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  • GST zero-rated: Maxus prices down, by up to RM10.2k

    Weststar Maxus has announced a new price list for its range of Maxus vehicles in line with the changes made to the goods and services tax (GST), which will be zero-rated as of June 1. The reworked pricing with 0% GST will remain in effect until the re-implementation of the sales and services tax (SST).

    The government has revealed that the SST rate will be set at 10%, and though no date has been defined for the reintroduction of SST, it has been reported that it will be back in place within two to three months, which means consumers only have a short window of opportunity to enjoy this tax exemption.

    Click to enlarge.

    With the removal of GST, savings on Maxus models start from RM5,151 for a V80 SWB panel van, and the four variants in the G10 MPV range sees a price reduction ranging from RM7,808 for a G10 Sport to RM10,185 for a G10 Executive.

    The company also announced that it will be opening two new showrooms within the next couple of months, in Penang and Kota Bharu. It opened a showroom in Bangsar, Kuala Lumpur, in February this year.

  • GST zero-rated: Hyundai prices up to RM10,300 lower

    Hyundai-Sime Darby Motor has released new prices of Hyundai models without the six-percent goods and services tax (GST). Set to come into effect on June 1, the figures are in line with the government’s move to set the tax to zero percent on that same date, ahead of the formal reintroduction of the sales and service tax (SST) sometime later this year.

    That tax will be set at 10%, meaning that you only have two or three months to enjoy these savings before prices go up again – possibly higher than during the GST era.

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    Looking at the price list, the cheapest car on the list, the base Ioniq Hybrid, now ducks under the RM100,000 mark at RM94,788 – RM6,500 less expensive than before. Meanwhile, the most expensive model, the Starex 2.5 CRDi Deluxe, receives a RM10,300 lower price and retails at RM173,288.

    As we reported last year, the Sonata and Santa Fe are nowhere to be found, having been discontinued in anticipation of new models. The Veloster has also been phased out, but that one won’t see a replacement that has already been revealed for other markets.

  • SPYSHOTS: Porsche 911 GT3 Touring Cabriolet seen?

    The Porsche 911 GT3 is among the diminishing ranks of naturally-aspirated performance cars, and while the apparent advent of a Cabriolet version might lessen the ‘purist’ factor for some, it also opens up headroom for its occupants’ aural enjoyment of the 4.0 litre flat-six.

    This mule is likely to adopt the fixed-roof GT3’s engine tune, meaning a similar, if not identical set of output figures mirroring that car’s 500 hp at 8,250 rpm and 460 Nm of torque at 6,000 rpm; that engine goes to 9,000 rpm before the limiter calls time. Transmission is most likely the six-speed manual unit as employed in the GT3 Touring, judging by the three-pedal layout spotted here.

    Adoption of PDK transmission here remains to be seen. Further along, the Cabriolet can be expected to adopt details such as dynamic engine mounts, locking differential and active rear axle steering. Wheel diameter appears to remain at 20 inches.

    Chassis setup should be similar to that of the GT3 Touring coupe’s, albeit with detail tweaks to account for dfferences in bodyshell rigidity due to the lack of a roof. Two different test mules have been spotted, one fitted with ceramic brakes and the other with shinier steel discs. Performance figures can be expected to be marginally slower than the coupe’s 3.9-second 0-100 km/h time and 316 km/h top speed.

    GALLERY: Porsche 911 GT3 Touring Package

  • SPIED: Mid-engined Chevrolet Corvette spotted again

    The mid-engined Chevrolet Corvette has been spotted undergoing tests again, and it has been tipped to join the Corvette lineup in 2019 as a 2020 model. This new model will reportedly serve as the Corvette sub-brand’s halo model rather than replace the current C7 generation of models, which is expected to continue into the 2022 model year.

    Exact engine details have yet to be confirmed, though our spy photographers say that transmission is likely to be a dual-clutch unit judging by accounts of ‘lightning-fast’ gearshifts. This finding corresponds with a Car and Driver report, which says that the TR-9007 unit by transmission maker Tremec will be the “one and only transmission available.”

    Our sources also report that Chevrolet has trademarked the name “E-Ray”, which likely signifies a sub-brand for electrification. This is in line with earlier reports that there will be a hybrid version of the mid-engined Corvette, possibly a plug-in hybrid and maybe even the appearance of an all-electric version.

    This outing also reveals the mid-engined Corvette’s tyre sizes, which measure 245/35R19 in front and 305/30R20 at the back, and are Michelin Pilot Sport 4S items on this particular test mule.

    Aesthetically there isn’t much to be revealed as most of the car is literally still under wraps, though we can see here that the exhaust outlets are now further out toward the corners, rather than the relatively centralised units of the Corvettes past. Flaps in the fabric shrouding indicate that its door handles are mounted relatively low, beneath the crease line which runs within the wheelbase of the car.

    A mid-engined supercar is a great departure for the Corvette brand. Do you like what you see, dear readers?

