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  • New Honda City now with RM2k rebate in 12.12 sales

    Brand new models typically don’t come with discounts, but here’s one. Honda Malaysia has announced a “12.12 Special Sales” promo for the new Honda City, which was launched here in mid-October.

    The 12.12 promo is offering a rebate of RM2,000 for the City S and E variants. The V – which is the range-topping 1.5L petrol variant until the City RS i-MMD hybrid joins the family next year – is excluded from the promo as it’s by far the top-selling variant now.

    This promo is from today till December 12 – you can book the car in this period and registration of the car can happen until December 31. Customers will receive the rebate once they fulfil both booking and registration requirements at dealerships nationwide. Of course, buying the car this year means that one will also enjoy the 2020 sales tax exemption from the government.

    The petrol City variants are powered by a 1.5 litre naturally-aspirated i-VTEC engine, which is a new DOHC version with 121 PS/145 Nm. Power goes to the front wheels via a CVT gearbox. Claimed average fuel consumption is 5.4 litres per 100 km, or 18.5 km/l. The E and V variants get steering paddle shifters.

    Prices for the City S, E and V are RM74,191, RM81,664 and RM86,561 respectively, on-the-road excluding insurance, before the 12.12 rebate. When the 2020 sales tax exemption expires, next year’s prices for the City will be RM76,800, RM84,800 and RM89,800. The price of the RS hybrid is yet to be announced.

    To see which variant gets what, check out our spec-by-spec comparison post and launch report.

    GALLERY: 2020 Honda City 1.5L E with Modulo bodykit and options

  • Berjaya, Bermaz take over Peugeot distributorship in Malaysia from Naza – Citroën and DS sales to end

    This just in – Groupe PSA has announced that it has awarded sole distributorship of its Peugeot brand in Malaysia to Berjaya Auto Alliance Sdn Bhd (BAASB). The latter is a joint venture between Berjaya Corporation and Bermaz Auto, which hold a 51% and 20% stake respectively.

    The move, said the French conglomerate, would enable it to continue Peugeot’s growth strategy in the country. The company plans to release new models such as the latest Peugeot 2008, which has already been seen in spyshots locally. It also confirmed that Malaysia would remain the export hub for the Southeast Asian region.

    “We aim to continuously revolutionize the customer experience together with our new partner, BAASB and underscore our commitment to our customers through excellent sales and aftersales service,” said Groupe PSA senior vice president for Southeast Asia Laurence Noel.

    BerjayaCorp CEO Datuk Sri Robin Tan Yeong Chin added, “This new collaboration will complement our group’s existing automotive business, namely HR Owen and Berjaya China Motor. We believe this collaboration between BerjayaCorp, Bermaz and Groupe PSA will bring positive synergistic benefits to all parties.”

    Bermaz executive chairman Datuk Seri Ben Yeoh said, “We are honoured that Groupe PSA and BerjayaCorp recognise Bermaz Group’s capabilities and expertise in the automobile industry and are delighted to participate in this new collaboration, which is expected to contribute positively to our future earnings base.”

    Interestingly, the deal does not include the distributorship of the Citroën and DS brands, with the local consortium only obtaining the rights to provide aftersales and spare parts. This almost certainly spells the end of new car sales for the two marques in Malaysia.

    The news comes after it was confirmed that Naza was to relinquish all three brands – as well as Kia – as it restructures its business. As yet, it’s unclear if Berjaya Auto Alliance will sweep up the Korean brand, but it’s understood that Bermaz is a frontrunner for the deal.

    We should point out that beyond this joint venture, Bermaz is not directly affiliated with Berjaya. The current Mazda distributor was spun off after a management buyout in 2016.


  • 2021 Yamaha NMax 155 scooter in Malaysia, RM8,998

    Following its release in the Indonesia market in December 2019 and Thailand in April 2020, the 2020/2021 Yamaha NMax 155 is now in Malaysia, priced at RM8,998. Pricing for the NMax 155 is recommended retail and does not include road tax, insurance or registration.

