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  • Driven Movie Night – win Venom premiere passes!

    It’s time for another Driven Movie Night! To celebrate the release of Venom in the cinemas on October 4, we’re offering you the chance to watch it with us first, courtesy of Sony Pictures Entertainment, Malaysia! Our lucky winners will get to join us for the premiere on Tuesday, October 2 at 8.30pm at GSC One Utama, Petaling Jaya.

    Ten pairs of tickets are up for grabs, which means we’re giving out 20 passes. All you need to do is watch the trailer below and answer two simple questions. Since we’re feeling extra generous, we’ll be giving out exclusive #Venom merchandise to selected lucky winners too! You have to be quick though, as the contest closes on Friday, September 28.

    One of Marvel’s greatest and most complex characters takes centre stage as Eddie Brock (Tom Hardy) becomes the host for the alien symbiote Venom. As a journalist, Eddie has been trying to take down the notorious founder of the Life Foundation, genius Carlton Drake (Riz Ahmed) – and that obsession ruined his career and his relationship with his girlfriend, Anne Weying (Michelle Williams). Upon investigating one of Drake’s experiments, the alien Venom merges with Eddie’s body, and he suddenly has incredible new superpowers, as well as the chance to do just about whatever he wants.

    Twisted, dark, unpredictable and fuelled by rage, Venom leaves Eddie wrestling to control dangerous abilities that he also finds empowering and intoxicating. As Eddie and Venom need each other to get what they’re looking for, they become more and more intertwined — where does Eddie end and Venom begin? To see how things turn out, take part in the contest now.

    *Contest closes on Friday, September 28, 2018. Winners will be announced on and notified via email and SMS on Monday, October 1, 2018. The announced results are final and any disputes will not be entertained. The movie screening will be held on Tuesday, October 2, 2018 at 8.30pm at GSC One Utama in Petaling Jaya, and winners must collect their passes at the above venue one hour before the screening time. Due to screening location, the contest is open to Klang Valley residents only.

  • Toyota Yaris, 86 GR trademarks filed for use in Europe

    With Toyota’s GRMN and GR Sport models having made their way from Japan to Europe, it’s only a matter of time before the mid-range GR brand to take flight on the Continent. Autocar reported that the company has trademarked the Yaris and 86 GR names for use in markets there, hinting of an impending launch.

    Taking its name from Toyota’s racing division, Gazoo Racing, the GR brand confers a number of tuning parts that go beyond the GR Sport’s basic bodykit and suspension upgrades. In Japan, the Yaris GR (badged as the Vitz GR there) gets 17-inch alloy wheels, Bridgestone Potenza RE050A tyres, smaller-diameter steering wheel from the 86 and a 10-speed transmission mode for the CVT models.

    Meanwhile, the 86 GR receives 17-inch Rays alloys, Recaro seats, a Torsen limited-slip differential and Brembo brakes with six-piston front and four-piston rear callipers. All these go on top of the GR Sport’s offerings, which consist of a bodykit, Sachs dampers and a few other aesthetic and mechanical tweaks. These GR and GR Sport models don’t come with any extra power – that’s reserved for the GRMN versions.

    In Europe, the Yaris GR Sport is only available as a five-door hybrid, which utilises the Prius c’s 74 PS/111 Nm 1NZ-FXE 1.5 litre VVT-i engine and 61 PS/169 Nm electric motor to produce a total system output of 100 PS. Expect the GR version to also be equipped with the same bodystyle and powertrain.

    As for the 86 GR, that will almost certainly be equipped with the standard model’s 205 PS 2.0 litre flat-four, with six-speed manual and automatic transmission options.

    GALLERY: Toyota Yaris, 86 GR in Japan

  • Standing in parking box illegal, RM2,000 fine – PDRM

    Sometimes, finding a parking spot can be a real chore, but nothing beats driving up to a vacant spot, only to find that it’s “taken” by someone else who’s nonchalantly standing there waiting for his/her friend to park. We all know that feeling too well.

    Now, the Royal Malaysia Police (PDRM) has just stated that such a move is not permissible, and doing so would be committing an offence under Section 50 (3) of the Road Transport Act 1987.

    The rule states: “If any person, otherwise than with lawful authority, remains on any road or at any parking place for the purpose of importuning any other person in respect of the watching or cleaning of a motor vehicle, or for the purpose of directing any driver of a motor vehicle in respect of parking on such road or at such place, he shall be guilty of an offence.

