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  • Ford’s ‘baby Bronco’ revealed through leaked images

    A Ford presentation at a dealers meeting in the US recently highlighted an upcoming SUV from the company, and images of these were inadvertently placed on a publicly accessible part of a Ford website, where found them. In the photo set was what was suggested to be the new Ford Bronco – a slide even carried the nameplate.

    As it turns out, the vehicle in the leaked photos – which are no longer accessible – may not be the Bronco itself, but the smaller ‘baby Bronco’ that is also in the pipeline. Back in March, the automaker teased the shape of the Bronco, its outline hidden under a cloth cover. The retro nameplate is expected to be paired with retro styling, with a distinctive boxy design, a tailgate-mounted spare wheel and a choice of three- and five-door models.

    The vehicle presented in the slide deck isn’t quite it, visually, and the previously teased Bronco outline sitting in the background as a shadow silhouette further fuels the thought that the SUV in the images is the expected smaller model that will sit below the Bronco in a future line-up.

    The new Ford Bronco outlined under a cloth cover and the proposed smaller SUV.

    Back in August, it was reported that the Blue Oval was coming up with a small SUV that will be underpinned and share parts with the fourth-gen Focus as well as the next-gen Escape/Kuga, but with design cues recalling the classic ’60s Bronco. The vehicle in the leaked images looks closer to the teaser image the company released of the small utility vehicle back in March than the shape proposed by the Bronco.

    The Bronco, due out in 2020, will be underpinned by the same platform as seen on the Ranger. One of the expected powertrains for the SUV will be the 2.3 litre EcoBoost turbo four-cylinder petrol engine and 10-speed automatic transmission combination used by the US market Ranger as well as on the Mustang.

    The new SUV is part of the slew of such offerings the automaker has planned for North America. Ford has announced that it will be phasing out its sedans there because of declining demand for conventional passenger cars, and switch over to offering crossovers.

  • Rented parking bays must be open to all after 6.30pm

    The Petaling Jaya City Council (MBPJ) has stated that parking bays rented by business operators must be opened to the public after 6.30pm. This comes following enforcement operations conducted recently, whereby officers discovered several rule violations by shop owners, as reported by The Star.

    For instance, ramps outside car workshops should be the removable type and not be a permanent fixture. These ramps can only be placed over rented parking bays leading to the shop’s entrance from 8am to 6.30pm from Monday to Friday.

    “The parking bays must be vacated for public use after 6.30pm,” said MBPJ treasury assistant accountant Zay Iskandar, who added that some operators painted red boxes over council parking bays to show they’ve rented it, but some have done so illegally.

    “The city council has a record. We found a shop that faked the red marker on the parking bay. We told the shop owner to rent the bays or face serious implications such as revoking their business licence,” he said. It was also discovered there are some that continued using bays even through the rental period have expired over two years ago.

    Other infractions include painting over the yellow parking bays with black paint so motorists are tricked into thinking there were no parking spots available in front of the shop. The council often received complaints from the public on the lack of parking bays, Zay noted.

  • AD: Only the best deals on BMW models during Auto Bavaria’s Year-End Extravaganza event this weekend

    The wait is almost over, as Auto Bavaria’s most anticipated Year-End Extravaganza is set to take place this weekend (November 16-18, 2018), with enticing deals on the latest BMW models too good to ignore.

    Whether you’re about to embark on a journey into BMW ownership, or upgrading to a newer model, take advantage of Auto Bavaria’s BMW credit financing schemes to enjoy attractive rebates and interest rates as low as 1.22% per annum* on preferred BMW models. For those looking to trade in their used vehicles, they can look forward to higher trade-in values.

    The rewards don’t end there, as each purchase made will be accompanied with a complimentary gift. Customers who prefer to electrify their drive with models from the BMW iPerformance range will also gain a BMW i Wallbox Plus** and/or BMW i AC Fast Charging Cable**.

    Every BMW model comes with 5-Years Unlimited Mileage Warranty + Free Scheduled Services*** and 24-month BMW Tyre Warranty* for complete peace of mind ownership.