    Mechanically unchanged from the previous model, the NMax 155 carries a single-cylinder SOHC, VVA unit displacing 155 cc. Power output is claimed to be 14.9 hp at 8,000 rpm and there is 14.4 Nm of torque available at 6,000 rpm with power getting to the ground via a CVT transmission with belt drive.

    As per the NMax 155 released in other markets, including Europe, LED lighting is under throughout with the whole scooter given a makeover. The headlight is now a six-element LED unit – four low beam lights and two high beam – with LED DRLs.

    Similarly, the rear end of the XMax 155 is revised, now coming with a four LED strips while the turn signals are still traditional bulbs. Inside the cockpit, the instrument panel is an LCD monochrome display while rider conveniences include smart key operation, idle start-stop and remote opening of the seat which reveals a 23.3 litre storage compartment while a USB charging socket is found inside the front cowl.

    The revised frame design on the NMax 155 increases fuel capacity from the previous 6.6-litres to 7.1-litres. Braking uses single hydraulic disc brakes front and rear, clamping identically sized 230 mm diameter discs with ABS omitted, though it is available as standard in Thailand and Europe and a model variant in Indonesia.

    Suspension on the NMax 155 is with telescopic forks in front and twin shock absorbers at the rear end. There are two colour options for the Malaysia market 2021 Yamaha Nmax 155 – Anodised Red and Power Grey – and stocks are available at authorised Hong Leong Yamaha Motor dealers from this month.

  • Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV launched in Thailand – 55 km all-electric range, 52.6 km per litre, from RM221k

    Amazingly, despite the unveiling of the new Mitsubishi Outlander on the horizon, there’s clearly still life left in the current model. The third generation was launched in Thailand in PHEV plug-in hybrid form at the ongoing Thai Motor Expo, making the Land of Smiles the third Southeast Asia to receive the petrol-electric SUV after Indonesia and the Philippines.

    Unlike in those markets, the PHEV is being sold in Thailand as a locally-assembled model, with the first units set to roll out of the Laem Chabang plant next month, according to the Bangkok Post. Even so, it’s quite a pricey proposition, with prices ranging from 1,640,000 baht (RM221,000) for the GT variant to 1,749,000 baht (RM235,600) for the GT Premium.

    For that money, you get an electric motor on each axle – the one at the front makes 60 kW (82 PS) and 137 Nm of torque, while the rear motor churns out 70 kW (95 PS) and 195 Nm. This system provides all-wheel drive and Mitsubishi’s Super All-Wheel Control technology, and with a 13.8 kWh lithium-ion battery, the PHEV has an all-electric range of 55 km.

    Extending this range is a new 2.4 litre MIVEC naturally-aspirated four-cylinder petrol engine. Larger than the old 2.0 litre mill, it makes 128 PS and 199 Nm at 4,500 rpm, helping to juice the battery in most driving situations. It’s also capable of providing direct drive at higher speeds, thanks to a lock-up clutch.

    This setup is very similar to the new Honda City e:HEV, except that the Mitsubishi has a much larger battery. The company is claiming a combined fuel consumption figure of an impressive 52.6 km per litre.

    On the outside, the Thai-market PHEV comes in the latest facelifted form, with a revised two-bar grille design and chrome centre air intake trim. Distinguishing features over the petrol-powered Outlander include body-coloured cladding, blue PHEV badging and 18-inch multi-spoke alloy wheels. Inside, the PHEV gets a very unique-looking electronic gearlever.

    Standard equipment is fairly high, with all models getting LED daytime running lights and taillights, keyless entry, push-button start, dual-zone climate control with rear vents, powered front seats, leather upholstery, an eight-inch infotainment touchscreen, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility, six speakers and the remote operation of vehicular functions using a smartphone app.

    The GT Premium adds self-levelling LED headlights, quilted leather trim and a powered tailgate, along with a slew of driver assistance systems. The latter include autonomous emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, lane keeping assist, blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert, pedal misoperation control and automatic high beam.

