Latest Stories

  • Next Nissan GT-R to be fastest supercar in the world?

    Believe it or not, the R35 Nissan GT-R is 11 years old. It has enjoyed considerable success along the way, but after a decade, perhaps it’s time to up the ante. Nissan has already started working on designing and engineering an all-new platform for the next-generation GT-R. However, the carmaker has yet to decide how much electrification the car’s powertrain will get.

    At the Goodwood Festival of Speed, Nissan design boss Alfonso Albaisa told Autocar that the R36 won’t take cues from the limited-run GT-R50, but “has to be its own special car,” adding that it has to be “the fastest super sports car in the world” and retain a visual identity that’s unique among cars of its kind.

    While Albaisa constantly reviews sketches for the supercar, he said his team cannot begin ‘serious work’ until decisions about the powertrain and the new platform is finalised. “The challenge is on the engineer, to be honest. We will do our jobs when the time comes to make the car something really special. But we’re not even close to that yet,” he explained.

    Albaisa said that while Nissan was undecided on the powertrain, he admitted that electrification is a possibility, albeit not confirmed. “Whether we go to a lot of electrification or none at all, we can achieve a lot, power-wise. But we are definitely making a new ‘platform’ and our goal is clear: GT-R has to be the quickest car of its kind. It has to ‘own’ the track. And it has to play the advanced technology game; but that doesn’t mean it has to be electric,” he explained.

    In standard guise, the R35 GT-R makes 555 PS and 632 Nm from a hand-assembled VR38DETT 3.8 litre twin-turbo V6, and goes up to 600 PS and 652 Nm in the GT-R Nismo. Power is routed to all four wheels through a GR6 six-speed dual-clutch automatic.

    For design, Albaisa said the next car would have a muscular character like the R35 so as to retain the GT-R visage of a “beast.” “It’s an animal; it has to be imposing and excessive. Not in terms of its wings, but rather its visual mass, its presence and its audacity. It doesn’t care what every other supercar in the world is doing. It simply says: ‘I’m a GT-R, I’m a brick, catch me.’ It’s the world’s fastest brick, really. And when I review sketches for the new car, I say that a lot: “Less wing, more brick.”

    It’s unclear what powertrain the new model will get, but a production version of Nissan’s 3.0 litre twin-turbo V6 hybrid, which was supposed to debut with the hybrid LMP1 GT-R racing car, could be under consideration. The hybrid race car’s total system output was rumoured to be between 1,250 to 1,500 horsepower, so if Nissan truly wants the GT-R to be the fastest supercar in the world, expect the powertrain – electrified or not – to produce a healthy number of ponies.

    “We simply have to reflect people’s dreams; and I think people dream that the next GT-R will be the hottest super sports car in the world,” said Albaisa. Do you dream the same dream? Let us know what you think of this, below.

    GALLERY: Nissan Concept 2020 Vision Gran Turismo

    GALLERY: 2018 Nissan GT-R Premium Edition

  • Ducati and Audi to develop C-V2X traffic safety comms

    Neuburg, 03.07.2018: xxx. Foto: Lukas Barth

    As part of its “Safety Road Map 2025”, Ducati and Audi are collaborating to demonstrate a vehicle-to-everything (C-V2X) communications system between motorcycles and cars. Existing projects for Ducati’s motorcycle safety initiative include extending cornering ABS to every bike in its range and motorcycle front and rear distance keeping radar.

    Extending the technology base a little further is C-V2X, a wireless communication system between road users such as cars, motorcycles, pedestrians, and bicycles and infrastructure. Using a Audi Q7 and A4, together with a Ducati Multistrada 1200, situations involving both four- and two-wheelers in common traffic encounters were demonstrated and how C-V2X technology can be used to help improve road safety.

    These include Intersection Collision Warning, where a vehicle equipped with C-V2X technology pulls out from a junction with an adjoining road and avoids hitting a motorcycle rider who has the right of way. Another common potential accident situation is vehicles turning across the path of a motorcycle, which is addressed with Across Traffic Turn Collision Risk Warning.

    Considering the vulnerability of motorcycles in urban traffic and the lack of attention some car drivers pay to their surroundings with noses buried in mobile phones, technology such such as C-V2X could prove to be a life saver. What do you think? Leave a comment with your thoughts and opinions, below.

  • Penang to have 100% LED street lighting by 2020

    Penang can look forward to a brighter future, from a street lighting viewpoint at least. The state aims to be the first in the country to have 100% LED street lighting by 2020, Bernama reports.

