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  • As petrol prices goes up, some want return of RON 92

    Fuel prices are down today, but it was on an upward trend prior to this week’s dive. Rising transport costs have been affecting those in the lower income ground and now, there are calls from consumer associations for the government to bring back cheaper RON 92 petrol, The Sun reports.

    Deputy president of Federation of Malaysian Consumers Associations Yusof Abdul Rahman said it was timely for the government to bring back RON 92 to offset the rising cost of living. “RON 92 could be used for vehicles with lower engine capacity, which mostly belong to those in the lower income group,” he told the daily, while suggesting that the government provide a subsidy on RON 92 to assist those in the B40 (bottom 40% in income) bracket.

    Heard the call before? In September 2013, then deputy finance minister Datuk Ahmad Maslan suggested that RON 92 be brought back as a cheaper petrol option after the price of RON 95 went up by 20 sen.

    RON 92 petrol was discontinued in 2009, replaced by the current RON 95 as the default petrol grade. The report pointed out that in Singapore, SPC’s LEVO 92 grade currently retails at S$2.19 per litre (RM6.66), slightly lower than the S$2.23 (RM6.78) of LEVO 95.

    The Malaysian Muslim Consumer Association suggests a different approach. Chief activist Datuk Nadzim Johan said studies need to be done on RON 92 to establish its impact on the environment. “It may not be suitable for the environment and all vehicle types,” he said, adding that the government could alternatively introduce a targeted subsidy initiative. “For example, petrol subsidy could be given to those earning below RM3,000 per month,” he said.

    Bringing back RON 92 is not viable, according to Petrol Dealers Association of Malaysia president Datuk Khairul Annuar Abdul Aziz. “New cars are made for RON 95 and above. Going back will only create havoc to the industry,” he said, adding that instead of that, the government should ensure that fuel options are priced and subsidised fairly.

    The government has took note of the situation and says it is looking into appropriate measures to reduce the impact of rising global petroleum prices. It will introduce these should the price of RON 95 and diesel in the country exceed RM2.50 per litre consecutively for the next three months.

    “The government is concerned and understands the impact following the rise of global crude oil prices that are presently more than US$60 (RM250) per barrel. Currently, the government has implemented a rationalisation step towards subsidising petroleum products in line with the trend of rising or decreasing world crude oil prices. This measure has been successful in reducing leakage and ensuring targeted subsidies,” the ministry of finance said in a statement.

    The government says that it still subsidises fuel in this new managed float system. “Although we went through (a change in) fuel price mechanism, the government still subsidises (fuel prices) sometimes. In certain periods if it goes up, we subsidise a bit,” treasury secretary-general Tan Sri Mohd Irwan Serigar Abdullah said last month.

    “We still subsidise a few hundred million (ringgit) a month, but I don’t know what will happen in the future. Formerly, we subsidised RM22 billion, after rationalising, around hundreds of million,” he added.

     
  • BARU: Artikel terkini dalam Bahasa Malaysia

  • 2018 Mercedes-Benz A-Class – interior revealed in full

    The 2018 Mercedes-Benz A-Class isn’t ready to make its full global debut just yet, so in the mean time, the German carmaker has provided an early preview of the hatchback’s all-new interior.

    No, you’re not looking at a model higher up in the Mercedes-Benz line-up. This will be the interior of the new A-Class, and it is a significant upgrade from what you’ll find in the current W176.

    There’s plenty to focus on here, and we start from the driver’s seat. As we’ve seen in earlier prototypes, the A-Class will come with a widescreen cockpit setup reminiscent of what you’ll find in the W213 E-Class.

    Thanks to the widescreen cockpit, the cockpit cowl from the W176 is no longer present, allowing the trim to extend from one end to another near-seamlessly. Different materials are available for said trim, including open-pore wood.

    Customers will get to choose from three different display setups – two seven-inch, one seven-inch and one 10.25-inch, or two 10.25-inch displays. With most of the car’s functions like infotainment, climate control, etc. now shown on the widescreen cockpit, the A-Class’ centre stack is a lot less busy compared to before, with just switchgear for the climate control and air-con vents on them.