  • Volkswagen to weigh options for CEO Diess’ future

    Having steered the company through the infamous “Dieselgate” scandal, Volkswagen Group chief executive officer Herbert Diess is now looking to extend his contract with Wolfsburg past 2023, and its executive committee will be weighing up options for his future.

    According to Reuters, the board will convene today to discuss Diess’ demand for an extension, according to three sources close to the matter. The options will be put on the table,” said one of those sources, adding that the outcome remains unclear at the moment.

    The publication had previously reported that Diess had asked the controlling families to support extending his contract as a vote of confidence in his leadership. The board has opposed the 62-year-old executive’s efforts to reform the group, and a person familiar with the issue has said that he may review his position if the board continues to push back on his measures.

    Diess was appointed head of the Volkswagen brand in 2015, replacing Martin Winterkorn in the wake of the diesel emissions cheating scandal. He then assumed his current role in April 2018 in the wake of former CEO Matthias Müller‘s ousting. Diess relinquished his VW brand position earlier this year to Ralf Brandstätter, ostensibly to grant him “greater leeway for his tasks” as group CEO.

    The contract is only due to expire in 2023, and German companies usually hold contract extension negotiations a year before they expire, Reuters said. The convening Volkswagen executive committee is chaired by Hans Dieter Pötsch and includes family members Wolfgang Porsche and Hans Michel Piëch, as well as labour chief Bernd Osterloh and Lower Saxony minister president Stephan Weil.

  • Toyota GR Yaris – ROI now open in Thailand; 1.6L turbo three-cylinder with 261 PS, 360 Nm; RM364k est

    Toyota Motor Thailand has begun accepting pre-bookings for the GR Yaris, which will make its debut at this year’s Thailand International Motor Expo in Bangkok. According to a report by Headlightmag, the hot hatch is expected to carry a price tag of just under 2.7 million baht (RM363,969), with deliveries set to take place in 2021.

    Referring to the company’s official registration of interest page, the GR Yaris will be offered in Thailand in three colours – Super White II, Emotional Red II and Precious Black. The page also includes some preliminary equipment, including leather/Ultrasuede seat upholstery, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, a 4.2-inch TFT multi-info display and dual-zone climate control.

    Of course, the main draw is what’s under the bonnet, and the Thailand-market GR Yaris will pack a 1.6 litre turbocharged three-cylinder petrol engine rated at 261 PS and 360 Nm of torque (European tune). The mill is paired with a six-speed iMT (Intelligent Manual Transmission) manual gearbox (with rev-matching function) and GR-Four AWD system, the latter with front and rear Torsen limited-slip differentials.

    There’s also an aluminium central transfer case with an electronically-controlled multi-plate clutch that splits the torque 60:40 front to rear in Normal mode, 30:70 in Sport mode and 50:50 in Track mode, all selectable via a switch on the centre console.

    All this tech, along with the Toyota Safety Sense suite of systems, is packaged in a body that has been designed for World Rally Championship (WRC) aerodynamic regulations. Unlike the regular Euro-market Yaris, the full-fat GR version is 60 mm wider (1,805 mm) and 45 mm lower (1,455 mm) than the regular hatch, while the trailing edge of the roof is 95 mm lower.

    The three-door body style is also 55 mm longer (3,995 mm) than the regular five-door model, and weight-saving initiatives include using aluminium for various body panels as well as carbon fibre-reinforced polymer for the roof.

    It isn’t just the exterior that’s different, as the GR Yaris’ TNGA (Toyota New Global Architecture) chassis is a hybrid of the GA-B and GA-C versions. This allows for double wishbones to be fitted at the rear instead of a torsion beam, creating room for the differential and half shafts. The hot hatch also gets 356-mm front disc brakes with four-pot callipers, while the rear gets 294-mm disc and two-pot callipers.