    Do not wait any longer to get behind the wheel of your dream BMW! Come this weekend to the Auto Bavaria Year-End Extravaganza held at Auto Bavaria Glenmarie, Auto Bavaria Johor Bahru and Queensbay Mall Penang. For more information, check out the official Auto Bavaria Facebook page.

    * Terms and conditions apply. Offers may vary across BMW models.
    ** Complimentary BMW i Wallbox Plus and/or BMW i AC Fast Charging Cable applicable for selected BMW iPerformance models.
    *** Free scheduled service is provided in accordance with the Condition Based Service (CBS) system in your BMW vehicle.

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  • 2019 Ducati Desmosedici GP19 gets handling fixes

    Coming to a close is the 2018 MotoGP season, with the penultimate round at the Shell Malaysia Sepang MotoGP at Sepang International Circuit. As part of events leading up to Sunday’s race day, Shell Malaysia organised an exclusive for with Paolo Ciabatti,

    During the discussion, which centred around the technical partnership between Ducati and Shell in the development of lubricants and fuel for motorsports use, Ciabatti touched on developments across 2018 for the Ducati Desmosedici MotoGP racing machine. This came about after several high profile racing incidents over the past few races involving both Ducati riders, Jorge Lorenzo and Andrea Dovizioso.

    “We have, as you know, had some problems with the handling for the previous races and we have made some changes to this year’s chassis,” said Ciabatti. “Now there is improvement in the handling which we will carry forward to next year,” he continued.

    Asked about the 2019 chassis, Ciabatti said the Desmosedici is currently the most powerful machine on the grid. “Right now, the Desmosedici is not lacking for power but we know the handling is still a little bit behind. For the next year, the chassis and swing arm have been improved for more stability,” said Ciabatti.

    “In 2019, with Jorge Lorenzo changing teams, we will have Andrea Dovizioso as our lead rider, while Danilo Petrucci will be given time to adjust to the Desmosedici,” Ciabatti said. Moving into 2019, Ducati Corse continues its technical partnership with Shell fuels and lubricants.

  • G20 BMW M340i xDrive – 374 hp, 500 Nm, 0-100 in 4.4s

    Here’s the range topper for the new G20 BMW 3 Series, at least until the next-gen M3 arrives. To debut at the Los Angeles Auto Show later this month, the BMW M340i xDrive sits above the 330i and is good for 0-100 km/h in just 4.4 seconds – that’s supercar territory not too long ago.

    Under the hood is a 3.0 litre straight-six engine that sets it apart from the rest of the petrol G20 range, which use four-cylinder turbos. The twin-scroll turbocharged B58 features an aluminium crankcase and cylinder head. The fuel injectors now operate at up to 350 bar pressure, and Valvetronic and Double Vanos are present.

    The turbo part of the equation has been revised. BMW says that the integration of the compact steel exhaust manifold and turbocharger effectuates rapid boost pressure development. A mass moment of inertia reduced by around 25% enhances turbine response and a wide opening, electrically controlled waste gate contributes towards better emission values.

    All this results in an increase in output by 48 hp (from the most powerful engine available in the F30) to 374 hp. Max torque is up by 50 Nm to 500 Nm. That’s propels the M340i from 0-100 km/h in 4.4 seconds, half a second faster than the fastest F30 outside of the M3. Combined fuel consumption is 7.5 litres per 100 km, which is great for the performance on tap.

    One does not shell out for a six-pot (remember when they used to be a standard feature?) just for the speed though, and Munich is promising the “characteristic sound” of the straight-six with the M40i, which gets M Sport exhaust as standard. In Sport and Sport+ modes, the valve-controlled exhaust system generates a “particularly distinctive” sound that will be “intensively perceptible” in the cabin. Two petrol particulate filters enable the M340i to meet Euro 6d-Temp requirements.

