime closer to the end of 2022. That’s according to Australian portal CarExpert, which claims to have received confidential details regarding the truck and its SUV sibling, the Everest.

    The two vehicles will apparently retain the T6 platform, albeit modified and fitted with a pair of new powertrains. One engine that will be carried over is the Panther 2.0 litre twin-turbocharged four-cylinder diesel, introduced with the T6’s last facelift and making 210 hp and 511 Nm of torque. We expect single-turbo variants to be available for cheaper, more utilitarian models, as with the current Ranger.

    The divergence from its predecessor will happen further up the range, where the truck could receive a 3.0 litre V6 turbodiesel – derived from the F-150 in the United States, it is tipped to make 249 hp and a tree-pulling 600 Nm. It will likely be offered on the next Raptor, which could also get the F-150 Raptor’s adaptive Fox Racing Shox dampers introduced last year.

    But the biggest news by far is the addition of a plug-in hybrid model, as Dearborn intensifies its electrification efforts. There won’t be a diesel under the bonnet, but a 2.3 litre turbo four-pot petrol – probably the same one found in the Mustang and Focus ST – linked to an electric motor. Together, they are expected to deliver a whopping 362 hp and 680 Nm, as well as a fuel consumption figure of 3.0 litres per 100 km. All models will reportedly be fitted exclusively with a 10-speed automatic transmission.

    This upwards trajectory in performance, sophistication and likely price will likely be matched by the technology on board, with the report also suggesting that the new Ranger and Everest will be available with the latest SYNC 4 infotainment system. First seen on the Mustang Mach-E electric SUV, it will come with a smaller 12.8-inch portrait touchscreen and a 10.25-inch instrument display.

    The development of the next-generation Ranger will be shared with Volkswagen, after the latter signed an agreement with Ford last year. This means that the future Amarok will share most of the Ranger’s structure, components and possibly even engines.


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Latest Fuel Prices

RON 95 RM1.38 (+0.07)
RON 97 RM1.68 (+0.07)
RON 100 RM2.13
VPR RM2.41
EURO 2M RM1.51 (+0.06)
EURO 5 RM1.61 (+0.06)
Last Updated 23 May 2020


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