    The centre console meanwhile, is clearly separated from the centre stack by what Mercedes-Benz calls a “trench”. The brand’s new multi-function touchpad, seen in the GLC F-Cell, also makes its way into the A-Class to handle interfacing with the COMAND infotainment system.

    Other new additions include a 64-colour ambient lighting system, a new steering wheel (from the latest W222 S-Class) and C238 E-Class Coupe-style air-con vents with individual lighting.

    Mercedes-Benz also says seat heating, seat climate control and a Multicontour Seat package are available for the front seats for the first time. On the mention of seats, three different types are available, including the comfort seat with up to 20 adjustments, as well as a sporty integral seat (available with specific equipment lines).

    Details about the car’s practicality were also provided, with the new A-Class now boasting 370 litres of boot space – 29 litres more than its predecessor (W176). The car’s new two-section taillights also create a wider loading aperture (+20 cm), while the boot floor is 11.5 cm longer.

    Stowage areas have been made bigger as well, where 1.5-litre bottles or A4-sized magazines can now be stowed in the front door pockets. The rear door panels have bottle holders for 1-litre bottles. The new A-Class cabin also comes with larger dimensions compared to the old car, as shown in the table above.

    This interior will likely be emulated on the upcoming A-Class Sedan as well. For now, what do you think of the 2018 A-Class interior? It certainly looks like one that punches above its weight class, don’t you think? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

    GALLERY: 2018 Mercedes-Benz A-Class spyshots

     
  • AD: Get a Peugeot from as low as RM39,888 at the Peugeot Premium Selection Carnival this weekend!

    Eyeing a Peugeot as your next car? Then head over to the Peugeot Premium Selection Carnival at Peugeot Glenmarie this weekend, with great deals on various models!

    Up for grabs are Peugeot Approved demo units priced from just RM39,888, as well as vehicles used in the recent SEA Games. The latter include the Traveller MPV for only RM169,888, as well as the 508 sedan for only RM134,888. All of them have been given a 50-point inspection and come with a five-year manufacturer warranty and access to the Peugeot Sky Lounge in Subang Skypark, just like any new Peugeot.

    Also available is the new Peugeot 2008 SUV – now with Puretech technology – for just RM96,700. What’s more, you’ll get a free Garmin GDR E560 dashcam worth RM1,000 with the purchase of any Peugeot models*. Refreshments will also be provided during the event.

    So bring your friends and family to the Peugeot Premium Selection Carnival at Peugeot Glenmarie from November 24 to 26, from 9am to 7pm. There are only limited stocks available, however, so you’d be wise to come early! For more information, visit the official Peugeot Malaysia website or its Facebook page.

    * Terms and Conditions apply

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  • Malaysia vehicle sales data for October 2017 by brand

    The Malaysian Automotive Association (MAA) vehicle sales data for the month of October 2017 saw a climb in numbers after what was a soggy September. Last month, 47,041 units were delivered, an increase of 6,085 units over September.

    The association said the 14.9% increase in vehicle sales was primarily due to a longer working month in October. Year-to-date (YTD) total industry volume was 472,723 units, 1.0% up from the 466,157 units recorded during the same period in 2016.

    Here’s a quick breakdown of how most brands performed last month. Four of the top five players bounced back strongly – Perodua’s sales increased by 14.9%, while Honda’s went up by 14.7%. Proton also registered an increase in deliveries, by 13.0%.

    Of the lot, Toyota gained the most ground, its 6,210 units shifted last month representing a 42.6% increase over September’s numbers. Only Nissan continued to lose traction (-6.6%).

    Other gainers included Mazda (+38.3%), Mitsubishi (+68.5%), Renault (+108.3%) and Mercedes-Benz (+22.3%), which jumped back ahead of BMW (-2.7%) in the rankings on the monthly chart. Brands that dipped included Volkswagen (-28.2%), Subaru (-33.2%) and Audi (-24.7%).

    Click on the chart below to view a larger version.