    Doing transmission duties is the eight-speed Steptronic auto of the latest generation. Short ratios for the lower gears improve acceleration and a Launch Control function can be used for showboating. Steering shift paddles are standard, of course.

    Like the M Performance 5 Series, the M340i gets BMW’s xDrive four-wheel drive. It’s a rear-biased set-up that “supports that brand-typical driving experience” and is particularly effective in Sport and Sport+ modes, when targeted transfer of drive to the rear wheels enhances agility in corners, Munich claims. The standard M Sport differential offers electronically controlled, fully variable rear-wheel locking function.

    We move on to suspension, comprising of a double-joint spring strut front axle and a five-arm rear axle, both of which have been optimised in terms of weight and stiffness. Also altered are the track widths and wheel camber angles. In addition to 10 mm lower ride height, the M Sport suspension comprises M specific elastokinematics and the new lift-related damper control function. Variable Sport Steering is standard, but adaptive M suspension is an option.

    Lastly, the M Sport brake system brakes, which is headlined by short pedal travel and a distinct pressure point, BMW says. It’s made up of four-piston fixed calliper brakes (blue with M logo) and 348 mm discs in front, and single-piston floating callipers grabbing 345 mm discs at the rear.

    The standard rims are 18-inch items (225/45 front, 255/40 rear), but one can opt for 19-inch M alloys in two designs as well as 19-inch BMW Individual wheels.

    The M340i’s model-specific design features include the kidney grille’s mesh design (I see teeth linking the mesh), the rear spoiler in body colour and trapezoidal exhaust tailpipe trim. The front bumper is significantly more aggressive than on the M Sport, with an extra line from the headlamp notch to the chin. Also look out for the wing mirror caps, air intake struts, kidney grille, tailpipe trim and the model lettering in Cerium Grey metallic.

    Inside, the sporty 3 comes with sports seats with M-specific upholstery in Sensatec/Alcantara, black roof lining, M leather-wrapped steering wheel with shift paddles, and cabin trim strips in Aluminium Tetragon. The digital instrument cluster bears the “M340i” logo, which can also be found on the front door sills.

    What do you think of the M340i’s performance and looks? More on the seventh-generation G20 3 Series here.

    GALLERY: G20 BMW 3 Series

  • SPIED: All-new Mazda 3 – exterior and interior revealed

    It looks like we won’t have to wait until the Los Angeles Auto Show to find out more information about the next-generation Mazda 3. Recently, our spy photographers managed to spot a lightly disguised unit in hatchback guise out in the wild, complete with an interior that looks production ready.

    If you’re a fan of the Kai Concept, you’ll be glad to know that Mazda’s finished product very closely resembles the show car that debuted at last year’s Tokyo Motor Show. Based on these photos, many of the cues that were present on the concept have managed to make their way onto the production model, albeit with some revisions.

    The front end of the vehicle features a much larger grille compared to the outgoing model, while a downward sloping bonnet leads to a pointed nose in the style of the Kai. Another cue shared with the preview car are the sharper headlamps, which are comparatively smaller than those on the third-generation car.

    In profile, the new Mazda 3 is almost a carbon copy of the Kai, right down to the design of the five twin-spoke wheels and placement of a roof spoiler. The presence of camouflage makes it hard to tell if the formed body panels from the concept made it into production.

    On the Kai, the design creates transitions between light and shadow without the need for a distinctive character line, a an effect that is also replicated on the Vision Coupe – another concept that served as a preview for Mazda’s second-stage Kodo design language.

    Focusing on the rear, the oversized vent/diffuser element seen at the bottom of the Kai has been remove entirely on the production Mazda 3, and with it comes a more sizeable rear hatch plus actual space for a number plate holder. The circular taillights are retained but are shaped more conventionally, although the “bump” on the outer circle has been inversed and downplayed here.

    The new Mazda 3’s cabin, like the exterior, borrows heavily from the Kai and is an exact replication of what we saw in a leaked illustration. From the driver’s seat, there is a completely new steering wheel design and the three-section instrument cluster makes a return. The latter differs from before in that there are now three circles, and the one in the middle is a digital screen flanked by analogue dials.