    According to state housing, local government, urban and rural planning committee chairman Jagdeep Singh Deo, the move will fulfil the Pakatan Harapan government’s pledge made during the 14th general election in which it promised to install 20,000 LED streetlights across Penang. The upgrading project will not just involve street lights maintained by the local authorities, but also those managed by Tenaga Nasional.

    “Penang will be the first state in Malaysia to have all LED street lights, which can save energy and reduce bill costs by up to 60%,” he told reporters. Jagdeep said that in Penang, a total of 33,198 street lamps will be converted into LEDs by 2020.

    “Last year, the Penang city council had footed electricity bills for street lights amounting to almost RM6 million,” he said, adding that a separate RM7 million was paid by the Seberang Perai municipal council for the same purpose.

    Aside from reducing electricity costs, the replacement for the high-pressure sodium lamp will offer significantly better illumination – for motorists, this means an improvement in general visibility, which should translate to a faster brake and avoidance reaction time.

  • LRT3: Initial RM10bil budget insufficient – Prasarana

    The LRT3 project is currently in the midst of a massive cost-cutting programme, and over the weekend the project’s operator Prasarana has released a statement saying that it was fully aware that the initial RM10 billion budget allocated was insufficient.

    The company stated that the government guaranteed bonds approved on March 30, 2015 only covered the cost of work package contracts and supply of feeder buses (RM9 billion), as well as land acquisition (RM1 billion). It added that it knew that a substantial increase in budget would be needed for LRT3 to be completed.

    Said to be excluded from the bonds were the now-defunct goods and services tax (GST), the project development partner (PDP) fee and reimbursable costs, contingencies, owner’s costs (including contributions to utility companies and staff costs, among others), owner’s consultancy services like an independent checking engineer reporting to the Land Public Transport Commission (SPAD), preliminary and general costs, land rental, cost claims and interest incurred during construction.

    Prasarana also claimed that it formally requested approval on March 30 this year to issue an additional RM22 billion in government guaranteed bonds, with the expectation that the total final cost of the project would increase to RM31.65 billion.

    It now awaits instructions from the ministry of finance on the comprehensive cost rationalisation measures to be approved. Last Thursday, finance minister Lim Guan Eng announced that the cabinet had approved the reduced project cost of RM16.6 billion – a 47% or RM15 billion reduction.

    This was achieved through measures such as reducing the number of stations and train sets (which themselves have been made smaller), as well as postponing the completion date from 2020 to 2024. Prasarana said that it would abide by the instructions of the ministry, and that the ministry’s decision to rationalise the cost of the project is also fully supported by SPAD.

  • SST bill to be passed in Parliament in August – rate to be set at 10% for sales and 6% for service, as before

    Finance minister Lim Guan Eng has announced that the bill on the sales and services tax (SST) will be passed in parliament in August, paving the way for its reintroduction in September, as previously announced. Its return will mark the end of the “tax holiday” enjoyed since June 1 when the goods and services tax (GST) was zero-rated.

    He reconfirmed that SST will have its rate set at 10% for sales and 6% for services, according to the New Straits Times. This is identical to the rate it was when it was replaced by GST in April 2015.

    From an automotive viewpoint, car prices came down when GST took over from SST, but could possibly go up higher than GST-levels with the reintroduction of SST, according to the Malaysian Automotive Association (MAA).

    “Before GST was implemented, SST was 10%. If we consider this figure, we expect the prices of vehicles to increase, post-SST. This is an easy estimate if the rate is the same,” MAA president Datuk Aishah Ahmad has said in May.

    Vehicle sales during this tax-exempt period have been brisk, so much so that while there’s still more than a month to go before SST returns, car companies are starting to report that levels of deliverable stock are being exhausted or have run out, such is the spike in demand.

  • Renault becomes auto partner of Paris Saint-Germain

    Renault and Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) have signed an official partnership, linking the two organisations for the next three seasons.

    PSG, which has the likes of World Cup winner Kylian Mbappe and Brazil’s Neymar on its books, will together with Renault develop large-scale, global advertising and promotional campaigns. The alliance will also have a digital focus – an area where both showcase strong creativity.

    The Ligue 1 club is looking forward to surprising its 60 million social media followers with even more engaging online content as a result of the partnership, it says. Their first shot, which is the image above, isn’t one that’s on target, though.

    “We are delighted that Renault has chosen PSG to mark its entry into football and are proud to associate our club with one of the stalwarts of French industry. Renault will occupy an important position within our overall partnership programme. We are eager to begin working together, starting this season, and to see our players featuring in Renault’s famous ‘French Touch’ campaigns,” said Marc Armstrong, PSG’s director of sponsorship.

