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  • Ford ends that thought, says no plans for a Fiesta RS

    Ford_Fiesta_ST_Malaysia_ 002

    The rumour mill has been on overdrive for a while now over the possibility of this one becoming reality, but time to lay that particular thought to rest – Blue Oval enthusiasts are going to groan in dismay, but Ford apparently won’t be building a RS version of its Fiesta, making the Fiesta ST as hot as it gets where the seventh-gen B299 is concerned.

    This was recently revealed by Jamal Hameedi, Ford Performance’s global chief engineer. Hameedi told Australian publication Drive that the business case for a series production Fiesta RS would be a difficult one to construct.

    He explained that while some Ford Performance models still had a regional scope, future products had to be conceived with a global market perspective in mind, and something like a Fiesta RS – with its limited purview and appeal – wouldn’t fall into that line of thinking.

    Ford-Kuga-Adelaide 52

    “We’ve talked about it (a Fiesta RS) a lot, and there’s a debate on whether it’d have a lot of customers. Certainly, the hard-core guys would go for it, and it would work in Europe, but we’ve now prioritised projects that we think would have a more global reach,” he told Drive.

    However, a performance SUV has been confirmed as being something the brand is deliberating on. “We’re having that conversation,” Hameedi revealed, lending credence to the mention last week of the possibility of a ST variant of the C520 Kuga coming about.

    While stating that the innate traits of an SUV and the aims of a performance vehicle were somewhat at odds, he didn’t discount the likelihood of a souped-up Ford SUV showing up in the marketplace at some point. “I think there’s probably a market for an ST (rather than RS) crossover,” he explained. So, we might see a Kuga ST sometime in the near future.

    B299 Ford Fiesta ST

  • BMW ConnectedDrive services now in Malaysia – Concierge, Remote and Emergency Call services

    In conjunction with the launch of the new X1 earlier today, BMW Malaysia also took the opportunity to roll out its new suite of ConnectedDrive services for the country. As demonstrated by the video above, they’re unlike anything Malaysians have had in their BMWs before.

    While you may be familiar with the term ‘ConnectedDrive‘, the new BMW ConnectedDrive Services & Apps functions here are a first in the country.

    For example, if you take a look at the current BMW 5 Series’ list of ConnectedDrive services, you’ll find that it enables drivers to perform basic things, such as draw a live Twitter feed from your iPhone on to the car’s Control Display screen, or use an app to locate your vehicle should it be lost. In the case of what’s available on the new F48 BMW X1, you’ll be able to do a lot more.

    For now, the X1’s ConnectedDrive Services & Apps offers three new functions to Malaysian owners: Intelligent Emergency Call, Concierge Services and Remote Services. The compact SUV comes pre-loaded with a SIM card embedded in the vehicle, maintaining a constant data connection.

    BMW X1 Msia Launch 15

    With it, drivers now have access to the Concierge Services. At the push of a button, you can get connected to a BMW Call Centre attendee, who then become a sort of “personal assistant” to you. Rather than having to fiddle with your smartphones to find say, the nearest petrol station or a convenience story, Concierge Services allows you to simply press a button, and tell your “personal assistant” on the other end of the line where you want to go or do.

    As seen in the example video, you can say “take me to the nearest chicken rice shop,” and the BMW concierge assistant will be able to search for the best chicken rice in the area, and transfer its GPS coordinates to your vehicle. All you need to do is accept the destination. BMW’s Concierge Services is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

    Next is the Intelligent Emergency Call service, which enables X1 drivers to reach their nearest rescue coordination centres via a BMW Call Centre whenever needed, or automatically in the event of an accident. The vehicle’s location details and severity of the accident will be transmitted to the BMW Call Centre, who will then send for help. The service can also be triggered manually, should you need to call for assistance.

    The third new function is called Remote Services. What this does is basically turn your smartphone into a remote control for several functions of the car – you’ll need to download the BMW MY Remote app from the App Store, and yes, it’s only for the iPhone. In the case of the Malaysian X1, drivers with the app pre-installed and synced with their cars will be able to lock and unlock the car, flash its headlights, or sound the horn.

    We’re told that the service will be given to buyers of the new X1 at no cost for the first three years, after which a subscription charge will be required. Also, the new ConnectedDrive services isn’t something existing BMW models will be able to get updated with – the feature needs to be installed before a car rolls out of the factory.

    BMW Group Malaysia does have plans to introduce the service to other models, and it’s expected that the F30 BMW 3 Series LCI and the new G11 BMW 7 Series will be next in line to offer them here.

  • Volkswagen Australia announce dieselgate recall – 83,593 vehicles affected, but no fix available yet

    Volkswagen Jetta CKD 15

    Volkswagen Australia has just issued a recall for its vehicles affected by the global dieselgate scandal – particularly, passenger and commerical vehicles equipped with the EA189 2.0 litre EU5-compliant four-cylinder diesel engines.