    Controls for the climate control are minimalistic in appearance, and feature a digital screen in the middle of the dashboard, in line with the vents on the passenger side (driver side vents are angled). Just above is a dedicated section for a display screen, which appears to be hooked up to an overhauled version of the marque’s MZD Connect infotainment system.

    Just like the concept, the front occupants are separated by the centre console, which houses the controls for the infotainment system, and in this instance, what is likely a six-speed manual gearbox.

    On that mention, the Mazda 3 could be powered by the company’s SkyActiv-X compression ignition engine, which could be joined by existing powerplants. The C-segment model will also be the first to benefit from the next-generation SkyActiv-Vehicle Architecture.

    While we may have garnered a lot of information from these spyshots, we’ll only be able to get complete information when the Mazda 3 makes it global debut in Los Angeles in a few weeks’ time. Like what you see so far?

    GALLERY: Mazda Kai Concept

  • 2019 Mercedes-AMG G63 launched in M’sia – RM1.5mil

    Nearly 40 years on, the Mercedes-Benz G-Class has finally been given a thorough makeover, the legendary off-roader getting some substantial updates under the same old, same old skin. Now, the latest version has made it to Malaysian shores, alongside the AMG GLC 63.

    This institution of the Three-Pointed Star lineup arrives here in no less than the full-fat AMG G 63 version, with all the bells and whistles that you’d expect from an Affalterbach-fettled product. It has the price to match – an eye-watering RM1,464,888 on-the-road without insurance.

    It may not look like it with its boxy throwback design, but this really is an all new model. It still sits on a ladder-frame chassis, but it’s now made from high-strength steel, and the body utilises a mix of strong, high-strength and ultra-high-strength steels, plus aluminium in the bonnet, fenders and doors.

    The result is a 55% increase in torsional rigidity, plus a weight saving of around 170 kg. This is despite a significant growth spurt – it’s now 101 mm longer, 121 mm wider and 40 mm taller, which Mercedes says provides better legroom, shoulder room and elbow room. Rear passengers in particular receive a generous 150 mm of extra knee space.

    On the outside, Mercedes has preserved the iconic rough-hewn aesthetic, complete with the bluff front end, round headlights, upright windscreen and sides, prominent protection strips and wheel arches and the exterior spare wheel cover. The latter is one of the few items carried over from the original, another being the chunky push-button door handles.

    Inside, the new G-Class borrows elements from other models in the Mercedes passenger car range, including the Widescreen Cockpit flatscreen panel with twin 12.3-inch displays, turbine-style air vents and a 64-colour ambient lighting system. You’ve still got classic Geländewagen cues such as the individual switches for the three fully-locking differentials and a passenger-side dashboard grab handle.

    Under the bonnet, the G 63 utilises AMG’s 4.0 litre biturbo V8 producing 585 hp at 6,000 rpm and 850 Nm of torque from 2,500 to 3,500 rpm. It’s paired to a nine-speed Speedshift TCT 9G automatic gearbox and AMG Performance 4Matic all-wheel drive, and so equipped, this two-and-a-half-tonne behemoth will get from zero to 100 km/h in just 4.5 seconds and onwards to a 240 km/h top speed, thanks to the AMG Driver’s Package.

    Suspension is handled by independent double wishbones at the front, rather than the old model’s front and rear solid axles. The one at the rear remains, but it’s now controlled by four trailing arms and a Panhard rod. Additions specific to the AMG model are AMG Ride Control adaptive dampers, AMG speed-sensitive rack-and-pinion steering and cross-drilled disc brakes with red callipers.

    Visually, the G 63 is differentiated by the trapezoidal Panamerica front grille with vertical slats, larger front air intakes, flared wheel arches, quad side-exit exhausts and a flat-bottomed AMG Performance steering wheel. Our models also come with the Edition 1 package, which add a whole host of aesthetic highlights.