    Anyone who is guilty of said offence will be liable to a maximum fine of RM2,000 or imprisonment up to six months. A second conviction doubles that – RM4,000 fine or 12 months jail term.

    PDRM added that the behaviour is irresponsible and inconveniences others, and it could potentially put the violator (for the lack of a better word) in harm’s way. The problem, while not exclusive to Malaysia, has to be nipped in the bud. Let’s all be a little more considerate, alright? What say you?

  • Toyota Hilux, Fortuner, Innova get kit, safety updates

    Click to enlarge

    UMW Toyota Motor has announced upgrades and enhancements for the IMV trio – the Toyota Fortuner SUV, Innova MPV and Hilux pick-up truck.

    The Hilux, Fortuner and Innova get a new colour option, Phantom Brown, taking exterior colour choices to six for the SUV and seven for the MPV. More importantly, the Fortuner now gets Vehicle Stability Control, Brake Assist, Hill-start Assist Control and Active Traction Control (A-TRC) standard on all four variants.

    A-TRC provides more effective traction control in slippery conditions, and is helpful off-road when one encounters muddy terrain. The system detects wheel spin and distributes torque between front and rear wheels, braking the spinning wheel and sending drive to corners with more traction.

    Click to enlarge

    Available equipment on the Fortuner and Innova include keyless entry and push start, LED headlamps and eight-way power adjustment for the driver’s seat. The touchscreen infotainment systems include connectivity to compatible smartphones and the Internet while on the move. The Fortuner can also be had with a powered tailgate and cruise control.

    No changes for the Hilux other than the new colour option and the discontinuation of the 2.8G variant. Those looking for a high-spec Hilux 2.8L can now go straight to the L-Edition that was introduced earlier this year.

    The Fortuner is priced from RM170,500 to RM195,600, while the Innova goes for RM107,280 to RM132,400. The Hilux now comes in five double-cab variants from RM100,000 to RM138,000. All prices are OTR inclusive of SST, without insurance.

  • Mercedes-AMG Project One: official “spyshots” shown

    Mercedes-AMG made a big splash at the Frankfurt Motor Show last year with the unveiling of its Project One concept. Fast forward another 12 months and Affalterbach is still working hard to bring the ferocious Formula 1-engined hypercar to market, but it’s released a few official “spyshots” to whet our appetites.

    The company said that it has spent hundreds of hours to get the race-spec hybrid powertrain to be reliable enough for the road, simulating the world’s toughest tracks on the dynos of its High Performance Powertrains (HPP) division in Brixworth – the same company that builds the F1 team’s championship-winning engines.

    Since then, the power unit has been installed on the first prototypes, which are now being run on a “secret test ground” in England (looks like the Millbrook Proving Ground to us). The car seen here is missing its lights and a few fittings – most notably the “bargeboards” aft of the front wheels – but the low slung bodywork with the massive front air intakes and LMP-style dorsal fin is as per the show car.

    The facts and figures remain hypothetical for now, but here’s what we know. Underneath that fin is a 1.6 litre turbocharged and direct-injected V6 directly from an F1 car (in this case the 2016 F1 W07 Hybrid that took Nico Rosberg to his only world title), with pneumatic valve springs to enable it to spin at up to 11,000 rpm.

    While stratospheric for a road car, it’s significantly lower than the race car’s 15,000 rpm limit, to extend the engine’s life and allow the use of commercial RON 98 fuel. Also carried over from F1 is the split turbocharger that places the turbine and compressor on opposite ends of the engine, connected by a shaft – this enables the compressed air to be cooler as it is separated from the hotter exhaust.

    Fitted to the engine are two electric motor-generator units. The MGU-H (for heat), which produces around 90 kW (120 hp), scavenges energy from the exhaust to drive the compressor, thereby reducing turbo lag – Mercedes-AMG claims the engine’s response betters that of a naturally-aspirated V8.

    A second motor, MGU-K (for kinetic), is connected to the crankshaft and recuperates up to 80% of the car’s kinetic energy under braking. When called for, it delivers 120 kW (161 hp) of extra power, pushing output at the rear wheels alone to over 670 hp – routed through a new eight-speed automated manual gearbox. The engine’s thermal efficiency of over 40% betters the production record set by the latest Toyota Prius.

    That’s not all – another pair of 120 kW electric motors sit at the front to provide all-wheel drive and torque vectoring on the front axle. All in all, the headline total power figure stands at over 1,000 hp, propelling the Project One from zero to 200 km/h in under six seconds and onwards to a top speed of over 350 km/h.