    With the order books for the GR Yaris already open in Thailand, will Malaysians also have access to the hot hatch of the moment? Well, UMW Toyota Motor has previously hinted at the model’s arrival, although there’s no confirmation as of yet. Given the pricing in Thailand, how much do you think the hot hatch will be if it comes here?

    GALLERY: Toyota GR Yaris (Europe markets)

  • General Motors, Nikola announce revised agreement; Badger fuel-cell pick-up truck ‘paused indefinitely’

    General Motors has announced a revised agreement with Nikola Corp on a fuel-cell partnership, superseding the previous agreement from September which was for the Nikola Badger fuel-cell pick-up truck to be developed and manufactured by GM.

    The revised deal means that GM will no longer take an equity stake in Nikola, and instead is a non-binding memorandum of understanding (MoU) that is valid until the end of 2021 and is subject to negotiation, Reuters reports. Development of the Badger has been ‘paused indefinitely’, Nikola officials were quoted as saying.

    The MoU is for a global supply agreement to provide Nikola with the Hydrotec fuel cell system for the start-up firm’s Class 7 and 8 commercial trucks, and the two companies are discussing Nikola’s possible use of GM’s Ultium battery system in the former’s commercial trailers. The new deal focuses on the fuel-cell side of the business where they see the greatest potential, Nikola officials said.

    The original deal in September was called into question following a short seller’s allegations of fraud, which Nikola has denied. With production plans for the Badger on hold, Nikola said it will refund all previously submitted order deposits for the fuel-cell pick-up truck as the model’s roll-out depends on a partnership with a manufacturer, a role that General Motors has withdrawn from.

    Nikola Badger concept

    “Heavy trucks remain our core business and we are 100% focused on hitting our development milestones to bring clean hydrogen and battery-electric commercial trucks to market,” Nikola CEO Mark Russell said in a statement.

    The Badger FCEV was unveiled as a five-seater full-sized truck, measuring 5,900 mm long, 1,850 mm tall, 2,160 mm wide and with a cargo bed length of 1,560 mm. The Badger’s fuel-cell powertrain was claimed to offer 906 peak horsepower or 455 continous horsepower, with a claimed torque output of 1,329 Nm.

    This was said to enable the Badger to perform standstill launches with a fully loaded trailer and with a combined vehicle weight of more than 8,100 kg on a 30% incline without stalling the electric motor. combined with a supercapacitor and a lithium-ion battery pack, the Badger FCEV had a claimed range of 965 km.

    The Badger was also to be available as a battery-electric vehicle, where a 160 kWh lithium-ion flooded module battery pack would offer 480 km of range. Other features included a 15 kW power outlet for tools, lights and compressors, which Nikola says is enough to assist a construction site for approximately 12 hours without using a traditional generator.

    GALLERY: Nikola Badger

  • Lewis Hamilton tests positive for Covid-19 – 7-time world champion to miss Sakhir Grand Prix in Bahrain

    The Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula One Team has confirmed that Lewis Hamilton will not take part in this weekend’s Sakhir Grand Prix in Bahrain after testing positive for Covid-19. Hamilton is the third F1 driver to test positive for the virus after Sergio Perez (prior to the British Grand Prix) and Lance Stroll (prior to the Eifel Grand Prix) this year.

    In an official statement, the Mercedes F1 team stated that Hamilton was tested three times last week and returned a negative result each time, the last of which was on Sunday afternoon at the Bahrain International Circuit as part of the standard race weekend testing programme.

    However, the seven-time world champion woke up on Monday with mild symptoms and was informed that a contact prior to arrival in Bahrain had subsequently tested positive. Following this, a further test was done which returned a positive result, and this has since been confirmed by a retest.

    As per Covid-19 protocols and public health authority guidelines in Bahrain, Hamilton is now in isolation and apart from mild symptoms, the team says he is otherwise fit and well. With this development, Hamilton’s participation in the final race of the 2020 season in Abu Dhabi remains in doubt, as a negative test is required before he is allowed to return to the paddock.