    These include matte graphite grey side stripes, the gloss black AMG Night Package, black 22-inch cross-spoke alloy wheels with red flanges, black and red Nappa leather upholstery with red stitching, red-tinged carbon fibre trim, red seat belts and Dinamica microfibre steering wheel trim with a red 12 o’clock marker.

    Standard equipment includes Multibeam LED headlights, keyless entry, push-button start, the Active Multicontour Seat package with power adjustment, memory and heating, triple-zone automatic climate control, a sunroof, the range-topping Comand Online navigation system, a Burmester surround sound system and a 360-degree camera system.

    Safety-wise, the G 63 gets the full Driver Assistance package with Active Brake Assist, Distronic adaptive cruise control, Active Lane Keeping Assist and Blind Spot Assist. Also fitted are Pre-Safe, a tyre pressure monitoring system and a Tirefit tyre repair kit.

    Browse full specifications and equipment of the new Mercedes-AMG G 63 on You can check out our first drive video review down below, and stay tuned for the written review coming out soon.

  • Mercedes-AMG GLC63 and GLC63 Coupe launched in Malaysia – 503 hp, 700 Nm; RM916k and RM934k

    Mercedes-Benz Malaysia has answered the prayers of those who felt the ‘43’ variants of the Mercedes-Benz GLC were a little underpowered for their taste with two new introductions today – the Mercedes-AMG GLC 63 S 4Matic+ and GLC 63 S 4Matic+ Coupe.

    Both models were first introduced globally in April last year, and pack a M177 4.0 litre twin-turbo V8 petrol engine that makes 510 PS (503 hp) at 5,500-6,250 rpm and 700 Nm of torque at 1,750-4,500 rpm. As a comparison, the GLC 43 4Matic in either body style has 367 PS (362 hp) and 520 Nm at its disposal from a M276 3.0 litre twin-turbo V6.

    Put simply, it’s a lot of power, and all of it goes to the road through an AMG Speedshift MCT nine-speed automatic transmission and AMG Performance 4Matic+ permanent all-wheel drive system with variable torque distribution.

    Performance-wise, both will complete the 0-100 km/h sprint in just 3.8 seconds, which is 1.1 seconds faster than the GLC 43s, and hit an electronically-limited top speed of 270 km/h.

    Other driving-related features include three-chamber air suspension with adaptive dampers, an AMG high-performance composite braking system and an electronic rear-axle limited-slip differential.

    These systems are linked to the cars’ AMG Dynamic Select system, which offers four selectable driving modes – Comfort, Sport, Sport Plus and Individual. To make sure the V8 is heard clearly by others, an AMG Performance exhaust system comes as standard here.

    In terms of exterior equipment, both models are identical to one another, starting with 21-inch AMG cross-spoke forged wheels, an AMG Night package, Multibeam LED headlamps with adaptive high beam assist plus and a sunroof.

    The GLC 63s also get their own unique styling touches like the Panamericana grille as seen on the GT R and GT C; sportier bumpers with larger intakes; a rear diffuser; chrome-plated twin tailpipes; and a spoiler lip fitted on the roof.

    It’s much the same story on the inside, where you’ll find an AMG Performance steering wheel in Dinamica microfibre, and sport seats upholstered in Nappa leather. Other items relating to aesthetics are red designo seat belts, black Artico man-made leather for the dashboard and beltlines, AMG carbon-fibre/light longitudinal-grain aluminium trim, and AMG illuminated sill plates.

    The kit list also includes a dual-zone Thermotronic climate control system, powered front seats with lumbar support, heating and memory function, COMAND Online infotainment system with touchpad, Burmester surround sound system, head-up display and keyless operation.

    As for safety and driver assist systems, standard across the board are a surround view camera, Driving Assistance package plus, Distance Pilot DISTRONIC with Steering Pilot, Active lane keeping assist, Active Blind Spot Assist, Active Brake Assist with cross-traffic function, Active parking assist and Pre-Safe.