    The car is also capable of an all-electric range of 25 km thanks to the two front motors, the MGU-K and a lithium-ion battery pack aft of the front wheels. The latter is positioned in the same place as on the F1 car and uses the same cells, but is larger to provide the extra energy needed for road use. There’s still a traditional 12-volt electrical system, but the hybrid powertrain runs at 800 volts instead of the usual 400 volts.

    Aside from the engine and four electric motors, the Project One also features a carbon fibre monocoque, with the engine and transmission sharing load-bearing duties à la Ferrari F50. The multilink suspension features pushrod dampers mounted transversely, preventing roll even during very quick direction changes, without resulting in an uncomfortable ride. Carbon ceramic brakes come as standard.

    Forged aluminium alloy wheels measure 19 inches at the front and 20 inches at the back, wrapped in 285/35-section front and 335/20-section rear Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tyres designed specifically for the Project One. The multi-spoke rollers carry carbon fibre covers with ventilation slats all around.

    With all this performance, AMG boss Tobias Moers said that it is “reasonable to speculate” that the company would be aiming for a lap record, although it is unlikely to challenge for the outright record given that Porsche has recently set the marker of a blistering 5 minutes 19.6 seconds with the purpose-built 919 Hybrid Evo. The Porsche 911 GT2 RS‘s 6 minutes 47 seconds production car record is a more likely target.

    The production model is purported slated for a 275-unit run – and even with a rumoured €2.17 million (RM10.9 million) price tag, all of them are reportedly sold out.

  • Proton resumes exports to Egypt – Saga and Exora among three models set for market debut in October

    Proton has announced fresh export activity for the year, with a shipment of 225 Proton cars bound for Egypt. The vehicles are due to set sail on September 22 from Northport, Klang, and are set to arrive at Alexandria port in Cairo on October 6. Once there, the vehicles will be assigned by Proton’s distributor in Egypt, Alpha Ezz El-Arab, to the seven branches and dealers that serve the market.

    The batch of vehicles marks the first shipment of Proton cars to Egypt in nearly three years. The last shipment, comprising 320 units of the Proton Gen 2 and Persona, was sent in December 2015 before the devaluation of the local currency made it impossible to price new stock competitively.

    The export to Egypt will see three Proton models – including the Saga and Exora – making their local market debut. At the flag-off ceremony for the vehicles, Proton deputy CEO Datuk Radzaif Mohamed said the company was excited at being able to resume exports to a market where its models have proven to be popular in the past.

    “Buyers there value the safety, reliability and strong resale price of Proton cars, qualities evident in the three models set to be launched in Cairo in October. To ensure sufficient stocks, the distributor has ordered an additional 280 units to be shipped next month, with a target of 1,000 cars for the whole of 2018,” he said.

    Aside from resuming new car sales in Egypt, Alpha Ezz El-Arab will also be introducing Proton’s new corporate identity (CI) in three of its outlets, making the operation the first to carry the automaker’s latest showroom CI outside of Malaysia.

    “The move to adopt our new CI shows our distributor is in step with our aim of building a consistent brand experience and image for Proton internationally. It will also help in our aim to add to the more than 13,000 Proton cars that have been sold in Egypt since 2004,” he added.

  • Porsche invests in augmented reality tech for HUDs

    Perhaps one day, the display you see on your favourite driving simulation could actually be projected onto the windshield of a real car. Porsche and Hyundai, together with China Merchants Capital, JVCKenwood and several sovereign wealth funds have invested approximately US$80 million (RM331 million) into WayRay, a Zurich-based developer of holographic augmented reality (AR) technology and hardware.

    Founded in 2012, WayRay aims to bring its AR windscreen to production vehicles, a tech that is capable of tracking pedestrian crossings and other crucial road markings. At the same time, it will emphasise their importance to the driver in real time, and could possibly find you a parking spot, reports CNET.

    But the real kicker is its performance application. For example, when driving on the track, the tech could project a live racing line, complete with braking and acceleration information (by way of colour, just like in the game), as well as lap time. If you’re feeling a little bit more competitive, there’s even the possibility of having the “ghost” car mode!

    Interestingly, the AR kit could be retrofitted in almost any car model due to its small projector size, and it features a wide field of projection that could span the entire section of the windscreen. It all sounds a tad too futuristic for our time, so expect the development phase to take a few years.