    “The relevant government authorities have been advised of this action and VGA will continue to work closely with them as it awaits further information from the head office of Volkswagen,” Volkswagen Group Australia said in an official statement.

    A total of 83,593 Volkswagen and Skoda-badged vehicles have been confirmed for this recall, but apparently owners of affected vehicles can’t bring their cars in for a fix, because there simply isn’t one yet.CarAdvice reports that owners of affected Volkswagen vehicles may have to wait until next year for a technical solution from the Volkswagen Group.


    Of the 83,593 units recalled, 61,189 Volkswagen passenger of them are Volkswagen-badged vehicles, including the Golf, Polo, Jetta, Passat CC, Passat, CC, Eos, and Tiguan, all of which were manufactured sometime between years 2008 and 2015.

    A total of 5,148 Skoda-branded vehicles that also use the EA189 2.0 litre diesel engines were confirmed to be affected, among them the Skoda Octavia, Yeti, and Superb. Their manufacture years range from 2009 to 2015. The remaining units are Volkswagen commercial vehicles, being the Caddy and Amarok. These totalled to 17,256 affected units.

    The recall is of course part of the great Volkswagen action plan set forth by the carmaker in a bid to rectify some 11 million cars globally, each fitted with the infamous “defeat devices” used to achieve targeted results during emissions tests.

  • Toyota WOW Road Tour is back – win a Camry Hybrid!

    Toyota WOW  001

    The Toyota WOW Road Tour is back for a second round, and there are are plenty on offer, including a chance to drive away a Toyota Camry Hybrid worth RM175k. Themed “WOW is Back 2 Excite”, the roadshow starts tomorrow (October 10) in Penang and ends in Sabah on November 15.

    Customers who purchase any Toyota vehicle at the WOW Road Tour will get a RM500 eService voucher and be in the running to win a Camry Hybrid, in addition to cash rebates and free equipment. Toyota owners can also have their cars inspected for free with a 38-point check.


    Plenty of activities arranged, including a Toyota car showcase, drift taxi rides with the Toyota 86, “Vios Drift” and “Urban Off-Roader”, as well as test drives. Kids will be entertained by Upin & Ipin (all locations except Setia City) and the Kids Fun Zone with activities such as mini rides, “colouring sanctuary” and a “Lego blocks building sanctuary”.

    There will be daily lucky draws with 40 prizes of shopping vouchers worth RM200 each. Food trucks will be on hand to dish out a variety of food. UMW Toyota will also sell TRD Sportivo merchandise and Toyota Careplus items, while the JB leg of the tour will feature M7 merchandise too.

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  • Honda year-end promo – up to eight months’ free instalments, gift, RM2,000 debit card up for grabs

    Honda promo City Civic

    It appears that Honda is next to jump on the free instalment bandwagon – its ‘Year End Campaign’ is offering up to eight free monthly payments for the City, Civic, Accord, CR-V, Jazz and Odyssey, with cash rebates and a year-end bonus also on offer.

    First up, the City gets up to five months’ free instalments worth up to RM3,000, as well as a year-end cash bonus of RM1,500, bringing total savings of up to RM4,500. Choose an upfront cash rebate instead, and you’ll get RM2,500 off, which – combined with the bonus – results in a RM4,000 saving.

    As for the Civic, that receives up to five free monthly payments worth up to RM4,000 and a year-end bonus of RM2,500 – that’s a substantial saving of up to RM6,500. Otherwise, you can punt for a RM3,500 rebate, for a total of RM6,000 off the list price.

    Honda promo Accord CR-V

    The Accord ties with the Civic in total savings – you’ll get up to eight months’ free instalment for the D-segment sedan, worth up to RM5,000. That, plus the RM1,500 bonus, equates to a discount of up to RM6,500; dock RM500 off the total if you go for the RM4,500 cash rebate instead.

    Want an SUV? The CR-V is free for up to three months – that’s up to RM2,000 off, or a discount of up to RM3,500 when you include the RM1,500 year-end bonus. On the other hand, an upfront RM1,500 rebate is also available, and results in a total saving of RM3,000.

    Big savings are also on offer for the Jazz, which gets up to six months’ free instalments worth up to RM4,000. The bonus is RM1,500, resulting in discounts of up to RM5,500. You’ll receive RM5,000 off if you choose the cash rebate instead, for a total saving of RM5,000

    Honda promo Jazz Odyssey

    Finally, the Odyssey 2.4L EXV is free for up to five months, so that’s up to RM3,000 worth of free instalments. Bundled with a RM1,500 year-end bonus, that’s a saving of up to RM4,500. Go the cash rebate route and you’ll receive RM2,500 off, resulting in a total saving of RM4,000.