    “We are delighted to associate the Renault brand with that of PSG, which contributes to the influence of Paris and France in the world. This major partnership offers us many opportunities, both in France and internationally, that will benefit our customers and our sales networks,” said Philippe Buros, commercial director at Renault France.

    Unlike Chevrolet for Manchester United and Hyundai for Lyon, Renault isn’t PSG’s main shirt sponsor, which means that the dark blue shirts of the French champions will continue to have ‘Fly Emirates’ on them.

  • Mitsubishi Triton, ASX, Outlander – up to RM15k off!

    Mitsubishi Motors Malaysia (MMM) is running a promotion for its range of ASX and Outlander SUVs and Triton pick-up trucks, where its models are priced without GST while stocks last until August 31 or when Sales and Service Tax (SST) is implemented, whichever comes first, along with a Merdeka Bonus which varies according to model.

    Topping the promotional line-up is the Mitsubishi ASX, with a GST rebate of RM7,500 for the 4WD version and RM6,700 for the 2WD version; both offer a Merdeka Bonus of up to RM8,000 for a bonus-and-rebate total of RM15,500 and RM14,700, respectively.

    The Triton Athlete pick-up truck follows, with a GST rebate of RM7,100 and a Merdeka Bonus also up to RM8,000. The Triton VGT Adventure X gets an identical offer, also with a GST rebate of RM7,100 and a Merdeka Bonus of up to RM8,000.

    More pick-up promotions on offer here. The Triton VGT AT Premium comes with a GST rebate of RM6,500 and a Merdeka Bonus of up to RM8,000, while the Triton VGT AT GL is offered with a GST rebate of RM5,800 and a Merdeka Bonus of up to RM8,000. The Triton VGT MT is offered with a GST rebate of RM6,000 and a Merdeka Bonus of up to RM8,000.

    Rounding up the pick-up truck range offered with the promotion are the Triton MT and the Triton Quest; the former comes with a GST rebate of RM5,200 and Merdeka Bonus of up to RM8,000, while the latter is offered with a RM4,300 GST rebate and up to RM4,000 in Merdeka Bonus.

    Next is the Mitsubishi Outlander CKD 2.4L, which comes with a GST rebate of RM8,700 and Merdeka Bonus of up to RM4,000. The 2.0L version of the Outlander is offered with a RM7,800 GST rebate, while the Merdeka Bonus is also RM4,000.

    Prices for the models stated in the promotion are on-the-road for private registration only in Peninsular Malaysia, excluding Langkawi. In addition to the Merdeka price promotions, showroom events at Mitsubishi dealers will offer gifts upon completion of bookings and test drives, along with fun activities and mini challenges for those present.

    GALLERY: Mitsubishi Triton Athlete

    GALLERY: Mitsubishi Outlander 2.4 CKD GALLERY: Mitsubishi ASX

  • Temporary closure for Port Dickson toll exit slip road

    PLUS has announced a temporary closure of the Port Dickson toll plaza (northbound) exit slip road from July 16-20, from 8pm to 8am. This is to facilitate pavement upgrading works. As such, highway users from the south or Pedas Linggi and Senawang heading towards PD are advised to use the following alternative routes:

    However, entry lanes to the Port Dickson toll plaza (heading north) will still be open and operating as usual.

    Elsewhere, there will be a traffic diversion near the Ayer Keroh overhead bridge restaurant (northbound) on on July 17 (tomorrow) from 8am to 6pm. This is to facilitate maintenance works.

    Note that throughout the maintenance period, all facilities at the Ayer Keroh overhead bridge restaurant (northbound) will be closed to the public including the petrol station, food court, surau and restrooms. Highway users can instead use the Ayer Keroh or Pedas Linggi R&R areas.

  • Porsche 911 Singer Vehicle Design DLS – 4.0L, 500 hp

    Makers of reimagined, air-cooled Porsche 911s Singer Vehicle Design unveiled its Dynamics and Lightweighting Study (DLS) at the 2018 Goodwood Festival of Speed. The DLS, according to Singer, is a “formation of technical partners in pursuit of the most advance air-cooled Porsche 911 in the world.” Like Singer products before, only more so.

    The carbon-fibre-bodied car with 500 hp, 4.0 litre air-cooled and naturally-aspirated flat-six engine first came to light in November before the DLS got its name, and was commissioned by Porsche enthusiast and long-time client Scott Blatter, as well as collectors Jan Koum and Mark Evenstad.