    With the latest round of funding, WayRay says it will be using the cash to bring its display technology to market by 2019 through OEM deals with carmakers. Its longer term plans include building technology for other kinds of displays, such as window panes for your home. The tech company has raised over US$100 million (RM413 million) since it was founded.

  • Nissan Navara Dark Sky Concept debuts at Hannover

    Nissan has unveiled two new vehicles at the Hannover Motor Show, the Nissan Navara Dark Sky Concept and Navara N-Guard. According to the automaker, both models highlight Nissan’s versatility in Light Commercial Vehicles (LCV), where conversions have seen a massive 300% growth in the past three years.

    Let’s start with the star of the show, the Navara Dark Sky Concept. Developed in the UK with European Space Agency (ESA), the pick-up is equipped with a more advanced version of Nissan’s ProPILOT driver assistance system, and the trailer on tow is actually a mobile astronomy laboratory. Pretty funky, right?

    The concept includes an ultra-high performance PlaneWave telescope within a bespoke trailer module, which can be easily towed to remote off-road areas for the best atmospheric conditions for stargazing.

    Displayed alongside it is the Navara N-Guard, a more rugged version – inspired by the EnGuard Concept (pictured below) – of the truck that’s on sale in Europe. It features several exterior and interior design upgrades, notably the wider wheel arches and bolder bodykit.

    Trough the Off-Roader AT32 conversion pack, ground clearance of the Navara N-Guard is increased (although the press statement doesn’t specify the height increment) and the underside of the pick-up is equipped with better protection. It can also be specified with the optional snorkel, making it the most capable Navara ever offered to the European market.

    So, which of the two do you fancy? Let us know in the comments below.

    GALLERY: Nissan Navara Dark Sky Concept

    GALLERY: Nissan Navara EnGuard Concept

  • Klang Valley Double Track Phase 2 contract cancelled due to excessively high cost, new tender due end-2018

    It’s official. The government has cancelled the contract for the second phase of the Klang Valley Double Track (KVDT) rail upgrade project, with transport minister Anthony Loke citing the RM5.2 billion cost to be excessively high.

    According to The Star, Loke said the cancellation was also due to the manner in which the project was awarded – through direct negotiation. The project was initially awarded to Dhaya Maju LTAT Sdn Bhd by the previous govenment on April 4, just days before Parliament was dissolved, Loke said.

    “A new tender will be called at the end of the year. It will be an open process and we aim to award the contract by the first half of next year,” he said, adding that the Cabinet decided on the cancellation at its weekly meeting yesterday (September 19).

    So far, no payment had been made to the contractor yet, although about three percent of works had been carried out, Loke explained. “They are in the process of claiming the payment for the work done and possibly for compensation.”

    To recap, the project involves 110 km of railway tracks that stretch from Kuala Lumpur to Klang, Salak South to Seremban and Simpang Port Klang to Port Klang. The whole project was to be implemented in phases over seven years and includes infrastructural and system upgrades to ensure safe and reliable train services.

    From a technical viewpoint, KTMB said the second phase needs to be implemented because the (current) track is unsustainable. Financially however, the government, while acknowledging the need to upgrade the track, has no means to support it, although it is seeking a better deal.

  • Replace Takata airbag or risk being blacklisted – Loke

    The government has given its final warning to nearly 80,000 Honda, Subaru and Mazda owners who have yet to get their Takata airbag modules replaced. According to the Malay Mail, transport minister Anthony Loke said all three automakers currently have enough airbag supplies to accommodate the recall exercise.

    He also said owners involved in the recall have less than two months to change their airbags before getting blacklisted by the Road Transport Department (JPJ). “I have asked the companies to send final reminder within two weeks. After that JPJ will issue Notice 114 to summon these car owners to update their status.”

    “If they still ignore the notice after a month, we will begin the blacklisting process, which means they will not be able to renew their road taxes,” Loke said at a press conference recently, adding that a grace period of two to three months will be given to owners of BMW, Mitsubishi, Nissan and Toyota as their service centres currently lack supplies.

    Loke explained that the government has no intention to burden the people, but this was the last resort to ensure the safety of motorists whose vehicles are still equipped with the potentially faulty Takata airbag modules.

    “It’s not even that hard to pop by the workshop and change the airbags. For free, too. It will probably take only two hours. If we don’t threaten them with the word ‘blacklist’, they will never do it. They should realise what matters most is their lives, not the road tax renewal,” he added.

    Loke revealed that, since June 26, the government has spent RM1 million to send out letters to 408,551 motorists but only 70,853 have actually taken action.


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Last Updated 01 Sep 2018


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