     
  • BMW 530e plug-in hybrid now in Thailand – RM457k

    Pricing for the BMW 530e iPerformance is out in Thailand, ahead of the plug-in hybrid G30’s official launch there at the end of this month. Joining the diesel 520d and petrol 530i in the Kingdom, the 530e will come in two trim levels – Luxury at 3,639,000 baht (RM457,446) and M Sport at 3,939,000 baht (RM494,466). Both undercut the 530i M Sport, which is priced at 4,339,000 baht (RM544,701) there.

    As with the 530i, the Thai-assembled 530e is powered by a 2.0 litre turbocharged four-cylinder engine, albeit detuned to 184 hp and 290 Nm of torque. Making up for the shortfall is a 113 hp/250 Nm electric motor integrated into the ZF eight-speed automatic transmission, resulting in a total system output of 252 hp and 420 Nm – identical in power and an increase of 70 Nm compared to its pure petrol twin.

    Under the rear seats sits a 9.2 kWh lithium-ion battery with highly integrated low-temperature circuit and refrigerant cooling. Fully charging the battery takes three hours and 15 minutes from a domestic socket, or two hours and 15 minutes with the 3.7 kW BMW i Wallbox.

    The 530e sprints from zero to 100 km/h in 6.2 seconds before hitting a top speed of 235 km/h. Combined fuel consumption is rated at 2.3 litres per 100 km. The big sedan is capable of running in electric mode at speeds of up to 140 km/h, and has a claimed all-electric range of 47 km. Real-world range in hybrid mode is 644 km.

    Standard kit on the Thai-spec 530e includes 18-inch alloys, adaptive LED headlamps with High Beam Assist, head-up display, Comfort Access, Display Key, Dakota leather, 12.3-inch digital instrument display and dual-zone air con, 10.2-inch rear screens, wireless charging and a Harman Kardon surround sound system, among other things.

    The M Sport car brings the usual more aggressive styling, interior enhancements (steering wheel, seats) and larger wheels – in this case 19-inch double-spoke items.

    BMW’s PHEVs have been well accepted in Thailand, as they are in Malaysia. The German premium brand sold 852 units of iPerformance cars in the country from January to October 2017, a 234% year-on-year rise, as reported by the Bangkok Post. This represents 10.2% of BMW’s total sales in the market, which are up 28%. BMW started selling PHEVs in Thailand from December 2015, when the X5 xDrive40e was introduced.

    Seeing how well BMW PHEVs have done in Malaysia so far, and the fact that Mercedes-Benz has already introduced the equivalent E350e here (Volvo also recently launched the S90 T8 Twin Engine), we’re expecting to see the plug-in hybrid G30 5 Series in our market next year.

    At present, the G30 5 Series is available here in a sole CKD 530i M Sport variant priced at RM388,800.

     
  • PETRONAS and MSF Racing video showcase of everyday racers – high school teacher Suresh Naidu

    In most instances, you’d never think that your high school teacher could be, would be, a racing car driver. More often than not, our general idea of a high school teacher would be a stern-looking man with a fierce demeanour, probably a rotan in one hand – and we expect that this person would spend his weekends dressed in a sarong at home, engrossed in a crime novel, occasionally pausing his read to reheat leftover curry chicken from two nights back.

    But not Suresh Naidu. This is a man who knocks those preconceptions right out of your mind and into next Tuesday. This is a high school teacher who, six times a year, metamorphises into a highly competitive racing car driver, wading deep into thick door-to-door dogfights with 60 other cars at a time, six times a year. Seriously. Who would have thought so?

    Suresh is an avid car fan and takes his driving seriously. So serious is he, that he invested in a Lotus Elise a few years ago, without argument one of the most rewarding, engaging, immersive driving experiences ever.

    From there, his passion continued to develop and together with a bunch of other Lotus Club members, he took the dive into the Malaysia Speed Festival (MSF) Racing Series in 2016 in the most competitive categories of all, the Saga Cup category – which sees up to 60 cars scrambling for position at every corner for five laps at a time, twice per round.

    But there is a lot more to Suresh Naidu. His story is one of strength, determination, and willpower; kindness, an honest interest to share knowledge and develop the next generation of Malaysians, and an affable personality that his students have come to adore. This video – part of a series created in collaboration with PETRONAS – is his story, of his passion for life, and of a life chasing his passion.