    The ‘weight-down’ study was conducted by Williams, focusing on improving torsional stiffness, mass efficiency and driver environment, and a redistribution of weight by moving the engine further forward and select components moved to the trunk in the front of the car. Every exterior body panel on the DLS is made from carbon-fibre and unique to this car.

    Bodywork of the Singer DLS 911 is the result of reassessment from computational fluid dynamics (CFD) analysis, which offers elimination of front axle lift via a redesigned front oil cooler intake, venting and new front splitter, while the roof channel and roof/rear window spoiler works with the optimised ducktail spoiler for downforce on the rear axle.

    Meanwhile, side window intakes and rear decklid venting aids in engine intake and cooling performance. Aerodynamics work included consultancy with Norbert Singer, who worked on past Porsche Le Mans racers.

    The quad-cam engine is the product of the California-based firm’s collaboration with Williams Advanced Engineering, which attains its 500 hp output at 9,000 rpm with dual-oil circuits, new cylinders and pistons with titanium con-rods, aluminium throttle bodies with carbon-fibre trumpets, new upper and lower injectors, a carbon-fibre air box, Inconel and titanium exhaust system and an enlarged engine cooling fan.

    Engine output is sent to the driven rear wheels via a six-speed gearbox made by Hewland, with magnesium casings and hollow shafts for less rotating mass. This has also been shortened to aid the engine’s forward repositioning for optimal weight distribution, while motorsport-style tripod joints, centre-locking wheel carriers and modern materials are used, said Singer.

    Driver aid electronics come courtesy of Bosch with ABS, traction control and stability control systems gaining bespoke calibration for the DLS. Switchable modes enable the option for traction and stability control to be switched off. Suspension work, once again is partnered with Williams, employing lightweight double wishbones in front and an aluminium trailing arm setup for the rear. Bespoke dampers feature remote adjustment.

    Brakes are by Brembo, this time employing carbon-ceramic discs for road and track use, fitted with monobloc calipers developed for the DLS. These are housed in 18-inch, one-piece forged magnesium wheels developed by BBS Motorsport, each with a high strength aluminium and titanium centre-lock mechanism. These are fitted with Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tyres measuring 245/35R18 in front and 295/30R18 at rear.

    The lightweight theme continues inside, where the carbon-fibre sports seats and carbon-fibre steering wheel are developed by Recaro and Momo, respectively. The manual gear shift features an exposed titanium and magnesium linkage, while shift lights are integrated into the tachometer, which is suitably British in its Spinal Tap reference.

    Further along, pedals are made from drilled carbon-fibre and titanium, and the instrument gauges feature hand-applied characters, and all reside in a carbon-fibre instrument panel. A lightweight air-conditioning system is used here too, says Singer.

    The Singer-developed DLS has previously been reported to be limited to a run of 75 units, and pricing is entirely dependent on how the client wishes to specify his or her car. Rest assured it will ask a considerable sum, beyond that commanded by the ‘standard’ versions powered by 3.6, 3.8 or 4.0 litre engines built by Ed Pink Racing. How would you specify yours, dear readers?

  • 2018 Honda Dash 125 in Malaysia, from RM5,999

    First introduced in Malaysia in 2011, the 2018 Honda Dash 125 is now updated and priced at RM5,999 for the base model Type ‘S’ with single disc brake. It is joined by the double disc brake Type ‘R’ Wave Dash 125 at RM6,299 and Repsol Edition at RM6,499, with prices excluding road tax, insurance and registration.

    Up in displacement from the previous generation 109 cc Dash FI, the Dash 125 produces 9.85 hp at 8,000 rpm and 9.54 Nm of torque from its 124.89 cc single-cylinder, air-cooled, two-valve engine. A four-speed automatic gearbox drives a chain to the rear wheel and fuelling is by Honda’s PGM-FI.

    Suspension is with conventional telescopic forks and twin shock absorbers adjustable for pre-load. Depending on model, the Dash 125 uses a hydraulic front disc brake and either a drum rear brake or hydraulic disc rear brake.

    Seat height on the Dash 125 is 767 mm from the ground with wet weight claimed to be 103 kg. Starting is with electric and kick-starting. The Dash 125 will be used in the Malaysian Cub Prix series in the Honda One-Make Race, with the race now being renamed the “Honda Dash 125 Challenge.”

    There are four colour options for the 2018 Honda Dash 125 – Pearl Magellanic Black, Vivacity Red, Pearl Nightfall Blue and Repsol racing livery. Deliveries of the Dash 125 at Boon Siew Honda Malaysia dealers will begin this week.


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Last Updated 12 Jul 2018


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