    Whichever of these models you choose, you’ll get a surprise year-end gift, and are also in the running to win an AmBank debit card, preloaded with up to RM2,000 of shopping credit.

  • Volkswagen Malaysia provides 100 cars to GPEC Asia

    vw gpec sponsor

    Volkswagen Malaysia will be providing a total of 100 VW vehicles to be used for the General Police and Special Equipment Exhibition & Conference (GPEC) Asia 2015 in Kuala Lumpur this October 21-23.

    The brand, which is the official car sponsor this year, is set to provide Volkswagen CC, Sharan and Tiguan models for use by delegates throughout the three-day conference, which will be held at the PWTC. The event, the region’s largest dedicated police and homeland security equipment show, is in its fourth edition this year.

    “Volkswagen Malaysia is pleased and privileged to lend our hand in support for GPEC Asia 2015. What these men and women from law enforcement agencies do is truly remarkable. We have utmost respect for the work they do and we thank them for all they have done,” said Volkswagen Group Malaysia MD Armin Keller.

    “As they continue to uphold the safety of the nation, Volkswagen wants to support the force by providing them with our Volkswagen cars that come equipped with world class safety features, the very best of German engineering, so that they have one less thing to worry about.”

  • SPIED: Peugeot 408 continues testing in Malaysia


    The Peugeot 408 has been sighted again, this time by reader Robaain. He saw this prototype on the North South Expressway yesterday. Like previous sightings, the 408 still seems to be wearing lots of tape camo.

    While we’ve seen minimally disguised left hand drive units of the Peugeot 408 on the road before, right hand drive units which are expected to be locally assembled at Naza’s plant in Gurun, Kedah suddenly started to wear lots of tape when they started to go on test.


    We’ve also managed to sneak a peek into one of the prototype’s cabin before – it revealed an interior similiar to the 308’s i-cockpit design. The left hand drive 408 for the China market has its own, more conventional dashboard design.

    Like previous prototypes, this black 408 wears sporty blade-style five-spoke wheels as opposed to the Chinese-market 408’s multi-spoke items, as well as twin pipes neatly integrated into the rear bumper.


    Just like how the outgoing 408 was based on the previous T7 308, this new one shares PSA’s EMP2 underpinnings with the new 308.

    The proportions are smarter, and the 2,730 mm wheelbase is 20 mm longer than before. It should be significantly lighter too, if the new 308’s 140 kg savings is anything to go by.

    It was revealed to us in March that the new 408 could launch sometime in the second half this year. Under the bonnet should sit a direct-injected, turbocharged 1.6 litre THP engine with a six-speed automatic.

  • G11 BMW 7 Series launched in Indonesia – fr RM637k


    The G11 BMW 7 Series has been launched in Indonesia with prices beginning at 2.09 billion rupiah (RM637,230) for the “entry-level” 740Li Executive variant. Further up, the 740Li Pure Excellence retails for 2.5 billion rupiah (RM762,295). Indonesian motoring portal, AutonetMagz, reports that only two long wheelbase models were listed for local consumption at launch – technically the G12 7 Series, then.

    For comparison purposes, the outgoing F01/F02 BMW 740Li carried a price tag of 2.03 billion rupiah (RM626,517), which indicates a price hike of about 60 million rupiah (RM18,526). The 730Li and 730Li Ultimate Edition models, on the other hand, were priced at 1.8 billion (RM555,497) and 2.4 billion rupiah (RM629,605), respectively.

    Under the bonnet, both variants are powered by the same turbocharged 3.0 litre straight-six engine with 326 hp and 450 Nm of torque. Said mill is mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission with power going to the rear wheels – xDrive all-wheel drive is available on most variants except for the 740i models.


    For the Indonesian market, the sixth-gen 7 Series is equipped with BMW’s Laserlight with Selective Beam technology, Welcome Light Carpet, Surround View with parallel Top View capabilities as well as the Active Kidney Grille system – the latter features retractable slats to complement the lower air intake flaps.

    Inside, the 7 Series gets the latest iteration of the brand’s iDrive system as standard. On the G11/G12 7 Series, the iDrive 5.0 system one ups the competition by featuring gesture control while a Bowers & Wilkins surround sound system takes care of in-car entertainment. Elsewhere, the BMW 7 Series is also equipped with a panoramic glass roof and Touch Command – the latter includes a removable seven-inch tablet.

    Also included as standard is the fancy new key fob with a built-in digital display, dubbed the Display Key. With said key fob, owners can access and control various features onboard the vehicle. Examples include turning on the parking lights and “scheduling” the climate control system to engaging the Remote Control Parking system – said feature allows owners to step out of the car and remotely guide the car into a tight parking lot.