    MSF Finale 2017 takes place on December 2 to 3, 2017 at Sepang International Circuit. On top of the usual door-to-door racing with up to 177 cars, there will also be MSF Drift Gonzo, a first-in-Malaysia target drifting competition. Also taking place is a superbike track day, the MegaLAP Time Attack and the McClubz Showdown car show, happening all on the same weekend.

    Access to the Grandstand is free, with a water park set up in the Grandstand area featuring a eight-metre pool and water slides for all the family to enjoy. As for Paddock access, tickets will retail at RM10 on Saturday and RM20 on Sunday. For more information, head over to the official MSF Racing website.

     
  • November 2017 week four fuel prices – all go down

    It’s another Wednesday, which means another weekly fuel price update. After weeks of price hikes, the good news is that fuel prices have finally gone down, and across the board at that.

    From tomorrow, November 23, RON 95 petrol will cost RM2.30 per litre (down eight sen from RM2.38 last week), while RON 97 goes for RM2.58 per litre (down eight sen from RM2.66).

    As for Euro 2M diesel, it is priced at RM2.23 per litre this week (down two sen from RM2.25), and Euro 5 diesel – always higher by 10 sen over Euro 2M – is at RM2.33 per litre. These prices take effect from 12.01 am until November 29, when the next round of fuel prices will be announced.

    This is the 35th weekly fuel pricing update since the system’s implementation on March 30. Compared to March 2017 prices, which was the last month before weekly pricing took effect, RON 95 is identically priced (RM2.30 per litre), RON 97 cheaper by two sen (from RM2.60 per litre) and Euro 2M diesel higher by three sen per litre (from RM2.20 per litre).

     
  • 2018 Aston Martin Vantage revealed, packs 510 PS

    The current Aston Martin Vantage has been the backbone of Gaydon’s range, spawning various V8 and V12 variants, numerous special editions and a successful racing programme that has bagged two Le Mans class wins and several World Endurance Championships (WEC). Now, twelve years later, there’s finally a new one, which will help usher Aston Martin into its Second Century plan alongside the larger DB11.

    While the outgoing model was widely considered to be one of the most beautiful cars in the world, there will probably be greater contention with this one. The new car has been given a much more aggressive and sculptural design, clearly incorporating a lot of the design details found on the DB10 – James Bond’s favourite mode of transport in his latest film Spectre.

    The front of the car is dominated by a massive new mesh grille that sits low down and is integrated into the splitter, giving the Vantage a love-it-or-hate-it look. You’ll also find slit-like LED headlights and a clamshell bonnet with a distinct power dome, while larger vents have been cut into the sides to bleed air from under the front wheel arches, reducing lift.

    Classic sports car proportions remain with short overhangs, a long bonnet and a sweeping, low-slung glasshouse, this time without the DB11’s “floating roof.” The tail lights are slim and follow the upright flick of the rear spoiler forming a single line of light that, if controversial, is at least distinctive. That rear spoiler, together with the massive rear diffuser, is said to create a significant amount of downforce.

    Inside, the current car’s elegant flowing lines have been ditched for a more technical design, with controls like the PRND selector buttons, climate control toggles and infotainment system controller all clustered into different zones. The high beltline and lower seating position also provides a more cocooned feel, and Aston claims there are generous storage areas such as dual-tier compartments.

    Other features include a version of Mercedes-Benz’s COMAND Online infotainment system with an eight-inch central display, standard Alcantara upholstery (a full-leather interior is available as an option) as well as beautiful details like the saddle leather door pulls. Open the tailgate and you’ll find 350 litres of cargo space, and you can also fit extra luggage behind the rear seats.

    The new Vantage is on the same bonded aluminium structure as the DB11, but with 70% of its components unique to this car. Measures 4,465 mm long, it’s 284 mm shorter than its sibling and 34 mm shorter than a Porsche 911, making for what Aston says is a more agile car. Dry weight is 1,530 kg.

    Under the bonnet sits a 4.0 litre twin-turbo V8 from Mercedes-AMG, but with new engine mounts and a lower-profile wet sump to mount the engine lower in the car. Engineers have also retuned the engine and its intake and exhaust systems to give it a more Aston-like feel and a characteristic gravelly growl.