    We now arrive at the most important part, pricing. For the GLC 63 S 4Matic+, you’ll need to fork out RM915,888 (on-the-road without insurance), while the GLC 63 S 4Matic+ Coupe retails at RM933,888. For more information about the new GLC 63 and GLC 63 Coupe, head on over to

    GALLERY: C253 Mercedes-AMG GLC 63 S 4Matic+ Coupe

    GALLERY: X253 Mercedes-AMG GLC 63 S 4Matic+

  • Malaysia driving cycle standard planned as part of country’s initiatives on fuel economy development

    The Malaysia Automotive Institute (MAI) has announced updates on the country’s initiatives on fuel economy development, in line with worldwide initiatives set out by the global fuel economy initiative (GFEI). The updates were presented to members of the global community at an event in Kuching, Sarawak.

    Among them is the planned establishment of a Malaysia driving cycle (MDC) fuel economy standard. The programme has seen studies carried out, all geared towards the development of a standardised method consistent with the world wide harmonised light duty test cycle (WLTC) for fuel consumption.

    The institute said that when it is eventually in place, this will establish Malaysia’s own globally-recognised driving cycle, which will allow the measurement of fuel economy from a Malaysian context – the MDC would present a set of data specific to Malaysian roads, terrain and environmental conditions, and thus determine standards for energy efficient vehicles (EEVs) based on UN regulation 101.

    Mention was also made about the national emission test centre (NETC), which was officially opened in March this year. Located in Rawang, Selangor, the NETC is the first full-fledged vehicle emissions testing facility in Malaysia. The centre’s facilities include real-time measurement of exhaust emission gases for passenger cars in accordance with UN regulation 83 and 101.

    With emissions tests a requirement for vehicles to comply with vehicle type approval (VTA) and EEV certification, the NETC – which is operated by MAI – will allow for significant emissions test cost reduction and faster test cycle times, according to the institute.

    Collaborations with global agencies for carbon reduction were also highlighted, including that with Clean Air Asia, a non-profit organisation that has implemented the “Supporting Clean and Efficient Vehicle Policies in Asian Countries” programme, funded by UN Environment. Among the activities the collaboration is working towards is the establishment of a fuel economy baseline based on actual data gathering and trends analysis specific to Malaysia.

    The institute is also working with the ministry of energy, science, technology, environment and climate change (MESTECC) in a number of areas, including providing input specific to EEVs and the development of a low carbon mobility blueprint based on these.

  • Perodua to display concept car at KLIMS – new SUV?

    The 2018 edition of the Kuala Lumpur International Motor Show (KLIMS) is just around the corner now, opening to the public on November 23 to December 2. As the Malaysian auto market leader, Perodua is sure to be there, and the company’s booth theme is “Illumination”.

    Perodua has just opened registration of interest on its social media pages, and the caption reveals that there will be a concept car displayed at the show. “Let’s get ready for the premiere of our concept car, technology innovations and more! See you at Perodua’s Illumination booth!” it reads.

    Now, it has been widely speculated that Perodua is readying a new model, but the rumoured seven-seater SUV is unlikely to be launched at KLIMS, according to Perodua Sales MD Datuk Dr Zahari Husin himself. However, it would be strange if the company did not make use of a big public event to preview the new model, which is likely to debut early next year.

    Perodua displayed the GMA Space and Buddyz concepts at the previous KLIMS

    The concept car in question could either be a nearly finished version of the upcoming new model or something else altogether – something more exploratory and worthy of the concept car tag. We’re guessing the latter due to the fact that the rumoured new SUV would have been finalised by now.

    Previous teasers from P2 in concept car form include the Perodua GMA Space Concept (KLIMS 2013, turned out to be an accurate preview of the Axia’s cabin), the Perodua Buddyz Concept (also KLIMS 2013, looks like an early Bezza idea), and the Perodua Concept X from 2017, which could yet be an early preview of the new SUV.

    In any case, there will be no shortage of interesting metal (and/or clay) at Perodua’s KLIMS 2018 booth.


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Last Updated 01 Nov 2018


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