  • SPYSHOTS: Audi RS Q3 testing at the Nurburgring

    The next-generation Audi Q3 was most recently spotted running trials last month, and judging by the sighting of what appears to be the new RS Q3, it seems like Audi is aiming to release its high-performance range-topper not long after the new model range’s debut.

    The heart and most likely the centre of the new RS Q3’s attraction is its powerplant, which our spy photographers have observed to sound like a five-cylinder from the RS3. Given that the current RS Q3 made 367 hp and 465 Nm of torque, this upcoming iteration is expected to come closer to the 400 hp mark, which is the output figure of the RS3 hot hatch.

    Thus equipped, the next-generation RS Q3 can be expected to dispatch the 0-100 km/h run quicker than the 4.4 seconds elapsed by the current RS Q3 performance, as well as likely surpassing that car’s 270 km/h top speed. Driveline will naturally be all-wheel-drive, most probably mated to a seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox.

    Changes compared to the standard Q3 and the middling SQ3 versions will include uprated (and lowered) suspension, and more visibly the ceramic brake setup with six-piston calipers on the front axle, the latter not fitted to the SQ3. These will be housed in larger wheels, and will help distinguish the RS model from lesser variants along with contrasting side mirror covers.

  • Mercedes-Benz G-Class production begins in Austria

    With the launch of the new Mercedes-Benz G-Class, it’s clear that the iconic model has gone through the biggest transformation in its 39 years-old history. The tri-star company is showing no signs of slowing down or canning production altogether, and now, production of the Geländewagen has commenced.

    Ever since 1979, the people responsible for producing the G-Class is Magna Steyr, and its facility is located in Graz, Austria. Till today, the G-Class is predominantly built by hand. Several experienced employees have been with the company from the start, lending some credence to the company’s claim of “paying great attention to the well-known Mercedes-Benz quality.”

    The Magna Steyr plant facilitates numerous synergies thanks to the high degree of networking between development, engineering, the prototype workshop, testing and series production. Daimler’s subsidiary company Mercedes-Benz G GmbH is also based in Graz. The highlight of the plant is the test track on the local mountain of Graz, the Schöckl. Apparently, one kilometre of testing on the track corresponds to 50 kilometres in actual operation.

    Mercedes-Benz’s off-road product group head, Gunnar Güthenke said “we have kept the familiar and popular features of the design icon and further optimised the ‘G’ where ride comfort and robustness are concerned. For the production, we continue to trust in our experienced production partner since 39 years, Magna Steyr.”

    To recap, the all-new 2018 G-Class is 53 mm longer and 121 mm wider than the model it replaces. There’s the standard G 500 that’s powered by an AMG-derived 4.0 litre twin-turbo V8 outputting 422 hp and 610 Nm, and of course the range-topping G63 model, also powered by a 4.0 litre twin-turbo V8. Here, it makes 585 hp and 850 Nm of torque. The former gets a nine-speed 9G-tronic auto, while the latter gets the AMG Speedshift TCT 9G transmission.

    The G-Class will continue to be built at the Magna Steyr plant – an arrangement that will remain indefinitely, unless there is a significant change or drop in demand.

    GALLERY: 2018 Mercedes-AMG G63

    GALLERY: 2018 Mercedes-Benz G-Class

  • Dieselgate: Porsche Europe recalls 60,000 diesel SUVs

    Porsche, after recently coming under fire for allegedly installing defeat devices in its diesel-powered cars, has issued a recall for its diesel-powered Macan and Cayenne SUVs at the request of German authorities. According to AutoExpress, approximately 53,000 units of the Macan and 6,750 units of the Cayenne are involved in this recall exercise across Europe.

    A Porsche spokesman explained that the company had “received recall notices from the German Federal Motor Transport Authority (KBA) affecting Cayenne 4.2 litre V8 diesel and Macan 3.0 litre V6 diesel vehicles.”

    Although Porsche was quick to announce that it “accepts full responsibility towards its customers,” it also said it “does not develop or manufacture diesel engines itself.” Both the above-mentioned engines were developed by Audi, also a member of the Volkswagen Group. Since February this year, Porsche has dropped all sales of its diesel-engined models, citing declining sales as a motivating factor.

    As usual, owners with the affected vehicles will be contacted by Porsche dealers, and “a technical solution in the form of a software update” will be applied to their cars for free during a “short workshop visit.”

    In July 2017, German authorities reportedly found an emissions ‘defeat device’ in the the 3.0 litre diesel Porsche Cayenne, leading to an obligatory recall of 22,000 cars across Europe. This device, when triggered through routine laboratory tests, would limit the emissions of nitrogen oxide. In the real world, the level of emissions is said to be much higher.

    GALLERY: Porsche Cayenne S Diesel

  • Kia Sportage facelift revealed, with diesel mild hybrid

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    We’ve seen it undisguised, and read about its new diesel mild-hybrid powertrain – now the Kia Sportage facelift is officially unveiled, slightly less than three years after the fourth-gen QL made its debut. The refreshed SUV also gets a lightly altered appearance plus new safety and infotainment tech.