    The headline figures are 510 PS at 6,000 rpm and 685 Nm of torque from 2,000 to 5,000 rpm, sent to the rear wheels via a rear-mounted ZF eight-speed automatic transaxle. As such, the Vantage will blitz the zero-to-100 km/h benchmark in just 3.6 seconds before topping out at 314 km/h.

    Underneath, the new Vantage rides on forged double wishbone front and multi-link rear suspension, with standard-fit adaptive damping and a solidly-mounted subframe to give a rigid base for the suspension to do its work. There’s also Dynamic Torque Vectoring and, for the first time on an Aston, an electronic locking rear differential (E-Diff) that works alongside the stability control system to react based on the car’s behaviour.

    Also fitted are ventilated cast iron brake discs that measure 400 mm at the front (two-piece items) and 360 mm at the back, clamped by six-piston front and four-piston rear callipers. They hide behind 20-inch alloy wheels (either cast or lightweight forged), wrapped in specially-developed Pirelli P Zero tyres.

    The new Vantage was revealed alongside the GTE racing version that will compete in the 2018 WEC season. So what do you think of the Vantage’s new design – is it a successful rejuvenation of its beautiful predecessor, or is it a step too far? Sound off in the comments after the jump.

     
  • BMW M division confirms development of hybrid cars

    In continuation to BMW’s recent electrification spree, the Bavarian company has just confirmed with Autocar of its plans to electrify cars within the M stable. In fact, several prototypes with hybrid powertrains are already well into the testing phase, and the confirmation came from M division’s vice president, Dirk Hacker himself.

    Details of the new powertrain are scarce at the moment, but Hacker says future M hybrid cars are “inevitable.” “We cannot avoid the need for electrification and it is true that we are working on hybrid power already. For now, all I will say is that we are working on a very precise technical solution, but there is no final decision on how to deploy the concept,” he adds.

    As with all electrification ventures, weight gain is the main cause for concern. Hacker says the added mass from running a hybrid powertrain would surely affect the car’s pace and agility.

    “Adding mass to performance cars is never ideal. But if we can use electrification to install more performance, then we start to have the answers. That might be more speed, or it might be the ability for a car to be driven on electric power in a city. It might also be the case that we need different answers to that question in different cities,” he says.

    According to the report, Hacker’s response suggests that BMW is forced to electrify M cars due to tightening emissions regulations. Hybridising them would be a short term solution if the company aims to retain the range’s appeal of being usable on a daily basis.

    On the flip side, he stresses that the latest generation of electric technology, which will make its debut in BMW cars by 2021, offers engineers a wider breadth of options than before. “The better the batteries and the more efficient the electric motors, the better the solutions will be for M. We are working on always making better cars,” he says.

    As for enthusiasts/loyalists, BMW M remains committed to building combustion-only cars, so long as it’s legislatively permissible. “For some enthusiasts, they will always have advantages, and we have seen with the sales of the M2, which are well past expectations, that these are the kinds of cars many enthusiasts still want,” says Hacker.

     
  • October 2017 Malaysia vehicle sales up by 14.9%

    The Malaysian Automotive Association (MAA) has released vehicle sales data for the month of October 2017, with 47,041 units delivered during the month. The total shifted last month represents an increase of 6,085 units or 14.9% from the number of vehicles that were registered in a slow September.

    The association said the climb in vehicle sales was due to a longer working month in October.

    Compared to the same corresponding month in 2016, the sales volume in October 2017 was 839 units – or 1.8 % – lower. As for total industry volume (TIV), the year-to-date figure for October is 472,723 units, one percent higher than that registered at the same point last year (466,157).

    For November, the association is projecting the sales volume to be better than that of October, citing new model launches and aggressive year-end promotional campaigns as the catalyst for an increase in sales.

     
 

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Latest Fuel Prices

PETROL
RON 95 RM2.30 (-0.08)
RON 97 RM2.58 (-0.08)
RON 100 RM3.10
VPR RM3.28
DIESEL
EURO 2M RM2.23 (-0.02)
EURO 5 RM2.33 (-0.02)
Last Updated 23 Nov 2017


 

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