    GALLERY: BMW 740i with M Aerodynamic exterior in Portugal

  • 2016 Toyota Crown facelift receives TRD styling kits


    The facelifted 2016 Toyota Crown may have only been unveiled for the Japanese market last week, but there’s already an aftermarket for it, as in-house tuner Toyota Racing Development (TRD) has released a range of new styling accessories for the Crown Athlete, Royal and Majesta.

    On the Athlete, the kit consists of a redesigned front and rear apron to fit the reshaped bumpers, side skirts, bootlid lip spoiler and a matte black muffler garnish. There are also a range of 18- and 19-inch wheels, a suspension kit, chassis bracing, TRD-branded start button, oil and fuel filler caps and performance brake pads, all to give your Athlete a sharper bite to match its sharp suit.

    Crown Royal and Majesta models get a smaller range of accessories – exterior addenda consists of just a rear diffuser-like apron and a bootlid spoiler (Royal only), and there are no suspension or chassis mods to improve handling.

    Changes to the Crown lineup for 2016 include revised headlights and front bumper for the Crown Athlete and Royal, new tail light graphics for the Athlete, new self-repairing paint (with a wider palette to choose from), retuned suspension and steering, as well as the world’s first vehicle-to-infrastructure (V2I) and vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) communication service, the Japan-only ITS Connect system.

    Other updates include a new 235 PS/350 Nm 8AR-FTS 2.0 litre turbocharged four-pot (from the Lexus IS and NX 200t) matched to an eight-speed Super ECT automatic transmission on the Athlete, a new eight-speed auto on 3.5 litre petrol models as well as the removal of all petrol models from the Majesta range, making it hybrid-only.

    2016 Toyota Crown Athlete facelift
    2016 Toyota Crown Royal facelift
    2016 Toyota Crown Majesta facelift

  • Cabbies taking matters into their own hands by ‘arresting’ Uber, GrabCar drivers around KLCC

    Taxi Drivers Protest Against GrabCar 1

    The ‘war’ between taxi drivers and private drivers under the Uber and GrabCar apps is escalating, with the cabbies now taking matters into their own hands. The Star reports that taxi drivers are now arresting Uber and GrabCar drivers picking up and dropping off riders in the KLCC area.

    “We have started doing operations actively and caught more than seven Uber and GrabCars and we surrender them to the police for further action,” Big Blue Taxi Service boss Datuk Shamsubahrin Ismail told the English language daily. He later clarified in a press conference that of the seven drivers caught, three have been handed over to the police.

    Taxi drivers have taken the issue to the Land Public Transport Commission (SPAD) but Shamsubahrin said that SPAD was not effective in stopping Uber and GrabCar, forcing cabbies to take matters into their own hands. “Uber, GrabCar, they’re not afraid of SPAD. Taxi drivers have lost respect for SPAD,” he said.

    Uber cars attacked in Mexico City

    The ‘operations’ started two days ago and is being carried out by around 100 KLCC taxi drivers. This is clearly a more serious attempt than the ‘trial run’ that happened during last week’s protest at SPAD’s HQ, where one GrabCar driver was trapped.

    It was reported yesterday that an all-out ban on Uber and GrabCar services is not yet certain, and SPAD acknowledges the public’s support for app-based ride hailing.

    “We understand the solutions provided by Uber and GrabCar, and the sentiments of the people towards it,” said SPAD CEO, Mohd Azharuddin Mat Sah. He said that while ride-sharing services “did not fit into the commission’s legal framework”, the commission is looking for ways to pinpoint a solution “towards this new technology”.

    easy-taxi-super-easy-taxi 259

    Azharuddin revealed that a new legislation to amend public transport laws to incorporate ride-sharing services is being discussed between SPAD and the Attorney-General’s Chambers.

    The taxi drivers have made themselves heard loud and clear, but what do the Uber and GrabCar drivers think?

    “Majority of my passengers are saying they won’t take the taxi because of bad experience. We’re just earning a living,” a 32-year old driver known as Johnny told The Star. “It’s not like we want to take away their business. If taxis did their work, then we wouldn’t have to be driving,” another driver said.

    “We remain optimistic that authorities including SPAD will give us the opportunity to work together to improve urban mobility for millions of Malaysian commuters,” Uber’s Malaysia GM Leon Foong said.

    It’s the same tone from GrabTaxi, which operates both MyTeksi and GrabCar. The company’s public affairs VP Nina Teng said GrabTaxi would continue to support SPAD in building a stronger transport regulatory framework here. “As an industry, it’s important to understand that customers want various transport options, and it is the reason why GrabCar exists,” she said.

    Are you a rider of Uber and/or GrabCar? What’s your take on the increasingly hot issue?


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