    There are front and rear bumpers, as well as redesigned front and rear lamps. The ‘eyes’ have four-point LED daytime running lights, similar to the new Cerato and Ceed. The GT-Line, seen here, comes with a gloss black hot-stamped radiator grille, a gloss black and silver skid plate, and dark chrome inserts on the side sills and rear tailgate.

    The GT-Line’s unique 19-inch alloys have been redesigned (new 16- and 17-inch wheels for the other trim levels), and all models are fitted with a dual-exhaust rear valance (look closely and you’ll see the real tailpipe jutting out below the bumper) plus revised ‘ice cube’ LED fog lamps.

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    Just minor refinements inside, including a new steering wheel and revised instrument cluster, as well as new black-and-grey two-tone upholstery. GT-Line models are available with new black-and-grey two-tone leather seats, or optional black leather with red accents.

    The big news under the hood is Kia’s new EcoDynamics+ 48V diesel mild-hybrid powertrain, the start of a big electrification push that will see the Korean carmaker launch 16 ‘advanced powertrain’ vehicles by 2025, including five hybrids, five plug-in hybrids, five EVs and, in 2020, a fuel-cell electric vehicle.

    The EcoDynamics+ diesel mild-hybrid system combines a 2.0-litre ‘R’ diesel engine, 48-volt battery and a mild-hybrid starter-generator unit. Kia says that the added bits supplements acceleration and extends engine ‘off time’, resulting in 4% lower C02 emissions in the new Worldwide harmonized Light vehicles Test Procedure (WLTP).

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    Elsewhere, the 1.7 litre CRDi oil burner has been replaced with the new 1.6 litre ‘U3’ CRDi, which Kia says is the cleanest diesel engine it has ever made. It produces 115 or 136 PS, with higher-powered models available with all-wheel drive and a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission. All powertrains comply with the latest Euro 6d TEMP emissions standards.

    The facelifted Sportage gets all of Kia’s latest driving assistance systems, including Smart Cruise Control with Stop & Go, around view monitor and Driver Attention Warning. European customers have a choice of a 7.0-inch touchscreen or a new ‘frameless’ 8.0-inch unit.

    The Sportage facelift will go on sale in Europe in Q3 2018. The continent is a big market for the C-segment SUV – Kia sold more than 131,000 examples of it last year, which is a quarter of the brand’s total European sales.

    GALLERY: Pre-facelift Kia Sportage 2.0L AWD GT CRDi

  • Gov’t not interested in buying back Proton – Tun M

    Despite having previously voiced his objection towards the sale of a stake in Proton to Geely, prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said that the new federal government has no plans to buy back the national carmaker, according to a report by The Edge.

    The 92-year-old premier said that control of the company no longer rests in the government, but rather in parent company DRB-Hicom and its largest shareholder, Tan Sri Syed Mokhtar Albukhary. “Proton does not belong to the government. It belongs to Tan Sri Syed Mokhtar Albukhary.

    “It is up to him whether he wants to purchase [back the shares]. The government has no intention to buy back Proton,” Mahathir said. The man was an advisor to Proton before becoming its chairman in 2014, stepping down two years later as the company secured a RM1.5 billion soft loan from the government.

    As part of the terms for the loan, DRB-Hicom agreed to sell 49.9% of its stake in Proton to Geely last year, after a year-long search for a foreign strategic partner. Mahathir decried the decision at the time, saying that Proton – which he described as his “child” – could “no longer be national” and its future successes are nothing to be proud of, as it does not “belong to me or my country.”

  • 2018 Hong Leong Yamaha Malaysia zero GST prices

    In line with the Malaysian government’s zero-rating of GST, Hong Leong Yamaha Malaysia has released an updated price list for the 2018 motorcycle range. While savings from its range of urban scooters are minimal, at the upper-end of the catalogue, prices are somewhat attractive for the new bike purchaser.

    At the top is the Yamaha MT-09 Tracer, which drops in price to RM48,801 from RM51,729, a savings of RM2,928.06. The MT-09 naked sports is now at RM44,473, dropping RM2,668 from RM47,141.

    Yamaha’s ever popular quarter-litre sports bike, the YZF-R25, goes from RM20,630 to RM19,463, a drop of RM1,167. Its counterpart, the XMax 250 scooter, is now priced at RM21,225, dropping RM1,273 from RM22,498.

    Budget scooters in the Ego range, the Solariz and Avantiz, now retail for RM5,234 and RM5,536 respectively, dropping from RM5,548 and RM5,868. Meanwhile, the Y15Zr supercub, pried at RM8,361 with GST, now goes for RM7,888, reduced by RM473.28.

    Other selections from Yamaha Malaysia’s range include the MT-07 middleweight sports bike, which goes from RM36,604 to RM34,533 and the NVX155 scooter, which can be had for RM9,906, dropping RM594.36 from RM10,500.


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Last Updated 10 May 2018


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