    For now, the Mercedes F1 team has yet to confirm who will replace Hamilton for this weekend. Candidates include the team’s reserve drivers, Stoffel Vandoorne and Esteban Gutierrez, with the former likely being the first-choice driver.

    Another possibility is to call upon the services of Nico Hülkenberg, who stood in for Perez and Stroll at Racing Point F1 Team for three races in 2020. George Russell, who is part of Mercedes’ young driver programme, can also be enlisted, although this would require permission from his active team, Williams.

  • McLaren Sabre’s design revealed in new patent photos

    Patent images of McLaren’s next Ultimate Series model have been spotted by a member of the TaycanEVForum, giving us another look at the upcoming hypercar that was also spotted in prototype form earlier this year.

    News of the model first surfaced way back in 2018, when it was revealed that McLaren would build a production version of the Ultimate Vision Gran Turismo under the codename BC-03. Subsequent rumours indicate that the finished product will be called the Sabre, although the carmaker has yet to confirm this.

    Similarly, other details about the Sabre (we’re calling it that for now) are unknown. The model is said to be offered in extremely limited numbers – reportedly just five units worldwide – with each carrying a price tag of around 2.4 million pounds sterling (RM13 million).

    Based on the patent images, the Sabre looks to be more closely linked to the existing Senna compared to the Ultimate Vision Gran Turismo, albeit with a significant amount of modifications to promote even better aerodynamic performance.

    It’s certainly not subtle, as the aggressive front end features a vented bonnet and a splitter with vertical blades at its edges. Curved sections near the slim headlamps help to channel air along the aerodynamic side skirts and pass the gullwing doors, before reaching the large rear wing with an accompanying dorsal fin. Other highlights include sizeable scoops near the roof, along with a distinctive rear cover, a centre-mounted exhaust and a massive diffuser.

    As for what’s powering the Sabre, reports claim it will have the same setup envisioned for the virtual race car, which consists of a 4.0 litre twin-turbo V8 driving the rear wheels, with two electric motors at the front for all-wheel drive. This is a significant step up from the rear-wheel drive-only Senna, and so are the outputs – 1,150 PS (1,134 hp) and 1,275 Nm. Of course, almost everything is under speculation for now and we’ll have to wait for McLaren to formally introduce the car to know more.

  • G80 BMW M3 Competition, G82 BMW M4 Competition launched in Malaysia, priced from RM665k to RM761k

    Teased yesterday on its official Facebook page, BMW Malaysia has officially introduced the new G80 M3 and G82 M4 in the country, both vehicles set to arrive here in Competition form. It will however be a while before we see the cars in the metal – we hear that actual deliveries will only begin closer to the middle of next year.

    In the meantime, sales have begun, and buyers have options for both models, priced accordingly. The base M3 Competition goes for RM664,800, while the inclusion of an Innovation Package adds RM75,000 to bump the price up to RM739,800. However, BMW Malaysia is offering an online pre-booking discounted price of RM58,000 for the Innovations Package from Dec 1 to 31, effectively reducing the IP-equipped version to RM722,800 until the end of the year.

    As for the M4 Competition, the base model goes on sale at RM684,800, and opting for the Innovation Package – which is priced at RM76,000 – brings the price up to RM760,800. As with the M3, the Innovations Package is discounted to RM56,000 until December 31, which means the M4 Competition with the IP will go for RM740,800 until the end of the year. Both cars are available for pre-booking on the BMW Shop Online platform until December 31, at RM5,000 each.

    In their standard guise, both Competition iterations of the new M3 Sedan and M4 Coupe will arrive at a cheaper price point than their predecessors, the F80 M3 and F82 M4, which went for RM738,800 and RM748,800 respectively when they debuted in June 2014, and even loaded with the Innovation Package, the pre-booking price still makes both cars marginally cheaper.

    The M3 and M4 are powered by an S58 3.0 litre twin-turbo straight-six, which in its base form puts out 480 PS (473 hp) at 6,250 rpm and 550 Nm of torque from 2,650 to 6,130 rpm, an increase of nearly 50 PS and 50 Nm over the previous gen models.

    For the local cars, the Competition specification bumps the output tune of the S58 to 510 PS (503 hp) at 6,250 rpm and 650 Nm between 2,750 and 5,500 rpm, which is 60 PS and 100 Nm more than the previous gen Competition models.

    The mill is paired with an eight-speed M Steptronic automatic transmission with Drivelogic, as seen on the M5 and M8, which drives the rear wheels. No all-wheel drive as yet, because the automaker will only be introducing its M xDrive AWD system on the Competition models only from the middle of next year. Performance figures include a 0-100 km/h time of 3.9 seconds, identical for both bodystyles.

    In their standard form, both the M3 and M4’s full-height front grille is finished in high-gloss black, and the contrast colour also adorns the lower edges of the bumpers, side sills, side mirror covers, rear spoiler as well as the diffuser and their edge bindings. The cars also feature a BMW Individual high-gloss Shadow Line CRF roof, with mouldings again in high-gloss black.

    Click to enlarge.

    The base variants come equipped with LED headlights, black chrome tailpipe finishers and ride on 19-inch front and 20-inch rear double-spoke 826 M bicolour M forged wheels, with mixed tyres (275/35 R19 front and 285/30 R20 rears).

    Standard fit on the M3 and M4, no matter what designation, are an Adaptive M suspension, M Sport differential and a M Drive Professional system, which adds a new M traction control function that provides ten different levels of intervention, along with a lap timer and a “drift analyser.”

    Inside, the base M3 and M4 are dressed in black Merino leather upholstery, with the front seats being M Sport units, complete with illuminated model inscription. The interior trim finishers are in high-gloss black, and both cars feature a BMW Individual headliner in an anthracite finish.

    Standard fit items include a M leather steering wheel, M-specific pedals, a HiFi loudspeaker audio system, three-zone automatic air conditioning and Comfort Acces. As per usual, there’s a BMW Live Cockpit Professional 12.3-inch digital instrument display panel and a 10.25-inch Navigation Professional central touchscreen display.

    The Innovation Package adds on equipment, upgrading the front lighting to a BMW Laserlight system and introducing an electrically-operated glass roof. Although similarly-sized, the IP version features a different wheel design, in this case a double-spoke 825 M bicolour M black forged unit.

    The IP also offers alternative interior finishes, in this case three, with the Merino leather upholstery and door card relief panels available in a choice of Kyalami Orange, Yas Marina Blue or Silverstone, with the seats featuring colour contrast elements. Other differentiating items are BMW Individual piano black trim finishers and M seat belts.

    Click to enlarge.

    The Competition models with the Innovation Package also gets a head-up display and ups the audio to a Harman Kardon surround sound system. Also included is wireless phone charging and Connected Package Professional, which incorporates intelligent emergency call, concierge and remote services as well as intelligent personal assistant feature

    The package also and adds on Parking Assistant and a tyre pressure indicator as well as a Driving Assistant package, which introduces lane departure warning, lane change warning, front collision warning with braking intervention (AEB), rear cross traffic warning and rear collision prevention into the mix. There is however no adaptive cruise control.

    Seven exterior colours are available for the M3 Competition and M4 Competition locally. They are Sao Paulo Yellow, Isle of Man Green, Alpine White, Brooklyn Grey Metallic, Toronto Red, Portimao Blue and Black Sapphire.

    GALLERY: G80 BMW M3 Competition

    GALLERY: G82 BMW M4 Competition


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Latest Fuel Prices

RON 95 RM1.67 (+0.03)
RON 97 RM1.97 (+0.03)
RON 100 RM2.49
VPR RM2.70
EURO 2M RM1.85 (+0.04)
EURO 5 RM1.95 (+0.04)
Last Updated 28 Nov 2020


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